ANI Photo | “He played his role to perfection”: Former Indian fielding coach lauds Gaikwad’s blistering knock against Australia

Former Indian fielding coach R Sridhar lauded Ruturaj Gaikwad’s blistering knock against Australia in the third T20I, saying the opener showed his “class” with shots over extra cover and pulls over midwicket.
Despite India’s first loss in the five-match T20I series against Australia, Gaikwad stood out in the third T20I on Tuesday at Guwahati.
Gaikwad, with his brilliant knock, stood tall among other Indian batters, single-handedly taking the hosts to a daunting total of 222 in the first innings.
Carrying his bat through the Indian innings, Gaikwad brought up his maiden T20I century in the third of the five-match series.
After a cautious start, the opener from Maharashtra was able to crank up the tempo and take control of the innings in the death overs, finishing with a sizzling 123 off just 57 deliveries.
“It was amazing to watch. A knock like this from Rutu was just around the corner. The way he anchored the innings in the previous game in Thiruvananthapuram, and here he played his role to perfection,” Sridhar said in a conversation on JioCinema.
Gaikwad’s ability to accelerate through the innings, after taking a conservative approach in his first 30 deliveries, scoring at less than a run a ball, was also applauded by the fielding coach.
“Initially, he was batting on 27 off 33 balls and then accelerated just at the right time between the 11th and 15th overs. Towards the end, he marched towards a century and how! Those shots over extra cover, the pulls over midwicket, he showed his class. He never over-hit the ball even once during the innings,” he added.
Despite the batters, led by Gaikwad, putting up a stunning performance, the Indian bowlers failed to come to the party as all-rounder Glenn Maxwell guided Australia to a five-wicket victory with an explosive century at the Barsapara Cricket Stadium, keeping the five-match series alive.
Maxwell’s destructive knock in his 100th T20I spoiled the party for the hosts, who had gone into the game in the hope of sealing the series. Taking the Indian bowlers to the cleaners, Maxwell scored an unbeaten 104 off 48 balls, becoming the joint fastest Australian player to reach a century in T20Is after Aaron Finch and Josh Inglis.
The hosts will lock horns with the ‘Baggy Greens’ in the fourth T20I at the Shaheed Veer Narayan Singh International Stadium in Raipur on Friday. (ANI)

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