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Gaikwad's return to form for CSK down to respecting the conditions: Jaffer

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Mumbai, April 20 (IANS) Former India cricketer Wasim Jaffer has attributed Chennai Super Kings opener Ruturaj Gaikwad’s return to form to taking his time to sort out his batting and also “respecting the (playing) conditions”.

Gaikwad was the highest run-getter in CSK’s winning campaign last year, scoring a mind-boggling 635 runs in 16 matches. He beat then-CSK team-mate Faf du Plessis by just two runs to wear the orange cap in 2021.

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But this year, the 25-year-old had been struggling for form with CSK skipper Ravindra Jadeja saying that everyone in the side needs to give him “good confidence”.

Against Gujarat Titans in the previous game at the MCA Stadium on April 17, Gaikwad hit a 48-ball 73 to emerge the highest scorer for his side, and while CSK lost the thrilling contest by three wickets on the penultimate ball of the match, Gaikwad’s return to form was the talking point.

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“I think he took his time. If you see his innings, he batted cautiously against (Mohd) Shami at the start. The first big shot he played was in the fourth over, he took his time, respected the conditions. He looked more solid. And then after that when he came into the groove, we saw the old Ruturaj. That’s been his pattern. Once he gets going, now you can probably see him scoring consistently. Good to see him come to form,” Jaffer was quoted as saying by espncricinfo.

West Indian great Ian Bishop too was impressed with the way Ruturaj and Ambati Rayudu, who scored 46, attacked Alzarri Joseph’s short balls.

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“I think there were one or two innings, he got a 17 or 18 and he looked in reasonably good touch but didn’t kick on. As he got into the innings, the positivity as I said, because when Gary Kirsten was interviewed, he said he got Alzarri Joseph for his extra pace. He felt pace was going to work.

“Rayudu and Gaikwad really took it on; I was sitting there and thinking what confidence to play the short ball in the way they did, and then one or two drives down the ground. It was great to see Gaikwad branch off into a solid, aggressive role after getting that start.”

–IANS

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