“It’s relatively very hard,” Ruturaj Gaikwad on filling the shoes of Indian Legend at No.3

Ruturaj Gaikwad

India’s Ruturaj Gaikwad acknowledges the challenge of replacing the legendary Virat Kohli at the number three spot in T20Is. With Kohli’s retirement, Gaikwad faces the daunting task of stepping into those illustrious shoes. However, he remains focused on making valuable contributions with the bat, regardless of the position assigned by the team leadership.

Ruturaj Gaikwad talks about his comparison with Kohli

Gaikwad emphasizes that comparing himself to Kohli or attempting to fill his shoes is relatively very tough and very hard. He draws parallels to his own experience, recognizing that even filling his own best shoes can be difficult. His priority lies in starting his career on his terms and playing his own game. Gaikwad’s mantra is simple: focus on contributing to the team’s success, regardless of the position he plays.

“It is actually a huge topic, and it isn’t the right point to think about it, compare with him or even try to fill his shoes because it is relatively very tough and hard. As I said during the IPL as well, it is difficult to fill Mahi bhai’s shoes. You want to start your own career, play your own game and that is the priority right now,” he said.

“Wherever the team wants me to bat, I’m willing to bat there. There isn’t much difference between opening and No. 3, because you have to play against the new ball,” he added.

As he bats at the No. 3 position for India in the ongoing T20Is against Zimbabwe, Gaikwad remains flexible. Whether opening or batting at No. 3, he is ready to adapt and play the new ball. His recent captaincy stint with the Chennai Super Kings in the IPL has made him more involved in the game, but it hasn’t changed his approach to batting. Gaikwad’s commitment remains unwavering: play with responsibility and aim to finish games.

Young opener Abhishek Sharma has praised Gaikwad’s mentorship, highlighting how the seasoned cricketer helped him maintain perspective during his match-winning century in the second T20I against Zimbabwe.

Gaikwad’s journey continues, and as he steps into the spotlight, he carries the weight of expectations and the legacy of those who came before him. But for now, he focuses on the game, the team, and the thrill of competition. The shoes may be big, but Gaikwad is ready to step up and make his mark.

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