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Shastri: With du Plessis as captain, 'things could have been different' for Super Kings

"If Chennai were to think back, they wouldn't have let go of Faf du Plessis"

If MS Dhoni had been thinking of giving up the Chennai Super Kings captaincy, the franchise should not have released Faf du Plessis and, instead, should have passed on the reins to him, according to Ravi Shastri. That, according to the former India head coach, would have let Ravindra Jadeja - Dhoni's replacement - play freely, and "things could have been different for Chennai" this IPL season.
"I feel that someone like Jadeja, he should focus on his own game. If Chennai were to think back, they wouldn't have let go of Faf du Plessis," Shastri said on ESPNcricinfo's T20 Time Out Hindi after Super Kings lost their fourth match on the bounce, this one by eight wickets to Sunrisers Hyderabad on Saturday afternoon. "He [du Plessis] is a match-winner, he has won the IPL with Chennai, he has a lot of experience."
Super Kings are being led by Jadeja after Dhoni, who had captained them since the start of the IPL in 2008, bar the two seasons when the team was suspended, stepped away from the role two days before the start of the 2022 edition. Jadeja was given the job even though he came into it with little leadership experience - his only past gig as captain at a representative level was with the India Under-19 team, for a while, in 2007. One of the premier all-format allrounders in the world, Jadeja has since had four results go against him, leaving the four-time - and defending - IPL champions in an uphill battle to make the playoffs.
At the time the news about Dhoni's resignation became public, Super Kings CEO Kasi Viswanathan had told ESPNcricinfo that Dhoni had been thinking about giving up the top job, and that "he felt it is the right time to hand over captaincy to Jaddu [Jadeja]".
Shastri argued, "If Dhoni was thinking of giving up the captaincy, then Faf should have been given the job, and Jadeja should have continued as [just] a player. He would have played freely, without the pressure of captaincy. Things could have been different for Chennai then."
As it is, du Plessis was released by Super Kings before the 2022 auction, and was bought by Royal Challengers Bangalore and appointed their captain; Virat Kohli too had given up the job after the 2021 season. Royal Challengers have started the season with two wins in three games.
du Plessis had also played a key role with the bat for Super Kings in their run to the title in 2021, hitting 633 runs at the top of the order at 45.21, with a strike rate of 138.20 and six fifties in 16 innings.