IPL 2018: Suresh Raina believes MS Dhoni can easily play for 2-3 years more

Dhoni is having a great IPL season so far with over 400 runs.

MS Dhoni | IANS

MS Dhoni looked in a better touch this IPL season. He has already scored his second highest runs (430) in a season with at least couple of matches more to play. His highest is 461 runs during IPL 2013 in 18 matches, five more than what he has played till now this year.

Except for the poor game against Mumbai Indians in the opening encounter of IPL 2018 and a struggling innings against Delhi Daredevils on Friday, the 36-year-old has been in a sound form. His average of 86.00 and strike rate of 155.2 makes it apparent followed by 8, not outs this season. 

Suresh Raina, who has played for CSK with Dhoni every time by his side, says the vintage 'Mahendra Singh Dhoni' is back.

"MS is enjoying his batting. You know he has played down the order for so many years. He has still finished so many games so well. He is having a good time and that has always been his USP," Raina told IndiaToday.

"I am sure you remember the hundred he scored against Pakistan in Vizag.. the hundred he scored in Jaipur. That's how he is looking like now. He does not feel any pressure now. He has handed over the limited-overs captaincy to Virat Kohli and he is enjoying his batting for India too."

Questions on India's former captain's shorter format game has been raised, but the way he has replied in this season it will make him survive more.

Raina thinks the next two to three years will be Dhoni's best. "I think the next two or three years are an extreme prime time for Dhoni," he said.

Dhoni, Raina and Harbhajan Singh of CSK have traveled with their family during this season of IPL. The Uttar Pradesh cricketer believes it makes things look extraordinary.

"You have your family, your daughter around.. everything looks so extraordinary. All you have to do is just go out there and do what you love," Raina said.

The 31-year-old has spent a lot with Dhoni to know his side which isn't known to the world. Famous for his cool head, the CSK skipper was seen losing his calm this season. Raina revealed that bowlers not learning from their mistake and continuing the same mistake makes him angry.

The southpaw says Dhoni is keen to list trophy this year after being away from the franchise for two years and he wants no stone unturned. "The bowlers are always told what plans they need to execute in the middle. As a professional cricketer, you need to know all that," Raina told Indiatoday.in.

"I know what I need to do out on the field but getting advises from the captain, especially for the bowlers... If they are not hitting the right lengths and if they are giving away extra runs repeatedly.. those things can make you extra annoyed.

"That's why he keeps telling them 'you need to improve your game'. He has mentioned that again and again in press conferences. He is expecting a lot from them (the bowlers). The next step is playoffs and you cannot make any mistakes there.

"The moment you make a mistake in the playoffs, you are out of the tournament. That's why he wants to correct all these mistakes so that when the moment arrives, you do not make a mistake there," he said.


By Sihyeu Singh - 19 May, 2018

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