'Main Goal is to Keep on Improving Whichever Team I am With': Ruturaj Gaikwad

Seeking to keep growing as a player, India batter Ruturaj Gaikwad on Tuesday said he does not judge himself on the basis of the amount of runs scored by him.

“If you look at my last two years they have been very progressive… you can’t judge by the amount of runs I scored because the runs will go up and down. In my first IPL I scored 600 runs and in the next edition I scored 400 but people still say that I didn’t have a good IPL.

“I think that’s the standard I’ve set, there will be ups and downs. I just need to make sure that I keep progressing as a human being, as a player and a cricketer. The main goal is to keep on improving whichever team I am with.

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“Each and every day you go out for practise sessions you try and improve and try and rectify whatever mistakes you’ve made,” said Gaikwad, who is part of the India ‘A’ team which will play three unofficial ODIs against New Zealand ‘A’ at the M A Chidambaram Stadium here from Thursday.

He scored 635 runs for Chennai Super Kings during their title winning run in the 2021 edition of IPL and made people take notice with his graceful batting and ability to hit big shots too. In this year’s IPL, he scored 368 runs as the team struggled to make an impact.

The stylish right-hander who scored a ton in the third unofficial Test against New Zealand ‘A’ said he was looking forward to the opportunity to play in the one-dayers against the visiting Kiwis.

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“I have not played much (in recent times) and even the three matches (the first class match) were a great opportunity to play. So it is the same with the one-day series. I am looking forward to a good opportunity to play, spend some time in the middle and enjoy,” said the 25-year-old.

About his century in the last ‘Test’ against New Zealand ‘A’, Gaikwad said, “I think it was good because I got to spend some time in the middle. I was playing red ball after a long time so it was a bit challenging but happy that I made progress from the last two innings I played when I got out early.

“I am not judging myself by the runs I made. There was a change in the mindset and a change in the thought process I can see that I made progress from the first two innings I played, my game awareness has improved according to what the red ball demands.”

He further said in red ball cricket, a batter can’t be as expressive as in white ball (game) and one has to put the team and situation first.

“In white ball there is only one way to express yourself but in red ball you can’t be as expressive as you want because you’ve to put the team first, put the situation first, you’ve to respect the bowlers for you’ve to give that time to yourself,” Gaikwad said.

Asked how it was to work VVS Laxman, the India ‘A’ coach and what he had learnt from him, the Maharashtra batter said the former Test maestro was one who gave him a lot of confidence.

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“He has always been a great support… he doesn’t go too much into technical aspects. He has been a pillar of support right from the Ireland tour and even now. He is someone who gives a lot of confidence and makes sure that you back your ability,” Gaikwad added.

Touching upon ‘A’ tours, he said they were a great opportunity and a challenge as well and that it gave one a sense of what it was like to play at a higher level.

“I think ‘A’ tour(s) is more like an international tour for me because in domestic cricket you are familiar with most of the opponents and I’ve played them throughout my career. But in ‘A’ tour you’ve players who you’ve not played enough against and don’t know what their strengths are and it is one step below representing your country.

“I think it makes a huge difference and you get a sense of what it is like to play at a higher level and how to deal with pressure. I think it’s a great opportunity and a great challenge as well,” he added.

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