MS Dhoni to skip few IPL 2024 matches? CSK coach delivers worrying update on wicketkeeper's fitness

Updated - 15 Apr 2024, 05:35 PM

MS Dhoni
MS Dhoni (Credits: X)

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) bowling coach Eric Simmons has delivered a worrying update on the fitness of MS Dhoni. The coach has hinted that the former CSK skipper might have been playing the ongoing season with an underlying injury. 

The veteran wicketkeeper-batsman played a decisive 20-run knock against Mumbai Indians on Sunday (April 14), helping his team win the game by exactly 20 runs at the Wankhede Stadium. The former India skipper walked out to bat in the very final over with just four balls remaining.

In those four balls, he smashed as many as 20 runs. He hit his former India teammate Hardik Pandya for three sixes in a row before taking a double to end the over as CSK finished their innings on 206/4. In reply, MI came up with a fighting effort thanks to an unbeaten century from their former captain Rohit Sharma but eventually finished on 186/6.

After the display with the bat, MS Dhoni also kept the wickets throughout the second innings. Later, he was seen limping while walking in the team hotel. Earlier in the competition, he was also seen with an ice pack strapped around his ankle.

Eric Simmons on MS Dhoni's fitness:

While MS Dhoni has looked in good touch with the bat this season, he has tried his best to face as less deliveries as possible. In six games so far, the CSK wicketkeeper has faced just 25 deliveries. His hesitation to bat for long as well as his limping has made many assume that not all is well with him as far as the fitness is concerned.

And Simons has all but confirmed that MS Dhoni is not hundred percent fit. Speaking with the media after the win over Mumbai Indians, the CSK coach lauded MS Dhoni for his attitude before admitting that he might have been struggling with niggles.

"Dhoni is one of the most incredible cricketers I have come across. Just the way he goes about it, calmness at the wicket. We use him as a batting template when we are bowling at the death because he is so good at it. We can test out our theories against him, and we know that we are going to do well," Simmons said.

"But the other thing is that everyone else is just more interested in his injuries than he is. He is one of the hardest men that I have ever come across. I don’t even think we know to what extent he may or may not be in pain. He just carries on and does his stuff and he is just an amazing bat.

"I am sure there are some niggles as we know that – as we go in life, we get our niggles. But when he gets to the middle, he ran those two quite quick tonight and he just gets on with it. He has the ability to ignore what it is and do what needs to be done. To me, that’s who he is and that’s the way he goes about it. The public is more concerned about his injuries than he is," he added.

MS Dhoni had to deal with an injury last year as well. He played the entire competition with an injured knee and had to undergo a surgery soon after IPL 2023 ended. CSK will be hoping that the latest injury is not serious and their talismanic former captain continues to ply his trade for them.

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MS Dhoni IPL IPL 2024 Chennai Super Kings (CSK) Eric Simmons