After being made captain of the Indian team for the men’s T20 event in the 19th Asian Games, opener Ruturaj Gaikwad said the dream would be to win a gold medal in the competition, stand on the podium and sing the national anthem.
“As Indian fans, everyone is supporting whatever sports the country is playing. Any series or any World Cup, but I think this is something special. We will definitely play a brand of cricket where everyone back home will be proud and it’ll also be exciting to watch, so do follow and support us. The dream would be to win the gold medal, stand on the podium and sing the national anthem for our country,” said Gaikwad in a video posted by the BCCI on their social media handles.
Gaikwad will be leading a second-string men’s team in the Asian Games to be held in Hangzhou, making it the first time India will be participating in the cricket event after not taking part in the 2010 and 2014 editions.
“I think it will be really exciting for everyone who are a part of this squad to represent the country in the Asian Games. Obviously winning the medal for the country is something we always grew up watching on TV and seeing athletes win it for the country. The opportunity to win a medal out there will be really special,” added Gaikwad.
The men’s cricket competition will take place from September 28 to October 8 in a T20 format. Opener Yashasvi Jaiswal, who hit a magnificent 171 on Test debut against West Indies at Dominica, is included in the side for the Asian Games alongside Shivam Dube, Tilak Varma, Ravi Bishnoi, Shahbaz Ahmed, Arshdeep Singh, Mukesh Kumar, Avesh Khan, Rinku Singh, Jitesh Sharma, Prabhsimran Singh, Washington Sundar, and Rahul Tripathi.
“I think it will be great fun, to be honest, because everyone, I think we all are youngsters. We have been really gelling around very well with each other for the last one or two years. Playing IPL against each other, playing India ‘A’ games and playing some India games as well. So really fun group to be part of,” stated Gaikwad.
Yash Thakur, R. Sai Kishore, Venkatesh Iyer, Deepak Hooda, and B. Sai Sudharsan are the stand-by players for the Indian team in the Asian Games. Gaikwad, the right-handed batter, also expressed gratitude to the selectors for making him the captain of the side for the Asian Games.
“Really thankful for this opportunity given by BCCI, the management and the selectors. Playing for India itself is a really proud feeling. Leading the team in such a big event, I think it would be a great opportunity for me personally and also for all the team members who are there alongside me. So, really looking forward and really happy and obviously, feeling really proud.”