Ruturaj Gaikwad Reveals Advance Notice of Captaincy Transition

Ruturaj Gaikwad Reveals Advance Notice of Captaincy Transition

Ruturaj Gaikwad, the newly appointed captain of the Chennai Super Kings (CSK), has opened up about how his predecessor MS Dhoni had hinted at a potential leadership transition a year ago. Just ahead of the commencement of IPL 2024, this transition was indeed realized, with Dhoni stepping down from the captaincy and passing the torch to Gaikwad while continuing as a player.

Speaking to, Gaikwad shared insights into the subtle indications provided by Dhoni regarding the captaincy transition. “I don’t feel the need to make any changes. Last year itself, Mahi bhai hinted about captaincy at some point,” Gaikwad disclosed. “He suggested that I should be prepared, and it shouldn’t come as a surprise to me. When we arrived at the camp, he involved me in some of the practice match simulations.”

Gaikwad also recalled Dhoni’s enigmatic social media post earlier this month, which hinted at him assuming a ‘new role.’ “I remember him posting about a new role on social media, and everyone was speculating, asking me, ‘are you the next captain?’ I thought, ‘perhaps it meant something else on social media,'” Gaikwad remarked. “But it was lingering in the back of my mind. Just a week before we arrived, he informed me about his decision, and now that I’m here, I’m eagerly looking forward to it.”

The 27-year-old batsman initially joined CSK in 2019 but had to bide his time until the 2020 season for significant opportunities. After initially struggling in the middle order and losing his place, Gaikwad made a remarkable comeback towards the end of the season by opening the innings and scoring three consecutive fifties. Since then, he has become an indispensable part of the team, contributing to their two IPL title victories and even clinching the Orange Cap in 2021.

Reflecting on his journey, Gaikwad expressed his gratitude and excitement. “It feels fantastic, for two reasons,” he said. “Firstly, to be associated with this fantastic franchise from the beginning of my IPL journey, and then to be entrusted with a leadership role by MS Dhoni speaks volumes. The challenge lies ahead, and I’m eager to embrace it.”

Gaikwad also emphasized the importance of continuity and the influence of Dhoni’s leadership style. “From day one, I admired the workings of this particular franchise throughout the year,” Gaikwad added. “For me, he (Dhoni) remains a great backbone to have on the field. I have plenty of options to rely on. I don’t think I need to alter anything. Just provide the players with the freedom they desire, and I believe everything will fall into place.”

Gaikwad’s debut as CSK’s full-time captain will be in the opening match of the season against the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), led by his former opening partner Faf du Plessis. The anticipation is high for this exciting clash, as Gaikwad looks forward to leading his team into a new era of IPL cricket.

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