MS Dhoni lauds Ruturaj Gaikwad and Rajvardhan Hangargekar for their performance against Gujarat Titans in tournament opener


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After suffering a five-wicket defeat against Gujarat Titans in the opening game of the Indian Premier League 2023 at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, Chennai Super Kings skipper MS Dhoni stated that the middle order had let them down in the match. Notably, opener Ruturaj Gaikwad played some brilliant cricket, scoring 92 off just 50 deliveries to give CSK a perfect start but unfortunately, the middle-order batters couldn’t capitalize as the team posted 178 runs on the board after 20 overs.

Following the conclusion of the match, the skipper lauded Ruturaj and also stated that the Pune-born cricketer was a pleasure to watch. The 41-year-old was also impressed with the youngster Rajvardhan Hangargekar, who picked up three wickets in the match. 

Commenting on his bowling choices, Dhoni also stated that he had felt going with two left farmers would be a better option.

“We all knew there will be dew. We could have done a bit more with the batsman-ship. Ruturaj (Gaikwad) was brilliant, he times the ball well and he’s a pleasure to watch. The way he picks his options, it is pleasing to watch. I think it’s important for the youngsters to step in,” Dhoni said in the post-match presentation.

“I think Raj (Hangargekar) has pace and he will get better with time. Think the bowlers will get better, a no-ball is something that’s in your control, so you need to work on that. I felt two left armers will be a better option so I went ahead with them. Shivam (Dube) was an option, but I felt comfortable with the bowlers overall,” he added.

Rashid and GIll shine for Gujarat in season opener

Meanwhile, Shubman Gill and Rashid Khan were brilliant for the Hardik Pandya-led side in the opening game as they managed to defeat the visiting team by five wickets. Gill, who’s in tremendous form at the moment, smashed 63 off 36 deliveries while the Afghani spin wizard Rashid Khan bowled beautifully to keep CSK under pressure. He picked up two wickets, giving away 26 runs in his four overs while with the bat, the 24-year-old played an important part, scoring 10* off three deliveries. Courtesy of his phenomenal performance, Rashid was adjudged Player of the Match.

Earlier, Chennai had rode on the heroics of swashbuckling Maharashtra-batter Ruturaj Gaikwad who scored a soaring 92 in just 50 deliveries to post a total of 178 on the board. His explosive innings comprised four fours and nine sixes.

Chennai will now move to their fortress at the MA Chidambaram stadium where they will face Lucknow Super Giants on April 3. On the other hand, Gujarat will lock horns with Delhi Capitals on April 4 at Delhi’s Arun Jaitley stadium.


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