Chennai Super Kings top-order batsman Ruturaj Gaikwad has said skipper MS Dhoni's comforting words after he didn't do well in his first three games helped him perform at the back end with a free mind. Gaikwad fell early in the first three outings before scoring 65 not out against Royal Challengers Bangalore, 72 against Kolkata Knight Riders, and 62 not out against Kings XI Punjab (renamed Punjab Kings).
He said skipper Dhoni's words after the third game freed him up. "Dhoni told me to enjoy my cricket and not think about the result… just enjoy the atmosphere, be calm, and once I got my eye in he was confident that I'd be able to make an impact," the Maharashtra batsman was quoted as saying by the CSK website.
"I think it was a good reminder for me because all I was looking for was the result and not thinking about the process. So it helped me a lot coming from him," Gaikwad added.
"No pressure at all," Gaikwad said, looking ahead to this season beginning on April 9. In CSK and Dhoni's world, "process" is a keyword. "That's because of the environment I'm in where the focus is on the process and not the result. I just want to enjoy the process and make sure I contribute in every opportunity I get for CSK," he added.
The 24-year-old underlined his talent last IPL season by scoring three successive fifties as three-time champions CSK signed off the league phase with three wins on the trot. Gaikwad got to spend more time with Dhoni during this season's pre-season camp in Chennai and said he got to learn important lessons from the legendary cricketer. "One of the important lessons I learnt from Dhoni is that there will be good and bad days in cricket, as in life, but what really matters is how honest you are to yourself, stay neutral in both situations and accept the fact that every day won't be your day. But whenever it's your day it's important to try and make it count," he signed off.
CSK will start their campaign against Delhi Capitals in Mumbai on April 10.