MS Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings (CSK), labelled as the most consistent IPL side due to its impressive playoffs record, had a rather forgetful season this year. Failing to live up to expectations, the Chennai didn't succeed in paving its way to the knockouts.
Reacting to CSK's torrid run in the on-going IPL edition, former India opener Gautam Gambhir has said that even skipper Dhoni would've had sleepless nights despite his strong relationship with CSK's team management. Having been associated with the Chennai side since the IPL's inception, Dhoni shares a healthy relationship with CSK fans and bigwigs.
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"I keep saying that why CSK is CSK is because of the relationship between the owners and the captain. They have given all the freedom to MS, and MS has received all the mutual respect from the owners as well," Gambhir told ESPNCricinfo.
"What he has done for the franchise and how the franchise actually deals with MS and treats MS is a fabulous relationship," he added.
Along with CSK's woeful run, Dhoni's form with the bat and his captaincy have also been under scrutiny this year. Despite being considered among best finishers, Dhoni has been unable to do the job for his side in the current IPL edition, leaving fans baffled over his future with the side. Gambhir, however, feels that the former India skipper will continue to lead CSK.
"So I would not be surprised if they continue with MS and MS plays till the time he wants to play. And then next year he still continues to be the captain and have a much different squad than what he has this time around."
"MS has won them three trophies, couple of Champions Leagues, he has made them one of the top successful sides in the IPL after Mumbai Indians," Gambhir said.
Earlier, CSK CEO CEO Kasi Viswanath had also revealed that the franchise is planning to retain Dhoni for the next IPL season too. Commenting on Dhoni's loyalty towards CSK, Gambhir said that the Chennai skipper must've had sleepless nights while being at the helm.
"So CSK saying they are going to continue with MS - it is just the relationship, it is just the mutual respect. That's why MS has been so loyal. That's why MS has given everything: heart and soul, his sweat, sleepless nights - I'm sure he must have had sleepless nights while he has continued captaining CSK," said Gambhir.
Eyeing to finish their below-par season on a positive note, CSK are scheduled to face Kolkata Knight Riders on Thursday.