Indian opener Ruturaj Gaikwad said that he is ready to adapt to any batting position in the Indian team.
India are scheduled to play New Zealand in the three-match T20I series and Ruturaj is part of the 17-member squad led by Rohit Sharma.
Ruturaj had an unforgettable season with Chennai Super Kings in IPL 2021. He was one of the architects of the Yellow Army in their fourth IPL title win.
In the final match against Kolkata Knight Riders, Ruturaj surpassed Punjab Kings skipper KL Rahul’s tally of 626 runs and became the youngest batter to clinch the orange cap in the tournament history.
Ruturaj scored 635 runs from 16 innings at an impressive strike rate of 136.26 with the help of four 50-plus scores and a whirlwind century against Rajasthan Royals.
Cementing my place will only happen when I get opportunities: Ruturaj Gaikwad
Ruturaj, who captains the Maharashtra team in domestic cricket, carried his incredible form in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. The opener posted scores of 51, 80, 81, 3 and 44 in the five innings he batted so far in the tournament.
With Rohit expected to open with his deputy KL Rahul in the T20I series against the Black Caps, Gaikwad could be placed in the middle-order of the Indian batting line-up.
Gaikwad said his focus is to bat well for the team and is ready to leave his comfort zone of opening slot and play anywhere for the team.
“I have not thought about my batting position in the Indian team. But as a professional, I am ready to adapt. I want to focus on things that are under my control. Cementing my place will only happen when I get opportunities and play well. These things depend on a lot of parameters and strategy, and I don’t really think about that,” Gaikwad told Times of India.
Have always been focused on finishing games: Ruturaj Gaikwad
In the IPL 2021, the 24-year-old was not only seen scoring runs in the powerplay overs but also played more of an anchor’s role.
Gaikwad was so calculative in some of his knocks that he went on to play till the end of the innings.
His unbeaten 88 against Mumbai Indians was one of those examples where he rescued the team from collapsing and took the likes of Trent Boult and Jasprit Bumrah to cleaners.
Gaikwad said that his CSK skipper MS Dhoni told him to finish matches when he feels the game is under control.
“I have always been focused on finishing games. I am used to that mindset. But the bottom line is I always try to keep things simple. I made a few small adjustments in my batting according to the situation and it came off well,” Gaikwad said.
“In fact, there were one or two games when Dhoni came up to me and told me that when I have the game in my control, I must try and finish it. It’s not that an opener should play for only 10-12 overs. I had a discussion with him saying that my mindset has always been to finish the game,” he added.
India will play the first T20I match against New Zealand on November 17 in Jaipur.