It took just two games for Dale Steyn’s shoulder injury to flare up, ruling the pacer out of the IPL. The bigger concern for South Africa, of course, will be the World Cup which starts on May 30. The Indian team management, too, would love to avoid a headache of similar nature concerning MS Dhoni.
“I think what I know about him is that he doesn’t want to miss any matches. He loves playing for CSK, this place is very close to his heart and he wants to play and do well and see the team succeed. So trying to get him to have rest is very difficult,” Hussey said.Dhoni knows momentum is a crucial thing in T20 cricket and a slight let-up can lead to disaster. Just in case he decides to rest the last two games and CSK lose, it may well become difficult for them to get going against a form team in the first playoff.
The Chennai Super Kings captain has been playing through back pain. On Tuesday, after CSK won their game against Sunrisers Hyderabad, Dhoni hinted that resting could be an option if necessary, and the skipper may well get a chance to do so if CSK win their game against Mumbai and seal a top-two berth. In that case, Dhoni can comfortably take a week off and join the proceedings once the playoffs start on May 7. But CSK batting consultant Mike Hussey said it’s not easy to make Dhoni rest.
But with the World Cup round the corner, that’s a decision that the CSK captain may have to take. “It is important that we are smart about it and get the management of the players right. There is a big focus on rest and recovery and our physio Tommy Simsek is working extremely hard. It’s not just with MS but all the players so that they are fresh,” Hussey said.
Dhoni on Tuesday insisted that he is used to playing with pain in international cricket and that the back spasm that was hurting him in the beginning of the tournament is not there anymore. But given the conditions and the workload of IPL, injuries can suddenly flare up.Kedar Jadhav, for one, has been extremely cautious about his fitness and has chosen not to bowl a single delivery even on spinner-friendly conditions at Chepauk.
Dhoni’s motivation to excel in the World Cup is no less, and one would hope the legend maintains his body just the way he has done for so long to set up something special for India in a couple of months’ time.
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