MS Dhoni, who is synonymous with astute on-field tactics and calm demeanour, is an absolute crowd puller and a fan-favourite in Chennai – the city that has witnessed him leading Chennai Super Kings (CSK) since the inception of the Indian Premier League. The four-time IPL winners failed to qualify for the playoffs for the second time, finishing ninth in the expanded 10-team IPL 2022. But Dhoni put to rest speculations around his participation in the lucrative T20 league next season. Also Read | ‘Luckily, Dinesh Karthik was born in India. If he belonged to Pakistan…’: Former captain takes brutal dig at PCB
Dhoni said he will “definitely” play in the IPL next year as not doing so would be “unfair” to the city after which the CSK side is named. At the T20 franchise, remains a mentor for every budding player including left-arm pacer Mukesh Choudhary, who shared his experience of playing for the Chennai outfit.
“I never thought I would play for Chennai Super Kings. When I was on the team bus (for the first time), Dhoni tapped me on the shoulder and I was like, ‘Oh this is happening with me’ and I felt very proud,” said Choudhary on chennaisuperkings.com.
The 26-year-old pacer, who finished with 16 wickets in 13 games, further talked about how Dhoni and Ruturaj Gaikwad helped him settle during his debut IPL season. His best performance came against five-time champions Mumbai Indians, where he accounted for Rohit Sharma (0) and Ishan Kishan (0) in the first over and then dismissed Dewald Brewis (4), leaving them reeling at 23/3.
“In my first two matches, I couldn’t perform to my potential. So, I used to talk to him (Dhoni) every day and also in between matches. Dhoni told me to believe in my abilities. Rutu (Ruturaj) is my friend… so he was always there with me, he supported me and gave me the confidence saying, ‘You have everything, you just have to believe in yourself because for every player it happens, where they go through this phase’,” said Choudhary.
“After the Mumbai (Indians) game, I gained confidence and continued to bowl with that confidence,” added Choudhary.
The left-arm fast bowler also talked about his length and in-swinging deliveries, which he feels is the most dangerous ball against a right-handed batter.
“For a left-arm fast bowler, the swing is important and the one which comes into the right-hander is very important. Inswing is the most dangerous ball to any right-handed batter. Length is important. You need to work and improve your accuracy and swing,” he said.