Ruturaj Gaikwad (Image Credit: Twitter)
Ruturaj Gaikwad (Image Credit: Twitter)

Aakash Chopra believes Ruturaj Gaikwad taking time to force the pace at the top of the order is an area of concern for Team India. Ruturaj Gaikwad scored 23 runs off 15 balls and strung together a 57-run partnership for the opening wicket with Ishan Kishan. The CSK opener did hit three sixes but none of them seemed convincing.

Ruturaj Gaikwad scored 23 runs off 15 balls in the first T20I between India and South Africa. The Chennai Super Kings (CSK) opener did hit three sixes during his knock, but he was slightly fortunate to clear the boundary with a couple of those hits.

Ruturaj Gaikwad is not known to be an explosive batter at the top of the order [P/C: BCCI]
Ruturaj Gaikwad is not known to be an explosive batter at the top of the order [P/C: BCCI]

Aakash Chopra: Ruturaj Gaikwad’s Slow Strike Rate Is A Cause Of Concern

Ishan Kishan gave an example of his ability during the 1st T20I when he smashed 76 off 48 with the help of 11 fours and three sixes. While Ishan Kishan sparkled with a dazzling fifty, Ruturaj Gaikwad did start well but failed to convert it into a big total as he was out for 15-ball 23.

Hardik Pandya, who made his India comeback after an impressive IPL 2022, showed glimpses of his old self as he struck an unbeaten 31 off 12 with two fours and three sixes.

In a video shared on his YouTube channel, Aakash Chopra delved into some of the problem areas for Team India and said the following about Ruturaj Gaikwad: “It seems very good when you hear 211 but if you know that anything less than 200 is not going to work out, then you try and reach 225-230 if possible. So where did we get stuck? There are a lot of aspects there. If we start with Ruturaj Gaikwad, his strike rate in the first 10 balls is very low. He runs very slowly and that is a problem.”

Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The cricketer-turned-commentator added that the Pune-born player’s slow start would hurt the team if he doesn’t play a substantial knock.

Aakash Chopra observed: “And this is not about now, it was the case in the IPL as well. He goes at a strike rate of 80 to 90 in the first 10-12 balls. After that, if he plays a big knock then fine, else he pegs you back a little bit.”

Ruturaj Gaikwad generally prefers to get his eye in before playing the big shots. The silken stroke-maker might only end up losing his wicket if he is asked to take the attack to the opposition bowlers from the word go.

Aakash Chopra: Shreyas Iyer’s Underwhelming Strike Rate Against Pacers Is Another Problem

Aakash Chopra picked Shreyas Iyer’s slightly underwhelming strike rate against the pacers as another problem area for Team India. On Thursday, in the first T20I against South Africa in Delhi, Shreyas Iyer raced to 24 off eight balls, smashing three sixes off Tabraiz Shamsi in the process. In all, he looted 23 runs off ten balls against the spinners. But when the fast bowlers came on, he could manage only 13 off 17 balls.

He elaborated:“Ishan Kishan is playing like an absolute rockstar. It is extremely necessary to talk about Shreyas Iyer because his strike rate against spin is extremely high, he scores 24 runs off eight balls, but as soon as fast bowling comes, it is between 85 and 115.”

Shreyas Iyer was not too fluent against the pacers in the first T20I [P/C: BCCI]
Shreyas Iyer was not too fluent against the pacers in the first T20I [P/C: BCCI]
The 44-year-old highlighted that the issue was observed in the first T20I against the Proteas as well.

Aakash Chopra explained: “The difference between spin and pace is just radical, there is a massive difference. And that is what happened, when Ishan Kishan was dismissed, 20 runs had come off that over. But four to five singles in each of the next two overs, one each from Rabada and Nortje, and you were pegged back.”

Aakash Chopra concluded by stating that two overs each at the start and in the middle might not seem a lot but they comprise 20 percent of a T20 inning. He pointed out that Team India wouldn’t have even reached 211 in the last game if not for Hardik Pandya’s explosive batting in the last few overs.