Chennai Super Kings (CSK) opener Ruturaj Gaikwad has been sensational in the 2023 Indian Premier League (IPL) season. After two consecutive half-centuries, he currently holds the Orange Cap for the tournament’s highest run-scorer, having amassed 149 runs so far.
Gaikwad’s sublime form was again on display during CSK’s recent 12-run win over the Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Monday, April 3. The right-hander scored a quickfire 57 off just 31 deliveries, including 7 fours and 3 sixes. His innings were pivotal in CSK posting a mammoth 217-run total on the board while batting first.
In a post-match interview with teammate Moeen Ali, Gaikwad revealed that he is not chasing personal milestones like the Orange Cap but is focused solely on contributing to his team’s success.
“To be honest, I am not looking at the Orange Cap or anything, just want to contribute to our team. We did not have a good season last year and giving a good start is the main priority for me and Devon Conway, and thankfully it has been happening in the last two games. Hopefully, I will continue and try to stay as consistent as possible,” Gaikwad said.
Gaikwad has formed a formidable opening partnership with New Zealand‘s Devon Conway, with the pair having now shared three hundred-run partnerships in the tournament. The duo’s on-field chemistry has been one of the highlights of CSK’s campaign so far, and Gaikwad credits their success to their understanding of each other’s strengths.
“Me and Conway are going well because we know exactly which bowler to target and who we will target. We generally do not speak about it but we get to know that. If a left-arm spinner comes on to bowl, Conway will take him on and I will do the same thing with off-spinners. We know exactly what each other’s strengths are and what we are good at. I think this is what we have been working on for the last season and hopefully, it worked today as well,” Gaikwad explained.
In the match against LSG, Gaikwad and Conway got CSK off to a flying start by stitching together a 110-run partnership in just 9.1 overs. While Gaikwad scored his second fifty of the season, Conway was dismissed for 47 runs off 29 deliveries.
Gaikwad’s form will be crucial for CSK as they look to improve upon their disappointing performance in the previous IPL season, where they failed to make it to the playoffs. With Gaikwad and Conway firing on all cylinders at the top of the order, CSK will be hopeful of a successful campaign this time.