Chennai Super Kings' hotshot opening batter Ruturaj Gaikwad has said that Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper Faf du Plessis would be "a little bit jealous" of his 99-run knock and the record 182-run partnership with Devon Conway in the victory over Sunrisers Hyderabad at the MCA Stadium on May 1.
Gaikwad and New Zealand's Conway stitched together a massive partnership that laid the foundation for CSK's 202 in 20 overs and led to them defeating SRH by 13 runs.
Gaikwad and du Plessis were teammates in CSK's IPL-winning campaign last season, with the former emerging the Orange Cap winner with 635 runs. Du Plessis scored just two runs less at 633, and the duo's contribution was the key reason for the Chennai franchise winning their fourth IPL title last season.
Before the IPL 2022 mega auction, while Gaikwad was retained by CSK, du Plessis was let go by the franchise and he later became RCB skipper.
"I think Faf would be jealous a little bit but it is okay," joked Gaikwad. "Feels really nice to have that record (182-run partnership) and obviously we did not expect this much to happen. All we wanted was to start off really well and make sure that we have wickets in hand because I felt the wicket was slightly slower and him (Conway) playing his second game and I wanted his nerves to settle down a little bit."
Gaikwad added that it was a special feeling for him to play in front of his parents who were in attendance at the MCA for the Sunday game.
"It is really special; I cannot put it in words, because obviously, they don't come usually to see my matches. But I wanted them to come and experience the atmosphere, experience the CSK thing and experience the crowd.
"Obviously, they don't come with any expectation of me scoring but I know it might be playing in their minds. But I am really thankful to god and thankful to them for supporting me till here, and I hope I have made them proud. Last game we lost here, but today we won and I gave my best and hopefully, they will come next match as well," Ruturaj told CSK TV.
Speaking about his conversation with Conway in the middle that led to the record partnership, Gaikwad said, "He (Conway) is always someone who wants to keep chatting and keep talking about a situation or a certain bowler. So, I just wanted to make sure that he makes the right choices. Every time we had the discussion about which bowler to target and which bowler to not, and in between in the powerplay we did not start off well, but I kept telling him that after this, it is pretty much easy for us to get going. There were talks in between that we wanted to just keep going and I just reminded him that the wicket is slightly tough so it is better that we both carry on as long as we want and then after a point when we know that we have played enough we can go from ball one of overs.
"Obviously, from him also I would say great courage to take on bowlers and showcase his talent to IPL. He was waiting for it and very happy for him because he was eager for this knock and he was eager to perform for this lovely franchise and he was eager to make a mark here. So, I am really happy," Gaikwad added.