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To fill in Virat Kohli’s shoes is really tough, says Ruturaj Gaikwad
By SMCS - Jul 10, 2024 7:50 am
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Ruturaj Gaikwad led Chennai Super Kings in the IPL 2024. And, now he is playing under Shubman Gill in the ongoing series against Zimbabwe. While he is batting at no. 3, he stated that it wouldn’t be easy to fill Virat Kohli’s place. Notably, following India’s win in the T20 World Cup 2024, Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Ravindra Jadeja announced their retirement from T20 cricket.

Ruturaj Gaikwad
Ruturaj Gaikwad played a captain’s knock

“Wherever the team sends me, I’m happy to bat there,” Ruturaj said in his batting position on the eve of the third T20I. “There isn’t much of a difference opening the batting or playing at Number 3. You still have to play the new ball. Not much of a difference. It’s a really big topic, it’s not the right point to think about it. To compare to him or to fill in his shoes is really tough. As I had said in the IPL as well, its difficult to fill Mahi bhai’s shoes as well. You want to start your own career, you want to play your own game. That’s the priority right now, focus on one game, focus on making your team win – for whichever side you play – and make sure you’re on the winning side more often than not.”

Ruturaj Gaikwad also admitted that the batting conditions in Zimbabwe are slightly tough. India did get a reality check in the first T20I, as they lost.

Ruturaj Gaikwad
Ruturaj Gaikwad witnessed a brain fade moment

“It’s definitely challenging,” he said. “It’s slightly unique. If you have seam movement coming at you in one pace, you can still negotiate it. But here it’s slightly double-paced and the bounce is also slightly variable. That’s causing a bit of difference. When the ball is new, it’s slightly tougher to score. But once the ball becomes old, with fast outfield and relatively small straight boundaries, you can convert your runs after that.”

“To be honest, not much has changed,” he noted. “My batting has always been the same – take responsibility and play and try to finish the game. It’s just that the way you look at the game, you are more involved when you are used to captaining an IPL team. You tend to be in the game for a longer period of time than when you’re standing at the boundary and just focussing on one ball at a time. But batting-wise, not much of a difference,” Ruturaj Gaikwad concluded.