I wouldn't expect a decision anytime soon: Hussey on Dhoni's future plans

M S Dhoni led CSK to five IPL titles. File photo: PTI/Kunal Patil

Bengaluru: Chennai Super Kings (CSK) batting coach Michael Hussey is hoping that the charismatic Mahendra Singh Dhoni would continue with the team for a couple of years more, saying the former skipper was still batting well.

The 42-year-old Dhoni stepped aside as captain of the team just a day before the start of the 2024 season. Ruturaj Gaikwad was handed the reins of the side.

"We are hoping he does keep going. He is still batting so well. He does prepare well - he gets into the camp very early and hits a lot of balls. He has been in good touch all season really," Hussey said on ESPN's Around the Wicket show.

"I guess we just got to try to manage him from the body side of things. He had a knee surgery after the last season. So, he has been managing that from the initial stage of the tournament.

"I hope he keeps going for another couple of years. But we will just have to wait and see. He is the only one who will make that call. And, he likes to sort of build the drama a little bit as well. So, I wouldn't expect a decision anytime soon."

Dhoni has been a huge hit with the CSK supporters. File photo: PTI/R Senthil Kumar

Dhoni, who led the side to record five IPL titles, has been batting quite down the order this season, sometimes at No. 8, and faces only a handful of deliveries.

Hussey said that Dhoni's workload is being managed appropriately, given that he had undergone knee surgery.

"That (knee surgery) is why we have had to manage him a little bit, and he only comes in at the back end. But, there has been no one better in being able to come in and hit the ball so cleanly from ball one than MS. He has been phenomenal," he added.

The Australian said Dhoni wanted to to stick around in the transition phase as Gaikwad was handed the captaincy.

"MS sort of announced that he was not going to be attending the pre-tournament captains' meeting. And we're like, 'Oh, no. What's going on?'. He said Ruturaj was going to be captain from then on.

"So, it was a little bit of a shock to start with, but it has been managed really well. We have sort of known for a little while that he was the right man to take over the job when MS decided to step aside.

"He wanted to still be here while the new captain took over, to try to help him along the way and sort of mentor him a little bit," said Hussey.

Under Gaikwad's leadership, CSK are is placed third on the points table and meet Royal Challengers Bengaluru in their final league match on Saturday.

"He has done a great job. He has been really calm and measured on the field. He will just get better and better. The more he does it and the more support we keep around him. The pleasing thing is, it has not affected his batting at all either," Hussey was effusive in his praise for Gaikwad. 

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