Born on 31st January 1997, Ruturaj Gaikwad plays for Maharashtra state team and made his international debut in the recently conducted series against Srilanka. Ruturaj started playing leather ball cricket by the age of 5. He went to watch a game between New Zealand and Australia in Pune’s Nehru Stadium in 2003. Watching Brendon McCullum scoop Aussie fast bowlers hooked the six-year-old kid to the sport. In this segment we will discuss the journey of Ruturaj Gaikwad.
Ruturaj joined Dilip Vengsarkar Cricket Academy in Pune at the age of 11. He soon moved up to play in Maharashtra U 14 and U16 teams.
Gaikwad has never failed to impress since started playing cricket at higher level.
Ruturaj Gaikwad grabbed the spotlight in his during his U 19 days, finishing the second-highest scorer in the 2014-15 Cooch Behar Trophy. He scored 826 runs in 6 games with three centuries, and a half-century.
The same season he scored a 522 run partnership in Maharashtra Invitation Tournament in 2015, scoring a triple century in the game. His performances helped him to get selected in the India U 19 probable’s for the 2016 U 19 Cricket World Cup.
The following Cooch Behar Trophy season, Ruturaj impressed again as he scored 4 hundred and 3 fifties while tallying 875 in 7 matches.
Ruturaj made his First Class, List A and T20 debut for season of 2016-17 at the age of 19.
He immediately burst into the scene being 3rd highest run scorer in Vijay Hazare Trophy 2016-17 scoring 444 at an average of 63.42 and Strike Rate of 92.88 with 132 being highest.
Ruturaj became a regular in Maharashtra’s Ranji team for the next season and went on to score 342 runs in 10 games.
However, his limited-overs format game took a slight hit and his form dipped, in comparison to the last season. Failing to convert his starts, Ruturaj scored 330 runs in 7 games in the 2017-18 Vijay Hazare Trophy.
The 2018-19 domestic season was the turning point for Ruturaj, as his performances in both Ranji and Vijay Hazare Trophy opened the doors of India A for the youngster. Ruturaj scored 456 runs in 11 Ranji Games and 365 runs in the Vijay Hazare Trophy.
The big moment came playing for India A. In July 2019, playing for India A, Gaikwad amassed 677 runs with an average of 112.83 in the series against SL A and WI A in 8 matches and then he scored 154 runs against NZ A in 3 matches that were held in January 2020.
With such strong performances for Maharashtra and India A, Gaekwad finally got selected in the IPL where he was bought by the Chennai Super Kings.
However, he didn’t get any subsequent game in his first season of IPL 2019.
With IPL 2020 moving to UAE, Raina withdrawing due to personal reasons and his own strong domestic performances, Ruturaj was seen as the front runner for the playing 11. However things took a different turn when he got Covid positive and missed Pre-season camp and initial matches.
Ruturaj got 3 games here and there in 2020 IPL to bat on different positions till the middle of tournament.
However with early season crashing of CSK he got to bat at his favorite opening position in last 3 matches and he proved himself hitting 3 consecutive fifties.
With his spot sealed for next season, Ruturaj couldn’t start the 2021 IPL on high as he failed in first 3 matches.
However he came back stronger scoring 64, 33 and 75 against KKR, RCB and SRH, all in winning cause.
With an average of 38 , Gaikwad hasn’t done justice to his talent in FC cricket however, given his temperament and technique, he should be able to better his already reasonable returns
Selectors rewarded him with India callup for Sri Lanka series based on his List A & T20 performance. Although, Gaikwad wasn’t able to convert his starts on his India’s debut series against Sri Lanka. He perished after making an 18-ball 21 in his debut and scored 14 runs of in the third and final T20I.
Ruturaj failed to make an impact in first two games but with age in his side he will surely get his chances to showcase his talent.
List A – 59 matches | 2681 Runs | 187* Highest |47.87 Average | 97.59 Strike Rate
T20 – 46 matches | 1337 runs | 82* highest | 32.60 average | 130.43 strike rate
FC – 21 matches | 36 innings | 1349 runs | 129 highest | 38.54 Average | 50.84 strike rate