Newly appointed captain Ruturaj Gaikwad is ecstatic to captain India in the 2023 Asian Games and is eying a gold medal.
BCCI has named a second-string side as the continental event is overlapping with the 2023 ODI World Cup.
The men's T20 cricket event in Hangzhou will take place between September 28 and October 8.
The Asian Games saw Cricket’s inception in 2014 when India were not a participating team. They will feature both men's and women’s teams this time around.
The new leader dreams of a gold medal as he can’t wait to listen to his country’s anthem while standing on the podium.
"The dream will be to win a gold medal, stand on the podium and listen to the National anthem for the country," said an elated Gaikwad in a video shared by BCCI.
🗣️ “𝑻𝒉𝒆 𝒅𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒎 𝒘𝒐𝒖𝒍𝒅 𝒃𝒆 𝒕𝒐 𝒘𝒊𝒏 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒈𝒐𝒍𝒅 𝒎𝒆𝒅𝒂𝒍, 𝒔𝒕𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒐𝒏 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒑𝒐𝒅𝒊𝒖𝒎 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒔𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒏𝒂𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏𝒂𝒍 𝒂𝒏𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒎 𝒇𝒐𝒓 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒄𝒐𝒖𝒏𝒕𝒓𝒚”— BCCI (@BCCI) July 15, 2023
A happy and proud @Ruutu1331 is excited to lead #TeamIndia at the #AsianGames 😃 pic.twitter.com/iPZfVU2XW8
The stylish batter is a part of India’s Test squad for the tour of West Indies. He has represented them on nine occasions in T20Is and has featured in an ODI so far.
"I think this opportunity is something special and we will play a brand of cricket that would make everyone back home proud."
"It will be really exciting to be part of representing the country in the Asian Games and win the medal for the country.”
The Maharashtra cricketer reckons it will be a special feeling to play aside top athletes from the country and winning a gold medal will be a cherry on top.
"It's something that we always grew up watching on TV, seeing athletes win it for the country. To get the opportunity, go out there and win the medal will be special," he added.
"Playing for India itself is a proud feeling, and leading the side in such a big event will be a great opportunity for me, and also all the team members who are alongside me," the star batter concluded.
Yashasvi Jaiswal, Tilak Varma, Rinku Singh, and Jitesh Sharma are a part of the young core which will feature in the event.
Rinku Singh, who caught the attention for his power-hitting and late-order blows in IPL 2023, has received his maiden India call-up.
Among others, Ravi Bishnoi, Arshdeep Singh, Mukesh Kumar and Avesh Khan, who are in the squad for the upcoming T20I leg of the Caribbean tour, are named for the showpiece event.
India Squad: Ruturaj Gaikwad (Captain), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Rahul Tripathi, Tilak Varma, Rinku Singh, Jitesh Sharma (wk), Washington Sundar, Shahbaz Ahmed, Ravi Bishnoi, Avesh Khan, Arshdeep Singh, Mukesh Kumar, Shivam Mavi, Shivam Dube, Prabhsimran Singh (wk)
Standbys: Yash Thakur, Sai Kishore, Venkatesh Iyer, Deepak Hooda, Sai Sudarsan.