MS Dhoni in action for Chennai Super Kings in IPL 2023© BCCI
There is no secret recipe of leading a team into 12 play-offs in 14 seasons apart from choosing players who believe in “team first philosophy” and a co-operative management that stands through thick and thin, CSK skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni said on Saturday. Dhoni, who is probably playing the last of his 16 IPLs, has batted as low as no.8 and given chances to players like Shivam Dube to excel in a role assigned for him. “There is no recipe as such (CSK’s play-offs record). You try to pick the best players and try to give them the best slot. You use them in the manner where they have most chances of succeeding and groom them in the areas where they are not as strong,” he said after CSK sealed their play-off berth with massive 77-run win over DC here on Saturday.
For Dhoni, it is imperative that his decisions reflects the team ethos that allows the players to believe in them.
“If you are doing whatever is best for the team, it falls into line. The management has been great, including the support staff. They always keep telling us to not worry and to keep doing what we have been doing. But of course, the players are also important.” Dhoni also spoke his mind about the qualities he looks for in a player in his team.
“You need someone who is always team-first. Those are the kind of characters you look for. From a distance, it is difficult to judge that.
“We want them (players) to adjust to the environment. Even if they try to come 10%, we are willing to go to 50% and meet them in the middle,” he said.
The World Cup-winning former India skipper was full of praise for the pace duo of Tushar Deshpande and Matheesha Pathirana, who have lived up for CSK in the tournament.
“When it comes to death bowling, confidence is a very important factor. If you look at Tushar, he has developed that death-overs bowling. How many times you can execute under pressure is the main thing. When you are confident, you execute more often than not,” Dhoni said “Behind the scenes, a lot of work goes on and I feel the bowlers have taken the responsibility. Pathirana is quite a natural when it comes to bowling at the death so that is one less headache. The way Tushar has come around has been remarkable.”
DC needs massive improvement in batting department
DC captain David Warner feels they need massive improvement, especially in the batting department after a disappointing season.
He credited CSK for outperforming his side in the batting department.
“Credit to CSK, they out-batted us today. We did see that it was a good pitch, boundaries early in the over and we could have put more pressure on their bowlers.
“There were some positives, we didn’t go too badly with the ball, with the bat we didn’t get partnerships, lost wickets in clumps, we lost some games badly and that hurt, we’ll have to look at these things and come back strongly next season,” he said.
The Australian also felt DC players need to acclimatise to the conditions and play as per game plan to achieve success next year. “We can’t keep blaming the wickets, we have been getting some of these this season. We have to adapt to the conditions however tough it might be,” said Warner, who had a fairly good season scoring 516 runs from 14 games. “You have to back your game plan, hit boundaries and use your feet against spin. You can’t get bogged down against any bowlers, partnerships would have been handy.
“I want to be consistent at the top of the order, you need to have a good strike rate to give yourself a chance, but we kept losing too many wickets in the batting powerplay, these are some of the things we need to think about,” he added.
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