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PBKS bowler Arshdeep Singh (Photo| ANI)
PBKS bowler Arshdeep Singh (Photo| ANI)

Harbhajan Singh Praises Fearless Punjab Kings’ Pacer Arshdeep Singh

Harbhajan Singh, the former India spin wizard heaped praise on the Indian pacer Arshdeep Singh, and make a bold prediction on his future. IPL 2022 saw the emergence of multiple quality domestic players.

While pacer Umran Malik stood out for the Sunrisers Hyderabad for his incredible pace, the likes of batters Rahul Tripathi, Nitish Rana, Tilak Varma, and Abhishek Sharma also produced consistent performances for their respective franchises in the season. One such player who, on paper, didn’t take as many wickets but delivered in crunch moments for his side was Punjab Kings’ Arshdeep Singh.

Harbhajan Singh. (Twitter/KKRiders)
Harbhajan Singh. (Twitter/KKRiders)

Harbhajan Singh: Arshdeep Singh A Fearless Bowler Who Doesn’t Get Bogged Down During Pressure Situations

The left-arm pacer took 10 wickets in 13 matches and bowled at a decent economy rate of 7.82, but a more impressive aspect of his bowling was his ability to nail yorkers at will – especially in death overs. It impressed former India spinner Harbhajan Singh, who believes that Arshdeep Singh is not far away from an India call-up.

“The best thing about Arshdeep Singh is that he’s a fearless bowler. He’s got a lion’s heart. While many players get bogged down during pressure situations but he flourishes more often than not during tense moments,” said Harbhajan Singh.

Arshdeep Singh [photo: Twitter]
Arshdeep Singh [photo: Twitter]
The Chetan Sharma-led BCCI selection committee will meet today(22nd May) to pick two separate squads. One squad under Shikhar Dhawan will play against South Africa and Ireland while the other squad under Rohit Sharma will leave for England on June 15. All-rounder Hardik Pandya and Dinesh Karthik are all set to end Indian team exile. While Umran Malik, Arshdeep Singh & Rahul Tripathi are expected to get their maiden India call-up.

The squad for South Africa will also travel to Ireland for two-match T20Is. After that, some members of that squad including Hardik Pandya and Shikhar Dhawan will join the rest of the squad in England.

Harbhajan Singh Recalled Arshdeep Singh Giving Suggestions to Kagiso Rabada To Bowl Which Line

Harbhajan Singh also recalled a moment during one of the games in the IPL 2022 when Arshdeep Singh was seen having a conversation with Kagiso Rabada after the latter had conceded a couple of big hits during a close match.

“There is so much confidence in this bowler and the belief that he can do well during tense moments. The other day we saw him giving suggestions to a world-class bowler like Kagiso Rabada on which line to bowl to. This shows how involved he is in the game and doesn’t shy away from sharing his thoughts with the senior players. He bowls yorkers at will in the death overs. I believe a left-arm pacer of this caliber should get a chance to play for India sooner rather than later,” Harbhajan said.

Kagiso Rabada
Kagiso Rabada (Credits: Twitter)

Punjab Kings have been knocked out of the race for playoffs and will play in their final match of the season against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Sunday, who are also eliminated from the playoff contention.

Though Arshdeep Singh (10 wickets) has been behind Umran Malik (21 wickets) in the wicket-taking list, the left-arm pacer has been phenomenal in the death overs with an economy rate of 7.31, the best among all bowlers in the the the tournament. Arshdeep Singh’s accuracy to bowl the ball of his choice has left Harbhajan Singh impressed apart from the youngster’s fearless attitude.

The youngster played 3 matches for PBKS in the 2019 season and was retained by the franchise ahead of the 2020 IPL auction. A year later, Arshdeep Singh continued his rise and went on to enjoy a fine run of form, taking his IPL wicket tally to 30 from 23 matches, leading PBKS to retain him ahead of the TATA IPL 2022 auction. The tall bowler is known to use his 6’3” frame to his advantage.

Jonny Bairstow (Punjab Kings)
Jonny Bairstow (Punjab Kings)

Imran Tahir Wants Jonny Bairstow To Open For Punjab Kings In IPL 2022 To Maximize Powerplay

Imran Tahir, the former Purple Cap winner previewed Tuesday’s (May 3) all-important clash between the Punjab Kings and Gujarat Titans. The 43-year-old spinner believes the Punjab Kings should open with Jonny Bairstow to cash in on the powerplay.

Punjab Kings have had an inconsistent top order thus far, with Shikhar Dhawan being the chief accumulator. Jonny Bairstow, who missed the first few games due to national duty, has batted at number three; however, he hasn’t had much success. The England batter has made only 79 runs at 13.17 in six matches while batting in the middle-order.

Imran Tahir
Imran Tahir (Image Credit: Twitter)

Imran Tahir Reckons Mayank Agarwal Is A Knock Away From Regaining Form And Wants Jonny Bairstow To Open To Maximize Powerplay

Imran Tahir feels Punjab Kings skipper and opener Mayank Agarwal must take some time, play positively, and is a knock away from regaining form. The former CSK spinner wants Jonny Bairstow to open the innings as his presence can help the Punjab Kings maximize the powerplay- the first 6 overs.

He said: “Mayank Agarwal is a consistent player, but we have seen several players struggling for runs this year. However, I think Mayank must back himself, take more time at the crease, and play positively so that he regains his form. I think he is one knock away from that and if he clicks in those crucial games, his form can come back.”

Jonny Bairstow. (Image Credits: Twitter)
Jonny Bairstow. (Image Credits: Twitter)

“I would like to see Jonny Bairstow open because he is dangerous during the powerplay. He played some good knocks in the Mzansi Super League in the powerplay and deserves to open the innings.”

The South African has urged the other batters to step up and support Shikhar Dhawan.

In this regard, Imran Tahir elaborated: “If we remove Shikhar Dhawan, no other batter has shown consistency. Hence, it is a concern for the Punjab Kings as they cannot rely on any other batter during challenging situations. Other batters need to step up and play positively. If not, Shikhar Dhawan has to take responsibility and play a big knock and carry the team’s fortunes.”

With 307 runs in nine innings, Shikhar Dhawan is the highest run-getter for the Punjab Kings so far. His team’s captain, Mayank Agarwal, has only managed 161 runs in eight games at 20.12, striking at 128.80.

Imran Tahir Feels Kagiso Rabada Hasn’t Taken Many Wickets To His Liking

Imran Tahir noted that opposition teams have prepared better for Kagiso Rabada due to which he hasn’t earned much success. However, Imran Tahir feels the speedster has an extra responsibility moving forward.

“Kagiso Rabada has proved numerous times that he is a match-winning bowler and is known for taking wickets. I feel he is bowling well, but he is not getting as many wickets as he would like. While Arshdeep is doing decently, Rabada has the responsibility and Punjab signed him so that he performs as he did in the past 2-3 seasons. I think every season is different and teams plan differently. Hence, they likely have plans against Rabada due to which he hasn’t been much successful. I still feel he is bowling well.”

Kagiso Rabada celebrating a wicket. (Credits: Twitter)
Kagiso Rabada celebrating a wicket. (Credits: Twitter)

Although Kagiso Rabada has 13 wickets in eight IPL 2022 games at 18.46, his economy rate of 8.27 is on the higher side. Punjab Kings will want him to deliver more impactful spells in their remaining games. The last time Gujarat Titans faced Punjab Kings, Rahul Tewatia hit back-to-back sixes with 12 needed off two balls to pull off a miraculous victory. Since then, such wins have become the Gujarat Titans’ signature.

PBKS will count on their senior batters, who have time and again failed to live up to their reputations. Shikhar Dhawan has performed in patches, while Jonny Bairstow has not been in the touch fans would have expected him to be.  On the bowling front, Kagiso Rabada and Arshdeep Singh have been superb. Rishi Dhawan is another interesting addition to the XI and has been making good contributions with both bat and the ball.

Shahrukh Khan can prove to be a good fit in place of Jitesh Verma, considering his reputation to finish the matches.

Punjab Kings
Punjab Kings (Image Credit: Twitter)

Pragyan Ojha Feels Punjab Kings Need To Play As Per The Game Situation In IPL 2022

Pragyan Ojha reckons that Punjab Kings’ (PBKS) progress in IPL 2022 has suffered due to their refusal to tone down their over-aggressive approach with the bat. The former Indian spinner Pragyan Ojha added that most of the franchise’s problems in the ongoing edition are self-created.

PBKS was touted as one of the strongest contenders to lift the IPL 2022 trophy. They started their campaign in impressive fashion, but have slipped badly since then. Punjab is presently in the eighth position in the points table with only four wins from nine games.

Punjab Kings (Image Credit: Twitter)
Punjab Kings (Image Credit: Twitter)

Pragyan Ojha: Punjab Kings Need To Play As Per The Game Situation

The Mayank Agarwal-led outfit will take on table-toppers Gujarat Titans (GT) in a crucial IPL 2022 encounter at the DY Patil Stadium on Tuesday, 3 May. Previewing the match, Pragyan Ojha urged the Punjab Kings to learn from their mistakes. Pragyan Ojha highlighted Punjab Kings’ biggest problem, stating that they refuse to tone down their over-aggressive approach with the bat.

Punjab Kings had beaten Bangalore in their first IPL 2022 game by 5 wickets before losing against Kolkata. They then won against Chennai Super Kings before being beaten by Gujarat. Punjab won against Mumbai before being beaten by Hyderabad and Delhi. Punjab Kings then defeated Chennai again before losing against Lucknow.

Pragyan Ojha explained: “Punjab’s problem is that they play just one way. Their vehicle is always in fifth gear, they refuse to shift down to fourth gear, even if there is a wall in front or if the vehicle is broken. They need to play as per the game situation. They were strong contenders for the title this year and their problems are self-created.”

Pragyan Ojha (Image Credit: Twitter)
Pragyan Ojha (Image Credit: Twitter)

Punjab have lost three of their last five matches. In their last game, they went down to the Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) by 20 runs. Chasing 154, they were restricted to 133 for eight. Punjab Kings (PBKS) are coming off from a match they wouldn’t like to remember and put behind them as the famed batting line-up failed to chase a middling score of 154 against the Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) in IPL 2022.

As they come off a loss against the newbies, they will be up against the other newcomers Gujarat Titans (GT), who gave them a bitter defeat, the last time these two sides met.

Punjab Kings Should Bring Shahrukh Khan Back: Ajay Jadeja

According to former Indian batter Ajay Jadeja, PBKS must bring back big-hitter Shahrukh Khan into the playing XI. He claimed that while players who have replaced him are reasonably talented, they are not better than him.

He said: “With due respect to the Indian players in the PBKS squad who have replaced Shahrukh Khan, they are not better than him. They should bring Shahrukh back. This team has the players but they are not utilizing their talent properly.”

Punjab Kings Shahrukh Khan
Punjab Kings Shahrukh Khan

With Shahrukh Khan failing to deliver, Punjab Kings have brought in all-rounder Rishi Dhawan in the last couple of matches. Batting for Shahrukh Khan’s return, Ajay Jadeja suggested that Jonny Bairstow could open the innings and also keep wickets instead of Jitesh Sharma while Mayank Agarwal could move into the middle order.

Shikhar Dhawan is Punjab Kings’ leading run-getter (307 runs) but apart from him and Liam Livingstone (263 runs), no other batters have scored more than 200 runs. Besides none of the batters’ averages have been above 30 except for Shikhar Dhawan (38.38). Shahrukh Khan has scored only 98 runs in 7 games averaging 16.33. Much was expected from Jonny Bairstow but he also hasn’t fired, managing only 79 runs in 6 games averaging a dismal 13.17.

Mayank Agarwal | Rahul Gulati / SPORTZPICS
Mayank Agarwal | Rahul Gulati / SPORTZPICS

Punjab Kings Set To Appoint Mayank Agarwal As Skipper For IPL 2022

Punjab Kings is only one of the two franchises apart from Royal Challengers Bangalore who has not announced their captain’s name yet.

Punjab Kings, led by KL Rahul in the past couple of seasons, will be without the wicketkeeper batter as he parted ways with the franchise and has joined Lucknow Super Giants before IPL 2022 mega auctions.

Punjab Kings (Image Credit: Twitter)
Punjab Kings (Image Credit: Twitter)

Punjab Kings Set To Appoint Mayank Agarwal As Skipper

Mayank Agarwal, who was retained by the franchise ahead of the auction, is all set to become the next captain of Punjab Kings for the upcoming season. A formal announcement is expected soon.

“In all likelihood, Mayank will captain the side. The announcement is expected later this week,” an IPL source said.

Mayank Agarwal (Image Source: Twitter)
Mayank Agarwal (Image Source: Twitter)

Punjab Kings went into the IPL 2022 auction with the maximum purse and did smart business in the mega event as they acquired some talented players with the likes of Shikhar Dhawan, Jonny Bairstow, Liam Livingstone, Kagiso Rabada, besides buying back left-arm spinner Harpreet Brar and explosive Tamil Nadu batter Shahrukh Khan.

Shikhar Dhawan was the first name to be called out in the IPL auction on Saturday and Punjab Kings spent 8.25 crore to secure his services. The left-handed India opener represented the Delhi Capitals between 2019-2021 and was also the skipper of the Sunrisers Hyderabad franchise during the 2013 and 2014 seasons of the tournament.

Shahrukh Khan, meanwhile, was acquired by Punjab Kings for 9 crores in the IPL 2022 mega auction. A bidding war for Shahrukh Khan took place between Chennai Super Kings, Punjab, and Kolkata Knight Riders.

Punjab Kings Was Keen On Appointing Mayank Agarwal As Captain Ever Since KL Rahul Parted Ways With Franchise

Shikhar Dhawan’s name as captain was also doing the rounds but the management was keen on Mayank Agarwal as the leader even before the auction.

“Dhawan is a welcome addition to the side and was always on the radar at the auction. He is a champion player but it seems Punjab were keen on Mayank as captain ever since KL Rahul left the team,” the source added.

KL Rahul
KL Rahul (Image Credit: Twitter)

Mayank Agarwal and KL Rahul formed one of the most prolific opening pairs in the IPL over the past couple of years. KL Rahul will lead Lucknow Super Giants this season.

Mayank Agarwal had captained the team briefly last year when KL Rahul was injured. Mayank Agarwal aggregated 400-plus runs in the past two seasons. He had made his IPL debut in 2011 and has so far played 100 games. The 31-year-old has also played 19 Tests and five ODIs for India.

Mayank Agarwal smashed an unbeaten 99 runs in 58 balls on his captaincy debut but Punjab Kings lost that game in IPL 2021 against Delhi Capitals. He has played 47 games for Punjab Kings so far and amassed 1317 runs averaging 29.7 with 1 ton and 8 fifties.

With a strong squad at their disposal, Punjab Kings are aiming to end their title drought in the IPL. Their only final appearance came way back in 2014. They finished sixth out of eight teams in the last three editions.

Purchased players: Shikhar Dhawan ( 8.25 crores), Kagiso Rabada ( 9.25 crores), Jonny Bairstow ( 6.75 crores), Rahul Chahar ( 5.25 crores), Harpreet Brar ( 3.8 crores), Shahrukh Khan ( 9 crores), Prabhsimran Singh ( 60 lakh), Jitesh Sharma ( 20 lakh), Ishan Porel ( 3.8 crores), Liam Livingstone ( 11.5 crores), Odean Smith ( 6 crores), Sandeep Sharma ( 90 lakh), Raj Angad Bawa ( 2 crores), Rishi Dhawan ( 55 Lakh), Prerak Mankad (20 Lakh ), Vaibhav Arora ( 2 Crores), Writtick Chatterjee ( 20 Lakh), Baltej Dhanda ( 20 Lakh), Ansh Patel ( 20 Lakh), Nathan Ellis ( 75 Lakh), Atharva Taide ( 20 Lakh), Bhanuka Rajapaksa ( 50 Lakh), Benny Howell ( 40 Lakh)

Punjab Kings Shahrukh Khan
Punjab Kings Shahrukh Khan

Shahrukh Khan Backs Experienced Shikhar Dhawan To Lead Punjab Kings In IPL 2022

Punjab Kings covered all bases during the two-day mega auction ahead of the 2022 edition of the Indian Premier League. The Punjab franchise roped in star players like Shikhar Dhawan, Liam Livingstone, Kagiso Rabada, Jonny Bairstow, and Shahrukh Khan among others during the event in Bengaluru, completing the maximum limit of 25 players in the squad.

The side had retained Mayank Agarwal and Arshdeep Singh ahead of the auction, and with the addition of Shikhar Dhawan to the roster, speculations are rife over the team’s new captain ahead of the upcoming season.

Punjab Kings (Image Credit: Twitter)
Punjab Kings (Image Credit: Twitter)

Shahrukh Khan Backs Experienced Shikhar Dhawan To Lead Punjab Kings In IPL 2022

Shahrukh Khan, who had represented the Punjab Kings in the 2021 edition and was brought back by the franchise in the auction, revealed his choice for the leadership role in the franchise. When asked to pick between Mayank Agarwal and Shikhar Dhawan, the young all-rounder chose the latter.

“I would say Shikhar Dhawan, because he has so much experience. He has a different aura and he has a very dynamic personality,” Shahrukh Khan said in a mid-auction show on Star Sports.

Shikhar Dhawan (L); Mayank Agarwal(PTI/IPL)
Shikhar Dhawan (L); Mayank Agarwal(PTI/IPL)

Shikhar Dhawan was the first name to be called out in the IPL auction on Saturday and Punjab Kings spent 8.25 crore to secure his services. The left-handed India opener represented the Delhi Capitals between 2019-2021 and was also the skipper of the Sunrisers Hyderabad franchise during the 2013 and 2014 seasons of the tournament.

Shahrukh Khan, meanwhile, was acquired by Punjab Kings for 9 crore in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) mega auction. A bidding war for Shahrukh Khan took place between Chennai Super Kings, Punjab, and Kolkata Knight Riders.

Punjab Kings Coach Anil Kumble Satisfied With New Players Acquisitions

Punjab Kings head coach Anil Kumble was extremely satisfied with the new players, including Liam Livingstone and Odean Smith, coming to his franchise during the IPL 2022 auction, the dynamics of which were “very different and challenging”.

“There is absolutely more demand than supply, but I guess there were challenges because there were 10 teams and it was different,” Kumble said.

Anil Kumble Photograph: Mike Egerton/PA
Anil Kumble Photograph: Mike Egerton/PA

“I have been in couple of big mega auctions in 2011, 2014 and smaller auctions before this auction. This one has been really, really different and more challenging because every player, that whoever is going for, is going for a large sum of money, so the purse is dwindling no matter what value you have in your purse.”

“The auction dynamics are very very different and you have to be nimble and that is something we realised in the last one and half days. You have to be even more nimble during this auction then the previous ones.”

While Punjab Kings retained opener, Mayank Agarwal, for Rs 12 crore, the Karnataka batter doesn’t have much leadership experience. Punjab Kings went all out to buy Shikhar Dhawan for Rs 8.25 crore, pipping the likes of Delhi Capitals during the IPL 2022 mega auction. Punjab Kings are on the hunt for a new captain since KL Rahul decided to shift base to Lucknow Super Giants.

Purchased players: Shikhar Dhawan ( 8.25 crore), Kagiso Rabada ( 9.25 crore), Jonny Bairstow ( 6.75 crore), Rahul Chahar ( 5.25 crore), Harpreet Brar ( 3.8 crore), Shahrukh Khan ( 9 crore), Prabhsimran Singh ( 60 lakh), Jitesh Sharma ( 20 lakh), Ishan Porel ( 3.8 crore), Liam Livingstone ( 11.5 crore), Odean Smith ( 6 crore), Sandeep Sharma ( 90 lakh), Raj Angad Bawa ( 2 crore), Rishi Dhawan ( 55 Lakh), Prerak Mankad (20 Lakh ), Vaibhav Arora ( 2 Crore), Writtick Chatterjee ( 20 Lakh), Baltej Dhanda ( 20 Lakh), Ansh Patel ( 20 Lakh), Nathan Ellis ( 75 Lakh), Atharva Taide ( 20 Lakh), Bhanuka Rajapaksa ( 50 Lakh), Benny Howell ( 40 Lakh)

Mayank Agarwal | Rahul Gulati / SPORTZPICS
Mayank Agarwal | Rahul Gulati / SPORTZPICS

Aakash Chopra Wants Mayank Agarwal To Be Appointed As Punjab Kings Skipper In IPL 2022

Aakash Chopra, the former India opener does not want the Punjab Kings to go after a captain in the upcoming ten-franchise auction of the Indian Premier League (IPL 2022). He has backed Mayank Agarwal to lead the team in this year’s cash-rich league.

Speaking on his YouTube channel, Aakash Chopra suggested that the team management must build a team with Mayank Agarwal. With KL Rahul joining Lucknow Super Giants, Punjab Kings will be in the market during the IPL 2022 auction searching for a new captain. They have retained just two players and have the biggest purse available among all the teams.

Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Aakash Chopra: Punjab Kings Must Appoint Mayank Agarwal As The Skipper In IPL 2022

He mentioned that if a captain does not have players of his choice in the squad, then it becomes challenging for him to lead them. Punjab Kings (PBKS), one of the franchises that are yet to lift its maiden IPL title, has a lot of homework to do before they appear in the upcoming IPL 2022 mega auction.

Aakash Chopra said: “Punjab Kings don’t need to buy a captain at the auction. They must appoint Mayank Agarwal as their captain right away and build the team with him. It becomes difficult for a skipper to lead if he is not given a team of his choice.”

Mayank Agarwal (Image Source: Twitter)
Mayank Agarwal (Image Source: Twitter)

The Punjab-based franchise has retained just two players ahead of the IPL 2022 auction. The team management named Indian batter Mayank Agarwal (INR 12 crore) and rookie pacer Arshdeep Singh (INR 4 crore) as their two retention picks.

Mayank Agarwal smashed an unbeaten 99 runs in 58 balls on his captaincy debut but Punjab Kings lost that game in IPL 2021 against Delhi Capitals. He has played 47 games for Punjab Kings so far and amassed 1317 runs averaging 29.7 with 1 ton and 8 fifties.

Aakash Chopra: Punjab Kings Biggest Advantage Is They Have The Most Money Before IPL 2022 Auctions

Punjab Kings will enter the auction with a remaining pure value of INR 72 crore, which is the most among the ten franchises. Aakash Chopra feels that this will be their biggest advantage as they now have a significant opportunity to put together a solid team. He opined that they are the only ones to be blamed if they are still not able to rope in quality players, despite having so much money.

Punjab Kings
Punjab Kings (Image Credit: Twitter)

Aaakash Chopra added: “Punjab have the most money going into the auction and that is going to be their biggest advantage. It’s on them if they still aren’t able to build a good team.”

The IPL 2022 auction is scheduled to be held in Bengaluru on February 12 and 13. A total of 590 players will go under the hammer in the two-day event. Punjab have never won the IPL and most disappointingly, they have not reached the knock-out stage since finishing runners-up in 2014. What’s worse, in their 14-year history, they have finished in the top 4 only twice.

Wasim Jaffer. Image Credits: Twitter
Wasim Jaffer. Image Credits: Twitter

Wasim Jaffer Steps Down As Punjab Kings Batting Coach

Former India Test opener Wasim Jaffer has stepped from his role as batting coach in Punjab Kings. He worked with the team for two seasons.

Jaffer thanked the franchise and also wished good luck to head coach Anil Kumble and the franchise all the luck for the upcoming season.

“Adios, and thank you @PunjabKingsIPL, it’s been a pleasure. Wishing @anilkumble1074 and the team very best for #IPL2022,” tweeted Wasim Jaffer.

Wasim Jaffer is currently working for the Odisha team as their head coach. Now he will guide them in the Ranji Trophy. For two years, Jaffer worked with Punjab Kings, they failed to qualify for the playoffs. The franchise also didn’t retain its captain KL Rahul. Before the mega auction, they retained only two players- Mayank Agarwal and Arshdeep Singh.

Wasim Jaffer Steps Down As Punjab Kings Batting Coach 1 PUNJAB KINGS

Wasim Jaffer worked with Punjab Kings for two seasons

Jaffer will now shift his focus to India’s premier first-class tournament which is making a comeback after one season. Odisha has been placed in a group of Mumbai, Maharashtra, and Goa. The tournament will be played in two parts. The group stage will be held from February 17 to March 15 while the knockout stage will be held after the IPL from May 30 to June 26.

Odisha will start its campaign against Goa on February 17. Odisha Cricket Association recently announced a 20-man squad which will be led by Subhransu Senapati.

“Besides the development of cricket across all age groups, he will also be a part of coaches development program across the state. Jaffer is one of the legends of Indian cricket who hails from Mumbai and holds a very impressive and coaching profile.

“He holds three records in his name as the highest run-scorer in the First-Class matches and has the highest number of hundreds to his name in the First-Class cricket matches,” Odisha Cricket Association secretary Sanjay Behera had said last year while announcing Jaffer as Odisha’s head coach.

Odisha squad: Subhransu Senapati (Captain), Anurag Sarangi, Santanu Mishra, Sandeep Patnaik, Anshuman Rath, Govind Poddar, Abhishek Raut, Debasis Samantray, Rakesh Patnaik, Sujit Lenka (wk), Rajesh Dhupar (WK), Jayant Behera, Pappu Ray, Subham Nayak, Basant Mohanty, Rajesh Mohanty, Debabrat Pradhan, Prashant Rana, Asish Ray and Tarini Sa.

Also, read Aakash Chopra Will Never Keep Proposal Of Taking A Break In Front Of Virat Kohli

Sanju Samson
Sanju Samson (Image Credit: Twitter)

IPL 2022: Sanju Samson Retained, KL Rahul Set To Leave Punjab Kings, MS Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, Ruturaj Gaikwad To Be Retained By CSK

Sanju Samson is the first player Rajasthan Royals have retained for IPL 2022. The 27-year old will continue as captain after agreeing to an INR 14 crore per season contract this week. Sanju Samson, it is learned, was first on the list of players Rajasthan Royals wanted to keep before the retention window for IPL 2022 closes on November 30.
The frontrunners for the remaining three slots (in no particular order) are – wicketkeeper-batter Jos Buttler, fast bowler Jofra Archer, allrounder Liam Livingstone – and uncapped opener Yashasvi Jaiswal.
IPL 2022: Sanju Samson, Jos Buttler, Instagram
Sanju Samson, Jos Buttler, Instagram

IPL 2022: Sanju Samson Retained By Rajasthan Royals; Chennai Super Kings May Retain MS Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, and Ruturaj Gaikwad; KL Rahul Set To Leave Punjab Kings

Sanju Samson joined Rajasthan Royals in 2018 for INR 8 crore. Sanju Samson was elevated to the captaincy last season and though he couldn’t take the team into the playoffs he still finished IPL 2021 with 484 runs at a strike rate of 137.  Ben Stokes (INR 12.5 crore), Jofra Archer (INR 7.2 crore), and Jos Buttler (INR 4.4 crore) also cost the Rajasthan Royals big money but they’ve been big-impact players. Jofra Archer even won Player of the Tournament in 2020 but had to sit this year out due to injury.

Even as the first deadline for the retentions is approaching, the franchises are in talks with players in a bid to get their preferred personnel. BCCI authorities have also been apprised of this. The eight existing IPL teams have November 30 to decide their retentions and already speculations are rife as to who is being retained or discarded.

KL Rahul
KL Rahul (Image Credit: Twitter)

Rishabh Pant is set to stay on as captain of the Delhi Capitals while KL Rahul is all set to leave Punjab Kings and one of the new franchises, most likely Lucknow, could rope him in.

Hardik Pandya and Krunal Pandya may be approached by the new Ahmedabad franchise if they don’t figure in the Mumbai Indians’ retention list. Shreyas Iyer, it is learned, will prefer to be in the auction pool rather than being retained while Shikhar Dhawan, too, is one of the players hotly pursued by the two new teams.

The other big retention talk is that some players are unwilling to stay with a few franchises and the management also is not exactly fretting over it. The franchises would rather go in with a full purse and buy afresh. Others, depending on the number of their retentions, will have fewer funds.

Besides MS Dhoni, Chennai Super Kings is likely to retain Ravindra Jadeja and Ruturaj Gaikwad. One of Moeen Ali, Sam Curran, and Faf du Plessis will be their choice for the foreign player retention, with the franchise confirming that skipper MS Dhoni will have the final say on that matter. A top CSK official said that the franchise will try hard to buy back the players in the auction they fail to retain.

Mumbai Indians Pondering To Retain Kieron Pollard While Royal Challengers Bangalore Yet To Decide Their Skipper; Sunrisers Hyderabad Is Negotiating With Spinner Rashid Khan  To Retain Him

Mumbai Indians could retain Jasprit Bumrah, Ishan Kishan apart from Rohit Sharma but the internal debate for the five-time champions is on Kieron Pollard who is being seen as retention material. MI is unlikely to let him go.

Apart from Rishabh Pant, Prithvi Shaw, Axar Patel, and Anrich Nortje or Kagiso Rabada are said to be on the Delhi Capitals retention list. The big debate in their camp is around pacer Avesh Khan, who has done well in IPL 2021. Having still not played for India, he could come for just Rs 4 crore, the price tag for an uncapped player.

Besides, Virat Kohli, the others in the retention list of Royal Challengers Bangalore could be opener Devdutt Paddikal, spinner Yuzvendra Chahal or pacer Mohammed Siraj, besides big-hitting all-rounder Glenn Maxwell. The point to ponder for them is who will be their skipper. With KL Rahul unlikely to be available in the auction, they need a quality player to step into the shoes of Virat Kohli, who has given up captaincy.

Rashid Khan, Sunrisers Hyderabad, IPL 2021
Rashid Khan, Sunrisers Hyderabad, IPL 2021[photo: Twitter]

Sunrisers Hyderabad could end up with only one retention in Kane Williamson, who is set to continue as their captain as well. The second retention could be spinner Rashid Khan, who has the best economy rate in IPL history but it is understood that a hard bargain is ongoing between the two parties.

Negotiations are also underway between Rashid Khan and Sunrisers Hyderabad. The Afghanistan leggie, one of the best T20 bowlers in the world, wants to be retained as the No. 1 player in IPL 2022 and the franchise may want to give that privilege to Kane Williamson, one of the most revered captains in world cricket. For the record, the difference between the two positions is Rs 4 crore (more than half a million dollars).

Punjab Kings may retain a couple of uncapped players like Ravi Bishnoi and Arshdeep Singh for IPL 2022. Shahrukh Khan, who recently smashed a last-ball six in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 final, is also on that radar too.

The frontline choices of Kolkata Knight Riders for IPL 2022 seem to be Varun Chakravarthy and Sunil Narine, whom the franchise has taken much care of. The likes of Shubman Gill and big-hitting Andre Russell follow while IPL 2021 UAE leg sensation Venkatesh Iyer is a dark horse to be retained.

For existing teams, the deadline for retentions for IPL 2022 is until November 30. For the two new teams, the timeline to pick their players is from December 1-25. The 8 existing teams will first get the opportunity to retain a maximum of four players – not more than three Indians and not more than two foreigners.

Thereafter, the two new teams will be able to pick a maximum of three players – not more than two Indians and not more than one foreignerbefore the mega auctions. Rs. 90 Crores is what the 10 teams have but deductions will apply based on the number of retentions.

In case of 4 retentions, Rs 42 crore will be cut from the funds, Rs 33 crore in case of 3 retentions, Rs 24 crore if there are 2 retentions, and only Rs 14 crore if a team keeps only one player. However, if a franchisee pays any player(s) more than the suggested slab (they are permitted to), then the difference is deductible from the franchise’s purse.

KL Rahul
KL Rahul (Image Credit: Twitter)

In-Form KL Rahul Could Become Most Expensive Player At IPL 2022 Auction If Not Retained By Punjab Kings, Says Aakash Chopra

Aakash Chopra believes KL Rahul could be the most expensive player at the IPL 2022 auction if the Punjab Kings does not retain him. KL Rahul won the orange cap scoring 670 runs at an average of 55.83 in IPL 2020, and followed it up by scoring 626 runs averaging 62.6 in 13 IPL 2021 games. As a result, KL Rahul finished as 3rd highest run-getter in IPL 2021.

KL Rahul scored 65 runs off 49 deliveries in the second T20I against New Zealand in Ranchi last night. The stylish right-handed opener also strung together 117 runs for the first wicket with skipper Rohit Sharma.

KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma---Image: Twitter
KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma—Image: Twitter

Aakash Chopra: KL Rahul Is India’s Best T20 Batsman

While lauding India’s opening pair, in a video shared on his YouTube channel, Aakash Chopra was particularly effusive in his praise for KL Rahul.

“Rohit and Rahul, what a tone they have. KL Rahul, I am saying it again – he is India’s best T20 batsman. There is no better batter than him. He will be the most expensive player if he goes into the IPL auction, if the ceiling is not fixed because of the draft,” said Aakash Chopra.

The former India cricketer added that KL Rahul had exhibited amazing consistency after his failures against Pakistan and New Zealand in the recently concluded T20 World Cup 2021, where India was ousted from the group stage.

Aakash Chopra observed: “If you see the last five matches, he has scored three-four fifties in that. I know he didn’t score against Pakistan and New Zealand, but this player is of a different level.”

KL Rahul has struck four half-centuries in India’s last five T20Is. His dismissal for 15 in the first T20I against New Zealand was the only time he failed to reach the fifty-run mark in this period. He struck three consecutive fifties against Afghanistan (69), Scotland (54), and Namibia (50*) in the T20I World Cup after a poor show in the 1st two matches versus Pakistan and New Zealand, both of which India lost.

Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Aakash Chopra is in awe of the sublime sixes KL Rahul hits over covers against pacers.

He elaborated: “The six he hits over the covers against the fast bowlers, however fast you may bowl, it is kamaal and lajawab. Of course, I am a KL Rahul fan, you know it already. You should also be his fan because the skill level is unbelievable.”

A 117-run stand between KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma topped off a superb team effort with the ball in dewy conditions as India wrapped up victory in the T20I series against New Zealand with one match still remaining. Both openers made half-centuries during which their calculated risks came off at just the right times.

Aakash Chopra Praised Skipper Rohit Sharma For Hitting Amazing Sixes Against The Short Ball

The reputed commentator also had a word of praise for Rohit Sharma.

Aakash Chopra said: “Rohit Sharma started very slowly; he was going at run-a-ball for the first 20 deliveries. He decided around the 10th over that enough respect has been given. After that, a 16-run over from Mitchell Santner and then another big over. He hits amazing sixes against the short ball.”

Harshal Patel picked up the key wickets of Daryl Mitchell and Glenn Phillips BCCI
Harshal Patel picked up the key wickets of Daryl Mitchell and Glenn Phillips BCCI.

KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma complemented each other very well. While the former was quick off the blocks, the newly appointed Indian T20I captain also joined the party once he got his eye in to help the hosts register a comfortable seven-wicket win.

Man of the Match Harshal Patel’s slower ball, meanwhile, proved just as effective on international debut as it had done through his record-breaking 2021 IPL season where he took the maximum of 32 scalps, in conjunction with the long boundaries at the JSCA Stadium. He conceded just 25 in his four overs and took the wickets of Daryl Mitchell and Glenn Phillips, both caught in the deep.

Post-powerplay, New Zealand only scored 89 at 6.36 per over, with Daryl Mitchell, Mark Chapman, Tim Seifert, and James Neesham combining to score 36 off 51 after the fields spread out. That New Zealand ended up with 153 was largely down to the fast hands of Glenn Phillips, who hit three sixes in scoring 34 off 21.

India 155 for 3 (Rahul 65, Rohit 55, Southee 3-16) beat New Zealand 153 for 6 (Phillips 34, Mitchell 31, Harshal 2-25, Ashwin 1-19) by seven wickets

Chris Gayle PTI
Chris Gayle PTI

Kevin Pietersen And Sunil Gavaskar Criticize Punjab Kings For Unfair Treatment Of Chris Gayle

Kevin Pietersen and Sunil Gavaskar lashed out at the Punjab Kings team management for their unfair treatment of Chris Gayle after the 42-year-old decided to leave the IPL bio-bubble midway.

Chris Gayle is arguably the greatest ever player to have played in the history of the IPL. However, the league might have seen the last of him. The star batsman has decided to leave the Punjab Kings’ (PBKS) bio-bubble for the ongoing edition to stay fresh for the T20 World Cup.

Chris Gayle Image Source : IPLT20.COM
Chris Gayle Image Source: IPLT20.COM

Kevin Pietersen Lashes Out For Unfair Treatment Of Chris Gayle As Punjab Kings Didn’t Play Him On His Birthday

With a mega-auction set to take place for IPL 2022, it remains to be seen if Chris Gayle decides to put his name in the hat again and whether any franchise puts in a bid for the 42-year-old. However, legendary Indian cricketer Sunil Gavaskar and former England captain Kevin Pietersen have blamed PBKS’s unfair treatment of the Caribbean southpaw for his decision to leave the ongoing tournament midway.

Speaking to Star Sports, Kevin Pietersen recounted that Chris Gayle was left out of the side for the first game of the UAE leg against Rajasthan Royals on his birthday.

Kevin Pietersen file image | Faheem Hussain - Sportzpics
Kevin Pietersen file image | Faheem Hussain – Sportzpics

Kevin Pietersen said: “He is not being treated right in his environment. He feels like they are using him and getting rid of him, using him and getting rid of him. They didn’t play him on his birthday, cast him aside. If he is not happy, he is 42, let him do what he wants.”

A day after Chris Gayle left them to be fresh for West Indies at the Twenty20 World Cup, Punjab joined Kolkata and Mumbai on 10 points on Friday as the three teams battle for the fourth and final qualifying spot.

Kevin Pietersen highlighted that PBKS did not give Chris Gayle a game on his 42nd birthday last month. As a result, Chris Gayle played only two out of PBKS’s three matches in the UAE leg of IPL 2021, where he managed just 1, and 14 in the two said games.

Sunil Gavaskar  Chris Gayle Is A Game Changer

Meanwhile, Sunil Gavaskar felt that despite his age Chris Gayle is still a game-changer who can turn the game’s momentum in no time, and his absence from the team will be a big loss, echoing Kevin Pietersen’s statement.

“A game-changer like Chris Gayle, if he is not in the team, 100 percent it’s a big loss. I think he is in and out of the team. I don’t know what the calculations are. And sure, he is over 40 and he might not be able to do it at a consistent level that he used to do. But he is a game-changer. 3 overs of Gayle storm and the game is gone from the opposition,” said Gavaskar. 

File image of former India captain Sunil Gavaskar | AFP
File image of former India captain Sunil Gavaskar | AFP

Chris Gayle’s decision to leave the competition on Thursday night left Punjab Kings’ fans perplexed.

In a statement issued by the franchise, Chris Gayle said: “Over the last few months, I have been a part of the CWI bubble, CPL bubble followed by the IPL bubble, and I wish to mentally recharge and refresh myself.” 

Chris Gayle added, “I want to refocus on helping the West Indies in the T20 World Cup and would like to take a break in Dubai. My thanks to the Punjab Kings for giving me the time off. My wishes and hopes are with the squad always. All the very best for the games coming up.” 

Despite leaving the Punjab camp, he remains in UAE and joins the West Indies squad in a few days for the upcoming T20 World Cup after a short break.  In the 2021 season, Chris Gayle featured in 10 games and scored just 193 runs at an average of 21.44 and strike rate of 125.44.

The ‘Universe Boss’ is an IPL legend who already has several records to his name. The Caribbean batsman has amassed 4965 runs in the IPL. He is the third-highest run-getter among overseas players in the IPL, only behind Sunrisers Hyderabad opener David Warner, who has scored 5449 runs and AB de Villiers (5083 runs).

Chris Gayle’s feat includes six tons, which is the most by a batsman in the league. He was won 59 Man of Match awards in his T20 career, which the most by a batsman in the format. The big-hitter holds the record for fastest IPL hundred, as he scored a ton in 30 balls against Pune Warriors India in 2013. His 175 not out against PWI is still the highest individual score in the league.

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