Chennai Super Kings icon Mahendra Singh Dhoni has revealed that the CSK bosses are aiming to get Ravichandran Ashwin back into the 18-man squad. The skipper also thanked the fans for showing their trust and the CSK franchise management for getting him back in the team after a two-year suspension.
CSK management made their intentions quite clear as they retained skipper MS Dhoni, IPL highest-scorer Suresh Raina, and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja ahead of the mega-auction. However, their decision to overlook Ravichandran Ashwin, one of their most important players last time, was followed by a lot of questions. And Dhoni has now assured that the off-break bowler is still very much in CSK’s plans.
“As I have said it is always a tough call. With Ashwin, you know we had done the same thing in the past. We will definitely go for him (Ashwin) in the auction. Ashwin definitely being a local lad, we want a lot of local players to be part of CSK,” Dhoni said at an event.
“We have two right-to-match options but having already retained three capped Indians, don’t think we can use it. We will have to buy him out in the auction. As of now, it is tough to say, we will get him or him or him. Ashwin will come first in the auction for us. But we will have to wait and watch. We will try to get him,” Dhoni added.
Dhoni, however, was adamant that they will not let their emotions get the better of them during the player auction, which is set to take place on 28 and 29 January in Bangalore.
“We have made three retentions- one keeper, two batsmen. Two batsmen that can bowl. As of now it is very difficult to say whom we will get. That is the adaptability factor that we need at the auction table and we need to keep emotions in check.” Dhoni said.
The former Indian skipper also thanked his supporters, who have always stood by the team even during the recent allegations of match-fixing and spot-fixing. Dhoni has always enjoyed a maddening fan following in the southern city and the team always ends up playing a jam-packed stadium.
"Our biggest strength has always been the fans. All over wherever we have gone, CSK has got support. Even when we did not play in the IPL in the last two years, the fan base increased," said Dhoni.
"There is a lot of excitement among fans about the fact that CSK is back. The fans have over here have literally adopted me, they accept me as their own. I am touched by the admiration and ovation I receive from CSK fans, which will always remain close to my heart." Dhoni added.