IPL 2022: Dhoni and I talked about captaincy decision last season, reveals CSK coach Fleming
- Ahead of IPL 2022, Dhoni quit CSK’s captaincy
- Jadeja replaced Dhoni as CSK’s new captain
- KKR defeated CSK by 6 wickets in IPL 2022 opener
Chennai Super Kings (CSK) head coach Stephen Fleming has revealed that MS Dhoni had conversations with him regarding passing on the captaincy baton during the last season.
Dhoni captained CSK to their fourth title last season, where they defeated Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the final in Dubai. Just two days before the start of IPL 2022, CSK announced that Dhoni had stepped down from captaincy and Ravindra Jadeja was their new skipper.
CSK CEO Kasi Viswanathan also revealed to the official team website that Dhoni had spoken to Jadeja after the 2021 campaign about taking up more responsibility.
"We talked about it. It's been something MS and I talked about during the last season. The timing was MS's call. I think it's been documented that he wanted to give Jadeja the clean slate going into the series so it was communicated with Mr. Srinivasan and conveyed to the team. We 100% respect that," Fleming said on Saturday after Jadeja's first game in charge of CSK.
Jadeja, unfortunately, did not begin his captaincy stint with a win as KKR defeated CSK by six wickets at Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai.
Dhoni, who captained CSK from 2008 to 2021, holds the record for most matches as captain in the IPL. He shared a fine captain-coach relationship with Fleming, who has also been CSK's coach since 2009. The duo stuck to similar values and approach that brought ample success to the franchise. Only Mumbai Indians (MI) have won more IPL titles than CSK – five.
With Jadeja now taking over, Fleming admitted there'll be a 'bit of change' but one that can be worked out easily for his experienced squad.
"There's going to be a bit of a transition period as we develop the relationship with Jadeja and also have MS there so you don't just discard a player just because he doesn't have the captaincy tag. You develop the new captain and work with the experience we've got, and thankfully we've got quite a bit of that. It's a little bit of change, but we'll work through that nicely," added Fleming.
Jadeja got off to a nervous start as captain as he walked out to bat at No. 5 and played an uncharacteristic knock of 26 off 28 balls. The all-rounder was at fault for the miscommunication that led to Ambati Rayudu's run out. He clearly struggled to connect the ball to the middle of the bat.
Dhoni's half-century, which was his first in the IPL since 2019, rescued CSK from crashing towards an embarrassingly sub-par total. But Dhoni's 38-ball 50 that helped CSK post 131 runs in 20 overs was certainly not good enough in the end.
"What you found today was a team that started the tournament a little bit nervous. We didn't assess the conditions well, it can be a bit difficult here and we were just behind the eight-ball really. But that happened last year as well and we got a good catalyst for us to move ahead. The conditions were quite tough, it was very wet in the second half. Assessing conditions in the first part of the tournament is going to be a key aspect," the Kiwi coach added further.
CSK now have a four-day break before facing debutant side Lucknow Super Giants at the Brabourne Stadium on March 31 (Thursday).