IPL 2024 – Stephen Fleming on CSK captaincy change as MS Dhoni steps down

It was MS Dhoni’s name handy over the Chennai Tremendous Kings captaincy to Ruturaj Gaikwad, forward of IPL 2024, their head coach Stephen Fleming has revealed on the eve of the event opener in Chennai.

“It was MS [Dhoni’s decision] with a whole lot of consideration and one view to the longer term on the again of season final 12 months,” Fleming stated at his press convention on Thursday. “The timing was good. Behind the scenes, Ruturaj and others have been on a, say, a captaincy-grooming course of, trying ahead to days like this and the alternatives come up, however MS is one of the best decide and he felt the time was proper.”

For the second time within the final three seasons, CSK have sprung a shock by naming a brand new captain on the eve of a season opener. In 2022, Ravindra Jadeja had taken over as captain from Dhoni, however the transition wasn’t notably easy with Jadeja stepping down halfway by the season after CSK had misplaced six of their first eight video games throughout that season.

Dhoni took again the management after which led CSK to a fifth title in IPL 2023 to attract degree with Mumbai Indians.

Fleming stated that the captaincy change in 2022 was little bit of a wake-up name and that the franchise is now better-prepared to work beneath a brand new captain and construct for the longer term.

“Effectively, the large factor about a few years in the past was that we most likely weren’t prepared for MS to maneuver apart,” Fleming stated. “And what that did was most likely shake us as a management group or coaches into trying on the risk when he does go. And up till that stage, it was virtually unthinkable, however it sowed the seed. So, we have labored fairly laborious on ensuring that any errors that have been made throughout then aren’t made once more. And that the management is not a secret.”

Fleming additionally instructed there might be some on-field mentorship from Dhoni – and different senior gamers – to assist Gaikwad ease into the brand new function. Gaikwad turns into solely the third participant aside from Dhoni to steer CSK within the IPL. The 27-year-old has led Maharashtra in 13 T20s and India in three T20Is in the course of the Asian video games in Hangzhou, the place they gained the gold medal.

“Yeah, I hope so. It is getting that stability proper with out interfering, but additionally offering that management that you could’t ignore,” Fleming stated. “It has been too lengthy and he is too huge a presence that you do not simply flip that off, you utilize it. And discovering that stability and having the ability to use the Jadejas and Dhonis and assist Ruturaj as he develops is essential. Within the center, we’ll take slightly little bit of trial and error to a level.

“Ruturaj could be very confident. Once more, he is not essentially the most demonstrative captain or individual round, however he is obtained an excellent strategy along with his fellow gamers and he is very well-respected. So I believe my understanding from the senior gamers is the will to assist.”

Gaikwad is trying ahead to leaning on the expertise of Dhoni and Co. “[It] feels good. It is a privilege, however greater than that, it’s a large accountability,” Gaikwad informed CSK’s social-media channels. “I’m actually excited due to the type of group we now have. Everyone seems to be skilled sufficient. So there’s not a lot of a factor for me to do. I’ve Mahi [Dhoni] bhai within the staff, Jaddu [Jadeja] bhai, and Ajju [Rahane] bhai, who’ve been nice captains to information me.”

Gaikwad is considered one of CSK’s greatest success tales within the IPL. Within the 2019 public sale, CSK snapped him up for his base worth of INR 20 lakh and although he had a tough begin within the center order in IPL 2020 within the UAE, having simply recovered from Covid-19 on the time, he has pressed onto turn into a flexible opener. CSK’s staff administration is especially happy with the evolution of Gaikwad.

“So, we have been working very laborious on ensuring that the plans are in place, [so] that every one gamers are extra self-sufficient,” Fleming stated. “And we’re. It isn’t [the case that] MS solely has a beautiful sense of the sport, however one of many issues we’re pleased with is the event of younger gamers.

“Final 12 months [Tushar] Deshpande got here by after which personal that area and has finished properly in home cricket. So, it proves that giving possession and belief to gamers actually works. It isn’t simply the captain’s job to tug the strings.

“So, we’re that. And as I say, we’re extra ready now as a result of they jolted us into life after [Dhoni]. And in some methods, we have been a bit gradual in doing that as a administration group.”

Deivarayan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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