CSK lost six out of its eight matches so far in the ongoing edition of the Indian Premier League.
“Jadeja took this decision to focus and concentrate more on his game & has requested MS Dhoni to lead CSK,” the IPL franchise said in a statement.
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— Chennai Super Kings (@ChennaiIPL) 1651326086000
“Dhoni has accepted to lead CSK in the larger interest & to allow Jadeja to focus on his game,” the statement further read.
Jadeja’s game has also suffered due to the pressure that comes with leadership responsibility as he has scored only 112 runs and taken five wickets in the eight games so far.
Former India captain Dhoni led Chennai to their fourth IPL title last year but stepped down before the start of the current season.
CSK are currently ninth in the 10-team tournament and face Sunrisers Hyderabad in their next match on Sunday.
The return of Dhoni as captain might cheer fans but it is Jadeja who is the more critical person here. If he found… https://t.co/UWegzm4Wx1
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) 1651329522000
The development shows that Indian team’s most dependable all-format all-rounder struggled to come out of his illustrious predecessor’s shadow after being asked to lead the ‘Canary Yellow’ brigade at the beginning of the league.
In reality, Jadeja’s ascension was a lot about CSK’s second in command for years Suresh Raina losing form and being released by the franchise. It was more of a distress move with distinct lack of options.
“In an ideal world, till 2020, it was Raina who was always the natural successor to Dhoni having lead whenever he has been injured. But when he lost form and was released, CSK didn’t have a second line of leadership ready,” an IPL insider told PTI on conditions of anonymity.
“For the record, Jadeja had only led Saurashtra once, that too at junior level 14 years back.”
In fact, one of the prominent current India players, who is leading another franchise in the tournament was sounded out by CSK with offers of joint captaincy alongside Dhoni but the player declined, knowing that in case the team failed, the blame will be upon him and if the team won, the accolades will all go to Dhoni.
While Jadeja on record said that Dhoni had told him about CSK captaincy at least two months before the IPL began, there were lot of conjectures as to why the announcement was made 24 hours before the start of the tournament.
“Look, nothing happens in CSK without MSD’s approval. He is the first, second, third and last word when it comes to cricketing matters. Doesn’t matter who captains the side.
“If CSK would have announced Dhoni’s decision to step down two months before IPL, it would have affected the potential team sponsors’ morale. Once the sponsors were all locked in, it’s safer to make an announcement,” a BCCI insider, who has been tracking developments explained.
With CSK currently placed ninth, there is only a mathematical possibility of making it to the play-offs but Dhoni in charge can still intimidate opposition team.
But it will be interesting as to who agrees to lead the team next year if Dhoni decides to continue playing while closing in on his 42nd birthday in 2023.
(With inputs from PTI)
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