Updated: June 12, 2021 10:33:48 am
Twenty-four-year-old Ruturaj Gaikwad, who has been selected for the Indian team’s Sri Lanka tour, has become the first cricketer from Pimpri-Chinchwad to be picked for the national side. The team will be led by Shikhar Dhawan and play three ODIs and three T-20 matches between July 13 and 25.
“I am happy to be selected to represent the country…I hope to do well on the international stage,” Ruturaj told The Indian Express on Friday.
When asked whether he was expecting a call to play for the national side, Ruturaj said, “I was not thinking much about the team selection but yes, it was there on the back of my mind…Now that I have the opportunity to represent the country, I will put in my best effort and do well.” He added,”…I am not tense…I am confident of putting up a good performance.”
Ruturaj plays from Maharshtra in the Ranji Trophy matches and for Chennai Super Kings in the IPL. Among the people who called him up to congratulate him this morning was the CEO of Chennai Super Kings. Ruturaj is also expecting calls from his teammates, including Mahendra Singh Dhoni. “I am sure they will all call,” he said, adding that he was not sure whether he was picked on the basis of his performance in the IPL or the Ranji Trophy matches.
His father, Dashrath, who retired from the DRDO as a Super One class officer, said, “We are delighted that Ruturaj has been picked to play for India…We are not putting any pressure or burden on him…He should do well and we are confident he will excel on the big stage with the kind of determination he has.”
Ruturaj has been with the Dilip Vengsarkar Academy, better known as Varroc Academy, in Thergaon, Pimpri-Chinchwad, for the past 10 years. Vengsarkar said, “Ruturaj has got a golden opportunity to prove his mettle on the international stage. Such opportunties do not come easily and so, he should score tons…through his consistent performance.”
Vengsarkar said Ruturaj has both the techique and temperament. “But these two things matter only when a batsman scores runs. If Ruturaj is selected in the ODI, he should ensure he plays all the 50 overs. He should not throw his wicket away. The longer he stays at the wicket, the more runs will come. Runs come automatically if a batsman shows the stomach to stay at the wicket,” the former Indian captain said.
If Ruturaj scores runs in the shorter format the game, he will make it to the Test side as well, Vengsarkar said. “He has the opportunity to become a member of the Indian team in all three formats of the game but he can do so through his consistent performance,” he said.
The academy’s senior coach, Raju Kotwal, said, “Ruturaj has the ability and confidence to prove his mettle at the international stage. We are fully confident that he will grab the opportunity with both hands and become a permanent member of the side.”
Kotwal said Ruturaj has a sound batting technique and patience to stay at the wicket. “His kind of batting his suitable for all three formats of the game. He can change gears depending on the situation and he has all the strokes in his armoury besides being a good fielder,” he said.
Kotwal said Rohit Motwani of Pimpri-Chinchwad was the first player to play for Maharashtra and India A side. “However, Ruturaj is the first one to be picked for the Indian team,” he said.
A resident of Sangvi, Ruturaj studied up to class VIII in St Joseph’s Boys School, Khadki and then was with Laxmibai Nandgude school, Pimple Nilakh up to Class X. He was with Marathwada Mitra Mandal’s college in Deccan till class XII.
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