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"Great to be trusted by MS Dhoni for leadership role": CSK skipper Ruturaj Gaikwad

Chennai (Tamil Nadu): Chennai Super Kings (CSK) skipper Ruturaj Gaikwad said that it was "great" to be "trusted" by MS Dhoni for the leadership role ahead of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024.

Ahead of the season opener of IPL 2024 against Royal Challengers Bengaluru at Chepauk Stadium, the Chennai-based franchise announced that Gaikwad would take the captaincy baton from the 42-year-old.

The announcement on Thursday marked the end of Dhoni's long reign at the helm of the CSK, during which he led Chennai to five IPL crowns.
Gaikwad said that from the first day, he liked how CSK ran and learned many "success mantra" from the franchise. The CSK opener added that it's a "great backbone" to have the former CSK skipper on the field.

The 27-year-old added that he is not looking forward to changing anything in the team.

"It's great to be trusted by MS Dhoni for the leadership role. Right from day one, I like how this franchise runs, I got to know what is the success mantra, and I don't like to change a single bit of it - for me, it's a great backbone to have MS Dhoni on the field. I have Jaddu (Ravindra Jadeja) Bhai & Ajju (Ajinkya Rahane) Bhai in the team. So definitely a lot of options to look around and I don't think that I need to change anything, just give the freedom that the players want. I think everything will be fine," Gaikwad said.

He also revealed that during the IPL 2023 season, Dhoni hinted to him about taking the captaincy in the 17th season of the IPL.

"You know last year itself Mahi bhai just hinted about captaincy at some point in time. Just hinted that be ready and it should not come as a surprise to you and when we came into the camp obviously he made me involved in some of the practice matches and relations...," he added.

The 17th season of the IPL will start on Friday, with defending champions Chennai set to clash with Bengaluru in the Southern derby at MA Chidambaram Stadium.

CSK Squad: MS Dhoni, Moeen Ali, Deepak Chahar, Tushar Deshpande, Shivam Dube, Ruturaj Gaikwad (C), 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 and Avanish Rao Aravelly.

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