Finishing their underwhelming IPL 2020 campaign on a positive note, MS Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings (CSK) thumped Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) by nine wickets on Sunday. CSK fans had something to cheer for as their side finished their underwhelming journey in the UAE by registering a hat-trick of victories.
Despite delivering in their last three games, CSK, for the first time in their IPL history, failed to qualify for playoffs. It was probably their worst season so far but Dhoni's 'definitely not' helped in putting a smile on the face of every CSK fan. When asked if the game against KXIP was his final game in the yellow jersey, Dhoni responded with - ‘Definitely not’.
The CSK skipper had a dismal season with the bat too. Tagged as one of the best finishers, Dhoni managed to score just 200 runs this year without a single half-century, leaving fans disappointed. All eyes were on Dhoni to perform, especially after his return to the game after almost 13 months.
Reacting to Dhoni's future with the CSK side and his batting woes, legendary opener Sunil Gavaskar has said that Dhoni needs to keep playing at least domestic cricket to be in touch with the game.
“He has got to play competitive cricket. Being in the nets is fine but unless he plays competitive cricket, particularly because he is at an age where the reflexes slow down. What do you tend to lose as you get older is your timing,” said Gavaskar at the pre-match show on Star Sports.
“Everything might look good. You might go to the gym to get stronger and fitter. But your timing changes. You think your foot is going towards the ball, but it’s just that much short for you getting a good drive or the ball going in the air,” he added.
If Dhoni plays domestic cricket instead of just hitting the nets, he can score over 400 runs in the next IPL season, according to Gavaskar.
“He has to play domestic cricket. There might be no domestic cricket. In that case, not much can be done. But the more he plays competitive cricket actually matches... in the nets, there will be no pressure, match brings pressure. If he does that, I think he will be good to score 400 runs next year as well,” said Gavaskar.