Head coach Stephen Fleming heaped huge praise on Chennai Super Kings opener Ruturaj Gaikwad after his sensational knock in the opening match of Indian Premier League 2022. Gaikwad scored a magnificent 92 runs off 50 balls to set the stage on fire as his knock was laced with 9 sixes and four fours. However, his valiant knock went in vain as Chennai Super Kings failed to defend the target.
Flemming said that the team management does rank Ruturaj very highly and only good things will happen to him.
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“He (Ruturaj) is an outstanding talent. We rate him so highly and we think he is an absolute class player. He has got power, he has got touch and only good things will happen to him," said Fleming in the post-match press conference.
Flemming admitted that the CSK batters failed to capitalise on the foundation which Ruturaj set up for them as at one stage they were on course to score 200. However, GT bowlers bounced back in the second half of the innings to slow things down.
“Ruturaj played a great hand. We just did not quite capitalize. They bowled well from the 12th to the 16th over and we could not get that final push. But still, 180 was a good score. We were looking at what tempo to play. All in all, I loved the positivity and the aggression, and on any other day we would have got to 200," added Fleming.
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Gaikwad, who has been in Chennai since 2019, but got his chances in 2020, also earned praise from Hardik Pandya, the Gujarat Titans skipper and potentially, the person who could lead India in 2024 Men’s T20 World Cup.
“To be very honest, we all know the kind of player he is, at one point of time it looked like CSK would score 220-230. We were finding it difficult as to what areas we should bowl because he’s an all-round cricketer, plays cricketing shots."
“I genuinely felt that we can’t err to him at all; some of the shots that he played, they weren’t to bad balls. They were actually good balls, that made the big difference and more challenging for us as a bowling unit and captain. Full credit to him, if he continues batting like this, he’s going to do wonders to Indian cricket. I’m sure he has the game, when the time comes I’m sure the Indian cricket team will also back him enough."
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