Three consecutive hundreds – 108 in the final, 168 in SF, 220* in QF – Ruturaj Gaikwad ended the Vijay Hazare Trophy’s dream of 660 runs, with four hundreds, from just five innings. It was his second brilliant season at canter as he scored 603 runs, again with four hundreds, in five matches of the 2021/202 edition of India’s List A Championship.
Gaikwad’s A-list status is growing with each round and after a regular run in previous editions of 2021, he’s never looked back. With an average of over 60 in format, the best in the business, the right-hander continues to score truckloads of runs. He had an impressive run with Chennai Super Kings in 2020 and 2021 editions amassing 204 runs (six innings) and 635 runs (16 runs) respectively. His consistency in the IPL and the domestic circuit has earned him India T20I cap in the away match series against Sri Lanka in 2021 and ODI cap made its way into the 2022 home match series against South Africa.
Ten matches (nine T20I matches and one ODI) for India were not perfect and a badly timed injury forced him out of the account. Now, the 25-year-old finds himself on the road to getting back into the first team. He has responded in impressive fashion with Father Vijay Hazare’s Cup season but India’s call-up could take longer than expected. There is a bit of a traffic jam in the Indian cricket team in regards to openers and it will be a very happy headache for the incoming selectors.
Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul are already there and you have someone like Shubman Gill, who has been impressive in the limited opportunities that he has. Prithvi Chau and Yashasvi Jaiswal are already waiting in the wings. Both Mumbai openers haven’t put an error in the home circuit and continue to score points across formats. In such a scenario, it could take Gaikwad a long time to wait, but he has made giant strides forward with an impressive knockout display. Ask any former cricketer/coach/selector and they’ll put a hundred of them in the knockouts there, and Gaikwad has three, at the trot!
The right-hander’s temperament in big matches was second to none and his ability to change pace was effortless. All hundreds can be divided into two contrasting clicks. Alert versus speed, explosiveness versus spin and all-out once you get in the eye. He was made to work hard by Saurashtra’s highly disciplined attack who also racked up a lot of false hitting from the right hand in the final over. But Gaikwad was ready for battle and wanted to strike to the end. Just when the fireworks were expected, miscommunication with the partner ends Gaekwad’s stay in the middle. Had he stayed longer, it could have been a different story for Maharashtra who finished second this year.
sample this. Yashasvi Jaiswal has scored two hundred and fifty in the Vijay Hazare Trophy, averages nearly 54 in the form, scored a senior FC hundred (145) for India A vs Bangladesh A, and also has 266 runs from nine innings in Syed Mushtaq Ali Ghani. It’s been a frustrating List A season as far as Shaw is concerned because the explosive right fielder failed to convert the start he was awarded. However, he was in the region in the SMAT and scored 322 points in ten games with a 180+ batting average.
The 2020/21 Vijay Hazare Trophy was a big one for Shaw as he scored 827 runs in 8 innings and also hit four hundreds. Next on the list, that year was the highly talented South Paw from Bengaluru Devdut Padikal who scored 737 runs from 7 innings. He also hit four hundreds that year. Gentle reminder: is also an editorial.
Then you have someone like Gill Shopman. In the 15 ODIs he played for his country, the elegant right-hander scored 687 runs at an average of 57.25 and hit one hundred and four fifties. Surprisingly, his name did not appear in the ODI squad for the Bangladesh series as the selectors made way for bringing back senior professionals Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul.
The next few months are very crucial for the Indian cricket team, especially in the preparation of the white ball, as the team will look for the plan of action in the next year over 50 years. Globalism Trophy and T20 World Cup in 2024. With the players performing in their chances with the Indian national team and in the domestic circuit, the selection and management team are in for a difficult time and Ruturaj Gaikwad has made it even more difficult for them.