Chennai: Mahendra Singh Dhoni remained composed and patient in determining his future endeavours. After leading Chennai Super Kings (CSK) IPL 2023 final with a win over defending champions Gujarat Titans (GT) in Qualifier 1, Dhoni said “he has ample time to decide” whether he will play another edition of IPL.
Chennai beat Gujarat by 15 runs in Qualifier 1 at the MA Chidambaram Stadium on Tuesday night. With a win, the Super Kings have reached a record 10th IPL final.
Speculations regarding Dhoni’s potential retirement have been circulating ever since the commencement of 2023 IPL, hinting that this edition could mark his final appearance in the tournament.
There was a huge Dhoni Dhoni roar from the Chepauk crowd when walked up for a chat at the post-match presentation.
When Harsha Bhogle asked Dhoni if the fans can see him next year, the CSK skipper said it’s 8 or 9 months until the upcoming mini-auction so he has enough time to take the call on his future in the IPL.
“I don’t know. I have 8-9 months to decide. The small auction will be around December. So why to take that headache right now? I have ample time to decide. But, I will always be there for CSK whether it’s in the playing form or sitting somewhere outside. I don’t really know,” Dhoni said.
Dhoni expressed his enduring association with the CSK affirming that he will remain connected to the team, whether it be as a player or as a member of the support staff.
“Frankly, it takes a heavy toll. I have been out of home for literally 4 months now. January 31 was the time when I got out of work and started practicing in March. It takes a lot but I have ample time to decide,” he added.
Speaking about reaching the record 10th IPL final, Dhoni said: “I think IPL is too big to say it is another final. Not to forget, there use to be 8 teams to compete with the best players from the world available in the world. Now It is 10 teams, it is even tougher, it is hard work of more than 2 months because of which we are standing over here.”
“Lots of characters shown by the individuals. Everybody has contributed. Middle order has not got ample opportunity but in between everybody had got a chance to chip in and they have done that. So, very happy to be where we are.”
Dhoni acknowledged his propensity for being a dynamic captain, admitting that he can be perceived as “annoying” due to his frequent alterations of bowlers and fielding positions in accordance with the evolving match circumstances.
“You see the wicket, you see conditions, and you keep adjusting the field. I can be an annoying captain because I shift the fielder one or two feets here and there every time. So the fielder needs to keep an eye on me.
“It can be annoying but I believe in my gut feel. That’s why I keep telling the fielders to keep an eye on me.”