IPL 2021: Deepak Chahar has lauded his Chennai Super Kings (CSK) skipper, MS Dhoni, suggesting that watching him closeout chases certainly helped in the 2nd ODI against Sri Lanka. Chahar scored a magnificent 69* to guide the Men in Blue to victory, with his 84-run partnership with Bhuvneshwar Kumar rescuing India from the jaws of defeat. The seamer is not the first to praise MS Dhoni’s game awareness, with fellow CSK teammates Suresh Raina and Sam Curran having also made known of their admiration of the former Indian captain.
Speaking in a virtual press conference, Deepak Chahar revealed that he picked up MS Dhoni’s brains during run chases and applied it during the runs chase against Sri Lanka. Deepak Chahar said, “Watching MS Dhoni close out matches has been a big factor. I have watched him for a long period and I have always seen him finishing matches. When you talk to him, he always tells you to take the game deep. Everyone wants us to win, but when the match goes deep, it is thrilling for everyone involved.”
Sam Curran: Sam Curran who has been part of the CSK camp since the 2020 IPL has also revealed how MS Dhoni positively influences his game. Speaking in November last year during England’s series against South Africa, Curran said, “Really enjoyed the IPL and feel I have taken my game to a different standard in terms of my learning. I took a lot away from that group and the coaching staff at Chennai. I feel my game has improved since I went there and I want to keep trying to improve and become a regular.”
Jos Buttler: Jos Buttler, England’s vice-captain has also spoken about Dhoni’s influence on Sam Curran during England’s tour of India earlier this year. Curran scored a stellar 95 in the final ODI but couldn’t take his team over the finish line. Buttler said, “I’m sure there were shades of the way that he (MS Dhoni) would have liked to take the game down if he was in that situation. He’s a great person for Sam to have a conversation with when he meets up MS (in the IPL).”
Suresh Raina: Suresh Raina has always spoken glowingly about MS Dhoni, and shares a brotherly bond with the Chennai Super Kings captain. Raina and Dhoni have been longtime teammates with CSK and Team India, shepherding the middle order for both sides. The left-hander recently told Star Sports that Dhoni was like his elder brother and wanted to win the IPL for him. Previously while he and Dhoni were still playing international cricket, Suresh Raina had claimed that “Dhoni was the captain was all captains”.
Mike Hussey: Former CSK star and now a coach at the franchise Mike Hussey has also hailed MS Dhoni as the greatest finisher the game has seen. In a 2020 interview with Times of India, the Australian legend said, “MSD is the best I have seen in terms of finishing capabilities. It is because he has a calculative mind and plays smart cricket. He can still remain calm under pressure and has incredible power.”
IPL 2021: MS Dhoni is hailed as one of the finest finishers of the game and was known to take the game as deep as possible. Now in his 40s, his influence with the bat has waned, but the CSK skipper remains an influential man on the field and his side were second on the points table before the IPL 2021 was suspended. After successful seasons in 2018 and 2019, Dhoni has hit a rut in the IPL, scoring just 237 runs in 21 games since IPL 2020 without a single half-century. His strike rate has also fallen below 125, in comparison to his previous highs of 150.66 in 2018.