On captaincy, Chennai Super Kings refuse to think beyond MSD
To think of CSK, is to think of Dhoni — the captain, the batsman and the wicket-keeper. However, with Dhoni set to turn 38 by next season, his decision on how to continue will be keenly watched.Updated: May 03, 2019, 19:40 IST
To say Chennai Super Kings have dominated the Indian Premier League under MS Dhoni’s captaincy would be an understatement. They have made it to every playoff since 2008, barring 2017 and 2018 when they were banned, and have been champions three times.
To think of CSK, is to think of Dhoni — the captain, the batsman and the wicket-keeper. However, with Dhoni set to turn 38 by next season, his decision on how to continue will be keenly watched.
Suresh Raina, who led Chennai Super Kings in two matches this season, may have left some clue on it on Wednesday. When asked how challenging it is to lead CSK, when Dhoni is not around, he replied: “I think I have done well for Gujarat Lions (as captain) as well as couple of games for India. I think losing him as a captain is not an issue, but losing him as a batsman is always difficult for us.
“That’s what happened to us against Hyderabad and Mumbai Indians (in both games CSK lost). He has done really well in the last couple of years as a captain as well as team mentor.
Probably you might see me more next season when he says ‘Ok I am done. Now you look after.’ But I still need more of his caliber,” Raina said after CSK’s win over Delhi Capitals. When prodded further about a probable date, Raina replied: “No, he has not given any hint. I think as long as he wants to play (he will play). In Chennai you know how (popular) he is.”
Raina, whose 37-ball 59 along with Dhoni’s 22-ball 44 helped their team to 179/4, went on to explain Dhoni’s impact.
“He gives other players freedom and when he comes (to bat) a lot of pressure is created on other teams. For me I have done well in captaincy, but as far as my batting is concerned in those two games, I didn’t do well. When he is not in the team you can see the difference,” Raina said.