Chennai Super Kings are believed to have pulled off a “master stroke” at the recent IPL 2023 auction in Kochi when they picked up England Test skipper Ben Stokes. The all-rounder fetched a whopping price of Rs 16.25, which is the third highest price ever in IPL auction history. But the big signing had left experts and fans wondering whether MS Dhoni would once again step down from the CSK captaincy to hand over the responsibility to Stokes. And West Indies legend Chris Gayle gave his verdict with an epic one-liner.
Stokes has never been the full-time captain of any IPL team. But his recent success as captain of the England team and his prowess in the T20 format has led many to wonder whether Dhoni will hand over the captaincy to the England star with Stokes joining. He has previously done so at the start of IPL 2022, when Ravindra Jadeja was given the role. But the result was not good due to which Dhoni became the captain once again.
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However, unlike Jadeja, Stokes has captaincy experience and led England to nine Test wins in 10 matches in 2022, while starting a revolution in the format with his ‘buzzball’ approach.
After the big signing, during a discussion on Geo Cinema, Gayle was asked about his opinion on the captaincy debate and he replied, “Dhoni. Once you’re playing, you lead a team, okay? Full.”
Gayle also lauded CSK for roping in Stokes, noting that the franchise would benefit immensely with both Stokes and Dhoni.
“They are two brilliant minds in the dressing room, MSD and Ben Stokes. But I think Stokes will sit back and respect MSD and let him do his job. Young players will also get to learn a lot from Stokes. It is good to have him and they still have players like DJ Bravo in the CSK ranks.
“It is important to fit into the culture and I am sure without a doubt, with his experience, he will fit in wonderfully with the Super Kings. As we all knock, they lack all-rounders and will take Stokes with both hands.”