Not just Shubman Gill, even in-form Ruturaj Gaikwad deserves a national call up now

Not just Shubman Gill, even in-form Ruturaj Gaikwad deserves a national call up now

Against West Indies A and Sri Lanka A, Ruturaj slammed two unbeaten tons and two half-centuries, one of which was 99 against the Caribbean Colts in the last ODI.

Ruturaj Gaikwad
Ruturaj Gaikwad. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Indian cricket is abuzz with Shubman Gill, the talented young batsman from Punjab who got overlooked for the tour of the West Indies starting August 3. The 19-year-old Shubman slammed three consecutive half-centuries in four games for India A against the West Indies A in a recently concluded ODI series and bagged the man of the series award.

Yet he was not picked, leaving former captain Sourav Ganguly disappointed. But while talks were over Shubman’s exclusion, another batsman also failed to attract the selectors’ notice and he did even better than Shubman! Ruturaj Gaikwad has been in a phenomenal form for India A. The opening batsman from Maharashtra has scored 677 runs in his last eight outings for India A at an average of 112 plus and strike rate of 116 plus.

In these games against Sri Lanka A and the West Indies A, Ruturaj slammed two unbeaten centuries and two half-centuries, one of which was 99 against the Caribbean Colts in the last ODI. In the fifth and final game of the series, it was Ruturaj and Shubman (69 off 40) that saw India scripting an eight-wicket win and bagging the series 4-1.

Ruturaj, who is from Pune and has played in various age-group teams for Maharashtra, made his first-class debut in 2016 and List A debut the following year. He has played only 12 first-class games in which he has scored 813 runs at an average of 38.71 with two centuries. In 39 List A games, however, he has been more effective as he has made over 2,000 runs at an average of 57 and strike rate of 101 plus while in the T20s, he has a strike rate of 125 plus. Ruturaj has already made five centuries in his List A career which has spanned only two years now but already saw 39 games.

Ruturaj started playing cricket when he was 4-5

Ruturaj said he started playing cricket when he was just four-five years of age. “I took up cricket when I was 4-5 years old and since then I have been playing with the leather ball with no proper guidance at the initial level. Professional training started when I joined Vengsarkar Cricket Academy at the age of 12,” he was quoted as telling Sportswiki.

Ruturaj made an impressive List A debut for Maharashtra by slamming a hundred against Himachal Pradesh. He played in Vijay Hazare Trophy at the age of 2o and scored 444 runs in just seven matches at an average of 63.42 with one century and three fifties. He then started making headlines with consistent performances for India A and bagged a contract with Chennai Super Kings in Indian Premier League 2019. His twin consecutive innings of 187 not out in 136 balls and 125 not out in 94 balls against Sri Lanka A at home in June have been particularly special.