The Maharashtra team has named Ruturaj Gaikwad as the captain when they announced their squad ahead of the Syed Mushtaq Ali trophy. This does not come as a surprise as many were expecting him to lead the side especially after a great performance in the IPL 2021. He scored with great elegance in both the legs of the IPL and at the end of the season walked away with the Orange Cap after scoring 635 runs in his 16 innings, at an average of 45.35 and more than the useful strike rate of 136. He made 7 fifties and a 1 century in the course of the tournament.
His performance in IPL however is not the only reason for him being named as the captain of the side. Instead, it’s in truth his great performance in the SMAT, in previous years, that earned him a spot in the CSK team in the first place. Gaikwad was the highest run-getter for Maharashtra in the group stage of the 2018/19 season of SMAT, following which he was picked up at the 2019 auction by CSK.
Besides Gaikwad, the Maharashtra team has the likes of senior players such as Kedar Jadhav and Yash Nahar, who is aggressive opener. Although they will be missing the likes of Rahul Tripathi due to an injury, he picked up in the 2nd qualifier his team KKR played against CSK in the IPL. Alongside him, according to the reports of TOI, the Maharashtra CA secretary Bagaban has said in the media that their team will be missing Siddhesh Veer and Rajvardhan Hangargekar. “Veer fractured his middle finger and Rajardhan Hangargekar was selected to play U-19 Challenger Trophy Tournament,” the secretary added as quoted by the media release.
Maharashtra is pooled in the Elite Group A and will play their first match against Tamil Nadu in Lucknow.