After the low of 2020, that Chennai Super Kings roared back in style the following season and were at the top of the points-table for the most part of the tournament owed majorly to two individuals. MS Dhoni, who rediscovered his Midas touch as captain of the team and Faf du Plessis, who showed sublime form in IPL 2021. Du Plessis burned up the charts scoring 320 runs from seven matches with four consecutive half-centuries as CSK, under Dhoni won five matches out of seven.
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The success that CSK have had over the years has a lot to do with the equations shared between the players, especially with their captain Dhoni. Weighing in on the same, CSK’s young batsman Ruturaj Gaikwad, who had a decent IPL 2021 himself before the tournament was halted, explained what the bond is like between two of the team’s senior most players – Dhoni and du Plessis.
“Their bond is very good because they both respect each other a lot. Often, they have discussions after the match where Faf reaches out to MS Dhoni with suggestions. Even at this stage [of their careers], they have very good discussions,” Gaikwad, 25, told India TV.
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“And it’s not like they discuss for 5-10 minutes, their talks go on for an hour or even two hours sometimes. They also have discussions every day in practice. A lot of times, even Mahi bhai reaches out to Faf during the match to ask for his advice.”
Gaikwad and du Plessis formed a solid opening pair for CSK in IPL 2020. The pair put on two century-plus stands, with the 25-year-old youngster looking in fine nick. Ending the last season with three half-centuries, Gaikwad scored 196 runs from seven matches with two half-centuries and often gave CSK fabulous starts with du Plessis. Besides putting on 129 against Sunrisers Hyderabad and 115 against Kolkata Knight Riders, the pair also added 74 against Royal Challengers Bangalore.