Who is the real captain, MS Dhoni or Ruturaj Gaikwad?

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) appointed Ruturaj Gaikwad as the new captain to sharpen his leadership skills by following the valuable guidance of former skipper MS Dhoni and ensure a smooth transition for future seasons. Also, Ruturaj led his team with a spectacular start to their IPL 2024 campaign. Meanwhile, with the presence of MS Dhoni in the squad, new confusion arises among fans about who is the real captain of the CSK.

Especially, the speculations came to light when MS Dhoni was spotted setting the field and assigning the overs to bowlers instead of Ruturaj Gaikwad. Even the CSK medium pacer Deepak Chahar commented the same to Sunil Gavaskar after winning the first match against RCB by 6 wickets.

It was a shocking moment for all CSK fans when MS Dhoni made a sudden announcement by handing over the captaincy to the opening batter Ruturaj Gaikwad. Moreover, MSD shared his opinion via social media just the evening before the opening match of the IPL 2024, which started on 22nd March (Friday).

Deepak Chahar’s response to Sunil Gavaskar’s question

During the post-match presentation, Deepak Chahar who took 2 wickets for 28 runs in four overs against RCB responded to Sunil Gavaskar’s question about whom would he approach during the field setting — MS Dhoni or Ruturaj Gaikwad.

Deepak replied with a smile that he would look at both MSD and Ruturaj for field placements. He shared that though there is a bit of confusion on which side to look at. Furthermore, he said that Ruturaj has been doing well, and he will be leading in the ongoing season.

Analyzing the roles of MS Dhoni and Ruturaj Gaikwad

Scrutinizing the roles of MS Dhoni and Ruturaj Gaikwad helps to clear the confusion about who is the CSK’s real skipper in IPL 2024:

1. MS Dhoni plans for his successor:

After winning the IPL 2023, it was a perfect moment for MS Dhoni to retire, but he wanted to play another season. His decision was not only to satisfy his fans but also to act as a guiding force and select the player who could become his successor as the new CSK captain.

However, this isn’t the first time when Dhoni resigned as the CSK captain. It was in 2022 when MSD handed over the captaincy to Ravindra Jadeja. Later, he had to once again return as the CSK skipper after figuring out that the captaincy was affecting Jadeja’s performance.

The 42-year-old cricketer underwent knee surgery just two days after the completion of the IPL 2023 finals. Despite that, MSD still maintained the promise that he made to his fans in the previous edition. Although MS Dhoni hasn’t batted till now in the ongoing season, his wicket-keeping skills make fans think that age is just a number for him and his dynamic performance on the field is identical to a 24-year-old player.

Dhoni’s ability to make decisions behind the stumps will be a huge backup for the present new skipper of CSK in IPL 2024.

Additionally, he reminds players to look at Ruturaj Gaikwad for taking DRS and not towards his side. This itself proves that MSD is planning for a gradual shift in terms of captaincy.

2. Ruturaj Gaikwad’s learning period:

Although MS Dhoni might be seen setting the field, it is the best practical learning experience for Ruturaj Gaikwad to observe an experienced cricketer’s strategies and make decisions independently even after his retirement.

Also, Ruturaj Gaikwad wasn’t looking overburdened as a new captain with MS Dhoni on his side and maintained a decent performance as an opening batter in the first two matches against these teams:

  • 15 runs from 15 balls (including 3 fours) against the Royal Challengers Bangalore
  • 46 runs from 36 balls (including 5 fours and 1 six) against the Gujarat Titans.

In recent times many experts have showered praises on Gaikwad for his field placements and chances in bowling attack following the suggestions of MS Dhoni. They believe that it is Ruturaj Gaikwad who has the potential to achieve many victories as the next CSK captain after MS Dhoni.

Future Plans of MS Dhoni: Conclusive Facts

However, MS Dhoni‘s future after IPL 2024 remains a mystery as the captain cool is known for maintaining surprises. As soon as MS Dhoni stepped down as the CSK captain, a big question on every fan’s mind arose about his future. The subject of discussion was whether he would continue as a player for the team in the upcoming seasons, or will he make the switch to the mentorship role. 

Regardless of his decision, MS Dhoni remains one of the most successful captains in the history of cricket by solidifying his legacy as an inspiration for the present and upcoming generation of cricketers.

MS Dhoni as a captain led CSK in 235 out of 239 matches across all competitions. He guided the Yellow Army to five IPL wins and two Champions League T20 titles. Also, he led his team to eight IPL finals, which is the most by any captain. 

As Ruturaj Gaikwad takes over the captaincy from Mahendra Singh Dhoni a day before the commencement of the IPL 2024 season, cricket enthusiasts eagerly wait to witness how this new story takes its shape for both these cricketers and CSK.

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