Weeks ahead of the start of the Indian Premier League (IPL), Chennai Super Kings (CSK) skipper MS Dhoni on Wednesday admitted how the team has taught him how to handle pressure situations and made him a better human being.

“This journey started in 2008, CSK has helped me improve in everything whether it was being a human being or being a cricketer, handling situations that are tough both in and out of the field and how to be humble once you are doing well,” said Dhoni while speaking on Return of the Lion show on Star Sports Network.

‘Thala’, as he is popularly called in Chennai, Dhoni explained what the term means and also why he is known as that.

“‘Thala’ basically means brother, so for me, it’s more the abstract of the fans, the love and affection towards me is the reflection of that. Whenever I am in Chennai or down South they never call me by my name they address me as ‘Thala’ and the moment someone calls me Thala they are showing their love and respect but at the same time he is a CSK fan,” he added.

The 38-year-old will finally be making a comeback to cricket after a gap of eight months and all eyes would be on him to see how he performs. He has not played any form of cricket since India’s exit from the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 against New Zealand in the semi-finals.

The two-time World Cup-winning captain has also led CSK to three IPL trophies, besides two Champions League titles in 2010 and 2014.

Dhoni has so far played 190 IPL matches (including two editions for Rising Pune Supergiants) and amassed 4,432 runs, including 23 half-centuries.

Meanwhile, former India batting coach Sanjay Bangar said Dhoni will be fresh and raring to go after having a break of almost seven-eight months and would be looking to win another IPL edition for his franchise.

“It is tough to find the rhythm initially but it can also be a huge advantage because when you are playing international cricket, the amount of pressure that you are under, you sort of get into a tunnel vision with regard to various responsibility and the needs of the team,” said Bangar.

CSK will start their IPL 2020 campaign against defending champions Mumbai Indians on March 29 at the Wankhede Stadium in what will be a repeat of last year’s final.