IPL 2021: MS Dhoni sheds light on discussion with Ruturaj Gaikwad after series of low scores

Ruturaj Gaikwad (left) and MS Dhoni (Photo: BCCI)
Ruturaj Gaikwad (left) and MS Dhoni (Photo: BCCI)
Suvajit Mustafi

After the win against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in Mumbai on Wednesday, Chennai Super Kings (CSK) skipper MS Dhoni revealed how he caught young opener Ruturaj Gaikwad off-guard to check how he was doing mentally after a series of low scores.

Despite little success with the bat, Dhoni is ensuring the best out of his resources in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021. Opener Gaikwad, who had scored just 20 runs in the first three matches this season, set the tone for CSK in their fourth game with a 42-ball 64.

During the post-match presentation ceremony, Dhoni said:

“Rutu (Ruturaj Gaikwad) is somebody who has shown his class in the last IPL. You always need to assess where he is mentally. Once when he was off guard, I just asked him how you are feeling today. When you put a question like that, you wait for the reactions; you see what’s in his eyes. There was enough in his reaction to suggest he wasn’t rattled.
“That’s what I’ve been doing all my life (applying psychology) but in a good way.”

Ruturaj Gaikwad (64) and Faf du Plessis (95*) constructed a 115-run opening stand off just 74 balls. CSK posted 220 for 3 and completed an 18-win over KKR to move to the top of the IPL 2021 points table.

Ruturaj Gaikwad has the basics to make it big: MS Dhoni

Down with COVID-19 and missing a few games, Gaikwad didn’t have a great start to his IPL career in 2020. However, he turned things around in the latter part of the tournament and finished the edition with 204 runs at 51.

Although in-form Robin Uthappa is warming the bench, CSK skipper Dhoni and coach Stephen Fleming have backed the 23-year-old.

Dhoni believes that Gaikwad’s poor start last season and then coming good must have given him the confidence to be patient.

“Rutu [Ruturaj Gaikwad] doesn’t seem rattled, and he has the basics to make it big. What would’ve helped him is the last few games last year when he wasn’t successful,” Dhoni added.

Leading the points table with six points from four matches, Dhoni’s CSK will face the Virat Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in their next match at Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai, on Sunday.

Edited by Sankalp Srivastava
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