The Chennai Super Kings entered their 10th Indian Premier League final earlier this week, when they defeated the Gujarat Titans in the first qualifier in Chennai. The CSK – four-time champions – will be aiming to equal Mumbai Indians record-tally (five titles) on Sunday night, as they await their opponents for the final in Ahmedabad. CSK captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has been lauded by fans and former cricketers alike for his leadership throughout the season; despite multiple injury setbacks, the Super Kings finished second in the table and triumphed over the defending champions, beating the Titans comfortably by 15 runs to secure a final berth.
Matthew Hayden, the former Australia batter who has played under Dhoni for CSK in the inaugural few years of the tournament, spoke highly about the 41-year-old star, stating that Dhoni can turn “trash into treasure.”
“MS is a magician. He takes someone else’s trash and makes them treasure. He is a very skilful and positive captain. He said something really interesting which I thought summed up not only his humility and his truth around cricket where he is represented and that is in Tamil Nadu Cricket Association,” Hayden told PTI.
“The alignment between that association and the franchise, how strong that is in terms of building that process. To me that is MS. There is a systematic way of going though things and working through them. He did that for India and he is doing it for Chennai Super Kings,” Hayden further said.
The Aussie opener, however, also made an enormous remark on Dhoni’s CSK future; he stated he feels the 2023 edition will be Dhoni’s last as player.
“Whether he plays or not next year it is almost irrelevant. Personally I don’t think he will but then he is MS Dhoni,” said Hayden.
Earlier, Dhoni didn’t confirm on whether he will make a return in 2024, insisting that he has “8-9 months” to make a decision on his future. “January 31 was when I got out of the house, finished my work, and started practicing from 2nd or 3rd of March. It takes a lot, but I have ample time to decide.”
“I don’t know… I have 8-9 months to decide. Why take that headache now. I have ample time to decide. The auction is in December,” the 41-year-old said during the post-match interview after CSK’s win over GT.