Young Maharashtra batsman Ruturaj Gaikwad has stated that he is excited to reconnect with Rahul Dravid during India’s limited-overs tour of Sri Lanka in July. Ruturaj Gaikwad is among the new faces in the Indian squad for the Lanka series, while Dravid is the coach for the side.
Shikhar Dhawan will lead the limited-overs team in Sri Lanka since the main squad, captained by Virat Kohli, is in England for a long tour.
Speaking to PTI, Ruturaj Gaikwad said that he is looking forward to regrouping with Dravid. The 24-year-old previously played under the guidance of the Indian legend in the India A team.
Ruturaj Gaikwad admitted:
“The opportunities would be limited but I’m just looking forward to learn from this journey as much as I can. There are experienced players in the group and obviously once again I will get a chance to reconnect with Rahul (Dravid) sir. The last India A tour happened one and half years ago, so again, there is a chance to regroup with him (Rahul Dravid) have a chat about the game, so there is lot more than just performance or scorecard.”
The right-handed batsman said that getting the chance to represent India is a rather emotional feeling.
Sharing his views on his maiden call-up, Ruturaj Gaikwad stated:
“I am just happy. Right from the moment I got to know about it, you know a journey comes in front of your eyes that from where you started and where you wanted to reach…it’s a pretty emotional feeling."
Adapting to situations my strength: Ruturaj Gaikwad
Ruturaj Gaikwad has featured in 21 first-class matches and 59 List A games, apart from 46 T20 matches. He has also represented Chennai Super Kings in the IPL and has 400 runs to his name at a strike rate of 124.61, with five fifties.
According to Ruturaj Gaikwad, adaptability is one of his greatest strengths as a batsman. He explained:
“…be it in an attacking manner or be it playing according to situation, taking some time or making sure your team crosses the line, the way I adapt to both situations, that is what I think my strength is more often. Obviously if I get opportunity, just hoping that I can give my best and wish to win a game for India. One of my biggest goals is to get a win for the Indian team or my country.”
He added that playing with Faf du Plessis and Mahendra Singh Dhoni for CSK in the IPL has taught him a lot.
Ruturaj Gaikwad further said:
“When he (Dhoni) thinks I’m under the pump or pressure, he is first one to come and ask me that ‘are you feeling something like that and you need not worry’.” There are lot of inputs he has given me throughout and they have not just helped in cricket but also helped me in life.”
The Indian limited-overs squad, with a number of fresh faces, will face Sri Lanka in three ODIs and as many T20Is from July 13 to 25.