SW Staff, Author at Sportzwiki

SW Staff

World Test Championship, India
Indian test team[photo: Twitter]
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ICC World Test Championship Final: India’s Best Predicted Playing XI

The inaugural edition of the ICC World Test Championship final is set to be held in a few week’s time from now between India and New Zealand at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton. The Indian squad that will be on the flight to England was announced yesterday and as always, there has been a lot of questions on certain performers who have been left out from the squad.

However, the selectors have also noted the performances in the last test series against England and have picked accordingly. Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, and Hanuma Vihari have all returned from injuries while Kuldeep Yadav has been left out of the squad after a poor show in the previous series. Here is India’s best-predicted playing XI for the ICC World Test Championship final.

Rohit Sharma:

World Test Championship, India
Rohit Sharma[photo: Twitter]
Rohit Sharma will be the first choice opener for the world test championship final against New Zealand and he has proved to be a great choice at the top of the order for India in any format. After promoting up the order in tests, Rohit has scored the most number of runs as a Test opener in the world test championship so far with 1030 runs in 11 Tests at an average of 64.37. He is going to be a vital player for India in the final.

Mayank Agarwal:

World Test Championship, India
Mayank Agarwal[photo: Twitter]
Shubman Gill got the nod ahead of Mayank Agarwal for the England tests, and he failed to live up to the expectations after the Australian test series. Agarwal has done really well for India at the top of the order and he has shown good form recently in the IPL too. He has scored 857 runs in 12 Tests for India in the World test championship and after Gill’s poor show in the IPL, India should prefer Agarwal with the form.

Cheteshwar Pujara:

World Test Championship, India
Cheteshwar Pujara[photo: Twitter]
Cheteshwar Pujara is going to be the number three for India and he has cemented his place in the XIs after some heroic performances. He has been contributing immensely to India’s test success despite not getting those big centuries and he has scored nine fifties in the World Test championship. He has got the goods to deliver and he will have the responsibility of holding up the middle order in control.

Virat Kohli (C):

World Test Championship, India
Virat Kohli[photo: Twitter]
The Indian skipper Virat Kohli is going to be the key player in the world test championship final and despite his century drought in the last two years, he has been getting those important fifties at crunch times and this will be the best time for him to show why he is the best batsmen in the modern era. He played really well in the England conditions in the 2018 series and will be looking to take a leaf out of the book.

Ajinkya Rahane(VC):

World Test Championship, India
Ajinkya Rahane[photo: Twitter]
Ajinkya Rahane has been the top scorer for India in the world test championship with 1095 runs from 17 tests with three centuries. The vice-captain of the Indian test team is the man for a crisis and he has one of the best techniques in the squad. He has been inconsistent over the last few years but still has managed to create impacts at the right time when the team needs and he provides a lot of value with his captaincy too.

Rishabh Pant(WK):

Rishabh Pant. (Photo Source: BCCI)
Rishabh Pant. (Photo Source: BCCI)

Rishabh Pant’s growth in the last six months has been a major plus for India in all the formats. Pant has improved both as a batsman and as a keeper which always gives the advantage for the skipper to play the extra bowler. He is the first-choice keeper now and has been in really good form in all the formats. He has been taking far more calculated risks and it is paying off for him certainly. He is a very much capable batsman at six and can be very destructive too.

Ravindra Jadeja:

World Test Championship, India
Ravindra Jadeja[photo: Twitter]
Ravindra Jadeja should get the nod for the final as he has performing brilliantly for India in all the formats and has been scoring prolifically in tests too. He has scored 469 runs at an average of 58.62 in the world test championship in 10 tests and has scored five fifties coming down the order. With Hardik Pandya not in the mix for tests, Jadeja should be the first-choice all-rounder for India with his left-arm spin.

Ravichandran Ashwin:

World Test Championship, India
Ravichandran Ashwin (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)

Ravichandran Ashwin has been batting and bowling really well for India in tests and he has taken a lot of wickets recently in the previous series against England. Ashwin has taken 67 wickets in 13 Tests at an average of 20.88 with four five-wicket hauls in the world test championship and he should start in the playing XI for India. Ashwin is more than a very handy all-rounder at eight and he recently popped up his fifth century in tests against England.

Ishant Sharma:

World Test Championship, India
Ishant Sharma (Photo by Dibyangshu SARKAR / AFP)

Ishant Sharma has grown to be a very good fast bowler for India and with lots of experience under his belt, he will be leading the pace attack for India. He takes the new ball usually and bowls consistent lengths and lines making it tough for the batsman to score. He uses his height as a strong advantage and has already taken 36 wickets in 11 tests for India in the world test championship with an excellent average of 17.36.

Mohammed Shami:

World Test Championship, India
Mohammed Shami (SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

Mohammed Shami has one of the best seam positions among the fast bowlers in the world and he relishes bowling in second innings which his numbers suggest. He has been an important member of the Indian bowling attack and does can generate a good pace at times. He is one of the best exponents of reverse swing bowling and has taken 36 wickets in 10 tests for India in the world test championship at an average of 19.77.

Jasprit Bumrah:

World Test Championship, India
Jasprit Bumrah[photo: Twitter]
Jasprit Bumrah has been the go-to bowler for the skipper Virat Kohli in all the formats and he has been bowling brilliantly in the test format too. He has taken 34 wickets in 9 tests in the world test championship and he can rip through any batting order when he gets his rhythm going. He will be a key factor for India if they have to win the world test championship.

Prithvi Shaw
Prithvi Shaw
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ICC World Test Championship Final: 3 Players Who Should Have Been In The Indian Squad

The Indian squad for the ICC World Test Championship final against New Zealand was announced yesterday by the BCCI and the selectors have covered most of the bases. The likes of Ravindra Jadeja, Hanuma Vihari, and Mohammed Shami have all returned to the test squad and the rest of the squad pick themselves.

Washington Sundar, Axar Patel, and Mohammed Siraj have been retained for their impressive performances in the tests against England while Kuldeep Yadav has been dropped from the squad. There are four openers in the squad, the middle order of Pujara, Kohli, and Rahane while the first-choice wicket-keeper will be Rishabh Pant. Here are 3 players who should have been in the Indian squad.

India vs England 2021
Axar Patel | Pankaj Nangia/ Sportzpics for BCCI

3 Players Who Should Have Been In The Indian Squad:

Prithvi Shaw:

Indian test team
Prithvi Shaw [photo: Twitter]
Prithvi Shaw started his test career with a bang scoring a century on debut, but injuries did not help his progress and he was given a chance in the Australia series. But his poor form and technique were exposed and he was eventually dropped from the Indian test team for the England series. He then went on to play the Vijay Hazare Trophy for Mumbai and finished as the top run-getter of the tournament.

He scored 827 runs with four centuries in eight innings at an average of 165 and broke the record for the highest individual score in Vijay Hazare tournament history with a 227 not out. He continued his good form in the IPL and proved to have got his touchback. He was very destructive and scored 308 runs in eight innings at a terrific strike rate. He would have surely been among the eyes of the selectors and he must be unlucky to miss out despite his great form.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar:

World Test Championship finals, India
Bhuvneshwar Kumar[photo: Twitter]
The Indian speedster Bhuvneshwar Kumar returned to international action recently in the limited series against England and delivered at the crunch times for the nation. After being hit by a lot of injuries, this was the time for him to excel and he did look to have got his rhythm going.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar is one of the best swing bowlers in India and England is a place that offers a lot of seaming conditions for him to exploit. He has good numbers in England in tests and he was expected to be on the flight to England on his recent form. He hasn’t played test cricket for the last three years but he did deserve to be on the squad being one of the leading bowlers in Indian cricket.

Jaydev Unadkat:

Ranji Trophy 2020, India
Jaydev Unadkat[photo: Twitter]
The left-arm seamer Jaydev Unadkat has been out of international action for the last three years, but certainly, he has been on the radars of the selectors showing consistent performances in domestic cricket. Unadkat led his side Saurashtra to win in the Ranji Trophy final 2020 and he had to take a lot of credit for the team’s performances.

Unadkat picked up 67 wickets in the 10 first-class games at an average of 13.23. He picked up seven five-wicket hauls and proved to a match-winner for his side. He bowls a very good line in the longer format and provides a tough challenge for the batsman. He recently bowled well in the IPL too and has been assigned a different role rather than the death overs. With no left-arm seamers on the Indian side, Unadkat should have made it to the flight to England.

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Flop XI Of The IPL 2021

The IPL 2021 did see a lot of good performances but it came as a surprise when some of the seasoned campaigners failed to impress until the midway of the tournament. Every team played a minimum of seven games and the Indian contingent performed really well more than the overseas players.

The purple cap list and the orange cap list showed a lot of Indian domination and such was the intensity of the tournament with the places up for grabs. With Covid-19 surging in the country, five players pulled out of the IPL 2021 despite being with the squad for a considerable part of the time.  With the tournament suspended as of now, it is time to look at the flop XI of IPL 2021.

Flop XI Of IPL 2021:

Shubman Gill:

Kolkata Knight Riders, IPL 2021
Shubman Gill[photo: Twitter]
Shubman Gill after an impressive IPL last year did not have the best start to the tournament this year. He failed to get going and he looked like he was totally out of socks. Apart from the 43 he got against the Delhi Capitals in the last game for KKR, he wasn’t getting the big scores and scored just 132 runs in the seven games he played. It was way below his standards and a lot will be expected from him.

David Warner(C):

Sunrisers Hyderabad, IPL 2021
David Warner[photo: Twitter]
David Warner, who is one of the most consistent performers for the Sunrisers Hyderabad over the years couldn’t get his act together and his poor form had a major impact on the team’s performances too. Warner did score 193 runs in 6 games but his strike rate wasn’t at its best and he did not look to be at his usual best. The Sunrisers management dropped him from the playing XI and sacked him from captaincy too.

Ishan Kishan(WK):

Mumbai Indians, IPL 2021
Ishan Kishan[photo: Twitter]
Ishan Kishan who made his debut for India prior to the IPL in the T20 series against England had a tough outing in the Chennai pitch and was dropped from the playing XI after a string of low scores. A lot was expected from him after an excellent season last year and he scored just 73 runs in the five games he played. He is one of the better strikers of the cricket ball and he should have scored more of his calibre.

Nicholas Pooran:

Punjab Kings, IPL 2021
Nicholas Pooran[photo: IPL T20]
Probably, the most disappointing batsman out of the lot was Nicholas Pooran who is one of the best talents going around in the world. He has a lot of class and is a tremendous striker of the cricket ball, but he had to go through a rough patch of form and registered four ducks in the season before getting dropped from the playing XI. He scored 28 runs in 7 games and never got into his groove.

Hardik Pandya:

Mumbai Indians, IPL 2021
Hardik Pandya[photo: Twitter]
Hardik Pandya struggled for runs in the early part of the tournament with the games held in Chennai where it is very hard to hit through the line. Hardik Pandya is one of the best finishers in the game, and his poor run of form altered the batting order totally with Krunal Pandya coming in at four. He did not bowl in the seven games he played and scored just 52 runs with one good knock coming in his last game against CSK.

Dan Christian:

Royal Challengers Bangalore, IPL 2021
Daniel Christian[photo: Twitter]
Dan Christian is one of the best T20 all-rounder going around the world and he has got a lot of experience. He can tonk the ball out of the stadium and does bowl the difficult overs for his team. However, he did not have the best outings for RCB as he scored just 3 runs in the 3 games he played and did not pick up any wickets in the tournament. Subsequently, he was dropped from playing XI after his poor stint.

Washington Sundar:

Royal Challengers Bangalore, IPL 2021
Washington Sundar[photo: Twitter]
Washington Sundar was given ample amount of opportunities by the RCB skipper Virat Kohli with the bat and he failed to get going in any of the games. His form in the test series was so good that RCB decided to send Sundar to open the batting or in at three. He managed just 31 runs in 6 games and picked up just three wickets too. He wasn’t used in the powerplay where he is very productive and he needs to step up soon.

Jhye Richardson:

Punjab Kings, IPL 2021
Jhye Richardson[photo: Twitter]
The leading wicket-taker of the Big Bash League 2021, Jhye Richardson came into the side with a lot of promise, but he couldn’t make a big impact on the performance of the team. He picked up just 3 wickets in the 3 games he played and was also very expensive at the end overs. He was bagged up for hefty money and he had to do a lot more as he was dropped from playing XI after three games.

Shardul Thakur:

Chennai Super Kings, IPL 2021
Shardul Thakur[photo: Twitter]
Shardul Thakur was taken to the cleaners in this IPL and he proved to be very costly in his spells. Despite the conditions helping the batsman, he should have done better with the international experience he has been gaining and he couldn’t contribute much to the team. He wasn’t needed with the bat and he picked up just 5 wickets in the 7 games he played.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar:

Sunrisers Hyderabad, IPL 2021
Bhuvneshwar Kumar[photo: Twitter]
Bhuvneshwar Kumar wasn’t anywhere near to his best and he had a huge role to play in the Sunrisers bowling setup. He did not produce wickets in the powerplay which proved to be very costly and also couldn’t be very effective at the death overs too. He picked up just three wickets in the five games he played and Sunrisers would have wanted a lot more from him in this IPL.

Yuzvendra Chahal:

Royal Challengers Bangalore, IPL 2021
Yuzvendra Chahal[photo: Twitter]
Yuzvendra Chahal wasn’t very effective in this IPL and he continued his poor form from the international games into the RCB franchise. He was very expensive at times and Kohli backed him a lot by not dropping him from the side despite inconsistent performances. He picked up just 4 wickets in the 7 games he played this IPL and he would have hoped for a better performance than this.

Rajasthan Royals, IPL 2021
Jos Buttler[photo: Twitter]
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Best Overseas XI Of IPL 2021

The IPL 2021 did have a lot of actions in the first half of the tournament until it was suspended due to the surge in Covid-19 cases among the players in the bio-bubble. The Overseas players did take a big risk by staying in the country despite all that’s happening around and they will be relieved to be back in their nation.

Four overseas players pulled out of the IPL 2021 citing Covid reasons and the remaining players had to step up in time for the franchises. Teams like Rajasthan Royals who have relied too much on the overseas players, felt the heat as they had only four overseas options available and it was a tough task for them. Here is the best overseas XI of IPL 2021.

Best Overseas XI Of IPL 2021:

Faf Du Plessis:

Chennai Super Kings, IPL 2021
Faf du Plessis (Photo: IANS)

Faf Du Plessis had a brilliant start to the season and he had a major impact on the Chennai Super Kings this year. The South African batsman who retired from test cricket to concentrate on limited-overs cricket did show a lot of intent and he is an electric fielder too. He finished with 320 runs in 7 games at the third spot in the race for the orange cap.

Jos Buttler(WK):

Rajasthan Royals, IPL 2021
Jos Buttler[photo: Twitter]
Jos Buttler found his feat in the last game for the Rajasthan Royals after a string of low scores. He showed why he is one of the best T20 players in the world and he can hit sixes to all parts of the ground. He scored a big hundred against Sunrisers which allowed Rajasthan to put up a massive total. Buttler had to step up being the senior player in the side and he finished with 254 runs in 7 games at the seventh position in the orange cap standings.

Moeen Ali:

Chennai Super Kings, IPL 2021
Moeen Ali[photo: Twitter]
Moeen Ali has proved to be a great addition to the Chennai Super Kings side as he has delivered whenever he has been given a chance. The off-spinning all-rounder was promoted to number three in the batting order and it did reap benefits as he played with a lot of freedom. He finished with 206 runs in 6 games and picked up 5 wickets too at a very decent economy rate.

Glenn Maxwell:

Royal Challengers Bangalore, IPL 2021
Glenn Maxwell[photo: Twitter]
Glenn Maxwell who was picked up for a hefty price in the auction by the RCB franchise was assigned a different role this year rather than finishing and he did an excellent job with the bat. Maxwell scored 223 runs in 6 innings for the franchise and he was the top scorer for his team too. He bailed them out of tough situations and showed a lot of character for the team by taking calculative risks in the crease.

AB Devilliers:

Royal Challengers Bangalore, IPL 2021
AB de villiers[photo: Twitter]
AB Devilliers has been a consistent performer for the RCB franchise over the years and he did continue to have a great impact in this season too. De Villiers has scored 207 runs in 7 games until the tournament was suspended and he won games of his own for the franchise. He still has the flavour needed for the biggest stages and did look in good touch.

Kieron Pollard(C):

Mumbai Indians, IPL 2021
Kieron Pollard (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)

Kieron Pollard did not start the tournament well but capitalized in the end with a scintillating knock in the game against Chennai Super Kings. He scored an unbeaten 87 off just 25 balls which helped Mumbai Indians overcome a daunting task of a 218 run chase. Pollard can also bowl some overs in the middle if needed and he can be very destructive at the end over.

Sam Curran:

Chennai Super Kings, IPL 2021
Sam Curran[photo: Twitter]
Sam Curran was very impressive in the IPL 2021 with the bat and ball as well. Curran did not score as many runs as he would have liked but did pick up wickets at regular intervals. He turned out to be a great asset for the team scoring important knocks at the end and picked up 9 wickets in 7 games. He was the go-to bowler for Dhoni this IPL and proved to be a match-winner.

Pat Cummins:

Kolkata Knight Riders, IPL 2021
Pat Cummins[photo: Twitter]
Pat Cummins did not have the best of seasons last year but he proved to be very effective this season in the powerplay as well as the back end. Cummins also showed his batting prowess by almost pulling off a victory for KKR against CSK and picked up 9 wickets in the 7 games he played. He is a fantastic all-rounder and he would be looking to continue his good run of form if the IPL restarts.

Chris Morris:

Rajasthan Royals, IPL 2021
Chris Morris[photo: Twitter]
Chris Morris found his best form in the IPL in the last few games and turned out to be the most valuable player for the Rajasthan Royals. Morris’s batting effort won the game against Delhi Capitals and he won three games of his own for the Royals. He picked up 14 wickets in 7 games lying at third in the purple cap for IPL 2021 and was the standout bowler for the Royals. Morris can tonk the ball in the backend of the innings.

Rashid Khan:

Sunrisers Hyderabad, IPL 2021
Rashid Khan[photo: Twitter]
The leg spinner Rashid Khan, was the only limelight for Sunrisers this season picking up 10 wickets in 7 games. He was very economical too in his spells and proved to be the trump card for the Hyderabad franchise. Rashid Khan is a top-class spinner and does know how to operate in a big tournament like IPL even when things aren’t going his way. He was at the fifth position in the purple cap standings.

Kyle Jamieson:

Royal Challengers Bangalore, IPL 2021
Kyle Jamieson [Source IPL Twitter]
Kyle Jamieson has had an excellent debut season so far and has been very impressive for the RCB franchise. Jamieson picked up 9 wickets in 7 games and did a good job at the back end of the innings too with the death bowling. The New Zealand quick was bagged up for a big price in the IPL auction 2021 and he did justice to the price tag. Jamieson can be a good batsman down the order too.

Nitish Rana , AFP
Nitish Rana , AFP
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Complete List Of Players Who Tested Positive For COVID-19 In IPL 2021

The IPL 2021 had to be unfortunately suspended in the midway of the tournament by the Board of Control Cricket in India (BCCI) concerning the health of the players in the bio-bubble. This comes as a result after a few of the players and support staff inside the bio bubble started to test positive.

With the situation in the country not getting any better, it was due for the tournament to be suspended and it was the right call too. This puts a major risk in the T20 World Cup being hosted in India in October this year and BCCI has already discussed the backup venues. Here is the complete list of players who tested positive for COVID-19 in IPL 2021.

List Of Players Who Tested Positive For COVID-19:

Nitish Rana:

Kolkata Knight Riders, IPL 2021
Nitish Rana[photo: Twitter]
The left-hander Nitish Rana tested positive for Covid-19 ahead of the start of the IPL and he was isolated and undergoing quarantine. After a week’s time, he returned a negative Covid test report, and he had to go an extended 12-day quarantine before rejoining the Kolkata Knight Riders net sessions. Rana had a tremendous start to the season scoring 201 runs in 7 games for the franchise but faded off in the middle.

Anirch Nortje:

Anrich Nortje
Anrich Nortje (Image Credit: Twitter)

The South African speedster Anrich Nortje returned to the Delhi Capitals squad from the Pakistan tour and he tested positive for Covid-19. He had to undergo seven days of mandatory quarantine and before it ended, he tested negative which was good signs for the Delhi side. However, he did not get his opportunity in the side despite recovering and the Indian pacers on the Delhi side were so good that Nortje wasn’t needed.

Devdutt Padikkal:

Royal Challengers Bangalore, IPL 2021
Devdutt Padikkal (Image Credit: Twitter)

The Royal Challengers Bangalore opener Devdutt Padikkal tested positive for Covid-19 on March 22 and he had to undergo quarantine at home in Bengaluru. After the quarantine ended, he tested negative and returned to the RCB squad right away. He missed the first game as Kohli wanted him to get completely fit and he played six games for 195 runs this season with his marvellous first IPL century coming against the Rajasthan Royals.

Axar Patel:

Delhi Capitals, IPL 2021
Axar Patel[photo: Twitter]
The all-rounder Axar Patel, who is a key part of the Delhi franchise tested positive for Covid-19 and he was sent into quarantine in a Mumbai hotel. He had to miss the first four games this IPL on account of the virus and returned to the squad after testing negative. He played four games and picked up six wickets and also he bowled a brilliant super over giving away just 7 runs that won the game for the Sunrisers.

Daniel Sams:

Royal Challengers Bangalore, IPL 2021
Daniel Sams[photo: Twitter]
Another all-rounder in the Royal Challenger Bangalore lineup, Daniel Sams arrived from Australia and returned a negative test at the start on April 3. However, on April 7, he tested positive and had to undergo isolation. After testing negative again, he returned to the squad and played two games this IPL picking up one wicket and he was very economical too.

Varun Chakravarthy:

Kolkata Knight Riders, IPL 2021
Varun Chakravarthy[photo: Twitter]
Varun Chakravarthy was one among the two members of the KKR side that surprisingly tested positive for Covid-19 ahead of the RCB game on Monday, and BCCI had to postpone the game due to it. He was isolated after testing positive and he was one of the better bowlers for KKR this season. He picked up 7 wickets in 7 games this IPL season and was economical most of the time.

Sandeep Warrier:

Kolkata Knight Riders, IPL 2021
Sandeep Warrier[photo: Twitter]
Sandeep Warrier who was waiting for his opportunity in the playing XI for the most part of the tournament also tested positive alongside Varun Chakravarthy on Monday. Sandeep Warrier had a good domestic season in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy and he has played 4 IPL games in the past taking 2 wickets at an economy rate of 7.93.

Wriddhiman Saha:

Sunrisers Hyderabad, IPL 2021
Wriddhiman Saha[photo: Twitter]
The wicket-keeper batsmen Wriddhiman Saha tested positive on Tuesday ahead of the clash against the Mumbai Indians and the whole team went into isolation post the result. The match against Mumbai was also postponed after the Covid-19 result. Saha who played the first two games for Sunrisers scored just 8 runs with the bat at the top of the order. A lot was expected of him after the way he played last year but he couldn’t repeat the heroics.

Amit Mishra:

Delhi Capitals, IPL 2021
Amit Mishra[photo: Twitter]
The veteran leg spinner Amit Mishra who missed the last few games due to an injury scare tested positive for Covid-19, and the Delhi team was isolated. It also meant that BCCI had to suspend the tournament at the midway as the cases started rising inside the bio bubble.

Mishra delivered whenever the team needed him to and he showed that he still has the hunger in him to take wickets. He picked up 6 wickets in the 4 games he played this IPL season.