‘Mahi Bhai Insists we Don’t Rush Our Thoughts’: How MS Dhoni Shaped Ruturaj Gaikwad’s T20 Mindsetnewsbhunt


Last Updated: December 02, 2023, 16:52 IST

Ruturaj Gaikwad has been in fine form. (AP Photo)

Ruturaj Gaikwad has been in fine form. (AP Photo)

Ruturaj Gaikwad has struck a century and a half-century in the ongoing T20I series between India and Australia.

It was MS Dhoni who led an unfancied Indian cricket team to the inaugural World T20 title in 2007. He followed that with two more ICC trophies and remains the only captain to have won all three major white-ball titles.

Known to be an astute reader of the game, Dhoni has been guiding the next generation of India stars including Ruturaj Gaikwad who has played under the legendary captain for four seasons now at the Chennai Super Kings.

T20 cricket might be the shortest format and the fact that shape of a contest can be altered dramatically in the space of an over adds to its appeal.

However, that doesn’t always mean players have to rush through their thoughts as Gaikwad recalls Dhoni telling him.

“Mahi bhai always insists that we don’t rush our thoughts, because there’s enough time for an opener even in a T20 match,” Gaikwad said on JioCinema.

“I learnt a lot about this (T20) format playing for CSK. Mahi bhai (MS Dhoni) is always keen on reading situations and understanding the game. He sends a message that you have to look for the team score and what the team requires irrespective of the situation of the game,” he added.

Gaikwad adds that one has to be ahead of the game mentally though.

“In T20s, you always have to be ahead of the game mentally and I give a lot of importance to that. The night before, I visualise what kind of situation may occur during the game, and how the pitch may behave,” he said.

Gaikwad is currently part of the five-match T20I series against Australia in which India have taken an unassailable 3-1 lead.

Gaikwad is having a superb series having scored a century and a half-century in four innings so far.

He’s scored 213 runs at an average of 71 and a strike-rate of 166.41. This after he was run out for a diamond duck in the first match following a mix-up with his opening partner Yashasvi Jaiswal.

“After the first match, we decided that we’d be off from risky singles. We’ll just look for boundaries,” Gaikwad said.

“He’s (Jaiswal) someone who takes the game on and regardless of any situation, he likes to be aggressive. The discussion has always been that if the wicket is suitable, we’ll go with a positive intent. But I think the focus is taking care of the first two overs,” he added.


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