Chennai, May 11 (IANS) Chennai Super Kings skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni has taken up a certain approach in batting that involves going slam-bang in the few deliveries he faces every time he goes out to bat in Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023.
Dhoni’s late cameo (20 off 9) helped CSK post a defendable 167/8 against Delhi Capitals on electing to bat. Their bowlers then came up with a clinical show to restrict DC to 140/8 and helped CSK to a comfortable 27-run win at the MA Chidambaram Stadium, here on Wednesday.
After the match, Dhoni said he has assigned the aggressive batter’s role to himself and had told his teammates not to get him to run a lot. He has scored 96 runs in eight innings so far, coming down to give the finishing touch to the CSK innings.
Dhoni’s average of 48 is second among the Chennai batters and his 204-plus strike rate is higher than that of any of his teammates.
On Wednesday, 41-year-old Dhoni put on display his aggressive hitting exploits in the 19th over of the CSK innings. He hammered Khaleel Ahmed for two maximums and a boundary and concluded the over with 20 runs which helped CSK to attain 167 runs in the innings.
After the match, Dhoni said he has assigned the role of aggressive batter to himself and had chosen the last three overs to act.
“My job is to hit a few deliveries. Don’t make me run a lot. Happy to contribute from whatever deliveries I am getting. That is how I am practising as well,” said Dhoni, who gave a glimpse into his role for CSK in IPL 2023.
CSK head coach Stephen Fleming said Dhoni has picked a customised training regimen for himself that helps him be at his aggressive best when needed.
“He’s just training in a certain way. He knows he’s not going to bat for a long time. We’ve got a lot of batting ahead, so he’s really concentrated on those last three overs — not as mobile between the wickets though today he pushed pretty hard.” said Fleming in the post-match press conference on Wednesday.
“Yeah, it’s by design rather than by luck. We’ve learned — we took a while to and we still are in a way, learning how to drive this car. It’s a bit different. The game is changing. You guys would have seen that with the games on TV and out here and you have to get more runs with the extra player,” said Fleming.
“Do I agree with it? Maybe not. But we got to embrace that rule and we have done that by being ultra-aggressive with our batting and the benefit today, rather than getting caught in the middle and trying to work around and get a score, we had our way to a good score and that’s been the difference. T
“Teams now have a lot more confidence in their hitting power and they and they know that they’ve got batting to come. So you’ve seen players really express themselves. Yep, you’d love it to go longer, but the risks they’re taking are quite high, so you’re going to get the bigger turnover of batters,” said Fleming.