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MS Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings, Who Have A Thing For Spinners, Once Regretted Not Buying Varun Chakravarthy

Rishikesh Sharma

MS Dhoni's Chennai Super Kings, Who Have A Thing For Spinners, Once Regretted Not Buying Varun Chakravarthy

Chennai Super Kings have a thing for spinners. Much like other teams, even the MS Dhoni-led franchise has won IPL seasons on the back of brilliant bowling lineups in the past. However, they still regret not signing India and Kolkata Knight Riders spinner Varun Chakravarthy.

It is a widely known fact that Dhoni loves operating with the spinners. His instincts from behind the stumps have always favoured spin bowlers. Indian spin duo of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav have openly admitted time and again that Dhoni used to make their job a lot easier with constant inputs.

Not that CSK have always picked legendary spinners, but they have successfully made even the decent ones look great over the years. Players such as Shadab Jakati, Karn Sharma and Mitchell Santner totally excelled in the yellow jersey. Home ground to the franchise, MA Chidambaram Stadium’s pitch has also played a huge part in assisting the spinners.

Obviously not a big name at the time, Chakravarthy started his IPL journey as a net bowler for both CSK and KKR. In spite of all this, Super Kings failed to acquire a local player in Chakravarthy not once but twice. While the franchise’s decision-making at the auction table mostly entices debates, it is quite a mystery as to how they always manage to not buy cricketers belonging to Tamil Nadu.

MS Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings Regret Not Signing Varun Chakravarthy

Post Kolkata beat Chennai by 6 wickets in an IPL 2023 match on the back of Chakravarthy taking crucial wickets of Ruturaj Gaikwad and Ajinkya Rahane, Chennai’s head coach Stephen Fleming expressed a regret around not being able to buy Chakravarthy in the auctions.

Additionally, he revealed how Chakravarthy used to torture their batters in the nets. Fleming further disclosed that Tamil Nadu players are in multiple IPL teams and, that’s why, they couldn’t keep his talent away from the other franchises.

“It [missing out on Varun Chakravarthy] still hurts us. He tortured us in the nets for a number of years. Just with the auctions, the way it is, we couldn’t retain him.” Fleming had said during the post-match press conference.

Chakravarthy had registered for IPL 2019 auction with a base price of INR 20 lakh. Delhi Capitals started bidding straightaway followed by the Super Kings. However, they left the bidding war after it reached INR 3.40 crore.

Knight Riders, Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab (now Punjab Kings) also joined the race before Punjab secured his services for a mammoth INR 8.40 crore. However, he played just a solitary match only to be released before the next auction where he registered for a base price of INR 30 lakh. A bidding battle between Kolkata and Royal Challengers Bangalore resulted in the former snapping him for INR 4 crore.

Since then, Chakravarthy has been a crucial part of the Knight Riders. Post him playing ahead of Kuldeep Yadav, the franchise decided to retain him for INR 8 crore before IPL 2022 mega auction. While Chennai tried to sign him in 2019, they didn’t make a single bid for him in 2020. It is noteworthy that a franchise not bidding for a player despite interest is quite common due to complicated auction dynamics.

Harbhajan Singh Had Predicted Varun Chakravarthy To Play For India

Even before making his IPL debut, Chakravarthy was tipped to play international cricket by former Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh. Singh, who represented Super Kings between 2018-2020, observed Chakravarthy’s potential during various net sessions. Singh had tweeted immediately after KXIP had shelved an opulent amount on Chakravarthy.

Readers must note that Chakravarthy attained immediate success at Kolkata. He scalped 17 wickets at an economy of 6.85 in 2020 and 18 wickets at an economy of 6.59 in 2021. Singh’s prediction came true when Chakravarthy was fast-tracked into the Indian squad for ICC T20 World Cup 2021. However, only two wickets in six T20Is haven’t allowed him in cementing a spot in the national team thus far.

About the author

Rishikesh Sharma

Rishikesh Sharma


An engineering graduate and an ardent sports fan, Rishikesh Sharma is covering cricket for three years now after not making peace with a corporate life and has written more than 5000 articles. While Sourav Ganguly made him fall in love with the sport, Brendon McCullum and Gautam Gambhir enhanced it. Apart from cricket, Rishikesh is a huge fan of Liverpool FC. When not watching sports, you will find him riding around Jaipur.

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