Dhoni (bhai) advised me to play my natural game: Rizvi after his maiden outing as CSK batter

Dhoni (bhai) advised me to play my natural game: Rizvi after his maiden outing as CSK batter

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Chennai Super Kings’ Sameer Rizvi plays a shot during the Indian Premier League cricket tournament between between Chennai Super Kings and Gujarat Titans, in Chennai, on March 26, 2024.
| Photo Credit: AP

Chennai Super Kings batter Sameer Rizvi has credited Mahendra Singh Dhoni for his brief but impactful knock in his first IPL match, saying the talismanic former India skipper advised him to play his natural game when he went out to bat against Gujarat Titans.

Against GT here on Tuesday night, Rizvi played a cameo of six-ball 14-run knock, which included two sixes against Rashid Khan.

“Bhaiya (Dhoni) told me to play how I generally play since it is all about the actual gameplay. He (Dhoni) said, ‘There is nothing different. Skills remain the same, and it’s all just about mindset. Never take any pressure or be nervous, and play as per the situation’,” he said in a video on IPLT20.com.

Rizvi recalled the moment he was picked up by the franchise during the auction ahead of the season for a whopping ₹8.4 crore, as he felt that his dream of meeting Dhoni will eventually come true.

“When I was picked up during the auction by CSK, my greatest happiness was my dream to meet Bhaiya (MS Dhoni) would be fulfilled. We also had net sessions together and got to learn a lot from him and the (support) staff. I intend to learn more and perform to the fullest.” Having played cricket for Uttar Pradesh, he has decent T20 numbers, scoring 309 runs in 10 innings at a strike rate of 137.33, including two half-centuries.

Speaking about his jersey number, the 20-year-old Meerut batter said, “My jersey number is seven, which is currently worn by Bhaiya and I can’t get it. So, I liked the number 1, and I took it.” Rizvi also talked about the positive atmosphere in the CSK dressing room.

“Everyone loves each other in the team and backs everyone. The thought process of hitting the six in my first ball came out of my heart, and the team members also cheered for me with all their hearts,” he said.

“Whenever I have a query in mind, I ask everyone in the team, be it in batting or fielding, about their mentality while going to bat. Learning these small things would benefit me in the long run,” he concluded.

CSK beat GT by 63 runs on Tuesday and has two wins in as many games. They will next play Delhi Capitals in Visakhapatnam on Sunday.

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