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MS Dhoni admits batting lower down the order was getting tricky

India Today logo India Today 12-06-2018 Rasesh Mandani
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MS Dhoni led Chennai Super Kings from the front as they clinched their third Indian Premier League title last month.

Dhoni was in sublime form amassing 455 runs at strike rate of 150 in the XIth edition of the IPL.

Reflecting on Chennai Super Kings' victorious IPL campaign at the Star Reimagine Awards, the legend opened up on his changed mindset.

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"I was sure in my mind that I wanted to bat up the order, because with age, me batting down the order was like quick sand. Yes, I wanted to make sure that I wanted to take the responsibility of winning the game, but I was coming so down the order, that I was not giving time to myself," he said.

Interestingly the debate around Dhoni's fading star stemmed from his failures to close games for India in the last couple of years.

For the first time Dhoni revealed what he needed to change.

"I said I want to make a team where we bat deep that gives me a chance to bat up the order, and to me, up the order doesn't mean I want to bat at 3, 4 or 5, it's the number of overs.

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"I said I want to bat up, so when I go into bat I would like to be aggressive, so that even if I get out, it gives others a chance to reinvent themselves about finishing the game.

"But my planning right from the start was to make a team, which bats deep, everybody should be able to bat, and that gives me an opportunity to go out there and express myself," he added.

With India still searching for a settled middle order with a year to go for the World Cup, captain Virat Kohli now knows where the former skipper prefers to bat.

Dhoni is currently enjoying some time off leading CSK to glory. CSK had made a return to the cash-rich T20 league after being suspended for two years and clinched their third title. Under Dhoni's leadership, CSK also became the second team after Mumbai Indians to win three titles.

© Getty Images

The win over SRH also helped Dhoni to bring an end to his barren run of seven years without an IPL trophy. After winning the title in 2010 and 2011, Dhoni lost the finals in 2012, 2013 and 2015. He was also part of the Rising Pune Supergiant side that lost the final to MI in 2017.

At an individual level, the wicketkeeper-batsman enjoyed one of his most successful seasons as a player.

The 36-year-old will next be seen in action during India's limited-overs tour of Ireland and England starting June 27.

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(Video by ESPN Cricinfo)

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