ANI Photo | He was punishing good balls: GT skipper Hardik Pandya heaps praise on CSK opener Ruturaj Gaikwad

Gujarat Titans (GT) skipper Hardik Pandya heaped praise on Chennai Super Kings (CSK) batter Ruturaj Gaikwad for his brilliant knock against his team in the first match of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Friday.
Shubman Gill’s knock and Gujarat Titans batters’ collective performance overshadowed Ruturaj Gaikwad’s heroics as Gujarat Titans stood victorious over Chennai Super Kings by 5 wickets in the IPL 2023 opener.
Pandya said if the CSK opener had not got out after scoring 92 runs, Chennai would have ended up posting a total of 220-230.
“At one point, it looked like CSK would score 220-230. We were finding it difficult on what area we should bowl at Ruturaj. I genuinely felt that today we could not get him out at all. Some of the shots that he played were not bad balls, he was punishing the good balls as well. As a bowling unit and as a captain, that made my job more difficult,” Pandya said at a post-match press conference.
The opener will work “wonders” for Indian cricket, according to Pandya, if he maintains this kind of form.

“Some of the shots Rutu played was nothing to do with the bowling. He played some outrageous shots. Full credit to him the way he batted and if he continues to do so he is going to do wonders for Indian cricket. He has the game and I am sure when the time comes Indian cricket team will back him enough,” he said.
Pandya expressed satisfaction with the team’s performance while also noting that they were not at their best.
“Obviously very good to start with the win. A couple of shots from myself and Shubman put us in a difficult situation but again Rahul (Tewatia) brought the best out of his ability and the Rashid came in and showed what he can do. We can learn quite a things from this victory,” Pandya said.
Wriddhiman Saha and Shubman Gill fired on all the cylinders right from the very first ball. Even though Saha lost his wicket in the last ball of the fourth over, he had already achieved the task he was asked to do.
Gujarat needed 41 from their final five overs, but CSK was able to keep the game close. To calm the tension in the Gujarat locker room, Rashid Khan slammed a quickfire unbeaten 10 off 3 deliveries.
“We weren’t surprised with what Rashid did. We expected this from Rashid. We show a lot of trust and confidence in his batting and he has shown it again and again,” added Pandya. (ANI)

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