“I don’t know, I have 8-9 months to decide. Why take that headache now. I have ample time to decide. The auction is in December,” Dhoni said at the post-match presentation after guiding CSK to their 10th IPL final.
CSK (172/7) defeated defending champions Gujarat Titans (157 all out) by 15 runs at their home ground MA Chidambaram Stadium in Qualifer 1 on Tuesday.
GT vs CSK | IPL 2023 | Chennai Super Kings Defeat Gujarat Titans by 15 Runs, Secure Spot in Final
Ever since this IPL season began, there have been speculations that 2023 could be a swansong season for Dhoni.
“I will always come to CSK. I have been out of home from January, been practicing since March, so we will see,” the former India captain, who has already retired from international cricket, added.
The four-time champions CSK, who had finished at the ninth spot in 2022, dished out a commanding performance to outclass Gujarat Titans.
“I think IPL is too big to say it is another final. It is 10 teams, it is even tougher, it is hard work of more than 2 months, lots of characters. Everybody has contributed. Middle order didn’t get ample opportunity but very happy to be where we are.
“GT are a fantastic team and they’ve chased very well, so the thought was to get them in. But it was a good toss to lose. If Jaddu (Ravindra Jadeja) gets conditions that help him. he’s very difficult to hit. His bowling changed the game. Not to forget his partnership with Moeen.”
‘I believe in my gut feel’
One of the best captains to have played the game, Dhoni said he can be an “annoying” skipper as he too often keeps changing his bowlers and fielders according to the match situation.
“You see the wicket, you see conditions, and you keep adjusting the field. I can be an annoying captain because I change the field every time.
“It can be annoying but I believe in my gut feel. That’s why I keep telling the fielders to keep an eye on me.”
On the number of fast bowlers coming out of CSK stable, Dhoni said: “We try to create an environment and work out what is the strength of a fast bowler. We try to give them confidence and tell them ‘please try to explore your bowling’. We try to motivate them as much as possible. Support staff is there, Bravo and Eric are there.”
GT captain Hardik Pandya rues ‘basic errors’
GT conceded 35 off the last 3 overs and skipper Hardik Pandya blamed the bowlers for giving away 15 runs extra by bowling “soft balls”.
“I think we were quite spot-on, but we made basic errors. The kind of bowlers we had, we conceded 15 extra runs,” he said. “A lot of things we did right. We bowled a couple of soft balls in between. We gave some runs. We don’t need to look much into it. We have one more game.
Asked if Dhoni made it look like a bigger total, Pandya said: “That’s the beauty about him (Dhoni), with his mind and the way he uses the bowlers, it feels like he’s adding 10 runs.
“We kept losing wickets, he kept changing the bowlers, credit to him (Dhoni). Would be nice to meet him on Sunday (in the final). We expected dew would come, it didn’t come. We didn’t do right in both the departments. We’ll give a crack again after two days.”
Gujarat Titans will have another chance to make it to the title clash when they meet the winner of the Eliminator between Lucknow Super Giants and Mumbai Indians in Chennai today (Wednesday).
(With agency inputs)