Known for his iconic captaincy, tactical nous, and rare ability to read a game, M.S. Dhoni will no longer lead the Chennai Super Kings.

He was both a captain and a leader of men.

Dhoni, CSK management revealed, made the announcement on Thursday at a team meeting ahead of practice.  Dynamic all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, at the peak of his powers, will take over the mantle from Dhoni.

CSK CEO K.S. Viswanathan said Dhoni wanted the transition to be smooth. Actually, the 40-year-Dhoni could not have timed his departure as captain better.

He is still an integral part of the CSK side, still slick with the big gloves, and occasionally dangerous with the willow and can groom Jadeja for the role with valuable inputs.

READ: 'It was MS' decision': CSK CEO on Dhoni handing over captaincy to Jadeja

Yet, filling Dhoni’s giant shoes would be a tough act to emulate for Jadeja.  Dhoni, a fine captain in all formats, was at his best in Twenty20 cricket where he comprehended the ebb and the flow like few others managed.       

The time under Dhoni were the glory days for the Chennai franchise. CSK made nine IPL finals and won four titles, apart from two Champions League crowns.

No team has been more consistent in IPL and Dhoni’s calm captaincy with cutting-edge decision-making was a huge factor.

So were his wristy blows of incredible bat speed, where he took the game deep before becoming explosive at the Death.

Even in the heat of the battle, you would rarely witness Dhoni lose his temper. A powerful glare at the erring cricketer would send the message.

In the Twenty20 games, Dhoni was largely guided by his instincts. His moves on the field were often inspirational. And he constantly bucked the odds. CSK was a ‘Dad’s army’ they said when the side came back after serving a two-year ban.

He led CSK to a remarkable title triumph with these very players. Men such as Ambati Rayudu and Shane Watson, who many thought had left their best behind, blossomed under Dhoni.

His would with customary calmness and a shy smile instil his men with belief, get the best out of them. Importantly, he gave his players the freedom to express themselves. 

And the manner CSK bounced back for a title triumph after a disappointing 2020 had the Dhoni magic written all over it.

The remarkable Dhoni has created a winning template for Jadeja to follow.