“We could lose MS Dhoni”: Stephen Fleming makes honest confession

In IPL 2024, MS Dhoni, the stalwart of Chennai Super Kings, continues to dazzle as a finisher, showcasing his exceptional skill in dispatching loose balls late in the innings. Despite batting lower down the order, Dhoni has maintained an astonishing strike rate of 224.48, accumulating 110 runs in nine innings.

However, while Dhoni’s contributions remain invaluable, CSK head coach Stephen Fleming acknowledges the challenge of managing the workload of the veteran player, especially considering his age. At 42, Dhoni is undoubtedly in the twilight years of his illustrious career.

Speaking to Cricbuzz, Fleming emphasized the delicate balance between harnessing Dhoni’s impact and safeguarding his fitness. He highlighted the team’s cautious approach, recognizing the risk of overburdening Dhoni, which could potentially lead to injuries.

“We are in charge of his workload. We’ve seen early in the season that it’s risky, and if he bats too long, we could lose him due to a little muscle issue. Therefore, don’t undervalue his impact on the squad merely because he is batted ninth,” Fleming explained.

Fleming, drawing from his experience as a captain, emphasized Dhoni’s significance beyond his on-field prowess. He underscored Dhoni’s role in providing tactical guidance to the newly appointed skipper, Ruturaj Gaikwad, thereby enhancing the team’s overall performance.

“One of our current challenges is that, while we have a capable backup keeper, he is not the same as MS Dhoni. We want to keep MS Dhoni on the field doing what he does best—hitting in the final two, three, or four overs. His keeping and his ability to provide tactical guidance to the new captain are extremely important,” Fleming remarked.

Currently positioned fourth in the IPL 2024 points standings with 12 points from 11 games (six wins and five losses), CSK is earnestly striving to secure a spot in the playoffs. As they navigate through the remainder of the season, the team will continue to prioritize Dhoni’s workload management while striving for consistent performances on the field.