‘I think the captaincy was very impressive’: Sunil Gavaskar lauds Ruturaj Gaikwad

New Delhi: Former Indian cricketing stalwart Sunil Gavaskar lauded Ruturaj Gaikwad’s captaincy debut for Chennai Super Kings, emphasising his astute bowling changes in the opener of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 against Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB) .

Mustafizur Rahman’s shone bright on his debut for CSK as he dismantled RCB’s top batting order clinching four wickets in first ten balls of his spell. CSK defeated RCB by six wickets after restricting them to 173 in 20 overs.

Gaikwad’s strategic acumen shone through as he tactically utilized his bowlers, particularly deploying Mustafizur Rahman with precision and maintaining faith in Tushar Deshpande during a crucial phase of the match.

Gavaskar hailed Gaikwad’s composure and decision-making, highlighting the influence of the experienced MS Dhoni in guiding the young skipper.

“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. Because when you saw the way he kept on changing Mustafizur; the way he used Mustafizur was absolutely terrific,” Gavaskar said to Star Sports show Cricket Live.

“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. And we see over here, he has, of course, MS Dhoni around him, to guide him,” he added.

Despite RCB’s aggressive strategy of employing short balls, Gavaskar noted its one-dimensional nature, suggesting that a lack of variation in their approach proved costly.

“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. 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,” said Gavaskar.

Australian legend Steve Smith observed that CSK capitalized on their home advantage, effectively squeezing RCB’s batting lineup and maintaining control throughout the match. Mustafizur Rahman’s stellar performance, coupled with contributions from the entire CSK squad, ensured a comprehensive win for the Yellow Army.

“Bangalore don’t match up at that ground. CSK played to their strengths. They squeezed throughout the middle. Mustafizur was really good, taking wickets. It was a pretty unusual scorecard, the chase. 37 was the highest score, everyone got a start and spent a bit of time in the middle. I think it’s probably an ideal start for Chennai,” said Steve Smith.


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