'MS Dhoni will play IPL 2025 if...' - Mohammed Shami and Virender Sehwag weigh in on CSK great’s future

Published - 20 May 2024, 04:19 PM | Updated - 20 May 2024, 04:20 PM

Mohammed Shami, MS Dhoni and Virender Sehwag
Mohammed Shami, MS Dhoni and Virender Sehwag. Image Credit: Cricbuzz/BCCI-IPL

Indian speedster Mohammed Shami and former Indian batter Virender Sehwag have shared their thoughts on the legendary cricketer MS Dhoni’s future in the Indian Premier League (IPL). Shami emphasized the immense respect and admiration Dhoni has due to his huge contributions to the Chennai Super Kings (CSK), having led the team to five IPL titles.

Shami, who missed the IPL 2024 due to an injury, further stresses that CSK would always want Dhoni to play, even if he only plays a minimal role, as his presence is crucial for maintaining the fan base's loyalty and excitement. He also highlighted that CSK’s support for Dhoni is unwavering, and if he decides to continue playing, the decision will be embraced without question.

Mohammed Shami highlights MS Dhoni's impact on CSK's fan base 

Mohammed Shami said on Cricbuzz: “This is a big factor. The person who has won five IPL trophies for you, so that is a respect. The person who has played cricket for you for 16-17 years, that franchisee will always want you. And for a person like MSD, it is always on. CSK will certainly want MSD to come and play, even if he come to play only 2 balls.

But the biggest factor will be there that without Mahendra Singh Dhoni, will this fan following remain intact? This question mark will remain there. So, there is no doubt from the franchisee's side. If MSD says, I will play, then he will play. The matter is over. We will talk about this again.”

Meanwhile, CSK has officially stated that Dhoni can play as long as he wishes, and Virender Sehwag suggested that this announcement was made mainly to appease fans. Sehwag pointed out the practical challenges Dhoni might face if he decides to return next year to the IPL since he plays only in the lucrative T20 league.

Virender Sehwag expresses concerns over MS Dhoni's return in IPL

Sehwag insisted that it would be really tough for Dhoni to maintain the game's fitness and performance after a year-long break, regardless of the amount of practice or training matches played. Notably, Dhoni was in great form in the IPL 2024 but batted at the bottom of the batting order for CSK.

Virender Sehwag said on Cricbuzz: “See, they have given that statement for the fans. But actually, when he comes next year, because from now till the next IPL comes, MSD will not play cricket. So, it would be very difficult. If you don't play cricket for a whole year and suddenly IPL comes, you can practice as much as you want, play as many practice matches as you want. But it is tough for the body.”

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Notably, Dhoni finished the IPL 2024 season with 161 runs in 14 matches at a strike rate of 220.55 as a finisher for CSK. However, CSK failed to qualify for the IPL 2024 playoffs after losing the final league game to Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB) by 27 runs in Bengaluru on May 18.