Ruturaj Gaikwad became the Chennai Super Kings’ third hitter to achieve 600 runs in an IPL season. The 24-year-old scored 70 runs off 50 balls in the Qualifier 1 match against Delhi Capitals on 10 October at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium, laying a solid foundation for his team to chase 173 runs. During his time at the crease, his calm and composed knock netted him five boundaries and a couple of sixes before he was dismissed in the first ball of Avesh Khan’s penultimate over.

Gaikwad joined current teammate Ambati Rayudu and former Australian batsman Michael Hussey as the only IPL player to reach 600 runs in a season. Hussey won the orange cap in IPL 2013 with 733 runs from 17 innings with a strike rate of 129.51, whereas Rayudu made 602 runs in his maiden IPL season for CSK in their comeback season in 2018.

Gaikwad’s great run in IPL 2021 continued with a spectacular hit against Rajasthan Royals in Abu Dhabi, where he hammered his fourth fifty of the season and a magnificent century. CSK went on to win the match by four wickets, with skipper MS Dhoni securing one of the two positions in the IPL 2021 final with his dazzling strokes towards the end.

In the penultimate over, CSK needed 13 runs, thus DC skipper Rishabh Pant chose England pacer Tom Curran to bowl ahead of Kagiso Rabada. Curran got his countryman Moeen Ali out on the opening ball, but Dhoni hammered three consecutive boundaries to finish the game in his trademark way.

CSK will compete in their ninth IPL final in the last 12 seasons, and they will be aiming for their fourth IPL trophy. Ruturaj will have a strong chance to leapfrog KL Rahul in the highest run-getter list and win the orange cap this season in the final.