CSK head coach Stephen Fleming opened up on the recent captaincy switch and the impact it will have on CSK’s future in the upcoming season of IPL 2024.

The Chennai Super Kings (CSK) surprised fans with the news of MS Dhoni stepping down as captain, with Ruturaj Gaikwad taking the reins for the upcoming IPL season. While some fans may be disappointed, CSK head coach Stephen Fleming suggested this move is part of a long-term plan.

“The big thing about a couple of years ago was that we probably weren’t ready for MS [Dhoni] to move aside, and what that did was probably shake us as a leadership group or coaches into looking at the possibility of when he does go and up until that stage that was almost unthinkable,” Fleming was quoted as saying by Cricbuzz. 

The reason behind Fleming saying they are well prepared this time is because the captaincy switch echoes the move made in 2022 when CSK’s attempt to hand the reins to Ravindra Jadeja proved short-lived, resulting in Dhoni taking up the captaincy again.

However, this time, Fleming explained that they were better prepared for the switch.

“It was MS [the call to give up captaincy] with a lot of consideration and one view to the future on the back of a good season last year. Ruturaj and others have been on a captaincy grooming process, looking forward to days like this if an opportunity comes up. MS is the best judge and he felt the time was right,” added Fleming.

“It sowed the seeds for us to work pretty hard on making sure that any mistakes that were [made] during that time aren’t made again. We’re more prepared now because that jolted us into looking at life after [Dhoni] and in some ways, we’ve been a bit slow in doing that as a management group so we’re well prepared this time,” Fleming said. 

Fleming reassured fans that Ravindra Jadeja will also be a strong influence on the team, supporting Gaikwad as well. “He [Jadeja] is right beside Rutu, there’s no doubt about it. He’s still a natural leader…the way he plays will be a strong component of our leadership and he’ll be someone Ruturaj will use, without a doubt.” Fleming concluded.

Last Updated on March 22, 2024