Ruturaj played a remarkable innings, says CSK coach Stephen Fleming
Chennai Super Kings head coach Stephen Fleming has lavished praise on young opener Ruturaj Gaikwad, saying he absorbed the pressure and played a "remarkable" innings which gave the team a chance against defending champions Mumbai Indians in their IPL match here.
Gaikwad hit a match-winning unbeaten 88 as CSK posted 156 for 6 after being reduced to 24 for four inside the powerplay.
"Today's innings was very special. It's okay to play an innings in a high-scoring game and dominate. But when you're the one to get a score to give your team a chance, then that's even more special," Fleming said at the post-match press conference.
"So, the way he went about his work, it had really absorbing pressure and then the ability to accelerate as the innings went on, it really was down to his hand, that we were able to create any pressure whatsoever. So, it was a remarkable innings from him."
Gaikwad anchored the innings with an unbeaten 58-ball knock before Dwayne Bravo led an excellent bowling display to power CSK to a crushing 20-run win over Mumbai Indians in the IPL here on Sunday.
"It was very special, as you know, we've had very big taps on him (Ruturaj) for some time. Even last time we were here, we rushed him back, probably too early given the shape he was in from COVID, but that's how much regard and respect we have for his ability.
"But the way he finished off the IPL here in Dubai last year, set him up for the first part in India, added the former New Zealand skipper.
While batsman Ambati Rayudu retired hurt after taking a blow on his body, pacer Deepak Chahar had cramps while bowling.
Giving an update on their fitness, the head coach said: "Rayudu X-ray was clear. So, it was just a bad bruise at the stage and he lost a little bit of power on his grip. So, yeah, we were up feared for that it could be broken, but the good news, it is not.
"And Deepak Chahar was cramped and will check that out tomorrow. So hopefully fingers crossed, they both will come through reasonably, okay.
In the game against Mumbai Indians, CSK skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni came out to bat ahead of Ravindra Jadeja and Fleming said the call was taken based on the match situation.
"It is very much (based on the) situation. In India, we had some really good starts and we looked at the left and right hand combination. So, we're getting into the back end of the innings," he said.
"When the captain made the call today it was much different. We haven't been in this situation for some time, if at all.
"So, the captain wanted the responsibility and it was right, so it was a good call but it's very much situational and just a little bit of a gut feel in the match situation, with a left hander or MS goes up. So, it's good to have those options.