Ruturaj Gaikwad IPL 2024.
Ruturaj Gaikwad IPL 2024. Image Credit: X

Under the captaincy of Ruturaj Gaikwad’s maiden captaincy stint in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024, the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) finished the season at the fifth position with seven wins and as many defeats in the league stage with a net run rate (NRR) of +0.392.

On the eve of the tournament, CSK’s long-time captain MS Dhoni handed over the leadership duties to a young Ruturaj Gaikwad, who has been a consistent performer for the franchise for the last two or three editions.

The job for Gaikwad was a little easy given he had the presence of the 42-year-old MS Dhoni still behind the stumps, and helping him with the field placements and other vital decisions during the game. With more years to come in the future, Ruturaj Gaikwad will learn more about how to deal with these situations.

‘As a captain, I take up a balanced approach between batting and captaincy’: Ruturaj Gaikwad

Chennai started the season on a positive note, having won both of their home games at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai against the Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB) and Gujarat Titans (GT). But they faced two back-to-away defeats, before making a tiny comeback in the IPL 2024.

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Even though their captain Ruturaj Gaikwad was scoring runs regularly, he wasn’t getting the right support from either of his opening partners, or the other batters in the team. The second half of the season was quite inconsistent for the five-time champions, as they never won two back-to-back games.

‘(It) felt good right from the start as it comes with responsibility and I like responsibility. As a captain I take up a balanced approach between (batting and captaincy),” Ruturaj Gaikwad said in a recent interview.

Going into the last league game of the season, Chennai’s goal was to win against the RCB but that by a certain margin. At the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, they were at a good position to get the victory, but couldn’t hold momentum for a long time, and ended with a defeat by 27-runs.

Ruturaj Gaikwad did a good job when it comes to the leadership skills. He looked calm as a cucumber, and never got flowed away with the emotions of the game. He finished the season as the highest run-getter of the tournament for CSK, with 583 runs in 14 games at an average of 53. The strike rate of 141.16 too was decent, mostly batting on the slow surfaces of Chennai, as he celebrated one century and four fifties.

‘I felt good right from the start (of the competition). I’m very approachable for all the teammates whenever needed and they always support the team in whatever way the team requires.  I wouldn’t say it’s difficult as all of them are very understanding. Al the senior players that are part of the team are great to be with. Their experience always helps with match situations,” Ruturaj Gaikwad opened up on how he handled the veterans like Ajinkya Rahane, Ravindra Jadeja and MS Dhoni.

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When it comes to learning from the best, Gaikwad expressed his gratitude towards the fans of the franchise to accept the change of captaincy. It’s also not easy for the fans who are emotionally connected with a person who has given them five titles in 2010, 2011, 2018, 2021 and 2023.

‘Being natural is something that I have learnt from Mahi Bhai (MS Dhoni). Not getting too excited about anything or being down by anything is the right approach that I have picked up,” Gaikwad remarked in the same interview.

‘While batting irrespective of being captain or not, my approach is always the same. Doesn’t really changed a lot. You can’t plan to become leaders so being goo team players and putting the team first will always stand a good chance to be one,” Ruturaj Gaikwad concluded.