Former Chennai Super Kings batsman Subramaniam Badrinath has claimed that former skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who has been with the team since its establishment in 2008, was not the team's management's first choice. Instead, the franchise wanted Virender Sehwag to be the team's spearhead.
The wicketkeeper-batsman Dhoni has led the team to win four Indian Premier League titles. He is also currently the captain with the most wins in the IPL. He will once again lead the Super Kings in the upcoming IPL 2022.
“IPL started in 2008, and if you look who was the first option for Chennai Super Kings, it was Virender Sehwag," Badrinath said while speaking on his YouTube channel. "The management had decided to pick Sehwag, but Sehwag himself said that he should be brought to Delhi. was brought up, so he’ll have a better relationship."
Badrinath claimed that the Super Kings decided to opt for the 40-year-old Dhoni as they saw he was the better player compared to Sehwag in addition to the latter deciding to stay with his domestic side Delhi Daredevils. Sehwag did not participate in the auction.
The former opening batsman also joined the Daredevils back in 2008 as an icon player, which means he was entitled to a salary of 15 per cent more than the top pick of the franchise in the auction.
“The management agreed for him to play in Delhi, thinking it would be better," He continued. "Then the auction took place, and they saw who was the better player, and before that India won the 2007 World T20. And only then did they pick Dhoni. [The Super Kings] decided to sign [Dhoni]."
Badrinath revealed that the Super Kings acquired Dhoni for ₹6 crores as he was the most expensive player at that time, as well as the best option for captaincy.
“In 2008, MS Dhoni was the most expensive player, he bought him for ₹6 crores," he claimed. "So this is a story you might not know but Dhoni was picked instead of Sehwag. According to me, MS Dhoni is coming to CSK, were three birds with one stone. One, he is one of the best captains the world has ever had. There is no trophy he doesn’t have."
Badrinath went on to claim that Dhoni was also the best finisher.
“Second, [he is] the best finisher," Badrinath explained. "A finisher is a very important part of all the best T20 teams around the world. Even if you look at all the good teams today, Mumbai Indians have Pollard, Kolkata Knight Riders have Andre Russell, CSK have Nearby is MS Dhoni. And third, he is a great wicketkeeper. One of the best and safest keepers I have ever seen.”
A price of ₹6 crores in 2008 was expensive for any player. Dhoni proved that he was worthy by leading the Super Kings to four IPL titles in 2010, 2011, 2018, and 2021, one of the most consecutively winning teams in the history of the tournament.
The management can rest assured that they have made the right decision. Meanwhile, the Super Kings have retained Ravindra Jadeja, MS Dhoni, Moeen Ali, and Ruturaj Gaikwad ahead of the IPL 2022 auction.