Team India batsman Ruturaj Gaikwad has said that he has mixed feelings about being a fringe player in the current setup. However, he added that it is important to accept the fact that sometimes there will be no place in the main squad as there are other players who are doing really well. Ruturaj Gaikwad has been in and out of the Indian playing XI since making his international debut during the Sri Lanka tour in 2021. He has so far scored 27 and 212 runs in two ODIs and 11 T20Is respectively.
The 26-year-old is currently in Ireland as part of India’s team for the three-match T20I series. He scored 19 runs not out in the first game and followed it and made 58 runs in 43 balls in the second T20I as India won the match by 33 runs. Speaking at the post-match press conference, Ruturaj Gaikwad reflected on the importance of the Ireland series for him, especially given his fringe player status.
“This series is very important to me. It makes a big difference when you are playing the series from the first match. You come in with a lot of confidence, lot of preparation and the right mindset. But I think you also accept sometimes that there is no space in the main team; there are batters who are doing really well. It is a mixed feeling,
When asked about the advantages of being an opener in T20Is, Gaikwad said that the top two batsmen get a chance to play themselves during the first few balls.
“I think being an opener, I have the luxury to eat up some balls upfront. Face 10-15 balls, and then come back and cover. It is difficult for batters coming in. Usually, there are fewer overs left. Sometimes 8 or 10. They cannot afford to play too many dot balls. Being an opener, it is always great to assess the wicket, play accordingly and figure out what shots you can play and what shots you can’t play,” the right-handed batter added.
India scored 185/5 batting first in the second T20I, with Sanju Samson (40 off 26) and Rinku Singh (38 off 21) also contributing. In reply, Ireland were restricted to 152/8.
“Series win is more important than 3-0 or 2-1” – Ruturaj Gaikwad
With the win on Sunday, India have taken an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series. They can complete the clean sweep but Ruturaj Gaikwad said that winning the series is what matters most, regardless of the scoreline.
“I guess we have played good cricket in both games. I think Ireland are a very competitive side and they played well today as well; two or three hits here and there, they could have reached closer to the target. As far as winning 3-0 is concerned, the series win is more important than 3-0 or 2-1, it doesn’t really matter,”
The third and final T20I of the three-match series will be played in Dublin on Wednesday.