CSK Will Back Ruturaj Gaikwad Despite Scoring 20 Runs In 3 IPL Games, Says Stephen Fleming
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CSK Will Back Ruturaj Gaikwad Despite Scoring 20 Runs In 3 IPL Games, Says Stephen Fleming

Ruturaj Gaikwad
Ruturaj Gaikwad (Image Credit: Twitter)

Stephen Fleming, Chennai Super Kings (CSK) coach backed opener Ruturaj Gaikwad despite the latter’s poor form in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021. The former New Zealand captain cited the 24-year-old batsman’s form in IPL 2020 as a reason for pursuing him.

Ruturaj Gaikwad, who amassed 204 runs at 51 in IPL 2020, has managed just 20 runs from his three outings this season. With a seasoned campaigner like Robin Uthappa waiting in the wings, experts in the cricket fraternity are already predicting a change at the CSK’s top-order, unlike CSK coach Stephen Fleming who wants to give him another chance to find lost form.

Ruturaj Gaikwad
Ruturaj Gaikwad (Image Credit: Twitter)

Stephen Fleming: CSK Will Continue To Back Ruturaj Gaikwad Despite Failure In First 3 IPL Games

However, coach Stephen Fleming clarified that according to the CSK philosophy, every player gets adequate opportunities before a decision is taken.

“Ya, Robin Uthappa is waiting. But Ruturaj Gaikwad earned a bit of time with the way he played last season. You know our philosophy. We give players a good amount of chances in what they are trying to do.

“We will continue to back him. Then see and make a decision soon. At the moment, we are backing a good young player,” said Stephen Fleming at the post-match presentation after CSK’s 45-run win over Rajasthan Royals at Mumbai on Monday.

Stephen Fleming and MS Dhoni (Photo Source: Twitter)
Stephen Fleming and MS Dhoni (Photo Source: Twitter)
Ruturaj Gaikwad had also registered three low scores in his first three matches of IPL 2020 before he was dropped from the XI. He came back strongly towards the end of the tournament, registering three consecutive half-centuries.
Ruturaj Gaikwad smashed a hat-trick of half-centuries in the last three games to amass 204 runs averaging 51 in 6 games after scoring 5 runs in the first 3 outings.
Coach Stephen Fleming also praised Moeen Ali for the way he has rejuvenated the side’s batting. The Englishman also took 3/7 to wreak havoc on the opposition.

Ruturaj Gaikwad’s Recent Form Not Convincing Enough

Ruturaj Gaikwad became a household name after a couple of brilliance for CSK in IPL 2020. Contracting COVID-19 after the side landed in UAE, the young player recovered and made a mark for himself after initial failures.

However, post-IPL 2021, his form hasn’t been something to talk about. He scored only 94 runs for Maharashtra in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy (SMAT) 2021 at 18.8, striking at 116. In the Vijay Hazare Trophy last month, he got a hundred but failed to get big scores in the rest of four innings. He finished the tournament with 182 runs at 36.4.

Robin Uthappa
Robin Uthappa

In contrast, Robin Uthappa scored 377 runs at 75.4 and at a strike rate of almost 132 in the Vijay Hazare Trophy. He even had a decent outing for Kerala in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20, where he got 161 runs at 32.2, striking at 140. With form on Robin Uthappa’s side, Ruturaj Gaikwad will need to step up soon and replicate his show from 2020.

Robin Uthappa’s recent returns have instilled his confidence ahead of his stint with his sixth IPL franchise. His runs for Kerala have come as an opener and his success in the IPL too – most notably for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) – came when he was batting at the top of the order.

Robin Uthappa has also featured in 46 ODIs and 13 T20Is for India and managed 7 fifties combined. In IPL though, he has played as many as 189 matches amassing 4607 runs averaging nearly 28. His last appearance for India was in 2015 against Zimbabwe and he has played consistently across all the years of the Indian Premier League (IPL).

After losing their first game to Delhi Capitals, CSK came back strongly to register successive big wins against Punjab Kings and Rajasthan Royals. Chennai Super Kings (CSK) strengthened their position at the second spot in IPL 2021 points table with a resounding victory over Rajasthan Royals (RR).

CSK beat RR by 45 runs at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. RR slid down to the sixth spot on the table with just one win in three matches.