Ruturaj Gaikwad has so far impressed as a leader for India in the limited opportunities that he has got. Rayudu feels he should lead CSK after Dhoni quits
Will MS Dhoni play one more IPL season is the million-dollar question the nation wants to know. If he does not play, then who will Chennai Super Kings (CSK) back as the leader? Ambati Rayudu, a former CSK player, believes Ruturaj Gaikwad will lead CSK after Dhoni calls it quits. Interestingly, Rayudu has snubbed his best mate Ravindra Jadeja for the leadership role. The southpaw captained CSK for five matches before handing over captaincy reins to Dhoni.
Under Jadeja, CSK lost four consecutive matches and crashed out of the IPL playoffs race. Dhoni cannot play for two more seasons as his Knee is giving him trouble. Rayudu feels Gaikwad is ready for leadership.
Speaking on the BeerBiceps YouTube channel, Rayudu says Ruturaj should be an ideal candidate to replace Dhoni as he has all the leadership qualities to take CSK forward.
“I think, ideally, it should be Rutu. But let’s see.”
Gaikwad is currently in the Indian team for the T20 series against Australia and is vice-captain. Previously, he also led a second-string Indian team to a gold medal win in the Asian Games. The 26-year-old is also the leader of the Maharashtra side. So, Gaikwad has a fair bit of captaincy experience.
Will CSK give captaincy to Ruturaj Gaikwad? Or will Ravindra Jadeja be given a chance to redeem himself?
Considering the horrific experience Jadeja had while captaining CSK in 2022, giving the captaincy reins to the southpaw would be a risk. The veteran himself accepted that he could not take the pressure of leadership as it had an impact on his performance. Apart from Jadeja, Gaikwad is the second best in terms of experience and knowledge of the CSK culture.
Also, like Dhoni, the CSK opener is quite calm and composed as a leader, and hardly shows any emotions. Being with Dhoni for over four years, Gaikwad has also taken a leaf out of DHoni’s captaincy manual. With the CSK captain also likely to play one more IPL season, he can also guide Gaikwad a bit and make the transition a bit easier.