Ind vs NZ | Ruturaj Gaikwad is a seriously good player, says Graeme Swann

Ind vs NZ | Ruturaj Gaikwad is a seriously good player, says Graeme Swann

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Former England off-spinner Graeme Swann labelled Ruturaj Gaikwad as 'a seriously good player' and was glad that he found a place in India's T20I squad for the New Zealand series beginning Wednesday. Swann revealed how Michael Hussey had praised Gaikwad once, calling him 'an absolute gun'.

After a disappointing run in the T20 World Cup 2021, India are all set to play a three-match T20I series against New Zealand, beginning Wednesday, November 17. With the conclusion of the T20 World Cup India head coach Ravi Shastri’s tenure ended, while captain Virat Kohli too has stepped down from the leadership role in T20Is. This will be the starting point for Rahul Dravid as India head coach, while Rohit Sharma will begin his T20I captaincy stint for the Men in Blue.

The squad announced for the series includes Avesh Khan, Venkatesh Iyer and Harshal Patel, who got a maiden India call-up after an impressive IPL 2021, while Ruturaj Gaikwad too, was rewarded and returned to the side after having first played in the away Sri Lanka series  earlier this year. 

Gaikwad scored 635 runs from 16 matches in the IPL and was the highest run-scorer in the tournament. Ahead of the first T20I between India and New Zealand, former England off-spinner Graeme Swann labelled Gaikwad as "a seriously good player" and praised him for his IPL performances.

"He has been absolutely incredible for CSK and he's played some of the best knocks I’ve seen in the IPL," Swann said on "That 100 he scores in Abu Dhabi was just sensational. I’m glad that Gaikwad is in. Michael Hussey told me a couple of years ago 'this guy is an absolute gun'. Just look out for him. This was before he had done anything magical. He is a 9 out of 10, a work in progress, but a seriously good player."

Shreyas Iyer will be also making a comeback in the limited overs series after a long time. Iyer had sustained a shoulder injury during the home series against England in March, and was subsequently ruled out of the first phase of the IPL 2021 in India. Iyer played the second phase of IPL and scored 175 runs in eight innings, as Delhi finished third.

Swann lauded Iyer too, and was thrilled with the idea that he and Gaikwad could feature in India's top-four during the New Zealand series.

"Shreyas Iyer is a glorious man to watch bat," he said. "But he has had his ups and downs. He has had some incredible performances and then some weaker ones. He is an 8 for me but could well easily be a 10. He can get there one day. I love the fact that Gaikwad and Iyer can be in that top 4."

The first of three India-New Zealand T20Is will be played in Jaipur on Wednesday, November 17.

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