It has been a season to forget for the 3-time-champions who have now lost 7 games under the captaincy of MS Dhoni in the ongoing edition of the IPL to occupy the bottom position. It is safe to say that they have been a pale shadow of their past self and have shown no spark so far to be deemed as favourites.
The campaign is near to finish for the Chennai based outfit who will now look to test their bench strength and provide them an opportunity to express themselves. As for Dhoni who hasn’t had anything going well this season, he will be compelled to take the tough call of bidding adieu to the franchise at the end of this season.
His exit will create a huge void in the CSK lineup to be never filled again. But as they say, the show must go on and thus the franchise will also need to look at some other options who could fill in his big boots. Here are some of the players who could be assigned the captaincy task and bestowed the confidence to lead CSK towards new glory:
The Saurashtra all-rounder has already scored 2086 runs and picked 112 wickets from the 179 matches that he has played across different franchises. The numbers give us enough credentials of his experience and he is definitely leading the race for captaincy.
CSK might have faltered this season but Jadeja hasn’t done anything wrong to damage his reputation as an all-rounder. This season coming down the order he has managed to score 194 runs at a staggering strike rate of 164.41 and picked 4 wickets from the 10 matches played so far.
His pyrotechnics in the field are well documented with some brilliant catches at the boundary this particular season. CSK won’t get a better captain than him and he can surely maintain the same camaraderie which Dhoni had with his players. With him at the helm next season, CSK can certainly eye their 4th title and a renewed glory.
Faf Du Plessis
South Africa’s ex-captain Du Plessis is another abled candidate for the role of captaincy. He is arguably their best batsman this season who has already garnered 365 runs from 9 matches which includes 4 scores above fifty. The given stats are enough to ensure his capabilities as a captain and a player.
Apart from these, he has also pulled some excellent catches at the boundary ropes bringing his balancing act into play. He can surely be a worthy successor to Dhoni who trusts his players above all. As we have witnessed during his stint for South Africa, he is a bowler’s captain and gives them absolute freedom to execute their plans and ideas. He provides them the requisite field and asks them to be truculent in their approach. Such deep understanding will go a long way in ensuring the bowler’s success and the franchise as a whole which is obviously the ultimate goal.
The Andhra Pradesh batsman might have taken a backseat from his international career but is surely a vital cog in this CSK lineup. He started the tournament with a bang scoring 71 runs to see his team through in the curtain raiser against MI. Since then, he has been in and out of the side due to injury and thus hasn’t procured any momentum to be consistent like Rahul for KXIP.
He has scored 237 runs from the 7 matches that he has played and has a very good chance of finishing the tournament on a high. The right-hander is also looked at as someone who could don the captaincy cap and lead his franchise towards path of progress. Injury issues happen to be a vital factor in those plans and if he manages to attain even 90% of the fitness that others have, he is a fantastic prospect for a future leadership.
The Rajasthan swing sensation is another astonishing option for the post of captaincy. In his short IPL career of 44 matches, he has picked 43 wickets at an acceptable economy rate of 7.5! Skipper Dhoni likes to bowl him in the powerplay and expects him to get few wickets upfront. The present season has seen him galore 10 wickets from 10 matches played and has already bowled 2 maidens which are worth a gold mine in a format like T20.
Having spent 3 years at CSK, he is more or less aware of the environment and resources which the franchise possesses and can certainly optimize them if handed the captaincy. He is a fun-loving guy and maintains a good relationship with all the members which is of paramount importance in a role like this. He can approach the game with a bowler’s perspective and that can definitely be beneficial in defending low totals or playing on a surface which is supposed to be a batting paradise. It will be intriguing if the management thinks on those lines.
The Mumbai pacer has been the pick of the bowler for CSK this season having dismissed 9 batsmen from the 7 matches that he has appeared. Twice he has found himself at the stroke of a hat-trick and that talks in a volume of his efficacy on these wickets. He can bowl with the up-right, cross-seam or use his potent knuckleball to deceive the batsman and has assisted CSK in picking crucial wickets in the middle overs.
Apart from his bowling, he is a decent striker with the bat in hand and has already won CSK the qualifier 1 match against SRH in 2018. His IPL batting strike rate is up there at a spectacular 168.18 and can surely bring either vision into his captaincy. There are very few who consider him in the list and that might just work in his favour, bringing a new experience to the fore. Just as Iyer shouldered the responsibility of carrying DC through, Thakur can be a similar character who assembles this star-studded CSK unit together and creates new history in the Chennai yellow!