Chennai Super Kings opening batsman, Ruturaj Gaikwad has revealed how a conversation with the captain, MS Dhoni freed up his mind, which helped him score three consecutive half-centuries.
In a season where the Chennai Super Kings, for the first time in their IPL history couldn’t finish in the top four, Ruturaj Gaikwad was a major positive for the three-time champions. The right-hander had scores of 0,5, and 0 in his first three innings. However, as Gaikwad says a talk with MS Dhoni helped him get in touch, as he is known for in the domestic circuit.
The opener then recorded three consecutive fifties – all in the match-winning cause – and gave CSK fans a reason to celebrate. Gaikwad scored all the three half-centuries in run-chases and showed not only his ability to bat at the high level but also his temperament in pressure chases.
Dhoni walked up to me and asked me if I was under pressure: Ruturaj Gaikwad
In an interview with Sportstar, Ruturaj Gaikwad said that after he scored a duck against Mumbai Indians, MS Dhoni asked him if he was under any pressure. Gaikwad reveals that the skipper told him not to let the pressure affect his mindset and that the management has expectations from the youngster. Dhoni also assured Ruturaj that he will play the next three games.
Gaikwad spoke about the environment in the dressing room in a tough time. He tried to learn from other players how to enjoy without overthinking about his place in the team.
Ruturaj Gaikwad told Sportstar, “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.
“Everyone in the camp realises the kind of phase you have been through and recovered from. Just try and enjoy your cricket without thinking about whether you will be able to play again for the team or not. Try and spend some really good time with the batsmen who are your teammates,’” he added.
The 23-year-old was advised by Dhoni not to try to enjoy batting. Gaikwad feels that chat changes his thought process as earlier he was overthinking the result in the future and not focusing on the process in the present.
The Pune-born batsman said that conversation drastically changed his performance in the IPL. Gaikwad believes that the skipper understood his mindset and changes his thought process, which freed him up. As a result, Gaikwad will have a fixed spot in CSK’s starting eleven next season.
Gaikwad continued, “He told me not to worry about ups and downs and to enjoy the performance. After that chat, my thought process changed. Till then, I was desperately thinking about stuff like when will I get my first boundary in the IPL or when will I have my first impact, even with a 15-20 run cameo.
“But after that conversation, it was a drastic change. I remember during that RCB game, I was only thinking about contributing to the team’s cause in that situation. I think the captain sensed my frame of mind, changed my thought process, and freed me up,” he concluded.