Ruturaj Gaikwad
Ruturaj Gaikwad (Image Credit: Twitter)

Table of Contents

Chetan Sharma, the chief selector has heaped praise on in-form opener Ruturaj Gaikwad, who has been selected for the upcoming ODIs against South Africa, saying that the Maharashtra batter would “do wonders” for the national Indian team.

The Indian team is scheduled to play three one-day internationals against South Africa on January 19, 21, and 23 at Paarl and Cape Town respectively.

Chetan Sharma, Chairman Of Selectors (Pic Source: Twitter)
Chetan Sharma, Chairman Of Selectors (Pic Source: Twitter)

Chetan Sharma: Ruturaj Gaikwad Has Got The Opportunity At The Right Time

The team for the ODIs against Proteas was picked on Friday by the Chetan Sharma-led selection panel.

“Look, absolutely (he has) got the opportunity at the right time. He was in the T20 team and also now he is in the ODI team, wherever his place can be made, selectors are thinking he will go and do wonders for the country,” Chetan Sharma said at the team selection press conference.

Ruturaj Gaikwad. (Photo: IPL)
Ruturaj Gaikwad. (Photo: IPL)

The 24-year-old Ruturaj Gaikwad, who hails from Pune, was the leading scorer in the 2021 Indian Premier League after he amassed a staggering 635 runs and played a key role in Chennai Super Kings winning the title. He was the Orange Cap winner for scoring the most runs in IPL 2021 ahead of teammate fellow opener Faf du Plessis.

Chetan Sharma: Ruturaj Gaikwad Was Rewarded For Doing Well

According to Chetan Sharma, Ruturaj Gaikwad was rewarded for his stellar performance. He has so far played 2 T20Is scorings 35 runs. Both matches came against and in Sri Lanka.

“We have selected him (Ruturaj). Now it is up to the (team) management to see when he can play in the XI, when he is required and how to go about the combination, these things we will coordinate. But, at present, he (Ruturaj) was in the T20 side also against New Zealand and he is in ODI now. He is doing well and he is rewarded for that,” added Sharma, himself a former India pacer.

KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma---Image: Twitter
KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma—Image: Twitter

After his IPL high, the opener continued his dazzling form in the Vijay Hazare Trophy too and was the leading scorer there, aggregating 603 runs from five matches with 168 as his highest score. Ruturaj Gaikwad hit his fourth hundred of the Vijay Hazare Trophy 2021/22 to equal the record of most centuries in a single season of India’s premier domestic 50-over competition.

KL Rahul has been named as captain for the ODI series as Rohit Sharma is ruled out owing to an injury. Fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah will be vice-captain for the series. Fast bowler Mohammed Shami has been rested while Axar Patel and Ravindra Jadeja remain unfit.

Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has roared back into the limited-overs format and has been picked in the ODI side for the first time since 2017. He last played for India in the format in June 2017 in West Indies but fell out of favour as the wrist spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav were preferred ahead of him.

Spin bowling all-rounder Washington Sundar has been recovering from a finger injury he sustained in July last year and since then he has not played international cricket. The year 2022 will see him restart with the ODI series against the Proteas.

Indian Team For ODIs Against South Africa: KL Rahul (C), Shikhar Dhawan, Ruturaj Gaekwad, Virat Kohli, Surya Kumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, Venkatesh Iyer, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ishan Kishan (wk), Y Chahal, R Ashwin, W Sundar, J Bumrah (VC), Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Chahar, Prasidh Krishna, Shardul Thakur, Mohd. Siraj