The young top-order batsman Ruturaj Gaikwad has been in the reckoning for international debut after consistent returns for India A. He was also a part of the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019 but didn’t get a game. However, he has already impressed skipper MS Dhoni with his technical brilliance.
Hailing from Pune, Ruturaj gained strides to become an India A regular on the back of some impressive performances for Maharashtra in 2018-19. He was their leading run-getter in last year’s Vijay Hazare Trophy too, with 365 runs in eight innings at 45.62 and a strike rate of 90.
Ruturaj Gaikwad, recently in an interview with ESPNCricinfo, revealed a conversation with MS Dhoni where he floored the former India skipper. It was a during a game between CSK and Kolkata Knight Riders when Andre Russell was going after the Chennai bowlers.
It was then Ruturaj came up with an idea to stop the Caribbean all-rounder. had thrashed five fours and three sixes during his half-century and all his shots were hit between the long-off and deep square leg. Ruturaj Gaikwad told Dhoni that it would have been better to keep a deep square-leg instead of short fine-leg against Andre Russell after the end of the innings.
“Mahi bhai, Andre Russell scoop aur paddle nahi karta. Short fine leg hataake deep square laga sakte the [Mahi bhai, Andre Russell doesn’t play the scoop or the paddle. We could have removed the short fine-leg and put a deep square-leg instead],” Ruturaj had said.
Ruturaj Gaikwad’s sharp cricketing brain impressed the Chennai Super Kings skipper MS Dhoni who had asked him to keep involved with the game like this all his life. The young cricketer had a small smile while recollecting the stories with his childhood hero.
“Thodha chhota karne ka plan tha, aur short fine top edge ke liye ruka tha. Aise hi involved rehna [The plan was to bowl a little shorter, and the short fine-leg was for the top edge. Stay involved with the game like this],” Dhoni had said in reply.
Previously, MS Dhoni also spotted Ruturaj Gaikwad during a Ranji Trophy match against Jharkhand. He was hit by a bouncer from Varun Aaron and was in tremendous pain but had to carry on Kedar Jadhav’s insistence.
The former India captain, who was present as Jharkhand’s mentor, came to meet Ruturaj during the lunch break and signed his bat and wrote on his plaster: “get well soon”. The Maharashtra cricketer will hope to keep up his good run and open his doors for the Indian team.