Dhoni Steps Down as CSK Captain: Kaif Says ‘Thala the Grandmaster’, Vaughan Feels ‘Makes Chennai Super Kings Around 20% Worse’

Dhoni Steps Down as CSK Captain: Kaif Says 'Thala the Grandmaster', Vaughan Feels 'Makes Chennai Super Kings Around 20% Worse'

Last Updated: March 21, 2024, 23:15 IST

MS Dhoni in the nets. (Image: X)

Mohammad Kaif called MS Dhoni “the Grandmaster of T20 cricket” as Michael Vaughan feels the move will have an impact on CSK’s fortunes in IPL 2024.

Former Indian cricket Mohammad Kaif called MS Dhoni “the Grandmaster of T20 cricket” after Chennai Super Kings (CSK) named Ruturaj Gaikwad as the new captain for the Indian Premier League season 2024 as Former England cricketer Michael Vaughan wrote on X about the impact Dhoni relinquishing captaincy will have on the CSK fortunes.

CSK on Thursday named opener-batter Gaikwad as Dhoni’s successor, leaving the 27-year-old from Pune in Maharashtra big shoes to fill as he takes over from a legend. CSK secured the services of Gaikwad at the IPL 2019 player auction and since then he hasn’t disappointed with the bat and will now lead the squad.

Kaif called Dhoni “the Grandmaster of T20 cricket” in a post on X (formerly Twitter) and said Gaikwad was lucky to do his captaincy internship under a great leader.

“M.S. Dhoni knows when to step up and when to step down. Ruturaj Gaikwad is lucky to do his captaincy internship under a great leader. Thala, the Grandmaster of T20 cricket,” Kaif wrote on X.

“No MS Dhoni as captain for the Chennai Super Kings (CSK)!!!! Makes them around 20% worse off,” wrote Vaughan.

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Gaikwad has played 52 matches in his IPL career so far and scored 1797 runs, with an average of 39.07, with his highest IPL score being 101 not out. In the IPL Auction 2024, Chennai acquired him for Rs 6.00 crore.

Stephen Fleming, head coach of CSK in a pre-match press conference on Thursday, said, “It was MS Dhoni’s call with a lot of consideration looking at the future. The timing was good. It’ll be a grooming process for Ruturaj.”

“I am expecting MS to play and play well. His body is a lot better than last year as is his knee. The desire to play and do well is like always. When you see a young player come through and lead, it’s always a good feeling,” said Fleming, who became New Zealand’s youngest captain at 23 years and 321 days in the third Test against England in the 1996-97 series.

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CSK posted a photo of Ravindra Jadeja, MS Dhoni and former CSK player Suresh Raina on X and left fans confused with the caption. “The Address of Madras! 3️, 7️, 8️.”

However, the caption was the batting position number of the players.

Rohit Sharma posted an Instagram story with an old picture of him and Dhoni and a handshake emoji.

Both the captains clinched five IPL titles under their captaincy.

ALSO READ | IPL 2024: Rohit Sharma Shares Special Message for MS Dhoni After ‘Thala’ Steps Down as CSK Captain

CSK will play Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB) on Friday in the IPL 2024 season opener in Chennai.

(With inputs from Agencies)

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