New Delhi, Feb 18 (IANS) With the BCCI announcing the schedule of the 2023 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), the focus is now on the tournament with fans and experts discussing various issues related to it.
Former Australia opener Matthew Hayden believes this could be the last time Mahendra Singh Dhoni will step into the field as a player.
Speaking exclusively on Star Sports following the announcement of the TATA IPL 2023 schedule, Hayden on Friday talked about the reception Chennai Super Kings captain Dhoni will receive when he walks onto the field at Chepauk after almost three years.
“It will be an amazing moment. I think last year, we were all under the impression that will MSD come back again. At the close of the IPL season, he made that huge comment to say that he will be back.
“Now, what that means for all that Yellow Army is that Chennai suddenly galvanized a tad around the superior leader, who has done it for so long. This will, most certainly, I think, be the close of his IPL career. So, those few games at the start are not only going to be key for the fans, his performance is going to be key for CSK this season,” said Hayden.
Former India batter Sanjay Manjrekar agreed with his assessment that Dhoni will be the key for CSK.
“Look, having watched T20 cricket over the years, especially with the IPL and the kind of pressures that teams feel, I believe that you can have one player in your team on pure leadership.
“MS Dhoni doesn’t play regularly, so his impact with the bat is not going to be as much as it was in the prime, but somebody like MS Dhoni, with his leadership experience, you can have him in the team, to make a difference with his leadership. And this is a guy who’s had a team that was called the ‘Old Men Playing IPL Together’ and they won that particular season,” said Manjrekar.
Dhoni had stepped down as captain before the start of the 2022 edition and handed over the captaincy to Ravindra Jadeja.
However, with the team struggling to win matches, Jadeja handed over the captaincy back to Dhoni.