Ruturaj Gaikwad scored his maiden international fifty in the third game in Visakhapatnam on Tuesday after setbacks in the first two matches of the South Africa T20I series.
Ruturaj Gaikwad went after the express pace of Anrich Nortje in the fifth over of the India innings, hammering four fours on way to making 57 off 35 deliveries. In 6 T20Is, the opener had scored 120 runs averaging 20.
After setting up India’s 48-run win, Ruturaj Gaikwad said that one was bound to have “really bad days” in T20, but he had tried to remain mentally consistent after an unremarkable Indian Premier League season.
“I had a really well last year. So obviously a lot of people come with a lot of expectations when you have such a great year, in IPL and in domestic cricket,” Gaikwad said.
“In this IPL, the wickets were slightly bowler-friendly, there were not many flat wickets, there were two-paced wickets, the ball was turning, and there was some swing. So in the IPL in three-four games I got out to good balls, and some dismissals, a good shot went into the fielder’s hands.”
Ruturaj Gaikwad had impressed with 635 runs at a strike rate of 136.26 in IPL 2021 even winning Orange Cap but his tally came down to 368 in IPL 2022, with a strike rate of 126.46. The 25-year-old said that he was dismissed in two-three IPL games while playing good strokes. In 14 matches with Chennai Super Kings in IPL 2022, Ruturaj Gaikwad scored 368 runs, with a high score of 99.
Ruturaj Gaikwad Admits One Was Bound To Have Really Off Days And Bad Days In T20 Cricket So It Was About Keeping A Positive Mindset
After KL Rahul’s injury ruled him out of the South Africa T20Is, Ruturaj Gaikwad got his opportunity at the top of the order but managed 23 and 1 in Delhi and Cuttack before his fifty resulted in India’s first win in the ongoing T20Is to keep the series alive.
“It is part and parcel of T20 cricket. You are going to have off days and really bad days. It is a matter of staying consistent mentally and trusting your process. Coming into this series, I felt the first two wickets were slightly on the tacky side, so coming here, good wicket, I played my game.”
“It was about keeping a positive mindset. It was slightly sticky for the first couple of overs, so we were thinking that we should not lose a wicket, and then we should try to maximise the powerplay from the fourth over onwards. Luckily, it worked out for me as well as Ishan (Kishan).”
Ruturaj Gaikwad cut, charged, and clipped Anrich Nortje for fours but also had to weave inside the line of a bouncer that grazed his helmet grille and flew past the ’keeper.
“As I said, we were looking to maximise and so I kept taking my chances,” Gaikwad told Yuzvendra Chahal on the BCCI website.
“I wasn’t thinking that I’ve already got two-three boundaries in the over. It was just that if it was in my zone, I would go for the boundary. I was looking to continue an aggressive mindset.”
Ruturaj Gaikwad scored 57 off 35 balls and his inning was part of a 97-run opening stand with Ishan Kishan, which came in the first 10 overs. He was the aggressor in the partnership, hitting seven fours and two sixes.
If the selectors decide to go for the T20I World Cup 2022 with just one of Ishan Kishan and Ruturaj Gaikwad then, based on the current form, the former seems to have an edge, with his chart-topping 164 runs and an average of 54.67 trumping the latter’s 81 runs at 27.00 after the same number of games in the ongoing Proteas series.