CSK coach Stephen Fleming later gave a major update on Dhoni’s fitness and injury with the entire season to look forward to.
There were concerns on Chennai Super Kings (CSK) captain MS Dhoni’s participation in the IPL 2023 opener against defending champions Gujarat Titans, but franchise CEO had brushed aside the rumours and the skipper did play in front of a packed Narendra Modi Stadium on Friday evening in Ahmedabad. But during the match. Dhoni awkwardly landed on his injured knee and was then seen grimacing in pain and the sight sent shockwaves on social media. CSK coach Stephen Fleming later gave a major update on Dhoni’s fitness and injury with the entire season to look forward to.
It during Gujarat’s chase of 179 at home when Dhoni, in a bid to stop delivery from Deepak Chahar that had glanced off batter Rahul Tewatia’s pads down the leg side, made full-length dive to his right. And in his attempt, he landed on his injured knee and soon was seen clutching his leg in pain. The match was soon halted as the phsyio raced in to have a look at it.
Dhoni, however, continued playing, but the sight of that injury left many talking on social media with fans concerned whether the captain would appear in the subsequent matches in the tournament. But Fleming shut all the talks around it in the post-match conference, explaining that while Dhoni was nursing from a sore knee during the pre-season days, what unfolded on Friday evening was mere cramps.
“He was always playing. Not sure where that story came from. He was nursing a sore knee throughout the month of pre-season, but today it was just cramps, it wasn’t the knee. He’s not going to be as quick and nimble as he was 15 years ago, but he is still a great leader of the side and, even with the bat, he is still going to play a part. He knows his limitations and he is a valuable player to have on the field. He is a legend,” Fleming said.
Dhoni also played a crucial cameo for CSK, down the order, getting a 7-ball 14 laced with a boundary and a six. However, the four-time winners lost the season opener by 5 wickets.