Fresh from steering Chennai Super Kings to their third Indian Premier League title, skipper MS Dhoni on Monday revealed that his team meeting before the summit clash against Sunrisers Hyderabad in Mumbai lasted all of five seconds.
“I think at that point of time, we were quite relaxed about how we’d conducted ourselves throughout the tournament, and everybody’s role and responsibilities were very clear,” Dhoni said, on the sidelines of an award function in Mumbai, as reported by the Times of India.
“So, you need to address something if it really needs to be addressed. You know, there’s no point, just because if there’s a captain and a coach of the team, you’ve to say something. The team meeting that we had, lasted hardly five seconds. [Stephen] Fleming was like: ‘Go, get it boys.’ And it got over. And I always have felt that this was one of the secrets why CSK keep doing that [being consistent in the IPL].”
Dhoni said that many teams schedule meetings before a match just to “tick a box”, but that is not how CSK operate. “We don’t have too many meetings because we’ve played so long with each with other, against each other,” he said. “You know the conditions so well, you exactly know how you need to operate. And there’s no rocket science.
“Yes, we have the bowlers’ meetings, the batters’ meeting, and I don’t become a part of the batters’ meeting. In CSK, there’s no justification that happens..you know that the bowling coach doesn’t need to justify to the owners [about his decisions].”
While consistent top-order displays set the platform for CSK, their bowlers were in fine nick. Pacer Deepak Chahar, an unknown commodity before the start of the tournament, was one of the finds of the season. India pacer Shardul Thakur, after a difficult start, found his groove at the back end of the tournament. Rookie South Africa quick Lungi Ngidi also played a crucial hand in the final leg of the IPL.
It wasn’t always smooth sailing, though. Dhoni admitted that before facing up to West Indian veteran Chris Gayle while facing up against Kings XI Punjab, he had addressed his bowlers.
“We had a bowler’s meeting you know, before Gayle hit that century. A lot of times, it happens that you do it for the sake of doing it. You know you say before the finals, ‘Oh we did thus, we did that.’ That’s not in our case. We try to keep it as simple as possible.”
He added, “What’s important as a coaching staff, or as a captain, you need to give advice to a player according to what they can achieve. All of a sudden, you can’t tell somebody, ‘Okay, you need to bowl outside off stump yorkers,’ and that guy has never done that. So you have to tell that guy according to what his strength is and he has to improve his weak areas. That’s what is brilliant about us.”