Ruturaj Gaikwad, on Tuesday (November 28), starred with the bat for Team India in the third T20I against Australia at the Barsapara Cricket Stadium in Guwahati. Unfortunately, his stunning knock came in a losing cause as Australia registered a thrilling 5-wicket win to keep the 5-match series alive.
Asked to bat first, India started poorly and were reeling at 24 for 2 in the third over after Yashasvi Jaiswal (6) and Ishan Kishan (0) departed cheaply. Captain Suryakumar Yadav got the start but failed to convert it and was dismissed by Aaron Hardie for 39. The onus was on Ruturaj Gaikwad to bail India out of trouble and the vice-captain rose to the occasion.
He stayed till the end and scored a stunning century to help India pile up a mammoth total of 222 for 3. While he remained cautious in the beginning, he shifted gears after crossing the 50-run mark and took the Australian bowlers to the cleaners. In the last 5 overs, India collected as many as 79 runs with Ruturaj Gaikwad doing the bulk of the damage.
He shared an unbeaten stand of 141 runs with Tilak Varma who scored only 31 runs during the stand. Team India were on 155 for 3 after 17 overs and the 200-run mark was looking like a distant dream. However, Ruturaj Gaikwad had other ideas. In the 18th over, he hit three sixes and a four off Hardie to collect 25 runs before Nathan Ellis conceded 12 runs in the 19th.
In the final over of the innings, the India opener went berserk against Glenn Maxwell and smashed him for three sixes and two fours as India collected 30 runs. He eventually remained unbeaten on 123 runs off 57 balls with the help of 13 fours and 7 sixes.
Ruturaj Gaikwad joins elite list:
The stunning century against Australia has helped Ruturaj Gaikwad join an elite list. He has joined the handful of India openers who have scored a century in T20Is. He also became the first Indian player to score a T20I century against Australia.
The right-handed batsman became just the fifth Indian opener to score a century in the shortest format of the game. The other three players are Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Shubman Gill and Yashasvi Jaiswal.
T20I Hundreds as openers for India
Rohit Sharma (4) – 2015 to 2018
Shubman Gill (1) – 2023
Virat Kohli (1) – 2022
Yashasvi Jaiswal (1) – 2023
Ruturaj Gaikwad (1) – 2023
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