Ruturaj Gaikwad becomes first from Pimpri-Chinchwad to be picked for Indian cricket team

A resident of Sangvi area of Pimpri-Chinchwad, Ruturaj plays for Maharashtra in the Ranji Trophy matches and for Chennai Super Kings in the IPL.

Twenty-four-year-old Ruturaj Gaikwad, who has been selected for 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 will play three ODIs and three T-20s matches between July 13 and July 25.

“I am happy to be selected to represent the country… I hope to do well at the international stage,” Ruturaj told The Indian Express 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 got the opportunity to represent the country, I will put in my best efforts on the big stage and do well for the country.”

Asked whether he is nervous, Ruturaj said, “No, I am not. I am confident of putting up a good performance.”

Ruturaj plays for Maharashtra in the Ranji Trophy matches and for Chennai Super Kings in the IPL.

Among the callers who congratulated him this morning included the CEO of Chennai Super Kings. He is expecting calls from his team mates including Mahendra Singh Dhoni. “I am sure, they will all call,” he said. Ruturaj said he was not sure whether he was picked on the basis of his performance in IPL or in the Ranji Trophy matches.

Tuturaj’s father Dashrath Gaikwad, who retired from DRDO as Super One class officer, said, “We are delighted to hear 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 with the kind of determination he has, he will excel on the big stage.”.

Ruturaj has been with the Dilip Vengsarkar Academy located in Thergaon for 10 years now. When approached for comments, Vengsarkar said, “Ruturaj has got a golden opportunity to prove his mettle at the international stage. Such an opportunity does not come easily and therefore, he should score tons through his consistent performance.”

Vengsarkar said Ruturaj has both the technique and temperament. “But these two things matter only when a batsman scores runs. In ODI if Ruturaj is selected, he should ensure that he plays out 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 at the wicket,” the former Indian captain said.

Vengsarkar said if he scores runs in the shorter format of the game, he will then make it to the Test side as well. “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.

Academy’s senior coach Raju Kotwal said, “Ruturaj has the ability and confidence to prove his mettle at 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 is 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 area of Pimpri-Chinchwad, Ruturaj has studied up to class 8 in St Joseph’s Boys School, Khadki and then went to Laxmibai Nandgude school, Pimple Nilakh up to Class 10. He did his Class XII from Marathwada Mitral Mandal College located in the Deccan area.

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