Ruturaj Gaikwad Ton Lights Up Opening Day of Third India A vs NZ A Unofficial Test

Ruturaj Gaikwad hit a penalty of 108 from 127 balls before New Zealand A fought back to sack India A for 293 on day one of the third and final unofficial test in Bengaluru on Thursday. Gaikwad, who has barely played red ball cricket in the past 24 months, gave a good account of himself during his knock which had 12 fours and two sixes. Gaikwad, who has played nine T20Is for India, tied for 134 runs with Upendra Yadav (76) before an at bat that eliminated India A for 293 out of a strong 245 for four. Upendra’s attempt consisted of nine fours and two sixes.

The home side were all-out in 86.4 overs, with Matthew Fisher taking four wickets for 52 runs in 14 overs. Jacob Duffy and Joe Walker took two wickets each.

India Skipper Priyank Panchal (5) got out cheaply, while his opening partner Abhimanyu Easwaran (38) was unable to continue after setting.

Sarfaraz Khan failed to open his account while Rajat Patidar got 30 balls out of 52.

The first two games of the three-game series ended in draws.

Gaikwad spoke to reporters after punching and talked about the challenge of facing the red ball.

“It’s a huge difference to play cricket for days after so long. I feel a little rushed in the first two innings, the first two games. So my thought was here to just stay on the wicket. I knew their spinners aren’t up to the target, so it was obvious the runs would flow,” he said.

The stylish batter had made the Indian limited overs team with his exploits for Chennai Super Kings in the IPL.

But right now it’s a whole different ball game.

“It’s like you’re used to that kind of bat flow where your bat naturally flows to all the shots you want to play in T20 cricket. You have to be ready for every ball and have three specific options in your head for every ball,” he said.

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“Then all of a sudden you get into red ball cricket where you don’t really have to look for runs, you have to focus on staying on the wicket. The first thing you have to do here, switch from white to red, is stop that instinct and just try focusing on your breathing, playing ball by ball, session by session and trying to finish the day.” The multi-day format also requires you to go back to basics, Gaikwad said.

“You have to apply your basics like play under your head, have your shoulder aligned, if the ball is really out of your right eye then leave it alone. This foundation comes into play for red ball cricket.” Short Scores: India A: 293 in 86.4 overs (Ruturaj Gaikwad 108; Matthew Fisher 4/52)

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