Billings stumped by Dhoni’s clarity of thought

England and Chennai Super Kings batsman Sam Billings called the franchise’s 2018 triumph a result of collective effort.

Sam Billings and Shane Watson of Chennai Super Kings at a training session at the M.A. Chidambaram stadium in Chennai on Tuesday.   -  K. PICHUMANI

 

Chennai Super Kings batsman Sam Billings feels the collective effort of the team helped the side lift the IPL trophy in the 2018 edition.

“What stood out for me was that ours was a collective effort,”the England cricketer, who made his debut for CSK last season, was quoted as saying to the official website of the franchise on Tuesday.

“Of course, there were a couple of standout performances like (Ambati) Rayudu’s consistency and (Shane) Watson’s brilliance. Although, actually, if you look at the different games that we won, it was different players at different times stepping up,” Billings said on the sidelines of a training session at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium here, ahead of the the IPL-12 opener between CSK and Royal Challengers Bangalore on March 23.

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“It was phenomenal how much of a team effort it was. Hopefully, more of the same this year,” he added.

The dashing England batsman said the continuity helped, adding one grows in confidence knowing that people back you, referring to CSK’s decision to retain 23 members from the previous season.

“Continuity helps immensely, certainly as individual players, but also as a group, you grow in confidence knowing that people ultimately back you. It allows you to play with freedom and enjoy it,” he added.

Billings also spoke about captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s calming influence on the team. “His clarity of thought the whole time is astonishing, knowing what you need to do at that very moment and not get ahead of yourself. It feeds off to other players,” he said.

Dhoni batted at nets and went for big shots, while coach Stephen Fleming kept a watch on proceedings. Australia all-rounder Shane Watson — who shone in the recently concluded Pakistan Super League — and West Indies veteran Dwayne Bravo, who joined the squad on Monday, were part of the session.