MS Dhoni steps down as CSK captain, Ruturaj to lead Chennai franchise in IPL 2024..

Five-time IPL champions Chennai Super Kings (CSK) announced star opener Ruturaj Gikwad as the side’s new skipper of the team on Thursday ahead of the upcoming season of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024.

The decision marks the end of Dhoni’s long reign at the helm of the CSK, during which he led them to five IPL titles.

“MS Dhoni handed over Chennai Super Kings’ captaincy to batter Ruturaj Gaikwad ahead of the start of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024. Ruturaj has been an integral part of Chennai Super Kings since 2019 and has played 52 matches in IPL during this period,” CSK informed through an official statement on Thursday.

He led the CSK in 212 IPL matches, winning 128 matches and losing 82. Dhoni announced his retirement from international cricket on August 15, 2020, after leading the team to glory in the 2007 T20 World Cup, 2011 ODI World Cup and the 2013 Champions Trophy.

Last year, Dhoni led the Chennai franchise to a record-equalling fifth IPL title against the Gujarat Titans in Ahmedabad. The 42-year-old, who remains one of Indian cricket’s most admired faces, enjoying fandom that rivals that of some current stars, captained Chennai since the inaugural IPL season in 2008, barring two years when the franchise was suspended from the tournament over fixing charges.

He handed over the captaincy mantle to star-all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja at the start of the 2022 season but returned to lead the franchise again after just eight matches into the season.

Ruturaj was part of CSK’s victorious IPL 2023 campaign. One of the heroes of the campaign that year, the Maharashtra batter stitched important partnerships with fellow opener Devon Conway for the Chennai franchise.

In 16 matches in the 2023 season, Gaikwad scored 590 runs at an average of 42.14. He also scored four half-centuries in the tournament, with a best score of 92.

In his IPL career since making his debut for the CSK in 2019 and finding ‘yellove’ from the fans, he has scored 1,797 runs at an average of 39.07 and a strike rate of 135.52. He has scored one century and 14 fifties, with best score of 101*.

He has also featured in 9 T20Is for India, aggregating 135 runs with one fifty. He has also represented India in one ODI, scoring 19 runs.

The 17th season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) will kick off on March 22, with last year’s champions going head to head with the Faf Du Plesis-led Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB) in a South Indian derby at the latter’s home arena–MA Chidambaram Stadium.

CSK squad for IPL 2024: Ruturaj Gaikwad (C), MS Dhoni (WK), Moeen Ali, Deepak Chahar, Tushar Deshpande, Shivam Dube, Rajvardhan Hangargekar, Ravindra Jadeja, Ajay Mandal, Mukesh Choudhary, Ajinkya Rahane, Shaik Rasheed, Mitchell Santner, Simarjeet Singh, Nishant Sindhu, Prashant Solanki, Maheesh Theekshana, Rachin Ravindra, Shardul Thakur, Daryl Mitchell, Sameer Rizvi, Mustafizur Rahman, Avanish Rao Aravelly.

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