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Dhoni cautiously optimistic as CSK eyes another IPL triumph

M. S. Dhoni
M. S. Dhoni

The World Cup war majestically fought and won, India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni will embark on another battle when the curtain goes up with colourful song and dance on the fourth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) at M A Chidambaram stadium tomorrow.

Dhoni, sporting a new look with a bald pate, having fulfilled his vows to his family deity back home in Ranchi and Lord Balaji, is determined to lead his team, defending IPL and Champions League winner Chennai Super Kings, to glory again, as he takes on KolKata knight Riders led by his team mate Gautam Gambhir, who led the World Cup final battle from the front with a magnificient 97 a week ago.

Dhoni, who felt that the IPL, coming in between a tough international essay and an equally taxing itinerary ahead, would emotionally drain the players, has said the Super Kings would be missing legendary Sri Lankan off-spinner Muralitharan, now with Kochi, and local and former India talent L Balaji, the speedster who will be in the Kolkata team this year.

Retaining the core team, the Super Kings, owned by Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Secretary and Chairman and MD of Chennai- based India Cements Limited, has bought a few new talents such as Scott Styris, Faf du Plessis, Nuwan Kulasekara, Dwayne Bravo and Suraj Randiv, besides bowling coach Andy Bichel.

"It's what we do on the field that is very important," Dhoni said at the pre-IPL press conference, adding that his new team was quite strong.

He also observed that it would be good for the team if all the players were available, but quite a few of them would be missing due to injuries and international commitments.

"But we have to start all over again. The last three years were different," he said.

NNN

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