The 16th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) season 16 is about to get underway on March 31 with the opening game scheduled to be played between Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Gujarat Titans (GT) at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. Ahead of the season, an old video of MS Dhoni speaking to the CSK team ahead of their return in the 2018 season has drawn a strong reaction from legendary India cricketer Sunil Gavaskar.
In the video, which was shown after the ODI match, MS Dhoni was seen fighting back tears as he spoke to the team on its return after serving a two-year ban. The video further showed Suresh Raina helping Dhoni and revealed how the two years of the ban were difficult for the entire CSK team. After the video ended, Sunil Gavaskar was asked about Dhoni’s role in making CSK the second most successful franchise in the history of IPL.
ALSO READ: R Ashwin Points Out When Steve Smith Planned Against Virat And Hardik
Crediting MS Dhoni for bringing the team together during a chat on Star Sports, Sunil Gavaskar said, “I think when CSK returned and won the IPL trophy, it was absolutely amazing because the team had not been together for two years and they had moved out with different franchises and suddenly they came back again. That tells you about leadership.”
He further explained, “That tells you how the man could get a team together again after that gap. Sometimes you know, first year, second year there is a team spirit that happens but to get all of them together after the gap is remarkable.”
In July 2015, the Justice Lodha Committee decided to impose a two-year ban on CSK and Rajasthan Royals (RR) after their owners were found involved in the IPL 2013 spot-fixing scandal, which rocked the entire cricketing fraternity. Apart from CSK, MS Dhoni also had a remarkable comeback donning the yellow jersey as he amassed 455 runs at an average of 75.83 and a strike rate of 150.66 in 2018 with help of three 5os in the season.
ALSO READ: Sanjay Bangar Comments On The Introduction Of Impact Player In IPL
Recalling Dhoni’s incredible form in the 2018 season, Gavaskar said that some of his shots during that season were nothing short of mind-boggling. He said, “I think therefore that particular year and some of the shots that he played, I remember one game where the teams needed 20 odd runs in the final over and he just smashed it around from everywhere from outside the off stump, he was hitting it over long on for sixes.”
He further added, “We were used to seeing that from Dhoni but even those little touches of his where he makes a fielder, a player feel 7 feet tall, are the touches that make him stand out from the other.”