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While the former Indian World Cup-winning captain MS Dhoni hasn’t played a cricket match for more than last ten months, Suresh Raina has claimed that Dhoni was hugely focused for the IPL 2020. However, the cash-rich league has been postponed due to coronavirus pandemic.
MS Dhoni played a cricket match for the last time during the semi-final of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 (against New Zealand at Manchester on 10th July 2019). Then he made himself unavailable for the game. However, the 38-year-old was seriously eyeing to return to the game during the IPL 2020, which was initially scheduled between 29th March and 24th May 2020, but the coronavirus pandemic has forced to postpone it for an indefinite period.
The Chennai Super Kings (CSK) captain Dhoni already started to practice for his IPL side while all the teams were yet to begin the training camp ahead of the IPL 2020 season. While Suresh Raina is another integral member of the CSK side and was eyeing to return to the game after the knee surgery, he claimed that Dhoni was more active and focused during the latest practice sessions for the CSK, which is very tough for an aged cricketer.
Raina told Star Sports’ Cricket Connected show, “The best thing was, Rayudu, myself, Mahi bhai and Murali were batting in a group and Mahi bhai bats for long hours when he is in Chennai for about 2 – 4 hours. But this time he was just not getting tired of batting. He was doing his gym in the morning, followed by batting for 3 hours in the evening.
“When you spend the day at the nets, from gym workouts to fielding workouts to batting then the next morning it leads to some stiffness in the body. We are that stage when the body has become a little slower and you have to put in the extra effort and work for 5 hours for a 3 hour training so that you can play a 4 hour match without getting tired.
“The first few days he took it lightly and just focused on going to the gym but he was playing the shots beautifully and his fitness level was great and he was not getting tired.”
MS Dhoni’s preparations were different this time: Suresh Raina
Raina claimed that the latest one was different Dhoni. The 33-year-old left-handed batsman is hoping to experience the IPL 2020 which can prove how Dhoni was prepared for this IPL season.
Raina added, “His preparations were different this time, I have played with him over the years with the national side and IPL getting ready but it was different this time, so I just hope the matches can start quickly then everyone can see how well prepared he is and see what I saw myself live in the two months of camp that we had. When someone works hard, then the prayers and blessings find their way to them.”
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is still hopeful for the IPL 2020 but clueless about the actualisation of this tournament. As the regular window has been postponed, the BCCI will now have to find out a new proper window to organise the IPL 2020.
If the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2020 gets postponed, which Australia will host from 18th October to 15th November 2020, the BCCI can utilise this window for the IPL 2020.