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Chennai Super Kings' Mahendra Singh Dhoni gestures during the IPL match against Royal Challengers Bangalore. Image Credit: AFP

Chennai: Having won by eight runs against Royal Challengers Bangalore, four-time winners Chennai Super Kings (CSK) return to their home at Chepauk for another southern derby clash, this time against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Friday.

The MS Dhoni-led side will be raring to return to winning ways at home as they lost to Rajasthan Royals in a high-scoring last-over thriller last time. With the crowd set to turn out in yellow in huge numbers, former India off-spinner Harbhajan Singh, who has donned the yellow jersey in the past, claimed there can’t be a bigger cricketer in the country than Dhoni.

One and only

“Mahendra Singh Dhoni is only one. There cannot be a bigger cricketer than him in India. Someone could have scored more runs than him and someone could have taken more wickets than him, but no one has a bigger fanbase than him.”

“Dhoni has accepted this fandom to heart and he respects his teammates as well. He walks with so much love and emotion that anyone else would go mad, but Dhoni has carried this love and emotion in his heart for 15 years and he still hasn’t changed at all,” Harbhajan was quoted as saying by Star Sports.

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Harbhajan Singh celebrates the wicket of Mayank Agarwal with Mahendra Singh Dhoni in 2019. Image Credit: SPORTZPICS for BCCI

Apart from Dhoni, all eyes will be also on all-rounder Shivam Dube, who set the stage on fire with his towering sixes against Bangalore at the M. Chinnaswamy stadium. Harbhajan lauded the left-handed batter for his range of shots and added that Dube should continue getting the chance to bat higher in the order more often.

Tremendous hitting range

“Shivam Dube’s hitting range is tremendous. Whenever the ball comes into his hitting arc, he dispatches it for a biggie. CSK banks a lot on players with such qualities. Shivam should continue to get opportunities to bat at the top.”

Talking about Thursday’s evening clash, where Delhi Capitals got their first win of IPL 2023 in a last-over chase against Kolkata Knight Riders, former England captain Kevin Pietersen was critical of the performance put up by David Warner and Co, pointing out that their batting still remains a concern.

Delhi's weak link

“Games like these give you confidence. There was a sense of relief in the camp. We’ve seen Mumbai Indians do (this) a couple of times in the past. They were unstoppable after coming on the winning track. Could it be the same for Delhi?”

“We’ll have to wait and see. Warner led from the front with his captaincy and batting. He was, unfortunately, let down by the team. Batting still remains a weak link for them.”