'It's very tough and very hard' - Ruturaj Gaikwad on filling Virat Kohli's shoes

"This is a big topic and I think it’s not the right point to think about it. To even compare with him (Kohli) or try to fill in his shoes is relatively very tough and very hard,” Gaikwad said.

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Rinku Singh and Ruturaj Gaikwad
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Rinku Singh and Ruturaj Gaikwad. (Source - Twitter/X)

Following the T20I retirements of Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, and Ravindra Jadeja, considerable debate ensued regarding their potential replacements. Speculations were particularly rampant concerning the ideal replacement for Kohli, the illustrious Delhi-born batter.

Naturally, among many other batters, the technically adept Ruturaj Gaikwad is regarded as a primary contender to take up the mantle, especially following his selection in the 15-member squad for the Zimbabwe tour. He has not disappointed in the least thus far, particularly with his remarkable comeback in the second T20I, where he scored a commanding, unbeaten 77 off 47, playing a pivotal role in steering India to 234/2. 

Following his majestic innings, discussions about Gaikwad as a long-term replacement for Kohli gained prominence. However, the 27-year-old paid little attention to such comparisons. Addressing the enormity of succeeding such a prominent figure, Gaikwad acknowledged the considerable difficulty and challenge of filling those shoes.

"This is a big topic and I think it’s not the right point to think about it. To even compare with him (Kohli) or try to fill in his shoes is relatively very tough and very hard,” shared Gaikwad in a video shared by THE BCCI.

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Gaikwad reiterated his sentiments from IPL 2024, where he remarked that succeeding MS Dhoni as CSK's skipper was a mighty task in itself. He emphasised that his priority was to focus on playing his own game and to launch his career as he envisioned.

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“As I had said in the IPL as well, it is difficult to fill Mahi Bhai's (MS Dhoni) shoes as well. Definitely, you want to start your career, you want to start the way you want, you want to play your own game. So, that’s the priority right now," added Gaikwad.

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