Chennai Super Kings captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who had missed the previous home game against Mumbai Indians, resumed office on Wednesday. He is fit and raring to go against Delhi Capitals at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium here.
Dhoni was recovering from viral fever.
Earlier, the CSK skipper had missed the away clash against Sunrisers Hyderabad due to back spasms. Hyderabad won that game by six wickets. It was also the first time the veteran keeper-batsman did not lead the yellow brigade since 2010.
CSK also lost to MI, which underlined the importance of Dhoni in the side.
In his absence, Suresh Raina led the side.
“When you’ve played enough international cricket, it’s never 100% [fitness]. You’re always a little less than that. We were looking to bat first anyway. It’s a bit of a worry for the opposition, because I’ll be coughing at them (laughs),” said Dhoni, after losing the toss.
Despite becoming the first team to qualify for the playoffs in this edition, CSK has shown signs of struggle, especially with the bat in the middle overs. “We can’t pretend that we can replace Dhoni. If a player misses two-three games on the trot, then the team prepares itself accordingly. But it’s one game here and there, then it’s disruptive,” CSK head coach Stephen Fleming had said on the eve of the Delhi contest.
Dhoni is CSK’s highest run-getter so far, with 314 from 10 matches at a strike-rate of 137.11 including three fifties. His importance to this team can be gauged as much from the last-over finishes that he has aced as the ones he all but did; contests where he single-handedly dragged them from the jaws of defeat to the brink of victory.
Earlier this season, chasing 162 to win against the Royal Challengers Bangalore, CSK required 57 off 24 balls with Dhoni batting on 38 off 30. With five wickets in the reserve and a confident Bangalore attack to contend with, the 37-year-old went on a hitting spree, which culminated in Dhoni clobbering 84 off 48 — his highest T20 score — and Chennai falling short of the total by one run. Dhoni may no longer be the limited-overs marauder he once was but for the Super Kings, ‘Captain Cool’ continues to be the go-to man.
Article source: https://sportstar.thehindu.com/cricket/ipl/ipl-indian-premier-league-2019-chennai-super-kings-ms-dhoni-delhi-capitals-rishabh-pant-ma-chidambaram-stadium-chennai/article27002834.ece