This is that time of the year. The 15th edition of the Indian Premier League is starting and for last few weeks along with international cricket for both men and women, IPL was also in focus and various team news and other related updates were coming frequently. However, the biggest of them all came last week from the Chennai Super Kings camp when they announced stepping down of MS Dhoni from the captaincy position.
Over the years, captain MS Dhoni and Chennai Super Kings were synonymous to each other and in the franchise history, there was only one match till date when MS Dhoni was not their captain. Over this period, Dhoni led them in 213 matches, winning 130 of them which gave him a winning percentage of a whooping 61%. He also led them to four trophies and countless more Playoff positions and their status of the second most successful IPL franchise after Mumbai Indians is unquestionable.
Dhoni is replaced as a captain by Ravindra Jadeja, one of the biggest match winners for the team and India. Interestingly, it was Dhoni who went on to pick his successor. Jadeja is also one of the senior-most players, being part of this franchise since 2012. In recent years, Jadeja’s contributions with both bat and the ball have improved, and he has helped his team in many key moments to tilt the result towards their favour. No wonder Dhoni has chosen him to be the next CSK captain. Butthis will be the first time, Jadeja will lead any side in his 277th T20 match. No player has playedthese number of games before his T20 captaincy debut.
Dhoni was an inspirational leader for CSK over the years and installed his cool and calm nature in the philosophy of this team. The teams were almost always a good mix of youth and experience with every player having clarity of their role in the squad. And not only the four triumphs, but there were also so many memorable encounters where Dhoni displayed his captaincy and the great cricketing brain to turn the results in favour of CSK, including from few very precarious situations.
On Saturday, in will be start of a new era of Chennai Super Kings under the man who was christened ‘The Rockstar’ by Shane Warne. Now, whether he can be another charismatic leader for Chennai, that will be one of the questions fans will look forward to over next few weeks. One big advantage for Jadeja will be that MS Dhoni is still around as a player and should play most of the games for the side. So, either be in the dressing room or on the ground, Jadeja can find the assuring hand of Dhoni on his shoulder while facing tricky situation as he can guide him towards success with his nearly 15 years of experience in captaining T20 matches.