Striding to the crease in the 11th over at the dismissal of Shivam Dube, with Chennai Super Kings tottering at 61/5, Dhoni smashed a six and 7 fours for an unbeaten 38-ball 50 to take his team to 131/5 in their 20 overs.
Though CSK lost the match by 6 wickets, Dhoni’s first IPL fifty since April 2019, was reason enough for the fans to believe that now that he is free of captaincy duties, he should definitely bat up the order.
TimesofIndia.com ran a poll asking fans four questions on defending champions CSK.
The first question was: Batting at No. 7 in the IPL 2022 opener against Kolkata Knight Riders, MS Dhoni smashed an unbeaten 38-ball 50. Is it time now for the former captain to bat higher up the order for Chennai Super Kings?
2166 votes were polled in favour of Dhoni going up the order. 595 votes came in for the No option while 77 votes were polled for the ‘can’t say’ option.
The second question was: Can CSK successfully defend their IPL title?
1139 votes were polled in favour of CSK defending their IPL title, but 1169 votes came in saying that CSK won’t be able to add to their four IPL titles this time. 459 fans were votes were polled by fans who were unsure, for the can’t say option.
The third question was: Will Ravindra Jadeja be as good a captain for CSK in the long run as MS Dhoni was?
Dhoni had surprised one and all by quitting captaincy just two days before the beginning of IPL 2022, handing over the reins of the team he is synonymous with to Ravindra Jadeja.
It was not surprising to see that most fans who took the poll think that Jadeja won’t be as effective as Dhoni was as captain, in the long run.
While 813 fans thought that Jadeja will be as effective as Dhoni, as many as 1253 votes were polled for the ‘No’ option 696 votes were polled for the ‘can’t say’ option.
The fourth and last question was: Who will be the stand out player for CSK this season? The options here were: MS Dhoni, Ravidra Jadeja, Robin Uthappa, Dwayne Bravo and Ruturaj Gaikwad and none of the above.
Even at the age of 40, Dhoni outscored his younger teammates and that proves how much he is revered by the fans. 1185 fans believed that ‘Thala’ will be the stand out player for his team this IPL season. 586 fans pinned their hopes on Ruturaj Gaikwad, while 475 votes were polled in favour of Jadeja. 202 fans voted in favour of Robin Uthappa. 180 votes were polled for ‘none of the above’ option, while Dwayne Bravo got 134 votes.