« Back to articlePrint this article

'Don't think he's done; no reason for Dhoni to stop playing'

May 24, 2024 17:57 IST

IMAGE: Discussions have been rife on whether MSD has played his last IPL season, with Mohammed Kaif backing the stalwart to return in IPL 2025. Photograph: BCCI

Former India batter Mohammad Kaif feels there is no reason why Mahendra Singh Dhoni should not play the next season of the IPL, given his form, fitness and ability to play big shots with ease.

Speculation has been rife that Dhoni, who has led CSK to five IPL titles, could have played his last IPL season.

The former CSK skipper, who had undergone surgery to treat a knee injury issue last year, scored 161 runs in 73 balls at a strike rate of 220.55 this season. He was also good behind the stumps.


Kaif thinks Dhoni has enough left in the tank to keep playing.

"Personally, I don't think he's done, he could not win the game (last league match against RCB). In the last over after hitting a six, he got out. You could make out seeing his body language that he seemed very disappointed not winning the game for CSK," Kaif, a cricket expert with Star Sports, told PTI Videos.

"Why he should not come back? He is fit, he is scoring runs and hitting sixes, and there's no reason to stop playing... it's up to him, we can't say with Dhoni what's his plan," added Kaif, regarded as one of India's greatest fielders.

The 43-year-old also said that Kolkata Knight Riders skipper Shreyas Iyer had been a revelation with his calm demeanour, and attributed the team's success this year to his leadership qualities.

Two-time IPL champions KKR entered their fourth final with a thumping eight-wicket win over Sunrisers Hyderabad in Qualifier 1. They had also topped the league stage with 20 points.

"He (Iyer) missed the whole IPL last year and KKR probably missed his captaincy in 2023. The way he is changing the bowlers, and picking his playing XI, he looks very calm under pressure.

"In a tournament like the IPL, you have to be very composed, you have to know what's happening in the game and Iyer has come a long way. He has become a much better captain now," opined Kaif.

Experts are also attributing KKR's success this season to Gautam Gambhir returning to the side as the team mentor but Kaif said the team's superb run had got a lot to do with how Iyer marshals his boys on the field.

"We always talk about (Gautam) Gambhir, but he can't enter the field... in the rope with the players. Iyer has been there with the players and it will help him grow as a person and player.

"He missed out on the (T20) World Cup this year (beginning in the US and West Indies next month), but certainly it's great learning for him, captaining the team, leading it to the finals. He has a great future ahead," said Kaif.

Kaif said KKR were the overwhelming favourites to lift the IPL trophy this season given that they have quality bowlers and a balanced side, the two ingredients required to win.

"I think KKR is a very well-balanced side. Tournament-winning team has to have good bowlers, KKR has got the bowlers. You saw how (Mitchell) Starc bowled against (SRH in Qualifier 1), it's a balanced side. KKR has got all bases covered in terms of batting and bowling. They are the team to beat in IPL, they are way ahead."

© Copyright 2024 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.