Sunday, April 18

Chopra explains why CSK should release MS Dhoni before IPL mega auction


It was believed by a lot of fans and critics that Mahendra Singh Dhoni was playing his last season of the Indian Premier League. He had already announced his retirement from international cricket in August after being out of competitive action for more than a year. And everyone believed that we would see the last of Dhoni on a cricketing field in 2020. But Dhoni squashed all those rumours by saying that he is ‘definitely not’ retiring in 2020.

However, Chennai Super Kings were not at their best in IPL 2020 as they finished the season without qualifying for the playoffs for the first time in their history. They languished at the bottom of the table for most part of the season before three wins at the last lifted them to seventh place.

It is likely that BCCI would hold a mega auction next year and CSK would like to reinvigorate their ageing squad. They have also announced that Dhoni is most likely to lead the side in 2021. But former India batsman Aakash Chopra believes that CSK should not retain MS Dhoni if there is indeed a mega auction ahead of the next year’s edition of the IPL.

Chopra has given the reason that if CSK retains Dhoni, then the side will lose out on INR 15 crore. The former India batsman has suggested that CSK should send Dhoni back into the pool, and then the side can buy Dhoni through the right-to-match card.

By doing this, CSK can save some money and the side can make a good team from scratch.

“I think CSK should release MS Dhoni going into the mega auction, if there is a mega auction then you will be with that player for three years. But will Dhoni stay with you for three years? I am not saying don’t keep Dhoni, he will play the next IPL, but if you keep him as a retained player but you will have to pay Rs 15 crore,” said Chopra in a video posted on his Facebook account.

“If Dhoni does not stay with you for three years and he plays just the 2021 season, you will get the Rs 15 crore back for the 2022 edition, but how will you find a player worth that Rs 15 crore? That’s the advantage of a mega auction, you can create a big team if you have the money. If you release Dhoni for the mega auction, you can pick him with the right to match card and you can pick the right players by having the desired money in your kitty. You can pick Dhoni in the auction, from CSK point of view, if they release Dhoni and then pick him up in auction, it would be beneficial for them,” he added.

Chopra also said that of all the eight franchises currently in the IPL, CSK is the one that needs a mega auction to happen ahead of the next year’s IPL. Currently, it is not known whether CSK will stick to the players which played this year.

Shane Watson has already announced his retirement from all forms of cricket, and as a result, he will not be seen in action for the next year’s tournament.

“CSK needs a mega auction, the side does not have many players that can be retained. If you want to make a team from the scratch, then are you willing to spend big bucks on the likes of Faf du Plessis and Ambati Rayudu? I don’t think that CSK will look at the likes of Raina and Harbhajan if they are making a team from the scratch,” said Chopra.

CSK had finished at the seventh spot in this year’s IPL standings with 12 points from 14 matches. This was the first time that the Dhoni-led side failed to qualify for the playoffs.

The Dhoni-led side was without the services of Suresh Raina and Harbhajan Singh this season as both opted to pull out of the tournament. CSK has won the IPL three times (2010, 2011, and 2018).