Dhoni, Fleming Laud Ruturaj For His Outstanding Knock

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Dubai: Chennai Super Kings coach Stephen Fleming and captain MS Dhoni lauded opener Ruturaj Gaikwad for his outstanding performance against Rajasthan Royals on Saturday.

Ruturaj made 101* off 60 balls, becoming the youngest Super Kings batsman to score a century in IPL.

“It was a magnificent innings. It is not often that you have a centurion in your side and you come away with a loss. We will be a bit flat around that but the team will celebrate an individual performance that was of high class,” Fleming said in a post-match press conference.

“As the dew settled, the pitch got better and better. The second half of our innings showed that as well. Initially there was a bit of stickiness, but once the dew settled it became an absolute road. It was quite different to any of the pitches we’ve played so far.”

Chennai Super Kings captain MS Dhoni praised Ruturaj Gaikwad after the youngster scored an unbeaten 101 off 60 balls against Rajasthan Royals in Abu Dhabi.

“I think initially it was stopping a bit, which we saw with their wrist spinners. As the innings progressed, it started coming on well, Rutu’s was an outstanding knock. When you lose the game, it can get brushed under the carpet but it was a brilliant knock. He batted very well to get us up to 190,” Dhoni said in the post-match presentation.

“The batsmen need to assess quickly what a good score is. In T20s, you tend to go hard and then realise it’s not a 160-180 wicket. They’ve done it well, assessed really well and didn’t let the pressure get to the middle order,” he added.

Ruturaj, who became the highest run-scorer in this IPL 2021, said his focus is on timing the ball.

“It was a slow wicket at the start, as the game progressed it got better,” he said after picking up the Player of the Match award. “It was important for one of the batters to stay till the 14th over. I am working on timing the ball really well and trying to maintain my shape. It has worked for me.

“Right from when I started playing cricket, I have relied on timing. Being in the CSK dressing room, I got to learn a lot. I got to know some routines which was a very good learning curve for me. Didn’t dream about getting a hundred. But I would have loved to be on the winning side.”

The coach said the knock was a “continuation of Ruturaj’s journey.”

“It’s another continuation of the young man’s journey. Our expectations have always been very high. Others are just starting to realize why we have such high regard for him. His performance today was magnificent. We are really proud of him and are really pleased with his progress. The way he is playing is outstanding,” he said.

Talking about the pitch, Fleming said batting became easier as the game progressed.

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