MS Dhoni barely seems to struggle on the field. He is one of the fittest cricketers in the world and it has been disconcerting sight for Indian and Chennai Super Kings fans to see Dhoni deal with some pain over the last two matches in the 2019 Indian Premier League.
During his match-winning 58 against Rajasthan Royals in Jaipur, MS Dhoni needed some attention on the field after appearing to be in pain. He was once again attended to by the physio at the Eden Gardens where he made a brisk 16 as Chennai Super Kings defeated Kolkata Knight Riders by 5 wickets to consolidate their position at the top.
At the post-match presentation ceremony, MS Dhoni was asked what was bothering him. “Back spasm,” he said. “It’s a little tight right now but hopefully, it will get better.”
MS Dhoni is a hard man to please. CSK have won 7 out of their 8 matches in the 2019 IPL but he has constantly asked for improvement from different quarters of his team. However, on Sunday, Dhoni sounded happy with a strong bowling performance and a clinical chase.
Chennai Super Kings had lost early wickets but Suresh Raina and Ravindra Jadeja ensured the defending champions got home at the end.
“I think the bowling was really good. KKR got off to a very good start but in the middle overs, we bowled very well as a team. Imran Tahir giving us those crucial breakthroughs.
“It’s a tough wicket to bowl on. They have some big hitters and we had to get them out. Because of a good bowling performance, we were able to restrict them to a score which was not over par,” Dhoni said.
MS Dhoni generally likes to bide his time in the middle but he came out in an aggressive mood against KKR. He said it was a ploy that came off well and added he was happy with the run chase.
“You have to be aggressive because we bat deep. When you are comfortable against a particular bowler, you have to take those extra chances. Wanted to go after the bowlers early and it paid off well. I think it was a good run chase,” he said.
MS Dhoni had courted controversy in Jaipur when he stormed onto the pitch to argue with the umpires over a no-ball confusion. He was subsequently fined 50 per cent of his match fee but the likes of Virender Sehwag and Bishan Sigh Bedi felt he had away too lightly.
In fact, Virender Sehwag said MS Dhoni should have been banned for at least 1 or 2 matches.
However, Michael Hussey said CSK had moved on from the episode and on Sunday, it looked like the players and Dhoni had left behind a controversial chapter as they stormed to another victory. But in the days to come, CSK (and the Indian team management) will be a little concerned with MS Dhoni’s back.