Dilip Vengsarkar backed Ruturaj Gaikwad for the South Africa ODIs.© Instagram
With Ruturaj Gaikwad currently in top form for Maharashtra in the Vijay Hazare Trophy, former India captain Dilip Vengsarkar feels that the 24-year-old “must be accommodated” in the national team for the upcoming ODIs against South Africa. The swashbuckling batter recently smashed 124 against Kerala, 154 not out vs Chattisgarh and 136 against Madhya Pradesh. The opener was also top run-scorer in IPL 2021, amassing 635 runs in 16 matches for Chennai Super Kings (CSK). “You must pick a man in form. How many more runs does he need to score to prove himself? It is high time the selectors pick him straight away and give him a proper opportunity”, Vengsarkar told The Times Of India.
“He can bat at No. 3 also. He must be accommodated in the team.”
Despite his form, Gaikwad still faces stiff competition for the Team India opening slot from the likes of Shikhar Dhawan and Ishan Kishan while Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul are the established openers.
“It’s not like Ruturaj 18 or 19. He’s 24 now. There’s no point in picking him when he’ll be 28,” he further added.
India’s tour of South Africa is scheduled to begin from December 26. The tour will start with a three-match Test series ending by January 15. The Test series will be followed by a three-match ODI series, starting from January 19.
Since their exit from this year’s T20 World Cup, the Indian team has undergone several changes with Rohit Sharma becoming full-time white-ball captain.
Virat Kohli remains as the red-ball captain. There has been a change in guard in the management as well with Ravi Shastri’s tenure as head coach ending with Rahul Dravid taking over.
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