Cricket

MS Dhoni 'Would Be Back Again', Mumbai Indians Needed Hardik Pandya - AB De Villiers

Mahendra Singh Dhoni is expected to lead the defending champions Chennai Super Kings for the record 15th season during the Indian Premier League 2024, having captained the side to a record-equalling fifth title last year

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AB de Villiers says that MS Dhoni "just seems to be this diesel engine that never ends". Photo: File
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In awe of Mahendra Singh Dhoni's longevity, former South Africa captain AB de Villiers has compared the legendary wicket-keeper batter to a "diesel engine that never ends". (More Cricket News)

It is incredibly difficult for a player to be playing at the highest level for so long. But Dhoni has been doing preciously that for the Chennai Super Kings in the IPL.

He is expected to lead the defending champions for the record 15th season during IPL 2024, having captained the side to a record-equalling fifth title last year.

"There were a lot of rumours about MS Dhoni finishing up last year; that was not the case, ladies and gentlemen. He would be back again.

"Will this be his final season? No one knows. He just seems to be this diesel engine that never ends. He keeps running. What an incredible player, what an incredible captain," de Villiers said on his YouTube channel.

CSK has been a force to reckon with, winning the most number of championships alongside Mumbai Indians and most of its success has been attributed to sticking to the core group of senior players.

"I believe it's through their presence, it's through the leadership of MSD, a calm coach in Stephen Fleming, senior players in Ravindra Jadeja and others who have really set this incredible culture alive.

"They are a very intimidating team to play against. They are never easy to beat. That is always a great characteristic of a very successful unit, of a very successful franchise.

"When you are playing well, it's 'Yes, no problem, no one's gonna stop us'. But, when you are not playing so well, they always find a way to compete,” de Villiers added.

CSK get their IPL 2024 campaign underway versus Royal Challengers Bangalore in Chennai on on March 22.

"Mumbai Indians needed Pandya to come back"

All-rounder Hardik Pandya returns to Mumbai Indians after two seasons and de Villiers feels his return will solve the five-time champions' balance issues, provided he bowls.

The 30-year-old, who won four IPL titles with MI after joining the franchise in 2015, left the side in 2022 to play for new franchise Gujarat Titans.

He led the Titans to the title in their debut season while finishing runner up last year.

"Hardik Pandya - they needed him to come back; otherwise, the balance just didn't look as strong. I think Hardik is going to play a huge role. Hopefully, he would be able to hold the ball in hand and be the all-rounder that Mumbai Indians need him to be," stated de Villiers.

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