‘I’ll Just do What he says, Like a Soldier’: Tushar Deshpande on Playing Under MS Dhoni’s Captaincy

CSK pacer Tushar Deshpande (IPL Image)

After Chennai became the champions of the season, Deshpande opened up about Dhoni’s contribution to his improvement.

The growth and improvement of Tushar Deshpande, an uncapped pacer of Chennai Super Kings, was certainly one of the most talked-about topics of the IPL 2023. From starting off the season as an impact player to becoming a constant name in the Chennai bowling attack, Deshpande had come a long way to gain the trust of captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni. After Chennai became the champions of the season, Deshpande opened up about Dhoni’s contribution to his improvement. Speaking about his breakthrough season to the Indian Express, Deshpande acknowledged that he thoroughly followed what Dhoni asked him to do as the youngster had full faith in his senior. “I know Dhoni can never take me on a wrong path,” Deshpande said.

According to Tushar Deshpande, MS Dhoni was always there to boost his confidence when “things were going in his favour” at the beginning of the season. Deshpande was seen struggling with his line and length in Chennai’s first few games. Following a series of below-par performances, Deshpande lost his place in the playing eleven, being replaced by another young Indian bowler, Rajvardhan Hangargekar. But Deshpande got his place back and eventually turned out to be a crucial component of the Chennai unit.

Speaking about MS Dhoni’s leadership qualities, Deshpande said, “He is a selfless man who keeps things straightforward. He keeps things simple and will be there for you at difficult times. I’ll just do what he says, like a soldier.” Deshpande further revealed how Dhoni’s on-field advice helped him improve his game, saying, “He has a pretty defined plan. You must take these steps, and then you must put them into action. Additionally, he will provide freedom, and if necessary, he will speak up. He advised me to remain composed in order to play at my best.”

Chennai Super Kings roped in Tushar Deshpande ahead of the 2022 IPL at his base price of Rs 20 lakh. The 28-year-old got to play just 3 matches last season. This year, MS Dhoni utilised Deshpande in different roles. The youngster bowled with the new ball, was used in the middle overs and also came to deliver in the death. Even though he turned out quite expensive on some occasions, Deshpande was undoubtedly the best wicket-taking option for the Men in Yellow. He wrapped up the season with 21 wickets in 16 appearances.