IPL 2020: 'It Has Been a Tough Year for Ruturaj Gaikwad' - MS Dhoni After Youngster's Sparkling Knock

Chennai Super Kings captain MS Dhoni was effusive in praise of young batsman Ruturaj Gaikwad, who made an unbeaten 51-ball 65 to help the team beat Royal Challengers Bangalore on Sunday in their IPL 2020 clash in Dubai.

IPL 2020: 'It Has Been a Tough Year for Ruturaj Gaikwad' - MS Dhoni After Youngster's Sparkling Knock

Chennai Super Kings captain MS Dhoni was effusive in praise of young batsman Ruturaj Gaikwad, who made an unbeaten 51-ball 65 to help the team beat Royal Challengers Bangalore on Sunday in their IPL 2020 clash in Dubai.

Dhoni, who had recently drawn criticism for saying the youngsters in the team lacked 'spark', was happy that Gaikwad backed his strengths. Gaikwad had scores of 0, 5 and 0 in the earlier games coming into this match.

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"Rutu batted well. He backed himself to play the shots he is known for. Looking to time the ball, if you look for four, you can get six," Dhoni said at the post-match presentation.

"This year has been tough for Rutu. He batted a bit in Chennai (in the camp), and then came here and got COVID, had to go into quarantine and had a long break. It was tough, even in the last game (against MI), it happens in cricket that you face one of the best bowlers in the world and you get out.

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"People will try their best, the coaches will help you out and support but ultimately you have to battle it out. After the first single, he grew in confidence."

Dhoni called CSK's eight-wicket win one of the perfect games for them in the tournament.

"I felt this one was one of the perfect games. Everything went to plan, and the execution was there. We kept picking wickets in the middle overs, and kept them to a total that was slightly below par. Through the tournament, we've not been able to get wickets in the middle overs which had cost us a lot of runs in the death overs. So maybe that's where we were lacking.

"The wicket was on a slower side, and the spinners did a good job. We haven't been very consistent with the batting, right from positions 1 to 7 whenever we've got a start. Today the start was very good."

Asked about him maintaining a smile despite CSK's struggles, Dhoni said it was important to be positive as cricket can become very cruel and painful otherwise.

"It does hurt when you don't do well in a tournament like this, so you have to smile. Sometimes you show a bit more smile, try to amplify certain emotions so that the guys just don't drop the game. That can leave with 12 painful hours of the remaining time in the tournament. You have to enjoy the game no matter where you are on the table. If you are not enjoying the cricket, it can become very cruel and very painful.

"So I am glad with how the youngsters have responded."

Gaikwad, the Man of the Match, thanked Dhoni and the CSK support staff for backing him.

"Feels good, more important that I stayed not out till the end and we won the game, than a personal milestone," he said.

"It was tough for me to quarantine for more days than the other guys. Everyone was supporting me, friends and family. Somewhere I also knew that one knock was around. Unfortunately, I got out in the first three matches, but the supprot staff and Mahi Bhai always supported me.

"It was a slow wicket, but I was picking the bowlers and more proactive about which bowlers to target, and it worked out today."



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