What do you do when your back is against the wall; when everyone is asking for your head after facing two consecutive defeats in the first two games? You shut down the critics with the bat by scoring runs. Ruturaj Gaikwad did exactly the same in the 3rd T20I against South Africa in the must-win game for India.
On Tuesday, India and South Africa are squaring off against each other in the third game of the five-match series at the Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium, Visakhapatnam. South Africa came to this game with a 2-0 lead in the series and they are looking to seal the series with another win. At the same time, India are looking to stay alive in the series with a victory.
South Africa skipper Temba Bavuma won the toss and invited Rishabh Pant & co. to bat first once again. Openers Ishan Kishan and Ruturaj Gaikwad began the innings cautiously but soon the latter exploded to give India solid momentum.
Ruturaj Gaikwad notches up the maiden fifty of his T20I career
Indian openers added 28 runs without losing a wicket in the first two overs. With only two overs remaining in the powerplay, India were looking for a push to make the most of the fielding restrictions.
The express pacer Anrich Nortje came to bowl the fifth over and soon the right-handed batter Ruturaj Gaikwad exploded. He smashed Nortje for five consecutive boundaries on the first five deliveries of the fifth over to add much-needed momentum to India’s innings.
Gaikwad was looking good as he completed his maiden T20I half-century off 30 deliveries. However, the 25-year-old could not continue for long as he was dismissed caught and bowled by Keshav Maharaj for 57 runs off 35 deliveries, including seven boundaries and two maximums.
The fans could not keep calm and praised the young batter for his efforts in a crunch game to provide India with a solid platform to launch for a big total.
Check out the best reactions here:
Selfless, attacking cricket by RUTURAJ GAIKWAD his innings could change this entire series now because we have absolutely smacked the South Africans! Great 50* @Ruutu1331 #INDvsSA #IndvSA #CricketTwitter
— Sushant Mehta (@SushantNMehta) June 14, 2022
Well done Ruturaj Gaekwad on your first T20i 50. Many more to come… #INDvsSA
— Irfan Pathan (@IrfanPathan) June 14, 2022
Terrific maiden half century by Ruturaj Gaikwad in just 30 balls 👏🏻, dealing only with 4s and 6s. 2 trial match over and he is back in the form 😅
This is what we need from Rutu. #INDvsSA | #INDvSA | #CricketTwitter | #RuturajGaikwad
— Paritosh Kumar 🏏 (@Paritosh_2016) June 14, 2022
Rooting for you champ 💛
Maiden50 many more to go 🥳@Ruutu1331#RuturajGaikwad pic.twitter.com/GcEMobkUXL
— Bibhu (@bvu0077) June 14, 2022
Failures… then created storm in Vizag.#RuturajGaikwad #INDvsSA pic.twitter.com/4AtoPWXFQA
— Anurag Vatsa (@AnuragVatsa4) June 14, 2022
#IPL bullies we said, they really started bullying south african team #RuturajGaikwad #indvsa
— Baibhav (@Baibhav099) June 14, 2022
Those who were saying that Rituraj Gaikwad should be dropped are no longer worth showing their faces. #RuturajGaikwad
— I am fan of Kohli,Rohit,Dhoni. (@ArhatAarya) June 14, 2022
#INDvsSA #RuturajGaikwad #INDvSA
Good to see Ruturaj Gaikwad going well today. There is lot of competition for spots in Indian Cricket Team & less Chances, Finally he converted the opportunity into something Good.
— g0v!ñD $#@®mA (@rishu_1809) June 14, 2022
Splendid start. Maiden fifty for #RuturajGaikwad. Finally he has shown his ability at international level, pure class. #INDvsSA #T20I pic.twitter.com/JFX0w6qR77
— Nilesh Gadhavi 🇮🇳 (@NSGadhavi) June 14, 2022