S Badrinath has been a prolific batsman in First-Class cricket, scoring over 10,000 runs for Tamil Nadu, but it was his time with Chennai Super Kings that left an ever-lasting impression among fans. When Badrinath joined CSK, he enjoyed the reputation of being a batsman with solid technique and tremendous grit, which over time, to the batsman’s credit, improved to the ruthless challenges of T20 cricket.

Badrinath ended his IPL career with 1441 runs from 95 matches at an average of 30.65. Initially perceived a misfit for T20 cricket, Badrinath scored 356 runs in 2010 and almost 400 the season after. Badrinath’s role at CSK was to hold the innings together. Even though the first two seasons proved to be a bit of a dampener for the batsman, he made it up in the next two

“Dhoni always felt that roles are very important, and most of the time, mine was to get the team out of tough situations,” Badrinath told Hindustan Times in an exclusive chat. “My role was there in the middle order. The biggest strength of Dhoni is that he gives players that extra chance. If Dhoni believes Badri is good, that’s it. Badri is there. Once he believes it’s right, he sticks to the process. ‘I will give him chances, let him prove himself.’

“Similarly, if he believes you are not good enough, even god cannot help you. He has his own mindset and sticks to it no matter what.”

CSK were at their peak when Badrinath began exploring his T20 calibre. CSK had a surreal pattern where they would win the crucial match out of nowhere, or at times come from behind. Even when the franchise would struggle down in the points-table, the belief was that somehow, they’ll make it to the top four.