Chennai Super Kings skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who found himself back in the hot seat after Ravindra Jadeja relinquished the post, attributed the good start and sublime performances from Ruturaj Gaikwad and Devon Conway with the bat on Sunday night against SRH to just “one of those coincidence”, adding that change in captaincy doesn’t alter the dynamics of the dressing room.
Following a string of poor performances in IPL 2022, Jadeja who was entrusted the task of leading the side, stepped down for Dhoni to be back at the helm marshalling his Boys in Yellow. CSK gave one of its most assertive performances with the bat and ball as they defeated Sunrisers Hyderabad by 13 runs at the MCA Stadium, with Gaikwad smashing 99 and New Zealand’s Conway hitting an unbeaten 85 to lay the platform for a 200-plus score.
Dhnoi said the team didn’t do anything different on the day, adding that the start given by the openers did the trick.
“I think it was a good score to start. Nothing different. When you’re in the same dressing room, you keep saying the same thing. It’s not like when you change the captain a lot of things change. It’s one of those coincidences where we got off to a good start and forced the bowlers to bowl the areas where we wanted to hit. The kind of target we got was a very good one.
“After that you needed very good bowling because a bit of dew makes it slightly difficult. The phase that really worked for us was where the spinners were bowling after six overs. It started holding a bit. I knew it wouldn’t be there for a very long period so it was important to get the spinners off and build the required run rate. We were able to do that and later on we had surplus runs that we could defend. With the dew, if the opposition get off to a good start, they chase 200,” averred Dhoni.
Dhoni confirmed that Jadeja knew last season itself that he would be leading the side in IPL 2022 and got enough time to prepare. The veteran cricketer added that for the first couple of games, he was guiding Jadeja but later one the all-rounder was taking decisions.
“Right from the very start, between me and Jadeja, he knew last season itself that he will be given a chance to captain this year. He knew and got enough time to prepare, what is important is you want him to lead the side and I wanted that transition to happen. In the first two games there was information going in towards Jaddu (Jadeja). But after that I left it to him to decide which angle… because at the end of the five games or the end of the season, you don’t want him to feel as if the captaincy was done by someone else and I’m just going for a toss. So it was a gradual transition where I said okay this is what I’ll do, I’ll take care of the fielding angles and everything for the first two games. After that if it comes to me, no, you have to decide on your own because that’s the only way you’ll learn what captaincy is.
“Spoon-feeding doesn’t really help captain, on the field you have to take those crucial decisions and you have to take responsibility for those decisions,” opined Dhoni.
Dhoni added that the task entrusted to Jadeja had started taking a tool on him, where he was probably over-thinking about preparations and trying to contribute more.
“Once you become the captain, we have to take care of a lot many things and that also includes your own game. With him, his mind was working a lot. It’s not easy to control your mind, it’s the strongest feature. Once your mind starts working, it wants to contribute more. Ok what’s the combination I can play with, who can bowl at what point of time, it doesn’t really stop. What happens is, the individual is not able to relax. Even when he closes his eyes and wants to sleep, the mind is still working.
“What I felt was it was having an effect on his game, when he was going in to bat or his preparation. Because I would love to have Jadeja as a bowler, batter and a fielder. Even if you relieve captainship and if you are at your best and that’s what we want,” added Dhoni.