Chennai Super Kings defeated Kolkata Knight Riders by six wickets to increase their points tally to 10 points from 13 matches in the 13th season of the Indian Premier League. It was a clinical performance by the CSK players as they chased down a target of 173 runs in the last over. CSK changed their strategy after their eighth loss and started giving more chances to young players in the team.
One of the youngsters, Ruturaj Gaikwad has impressed everyone with back-to-back fifties. He played an assured innings of 72 runs to power his side to a victory against KKR.
CSK captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Thursday also heaped rich praise on Gaikwad, saying the young opener is “one of the most talented players going around”.
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“(The changes) are a conscious effort. We want to give games to people who haven’t played and we need them to grab those opportunities. Ruturaj we’d seen him in the nets, but then he got Covid positive and took 20 days. We didn’t have much time to have a look at him. Unfortunate but he’ll remember this season,” said Dhoni at the post-match presentation.
“He’s one of the most talented players going around. What makes it difficult is he’s not somebody who speaks a lot! So sometimes it becomes difficult for the management to gauge a player.”
Gaekwad, who had tested COVID-19 positive in the lead up to the tournament, has all the shots and his style of play is pleasing to the eye. Things did not look bright for him after he failed in his first three innings (0, 5, 0).
“Once he started going in the innings, you could see that he was hitting the ball the way he wants to and he was planning. When we made him play the first game, he got out, stepped out.
“It becomes difficult to tell whether it was the pressure that made him step out or whether that’s his natural game. One ball isn’t enough,” Dhoni said.
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The CSK skipper also praised Ravindra Jadeja for his match-winning cameo, which included two sixes in the final over the game.
“This season Jadeja has been fantastic. He’s been the only batsman in our team who has taken the job of scoring in the last few overs. Not just using his power but through point if the field is up.”I feel throughout the season we needed someone by his side,” Dhoni added.
(with PTI inputs)