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Picked up things from MS Dhoni, but would like to lead the way I want: Ruturaj Gaikwad

Last updated on 02 Oct 2023 | 02:35 PM
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Picked up things from MS Dhoni, but would like to lead the way I want: Ruturaj Gaikwad

The Indian captain isn't too worried about the ground dimensions at Hangzhou

Ruturaj Gaikwad, who will be leading the Indian Men’s team in the Asian Games, said his leadership style and personality might be a bit different from MS Dhoni, but accepted that there are things he has picked up from him while playing for Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League.

“I have learnt a lot from him (MS Dhoni), but I guess everyone’s style is different. Unka personality alag hai mera alag hai (We have a different personality),” said Gaikwad ahead of India’s encounter against Nepal on Tuesday (October 3).

“I will try to be myself and not really look at what he usually does. Obviously, yes you have to pick out some things that he does really well, how he handles situations and how he handles particular players during a match. These are the things I have picked from him but I would like to lead the way I want. I just want players to express themselves.”

The opening batter also leads Maharashtra in the domestic tournaments. “I think leadership role is a very complicated thing to be honest. What Mahi bhai always says is to take it one game at a time. Just be in the present moment, don’t worry about the future.

“Leadership for me is to give maximum confidence to the ten players, who are playing. Make sure that I step into their shoes and think about what they are thinking and what they are going through.”

Talking about featuring in the Asian Games and also watching other sports, Gaikwad said: “In cricket, we have the World Cup, the IPL and domestic tournaments. We are used to that kind of environment and situations. But coming here and going to the village, we really got to know about the athletes — what kinds of struggle they go through.

“Hardly (in) 2-3 years or four years (that) they get an opportunity to play for the country and represent it. We took a lot of pride from yesterday’s visit (to the Games’ village) and obviously got to know how special it is — obviously we do know but it just reflected a little bit more to represent the country.”

The Indian Women’s team has already won the gold medal, defeating Sri Lanka in the final. “Participating in Asian Games is a big opportunity and a matter of great pride for all these players. I am really looking forward to this tournament. Coming to the Asian Games, everyone is eager to win the gold for the country and stand up on the podium.”

Gaikwad is also not too worried about the ground dimensions at Hangzhou. “Everyone, throughout their careers, be it domestic or anything (else), has gone through such dimensions on the cricket ground and I think they are all used to it.” 

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