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‘He’s a pleasure to watch’ – MS Dhoni heaps praise on Chennai youngster for his performance against Gujarat

MS Dhoni-Ruturaj Gaikwad
MS Dhoni-Ruturaj Gaikwad (Source: Twitter)

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‘He’s a pleasure to watch’ – MS Dhoni heaps praise on Chennai youngster for his performance against Gujarat

The defending champions Gujarat started their Indian T20 League 2023 campaign with a 5-wicket win against Chennai in the opening match of the season at the Narendra Modi stadium in Ahmedabad. Gujarat skipper Hardik Pandya asked Chennai to bat first after winning the toss and Chennai posted 178 for the loss of 7 wickets in their 20 overs.

At some point, it looked like Chennai could easily cross the 200-run mark, but they kept losing wickets at regular intervals and missed a chance to post a winning total. The main anchor of the Chennai batting was Ruturaj Gaikwad, who impresses everyone with his knock of 92 runs off 50 balls, hitting four fours and nine sixes. Other than him, none of the other batters could score big for Chennai. Gujarat chased the winning total losing 5 wickets with four balls to spare. Shubman Gill scored 63 off 36 balls, but it was Rashid Khan and Rahul Tewatia, who finished things off for Gujarat to start the season with a win.

Chennai skipper MS Dhoni admitted that his team was 15-20 runs short and the batters couldn’t take the advantage of a good start. Apart from that, Dhoni also praised Gaikwad for his knock that took Chennai to the competitive total.

“We were slightly short. Another 15-20 runs would have been good. We all know there would be a little bit of dew. Also, it was a 7.30 pm start. So the ball holds on a little early on. Also, we could have batted properly in the middle overs as opposed to trying to muscle the ball,” Dhoni said during the post-match presentation.

“Ruturaj Gaikwad was brilliant. He times the ball well and he’s a pleasure to watch. The way he picks his options is pleasing to watch. He has groomed himself very well, and makes the right decisions under pressure,” he further added.

‘He (Gaikwad) is going to do wonders for Indian cricket – Hardik Pandya

Opponent captain Pandya was also in complete awe of Gaikwad’s knock and said that the 26-year-old made things difficult for him as the skipper. Pandya also believes that Gaikwad will be doing wonders for Indian cricket.

“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. 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,” Pandya said.

“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 added.

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