Aakash Chopra on why CSK should release Dhoni ahead of IPL 2021

Cricketer turned commentator, Aakash Chopra, who is known for his idiosyncratic comments, has made yet another stunning statement post the conclusion of IPL 2020. In the wake of poor performance by MS Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings in the 13th edition of the IPL in Dubai, Chopra opined that “CSK should release MS Dhoni.”

Exactly why does this comment make you think twice? CSK is infamous for its strategy of including experienced and robust players. Featuring the likes of Shane Watson, Faf du Plessis, Harbhajan Singh, Suresh Raina, and Dhoni himself, the men in yellow ran out of gas in IPL 2020. While their strategy clicked over the years but there had to be an end. And Dhoni’s Chennai probably had the worst outing in the history of IPL, as they failed to qualify for the playoffs for the first time.

Commenting in a Facebook video, the former Indian cricketer said, “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.”

“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.

CSK finished 7th in the league this year, riding on a late surge of wins. Out of 14 games, the three-time champions salvaged only 6 wins.

“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,” concluded Chopra.