IPL 2021: Special player Ruturaj Gaikwad receives plaudits from Sehwag, Lara and cricket fraternity after sensational century

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) opener Ruturaj Gaikwad put on a show on Saturday after he became the first player to score a century in UAE during this edition in the game against Rajasthan Royals. The 23-year-old’s innings was a joy to behold and the cricket fraternity were in awe of the CSK star’s talents including the likes of ex-cricketers Brian Lara and Virender Sehwag.

After a sedate start, Gaikwad took on the bowlers at will to send up with a scintillating 101*, claiming the Orange Cap in the process and the cricket fraternity heaped praise on the youngster, hailing him as the next big thing in Indian cricket.

Legendary West Indian batsman Brian Lara was amongst the many amazed by Ruturaj Gaikwad’s skillset as the CSK star dominated the proceedings in Abu Dhabi on Saturday. In the process, the 24-year-old leapfrogged KL Rahul to top the Orange Cap list, ahead of seasoned international players like Shikhar Dhawan and opening partner Faf du Plessis.

Speaking on Star Sports, Brian Lara said, “Yeah, he could have been 135 if he had got more strike in the end overs. But it was a complete show of batsmanship. That’s what I like about him, seeing how he put that innings together, how he surged in the second half of the innings. He was just tremendous to watch. He shows that you can play good cricket shots and still score big runs. And that’s what I am proud of as a batsman. It was just remarkable and unbelievable. I will put him now in the KL Rahul category.”

Meanwhile, former Indian fast bowler, Ajit Agarkar believes Gaikwad is carrying the CSK batting unit on his shoulders and is getting better with each passing game. He said on Sat Sports, “He took a little bit of time to get his first 30 rims and after that, he just took off. For me, he has been the find for CSK in the last season and a half. He is improving with every game. He is carrying their batting at the moment. He needed 6 off the last two balls. He misses one and hits the last one, it’s incredible.”

Meanwhile former Indian opener Virender Sehwag believes that Ruturaj Gaikwad has the potential to dominate world cricket. In a tweet soon after the CSK star complete his country, Virender Sehwag wrote, “Remember the name. #RuturajGaikwad. Special player, made for greater things. Matter of time before he dominates World Cricket.” Sehwag’s former Indian team colleagues Wasim Jaffer, Irfan Pathan and Mohammed Kaif were also in awe of Gaikwad’s heroics.

CSK head coach Stephen Fleming said that Gaikwad’s hundred was of high class and was really proud of how he has been shaping up as a cricketer. During his post-match press conference, Fleming said, “It was a magnificent inning, it is not many times that you have a centurion in your side and come up with a loss. The team will celebrate an individual performance that was of high class.”

The CSK head coach added, “Another continuation of the young man’s journey, our expectations have always been high, others are just starting to realise why we had such high regard for him but his performance against RR was magnificent. We are really proud of him and his progress and the way he is playing is outstanding.”