On Friday, India sealed the series victory by defeating Australia by 20 runs in the fourth T20I, establishing an unassailable 3-1 lead.”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.”
When asked about any discussion around disappointment after losing the World Cup final, Gaikwad, who served as the vice-captain in the initial 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.”
Gaikwad mentioned that he honed his skills in T20 cricket under the guidance of the legendary Mahendra Singh Dhoni during his tenure with the Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League.
“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 opener.
Gaikwad has been part of the CSK set-up since 2019.
“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 reasonably successful opening partnership with Yashasvi Jaiswal, contributing 77 runs and 50 runs in the second and fourth T20Is, respectively. However, in the opening game, the duo experienced a mix-up that resulted in Gaikwad losing 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.”