In the recently concluded IPL final between Chennai Super Kings and Sunrisers Hyderabad, a completely different MS Dhoni showed up. This wasn’t just limited to the final though, he had being undergoing a resurgence of form throughout the season. The Jharkhand-born wicket-keeper batsman led the Super Kings to their third title after 8-wicket victory over Sunrisers.
Dhoni was in his element with the bat and in terms of leadership. In fact, former India captain Sourav Ganguly believes that he benefitted from the reinstated trust from the franchise.
Ganguly spoke about Dhoni living up to the moniker ‘Captain Cool’ this IPL season. This was in sharp contrast with the previous two seasons with Rising Pune Supergiant. At that time, he was the constant target for critics and was even stripped off captaincy in the 2017 season.
“Dhoni looked extremely relaxed in this IPL. In a scenario which is already well-known to him, the fact that the franchise backed him to the hilt helped the team”, Ganguly said.
He also highlighted Dhoni’s superior fitness with the latter working incredibly hard on the physical aspects of his game.
Last season, MSD scored a mere 290 runs with the best being 61*. But this time around, the 36-year-old registered a much-improved tally of 455 with 3 half-centuries.
Batting and wicket-keeping prowess aside, he acted like a true leader in terms of squad selection, the batting order and bowler selection as per the situation. Ganguly admitted that everything was possible because of CSK’s faith in him compared to RPS.
‘Dada’ also stressed on the feeling of being needed and its importance for a sportsperson. Because Dhoni was made to feel special by CSK, it helped reinstate confidence in himself. Ganguly credited the Chennai franchise management for making the Jharkhand-born cricketer feel ‘wanted’ in order to draw the best out of him.