'Ben Stokes was taken by CSK on same philosophy': Ravichandran Ashwin picks MS Dhoni's successor before IPL 2024
Ravichandran Ashwin feels CSK will bring back Shardul Thakur for IPL 2024. Ashwin also picked MS Dhoni's successor at CSK.
Even in the twilight phase of his iconic career, MS Dhoni made sure that Chennai Super Kings (CSK) continued to do 'just CSK things' as the Chennai-based franchise edged past defending champions Gujarat Titans (GT) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 final. In a social media post on Sunday, the record-time confirmed Dhoni's participation in their title-defending season. After guiding CSK to a record-equalling fifth title, the former India skipper will lead the Yellow Brigade in the 2024 edition of the cash-rich league.
In the build-up to the mini-auction for IPL 2024, CSK have released Ben Stokes, Dwaine Pretorius, K. Bhagath Varma, Subhranshu Senapati, Ambati Rayudu, Kyle Jamieson, Akash Singh, and Sisanda Magala. While England Test skipper Stokes opted to pull out of IPL 2024 to manage his workload and fitness, superstars Moeen Ali, Deepak Chahar, Devon Conway, Ruturaj Gaikwad and Ravindra Jadeja were retained by the Chennai-based franchise for the forthcoming season.
Discussing CSK's auction strategy on his YouTube channel, Ashwin opined that CSK will look to re-sign all-rounder Shardul Thakur, who was recently released by Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) before the end of the retention deadline. Ashwin also believes that opener Ruturaj Gaikwad will take over the captaincy reigns from Dhoni. Legendary cricketer Dhoni returned as CSK captain after Jadeja stepped down from the top position in IPL 2022.
'Holes that CSK will try to fill are ones of captaincy'
"The holes that CSK will try to fill are ones of captaincy, which I believe Ruturaj Gaikwad is going to take over, as Ambati Rayudu said in his latest interview. Ben Stokes, too, was taken by CSK on the same philosophy of playing an able right hand. Needless to say, he is a quality leader, and CSK is a team that values experience. I think they’ll go back to Shardul and get their combination back," Ashwin explained.
Record-time winners CSK will look to sign overseas all-rounders and fast bowlers at the mini-auction. Dhoni and Co. have released Stokes (INR 16.25 crore) and Ambati Rayudu (INR 6.75 crore) to enhance their purse for the mini-auction. Chennai Super Kings have INR 31.4 crore in their auction purse. Under Dhoni's leadership, CSK have lifted five IPL crowns in 2010, 2011, 2018, 2021 and 2023.
‘Who is the replacement keeper for Dhoni…’
"Another thing that they would be thinking about is who is the replacement keeper for MS Dhoni and even about retentions next year. Actually, there were so many rumours in the air that CSK was going to trade this player to see him as a future successor to MS Dhoni. I don’t want to call out names, as I am also playing in a franchise. But a team like CSK is filled with thinkers," Ashwin added.
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