Indian Premier League franchises will look forward to the mega auction in 2022 to fortify their teams. Every franchise will try to wisely choose their players.
Chennai Super Kings have traditionally looked to retain their core every time. At the last mega auction in 2018, CSK retained their main players and went on to win the title that year. However, the mega auction in 2022 will be different as most CSK players are on the wrong side of 30.
'Thala' Mahendra Singh Dhoni has led CSK in all the 12 seasons that the franchise has been a part of the IPL.
Under his leadership, CSK won three titles and reached the playoffs of all editions except IPL 2020, which was their worst season by far.
Dhoni is incomplete without CSK and it won't be an overstatement to say that CSK are incomplete without him.
Shouldn't Dhoni be the first player to be retained by the franchise?
Agreeing that Dhoni will be the first one to be retained by CSK, former India opener Aakash Chopra said the legend may question his retention because of the few years of cricket left in him and his heavy price tag.
'Chennai Super Kings will have M S Dhoni at the first number. But if you ask Dhoni, he might himself say why they are retaining him because he may not be there for three years and why they want to block so much money on him. But then, that's how it is going to be. CSK and M S Dhoni are pretty much one and the same thing,' Chopra said in a video posted on his YouTube channel.
Dhoni hasn't been at his best since IPL 2020.
This would prompt the CSK management to retain Dhoni via Right to Match instead of directly retaining him. There are chances that the legendary superstar might go into the auction pool for the first time since 2008.
BCCI are yet to confirm the numbers of players that a franchise would be allowed to retain ahead of next year's mega auction. At the previous mega auction, franchises were allowed to retain three cricketers and use two RTM cards to attain the services of five cricketers from their original squad.
In IPL 2022, however, two new franchises are set to join the league, taking the number of teams to 10. Therefore, it is likely that franchises might not be allowed to retain/RTM more than three players.
Chopra, however, said CSK would not be too bothered about that. 'If there is a new rule that there are no retentions, CSK will say they are absolutely fine, and that they will start from scratch because they don't have players to block 15-17 crores,' Chopra said.
CSK should retain Ravindra Jadeja along with Dhoni, Chopra added, and perhaps use their RTM card for medium pacer Deepak Chahar if they get an opportunity.