A day before Indian Premier League 2018 final, Chennai Super Kings captain MS Dhoni said that even though it was a bit disappointing not to be able to play in Chennai, they are happy that they had one game in their home ground this season.
Ahead of the final on Sunday against Sunrisers Hyderabad, Dhoni said in a press conference in Mumbai that Chennai fans waited for a long time for this moment. “The emotional aspect was more at the start of the tournament. Once the tournament starts, you have to be more professional than emotional about it. Yes, we are a bit disappointed that we couldn’t play matches in Chennai, but at the same time, we are still happy that we at least one game happened in Chennai because the fans were waiting for a long time for this moment,” he said.
“The last two years we were not there but our fan following kept increasing, the fans were waiting for us to come back and start doing well. It’s unfortunate that we are not playing in Chennai, but as I said, being professional is more important,” said Dhoni.
When asked about seasoned spinner Harbhajan Singh, Dhoni said, “You know, I have a lot of cars and bikes in my garage. And, I don’t ride all at a time. When you have six to seven bowlers in your side, you want to see the conditions. You want to see who is batting and what is needed at that point of time.”
“In the past, we had Negi and Jadeja, and I gave them different slots of bowling. And the unreal thing is that a lot of times the player gets criticised at times for what the batsman is doing. I always check what is the condition and what is in the best interest of the team then before deciding on the bowler as to who has the best chance to succeed over the bowler. Like in the last game I didn’t feel it was necessary for him (Harbhajan) to bowl. But for Bhajji, he is really experienced when it comes to any format of the game,” Dhoni added.
Dhoni also admitted that the age-group was ‘definitely a concern’ for the team that is on the cusp of winning their third IPL title.
“The age-group of the boys was definitely a concern, you had to keep them fit. We had to take care of the resources and to make sure that when we come to the business end of the tournament, the best 11 is available for selection,” Dhoni said. “This year we have been able to do that. We did have a injury concerns in the middle, but it is good to have all the players available for selection.”
CSK play Kane Williamson-led side for the ultimate glory on Sunday at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.