This is not going to be MS Dhoni’s last IPL, says Chennai Super Kings CEO

The 2021 Indian Premier League (IPL) kicks off on Friday and three-time champions Chennai Super Kings (CSK) will play their first match, in opposition to Delhi Capitals, on Saturday. Ahead of the match, CSK chief govt Kasi Viswanathan speaks to The Indian Express concerning the crew’s preparation, Cheteshwar Pujara and MS Dhoni’s future. Excerpts:

Last season was underwhelming by CSK’s lofty requirements. The crew didn’t qualify for the playoffs. Did Dhoni give a crew discuss after the match?

No. Normally what we do is, we’ve got a course of set earlier than we begin a match. So we did the method for final 12 months’s match additionally. It so occurred that we missed a few of our greatest gamers, and a few them acquired contaminated by Covid. Those (the scenario) have been past our attain. Now the crew is in good condition. The course of has been good. They have been having follow classes for the final 15-20 days. And we imagine in our course of. The captain may be very clear – it’s best to do the method correctly and if the method is okay, the outcomes will come.

Could this be Dhoni’s last 12 months within the IPL as a cricketer? And if certainly that is his last 12 months, do you’ve gotten a succession plan prepared?

See, I don’t assume it’s going to be his last 12 months. This is my private view and I don’t assume we’re anyone now.

Ravindra Jadeja hasn’t performed any aggressive cricket after he acquired injured in Australia. How is he shaping up on the nets?

See, Jadeja has been cleared by the NCA. He has joined our crew for follow. He is trying good. He is working laborious. And we hope that he will likely be absolutely match by the point the IPL begins.

Suresh Raina additionally had little or no recreation time coming into the IPL.

He performed the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. After that he has been working towards. He didn’t need to play a 50-over match (Vijay Hazare Trophy). (But) he has been working towards with us additionally for the final 10 days. He may be very eager to do effectively. See, a participant of his calibre who has executed a lot for CSK in addition to the best run-getter within the IPL for a interval of the final 10-12 years (earlier than Virat Kohli overtook him), he’s very eager to show himself.

Raina had abruptly left the CSK camp earlier than the beginning of the final 12 months’s match. Were there any laborious emotions on his return?

Nothing. CSK is sort of a household.

When you picked Pujara on the public sale, everyone clapped. Pujara wasn’t part of the IPL for the previous few years and the widespread notion is that he’s a red-ball specialist. What was the thought course of behind bringing him on to the fold? Is it that you just needed to honour his cricketing achievements or he could have a task to play on this IPL?

See, we additionally needed to honour him, that’s for positive. But on the identical time, I can let you know one factor, an individual of his calibre with such good method, he can adapt to any format. That is our view. He is usually a participant who can contribute loads to CSK. That’s what we felt and that’s the reason why we picked him. He will definitely have a task to play (up the order), however I can not say whether or not he’ll play the primary recreation or the second recreation. That isn’t the query (additionally). He is a crucial a part of our group and we look ahead to his contribution.

You had a clear-cut public sale technique, investing closely in Moeen Ali (Rs 7 crore) and Okay Gowtham (Rs 9.25 crore), two spin-bowling all-rounders. But this 12 months additionally, matches will likely be performed at impartial venues albeit in India. Does it upset your plans a bit?

We are enjoying our matches in India the place spinners have at all times been helpful. That is likely one of the the explanation why we picked the spinners, to strengthen our spin division. And invariably now that we’re enjoying 10 video games at one centre, the wickets will turn out to be gradual (and) it is going to be helpful for us.

Will it’s troublesome to fill Shane Watson’s void?

See, it is vitally troublesome to fill the void of Watson and what he has executed for us within the final three years. But on the identical time, we should respect his sentiment, that he was the one who needed to retire. It will likely be troublesome, however we will certainly work on it.

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