No Ruturaj Gaikwad: Shubman Gill chooses new opening partner in India vs Zimbabwe 1st T20I match

Ruturaj Gaikwad, the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) captain, opens for his team in the Indian Premier League (IPL). In IPL 2024, he scored 583 runs in 14 matches, finishing second only to Virat Kohli for the Orange Cap. However, India captain Shubman Gill has not chosen the second-highest run-scorer in the IPL 2024 for the opening slot.

Shubman Gill has confirmed that he will open for India in the Zimbabwe T20I series. He has chosen a new opening partner: Abhishek Sharma. While Gaikwad not opening for India may disappoint his fans, Sharma has also proved himself a strong candidate for the opening slot.

Abhishek scored 484 runs in 16 matches for Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) with a strike rate of 204.21. His destructive batting, along with Travid Head’s, helped SRH dominate their opposition throughout the tournament and eventually reach the final.

Abhishek’s highest score in IPL 2024 was 75* in 28 balls against Lucknow Super Giants (LSG). Head scored 89* off 30 balls in that match as SRH reached the target of 166 runs in under 10 overs.

Gaikwad, on the other hand, is ahead of Sharma in terms of consistency. While Abhishek’s average in IPL 2024 is 32.27, Ruturaj had an average of 53.00. His highest score in the tournament was 103*. Ruturaj also had a high strike rate of 141.16.

Where will Ruturaj Gaikwad bat?

While Ruturaj Gaikwad won’t open for India, he’ll come at number 3, Gill said in the pre-match press conference. Ruturaj has played 19 T20I cricket matches for India and scored 500 runs. His highest is 123*, strike rate 140.05 and average 35.71.

Abhishek Sharma, meanwhile, is looking to mark his international debut for India as the Men in Blue face Zimbabwe in the 1st T20I match on July 6. The match starts at 4:30 PM (India time).

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Published: 06 Jul 2024, 10:21 AM IST

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