Former South Africa captain Graeme Smith praised Ravindra Jadeja's decision to step down as Chennai Super Kings captain, saying the all-rounder may have realized that leadership isn't fit for him at this stage of his career.
CSK revealed on April 30, that Jadeja has handed over the captaincy of CSK to Dhoni just eight matches into the IPL 2022 season, in an unexpected move. CSK stated that Jadeja wanted to concentrate more on his game, and Dhoni agreed to the decision.
IPL 2022 has been tumultuous for CSK, as Dhoni stood down from the captaincy only two days before the start of the new season, passing over the mantle to Jadeja. While the all-rounder was anticipated to emerge from Dhoni's shadow, Jadeja failed to find his feet with both the bat and the ball.
In IPL 2022, Jadeja scored only 112 runs in eight matches, with CSK winning only two of their first eight games. When he went out in the center, Jadeja didn't seem sharp and appeared to be lacking in confidence.
After CSK's controversial decision, Graeme Smith told Star Sports that Jadeja still had Dhoni to fall back on and that he hopes the all-rounder can end the season well by improving his performance.
"I think you have got to really focus on Jadeja, he got the captaincy at the late stage going into the tournament. Everyone was questioning whether he had a lot on his plate with the bat, ball, and on the field. And it hasn't quite worked out," Smith said.
"He has realized that. He has come to terms with the fact that at this stage, maybe leadership is not for him and he has got a really good guy to fall back on MSD. He has got a huge amount of experience and a calm character. Let's hope Jaddu can have a great finish to the season with bat and the ball," he added.
Furthermore, Smith stated that when Dhoni takes over the captaincy on Sunday, May 1, he would face several obstacles.
"Definitely no doubt, he (Dhoni) can make an impact. I think the challenges within the squad, he has got to work with them. They have really struggled on a lot of fronts." Smith concluded.
In a must-win encounter at the MCA Stadium in Pune, the four-time IPL title-winning captain will lead CSK against Sunrisers Hyderabad.
CSK has had a number of concerns, including an erratic top-order and a bowling unit that has failed to produce in the absence of Deepak Chahar. So far, Jadeja's performance in the middle order and with the ball hasn't benefited the four-time winners.
(With Star Sports inputs)