The first edition of IPL in 2008 was a huge hit. In the inaugural edition itself, the IPL scaled glories that are just unimaginable to match for other tournaments. The eight-team tournament had a unique auction system with franchises picking their Marquee players and building a team around them.
Mumbai Indians picked Sachin Tendulkar, Kings XI Punjab had Yuvraj Singh, Kolkata went with poster boy ‘Dada’ but it was Dhoni, who had no home-based franchise to make a claim for him.
Eventually, he ended up with CSK and 12 years later ‘Can you imagine Chennai Super Kings without Dhoni? probably one would not bother thinking a bit about it. Because over the years, Chennai Super Kings is Dhoni and Dhoni is Chennai Super Kings. They are shadows of each other – inseparable and indistinguishable at times.
But do you know? Dhoni wasn’t the first choice of Chennai Super Kings going into the inaugural IPL auction in 2008. In an interesting revelation, former CSK member S Badrinath, on his YouTube channel, claimed that CSK management was looking to buy Virendra Sehwag as their marquee player and also wanted Sehwag to lead their side.
“IPL started in 2008, and if you see who was the first option for Chennai Super Kings, it was Virender Sehwag,” Badrinath said. “The management had decided on picking Sehwag for sure, but Sehwag himself said that he was brought up in Delhi, so he would have a better connection.”
However, destiny had its own reservations as Virendra Sehwag was snapped up by his home-based franchise Delhi Daredevils to leave CSK with no other option but Dhoni. The decision to pick Dhoni proved to be a blessing in disguise for CSK as, 12 years later, Dhoni stands as second-most successful captain in IPL. With three IPL titles to his name, Dhoni has guided and stood with the franchise in its good and bad times.
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After CSK served a ban of two years due to fixing allegations, it was Dhoni – who regained the faith of fans by leading CSK to their third IPL title in 2018. Dhoni is the mastermind behind making Chennai Super Kings most consistent team of the tournament. A few days later, Dhoni will be again in action for CSK as he’ll look forward to leading CSK to yet another IPL title in 2020.