While there is still no clarity over MS Dhoni's comeback to international cricket, his future in IPL seems to be more certain.
For the loyal Chennai Super Kings fans, there's good news. Thala will continue to lead the Indian Premier League team, at least, for two more seasons, in 2020 and 2021.
CSK brushed aside a media report headlined, "MS Dhoni wants to leave CSK? Former captain could join rival team in IPL 2021," in its own style with this tweet on its official Twitter handle:
Recent media reports stated that Dhoni has asked the Chennai IPL team to not retain him ahead of the big auction scheduled in 2021. The report even claimed that Dhoni had suggested that CSK use their 'Right to Match' option to buy him back for a lower price than what they had bought him for in the inaugural season of the cash-rich league.
The report further justified that this idea was floated as it would give CSK increased financial power to buy players in the 2021 auction help in rebuilding the team before Dhoni calls it quits.
Dhoni has kept himself busy pursuing his interests away from the 22 yards. The sabbatical that began with India's heartbreaking loss to New Zealand in the semi-final of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 earlier this year in England seems likely to go on at least till the year-end.
The news that Dhoni is not yet done with the shortest format keeps him the race for the World T20 in Australia in another 12 months. However, it still remains to be seen as to whether Dhoni will be on that flight Down Under.
Team India head coach Ravi Shastri feels the upcoming IPL season will be the right yardstick to throw light on that.
"It all depends on when he starts playing and how he is playing during the IPL. What are the other people doing with the wicket-keeping gloves or what is the form of those players as opposed to Dhoni's form. The IPL becomes a massive tournament because that could be the last tournament after which more or less your 15 is decided."
"There might be one player who might be there and thereabouts in case of an injury or whatever. But your team I would say would be known after the IPL. What I would say is rather than speculating of who is where, wait for the IPL to get over and then you are in a position to take a call on who are the best 17 in the country," Shastri opined.