Ruturaj Gaikwad’s hundred lights up Day one of third unofficial Test against New Zealand A

Ruturaj Gaikwad struck a brilliant 108 off just 127 balls on day one of the third and final unofficial Test on Thursday against New Zealand A. However, the visitors bounced back to dismiss the Indian team for just 293 runs on Thursday.

Gaikwad, who hasn’t played a lot of red-ball cricket in the past few seasons, showed his credentials during the knock, which had 12 fours and two sixes.

Gaikwad shared a 134-run stand with Upendra Yadav, who scored 76 runs. Yadav’s effort consisted of nine fours and two sixes. However, a batting collapse saw India A being bowled out for 293 from a strong 245 for four.

India A was all out in 86.4 overs with Matthew Fisher taking four wickets for 52 runs in 14 overs. Jacob Duffy and Joe Walker also joined the party and took two wickets each. Skipper Priyank Panchal was dismissed cheaply for just five runs, while his opening partner Abhimanyu Easwaran was not able to carry on after getting set as he scored 38 runs. Sarfaraz Khan got dismissed for a duck, while Rajat Patidar got 30 off 52 balls.

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

Speaking to reporters after stumps, as quoted by PTI, Gaikwad spoke about the challenge of playing in red-ball cricket and said that in the first two games he felt a bit rushed.

“It’s a massive difference playing days cricket after so long. I feel in the first two innings, first two games I was rushed a bit. Hence, my mindset here was to just stay on the wicket. I knew that their spinners are not up to the mark, so obviously the runs would flow,” he said.

Gaikwad also said that the focus in red-ball cricket is to stay at the crease and take it one ball ata a time.

“Its like you are used to that kind of bat flow where your bat flows naturally to all the shots you want to play in T20 cricket. You have to be ready for each and every ball and have three particular options in your mind for each ball,” he said. “Then all of a sudden to come in 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, shifting from white to red is stopping that instinct and trying to just focus on your breath, play ball by ball, session by session and trying to play out the day.”

Gaikwad concluded by saying that a player has to apply the basics for red-ball cricket.

“You have to apply your basics like playing under your head, having your shoulder aligned, if the ball is really outside of your right eye then leaving it alone. These basics come into the game for red-ball cricket.

— ENDS —

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