MS Dhoni has been on a sabbatical since the conclusion of ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 but his intensity stood out and he looked in spectacular touch during the IPL camp, his Chennai Super Kings teammates substantiated.
The super Kings began their training on March 2 with Dhoni joining from day one, unperturbed by speculations over his future in international cricket.
However, the camp had to be suspended on March 14 due to the novel coronavirus outbreak. But Dhoni’s focus was headstrong on the game and he had even scored a whirlwind 123 off 91 balls in a CSK practise match ahead of IPL 2020.
“Mahi bhai was absolutely focused, training purposefully and was looking really good. He was showing match-like intensity in the way he was batting and keeping and that was rubbing off on others,” Leg-spinner Piyush Chawla was quoted as saying on the CSK website.
“Mahi bhai was batting for two to three hours at nets every day, and the way he was hitting the ball no one could say he was returning from a long break. The way he was training was a huge motivation for the rest of us,” said Karn Sharma, another leggie in CSK’s squad.
“During match simulations, he was very involved, speaking to the bowlers, and the rhythm he was in, it was a big boost for our team,” Sharma said.
Meanwhile, Lakshmipathy Balaji, CSK’s team’s bowling coach described Dhoni as a natural athlete and that he was clearly looking forward to the season.
“MS is a natural athlete and supremely fit. He didn’t look rusty, didn’t look one bit like he was away from the game. He was clearly looking forward to the season, the way he was training, batting, keeping and being involved with the team,” Balaji added.
Team physiotherapist Tommy Simsek said it was the first time in about 10 years he saw Dhoni do some wicketkeeping training.
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(With PTI inputs)
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