Chennai Super Kings are one of the most successful franchises in the history of IPL having qualified for the playoffs each time they have participated in the competition. They have lifted the trophy thrice from 10 seasons and also won the Champions League T20 title twice.
Decoding CSK’s success, veteran spinner Ravichandran Ashwin recently credited MS Dhoni for transforming the team with his exceptional leadership qualities.
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Ashwin had spent seven seasons at CSK under Dhoni’s captaincy and observed the genius of the man from close quarters.
"I know a lot over the years, in terms of how CSK has come through, how MS has transformed the whole franchise and what it means to him," Ashwin told Harsha Bhogle on Cricbuzz Live.
"For me, CSK is a team that was driven by MS' leadership traits. A lot of people talk about MS' leadership. My leadership in itself is what is going to come out of me having been a leader in the last couple of years," he added.
After hailing Dhoni's leadership skills, Ashwin highlighted the CSK skipper’s brilliance as a middle-order batsman in the IPL.
Notably, Dhoni has amassed 4432 runs in the T20 tournament while batting mostly at the lower middle-order.
"It think MS's middle-order batsmanship is not talked about enough. In franchise cricket, or T20 cricket or any format of white-ball cricket, the most difficult art to master is middle-order batsmanship. A leader inspires a team by pulling them out from deep trenches, MS has done it way too many more times than anybody I have seen," said Ashwin.
He also narrated that Dhoni's leadership has always been based on allowing other players to enjoy themselves while he soaks the pressure himself.
"MS Dhoni's leadership has always been ‘you guys enjoy it, I will take care of the tumultuous moments’. He has done it nine out of ten times, pulling his team out of trenches. He puts the onus on himself and very often pulls the team out of trouble. If that's not a man to rally behind at a franchise, who else would you for," Ashwin remarked.