Before the start of the 15th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), fans were shocked when Ravindra Jadeja took over as Chennai Super Kings (CSK) skipper from MS Dhoni, who had led the franchise since the inaugural edition of the IPL.
Jadeja, 33, didn’t have a good start to his captaincy stint with the side winning just two out of the first eight games. Last week, he decided to relinquish the role, once again handing over the captaincy to Dhoni.
Former CSK all-rounder Shane Watson felt ‘a bit sorry ‘ for Jadeja, whose performance was affected by the extra responsibility of captaincy. In 10 games this season, Jadeja has only five wickets and 116 runs to his name.
Watson said on The Grade Cricketer podcast that it was always going to be difficult for the Indian all-rounder given Dhoni’s aura and respect on the field.
"When I had initially heard that Jadeja was going to take over, I was blown away! Because everyone knows the kind of respect and aura that MS Dhoni has on the field, it was always going to be difficult for Jadeja no matter what. In the end, I do feel a little bit sorry for Jadeja because he is a great cricketer and is only getting better,” he said.
The Australian legend then recalled the time when he stepped down as the captain of Rajasthan Royals (RR).
"But to see that they publicly sort of put him in that position, he really didn't have to get to that stage. I stepped down as a captain for Rajasthan so I know how difficult it is when you are under pressure, so kudos to Jadeja for making that call," the 40-year-old said.
Watson felt that the former India skipper was the man to lead the franchise.
"Even though Jadeja was told that he would potentially take over, things do change. If MS wants to play on, he can absolutely do whatever he wants. He has led CSK to another championship. Also deep down he had a point to prove in his batting and he showed that this season. The whole franchise is built around MS, whether it's just the leadership structure, team dynamics. He is the man to lead the franchise,"
CSK will next take on Delhi Capitals (DC) on Sunday (May 08) at the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai.