Chennai Super Kings bowling coach Lakshmipathy Balaji will afford the players “trust and freedom” during the 2020 Indian Premier League.
The Super Kings will boast a host of international stars during the IPL 2020, including England all-rounder Sam Curran, South African fast bowler Lungi Ngidi and former West Indies captain Dwayne Bravo.
The players from abroad will accompany plenty of local, including spinner Harbhajan Singh, batsman Ambati Rayudu, all-rounder Piyush Chawla and captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
“Trust and freedom is key. Fast bowlers always thrive under a proactive and supportive on-field captain, that is a huge factor. That is where playing under Dhoni has been a huge advantage for guys like Shardul Thakur or Deepak Chahar, because he's someone who gives them plenty of opportunities and confidence, even when they've had off days,” Balaji told ESPNcricinfo.
“Dhoni is process-oriented, but at the same time practical. He doesn't put them under undue pressure and allows them to enjoy and evolve within their own potential.
“It's mostly about knowledge and experience sharing at this level. They're all among the best, that is why they're playing in the IPL or for their countries, so you can't get overly technical. So we give them a platform where they can share inputs in an informal environment and that is why a lot of them thrive.”
Further Input from Balaji
Balaji represented India in Test, ODI and T20I cricket. He played for the Chennai Super Kings, Kings XI Punjab and Kolkata Knight Riders before becoming a coach. He used to bowl alongside former Australian international cricketer Brett Lee at the Knight Riders.
“Some of the best conversations I've had as a player are from informal chats with Wasim Akram and Brett, and not from one-on-one sessions. That is the atmosphere we've tried to create at CSK, where things are informal, yet players have lots to learn,” added Balaji.
“We've all had good conversations between the Indian bowling group – Deepak, Shardul, Harbhajan, Ravindra Jadeja – everyone's got their own ideas and inputs to share. This has been of immense help to all of them.”
The Chennai Super Kings have won the IPL three times. They lost the 2019 final to the Mumbai Indians.