With the Indian Premier League at its peak and the U19 World Cup finally getting the attention it deserves, it has become a little easier for youngsters to announce themselves to the world. But amidst all new platforms for Indian youngsters, a certain Ruturaj Gaikwad is proving himself in an old-fashioned way, churning out runs in the domestic circuit and List A Cricket.
He is not a wonder kid or an IPL sensation or social media’s favorite star – Ruturaj Gaikwad is just a hard-working 22-year old with an eye on the biggest prize, the Team India Jersey!
Date of Birth
31 January 1997
Pune, Maharashtra, India
Teams Played for
India A, Chennai Super Kings
Ruturaj Gaikwad Biography
Pune might just be 150kms away from Mumbai but it has hardly followed the City of Dreams in creating Cricket superstars. Kedar Jadhav is the only name that comes to the mind. But we might have to add Ruturaj Gaikwad to that list very soon.
Ruturaj joined the Vengsarkar Cricket Academy in Pune at the tender age of 11. He first grabbed the spotlight with a 522 run partnership in Maharashtra Invitation Tournament in 2015, scoring a triple century in the game.
The batsman was selected for Maharashtra U19 team after his exceptional inning but failed to impress the selectors for the 2016 U19 Cricket World Cup. Despite that setback, Ruturaj proved himself in the domestic circuit to get to where he is now.
Ruturaj made his first-class debut for Maharashtra’s Ranji team in 2016-17, at the age of 19. Although he played just one game in the tournament, it was the 2016-17 Vijay Hazare Trophy where Ruturaj proved his caliber as an ODI opening batsman.
The youngster scored 132 off just 110 deliveries against Himachal Pradesh, his maiden List A century. He was Maharashtra’s best batsman in the tournament with 444 runs in 7 matches at an average of 63 – All that is a debut season!
Ruturaj became a regular in Maharashtra’s Ranji team for the next season and went on to score 342 runs in 10 games. But the limited-overs format took a slight hit where his form dipped in comparison to the last season. Failing to convert his starts, Ruturaj scored 330 runs in 7 games in the 2017-18 Vijay Hazare Trophy.
The 2018-19 domestic season was the turning point for Ruturaj, as his performances in both Ranji and Vijay Hazare Trophy opened the doors of India A for the youngster. Ruturaj scored 456 runs in 11 Ranji Games and 365 runs in the Vijay Hazare Trophy.
He got an opportunity to play with and against India’s finest after being named in the India B squad for the Deodhar Trophy. Ruturaj failed to capitalize on an opportunity in the first game but played a stylish inning of 60 in the final against India C.
The successful 2018-19 in the Indian domestic circuit was just the start of Ruturaj’s success story. With a bagful of runs in both white and red-ball cricket, the opener was selected for the 2018 ACC Emerging Teams Asia Cup. Ruturaj blew hot and cold in the tournament, scoring 119 runs in 4 innings with just one half-century.
Ruturaj’s domestic performances helped him get his first contract in the IPL as Chennai Super Kings bought the youngster for 2019 season for ₹20 lakh. Although he did not play any games throughout the tournament, Ruturaj won’t be complaining about that after sharing the dressing room with the likes of MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Shane Watson, and Faf du Plessis for almost two months.
India A, Ruturaj A+
Ruturaj scored a century against England Lions in January 2019 playing for Board President’s XI. This inning helped him get in India A squad for the very first time in June 2019 for the ODI series against Sri Lanka A.
And boy, didn’t he deliver in his first series with India A! Ruturaj scored 187* off just 136 balls in the first game and followed it with 125* in the second game. The opener scored 470 runs in four innings in the bilateral series at the strike rate of 130!
Despite his extra ordinary performance against Sri Lanka, Ruturaj was initially not named for India A’s tour of West Indies. But as they say, ‘Fortune favours the brave’. Prithvi Shaw was ruled out with an injury and Ruturaj hopped on the first flight to the Caribbean. This was his first tour with India A.
And we are all aware of his heroics on the Caribbean island. Ruturaj scored 207 runs in four innings at an average of 51. The youngster scored two fifties and missed a century in the last game by just one run.
Playing Style of Ruturaj Gaikwad
Sometimes, not playing in the IPL can be a blessing. Ruturaj, unlike most of the youngsters these days, does not believe in pinch-hitting. In fact, the opener has an elegant batting technique with neat footwork where he uses the crease to his advantage. Especially his inside out shots, a rare sight for right-handers these days, are treat to eyes.
Ruturaj is also an exceptional fielder and here is a proof of that.
The youngster has arrived in style and he is here to stay. Agreed, Team India has absolutely no place for yet another opener in the side. But Ruturaj didn’t stop after not getting selected in the U19 side and he won’t stop now either. With age on his side, brilliant technique and a champion’s willpower, see you in the Indian team very soon Ruturaj!