Ahead of the IPL 2019, Mohit Sharma credited MS Dhoni for bringing out the best from him and turning him into a thinking bowler. Mohit made his IPL debut in the 2013 edition for the Men in Yellow and represented the franchise till 2015. He was even the leading wicket-taker and ended with the Purple Cap in 2014. He, however, was traded to Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) and now is gearing up for his return to the Chennai franchise in the upcoming IPL 2019 edition, which commences from March 23.
“I came under Mahi bhai’s captaincy at Chennai Super Kings pretty early in my career, in fact I learnt a lot about my bowling from him. Mahi bhai brought the best out of me. He taught me to think about my bowling, understand the conditions and bowl accordingly” he said.
It all boils down to temperament and players’ mindset in the shorter formats. These are facets wherein Dhoni excels, and makes sure that his troops do not fall behind as well during crunch situations. Mohit pointed out that handling pressure is of utmost importance in the shorter forms of the game and Dhoni’s presence worked well for him during his CSK days. “I learnt to handle pressure from Mahi bhai, handling pressure is what T20 is about, what IPL is about and what playing at home is about.”
CSK returned to the IPL after a gap of two years following the spot-fixing scandal. They stormed their way back at the top and lifted their third title under Dhoni in IPL 2018. However, their title run was full of drama and emotions. The team couldn’t play their home matches at Chennai due to the political tension in Tamil Nadu in the wake of Cauvery River water dispute. On his side’s return to the home ground, Mohit recalled his past experience playing at MA Chidambaram Stadium and told, “The atmosphere here is electrifying during our games, the crowd, the support, fans and friends, playing in front of them all is exciting. I’ve loved it.”