‘Not the right point to…’: Ruturaj Gaikwad says tough to fill India legend’s shoes | Cricket News

NEW DELHI: Ruturaj Gaikwad, an Indian batsman, acknowledges the challenges that come with filling the void left by Virat Kohli‘s retirement from the number three position in T20Is. He understands the difficulty of replacing such a legendary player.
Instead of focusing on the specific batting position, Gaikwad is concentrating on making significant contributions to the team with his batting skills.He is prepared to adapt to any role that the team management assigns him.
The departure of experienced players like Kohli, Rohit Sharma, and Ravindra Jadeja from the T20 format after the World Cup victory has created opportunities for emerging talents. Gaikwad, with his impressive abilities, has the potential to secure the number three spot in the batting order.
“This is a big topic and I think it’s not the right point to think about it. To even compare with him (Kohli) or try to fill in his shoes is relatively very tough and very hard,” PTI quoted Gaikwad as saying on the eve of the third T20I against Zimbabwe in Harare.
“As I had said in the IPL as well, it is difficult to fill my best shoes as well. Definitely, you want to start your career, you want to start the way you want, you want to play your own game. So that’s the priority right now.
“Focus on one game, focus on how you can contribute towards the team in whichever position you play and make sure you are on the winning side more often than not.”
Gaikwad has been assigned the crucial No. 3 spot in the batting order for the initial two T20Is against Zimbabwe. However, the right-handed batter from Pune clarified that he doesn’t have any specific preference regarding his batting position.
“No, wherever the team wants, I will bat there. There is no problem. There is not much difference between the opening and the number 3 because you have to play the new ball. So there is not much difference,” he said.
Gaikwad, who captained the Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League (IPL) this season, expressed that leading the team has increased his involvement in the game. However, he mentioned that the added responsibility did not impact his batting performance.
“Actually, to be honest, nothing has changed much. Because my batting has been the same as before. I have to play with responsibility and try and finish it on my own,” he said.
“It’s just that the way you look at the game, I think every time you are more involved now in the game since you have captained the IPL franchise for a long period of time.
“So you tend to be into the game for a longer period of time instead of just staying in the boundary outside and just focusing on one ball. As I said, batting wise it’s not made much difference.”
Abhishek Sharma, a young opening batsman, recently shared insights into how his teammate, Gaikwad, assisted him in maintaining a balanced outlook during his explosive performance in the second T20I match. Abhishek’s blistering century, which came off just 46 deliveries, played a crucial role in securing victory for his team.
“Actually, communication is not from a senior player,” Gaikwad said.
“It comes from a batting partner because obviously with non-strikers you feel something about a particular bowler or particular conditions and you have to have that confidence to go and share with your partner whatever you feel and what are the right options, what to do in certain situations.
“Definitely this is something which I have been doing since being part of all the teams whether state team, IPL team or Indian team as well…”


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