Former West Indian cricketer Brian Lara claimed that legendary skippers, MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli, are the biggest brands in India. He also stated that Dhoni is very likely going to be retained by Chennai Super Kings (CSK) for the next season.
The 40-year-old Dhoni has been poor with the bat but has led CSK to their 13th top-four finish. Although they lost their last three league matches in a row, CSK is one of the teams to beat this season. Dhoni has been phenomenal over the years for the Chennai side, but his powers are on the wane. However, he continues to be one of the biggest attractions in the IPL along with Kohli, as per Brian Lara.
“I mean, it’s (IPL) not just franchise cricket in India. This is a brand. Dhoni, along with Virat Kohli, are the two biggest brands in India. Obviously, you want to pick the best team, and you want to make sure that everybody is fit and everybody is capable of performing at the highest level. Yes, Dhoni has underperformed this season, but it’s not the end of the road for him,” Lara was quoted as saying to Cricket.com.
“I believe CSK will retain MS Dhoni for next season” – Brian Lara
The IPL 2022 Mega auction will see a complete makeover of every franchise. Two new teams will be added as well, and the cities are currently being decided for the same. Lara reckons the brand value that Dhoni possesses could well convince CSK to retain him if possible.
“It’s very difficult to see Chennai Super Kings going into the 2022 IPL without Mahendra Singh Dhoni. So I believe in terms of the brand’s value, and what he brings to the IPL and his franchise is of great value. So I believe CSK will retain him if they need to retain any players,” Lara added.
Dhoni has a rough season with the bat, often struggling with his strike rate. Nevertheless, he’ll have a chance to lead the team to their fourth title. CSK will face Delhi Capitals (DC) in the first qualifier on October 10, Sunday.