Aakash Chopra said Chennai Super Kings (CSK) realised that Ben Stokes doesn’t fit in their Playing XI when the all-rounder recovered from his injury and was ready to play for the franchise.

CSK bought Stokes for ₹16.25 crore at the IPL 2023 auction. He failed in the first few games and was then injured.

“You investment more than 16 crore on Ben Stokes. He played two games and was then injured. When he was ready to play again, you couldn’t find a place for him,” he said.

Devon Conway, Moeen Ali and Maheesh Theekshana were certain overseas picks.

“Conway was the opening batter. Moeen Ali batted in the middle-order. Theekshana was the second spinner after Ravindra Jadeja,” he added.

Chopra added that Dhoni had to play one overseas pacer. “Their death bowling was a problem from the start. Deepak Chahar was unfit. So you had to play Matheesha Pathirana or one of Dwaine Pretorius and Sisanda Magala.”

He lauded CSK for playing with a clear mindset.

“Chennai goes with a very clear mindset. They don’t need Ben Stokes. Let the money go waste.”