IPL 2022: AB de Villiers Says MS Dhoni Stepping Down From Captaincy "Perfect Move"
IPL 2022: AB de Villiers praised MS Dhoni's decision, saying that captaincy can wear a player down.
MS Dhoni stepped down as Chennai Super Kings (CSK) captain two days before the start of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 and handed over the reins to Ravindra Jadeja. South Africa legend AB de Villiers, who retired from all forms of cricket ahead of IPL 2022, praised the wicketkeeper-batter's decision, saying that captaincy can wear a player down. AB de Villiers has captained South Africa in the past and knows the pressures of the job, and supported Dhoni's move.
"I am not surprised by MS's move. I am actually quite happy for him," he told VUSport Scouts.
"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," he added.
CSK failed to qualify for the IPL knockout stages for the first time in 2020, but came storming back to win the title in 2021, meaning that Dhoni left his captaincy on a triumphant note.
"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 said.
"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," he added.
MS Dhoni hit a half-century in the IPL 2022 season opener against Kolkata Knight Riders, even as his team slumped to a 6-wicket defeat.