Chennai Super Kings (CSK) skipper MS Dhoni has hinted at playing another IPL season after leading the franchise to another title in the final with a five-wicket win over the Gujarat Titans on Monday in Ahmedabad. The keeper-batter opined that the amount of admiration received for the fans prompts him to return for another edition.
Dhoni's IPL future has been a point of speculation even before the start of the 2023 edition, given his age and fitness issues. The 41-year-old has also provided mixed hints throughout the season and notably said how he had 8-9 months to decide following the Qualifier 1 against the Gujarat Titans.
Speaking at the post-match presentation, Dhoni admitted that it's easy to retire and walk away, but suggested he is willing to continue for the fans.
"If you circumstantially see, it's the best time to announce the retirement. The easy thing for me to say is thank you and retire. But the hard thing to do is to work hard for nine months and try to play one more IPL season. The body has to hold up. But the amount of love I have received from CSK fans, it would be a gift for them to play one more season. The way they've shown their love and emotion, it's something I need to do for them. It's the last part of my career. It started over here and the full house was chanting my name. It was my same thing in Chennai, but it will be good to come back and play whatever I can."
MS Dhoni recalls playing alongside Ambati Rayudu for India A:
Dhoni also praised how well Ajinkya Rahane and the other seniors have mentored the youngsters. With Ambati Rayudu now retired, the 41-year-old conceded that he had a special ability of playing all types of bowling well.
"When it comes to the crunch, you need to have your individuals ready. The amount of pressure every individual can deal with is different. We tried to do that. Ajinkya is experienced, but if the youngsters are confused, we chat with them. The special thing about Rayudu if he's on the field he always gives his 100%. We played for India A together - he played spin and fast bowlers equally well. I felt always he will do something special. He's also like me who doesn't use a phone a lot."
Devon Conway, who scored 47 off 32 balls, in a rain-curtailed run-chase, earned the Player of the Match award.
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