'The experience pays off, everyone talks about it'
Chennai Super Kings skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni has said his team's tremendous 'experience' proved to be a crucial factor in its five-wicket victory over defending champions Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League opener.
Ambati Rayudu and Faf Du Plessis set up the win with a 115-run stand for the third wicket, while Piyush Chawla was exceptional with the ball and was aided by likes of Sam Curran, Deepak Chahar and Lungi Ngidi.
"The experience pays off, everyone talks about it. You get it only after you play a lot of games. 300 ODIs is a dream for anybody to play and when you put an XI on the field, you need a good mix of youngsters and experienced players," Dhoni said.
"You need the experienced players to guide the youngsters on and off the field. The young players get 60-70 days with the seniors in the IPL," the veteran added at the post- match presentation ceremony.
Dhoni also touched upon why he sent Sam Currant ahead of himself in the batting order.
Explaining his rationale, Dhoni said: “I thought we needed Jadeja and someone like Sam (Curran) to go ahead in the batting order and try and intimidate the bowler a little bit. We bat quite deep, and we wanted to use this opportunity to try and go after the bowlers. Just makes it easier for the batsmen to follow."
Curran played his part, scoring 18 runs off six balls.
Dhoni also spoke about what all things the team learnt from the first game.
"We may practice enough but when you go on the field you need to assess the conditions and give it your best. It took time for the bowlers to find the right length on this pitch. Plenty of positives but still plenty of areas for us to improve"
"In the second half there is a bit of movement till the dew sets in. If you don't lose wickets early, you have the upper hand. These are the learnings. Rayudu had a wonderful partnership with Faf. Most of us are retired so luckily no injuries as well."