Fitness matters more than age: Dhoni

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 29 May 2018 11:36:13



BY ORCHESTRATING team’s title triumph, Chennai Super Kings’ seasoned players in 30s have confuted the critics, who harp on packing the side with youngsters, and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni did not stop himself from gushing about it.After the auction, Super Kings were criticised for picking nine players in their 30s including Shane Watson and Ambati Rayudu but they proved to be instrumental in the team’s triumph after coming back from a two-year ban.Rayudu (602) and Watson (555) were among top-five run-getters this IPL.

“We talked a lot about age but what matters is the fitness. Rayudu for example is 32, he’s someone who is fit, covers a lot of ground. Even if he plays a few games where he spends a lot of time in the ground and in the field, he never complains. So it is the fitness that really matters more than the age aspect,” said the 36-year-old Dhoni after the crushing win over Sunrisers Hyderabad.“What captains want is players who move well in the field. It doesn’t matter which year a player is born in, whether you are 19 or 20—you have to be agile. You have to accept your shortcomings.

“For example if I push Watson to stop a single, there is a very good chance that he’ll burst his hamstring and won’t be available for the next game. So what you tell yourselves is that they have to commit and try, but there’s no point getting injured for a single,” said Dhoni.
Watson’s sensational unbeaten 117-run knock ensured CSK chased down a challenging 179 with ease. It was a memorable tournament for the 36-year-old Australian, who ended with 555 runs with two centuries and as many half centuries.

“It’s been a special season to be honest. To get a special season especially after the last season with RCB. It means a lot to be with a franchise like CSK. After those first ten balls I was only hoping to catch up to at least a run-a-ball,” said the Australian.Mumbai ‘lucky’ venue for CSK this IPLTHE iconic Wankhede Stadium has been a ‘lucky’ venue for the Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings, who lifted the IPL trophy for the third time.CSK played thrice at this venue and emerged victorious in all the three matches.Unlike the past two occasions when CSK pulled off victory from the jaws of defeat, Australian Shane Watson made the challenging 179 run chase look like a walk in the park with his match-winning 117 not out.

The Chennai side, who were returning to the IPL after serving a two-year ban, began their campaign with a win over defending champions Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede in a thriller where Dwayne Bravo starred with the bat to take his side home.The side then came to Mumbai for the crucial Qualifier 1 against the Sunrises Hyderabad on May 22 and they emerged victorious as South Africa skipper Faf Du Plessis shone with the ball in a low scoring thriller in company with local boy Shardul Thakur. That win secured them a berth in the summit clash which CSK cantered to a eight-wicket victory at the Wankhede here Sunday night.