Former West Indies captain Brian Lara praised Chennai Super Kings opener Ruturaj Gaikwad, saying that the youngster's unbeaten 101 was a complete show of batsmanship. Lara added that he liked how Gaikwad accelerated in the second half of his knock.
Gaikwad scored an unbeaten 101 in 60 balls to take Chennai to 189/4 in Abu Dhabi on Saturday. Though Yashasvi Jaiswal and Shivam Dube stole his thunder with half-centuries to lead Rajasthan to a seven-wicket win, many couldn't take their eyes off from how Gaikwad paced his innings. After completing his half-century in 43 balls, Gaikwad blasted 51 runs off next 17 balls.
"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," Lara said on Star Sports.
Lara mentioned that Gaikwad's impressive knock was full of textbook cricketing shots. "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," added Lara.
Gaikwad now leads the Orange Cap race, surging past Punjab Kings captain KL Rahul. Gaikwad now has 508 runs in 12 matches at an average of 50.80 and a strike rate over 140.33. He will now have the chance to extend his rich vein of form when Chennai faces Delhi Capitals on Monday in Dubai.