He made this observation while talking about the strategies the Chennai-based franchise could adopt at the IPL auction in a video shared on his Facebook page.
Aakash Chopra started by pointing out that the Chennai Super Kings require a major shakeup in their team.
“The Chennai Super Kings need an overhaul. The vehicle has gone into the garage, they can’t only change the upholstery, all the parts will have to be removed and new parts will have to be put.”
While observing that the Chennai Super Kings would be the most desperate among all the IPL franchises for a mega-auction, the reputed commentator highlighted that the franchise does not have a lot of players who must be retained.
“Chennai Super Kings is the team that requires the mega auction the most and I also fear whom they can retain. They don’t have too many players to be retained because the first retention is of 15 crores, second 12.5 crores and the third around 8 crores.”
“But if they want to make the team afresh, will they want to retain anyone. If they retain, will they feel the need to spend 12-15 crores on Faf du Plessis, MS Dhoni, Sam Curran or Ravindra Jadeja.”
“Also will they look back again at Suresh Raina or Harbhajan Singh. I feel they will definitely not be able to look towards Harbhajan Singh and I feel that if it is a mega auction, they will not look towards Suresh Raina also.”
Aakash Chopra on the Chennai Super Kings’ auction strategy for MS Dhoni
Aakash Chopra opined that the Chennai Super Kings should release MS Dhoni before the IPL 2021 auctions as the latter is not likely to play for them for the next three years.
“I feel the Chennai Super Kings should release MS Dhoni when they go for the auction. I am saying that because the next auction will be for 3 years and will Dhoni be with them for three years.”
He reasoned that retaining MS Dhoni might require them to spend 15 crores for him. The Chennai Super Kings would not be able to find a worthy replacement for their skipper the subsequent year, even though they may have money in their purse.
“I am not saying that they should not keep Dhoni. But if they keep him as the first retention, then 15 crore will get removed from their kitty. MS Dhoni is worth every single penny of that but if he is not there with them for 3 years, then they will have the 15 crore with them next year but they will not get a player worth 15 crores.”
The 43-year-old wants MS Dhoni himself to tell the franchise not to retain him as he can anyway be bought back using the RTM card.
“I feel MS Dhoni should himself ask CSK to put him in the auction and there is no question of ego in that because his team wants him to play for them and they can use the RTM card to take him at any time.”
Aakash Chopra pointed out that the Chennai Super Kings should not retain any of their squad members.
“If they have more money to pick the rest of the squad, they can make a better team. I feel it will be okay if the Chennai Super Kings do not retain any of their players.”
He reasoned that the franchise always has the option to use the RTM for MS Dhoni and either Faf du Plessis or Sam Curran, with none of their players likely to go for an exorbitant amount at the auction.
“They can use the RTM card for Dhoni and another one for Faf/Sam Curran and that’s about it. And you buy all the rest because I don’t think there is any player who will go for 12 crores or 8 crores in the auction.”
Aakash Chopra signed off by reiterating that the Chennai Super Kings will be better served by releasing MS Dhoni and buying him back at the auction.
“So I feel they should not retain anyone and they should get Dhoni in the auction, either with the RTM or lifting the baton first and build the team around him. So, the Chennai Super Kings should release MS Dhoni and buy him back in the auction.”
It might be financially a wise decision if the Chennai Super Kings do not retain MS Dhoni and plan to buy him at the auction. But with the talismanic skipper being synonymous with the franchise, it might be a difficult decision to make on the emotional front unless he himself volunteers to go that route.