‘He’s given a lot of freedom to all the players’: Suresh Raina on MS Dhoni’s contribution to making CSK fan’s favourite
Chennai Super Kings is one of the favourite teams of the Indian Premier League. The reason behind such a big fan base is majorly the captain – MS Dhoni – who had led the side to three memorable title victories. It was just the last year when they fared badly and didn’t make it to the playoffs. But one bad season didn’t impact the fan following as the team returned strong in IPL 2021 and settled it on the top half of the points table before the tournament was suspended.
Meanwhile, CSK batsman Suresh Raina explained what had made the team favourite among fans over the years. While speaking to former Chennai teammate Ravichandran Ashwin in a Facebook Live chat, Raina said that it’s Dhoni’s leadership and the unity among members of the team that has kept them together.
“Like you said about MS Dhoni’s captaincy, he has given a lot of freedom to all the players. You really need to execute. You work hard and do it during the game when you switch on. And the same thing goes for all the coaches. Now we have Balaji, Fleming, Hussey and a lot of other coaches. I think loyalty sometimes gives you satisfaction. That honesty comes when you try to perform and know that you have a lot of families behind you. So, you just go out and express yourself,” Raina said.
“That’s what I’ve felt in 13 years with CSK. I think, we have that same aura, the same calibre. That’s why we believed so much in each other. We have a few quality all-rounders this time. We haven’t changed much. But then there’s the quality of administration and quality of the captain,” he added.
“I still remember once you were bowling against RCB, to Chris Gayle, in a qualifier game and you got hit on the head. The whole coaching staff stood up saying if you were okay. That’s the feeling and emotion that brings the team together.”