IPL 2024: Michel Hussey believes Dhoni can carry on for ‘another couple of years’

New Delhi, May 16 Former Australian cricketer and Chennai Super Kings (CSK) batting coach Michael Hussey believes Mahendra Singh Dhoni can continue playing for another couple of years, amid the ongoing speculation about whether this is Dhoni's final dance in the IPL arena.

CSK has been handling Dhoni's workload after his knee surgery. He only encounters a few deliveries when he comes out to bat. He even batted at No. 9 against Punjab Kings.

The former skipper still managed to leave his mark, with a strike rate of 226.66 and 136 runs scored in ten innings. With a hint of uncertainty, Hussey expressed hope that Dhoni would grace the field for "another couple of years."

"Your guess is as good as mine at this stage. He keeps his cards very, very close to his chest. We are hoping he does keep going. I know fans probably want to see him batting a little bit higher in the order," Hussey said on ESPN's Around the Wicket show when asked if Dhoni would be back next year.

"But that (the knee surgery) is why we have had to manage him a little bit and he only comes in at the back end. But there has been no one better in being able to come in and hit the ball so cleanly from ball one than MS. He has been phenomenal," he said.

Battling through injury and adversity, Dhoni showcased his mastery with the bat, defying age and expectations with every innings. Though his appearances at the crease were fleeting, his impact was profound for his fans across the globe.

"He is still batting so well. He does prepare well - he gets into the camp very early and hits a lot of balls. He has been in good touch all season really. I guess we just got to try to manage him from the body side of things. He had a knee surgery after the last season. So he has been managing that from the initial stage of the tournament.

"From a personal point of view, I hope he keeps going for another couple of years. But we will just have to wait and see. He is the only one who will make that call. And he likes to sort of build the drama a little bit as well. So I wouldn't expect a decision anytime soon.

Dhoni, ever the strategist, had entrusted the reins of captaincy to Ruturaj Gaikwad, a young talent, whom he has nurtured across the years. Hussey reminisced on the moment when Dhoni declared Gaikwad as the new skipper, signaling a passing of the torch that sent ripples through the cricketing fraternity.

"MS sort of announced that he was not going to be attending the pre-tournament captains meeting. And we're like, 'Oh, no. What's going on?' He said Ruturaj was going to be captain from then on. So it was a little bit of a shock to start with but it has been managed really well," said Hussey.

"I know Stephen Fleming (head coach) had been working closely with Ruturaj in the lead-up to the tournament. In fact, he has been grooming him for a couple of years now. We have sort of known for a little while that he was the right man to take over the job when MS decided to step aside.

"MS wanted to still be here while the new captain took over, to try to help him along the way and sort of mentor him a little bit. So that's worked really well as well. And obviously, Stephen Fleming is a great role model for him (Gaikwad) as well. So it's been quite seamless actually," he signed off.

Source: IANS
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