He has failed to translate his IPL form into national colors, but Indian opener Ruturaj Gaikwad isn’t too concerned as for him it’s about “staying mentally consistent” and “trusting the process”. The 25-year-old from Maharashtra has so far amassed 1207 runs in 36 IPL matches, but managed only 120 in six T20Is, including the first 50 he scored in Tuesday’s third T20 against South Africa. When asked if life is on the brink for him, Gaikwad said: “Not really on the brink, it’s just an essential part of the sport.
“Last year I had a really good year, so people come in with a lot of expectations when you have a great year, even in IPL and domestic.” His form was also patchy in the IPL this year before turning things around and scoring 368 runs, including three fifty in 14 appearances for Chennai Super Kings.
“In the IPL the wicket was a bit bowler friendly. There was no flat wicket, it was at two speeds, the ball was spinning and there was some swing.
“So 3-4 games in IPL, I got good balls where with some layoffs, some good shots went to the fielder’s hand, it’s part of T20 cricket.
“You’re going to have off days and really bad days. It’s a matter of staying mentally consistent, trusting your process.” In the first two games, Gaikwad scored 23 and 1 to again question his ability as an opener. However, he delivered when it mattered most, hitting a 35-ball 57 dotted with seven fours and two maximums.
“Also when I got into the series the first two wickets I felt were on the sticky side. It kind of stopped hitting first in the last two games, but here the wicket was good, the ball went into the bat, so I played my game.
“I didn’t change anything, my thought process, everything was the same.” In the second T20I, India had scored 148 for six with batters going for their shots despite losing wickets.
Shreyas Iyer had said the team will try to keep attacking even if it loses wickets.
Gaikwad said: “Going after the bowlers wasn’t being reckless or playing rash shots. I think as a batting unit we have some power, certain shots that we play as individuals. It’s about supporting ourselves and putting pressure on the bowlers.
“Just make sure you show the intent whether you play the first ball or the second ball, or you’re done, even if you hit at 30-40, if it’s in your area, in your power, you just have to go for it, that’s what matters.” There was barely time between the second and third game and Gaikwad said the team was just looking to stick with what worked for him and be a little more aware of the bowling.
“The talk was about staying positive. We played really well in both games. There were just some crucial moments where they played really well and caught up with us. So it was just that they batted really well, but today they had a batting collapse .
“When we got here we just wanted to stick with what we did in the last two games and try to improve as a group. Bowling-wise we were a little more aware of the game, there was more awareness and that worked out well for us.” India will face South Africa in the 4th T20 on Friday.
(This story was not edited by NDTV staff and was generated automatically from a syndicated feed.)