New Delhi,UPDATED: Apr 17, 2023 17:17 IST
By India Today Sports Desk: India and Rajasthan Royals off-spinner R Ashwin said he was mesmerised by MS Dhoni’s blitzkrieg against Rajasthan Royals in Chennai on April 12, Wednesday, adding that he was taken by surprise by the Chennai Super Kings captain’s bat speed. Ashwin said with age, bat speed tends to go down but that’s is not the case with MS Dhoni.
Speaking during a show on his YouTube channel, R Ashwin said he went up to MS Dhoni and asked how he had improved his bat speed, joking that he thought the former World Cup-winning captain was driving tractors in the lead–up to the IPL 2023 season.
MS Dhoni hit an unbeaten 32 from 17 balls, smashing 2 sixes in the final over of the thrilling game between CSK and RR but the 4-time champions fell short of the 175-run total by just 3 runs. Dhoni has hit 6 sixes in just 4 matches in IPL 2023 and has scored at over 200 so far.
Dhoni has batted lower down the order but the CSK captain has been able to make the crucial impact with his big-hitting skills. Dhoni’s strike rate over the last 3 seasons were ordinary – 116, 106, 123. However, Dhoni has turned it around despite not playing competitive cricket between IPL seasons.
IPL 2023: Full Coverage | Points Table
“I was mesmerised by watching MS Dhoni bat. I was watching him bat for the last two years. Of course, I have been watching him bat over the last two yearsâ€æ Obviously, as you get older, your hand speed will come down and your bat speed will also come down. It will have an effect, right?” Ashwin said.
“He hasn’t not been playing international cricket, he has not been facing international quality bowlers. So just when I thought his reaction time will be a bit slow and all that. Plus he was seen only driving tractors on his time away from the IPL. Now he has come into the season and has been smashing sixes at will.
“I asked him about it, about his bat speed. What did you do for the bat speed? He replied b saying that he was practising since January,” Ashwin added.
Ashwin further added that he doesn’t believe IPL 2023 would be MS Dhoni’s last season in the cash-rich league even as speculation about the CSK captain’s retirement is rife.
“The public might assume as iff he just came and started smashing everything. We will hear these things from others, but I heard about Dhoni from the man himself. I thought he came stronger because of driving tractors and doing agriculture. His biceps are looking strong. I don’t think it is his last year in the IPL. He can play easily for 3-4 more years, right? For 7-8 years?” Ashwin added.
Dhoni himself addressed the big question recently, saying there is plenty of time left in the season to think about the big call.
News Source: https://www.indiatoday.in/amp/sports/ipl-2023/story/ipl-ms-dhoni-csk-sixes-bat-speed-r-ashwin-tractors-reveals-chat-2361150-2023-04-17