It was a night of milestones for Chennai Super Kings (CSK) captain MS Dhoni as he became the first player to lead an Indian Premier League (IPL) team in 200 matches. The talismanic wicket-keeper achieved the landmark in CSK’s recent encounter against Rajasthan Royals (RR) in IPL 2021. The occasion became even more special as the Yellow Army thrashed Sanju Samson’s men by 45 runs in what can be called a one-sided encounter. After posting 188/9 at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, the three-time champions restricted RR to 143/9, advancing to the second position in the team standings. IPL 2021 Points Table Updated.
If one may recall, CSK’s previous clash against Punjab Kings (PBKS) saw Dhoni completing 200 games only as a player. However, the former Indian skipper took one game more to achieve 200 matches as CSK captain. It clearly means that the 39-year-old has played one game for the Yellow army solely as a player. The fact is indeed bizarre as Dhoni has been Chennai’s captain ever since the inception of IPL in 2008. Dhoni has played in IPL as a player but not for CSK. When the Super Kings, alongside RR, faced bans in the 2016 and 2017 seasons, Dhoni did represent the now-defunct Rising Pune Supergiant under Steve Smith for a season. However, CSK owners have never scrapped him from the leadership role. CSK vs RR IPL 2021 Stat Highlights: Moeen Ali's All-Round Performance Helps Chennai Super Kings Beat Rajasthan Royals by 45 Runs.
Nevertheless, the record says that the right-handed batsman once took the field for CSK as a player, and that happened in 2012, not in IPL but the now-scrapped Champions League. Having already knocked out of the tournament, CSK’s game against Yorkshire was a mere dead rubber, and Dhoni decided to relieve some of his responsibilities.
While Suresh Raina took over the reins of the side, Wriddhiman Saha donned the gloves. Hence, the 2011-World Cup winner played that game solely as a batsman. It was a fruitful outing for CSK as they defeated the English side by four wickets at the Kingsmead in Durban.
Chasing 142, CSK won the game by four wickets with one over to spare. Dhoni played a handy knock, 31 off 23, to help his side cross the line. However, that was the only game when Raina led CSK despite being Dhoni in the line-up.
(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Apr 20, 2021 09:10 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).