IPL 2020: Why MS Dhoni continuing as CSK skipper won't surprise Gautam Gambhir?
MS Dhoni has been leading Chennai Super Kings since the inception of Indian Premier League in 2008. The side has won three titles to date, all under his leadership. 2020 is the first season where the side has failed to qualify for the playoffs.
MS Dhoni might be the longest-reigning skipper for any side in the Indian Premier League (IPL), besides being the longest one for Chennai Super Kings (CSK). However, he has endured a tough season so far, in 2020.
CSK are currently placed at the bottom of the table, having won just four matches and suffered eight loses in 12 clashes. They have become the first team to be eliminated from the tournament. It is also their first-ever instance of failing to qualify for the playoffs.
While the players failed to contribute to match-winning performances, Dhoni, too, did not have the best of the show with the bat. His captaincy did not do any wonders either. Consequently, many have been left wondering, as to if he would continue leading the side next season.
Although CSK CEO Kasi Viswanathan has stated that he is confident of Dhoni continuing with the role next season, many are not willing to buy it. Nonetheless, former Indian opener Gautam Gambhir feels that it won't be surprising if Dhoni decides to continue leading the side. He senses that the CSK-Dhoni relationship is too strong to fade away so soon.
"You're putting me in a fix. Now, that's a tough question. It's up to the franchise. What he has done for the franchise and how the franchise actually deals with MS and treats MS is a fabulous relationship. And, that is how every franchise should deal with their captain, who has delivered for them," Gambhir was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo.
"MS has won them three [IPL] trophies, couple of Champions Leagues, he has made them one of the top successful sides in the IPL after Mumbai Indians. So, CSK saying they are going to continue with MS - it is just the relationship, it is just the mutual respect. That's why MS has been so loyal (to the Super Kings). That's why MS has given everything: heart and soul, his sweat, sleepless nights - I'm sure he must have had sleepless nights, while he has continued captaining CSK," added Gambhir.
"I know people talk about that you should not be emotional, but then, there is a connect. You've got to appreciate what the captain or a player has done for your franchise, how much hard work he has put in, because it is not easy being the captain of any franchise, and that also for a such a long period of time," he asserted.
Dhoni announced his retirement from international cricket in June, this year. Although he is leading CSK this season, he might as well do so next season. But, the question of him playing the 2022 season is dicey, as he would turn 40 by then. However, the CSK management has instilled its faith in the legend, assuring that he would be retained in the next mega auction, possibly in 2022, in case he decides to continue playing.
"He deserves that much of appreciation from the owners. I keep saying that why CSK is CSK is because of the relationship between the owners and the captain. They have given all the freedom to MS, and MS has received all the mutual respect from the owners as well," Gambhir continued.
"So, I would not be surprised if they continue with MS, and MS plays till the time he wants to play. And then, next year, he still continues to be the captain and have a much different squad than what he has this time around," concluded Gambhir.