Three superstars who can replace MS Dhoni as Chennai Super Kings captain in IPL& |  Photo Credit: PTI
- Legendary cricketer MS Dhoni has been leading Chennai Super Kings (CSK) since 2008
- CSK skipper MS Dhoni has played 211 matches in the Indian Premier League (IPL)
- The 39-year-old has guided CSK to three title triumphs in the IPL
Even though MS Dhoni had a ‘Definitely Not’ moment last year when the talismanic batsman of the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) was asked to address the never-ending retirement rumours, there is no denying that the legendary skipper of the Yellow Brigade has definitely entered the twilight of his iconic career. The most decorated captain in the history of the game on the international circuit, Dhoni has had a trophy-laden career across all formats.
The only captain to have won all ICC major titles, Dhoni enjoys his legendary status even in the Indian Premier League (IPL). The beating heart of the Chennai Super Kings single-handedly made the Yellow Brigade one of the most successful teams in the history of the Indian Premier League. Under Dhoni’s leadership, CSK have managed to win the IPL on three occasions and the Chennai-based franchise is the only team to have won two Champions League Twenty20 titles.
Fast forwarding the clock to the present, Dhoni will turn 40 when the domestic cricket’s biggest extravaganza resumes next. Though Dhoni has been indispensable throughout his franchise career, CSK are expected to embrace a changing of the guards in the coming seasons. Having said that, let’s take a look at three potential candidates and superstars who can take over the reins from timeless Dhoni at CSK in the IPL.
1) Ravindra Jadeja
Ravindra Jadeja has been CSK’s knight in shining armour for several years. One of the best all-rounders across all formats, Jadeja is a vital cog at the Chepauk. From rescuing CSK by coming up with much-needed breakthroughs to going absolute bonkers while batting in death overs, Jadeja has acted like a trump card for Dhoni-led CSK throughout his IPL career. One of the most capped players for the Yellow Brigade, Jadeja is only 32 and the veteran all-rounder is undoubtedly next in line to lead CSK.
2) Steve Smith
With Shreyas Iyer injured and Avesh Khan peaking at the right time, head coach Ricky Ponting is making the most of the two scenarios to keep Steven Smith in Delhi Capitals’ playing XI. The former Rajasthan Royals skipper has hardly made his mark at the Delhi Capitals in his debut season. Once Iyer makes his return and Smith will be pitted against the likes of Ajinkya Rahane and Shimron Hetmyer for a place in the playing XI. Smith’s position and selection are not guaranteed at Delhi Capitals but it all can change if CSK come calling in the coming years.
3) David Warner
For several years, the idea of Kane Williamson making a sensational move to Chennai Super Kings has been fantasized by pundits and fans of the gentlemen’s game. However, Williamson has been the go-to man for the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) and his leadership skills need no introduction. In the absence of David Warner, Williamson led SRH from the front and even guided Hyderabad to the final of the IPL in 2018.
Why not Kane Williamson
After SRH recorded an abysmal start to the 14th season under Warner, Williamson was re-appointed as the skipper as the Australian opener was sacked from captainship. Warner was not only relieved from captaincy duties but the Australian southpaw was also dropped from the playing XI.
If the situation remains the same at the SRH, Williamson can be easily retained as the full-time captain and Warner will be shown the exit door before next year’s mega auction. CSK had triggered a bidding war when they went after Glenn Maxwell at the IPL 2021 auction. The Chennai-based franchise was eventually pleased to sign Moeen Ali for a hefty price tag (INR 7 crore). So when CSK will be in a hunt to replace Thala Dhoni, expect them to break the bank!