Narine holds the key: Dhoni

Dhoni said the key to Super Kings' success in the final against Knight Riders would be how well their batsmen play Sunil Narine.

Chennai (The Telegraph): Chennai Super Kings are the masters of wriggling out of difficult situations. They have effortlessly done it this season on their way to qualify for the IPL final for the third time in a row. Now, they have a unique opportunity to create history by notching up a hat-trick of IPL titles.

Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, on the eve of the match, seemed to be relaxed and confident of pulling it off on Sunday. He said the CSK players need to react to the situations well on Sunday.

“A positive result depends on what you do in those three and a half hours of play… It depends on how the individuals adapt to the conditions. It will be about what kind of cricket you play on the field and the kind of potential you have got. The final match will always have added pressure on every individual. The key will be how the individuals react to the pressure-cooker situations,” Dhoni said.

The CSK captain also said that playing KKR’s mystery spinner Sunil Narine will also be the key. “The variation and the consistency that he has got in maintaining his line and length have been crucial. With his action, it is difficult to read him. We have seen that consistency has always paid dividends. If you have both consistency and the variations, the bowler will be successful more often than not. So we need to be careful while playing Narine,” Dhoni said.

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So, what would Dhoni’s message be to his team before the final? “We want the players to go and enjoy the game… See, everyone has his own style of playing. It is important that we use the players in a way where they don’t really need to change their natural game plan. They need to stick to what they know best. I think they are capable of taking the right decision at the right time. And I think that has really worked for us. So, I don’t need to tell them personally what they have to do.”

Speaking about this season’s performance, Dhoni said: “Individuals have stepped up whenever we needed those couple of big performances in crucial games. Overall, if you see our fielding has improved. Right from the first edition, we are constantly working on our fielding. That department is very crucial. I can say cutting 5 to 10 runs in the format could prove crucial in the last over… Those five to 10 runs can have a big impact on the game. I am proud of the fact that we are a very good fielding side.”

Dhoni said Sunday gives another opportunity to someone to become a hero. “That is how I am looking at tomorrow’s game. There will be 22 guys on the field and one of them has the opportunity to raise his hand and make himself counted. So, tomorrow [Sunday] somebody will be a hero from our side or the KKR.”

Dhoni had words of praise for Gambhir’s captaincy. “I think you can gauge a good captain by seeing how he brings the best out of his resources. There are few players who will react in a different way and few will get bogged down. I think as a captain you have to channelise the resources in the best possible way to get the desired result."

“Gautam is an aggressive captain… He is a bit different from me in the sense that if you see our side, we are aggressive but not expressive on the field. That has been the strength of Chennai. But, Gautam is very expressive on the field. Even when the match is in his pocket, he demands the individuals to perform and wrap the game in the best possible manner. That is where his strength lies. He has done really well with the Kolkata Knight Riders,” Dhoni said.