CSK's big announcement for IPL 2024: MS Dhoni relinquishes captaincy; Ruturaj Gaikwad takes over | Crickit

CSK's big announcement for IPL 2024: MS Dhoni relinquishes captaincy; Ruturaj Gaikwad takes over

By, New Delhi
Mar 22, 2024 12:02 AM IST

MS Dhoni has stepped down as captain of the Chennai Super Kings a day ahead of the start of IPL 2024 with Ruturaj Gaikwad taking over.

Chennai Super Kings have appointed Ruturaj Gaikwad as their captain for IPL 2024, taking over the reins from the legendary MS Dhoni. The announcement was made on the eve of the tournament opener which will pit defending champions CSK against Royal Challengers Bangalore at the Chepauk on Friday. This is the second time that Dhoni has relinquished captaincy – he did so in 2022 handing over the role to Ravindra Jadeja, but took it back after CSK's woeful start – and provided he and the management do not take another U-turn, it will mark the end of his epic tenure as captain.

MS Dhoni has stepped down for the second time as Ruturaj Gaikwad will lead CSK in IPL 2024(BCCI/IPL)
MS Dhoni has stepped down for the second time as Ruturaj Gaikwad will lead CSK in IPL 2024(BCCI/IPL)

MS Dhoni, who announced retirement from international cricket in August of 2022 but continues to play the IPL, is the only skipper from the original batch of 2008 to have remained captain until now even after all these years. While some of the greats of the game retired along the way, other stepped down, but even as IPL entered its teens, Dhoni and his captaincy remained the only constant. And at 42, as Dhoni readies himself for his IPL swansong, this truly marks the end of an era.

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"MS Dhoni has handed over Chennai Super Kings' captaincy to Ruturaj Gaikwad ahead of the start of IPL 2024. Ruturaj Gaikwad has been an integral part of Chennai Super Kings since 2019 and has played 52 matches in IPL during this period. The team looks forward to the upcoming season," CSK said in a statement.

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Dhoni's record as captain

MS Dhoni steps down as the most capped captain of the IPL, finishing with 235 matches, winning 128 and losing 82. During his time in charge, Dhoni led CSK to five IPL titles – 2010, 2011, 2018, 2021 and 2023, and two now-defunct Champions League titles. Ever since the playoff format was introduced in IPL back in 2011, CSK, under Dhoni made it to the final 4 five seasons in a row.

Even after CSK returned in 2018 after serving a two-year-ban – during which Dhoni captained the Rising Pune Supergiant in 2016 for 14 games – the streak stretched to another two years before coming to a halt in 2020. It was the first time in eight seasons that CSK did not qualify, but made up for it the year later, when Dhoni took the franchise to its fourth IPL win before adding a fifth just last year.

IPL 2023 was the perfect setting for Dhoni to call it a day, but be wowed to return for another year for the sake of his fans. He underwent knee surgery immediately after the season to be fit in time, and a year later, here is one… once again, but most likely for the last time. In what promises to be final IPL, Dhoni promises to take his fans on a trip down memory lane with his long looks and hopefully even longer sixes.

The baton passes over to Gaikwad, who has been one of CSK's most crucial and consistent batters. With 1797 runs from 52 matches an average of 39.06 and strike-rate of 135.52, Gaikwad holds the record for being CSK's seventh-highest run-getter and this included a mighty fine outing of 635 runs in IPL 2021, which won the batter the Orange Cap for the season. Gaikwad has captained Maharashtra in the Vijay Hazare and Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy tournaments but this certainly is the biggest test of his captaincy career.

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