While speculation over the future of MS Dhoni in international cricket continues to ferment among Indian fans, there is some respite for loyalists of Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Chennai Super Kings (CSK). A report published in Mumbai Mirror quotes an anonymous senior official of CSK confirming MSD's participation in next year's edition of the T20 extravaganza.
"Whatever may be the speculation, he will play for us next year," this official said. There is reason for the Chennai-based franchise to hope for Dhoni's continuation as the team captain. While his form in international cricket has been going through ups and downs, the performance of the veteran cricketer in the latest season of IPL, both as a player and as a captain, was brilliant. He led his team to another great campaign where they reached the final of the tournament once again and just missed out on winning the title.
Unfortunately for Indian fans, in the World Cup, he couldn't reproduce his heroics and was often seen struggling to get going in his innings. An earlier report during the World Cup had claimed that the 2011 World Cup winning captain is all set to retire from international cricket after the end of the mega event. This report quoted an anonymous official of the Board for Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) official. However, that official's comments were rather ambiguous and could not be taken to mean a certain end to Mahi's career.
What has added fuel to all the speculation about Dhoni's retirement is the fact that in some of the matches, including the semi-final of the World Cup, Dhoni batted ultra-cautiously for a long time and was finding it tough to score off the spinners. In the match against Afghanistan, he consumed a lot of dot balls before getting stumped off the bowling of Rashid Khan when charging down the wicket for a big shot.
Similarly, against West Indies also, Dhoni's innings was rather tepid and he would have been out stumped off the bowling of left-arm spinner Fabian Allen had the wicketkeeper not missed the stumping. In the semi-final against New Zealand, the former India captain left the job of scoring quickly and getting boundaries entirely on Ravindra Jadeja. He only started attempting big strokes after Jadeja's dismissal but got run-out in the penultimate over.