Dhoni might not play for CSK next year: Here's why
Mahendra Singh Dhoni will remain with Chennai Super Kings in the next IPL season. However, he might not be available as a player for the franchise. Dhoni spoke about the same ahead of CSK's final league stage match of IPL 2021 against Punjab Kings. He clarified that his long-standing association with the Yellow Army would continue in the 2022 season too.
You will see me in yellow next season: Dhoni
"You'll see me in yellow next season but whether I'll be playing for CSK, you never know. There are a lot of uncertainties coming up, two new teams are coming, we don't know what the retention rules are," Dhoni said at the toss, when asked about his future. "We don't know the retention policy. We don't know how many players we can retain."
Dhoni retired from international cricket in 2020
One of the greatest captains, Dhoni retired from international cricket in August 2020, a year after his played his final match for India. He returned for the IPL 2020 in September where he averaged just 25.00 with the bat. Moreover, CSK didn't qualify for the playoffs in that season. Although the Yellow Army have made a turnaround this time, Dhoni's batting numbers have plunged.
Dhoni has averaged 19.73 since the 2020 IPL season
Since the start of the 2020 IPL season, Dhoni has averaged 19.73 with the bat. He has a strike rate of 108.42. He has mustered only 96 runs from 15 matches at just 13.71 this season. Notably, Dhoni averaged 83.20 in the 2019 season.
Will Dhoni continue as a player at CSK?
Dhoni himself indicated that he might not be available as a player for CSK in the 2022 season. In the mega auction, each of the current eight teams will be allowed to retain a few players. Retaining Dhoni for a whopping Rs. 15 crore will certainly impact the purse of CSK. They might not get the desired team combination for future.
Dhoni could be a part of CSK's coaching set-up
If not as a player, Dhoni is likely to serve the Super Kings as a mentor. He dropped hints regarding the same in his statement on Thursday. He is set to mentor the Indian team at the impending T20 World Cup.
Will Dhoni lead CSK to a fourth title?
Chennai Super Kings have qualified for the playoffs this season. They are assured of a top-two finish after claiming 18 points, and will likely face Delhi Capitals in Qualifier 1. Dhoni, who is the captain of CSK since the inaugural edition, has a chance to win his fourth IPL title. The Yellow Army won in 2010, 2011, and 2018 under him.