MS Dhoni future as a Chennai Super Kings player has been hotly debated since he announced his retirement from international cricket in August 2020. With many believing that IPL 2023 will be Dhoni’s final appearance in the tournament, Chennai’s matches in and out of Chepauk have turned into an incredible sea of yellow as fans wait to see the maverick wicketkeeper-batter in action Suresh Raina.
Suresh Raina, a four-time IPL champion with Chennai, revealed that Dhoni told him in a post-game conversation after beating Mumbai Indians by six wickets that he intends to play for another year after winning the trophy.
“Woh toh bol rahe hain mein trophy jeet ke ek saal aur khelunga (He was saying that after winning the IPL trophy, I will play one more year). But he’s looking good and is batting really well. Plus, there’s a good team combination now and as many can see, there’s always a Dhoni ki paathshaala (the Dhoni masterclass) after the end of the post-game presentation ceremony,” Raina said on Jio Cinema.
“You can see that a lot of players are picking up a lot from him.” But it is his decision based on how he feels his body is going; based on that, he will make a decision (on his future). “After spending time with him, I believe he should play another year,” Raina, an IPL expert for Jio Cinema, said in a select virtual interaction.
Ruturaj Gaikwad is a future CSK captain: Suresh Raina
When asked who could be Dhoni’s successor if he decides to retire, Raina named opener Ruturaj Gaikwad as a future Chennai captain, noting that he’s improving as a player this year. Gaikwad rose to prominence after becoming the IPL 2021’s leading run-scorer with 635 runs as Chennai won their fourth title. Gaikwad has 384 runs in ten innings in IPL 2023, averaging 42.67 and forming a solid opening pair with Devon Conway.
“He’s been looking solid, very calm, and wants to win a trophy for MS Dhoni, as he stated earlier.” He appears to be pumped up and working extremely hard. His bat speed has greatly improved, and if one recalls the way he hit sixes in the previous game, he simply eased into it.
“Every time he has looked to time the ball, he is in a completely different zone.” His fielding has greatly improved, and he now thinks like a proper batter and captain. I’d say he’s a future CSK captain because he’s taking on a lot of responsibility, and I wouldn’t be surprise if he’s captaining CSK in two or three years.”
Shivam Dube thriving in his role
Another factor that has propelled Chennai to large totals in IPL 2023 has been Shivam Dube thriving in his role as designated six-hitter, particularly against spinners, though he did leave people in awe while hitting sixes off Kagiso Rabada and a monstrous 111m hit against Harshal Patel.
Using his tall stature and long reach, Dube has smashed 24 sixes in the tournament so far, trailing only Faf du Plessis, demonstrating how well he has fit into his role in Chennai.
“He’s improved as a batter and is shouldering a lot of the blame for giving CSK 30-40 extra runs.” He’s fire d up, working hard on his game, and has the support of management and Ajinkya Rahane. Both play for Mumbai and are batting and gelling extremely well. Shivam Dube, on the other hand, is full of confidence and is in the game awareness zone. He’s mostly hitting sixes on the front side. He’s been hitting sixes straight and connecting well, which has really impressed me,” Raina concluded.