2019 World Cup | Sportzwiki

2019 World Cup

Kevin Pietersen
Kevin Pietersen. Image Credits: Twitter
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It’s Stupid To Blame IPL For Ashes 0-4 Drubbing: Kevin Pietersen

Kevin Pietersen -the ex-England skipper has said that it’s “stupid” to blame the Indian Premier League for England’s embarrassing Ashes 0-4 loss to Australia in the recently-concluded 5 Test match series.

Former England captain David Gower was “annoyed” after England’s meek surrender resulting in another Ashes defeat and said current skipper Joe Root had players who were “unavailable” because of the IPL.

David Gower © Getty Images
David Gower © Getty Images

Kevin Pietersen: One Can’t Blame IPL For Test Cricket Demise In England

Kevin Pietersen, an Ashes winner in 2005, 2009, 2010-11, and 2013, laughed at the remark.

“It is stupid. You can’t blame the IPL for the demise of Test cricket in England. It’s the system, it’s the county cricket system, which is poor,” Kevin Pietersen, who is representing World Giants in the Legends League Cricket, said during an interaction on Thursday.

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

“It’s crazy to blame the Indian Premier League because if you have a look at the Test team, there’s only maybe (Ben) Stokes (Jonny) Bairstow and (Jos) Buttler who play the IPL. Hardly any of the Test team players play the IPL… So how can you blame the IPL?”

Off-the-field, the English cricketers were also mired in a controversy after a report claimed that there was a “drinking culture” in the team with the players and coaches drinking late into the night before police broke up the session.

Kevin Pietersen said there was no harm in it as the players are affected by the bio-bubble restrictions. England faced an embarrassing 0-4 defeat in the recently-concluded Ashes series, drawing criticism for their uninspired performances throughout the five Tests Down Under.

Moeen Ali And Jos Buttler Were England Cricketers Retained By CSK And RR In IPL 2022 Respectively

A total of 27 players were retained in the retention list for IPL 2022 by the eight existing teams. Ace players like Rohit Sharma, MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli, and Kane Williamson have been retained by their respective teams ahead of the mega auction in 2022.

Eoin Morgan , Sam Curran, Jos Buttler
Eoin Morgan, Sam Curran, Jos Buttler

England players like all-rounder Moeen Ali and wicketkeeper-batter Jos Buttler were retained by CSK and RR respectively for IPL 2022. England’s 2019 World cup winning skipper Eoin Morgan, who led Kolkata Knight Riders to IPL 2021 final, was released by the franchise.

Sam Curran picked nine wickets for CSK before he was ruled out of the tournament owing to a lower back injury. Sam Curran was pipped by his compatriot Moeen Ali in CSK’s all-rounder spot in the retention list.

Ahead of the second leg of IPL 2021, Jonny Bairstow (SRH), Dawid Malan (PBKS), and Chris Woakes (DC) had pulled out of the tournament due to personal reasons. All three players were released by their respective franchises.

Star England all-rounder Ben Stokes and pace bowler Jofra Archer also were released by the franchise after they couldn’t participate in the entire IPL 2021 season due to various injuries. Punjab Kings duo of pacer Chris Jordan and spinner Adil Rashid along with Delhi Capitals pace bowlers Chris Woakes and Tom Curran are the other released players from England.

Andrew Strauss. Photo- Twitter
Andrew Strauss. Photo- Twitter
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Michael Vaughan Believes Andrew Strauss Should Become Next ECB Chairman

Michael Vaughan believes Andrew Strauss should become the next ECB chairman and “drive-through change” for England’s Test team after Ashes 2021/22 drubbing.

ECB chief executive Tom Harrison has claimed the 4-0 thrashing England suffered at the hands of Australia in the Ashes is a “brilliant opportunity” for a reset and team director Ashley Giles is responsible for conducting a review into the defeat.

Michael Vaughan (Image Credit: Twitter)
Michael Vaughan (Image Credit: Twitter)

Michael Vaughan: Andrew Strauss Would Make A Great Chairman Of ECB

Andrew Strauss will play a key role in examining that report and currently attends ECB board meetings in a non-voting capacity in his role as Chair of the Cricket Committee.

Michael Vaughan believes Andrew Strauss is the right man to take over as ECB chairman, with the board still looking to appoint a permanent successor to Ian Watmore, having successfully spearheaded a major overhaul of England’s limited-overs side which culminated in the 2019 World Cup win.

“Andrew Strauss would make a great chairman of the ECB,” Michael Vaughan said.

“I think he is the person to drive through change. He was here four years ago and, after another 4-0 defeat to Australia, he wrote a report saying we need better pitches, and a different ball in county cricket. Nothing happened, possibly because he left soon after the tour.”

Former England captain Michael Vaughan has called for the ECB to appoint Sir Andrew Strauss as their new chairman
Former England captain Michael Vaughan has called for the ECB to appoint Sir Andrew Strauss as their new chairman ( Image: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire)

“He commands respect and knows exactly what is required. No county chairman would look at Strauss and say: ‘Sorry, I disagree with your views on red-ball cricket.’ He knows what needs to happen, and that enough is enough. The line in the sand with our white ball cricket was the 2015 World Cup and this is the moment for red ball cricket.”

Andrew Strauss is credited with leading England’s white-ball cricket overhaul that saw them becoming the ODI World Champion in 2019. Michael Vaughan feels he’s the right person “to drive through change. Drawing parallels between England’s disastrous show at the 2015 ODI World Cup and the Ashes 2021-22 thrashing at the hands of Australia, Michael Vaughan thinks this is the right time to revive red-ball cricket.

Michael Atherton Believes Andrew Struss Should Replace Tom Harrison

Michael Atherton also believes Andrew Strauss should be more involved at the ECB but feels he should replace Tom Harrison instead.

“Harrison is in the final stretch of a seven-year stint as chief executive, and is expected to leave within the next 12 months,” Michael Atherton wrote.

“Strauss is exceptionally capable and should be persuaded to take the job when Harrison goes. No one in English cricket is better qualified.”

ECB chief executive Tom Harrison Getty Images
ECB chief executive Tom Harrison Getty Images

The England team was seen without a fight barring the fourth Test match in Sydney, as they were battered and humiliated with increasing levels for the remainder of the four-Test matches. In Brisbane, England lost the series opener by 9 wickets. In a D/N Adelaide Test, Australia routed England by a massive 275 runs.

The humiliation was at its peak in Melbourne when England was bowled out for 68 and lost the Boxing Day Test by an innings and 14 runs when Australia had barely managed 276 runs in their only innings.

James Anderson and Stuart Broad batted out nervous four overs to secure a draw at SCG. The story continued in Hobart, in the second D/N Test, as England was thrashed by 146 runs suffering a collapse in the fourth innings which saw them going from 68/0 to 124 all-out.

Team Director Ashley Giles will submit the review report to the ECB while Andrew Strauss will play a key role in advising the board’s executives about the future of the England Test side. Coincidentally Andrew Strauss was the captain when England last time won a test match in Australia as they beat Australia by 3-1 in the Ashes 2010-11. Since then England played 13 Test matches and lost 12 of those, only one test ended in a draw.

Chris Silverwood Getty Images
Chris Silverwood Getty Images
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Chris Silverwood Insists To Stay On As England Coach Despite Ashes 2021/22 Defeat

Chris Silverwood has insisted he wants to stay on as England head coach, despite his team’s 4-0 Ashes drubbing – but admitted he could have shown his teeth more to the players amid accusations of dressing-room coziness.

Since beating India at Chennai last February, England has lost 10 Tests out of 14 and won only one – their worst sequence for 25 years. That has left Chris Silverwood’s fate dependent both on the post-series report by team managing director Ashley Giles and the views of ECB chief executive Tom Harrison and other members of the performance cricket committee, chaired by Andrew Strauss.

Chris Silverwood, England head coach Getty Image.
Chris Silverwood, England head coach Getty Image.

Chris Silverwood Admits That His Job Is Going To Be Under Scrutiny After Abject 2021/22 Ashes Loss

Tom Harrison is believed to have been unimpressed by what he has found during his three weeks in Australia, with England’s worst Ashes batting display since the 1950s compounded by a loss of confidence among the players in Chris Silverwood’s ability, and poor levels of communication. Before one Test, the coach sat down to tell a player he had been dropped, only for the player to say he had already read of his demise in a newspaper.

But Chris Silverwood is adamant that, with the help of a reformed domestic structure that places more emphasis on the red-ball game, he can help turn England’s fortunes around.

‘My job is going to be under scrutiny,’ Chris Silverwood said. ‘But I would love to help effect those changes within the county structures, and I would like to put some of this right. I think I’m a good coach and I would love to be given that opportunity, but there are certain things that are out of my hands at the moment.’

With less than six weeks before England flies to the Caribbean for a three-Test series, Tom Harrison and Andrew Strauss have little time to make their recommendations to the ECB board.

But whoever emerges as head coach may find their powers diluted, with Chris Silverwood struggling to balance day-to-day coaching with the dual demands of the Test and white-ball teams, plus the role of the chief selector. Assistant coaches such as Paul Collingwood, who is in charge of the T20 team’s forthcoming tour of the Caribbean, and Graham Thorpe may be asked to take on greater responsibility.

Paul Collingwood played 68 Tests, 197 One-day Internationals and 36 T20 for England.© AFP
Paul Collingwood played 68 Tests, 197 One-day Internationals, and 36 T20 for England.© AFP

The hierarchy must also decide whether a combination of Joe Root and Chris Silverwood lacks a bad-cop figure to tell the players to home truths, with Joe Root admitting after England lost at Hobart inside three days that there might be times where we need to get a little bit harder.

Chris Silverwood said: ‘With the situation we’ve been living in, I try to work through things with them, rather than shout or growl. But there will be aspects I’ve got to reflect on, because I’m not a finished article as a coach and I want to get better all the time. I’m not afraid to show my teeth, but you sometimes wonder in hindsight whether I should do it more. But then does it make it less effective? I don’t know.’

The farcical conclusion to the fifth Test on Sunday may not work in his favour. England’s last five wickets fell amid a flurry of slogs, misjudgments, and apathy, typified by last man Ollie Robinson, who backed away the first ball to Pat Cummins and lost his middle stump. Chris Silverwood, though, put the surrender down to tiredness.

‘I believe they’re still playing for us,’ Chris Silverwood said. ‘I think what we saw was players that are tired. It was hard to watch. At times, you were thinking, just get stuck in. Let’s show that fight, but we didn’t have that. And there is no point saying we did, because we clearly didn’t. We’ve got to get to the bottom of why that is, and try to make a difference.’

For the time being, Chris Silverwood said he would ‘start planning for the West Indies’ which means considering options outside the 16 who played at least one Test in Australia, where perhaps only Mark Wood and to a lesser extent Zak Crawley emerged with their reputations enhanced.

‘We’ve certainly got to look at what is out there as well,’ said Silverwood. ‘One of the things I will be doing is speaking to the scouts, the performance director. What have we got out there? Do we need to make changes?’

England knew they could not sink any lower when they were demolished for 51 by West Indies in Jamaica in 2009. They vowed to put things right and two years later were crowned the best Test team in the world.

Nasser Hussain and Duncan Fletcher came together in 1999 with England ranked the worst of the lot and began the recovery that was to culminate with the fabled 2005 Ashes victory under Duncan Fletcher and Michael Vaughan. The board has been asleep at the wheel while England is facing up to a year when they will play more international cricket than ever before with their players in the mood to rebel against any further Covid bubbles and restrictions.

Joe Root’s captaincy race is run, Chris Silverwood has to pay the price for being given too much responsibility for coaching and selection. Joe Root cannot survive simply because there is no one else. He has overseen three Ashes without success after admitting before this series that his legacy would be judged by this one.  He needs to go back to the ranks and concentrate on restoring the very high batting levels misplaced during this series.

The one outstanding candidate to replace Joe Root is Ben Stokes. For all the reservations many, including this observer, have about overloading such an important player, Ben Stokes could do the job with one important proviso — he would have to give up T20s, the one format where he has never fulfilled his potential which includes the IPL.

If England’s top players are serious about rescuing Test cricket, they must give up a franchise tournament that in itself undermines first-class cricket by taking players away from the red-ball game at the start of each season. There should be a new coach in place by the time England plays their next Test in Antigua in March too.

Duncan Fletcher is the obvious man for the Test job. Paul Collingwood can take charge of a white-ball machine that shows no signs of malfunctioning under captain Eoin Morgan. That move led to the huge success of the 2019 World Cup but it has gone too far now.

Andrew Strauss, who has made a part-time return to administration as chair of the ECB cricket committee, is the best person to redress the balance. He should return to his old job at Ashley Giles’ expense or even replace Tom Harrison. England is missing the leadership of a character like Nasser Hussain to lead them into Tests.

Joe Root Questions How To Provide Incentives In County

Joe Root articulated what has to happen in the short term to ignite that red-ball reset while at his lowest ebb in the aftermath of the pitiful Hobart batting collapse and a three-day last Test defeat.

“What incentives are there in the County Championship to open the batting?’ he asked. ‘What incentives are there to be a spinner or to bowl fast? Anyone coming into Test cricket is doing it in spite of county cricket, not because of it.”

“How do we provide those incentives? We could produce better wickets, hopefully by playing at a better time of year. We could flatten the seam on the ball, maybe by giving our seamers a Kookaburra to work with. That would nullify running in and bowling at 70 miles per hour while encouraging bowlers to create new angles and find different ways to take wickets. And give spinners the chance to bowl in the first half of the season.”

Joe Root
Joe Root Photograph: Sri Lanka Cricket

Joe Root understands the need for changes but it looks like he won’t be the one making them.

“Then we could double the batting points in a Championship game and incentivise first innings leads above 400. When do our young batters ever go out under the pressure of replying to 450-500? When do they have to save a match in spinning conditions? There are lots of things we could change quite quickly but for now it’s how we react to this Ashes. Can we use this experience when we’re hurting to grow and come back as better players?”

England lost the first match by 9 wickets at the Gabba, the second game by 275 runs at Adelaide Oval, and the third game by an innings and 14 runs at Melbourne Cricket Ground.  However, they managed to avoid the 5-0 whitewash with a hard-fought draw in the fourth Test at Sydney Cricket Ground. Also, England lost the last match of the series by 146 runs at the Bellerive Oval, Hobart

James Anderson. (Image Credits: Getty)
James Anderson. (Image Credits: Getty)
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James Anderson Urges ECB To Strike A Balance Between White And Red Ball Cricket After Losing Ashes 2021/22

James Anderson, England veteran seamer has urged England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to strike a balance between white-ball and red-ball cricket. James Anderson’s message to the board comes following England’s humiliating performance in the ongoing Ashes 2021/22.

England’s Ashes campaign stooped to a new low in the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne as Australia bundled them out for 68 in the second innings. An innings and 14-run defeat at the MCG followed after heavy losses in Brisbane and Adelaide. With only two games to go, the visitors have a chance to restore some of their pride.

James Anderson
James Anderson (AP Photo/Andy Brownbill)

James Anderson Reckons The Balance Is Tipped Slightly Towards White Ball Cricket

James Anderson feels the ECB is focusing too much on white-ball cricket after the 2015 World Cup. The prolific wicket-taker observed that it’s evident by the team’s Test-match performances and added that he wants to see the two formats balanced.

James Anderson stated:  “I think there has been a huge direction with white-ball cricket. A big push with that since 2015. I would like to think that maybe the balance between red and white-ball cricket is there, going forward. Because I think at the minute, it’s tipped slightly towards white-ball cricket.”

Joe Root. File Photo
Joe Root. File Photo

James Anderson added: “And it has done for the last few years. If you look at our performances in Test cricket over the last few years, they’ve been pretty inconsistent. So, from that point of view, we can hopefully just redress that balance a little bit.”

England’s lack of viable batting options in the format has been the biggest concern. Their batting unit has remained heavily dependent on Joe Root and crumbled in a heap in all three Tests. Although James Anderson gave his best in the two Tests he played, England’s batting unit has collapsed in all six innings played so far. The team has been reliant on Joe Root, who has had a prolific 2021, amassing 1708 runs.

England has been highly inconsistent in Test cricket, especially after 2015. He believes that there was a serious push to improve white-ball cricket after the 2015 World Cup debacle. England’s white-ball squad later won the ODI World Cup for the first time in 2019 under Eoin Morgan, the limited-overs skipper. He also is the first and so far only England player to play 100 T20Is.

James Anderson Wants Teammates To Focus On Last 2 Inconsequential Tests

James Anderson admits conversations will crop up about England’s performances as they have hardly improved. However, his immediate focus is on the last two Tests to avoid a 5-0 whitewash.

The Lancashire-seamer added: “It is hard, obviously there is a lot of chat and noise around when you lose this convincingly. It’s happened before, unfortunately, I’m sure it will happen again. It’s hard when you’re in it, to start dissecting everything. We’ve got two games left that we really want to focus on. We don’t want to start thinking about the whole domestic structure and whatever else.”

England cricket team. (Credits: Getty)
England cricket team. (Credits: Getty)

The fourth Test starts on January 5 at the Sydney Cricket Ground. James Anderson has been one of England’s standout performers in the series and took 4-33 from his 23 overs, including 10 maidens, as England bowled Australia out for 267 on day two of the third Test. He has picked 7 scalps in 2 Tests in the current Ashes 2021/22 series averaging a mere 14.14.

A trip that began with James Anderson believing his final tour of Australia might replace the memories of the 4-0 loss in 2017-18 has moved into a zombified state, with England 3-0 down and the two remaining Tests in Sydney and Hobart now a case of playing for pride and World Test Championship points.

 

Sourav Ganguly and Virat Kohli.
Sourav Ganguly and Virat Kohli. (PTI)
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Reetinder Singh Sodhi Opens Up On Sourav Ganguly And Virat Kohli’s Contradictory Statements

Reetinder Singh Sodhi has highlighted that Virat Kohli and Sourav Ganguly’s contradictory statements have created a messy situation. Sourav Ganguly revealed that both he and the chairman of selectors personally asked Virat Kohli not to step down as Team India’s T20I skipper. However, Virat Kohli has denied any such conversation took place between him and any of the BCCI members.

The drama all started with Virat Kohli’s announcement ahead of the 2021 T20I World Cup that he would be relinquishing his captaincy for the shorter format after the World Cup concludes. On 16 September 2021, Virat Kohli took the cricketing world and his fans by surprise when he announced stepping down from the T20 captaincy following the T20I WC in UAE.

File photo of BCCI president Sourav Ganguly and Indian Test captain Virat Kohli© AFP
File photo of BCCI president Sourav Ganguly and Indian Test captain Virat Kohli© AFP

Reetinder Singh Sodhi: Sourav Ganguly And Virat Kohli’s Contradictory Statements Have Created A Messy Situation

During a discussion, Reetinder Singh Sodhi was asked about these contrasting revelations.  Virat Kohli, while addressing the media before the team’s departure for the Test series in South Africa, said that he was informed by the selectors that he won’t be the ODI captain anymore just one and a half hours before the Test squad for the South Africa series was announced and that there was no prior communication on the same from the BCCI.

This statement of Virat Kohli contradicts the statements made by BCCI president Sourav Ganguly over the past few days. Sourav Ganguly had mentioned that he had personally spoken to Virat Kohli about the decision to name Rohit Sharma as the new ODI captain and that so did the chairman of selectors Chetan Sharma.

“This is an amazing thing. Dada, who is the Board president is saying that he had asked not to leave the captaincy and Virat is saying no talk like that had happened.”

India's Virat Kohli. Credit: Reuters Photo
India’s Virat Kohli. Credit: Reuters Photo

However, the former India all-rounder added that former skipper Sourav Ganguly’s integrity cannot be questioned.

Reetinder Singh Sodhi elaborated: “All said and done, the amount of cricket I have played with Dada, the integrity he defines, he has been a champion, so if he is saying that, he would have certainly said it. Here the Board president’s respect is extremely necessary. Only time will tell because Virat knows it better.”

Sourav Ganguly had further mentioned that Virat Kohli was asked to not step down from captaincy in T20Is, but Virat Kohli contradicted that too as he said that his decision of stepping down from T20I captaincy was well received by the Indian cricket board. It would be advisable for the duo to sort out the issue between themselves and release a joint statement to the media. Such differences, if they persist, will only be detrimental to Indian cricket.

Reetinder Singh Sodhi: One Must Respect The Selectors’ Decision

Reetinder Singh Sodhi was also asked if the selectors had enough grounds to sack Virat Kohli as the ODI skipper.

He replied: “What is the job of BCCI and the selectors? The selectors have to see who deserves it and who does not. They might have had substantial things – you can talk about performance, how can we forget the recent T20 World Cup, I don’t understand that, then everyone was saying that everybody is answerable.”

Reetinder Singh Sodhi. Photo Credit: Getty Images.
Reetinder Singh Sodhi. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

The 41-year-old concluded by stating that the selectors have only done the job they are supposed to do.

Reetinder Singh Sodhi explained: “I agree Virat Kohli is a legendary player but end of the day, everybody has to understand that we need to respect the selectors and BCCI because the selectors have done the task they should be doing, it is possible a lot of people might not have liked it.”

Virat Kohli failed to lead the team to an ICC title win – India lost to Pakistan in the 2017 Champions Trophy final, was defeated by New Zealand in the 2019 ODI World Cup semi-final, and suffered a group-stage exit in the 2021 T20 World Cup.
sarandeep singh[photo: sites.ndtv]
sarandeep singh[photo: sites.ndtv]
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Ravi Shastri’s Comments On Exclusion Of Ambati Rayudu Hasn’t Gone Down Well With Then North Zone Selector Sarandeep Singh

Ravi Shastris comments on the exclusion of middle-order batsman Ambati Rayudu for the 2019 World Cup have not gone down well with the selection committee members.

The then North Zone selector Sarandeep Singh is not happy with the former head coach questioning his selection decision as according to him the team is selected keeping in mind the views and plans of captains and coaches.

Ravi Shastri Image Source : AP
Ravi Shastri Image Source: AP

Ravi Shastri is Correct In Saying Coach Doesn’t Have Any Say In The Selection Meetings But Instead, The Committee Goes To The Ground Speaking To Captain And Coach

The former Team India head coach has admitted that the squad chosen for the 2019 ODI World Cup left a lot to be desired. He was particularly baffled by the decision to pick three wicketkeepers. Ravi Shastri, however, stated that he never interfered in selection matters.

India’s squad selection for the 2019 World Cup caused a massive uproar among fans and former cricketers. Ambati Rayudu was not picked after Virat Kohli openly acknowledged in the build-up to the ICC event that he would be the team’s no.4 batter. Ambati Rayudu whose last ODI game came in March 2019 averaged 47.05 in 55 ODIs amassing 1694 runs.

Ambati Rayudu was overlooked despite two Indian players sustaining injuries at the World Cup. (Source: File)
Ambati Rayudu was overlooked despite two Indian players sustaining injuries at the World Cup. (Source: File)

“Ravi Shastri is right that the coach does not have any say in the selection meeting but the selection committee goes to the ground, speaks to the captain and head coach, and tells them about the plans and we also ask what they want. If there is any player you are asking for. If you look at the last few years we are winning almost every bilateral series,” said Sarandeep Singh.

Asked to share his views on the puzzling team selection, Ravi Shastri conceded that either Ambati Rayudu or Shreyas Iyer should have been in the team instead of three wicketkeepers in Rishabh Pant, MS Dhoni, and Dinesh Karthik.

The then in-form Ambati Rayudu’s axe had led to a lot of controversy with many feeling that the Hyderabad cricketer was wronged in the situation. The 34-year-old batsman was overlooked despite two Indian players sustaining injuries at the 2019 World Cup.

While Ambati Rayudu was listed in the reserves for the ongoing World Cup tournament, Mayank Agarwal was picked over him to replace Vijay Shankar when he was injured. Fate refused to smile on him once again as the selectors chose Rishabh Pant after Shikhar Dhawan was ruled out of the tournament with an injury.

Ambati Rayudu announced his retirement from all forms of cricket, a decision that was later reversed by the Hyderabad player.

Sarandeep Singh: Head Coach Ravi Shastri Can Say Which Player He Wants;  Everyone Was On The Same Page More Often Than Not During His Tenure

The captain of the team always attends the selection meeting on most occasions to voice his opinion and ask for a player of his choice. Virat Kohli too did the same and with Ravi Shastri being so close to the then captain Virat Kohli baffled the former selector.

“He is the head coach so he can say which player he wants. He can say anything to Virat about what he wants. Sometimes it happens that we feel differently but at the end of the day we are always on the same page. For four years we never had different thoughts with Ravi Shastri and he is a good coach also. He listens to us all the time. So, suddenly if something like this came up, we always sat together and were always on the same page,” Sarandeep Singh said.

The former India head coach Ravi Shastri had also said while speaking to a leading publication that he was surprised to see three wicket-keepers MS Dhoni, Dinesh Karthik, and Rishabh Pant in the squad. But according to Sarandeep Singh, Rishabh Pant was not in the team initially.

Rishabh Pant (Photo Source: Disney+Hotstar VIP)
Rishabh Pant (Photo Source: Disney+Hotstar VIP)

“All the three wicket-keepers are very good as batsmen. A selector does not interfere in selection. Rishabh Pant was selected when Shikhar Dhawan got injured during the World Cup. We already had an opener in KL Rahul. So, we were looking for someone to come and bat in the middle order and play big shots. This is the reason why Rishabh Pant was in the team. But to pick playing eleven is team management’s call. The selection committee does not interfere in it,” explained Sarandeep Singh about Rishabh Pant’s selection.

The three wicket-keepers selected for the 2019 World Cup are also known for their exploits with the bat. The Indian team also performed well and finished as table-toppers in the 2019 World Cup but lost in the semi-final to New Zealand as the entire batting line-up collapsed.

“In the 2019 World Cup if you are looking at selection of Rishabh Pant then he was not their first choice. MS Dhoni and Dinesh Karthik were in the team and we were winning all the matches. We even topped the table. But suddenly with these things coming, it will be upsetting for us because we did our job fairly.”

“We travelled all the time, we saw domestic matches in which batsmen, bowlers or all-rounders are doing well. There is nothing like that we never share anything and we just have things on the table and we say that this is the team. The captain is also sitting in the meeting all the time,” Sarandeep Singh said.

The Indian team performed excellently under the leadership of Virat Kohli and the guidance of Ravi Shastri but failed to win a single ICC Trophy together despite the fact that they came very close.

India had an impressive run in the 2019 ODI World Cup held in England until their batting crumbled against New Zealand in the semi-finals in Manchester. Chasing a target of 240, India collapsed to 24 for 4 before half-centuries from Ravindra Jadeja and MS Dhoni lifted them. India, eventually, went down by 18 runs.

India's Virat Kohli. Credit: Reuters Photo
India's Virat Kohli. Credit: Reuters Photo
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Steve Harmison Ponders Whether It’s The Right Time For Virat Kohli To Relinquish Limited-Overs Captaincy

Steve Harmison, the former England pacer while weighing in on BCCI handing India’s ODI captaincy from Virat Kohli to Rohit Sharma, has asked whether now was the right time.

While speaking to former Australia spinner Brad Hogg in a video on his YouTube channel, Steve Harmison quipped that it is important Virat Kohli remains the Test skipper and also wondered whether the timing was right.

Steve Harmison
Steve Harmison. Image-Twitter

Steve Harmison: Virat Kohli Just Wants To Play

Virat Kohli opted to step down as the Indian team’s T20I captain after the T20 World Cup. The selectors decided not to retain him as ODI captain as well and passed on the reins of the team to Rohit Sharma in both white-ball formats.

“I think Virat’s at a point now where he probably just wants to play. I think it’s so important that for international Test match cricket that he keeps his captaincy because I think he drives Test match cricket in the right way. It’s very important to him; he speaks about it passionately and he cares about it,” said Steve Harmison.

Virat Kohli in action during the third day of the WTC final against New Zealand. (File)
Virat Kohli was in action during the third day of the WTC final against New Zealand. (File)

“And in the world of T20 and all these franchise leagues around the world, I think having a leader of a powerful nation like India wanting and driving Test cricket forward is a great thing for international cricket,” said Steve Harmison.

Virat Kohli, who was handed the reins for the final Test match against Australia on the 2014-15 tour from MS Dhoni, has led India in 66 Tests which is the most by an Indian skipper so far. Under Virat Kohli, India has won 39 Test matches. Under Virat Kohli, India has been the most consistent Test side over the past five years or so.

Team India has won eight of the ten ODI games they have played under Rohit Sharma. The Mumbaikar has also won 18 of 22 matches as captain in the shortest format of the game. Mumbai Indians-the most successful franchise in the history of the IPL has won five titles in 2013, 2015, 2017, 2019, and 2020, all under Rohit Sharma’s leadership.

His predecessor Virat Kohli has been one of India’s most successful white-ball captains. In 95 ODIs, he won 65, giving him a winning percentage of 70-plus.

Steve Harmison: It’s Just The Right Time For Virat Kohli To Pass The Captaincy Baton On To Rohit Sharma In Limited Overs

But Virat Kohli failed to lead the team to an ICC title win – India lost to Pakistan in the 2017 Champions Trophy final, was defeated by New Zealand in the 2019 ODI World Cup semi-final, and suffered a group-stage exit in the 2021 T20 World Cup.

“From a one-dayer point of view, it’s an embarrassment of rich. This team that India’s got now in one-day cricket is near if not as good as England’s pool of one-day players is to play that side so that format of the game,” said Steve Harmison.

Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma
Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma—Twitter

“I just think is it the right time for him to pass the baton on to Rohit and say look, “it’s your team now, 50 overs and 20 overs. You set the benchmark. You go out front and lead and I’ll just drop back into being one of the lieutenants and play Test match cricket as a leader”? I think it’s the right time,” elaborated Steve Harmison.

Virat Kohli’s next test will be against South Africa, where his team will play three Tests, the first of which is slated to begin on December 26.

Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma. Image Credits: AFP
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Gautam Gambhir Opens Up On Rohit Sharma’s Appointment As ODI Skipper After Virat Kohli Stepped Down As T20I Skipper

Gautam Gambhir has lauded Rohit Sharma’s appointment as Team India’s regular limited-overs captain. Virat Kohli opted to step down as the Indian team’s T20I captain after the T20 World Cup.

The selectors decided not to retain him as ODI captain as well and passed on the reins of the team to Rohit Sharma in both white-ball formats.

Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma
Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma (Twitter)

Gautam Gambhir: Rohit Sharma Will Get Enough Time To Groom White Ball Cricket

While reflecting on the development during an interaction, Gautam Gambhir was appreciative of Rohit Sharma’s elevation to limited-overs captaincy.

“I think it’s good for Indian cricket that now we have got two captains, one in red-ball cricket and one in white-ball cricket, so Rohit will get enough time to groom white-ball cricket – whether it is the T20 format or ODI format.”

Gautam Gambhir. Photo Credit: Getty Images.
Gautam Gambhir. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

The former India player believes Rohit Sharma will take Indian cricket to lofty heights as a captain.

“I feel Rohit Sharma as a leader will definitely do really well for Indian cricket. Plus Indian cricket is in very safe hands, especially in white-ball cricket.”

Team India has won eight of the ten ODI games they have played under Rohit Sharma. The Mumbaikar has also won 18 of 22 matches as captain in the shortest format of the game. His predecessor Virat Kohli has been one of India’s most successful white-ball captains. In 95 ODIs, he won 65, giving him a winning percentage of 70-plus.
But Virat Kohli failed to lead the team to an ICC title win – India lost to Pakistan in the 2017 Champions Trophy final, was defeated by New Zealand in the 2019 ODI World Cup semi-final, and suffered a group-stage exit in the 2021 T20 World Cup.

Gautam Gambhir: Rohit Sharma Has Won 5 IPL Titles So He Must Be Doing Right As Compared To Other IPL Skippers

Gautam Gambhir also highlighted the success Rohit Sharma has enjoyed as captain of the Mumbai Indians in the IPL. Mumbai Indians-the most successful franchise in the history of the IPL has won five titles in 2013, 2015, 2017, 2019, and 2020, all under Rohit Sharma’s leadership.
But they failed to make it to the playoffs in IPL 2021. Apart from winning five titles with MI as captain, Rohit Sharma also won an IPL as a player with now-defunct Deccan Chargers in 2009.
The Rohit Sharma-Rahul Dravid pair will together plan and shape India’s campaign in the 2022 edition of the T20 World Cup and most likely the 2023 edition of the 50-over World Cup.

He said in this regard: “He has won five IPL titles. He must be doing something right as compared to other captains.”

Rohit Sharma and Mumbai Indians created history as they won the IPL title for the fifth time, with Rohit winning it for the sixth time. , BCCI/IPL Twitter handle
Rohit Sharma and Mumbai Indians created history as they won the IPL title for the fifth time, with Rohit Sharma winning it for the sixth time. BCCI/IPL Twitter handle

The cricketer-turned-politician believes Rohit Sharma’s calm and collected approach as captain should hold the Indian team in good stead.

Gautam Gambhir elaborated: “At the same time, his calmness and sometimes his laidback attitude as well, keeping things very relaxed. At the same time, not pushing players too hard, and he himself is a very chilled-out character, which actually helps the entire squad.”

Rohit Sharma started his stint as India’s full-time white-ball captain on a positive note, winning all three matches in the recently concluded T20I series against New Zealand. He will hope to carry on with the same momentum, with a T20I World Cup and an ODI World Cup scheduled in the next couple of years.

Sourav Ganguly- Twitter
Sourav Ganguly- Twitter
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Salman Butt Backs Sourav Ganguly As He Felt Decision To Have A Single White-Ball Skipper Is Logical

Salman Butt, the former tainted Pakistan captain on Thursday backed BCCI President Sourav Ganguly’s “did not feel it right to have two different captains for two white-ball formats” statement on Virat Kohli while talking about the ODI captaincy switch.

Ex-Pakistan skipper Salman Butt admitted that he found no angle of disrespect from Sourav Ganguly and found the decision rather logical.

Salman Butt. Image-Twitter
Salman Butt. Image-Twitter

Salman Butt Backs Sourav Ganguly Saying It Doesn’t Make Sense To Have One T20I And One ODI Captain

BCCI president Sourav Ganguly said the selectors felt that multiple leaders in the white-ball format would lead to confusion and that’s why the Chetan Sharma-led committee suggested that it’s better to have one leader.

“Even I had mentioned this before. It doesn’t make sense to have one T20I captain and one ODI captain. And it is not about the decision of making Rohit Sharma the captain being right or wrong. He is equally capable and has performed well as a captain.

:If this has happened with the understanding that the decision has happened with the idea of taking pressure off a person to value his batting,” Salman Butt said speaking on his YouTube channel.

Sourav Ganguly. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Sourav Ganguly. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The Board on Wednesday named Rohit Sharma as the new ODI captain, replacing Virat Kohli, with this tenure to begin from the impending white-ball series against South Africa in January. Talking about the call, Sourav Ganguly on Thursday said that the Board and selectors made the decision together and that he and the chairman of selectors even had a word with Virat Kohli regarding the same.

“The BCCI had requested Virat to not step down as the T20I skipper but obviously, he did not agree. And the selectors then did not feel it right to have two different captains for two white-ball formats.

“So it was decided that Virat will continue as Test captain and Rohit will take over as the white-ball captain. I as President personally spoke to Virat Kohli and the chairman of selectors has also spoken to him,” Sourav Ganguly said.

Virat Kohli led India in 95 ODI games and won 65 of them but failed to lead the team to an ICC title win – India lost to Pakistan in the 2017 Champions Trophy final, were defeated by New Zealand in the 2019 ODI World Cup semi-final, and suffered a group-stage exit in 2021 T20 World Cup.

Rohit Sharma, 34, has led India 10 times in ODIs and led them to victories on eight occasions. In T20Is, he has captained them 22 times, of which they have won 18 and lost four, after whitewashing New Zealand 3-0 at home in T20Is after T20I WC.

Salman Butt: Even Joe Root Who Plays In ODIs Isn’t The Captain

Backing the decision while Salman Butt explained with the Joe Root example before saying that he did not find Sourav Ganguly’s words disrespecting Virat Kohli.

“I feel what happened is that board did not want him to leave T20I captaincy, but because he did leave it, you cannot have two white-ball captains. I don’t understand that logic. Even Joe Root plays in ODI cricket, but he isn’t the captain. Don’t see any angle of disrespect here because I don’t expect this to happen to a player of his calibre,” he added.

Eoin Morgan of England celebrates with his team as he lifts the Cricket World Cup trophy after the Final of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 between New Zealand and England at Lord's Cricket Ground on July 14, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
England team. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

Joe Root was England’s top scorer in the 2016 World Cup final when they lost to West Indies but has not played a Twenty20 International since May 2019. Joe Root is the red-call captain of the team, while Eoin Morgan is the white-ball captain.

The left-handed batsman, Morgan has been the captain of the team since 2015 and has led the team in two World Cups. England’s 2019 World Cup win under Eoin Morgan’s leadership two years ago remains one of the testaments of his captaincy.

Ravi Shastri. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Ravi Shastri. (Photo Source: Twitter)
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Ravi Shastri Wasn’t Happy With 3 Wicketkeepers Being Picked For 2019 ODI World Cup

Ravi Shastri, the former Team India head coach has admitted that the squad chosen for the 2019 ODI World Cup left a lot to be desired. He was particularly baffled by the decision to pick three wicketkeepers. Ravi Shastri, however, stated that he never interfered in selection matters.

India’s squad selection for the 2019 World Cup caused a massive uproar among fans and former cricketers. Ambati Rayudu was not picked after Virat Kohli openly acknowledged in the build-up to the ICC event that he would be the team’s no.4 batter. Ambati Rayudu whose last ODI game came in March 2019 averaged 47.05 in 55 ODIs amassing 1694 runs.

Ravi Shastri Image Source : AP
Ravi Shastri Image Source: AP

Ravi Shastri Wasn’t Happy With 3 Keepers Being Picked For 2019 ODI World Cup

Asked to share his views on the puzzling team selection, Ravi Shastri conceded that either Ambati Rayudu or Shreyas Iyer should have been in the team instead of three wicketkeepers in Rishabh Pant, MS Dhoni, and Dinesh Karthik.

The then in-form Ambati Rayudu’s axe had led to a lot of controversy with many feeling that the Hyderabad cricketer was wronged in the situation. The 34-year-old batsman was overlooked despite two Indian players sustaining injuries at the 2019 World Cup.

While Ambati Rayudu was listed in the reserves for the ongoing World Cup tournament, Mayank Agarwal was picked over him to replace Vijay Shankar when he was injured. Fate refused to smile on him once again as the selectors chose Rishabh Pant after Shikhar Dhawan was ruled out of the tournament with an injury.

Having been overlooked twice for the world cup selection, the middle-order batsman Ambati Rayudu had announced his retirement on July 13, 2019, and did not state the reason for it.

Ravi Shastri said in an interview: “I had no say in that (team selection). But I wasn’t okay with three wicketkeepers being picked for the World Cup. Either Ambati or Shreyas could’ve come in. What was the logic in having MS Dhoni, Rishabh [Pant] and Dinesh [Karthik] all together?”

Ambati Rayudu was overlooked despite two Indian players sustaining injuries at the World Cup. (Source: File)
Ambati Rayudu was overlooked despite two Indian players sustaining injuries at the World Cup. (Source: File)

Ravi Shastri, however, added: “But I never interfered with the selectors’ work, except when I was asked for feedback or as part of a general discussion.”

India had an impressive run in the 2019 ODI World Cup held in England until their batting crumbled against New Zealand in the semi-finals in Manchester. Chasing a target of 240, India collapsed to 24 for 4 before half-centuries from Ravindra Jadeja and MS Dhoni lifted them. India, eventually, went down by 18 runs.

Ravi Shastri Was Confident That Jasprit Bumrah Would Do Well In Test Debut In South Africa In 2017/2018

Under Ravi Shastri’s tenure as head coach, India’s fast bowling department developed into one of the best in the business worldwide. Pacer Jasprit Bumrah has had a key role to play in making India a lethal bowling outfit. While Jasprit Bumrah first made a name for himself especially in the limited-overs format, there were apprehensions over his Test utility given his unconventional bowling action.

But the pacer answered his critics with a memorable Test debut in South Africa. Jasprit Bumrah claimed four scalps in Cape Town, although India went down by 72 runs. Ravi Shastri asserted that he was confident of Jasprit Bumrah making a mark in South Africa during the Test series in 2017/18.

The 59-year-old recalled: “Cape Town was on my mind almost two months before we had landed there. Me and (Bharat) Arun were at a function in Kolkata during Durga Puja when I called Jasprit. It was September 2017, and I told him to be ‘ready’ for SA. That guy couldn’t believe – all he said was ‘playing Test cricket is my dream’.”

Jasprit Bumrah (Photo by PETER PARKS / AFP)
Jasprit Bumrah (Photo by PETER PARKS / AFP)

Ravi Shastri further said while praising Jasprit Bumrah: “The spell he bowled in the second innings at Cape Town – that’s just what we had expected him to do. And that was just the start. He’s a quick learner and has a good attitude. The only other bowler in India who took the same amount of time to declare himself to the world – that here’s a great – was Kapil Dev.”

While India went on to lose the three-match Test series 2-1, Jasprit Bumrah claimed seven wickets in the famous Test win in Johannesburg, including his maiden five-for in the first innings. After making his limited-overs ODI and T20I debuts in Australia in 2016, pacer Jasprit Bumrah quickly built a reputation of being a bankable seam bowler. It was Ravi Shastri who insisted not to ‘unleash’ Jasprit Bumrah on Indian pitches in Test cricket.

Jasprit Bumrah is India’s fastest pacer to reach 100 wickets in Test cricket, achieving the feat in 24 games. He has 101 scalps to date averaging 22.79 with 6 five-wicket hauls.

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