Ruturaj Gaikwad, a free-stroking but technically sound opener, has set the ongoing IPL 2021 on fire with his blistering knocks.
The 24-year old Gaikwad, slammed his maiden IPL ton on Saturday in the match against Rajasthan Royals in Abu Dhabi in a most thrilling way, hitting the final ball of the innings for a maximum. He raced to his hundred in just 60 balls, smashing five huge sixes and nine boundaries.
The batsman came into the limelight after his late-season heroics for CSK in IPL 2020. CSK were losing games, but Gaikwad was among the runs and hit three consecutive half-centuries back then.
Continuing his superb batting form from IPL 2020, Gaikwad also played some entertaining knocks in the first leg of IPL 2021 in India. However, he is batting at a completely different level in UAE. His scores in the UAE leg of IPL 2021 read: 101*(60), 45(38), 40(28), 38(26), 88*(58), 62*(49), 72(53), 65*(51).
During his maiden century innings, the opener who represents Maharashtra at the domestic level showed his elegant strokeplay and left everyone in awe. After Saturday’s knock, Gaikwad also became the first player to get to 500 runs in IPL 2021 and took the Orange Cap from KL Rahul.
He also became the seventh Chennai Super Kings batsman to get past 500 runs in an IPL season. Suresh Raina, who batted at No. 3 on Saturday, has done it three times for the three-time IPL champions.
Despite his slim figure, the CSK opener Ruturaj is capable of hitting big sixes. He already has struck 20 sixes this season in 12 matches, so far.
Gaikwad, who hails from Pune, has been a consistent performer for his state team Maharashtra. He was the highest run-getter for Maharashtra in the league stage of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy in 2018-19.
He rose through the age-group system of the Maharashtra team and consistently made it to the India A side as well. His batting revolves around deft touches and timing than the modern-day power-hitting module that we see with most young batsmen.
At the IPL 2019 Player Auction, the Chennai Super Kings secured his services at his base price of Rs 20 lakh. He has already repaid them handsomely.