N Srinivasan, who broke the bank to get MS Dhoni in the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) squad at the inaugural auction for the Indian Premier League in 2008, recalls why they didn't go for any 'outstanding player' in the years to come.
The former BCCI president, a shrewd businessman and the managing director of India Cements, the entity that owns CSK has revealed the reason behind that decision: Mahendra Singh Dhoni refused a take any ‘outstanding player’ who was offered to him.
“There was one outstanding player that we suggested to MS, he said: ‘no sir, he will spoil the team’. The cohesion within the team is important and see in America, franchise-based sport has been there for such a long time,” Srinivasan said at the webinar organised by the Great Lakes Institute of Management.
“In India, we’re just starting and we’re new to it. But we at India Cements have had a lot of experience running teams at junior levels,” ESPNcricinfo quoted the CSK boss.
Srinivasan further added how Dhoni retained faith in his instincts despite a lot of data available to him in the last few years.
“We’re awash with data just now. To give you an example, there are bowling coaches and in a T20 game, they play videos of every batsman whom they’re going to come against and they see how he got out, what’s his strength, what’s his weakness etc. So, MS Dhoni doesn’t attend this, he’s a pure instinct man. The bowling coach, (head coach Stephen) Fleming will be there and everybody will be there, everyone is giving opinions, (but) he’ll get up and go."
“In the context of instinct, he feels that okay he can assess a batsman or player on the field, that’s his judgment. On the other hand, there is so much data that is available to help a person also analyse. It’s a very difficult line to draw (between data and instinct),” Srinivasan added.
CSK fans eagerly await the return of Dhoni, who hasn't played since the 2019 ICC World Cup semi-final loss to New Zealand. IPL 2020 is scheduled to be held in the UAE from September 19-November 10.