After taking nearly a year-long sabbatical from the cricketing arena, MS Dhoni was desperately looking forward to the IPL 2020 but COVID pandemic played a spoilsport. Chennai Super Kings management held a training camp at Chepauk stadium in March as a part of the preparation for the upcoming tournament.
Among other players, Dhoni was also present, toiling hard to shake off the rustiness that might have crept in after a year of absence from cricket.
However, Indian leg-spinner Piyush Chawla, who was also a part of that camp, has revealed that Dhoni never looked rusty for even a single moment. Indian wicket-keeper was in supreme touch, and he used to clear the boundary with incredible ease and sublimity.
“Honestly speaking, when a guy comes in after such a long break, he is usually rusty. Mahi bhai must have done something in Ranchi. Even after such a long gap, he did not look rusty at all. He used to see off 5-6 balls in the CSK batting sessions and then used to put on a show of big shots,” said Chawla in a talk show with Akash Chopra, on the latter’s YouTube channel.
CSK acquired the 31-year-old leg spinner after paying a whopping Rs 6.75 crore in the auction. Earlier, he used to play for KKR. Chawla further said that the CSK captain used to bat for 2 to 2.5 hours in a single session.
“He was batting for long sessions. There were limited people at the camp, with many of them being bowlers. Every batsman (Raina, Rayudu, Mahi Bhai) was playing for 2-2.5 hours at a stretch, they must have been playing 200-250 balls per batsman.”
Chawla also spoke highly of Dhoni’s captainship ability. He said, the Indian is undoubtedly the best he has played under.
“Best I would still say Mahi Bhai (MS Dhoni). You can’t really compare two captains, to be honest as everyone has a different way of looking at it. Sometimes Gauti Bhai used to say that you can do a thing this way…it might happen. On the other hand, if you say Dhoni also, he also leaves it to you,” remarked Chawla on being asked about his favourite captain by the host.
Dhoni has last played professional cricket in 2019 ICC World Cup against New Zealand. India lost that match by 18 runs.