IPL 2021: Will put Ruturaj Gaikwad in KL Rahul's category, says Brian Lara
- Ruturaj Gaikwad scored 101 off 60 against RR
- He became CSK’s youngest centurion in the IPL
- CSK next take on DC in Dubai on Monday
Gaikwad registered his maiden Indian Premier League (IPL) century on Saturday during CSK's clash with Rajasthan Royals (RR). Even though CSK ended in the losing side, Gaikwad earned the Player of the Match for his unbeaten knock of 101 off 60 deliveries in Abu Dhabi. Gaikwad's century powered CSK to 189 for 4 in 20 overs but RR chased that down with seven wickets to spare.
The 24-year-old Gaikwad took on RR spinners, all around the park as he needed six off the last two balls of CSK's innings to get to his maiden hundred. While he missed the penultimate delivery, he smashed the final ball into the mid-wicket stands to become the youngest centurion for CSK in the IPL.
"Yeah, he could have been 135 if he had got more strike in the end overs. But it was a complete show of batsmanship. That's what I like about him, seeing how he put that innings together, how he surged in the second half of the innings. He was just tremendous to watch. He shows that you can play good cricket shots and still score big runs. And that's what I am proud of as a batsman. It was just remarkable and unbelievable. I will put him now in the KL Rahul category," Lara told on Star Sports.
Gaikwad also bagged the Orange Cap from KL Rahul, becoming the first batsman in IPL 2021 to score 500 or runs. The CSK opener now has 508 runs in 12 matches at an average of over 50 and a strike rate over 140.
"It was a slow wicket at the start and slightly damp, as the game progressed it got better. It was important for one of the batters to stay till the 14th or 15th over. I didn't manage to do it in the last few games thankfully it happened today. I am working on timing the ball really well and trying to maintain my shape. It has worked for me for many years. Right from when I started playing cricket, I have relied on timing," Gaikwad said at the post-match after CSK's loss.
Gaikwad has been with CSK since 2019. That season he did not get a chance to play, however, he "got to learn a lot" being in the dressing room with some of the best cricketers of the current generation.
"Today also I relied on timing and thankfully it is coming off. My selection in the CSK team in 2019 where I didn't get a chance to play, being in the dressing room I got to learn a lot. I got to know some routines, I got to know what hard work to go through, it was a very good learning curve for me. That one thing really helped me a lot. It was a dream, started really slow, didn't dream of getting a hundred, aim was to get to a total of maybe 160-170. I like it (Orange Cap) but I would have loved to be on the winning side today," added Gaikwad, who is playing his second IPL tournament.
CSK, who have already qualified for the playoffs, are set to next take on Delhi Capitals (DC) on Monday (Oct. 4) at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.