Former Indian opener Gautam Gambhir has opined that MS Dhoni is likely to follow his usual philosophy of building the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) squad just for IPL 2021 and not think about long-term prospects.
The MS Dhoni-led side has the smallest purse remaining among all the franchises ahead of the IPL 2021 auctions. While they might have been hoping for a mega-auction considering their indifferent run in IPL 2020, the BCCI has shelved the idea of introducing two new teams for this year and thereby a full-fledged auction to go along with that.
In this context, Gautam Gambhir was asked in the recent edition of the Star Sports show Cricket Connected if CSK will be looking to release a lot of players from their squad before the auction.
The former IPL-winning captain with the Kolkata Knight Riders responded that the franchise will have to consider which replacement players will be available at the mini-auction before going that route. However, he acknowledged that the presence of ageing players like Dwayne Bravo and MS Dhoni in the CSK squad will be a concern for them.
"If you release a lot of players, you also need to see what is available in the auction. I agree we have been talking for the last two or three years that CSK has an ageing squad, no doubt it was an ageing squad as well with the likes of Shane Watson, Dwayne Bravo and MS Dhoni."
Gambhir highlighted MS Dhoni's policy of forming a team for the immediate future rather than looking too far ahead has yielded him rich dividends.
"But the way they performed and I have been saying for a number of years that MS Dhoni has this quality, people talk how MS Dhoni has made CSK such a successful side in the IPL, that he only concentrates on that year."
"MS Dhoni's quality is going to remain same this year" - Gautam Gambhir
Gautam Gambhir pointed out MS Dhoni is unlikely to deviate from his philosophy and would just be looking to build a CSK squad good enough to do well in the upcoming edition of the IPL.
"He will not concentrate to make the squad for the next three years, not at all. So MS Dhoni's quality is going to remain same this year as well, what best squad and best opportunity can win them the title this year, he will do that only."
Gambhir signed off by reiterating that the Chennai-based franchise is unlikely to let go of too many players unless they have some readily available replacements for them at the auction.
"So, I don't feel they are going to release too many players unless and until a lot of players are coming in the auction whom they are targeting."
With the retirement of Shane Watson and thereby his unavailability for IPL 2021, the Chennai Super Kings will have a slightly bigger purse at the auctions. They could also look at releasing some of the big-ticket players like Piyush Chawla or even Suresh Raina and buy them back at a lesser price to make a bigger purse available for themselves.Published 13 Jan 2021, 12:46 IST