Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 is approaching and all eyes will be on the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) captain MS Dhoni. Dhoni had started preparation for IPL 2020 in March, but the Coronavirus pandemic forced him to call it off. Now, the IPL 2020 will be played in UAE during September-November.
Sam Billings, who was part of the CSK franchise in 2018 and 2019, feels Dhoni wouldn't find it tough to make a comeback to competitive cricket despite not taking the field for over a year. He said the 39-year-old's experience would come handy at this time.
"I think that's the benefit of experience. Obviously, we have all had a layoff with this (pandemic) and I also had my injury last year. But for me, I think that's the benefit of franchise tournaments that you, as an individual have to get ready, whether it's a week or maybe two weeks, very short notice you have to prepare for a tournament that's upcoming.
"With experience, you get to know what you need as an individual and there's no better person than MS himself who knows his game.
"He will absolutely be raring to go and I think, like anything in that role, you get better with age and experience does really help," Billings told Cricbuzz.
The England batsman also talked about his experience of playing under Dhoni in IPL. Billings had decided to focus on county cricket and CSK decided to release him ahead of the IPL 2020 auction.
"I absolutely loved my 2 years at CSK. The success in which the environment had consistently over time is unmatched really, probably only Mumbai has been as consistent as CSK. To get a winners medal of the IPL is something that I really cherished.
"For me, that experience from those great players... the overseas guys but also the homegrown Indian stars. I mean, no bigger star than MS Dhoni in terms of my role that I want to fulfill
"There is no one better than MS to learn from. For me, it was great to pick his brains and enjoy the environment he has created."
Both Dhoni and Billings are supporters of Manchester United football club and that helped them build a bond. "He is a big Man United fan which really helps, as am I. He always invited me when there's a few Man United fans around. So whenever the game was on, we used to go to his room and watch there. It was pretty cool just to talk about cricket and learn of him.
"And see how he goes about his business, whether it's practice or games. For me, as well, my third year of captaincy at Kent, I think that's the most incredible thing... how he talks to his players, especially the young players. They have the utmost respect and trust in him but he also trusts people and allows them to really thrive in the environment," Billings said.
(Quotes Inputs from Cricbuzz)