CSK vs RR, IPL 2021: Dhoni - Don't want anyone to say I'm unfit

IPL 2021: CSK captain MS Dhoni said he has to keep up with the younger guys when it comes to fitness.

MS Dhoni

CSK skipper MS Dhoni during an IPL 2021 match against RR on Monday.   -  BCCI/IPL

Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni feels "a lot has changed" in the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) setup and that is what has helped uplift the dressing-room spirit after a dismal performance in the last edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Speaking to the official broadcaster during the presentation ceremony after defeating the Rajasthan Royals (RR) by 45 runs in an IPL 2021 game, Dhoni said, "A lot has changed over the years. Right from the start, we have kept a very good atmosphere. The way we have prepared, the way we have turned down. A lot of the bowlers have been under the pump last year so they're used to the conditions now."

When asked about his decision to employ only two of his bowlers during the PowerPlay, Dhoni said, "I always look at what's best at a particular point of time. I felt Sam (Curran) bowled really well and Deepak (Chahar)... I think he tried the knuckle-ball too much. A good start was important."

As it happened

Dhoni, who will turn 40 in July, captained the Chennai franchise for the 200th time on Monday. On being asked regarding how crucial it is for a veteran cricketer to stay fit, he said, "When you are playing, you don't really want anyone to say he's unfit. Performances are something that's not guaranteed.

"I wasn't guaranteeing performances when I was 24, I can't guarantee when I am 40, but at least if people can't point their fingers at me saying that he's unfit then that will be a big positive for me. I have to keep up with the younger guys, they are very fast, it's good to challenge them."

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