Mahendra Singh Dhoni may have retired from the international format but is continuing to display his skill and abilities in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and even as many of his fans still want to see their charismatic leader on the field, a big question still remains unanswered as till when the World Cup winning captain will continue to play in the cash-rich league.
Now, former Australia spinner Brad Hogg has reckoned that the ongoing 2021 season is going to be Dhoni’s last in the IPL.
Hogg’s statement comes after the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) captain was bowled off the bowling of Varun Chakravarthy for just a run in the IPL game against Kolkata Knight Riders on Sunday.
Even as there is no doubt over Dhoni’s abilities as a captain, his batting has struggled, especially in the last two IPL seasons as he could manage only 200 runs from 14 matches in the 2020 season while in the ongoing season, he could only gather merely 52 runs from 10 games.
“I think he’s going to retire at the end of the year from IPL cricket. The way he got out to Chakravarthy the other day with the wrong un’, there was a huge gap between bat and pad. I think the reflexes of the 40-year-old are just starting to wane. His keeping has been sensational,” Hogg said on his YouTube channel.
“It’s good for Indian cricket and CSK that he is still going because of his leadership out in the middle. He’s keeping things calm and helped Jadeja grow as a cricketer and developing youngsters as well. Just the way that he walked off, that body language, there was a glint in the eye that said I think I’ve just lost that sharpness,” he added.
Recently, Dhoni, who retired from international cricket last year, was appointed mentor of Team India for the upcoming T20 World Cup, starting October 17 in the UAE.
Hogg however, also felt that although Dhoni would retire as a player, he is likely to take up a managerial role with CSK along with Stephen Fleming.
“At the age of 40 and with the role that he’s got with the Indian Cricket Team going into that T20 World Cup, I think he’ll move into a management role or even the head coach of CSK,” Hogg expressed.
“Probably the management role and sit alongside Stephen Fleming and help out develop the youngsters but also create a good strategy for the new wave of CSK cricketers moving forward because you need someone of that quality around that knows Indian conditions, knows the Indian people and has a good rapport with the players,” he added.
Earlier this month, Dhoni’s appointment as Team India’s mentor for the showpiece event was made official by BCCI secretary Jay Shah.
Shah, while announcing the India squad, had said that Dhoni was keen on contributing to the senior national team and his appointment as a mentor was only for the upcoming T20 World Cup.
“Mr Mahendra Singh Dhoni will be joining Team India as mentor for the upcoming T20 World Cup. I am glad that MS has accepted BCCI’s offer and he is keen to contribute to the national team once again. MS will work closely with Mr Ravi Shastri as well as other support staff to provide support and direction to Team India,” Shah had said.