The Chennai Super Kings have played two matches in the twelfth edition of the Indian Premier League without the presence of star sensation MS Dhoni in their playing XI. On both instances they suffered losses mainly due to the captaincy and leadership failure. In one of the matches, they recorded their lowest score at home-109 and the team looked totally desolate without their best batsman in the XI.
Suresh Raina, who led the CSK team in those matches, failed to lead the team in the same way as Dhoni did. The opposition team knows that with MS Dhoni in the team, the game isn’t over till the last ball is bowled and that fear or feeling of dread was missing when Dhoni is not playing.
Dhoni suffered from back spasms and fever, missing two matches, but came back to play against Delhi Capitals and made unbeaten 44 and affected two stumpings to lead the CSK team to the top of points table once more.
“I think losing him (Dhoni) as a captain is not an issue, losing him as a batsman is always difficult for us. That’s what happened for us against Hyderabad and Mumbai Indians. When he comes to the crease a lot of pressure is created for other teams. When he is not in the team, we see the difference,” CSK vice-captain Suresh Raina was quoted as saying by New Indian Express.
In the absence of MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina has been his deputy in IPL but hasn't been able to keep up the standards set by his counterpart. Raina also touched upon the issue of leading the team once MS Dhoni decided to hang up his gloves.
“He has done well in the last couple of years as a batsman as well team mentor. So probably you may see me more next year when he is done but I need more of his calibre. But he will continue as long as he wants to play for Chennai, you know him and Chennai,” Raina was further quoted as saying.