Right after the first qualifier of the 2021 IPL play-off between the Chennai Super Kings and Delhi Capitals, there was only one discussion before and after the match presentation — what a knock from MS Dhoni. The finisher was at it once again. Chennai needed 13 runs off the last over, and Dhoni did what he has always done for India and his franchisee — watch the ball, hit the ball. He did that in his typical style and took CSK to the ninth IPL final by scoring 18 off six deliveries to stamp his authority once again.
The script can’t get better than this, and the creator of this narrative is no other than Dhoni. Right from the 2008 season onwards, CSK has been the most authentic team in the competition. Why? There is only one boss in this team. There is nothing that can move without his approval. He is also one of the promoters, making him powerful on the field and off it. There is a management lesson here for the graduates and under-graduates on how it is important to follow only one voice to do well in life.
Remember the chat Dhoni had after beating RCB in the second leg. It was RCB’s second loss, and Indian captain Virat Kohli was in complete distress. Dhoni managed to calm him down, had a good chat with him, and in the next match onwards, Kohli looked different. Dhoni’s style is to trust players, as he did with Robin Uthappa, and ensure there are no excuses, and that itself turns into good results. It is how Dhoni works and works well. So what if he is the mentor of the Indian team for the World T20? He is still good enough to play for India as a wicket-keeper batsman.
The RCB story isn’t different from the KKR camp. In the first leg of the tournament, there were too many KKR bosses trying to run the show. The KKR management realized its mistake. Rather than coming down heavy on those elements, the management sidelined them. The decision-making bit was back with the team management as it happens within CSK, and the team was in the play-off. This KKR style resembles a Dhoni touch to it.
The Delhi Capitals invested a lot in youngsters and promised to back them in difficult times. Now, they are reaping the benefits of batting for the young Turks. The Delhi team is in the IPL play-off stages for the third time in a row. It is again the culture laid by Dhoni. That is to back youngsters at all times. When he retires from IPL, he will surely leave behind a legacy. The legacy to make the most out of everything. It is not about the form all the time. It is also about class, and Dhoni still has that!