Ruturaj Gaikwad MS Dhoni
Ruturaj Gaikwad MS Dhoni

Youngster Ruturaj Gaikwad narrated how MS Dhoni helped him relax his nerves when he started the IPL 2020 season badly for CSK.

Gaikwad on MS Dhoni

The 24-year-old from Maharashtra is one of the six uncapped players named in the 20-member squad for the limited-overs series against Sri Lanka. The Shikhar Dhawan-led side will play three ODIs and three T-20 matches between July 13 and July 25.

Gaikwad has shared the dressing room with the likes of Faf du Plessis and Mahendra Singh Dhoni in CSK and he believes that he has learned several things from them.

“I think with Mahi Bhai, obviously whatever he speaks it is always eye-catching and I had heard that he spoke about me in the post-match presentation and all, I don’t talk much with him, he knows that I’m a quiet and shy guy,” Gaikwad told PTI.

“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,” he recalled.

“Even last year there was a situation, where I started badly in IPL, so he was the one who came up first and asked me to relax and enjoy the game…it calmed my nerves a little bit and it helped me enjoy my game. There are lot of inputs he has given me throughout and they have not just helped in cricket but also helped me in life.”

Ruturaj Gaikwad
Ruturaj Gaikwad

Gaikwad said he is now looking to reconnect with Rahul Dravid, who coached the Indian under-19 and A teams. The 25-year-old batsman has received a chance to ‘regroup’ with Dravid and he is happy to receive the opportunity to talk to him about the game.

“The opportunities would be limited but I’m just looking forward to learning 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 Sir,” he said.

“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.”

Ruturaj Gaikwad in IPL 2020

Ruturaj Gaikwad finished IPL 2020 with 204 runs from six matches that he got to feature in for the franchise at an average of 51 and a strike rate of 120.71 including three half-centuries.

India tour of Sri Lanka 2021/22

With the full-strength Indian squad in the United Kingdom for a three-and-a-half-month long tour, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has sent a team of white-ball specialists for an away limited-overs series against Sri Lanka starting July 13 where the Men In Blue are scheduled to play three ODIs and as manyT20Is. India will be led by opener Shikhar Dhawan while pacer Bhuvaneshwar Kumar has been named his deputy for that particular series.