CSK coach Stephen Fleming reveals why MS Dhoni is in rich form at IPL 2018 | cricket | Hindustan Times
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CSK coach Stephen Fleming reveals why MS Dhoni is in rich form at IPL 2018

MS Dhoni has rolled back years in IPL 2018, playing with the intensity and style that established him in world cricket over a decade ago. So far, Dhoni has scored 413 runs at 103.25 with three fifties in 12 matches for Chennai Super Kings

cricket Updated: May 13, 2018 22:48 IST
Devarchit Varma
Devarchit Varma
Hindustan Times, Pune
MS Dhoni has been in terrific form for Stephen Fleming-coached Chennai Super Kings in Indian Premier League 2018.
MS Dhoni has been in terrific form for Stephen Fleming-coached Chennai Super Kings in Indian Premier League 2018.(Ht Photo)

The pleasantly surprising spike in MS Dhoni’s form could be credited to the fact that he began training for the 11th edition of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018 well before any of his teammates at Chennai Super Kings (CSK) did, feels team head coach Stephen Fleming. (CSK V SRH HIGHLIGHTS)

Dhoni has rolled back years in this IPL, playing with the intensity and style that established him in world cricket over a decade ago. So far, Dhoni has scored 413 runs at 103.25 with three fifties in 12 matches of this edition.

“Probably mentally more intent, he practised hard before the tournament. He practised a long time, got in before any of us arrived. He had a lot of balls, had a huge volume of balls, been concentrated on his intent,” Fleming said after CSK defeated Sunrisers Hyderabad by eight wickets on Sunday.

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“If anything, he has probably lacked intent around his singles. (But) As soon as he hits (big shots), he plays with a 100% commitment. Even the way he starts now is very positive, his footwork is very positive, his finishing has come into the zone again. So it’s been great to watch, a lot of hard work to get there and I admire him for doing that,” Fleming added.

When asked whether Dhoni has been able to put behind his struggles against deliveries outside the off-stump, Fleming replied, “It’s a weakness for most players. But the fact that he is so clear in his thought process and decision-making that he can (even now) access most areas that he used to when he was a bit younger.”

READ | IPL 2018: Ambati Rayudu guides Chennai Super Kings to 8-wicket win vs Sunrisers Hyderabad

“There was a period when he was having to combat good bowling plans and now he has done that with good presence of mind, fitness and obviously a strong technique to back that up so he has almost got a second life. He is incredibly confident about what he can do and that’s always a great thing for us and dangerous for a death bowler,” he added.

CSK will now travel to Delhi to face the Delhi Daredevils on Friday, May 18.