Chennai Super Kings paid a heavy price last season when they failed to show faith in their young talents in the early stages of the tournament. Later Ruturaj Gaikwad, who found form in the latter half of the season, showed the class he possessed with a string of half centuries.
The new season saw him stutter at the beginning with dismal batting shows in the opening three games with an aggregate of mere 20 runs. However, the opener came off good against Kolkata Knight Riders on Wednesday with a blistering knock of 64 in CSK's 18-run win.
Despite the early season jitters, the right-handed batsman received unconditional support from CSK skipper MS Dhoni, who revealed after Wednesday's win that he once assessed the mental grit of Gaikwad in a precarious situation and understood that the Maharashtra young man is not undeterred by trouble coming his way.
"Rutu showed his class in the last IPL. You always need to assess where he is mentally. Once when he was off guard, I asked him 'how are you feeling today?'. When you ask a question like that, you wait for the reactions, you see what's in his eyes," Dhoni said.
"There was enough in his reactions to suggest he wasn't rattled.
"That's what I've been doing all my life (applying a bit of psychology) but in a good way," he added.