Chennai Super Kings (CSK) opening batter Ruturaj Gaikwad has opined on his conversation with MS Dhoni ahead of his debut for the franchise. The youngster struggled in his debut season with the Chennai-based franchise but managed to make a mark in the final set of matches.
In the subsequent season, Gaikwad played a key role at the top of the order in CSK’s fourth Indian Premier League (IPL) title win. He scored 635 runs in 16 matches to win the IPL 2021 Orange Cap, leading to the franchise retaining him for ₹6 crore ahead of the mega auctions as well. He also recalled his interaction with MS Dhoni before his IPL debut against the Rajasthan Royals (RR) in 2020.
“When I made my debut, he (MS Dhoni) was very clear. He said to enjoy the game. Representing this franchise is a huge achievement, a lot of great players have been part of this dressing room, and a lot of greats have been involved with this franchise. So, I think he just said that ‘you just need to be in that moment and enjoy’ it. I really need to be thankful and grateful that I was in a really good team which has a very good environment. Also, having M.S Dhoni around me helped a lot as well. In that process, I never felt that I was having a setback.”
He continued: “If I look back now, yes, I had failures to start off with, but the management, the team and the coach made me feel (good). I would give a lot of credit to the whole CSK team, the captain and coach.”
However, his exploits in the IPL helped him earn a call-up to the national side as well. So far, he has played for India in eight T20I matches. Meanwhile, he had a lean patch at the start of the 2022 season after scoring only one run from the first three matches. But ended with 368 runs with a strike rate of 126.46.
“It is really important to stay positive and believe in yourself because you will have done a lot of hard work throughout and you will have failures in cricket. It will not happen that every day you will score runs. You will have failures. I think you really need to stay positive,” Ruturaj Gaikwad concluded.