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IPL 2022: “Match-winner” Ravindra Jadeja has lot to prove as CSK captain

New Delhi : When Ravindra Jadeja took over the reins of Chennai Super Kings (CSK) from MS Dhoni, everyone was keen to see how the star all-rounder would shoulder new responsibility and the three defeats in the first three matches is not an ideal start to his captaincy as well as to the campaign of the defending champions in the IPL 2022.Ahead of the beginning of the season, MS Dhoni, who led the CSK since the first season of the tournament in 2008, announced his decision to step down from the leadership position and Jadeja was chosen as his successor.The decision was understandable because of two primary reasons. Firstly, Jadeja was CSK’s first retention ahead of the auction and secondly he is definitely the second biggest star in that lineup after Dhoni. However, there were some apprehensions or curiosity to see Jadeja “the captain” because the all-rounder doesn’t have the experience of leading a side even at domestic cricket.Yes, there have been many inexperienced captains in the IPL in the past but all of them took their good time to make their mark in the world’s most competitive league. And, it’s never easy to fill the big shoes of someone like legendary MS Dhoni in the captaincy.However, the bigger concern is that CSK is losing the all-round ability of Jadeja in search of his leadership skill. The team has collectively failed to deliver in the first three matches but the indivila performance of Ravindra is also very far from his best. The cricketer has scored 26, 17, 0, in his three innings with the bat while got just one wicket in the tournament so far with the ball, which one doesn’t expect from Jadeja, who has been phenomenal in the last two years in international cricket.

It’s very early to say but the left-hander has looked under tremendous pressure in the field.Yes, there is somelike like Dhoni in the CSK camp to guide him but Jadeja certainly needs some more time to settle down as a captain. Jadeja (CSK), Hardik Pandya (GT), Faf du Plessis (RCB) and Mayank Agarwal (PBKS) are the four captains, who are leading an IPL side for the very first time. Among all of them, only the CSK skipper hasn’t been able to find success at this stage of IPL 2022.But, nobody can doubt the skill of Jadeja and his ability to make a roaring comeback but he will need the support of his veteran teammates.”One win can change things. It will get us momentum. We are in search of that win,” said an optimistic Jadeja after three defeats in this edition of the IPL.The tournament history points that a team has won the IPL multiple trophies with even worse beginnings. So the problem for the CSK, admittedly, is not as much about the start to the campaign as much to their starts to each game. There seems to be an inherent fault line in their front line.Deepak Chahar and Ruturaj Gaikwad have been the bulwark of their successful campaigns in the past – more so in 2021 – when the two would rip into the opposition up front, with ball and bat respectively. With one absent due to an injury and the other woefully out of form, the defending champions’ PowerPlay performances have been rendered feeble in the first three games.

The CSK skipper also admitted that the meek starts were not helping the team’s cause.”Yes, I think that is correct. “It is always important to get early wickets in power play. As a bowling unit, you want two-three wickets. We are definitely missing Deepak and his early breakthroughs,” he said.In 15 games last season, Chahar claimed 14 wickets and, more significantly, 10 of them had come in the first six overs of the game. The team is missing the swing, pace and penetration in the early overs of the bowler, whom it had bought this year for Rs 14 crore. He has been unavailable with a hamstring injury and it is uncertain when he would be back.”Deepak is our main bowler and we are hoping he will be here as soon as possible. Because it is very important to take wickets with new balls. His return will make the bowling unit stronger,” the captain said.While agreeing that a forceful performance was important in batting PowerPlay, Jadeja, would rather not put the 25-year-old opener under pressure. Notably, Gaikwad is coming off a wrist injury for which he had spent a lot of time at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru before the start of the IPL.”As far as Rutu is concerned, we don’t want to put pressure on him. We want to give him time to prepare enough. We want to back him, keep him in a good frame of mind.”In their upcoming match, CSK will lock horns with SunRisers Hyderabad on April 9 and the Ravindra Jadeja led side will be keen to register a win and bring their IPL 2022 campaign back on track.

 

 

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