Ruturaj Gaikwad smashed a scintillating 127-ball 108 before New Zealand A bowled out India A for 293 on the first day of the third and final unofficial Test in Bengaluru on Thursday. Gaikwad, who has barely played red-ball cricket in the last 24 months, provided a good account of himself with 12 fours and two sixes during his innings. Gaikwad, who has played nine T20Is for India, shared a 134-run stand with Upendra Yadav (76) before India A were bowled out for 293 for a strong 245 for four. Upendra’s effort included nine fours and two sixes.
The home team was all out in 86.4 overs with Matthew Fisher taking four for 52 in 14 overs. Jacob Duffy and Joe Walker took two wickets each.
India A captain Priyank Panchal (5) was dismissed cheaply, while his opening partner Abhimanyu Easwaran (38) could not move after being set.
Sarfaraz Khan failed to open the account, while Rajat Patidar scored 30 runs in 52 balls.
The first two matches of the three-match series ended in draws.
Talking to reporters after the stumps, Gaikwad spoke about the challenge of facing the red ball.
“There’s a huge difference in playing cricket after such a long time. I think in the first two innings, in the first two games, I was a little rushed. So, my mindset was to just stay on the wicket here. I knew That their spinners are not up to the mark, so obviously the runs will flow,” he said.
The stylish batsman had made it to the Indian limited overs team through his exploits for Chennai Super Kings in the IPL.
But at the moment, it is a different ball game altogether.
“It’s like you’re used to the kind of bat flow where your bat naturally flows for all the shots you want to play in T20 cricket. You have to be ready for each and every ball. You will have three specific options in your mind for this,” he said.
“Then suddenly to get into red-ball cricket where you don’t really have to look for runs, you have to focus on staying on the wicket. First you have to switch from white to red here. Let that instinct Trying to stop and focus on your breath, playing ball by ball, session by session and playing the day out.” Gaikwad said the multi-day format also requires going back to basics.
“You have to apply your basics like playing with your head down, aligning your shoulder, if the ball is really outside your right eye then leave it alone. These basics are in the game for red-ball cricket. comes.” Brief scores: India A: 293 in 86.4 overs (Ruturaj Gaikwad 108; Matthew Fischer 4/52)
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