IPL 2024 | Gaikwad’s captaincy was most impressive against RCB: Gavaskar

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CSK captain Ruturaj Gaikwad and teammate MS Dhoni (right) enter the field during the IPL Twenty20 cricket match against RCB at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on March 22, 2024.
| Photo Credit: AFP

The legendary Sunil Gavaskar is mighty impressed with Chennai Super Kings’ new captain Ruturaj Gaikwad and lauded him for the way he maneuvered his bowlers during the IPL opener against Royal Challengers Bengaluru here.

Handed the leadership role just ahead of the IPL, Gaikwad has big shoes to fill and he made an impressive start under the tutelage of talisman MS Dhoni, guiding CSK to a six-wicket win over RCB on Friday night.

“Absolutely! 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,” the former India skipper told Star sports.

“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. So, yes, I think the captaincy was most impressive.”

Bangladesh pacer Mustafizur Rahman produced a superb show, returning with his best IPL figures of 4/29 to rattle RCB’s top-order before they managed 173/6.

Gavaskar also feels the presence of Dhoni made a big difference.

“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,” he said.

Gavaskar feels RCB kept bowling the short ball far too many times even though it wasn’t working.

“Yes, try the short ball by all means, but when it wasn’t working … it looked like that’s all they were looking to do. You had somebody like a Dagar, who had bowled 2 overs for 6 six runs. I know the way the left-hand spinner can be picked for 6, but you got to take a chance,” he said.

“All that they did, Joseph, Green, Siraj, everybody go in short. What was happening was that if you don’t get the bouncer right, you are going to give it a wide, which means you’re giving an extra run, you are going to bowl an extra delivery.

“So, your bouncer has to be very accurate, and it wasn’t. That one-dimensional tactic was really disappointing.”

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