With just six days to go for the IPL franchises to submit their list of four retained players, defending champions Chennai Super Kings are most likely to retain their charismatic skipper MS Dhoni.
Dhoni is the most successful captain in the history of the cash-rich league winning as many as 116 matches out of 196 with a winning percentage of 59.48. Under his leadership, his team has also won four titles. With the wicket-keeper batsman’s rich experience and contribution to the franchise, Dhoni may be retained in the mega auction.
Looking Beyond Dhoni
Apart from being a player and captain for CSK, Dhoni brings to the board a huge base of fan following and brand value. CSK has so far cashed in the X factor by the legendry cricketer.
But CSK have to understand sooner or later that every cricketer has a life span and he could not be stretched beyond it. Physical and more importantly mental fatigue has already crept in with MS Dhoni. The wicket-keeper batsman seems to have lost those sharp reflexes behind the stumps and while running between the wickets. His aggressive batting has also become a thing of the long past. A skipper always leads from the front and a spent force like Dhoni is not at all in a position to lead dynamic youngsters across the globe in the team.
As per experts, CSK should have a vision for the long run and according to the vision they should build a balanced and dynamic team. The mantle of the captainship should also be smooth as it will be difficult for any other cricketer to fill in the big shoes of Dhoni and deliver from the word go. Huge expectations from Dhoni’s fans will took a severe mental toll on any player taking over the leadership role.
“Dhoni will have a very important role to play in IPL 2022 as he should be given the responsibility to prepare the next leader for his most preferred franchise,” said an expert.
“IPL 2022 is certainly the last IPL for Dhoni and he should consciously pass the baton to another talented and dynamic leader who has the potential to manage the team in the crucial transitional period,” he said adding that Dhoni should take a gap of few years to get rid of the mental fatigue and then comeback to play a role of a mentor or coach in the franchise effectively.
Suresh Raina May Miss Out
Though Dhoni is almost a certainty in CSK ranks for IPL 2022, there are speculations over Suresh Raina’s future in the yellow jersey. With franchises permitted to retain only four players, Raina, who is also known as Mr. IPL, may miss out. The IPL star may not fit the bill considering the fact that the franchise would be looking at the future prospects.
Who Else Could Be Retained (Indian Players)?
Prolific opener Gaikwad: The stylish right-hander has impressed one and all with his consistent batting in IPL 2021. He was the top scorer in last year’s edition with 635 runs under his belt from 16 matches. The 24-year-old has age on his side and CSK could bank on him as a prolific opener.
All-rounder Ravindra Jadeja: The utility player is currently among the best all-rounders in the world. He is a proven match winner both with the bat and ball. He is also a livewire in the field whose sheer presence on the ground adds value and lifts the morale of the team. He is a valuable asset for any team and it is most likely that CSK will retain him to lend a balance to the squad.