Chennai Super Kings (CSK) have decided to retain veteran and long-time skipper MS Dhoni alongside Suresh Raina for the upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League in 2018. The franchise will be making a comeback after two years following a suspension imposed on them and the owners for betting activities.
Following the recent IPL Governing Council meeting, each franchise is allowed to keep a maximum of three cricketers and CSK have zeroed in on their two prime choices while they’re undecided on the third – which is reported to be between India’s lead spinners Ravindra Jadeja and R Aswhin.
CSK’s Wholetime Director K. George John told The Hindu: “We have decided on Dhoni and Raina. We are yet to take a call on the third cricketer. The franchises have to send their list to the BCCI before January 4, 2018.” If the franchise opts to retain the three players, Rs 33 crore will be deducted from their total purse of Rs 80 crore for the auction.
Dhoni’s retention by CSK comes as no surprise considering his leadership ability, impact both on and off the field and the ability to draw the crowd into a game. He is still one of the most popular players in the Indian team and it is reflected by the rise in volume levels when he steps on to bat. Further, his wicketkeeping skills make him a great asset for a team.
Raina, on the other hand, has seen his India fortunes dwindle due to a drop in fitness levels. Additionally, his form in domestic cricket hasn’t made him a must-have either. But he can be destructive in the shortest format and records back him up – with 4,540 runs at an average of 34.14 with a strike rate of 139.09, Raina is the highest run getter in IPL history.
Beyond retaining three players, CSK have the right to match of two players, who turned out for the franchise in 2015. “There is Dwanye Bravo, Brendon McCullum, Faf du Plessis, and Andrew Tye. We are following tournaments such as the Big Bash (League) to keep a watch on their form,” said John. The auction takes place on January 27, 28 in Bengaluru.