Former Indian opener Aakash Chopra has opined that Chennai Super Kings (CSK) will become half the franchise once MS Dhoni calls it a day from the IPL. He also mentioned that CSK will need to find a replacement for Harbhajan Singh for IPL 2020, due to the absence of an off-spinner in their squad.
Aakash Chopra made these observations while responding to fan questions in a video shared on his YouTube channel.
The reputed commentator was asked what would happen to CSK after MS Dhoni retires from the IPL. He responded that the franchise might lose half its efficacy once their talismanic captain decides to call it quits.
"The franchise will become half if Dhoni the captain and Dhoni the player is not there. So this problem will be there with this team."
Aakash Chopra added that it would be a huge loss for CSK, considering the manner in which MS Dhoni has led the franchise.
"At some stage he will call it quits, then Chennai Super Kings will be at a huge loss even if not being half the side. Because the way that team has been managed by Dhoni, no one can do that."
The former KKR player observed that MS Dhoni is likely to be associated with CSK in some capacity or the other post his retirement, and would act as a guiding force for the future captain and players of the franchise.
"I do feel that whoever becomes the next captain or plays for CSK, will have MS Dhoni's protection. Because Dhoni and Chennai Super Kings is a marriage made in heaven."
"So he will be there, if not a captain, as a brand ambassador or mentor, he will be there in the Chennai Super Kings' dugout is what I feel and they will need him."
Aakash Chopra on Harbhajan Singh's withdrawal from the IPL and its impact on CSK
Aakash Chopra was also asked how much Harbhajan Singh's absence will hurt CSK in IPL 2020. He responded that the Chennai-based franchise would have to look for replacements as the Turbanator was the only off-spinner in their squad.
"With Harbhajan Singh going, they had only one off-spinner in their team and he also is not there. Now I think Chennai Super Kings will have to look for replacements. You will have to get an off-spinner, if you see the pitches in the UAE."
The 42-year-old pointed out that although CSK have plenty of spinners in their squad, the absence of Harbhajan Singh would be a huge loss and that they would have to find an off-spinner to replace him somehow.
"They have Imran Tahir, Piyush Chawla, Karn Sharma, Mitchell Santner and Ravindra Jadeja but they also had Harbhajan Singh and you felt that their spin attack was very strong."
"I feel there will be a loss because of Harbhajan Singh not being available. You will have to make one change and figure out a finger-spinner, they need to find an off-spinner, Indian or overseas. I think they need an off-spinner."
There has been a call from some quarters to include Jalaj Saxena as a replacement for Harbhajan Singh in the CSK squad, but the franchise has not made any announcements in this regard yet.
Published 06 Sep 2020, 10:36 IST