We Had Match Winners Game After Game: Dhoni

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Dubai: After leading Chennai Super Kings to their fourth IPL title win, captain MS Dhoni credited the players for taking up responsibility and carrying their good form through the season. Speaking at the presentation ceremony, Dhoni also lauded Kolkata Knight Riders, who emerged runner-up, for the way they bounced back in the tournament.

“Before I start talking about CSK, I feel it’s important I talk about KKR. The position they were in in the first half, it’s difficult to come back and do what they’ve done. If any team deserved to win this year’s IPL, it is KKR. Huge credit to the coaches, team and support staff. The break really helped them,” he said.

“Coming to CSK, we shuffled a few players, used them in different ways. We had match winners game after game. It is important to take responsibility. People who were in form made sure they scored throughout the tournament and others chipped in.”

Dhoni said it’s ‘important to give strong performances’ in the playoffs.

“It’s a difficult one, every final is special. If you look at the stats, you can say we’re the most consistent team that has lost in the final, that is a stat too. There have been finals where we’ve lost in small moments.

“It’s important to give strong performances in knockout stages. Not letting the opposition in is something we consciously wanted to improve on. I hope in coming seasons, CSK will be known for that.”

Dhoni said the team meetings are carried out in a relaxed atmosphere during practice sessions.

“Frankly, nothing. We don’t really talk a lot. It’s more one-on-one conversations. It’s relaxed, people are more open that way and talk. The moment we get into a team room, there is a different pressure. Our practice sessions have been really good and that’s where we’ve communicated well.

“Thanks to the team, it’s also about individuals. You may come up with 10 minutes of special performance and that may help the team. It is a team sport but in the knockouts, one or two performances can help the team win the trophy.”

Dhoni also addressed the fans, saying: “I’d love to thank them. Wherever we’ve played, even in South Africa, all the different places, we’ve always got good number of CSK fans, that’s what you crave for. You want people to admire the cricket we play. We are in Dubai now, it definitely feels like Chepauk, Chennai. Hopefully next year we’ll be back in Chennai, and fans can come in big numbers.”

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