The clash between Chennai Super Kings and Punjab Kings at the Wankhede Stadium on Friday was not only MS Dhoni’s first win of the 14th edition of the Indian Premier League but also his 200th match as a member of the CSK roster.
After picking up the win against the KL Rahul-led roster, the Whistler Podu gang celebrated Dhoni’s marvelous achievement in a very homely and warm environment with the team surrounding him from all four directions and the skipper cut the chocolate cake.🥳du! (@ChennaiIPL) April 17, 2021
However, it was what Mahi did after cutting the first slice of cake that left the fans awestruck and realised why he is considered to be the most favourite player in the history of the tournament.
Holding a large chunk of the chocolate cake, Dhoni rushed his way around the CSK dressing room, locating the head coach of the franchise, Stephen Fleming, who was standing coyly in one corner of the space.
What a great performance on Thala's special day!
The bowling improved by leaps and bounds to deliver such a solid blow to the opposition, rattled them hard.
Dhoni went and gave the cake to the coaches first, the ones who groom everyone on the team. Let's keep winning!
superrr happiness pic.twitter.com/vXqgIu4VPg— Varshasmile (@varsh_02_109) April 17, 2021
He first went to his coach Fleming! That makes him special !! That’s MSD !!— savethesoul (@johnspurgen) April 17, 2021April 17, 2021
It was only after the coach took a bite, that Dhoni moved on and celebrated with the rest of the squad. The piece of cake was given from person to person by the coaching staff before it was time for him to celebrate with his most trusted friend and partner in the franchise, Suresh Raina.April 17, 2021
“He has been absolutely the heartbeat of CSK, there’s no doubt about it. Whether it’s performances, guidance or leadership… you run out of things to say about him,” Fleming said after CSK’s victory on Friday.
“His longevity also has to be mentioned and appreciated... to play 200 games and still have a desire to do well and perform well is a testament to his attitude towards the game and the franchise. I think the franchise has grown and MS has grown with it, so it’s a very good relationship and great fun,” he added.
"It (persisting with the same team) is something we really bank on. I feel often Fleming doesn't get the kind of recognition he should. It becomes very difficult when the coach is going in a different direction and the captain is going in another. There can be a bit of confusion," Dhoni had said about the New Zealand coach back in 2020.
"But the good thing between us is we decide each and everything between us and it stays inside the room. Once we come out, we back each other. It's not like we don't have debates on selections or positions but just that it's between the both of us. And it's a relationship that we have shared for a very long time. He has been with us after the first season of IPL. So that's very long," he had added.