After a comprehensive victory by 9 wickets over Kings XI Punjab, CSK ended its campaign on a winning note this season. They ensured their third victory in a row as they bid goodbye to one of their most forgetful seasons in IPL history.
For a matter of fact, the last three games CSK has won has seen opener Ruturaj Gaikwad scoring half-centuries for the side. The right-handed batsman has only played six matches as he was made to quarantine himself after testing for COVID-19.
On his return as the regular opener, Gaikwad proved how crucial he can be in the opening slot for CSK in the next season. Even team’s head coach Stephen Fleming praised the youngster for his match-winning knocks after the win against RR.
“We couldn’t have played him earlier. In fact, we played him too early. Covid really knocked him around. We knew how good he was from the time we’ve had in the last two years and the pre-season in Chennai was outstanding. One of the disappointments was that he got sick, and the fact that it hung around for so long… people underestimate what it does to a player physically and mentally” Fleming said.
Gaikwad didn’t have a good debut after departing for a duck against the Mumbai Indians last month. The team put its faith on the youngster which he repaid by scoring three consecutive half-centuries and win three matches in a trot for CSK.
“We tried to get him into the game really early on and looking back it was probably too soon. So it wasn’t effective. We might have pushed him to get in there too quickly and he just wasn’t quite ready physically” he added.