After leading Chennai Super Kings to fairy-tale win in the eleventh edition of Indian Premier League (IPL), skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni revealed that he was eagerly waiting to go back to his hometown Ranchi to meet his family, friend, and his beloved pets. While attending the Star ReImagine Awards, the 37-year old made this admission to cricket anchor Jatin Sapru in a special segment. He said, “As soon as we won the title at Wankhede, I couldn’t wait to go back to my hometown in Ranchi.” Also Read - Virat Kohli Breaks MS Dhoni's Record With 10-Wicket Win Over England in Pink-Ball Test, Register His 22nd Test Win on Home Soil
“I was missing my parents, friends, and pets so badly after a long tournament like IPL,” Dhoni added. Also Read - Twitter Erupts After Motera Renamed Narendra Modi Stadium, Opinions Divided
Coming back after a two-year hiatus, CSK lifted the IPL title for the third time in the history under the inspirational leadership of Dhoni. The veteran warhorse of Indian cricket was back at his belligerent best with the bat and led the yellow brigade from the front. Also Read - IND vs ENG: Virat Kohli on Surpassing MS Dhoni's Record During Pink-Ball Test Against England, Says These Are Fickle Things
Dhoni, who retired from Tests in 2014 and gave up the captaincy of the Indian team in 2016; was criticized for his poor form as a finisher in recent few outings, but a successful IPL 2018 quashed those speculations and reassured people that the old, hard-hitting ‘MS Dhoni’ was back.
Dhoni also revealed lots of behind the scenes banter during the IPL 2018 and also talked about his fitness. He stressed the fact that going to the gym and eating right become important after a certain age for every individual.
“Fitness part started a few years back, when I left Test cricket, when it comes to this IPL (consciousness about fitness) started the day we sat to make our team. I was sure in my mind that I wanted to bat up the order, because with age, me batting down the order was like quicksand,” he said on the sidelines of Star Reimagine Awards.
“I wanted to make it sure that I wanted to take the responsibility of winning the game, but I was coming so down the order, that I was not giving time to myself.”
Speaking about the importance of batting up the order, Dhoni said he was determined right from the start of IPL to give himself more time in the middle that was the reason he intentionally chose to bat up the order. He also admitted that coming in the lower half was akin to being in quicksand for him.
“So it was more like quicksand 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 up the order doesn’t mean I want to bat at 3, 4 or 5, it’s the number of overs,” he said.
“Yes when (Ambati Rayudu) 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 the team, then he needs to bat at number 4 because he was ideally suited for that position.”
Dhoni said batting in the middle order gave him the chance to be more aggressive. He added that he wanted to make a team which bats deep.
“So I said I want to bat up, so when I go into bat I would like to aggressive, so that even if I get out, it gives others a chance to reinvent themselves about finishing the game, what they need to do, if they are under pressure and all of that,” he said.
“Fortunately we did not use our batting order to the full extent in the whole of IPL because of Watson, Rayadu, Raina, me, Bravo, we all kept scoring runs and that really helped us.
“But 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.”
At last, Dhoni also spoke about his regular practice of walking away to the corner after winning a title or a trophy.
“Cricket is a team sport and its unfair to others that only the captain gets a chance to go on the stage and collect the trophy. On a personal note, I think captain always had the maximum share of exposure, so whenever we win a tournament I want to give a chance to the other teammates to enjoy the moment because they are the ones who made it possible,” Mahi signed off with a heart-warming reply.