Indian batsman Robin Uthappa believes all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja can be the next man to lead the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) once MS Dhoni retires. Jadeja has been retained by the defending champions for a whopping INR 16 crores.
The other players retained by the Super Kings are MS Dhoni for INR 12 crores, Ruturaj Gaikwad for INR 6 crores, and all-rounder Moeen Ali for INR 8 crores. Uthappa feels MS Dhoni has been in the right position to groom the youngsters and also groom the next leader for the franchise.
Speaking about MS Dhoni’s role as a mentor, Uthappa told The Republic: “I am sure that is MS Dhoni’s doing itself. He knows the value that Jadeja has to the unit. I think, from what I understand, Jadeja might be someone who could end up leading the squad in the future as well when MS Dhoni retires. They have given him the due he deserved.”
MS Dhoni led CSK to a sensational turnaround in IPL 2021
In the IPL 2020 season, CSK failed to make it to the playoffs for the first time in their history. The then three-time champions could only win six games in the league phase and were knocked out. Being mocked for their poor form and the presence of too many senior players in the squad, CSK had a task on their hands to turn around their fortunes.
Next season, CSK was determined to prove their doubters wrong and made some impactful signings like Moeen Ali. They also gave youngster Ruturaj Gaikwad an extended run at the top of the order. Gaikwad proved to be a hidden gem in the CSK ranks as he ended up winning the Orange cap, scoring 635 runs in just 16 games at an average of 45.35 and a strike rate of 136.26.
Moeen Ali also unleashed himself as an impactful batsman at No.3 and his counter-attacking style of play helped CSK get that extra impetus in the powerplay overs especially. Ravindra Jadeja became more consistent with his finishing ability and this was a huge relief for CSK as MS Dhoni’s form with the bat was a bit worrying. Jadeja also contributed with the ball, and CSK began to punch above their weight as a unit and won the IPL 2021 title.
With Jadeja, Dhoni, Moeen Ali, and Gaikwad in their ranks, CSK has a strong core on which they can build further. It will be interesting to see the kind of players that they bring in the IPL 2022 Mega auction.