MS Dhoni wanted to motivate the entire Chennai Super Kings (CSK) team by saying that the youngsters in the team lacked ‘spark’, CSK’s 25-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman N Jagadeesan said.
“What Dhoni actually said was completely misunderstood by the press. It was not about the youngsters, Ruturaj Gaikwad and I did well to be honest. What people don’t get is that he’s someone who’s trying to boost the entire team, the seniors as well,” Jagadeesan told Sportskeeda.
“When you have such legends in the team, you can’t pinpoint each of them. There needs to be a way where the seniors are backed up. For them to be backed up, something had to be done. And after his comment, we did well and the team did really well,” he said.
Dhoni had said in the middle of CSK’s poor run of form last season that it did not make sense to change the CSK playing XI because those waiting in the wings were not up to it. He had said this after bottom-placed CSK were eliminated from the IPL 2020 playoff race, with just 3 wins from their 10 matches.
“You don’t want to chop and change. Insecurity is something you don’t want to prevail in the dressing room. Also the youngsters, we didn’t see the spark to push the guys,” Dhoni had said at the presentation ceremony after a defeat to Rajasthan Royals.
Jagadeesan, one of the youngsters who did get a chance in CSK’s remaining games last season, insisted that the remark was meant to uplift the senior players who were struggling with a lack of match practice.
CSK won three of their remaining four league matches in IPL 2020 after this comment. Although they fell narrowly short of a playoff spot, Ruturaj Gaikwad impressed with three fifties on the trot. In IPL 2021 as well, CSK were having a great time with 5 wins in 7 games before the tournament was indefinitely postponed.