The 2021 Indian Premier League (IPL) kicks off on Friday and three-time champions Chennai Super Kings (CSK) will play their first match, against Delhi Capitals, on Saturday. Ahead of the tournament, CSK chief executive Kasi Viswanathan speaks to The Indian Express about the team’s preparation, Cheteshwar Pujara and MS Dhoni’s future. Excerpts:

Last season was underwhelming by CSK’s lofty standards. The team didn’t qualify for the playoffs. Did Dhoni give a team talk after the tournament?

No. Normally what we do is, we have a process set before we start a tournament. So we did the process for last year’s tournament also. It so happened that we missed some of our best players, and a couple of them got infected by Covid. Those (the situation) were beyond our reach. Now the team is in good shape. The process has been good. They have been having practice sessions for the last 15-20 days. And we believe in our process. The captain is very clear – you should do the process properly and if the process is fine, the results will come

.He played the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. After that he has been practicing. He didn’t want to play a 50-over tournament (Vijay Hazare Trophy). (But) he has been practicing with us also for the last 10 days. He is very keen to do well. See, a player of his calibre who has done so much for CSK as well as the highest run-getter in the IPL for a period of the last 10-12 years (before Virat Kohli overtook him), he is very keen to prove himself.