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Are rebuilding pangs the reason for CSK’s string of losses early on in IPL 2022? Dhoni sheds light

Pune, May 2, 2022- Chennai Super Kings skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni has conceded that building a team from scratch is not as easy as one thinks, and that a lot of young players need to be guided on the field so that they can get their actions right.

CSK’s rebuilding phase after the IPL mega auction has been difficult, with the defending champions losing six of the nine matches in IPL 2022 so far and are in an unenviable situation to make the grade. To begin with Ravindra Jadeja was put into the hot seat by the team management but later they had to go back to the tried-and-tested Dhoni to lead the side.

The opening combinations too weren’t clicking in the first few matches, while the fresh set of bowlers acquired by the four-time champions too were not firing. However, things have moved in the right direction for CSK, and unlike Mumbai Indians who are still in the process of finding the winning combination under the lacklustre leadership of Rohit Sharma, the team from Chennai is finally back to winning ways.

The commanding performance against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Sunday showed just how CSK are almost done with their rebuilding process.

Dhoni indicated that the seniors were doing their best to guide the youngsters on the field.

“These are tough games and hopefully we will come back strong, there are a few new bowlers. It’s important for them to learn every game because you don’t want the bowlers to be lost. If you see a (Dwayne) Bravo or a (Dwaine) Pretorius, they know what they’re doing. So you give them information and you back off. But a lot of time with the younger bowlers, you don’t really know what they’ll come up with. So you have to give them the field, talk to them and also tell them the variations they can use. Because it’s a very lonely place, once they have the ball they’re on their own,” opined the CSK skipper.

“It’s easy for us batsmen to criticise them at times but there is a lot of pressure on the bowlers. Slowly once they get mature, that’s when they start soaking that pressure and want to be under the pump. It’s good to see Mukesh (Choudhary) doing that for us. He took a few games, now he’s bowling well. You can get away with a lot of things in first-class cricket and age-group cricket. But over here you can’t really get away with too many things. You need to be consistent, need to know what you’re doing and accept the shortcomings. Unless you accept the shortcoming, the process of becoming strong in the areas you’re weak takes more time. So acceptance and honesty is the key,” added the veteran wicketkeeper-batter.

Dhoni asked his bowlers to try something different when they are getting hit on the field, perhaps experiment with their bowling or do something that catches the rival batters off-guard.

“We have had quite a few good batting performances, there were a few games where we didn’t score too many runs. We have given a couple of overs that went for 25-26 runs, and even when you score 200, it really comes down to 175-180 in 19 overs, the momentum changes and the bowlers are all of a sudden under pressure.

“I don’t really mind it. You can get hit. But it’s important to try something different as a bowler. Let’s say you’re looking for a yorker and it’s not working, try something different. Don’t just think that it will happen.

“I always told my bowlers, you may get hit for 4 sixes in an over, but the two balls that you save — ultimately in a high-scoring game — those are the two deliveries that will help you win the game. Because a lot of bowlers, after getting 4-5 sixes, they will be like let’s get done with it but no, that one boundary or even instead of sixes if you get hit for 2 fours that will help you in a game. I don’t know if they believe in that theory, but I feel it works,” added Dhoni.  (Agency)

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