‘Dhoni’s style is different, I will try to be myself’: Ruturaj Gaikwad on his captaincy ahead of India’s Asian Games campaign

Gaikwad has observed Dhoni's captaincy from the close quarters at CSK.

Ruturaj Gaikwad and VVS Laxman | ScreengrabRuturaj Gaikwad is all set to lead the Indian men's cricket team in its maiden appearance at the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China.

Having played under MS Dhoni’s captaincy at Chennai Super Kings (CSK), Gaikwad has learned a lot. However, the opening batter is looking to bring his unique leadership style to the forefront.

"I got to learn a lot of things from him (Dhoni) but every person has a different style. His style is different, his personality is different, and my personality is a bit different. I will try to be myself and not really look at what he usually does," Gaikwad told the media.

"Obviously, yes, you have to pick out some things which he does really well, how he handles situations and how he handles particular players during a match. Obviously, these are (a) few things I really took from him, but I would like to lead the way I want to," he added.

The Indian men’s cricket team is considered favourites to clinch the gold medal in the continental event. Gaikwad and company will face Nepal in their quarterfinal match on Tuesday (October 3).

Talking about the unique experience of playing cricket in China, India coach VVS Laxman said, "It is a much different setup. We (would) have not even thought that we will come and play cricket in China. It is a great opportunity for the entire team. Participating in the Asian Games is a big opportunity and a matter of great pride for all these players."

Last week, the Indian women's cricket team created history as it defeated Sri Lanka in the final of the Asian Games to bag the gold medal.

Gaikwad expressed keenness to emulate the success of their female counterparts, stating, "Coming to the Asian Games, everyone is eager to win the gold for the country and stand up on the podium."

The team's visit to the Games' village was an eye-opener as they got to witness the challenges faced by athletes from various sports disciplines.

"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," Gaikwad said.

"It was a really great chance to see our country play across various sports such as badminton, tennis, or even hockey. It was a matter of great pride. We enjoyed a lot, cheering for our team," he further remarked

Adapting to different field dimensions, Gaikwad said: "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."

(With PTI Inputs)


By Salman Anjum - 02 Oct, 2023

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