IPL-17 | Captaincy didn’t come as a surprise to me, says Ruturaj Gaikwad

Chennai Super Kings’ Ruturaj Gaikwad, who led from the front in the win against KKR on April 8 night, was stunningly appointed CSK captain a day before the IPL opener on March 22

Updated - April 09, 2024 09:15 pm IST

Published - April 09, 2024 11:49 am IST - Chennai

Chennai Super Kings player Ruturaj Gaikwad play a shot during the Indian Premier League cricket match between Chennai Super Kings and Kolkata Knight Riders in Chennai, Tamil Nadu on April 8, 2024. 

Chennai Super Kings player Ruturaj Gaikwad play a shot during the Indian Premier League cricket match between Chennai Super Kings and Kolkata Knight Riders in Chennai, Tamil Nadu on April 8, 2024.  | Photo Credit: R. Ragu

After scoring his first half-century as the Chennai Super Kings skipper, Ruturaj Gaikwad opened up about the succession plans M.S. Dhoni and the think-tank had for him.

“I remember (it was) in 2022 when he [Dhoni] told me that I might get a chance to lead (later). I was always preparing for it. Captaincy didn’t come as a surprise or shock to me,” Ruturaj said at the post-match press conference after CSK’s seven-wicket win against Kolkata Knight Riders on Monday.

When asked about how Dhoni broke the news of passing on the baton to him, Ruturaj said: “It was not really a deep conversation. It was in a very chilled state… we were practising and he came and told me about it.”

The 27-year-old also touched upon how head coach Stephen Fleming was grooming him to be the next heir to the throne.

“Even last year, Fleming and I used to discuss captaincy after every match, about what bowling changes we needed to make and the thinking behind them. That was just really building this up for me,” he added.

Ruturaj — while retaining his individuality as the Super Kings captain — seems to have embedded the philosophy ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ while embarking on the side’s season of transition.

“I want to keep the culture of CSK going. The success we have had and the things we have been doing, I don’t want to change a single bit of it,” Ruturaj said.

“I would like to make my own decisions and give freedom to my players. That is what has been happening since I started playing for CSK, and nothing has changed now. I’m enjoying this a lot.”

“Everyone out there will feel that there are big shoes to fill, but I would like to be myself,” he signed off.

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