It's very special to get that kind of a nickname, says MS Dhoni on being called Thala

Dhoni is fondly called Thala by the Super Kings fans.

MS Dhoni
MS Dhoni. (Photo: IANS)

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MS Dhoni, on Wednesday, once again showed why is he adored so much by the Chennai Super Kings faithful. The defending champions were low on confidence after being routed by Mumbai Indians last week. With Dhoni missing the game due to fever, the Super Kings were all out for just 109 in one of the worst performances of their glittering journey in IPL. And it did not take Dhoni very long to show why the team missed him against Mumbai.

The veteran wicketkeeper-batsman starred with both bat and gloves as Super Kings thrashed Delhi Capitals by 80 runs to return to winning ways. Dhoni first made his mark with the bat, hitting 44 from 22 including 19 off Trent Boult’s last over that ultimately yielded 21 runs. At 87 for 2 in the 14th over when Dhoni walked out to bat, the Super Kings were looking set to end on a below-par score.

However, Dhoni once again showcased his finishing ability to guide them to a big total. He then made his mark with a couple of lighting quick stumping to get rid of Chris Morris and Shreyas Iyer in a space of three balls. Delhi Capitals were eventually all out for just 99 as Dhoni’s side sealed their spot in the top two of the points table. Dhoni walked away with another Man of the Match gong this season. Speaking after the game, Dhoni opened up about the last over and how he sneaked in a bye to get back on strike for the last two balls.

“I watch the ball and hit the ball. I think by 20th over you are almost ready and you swing at everything. It’s easier for somebody who has played 10 or 15 deliveries than somebody who has just come in to bat. It was holding on a bit, it wasn’t coming on nicely. I felt it was slightly difficult for Rayudu (Ambati) to hit. Rishabh helped me, he didn’t take his gloves off and that helped me a bit (to sneak in the bye),” said MS Dhoni at the presentation ceremony.

Dhoni on ‘Thala’

Dhoni is fondly called Thala by the Super Kings fans. A Tamil word, Thala means boss and Dhoni said the nickname is very special for him as he expressed his delight over the love he receives in Tamil Nadu.

“I have always said it’s very special to get that kind of a nickname. It’s a big nickname that they have given me. It feels really special. I didn’t realise that it was part of the first CSK song. The way I got accepted and the whole of Tamil Nadu — don’t call my name, they call me ‘Thala’. It’s very nice and they have always supported not only me but the whole team,” he said.

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