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Dhoni’s leadership key to IPL success, says Fleming

Chennai: Chennai Super Kings chief coach Stephen Fleming hailed Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s leadership qualities, and said the veteran stumper’s witty captaincy was one of the key reasons behind the team’s third title triumph in the Indian Premier.

“It was Dhoni impact. It is very important. Dhoni does have a very strong influence and impact on players. MS’s (Dhoni) belief and confidence in a strong role for a player works for us. He has a strong ability to bring the best out of players. (Ambati) Rayudu is a great example, being in and out of the team,” Fleming said at a press conference here.

“It is a great dynamic. It is about using the strength of a remarkable captain, with a strong franchise, with a good game plan.”

Returning to the IPL after serving a two-year ban, CSK defeated Sunrisers Hyderabad by eight wickets in Mumbai to claim its third IPL title last night.

CSK returned to a victorious homecoming with fans cheering at the airport and at the team hotel.

Fleming was all praise for Australian all-rounder Shane Watson, who starred with a blistering unbeaten knock of 117 to ensure a dream comeback for CSK.

“We loved what Shane Watson has done in the past and our discussion was around his future. And we had seen during the Big Bash that his form had returned. We wanted to use him in a different way…Opening the batting and bowling a few overs,” Fleing said.

“We always like players who are multi-talented. And also, Shane has been to Chennai several times playing for Rajasthan. He is an incredible professional. He realised he has got some limitations. He looked after himself and MS looked after him well. In the end we didn’t need his bowling… there is no great illustration of his ability than yesterday,” the former Kiwi captain said.