September 30, 2022
Ind A vs NZ A – 3rd Unofficial Test – Bengaluru

Chennai Super Kings and India opener Ruturaj Gaikwad is working hard in trying to become an all-format cricketer.

Playing for India A in the third unofficial Test against New Zealand A, the batsman scored a brilliant century off just 127 balls. His run-scoring pace is perhaps understandable when viewed in light of his exploits in white-ball cricket, especially in the IPL. But it was something special to be so fluent in playing only his third first-class game in 30 months.

Speaking to reporters in Bangalore after the first day’s play, Gaikwad said, “There is a huge difference in playing cricket after so long. So, my mindset here was to just stay on the wicket. I knew their spinners (when compared to us) are not good, so obviously runs will flow.

Gaikwad was eloquent as he tried to explain the difficulties of a batsman adjusting to the demands of red-ball cricket, especially considering how we live in a time when white-ball skills seep into players’ muscle memory. Is.

“It sounds like you are used to the kind of bat flow where your bat naturally flows for all the shots you want to play in T20 cricket,” he said. “You have to be prepared for each ball and for each ball you have three specific options in your mind. Then suddenly to get into red-ball cricket where you don’t really have to look for runs, you have to stick to the wicket. focus on

“The first thing you have to do here is going from white to red (the ball) is stopping that instinct and just trying to focus on your breath, play ball by ball, session by session and play the day out. If the ball is really outside your right eye, apply your basic principles such as playing under your head, keeping your shoulders aligned. [as a right-hander] Then leave it alone. These basics come through in the game of red-ball cricket.”

For an all-format player, technique is just one area of ​​focus. Gaikwad said, “After playing a lot of cricket, various thoughts come to mind and it keeps flowing in every direction and a lot of inputs are coming in. “It is very important to be focused and know your game how you can broadcast it in different formats.”

Although he is best known for his exploits as an opener in white-ball cricket, Gaikwad was happy to occupy the No. 3 role in this India A team.

“I think playing for my state, even in the first class” [Maharashtra]”Usually when we play with an extra batsman, I play on three,” he said. “When we play an extra bowler, I open the batting. The role has always been flexible. And of course both Priyanka [Panchal] and abhimanyu [Easwaran] They are experienced and have been opening the innings for a long time so they deserve to be there (starters). I have got used to the role of it (No 3), so not much has changed or is different.”

It is an achievement for India A to score a century against the best attack on a bowler friendly pitch. However, Gaikwad was in no mood to celebrate. He was disappointed that he fell to 108 when he was ready to score an even bigger score. And the feeling got worse when New Zealand A took the breakthrough, taking the last six wickets for just 48 runs and bowling their team out for 293.

“I had a good chance to make a big difference,” Gaikwad said. “Not only for myself but I felt that being on the wicket today would have been very important for us as a team. Had I been there it would have been a different scenario. And I would have probably added 40-50. Tomorrow with the tail -60 Runs and totals would have been very different. Big (disappointment) for me personally and even for the team as I feel we are definitely 50-60 runs short.”

After making his international debut in 2021 and being a part of some Indian squads recently, Gaikwad has kept the fire under fire for playing at the highest level. But for now, he’s just focusing on what’s in front of him.

“Whether it is a home game or any other sport, the focus and approach should be the same. There is no individual agenda in this,” he said. “Whatever the team situation, you have to make sure you adapt to it as quickly as possible. Make sure you are doing what is required of you. Be it Ranji Trophy, India A, IPL or internationals The team, the role depends on what the team wants. You have to put the team first.”

The 27-year-old batsman is excited about the prospect of having a full domestic and Ranji Trophy season. He hopes it will be a good challenge for him.

Afzal Biography in ESPNcricinfo Hindi is a Sub-Editor. @jiwani_afzal

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