News around you

Ruturaj Gaikwad at home as captain of Chennai Super Kings

Indications from Dhoni in 2022 and one-on-one sessions with Fleming last year has helped the Maharashtrian get ready for the responsibility

Chennai Super KingsCHENNAI: Ruturaj Gaikwad seems a lot relaxed as he sits for the media interaction on Monday night — his first as the captain of Chennai Super Kings. After all, he just hit the winning runs, and his first fifty as skipper, to take the home team across the line against Kolkata Knight Riders at the MA Chidambaram Stadium.

It’s been five games as CSK captain for Gaikwad and he has seen his share of ups and downs. The high of two home victories and then the tough losses on road before getting back to their fortress for the third victory. In many ways, he has settled in on the role of his predecessor — MS Dhoni — and it shows. The first few questions come in about the contest against KKR as Gaikwad explained the nature of the surface, their plans against Rinku Singh and Andre Russell and the previous losses.

Then came the questions on his new role as Chennai skipper, what kind of captain he wants to be. He pauses for half a moment, turns to his right and then starts with a shy smile that he is trying hard to hide: “Captaincy wise, I feel I don’t want to be a specific kind of character. Just like to flow things as they are flowing. Keep the culture of CSK basically going. I feel the success we had, things we had been doing…I don’t want to change a single bit of it. I just want to come there, take my own decisions and give as much freedom as possible, because that is what has been happening since I started playing for CSK. So nothing really changes and I’m enjoying a lot.”

It’s a very CSK-ish answer and you are not surprised that Gaikwad is continuing the same. For anyone to come in and take over the role of captain from someone like Dhoni, the last thing you would expect them to say is how they want to do things differently. And more importantly, Gaikwad isn’t a new player coming in and taking charge of the team and franchise. In many ways, he was the chosen one. He was being groomed to take the team forward whenever Dhoni decides so.

Although the timing of the change in captaincy might have come to a surprise to many, Gaikwad had known it for a couple of years that there is a possibility that this might happen. “I remember in 2022 was when he told me that, ‘you know, probably not next year but after that you might get a chance to lead, so be ready for it’. So obviously after that, I was always preparing for it. It (the captaincy) didn’t come as news to me or was I bit surprised or shocked. I feel, obviously, for every one outside, it would feel like those are big shoes to fill. But I would like to be myself and continue the culture, which has been going,” he says.

You might also like

Comments are closed.