On the day he was left out of BCCI’s Central Contracts list, former India captain MS Dhoni hit the nets for the first time since India’s World Cup exit. And the way he batted has simply blown the mind of Jharkhand coach Rajiv Kumar. In his first nets session in six month, Dhoni seemed to be middling everything, convincing Kumar that the former India skipper is ready for his next cricketing assignment – the IPL.
“I will be honest… I thought there will be a bit of rustiness as Dhoni has not trained for quite some time,” Kumar told IANS. “The last time we had spoken, he had said that he would start in January and here you go. He is a man of his words and it came as no surprise that he was out there training with the guys just like any other regular Jharkhand player. But what surprised me most was how he middled almost every ball, be it in the pacer’s net or the spinner’s net. He even took throwdowns just like a player going through the batting drills does.”
Kumar revealed that despite the session, he did not have a word with Dhoni regarding his India future but rest assured the three-time IPL winning captain will be gunning for glory a record-equalling fourth time when walks out to lead Chennai Super Kings in the 2020 IPL starting March 29.
“I haven’t had any talks with him with regards to the national team and him donning the India jersey again. But, his preparations for the next edition of the IPL has begun and while the senior team will be busy playing the Ranji Trophy game from Sunday, Dhoni will continue training till the time he is in Ranchi,” Kumar explained.
Besides hitting the straps, Dhoni spent the two days of training talking to the youngsters. Jharkhand are currently placed third in the Elite Group C two wins and two losses from five matches. Two seasons ago, Dhoni had turned up for Jharkhand in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy and played a few handy knocks and although that may no longer be the case going forward, the inputs from Indian cricket’s most successful captain is something no youngster should and can shy from.
“He is such a professional and has been going on spending time with the youngsters, especially the bowlers. He is discussing the line and length that they should target and the ways to fox the opposition batsmen. He has been as vocal as can be expected from a senior player like Dhoni,” Kumar said.