'MI had the best players, CSK got the best out of players' - Hardik Pandya differentiates between MI and CSK's success over the years
Hardik Pandya may have faced criticism from the Indian Premier League (IPL) fan brass for seemingly trying to mimic the MS Dhoni style of leadership with Gujarat Titans (GT), but the premier India allrounder said Dhoni and his successful Chennai Super Kings (CSK) franchise have always acted as an inspiration for him.
Pandya said when he took over Titans' captaincy, the set-up he tried replicating with his new franchise was none other than the one led by his greatest confidant Dhoni with the four-time IPL champions. So even as some fans feel he is trying to copy-paste Dhoni's innately calm leadership trait within him and applying the great man's attributes with the Titans, and for India, he is more than fine with it as long the results flow.
Speaking in an interaction with 'JioCinema' hosted by former CSK cricketer Robin Uthappa at the sidelines of IPL 2023, Hardik Pandya said one of his key learnings following the Chennai franchise's ways in handling their players was how they created and sustained a good environment, which ultimately brought the best out of the players.
The Titans captain said CSK haven't had the best personnel on the park but have always found means to extract the best output from them. A characteristic he instantly picked up and tried to replicate with his new franchise after partying ways with CSK's longstanding arch-rivals Mumbai Indians (MI).
Pandya on how CSK became Titans' moral-base team
When playing with MI, and being part of their repeated title triumphs, Hardik Pandya said he understood that the idea with the five-time champions was to identify the best of the best personnel in both playing and coaching capacity and then creating an environment for them to produce their best.
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The difference between MI and CSK, as the Titans skipper pointed out, is that CSK believes in identifying an array of cricketers and then sustaining a healthy environment for them to come up with the goods consistently. A statement that Uthappa agreed with.
"There are two kinds of success (ways) you can get," Pandya told Uthappa for the 'JioCinema' app. "One is get the bestest people possible, from A to B, which I felt MI had.. those years where we won."
Mi always had best team nu indirect ah direct ah sollitan pic.twitter.com/OI6ieSB61z— Sounder (@itz_sounder) May 6, 2023
"Or, have the best environment possible for you to win, which has been the CSK type where no matter who the players are, they find the comfort and the team get the best out of them."
"That was more inspiring for me to get, not the best players, but the best environment," stressed the Titans skipper, who led the franchise to the title in their inaugural season in IPL 2022.