Following their thumping 9-wicket victory over Kings XI Punjab, Chennai Super Kings ended their IPL 2020 campaign on a high with three successive wins.
Although, it was a dismal campaign by their lofty standards, where they failed to qualify for the IPL playoffs for the first time they can still take away a lot of positives. They have a real gem at their hands in the form of Ruturaj Gaikwad, who scored his third consecutive fifty in the game against KXIP.
Faf du Plessis, CSK’s highest run-getter in this edition, showered praise on his young opening partner. On being asked about the 23-year-old Gaikwad at the post-match presentation, du Plessis said: “He (Gaikwad) looks like a young Kohli doesn’t he?”
Appreciating the youngster’s maturity at the crease, the South African further added “What stands out for me is that he stands up to pressure. That’s the quality you look for in young players to see if they get to the next level.”
Chasing KXIP’s competitive total of 153, CSK, in reply, got off to the best possible start with the opening duo of Ruturaj Gaikwad and the fit-again Faf du Plessis stitching a solid 82-run opening stand.
While du Plessis was dismissed in the 10th over, Gaikwad continued the onslaught and shifted gears to up the ante. He completed his third consecutive fifty of this edition and engaged in a 72-run stand alongside Ambati Rayudu (30 off 30 balls) to take his side home in their last game of the season.
Gaikwad finished at an impressive 62* (off 49 balls; 4×6, 6×1) and was awarded the ‘Man of the Match’ award for his anchoring knock.
It must be noted that Gaikwad had the worst possible start to his IPL career in this edition, as he was dismissed for two ducks on the trot and was then dropped as CSK struggled with their batting.
The Maharashtra opener, though, grasped the second opportunity with both hands and it is a no brainer that his three fifties were instrumental in CSK winning their final three league games.