Updated: April 14, 2020 10:03:31 pm
With the speculations about MS Dhoni’s future raging on after the postponement of IPL, his Chennai Super Kings (CSK) teammate Suresh Raina on Tuesday threw some light on the former India captain’s preparation ahead of the cash-rich T20 league.
Dhoni has been on a self-imposed sabbatical from cricket ever since India’s exit from the World Cup in July last year. Since then he hasn’t played any competitive cricket with some even claiming that it’s getting increasingly difficult for the Jharkhand dasher to make an international return after such a prolonged break.
But the 38-year-old looked sharp as ever when he joined CSK’s training camp on March 2, where he had scored a whirlwind 123 off 91 balls in a practice match ahead of IPL 2020. Talking about that camp, Suresh Raina mentioned how Dhoni showed signs of innovation with the bat.
“Firstly, there was the fitness camp with CSK, where I was joined by [Ambati] Rayudu, [Murali] Vijay and all. Then Mahi bhai joined us, and I knew that there was still cricket left in him,” said Raina in an Instagram Live session with AajTak.
“He was batting really well and was trying to be innovative with his shots. He was changing his game depending on whether he was facing a spinner or a pacer. We played practice games and those sixes were as big as they were before.”
The 33-year-old Raina, the second most prolific batsman in IPL with 5,368 runs, said Dhoni didn’t show any signs of ageing at all, even after such a long break.
“That particular evening, he was batting for three hours in that Chennai heat. The lights came on, and yet he was going on. His body is not showing signs of any ageing. If you ask me, Mahi bhai is batting brilliantly,” said Raina who won the 2011 World Cup and 2013 Champions Trophy under Dhoni’s leadership.
“He was looking different and was trying to do something different every single time, be it with his focus or his running between the wickets. People will surely get to know when he starts to play.”
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Raina went on to say that he is still hopeful of a comeback in the T20I team ahead of the World Cup in October. The left-handed batsman also slammed the selectors for not providing enough reason as to why he was dropped after the England tour in 2018.
Dhoni has been at the helm of CSK since the inception of IPL in 2008 and has led the side to three titles and five runners-up finishes. The current edition of IPL is all set to be indefinitely postponed after Prime Minister Modi announced the extension of the nationwide lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic till May 3.
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