MS Dhoni’s New Role; Ruturaj To Lead CSK In IPL 2024; Kohli’s Comeback

 MS Dhoni, the iconic captain of Chennai Super Kings (CSK), has passed on the captaincy baton to Ruturaj Gaikwad ahead of the IPL 2024 season.

During CSK’s IPL tenure, MS Dhoni served as captain, with the exception of a brief stint in 2022 when Ravindra Jadeja took over.

MS Dhoni’s New Role; Ruturaj To Lead CSK In IPL 2024; Kohli’s Comeback

A day before the inaugural match of the 2024 Indian Premier League, which pits the reigning champion Chennai Super Kings against the visiting Royal Challengers Bengaluru at Chepauk, Ruturaj Gaikwad was named the team’s new captain.

This concludes MS Dhoni’s lengthy tenure as CSK captain, which started in the inaugural season of the competition in 2008. However, he had already resigned from the role in 2022 when Ravindra Jadeja was named captain. However, Dhoni regained control of the team after Jadeja resigned after eight games, and in 2023, CSK won the trophy for a record sixth season, drawing even with the Mumbai Indians atop the title standings.

After retiring from international cricket after the 2019 World Cup, it was generally anticipated that this victory would be Dhoni’s last IPL season. However, he promised to play one more season if his body permitted it. A knee problem plagued Dhoni throughout the 2023 season, and he had surgery a few days after the championship. Earlier this month, the 42-year-old arrived in Chennai for CSK’s pre-season camp.

In total, Dhoni captained CSK in 235 of their 249 games across all competitions, helping them win five IPL titles in 2010, 2011, 2018, 2021, and 2023 in addition to two wins in the now-defunct Champions League T20. Under Dhoni’s guidance, CSK’s performance was so consistent that the team only missed the final four twice, in 2020 and 2022, and made it to the final ten times, including four times in a row from 2010 to 2013.

In addition, he led Rising Pune Supergiant for 14 games in 2016 and 2017 while CSK was suspended for two years from the IPL. He captained teams in 226 IPL games overall, placing him well above of Rohit Sharma (158) in the captaincy standings.

Gaikwad has lot to prove in front of Dhoni’s IPL win-loss record of 1.461, which is only exceeded by Steven Smith (1.470) and Hardik Pandya (2.444) among captains who have commanded clubs in 20 or more games.

Ever since Gaikwad, 27, concluded the 2021 IPL season—his second in the league—with a career-high 635 runs, the 27-year-old has been tabbed to succeed Dhoni. Since then, the Maharashtra batsman has developed into one of CSK’s most reliable players, and his IPL run-scoring exploits have won him a spot on the immediate fringes of India’s first-team white-ball teams. Thus far, he has participated in six One-Day Internationals and nineteen Twenty20 Internationals.

At an average of 39.06 and a strike rate of 135.52, Gaikwad has scored 1797 runs in 52 games, ranking him eighth among CSK’s top scorers. Selecting an opening partner is one of the first tasks he will be asked to tackle as captain, since Devon Conway, his usual partner, is sidelined until May due to a thumb injury.

Gaikwad has only participated in one competitive game in 2024—a Ranji Trophy encounter against Services, where he top-scored with 96 runs in Maharashtra’s opening innings—and is still recovering from a finger injury.

Also Read: Top 10 Highest Team Totals in Indian Premier League History

Also Read: IPL Winners List From 2008 to 2024

Virat Kohli’s Comeback in Focus

After a two-month hiatus, Virat Kohli will also play competitive cricket again for the RCB. Since the last IPL, he has only participated in two T20 matches (against Afghanistan in January). This season will serve as his preparation for the 2024 T20 World Cup, which will take place in June. Will Kohli bat like he did against Afghanistan in the first two innings? He showed an unusually aggressive approach.

MS Dhoni’s New Role; Ruturaj To Lead CSK In IPL 2024; Kohli’s Comeback

Can RCB Triumph Over CSK in Chennai?

From the 2008 IPL, RCB has not defeated CSK in Chennai. On Friday, will that streak last or end?

Faf du Plessis’ incredible performance just one month ago qualified the Johannesburg Super Kings for the SA20 playoffs. And in four months, he will be back in the yellow uniform for the Texas Super Kings, partnering with head coach Stephen Fleming. Their history dates back to 2011, when du Plessis was signed by Chennai Super Kings before he had even represented South Africa in international cricket.

However, du Plessis has currently given up his yellow second skin in favor of Royal Challengers Bengaluru’s red and blue for the rest of this IPL. He was once a fan favorite at Chepauk and on Friday, he will make his debut as the captain of the RCB in Chennai. He will not, however, be facing the opponent that du Plessis had anticipated.

Just hours before the teams reported for training on the eve of the IPL 2024 season opener, Ruturaj Gaikwad, the previous opening partner of Plessis, was named CSK’s captain, taking MS Dhoni’s place.

Given that the odds are stacked against RCB in Chennai, Gaikwad has a proud record to protect. They had previously defeated CSK at Chepauk during Fleming’s playing days in the inaugural IPL season (2008). RCB has since suffered seven straight losses. In the match that took place there in 2019, they were dismissed for 70 runs in 17.1 overs. That RCB forced CSK to work till the 18th over of their winning chase was because to Moeen Ali and Yuzvendra Chahal.

While Moeen may bat alongside three other spinners on Friday against the Royals (Maheesh Theekshana, Ravindra Jadeja, and part-timer Rachin Ravindra) on what may be another slow pitch, Chahal is currently with the Rajasthan Royals.

On the other hand, Mayank Dagar (left-arm fingerspin), Himanshu Sharma (mystery spin), Karn Sharma (legspin), and Swapnil Singh (left-arm fingerspin) are the only choices available to the RCB team in terms of elite spinners. This season, it appears that RCB has thrown all of its eggs into one basket—both at home and abroad.

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