‘MS Dhoni would be an asset to Ruturaj Gaikwad’: Former World Cup-winning all-rounder on CSK’s captaincy change | Cricket News

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NEW DELHI: Chennai Super Kings (CSK) on Thursday revealed MS Dhoni‘s decision to step down as the captain of the team, passing the torch to young opener Ruturaj Gaikwad ahead of the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 season opener against Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB) on March 22.
In an exclusive chat with TimesofIndia.com, Kirti Azad, a member of India’s historic ICC ODI World Cup-winning squad in 1983, shared his insights on Dhoni’s decision.Azad speculated that Dhoni’s move could be driven by a desire to play without the added responsibilities of captaincy.”It’s his personal decision. Maybe he wants to play freely now, not being a captain, if he has agreed to keep playing in the IPL. Would it be his last IPL? It completely depends on his fitness and his frame of mind. If he has quit his captaincy, that means he wants to enjoy as a player and not have the pressure of a captain. If he does well, I am sure he would like to carry on,” the veteran all-rounder said.
Gaikwad, who has been associated with the franchise since the 2019 IPL auction, has garnered attention for his consistent performances and technical proficiency. Gaikwad’s journey with CSK has been marked by remarkable form and reliability as a top-order batsman.
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In the IPL 2023 season, Gaikwad showcased his potential by amassing an impressive total of 590 runs in 16 matches.
Furthermore, Gaikwad showcased his leadership abilities by leading the men’s Indian team to a gold medal victory in the Hangzhou Asian Games last year.
When questioned about the potential impact of honing his leadership skills under the mentorship of Dhoni, Azad stated, “There are good young cricketers with good brains. If he has a good cricketing brain and knows how to strategize, he can be a good captain. Ruturaj would never feel the pressure (of leading Dhoni) because I would say that Dhoni is one of the best captains India have produced. And look at him, how he took the team along, and how he carried it forward. He saw something extraordinary in Virat Kohli, and it made him play for a longer duration. Dhoni would be an asset to Ruturaj’s captaincy because he will guide him whenever he needs guidance. And Dhoni is a very helpful man in that way.”

It’s not the first time Dhoni stepped down from his captaincy at CSK. The former India captain handed over the team’s captaincy to Ravindra Jadeja just two days ahead of the start of the IPL 2022 season. However, with Chennai’s campaign encountering unexpected turns, Dhoni reclaimed his position as captain, steering his team to clinch their fifth IPL title in 2023.
Despite acknowledging such hurdles in sudden shifts of roles, Azad asked the fans to keep faith in the change, saying, “The game is full of uncertainties. Sachin, one of the best players, was not the best of the captains. It’s not that he was not a good captain, but it is just that the results did not come. So you can’t judge a person by a season or an innings.”



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