IPL 2022: Except for MS Dhoni, the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) have never had anybody else in command of the squad on a full-time basis. Dhoni, affectionately known as ‘Thala,’ has been captain of the squad from its beginning. He has featured in 213 matches. Since 2008, Chennai Super Kings (CSK), who have won four IPL championships to their credit, have advanced to the playoffs in 11 of the 12 seasons in which they have been part. They have also reached the finals nine times.
Suresh Raina, commonly known as Chinna Thala, has been Dhoni’s ‘Mr. Dependable’ for most of the last decade. In this season, Raina, who was not selected by any team this year, will be seen joining the Hindi commentators. Given that Raina has been a member of the Yellow Army from its inception, he knows all there is to know about their captain and his crew, as well as about its management and decision-making style.
When questioned about who may succeed Dhoni as captain in a webinar presented by Star Sports, he responded as follows: “Rayudu is there. Then you have Robin Uthappa, and then you have DJ Bravo. Having said that, I believe Jadeja has a terrific cricketing intellect and has been doing well lately.”
IPL 2022: CSK captain candidate Ravindra Jadeja is the front-runner to take over from MS Dhoni
When it comes to the position, Ravindra Jadeja appears to be the front-runner among the four names mentioned by Raina. The age factor appears to be a significant factor in this case. Bravo, the Caribbean all-rounder, is 38 years old, while Robin Uthappa and Ambati Rayudu are both 36 years old. Jadeja, the youngest of the group at 33 years old, seems to be the ideal match for the team since he is expected to remain with the team for the next four to five years. Furthermore, Jadeja is the highest-paid player in the franchise, having been signed by the club for a record-breaking INR 16 crore.
Raina said that CSK would have to start the season on a strong note if they are to live up to the huge expectations placed on them by the fans. While he feels that CSK has the ability and experience to make it to the playoffs, he cautions that the dew factor at both the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai and the MCA International Stadium in Pune would be something to consider while planning strategy.
“I am prepared for this,” he replied when asked about making his commentary debut on the show. “Already, several of my friends, like Irfan Pathan, Harbhajan Singh, and Piyush Chawla, are working as commentators. Then there’s Ravi Bhai (Shastri), who’ll be appearing in this season as well. As a result, I believe it will be simple for me. I can learn from my friends’ experiences. I am delighted and looking forward to taking on this responsibility,”Raina said.