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IPL 2024: New captain is cut from the same cloth as old one, says CSK head coach Fleming

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Mumbai, April 13 (IANS) Mahendra Singh Dhoni is one of the best captains this sport has seen and is renowned as Captain Cool while leading India and the Chennai Super Kings. After he handed over the CSK captaincy to opener Ruturaj Gaikwad at the start of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024.

With Gaikwad taking charge of CSK rather successfully, the question that is uppermost on fans' minds is whether CSK's new captain as cool as his famous predecessor.

As head coach of Chennai Super Kings for more than a decade, Stephen Fleming has seen both Dhoni and Gaikwad from close quarters. Though the 51-year-old former New Zealand captain would not like to compare Dhoni and Gaikwad, who has just started his captaincy, he did say that the Maharashtra player is as cool as his predecessor. He also said not Gaikwad is not slow in his batting approach.

"There's no difference. He's as cool as it gets. I know the last captain was pretty cool, but this guy is cut from the same cloth, so that's rubbed through. He is such an impressive young man around his game and what he needs to do. And he's been, I think, unfairly put into a bracket where he's been called slow," said Fleming.

The head coach also sees a lot of similarities between Dhoni and Gaikwad in terms of their style of play. In five matches so far, the 22-year-old Gaikwad has accumulated 155 runs at a strike rate of 117.42 which is obviously a bit slower than Dhoni.

Fleming said the CSK management has assigned the role of anchor to Gaikwad as he has the ability to build the innings and partnerships to keep the scoreboard moving.

"But you have to have context to some of these stats. And we know that it's a bit of a Bollywood movie sometimes getting these things up onto the screen, but he's fine. His playing conditions. The last game was a great example of how a leader plays, and his class as well. So I have absolutely no doubt about it.

"He's judged by wins, but we judge it differently. And his leadership around the team is top-class. So we would imagine it would be, hopefully for many years, like the last captain," said Fleming.

"We do things a little bit differently, but we haven't got. It's not rocket science. It's looking after people. It's giving people a place where they feel comfortable to play and spend time. And then we back our people," said Fleming.

Gaikwad's captaincy will be further tested in Sunday's clash with Mumbai Indians considering the big stars on the other side.



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