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MS Dhoni reveals batting strategy for Chennai Super Kings at IPL 2018

MS Dhoni stated that he wanted to bat up the order and selected the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) squad at the IPL 2018 auction table in a similar manner.

cricket Updated: Jun 12, 2018 16:00 IST
Bihan Sengupta
Bihan Sengupta
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
MS Dhoni,IPL 2018,Chennai Super Kings
In this file photo, Chennai Super Kings captain M.S Dhoni plays a shot during the 2018 Indian Premier League (IPL) match between Chennai Super Kings and Sunrisers Hyderabad at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune on May 13, 2018. (AFP)

If there’s one tag that MS Dhoni has been identified with most since his debut in 2004, it’s been that of a ‘finisher’.

From his swashbuckling power-hitting to coming lower down the order and seeing off a chase, Indians have hardly found a better finisher than their ‘Captain Cool’ who they could rely on even when mathematical calculations would suggest otherwise.

This year in the Indian Premier League, it was perhaps more of a modified version of the former Indian skipper who slammed 455 runs in 15 innings en route guiding Chennai Super Kings (CSK) to lift their third title despite a two-year hiatus from the razzmatazz league.

While he scored at an astonishing average of 75.83, Dhoni was a class apart coming down the order for the yellow brigade, remaining unbeaten in nine of those innings, usually helping his side go past the finishing line.

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At the Star ReImagine Awards on Monday, Dhoni stated that he wanted to bat up the order and selected the team at the auction table in a similar manner.

“Yes I wanted to make it sure that I wanted to take responsibility of winning the game, but I was coming so down the order, that I was not giving time to myself,” Dhoni, who became only the second skipper to win three IPL titles, said.

“So it was more like quick sand. The more I flutter, the deeper I would go. So I said I want to make a team where we bat deep, that gives me a chance to bat up the order. And to me, (batting) up the order doesn’t mean I want to bat at 3, 4 or 5. It’s the number of overs,” said the 36-year-old.

He also stated that he positioned his batting order accordingly, keeping in mind Ambati Rayudu ‘s (602 runs) form who ended up as the highest rub-getter for the franchise.

READ | MS Dhoni reveals how his age, fitness influenced batting position in IPL

“When Ambati started to bat at 4, I have to give him that berth, because he was almost the leading scorer for us. So if he has to come down and bat for the requirement of team, then he needs to bat at No 4.”

“Because he was ideally suited for that position. My planning right from the start was sure to make a team, which bats deep, everybody should be able to bat, and that gives me an opportunity to go out there and express myself.”

First Published: Jun 12, 2018 12:15 IST