Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Veteran wicket-keeper batsman MS Dhoni is known as the ‘Captain’ Cool among his fans across the globe. He has led Team India and his Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Chennai Super Kings (CSK) equally well. Under his leadership, CSK have emerged champions in IPL four times.

However, Dhoni has certainly reached the fag end of his IPL career. Speculation is rife that the upcoming edition of the cash rich league will be the last edition of IPL for Dhoni. However, his former CSK teammate Suresh Raina has hinted a couple of days back that Dhoni may continue playing in the league in 2024 depending upon his performances and fitness in 2023 edition of the league.

Though it doesn’t seem impossible, CSK management must have the vision to pass the leadership mantle to somebody else who is younger and who has leadership traits. In the last edition, all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja was appointed as the skipper of the team. However, Dhoni was reinstated as the captain following a string of poor performances by the team. But in 2024, it is almost a certainty that the team will witness a new captain at the helm of the affairs.

CSK strengthened their squad in the last auction as they won an intense bidding war for England’s star all-rounder Ben Stokes. The English cricketer is widely touted to be CSK’s next captain after Dhoni. However, the heavy toll on his body as a top class all-rounder and his partial availability for CSK due to his commitment to his national team has put a question mark on him as the future captain of the team.

However, former cricketer and one of the all-time best performers of the franchise, Suresh Raina has hinted that it could actually be promising batter Ruturaj Gaikwad who takes over the reins from Dhoni. Ruturaj made his CSK debut in the 2020 edition of IPL. The talented batter had a breakthrough season a year later, when he won the Orange Cap.