Speaking to the host broadcaster Star Sports after Super Kings clinched a 13-run win against Sunrisers Hyderabad, Dhoni said that the plan had always been for Jadeja to take over as captain this season, and that while he had lent his support, he did not want to actively interfere with Jadeja’s decisions.
“I think Jadeja knew last season that he would be captaining this year,” Dhoni said. “For the first two games, I simply oversaw his work and let him be later. After that, I insisted that he take his own decisions and bear responsibility for them.
“Once you become captain, it means a lot of demands come in. But it affected his mind as the tasks grew. I think captaincy burdened his prep and performances.
“So it was a gradual transition. Spoon-feeding doesn’t really help the captain, on the field you have to take those crucial decisions and you have to take responsibility for those decisions.
“Once you become the captain, we have to take care of many things and that also includes your own game.”
Dhoni hoped that with Jadeja freed from the pressures of captaincy, it would reignite the allrounder’s form, particularly on the field, where Super Kings have been sloppy, dropping several straightforward catches.
“Even if you relieve the captaincy and if you are at your best and that’s what we want. We were also losing a great fielder, we are struggling for a deep midwicket fielder, still we have dropped 17-18 catches and that’s a matter of concern.
“These are tough games and hopefully we will comeback strong, important to communicate with the bowlers.”
Dhoni also credited his bowlers, particularly the spinners, for applying the brakes on Sunrisers during their chase of 203.
“The phase that really worked for us was when the spinners were bowling after six overs. We have had quite a few good batting performances, but we have also given a couple of overs that went for 25-26 runs, and even when you score 200, it really comes down to 175-180 in 19 overs.
“It’s important to try something different as a bowler. I always told my bowlers, you may get hit for four sixes in an over, but the two balls that you save – ultimately in a high-scoring game – those are the two deliveries that will help you win the game. Because a lot of bowlers, after getting hit for three or four sixes, they will be like let’s get it done with it, but that one boundary or even instead of sixes if you get hit for two fours, that will help you in a game. I don’t know if they believe in that theory, but it really works.”