Ravindra Jadeja on Saturday relinquished Chennai Super Kings captaincy midway through the season to make way for former skipper MS Dhoni. The CSK all-rounder stepped down from the role to “focus and concentrate” on his personal game, having managed just 112 runs and five wickets in eight games so far. Dhoni will be again leading the four-time champions in remaining games of the season, and while questions loom over his future, the 40-year-old keeper-batter has accepted the role in “larger interest”. (Follow IPL 2022 Coverage)
“Ravindra Jadeja has decided to relinquish captaincy to focus and concentrate more on his game and has requested MS Dhoni to lead CSK,” the franchise said in a statement. “MS Dhoni has accepted to lead CSK in the larger interest and to allow Jadeja to focus on his game.”
The development led to a storm on Twitter with Dhoni fans flooding the social media. A huge crowd puller despite being in the latter phase of his career, Dhoni led Chennai to 121 wins in 204 IPL matches and two Champions League T20 titles in 2010 and 2014.
It remains to be seen whether Jadeja manages to elevate his performances without the burden of captaincy. But former New Zealand and Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper Daniel Vettori believes it’s a “brave” call from the 33-year-old all-rounder. Vettori said the strong relationship between Jadeja and Dhoni makes the transition easier.
“This is unique. Probably comes down to Jadeja not enjoying the captaincy. The easy way out was to hand it over to Dhoni. It feels like Jadeja felt he wasn’t contributing or enjoying so he decided to give it back to Dhoni,” Vettori told ESPNCricnifo.
“Jadeja the fielder has probably the most disappointing thing and he’s never disappointed on the field. He might be slightly cluttered with the decision making that comes with the captaincy. It’s a busy team with all the all-rounders and having to manage that bowling front… it just wasn’t for him. He had the courage to give it up because most players would continue and fumble the way through. But the fact that Dhoni is sitting in the background and the fact that they are extremely close, made it (captaincy change) easy.”
“He won’t feel any shame if handing it back to one of the greatest captains of all time. It takes some fortitude to acknowledge that it’s not for you with your own performances being affected. It’s a brave decision,” he further added.
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