Ruturaj Gaikwad had a golden opportunity to prove his worth in the Indian team during the T20I series against South Africa. He did not get too many chances before this series at the international level. However, the opening batter could not make the most out of this opportunity. Former Indian cricketer-turned-expert Aakash Chopra is of the same opinion.
Gaikwad scored 96 runs in the series against the Proteas at a below-par average of 19.20. He did play a superb 57-run knock in Visakhapatnam but was unable to make any further significant contribution. The 25-year-old may not get many more chances to make a mark because India might other options.
Chopra chose the players that performed poorly in the five-match series on his YouTube channel. Unfortunately, Gaikwad was at the top of his list.
“I have kept Ruturaj Gaikwad’s name above everyone else because there is a huge traffic jam at the top, you can call it Chandni Chowk or Crawford Market jam. There is a crowd there, there is no place for openers,” he said.
Speaking of the opening options, he said, “A few believe that even Kohli can be made to open. Kohli opens for his franchise, so he can also open here. Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and Ishan Kishan can open, how many people will open? Everyone wants to open. In one match, we had even gotten Rishabh Pant to open.”
Gaikwad got more chances than most others: Aakash Chopra
The 44-year-old pointed out that Gaikwad got more opportunities than most others in the series as he got out in the final match before the rain wiped it out. Despite that he could not make the most out of his chance.
“If we see from this viewpoint, Ruturaj Gaikwad has gone way back. He played five matches, a lot of people played four only, because the last match was rained off, but Ruturaj had gotten out in that match, so it is five innings for him,” he said.
“In five innings, if you have scored a total of 96 runs, unfortunately, it’s not gonna cut it. I love Ruturaj Gaikwad, he is technically very compact, has a very good playing style but 96 runs in five innings, which includes a good knock of 57. That means the rest of the series was absolutely cold,” he added.