IPL 2024: Shardul Thakur excited to play for Chennai Super Kings under MS Dhoni | Cricket News

NEW DELHI: After winning the Ranji Trophy with Mumbai, India allrounder Shardul Thakur is excited about his return to the IPL with the Chennai Super Kings, where he hopes to “grow” under captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni following a disappointing season.
Thakur played for the CSK team from 2018 to 2021. He then went on to play for the Delhi Capitals in 2022 and the Kolkata Knight Riders in 2023. After being acquired for Rs 4 crore, he will make a comeback to CSK this season.
“Honestly, I did not have a great IPL last year,” Thakur told PTI Videos in an interview.
Throughout the 11 IPL games he played in last year, Thakur averaged 14.13 at bat and claimed seven wickets.
“I am very excited to play under Mahi Bhai. There is something or the other that you take away from the game when you are playing with him. He is standing behind the stumps, guiding you, allowing you to grow,” he said on the sidelines of the Ranji Trophy final against Vidarbha here on Thursday which the hosts won by 169 runs for a 42nd title.
Thakur said Dhoni’s leadership style is driven by the philosophy of allowing individuals to flourish.
“I think that’s the biggest quality that he possesses, he gives a lot of freedom to players and asks them to take ownership of their performances, and I am excited to join CSK again, I will say I am playing for a team that values family and values family culture,” said the all-rounder.
Thakur will be joined by new entrants like youngster Sameer Rizvi and New Zealand all-rounders Daryl Mitchell and Rachin Ravindra in the CSK dugout.
When thinking back on Mumbai’s outstanding Ranji campaign this year, Thakur showered his teammates with compliments for the winning streak as well as the Mumbai Cricket Association.
In the semifinal matchup with Tamil Nadu, Thakur scored a century, and in the opening session of the match versus Vidarbha, he amassed 75 runs.
“I started off very late, I played a couple of Vijay Hazare games for the team and then I came back to the team only in the second last league game, the sixth league game, But all the boys, coaches, and support staff they have been working really hard, from the month of June till now,” he said.
“I think the process for everyone started from the month of June whether it is fitness, game-related, polishing their skills, each and every thing…in Mumbai, for three-four months you can’t have any cricket because of rains
“…Today we were 15 of us but there are three to four members of our team who were not in the squad today but you know they have played one or two odd games at some point in time and they have done well in that game so
“…overall the credit, I would give right from the MCA management because association, supported us each and every time, the coaches, the support staff, physiotherapists, trainers, everyone and the boys of course,” Thakur said.
Thakur was particularly impressed with 19-year-old Musheer Khan, who became the youngest player of the match winner in a Ranji final after his brilliant second innings hundred that helped Mumbai set Vidarbha a mammoth target of 538.
“I think the way he (Musheer Khan) is batting and contributing in the field, they way he is fielding and the way he is bowling, I think he is mature enough to play at the highest level of cricket in the Ranji trophy or the IPL,” Thakur said.
“We hardly find these kinds of players who are already ready when they come to the Ranji trophy and he is one of them,” he pointed out.
“…it’s always pleasing to see youngsters coming in and performing straight away. The kind of maturity that he has shown in the last three games is just unreal to see,” he signed off.
(With PTI inputs)

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