'Dhoni will be up in mountains with his regiment. He'll take a break, then have 1 big over to get going': Ravi Shastri

  • MS Dhoni on Friday put to rest speculations around his participation in the IPL, saying he will "definitely" play in the T20 league next year.
MS Dhoni during his stint with Indian Army(Twitter)
MS Dhoni during his stint with Indian Army(Twitter)
Published on May 21, 2022 05:47 PM IST
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By, New Delhi

Chennai Super Kings talisman MS Dhoni on Friday confirmed that he will "definitely" play in the IPL next year as not doing so would be "unfair" to the city after which the franchise is named. Dhoni put to rest speculations around his future in the T20 league as Chennai, which treats him like its own, erupted in joy over the prospect of witnessing 'Thala' at a jam-packed Chepauk next season.

Dhoni, who returned as Chennai captain after Ravindra Jadeja's exit from the role midway through the season, scored 232 runs in 14 matches including a match-defining 28 against Mumbai Indians. The seasoned keeper-batter turned back the clock to hit Jaydev Unadkat for a four off the last ball of the game.

Also Read | MS Dhoni explains big reason behind CSK pacer not playing a single game in IPL 2022: 'What if you are under pressure?'

While Chennai – one of the most successful sides in the IPL – didn't manage to defend their title after finishing ninth in the league standings, Dhoni went back to his vintage self on a couple of occasions. He also hit an unbeaten 8-ball 21 including a four and two maximums against Delhi Capitals.

As Chennai fans went gaga over Dhoni's decision to continue, former India head coach Ravi Shastri underlined the captain's fitness levels that help him keep going. Shastri also spoke about Dhoni's two-month sabbatical that saw him serve his paramilitary regiment back in 2019.

"There is no question about that. It's good that they have made the announcement now, it cuts all the speculation, all the drama that goes behind it. He has one of the best leaders the country has ever produced, especially in white-ball cricket. The announcement must be heartening for the CSK fans more than anything else," Shastri told ESPNCricinfo.

"He is not (any ordinary player). He will be up in the mountains with his regiment. He will take a break for 2-3 months. He will come and play some cricket. He will then have one big over and he will get going."

Chennai endured one of their worst IPL campaigns, as they went out of the reckoning for a play-offs spot quite early in the season. But Shastri said Dhoni "surprised" himself with his batting display, which was an end result of his exemplary fitness levels.

“When you see the amount he trains, he is not someone who keeps running around the ground and picks up weights in the gym, he is someone who plays other sports. He likes to do things outdoor to keep his fitness going, play badminton or any other sport.”

"Fitness is his key. But I think he has enjoyed his cricket this season, more than anything else, The way he has batted, the way he has kept. That sense of enjoyment has come back. He has come back and probably surprised himself with the way he has batted," Shastri further added.


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