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Breaking back! How MS Dhoni, with a bad back, is effortlessly giving his best for CSK in IPL 2018

At 36, MS Dhoni is showing no signs of ageing or slowing down and is the biggest reason behind Chennai Super Kings' ascend to the top of IPL 2018 points table half way into the season.

Written by: Subhasish Dutta, New Delhi [ Updated: May 01, 2018 13:20 IST ]
Image Source : BCCI IMAGE

MS Dhoni played an unbeaten knock of 51 to help Chennai Super Kings beat Delhi Daredevils on Monday.

What makes Mahendra Singh Dhoni a special player? It's his desire. (HIGHLIGHTS: CSK VS DD)

Eight matches, 286 runs at an average of 71.56 and with a healthy strike-rate of 169.23, these are Dhoni's stats so far in the ongoing 11th edition of the Indian Premier League

5, 25, 79*, 5, 25*, 70*, 26, 51* - these are Dhoni's scores in each of the eight matches that CSK have played so far.

Amazing, right?

Now let's look at the backroom story behind Dhoni's numbers. 

He is 36 and has played most of the matches this season with a bad back! Perplexed, are you?

Yes, there's no stopping for Dhoni's helicopters. Even with his age catching up, Dhoni is still winning matches on his own. 

What's impressive is Dhoni's attitude and commitment for his team, which has remain unchanged ever since he made his international debut in 2004.

This season, Dhoni had a special reason to come good. He was donning the yellow jersey and leading the Super Kings after a gap of two years - a period for which the franchise was suspended over spot-fixing.

In the two years that Dhoni spent with Rising Pune Supergiant, he saw himself being downgraded and written-off. He also lost his captaincy to Steve Smith before the start of 2017 season.

All this and his desire and drive to play for CSK made Dhoni all the more lethal. Dhoni's impact on the team has played a major role in CSK's ascend to the top of IPL 2018 points table.

CSK batsman Shane Watson too feels Dhoni's desire to play for CSK has rubbed off on everyone. 

"We don't really see MS too much around breakfast and lunch – he loves his sleep. [But] to see how much it means to him, to be able to play for CSK, that's rubbed off on everyone.

"To see him bat as well as he is... It's as good as I've ever seen him hit the ball on all types of wickets, all types of bowlers, he's just so cool under pressure. When the run-rate is getting up he just knows which kind of bowlers he’s lining up. It's amazing how he stays so calm.”

"The desire, how much it means to MS, it's rubbed off on me for sure. Looking at MS doing it at his age, which is in and around my age, spurs me on as well. There's no reason why your best cricket can't be around at this stage of our careers. To watch MS from close quarters is very special," Watson, who played a fine knock of 78 against Delhi Daredevils on Monday, said.

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Asia Cup Schedule 2018

Live Scorecard

ASIA CUP 2018 Points Table

Group A

  • Teams Matches Wins Losses Points NRR
  • Pakistan 1 1 0 2 0
  • India 0 0 0 0 0
  • Hong Kong 1 0 1 0 0

Group B

  • Teams Matches Wins Losses Points NRR
  • Bangladesh 1 1 0 2 0
  • Afghanistan 1 1 0 2 0
  • Sri Lanka 2 0 2 0 0