MS Dhoni CSK
CSK only have eyes for MS DhoniBCCI

The Rising Pune Supergiant might not have treated MS Dhoni with the kind of affection everyone expected, but there are no such worries as far as the Chennai Super Kings are concerned, the team that MSD played for before a two-season ban forced him to switch teams.

CSK are all set to return to the IPL fold next year, after sitting out two seasons owing to unsavoury activities of people involved with the team.

The Rajasthan Royals will also make their return to IPL 2018, but there is little doubt over which franchise will be the fans' favourite when they make their comeback.

CSK, thanks to Dhoni and the success during the eight years of playing in the Indian Premier League, were one of the most popular teams in the league, and there is little doubt that the popularity will continue on return.

Dhoni the key

One of the major reasons for that popularity to return will be Dhoni taking his place as the captain of the yellow brigade, with the CSK owners quite keen to bring the former India captain back on board.

"If we are given an option of retaining a player, it will definitely be Dhoni," K George John, a director of Chennai Super Kings Cricket Ltd told the Times of India.

"We haven't yet discussed with Dhoni as his contract with Pune Supergiant ends later this year. However, we will speak to him in the future."

All about the loyalty

RPS, over the two years as a franchise, clearly thought Dhoni's powers were waning, which is why they took the captaincy responsibility off his shoulders, and while there might be an element of truth to that feeling, CSK have no doubts over who their leader on the pitch will be come next season.

"For us, loyalty is very important," John added. "That's been our strength over the years."

And that loyalty is set to spill over to the support staff as well, with CSK keen to bring back the coaches that helped this team succeed so often, including the head coach Stephen Fleming, who was at the helm of RPS over the last two seasons.

"Though we haven't yet taken a final decision on the support staff, we are definitely thinking of retaining the old support staff," John said.

The team, particularly the franchise's owners, might have its detractors, and rightly so, but there is no denying the fact that the IPL is not quite the IPL without the Chennai Super Kings.

They are the Real Madrid of the IPL, and it will be great to see them back in action next season. Now, the only question remains: Who will they get to retain, and along with Dhoni, who else will get the call to put that yellow jersey on again?

This is why fans in TN love MSD