Former India opener Aakash Chopra feels Chennai Super Kings (CSK) are playing with only 10 players plus a specialist captain in the form of MS Dhoni due to the skipper’s poor run as a batter.
From 10 matches so far in IPL 2021, MS Dhoni has been able to collect just 52 runs. The legendary leader’s average of 10.40 and strike rate of 108.33 are the worst for him in his 14-year career with CSK.
However, Aakash Chopra also said that CSK’s backing of MS Dhoni is not by force but by choice. The former opener argued that without Dhoni, CSK would neither have made a comeback from the two-year ban by winning the trophy in 2018, nor would they have reached the top of the table in this season.
The 44-year-old said,
“He’s currently only playing like a captain and wicketkeeper because either he bats so down the order or not at all. Sometimes when he gets to bat, he isn’t able to do much. So the truth is that CSK is playing with 10 players and he’s there as a captain. But this is another interesting bit about Dhoni – this time can only be run by him.”
He further lauded the CSK skipper saying,”CSK’s turnaround, the comeback and the transformation to the “Champion Super Kings” is only because MS Dhoni’s captaincy. If he had not been there this environment would not have been created. So when the big auction arrives, maybe you want MS Dhoni on your side to make and run his team before moving forward to the future.”
MS Dhoni’s batting failures in the first half of IPL 2021 were mostly due to him batting low down the order and not giving himself much time at the crease. However, the UAE-phase has brought him troubles against spin and a poor ability to put pressure back on the bowlers to the fore.
Whether CSK will retain MS Dhoni next year?
On being asked whether CSK will retain MS Dhoni ahead of IPL 2022, Aakash Chopra said that they shouldn’t if they strictly go by the rationales of form, age and the mega-auction factor.
But he also said that the CSK-Dhoni relationship is more ’emotional’ than logical, which means that they will possibly give him another year before asking him to play the role of “Mentor Singh Dhoni.”
Chopra elaborated the point saying,”If you look at it on the basis of form, his age, and the mega auction for a three-year term, they should not logically retain him. But Dhoni-CSK is not logical, it’s emotional. When you make an emotional investment, you see your kid as the most beautiful, the most talented human and that’s the kind of relationship they have.
I believe he’ll stay for another year and try and run the team because there are only six months between this IPL and the next. He’ll stay there like a captain for now and then probably become a mentor later, Mentor Singh Dhoni.”
CSK’s next match
CSK will play against SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH) today at 7:30 PM IST, and a victory will guarantee them a berth in the playoffs.