IPL 2024: 3 reasons why making Ruturaj Gaikwad as new skipper of CSK is right step

MS Dhoni dropped the bombshell by stepping down from captaincy.

Ruturaj Gaikwad
Ruturaj Gaikwad. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) has announced Ruturaj Gaikwad as their new captain for the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024. This brings to an amazing end of Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s successful stint as the CSK captain. From his first season back in 2008 to the last year, Dhoni has carried the ‘Yellow Army’ to five IPL trophies. 

However, the former India captain stepped away from leadership in 2022, to offer Ravindra Jadeja the captaincy. The all-rounder stepped down in the middle of the season, only for ‘Captain Cool’ to take the reins back. 

The 42-year-old continued in the position during the 2023 season and won the title for the fifth time to draw level at the top with Mumbai Indians (MI). He has captained them in 212 encounters, winning 128 of those. 

“MS Dhoni has handed over Chennai Super Kings’ captaincy to Ruturaj Gaikwad ahead of the start of TATA IPL 2024. Ruturaj has been an integral part of Chennai Super Kings since 2019 and has played 52 matches in IPL during this period. The team looks forward to the upcoming season,” the franchise issued a press release.  

Three reasons why making Ruturaj Gaikwad as new leader is the right decision:

1. Leadership experience in domestic cricket

The CSK opener seems to be a very cool and calm customer of the game. He had a poor start in his IPL career during the 2020 season with a few low scores. However, after battling with Covid-19, he proved his worth by three half-centuries towards the end of the season. 

The 27-year-old won the ‘Orange Cap’ to be the highest run-scorer of IPL 2021 with 635 runs in 16 games at an average of 45.35 and a strike rate of 136.26 with one century and four fifties. The ‘Whistle Podu Army’ went on to win the title that year. Whenever the team finds themselves under pressure in the batting, Ruturaj Gaikwad stands like a rock at one end. 

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He has also led Maharashtra in domestic cricket with decent success. The experience of leading a side in the shortest format of the game is so vital, and Gaikwad has ticked the box to be the perfect choice. 

2. Indian factor

One of the essential facets of any IPL franchise is to have an Indian captain. With the rule of only four overseas players being allowed, an underperforming foreign skipper can be a little haphazard. When Kane Williamson struggled with the bat during the 15th season for Sunrisers Hyderabad, the balance of the side was destroyed. The same happened with Eoin Morgan, who was leading Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) during IPL 2021.

Under Ruturaj Gaikwad’s captaincy, CSK can easily look for various options in their four overseas slots to try out different combinations. Being an India player, it will be easy to deal with the young domestic players too.

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3. A long-term solution

One of the biggest tasks while picking up a captain is putting an eye on the age factor. It should be a long-term responsibility. Ruturaj Gaikwad is just 27 years old at the moment, and that’s the right period for him to shoulder the burden.  In 52 IPL games, he has notched 1797 runs at an average of 39.07 and a strike rate of 135.52 with 14 fifties and one century. 

If he does well in the department, then there will be consideration for appointing him as the permanent leader for the next decade. With more onus, Gaikwad’s game will flourish too. He will learn how to handle tricky situations and improve further. CSK will begin their IPL 2024 campaign against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) on March 22 at the MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai. 

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