Chennai Super Kings' head coach Stephen Fleming was left impressed with Ruturaj Gaikwad and called him a fluent player as he compiled a well made 53-ball-72 to help CSK chase 173 against KKR on Thursday. He also added that Gaikwad's timing helps him find the gaps and he has a lot of power.
CSK young batsman Ruturaj Gaikwad had the worst possible start to the IPL 2020 getting infected with Covid-19 and then struggling with scores of 0, 5, and 0 on returning back to the team. But, he has made up for it in the last two games, setting up the base for a struggling Chennai and helped them cross the line. The highly rated opener, who averages close to 50 in List A cricket, has made back-to-back half centuries, helping his side win against RCB and KKR respectively and has stamped his authority with sheer class of his strokeplay.
After a brilliant six-wicket win over KKR in Dubai, CSK head coach, Stephen Fleming was quite happy with the youngster's performance and rued the fact that Gaikwad had to miss the early part of the season due to Covid-19 but is happy that he has proved himself to be the right player for the team.
"He has done well in the last couple of games. We're happy that he's taken the opportunity. We look back at the missed opportunities when he got COVID. He missed out the pre-season, he came back after about 4-5 weeks in isolation. We tried to get him involved but he was a long way from being ready. So we're just happy now to create the opportunity and he has shown us that he's the right player," Fleming said in the post-match press conference.
The former Kiwi skipper also praised Gaikwad's timing, terming him a fluent player and also revealed that he was batting really well in net sessions in Chennai before the team left for the UAE.
"He has got lovely timing, a very fluent player. It allows him to hit the ball in the gaps, a lot of power for a small guy. His net sessions in Chennai before we arrived were outstanding and we're disappointed that he had to miss the first 2-3 weeks with us."
Fleming was also full of praise for Ravindra Jadeja, who provided the finishing touch to CSK's chase as he made a brilliant 11-ball-31 and hit a six off the ball final ball to power CSK to an incredible win. He added that Jadeja trains hard and is batting with a free mind and has been outstanding for the Men in Yellow, this season.
"He's (Jadeja) very free (in his batting). He's tried to play too smart but he's now playing free. He trains very hard, he's hitting a lot of balls and that's paying off. His finishing in the middle-to-later parts of the tournament has been outstanding," said Fleming.
CSK might well be out of the tournament but they are playing the party spoilers for other sides, who are vying hard to seal a place in the playoffs. The last placed CSK have played 13 games, winning five and losing eight games in what has been one of their worst performances in IPL histry.