IPL 2024: ‘I don't want to change a single bit of it,’ says Ruturaj Gaikwad on CSK captaincy transition

April 9, 2024
Chennai Super Kings skipper Ruturaj Gaikwad speaking after CSK secured seven wickets victory over Kolkata Knight Riders

Chennai, April 9 (IANS) Chennai Super Kings skipper Ruturaj Gaikwad speaking after CSK secured seven wickets victory over Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) said he doesn’t want to change anything just because he’s the one in charge right now.

Ruturaj Gaikwad made a welcome return to form through an unbeaten 67 off 58 balls as defending champions Chennai Super Kings registered their third home win of Indian Premier League (IPL).

After Ravindra Jadeja starred with a miserly spell of 3-18, followed by Tushar Deshpande and Mustafizur Rahman bowling exceptional spells of 3-33 and 2-22 respectively to restrict KKR to 137/9, Gaikwad dazzled in front of the faithful home crowd with a flurry of delightful boundaries to carry his bat and complete the modest chase with 14 balls to spare.

“I don’t want to be a specific kind of character,” Gaikwad said in the post-match presentation. “Just like to flow things as they’re flowing. Keep the culture of the CSK basically going. That’s what I feel. The success we’ve had, the things we have been doing, I don’t want to change a single bit of it. I just want to come there, take my own decisions and just give as much freedom as possible because that’s what has been happening from when I joined CSK. Nothing really changes and I’m enjoying myself.”

Ruturaj also mentioned that Dhoni had sounded him out about leading CSK in IPL 2022 and in 2023, after every match, he sat down with the coach Stephen Fleming and discussed what he would have done had he been captain.

“To be honest, not really deep conversations, I feel…it was in a very chilled state. Just one conversation I would say. Just we were practicing and he came and told me all this stuff. Obviously for everyone, others on the outside, they would think they are big shoes to fill but I feel I would always be myself and I would like to continue the culture that has been going.

“I remember in 2022 when he said to me, probably not next year, but after that you might get a chance to lead, so be ready for it. So obviously after that I was always ready for it. It was nothing new to me or a surprise or a shock. I know how to control the game. I know how the game progresses, which change [to make], what to do when, as I was doing for the state team as well. Even last year as well Fleming and me used to discuss captaincy after every game, about how I felt, what changes, bowling changes what I felt we needed to do, this or that. Every game we had one-on-one conversations so that really helped.”

Gaikwad has made 155 runs in five innings at a strike rate of 117.42. He has had to work with a new opening partner this year, an IPL rookie in Rachin Ravindra.

“There are certain things where the outside people don’t really get to know,” Gaikwad said. “Last year, (the) three, four games that we started, it was in Ahmedabad, Chennai and Mumbai and again Chennai. All those games were on flat wickets. So I feel the pitch really matters a lot.

“First game (this season) I thought I’d got a good start, got a good ball (out for 15). Second game, same I think, I’d got a good start, had to accelerate a little bit, you tend to make a mistake there [out for 46]. And third game, again I felt I was in great shape, second ball not really do anything (out for 1)

“Sometimes there are phases where you get good balls. Sometimes there are phases where you are slightly unlucky. Sometimes there are phases where things don’t really fall in shape. (A) good shot, going into fielder’s hands. So you don’t really need to think on that. I always felt I was in good shape, starting really well, good headspace, so I wasn’t really worried.

“And captaincy, while batting, is a totally different approach. Even when I was playing my first game, or the first fifty I scored for CSK, I think (it was a) similar kind of situation, we were chasing 140 and I always wanted to stay till the end and make sure I finish the innings so pretty much same. Nothing really changes even though Iam captain or not.”

–IANS

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