In the Indian Premier League (IPL), MS Dhoni and Chennai Super Kings have been inextricably linked. Dhoni, who was chosen as the team's captain in the first season in IPL 2008, and since then, has led them to four IPL titles and nine finals in all.
That's how good Chennai has been in the IPL, and a big reason has been the captaincy and leadership of MS Dhoni.
Former England cricketer Kevin Pietersen, who played with MS Dhoni in IPL 2016, revealed what CSK meant to Dhoni during his time with the Rising Pune Supergiants in 2016-17.
Dhoni played for the Rising Pune Supergiants (RPS) for two seasons in 2016 and 2017, after CSK and Rajasthan Royals were suspended from the league due to corruption allegations. Dhoni commanded the team in 2016 but was removed as captain and replaced by Steve Smith in IPL 2017.
While Dhoni was "incredibly professional" in giving his 100 percent to Pune in those two seasons, Pietersen said that Dhoni was ecstatic when Chennai returned to the IPL for the 2018 season.
“That yellow outfit means so much to MS Dhoni. I remember playing with him in Pune Supergiants for a couple of seasons and he was so happy to be back to CSK when they came back into the competition. He was incredibly professional. He did the best job he could because that is the kind of guy he is. He always gives his 100 percent.
In Pune, he was incredible in what he tried to deliver. But if you look at his energy, the way he punches at the grille of the helmet, and how much CSK means to MS Dhoni. It's a family to him. Ravi has spent a lot more time with him,” Pietersen told Star Sports.
On return, Dhoni guided CSK to IPL victory in 2018 and 2021 and decided to leave captaincy ahead of IPL 2022, handing over the reins to Ravindra Jadeja.