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Ind T20 League 2023: MS Dhoni set to play his final tournament

By Real11 - Feb 20 2023 344 Views
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Chennai official confirms MS Dhoni’s FAREWELL date

MS Dhoni aka Thala will play his farewell match on May 14 at the iconic Chepauk Stadium in Chennai. Dhoni’s final match news came amidst the Ind T20 League 2023 schedule which was announced on Friday. If Chennai fails to qualify for the Playoffs, he will don the Chennai jersey for one last time against Kolkata. The four-time champions will open their campaign against defending champions Gujarat. 

“Yes, it will be MS’s last season as a player. That is what we know so far. But of course, it’s his decision. He hasn’t officially communicated to the management that he will retire. It is a special occasion for all Chennai fans as the Ind T20 League returns to Chennai. But it will be a sad moment if Dhoni plays his final season,” a Chennai official said. 

The decorated player has led Chennai since the inaugural season in 2008.  He even served a two-year suspension during his illustrious career before returning to the helm of things in 2018. Last season, Dhoni handed the baton to Ravindra Jadeja. However, the decision backfired big time as the all-rounder struggled to get the results for the men in yellow. 

The former Indian skipper took the captaincy back just after 8 fixtures but could not resurrect Chennai’s faltering campaign. This time, Chennai will once again start favourites as Dhoni will strive to sign off in grand style. In case, Dhoni and co fail to make it to the playoffs round, the last league game against Kolkata in Chepauk which is scheduled on May 14 will be his farewell game.  

Who will take over the captaincy role?

Ben Stokes, Ajinkya Rahane and Ruturaj Gaikwad are the three potential candidates for the role of skipper following Dhon’s departure. Although Dhoni will lead his side in the upcoming season it's his successor the year after which is going to cause a few headaches for the management. 

Chennai would surely not go back to Jadeja. As of now, Ben Stokes is the top contender alongside Ajinkya Rahane and Ruturaj Gaikwad. Gaikwad could be seen as a long-term option. He will get crucial inputs and insights from  Dhoni and Stephen Fleming. With time by his side, Chennai could experiment with Gaikwad. Stokes with plenty of experience and natural leadership traits is another name to lead Chennai in future. 

However with him as the skipper, Chennai faces two major issues- first being his national commitments and second his history of injuries. 

“Of course, we are very happy to get Ben Stokes. He is not just a match-winner but also a great leader. It’s MS’s call on who he will name his successor. With foreign players leading in the Ind T20 League, there is always the problem of combinations. Plus, all-rounders are always tricky customers to handle. If Ben doesn’t get an NOC next year, it will be a problem. So, one can never rule out a young Ruturaj,”

Chennai Ind T20 League 2023 squad: MS Dhoni (c), Devon Conway, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ambati Rayudu, Subhranshu Senapati, Moeen Ali, Shivam Dube, Rajvardhan Hangargekar, Dwaine Pretorius, Mitchell Santner, Ravindra Jadeja, Tushar Deshpande, Mukesh Chowdhary, Matheesha Pathirana, Simarjeet Singh, Deepak Chahar, Prashant Solanki, Maheesh Theekshana, Ajinkya Rahane, Ben Stokes, Shaik Rasheed, Nishant Sindhu, Kyle Jamieson, Ajay Mandal, Bhagath Varma.

 

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