For every fan of Chennai Super Kings, it was a huge astonishment when they learned about the change of baton of the team and that MS Dhoni has handed over the captaincy of CSK. The announcement of transition was made on Thursday -March 24, two days ahead of the commencement of IPL 2022 where the CSK will be opening the season.
In a crucial changeover, MS Dhoni has decided to give the baton to Ravindra Jadeja, a successful all-rounder whom the team has retained in the club of four players of retention for the upcoming season. 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. 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. In the 14-year history of IPL, Dhoni has led CSK since the beginning barring the two years when the team was banned and won a special place in the hearts of Chennai fans more than any other captain of the IPL teams. 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.
As the defending champions, CSK is ready to face the battle under the new leadership with Dhoni remaining as a batsman. As a most successful all-rounder, Jadeja was bought by CSK in 2012 for Rs 9.8 crore, making him the most expensive player of that auction. He has been a gamechanger for the CSK in several matches and won a respectable legacy and prominence among Indian cricket fans. For CSK fans, even if the team wins IPL 2022, Dhoni's captaincy will be a great miss. The fans extend their wishes to Jadeja, who will be driving CSK's legacy and will be captaining the team's campaign of winning the title.