In the lead-up to the IPL 2024 mini-auction, the Chennai Super Kings bid farewell to Ben Stokes and Ambati Rayudu. Stokes opted out to manage workload while CSK retained Moeen Ali, Deepak Chahar, Devon Conway, Ruturaj Gaikwad, and Ravindra Jadeja.
Rajasthan Royals spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, discussing CSK's strategy, anticipates the re-signing of Shardul Thakur and suggests Gaikwad as a potential captain.
'The holes that CSK will try to fill are ones of captaincy, which I believe Ruturaj Gaikwad is going to take over, as Ambati Rayudu said in his latest interview. Ben Stokes, too, was taken by CSK on the same philosophy of playing an able right hand. Needless to say, he is a quality leader, and CSK is a team that values experience,' Ashwin stated.
'I think they'll go back to Shardul and get their combination back,' Ashwin added.
Dhoni, the iconic CSK captain, aims to strengthen his team with overseas all-rounders and fast bowlers. CSK, with a budget of Rs 31.4 crore (Rs 314 million), eyes a successful auction to bolster their five-time IPL championship-winning squad.
Ashwin hints at efforts to secure a successor for Dhoni without revealing names, emphasising CSK's thoughtful approach.
'Another thing that they would be thinking about is who is the replacement 'keeper for M S Dhoni and even about retentions next year. Actually, there were so many rumours in the air that CSK was going to trade this player to see him as a future successor to M S Dhoni,' says Ashwin.
'I don't want to call out names, as I am also playing in a franchise. But a team like CSK is filled with thinkers.'