CSK had their worst campaign in the IPL history and failed to make it through to the playoffs for the very first time. But even amid the gloom, they found a shining light in Gaikwad, their biggest positive from the tournament, who fought back commendably after consecutive failures.
Roped in by CSK after impressing one and all with his performances at the domestic and India ‘A’ levels, Gaikwad was expected to lit-up the scene right from the start. However, things didn’t go according to the plan as he first joined the squad late because of being COVID-19 positive and then made only 5 runs, including two ducks, in his first three innings.
Gaikwad got dropped from the playing XI and wasn’t recalled by skipper MS Dhoni until the team had already been out of the play-offs race. But on comeback, Gaikwad dominated the proceedings and struck three half-centuries in three successive CSK wins.
CSK Reacts Positively To Failures: Ruturaj Gaikwad
Ruturaj Gaikwad credited the CSK team management, including captain Dhoni, for his turnaround and said the three-time champions don’t react negatively to failures.
“A lot matters on team atmosphere and how all the members in the team react to your failures…And I think CSK is one of the best in that and having everyone calm and cool minded around helped me focus more on my process..!” Gaikwad wrote in response to a query during a Q&A session on Instagram.
How A Chat With MS Dhoni Helped Gaikwad Regain His Best Touch
Gaikwad had earlier revealed how a chat with Dhoni boosted his morale and helped him bounce back.
“Dhoni walked up to me and asked me if I was under pressure. He said, ‘We don’t want to pressurise you, but we have expectations from you. All I want to tell you is you are going to play the next three games without any doubt, whether you score a run or not. Try and enjoy these games and not think about performance,” Ruturaj Gaikwad had told Sportstar in an interview.
Dhoni himself had praised Ruturaj Gaikwad at the end of the tournament, saying he looked in control once he got going.
“He’s one of the most talented players around. What makes it difficult is he’s not somebody who speaks a lot. So sometimes it becomes difficult for the management to gauge a player. Once he started going in the innings, you could see that he was hitting the ball the way he wants,” Dhoni had said.
“When we made him play the first game, he got out after stepping out. It was difficult to tell whether it was pressure that made him (Ruturaj Gaikwad) step out or whether that’s his natural game. One ball isn’t enough,” he added.
Despite his initial failures, Gaikwad ended the IPL 2020 with 204 runs from six innings at an average of 51.00 and strike-rate of 120.71. The right-hand batsman from Maharashtra will hope to be retained for the next edition and help CSK clinch their fourth IPL title.