With this thrilling two-wicket win in Qualifier 1, Chennai sealed a place in the IPL final for the seventh time in nine attempts and Dhoni, during the post-match presentation, said that their consistency in the cash-rich league is down to their team culture.
"We've been a very good team and it reflects when it comes to the IPL. It reflects the dressing room atmosphere that we have been able to create over the years. Credit goes to management, support staff and players without whom this would not have been possible," Dhoni said after CSK sealed a place in the final.
"Even if one of them is lacking, you can't have a good dressing room atmosphere and if the atmosphere is not great, it becomes difficult to perform on the pitch. Somehow we've been able to push the players into thinking about what's good for the team," the CSK skipper added.
Dhoni also lavished praise on the Hyderabad's bowlers, picking Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Rashid Khan for special praise. The pacer gave SRH the perfect start but removing Shane Watson for a duck in the first over itself, while mystery spinner Rashid ended the innings with astonishing figures of 2/11 in four overs.
"They (Hyderabad) bowled very well. There was a bit for the fast bowlers initially and Bhuvi exploited it really well and he was backed up well by mystery spinner Rashid," Dhoni said.
"We kept losing wickets at regular intervals and for that reason, we had to keep pushing ourselves to get the number of runs needed. We lost three-four in the middle and that put pressure on us. It is always good to win games like this but what's important is to learn out of this game. It's about constantly improving,"the two-time IPL winning skipper added.
While on the other hand, he threw down the gauntlet for his own bowlers to perform better in the championship clash on Sunday.
"This is the best combination that we have got and right from the first game we've used different bowlers in different ways to find out who is the best bowler at the end. You have to keep shuffling them to see who can see a good job," Dhoni said.
"They (bowlers) will get hit at some point of time. It may hurt you sometimes, but the best bowlers are playing these games. They will have to step up in the final," he added.
MSD also had only good things to say about Faf Du Plessis, who anchored the innings to perfection and finished off the game in style by a hitting a six on the first ball of the last over to get his team over the line. Dhoni credited Du Plessis' winning mentality and his experience of playing at the highest order for pulling off this great escape when it mattered the most.
"That's where experience counts (speaking about Du Plessis). It is not easy not to get games during the IPL and I have always felt that you need to train the mind more than the body. Injuries can happen anytime and that is where experience counts. He's (Du Plessis) been brilliant and he batted really well. Hopefully he can continue this in the final also," Dhoni said.
Chennai Super Kings vs Sunrisers HyderabadCSK vs SRHDhoniFaf du PlessisIndian Premier LeagueiplIPL 2018IPL Qualifier 1mahendra singh dhoni
First Published: May 23, 2018, 7:50 AM IST