Mumbai:Chennai Super Kings captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Monday revealed that team owner N Srinivasan gave his players a pep talk before the semifinals and that inspired his side winning their maiden IPL title on Sunday night.
"We booked a semifinal berth only in the last league match but after that owner N Srinivasan gave a brief talk with the players. He said we have been playing well and we would do well in the knock-out stage. That has boosted our confidence," Dhoni said at the post-match press conference after his side beat Mumbai Indians by 22 runs in the grand finale here.
Dhoni said his players were together only 10 days before the tournament but everybody gelled in well quickly which helped in winning the title.
"We got together 10 days before the tournament and that too without some top players including Andrew Flintoff. But we worked out well and it was a team effort which gave us the title. Still I feel that we have played just 60-70 per cent of what we can actually play," he said.
Asked why Chennai fielded three spinners, Dhoni said it was due to lack of success by domestic seamers in the tournament and most of pitches becoming slow as the tournament progresses.
"Domestic seamers have not been performing that well. Then the wickets have been becoming slow as the IPL progresses due to wear and tear as most venues were using only one or two pitches," explained Dhoni.
On why opening the innings with off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin and pacer Doug Bollinger, he said, "The combination may look strange but it had been successful. We had to try it out as the domestic seamers had not been successful also. Ashwin has been very successful he has the carrom ball bowling also."
Asked who have been the find of the tournament, he said, "Many players including Indian Cricket League returnees like Ambati Rayudu. But you have to be careful while choosing them in longer formats."
Dhoni said he was 100 per cent sure that Sachin Tendulkar would play despite injuring his right hand webbing in the first semifinal.
"I was 100 per cent sure that he would play. It was the final match. He had come back from much more severe injuries in the past," Dhoni said.
Dhoni also said that all the Indian players are fit for the Twenty20 World Cup beginning on April 30 in the West Indies.
"I can't predict whether we will win the Twenty20 World Cup but we are very good side. The important thing is we have to adapt quickly to the conditions. I am happy that all the players are and that is the positive sign."