India Wire News

New Super King to Superstar: Chennai gets ready for another “Gaikwad” storm

<p>A certain Shivaji Rao Gaikwad made his cinematic debut in Tamil 49 years ago. Few people who have followed Rajinikanth’s career could overlook the opening sequence of the 1975 hit movie “Apoorva Raagangal,” in which the actor opens a gate and enters a bungalow. It was the time when the actor, who was born in Bengaluru, won over the hearts of millions of Tamil people who had grown to love their “Superstar,” who had risen to the pinnacle of the Tamil cinema industry over the previous 40 years.</p>
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<p>In 2024, the Chennai Super Kings, the city’s favorite cricket team, will be led by another Maharashtra-born Gaikwad. After MS Dhoni resigned on the eve of the IPL 2024 season, Ruturaj Gaikwad was named their captain. Ruturaj played a guest role in 2020, his first season with the Super Kings starting lineup. He has, nonetheless, developed into a pillar of the squad. Decision-makers Stephen Fleming and MS Dhoni seem to have taken notice of his cool-headed and collected manner. Ruturaj was among the front-runners to succeed Dhoni, and after the dismal 2022 season, the major shift was unavoidable.</p>
<p>The city’s residents have long loved movies and cricket, and many of them hope that this Gaikwad becomes the public’s favorite.</p>
<p>“Sir Rajinikanth and Ruturaj Gaikwad. Their surnames are identical. Harbhajan Singh said in an on-air statement last year that “both are Maharashtrian and both are popular in Chennai.”</p>
<p>There won’t be any easy moments for Ruturaj Gaikwad. He must step into enormous shoes. When he chooses to end his illustrious IPL career, he is also replacing someone who will leave a lasting legacy.</p>
<p>However, as R Ashwin made clear on Thursday in his YouTube video, Ruturaj Gaikwad is not responsible for MS Dhoni’s success. Fans and the franchise have an obligation to give Ruturaj time to get used to the role and enjoy it before worrying about the outcome.</p>
<p>There are concerns over whether Dhoni could have managed the Super Kings for a longer season and held off on implementing the succession plan until the big auction. Though Dhoni had designated Ruturaj for the position, head coach Stephen Fleming affirmed that ‘Thala’ thought it was appropriate to back off and give the 27-year-old a handhold while he was still there behind the wickets.</p>
<p>“I believe it is incorrect to even question if CSK made the right choice. It’s a significant occasion for Ruturaj and others around him, especially his family, according to Ashwin.</p>
<p>It’s astounding. He will be in charge of a group that has a long history. Yes, it’s a tremendous load. However, in my opinion, it is the duty of the supporters to ensure that Ruturaj enjoys his role.”</p>
<p>“I know Ruturaj; he’s really composed and cool. He is an excellent person. I couldn’t be more happy for him,” Ashwin said, expressing what many in the cricket community felt.</p>
<p>A professional setup places a high value on outcomes. However, the Super Kings would also be aware that they are starting a new phase of change that may take some time to bear fruit. The Super Kings’ owners are in charge of running the city’s well-functioning league structure, and they are aware that Ruturaj requires unwavering backing to establish himself as the team’s captain.</p>
<p>The Super Kings will also be wishing for more good fortune. In 2022, MS Dhoni had a similar succession plan. He had resigned and given the captain’s armband to Ravindra Jadeja one day before the season’s opening. But things did not turn out the way they were anticipated. Midway through the season, Jadeja resigned, giving Dhoni the leadership. Dhoni captained for the rest of the season and in 2023, when Chennai won the championship.</p>
<p>Speaking to the media on the eve of the highly anticipated season opening, head coach Stephen Fleming acknowledged that the Super Kings are better prepared this time around after they were not ready for a change in 2022.</p>
<p>“The big thing about 2022 was that we were not ready for MS to move aside, and what it did was probably shake us and it was pretty much unthinkable at that stage,” Fleming said.</p>
<p>“We have ensured that we put in a lot of effort to avoid making the same errors that were made in the past. The helm is not under wraps. We’re ensuring that the appropriate preparations are in place,” he said.</p>
<p>Dhoni was adored by Chennai, their “Thala.” Dhoni adored Chennai. Over the last 16 years, the two parties’ emotional connection has been more evident. The fans will need some time to process the most recent bombshell call. However, it’s also their duty to ensure the incoming captain has a comfortable transition.</p>

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