"Didn't Understand That": Shoaib Akhtar On MS Dhoni Quitting CSK Captaincy Ahead Of IPL 2022
IPL 2022: MS Dhoni took many by surprise by stepping down as CSK skipper and former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar has also given his take on the matter.
- Akhtar says he was surprised with Dhoni stepping down as CSK captain.
- KKR defeated CSK by 6 wickets on Saturday.
- IPL 2022 kicked off on Saturday at Wankhede Stadium.
MS Dhoni relinquished captaincy of Chennai Super Kings (CSK) two days before the start of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022, handing over the reins to Ravindra Jadeja. Dhoni captained CSK for 12 seasons, ever since the inaugural edition of the tournament in 2008, and led them to four titles, including the last season. Former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar weighed in on the topic, saying that he "did not understand" the timing of Dhoni's decision, coming just before the start of the new season.
"Two days before IPL...really did not understand that, to be very honest," he said while speaking to Sportskeeda.
"Jadeja is obviously a very fine cricketer and he will try to the best of his ability to lead the team forward. But Dhoni is one of the minds in cricket that you can always count on," he added.
"He is still the best player in the IPL. I think he must have been mentally tired. He must have thought of handing someone else the responsibility and playing freely," he said.
In Jadeja's first match as captain, CSK slumped to a 6-wicket defeat to Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the IPL 2022 season opener on Saturday.
Put in to bat at the Wankhede, CSK were reduced to 61/5 in 10.5 overs, with Umesh Yadav picking up two wickets.
However, MS Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja put on an unbeaten 70-run partnership to rescue CSK and take them to a score of 131/5.
Dhoni scored a fine half-century, providing a late surge with seven boundaries and a six. Jadeja finished on 26.
However, the total was still too low to trouble KKR, and led by Ajinkya Rahane's 34-ball 44, they chased the target down with six wickets and nine deliveries to spare.