Home Cricket News ‘Being Neutral And Not Getting Too Excited’: Ruturaj Gaikwad Discusses Leadership Lessons From MS Dhoni

‘Being Neutral And Not Getting Too Excited’: Ruturaj Gaikwad Discusses Leadership Lessons From MS Dhoni

‘Being Neutral And Not Getting Too Excited’: Ruturaj Gaikwad Discusses Leadership Lessons From MS Dhoni

Ruturaj Gaikwad, a young captain, has big responsibilities in his first stint leading the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) team. Before IPL 2024, the iconic Mahendra Singh Dhoni handed over the reins to Gaikwad, who has been one of CSK’s most reliable batsmen. Though the task was challenging, Ruturaj embraced the opportunity confidently.

With the experienced Dhoni guiding him from behind the stumps, Ruturaj felt assured in decision-making, field placements, and using bowlers strategically. Despite Ruturaj’s inability to lead the five-time champions to the playoffs in IPL 2024, his debut as Dhoni’s successor earned him praise, showing potential for future success.

Ruturaj’s team’s hopes for the playoffs were dashed after a significant defeat to Royal Challengers Bengaluru. CSK ended fifth in the standings with seven wins, seven losses, and 14 points, falling short of the top four due to a lower net run rate.

“Felt good right from the start as it comes with responsibility and I like responsibility. As a captain I take up a balanced approach between both (batting and captaincy’s),” Ruturaj Gaikwad told TimesofIndia.com in an exclusive interview.

When Ruturaj took the field with his bat, he bore no weight of leadership. He batted with the same ease and confidence instilled in him by the legendary Dhoni since his debut with CSK. On the field, he remained composed and collected.

Ruturaj emerged as the leading run-scorer for CSK in the tournament, amassing 583 runs in 14 matches with an impressive average of 53.00. He maintained a strike rate of 141.16 and recorded one century along with four half-centuries. While guiding senior players like Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, and Ajinkya Rahane might appear challenging to some, Ruturaj managed it with composure.

“I felt good right from the start (of the tournament). And I am very approachable for all teammates whenever needed and they always support the team in whatever way the team requires. I wouldn’t say it’s difficult as all of them are very understanding. All the senior players that are a part of the team are great to be with. Their experience always helps with match situations,” Ruturaj said.

Ruturaj Gaikwad
Ruturaj Gaikwad

Ruturaj Gaikwad was CSK’s preferred captain, ensuring a smooth transition with Dhoni still in the team

Despite the significant expectations set by Dhoni, who led the Yellow Army to five title triumphs (2010, 2011, 2018, 2021, and 2023), Ruturaj remained unaffected by his leadership duties. Instead, he expressed appreciation to CSK fans for embracing the change in the team’s leadership.

“Learning to remain neutral is a lesson I’ve gleaned from Mahi bhai. Maintaining composure and not letting emotions sway you is the approach I’ve adopted,” Ruturaj remarked.

“When batting, whether I’m captain or not, my mindset remains consistent. It doesn’t alter much. Leadership isn’t something you plan for; prioritizing the team and being a good team player will always enhance your chances,” added the CSK skipper.

When queried about his collaboration with Amrutanjan, Ruturaj expressed, “I’m thrilled to team up with Amrutanjan Healthcare for Electro+ Rehydrate. Hydration and sustaining energy levels are vital, not only for athletes like myself but for everyone in their everyday routines.”

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