'That's why they say, Thala for a reason': Gavaskar drops famous MS Dhoni meme reference ahead of MI vs CSK blockbuster | Crickit

'That's why they say, Thala for a reason': Gavaskar drops famous MS Dhoni meme reference ahead of MI vs CSK blockbuster

Apr 13, 2024 02:10 PM IST

Sunil Gavaskar spoke about MS Dhoni's impact as CSK captain ahead of the side's clash against Mumbai Indians on Sunday

Chennai Super Kings stand out as one of the most successful franchises in the history of the Indian Premier League, largely owing to the influential leadership of former captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Dhoni has been a pivotal figure for CSK since the league's inception, guiding the team to all five of its championship victories. Widely acclaimed as one of the league's greatest captains, Dhoni played a central role in CSK's remarkable resurgence after the team's two-year hiatus in 2016 and 2017.

MS Dhoni (L) led the CSK to five IPL titles; joint-most in league's history(IPL)
MS Dhoni (L) led the CSK to five IPL titles; joint-most in league's history(IPL)

In recent years, Dhoni's tactical acumen has been instrumental in CSK's success. In 2018, the team had a relatively older core, averaging 34-and-a-half years of age; despite this, CSK clinched the title and have since added two more trophies over the next five seasons, including their latest triumph in the preceding year.

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Former India captain and batting great Sunil Gavaskar was all praise for Dhoni during an event hosted by Star Sports, as CSK prepare to face their arch-rivals Mumbai Indians on Sunday. Dhoni may not be CSK's captain anymore but justifiably holds considerable influence in the dressing room, and Gavaskar insisted that Dhoni knows the trick of the trade when it comes to captaincy.

“I have two teams. Because I'm from Mumbai... Mumbai Indians. Then, CSK,” Gavaskar began. 

When asked how Dhoni is so consistent, Gavaskar recalled a popular social media meme on the former CSK captain: “That's why they say, 'Thala for a reason'.” This led to a huge cheer from the crowd, as Gavaskar then explained what makes Dhoni special.

“See, there are players from different countries and different cities, you have to bring them together with a singular aim of lifting the IPL trophy. In six weeks, we have to win this tournament. For that, you might have some great players, and you are forced to keep them out due to team combination. But you don't let them feel that they're useless; you keep them as an integral part of the team. MSD has these abilities; that's why he's Thala for a reason,” said Gavaskar.

Last year, England's star all-rounder Ben Stokes spent a large part of the season on the bench as he didn't fit the team combination. The Super Kings eventually defeated the Gujarat Titans to lift the title.

CSK face MI away

The two most successful sides in IPL history will lock horns at the Wankhede Stadium, but with new captains. This will be the first time when MI and CSK will meet since the change in captaincy in both franchises; while Hardik Pandya leads Mumbai, Ruturaj Gaikwad holds the rein in Chennai.

CSK are currently third on the points table and will look to gain momentum with a win on Sunday, while MI made a strong comeback after three successive opening losses and are on a two-match winning streak.

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