Chennai Super Kings (CSK) skipper MS Dhoni on Sunday (1st May) talked about the captaincy saga after his side’s win over Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in Match 46 of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 in Pune.
Ravindra Jadeja recently on Saturday (30th April) resigned as the skipper of CSK. The all-rounder handed the leadership reigns back to Dhoni ahead of their match against SRH.
Notably, the keeper-batter had passed on the captaincy baton to the Jadeja but his stint as the captain of the side didn’t turn out to be a good one as CSK lost six matches under him. He decided to focus more on his own game and handed the captaincy back to Dhoni.
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Dhoni’s return as the captain of the side was fruitful as CSK pounded SRH by 13 runs to register their third win of the season. Asked to bat first, it was an exhibition of high-class batting by openers Ruturaj Gaikwad (99) and Devon Conway (85*), who added 182 runs for the opening partnership to help their side post a total of 202 runs on the board.
Mukesh Choudhary then starred with the ball for them as he took a four-wicket haul to put SRH on the back foot. Nicholas Pooran kept his side in the hunt with his unbeaten 64 runs but in the end, the target was too much as CSK won the match by 13 runs.
Speaking at the post-match presentation, MS Dhoni said that it was a good to score to defend as they got off to a great start with the bat.
“I think it was a good score to defend. It's one of those coincidence where we got off to a good start and forced the bowlers to bowl the areas where we wanted to hit. The kind of target we got was a very good one. The phase that really worked for us was where the spinners were bowling after 6 overs,” MS Dhoni said.
Dhoni pinned CSK's hitherto troubled campaign on the bowlers' inability to contain runs at crucial stages. He also talked about how bowlers can help win the game even after getting hit for four consecutive sixes.
“We have had quite a few good batting performances, we have given couple of overs that went for 25-26 runs, and even when you score 200, it really comes down to 175-180 in 19 overs. It's important to try something different as a bowler. I always told my bowlers, you may get hit for 4 sixes in an over, but the 2 balls that you save - ultimately in a high-scoring game - those are the 2 deliveries that will help you win the game.
“Because a lot of bowlers, after getting 3-4 sixes, they will be like let's get done with it but that one boundary or even instead of sixes if you get hit for 2 fours that will help you in a game. I don't know if they believe in that theory, but it really works,” he said.
Dhoni also opened up on the CSK’s captaincy saga. He said that Jadeja knew last year that he will captain the side. The keeper-batter remarked that he wanted the transition to happen smoothly as after guiding the southpaw for the first few games he wanted him to take his decisions.
Dhoni added that he wanted the all-rounder to take decisions at the crucial stages and take responsibility for the same.
“Between me and Jadeja, he knew last season itself that he will be given a chance to captain this year. He knew and got enough time to prepare, what is important is you want him to lead the side and I wanted that transition to happen. In the first 2 games there was information going in towards Jaddu and after that I left it to him to decide which angle to bowl and all that.
“At the end of the season, you don't want him to feel as the captaincy was done by someone else and I'm just going for toss. So it was a gradual transition where I said okay this is what I’ll do, I’ll take care of the fielding angles and everything for the first two games. After that if it comes to me, no, you have to decide on your own because that’s the only way you’ll learn what captaincy is. Spoon-feeding doesn't really help captain, on the field you have to take those crucial decisions and you have to take responsibility for those decisions,” he said.
“Once you become the captain, we have to take care of a lot many things and that also includes your own game. With him, his mind was working a lot. It’s not easy to control your mind, it’s the strongest feature. Once your mind starts working, it wants to contribute more. Ok what’s the combination I can play with, who can bowl at what point of time, it doesn’t really stop. What happens is, the individual is not able to relax. Even when he closes his eyes and wants to sleep, the mind is still working,”
“What I felt was it was having an effect on his game, when he was going in to bat or his preparation. Because I would love to have Jadeja as a bowler, batter and a fielder. Even if you relieve captainship and if you are at your best and that’s what we want.” he added.
CSK will next face Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) on Wednesday (4th May) at MCA Stadium in Pune.
(Star Sports inputs)