Chetan Sharma has praised Ruturaj Gaikwad saying that the right-hand batsman will go and do wonders for the country wherever he will play. The BCCI chief selector further added that Ruturaj is rewarded for his stellar performance in the IPL 2021 and the recently concluded Vijay Hazare Trophy.
The BCCI on Friday, December 31 announced an 18-member ODI squad for the three-match white-ball series against South Africa, which is scheduled to begin on January 19 in Paarl. Rohit Sharma, who was expected to begin his ODI captaincy stint during the upcoming white-ball series in South Africa was ruled out from the 18-member squad after he failed to recover from the hamstring injury. KL Rahul will lead the Men in Blue in the three-match ODI series against the Proteas.
Rutraj Gaikwad earned his maiden ODI call-up for the series, and the right-hand batsman will be looking forward to getting the best out of the opportunity. Gaikwad played a key role in the Chennai Super Kings's title victory in the 14th edition of the IPL, and the 24-year-old continued his sublime form in the Vijay Hazare Trophy.
Reflecting on the inclusion of Gaikwad in the ODI squad, Chief selector Chetan Sharma has said that he will do wonders for the country.
"Look, absolutely (he has) got the opportunity at the right time. He was in the T20 team and also now he is in the ODI team, wherever his place can be made, selectors are thinking he will go and do wonders for the country," Sharma said at the team selection press conference.
Gaikwad was the leading run-scorer in IPL 2021 as he amassed 635 runs from 16 matches at an average of 45.35. The right-hand batsman also scored 603 runs from five fixtures in the recently Vijay Hazare Trophy. Sharma revealed that Gaikwad is rewarded for his stellar performance with the bat in the recent outings.
“We have selected him (Ruturaj). Now it is up to the (team) management to see when he can play in the XI, when he is required and how to go about the combination, these things we will coordinate.
"But, at present, he (Ruturaj) was in the T20 side also against New Zealand and he is in ODI now. He is doing well and he is rewarded for that," he explained.
Gaikwad made his T20I debut against Sri Lanka in July 2020, and will now look forward to making an impressive ODI debut during the three-match series in South Africa.