“According to me, Dhoni will play for CSK in the IPL next season,” says CSK CEO Kasi Viswanathan


Chennai Super Kings (CSK) CEO Kasi Viswanathan has hinted that MS Dhoni will continue to play for the franchise in the next IPL season. However, he hasn’t discussed it with the CSK skipper yet.

Chennai won the IPL 2021 on October 15 to become the second most successful franchise after Mumbai Indians. They defeated Kolkata Knight Riders by 27 runs in the final.

After the victory, Dhoni, in interaction with Harsha Bhogle, had said his future with CSK mostly depends on the new retention policy by BCCI. But CSK CEO is confident of the 40-year-old featuring in next season as a player.

“According to me, M.S. Dhoni will play for CSK in the IPL next season. But I have not spoken to him on the subject yet,” Viswanathan.

Speaking to Sportstar, Viswanathan lauded Dhoni for his captaincy and said he tells every player their roles in the meeting which doesn’t last longer than 2 minutes.

“Our team meetings were very brief. They did not last more than two minutes; you would not believe this. Yet Dhoni managed to convey to every player what his role was,” he revealed.

CSK had started their training camp for the second phase of IPL 2021 early in UAE. Viswanathan said it was Dhoni’s idea and it helped the team prepare well for the tournament.

Dhoni had come out to bat before in-form Ravindra Jadeja in the IPL 2021 Qualifier 1 against Delhi Capitals. On this big decision, Viswanathan said, “He has this big match temperament. He backs himself to deliver.”

The CSK CEO further spoke on CSK’s consistency in the IPL. “Remember we have reached nine finals and won four of them. Our victory in 2018 was special because we were coming back.

“We lost narrowly in the final in 2019. 2020 was a bad year, the law of averages caught up with us. To bounce back from that and lift the trophy in 2021 is hugely satisfying,” he said.

Viswanathan also opened up on the talks after CSK bought Robin Uthappa ahead of the IPL 2021. Uthappa played a couple of handy knocks for CSK in the playoffs to help them win their fourth IPL title.

“Age was only a number,” he said, “They said Uthappa was 35 and we are again signing an older player. But we knew Uthappa had experience and was a match-winner. His knocks in Qualifier-1 and final were crucial,” he added.

Asked whether CSK would rebuild from the next auction, Viswanathan replied, “Only after we receive the rules for the auction that we will decide on our strategy.”

He also praised the net bowlers who helped CSK batters prepare well for the tournament. “Bowlers like Tushar Deshpande, Tanvir-ul-Haq, Mukesh Chaudhary, Rakshan Reddy, and bowlers from the MRF Pace Foundation, really helped our batsmen prepare,” he said.

CSK openers Ruturaj Gaikwad and Faf du Plessis were the top two run-getters in the IPL 2021. Viswanathan said they were aware of Ruturaj’s ability and knew he’s a special player. He lauded the CSK pacers as well and added that Australia pacer Josh Hazlewood paid off their faith in him.

On the opening combination of Ruturaj Gaikwad and Faf du Plessis, Viswanathan said, “We always knew Ruturaj was a special player. And Faf is a proven customer, who performs when the chips are down.”

“If you do not pick wickets, you are not in the game. Josh Hazlewood is a very good red-ball bowler. We picked him because we felt if someone is such a capable red ball bowler, he should be good with the white ball too. Hazlewood proved us right,” he said.

Jadeja and Shardul Thakur, and Moeen Ali also got a mention from CSK CEO for turning out to be a match-winner for the franchise this season.

“Ravindra Jadeja is a match-winner with the bat, ball, and on the field. Shardul Thakur was a bit expensive but picked vital wickets. Moeen Ali hit the ball a long way and chipped in with the ball when the conditions were right.”

“We will be going for title No. 5 in the next edition,” concluded Viswanathan.