'If it is there in your area, go for it'- Ruturaj Gaikwad after scoring fiery half-century in 3rd T20I

India kept the T20I series alive with a convincing 48-run win over South Africa

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Ruturaj Gaikwad and Ishan Kishan
Ruturaj Gaikwad and Ishan Kishan. (Photo Source: Twitter/ICC)

India’s emerging batting sensation Ruturaj Gaikwad has opened up about his aggressive mindset after scoring a match-winning half-century in the third T20I against South Africa. Giving further clarification on the same, he said that it is all about showing intent irrespective of whether a batter is facing his first or second ball or is already well set at the crease.

After not-so-impressive performances in the first two games, Ruturaj rose to the occasion in the third T20I against South Africa in Vizag where he went on to score 57 runs from 35 deliveries at a strike rate of nearly 163. The Pune cricketer was also involved in a 97-run opening stand with Ishan Kishan as the duo made the Proteas bowlers toil hard for wickets.

Going after the bowlers was not about being reckless or playing rash shots: Ruturaj Gaikwad

“Going after the bowlers was not about being reckless or playing rash shots. I think we as a batting unit have some strength, certain shots we play as individuals. It is about backing ourselves and putting pressure on the bowlers,” Gaikwad said after the match.

“Just making sure that you are showing the intent, no matter if you are playing first ball or second ball, or you are set, even if you are batting at 30-40, if it is there in your area, in your strength, just have to go for it, that is what the thinking is about,” he added.

Half-centuries from Gaikwad and Ishan, combined with finishing touches from Hardik Pandya (31*), helped India post a challenging total of 179/5.

In reply, there was no brisk start for South Africa unlike the previous two games as the Indian bowlers applied the stranglehold on them and their run chase never took off. Despite the efforts from wicketkeeper-batter Heinrich Klaasen (29) and Wayne Parnell (22*), the visitors were skittled out for just 131 in the final over as the Men in Blue registered a morale-boosting 48-run win to stay alive in the series.

Meanwhile, South Africa, having won the first two games, still lead the five-match series 2-1. The action now moves to the fourth T20I at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Rajkot on Friday, June 17.

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