MS Dhoni has been an inspirational leader for the Chennai Super Kings since the inception of the Indian Premier League. Under his captaincy, CSK have lifted titles on four occasions (2010, 2011, 2018, 2021).
However, the 41-year-old is expected to make his final appearance in the 2023 season. The last season witnessed him passing CSK baton to Ravindra Jadeja, but he could secure victories on only two out of eight occasions. As a result, Dhoni was made by the management again.
The upcoming season will see Dhoni grooming some players, who can lead the franchise in the coming editions. Here are those two players who are most likely to be at the helm of CSK.
1. Ruturaj Gaikwad
The promising top-order batter, Ruturaj Gaikwad has been the most consistent run-scorer for CSK since the 2020 season. In his debut season, Gaikwad contributed 204 runs in six innings, at an average of 51.
The 25-year-old returned to pair up with Faf du Plessis and won the orange cap by slamming 635 runs in 16 innings, with four fifties and a century. In the latest edition, the elegant batter has amassed 368 runs in 14 innings, with 99* as the highest score.
Gaikwad led the Maharashtra side in the 2022 domestic season. Under his leadership, Maharashtra tasted success on four out of seven occasions in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.
Dhoni would certainly look to provide learning to Gaikwad, on how to handle pressure situations on the big stage, to help him grow as a future leader for CSK.
2. Moeen Ali
The star all-rounder, Moeen Ali has been one of the finest white-ball players for England in recent years. Moreover, he serves as the vice-captain of the limited-overs team as well.
In terms of his T20 experience, Moeen has played 263 games and garnered 5601 runs and scalped 175 wickets. The 35-year-old has featured in 44 IPL games and mustered 910 runs and bagged 24 wickets.
In IPL 2022, Moeen scored 244 runs and picked eight wickets for CSK and was undoubtedly few of the impressive performers. Dhoni usually relies on him to contain runs and take consistent wickets to put the team on top, especially on rank turners.
With a calm head, experience and contributions under his belt, Moeen can be a perfect candidate to lead CSK in the next 3-5 years.
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