The Chennai Super Kings (CSK) ravaged many other teams in the IPL with MS Dhoni as their captain. But with his recent retirement announcement, he bows out as captain to one of the IPL’s most star-studded teams.
MS Dhoni has been the poster boy of his team since 2008, and many people were expecting his captaincy to continue for much longer. He led the CSK to one of their most successful spells in history and his retirement is a rude shock to countless teeming fans.
Under MS Dhoni’s leadership, CSK recorded the IPL’s highest match-winning percentage of 58.9%, snapping up four (4) championships along the way. CSK also made more playoff appearances (11) and IPL final berths (9) throughout his captaincy.
The CSK announced that MS Dhoni will lead the team in the 2023 calendar-ending season. Also, the franchise confirmed that this will be Dhoni’s last season with CSK and he will leave the league in front of a cheering Chennai fan base.
Choosing a suitable successor to MS Dhoni as CSK captain for subsequent seasons currently poses a challenge to the franchise owners.
In over 190 games as captain, Dhoni led his team to over 110 victories, 70+ losses, and one match with no result. Let’s see some of the top contenders in line to replace MS Dhoni as CSK captain in future seasons.
All-rounder Ben Stokes signed for the Super Kings at the IPL 2023 Mini Auction. CSK looked to solve most strategic problems in their team with his signing and may have an experienced leader on their books as well.
Stokes has a knack for reading games and can make the right decisions at critical segments of play. He also has natural leadership skills evident in his performance for his previous team and England.
Stokes doubles as a motivator and could become an excellent mentor to young players. Many commentators believe Stokes’ track record makes him an immediate candidate to lead the Super Kings in future seasons.
His vast set of skills and experience could prove vital to CSK’s title charge and the team can groom natural-born leaders through him.
Ruturaj Gaikwad is a young batsman with an incredible run-production rate. The fast-rising batman collected 368 runs at a 26-run per-game average in a season where CSK couldn’t make the playoffs.
Gaikwad was also an integral factor in CSK’s 2021 success, ensuring his heroics got the team a record-breaking fourth championship. At only 25, he is one of the most valuable IPL batters and a hot prospect for future seasons.
Gaikwad currently serves as team captain for Maharashtra in local cricket. The CSK may turn to his potential leadership skills to guide their franchise to more cricket glory in subsequent seasons.
Devon Conway is one of CSK’s most-experienced players, making him a natural contender for the skipper position. The New Zealander has improved game-reading abilities and can be reliable whenever his team needs alert responses to games to secure victory.
His team-playing skills and experience as a smart cricketer might come in handy for the CSK. Many commentators expect him to become a CSK skipper or leader in any other team he might trade to in future seasons.
Ravindra Jadeja has been CSK captain before, but his stint as skipper left Chennai fans disappointed. Throughout eight contests, Jadeja led the CSK to one of the most horrible runs in their history. His on-the-pitch leadership skills were non-existent and CSK slumped to repeat defeats under his leadership.
Losing six games and winning two from a possible eight matches isn’t what CSK fans expect from a prospective captain. However, the bad patch of form during that stint doesn’t rule him out from ever being the CSK skipper again.
Jadeja is one of the team’s longest-serving all-rounders, and things can change pretty quickly in cricket. Ravindra can influence games and bowl or bat with increased accuracy. It will not be an outright shock if CSK chooses him as their captain, and fans can only hope for the best if that happens.
Mooen Ali is a senior CSK player and respected figure among fans and teammates. The experienced all-rounder has sharp skills unavailable from many players in the IPL. His experience with the team and respect among players makes him a top contender for the CSK skipper. He also has the match-winning mentality and game-reading ability of Dhoni, meaning he could be a perfect fit as a skipper.