Mahi bhai gave me clarity of thought. He told me what my role was. It was simple – tujhe jaake team ka run rate badhana hai (You must increase your run rate). Even if I go out early, no problem, but I’ll try to accomplish the task at hand. The assignment was clear, Dube told The Indian Express a day after CSK won the IPL. Dube’s hitting percentage this season is 158.33.
Tushar Deshpande is also grateful to Dhoni for his message. He became CSK’s highest scoring player with 21 wickets.
When I bowled poorly, he told me not to worry. Don’t get discouraged and just follow the process. Once during a presentation he said that the new hitting rule, 200+ points was the new norm. His mind is clear when he speaks. He gave confidence, which is what (young) players want, Deshpande told this newspaper.
When Deshpande bowls, he sees a familiar picture. He often glances at Dhoni standing behind the stump and gets either a nod of the head, a clap of the gloved hand or a gesture to change the line. All these little things, especially coming from a respected captain, are of great value to a young pacesetter like Deshpande.
You know you have someone to prompt and show the light when things aren’t going in our favor. He’s a selfless guy and keeps things simple. He doesn’t complicate things and will be there for you in bad times. As a soldier, I will follow whatever he says. I know he will never steer me down the wrong path, Deshpande says.
Deshpande also admires the clarity of Dhoni’s plans.
His (MS Dhoni) plans are very clear ke yeh yeh karna hai, and then have to be executed. He both gives freedom and will say the word when needed. He told me that I have everything to play at the highest level, just be calm, take a deep breath. Keeping the mind-shaant is the key (to keep the mind calm), Deshpande said.
Dube remained undefeated in a thrilling final against Gujarat Titans at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. Together with Ravindra Jadeja, he led the Chennai Super Kings team to its fifth championship title.
Deshpande almost caught Shubman Gill, but it failed as Deepak Chahar dropped the ball. Dhoni put in a backward square leg for Gill, and Deshpande curved the ball across the middle and leg line. He tried this several times, and on one occasion Gill kicked the ball straight to Chahar, who couldn’tto keep him. At the end of the game, Dhoni did so.it all seemed like a joke, refusing Chahar’s request to sign his jersey; Dhoni was seen gesticulating and talking about his lost booty, clearly in a good mood. There’s that light-hearted note about him.
Chahar had earlier recounted how one day when he slipped into a bimmers trying to do a yorker with a wet ball, Dhoni came up to chat: ‘Vaise to tu bada dedh shaana banta hai. (You are being shrewd and clever) Sab pata hai tujhe. Yaha pe yeh kya geli shar ke saath phek raha hai? (You claim to know everything, then why do you play the wet ball like that). My head was down and all I could think about was that my career of death bowling was over, since I had made two beamers. But then I only allowed five runs over the next five balls, and he hugged me after the game. We are very close and he spoils me a lot.
Very often Dhoni’s outspoken remarks come in the post-game press conference. He doesn’t like to talk in the style of guys did well or didn’t do well; instead, he inserts a direct message: he points out the mistakes of the bowlers or batsmen at the stage. Just a quiet direct word spoken publicly, but such is his respect and credibility that players take it as constructive feedback.
At the end of the triumph, Dhoni gave a short speech in the locker room. Deshpande recalls the following words: He told everyone that hard work pays off, but remember what we did right this year and where we went wrong. Mahi bhai said: Yeh season tumko kya iskaha ke gaya hai, aur aage kya karna hai, yeh zarur sochna.
Dhoni talked about wanting to take a few months and try to do his best to play next year. Like the rest of cricket country, Shivam Dube hopes that Dhoni will return for one more season.
I don’t know if he will play next season or not, but we need him so we can grow under his leadership.