MS Dhoni is all set to don the yellow jersey in the 11th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) and has revealed that the thought of not playing for CSK again never crossed his mind.
Dhoni, who spent the last two season with Rising Pune Supergiant, on Friday, disclosed that he was approached by several IPL franchises before the retention took place, but the former Indian captain said that he had no doubts over returning to his “second home”.
“A lot of people approached me, I can tell you that. But, you know, I can’t think of not coming back to CSK,” said the 36-year-old at a promotional event in Chennai.
Ahead of the mega IPL auctions, scheduled to be held on January 27 and 28, Dhoni has reiterated to seal the fate of former players who were the part of the Chennai-based outfit in the recent past.
MSD will be with the management of CSK to pick the strong side for the upcoming IPL edition which is bound to kick off on April 5 and the ace off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin would be the hot property for CSK.
“We will definitely go for him (Ashwin) in the auction. He is a local lad,” Dhoni asserted.
“With Ashwin, we cannot use the RTM as we have already got three Indian players retained. We have to buy him in the auction. He will come first in the auction. But as I said, we will have to wait and watch. We will try to get him,” he added.
Dhoni, who led Chennai in the first eight editions of the tournament, said that the team was also mindful of the need to use the two RTM cards judiciously. “We also have Brendon McCullum, Faf du Plessis and Dwayne Bravo (former players),” he pointed out. “We have two RTMs. But we have to know when and where to use them.”
Talking about Chennai’s strategy for the auction, Dhoni said, “At an auction, we also have to look at how much money we can afford to go for each individual as we look to make a strong team. In the past, we have seen a lot of teams target former CSK players. We may have to keep the emotions aside, we may want somebody, but if his price goes outside our range, we have to let him go because we have to focus on making the complete side.
“That’s the adaptability factor we need to have at the auction table. As far as the team composition is concerned, we had three retainerships. We have retained a keeper, we have retained two batsmen and the same two batsmen can also bowl – one left-arm spinner and one offspinner. A lot of areas are covered when it comes to the top-order. We don’t need to go for more left-handers.”