If MS Dhoni decides on playing only IPL every year, then it's impossible for him to perform, says Kapil Dev
India’s icon Kapil Dev has said that it will be impossible for MS Dhoni to perform if he plays only the Indian Premier League (IPL) every year.
Dhoni, who led Team India to three ICC titles – T20 World Cup in 2007, Cricket World Cup in 2011, and Champions Trophy in 2013 – announced international retirement earlier this year. In addition to that, Dhoni is one of the most successful captains in the IPL, having led Chennai Super Kings (CSK) to three titles.
The ongoing 13th edition of the IPL is the first instance where the Dhoni-led CSK failed to qualify for the playoffs. Ahead of CSK's final game of IPL 2020 that was against Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) on Sunday, when asked by commentator Danny Morrison at the toss if it was his last IPL game, Dhoni said, "Definitely not".
Dhoni, who announced his international retirement 13 months after he played his final game for Team India at the 2019 Cricket World Cup in the UK, did not play any cricket before IPL 2020 in the UAE. Hence, the former Indian skipper looked to have suffered with the bat, having managed to score only 200 runs from 14 matches at an average of 25. This was the first season in 13 years in which Dhoni failed to score a half-century with 47 not out being his highest score.
The reason behind Dhoni's poor form was the lack of cricket as suggested by Kapil Dev, who also insisted on the CSK skipper to play First-Class cricket before turning up for the IPL.
"If Dhoni decides on playing only IPL every year, then it's impossible for him to perform. It's not a good thing to talk about age but at his age (39 years), the more he plays, the more his body will be tuned. If you don't play any cricket for 10 months a year and suddenly play IPL, you can see what happened. You can always have a season up or down if you have played so much cricket. It has happened to someone like Chris Gayle also," Kapil told ABP News
It cannot be ignored that Dhoni's substandard performances with the bat had a direct effect on his team's fortunes as CSK were the first side to be eliminated from IPL 2020.
"He should go back to first-class cricket (domestic List A and T20) and play there. If someone has achieved so much, the dip in form does affect and it becomes a challenge. Let's see how he comes out of it," Kapil Dev added.