Bengaluru, May 20: As Chennai Super Kings (CSK) are all set to take on Rajasthan Royals (RR) in Match 68 of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai on Friday (May 20), all eyes are on Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
CSK started IPL 2022 with the hopes of defending their title, but it was not meant to be their season.
The four-time champions - who are one of the most consistent sides in the history of IPL - did not even make it to the play-offs this year.
And as the four-time IPL champions come out to play their final game in IPL 2022 season, former Indian captain Sunil Gavaskar hopes this is not the last time their inspirational captain Dhoni steps into the middle for the Yellow Brigade.
Gavaskar, like millions of CSK fans, believes Dhoni will definitely don the CSK yellow in the next season and claimed the former Indian cricketer's intensity on the pitch remains the same.
Speaking on the Cricket Live show on Star Sports, the official broadcaster of IPL 2022, Gavaskar said, "Look at the way he's played this season. He's still keen and enthusiastic about the game. When you are not sure about your future you tend to lose your intensity on the pitch.
"But we've seen him running between the overs from one end to the other keenly, he's still fit and taking those quick singles and doubles while batting. All this only hints that 'Definitely Not' (laughs)."
Gavaskar also claimed that if at all it is Dhoni's last game in the IPL then the legendary wicketkeeper-batter should bat higher in the order and draw curtains to an illustrious career on a terrific note.
"He said that he'll be seen in the CSK yellow next year, whether as a player or as support staff we don't know yet. But if it is the last time (we are going to see him play for the franchise), I hope he bats up in the order to give us something to remember, just like that six (he hit) on April 2 2011."
Most of CSK's senior players like MS Dhoni (206), Ambati Rayudu (271) and Robin Uthappa (230) haven't had a great IPL and that has been the biggest failure of the 'Yellow Brigade'.
The bowling suffered a lot because of the absence of an injured Deepak Chahar and the inability to retain Josh Hazlewood.
Having gone off the boil in the last few games, Jos Buttler would be eagerly waiting to pounce on an inexperienced CSK attack in order to clinch a play-off berth for the Royals.
A win will take Sanju Samson's men to 18 points and help them steer clear of any permutations or combinations for a top-four finish.
In fact a win will ensure a top-two finish for Royals as they will then enjoy a superior Net Run Rate (NRR) of +0.304 compared to Lucknow Super Giants' +0.251.
In this backdrop, Royals would like to turn the heat on a lacklustre CSK, who can turn out to be party poopers in their final game.
The RR vs CSK pre-match begins on Star Sports Network and Hotstar at 6.30pm pm. The match starts at 7.30pm.