Former India captain MS Dhoni, who will be making a return to professional cricket after nearly 9 months, seems to be leaving no stone unturned to make his comeback count. The ‘keeper-batsman from Ranchi appears to be in some proper form, having scored a blistering 123 off 91 deliveries in one of the intra-squad practice games that the Chennai Super Kings played at the Chepauk.
The CSK captain was spotted donning the keeper’s gloves in a recent practice session at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium. This was, for most cricket and MS Dhoni fans, an unusual sight, for it is rare for the World Cup-winning skipper to practice wicket-keeping as such. MS Dhoni is almost always at his natural best behind the stumps but hardly practices his craft before a game. During a typical practice session, the Jharkhand man could be found involving himself in ground fielding drills, or even bowling to his teammates, but nearly never ‘keeping. Therefore, the fact that Dhoni was sharpening his behind the stump skills is surprising, to say the least.
It is evident Dhoni fans will have to wait longer before they get to see their beloved hero back in action, for the Indian Premier League is the latest in the list of sporting leagues across the globe to have fallen prey to the COV-ID 19. The Coronavirus, which was declared a pandemic by the WHO a couple of days ago, has consumed all major European football leagues, the NBA and now the IPL. It’s till April 15 that the world’s number one t20 league is postponed. Even afterward, the IPL is most likely to take place behind closed doors, in empty stadiums, which can prove to be a huge blow for the franchises, the fans, and the BCCI.
When the IPL does resume, it will be intriguing to see what a 38-year-old Dhoni will have to offer the cricketing world. Will he come out all guns blazing, or will it be a rusty start for the Super Kings’ spearhead? Only time will tell.