‘I Have 8-9 Months...,' MS Dhoni on His Retirement
MS Dhoni in the post-match conference | Source: Twitter
A lingering question that has persisted in the minds of Chennai Super Kings fans all season long is whether MS Dhoni will don the Chennai Super Kings jersey again next year or is this the year he bids farewell?
Following their convincing 15-run victory over Gujarat Titans in the first qualifier of the IPL 2023, he was once again confronted with this recurring question, to which the wicket-keeper batter replied that he still has ‘8-9 months’ to think about it.
Here’s what MS Dhoni said in the post-match conference:
“I don't know (back next year?). I have 8-9 months to decide. Why take that headache now. I'll always be there for CSK, where it's playing or something outside,”
Reflecting on the match, MS Dhoni conceded that their qualification for the finals is a testament to the relentless efforts put in over the course of two months as the competition was massive with the addition of two more teams.
The Super Kings captain further admitted that their middle order didn't get as many opportunities throughout the season, while showering praise on the top order of their team, particularly Ruturaj Gaikwad and Devon Conway, who have been the linchpins of their batting lineup.
“IPL is too big to say it's just another final. Used to be 8 top teams, now it's 10. I won't say it's just another final. It's hard work for 2 months. Everybody has contributed. Yes, the middle-order has not got ample opportunity,”
Dhoni also lauded Ravindra Jadeja for his brilliant game-changing bowling spell and acknowledged the crucial partnership between Jadeja and Moeen Ali with the bat, which played a significant role from Chennai Super Kings' batting perspective.
“GT are a fantastic team and they've chased very well, so the thought was to get them in. But it was a good toss to lose. If Jaddu [Jadeja] gets conditions that help him. He is very difficult to hit. His bowling changed the game. Not to forget his partnership with Moeen.”
Notably, Jadeja emerged as the most economical bowler for the Super Kings against the Titans, bowling four overs and giving away just 18 runs while claiming two wickets. Apart from him, Deepak Chahar, Maheesh Theekshana, Matheesha Pathirana, also picked up two wickets each.
Chennai Super Kings will now lock horns with the winner of the second qualifier on May 28 at Narendra Modi Stadium, Chepauk. Gujarat Titans, meanwhile will take on the winning side of the Eliminator game, set to be played between Lucknow Super Giants and Mumbai Indians on May 24.