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A Month After Murali Vijay vs Rohit Sharma Poll, MS Dhoni’s CSK Hadn’t Bid For Mumbai Indians’ Captain During IPL 2011 Auction

Gurpreet Singh

A Month After Murali Vijay vs Rohit Sharma Poll, MS Dhoni's CSK Hadn't Bid For Mumbai Indians' Captain During IPL 2011 Auction

Screenshots, in this day and age, possess intangible yet ample watts of power. In the court of social media, certain screenshots just need to go viral for people to form concrete opinions about individuals as evidences. In this particular case, a certain one has been doing rounds across social media for as many as 13 years now.

In what has become a source of amazement for fans especially in hindsight, a screenshot from five-time Indian Premier League champions Chennai Super Kings‘ official Twitter handle comprises a poll between former India batter Murali Vijay and current India captain Rohit Sharma. For the unversed, the MS Dhoni-led franchise had preferred the former over the latter around 13 years ago.

Photo Courtesy: Chennai Super Kings Twitter

A Month After Murali Vijay vs Rohit Sharma Poll, MS Dhoni’s CSK Hadn’t Bid For Mumbai Indians’ Captain During IPL 2011 Auction

The crux of the popularity of the screenshot shared above is around the narrative that CSK had bought Vijay after showing no interest in Sharma during IPL 2011 mega auction.

However, Vijay had been playing for the Super Kings since his IPL debut in 2009. The right-handed batter had scored 518 runs at an impressive strike rate of 144.29 including a century and two half-centuries across his first two seasons. Thus, there was no way the management would’ve loosen its hold on the Tamil Nadu batter, or even take a risk of buying him back in the auction (at a lesser price) by releasing him at first.

Resultantly, along with Dhoni, vice-captain Suresh Raina and all-rounder Albie Morkel, Vijay had become the fourth player to be retained by the ‘Yellow Army’ ahead of the auction for the fourth season of the IPL.

Hence, one can safely conclude that Chennai’s online poll back then was for the purpose of fans’ engagement with the franchise or for a simple banter among them over their preference between two quality batters. Co-incidentally, the tweet was uploaded exactly a month before the auction.

Having already retained Vijay, Super Kings, in accordance with their tweet, had not bid for Sharma at all during the auction. Punjab Kings (Kings XI Punjab then) and Deccan Chargers showed keen interest to have buy him before Mumbai Indians went all out to acquire his services at 2 million USD. However, less did the admin of Super Kings’ Twitter account would’ve realized that day, that one of his many such tweets would continue gaining traction for more than a decade.

Photo Courtesy: Screengrab from Chennai Super Kings Twitter

Fans Usually Criticize CSK Citing Murali Vijay vs Rohit Sharma Comparison

The aforementioned tweet is usually accompanied with fans trolling CSK for preferring Vijay over Rohit in their squad, and not having the vision (unlike MI) of how big a player the latter would prove to be in the future. However, from CSK’s point of view, the decision was justified despite Sharma’s enormous talent and potential.

Until December 8, 2010 (day of the poll), Sharma had scored 1,199 runs in 55 ODIs at an average of 29.24 with the help of a couple of centuries. In T20Is until that day, he had played 19 matches scoring 335 runs at an average of 33.50.

Vijay, on the other hand, had played a mere eight ODIs for India until then, scoring 178 runs at an average of 22.25. In T20Is, he had featured across six matches, scoring 108 runs at an average of 18.

As far as their record by the end of IPL 2010 is concerned, Sharma had scored 1,170 runs across 44 innings at an average of 30.78 including eight half-centuries. Vijay, on the contrary, had amassed 518 runs across 19 innings at an average of 30.47.

As things would turn out, Vijay had went on to play decently well for Chennai during the next two IPL seasons, especially during the playoffs. During IPL 2011 final against Royal Challengers Bangalore, he had scored 95 (52) to play an instrumental role in the franchise becoming the first-ever team to win back-to-back IPL titles.

In IPL 2012, during the second Qualifier against Delhi Daredevils, he had smashed his second IPL century to help his side storm into yet another IPL final. Even during the final match against Kolkata Knight Riders, he had contributed a crucial 42 (32) in Super Kings’ huge innings total of 190/3.

Regardless of his above mentioned vital contributions, it only augured well for the franchise to retain a player from Tamil Nadu as they have often been criticized for not picking enough local players from the state and providing a platform for their growth.

Moreover, while Sharma indeed went on to life five IPL titles, Chennai were never in search for a captain as they already had the services of one of the best in the business since the inaugural season of the league.

About the author

Gurpreet Singh

Gurpreet Singh


Gurpreet Singh is a Cricket writer at The Sportsrush. His platonic relationship with sports had always been there since childhood, but Cricket managed to strike a special, intimate nerve of his heart. Although his initial dream of playing the sport at the highest level couldn't come to fruition, Gurpreet did represent the state of Jharkhand at the under-14 level. However, almost like taking a pledge to never let the undying passion for Cricket fade away even a tad, he made sure to continue the love relationship by assigning the field of journalism as an indirect Cupid. He thus, first finished his bachelor's in journalism and then pursued the PG Diploma course in English journalism from the Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC). Soon after and since 2019, he has been working at The Sportsrush. Apart from sports, he takes keen interest in politics, and in understanding women and gender-related issues.

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