Glad That Gaikwad Is Showing His Class: CSK Coach Fleming
Fleming said that he was pleased to see Gaikwad grabbing his opportunity and showing what he can do.
Chennai Super Kings coach Stephen Fleming was pleased to see that opening batsman Ruturaj Gaikwad is showing his class now, as they knew already about it, after the win against the Kolkata Knight Riders.
Speaking at the post-match press conference about Gaikwad, Fleming said, “He’s got lovely timing and [is] a very fluent player, that allows him to hit the ball in the gaps and with a lot of power for a small and slight guy. His net sessions have been very good, his net sessions in Chennai before we arrived were outstanding.”
The 23-year old Gaikwad was one of the two players from CSK to test positive of COVID-19, which took him a much longer period than others to get back on the field. After getting out on scores of 0, 5 and 0 in the first three games, the CSK management showed faith in him, and he repaid it by two consecutive match-winning half-centuries.
Talking about Gaikwad grabbing his opportunity after missing initially due to the extended quarantine, Fleming said that he is glad to see him perform after being “way off the mark” due to the four-five-weeks-long isolation.
“He came back after four-five weeks of isolation and was way off the mark. We tried to play him and get involved but he was a long way [away] from being ready. We’re just happy now that we have been able to create an opportunity for him and he’s showing us that he was the right player when we had earmarked him.”
However, it wasn’t an easy ride for his side on Thursday as after the 68-run partnership between Ambati Rayudu and Gaikwad was broken, the CSK innings lost its momentum, as they lost two more wickets in quick succession. The CSK were once in a comfortable position when they needed 55 runs off 39 balls with 9 wickets in hand, but they could score only 25 runs in the next 17 balls with the loss of 3 wickets.
Asked if he and the team got nervous when the game got tight in the ends after they were favourites to win at one stage, Fleming said that they were in a good position but it’s always difficult for a new batsman coming in to score from the first ball. He added that after the partnership was broken, KKR came back into the game nicely and it took a bit of luck and a few twists for them to get over the line.
Needing 30 off the last 2 overs and 27 off the last 9 balls, CSK needed a magical innings to get them over the line. After hitting a full toss for four, Ravindra Jadeja got a no-ball from Lockie Ferguson, after which he took the full toll of the free hit, depositing in the stands to bring the equation down to 14 needed off 7 balls. An outside edge, helped him get another boundary and CSK needed just 10 off the last over.
Kamlesh Nagarkoti held his nerves to bring the equation to 7 needed off the last 2 balls, but Jadeja finished off the innings with two sixes to get his side home. Not just in this innngs, Jadeja has played a few vital cameos at the end for CSK this season.
By the virtue of that win, CSK notched up their fifth win of the tournament. Although it didn’t affect their position in the points table, they surely spoiled KKR’s party as KKR are not sure of a playoff berth even if they win their final game of the tournament against the Rajasthan Royals. While CSK will face the Kings XI Punjab in their final game of this season of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
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