IPL 2021: Ruturaj Gaikwad's ability is phenomenal, writes Ramiz Raja

Ramiz Raja
Filed on April 22, 2021
Ruturaj Gaikwad of the Chennai Super Kings plays a shot during the match against the Kolkata Knight Riders. (BCCI)

Ruturaj should be grateful that he has MS Dhoni as a leader

I once asked the great Viv Richards about his batting philosophy and technique. And the West Indian mentioned, amongst other points, two paramount things that were the bedrock of his genius -- remaining side on when playing the ball and getting to the pitch of the ball.

No wonder it seemed as if a lot of rubbish stuff were being bowled at him because he would pick the length so early and move forward or back to make lengths into either a half volley or a half tracker.

The other things that can be used as the matrix for judging a batting talent is playing the short ball and the length ball after -- so as to get a clue about footwork, balance and bravery bit - reading the spin off the hand and using feet against spin.

Watch Ruturaj Gaikwad in the IPL games for he not only ticks all the talent boxes, but his play is compulsive viewing.

At 24, his CV may still be a work in progress, but his ability is phenomenal. And this was the base of his selection even after three straight failures at this year’s IPL.

Great captains can help average players become class players. Ruturaj should be grateful that he has MS Dhoni as a leader who has his back and who has made many a ‘half players’ into extremely good cricketers.

Just the other night against the Kolkata Knight Riders, Ruturaj had to deal with the guile and the spin unorthodoxy of Sunil Narine and Varun Chakravarthy and the pace and the class of the world’s leading fast bowler, Pat Cummins.

It was a great examination of his talent. And he passed that test with a classy 64 off 42 balls. Not only was he at ease reading the fast ones and the leg cutters off the hand, but his handling of Prasidh Krishna and Cummins bedazzled all.

Time and again, the short ball was hit over mid-wicket fence with grace and authority. He has time at his disposal and languid elegance which makes him a special player to watch.

His batting is an eclectic mixture of the classical and the modern, of a gentleman and a rebeI, of a sheriff and a hitman!

I like him immensely and I think you will too. Remember the name!

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