From Shubman Gill to Ruturaj Gaikwad: How are the new IPL captains faring | Crickit

From Shubman Gill to Ruturaj Gaikwad: How are the new IPL captains faring

Apr 09, 2024 10:20 PM IST

Some of the big names have moved on or stepped aside and the 2024 season is an opportunity for newer leaders to show what they are capable of.

Being a captain in the Indian Premier League (IPL) is among the most glamorous jobs in cricket. Adding to the excitement of 2024 season are the new faces in leadership roles. Mumbai Indians have Hardik Pandya, Gujarat Titans have Shubman Gill, Chennai Super Kings have Ruturaj Gaikwad and Sunrisers Hyderabad has Pat Cummins. In the highly demanding league, all of them face the challenge of proving themselves.

Chennai: Chennai Super Kings captain Ruturaj Gaikwad and Gujarat Titans Captain Shubman Gill at the toss before the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 T20 cricket match between Chennai Super Kings and Gujarat Titans.(PTI)
Chennai: Chennai Super Kings captain Ruturaj Gaikwad and Gujarat Titans Captain Shubman Gill at the toss before the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 T20 cricket match between Chennai Super Kings and Gujarat Titans.(PTI)

The spotlight is that much more if you are in the hot seat at the biggest brands, Mumbai Indians or Chennai Super Kings, because of their massive fan base and success in the tournament. Pandya and Gaikwad certainly have big shoes to fill, stepping into the roles of Rohit Sharma and Mahendra Singh Dhoni, both five-time champions.

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Compared to the above two, the pressure is lesser on Gill but how he handles the responsibility is important as he has been earmarked by many as the future all-format India captain.

Cummins is the most high-profile personality among the four, his challenge to deal with the pressure of expectations and justifying the price tag as the second most expensive auction buy ( 20.5 crore) in the history of the IPL.

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Looking at the points table, Gaikwad has started on a promising note having helped his team to three wins in five games for CSK to be in the fourth spot on the table after five games. As the tournament has progressed, he has grown in confidence and that was evident even in Monday’s game against Kolkata Knight Riders. From behind the wickets, Dhoni would have been pleased with how he marshalled the bowling resources. The KKR batters simply weren't allowed to settle down.

CSK’s strategy under Dhoni for all these years was built on their home record. The new captain has continued that trend with three wins in three games at the M A Chidambaram Stadium. They do it by using their spin resources. Gaikwad’s advantage is that having been in the same set-up, he knows how Dhoni used to go about the business. He was spot on against KKR, bringing in Ravindra Jadeja immediately after the powerplay proved to be the game changer. Jadeja plucked three wickets in his first eight balls and KKR never recovered from it.

The other key phase which Gaikwad handled well was the last five overs which KKR were looking to cash on through their best power-hitters Rinku Singh and Andre Russell. But CSK got their match-ups right with Tushar Deshpande getting them both cheaply – Rinku for 14-ball 9 and Russel for 10 off 10. Gaikwad’s confidence could be seen in his batting, striking a fluent unbeaten 67 off 58 balls to make it a one-sided contest.


In terms of results, the Gujarat Titans haven’t been able to match their first two seasons so far with just two wins in five games, but from long-term point of view it will be pleasing to know that Gill is receiving good reviews from the experts.

Taking over the captaincy from Hardik Pandya, the 24-year-old is showcasing his leadership skills on the field. Titans might have lost their last game against Lucknow Super Giants, but Gill's leadership qualities have been evident in most of the matches. What helped him settle into the challenging role was the way he handled the finish in the first game against Mumbai Indians. Defending a below-par total of 168, MI had the chase under control with 42 runs to get in 30 balls with seven wickets in hand (being 126/3 in 15 overs). But Gill helped pull off a six-run win.

He has maintained a confident body language and has given the impression of a captain who knows what he is doing.

After witnessing Gill's leadership during the Titans versus LSG match, former England captain Michael Vaughan took to X (formerly Twitter) to express his admiration. “Have to say @ShubmanGill is going to be a very, very good captain .. No doubt he will skipper #India one day .. #IPL2024,” posted Vaughan.

Similar to Gaikwad, Gill’s advantage is he knows the Titans system well under coach Ashish Nehra. He has wisely chosen to fit in and continue the successful method set by Nehra. The team has been hampered by injury to key finisher, David Miller, and has a huge void to fill of all-rounder Hardik Pandya.


Of all the four new captains, Pandya has had the toughest time settling down with four defeats in five games. After his tremendous success at Titans, winning the title on debut and runners-up in the second year, Pandya has come to Mumbai Indians with huge expectations.

However, if you are doing well at one club, it doesn’t get you automatic success at another. Pandya has been part of Mumbai Indians earlier. But being one of the players and being captain are two different things. The set-up is entirely different.

At Titans, he had nothing-to-lose scenario. That extra pressure of expectations was not there in the first season. The whole atmosphere was different. At Mumbai, he is leading a five-time champion side so high expectations come with the job.

Coming to a big club, one clear difference is that there are other big superstars around you. Pandya has to contend with India captain Rohit Sharma, who is at the peak of his popularity, it is clear to see how much he is loved all over the country. The fans have made it tough for Pandya at the stadiums. Then there are other huge characters in the dressing room: you have Jasprit Bumrah, the world’s number one fast bowler; Suryakumar Yadav, who’s the world’s best T20 batter.

To win back the fans, Pandya will have to get the results and lead from the front with runs and wickets.


Under Pat Cummins, Sunrisers Hyderabad sure have shown promising signs that they will be no pushovers this season with two impressive wins in their first four games. In a batting heavy side, being a bowler captain is a big advantage. He has been able to correct plans on the move, mapping up the pitch and conditions to show his bowlers what would work.

He led from the front in the win against Mumbai Indians, taking the pace off to tie the batters in a spell of 4-0-35-2, while his other bowlers were getting hammered. Being a towering figure as the captain of the champion Australia team is naturally inspiring in the dressing room.

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