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Rediff.com  » Cricket » 'Dhoni's knee has not been 100% & he's trying to get through best as he can'

'Dhoni's knee has not been 100% & he's trying to get through best as he can'

Source: PTI
May 19, 2023 20:35 IST
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IMAGE: MS Dhoni has been coming in to bat at the fag end of the innings with his knee troubling him throughout the season. Photograph: BCCI

Chennai Super Kings skipper MS Dhoni doesn't want to strain his dodgy knee by running between the wickets and thus bats down the order to provide the final flourish, says batting coach Mike Hussey.

The talismanic keeper-batter has been nursing a knee injury throughout this IPL but despite that, Dhoni has kept wickets in all the games while playing useful cameos towards the end of the innings batting as low as number 8.

"I think it's pretty clear that he likes to come in the last few overs, that's his plan," Hussey said ahead of CSK's last league match against Delhi Capitals in New Delhi on Saturday.

"It's been well documented that his knee has not been a 100 per cent and he's trying to get through the matches as best as he can throughout the tournament. So I think, he doesn't want to come in the 10th, 11th or 12th over and have to run those quick doubles all the time, that's going to put pressure on the knee."

"He's trying to delay coming in as long as possible and having that impact late in the innings. He shows a lot of backing and faith in the likes of (Shivam) Dube, (Ravindra) Jadeja, (Ajinkya) Rahane and (Ambati) Rayudu to do the job before he comes in."

 

Last week in the game against DC, Dhoni was seen limping and struggled to run between the wickets and after CSK's loss against KKR which was their last home game, he did a lap of honour around the Chepauk with an ice pack strapped around his knee.

The World Cup-winning skipper, who is perhaps playing his last IPL, has enjoyed a lot of support during CSK's away matches.

"The support we have got is incredibly everywhere, it has blown us away. MS is a legend of the game. It's not everyday you get to play in such an atmosphere, the guys have enjoyed it and in a way it does raise your game," Hussey said.

As far as Dhoni's retirement from IPL goes, Hussey feels the veteran batter can continue playing for the next five years.

"He's still batting very well, is still motivated to coming into training and working on his game and hitting the ball well. We've seen he comes late in the innings and finishes things well.

"He's still got the six-hitting ability, while he's enjoying it and is contributing to the team then there is no reason why he can't keep going for maybe another five years."

IMAGE: Shivam Dube has been putting up a strong show with the willow. Photograph: BCCI

Dube benefiting from role clarity 

Dube is enjoying a good season. Batting in the middle-order he is performing the role that CSK have asked of him, hitting the big shots and Hussey feels it's because of role clarity.

"Dube has been fantastic this season. A lot of credit goes to MS and (Stephen) Fleming, they have given him a lot of clarity and backing in his role. He can move up and down depending on the situation of the game," he said.

"All credit to Shivam (Dube) who has played his role to perfection. He has amazing power and we are looking to utilise that."

Hussey is of the opinion that CSK's bowling attack has improved a lot as the season has progressed.

"I think bowling is an area in which we have improved upon, we have had concerns but they bowlers have done a fantastic job with their practice and executions under pressure.

"Having someone like Matheesha (Pathirana), who has been our no. 1 death bowler, has added confidence to the group."

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