Former Sri Lankan spin legend Muttiah Muralitharan has underlined how well the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) captain, MS Dhoni, understood and managed the legendary players in the early stages of the IPL.
When IPL was introduced in 2008, it was still a new product that needed to take off. There was plenty of attention it gathered considering it was the first league that brought so many international players together. Managing them all is a tough task but Dhoni did it quite well, as per Muralitharan.
“Every team was very very good. In that way, Dhoni was captaining a franchise for the first time and he was very good. He was understanding the players and also all the players are legends in their countries. So he very much understood the players and got the right team in place,” the Lankan said.
“I was mainly stopping runs rather than going for wickets”- Muttiah Muralitharan on bowling in the IPL
Muttiah Muralitharan is considered to be one of the greatest spinners ever. He has picked up 800 wickets in Test matches which is the highest to date. However, his plan when it came to T20s was different. He tried to stem the flow of runs from one end instead of trying to take a wicket.
“Bowling wise what I did was I mainly tried to stop runs rather than going for wickets. So that made me get wickets as well. I took about 40-odd wickets in the first three seasons. Not like 21-22 to finish the season with. But my economy was rate was very good and I was helping the team to win at the time,” he added.
Muralitharan played for three franchises in the IPL. He represented Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in 21 matches and picked 21 wickets at 7.10 runs per over. He then played for the now-defunct Kochi Tuskers Kerala in 5 games. Finally, he joined CSK and played 40 matches, and claimed 41 wickets at an economy rate of 6.30.