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CSK captain after MS Dhoni? Ruturaj Gaikwad & Ben Stokes top contenders

Chennai Super Kings captain after MS Dhoni? Ruturaj Gaikwad & Ben Stokes top contenders. Who will be CSK's next captain after MS Dhoni?

Ruturaj Gaikwad becomes the youngest Orange Cap Winner in the history of IPL (Images ©BCCI_Twitter)
Ruturaj became youngest Orange Cap Winner in history of IPL (Images: ©BCCI/Twitter)

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) have won the Indian Premier League (IPL) on four occasions and are one of the most popular teams in the marquee cricket league. It is said commonly that every team has its home ground but for CSK every ground is their home ground. This is the kind of love and affection that CSK have attracted along their journey. One of the main reasons for the love bestowed on CSK is the southern metropolitan-based franchise’s captain – Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

Being a captain and taking your team to glory is not an easy task. It takes a lot of hard work, patience and trust to achieve what CSK has. But there is one even more difficult thing than this. That is to leave all the past laurels behind.

MS Dhoni has already stated that he will play his last match of the IPL in Chennai. But before leaving CSK, he would like to hand over the legacy in trustworthy hands. It won't be easy but that is how life works.

To be honest, there can be no one like MS Dhoni. But there are other potential players who can write the next chapters of CSK with their hands. So, let us take a look at some top contenders for CSK’s captaincy after Dhoni.

IPL 2023: Ben Stokes was bought by CSK for INR 16.25 crore in IPL 2023 Mini-Auction | Walking Wicket (Source_ ©ChennaiIPL/Twitter)
CSK was bought Stokes for INR 16.25 cr in mini-auction (Source: ©ChennaiIPL/Twitter)

Ben Stokes

The most expensive buy for CSK in their auction history is Ben Stokes. He was bought for 16.25 crores in IPL 2023 mini-auction held in Kochi on December 23. This buy defines a lot about Stokes and also about CSK’s approach. Last season was not that great for CSK and hence they were at the bottom of the table. One of the reasons was not having a stable leader, with Ravindra Jadeja handing the reins of the team back to MS Dhoni midway through the season.

To solve this issue, CSK may look for a player who has already been a captain. Stokes is the captain of England in Test cricket. That is one of the highest levels to prove your mettle. We have already seen what Stokes can do with a bat and ball. But as a captain, he can definitely bring an impactful environment.

Moreover, Stokes has been part of IPL for quite a long time. Also, he has played along with Dhoni for the now defunct Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) for a couple of seasons in IPL. So, it won't be a completely new environment for Stokes. He has taken retirement from ODI cricket to focus more on Tests and T20s. Even his record as a captain is phenomenal as could be seen below.

Now, all things may look positive but there are some concerns as well. Ben Stokes and most of the English players opt out of IPL for national duties. And no team would want to have a captain whose availability through the season is suspect.

Additionally, Stokes may not be a long-term captain considering the amount of cricket left in him. So, CSK may even think of someone who is Indian, young and a skilled player.

Ruturaj Gaikwad scores half century (73) against Gujarat Titans, GT move to top _ Walking Wicket (Images ©BCCI_IPL)
Ruturaj Gaikwad is in the race of CSK's next captain (Images ©BCCI/IPL)

Ruturaj Gaikwad

The leading run-scorer of IPL 2021 with 635 runs, and stable opener of CSK - Ruturaj Gaikwad is another potential candidate for the top job at CSK. He has been part of the scheme for CSK for quite a while. Even the team management has backed Gaikwad and shown a lot of trust in him. As Gaikwad is an Indian player, he won't miss a lot of matches. Being young and talented, he will be with CSK for a very long time.

Gaikwad also has some experience of captaining a team. He was captain of Maharashtra in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy (SMAT) 2021-22. They went to the preliminary quarter-final stage in that season and lost just 1 of the 5 matches in the group stage. Gaikwad took his state side to the final of Vijay Hazare Trophy 2022-23 where they ended up as runners-up.

CSK might back the young opener and prepare him for being the future captain. Currently, MS Dhoni will lead the side and then they may think of a captain for the next season. Gaikwad is a calm headed personality and can do well as a captain.

We have also seen how players have improved after being handed additional responsibilities. Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant, Shreyas Iyer, Hardik Pandya and Sanju Samson did it for their franchises and so can Gaikwad.

TATA IPL 2022_ Is it the end of the road for Ravindra Jadeja in Chennai Super Kings (CSK)_ Jadeja ruled out of IPL 2022 _ Walking Wicket (Images ©BCCI_IPL)
Ravindra Jadeja captained CSK in IPL 2022 edition (Images: ©BCCI/IPL)

Ravindra Jadeja

Ravindra Jadeja is one of the core players of CSK. Last season, he was made captain but he later stepped down. Despite his drop-down in performance, the rumours going around and his decision to step down, CSK are still backing him. One bad season does not rule out the option of Jadeja being captain of CSK.

CSK may rethink and can consider Jadeja as their captain. Afterall, he is a great all-rounder and has performed really well for CSK season after season. Every good player learns from his mistakes and we can expect that from Jadeja as well.

Other Options that CSK might consider

Some other players that Chennai Super Kings (CSK) may take a chance with are Moeen Ali and Deepak Chahar. But again, there are the same issues with Ali that are there with Ben Stokes. Deepak Chahar is a bowler and there is always a threat of injuries. Ajinkya Rahane is also an option but maybe a few years back, one would have considered him.

Currently, Gaikwad, Stokes and Jadeja are looking like being top contenders in the race. Afterall, CSK is a reputed and top team around the globe. They will need a leader who can keep the name and legacy of the team.


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