“Dhoni was focused during CSK camp”

Chennai: Team physiotherapist Tommy Simsek said he saw Dhoni do some wicketkeeping training for the first time in 10 years.

There might be talks about his future in international cricket, but M.S. Dhoni looked in spectacular touch during the camp conducted by Chennai Super Kings before the season got postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak, as per his CSK teammates.

“Mahi bhai was absolutely focused, training purposefully and was looking really good. He was showing match-like intensity in the way he was batting and keeping and that was rubbing off on others,” veteran leg-spinner Piyush Chawla was quoted as saying on the CSK website.

Chawla was picked by the franchise during the auction last year.

Karn Sharma, another leggie in the squad, said Dhoni’s enthusiasm and involvement was a source of inspiration for the other members.

“Mahi bhai was batting for two to three hours at nets every day, and the way he was hitting the ball no one could say he was returning from a long break. The way he was training was a huge motivation for the rest of us,” he added.

“During match simulations, he was very involved, speaking to the bowlers, and the rhythm he was in, it was a big boost for our team,” Sharma said.

Team physiotherapist Tommy Simsek said he saw Dhoni do some wicketkeeping training for the first time in 10 years.

“For the first time in about 10 years I saw MS do some wicketkeeping training and that goes to show that he was definitely keen, definitely focused to do well this year,” he added.

Team’s bowling coach, Lakshmipathy Balaji, a former India cricketer, said Dhoni is a natural athlete and that he was looking forward to the season.

“MS is a natural athlete and supremely fit. He didn’t look rusty, didn’t look one bit like he was away from the game. He was clearly looking forward to the season, the way he was training, batting, keeping and being involved with the team,” Balaji added.

CSK, three-time IPL winners, had begun their training on March 2 with Dhoni joining from day one, but it was called off on March 14 owing to the novel COVID-19 outbreak.

NT Bureau