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IPL 2023: Every ground we have gone to has blown us away really, says Mike Hussey on overwhelming support for CSK

Ahead of the match against Delhi Capitals, which the four-time champions have to win to enter into playoffs, CSK batting coach Mike Hussey stated the side has been blown away by the rousing reception they have got at every venue they have played at in IPL 2023.

“First of all, the support that we have got as a team and obviously MS is a massive part of that being a captain. He’s been a legend of Indian cricket and has been really incredible. Every ground we have gone to, it’s blown us away really. The team has really enjoyed and embraced it.”

“It’s not every day that you get the opportunity to play and experience such atmospheres at the ground. The guys have enjoyed it and, in a way, it does raise your game because you can feel the energy in the ground; that lifts you and your performance. I feel it has certainly helped and the support for the team, in particular MS, has been incredible,’ said Hussey in the pre-match press conference.

Dhoni has come out to bat only at the fag end of the innings for Chennai, as seen from his strike rate of 196. Fleming remarked it is Dhoni’s strategy to manage his sore knee, something which has been evident when spotted wearing knee cap while at a practice session and limping during a lap of honour after their last home against Kolkata Knight Riders ended.

‘It’s been pretty clear that he likes to come in the last few overs. That’s his sort of plan and this is what he likes to do. It’s been well-documented that his knee is not a hundred per cent and is trying to get through and manage as best as possibly he can throughout the tournament.”

“So, I think he doesn’t want to come through 10, 11, 12 over the mark and have to run through those quick doubles all the time, which will put more pressure on his knee. He’s trying to delay coming into the game as long as possible and have the impact late in the innings. That’s the thinking behind it and he shows a lot of faith, backing in Dube, Jadeja, Rayudu, Moeen Ali, Ajinkya Rahane to do the job before he comes in,’ added Hussey.

Quizzed on whether Dhoni, 41, had indicated about IPL 2023 being his last stint as a professional cricketer, Hussey said the side isn’t aware of such words from him. “To be honest, it’s a thing we haven’t spoken about it at all – doing it for MS as it will be his last season.”

“We don’t know about it as he hasn’t shared anything with the team. From my point of view as a batting coach, he is still batting really well and is still motivated to come to training and work on his game.”

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