“Definitely not” – it took MS Dhoni just two words to send the internet into a frenzy on Sunday, ahead of the IPL 2020 clash between his Chennai Super Kings (CSK) side and Kings XI Punjab (KXIP).
Dhoni was responding to Danny Morrison after winning the toss, when the former New Zealand bowler asked him straight-up whether this would be his final appearance in the famed yellow of CSK. Dhoni’s response, suffice to say, prompted an equal measure of relief and scepticism.
The CSK captain, who is among India’s most legendary skippers, announced his retirement from the international game in August, and having not played mainstream cricket since the World Cup last year before heading into the IPL, the drop in his usual standards was evident this season – he’s scored 200 runs in 12 outings, at just 25.
One smile, two words.
— Wisden India (@WisdenIndia) November 1, 2020
His form led to plenty of speculation as CSK succumbed to their worst IPL finish ever – it’s the first time in IPL history they’ve failed to qualify for the playoffs – about his place in the franchise’s way forward. At the moment, going by Dhoni’s two words, it seems he is here for at least another season.
His statement was met with some frankly unique takes, however. Here’s the pick of the lot:
MS Dhoni, Definitely Not: The relief
For all the talk around his future, the pervading reaction after Dhoni’s statement was one of relief and excitement. Mostly, it was the CSK fans being relieved, but even the neutrals seemed happy at the prospect enjoying one of the great cricket careers for just a bit longer.
I’m glad it’s not M S Dhoni’s last game in a @ChennaiIPL shirt. There is much young players can still learn from him.
— Ian bishop (@irbishi) November 1, 2020
Yes. He made it Clear. 💛#definitelynot is the word we wanted to hear.
— Prabhu (@Cricprabhu) November 1, 2020
— Shikha Pandey (@shikhashauny) November 1, 2020
Not everyone was happy. The #DhoniOut brigade were left fearing another lacklusture campaign from CSK in IPL 2021, with some even going on to say other teams will be celebrating the decision.
Advantage other teams in Next IPL. https://t.co/0gVaX7blMm
— Sameer (@Notacrickethack) November 1, 2020
Bhai ke liye testimonial rakho koi and ask him to stop😂😂😂 https://t.co/QsS5DZjPxN
— Siddharth 🔮 (@WazzzaWarrior) November 1, 2020
— Natrajan (@natrajan) November 1, 2020
The social media admins had a field day as soon as #DefinitelyNot began trending.
— Chennai Super Kings (@ChennaiIPL) November 1, 2020
— IndianPremierLeague (@IPL) November 1, 2020
From 1929 hrs consider MS Dhoni as retired?
— ICC (@ICC) November 1, 2020
In fact, incredibly, they found ways to make it not about Dhoni …
Down, but #DefinitelyNot out 🤞🏻
— Kings XI Punjab (@lionsdenkxip) November 1, 2020
— Rajasthan Royals (@rajasthanroyals) November 1, 2020
Most of all, there were a lot of jokes. Like this one, a play on the Mutual Funds ads that Dhoni advertises.
MSD to Danny Morrisson:
— Snehal Pradhan (@SnehalPradhan) November 1, 2020
Caricatures were quickly drawn out.
— Satish Acharya (@satishacharya) November 1, 2020
But most of all, there were just happy vibes.