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‘MS Dhoni must have told Ruturaj last year’: Ashwin’s major claim after Gaikwad named CSK captain in last-minute switch

MS Dhoni handed over the CSK captaincy to Ruturaj Gaikwad on the eve of the side’s IPL 2024 opener against RCB

MS Dhoni threw in a surprise right before the opening match of the Indian Premier League yet again; two years after he stepped down from captaincy to make way for Ravindra Jadeja on the eve of CSK’s opener, Dhoni did the same again – this time, for Ruturaj Gaikwad. It was widely expected that the star wicketkeeper-batter – who had led the side to a remarkable title win last year – would continue to lead the team this year, but Dhoni, along with the CSK team management, took a call for the future, handing over the captaincy to young opener Gaikwad.

CSK captain Ruturaj Gaikwad with teammate MS Dhoni during a training session(PTI)

For Dhoni’s former CSK teammate and India star Ravichandran Ashwin, however, it wasn’t a surprise. Ashwin called it an “inevitable” decision on his official YouTube channel, stating that Dhoni might have communicated his intentions to Gaikwad as early as the last season.

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“This was an inevitable decision. It had to come at some stage,” Ashwin said.

“I know MS Dhoni. He keeps the team at the forefront. He keeps thinking about the well-being of the team. Because of that, 2 years ago, he gave the captain’s armband to Jadeja. Now, he has given it to Ruturaj. This decision had to happen. Who and how remained the question.

“Ruturaj wouldn’t have thought his role was only a batter until yesterday. I know MS Dhoni very well. Sitting in his room, enjoying dinner with the youngsters, he must have told Ruturaj last year, I wouldn’t be surprised if that was the case. ‘Brother, you are going to take charge. You can do all these things. I will be there, don’t worry’ is something that Dhoni night have told Ruturaj well in advance.”

Ashwin also believes that Gaikwad, like Dhoni, is a calm character and expressed his delight for the CSK opener. “I know Ruturaj, he is extremely cool and calm. He is a very good human being. I am extremely elated for him,” Ashwin backed the young opener to find success,” said the off-spinner.

CSK meet RCB

The new era kickstarts for the Chennai Super Kings on Friday as they meet the Royal Challengers Bengaluru in the opening match of IPL 2024. Gaikwad is expected to receive a grand reception as the match takes place at CSK’s home ground, the Chepauk Stadium. Under Dhoni’s reign, CSK remained undefeated against RCB at their den since 2008, and Gaikwad will aim to keep the streak unbroken.


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