Dhoni happy with CSK team composition ahead of IPL opener
Chennai: Chennai Super Kings skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Wednesday said that he was happy with the composition of his IPL team following the January auction with the core of last season`s victorious team being retained and a few players added.
"The new team is very good but I have always maintained it`s not about how good the team looks on paper, but how we`re doing on the field is what is very important," he told reporters ahead of CSK`s match against Kolkata Knight Riders in the lung opener of Indian Premier season four.
"It is very similar to the one we had last season to which a few additions have been made. We`re hoping it will perform to fulfil the potential that we have," he said at the press conference to kickstart CSK`s IPL season.
Dhoni said he has seen players struggle with injuries in the IPL and if "everyone is fit and all 24 players are available for selection, it`s a very good side."
In the IPL auction in January, CSK retained Dhoni, Suresh Raina, local player Murali Vijay and South African Albie Morkel.
Among their important new acquisitions were Morkel`s compatriot and right-hand bat Francois du Plessis, West Indian all-rounder Dwayne Bravo, Australian pacer Ben Hilfenhaus and Sri Lankan spinner Suraj Randiv. They recently signed up Kiwi seamer Tim Southee, a sensation in the World Cup with 18 wickets.
"We have (Murali) Vijay to start off and Badri(nath) is there, me, (Suresh) Raina, Albie (Morkel)... du Plessis is the one who`s come in. Scott Styris is an all-rounder. I think we have quite a few players who can take runs when it really matters. Michael Hussey will also be joining us shortly," said Dhoni who led the Indian cricket team to World Cup triumph last week.
CSK won both the IPL and Champions League Twenty20 last year under Dhoni`s captaincy.
Dhoni, however, said the team would miss off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan, who they lost to Kochi after a fierce bidding war in the IPL auction.
"Murali is a great cricketer, a very good influence in the dressing room, with plenty of ideas. We`ll definitely miss him but we all knew it would be difficult to retain all our players in the auction. We`ll also miss other key players such as (Laxmipathy) Balaji who joined other teams," Dhoni said.
Asked what his next goal was, having already won the 2007 Twenty20 World Cup, 2011 50-over World Cup and India have become number Test side under him, Dhoni quipped, "I don`t mind repeating everything."