Ruturaj Gaikwad and Devon Conway put on this season’s best stand of 182 runs to set up a comfortable win for IPL holders Chennai Super Kings who had MS Dhoni back as captain on Sunday. The talismanic leader was back at the helm of affairs after skipper Ravindra Jadeja stepped down following the team’s six losses from eight games. (Follow IPL 2022 Coverage)
The 40-year-old wicketkeeper-batter received a rousing welcome when he walked out for the toss with Hyderabad skipper Kane Williamson, who put Chennai in to bat. A huge crowd puller despite bidding adieu to international cricket a couple of years ago, Dhoni is among the most-loved figures in world cricket.
It’s no secret that Dhoni enjoys a huge fan-following irrespective of the venue and opposition. Following the game between SRH and CSK, Dale Steyn shared a heartwarming moment with Dhoni as the South African took an autograph from the CSK leader. The picture of two legendary players went viral on social media in no time.
Steyn is a currently a part of the star-studded coaching staff of Sunrisers Hyderabad that boasts the head coach Tom Moody, batting coach Brian Lara, and spin bowling coach Muttiah Muralitharan.
At the toss, Dhoni also made it clear that he will be seen donning the “yellow” jersey next season. Speaking to Danny Morrison, the veteran revealed that he will be back in the yellow jersey, but left a hint of suspense with his answer.
“You will definitely see me in the yellow jersey [next year], whether this yellow jersey or some other yellow jersey, that’s a different thing,” said Dhoni after losing the toss.
It was the first instance of Dhoni leading the four-time IPL winners in the ongoing season. He had passed the leadership baton to Ravindra Jadeja just two days before the start of the 10-team competition.
After the game, Dhoni also said that Jadeja failed to cope with the pressure and eventually gave up the job to focus on his own game. “I think Jadeja knew last season he’d be captaining this year. For the first two games, I oversaw his work and let him be later. After that, I insisted he’d take his own decisions and responsibility for them.
“Once you become captain, it means a lot of demands come in. But it affected his mind as the tasks grew. I think captaincy burdened his prep and performances,” Dhoni said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
Dhoni hoped Jadeja would reignite as a player after being freed of the burden of captaincy. “Even if you relieve captainship and if you are at your best and that’s what we want. We were also losing a great fielder, we are struggling for a deep mid-wicket fielder, still we have dropped 17-18 catches and that’s a matter of concern.