Ruturaj Gaikwad’s bowling changes on captaincy debut were impressive: Gavaskar

NEW DELHI: Ruturaj Gaikwad’s Chennai Super Kings captaincy debut on Friday turned out to be a breezy affair for his team, beating Royal Challengers Bengaluru by six wickets in the IPL 2024 opener at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.
Riding on their supreme home record against RCB, CSK made a quick turnaround after being asked to field and put under early pressure in the PowerPlay by Faf du Plessis’ onslaught. However, Gaikwad’s bowling changes helped CSK bag a heap of wickets in succession and claw back into the contest.
Ruturaj, who officially replaced the legendary MS Dhoni as CSK’s captain on the eve of the match, was lauded by India batting legend Sunil Gavaskar for his temperamant and tactics.
“Your debut as a captain becomes very important. You want to begin your captaincy career well with a win and that’s exactly what happened. What was impressive was his bowling changes. Because when you saw the way he kept on changing Mustafizur; the way he used Mustafizur was absolutely terrific.
“He kept swapping Deepak Chahar, keeping faith in Tushar Deshpande for that final over. I think seeing that Tushar Deshpande had been taken for 25, there was an opportunity to use another bowler, but he still stuck to Tushar Deshpande, and Deshpande responded with a brilliant final over,” Gavaskar said on Star Sports.
Gaikwad’s counterpart du Plessis had struck eight fours within the first four overs before he summoned left-arm seamer Mustafizur Rahman into the attack. The Bangladesh bowler quickly made inroads, dismissing du Plessis, Rajat Patidar, Virat Kohli, and Cameron Green. He finished with impressive figures of 4/29 on his franchise debut. Despite being taken for 38 runs in his first three overs, Gaikwad also persisted with Mumbai pacer Deshpande in the final over, where he conceded only nine runs as RCB totalled 173 for six in 20 overs.
In reply, CSK were steered by a string of cameos from debutants Rachin Ravindra and Daryl Mitchell before Shivam Dube and Ravindra Jadeja took the team home in 18.4 overs. Gaikwad was also seen receiving inputs from Dhoni on the field during the match.
“I think the captaincy was most impressive. And we see over here, he has, of course, MS Dhoni around him, to guide him, tell him and give him the encouragement. Sometimes, that little nod from somebody as experienced and as accomplished as MSD, makes a big difference,” Gavaskar remarked.
du Plessis’ blunder
Meanwhile, former England cricketer Kevin Pietersen felt RCB should have opted to bowl on a fine batting surface at Chepauk. “I would have chased if I was Faf du Plessis. That wicket was an absolute belter. It’s not the normal wicket that you see. Statistics can tell you one thing, and I’ve never been one for statistics. You got to judge situations as you see situations. This was not a wicket for spinners, the seam bowlers had a go here. I think RCB should have chased,” Pietersen added on Star Sports.

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