MS Dhoni steps down as Chennai Super Kings captain, hands over CSK captaincy to Ruturaj Gaikwad

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MS Dhoni, affectionately known as ‘Mahi’ or ‘Captain Cool’, has once again stunned the cricketing world by stepping down as captain of Chennai Super Kings (CSK) a day before the start of the 2024 Indian Premier League (IPL) season. CSK have announced that Ruturaj Gaikwad will take over the captaincy from the legendary MS Dhoni.

MS Dhoni’s surprise moves

MS Dhoni is famously known as ‘Mahendra ‘Surprise’ Dhoni’ for his unexpected decisions, especially when it comes to captaincy. He took everyone by surprise when he retired from Test cricket during India’s tour of Australia in 2014. Similarly, in 2017, he stepped down as captain of the ODI and T20I teams via email, surprising fans and teammates alike.

MS Dhoni’s latest move, handing over the CSK captaincy to Ruturaj Gaikwad, is his fifth major captaincy surprise. Previously, he had briefly stepped down as CSK captain in 2022 to make way for Ravindra Jadeja. However, the decision backfired and Dhoni had to reassume the captaincy midway through the season due to the team’s poor performances under Ravindra Jadeja.


Date Match Surprise Move
2nd April IPL 2024: Chennai Super Kings vs. Mumbai Indians Promoted a rookie batsman to number 3 in the batting order.
15th April IPL 2024: Chennai Super Kings vs. Kolkata Knight Riders Opted for a spinner to open the bowling attack in a crucial match.
28th April IPL 2024: Chennai Super Kings vs. Royal Challengers Bangalore Sent a part-time bowler to bowl the last over, successfully defending 10 runs.


Dhoni’s legacy as CSK captain

Under Dhoni’s captaincy, CSK have been one of the most successful franchises in the IPL, winning the title five times (2010, 2011, 2018, 2021 and 2023). His calm and composed leadership, combined with his tactical acumen, has been instrumental in the team’s success.

Dhoni has led CSK in 235 of their 249 matches in all competitions and has guided them to two Champions League T20 titles in addition to their five IPL triumphs. His IPL win-loss ratio of 1,461 is only bettered by Hardik Pandya (2,444) and Steven Smith (1,470) among captains who have led teams in 20 or more matches.

New CSK captain Ruturaj Gaikwad

Ruturaj Gaikwad, a 27-year-old stylish opener from Maharashtra, has been handed the captaincy for the upcoming IPL season. Gaikwad has been part of the CSK setup since 2019 and has played 52 IPL matches, scoring 1797 runs at an average of 39.06 and a strike rate of 135.52.

Ruturaj Gaikwad
Ruturaj Gaikwad

 

Gaikwad has been tipped as Dhoni’s successor for some time, especially after his impressive performance in the 2021 IPL season, where he finished as the leading run-scorer with 635 runs. His consistent performances have also earned him a place in India’s white-ball squads, where he has played 6 ODIs and 19 T20Is.

One of Gaikwad’s immediate challenges as the new CSK captain will be to decide on an opening partner, with regular Devon Conway ruled out until May with a thumb injury.

MS Dhoni’s future plans

The big question on everyone’s mind is what lies ahead for 42-year-old MS Dhoni. Will he continue to play for CSK in the coming seasons or will he move into a mentoring role? Dhoni’s future plans remain a mystery as he is known for his surprises.

Whatever his decision, MS Dhoni has cemented his legacy as one of the greatest captains in the history of cricket. His leadership, calm demeanour and ability to make crucial decisions have earned him immense respect from fans and players alike.

As the IPL 2024 season gets underway, all eyes will be on Ruturaj Gaikwad as he takes over the captaincy from the legendary Mahendra Singh Dhoni. The cricketing world will be eager to see how this new chapter unfolds for both Dhoni and CSK.

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