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IPL 2024: ‘He knows when to attack’, Hussey calls Gaikwad “one of the smartest players”

© Provided by The Rahnuma Daily

Chennai, April 29 (IANS) Michael Hussey, the Chennai Super Kings’ batting coach, was all in praise of skipper Ruturaj Gaikwad’s scintillating 98 against Sunrisers Hyderabad, saying the right-handed opener is one of the smartest players currently as he assesses the conditions so well.

Chennai, April 29 (IANS) Michael Hussey, the Chennai Super Kings’ batting coach, was all in praise of skipper Ruturaj Gaikwad’s scintillating 98 against Sunrisers Hyderabad, saying the right-handed opener is one of the smartest players currently as he assesses the conditions so well.

On a dry pitch at the MA Chidambaram Stadium, Gaikwad fell two runs short of becoming the second batter to hit back-to-back IPL centuries. But he was solid in hitting 10 fours and three sixes at a strike-rate of 181.48 in his 54-ball knock of 98, earning him the Player of the Match award. He also shared a crucial 107-run stand with Daryl Mitchell, who made 52, his first IPL fifty.

“I think he is one of the smartest players going around and he assesses the conditions so well. He even said to me ‘It’s a shame we’re not playing in Kolkata or it’s a shame we’re not playing in Delhi.’ Maybe in those particular grounds if he assesses the conditions, he might think about going aerial early.

“But perhaps here, when he takes a little bit of time to get settled on the pitch – it has certainly shown a few times here that with the brand new ball it has stuck a little bit on the pitch and then as the dew comes, that’s when the seam becomes softer and it can skid on – that’s when he can increase his strike-rate after,” said Hussey in the post-match press conference.

Hussey also cited Gaikwad as an example for fast-tracking other young Indian batters in CSK playing eleven in future. “But initially, you need to sometimes take a bit of care, play some good shots along the ground. And that’s where his placement has been so good and his strike-rate is so good as well.

“He knows his game so well, and that’s a message to our younger guys as well, figuring out what your game. There’s no point Shaik Rasheed trying to bat like MS Dhoni. He’s got to figure out how best he bats, he’s more a Ruturaj style of player. And we can try to fast-track some of these guys as well by watching Rutu play.”

Hussey further remarked that Gaikwad makes up for a lack of power-hitting with his orthodox and risk-free cricketing shots. “He’s a great talent, timing, placement, and is a smart batsman as well. He knows when to attack, when to maybe soak up a bit of pressure.

“He plays spin bowling so well, plays fast bowling well, he can score all around the ground. He’s almost one step ahead of the bowler most of the times. He’s wonderful to watch. “I’m really happy for him. And in fact a lot of our younger players sitting in the sidelines, (I) sit with them and talk to them about what we’re seeing with Ruturaj.

“Why has he been playing so good, how does he construct an innings. So they are great learning experiences for our younger players to see how he goes about it. Because it was another masterclass batting here, it really was.”

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