India vs South Africa, 3rd T20I: I changed nothing much but the wicket was good and I played my game, says Ruturaj Gaikwad | Cricket News – Times of India

VISAKHAPATNAM: The Indian team management backing its players has gone down well with the players. The confidence shown in them has helped the players turn the wheels of fortune and keep the series alive. The players had less than 48 hours to recoup from the loss at Cuttack but they bounced back in style with a 48-run win.
Opener Ruturaj Gaikwad, who was under pressure, took the bull by its horns and gave India a flying start. What did he do differently on Tuesday night? “Nothing. I felt the wicket was slightly better than the last two games. In the previous games, the ball was stopping a bit when batting first. Batting on this wicket was nice as the ball was coming on to the bat well. So, I changed nothing much with my process etc as my thought process and everything else was the same. I felt the wicket here was on the better side,” he said with a smile after the match.

What was the talk after the Cuttack loss? “The conversation was mainly about being positive. We had played well in both the previous games. There were just a few crunch moments where they overtook us and they played really well in those moments. They made sure that they won those moments against us. Overall, I felt that we played well in both the games and gave our best shot. It’s just that they batted well. Today, you can see that we bowled really well and they had a batting collapse,” he said and added, “Coming here we were just sticking to whatever we did in the previous games and looked to improve as a team and a group. Bowling wise, I think, there was more awareness about the conditions and what we needed to do.”
Ruturaj pushed the aggression button quite early in the innings. “Going after the bowling is not something about being reckless or playing rash shots or shots out of nowhere. We all have a certain amount of batting strengths and certain shots that we play as individuals and it’s just about backing ourselves and putting pressure on the bowlers – that is the main thing. Going after just means to put pressure on the bowlers and showing the intent that you are going after them. It’s a matter of putting pressure on the bowlers and no matter at what stage you are batting, you just have to keep going and if it’s there in your strength you have to go for it,” he said.
Was he pushed to the edge by the pressure? “It was not really on the edge as it’s a part and parcel of the game. Last year, I had a good year and there is a lot of expectation when you have had such a great year. In the IPL, the wickets were slightly bowler friendly because there were not many flat wickets. There were two-paced wickets and the ball was turning and there was some swing etc. In the IPL, in three to four games, I got out to good balls – like some good shots went into the fielder’s hands. You won’t have your day every day, every week, every month or every year. You are going to have your off days and you will have really bad days and the thing is just a matter of staying consistent mentally and trusting your process and just sticking on. In this series, the first two games were played on a bit of ‘tacky’ wickets but here the wicket was good and I played my game,” he said.
Speaking about the bio-bubble, he said: “One big difference of coming out of the bio bubble is the press conference. On the screen, we could always say I can’t hear properly and ignore the question but can’t do it here.
“Obviously, there are a lot of fans in this country and a lot of people are gathering around you. This is the first series out of the bubble and everyone is taking time to adjust to it. Everywhere we went we were used to being in a closed environment and where people are not coming towards you. Coming out of that and with a lot of fans coming closer to you, asking a lot of stuff or pictures etc is a lot of attention and distraction as well.
“Both, being in a bubble and out of it, have their own pros and cons. So, I think it’s better to experience both. Obviously, being in a bubble for a longer period was tough but one good thing, I felt, was that the team bonding increased. In whichever team I played, whether IPL or Indian, there were a lot of team activities together and that I really helped and will stay in the coming years,” he said.
On the toss factor, he said: “The toss is just uncontrollable. Personally, and as a team, we don’t rely much on the toss factor. We just have to take it, play our best and win the game for India.”

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