Ruturaj Gaikwad Learns Valuable Leadership Lessons from MS Dhoni: “Take One Game at a Time”

Ruturaj Gaikwad discusses his learnings on leadership from MS Dhoni, emphasizing the importance of focusing on the present moment.

Ruturaj Gaikwad, vice-captain of the Indian cricket team, revealed how he has been imbibing important leadership lessons from Chennai Super Kings (CSK) captain MS Dhoni. Gaikwad’s astute 43-ball 58 in the second T20I against Ireland demonstrated his leadership qualities, and he is set to lead the Indian team in the upcoming Asian Games in China.

In his comments, Gaikwad acknowledged the intricate nature of leadership and shared insights he has gained from Dhoni’s guidance.

“Mahi bhai (MS Dhoni) always emphasizes taking it one game at a time and focusing on the present moment. Amidst the hype and expectations, he encourages us not to be concerned about the future. Personally, I don’t pay much attention to social media or external opinions about me,” Gaikwad shared during the post-match press conference.

The cricketer, who also captains Maharashtra in domestic cricket, stressed that leadership involves fostering confidence among team members and refraining from overblowing expectations.

“Leadership is a multifaceted role, and Mahi bhai’s advice about staying in the present moment resonates with me. At CSK, I’ve imbibed the philosophy of giving my best on the field, then relaxing with friends off it. I don’t allow external chatter to affect me.”

Gaikwad explained that, for him, leadership entails ensuring that players feel supported and empowered. “I believe leadership means providing maximum confidence to the ten players on the field. It’s about empathizing with their thoughts and emotions, putting myself in their shoes. Each player has their game plans, and it’s essential to back them at that crucial moment.”

The vice-captain highlighted the significance of granting players the freedom to make decisions while avoiding undue interference. “After the game, we can analyze and identify areas of improvement. During the match, my approach is to allow players the freedom to express themselves and have faith in their abilities. Offering too many suggestions can lead to confusion.”

Regarding his crucial innings in the second T20I, Gaikwad explained his approach as an opener. “As an opener, I have the luxury of facing a few balls upfront, assessing the wicket’s behavior, and then adjusting my game plan. This allows me to guide the team’s strategy based on the conditions.”

Gaikwad also touched upon the mixed emotions of playing in the series and competing for a spot in the main team. “This series holds immense importance for me. Starting from the first match gives me the confidence, preparation, and mindset to perform well. However, I also understand that sometimes there might not be space in the main team due to strong competition. It’s a combination of feelings.”

Gaikwad’s insightful leadership approach, influenced by his interactions with Dhoni and his experiences at CSK, bodes well for his evolving role in Indian cricket.

-IANS

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