5, 5 and 10 were Ruturaj Gaikwad’s scores from his first three outings at IPL 14. Despite the below-par start to the season, Chennai Super Kings’ coach Stephen Fleming was ready to throw his weight behind him.
CHENNAI: 5, 5 and 10 were Ruturaj Gaikwad‘s scores from his first three outings at IPL 14. Despite the below-par start to the season, Chennai Super Kings‘ coach Stephen Fleming was ready to throw his weight behind him.
“We have faith in his abilities and will continue to back him,” is what Fleming had repeatedly mentioned. The 24-year-old Maharashtra batsman’s turning point arrived in the match against Kolkata Knight Riders when he raced to a 42-ball 64 and hasn’t looked back. He has subsequently managed scores of 33 and 75 against Royal Challengers Bangalore and Sunrisers Hyderabad respectively.
Fleming appeared pleased with the way Gaikwad repaid the faith shown on him by the CSK think tank. “We have rated him highly for a long time. One of the setbacks was that he was having Covid-19 last season and that created a little bit of delay in (us) introducing him at the right spot. But now, he is there and has established himself. He is a fine Indian talent,” Fleming said after Gaikwad played his part in CSK notching up their fifth successive win on Wednesday.
Gaikwad’s overall approach to the game has impressed Fleming. “He has got a strong purpose about what he needs to do. He is simple in his game plan. The batting is anything but simplistic, but his method and the way he trains is really refreshing,” Fleming mentioned. A key ingredient in Gaikwad’s batting is the effortlessness with which he gets those runs. “I have been timing the ball really well since a very young age and thankfully I have maintained that till now,” said Ruturaj to Faf du Plessis in a video posted on the tournament website.
More importantly, Gaikwad’s partnership with Faf at the top has made life easier for CSK this year. “I think we have a really good understanding. We quickly come up to each other and share our thoughts and that’s a plus point. To have such an experienced and amazing player (Faf) at the non-strikers’ end is a big bonus,” said Ruturaj. Fleming felt the duo were creating a major impact by taking minimal risks. “It is easy on the eye, somewhat low risk, and is very effective up to this point. Both are skilful players and Faf has been in outstanding form. He is going from strength to strength and that helps Gaikwad,” Fleming said.