The Telegraph
Friday , May 30 , 2014
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Faf: We respect Dhoni’s decisions

Faf du Plessis

Calcutta: Faf du Plessis joined Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in 2011, the same year he played his first game for South Africa. He spent his entire first season with CSK on the bench, watching, learning and growing as a cricketer.

Cut to 2014 and Faf is now South Africa’s T20 captain and one of the senior members of the CSK unit. Faf says during these four years, he has learned a lot from CSK captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

“I joined CSK when I was reasonably young, when I had just started playing for South Africa. It was nice for me to be in an environment with Dhoni, who had already played a lot of cricket and was a very successful captain for his country.

“It was nice to just sit on the side and learn from him. Besides the calmness, for me what stands out is the way he leads the team with his own performance.

“He’s the guy who always wants to finish the game. That’s exactly what you want from the leader. He doesn’t leave things for someone else, but takes up the responsibility himself,” Faf told IPL’s official website.

Now that he is South Africa’s T20 captain, does he give suggestions to Dhoni?

“I enjoy being very active on the field… And I always keep thinking about the game. At CSK, we are lucky to have so many international captains among ourselves.

“But having said that, we also know that this is Dhoni’s team and we respect all the decisions that he makes. But when I’ve got an idea, I run to Dhoni and share my thoughts with him. And he always listens.”

CSK thrashed Mumbai Indians on Wednesday by seven wicket to make Qualifier 2. Speaking about CSK’s performance, Faf said: “We played pretty well… This is what CSK have done over a long period of time; in these stages of the competition, we play our best cricket.”

Faf says he likes to open the innings. “I love to open. I opened the batting for CSK in most games in IPL 2012 and really enjoyed my role,” said the South African.