They say that in Chennai, nobody and absolutely nobody can beat the popularity of legendary “Thalaiva” aka Rajinikanth. Well, that’s true indeed if we talk about the film fraternity. Yes, no one is even remotely close to Rajinikanth’s popularity. However, if we talk about other forms of entertainment as well, example cricket, the only person who’s pretty much at par with Rajinikanth is none other than our very own ‘Thala’ aka MS Dhoni. Funny fact alert? MS Dhoni comes from a place which has remotely no connection to Tamil Nadu in terms of Geography or culture. As we all know, MS Dhoni hails from Ranchi, Jharkhand and during his initial playing days, the place where he had the closest connect was Kolkata and Eden Gardens, the reason being a lot of East Zone games would happen there since MSD belongs to the Eastern part of the country. However, without any element of doubt, the love and affection that the people of Chennai, Tamil Nadu have given him because of whatever results he has achieved with Chennai Super Kings is absolutely unrealistic.

Years after years, MSD has been consistent like no other captain in history of IPL and well, that’s why, he’s a legend for a reason. If we talk about his performance graph from 2008-2023, things have been only bigger and better. Yes, of course, CSK have had occasional failures and that’s part and parcel of the game. However, the ratio of his success is a lot more certainly compared to failure and that’s commendable. Today, the thing with Chennai Super Kings has become such that they trust MSD literally blindly when it comes to his decision-making abilities. So much so that if we decides to call ‘evening’ as ‘morning’, they will actually believe the same. The legacy that he has built around the team and the franchise is unbelievable. However, it’s not just about living in the present. One also needs to plan for the future with sufficient time in hand.

MSD in particular has always been someone who likes to think about the time ahead and well, that’s certainly necessary. Be it any form of transition, it needs to be smooth and how. In 2020, MS Dhoni did try his best to help Chennai Super Kings earn his ideal successor by appointing Ravindra Jadeja as the new skipper of the squad. What was important was that the call was taken with Dhoni still being in the playing XI. The idea and intent was of course to help Jaddu understand a thing or two about captaincy with MSD still being around. However, the plan backfired terribly and it ended up being CSK’s worst season. Soon after that, it would have perhaps been the first time when the franchise as well as MSD didn’t mind looking backwards. That’s why, realizing the intensity and importance of the situation that nobody is perhaps entirely ready or matured enough to take the responsibility of the squad as the leader, MSD returned as the captain of the squad. Not just did he return as captain, he also gave CSK another trophy in 2021. Ever since then, it’s been a smooth sail for the franchise. However, as an ardent cricket fan, I strongly feel that it’s high time for CSK to look forward.

Yes, MS Dhoni is G.O.A.T. even at 41 with the way he’s playing in IPL 2023. However, it doesn’t change the fact that he’s not getting any younger. Even if not immediately after this season, there will come a time when MS Dhoni will hang up his boots and retire from his responsibility as the leader of Chennai Super Kings? So, what happens to the franchise then? Jadeja as captain backfired terribly and apart from him, there’s no other player perhaps who’s been in the franchise way too long to actually understand their style of play. To add to that, it’s a different pressure altogether when you know that you are going to replace MS Dhoni as the captain of a cult squad? Even if the CSK thinktank might have an answer to these questions some time soon, right now, it’s pretty clear that even today, the squad is pretty much about just DHONI. So, what happens next after Dhoni retires? Who’s the ideal successor? Questions are many whereas answers none. Only time can tell. Good luck ‘Yellow Army’. Hope you find all your answers soon.