MS Dhoni © AFP
MS Dhoni © AFP

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) are promoting their comeback in the IPL in full-swing. They are leaving no stone unturned to take their fans down the memory lane by maintaining the core essence of the team that one saw in 2015. MS Dhoni itself adds the firepower to CSK. Suresh Raina, Dwayne Bravo, Ravindra Jadeja, Murali Vijay are the some of the cricketers who are back in the yellows. It is not just the players but the support staff as well who have been an essential part of CSK’s success.

Stephen Fleming continues to be at the helm of coaching affairs. Michael Hussey is the batting coach. Lakshmipathy Balaji will train the bowlers and now Dhoni’s First-Class captain Rajiv Kumar has been appointed as the fielding coach. Rajiv will be replacing Steve Rixon. Rajiv comes with fair amount of coaching experience in the UK. He was also the coach of Jharkhand in the last season of Ranji Trophy. Rajiv has already begun the training session with the team on Wednesday.

Kumar has led India Blue in Deodhar Trophy and shares a great camaraderie with Dhoni. The duo have played together for Bihar / Jharkhand for several years. Dhoni and Kumar had shared a match-winning 117-run stand for the seventh wicket for Jharkhand in a crucial win against Vidarbha in 2003.

Kasi Vishwanathan, CSK’s CEO, told The Times of India (TOI) about the bond Dhoni and Kumar share: “Dhoni has a great rapport with him and knows him since his playing days. With Rixon not there, we felt the need for an extra hand during the pre-season training camp and during the tournament. So we went with Rajiv.”

Kasi also highlighted on the skills that Kumar can bring to the table: “Rajiv brings to the table certain specific skills as fielding coach. He has good coaching experience, he bonds well with the players and he has sound knowledge about local talents.”