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Ruturaj Gaikwad Claims He Started ‘Thala for a Reason’ Trend With Cheeky MS Dhoni Tribute
By CricShots - Jul 11, 2024 4:47 pm
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Star Indian batter Ruturaj Gaikwad left his Insta followers in awe after posting a cheeky reference to his CSK teammate and legendary cricketer, MS Dhoni, often called ‘Thala’. On Thursday, July 11, the post Gaikwad put up was a fun compliment to one of the popular trends on social media in Trib­ute to Dhoni. Fans often make posts where they add any ran­dom numbers to get seven—as that is the iconic jersey number of Dhoni.

Ruturaj Gaikwad
Ruturaj Gaikwad and MS Dhoni

The trend has come out as an ode to MS Dhoni, whose eminent popularity means that social media is often filled with references to the star cricketer. The captain of CSK, Ruturaj Gaikwad joined this trend by sharing an image of his T20I cap with number 88, thereby showing that he is the 88th player to represent India in T20 internationals.

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He took to his Instagram story and amusingly added those digits of 88: 8+8 equals 16, and then 1+6 equals 7. The number 7 was used not alone, instead, Gaikwad used a yellow heart emoji, which was an ode to CSK’s team colours. He quipped on how he was avant-garde, and how he made his T20I debut in 2021, way before this trend started. “I am ahead of the trend,” Ruturaj Gaikwad wrote, pointing out the jest behind his post.


While Ruturaj Gaikwad’s antics on social media sent many into laughter, his performances on the field have been equally good. In the third T20I against Zimbabwe, the opener played a vital innings of 49 off 28 balls and took India to a competitive total of 182-4 in the allotted 20 overs. His knock, featuring four boundaries and three sixes, helped India win the match by 23 runs and take a 2-1 lead in the five-match series.

Gaikwad’s good form was on for the entire series. The left-hander remained not out on 77 off 47 balls in the second T20I, sharing the massive 137-run stand with Abhishek Sharma that propelled India to an intimidating total of 234/2 in 20 overs. This strong display led to India winning by as many runs as 100, a magnificent comeback after falling short by 15 runs in the first T20I.

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This series has seen him as the standout performer, with 133 runs in three innings at an average of 66.50 and a strike rate of 158.33. Gaikwad has turned out to be the top run scorer, showing he is not only a good batter but also a prosperous prospect for Indian cricket in times to come. It’s what has been constant in his contributions on and off the field that goes on to make him special in the eyes of fans and an asset for India and CSK alike.