MS Dhoni is widely counted amongst the greatest captains of all time in the game of cricket, having led India to two World Cups. He has seen even more success in the IPL – leading Chennai Super Kings to three titles. However, age is fast catching up with ‘captain cool’ as he is already 39.
After a lackluster showing by Dhoni’s CSK in the recently concluded IPL, many have questioned the wicket-keeper batsman’s ability at this age. One of them is former India opener Aakash Chopra, who went on to say that CSK should not retain their talismanic skipper Dhoni, in case a mega IPL auction takes place and that releasing him would be a much better idea.
“I think CSK should release MS Dhoni going into the mega auction, if there is a mega auction then you will be with that player for three years. But will Dhoni stay with you for three years? I am not saying don’t keep Dhoni, he will play the next IPL, but if you keep him as a retained player but you will have to pay Rs 15 crore,” Chopra said on his Facebook show Aakash Vani.
Chopra raises a very valid point by pointing that in case a mega auction takes place, then the franchise will have to hold on to the same players for three years. He questioned whether Dhoni will stay for another three years and just retaining him will cost CSK Rs 15 crores.
The video can be accessed from his Twitter post here:
If it’s a big auction before #IPL2021, can #CSK afford to retain anyone? Perhaps, letting everyone go and then use RTM to acquire some players again be prudent. Here’s my take in today’s #AakashVani https://t.co/gv80LggqIk
— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) November 17, 2020
CSK had finished at a disappointing seventh position in the points table of IPL 2020. They had loitered around at the bottom of the table for most of the tournament, becoming the first team to get knocked out of the Playoffs contention.
“If Dhoni does not stay with you for three years and he plays just the 2021 season, you will get the Rs 15 crore back for the 2022 edition, but how will you find a player worth that Rs 15 crore? That’s the advantage of a mega auction, you can create a big team if you have the money,” said Chopra.
Chopra, widely seen doing commentary these days, said that if CSK still wanted Dhoni in their team, then the best option would be to pick him with the Right To Match card as then they can pick the correct players by having the right amount of money in their purse. Not retaining Dhoni will give them Rs 15 crore extra for the auctions.
“If you release Dhoni for the mega auction, you can pick him with the Right To Match card and you can pick the right players by having the desired money in your kitty. You can pick Dhoni in the auction, from CSK point of view, if they release Dhoni and then pick him up in auction, it would be beneficial for them,” he added.
Chennai were called as ‘Dad’s Army’ in IPL 2020 by various sections of the media as well as the fans for their ageing side. They had the highest average age of any side in the tournament with their rusty performances further showcasing a declining team. They failed to get into the IPL Playoffs for the first time in their history.
Chopra further opined that CSK don’t have many players for the future and they actually ‘need’ a mega auction. One of their star performers over the years, Shane Watson, already announced his retirement form professional cricket recently.
“CSK needs a mega auction, the side does not have many players that can be retained. If you want to make a team from the scratch, then are you willing to spend big bucks on the likes of Faf du Plessis and Ambati Rayudu? I don’t think that CSK will look at the likes of Raina and Harbhajan if they are making a team from scratch,” Chopra concluded.
Dhoni had returned to competitive cricket in IPL 2020 after 437 days away. He scored just 200 runs from his 12 innings at a sub-par strike-rate of 25, failing to score single half-century.