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Chennai Super Kings' Mahendra Singh Dhoni walks-in to bat with a sea of yellow fans at the backdrop in Chennai. Image Credit: AFP

Dubai: Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s future has been the subject of speculation for the Chennai Super Kings fans, who feel that their beloved captain should continue to keep them entertained for time immemorial. Now they have seem to be having some pleasing news from Suresh Raina, the former Chennai star.

The left-hander, who has been adorned by the Chennai fans as the Chinna Thala (deputy leader), says that Dhoni wants to continue playing for one more year after winning the trophy. The former India captain has been as sharp as he has been in the past, both in his game and in his strategies, guiding the four-time champions to the second spot in the standings with 13 points after 11 matches.

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Successful season

The success he has enjoyed this season with the bat has increased the clamour for MSD to continue playing for Super Kings. He has scored 76 runs with a strike rate of 200 in seven innings, of which six were not outs.

Raina 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.

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Suresh Raina and Dhoni have won many battles for Chennai Super Kings in he past. Image Credit: Sportzpics for BCCI

“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 the Dhoni masterclass after the end of the post-game presentation ceremony,” said Raina, an IPL expert for JioCinema, in a select virtual interaction.


Keeping fans guessing

“You can see a lot of players are learning a lot from him. But it’s his call depending on how he feels his body is going; based on that he will take a call (on his future). Through the knowledge of spending time with him, I think he should play another year.”

Dhoni is known to keep everyone guessing and makes his own decisions. “I have always planned my cricket. The last game that I played was in Ranchi. The last ODI...was at my hometown in Ranchi. So, hopefully, my last T20, it will be in Chennai… whether it’s next year or in five years’ time, we don’t know,” the Chennai skipper said during the celebrations after winning the fourth title in 2021.

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Dhoni has hit eight sixes and two fours in the limited opportunities he has got in this IPL season. Image Credit: AFP

Reacting to Dhoni’s decision, Kasi Viswanathan, CEO of Chennai Super Kings, had said: “Dhoni decides on what he does, but we hope that last match comes after five years.”

Talking point

Chennai didn’t host any of the matches last year and with the league returning to its original home and away format this year, the Chennai fans have been thronging the stadiums in anticipation and trepidation of seeing his career end. The yellow sea has been the talking point this season in all Chennai matches.

The 41-year-old has been showcasing that he has only gotten better, giving the team the impetus for the right finish with his big-hitting capabilities, hitting eight sixes compared to just two fours. Raina’s words will only give the CSK fans the hope that skipper Dhoni will continue for another few years.