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Ambati Rayudu Doesn’t Feel MS Dhoni Has Played His Last Match, Puts Ball In BCCI’s Court

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New Delhi, May 19 (PTI) Former India batter Ambati Rayudu doesn’t feel MS Dhoni has played his last match in the IPL and wants the BCCI to continue with the contentious impact player rule as it could help the long-serving legend to keep going in top-flight cricket.

Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings bowed out of this edition of the Indian Premier League following a 27-run defeat to Royal Challengers Bengaluru in a much-anticipated southern derby in Bengaluru on Saturday.

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The five-time defending champions needed 17 in the final over to qualify for the playoffs on better net run rate, but bowler Yash Dayal, after being hit for monstrous six by Dhoni, held his nerves to help RCB prevail.

Later, speaking on Star Sports Cricket Live, Rayudu said, “I don’t think this is his last game. I just don’t see him wanting to end on this note.”

Even as the RCB players broke into wild celebrations, Dhoni shook hands with the opposition’s reserves and support staff before quietly disappearing into the dressing room.

Rayudu said, “He looked a little frustrated, even when he got out. That’s very unlike MS Dhoni, he just wanted to qualify and finish on a high. But you never know with MS Dhoni, he might come back next year.”

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Rayudu, who played under Dhoni at CSK, brought the BCCI into the picture.

“… With the impact player role as well, it gives him the opportunity to be able to come in those last few overs and truly make that impact.

“BCCI better not remove the impact player role because we still want to see MS Dhoni play. So, it’s up to BCCI now. Do we want to see MS Dhoni play or not.”

While the match ended in agony for Dhoni and Co, RCB continued their revival with a sixth straight win in a row, a remarkable feat that saw them rise from the bottom of the table to make the playoffs.

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Speaking of Dhoni, former Australian opener Matthew Hayden said, “Yeah, I suppose the thing is when you come to the end of your career, whether it is the last part of his career or not, what you don’t want to see is diminishing returns as an athlete.

“Firstly, as a leader, he is The Thala of the Chennai Super Kings. This is telling me that nothing here is about becoming anything else other than first place. He’s desperately using his brains, all of that cricket knowledge.

“And of course, the power is there and that’s always been MS Dhoni. He’s always hit balls at this stage of an innings. At the front, you can understand how players can hit it. But at the back, it’s really hard to hit balls.”

Dhoni made 25 off 13 balls with the help of three fours and a huge six, showing that he can still send the ball a long, long way.

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