Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Veteran wicketkeeper-batsman MS Dhoni had handed over the captaincy position of Chennai Super Kings (CSK) to young Ruturaj Gaikwad on the eve of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 season opener at Chepauk.

Earlier, former South Africa great AB de Villiers had reckoned that Dhoni’s decision to relinquish the captaincy position in CSK was a ‘huge mistake’. The Mr 360 degree batter even recalled the infamous Ravindra Jadeja move from the 2022 season.

With CSK finishing fifth in IPL 2024, with seven wins and as many losses in the season, De Villers recalled his pre-season remark, saying that Dhoni should remain the captain of CSK if he is part of the squad.

According to the former Proteas skipper, Dhoni’s decision to step down from the leadership role made the five-time champions less intimidating throughout the season. The development led to a decline in their performance. He pointed out instances where Dhoni’s strategic decisions could have made a difference in crucial matches.

“I called it a mistake. What I meant by that was with Dhoni around, playing against MS for so many years, that is the most intimidating sight to have him as an opposing captain,” said De Villers during a recent interaction.

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“They took away quite a bit of intimidation factor from CSK with not having him as captain. It’s got nothing to do with Gaikwad’s captaincy. I actually think he’s got a very bright future and he captained extremely well,” he added.

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