Maharashtra captain Ruturaj Gaikwad continued his scintillating run of form in the Vijay Hazare Trophy, with another ‘daddy hundred’ in the semi-final clash against Assam on Wednesday (November 28). Days after scoring a record 220 not out in the quarter-final against Uttar Pradesh, Gaikwad scored 168 off 126 balls with 6 sixes and 16 fours against Assam in the last four encounters.
Gaikwad looked good for back-to-back double hundreds in the Vijay Hazare Trophy but missed the milestone as he was dismissed by Rajasthan Royals and Assam all-rounder Riyan Parag in the 45th over of Maharashtra’s innings. Chennai Super Kings opener Gaikwad has 552 knocks in just 4 matches in the Vijay Hazare Trophy this season with three hundreds and a score of 122.
The Maharashtra captain created a List A record by scoring 43 runs in one over, including 7 sixes off Shiva Singh, a left-arm bowler from Uttar Pradesh.
Maharashtra teammate Azim Kazi actually recalled the similarities between CSK captain MS Dhoni and Gaikwad. Dhoni visited the Maharashtra dressing room when they played a match in Ranchi, The Indian Express reported. Kazi said that when he saw Dhoni during the conversation, he felt as if Gaikwad was speaking.
Ruturaj Gaikwad. That’s it. This is a tweet. #VijayHazareTrophy2022 pic.twitter.com/0HE2r0zzlL https://t.co/aek2wKmYIY — Lucknow Super Giants (@LucknowIPL) November 28, 2022
“In fact, when Dhoni bhai spoke, it literally felt like he was Gaikwad. The things he said were similar to what Rutu used to tell us. He has been able to interact with Dhoni bhai since he was part of CSK and he is transitioning to us, but there are definitely some similarities. We have all read and heard how Dhoni bhai leads the team and that is what Gaikwad has been doing here,” Kazi told the Indian Express newspaper.
Kazi added that the Maharashtra players have a lot to learn from Ruturaj Gaikwad. “He became our everything. We learn new things. He changed the entire layout and method of preparation. Even in the hotel, we are together as a team. For example, he left his hotel room open all the time and we can go and seek his help for anything. If a player has a problem, he is the first to point it out off the field and say how to fix it. What is more impressive is his game plan and how he has defined a role for everyone and uses us judiciously,” Kazi said of Ruturaj.
Thanks to Gaikwad’s ton and Ankit Bawn’s brilliant 110 off 89 balls, Maharashtra posted 350/7 after batting against Assam in the semi-final.