Ruturaj Gaikwad should make his ODI debut and open with Shikhar Dhawan against West Indies: Wasim Jaffer

Former India opener Wasim Jaffer reckons young opener Ruturaj Gaikwad should make his ODI debut and open alongside captain Shikhar Dhawan in the three-match ODI series against West Indies. Jaffer pointed out that Ruturaj has an impressive List A record as an opener. Notably, Ruturaj has scored 3284 runs at an average of 54.73 and a strike rate of 100.09 in 64 List A games.

“I think Ruturaj should make his ODI debut and open with Shikhar in the WI series. Ruturaj scored 4 tons in 5 inns in the Vijay Hazare Trophy, deserves a look in. Also, the left-right combo stays. #WIvIND,” Jaffer said in a tweet.

Gaikwad came into the limelight after starring in Chennai Super Kings’ title-winning campaign in IPL 2021. He won the Orange Cap by amassing 635 runs in 16 matches at an average of 45.35 and a strike rate of 136.26. The young batter went on to make his T20I debut for India against Sri Lanka last year. After limited opportunities in the subsequent series, he got a chance to showcase his skills in the five-match T20I rubber against South Africa at home.

Gaikwad is yet to make his ODI debut for India, an opportunity that might come his way in the West Indies in Rohit and KL Rahul’s absence. Gaikwad was the leading run-scorer in the 2021-22 Vijay Hazare Trophy, smashing 603 runs in five matches at an average of 150.75 and a strike rate of 112.92.

Shikhar Dhawan will lead India in the three-match ODI series in West Indies which starts on Friday (July 22). He has been named captain as regular skipper Rohit Sharma, alongside Virat Kohli, Rishabh Pant, Hardik Pandya, and Jasprit Bumrah have been rested for the 50-over series.

India squad for 3 ODIs against West Indies: Shikhar Dhawan (captain), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shubman Gill, Deepak Hooda, Suryakumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, Ishan Kishan (wk), Sanju Samson (wk), Ravindra Jadeja (vice-captain), Shardul Thakur, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Avesh Khan, Prasidh Krishna, Mohammed Siraj, Arshdeep Singh.

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