The IPL 2018 winning skipper of Chennai Super Kings (CSK), MS Dhoni revealed he wanted to bat up in the batting order and it was difficult for him to bat in lower order which was no less than a quicksand for him.
Dhoni, who has spent more time in his career to bat late in the batting line-up, said he needed to work hard on his fitness to step up the order and win games. "Fitness part started a few years back, when I left Test cricket, when it comes to this IPL (consciousness about fitness) started the day we sat to make our team. I was sure in my mind that I wanted to bat up the order, because with age, me batting down the order was like quicksand," he said on the sidelines of an event.
"I wanted to make it sure that I wanted to take the responsibility of winning the game, but I was coming so down the order, that I was not giving time to myself."
Dhoni decided his batting order as per the overs left and not the batting position. The former India captain also added that he wanted to make CSK a team with good batting depth.
"So it was more like quicksand, the more I flutter, the deeper I would go. So I said I want to make a team where we bat deep, that gives me a chance to bat up the order, and to me up the order doesn't mean I want to bat at 3, 4 or 5, it's the number of overs," he said.
"Yes when (Ambati) started to bat at 4, I have to give him that berth because he was almost the leading scorer for us. So if he has to come down and bat for the requirement of the team, then he needs to bat at number 4 because he was ideally suited for that position."
Dhoni scored runs with a much better strike rate this season. He was criticized for an unsuitable batting style in T20s. But the aggressive approach this season changed it all.
"So I said I want to bat up, so when I go into bat I would like to aggressive, so that even if I get out, it gives others a chance to reinvent themselves about finishing the game, what they need to do, if they are under pressure and all of that," he said.
The 36-year-old admitted that the long batting line-up wasn't used much thanks to the top order batsmen like Shane Watson, Ambati Rayudu and Suresh Raina performing well.
"Fortunately we did not use our batting order to the full extent in the whole of IPL because of Watson, Rayudu, Raina, me, Bravo, we all kept scoring runs and that really helped us.
"But my planning right from the start was sure to make a team, which bats deep, everybody should be able to bat, and that gives me an opportunity to go out there and express myself."