‘Whatever Mahi bhai says, it should always follow’: Ruturaj Gaikwad after maiden call-up for Sri Lanka Tour

New Delhi: Opener Ruturaj Gaikwad, who was selected in the Indian team for the Sri Lanka tour in July, said on Friday that whatever legendary cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni (MS Dhoni) says is always worth following.

The 24-year-old Gaikwad, who played under Dhoni during the Indian Premier League, said, “To talk about Mahi Bhai, obviously whatever he says is always worth following.  I heard he talked about me during the post-match presentation. I don’t talk to him much, he knows I am a quiet and shy player. Whenever Dhoni felt that I am under pressure, he used to come to me first and say that there is nothing to worry about.”

“He would repose confidence in his ability to adapt quickly to the conditions during the upcoming tour of Sri Lanka. The 24-year-old from Maharashtra is one of the six new faces in the 20-man squad selected by Shikhar Dhawan for the tour of Sri Lanka from July 13 to July 25.”

He made his first-class debut for Maharashtra in the 2016–17 Ranji Trophy. Gaikwad said, “I am very happy. From the moment I came to know about it, the journey of my career came in front of my eyes, where did I start my journey and where do I want to reach. I am full of emotions right now. You think of the people who have supported you throughout the journey, be it my parents, friends or coaches. So obviously there is a feeling of pride for all and a matter of happiness for all.”

He, who represented Chennai Super Kings in the IPL, feels that adapting to any situation in the game is his ‘major strength’. “My strength is to play according to the needs of the team, be it aggressively or according to the situation. Sometimes it has to be ensured that the team comes out of a difficult situation. I adapt to both offensive and defensive positions, which is what I think is my strength.”

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The youngster said that he wants to reunite again with Rahul Dravid, who will be the head coach of the team. Dravid has previously coached the Indian Under-19 and A teams. “There will be limited opportunities on this tour but I am looking forward to learning as much as I can from this visit. The team has experienced players and obviously, I will get a chance to associate with Rahul sir once again.”

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