Indian opener Ruturaj Gaikwad gave credit to his Chennai Super Kings (CSK) captain MS Dhoni for teaching him game sense in T20s, which also involves reading the score and batting according to the situation as well. However, Gaikwad played a 28-ball 32-run knock in the fourth T20I against Australia on Friday. India put up 174/9 batting first and won the game by 20 runs. In the third game, he scored a brilliant 57-ball 123 – the second-highest T20I score in a losing cause as well. He started the innings by scoring 21 runs off as many balls before smashing 102 runs off the next 36 balls as well.
“No, definitely. I would say I learned being in CSK because, you know, Mahi bhai is always keen on reading situations, you know, understanding the game, how the game will progress. And he is more or less sends a message where you have to look for a team score,” he said on Jio Cinema on Friday.”You know what the team requires at that certain stage, irrespective of where you are batting, Either you are batting on 15 or not out or you just started, what the team requires just in particular that over. So I think that has stayed with me. And I’m trying to continue that.”
The experienced opener is currently the top-scorer in the series with 213 runs at an average of 71 and a strike rate of 166.41 as well. Speaking after his century on Tuesday, cricketer-turned-commentator Aakash Chopra had said how the innings made him realize that good technique doesn’t restrict a player but “liberates” him as well.
“He had scored 22 runs off his first 22 balls and you were thinking what was happening. It was a reconstruction phase but Surya was hitting and Rutu was still taking his time. 210-220 had to be scored. You couldn’t have even fought in anything less than that,” he said.”Then Ruturaj Gaikwad changed gears. Certain players make you realize repeatedly that technique does not shackle you, it liberates you. He batted extremely well. He was brilliant, scored 123,” Chopra said.
India and Australia will play the fifth and final T20I on Sunday, starting at 7:00 pm IST.