Du Plessis considers himself fortunate to have played under the leadership of the cool and composed Dhoni early in his cricket career.
Reflecting on his time with the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the Indian Premier League (IPL), du Plessis spoke at a press conference ahead of the second season of SA20.
He recalled spending his first season at CSK observing Dhoni and head coach Stephen Fleming, seizing the opportunity to ask questions and absorb valuable lessons as a cricketer.
Du Plessis played a significant role in the CSK from 2011 until his departure on a high note in 2021. His contributions went beyond impressive batting statistics, as he played pivotal roles in CSK’s victories, especially in crucial finals.
During the 2021 IPL final, he delivered a standout performance by scoring 86 runs off 59 balls against the Kolkata Knight Riders. The remarkable innings not only earned him the Player of the Match title but also played a crucial part in CSK securing their fourth IPL crown.
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“Firstly, it was great to be part of that dressing room as a young guy. Probably my biggest learning curve was being fortunate enough to be there under Stephen Fleming and MS Dhoni really at the start of my initial journey. Just to see the big guns do things, it was great to learn from them. During my first season, I was just sitting and asking questions and observing them,” Plessis said in a pre-tournament press conference ahead of the second season of SA20.
The former South African captain also stated that he learned from observing Dhoni that it is impossible to mimic someone else’s style, but one can rapidly understand what works and what does not for a captain.
“Also, by playing under some great leaders, you also get to understand that it’s really important to do things that work for you. It’s not possible to copy different styles all the time,” he added.
Du Plessis praised Dhoni’s ability to remain calm and controlled under pressure, noting that the higher the stakes, the calmer the captain needs to be.
“MS is Captain Cool, as they call him. He is always very calm under pressure. So it’s always important that under pressure or when the stakes are a bit more higher, you remain relaxed and it makes a big difference to the bowling attack, especially. Very lucky to have played under him,” the former South African captain added.
SA20 is the first T20 league outside India to have IPL owners of all six local franchises. Set to unfold from January 10 to February 10, this year, the tournament will feature a total of six teams -namely the Durban Super Giants, Joburg Super Kings, MI Cape Town, Paarl Royals, Sunrisers Eastern Cape, and Pretoria Capitals. Sunrisers Eastern Cape won the inaugural season, beating Pretoria Capitals in the final back in February this year.
(With ANI Inputs)