Ruturaj Gaikwad joined an elite list of Indian openers to hit a T20I hundred. Gaikwad’s ton helped India post 222 for 3 in the first innings against Australia at the Barsapara Stadium in Guwahati.
With his maiden 3-figure score in T20 international cricket, the Chennai Super Kings opener became the 5th opener after Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Yashasvi Jaiswal and Shubman Gill to achieve the feat. Gaikwad remained unbeaten on 123 runs off 57 deliveries, smashing 13 boundaries and seven sixes.
India vs Australia: 3rd T20I Live Scorecard
Gaikwad switched on the afterburners late in his innings, smashing 24 runs against Aaron Hardie in the 18th over, before demolishing Glenn Maxwell, hitting him for 30 runs in the final over. He brought up his century in the 20th over, smashing Maxwell for a maximum to get to the 100-run mark off just 52 balls. Interestingly, Gaikwad became the first Indian batter to hit a T20I century against Australia.
Gaikwad got out for a diamond duck in the first T20I of the ongoing series in Visakhapatnam as he was run-out without facing a ball. However, the young opener bounced back from the setback with a fifty in India’s big win in the 2nd T20I in Thiruvananthapuram on Sunday.
T20I Hundreds as openers for India
Rohit Sharma (4) – 2015 to 2018
Shubman Gill (1) – 2023
Virat Kohli (1) – 2022
Yashasvi Jaiswal (1) – 2023
Ruturaj Gaikwad (1) – 2023
Gaikwad, on Tuesday, began on a cautious note as India lost in-form opener Yashasvi Jaiswal for 6 after which Ishan Kishan fell for his first duck in international T20Is.
India slipped to 24 for 2 in the powerplay but Ruturaj and captain Suryakumar Yadav stitched a 57-run partnership in which the skipper took charge and hit 39 off 29. However, Suryakumar fell at a crucial juncture, getting out to Aaron Hardie in the 11th over.
Ruturaj, who was happy to play second fiddle in his stand with Suryakumar, switched gears during his 100-plus stand with Tilak Varma as he brought out those impressive strokes, putting the pressure straight back on the Australia bowlers.
PEAKING AT THE RIGHT TIME?
After winning the IPL Orange Cap in 2021 with 635 runs, Gaikwad made his T20I debut in the same year. However, he had struggled to cement his place in the T20I side. After averaging just over 15 in 2021 and 2022, Ruturaj seems to have found consistency at the right time, in the lead-up to the T20 World Cup next year. The CSK opener has scored over 250 runs in 2023 in 8 matches at an average of over 60, and led India to Asian Games 2023 glory in Hangzhou.
In the 2022 IPL season, Gaikwad’s bat spoke volumes as he amassed 368 runs in 14 games. His performance was marked by three fifty-plus scores, highlighting his ability to convert starts into significant contributions. One of his most memorable innings came against Sunrisers Hyderabad, where he narrowly missed out on a well-deserved century by just one run. With an average of 26.29 and a strike rate of 126.46, Gaikwad’s 2022 campaign was a testament to his growing stature as a reliable opener.
The following year, in IPL 2023, Gaikwad took his game to even greater heights. He scored a remarkable 590 runs in 16 matches, further cementing his position as one of the key players for CSK. His highest score that season was an impressive 92, and he maintained an average of 42.14 with a strike rate of 147.50. Gaikwad’s consistency was evident as he hit four half-centuries, contributing significantly to CSK’s batting line-up.
Gaikwad’s consistent run-scoring has been a cornerstone of CSK’s success in the recent past. His ability to anchor the innings and accelerate when needed makes him a valuable asset to the team. His technique, coupled with his calm demeanor, has allowed him to tackle various bowling attacks with ease.
Nov 28, 2023