MS Dhoni hands over Chennai Super Kings CaptaincyCricket

March 22, 2024 13:23
MS Dhoni hands over Chennai Super Kings Captaincy

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Chennai Super Kings have announced a change in leadership for the upcoming IPL season, with Ruturaj Gaikwad taking over as captain from Mahendra Singh Dhoni. While Dhoni will continue to play as a member of the team, Gaikwad will lead them in their first match against Royal Challengers Bengaluru. This decision may come as a surprise, but the Super Kings have been preparing Gaikwad for this role behind the scenes. In a similar move before the previous season, Dhoni had handed over the captaincy to Ravindra Jadeja, but that didn't work out and Dhoni had to take charge again. In preparation for the 2023 IPL, CSK had considered Ben Stokes as a captaincy option, but due to fitness issues, they turned to Gaikwad instead. Despite not being a regular member of the Indian team, Gaikwad is highly regarded within the franchise.

In three consecutive matches, he received match awards. Then, in 2021, when Chennai secured their fourth title, he was the recipient of the Orange Cap. Ever since, he has solidified his position as a regular member of the team. During the 2022/23 domestic season, while participating in the Vijay Hazare Trophy campaign, Gaikwad spent a significant amount of time with Dhoni. It was during this period that the initial steps were taken towards a transition of leadership. True to Dhoni's style, the baton was passed in Ranchi, away from the media spotlight, much like how he did with Virat Kohli for the Indian team.

Since then, Gaikwad has been actively participating in the captaincy programs led by Stephen Fleming at the team hotel. Mike Hussey, CSK's batting coach, who has closely worked with Gaikwad, mentioned in an interaction that the opener possesses all the qualities to lead the team. Similar to Dhoni, Gaikwad remains calm under pressure and has a keen understanding of the game. Additionally, his observant nature, character, and personality draw people towards him and make him an appealing figure.

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