IPL 2021: Don't want anyone to point finger at my fitness, says MS Dhoni

Filed on April 20, 2021
CSK captain MS Dhoni (right) during the match against Rajasthan Royals. (BCCI)

The 39-year-old Dhoni admitted that 'getting old and being fit are two difficult things'

Chennai Super Kings skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Monday said it is hard to "keep up" with younger players in the squad but it will be a "big positive" for the 39-year-old if they are not able to point fingers at him over his fitness.

The 39-year-old Dhoni, who retired from international cricket last year, admitted that "getting old and being fit are two difficult things".

"When you are playing, you don't really want anyone to say he's unfit. I have to keep up with the younger guys, they are very fast, it's good to challenge them," Dhoni said after CSK beat Rajasthan Royals by 45 runs in their IPL match.

"Performances are something that's guaranteed. I wasn't guaranteeing performances when I was 24. I can't guarantee when I am 40, but at least if people can't point finger at me that he's unfit then that will be a big positive for me."

Talking about the match, he said he was glad CSK scored 180-plus, though he said they could have got more.

"I felt Sam (Curran) bowled really well. Deepak, there was a bit of miscalculation with the knuckle delivery. So I felt a good start was important. Even the wet ball was spinning.”

But Dhoni was concerned about his own slow start as a batsman in the match.

"The first six balls I played could have cost us in another game," said Dhoni who made 18 off 17 balls against the Royals.

He said a lot has changed since last year when they finished seventh out of eight teams.

"The way we have prepared. The bowlers have been under the pump last year also, so they're used to the conditions."

Losing captain Sanju Samson thought it was a good score to chase down but his side lost too many wickets in the middle overs.

"Our bowlers bowled really well, they batted too deep. 10-15 runs extra we gave down the line. We lost the match but there are a lot of positives,” he said.

"The dew didn't come and the ball was still turning, so it was a bit shocking to see.”

Samson was not worried about his own failure with the bat.

"It's important to maintain good composure, this format demands us to score at a higher risk rate, so it's very normal to get out often. I keep working on the basics and giving myself some time at the centre.”

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