Chennai Super Kings who almost lost their chance of entering into the playoff had “captaincy confusion” this season.
Two days before the start of the tournament, Ravindra Jadeja was named the captain after MS Dhoni decided to step down, but eight matches, the former India skipper was back at the helm with Jadeja opting to focus on his own game. While MS Dhoni won his first match after the reinstatement (vs SRH), the RCB loss have pegged back the four-time champions.
Harbhajan Singh Praises MS Dhoni
Former India off-spinner Harbhajan Singh who has played for the franshise feels that the team is going to find it difficult to find a replacement for Dhoni in the coming years, ” When you have a captain like MS Dhoni, it is difficult to get someone and expect that person to replicate what Dhoni has been doing.
To replace him as a captain (in CSK) is going to be a tough decision. It is a big shoes to fill. I still feel he is the best captain in IPL. They tried with Ravindra Jadeja but failed and they have gone back to MS which is a great thing.
It is going to be interesting to see how CSK performs beyond Dhoni. When we talk about Dhoni’s captaincy he has won the T20 World cup, the World Cup and even Champions Trophy and has been so successful in IPL.
A lot of credit goes to him who has been running the show for so many years. He will always be in the dugout with CSK but being there and being on field are two different things.”
Singh has been a part of Mumbai Indians and CSK – the two most successful IPL teams in history. Both teams have been struggling this season and are sitting at the bottom of the points table at the moment.
Citing the reason for the dismal performance, Singh says that the major squad changes after the mega auction have made a huge difference, “I think the auction didn’t go well with Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians and they haven’t look strong. This is the first time that we have seen that they don’t have bowlers who can defend 150 runs barring Jasprit Bumrah or Ravindra Jadeja.
They have good and quality players but the other teams especially Gujarat Lions and Lucknow Super Giants have made a really strong team. Also, IPL is one of the tournaments which gives every team a chance so this is a great opportunity for other teams to showcase their talents.”
On the positive side, spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav have performed really well in the tournament. While Chahal found a new team in Rajasthan Royals and the leg-spinner has played a key role in his team’s success, Yadav who didn’t get much game-time at KKR in recent seasons, has been backed by Delhi Capitals as one of their strike bowlers.
The former Indian cricketer believes that both should be a part of Indian team for the upcoming T20 World Cup to be held in Australia in October-November, 2022.
“I don’t know why they (selectors) broke that partnership which was doing well for India. I certainly believe that you have to bring ‘Kulcha’ back, Kuldeep and Yuzvendra, I think they have been brilliant for team India.
When they played together, they took wickets in the middle overs, whether it was T20s, ODIs or any format, they played together, they were very successful. It will be great to see them bowling in Australia, where the grounds are big and they both are quality bowlers.
Their mentality is always to take wickets,” Singh said at the launch event of Dream Set Go, also attended by former Indian cricketer VVS Laxman.
Harbhajan Singh Praises Umran Malik
Singh has also been impressed with 21 year old Umran Malik. The youngster made heads turn on Thursday, clocking 157 kmph – the fastest delivery of the tournament – against Delhi Capitals on Thursday and has been consistently clocking in 150kmph.
“He (Umran Malik) is my favourite. I want to see him in the Indian team because of what a bowler he is. Tell me any one bowler who bowls more than 150 (kmph) and isn’t playing for the country.
So I think, it is a great great thing and he will inspire many youngsters to take up this game, where he has come from and what he is doing in the IPL, he is unbelievable,” he said adding,
“I don’t know whether he will be selected or not, but if I were a part of the selection committee, I would have given a go-ahead. Umran Malik should be the partner with Jasprit Bumrah when India plays in Australia.”
Chennai Super Kings will face Delhi Capitals to play the 55th league match of the IPL 2022 on May 8 in Dr. DY Patil Sports Academy, Mumbai.