Ruturaj Gaikwad is going to do wonders for Indian cricket: Hardik Pandya
I genuinely felt that today we could not get Ruturaj Gaikwad out at all, says Hardik Pandya.
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Defending champions Gujarat Titans (GT) defeated Chennai Super Kings (CSK) by five wickets in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 season opener at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Friday, March 31. CSK opener Ruturaj Gaikwad batted brilliantly as Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Co. posted a competitive score of 178 in the first innings after being invited to bat first. In the chase, GT chased the total with four balls to spare.
GT skipper Hardik Pandya praised Gaikwad's efforts in the first game and said that he didn't believe they would be able to dismiss him. He claimed that some of his shots were outrageous and not bad balls, making his captaincy difficult. Notably, the 26-year-old batter struck 92 runs off 50 balls, including nine maximums and four fours.
“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 The Indian Express.
“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.
Ruturaj Gaikwad played some outrageous shots: Hardik Pandya
Ruturaj Gaikwad would do wonders for team India if he maintains this form, continued Pandya. The star all-arounder claimed he played some wild shots, which had nothing to do with poor bowling.
“Some of the shots Rutu played was nothing to do with the bowling. He played some outrageous shots. Full credit to him for 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," said the winning captain.
Pandya was pleased with the team's performance but said they weren't at their best. He stated that a couple of shots from him and Shubman Gill put them in a difficult situation, but Rahul Tewatia once again brought out the best in him, and Rashid came in and proved what he could do. Notably, the Afghan cricketer is named Player of the Match for his all-around performance.