Fleming Explains Why Ruturaj Gaikwad Couldn’t Have Played Earlier

Stephen Fleming explains why CSK may have ‘played him too early’ while talking about Ruturaj Gaikwad’s selection.

Published
IPL
2 min read

CSK opener Ruturaj Gaikwad on Sunday scored a third consecutive half century to help Chennai Super Kings (CSK) finish their 2020 Indian Premier League season on a high.

Gaikwad ended the innings unbeaten on 62 off 49 balls, following up on scores of 65 not out and 72 in the last two matches, and helped CSK chase down a target of 154 with nine wickets and nearly two overs to spare at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium.

Gaikwad thus ended the season on 204 runs in just six matches with an average of 51 and strike rate of 120.71.

Ruturaj Gaikwad of Chennai Superkings celebrates his fifty during match 53 of season 13 of the Dream 11 Indian Premier League (IPL) between the Chennai Super Kings and the Kings XI Punjab.
Ruturaj Gaikwad of Chennai Superkings celebrates his fifty during match 53 of season 13 of the Dream 11 Indian Premier League (IPL) between the Chennai Super Kings and the Kings XI Punjab.
(Photo: BCCI/IPL)

The 23-year-old could not feature in the team at the start of their campaign as he was one of the two players who tested positive after landing in Dubai and was forced to go into a 15-day quarantine. While Deepak Chahar recovered in time to play for the team at the start of their season, Dhoni explained after the last match that Thakur’s COVID lasted more than 20 days, forcing him to stay in isolation and away from the team for a very long duration.

CSK coach Stephen Fleming, on Sunday, in fact said that they may have played him before he was prepared, when he got his season debut against Rajasthan Royals on 22 September.

‘We knew how good we was from the last 2 years and his pre-season in Chennai was outstanding. One of the disappointments was that he got sick and the fact that it (COVID-19) hung around for so long, people underestimate what it does to a player, mentally and physically. We tried to get him into the game really early on and looking back it was probably too soon. So it wasn’t a matter of not enough opportunity. We might have pushed him to get in there and he just wasn’t quite ready, physically,’ said Fleming while talking about the over 20 days Ruturaj had to send in isolation due to the virus.

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