Ahead of IPL 2022, one question that is lingering on the minds of many is if MS Dhoni would continue to play in the competition. Several reports suggest that MSD would not retire, and there have been indications that he would be the first retention for CSK. However, 40-years-old, MS Dhoni would himself agree that CSK might not benefit a lot in the long run if they retain him. Hence, there is a possibility that they might not keep hold of their talisman. If that happens, the captain and the wicket-keeper slot would go vacant in the franchise. In this article, we take a look at four wicket-keeper options for Chennai Super Kings if they do not retain MS Dhoni for IPL 2022.
1) Sanju Samson
It is said that before IPL 2021, CSK tried to sign Sanju Samson from Rajasthan Royals in a trade deal. However, RR offered him the captaincy role and CSK went ahead with hiring Robin Uthappa. That said, Sanju Samson has recently unfollowed the Royals on social media and has instead started following CSK. This has triggered rumours that he might be interested in replacing MSD at CSK.
It will actually be a stunning deal if CSK can pull it off. Sanju must first decline RR’s retainment offer, and the new teams should also have him untouched if CSK has to target him at the auctions. In Sanju, CSK will get a modern T20 batter, a wicket-keeper and a captain for the future.
2) Jonny Bairstow
In 28 IPL games so far, Jonny Bairstow has scored 1038 runs at an average of 41.52 and a strike rate of 142.19. This is exactly what an IPL franchise expects out of a foreign batsman. Moreover, the Englishman is a wicket-keeper. For CSK, he would be a realistic option since SRH may not retain him.
While Bairstow is best suited to the opening position, he also has the skills to do well at No.4. With MS Dhoni absent, Bairstow would be a decent replacement for the legend in the middle-order. Hence, he is one of the wicket-keeper options for CSK if they do not retain MS Dhoni for IPL 2022.
3) Ishan Kishan
Ishan Kishan may actually not be retained by Mumbai Indians because they have other options in the franchise. If the new teams also do not pick him, CSK could try targeting the Jharkand youngster.
Ishan is a fearless cricketer and will be a great addition to the brand of CSK. He is a solid wicket-keeper and having led the Indian U19 squad in the past, he also possesses leadership skills. Ishan and Ruturaj Gaikwad together could actually be a breathtaking combination. Therefore, CSK could try to hire the southpaw.
4) Dinesh Karthik
The domestic wicket-keeper slot is one of the toughest spots to fill in an IPL XI. There are usually very few options available for this position. Moreover, with a mega-auction in the pipeline, the competition will be intense. Hence, at times, franchises might have to go with a different strategy while building their squads.
Dinesh Karthik has often expressed his admiration for CSK. The franchise can take DK aboard for future editions. DK brings experience both with the gloves and the bat. He knows the Chepauk pitch very well and that will be a bonus. If CSK can have a long batting line-up as they did in IPL 2021, a player like Dinesh can be really dangerous. Most importantly, DK is from Chennai and the fans will love having him in the squad.