Kaushik Gandhi: 'I know I can't play like Chris Gayle'

Kaushik Gandhi played the V. A. Parthasarathy Memorial Trophy despite recovering from a dislocation of two fingers in his left hand.

Kaushik Gandhi had a productive TNPL 2018 season, scoring close to 250 runs in seven innings for Tuti Patriots.   -  K. Pichumani

There are aspects in Kaushik Gandhi’s batting that send the right signals to his team-mates in the dressing room.

He can be secure in defence and judicious with his shot-making. An innings builder who gradually gets on top of the bowling.

The 28-year-old Kaushik has been in fine form recently, notching up 559 runs for Jolly Rovers at 46.58 in the V. A. Parthasarathy Memorial Trophy one-day competition.

Ahead of the Vijay Hazare Trophy beginning here on Wednesday, Tamil Nadu expects much from this top-order batsman with a compact game.

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Kaushik said to Sportstar on Wednesday, “I know I can’t play like a Chris Gayle. What I offer is consistency at a decent strike-rate.”

Although he was recovering from the dislocation of two fingers in his left hand, Kaushik decided to take part in the VAP Trophy. “I wanted to score runs and fight my way back.”  

After a rather forgettable 2017-18 season, things are looking brighter for Kaushik.

Indeed, following a stupendous season for Tamil Nadu in 2016-17, when he won TNCA’s Most Consistent Cricketer of the Year award and was picked for the Duleep Trophy, Kaushik lost his place in the Tamil Nadu eleven after a few early games the next season.

Recalling that phase, Kaushik said, “The expectations were high from me after the highs of the previous season. I was looking to score runs too early, playing my strokes too soon without settling down.”

Kaushik said, “It was more an error in my strategy than any technical shortcoming. I wasn’t playing my usual game.”

He added, “And with the competition for places in the Tamil Nadu team, you are not guaranteed a run of matches.”

Kaushik did have his moments later in the season - this included a hundred against Gujarat in the Vijay Hazare competition - but they were few and far between.

A glimpse at Kaushik’s domestic record tells you he can adapt to different formats. He has 1120 runs from 21 first class matches at 38.62 and 695 runs in 18 domestic one-day games at 40.88.

And this year, he notched up a hundred in the TNPL Twenty20 tournament for Tuti Patriots against VB Veerans.

The cut and the cover-drive remain this right-hander’s favourite shots and he runs capably between the wickets. “I am looking to improve my game through the straight field,” he said.

Kaushik is not lacking in form or confidence ahead of an important season.