CSK bullish on retaining Dhoni

Chennai Super King's Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni. File   | Photo Credit: Vijay Soneji

“According to me M.S. Dhoni will play for Chennai Super Kings in the IPL next season. But I have not spoken to him on the subject yet,” said Chennai Super Kings CEO K.S. Viswanathan after a triumphant campaign.

Speaking to The Hindu from Dubai on Sunday, Viswanathan spoke about Dhoni’s leadership qualities and big match temperament.

“Our team meetings were very brief. They did not last more than two minutes; you would not believe this. Yet Dhoni managed to convey to every player what his role was,” revealed Viswanathan.

And it was Dhoni’s idea to start the CSK camp in Dubai early. “This really helped the team,” observed Viswanathan.

About Dhoni, despite lack of runs, arriving before Ravindra Jadeja and conjuring a match-winning cameo against Delhi Capitals in Qualifier 1, Viswanathan said, “He has this big match temperament. He backs himself to deliver.”

Viswanathan said, “Remember we have reached nine finals and won four of them. Our victory in 2018 was special because we were coming back.”

He added, “We lost narrowly in the final in 2019. 2020 was a bad year, the law of averages caught up with us. To bounce back from that and lift the Trophy in 2021 is hugely satisfying.”

“Age was only a number,” Viswanathan said and spoke about criticism from some quarters after CSK bought Robin Uthappa.

He said, “They said Uthappa was 35 and we are again signing an older player. But we knew Uthappa had experience and was a match-winner. His knocks in Qualifier-1 and final were crucial.”

Asked whether CSK would rebuild from the next auction, Viswanathan did not commit himself. “Only after we receive the rules for the auction that we will decide on our strategy.”

Viswanathan had words of praise for the net bowlers. “Bowlers like Tushar Deshpande, Tanvir-ul-Haq, Mukesh Chaudhary, Rakshan Reddy, and bowlers from the MRF Pace Foundation, really helped our batsmen prepare.”

On the opening combination of Ruturaj Gaikwad and Faf du Plessis, Viswanathan said, “We always knew Ruturaj was a special player. And Faf is a proven customer, who performs when the chips are down.”

He appreciated the effort from the bowlers. “If you do not pick wickets, you are not in the game. Josh Hazlewood is a very good red ball bowler. We picked him because we felt if someone is such a capable red ball bowler, he should be good with the white ball too. Hazlewood proved us right.

“Ravindra Jadeja is a match-winner with the bat, ball and on the field. Shardul Thakur was a bit expensive but picked vital wickets. Moeen Ali hit the ball a long way and chipped in with the ball when the conditions were right.

“We will be going for title No. 5 in the next edition,” concluded Viswanathan.

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Printable version | Nov 29, 2021 11:29:18 AM |

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