PUNE: The pressure and demands that come with captaincy affected Ravindra Jadeja’s preparation and performance, says Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who had encouraged the all-rounder to take responsibility as a skipper rather than “spoon-feeding” him after the initial two-match transition period.
Jadeja had been appointed CSK skipper after Dhoni decided to step aside just before the tournament began last month. But the all-rounder buckled under pressure and eventually gave up the job, forcing the franchise to fall back on their most trusted lieutenant.
Under Jadeja, CSK lost six out of their eight matches. India’s most dependable all-format all-rounder’s batting, bowling and fielding also took a hit. Back at the helm of affairs, Dhoni, who has led CSK to four titles, produced instant result as CSK registered a 13-run win over Sunrisers Hyderabad to keep themselves afloat in the tournament on Sunday.
“I think Jadeja knew last season he’d be captaining this year. For the first two games, I oversaw his work and let him be later. After that, I insisted he’d take his own decisions and responsibility for them. Once you become captain, it means a lot of demands come in. But it affected his mind as the tasks grew. I think captaincy burdened his prep and performances,” Dhoni said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
Dhoni said Jadeja taking over the mantle of the side was a gradual transition, which he wanted.
“He knew and got enough time to prepare, what is important is you want him to lead the side and I wanted that transition to happen. At the end of the season, you don’t want him to feel as the captaincy was done by someone else and I’m just going for toss.
“So it was a gradual transition. Spoon-feeding doesn’t really help captain, on the field you have to take those crucial decisions and you have to take responsibility for those decisions. Once you become the captain, we have to take care of lot many things and that also includes your own game,” he said.
Dhoni hoped Jadeja would rediscover form after being freed from captaincy. “Even if you relieve captainship and if you are at your best and that’s what we want. We were also losing a great fielder, we are struggling for a deep mid-wicket fielder, still we have dropped 17-18 catches and that’s a matter of concern. These are tough games and hopefully we will comeback strong, important to communicate with the bowlers,” he said.
Talking about the match, Dhoni said they managed to put up a defendable score on the board. “It was a good score to start off. I did nothing different, it’s not like much changes with the change of captain. The target we got was a good one, dew comes in so the bowling needed to be good. The spinners did well in the 7-14 over period, that was key to the win and gave a surplus of runs which we could fall back on,” he said.