CSK captain MS Dhoni speaking with teammates during IPL 2021.© BCCI/IPL
Chennai Super Kings are back where they belong after a dismal Indian Premier League season in 2020. MS Dhoni’s team is on the brink of qualifying for the play-offs in IPL 2021 and things are back to normal in the ‘yellow camp’. MS Dhoni isn’t the batsman that he used to be and it is visible in this season as he has failed to get going. But his captaincy acumen is still as sharp as it used to be and the three-time IPL champion is making the most of the resources at his disposal to guide his team ahead. One of CSK’s major strengths over the years has been their core group of players and Dhoni’s consistency in selection has empowered the players to do well. The likes of Faf du Plessis and Dwayne Bravo, who are well past their prime, have made important contributions. While Ravindra Jadeja continues to be the key figure in his side, youngsters like Ruturaj Gaikwad, Deepak Chahar, Sam Curran and Shardul Thakur have all blossomed under Dhoni’s leadership.
It is because of this very reason that former CSK opener Matthew Hayden, who is currently part of the commentary team for IPL 2021, feels that Dhoni remains the Most Valuable Player in the league.
“Most valuable player, even though he hasn’t had the best of tournaments so far, is still MS Dhoni. As a leader of the side, he is absolutely rising to the challenge. He is older obviously but he has got the reins and he is cracking them hard and his side is responding,” Hayden said on Star Sports.
Hayden added that Dhoni has managed to get the most out of veterans like Dwayne Bravo this season.
“Guys like DJ Bravo, for example, that are making their impact on this tournament albeit in a way that’s small but each component of the team is playing in unison.
“MS Dhoni when the IPL was first conceived, had a very strong younger side. He has got it now because of the strategies of having you know the loyalty amongst their selection. He’s got an older side but what we have seen in MS’s style is that he has still promoted the best out of guys like DJ Bravo,” Hayden added.
The former Australia opener had represented Chennai Super Kings in three seasons, from 2008 to 2010, and scored 1117 in 34 innings. Hayden has eight fifty-plus scores to his name for CSK.
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