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Indian Premier League 2021

IPL 2021: CSK vs SRH – Ruturaj Gaikwad shows no signs of slowing down

After a poor start to the season, Ruturaj Gaikwad has bounced back in style with two fifties in the last three matches.

IPL 2021: CSK vs SRH – Ruturaj Gaikwad shows no signs of slowing down

Ruturaj Gaikwad has been in sublime form over the last few matches [Credits: IPL]


Anjishnu Roy

Published: 28 April 2021 6:24 PM GMT

Following an impressive end to the IPL season in UAE, where his match-winning knocks helped CSK avoid the blushes of a last-place finish, expectations were high concerning Ruturaj Gaikwad this season.

He failed to live up to that pressure in the first three matches of IPL 2021. Despite trying hard, Ruturaj just couldn't get going.

There were several calls to replace Ruturaj with veteran batsman Robin Uthappa. After all, Uthappa had been in fine form in domestic cricket prior to the IPL and Gaikwad could also take some time away from the pressure to sort himself out.

Prior to the fourth match of the season against KKR, Stephen Fleming refused to rule out Gaikwad from his starting XI. 'We back the players we believe in,' he said without hesitating.

The 24-year-old from Pune stood firm on the belief of his coach and captain and delivered. Gaikwad scored 64 runs off 42 deliveries and put up a spectacular 115 run opening stand with Faf du Plessis. In the post-match press conference, captain of CSK, the legendary MS Dhoni revealed that before the match against KKR, he spoke to the youngster and knew his instinct would pay off.

Ruturaj has carried that spectacular form since finding his feet against KKR and has been among the best performers for CSK recently. A rejuvenated Chennai Super Kings look extremely sharp this season and they are on top of the table, having produced some of the most dominant performances in IPL 2021.

Against Sunrisers Hyderabad tonight, Gaikwad and Du Plessis took to the field knowing that the total was competitive and challenging. And yet, instead of bowing down to the pressure, Ruturaj produced a fine knock that proved to be match-winning.

His approach in the Powerplay was slow and cautious, waiting to bide his time. However, quite often, slow and cautious can kill matches. Ask Rishabh Pant from last night and David Warner tonight and you'll get your answer why.

What stood out the most from his innings tonight was the manner in which Gaikwad changed his gears after the Powerplay. It wasn't a direct jump from first gear to fifth, it was a slow and gradual process that upped the ante with each passing over, and increasing the pressure on Sunrisers Hyderabad.

The manner in which he approached SRH's spin-bowling tonight was nothing short of delightful. He scored runs at a strike rate of over 170 but his innings did not include even a single six. Trusting himself to pick the right gaps in the field, Ruturaj Gaikwad played accurate shots with sublime precision.

Given the way he's batted in recent matches, the youngster shows no signs of stopping. His form will provide a big boost to the three-time IPL champions who have already made a remarkable start to their campaign.

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