Ending the Indian Premier League 2020 with three fifties laid the foundation for Ruturaj Gaikwad's consistent performances in IPL 2021, according to Chennai Super Kings coach Stephen Fleming. Gaikwad ended IPL 2020 with scores of 65, 72 and 62 and notched up three more in this season, including an unbeaten 88 of 58 balls on Sunday which helped CSK beat Mumbai Indian by 20 runs in the second leg opener in Dubai.
"We had big tabs on him since last season and I think we rushed him a bit too early after recovering from COVID. I think the way he finished in Dubai last year in the IPL set him up for the start of this season. In a big match, its quite special for him to play such a big innings," Fleming said in a virtual press conference on Sunday.
Fleming confirmed that Ambati Rayudu's blow to the elbow after being hit by Adam Milne's bouncer was not a serious injury, while the team is waiting for an update on pacer Deepak Chahar's niggle.
"Its a bad bruise and he lost a little bit of power on the grip. Thankfully, nothing's broken. With Chahar he had cramps, but we will check that out tomorrow," he said.
Fleming also said that skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni will remain a floater in the middle order while praising the team's depth in batting.
"He walked in early as the set up wasn't good. When you bat deep, it depends on the time you walk in. I think we are pretty spoiled with Bravo at No.8 ad Shardul at No. 9," the former New Zealand captain said,
Following the defeat, Mumbai Indians coach Mahela Jayawardene admitted that the team did not play well through out the game. MI kept losing wickets at regular intervals as they finished 136/8 in 20 overs.
"I don't think we tried to do too much. The pitch was still good to bat on. There were a couple of soft dismissals and some one had to take a bit more responsibility. I think CSK also lost three wickets but they did well with Ruturaj by batting through the innings," he said.
Jayawardene also said that regular skipper Rohit Sharma, who was rested against CSK due to a knee niggle, will play in the next match against Kolkata Knight Riders on Thursday.
"Rohit was having a bit of trouble after coming from the UK but he should be fine to play the next game. Hardik had a niggle, so we rested to check it for a few more days, but nothing serious."