IPL 2021: This not going to be MS Dhoni’s last IPL, says CSK CEO

The 2021 Indian Premier League (IPL 2021) kicks off on Friday with Mumbai Indians (MI) taking on Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) at Chennai on April 9.

The three-time champions and fan favorites in every season, the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) will start their campaign on April 10 against Delhi Capitals (DC) in Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium.

Ahead of the tournament, CSK chief executive Kasi Viswanathan spoke to The Indian Express about the future of captain MS Dhoni in the Indian Premier League and other aspects of the team.

On being asked about any succession plan for the CSK team after what might be captain MS Dhoni’s final IPL tournament, Viswanathan said, “See, I don’t think it is going to be his final year. This is my personal view and I don’t think we are looking at anybody now.”

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He was further asked about the lack of game time for two of their crucial players in Ravindra Jadeja and Suresh Raina.

“See, Jadeja has been cleared by the NCA. He has joined our team for practice. He is looking good. He is working hard. And we are hoping that he will be fully fit by the time the IPL starts.

Suresh Raina played the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. After that, he has been practicing. He didn’t want to play a 50-over tournament (Vijay Hazare Trophy). (But) he has been practicing with us also for the last 10 days. He is very keen to do well.

See, a player of his caliber who has done so much for CSK as well as the highest run-getter in the IPL for a period of the last 10-12 years (before Virat Kohli overtook him), he is very keen to prove himself,” the CSK CEO said.

Kasi Viswanathan was further questioned about the reason behind CSK buying Test specialist Cheteshwar Pujara in the IPL 2021 auction.

He said, “See, we also wanted to honor him, that’s for sure. But at the same time, I can tell you one thing, a person of his calibre with such good technique, can adapt to any format. That is our view. He can be a player who can contribute a lot to CSK. That’s what we felt and that is the reason why we picked him.

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He will certainly have a role to play (up the order), but I cannot say whether he will play the first game or the second game. That is not the question (also). He is an important part of our group and we look forward to his contribution.”

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) had failed to make it into playoffs in IPL 2020 and will look to rectify that blemish on their brilliant record in the IPL tournament.

(The Indian Express inputs)

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