The Punjab Kings’ batting coach Wasim Jaffer feels Ruturaj Gaikwad would be the perfect successor for MS Dhoni as CSK’s skipper in the coming years.
The next edition of the Indian Premier League will be the final for legendary Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni. The 41-year-old wicketkeeper-batter has been in all 13 seasons of the Chennai Super Kings’ league. And, with the exception of the first half of last year’s edition, he has captained the team for the entire time.
With an eye on the future, he handed over the mantle to Ravindra Jadeja ahead of the start of this year’s IPL, but the strategy did not proceed as intended. The star rounder suffered, and the results did not go in the team’s favor, thus he stepped down.
But, given that the 2023 edition is expected to be MS Dhoni’s last, it remains to be seen if Jadeja is considered for the post again, especially following his bitter rupture with the franchise when his captaincy was removed.
Jaffer has backed IPL 2021 Orange Cap winner Ruturaj Gaikwad’s candidature, said the right-handed batsman is young and has experience captaining his state team in domestic cricket. The team may look to groom him as the next leader.
In the words of Wasim Jaffer.
“They will stick with Devon Conway (as wicketkeeper) I feel. He is the next in line. MS might look at somebody else as well. I don’t know who that will be. I feel they’ll have their eyes on who will lead CSK after Dhoni. Gaikwad could be that one because he is young. He captains Maharashtra as well. They might look to develop him as the next leader and probably give him some responsibility. I hope Shivam Dube, Mukesh Chowdhary, Rajvardhan Hangargekar, and even Subhranshu Senapati – these guys need to have a good season,” Jaffer told ESPNCricinfo.
“I hope these guys get an opportunity because this is the last season they will play along with Dhoni. So, you want them to turn this season around. Become a better player and hopefully take the legacy forward. You want these guys to take that leap from Dhoni and learn the trade and become better players – which we have seen with Chahar, Gaikwad and all the others that have developed. You want the Indian talent to come up in the IPL, that’s what I am looking forward to with this franchise,” he added.
Ruturaj Gaikwad in yellow.
So far, the Maharashtrian opener’s journey has been yellovely. In 2021, he was the team’s leading scorer, earning him the orange cap. He also led the squad in scoring during their disastrous season, which saw them finish second to last. Ruturaj was one of four players retained by the franchise ahead of the IPL auctions in 2022. He has 1207 runs with an average strike rate of 37.72 and 130.35 in 36 matches for Chennai Super Kings. He has ten half-centuries and one century to his name.