I haven’t moved on from CSK, admits Dhoni

Mahendra Singh Dhoni feels ’different’ about captaining a new team in the Indian Premier League for the first time in eight years and says he has not moved on from his days at the now suspended Chennai Super Kings.

Rising Pune Supergiants captain Mahinder Singh Dhoni addressing the media at the launch of the team's official jersey, in New Delhi, on Monday.   -  Sandeep Saxena

Switching from the familiar canary yellow Chennai Super Kings (CSK) jersey to a multi-coloured one of Rising Pune Supergiants (RPS) has not been easy for M. S. Dhoni.

Launching his new Indian Premier League (IPL) team jersey here on Monday, Dhoni said he would have to rise above his emotional connect with CSK to perform well for RPS.



There are a lot of players we will miss. We were together for eight years, our core group was the same. We were so consistent and our strength was that we played as a team.


“It is special part of a human being — the emotional connect. But there is a professional connect with the Pune team for the next two years. We will try to interact more and perform well. The kind of belief the owner has shown, we will try to justify it,” said Dhoni.

“It is not easy to turn away and say eight years gone (and now is a new beginning). It is not like a blackboard so that you say let’s start it from today. But as a professional, my job is to see that I give my 100 per cent. Whatever I gave to my last team I will make sure everything remains the same.”

Dhoni raved about the CSK team composition while looking ahead to form a similar RPS unit. “We will miss a lot of players. A simple calculation — if you take into account how the players, who were with CSK, were sold at the auction or draft you will get their accumulative value and know how important they were. We performed consistently in all IPLs. Overall the team and support staff did very well.”

Happy with Fleming in side

Dhoni was happy to have the services of former CSK coach Stephen Fleming in the RPS side. “Life becomes slightly easier. His man management skills are good. He is calm and composed like me. His commitment to the team is fantastic.”

The Indian captain in the limited-overs formats opted to look at the positives of the IPL. “It has got its share of bad name. At the same time you have to look at the positive side. It has given a platform to identify youngsters. It gives them a platform to play in front of big crowds and helps them handle pressure.”

Responding to a question over some low-profile players being sold for high prices in the auction, Dhoni said, “You have to look at the requirement. I am not going to buy a burger or chicken if I am thirsty.”

RPS owner Sanjiv Goenka said he was not bothered by the scandals surrounding the IPL. “We believe in playing by rules. The IPL has stuck with rules. We have full faith in Dhoni.”

Agencies add: The maverick Kevin Pietersen is also part of the Pune unit. Asked about his plans to deal with former England batsman, Dhoni said “we will wait and watch“.

“Every player will have a role in the team. There is a basic way every cricketer plays. KP is fantastic, somebody who is aggressive and expressive on the field. Not only that, he, like other seniors, has an added responsibility to groom the youngsters. We will have to wait and watch (about KP’s behaviour) but I don’t think it will be an issue,” added Dhoni.