In T20s You Always Have To Be Ahead Of The Game Mentally: Ruturaj Gaikwad

Raipur, Dec 2 (IANS) India have taken an unassailable 3-1 lead in the ongoing five-match T20I series against Australia, and opener Ruturaj Gaikwad believes one has to be mentally ahead when matches happen in the shortest format while adding that he has learnt a lot about fulfilling the needs of the team from the legendary M.S. Dhoni.

“In T20s you always have to be ahead of the game mentally and I give a lot of importance to that. The night before, I visualise what kind of situation may occur during the game, and how the pitch may behave. Mahi bhai always insists that we don’t rush our thoughts, because there’s enough time for an opener even in a T20 match.”

“I learnt a lot about this format playing for CSK. Mahi bhai (MS Dhoni) is always keen on reading situations and understanding the game. He sends a message that you have to look for the team score and what the team requires irrespective of the situation of the game,” said Gaikwad on JioCinema after the match ended.

India’s series win comes shortly after they faced a heart-breaking defeat to Australia in the 2023 Men’s ODI World Cup final in Ahmedabad last month.

“I think this is something to be happy for everyone after the disappointing loss in the final of the World Cup. I think it was important for all of us to express ourselves and enjoy the game.”

“And, I think everyone pretty much took responsibility at every stage. So, we are really happy with the result, but there’s still one match to go. The discussion was more or less to just be fearless and aggressive and back your instincts at every stage.”

“There were 2-3 members from the World Cup squad who were with us. There was positive energy in the team because we were coming from domestic tournaments, and everyone had done pretty well there. Everyone came in with a lot of confidence,” added Gaikwad.

The right-handed batter is currently the leading run-scorer of the series with 213 runs in four innings, averaging 71 at a strike rate of 166.40, and lit up the third T20I in Guwahati with an unbeaten 123, though it went in vain.

Gaikwad’s start in the series, though, was on a false note after being run out for a diamond duck in a mix-up with Yashasvi Jaiswal at Visakhapatnam. “After he got out, he was walking in and he immediately said sorry. I said it’s ok, it happens, and it was maybe a mistake. I think mistakes do happen, so I am fine with that,” he said.

That prompted Gaikwad and Jaiswal to stay clear of risky singles and invest in getting more runs via boundaries, with the latter generally being more aggressive of the two.

“After the first match, we decided that we’d be off from risky singles. We’ll just look for boundaries.”

“He’s someone who takes the game on and regardless of any situation, he likes to be aggressive. The discussion has always been that if the wicket is suitable, we’ll go with a positive intent. But I think the focus is taking care of the first two overs.”

“I don’t think that it affects me because I am a player who looks at the team’s score. So if he plays three overs and scores 25, I am totally fine with that, as long as the team’s score is not getting affected,” concluded Gaikwad.

(This report has been published as part of the auto-generated syndicate wire feed. No editing has been done in the headline or the body by ABP Live.)

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