IPL 2023: “He was punishing good balls as well,” Hardik Pandya in awe of Ruturaj Gaikwad’s strokeplay

The CSK opener slammed 92 off 50 balls in the IPL 2023 opener against Gujarat Titans.

Ruturaj Gaikwad | BCCI/IPLRuturaj Gaikwad put on a show with the bat in Chennai Super Kings’ (CSK) five-wicket defeat against Gujarat Titans (GT) in the IPL 2023 opener at Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Friday (March 31).

Opening the innings, Gaikwad slammed 92 off 50 balls. His knock was studded with 4 fours and 9 sixes, which included some glorious lofted drives over extra cover and crisp pull shots.

His effortless strokes also impressed opposition skipper Hardik Pandya, who showered rich praise on Gaikwad.

“At one point, it looked like CSK would score 220-230. We were finding it difficult on what area we should bowl at Ruturaj. I genuinely felt that today we could not get him out at all,” Pandya told reporters.

“Some of the shots that he played were not bad balls, he was punishing the good balls as well. As a bowling unit and as a captain, that made my job more difficult,” he added.

GT captain also said that if Ruturaj Gaikwad will continue this kind of form, he will do “wonders” for Indian cricket.

“Some of the shots Rutu played was nothing to do with the bowling. He played some outrageous shots. Full credit to him the way he batted and if he continues to do so he is going to do wonders for Indian cricket.

“He has the game and I am sure when the time comes Indian cricket team will back him enough,” he stated.

While Hardik Pandya was happy to start the tournament with a victory, he feels they were not at their best.

“Obviously very good to start with the win. A Couple of shots from myself and Shubman put us in a difficult situation but again Rahul (Tewatia) brought the best out of his ability and the Rashid came in and showed what he can do. We can learn quite a thing from this victory,” he said.

Titans required 41 off the last five overs but CSK managed to take the game to the last over. It needed a cameo from Rashid Khan (10* off 3) to settle the nerves.

“We lost one too many wickets. It’s not about blaming it is accepting our mistakes. Within the team we have set quite high standards so even we would have lost the game we would have learned a lot. We still have hope that we were not at our best but we’re still competing,” he said.

“We weren’t surprised with what Rashid did. We expected this from Rashid. We show a lot of trust and confidence in his batting and he has shown it again and again,” added Pandya.

(The Indian Express Inputs)


By Salman Anjum - 01 Apr, 2023

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