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‘Would’ve made more sense if Dhoni had retired’: MSD’s captaincy ‘hand over’ move slammed before CSK’s IPL 2024 opener

MS Dhoni relinquished the CSK captaincy on Thursday, handing it over to Ruturaj Gaikwad ahead of IPL 2024 opener

MS Dhoni and Chennai Super Kings sent the cricket fraternity into frenzy right before the start of the 2024 Indian Premier League, as the five-time champion CSK veteran stepped down from captaincy, handing the reins to Ruturaj Gaikwad. Dhoni had led the side to a title win last season but trusted Gaikwad for the leadership duty this year, who made his CSK debut in 2019.

Chennai Super Kings’ MS Dhoni during a training session ahead of the IPL 2024 opener(PTI)

This is the second time when Dhoni handed over the captaincy to his teammate at CSK. Two years ago, the legendary wicketkeeper-batter relinquished the duty to Ravindra Jadeja, but the move didn’t reap the rewards for the Super Kings, as the side struggled with its on-field performances. Consequently, Dhoni took over mid-way through the season, but it was too late, even for him, to revive the season.

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Also read Ruturaj Gaikwad kickstarts CSK’s new era as title holders host Virat Kohli-starrer RCB in electrifying IPL 2024 opener

It seems that the decision made this year was thought through significantly as Gaikwad revealed that Dhoni had dropped hints of relinquishing captaincy in a private chat with him. Regardless, even if it felt inevitable for a 42-year-old Dhoni to someday step aside, the news still came as a shock to fans and former cricketers alike.

Wasim Jaffer, however, was not too pleased with the timing of the call. According to the former India opener – who also worked with Punjab Kings as their batting coach – Dhoni should have only stepped aside if he wanted to retire.

“I think it would have made more sense if MS Dhoni was not around. He had retired, and he was not around. It would have made any captain’s life a lot easier. Now, with MS Dhoni being around, it always makes a job a lot more difficult for any captain,” Jaffer told ESPNCricinfo.

“Whether he takes any decision and whether Dhoni agrees to it or not. Whether he likes those decisions. And you are on your own, and we all know that Ruturaj Gaikwad would have been the successor. But I think if Dhoni was not around, it would have made a lot more easier,” said Jaffer.

There has been no official announcement over MS Dhoni’s playing future in the IPL. The decision to step down as captain, however, has been made to facilitate a smooth transition period.

CSK to meet RCB in opener

The Super Kings will kickstart their new era on March 22 when the side takes on the Royal Challengers Bengaluru in Chennai. The match will mark the return of two of India’s cricketing greats, MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli.


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