Winning the match against Sunrisers Hyderabad helped Chennai Super Kings to record their fifth consecutive win in the tournament. They are on top of the table and have looked the most convincing side in IPL this season.
This has been a dramatic turnaround since their campaign in the United Arab Emirates. CSK were dismal in IPL 2020 and not only did they miss the playoff stages for the first time in their history that season, they also finished second from bottom, unimaginable for a team of that stature and reputation.
Following the win tonight, captain MS Dhoni, who has led the franchise since 2008, shed light on what went wrong last season. Mahi implied that the extended lockdown in India and the longer quarantine upon reaching UAE were some of the reasons behind CSK’s poor show in IPL 2020. He also credited the players for taking up more responsibility this year.
“The earlier you settle (in the tournament), the better. The other factor was 5-6 months we were out of cricket. Nothing was allowed. It’s not that you could go on your own and practice. That also makes it difficult. Change of quarantine (this year made it better). It was slightly longer (last year). There were a lot of factors. Overall if I have to sum it up, the players have taken more responsibility this year. You will be facing adverse things, but ultimately it boils down to how each individual rises to the occasion and gives the extra 10% for the team.”
Dhoni also talked about one of the key aspects that has helped CSK achieve wonders – having a core group for extended periods of time. He also lauded the players who do not play a lot but have to be ready when they’re provided with an opportunity.
“Last 8-10 years, we’ve not changed a lot of players, so the players know our approach. Also, we appreciate the players not playing a lot. The only way you can put it forward is by having those nice interactions. Just try to have a frame of mind where if you get the opportunity, you’ll be ready.
“Keeping the dressing room atmosphere healthy is important. It’s not an easy thing. When you’re at the top level, you want to play. Have to give extra credit to the players who’ve not played so far,” concluded MS Dhoni after CSK’s seven-wicket win over Sunrisers Hyderabad