India vs Australia 5th match T20 2023: India on Friday defeated Australia by 20 runs in the fourth T20I to take an unassailable 3-1 lead in the five-match series
Ruturaj Gaikwad (Pic: File Pic)
Dashing opener Ruturaj Gaikwad said India's "fearless and aggressive" approach helped them secure the five-match T20I series against Australia and hoped the triumph would give fans something to cheer about after India's heartbreaking loss in the ODI World Cup final.
India on Friday defeated Australia by 20 runs in the fourth T20I to take an unassailable 3-1 lead in the five-match series. "I think this is something to be happy for everyone after the disappointing loss in the final of the World Cup," Gaikwad, who scored 28-ball 32 to help India post 174 for nine, told Jiocinema.
"I think it was important for all of us to express ourselves and enjoy the game. I think everyone pretty much took responsibility at every stage. So, we are really happy with the result, but there's still one match to go."
Asked what was the discussion after the World Cup disappointment, Gaikwad, who was the vice-captain for the first three T20Is, said: "The discussion was more or less to just be fearless and aggressive and back your instincts at every stage. There were 2-3 members from the World Cup squad who were with us.
"There was positive energy in the team because we were coming from domestic tournaments, and everyone had done pretty well there. Everyone came in with a lot of confidence."
India is scheduled to take on the World Cup champions in the India vs Australia 5th match T20 2023 on Sunday.
The MSD factor
Gaikwad said he has learnt the ropes of T20 cricket under the legendary Mahendra Singh Dhoni during his stint with the Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League.
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"I learnt a lot about this format playing for CSK. Mahi bhai (MS Dhoni) is always keen on reading situations and understanding the game," said the 26-year-old, who has been with CSK since the 2019 IPL season. "He sends a message that you have to look for the team score and what the team requires irrespective of the situation of the game.
"In T20s, you always have to be ahead of the game mentally and I give a lot of importance to that. The night before, I visualise what kind of situation may occur during the game, and how the pitch may behave.
"Mahi bhai always insists that we don't rush our thoughts, because there's enough time for an opener even in a T20 match."
Gaikwad had a couple of good opening partnerships with Yashasvi Jaiswal, having shared 77 runs and 50 runs in the second and fourth T20Is respectively. The duo also had a mix-up in the opening game which cost Gaikwad his wicket.
"After the first match, we decided that we'd be off from risky singles. We'll just look for boundaries," he said.
"He's (Jaiswal) someone who takes the game on and regardless of any situation, he likes to be aggressive. The discussion has always been that if the wicket is suitable, we'll go with a positive intent. But I think the focus is taking care of the first two overs."
(With agency inputs)