'To Fit In Kohli's Shoes...': Gaikwad On Being Compared With Indian GOAT

Ruturaj Gaikwad (X.com)Ruturaj Gaikwad (X.com)

India's Ruturaj Gaikwad recently opened up on how tough and hard it would be to replace recently retired Virat Kohli at number three spot in T20Is and added how he is focused on making valuable contributions with the bat in whatever position the team leadership deems fit.

Recently, in the second T20I against Zimbabwe, Gaikwad showed his potential with his 77 off 47 knock. Not just this, he has been a consistent performer for the Indian team for a very long-time. He was also the captain of the Indian cricket team that won Gold at Asian Games 2023. 

Although, Gaikwad has batted at No. 3 position for India in the first two T20Is against Zimbabwe but the Pune-born cricketer said he has no preference and will bat wherever the team requires him.

Ruturaj Gaikwad Believes It's 'Tough' To Replace Virat Kohli

"This is a big topic and I think it's not the right point to think about it. To even compare with him (Kohli) or try to fill in his shoes is relatively very tough and very hard," Gaikwad said on the eve of the third T20I against Zimbabwe.

"Focus on one game, focus on how you can contribute towards the team in whichever position you play and make sure you are on the winning side more often than not," he said while talking about the position he'd bat on.

Gaikwad led the Chennai Super Kings in the IPL this year and he said captaincy has made him to get more involved in the game though it didn't make any difference to his batting.

"Actually, to be honest, nothing has changed much. Because my batting has been the same as before. I have to play with responsibility and try and finish it on my own. It's just that the way you look at the game, I think every time you are more involved now in the game since you have captained the IPL franchise for a long period of time.

"So you tend to be into the game for a longer period of time instead of just staying in the boundary outside and just focusing on one ball. As I said, batting wise it's not made much difference," he added.

The retirement of Kohli, skipper Rohit Sharma and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja from the shortest format following the T20 World Cup triumph has opened the doors for the upcoming players and Gaikwad is one such talented batter who has the potential to seal the No. 3 spot. If he continues with his exploits then there will be no limits to his success in at least the shortest format of the game.

(With PTI inputs)