Since the inaugural edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in 2008, MS Dhoni has led the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in every season except the two years when the franchise was suspended. Ahead of the 2022 season, he handed the captaincy to all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, who led the side for 8 matches before relinquishing the role.
After Jadeja’s stepping down, once again the man who had led the side to 4 championship titles took over as the leader. Under Dhoni, CSK have reached the finals 9 times, the most for any franchise. Apart from four IPL titles, the Super Kings have also won two Champions League T20 trophies and 11 top-four IPL finishes, making them the most successful team in the league besides Mumbai Indians (MI).
The team has had to endure rough times as well. It was handed a two-year suspension for its role in the 2013 spot-fixing incident. However, Dhoni led the ‘Yellow army’ to their third IPL crown in 2018, making it a dream comeback to the game after a long absence.
When asked about his favorite memory with the ‘yellow army’, former CSK batter Michael Hussey, who was appointed as the team’s batting coach in 2018, recalled Dhoni’s rousing speech at the start of the 2018 edition and said the skipper had tears in his eyes, indicating the start of a “special” season.
“I think there’s not one particular memory but we see these championship-winning photos on the wall… I think probably the 2018 season. We were out of the competition for two years. We came back and I remember MS giving a speech right at the start of the season. He actually started tearing; tears were coming out of his eyes and I remember thinking, ‘Something special is happening here’,” Hussey told Matthew Hayden in a ‘Super Reunion’ video shared by the franchise.
“That was a special season. It gives you goosebumps just thinking about what happened that year. It was almost like it was meant to be after coming back to the IPL. MS played unbelievably well throughout the season. It was just a special time,” he added.
Hussey chose MS Dhoni and AB de Villiers as his favorite T20 cricketers because he believed that few players could match their exploits in the middle overs.
“AB de Villiers is probably my favorite and MS is up there as well. Because what they could do in the middle order, not many people in the whole world could do that. Like there are great players at the top of the order who can do that role and do it amazingly well,” said ‘Mr. Cricket’.
“But not too many people can do what de Villiers did… coming in with 20 balls to go and smacking 70. He was unbelievable, and even MS. Just the way he (Dhoni) calculated it. Not many people in the history of T20 cricket can do what those two did.”
CSK will next take on Delhi Capitals (DC) on Sunday (May 08) at the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai.