IPL 2019: Leading Wicket- Taker Imran Tahir Says The Way MS Dhoni Carries Himself Is Just Unreal

Imran Tahir, the leading wicket- taker of IPL 2019 so far was all praise for skipper MS Dhoni who called him “unreal” after defeating Chennai Super Kings registering their third consecutive win since the commencement of the campaign. 

After CSK beat Rajasthan Royals by eight runs at the MA Chidambaram Stadium on Sunday, Tahir said that Dhoni knows how to lift the team up. Speaking at the post-match press conference, Tahir said, “The way he carries himself is just unreal. He won’t say much but he knows how to lift the team up. He is a great leader and a great human being.”

Dhoni hit a match-winning unbeaten knock of 75 off 46 balls to guide his team to a respectable total of 175 under challenging conditions. “You know Dhoni plays really well in these situations because like (Dwayne) Bravo, he’s done this so many times, and that’s why he’s called Mr Cool. He works hard on his game plan. Even in practice sessions, he helps his team-mates. And we respect that.”

The visitors could manage 167 for 8 in response, suffering their third defeat in as many matches. “I think as a bowling group we did really well. Even while batting, Mahi bhai played unbelievably well and set the tone for us. I’m just really happy with whatever we did as a team,” he told reporters after the match.

In the opening encounter, the pitch at the MA Chidambaram stadium was criticised for being a rank turner. Tahir lamented that the conditions were not favourable for the bowlers on Sunday with dew being a factor.

On holding the Purple Cap with six wickets in three matches, Tahir said, “I am feeling very good, very proud. It was there (dew); I tried to use my experience but the ball was really wet. It’s always nerves. The first match I dropped a catch, so didn’t want to repeat the mistake. Every catch is a difficult one.”

“It’s the passion and respect I have for the game. I don’t take anything for granted. Whenever I am playing, I try to contribute to my team,” he added.

Sunil Gavaskar Predicts Dhoni- Less Batting Order For Three-Match T20I Series

India is soon to face a three- match series against New Zealand starting on February 6 at the Westpac Stadium in Wellington. Ahead of the series, former Indian skipper Sunil Gavaskar when asked to predict his batting lineup up till No.7 missed MS Dhoni’s name prior to the suggestion of former New Zealand coach Mike Hesson that the veteran can be given rest in the series.

After a dismal 2018 where Dhoni recorded his worst numbers in ODIs in his 12-year-long career, he burst into the frame with three back-to-back fifties against Australia in 2019. He scored 51, 55 and 87 in the three-match series against Australia to not just earn the Man of the Series award, but also shrug off all questions regarding his World Cup spot. He followed it up with an unbeaten and a gritty 48 in the second ODI against New Zealand. He amassed a total of 242 runs in the five innings in this year recording an astronomical average of 121 which includes three fifties. However, Gavaskar, in conversation with Star Sports, missed out Dhoni’s name in a bid to give him rest before the Australia series kicks off.

Sunil Gavaskar’s batting lineup for T20I series: Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Rishabh Pant, Shubman Gill, Dinesh Karthik, Hardik Pandya and Krunal Pandya.

Mike Hesson then explained that the T20I series gives a “huge opportunity for Rishabh Pant and Dinesh Karthik to solve those World Cup decisions. We know MS Dhoni is going to be part of World Cup.”

At the end of the discussion, Gavaskar also revealed his prediction for the three-match T20I series – 2-1.

The Men in Blue have played a total of nine T20I games against the Blackcaps winning only two matches. And India managed to win their only T20I series in New Zealand under the captaincy of Dhoni in their 2008/2009 tour recording a whitewash in the two-match contest.