Former India cricketer Ambati Rayudu has identified the player he believes can lead Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the future once the legendary Mahendra Singh Dhoni decides to retire from the Indian Premier League (IPL). Dhoni recently led CSK to a record-equaling fifth IPL title, but with his career winding down, the question of his return to lead the team next season remains unanswered.
Rayudu believes that talented opener Ruturaj Gaikwad has the potential to take over the captaincy from Dhoni, but he needs to be groomed for the role over the next year or so. He praised Gaikwad’s leadership qualities and suggested that with guidance from Dhoni and CSK coach Stephen Fleming, he could lead the team for a significant period.
“Coming to the future, I think Ruturaj has a great chance. He has those leadership qualities in him. So if Mahi bhai grooms him say a year or so, then he can lead the team for 7-8 or even 10 years. He is in good hands with Mahi bhai and Fleming. He is calm, down-to-earth and extremely talented,” Ambati Rayudu expressed in an interview with BehindWoods TV.
Ambati Rayudu also expressed his belief that Gaikwad should be utilized more by the Indian team. He feels that Gaikwad’s talent deserves to be recognized in all formats of the game.
“India makes the best use of him (Gaikwad). I don’t think they are at the moment. He should be playing every format for India,” Ambati Rayudu emphasized.
Despite the lack of recognition from the national team, Gaikwad has been entrusted with leading the Indian squad in the upcoming Asian Games. The BCCI has selected a second-string squad for the multi-nation event in China, scheduled to take place from September 23 to October 8.
Furthermore, Ruturaj Gaikwad was included in India’s Test squad for the ongoing West Indies series, but he has not yet had the opportunity to make his red-ball debut. As he continues to impress in domestic and IPL cricket, fans eagerly await his development both as a player and as a potential future captain for CSK and possibly even for Team India.