NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Ravindra Jadeja’s reign as Chennai Super Kings captain began with a hat-trick of defeats in the Indian Premier League (IPL) but the all-rounder says he is not feeling any pressure.
Holders Chennai unveiled Jadeja as their new captain two days before the start of the tournament after the talismanic Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who led them to four IPL titles, relinquished the role.
Chennai have since lost to Kolkata Knight Riders, Lucknow Super Giants and Punjab Kings but Jadeja did not want to link the defeats to the last-minute leadership change.
“I have been preparing (for the role) since he (Dhoni) told me a few months ago,” Jadeja told reporters after Sunday’s 54-run defeat by Punjab.
“So mentally I was ready to lead. I don’t have any pressure on me. I’m just backing my instinct and whatever thought comes in my mind, I always go with that.”
Against IPL debutants Lucknow, Chennai posted 210-7 but could not defend that total. Dhoni was seen instructing bowlers and setting fields in that match, while Jadeja stood in the outfield.
“It was a high-scoring game and it was crucial to deploy a better fielder at deep mid-wicket. From there, I could not communicate with the bowlers,” Jadeja said, adding that he had no problem with Dhoni handing out instructions.
“He was giving his inputs. He’s such a vastly experienced captain and I think we are lucky to have such a great leader in our dressing room.”
Chennai meet Sunrisers Hyderabad in their next match on Saturday and Jadeja said they need to end the winless streak as quickly as possible.
“One win can get you the momentum and we are searching for that win. We need to find our rhythm.
“It’s a pretty experienced side, so everyone knows their game. It just needs to click,” added Jadeja.
(Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; editing by Peter Rutherford)