'Not A Surprise For Ruturaj': Ashwin On MSD Handing Over CSK Captaincy

Ruturaj Gaikwad will lead CSK in IPL 2024Ruturaj Gaikwad will lead CSK in IPL 2024

Last evening, former India Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni shocked the world by relinquishing the captaincy for Chennai Super Kings (CSK) on the eve of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024.

In typical Dhoni fashion, the 42-year-old quietly opted to leave captaincy and hand the leadership to Ruturaj Gaikwad, who in his own words stated "Mahi bhai had hinted about captaincy". Former CSK player Ravichandran Ashwin, who will turn up for Rajasthan Royals (RR) this year, explained that Dhoni's stepping down was inevitable.

Speaking on his YouTube channel, Ashwin explained how MSD and CSK would have told Gaikwad about his role last year itself, something that the former confessed after his appointment. 

'I definitely think it was not a surprise for Ruturaj' - Ravichandran Ashwin

"This was an inevitable decision. It had to come at some stage. I know MS Dhoni. He keeps the team at the forefront. He keeps thinking about the well-being of the team. Because of that, 2 years ago, he gave the captain's armband to Jadeja. Now he has given it to Ruturaj. This decision had to happen. Who and how remained the question. 

"I am answering your question. Ruturaj wouldn't have thought his role was only a batter until yesterday. I know MS Dhoni very well. Sitting in his room, enjoying dinner with the youngsters, he must have told Ruturaj last year, I wouldn't be surprised if that was the case. I definitely think it was not a surprise for Ruturaj."

Ashwin further lauded Gaikwad's captaincy style, which is also on the lines of Dhoni, being quite 'cool and calm', and that CSK fans should give the new captain time to find his feet in case the results go south. 

The 27-year-old captains state side Maharashtra in domestic cricket, and also led India in the Asian Games in China, where the team won gold medal. In his first match as CSK skipper, Gaikwad will face Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB) this evening in Chennai.