Ravindra Jadeja could not handle the pressure of Chennai Super Kings captaincy in IPL 2022. Before the start of the season, 40-year-old captain MS Dhoni handed over the baton to long-time teammate and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja. As Jadeja could not handle it, he reverted the cap back to Dhoni, a four-time IPL title-winning captain.
Under Jadeja, CSK, the defending champions, lost six matches and could win just two matches. They are now 9th on the points table in a 10-team competition, just above Mumbai Indians, who are already out of the playoff race.
However, this is not the first time a franchise changed its captain midseason. In the past 14 seasons, mid season captaincy changed was executed eight times in the hopes of a better result.
Midseason captaincy changes:
2013 – Rohit Sharma replaced Ricky Ponting and won Mumbai Indians their maiden IPL title
2015 – Steve Smith took over Rajasthan Royals captaincy from Shane Watson
2018 – Shreyas Iyer replaced Gautam Gambhir as Delhi Daredevils (now Delhi Capitals) captain
2019 – Steve Smith took over Rajasthan Royals captaincy from Ajinkya Rahane
2020 – Eoin Morgan replaced Dinesh Karthik as Kolkata Knight Riders captain
2021 – Kane Williamson replaced David Warner as SunRisers Hyderabad captain
Apart from the 2013 IPL when Ricky Ponting decided to bench himself as Mumbai Indians captain, there was little success story of such steps.
Rohit Sharma, who had just started to emerge as a talented opening batter in international cricket, was handed over the Mumbai Indians captaincy. Rohit did a wonder by guiding MI to their maiden IPL title win in 2013. But that was the only exception in midseason captaincy changes.
In Dhoni’s case, he is already an experienced veteran captain and on the verge of saying cricket goodbye. And with two wins in 8 matches, CSK may now find it difficult to make a turn around. But with Dhoni at hot seat, the Yellow Bridge may reorganise their team and pull off some upset victories to ruin playoffs changes of some of their opponents.