Chennai Super Kings are back after 2 years and they have got MS Dhoni with them as well. The former India skipper will be leading Chennai again. He is at an event in Chennai on Friday and talked about the last two years of IPL.
CSK was banned for two years and Dhoni had to play for another franchise. He spoke about the lessons learned in the last couple of years.
"There is this saying: 'What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger.' Definitely I am stronger. The whole of eight editions of the IPL, we always qualified (for the knockout stages). Out of the next two editions (his stint with Pune), we were seventh in the table once. So it's a big learning curve. Not only for me but for coach Stephen Fleming as well. How do you know you are a strong character or not, unless you are pushed to a deeper end and you feel that pressure," he said.
"I felt those two years made me stronger and at the same time gave a glimpse of what actually could be done when you are doing badly. When I was part of the international team I have seen the ups and downs. When we didn't perform very well on the tours we went outside India, you have to know the reasons as to why you are not doing well. If you know the reasons, you can actually address the problem. But at the same time, you have to accept the reasons as well. I would say it has been a fair experience for me and it's also good to be back," added Dhoni.
The owner of 2 IPL titles and 1 CLT20 title was asked about if he will face any challenge switching back to captaincy mode? Dhoni had stepped down from India's captaincy in 2017 and was sacked as skipper from Pune in IPL.
Answering the question, he said, "You know, I never captained any team before I became captain of the Indian cricket team! So that itself answers the question. For me, a wicket-keeper is always a vice-captain, irrespective of whether he is a captain or not. He is somebody who is in a position where he watches the game very closely. So he understands the angles, understands how the bowler is bowling, what is the pace of the wicket, how the batsman is batting and so on. I don't think it is a difficult job.
"I think before a few of us -- wicketkeepers started captaining the side -- it was regarded as too much of a burden. But stats have proved that keepers have actually been very good captains. Maybe because they are so close to the game, they understand what the problem is. I feel it shouldn't be a problem."
The hero of Chennai also opened up on is CSK's image affected by the ban? Dhoni said it has only made their fan base stronger.
"The last two years we were not there but our fan base got stronger because none of the players were involved in anything. Often when some mistake is done, people bear the brunt and the team has to bear brunt of whatever happened. But the players were cleared of all the controversies. We were not part of the IPL for two seasons and it did hurt us. But the fan following has increased. The brands still have a lot of confidence in us," he said.