Hilarious MS Dhoni memes went viral on social media after admirers of Chennai Super Kings (CSK) shared unique stats on X to link the legendary cricketer with the 2024 Indian Premier League (IPL) winner.

The Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) were crowned IPL champions for the third time after the Shreyas Iyer-led side defeated SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH) in a lopsided final in Tamil Nadu.

Formerly, RCB knocked out CSK from the tournament, thus ending their quest for a sixth title in the event.

RCB made a dramatic turnaround to win six games in a row to make the playoffs but performed poorly to lose to Rajasthan Royals (RR) in the eliminator.

Incidentally, in the 17-year history of the IPL, RCB has never lifted the trophy in the prestigious T20 competition despite having Virat Kohli in their ranks since the IPL's inception in 2008.

CSK's exit from the competition also gave rise to speculations about MS Dhoni's future in the IPL.

One must not forget that MS Dhoni has been associated with Chennai Super Kings since its inception in 2008.

During his long 14-year stint as captain of the Chennai-based side, MS Dhoni guided them to five IPL titles, including last year when CSK joined Mumbai Indians atop the list of the most successful teams in the elite T20 competition.

The former Team India captain, who won the 2007 T20 World Cup and the 2011 World Cup, underwent knee surgery last year.

While CSK's management managed his workload, sending him to bat lower down the order, pundits feel that his body can no longer survive the rigors of top-level cricket for almost two months, considering that the 42-year-old doesn't play any other form of the sport during the rest of the year.

Interestingly, despite the constraints he dealt with in the just-concluded season of the IPL due to injury, MS Dhoni still ended the event with impressive numbers.

MS Dhoni's performance in the death overs was phenomenal, to say the least. For instance, he smashed Hardik Pandya for three consecutive sixes in a match against Mumbai Indians earlier in the tournament.

Overall, MS Dhoni made 161 runs in 14 fixtures in the 17th edition of the IPL, and what was astounding about his stats in the tournament was his strike rate of 220.55.

Former Australian cricketer Shane Watson, who has known MS Dhoni closely due to his stint in the IPL, credited him for being a street smart cricketer.

“Dhoni doesn't need to be at nine out of ten with his intensity level; he needs to be around six. He remains fully engaged and trusts his intuition because it's as good as there's ever been,” Shane Watson told IANS.

“Even at the ripe age of 42, he still knows how to be able to let his mind be free to be able to access his skills that are so deeply ingrained. Dhoni's understanding of the information and the world around him, and his ability to break complex concepts into simple ones, is one of his superpowers. He knows how to redirect players at the right time, whether it's in-game or in the lead-up to games. He does this for himself as well,” he added.

In his last fixture in IPL 2024 against RCB, MS Dhoni scored 25 off 13 deliveries, including three boundaries and a six. But he failed to take CSK over the finish line.

He even handed over the reins of CSK to Ruturaj Gaikwad before the start of the 2024 edition of the IPL.

Nonetheless, CSK's administration and former players who played for the franchise under him are hopeful that he will stay for another year.

“I feel he will make a big announcement on July 7. MS Dhoni should never announce retirement from the IPL. Instead, he should stop playing in it. Whenever Dhoni feels fine, he can return to the league. Even BCCI will not be able to stop him as he will not retire from the tournament,” former India captain Sunil Gavaskar said.

“I do not know. It is a question only MS [Dhoni] can answer. We have always respected the decisions taken by MS. We have left it to him and as all of you know he has always taken his decisions and announced it at the appropriate time. We do expect that we will get a decision as and when he decides. But we are very hopeful he’ll be available for CSK next year. That is the view and expectation of the fans and mine,” CSK CEO K.S. Viswanathan noted.

MS Dhoni has kept a deafening silence about his plans and hasn't made any announcement about hanging his boots from the sport. However, there are murmurs in the cricketing world that he would make a major announcement in this regard on July 7.

For those who are unaware, July 7 is MS Dhoni's birthday.