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What Ruturaj Gaikwad has done as skipper to land captaincy role at CSK for IPL 2024

CSK announced that MS Dhoni has handed over captaincy to prolific opener Ruturaj Gaikwad.

To say that Ruturaj Gaikwad has some big boots to fill in the 2024 season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) would be an understatement. Chennai Super Kings (CSK) announced just a day before they face Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB) in the season opener iconic captain and talisman MS Dhoni has decided to hand over the mantle he has held almost uninterrupted since the first season of the tournament in 2008 to Gaikwad.

Ruturaj Gaikwad’s first assignment will be to lead CSK against RCB in the IPL 2024 season opener.

This isn’t the first time that CSK will play without Dhoni as captain – all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja was made skipper before the 2022 season. That decision, however, turned out to be a rather disastrous one for both CSK and Jadeja himself and while Dhoni was made captain again eight games into the season, it turned out to be just the second instance of the team not being able to make it past the league stage.

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The 27-year-old Gaikwad cannot be compared to the 35-year-old Jadeja in terms of experience in top-level cricket – Gaikwad remains at the periphery of the Indian team and is yet to make his Test while Jadeja is considered by many as the best all-rounder in the world across formats. However, the fact remains that Gaikwad has led teams far more than Jadeja when the latter was made CSK captain.

Gaikwad as captain in domestic cricket

Gaikwad has been Maharashtra’s captain in white-ball cricket tournaments since 2020. While Maharashtra have not won any titles, they finished runners up in the 2022/23 season of the Vijay Hazare Trophy, losing the final by five wickets to Saurashtra. Gaikwad’s individual form since being made captain has skyrocketed. In the 2021 Mushtaq Ali trophy, Gaikwad captained Maharashtra and scored 259 runs in five matches at an average of 51.80, including three fifties at a strike rate of 150.71.

In the 2021/22 Vijay Hazare trophy Gaikwad scored four hundreds and equalled Virat Kohli’s record of most centuries scored in a single season of the tournament. He was the highest run scorer in the tournament despite playing only five matches, smashing 603 runs at an average of 150.75 and strike rate of 112.92. Gaikwad also become the first batter to hit seven sixes in an over in any form of the game during the quarterfinal of the 2022/23 Vijay Hazare Trophy against Uttar Pradesh. In the final, he scored 108 runs and thus set the record for most centuries in the history of the tournament.

Gaikwad as India captain

Despite being on the periphery of the Indian team, Gaikwad’s penchant for leadership has not gone unnoticed at the international level. He was named vice-captain under the returning Jasprit Bumrah for India’s T20I series in Ireland in June last year. Gaikwad was then named the captain of the young Indian squad that played at the Asian Games in Hangzhou. They ended up winning gold medal and Gaikwad became the second Indian after Dhoni to win a T20I tournament in his first assignment as captain.

Gaikwad was then India’s vice-captain for the first three matches of their five-T20I series against Australia after the ODI World Cup last year. While he was run out for a diamond duck in the first match, Gaikwad was quite sensational after that, scoring 58 (43) in the second T20I and then smashing a maiden international century of 123 (57) in the third T20I.


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