'Thala Dhoni and Chennai will...': Virender Sehwag after MS Dhoni relinquished his CSK captaincy!

Former Indian cricketer, who is prominent for his terrific batting, Virender Sehwag has opened up about the end of MS Dhoni's era as the captain of Chennai Super Kings (CSK). On Thursday, the CSK has announced that Dhoni has decided to hand over the baton of captaincy to all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja. The announcement has come two days ahead of the commencement of the IPL 2022 season and the upcoming edition is packed with ten teams. 

Reacting to the change of baton, Sehwag said that Dhoni and Chennai will remain a connection and that Chennai was fortunate to have a leader like Dhoni. The former batsman has called Dhoni 'Thala' like how the latter is fondly called by his fans. Taking to Twitter, Sehwag wrote, "One of the great stories of the brand that is Indian Premier League. Thala Dhoni and Chennai will remain a connection like very few."

"Chennai was fortunate to have a leader like him and the support and love he has got from owners and the city has been unbelievable", he added. Dhoni has been a successful captain of the IPL and has been instrumental in the milestones of Chennai Super Kings (CSK). Under his captaincy, CSK has won four titles and still enjoys as the only team in the IPL that entered the finals more times.

With the new role, Jadeja makes history by becoming the third player to lead CSK after MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina, who led the team for a brief tenure. The announcement of the change of captaincy has swiftly drawn nationwide attention. In an official statement, CSK has said, "MS Dhoni has decided to hand over the leadership of Chennai Super Kings and picked Ravindra Jadeja to lead the team. Jadeja, who has been an integral part of Chennai Super Kings since 2012, will only be the third player to lead CSK. Dhoni will continue to represent Chennai Super Kings this season and beyond." 

On why Dhoni has decided to relinquish the captaincy, CSK's Chief Executive Officer Kasi Viswanathan has revealed that Dhoni was thinking about the transition. Speaking to ESPN Cricinfo, Viswanathan has stated that Dhoni has wanted the leadership transition to be smooth and felt Jadeja was ready to take up the role for the team. The Chief further said that Dhoni had announced the decision on Thursday at the team meeting before the squad left for training. 

Viswanathan said, "MS Dhoni was thinking about it. He felt it is the right time to hand over the captaincy to Jaddu (Jadeja). He feels Jaddu is also in the prime form of his career and it is the ideal time for him to lead CSK. What will be good for the franchise must be in the back of his mind." The Chief added that while Dhoni had not personally informed him of his decision in advance, it was not a surprise to the franchise, and they had discussed the plan of changing the baton even before IPL 2021 and kept Jadeja in an alert to take over the baton. 

Viswanathan has noted that Dhoni was waiting for the right time, the time as when he had handed over the captaincy of the Indian team to Virat Kohli and added that the CSK management has good confidence in Jadeja's leadership. Viswanathan said, "Jaddu has the potential to do well for the franchise. He is a good all-round cricketer, playing his best, he can get the team around. And MS' guidance will always be there. This will be a good induction programme." 

CSK is all set to take on Kolkata Knight Riders on March 26- Saturday as the second opener at the Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai. Unlike the previous seasons, the current edition of IPL will bring in ten teams, with the induction of two new teams and the teams were split up into two groups. For now, Dhoni will not be leaving the CSK and his relationship with the team as a player will last for two more seasons.