IPL 2022: Chennai Super Kings management shocked everyone when they announced that Ravindra Jadeja has stepped down from the captaincy role on Sunday.
It was quite a surprising decision as Ravindra Jadeja was seen as a full-time successor of MS Dhoni in terms of captaincy for Chennai Super Kings.
The talk in town about Ravindra Jadeja being the new captain had already begun in the second leg of the last season. It was quite evident that MS Dhoni was nearing retirement as he had already quit international cricket.
The rumours were more aggressive after Chennai Super Kings won their fourth IPL title last season. It was seen as a perfect time for MS Dhoni to retire on strong terms leaving behind a massive legacy.
But MS Dhoni choose to continue, however, he handed over the captaincy reins to Ravindra Jadeja. It was least expected that MS Dhoni would do so just before the start of the IPL 2022 season.
The candidate was certainly the expected one, but the time wasn’t. It was quite evident that MS Dhoni was here to guide Ravindra Jadeja through the reigns and then maybe step aside to put the house in order.
However, things did not go in the way of anyone in the Chennai Super Kings management. Chennai Super Kings had a tough start to the IPL 2022 season.
They lost four consecutive matches in the IPL this season. Chennai Super Kings first lost to Kolkata Knight Riders, then to Lucknow Super Giants, Punjab Kings and Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Ravindra Jadeja could not do better in terms of captaincy. However, many did not question him or his decisions as it was his first time as the captain. Ravindra Jadeja is someone who doesn’t have a lot of experience in terms of captaincy or a leader.
But the pressure on Jadeja was increasing as the chances for playoffs qualification were decreasing for Chennai Super Kings. It was becoming more and more evident that Ravindra Jadeja was not a good choice for the captaincy role.
However, there was nothing wrong with appointing him as the captain. It is because Ravindra Jadeja is the second most experienced and senior personality after MS Dhoni in the CSK team.
It was natural that the captaincy reins would go to him after MS Dhoni steps down. But the experiment was not worth it as Chennai Super Kings lost six games out of the eight games.
Ravindra Jadeja could not perform on the captaincy aspect for Chennai Super Kings. Moreover, even his performances massively dipped with bowl, bat and in terms of fielding as well.
This wasn’t the Ravindra Jadeja that was dominating in the previous few years. This was someone who was riling under pressure. Ravindra Jadeja was conceding a lot of runs without taking any wickets.
He was not bowling in the right area with the right speed. It was disheartening to see Ravindra Jadeja underperform despite trying to improvise. To add to the woes, Ravindra Jadeja started dropping dolly catches which are quite unlike Jadeja.
Ravindra Jadeja is one of the best fielders in the world but him dropping easy catches was another proof that the added responsibility was taking a toll on him. Chennai Super Kings lost the match to Punjab Kings on Monday.
It was a match that they should have won given the position they were in the last five overs. Ambati Rayudu smashed the Punjab Kings bowlers with his 78 runs from 39 balls.
But Ravindra Jadeja took the momentum from his team by playing a test knock. Chennai Super Kings had to chase down 27 runs in the last over of the match. That is when Ravindra Jadeja was batting at 14 runs from 14 balls.
His run a ball knock caused CSK big time as they could not chase 27 runs in the last over. This time the fans did not hold back and they were quite vocal against Ravindra Jadeja. Perhaps that is when Chennai Super Kings management and Ravindra Jadeja himself felt the heat.
Ravindra Jadeja unilaterally agreed to step down from the role of captaincy as CSK saw their sixth defeat in eight matches. Chennai Super Kings themselves broke the news on the social media platforms citing it as Ravindra Jadeja’s personal decision.
“Ravindra Jadeja has decided to relinquish captaincy to focus and concentrate more on his game and has requested MS Dhoni to lead CSK. MS Dhoni has accepted to lead CSK in the larger interest and to allow Jadeja to focus on his game,” the statement from CSK read.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni agreed to take back the captaincy role for the rest of the season. And Chennai Super Kings were back in form as they went on to beat Sunrisers Hyderabad by 13 runs on Sunday.
It was as if everything was going right for them against Sunrisers Hyderabad. That is the calmness that MS Dhoni brings and instils in the team. Even Ravindra Jadeja went on to play with a free mind and he put up a decent performance with the bowl as well.
Later after the match, Chennai Super Kings skipper MS Dhoni opened up on Ravindra Jadeja’s decision to step down. He said, “I think Jadeja knew last season that he would be captaining this year (IPL 2022),” Dhoni said. “For the first two games, I simply oversaw his work and let him be later. After that, I insisted that he take his own decisions and bear responsibility for them.
Once you become captain, it means a lot of demands come in. But it affected his mind as the tasks grew. I think captaincy burdened his prep and performances. So it was a gradual transition. Spoon-feeding doesn’t really help the captain, on the field you have to take those crucial decisions and you have to take responsibility for those decisions. Once you become the captain, we have to take care of many things and that also includes your own game.”
It is best for all the parties involved that MS Dhoni is the captain of CSK again. Ravindra Jadeja can now focus more on his game and improvise while CSK can relive back to MS Dhoni to bring back CSK back on track.