It seemed like Indian Premier League 2020 could be the last time we see Mahendra Singh Dhoni in action. He had already announced his retirement from international before the tournament and fans expected that Dhoni could do the same after the 13th season of the IPL. Even though expectations were high, Dhoni did not look in supreme form in the tournament as he could only manage 172 runs at an average of 25.
On top of that Chennai Super Kings could not qualify for the IPL playoffs for the first time in their history. So naturally, that was the question on everyone’s mind during CSK’s last game in IPL 2020. “Could this be your last game in yellow?” commentator Danny Morrison asked Dhoni at the toss of the Kings XI Punjab game.
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“Definitely not my last game in yellow,” Dhoni replied at the toss. He made it clear that he is coming back for IPL 2021.
But will he lead the side in IPL 2021? Even though CSK team management have made it clear that he will be the captain, former India batting coach Sanjay Bangar believes that he could hand over the reins to Faf du Plessis in IPL 2021.
“As far as I know, MS Dhoni might have thought after 2011 if he should be continuing to captain the Indian team but he knew that India had quite a few tough encounters after that, we had to go and play in England and Australia and at that time there was no captaincy candidate ready, so he only handled that burden and at the right time he handed over the captaincy to Virat Kohli and he also played after that,” Bangar said on Star Sports’ show Cricket Connected.
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“So as far as I can understand, I feel that MS Dhoni may not be the captain next year and may play as a player and give the captaincy at this stage to Faf du Plessis for the transition to happen under Faf du Plessis.”
“Because as of now, they do not have any other option as a captain and if you talk outside the team, in the auction or in the trading, none of the teams would be releasing a player who has the capability of become the captain of CSK.”
It remains to be seen what decision Dhoni will take for IPL 2021. But right now we know that Chennai fans will definitely see ‘Thala’ in action in 2021.