The world's most celebrated Indian Premier League (IPL) is hours away from unveiling its 14th edition. The teams are prepared for the clash while the fans got ready to engage with the two-month-long and yet another magnificent season. IPL 2021 will begin on April 9 in Chennai and the season would be opened by Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore at 7.30 pm.
Besides being the 14th edition, the ardent fans of MS Dhoni would have moments to relish as the legendary cricketer can end the season by adding three feathers to his cap of milestones. MS Dhoni would naturally draw more attention when it comes to IPL as it is the only league that cricket can see him as captain and for leading one of the most successful teams.
He has been captaining for Chennai Super Kings since the start of the Indian Premier League and if no fiasco in the plans of the mastermind, he would finish the season with three new milestones, and probably would present another title for the team. So, what are the three milestones MS Dhoni can achieve in IPL 2021?
5000 runs: Dhoni is nearing this remarkable feat and if he can add another 368 runs to his tally, he would breach 5000 and enter the club of the highest run-scorers in the IPL. Dhoni has so far scored 4632 runs and currently stands at the eighth spot in the list of top ten batsmen with the highest runs. Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Warner, Rohit Sharma, S Dhawan are the top five holders on the card and are the only players to cross the 5000-runs tally in IPL.
There is no second thought that Dhoni is instrumental in leading the team to the successful shores and though it had a history of ban and flawed performances, Dhoni's fleet has always engineered a strong comeback. Having said that, the team needs to be revived from the defeat in the preceding season where it had finished at the seventh spot and it was the only season where CSK had exited without entering the playoffs. Dhoni has scored 200 runs in IPL 2020 and the fans expect that he will chase the feat and will achieve in this season.
250 sixes: While being known as the captain cool, Dhoni is also known for hitting sixes and his style of smashing the ball. Currently, Dhoni is the third cricketer in IPL to hit most sixes after Jamaica giant Chris Gayle and South Africa's AB de Villiers. Dhoni is the first player to play 200 matches in IPL and so far, he has hit 216 sixes and he is just 34 sixes away to achieve the feat of 250 sixes, which the fans believe would possible for the legendary cricketer.
However, Dhoni would need more time and effort to chase the first spot in the most sixes in IPL as Chris Gayle, who would love to send the balls across and beyond the stadium, has hit 349 sixes so far while AB de Villiers had added 235 sixes in his kitty and Dhoni would obviously surpass Villiers's record and become the second batsman with the most number of sixes in IPL if he adds 34 sixes in the current season.
150 dismissals: Fans can take a glimpse of Dhoni's presence of mind when he stands behind the stumps as he is the only wicketkeeper who would do magic in dismissing the opponent. Dhoni had presented how the wicket-keeping can be done at tough times and his tactics of wicket-keeping would be awe-inspiring for the fans and there were many moments that Dhoni's appeal could go accurate with no need of the third umpire.
In his 204 matches as the wicket-keeper, Dhoni has made 148 dismissals and he is just two dismissals away to mark 150. He tops the table of the most dismissals by a wicketkeeper followed by Dinesh Karthik (140), Robin Uthappa (90), Parthiv Patel (81), and Wriddhiman Saha (56). The fans are sure that he won't miss this achievement.
Chennai Super Kings would be playing their first match on April 10 against Delhi Capitals and the game would be hosted by Wankhede stadium, Mumbai. As the season would be unfolded in the backdrop of the COVID-19 resurgence, the matches would be played in the absence of the audience and with the COVID-19 protocols. Earlier, there were speculations that the IPL 2021 would be the last for MS Dhoni. However, the CSK management said that there is no room to talk about Dhoni's retirement after this season. Speaking to an English news agency, CSK's CEO Kasi Viswanathan said, "I don't think it is going to be his (Dhoni's) final year. This is my personal view and I don't think we are looking at anybody now".