Simplifying Captaincy: Ruturaj Gaikwad Emulates MS Dhoni’s Approach
Ruturaj Gaikwad, poised to lead India’s youthful squad at the Asian Games, reveals his intention to embrace a simplified captaincy approach akin to his Chennai Super Kings (CSK) skipper, MS Dhoni. Gaikwad’s leadership stint arrives as the main team engages in World Cup preparations concurrently. In a reflection of his time at CSK, he aims to mirror Dhoni’s philosophy of taking each match as it comes, distancing himself from undue anticipation.
“Leadership role is a very complicated thing to be honest. What Mahi bhai (Dhoni) always says is to take it one game at a time, don’t worry about the future. Everyone creates hype and whatever it is. I am not the kind of person who tracks social media and hear things about what anyone is saying about me.”
“This is one of the traits that I have learned at CSK. I am pretty much clear about giving my best on the field, coming back home, chilling with my friends,” Gaikwad shared with reporters after India‘s convincing 33-run victory over Ireland in the second T20 encounter.
The right-handed batsman, who predominantly warmed the bench during the West Indies tour, relished the opportunity to open in the T20 series against Ireland. He exhibited his mettle with a match-winning 58 off 43 deliveries after a steady start.
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With the conditions dampened by overnight rain, the wicket’s slower nature posed challenges. Gaikwad explained, “Being an opener, I have the luxury to spend some balls upfront – around 10-15 balls – and then adjust my game accordingly. Batsmen who follow usually have fewer overs left, making dot balls costly. The role of an opener allows ample time to assess the conditions.”
For Gaikwad, the Ireland series assumes additional importance, considering his sporadic opportunities on the field. He emphasized, “Playing from the first game itself holds great significance. It instills confidence, proper preparation, and the right mindset. However, securing a place in the main team can be challenging due to the impressive form of fellow batters. It’s a blend of feelings – a wonderful opportunity with one more game ahead.”
In the spotlight of the T20 series, IPL standout Rinku Singh made his much-anticipated debut. Gaikwad extended praise to Singh’s mature approach, stating, “He has become a favorite in the IPL. This year, his batting showcased immense maturity, and a notable aspect is his cautious approach. He evaluates the conditions before launching into his shots, a valuable lesson for other players. Covering up later is an option; knowing when to make the move is pivotal. His innings held significance and marked an important step for him.”
As Gaikwad embraces the captaincy role at the Asian Games, his emulation of MS Dhoni’s pragmatic approach underscores the cricketing wisdom he has amassed from his tenure with CSK.