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Last Update on: October 3rd, 2023 at 12:51 pm

Ruturaj Gaikwad led Indian team has made it to the semi-final of the Asian Games 2023 in China. The Men in Blue defeated Nepal by 23 runs in the quarter-final to book a berth in the semi-final. 

Gaikwad played the first ODI against Australia before participating in the Asian Games as the captain of the Indian team. He guided his players to a crucial win in the quarter-final. 

Hopes of an Indian win are now high in the Asian Games, especially with the kind of squad that they have. Meanwhile, former Indian cricketer Saba Karim in an interaction with News 18 spoke about Gaikwad’s potential as captain. 

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Ruturaj Gaikwad is the only player in the Indian squad who has prior leadership experience and thus has been handed over captaincy in the tournament. Saba Karim said that he has the potential to be the captain in the future. 

“Exciting time for him and I think the selectors look at him as a leader. He has done well while leading Maharashtra in the last couple of seasons.

“He has led his state in all three formats – in the Ranji Trophy, in Vijay Hazare and the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy as well. Among all these players who have been picked for the Asian Games he is the only one who has led a state side,” Karim said.

Management Looking At Ruturaj Gaikwad As Part Of Leadership Group: Saba Karim

 “So, given that kind of background and experience, that’s why the selectors have gone ahead with him as the captain. Obviously, it means that somewhere down the line, they are looking at Ruturaj Gaikwad as a part of the leadership group, if he continues to progress the way he has in the past couple of seasons,” he added.

India will play just three games in the Asian Games. They qualified directly for the quarter-final by virtue of their ICC T20I rankings. Having qualified for the semi-final, Karim said that India must keep their best foot forward in the final two knockout games. 

“So, it’s a knockout multi-nation tournament and the Indian men’s and women’s are participating for the first time ever. So, that’s a big challenge for India and you need to put up your best possible XI and prepare properly to win all the matches.

“That’s the only way you can win the gold medal. And in Asian Games, both men’s and women’s teams are firm favourites to win the gold medal. I think that’s how the team management would look at it,” Karim concluded saying. 

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Anshuman Roy is an author at Cricketaddictor. He has been working with the organization since January 2022 and he has written more than 5000 articles for the website.