IPL 2022: Not surprised by MS Dhoni’s move to quit CSK captaincy, says AB de Villiers.
IPL 2022: With MS Dhoni stepping down from captaincy, Ravindra Jadeja will lead Chennai Super Kings when they face Kolkata Knight Riders in the opening match of the season on Saturday.
Former South Africa star AB de Villiers has said MS Dhoni has timed his decision to give up Chennai Super Kings captaincy right, adding that he is happy for the World Cup-winning former India captain. Dhoni gave up CSK captaincy 2 days before the start of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 season, handing over the baton to Ravindra Jadeja.
Chennai Super Kings have shown faith in Ravindra Jadeja’s ability to the 4-time champions’ title defense despite the all-rounder not having previous experience of leading an IPL franchise in the past.
AB de Villiers said Dhoni will be free of the burden of captaincy and can express himself better with the bat. CSK confirmed that the 40-year-old will continue to represent the franchise this season and beyond.
De Villiers said he is not surprised by Dhoni’s decision to step away from captaincy after winning the last IPL and that the horror show in IPL 2020 in the UAE would have hurt him.
“I am not surprised by MS’ move. I am actually quite happy for him. Having carried that burden for so long, people might think that it is easy to be captain, but it really wears you down. You have sleepless nights sometimes, especially when you don’t have good seasons.
“But I think he stepped away at exactly the right time, having won the last IPL. The season before the last would have hurt him a lot. To come back and win the trophy and then say ‘I’ll still play but someone else takes over and I’ll be there to support, it’s the perfect move,” de Villiers told during a discussion on VUSport Scouts.
De Villiers added that he hopes Dhoni can return to his vintage big-hitting self in IPL 2022. The former captain has been a shadow of his former destructive self as he has been hurt by the lack of competitive action in-between seasons.
Dhoni had managed just 114 runs in 16 matches at an average of less than 20 last year but the star batter came up with a crucial match-winning cameo against Delhi Capitals in the qualifier.
“I am excited to watch MS just enjoy himself, to hit those big sixes again. Not to think too much about strategies and having to monitor guys. He can just go out there and hit sixes and entertain the entire world with what he does best, and that is to play cricket and win games,” de Villiers said.
CSK will be led by Ravindra Jadeja when the defending champions open their campaign against Kolkata Knight Riders at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Saturday, March 26.