“It was the confidence of staying with CSK…”: Newly-appointed skipper Ruturaj opens up on backing from franchise

B\"It was the confidence of staying with CSK...": Newly-appointed skipper Ruturaj opens up on backing from franchise

Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India] : Newly appointed Chennai Super Kings (CSK) skipper Ruturaj Gaikwad said that the confidence that the franchise gave him during his tough phase helped him play more freely.

CSK will kickstart the Ruturaj-era in the Indian Premier League (IPL) opener against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) at the Chepauk Stadium on Friday.

Five-time IPL champions Chennai Super Kings (CSK) on Thursday announced star opener Ruturaj Gikwad as the side’s new skipper of the team. The decision marks the end of Dhoni’s long reign at the helm of the CSK, during which he led them to five IPL titles.

Speaking in a video by CSK, Ruturaj said that the management was well aware of the tough phase Gaikwad was going through in the COVID-19, which affected his game as he could score just five runs across his first three innings for CSK, including two ducks. However, the franchise backed him and assured him that he would stay around in the team, which helped him turn around his fortunes. The stylish right-hander went on to hit successive three fifties in the next three games and performed consistently from then on.

“2020 I feel even the management felt what kind of year I was having due to COVID-19, due to quarantine and extended quarantine. It was the confidence of staying with CSK for an year or two at least that helped me a lot and go out there and play my expressive game,” said Gaikwad in the video.

CSK’s backing paid off big time as Ruturaj was the Orange Cap winner for most runs in the title-winning 2021 season, scoring 635 runs at an average of 45.35 and a strike rate of over 136, with a century and four fifties.

Having played for CSK since the beginning of his IPL career in 2020, Ruturaj has made 1,797 runs in 52 matches at an average of 39.07, with a century and 14 fifties. His best score is 101*. His runs have come at a strike rate of over 135.

Ruturaj said that he sees his journey in the youngsters of the team.

“My first thing is to go and confront them. Even if they are not playing, there are things you could learn and take back home. It is upon you to how to take things. There are two ways of taking things, either negative or positive ways,” said the batter.

The 27-year-old said that he tries to help youngsters and keep them in a great frame of mind.

“I am trying to help younger players who are not able to get games, make sure they are in good and happy space and do not feel frustrated. I also remind them about myself and how my journey was,” concluded the batter.

RCB squad: Faf du Plessis (c), Glenn Maxwell, Virat Kohli, Rajat Patidar, Anuj Rawat, Dinesh Karthik, Suyash Prabhudessai, Will Jacks, Mahipal Lomror, Karn Sharma, Manoj Bhandage, Mayank Dagar, Vijaykumar Vyshak, Akash Deep, Mohammed Siraj, Reece Topley, Himanshu Sharma, Rajan Kumar, Cameron Green, Alzarri Joseph, Yash Dayal, Tom Curran, Lockie Ferguson, Swapnil Singh and Saurav Chauhan.

CSK Squad: MS Dhoni, Moeen Ali, Deepak Chahar, Tushar Deshpande, Shivam Dube, Ruturaj Gaikwad (c), Rajvardhan Hangargekar, Ravindra Jadeja, Ajay Mandal, Mukesh Choudhary, Ajinkya Rahane, Shaik Rasheed, Mitchell Santner, Simarjeet Singh, Nishant Sindhu, Prashant Solanki, Maheesh Theekshana, Rachin Ravindra, Shardul Thakur, Daryl Mitchell, Sameer Rizvi, Mustafizur Rahman and Avanish Rao Aravelly.

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