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IPL 2021: Ruturaj Gaikwad bounces back strongly for CSK after initial hiccups

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Last year’s IPL wasn’t short of drama for Ruturaj Gaikwad. The Maharashtra right-hand batsman wasn’t allowed to initially enter the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) bubble because of a positive COVID-19 test.

And when Ruturaj Gaikwad did finally make the CSK playing XI, he had to be dropped from the team soon as he failed to make his first few opportunities count.

Life, however, did give Gaikwad a chance for redemption when CSK’s premature exit from the IPL 2020 forced the think-tank to trial some of their young talents during the final phase of the campaign with an eye towards the future.

Like a little inspiration, the 24-year-old struck three successive half-centuries in CSK’s three successive wins to end the tournament.

It was a statement from Ruturaj Gaikwad, to not just the fans out there but also his own team, not to ever again question his talent and promise as he commanded a regular place in the CSK batting unit.

Ruturaj Gaikwad

Ruturaj Gaikwad celebrates his fifty

Ruturaj Gaikwad bounces back strongly for CSK after initial hiccups

While there haven’t been, thankfully, any health concerns for him this IPL, the theme of fall and resurgence still seems attached to the Ruturaj Gaikwad story.

Unlike IPL 2020, the cricketer didn’t have any hurdles to train properly with the rest of the CSK squad ahead of the tournament. But he didn’t again make the brightest of starts, enduring failures in his team’s first three matches.

Ruturaj Gaikwad, however, once again showed his knack of bouncing back strongly with a half-century against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and backing it up with another magnificent one versus Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) on Wednesday (April 28).

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Gaikwad adjusted just as swiftly to a true bouncy track in Mumbai as he did to a slow, spin-friendly one in Delhi, exhibiting his range against all kinds of bowling.

The innings of 75 off 42 deliveries against SRH included 12 fours as Ruturaj Gaikwad established why he is one of the bright young talents in Indian cricket and helped CSK progress smoothly in their chase of the 172-run target.

Ruturaj Gaikwad boasts of an improving first-class, List A and T20 record at the domestic level and has also been part of multiple India ‘A’ assignments in recent years. If he continues to perform well for CSK, Gaikwad will definitely strengthen his case for higher recognition from the national selectors.