After retaining the services of MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina and Ravindra Jadeja, Chennai Super Kings (CSK) are now ready to pursue Ravichandran Ashwin as a priority signing at the upcoming IPL auctions in Bangalore on January 27 and 28, as confirmed by team captain MS Dhoni at a recent press meet in Chennai.
Ever since their reinstatement to the Indian Premier League after a two-year suspension period, the Chennai Super Kings have made their intentions of getting the successful core of the past back together.
“We will definitely go for him at the auction,” Dhoni said at an event on Friday (January 19), as reported by New Indian Express. “We want a lot of local players in the side.”
CSK’s strategy of getting their core group of players seems to be on track as Dhoni also stated that his team will also look to bring back former star players like Dwayne Bravo, Brendon McCullum and Faf du Plessis to the team. Stressing on the importance of stability and continuity in a franchise-based league like the IPL, Dhoni said: “The core group needs to be strong and that’s what we will try to get. What we also want is to have a strong connection with the local boys and at the same time people who have played for us.”
“Unless you give that stability to a fan, bonds may not be formed. If I had played for eight different franchises in 10 years, an association won’t be there. But you want that sort of association with the fans,” Dhoni, a two-time IPL winning captain with CSK, continued.
Coming back to getting Ravichandran Ashwin back to the CSK fold, Dhoni also acknowledged that many other franchises will also be looking to sign up the star Indian off-spinner and that they might have to back-off if a bidding war ensues for Ashwin.
“We will have to be watchful about that,” he said. “Ashwin will come first (his base price is highest at 2 crores) in the auction… I can’t put any number on it but we will try to get him for the reasons I have said. But at an auction, it’s the price that dictates the terms.”
Not just former players, CSK have also been trying to get their former set of support staff back together for the upcoming IPL season and have already roped Stephen Fleming back in as their head coach. Former player Michael Hussey will take up the role of a batting coach while Laxmipathy Balaji is also back with the franchise as the bowling coach.