Things looked glum for the 3-time champions when they failed to qualify for the playoffs for the first time in their IPL history last year in the UAE. However, MS Dhoni used his magic wand to bring the side back at the top of the table this season, without any major overhaul in the line-up.
CSK is at the second position at the points table with 10 points in 7 games – Delhi Capitals lead the table with 12 points in 8 matches – before the tournament was suspended on Tuesday due to covid cases in players and staff.
Irfan Pathan lauds the CSK skipper for the contrasting change in CSK’s performance from last year to this year, in spite of the fact that Dhoni was not in good touch with his bat.
“We always talk about the captain. MS Dhoni has a huge role to play in that. There was not much contribution from his batting as his batting is not the same as we used to see in his peak,” Irfan Pathan said while speaking with Star Sports.
Moeen Ali had a great impact on the entire team combination: Irfan Pathan
Irfan Pathan hailed Moeen Ali’s addition to the line-up as the biggest difference-maker to CSK. Despite Suresh Raina’s return to the side, it was Ali who was slotted to bat at number 3.
The Englishman made impactful performances with the bat as he batted with alacrity – the southpaw scored 206 runs in 6 innings at a strike rate of 157.25, in addition to his 5 wickets at an economy of 6.17, despite bowling on batting-friendly pitches in Mumbai and Delhi.
“The inclusion of Moeen Ali made a huge difference. Suresh Raina brought a different flair, indeed his performance was not that good. But MS Dhoni had a huge responsibility on how he manages his troops and he did that very well.
“The biggest thing was to win matches with spin on the Wankhede pitch, it is not possible for everyone. So, a lot of credit goes to MS Dhoni but the presence of Moeen Ali had a great impact on the entire team combination,” Irfan Pathan stated.