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Rahul Dravid
Rahul Dravid - K. MURALI KUMAR
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Rahul Dravid Will Travel As India’s Head Coach For 3 T20Is And As Many ODIs For Sri Lanka Tour

Rahul Dravid will travel as India head coach for the six-game white-ball tour of Sri Lanka in July. Apart from Rahul Dravid, the coaching staff will consist of members of Rahul Dravid’s team from the National Cricket Academy (NCA).

The Indian white-ball team that will travel to Sri Lanka has been assured of at least one week’s preparation time before the opening fixture – the first ODI on July 13.

Rahul Dravid Photo Credit: PTI
Rahul Dravid Photo Credit: PTI

Rahul Dravid To Coach India’s Limited Overs Team In Tour To Sri Lanka

The BCCI initially thought of hosting a camp in Bangalore, but the worsening Covid-19 situation in India which has resulted in continued lockdown has ruled out that possibility. A source connected with the tour has revealed that the touring party will have quarantine before departure in India and is preparing to undergo isolation, if needed, on arrival in Sri Lanka too, depending on the bio-protocols in the island.

Rahul Dravid, former India skipper, and current National Cricket Academy (NCA) head will coach the Indian limited-overs team that will play a six-game series (3 T20Is, 3 ODIs) against Sri Lanka in July. This will be Rahul Dravid’s second stint with the Indian team after working with the Men in Blue as a batting consultant during the England tour in 2014.

Indian Cricket Team
Indian Cricket Team. Image Credits: Twitter

As of Tuesday (June 8), the Sri Lanka Ministry of Health guidelines states that one-day quarantine is needed for the fully vaccinated people from India, Vietnam, South African, and South American countries. These rules are applicable up to June 30. The guidelines, as per the order, could change after June 30 and different rules may be in place by the time the Indian team leaves for Sri Lanka. Different rules may also apply for those who have had only one dose of vaccination.

Production of pre-departure negative RT-PCR test would be needed on arrival, followed by a negative test result after a day’s stay at the hotel. The BCCI had previously advised players to take their vaccinations, but how many of them can complete both the doses on time before departure remains to be seen.

Shikhar Dhawan May Be Assigned Captaincy As Shreyas Iyer’s Availability Uncertain

As for the make-up of the Indian squad, there’s no immediate information on the date of the selection committee meeting, though it is expected to take place soon. Shikhar Dhawan could be handed captaincy, while Shreyas Iyer’s availability is still uncertain.

Shreyas Iyer
Shreyas Iyer. Getty Images

While Shikhar Dhawan, Hardik Pandya, and Bhuvneshwar Kumar look certain to be included in the Indian side, speculations are rife over who all are going to be included in the side. Young guns like Prithvi Shaw, Devdutt Padikkal, N Jagadeesan, and Chetan Sakariya might get rewarded for a good show in the IPL 2020-2021 while Suryakumar Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, and Ishan Kishan are likely to retain their spots.

The three ODIs will be played from July 13 onwards and the T20Is will take place from July 21. The ODIs will take place on July 13, 16, and 18 while the T20Is will be played on July 21, 23, and 25. The venue for the games will be R Premadasa Stadium at Colombo.

It will be a rare occasion when two Indian squads will be playing in different countries at the same time. The Virat Kohli-led side will be preparing for the five-match Test series against England at the same time. The Test squad is already in the UK for the World Test Championship final against New Zealand from June 18 while the England series begins on August 4.

Squad Contenders To Choose From- Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Shreyas Iyer (subject to fitness), Devdutt Paddikal, N Jagadeesan, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Manish Pandey, Sanju Samson (wk), Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Rahul Tewatia, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Navdeep Saini, Kartik Tyagi, Ravi Bishnoi, Deepak Chahar, T Natarajan, Rahul Chahar, Chetan Sakariya, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Khaleel Ahmed, Jaydev Unadkat, Harshal Patel

Suryakumar Yadav
Suryakumar Yadav (BCCI)
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Suryakumar Yadav Is The Batsman To Watch Out For In 3 ODIs And As Many T20Is vs Sri Lanka, Says MSK Prasad

MSK Prasad, former India chief selector believes the 30-year-old Mumbai batsman Suryakumar Yadav can make a big impact in the upcoming limited-overs series in Sri Lanka. India is set to play three ODIs and three T20Is starting July 13th against Sri Lanka.

But with Virat Kohli-led Test squad away in England, India is expected to send a squad of fringe players to Sri Lanka for the limited-overs series. So, MSK Prasad believes that players like Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, and Sanju Samson, who have been excellent in the IPL, can make a great impact in the series.

MSK Prasad
MSK Prasad (Getty Images)

MSK Prasad Feels Standby For England, Avesh Khan Will Be Unfortunate If He Miss Out On Playing Either Series

MSK Prasad also praised Delhi Capitals fast bowler Avesh Khan, who has been named as a standby in the UK tour, and said it would be unfortunate if the pacer misses both the series.

“Suryakumar Yadav is the guy to watch out for. Ishan and Sanju also have a great opportunity at hand. I would have also loved to see Avesh Khan (named standby for the UK tour). He has been excellent in the IPL, and it would be unfortunate to see him miss out on playing in either series,” Prasad told Sportstar.

Avesh Khan has been instrumental in Delhi Capitals’ early success in IPL 2021. Image: BCCI
Avesh Khan has been instrumental in Delhi Capitals’ early success in IPL 2021. Image: BCCI

While Shikhar Dhawan, Hardik Pandya, and Bhuvneshwar Kumar look certain to be included in the Indian side, speculations are rife over who all are going to be included in the side. Young guns like Prithvi Shaw, Devdutt Padikkal, N Jagadeesan, and Chetan Sakariya might get rewarded for a good show in the IPL 2020-2021 while Suryakumar Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, and Ishan Kishan are likely to retain their spots.

Avesh Khan was a find of IPL 2021 for picking 14 wickets in 8 games and being 2nd highest wicket-taker before IPL 2021 was suspended for a surge in Covid-19 cases.

MSK Prasad: Confidence Level Of Modern Cricketers Is High An Example Being Suryakumar Yadav’s First Ball Six On Debut

MSK Prasad further on to went explain how the youngster of today’s generation is differentiating themselves from the players from the bygone era.

“The skill level back then was similar to what we have now. But the confidence levels of the boys today are five times more than what we had then,” Prasad said.

“Simple example: first ball, Suryakumar Yadav, gets an opportunity to play in a T20I game, smashes one of the best bowlers in the world for a six. Or Ishan Kishan, the way he blasted the opposition (England) on debut.”

He went on to make a bold prediction.

“I won’t be surprised if this young squad wins the series in Sri Lanka,” Prasad signed off.

Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan were given their debut caps ahead of India's second T20I against England in Ahmedabad on Sunday. - SPORTZPICS
Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan. SPORTZPICS.

Suryakumar Yadav has so far played two T20I innings. He has scored 89 runs at an average of 44.50 and a strike rate of 185.41. He kicked off his international career with a magnificent six against English speedster Jofra Archer.

Suryakumar Yadav has scored 512, 424, and 484 runs respectively in the last three seasons for Mumbai Indians and played a key role in them winning two titles. Ishan Kishan, another Mumbai Indians batsman scored 56 runs off just 32 balls while Suryakumar Yadav did not get a chance to bat in the 2nd T20I match where both batsmen debuted.

Suryakumar Yadav got the chance to bat in the fourth T20I and went on to score 57 runs from 31 deliveries before scoring a rapid 32 off 17 balls in the series decider T20I and was inducted in the ODI squad.

Indian Cricket Team
Indian Cricket Team. Image Credits: Twitter
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India Is Lucky To Have A Very Strong Pool Of Players Which May Be A Problem For Others, Says VVS Laxman

VVS Laxman, a former Indian batsman recognises that the times ahead are definitely exciting for Indian cricket. While speaking to Sportstar, VVS Laxman was asked whether this culture of sending two different teams can become a norm.

The main team, led by Virat Kohli, will locks horns with Kane Williamson’s New Zealand in the World Test Championship (WTC) final followed by a five-match Test series against England. On the other hand, India will play three ODIs and as many T20Is in the Sri Lanka tour.

VVS Laxman
VVS Laxman

VVS Laxman: India Has A Very Strong Pool Of Players To Choose From

The depth of Indian cricket, currently, is immense, to say the least. The fact that the BCCI has sent one team to England and will send a second-string Indian side to Sri Lanka in July bears a testament to the enviable talent of Indian cricket. That particular side is expected to consist of a few senior players, who failed to make the cut in the main team, along with a handful of uncapped players.

The last time it happened was in 1998 when one team featured in the Commonwealth Games and the other one played in the Sahara Cup in Toronto.

“What happened over the last couple of years in Indian cricket is very exciting. We have a very strong pool of players to choose from. Our domestic structure is so robust that there is so much opportunity for unearthing a lot of talented players.”

Rahul Dravid, former India skipper, and current National Cricket Academy (NCA) head will coach the Indian limited-overs team that will play a six-game series (3 T20Is, 3 ODIs) against Sri Lanka in July.

Shikhar Dhawan Image Source : AP
Shikhar Dhawan Image Source: AP

While Shikhar Dhawan, Hardik Pandya, and Bhuvneshwar Kumar look certain to be included in the Indian side, speculations are rife over who all are going to be included in the side. Young guns like Prithvi Shaw, Devdutt Padikkal, N Jagadeesan, and Chetan Sakariya might get rewarded for a good show in the IPL 2020-2021 while Suryakumar Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, and Ishan Kishan are likely to retain their spots.

VVS Laxman: India A Program Under Rahul Dravid, Contribution Of NCA And IPL Are Reasons Behind Getting Many Quality Players

The 46-year-old also heaped praise on his teammate Rahul Dravid’s contribution and the IPL, saying these two factors helped in recognizing quality players.

“The India A program under Rahul (Dravid) and the contribution of NCA and of course the IPL – these three – are the reasons why we got so many quality players. And the best thing is that by default (may not be by design) a lot of these players got opportunities to showcase their talents and that’s why the confidence level is so high,” VVS Laxman added.

Rahul Dravid Photo Credit: PTI
Rahul Dravid Photo Credit: PTI

Concluding his point, VVS Laxman said that this concept is something Team India can definitely adopt in the future.

“I believe that India is very lucky to have so many talented players. It may be a problem for other countries because the talent pool is not as deep as it is available for us. So definitely, India can look at fielding two teams. We are fortunate to have some experienced players who will be going to Sri Lanka, who can walk into any international side,” VVS Laxman opined.

The Indian team is currently under quarantine in Southampton, England. The entire contingent, including the support and coaching staff, and the women’s team, checked in at the Hilton Hotel on June 3. The hotel is located on the premises of the Ageas Bowl, the venue for the grand finale.

Danish Kaneria (Getty Images)
Danish Kaneria (Getty Images)
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Danish Kaneria Prefers Sanju Samson As Skipper For Sri Lanka Tour

Danish Kaneria is most inclined towards Sanju Samson as his pick as skipper for the Sri Lanka limited-overs tour. However, given Sanju Samson’s failed attempts to cement a permanent place in the Indian team, the board may look beyond the wicketkeeper-batsman, but Danish Kaneria has put his faith behind the keeper believing he should be given more opportunities, which may clear the path for him in the time to come. Having said that, the former spinner feels the captaincy duties are likely to be assigned to Shikhar Dhawan.

Danish Kaneria
Danish Kaneria © AFP

Danish Kaneria Prefers Sanju Samson As Skipper For Sri Lanka Tour But Feels Shikhar Dhawan Too Is A Strong Contender

With the likes of Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Ravichandran Ashwin, Rishabh Pant, and others in England for the Test series, the squad that will travel to Sri Lanka will be filled with fringe players and promising youngsters, which adds to the debate of captaincy. The BCCI is yet to announce India’s squad for the tour of Sri Lanka, but already the big question doing the rounds is who is the likely candidate to lead the team in the absence of major players.

Sanju Samson Deepak Malik/SPORTZPICS
Sanju Samson Deepak Malik/SPORTZPICS

Shikhar Dhawan, based on his experience is being talked about as the man to lead India in Sri Lanka, but former Pakistan spinner Danish Kaneria feels the command of the team should be given to someone who can be groomed as a future captain for India.

“The Sri Lanka tour is a great opportunity for India to possibly find its next captain and groom him. The choices aren’t a lot. In fact, there are only two options. One is Sanju Samson, who has captained Rajasthan Royals in the IPL and looked good behind the stumps as well. The second option is the most senior player, Shikhar Dhawan. He is a senior player in ODIs and T20Is,” Danish Kaneria said on his YouTube channel.

“However, is he a long-term option to lead India in the future? Or Samson has the time and opportunity to improve himself going ahead? Or will Hardik Pandya be captaincy material? All these are tough questions. But as far as I am concerned, I will go with a player who, in the future, can lead India,” said Danish Kaneria.

Sanju Samson led Rajasthan Royals in the now-suspended IPL 2021. The Kerala batsman took over the reins from Australian Steve Smith, who was purchased by Delhi Capitals at the IPL 2021 Auction. Sanju Samson was growing into the role well in the tournament before it was deferred due to the Covid-19 crisis in the country.

Sanju Samson topped the run-scorers chart for the franchise, as he smashed a century and amassed 277 runs in 7 matches. Rajasthan Royals, under Sanju Samson’s captaincy debut, won three of their first seven matches and stood fifth in the points table.

Danish Kaneria: Shikhar Dhawan Likely To Get India’s Captaincy In Sri Lanka

In the absence of many key players, Shikhar Dhawan may lead the Indian team in 3 ODIs and 3 T20Is against Sri Lanka. Although there has been no announcement regarding the same, it is expected that the players who performed well in the IPL could get a chance in the team.

“Shikhar Dhawan is likely to get India’s captaincy in Sri Lanka. Not Shaw, Samson… but Dhawan. But if it were up to me, I would have to go with Samson. We should be ready, that in the future, if Virat is willing to step down as captain, then he should be the next in line. We have to be ready that if Kohli isn’t around, we need to groom someone. So I would go with Samson but Dhawan remains a strong contender,” the former leg-spinner added.

Shikhar Dhawan Image Source : AP
Shikhar Dhawan Image Source: AP

Shikhar Dhawan, the probable captain had a good IPL 2021 with Delhi Capitals. He was the highest scorer of the tournament with 380 runs at an average of 54.28. He would be accompanied by fellow teammate Delhi Capitals opener Prithvi Shaw at the top of the order. Devdutt Padikkal is likely to be one of the three openers India will travel with besides the duo of Prithvi Shaw and Shikhar Dhawan.

In 2019, Shikhar Dhawan scored over 520 runs and then followed it up with 618 runs in IPL 2020, where he also became the first batsman in the tournament’s history to score two successive hundreds

Rahul Dravid Photo Credit: PTI
Rahul Dravid Photo Credit: PTI
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It’s An Amazing And Interesting Idea To Appoint Rahul Dravid As Coach, Says Inzamam-Ul-Haq

Inzamam-Ul-Haq, former Pakistan captain is excited at the prospect of seeing Rahul Dravid take charge of the team when India travels to Sri Lanka to play an ODI and T20I series in July. With head coach Ravi Shastri scheduled to be in England overseeing proceedings for the Indian Test team, Rahul Dravid, who is currently serving as the NCA chief is the likely candidate to travel with the squad as its coach.

Rahul Dravid has earlier served as coach of the India A and Under-19 team and delivered wonderful results with the Under-19 team winning the World Cup in 2018.

Inzamam-Ul-Haq talks about Rahul Dravid being India coach.(Getty Images)
Inzamam-Ul-Haq talks about Rahul Dravid being India coach.(Getty Images)

Inzamam-Ul-Haq: It’s An Amazing And Interesting Idea To Appoint Rahul Dravid As Limited Overs Coach For Sri Lanka Tour

Inzamam-Ul-Haq, who has been appreciative of Rahul Dravid and his role in the development of Indian cricket, feels the former India batsman taking charge could only mean good things for the squad that will travel to Sri Lanka. With Rahul Dravid at the helm, Inzamam-Ul-Haq expects an amazing and interesting experience for the Indian team.

“I had mentioned Rahul Dravid earlier as well… how he started producing players from the Under-19 group, who have gone on to play for the Indian team on a regular basis. And even now I ‘m hearing that the team which is going to Sri Lanka, Rahul Dravid could be its coach, he could look after it. I think that’s an amazing, interesting idea,” Inzamam said on his YouTube channel ‘The Match Winner’.

Rahul Dravid
Rahul Dravid- K. MURALI KUMAR

In the video, Inzamam-Ul-Haq pointed out how India has worked hard on improving their domestic structure, due to which they have reached a stage where they have at least 50 players ready to play for the national team.

Inzamam-Ul-Haq: If India Successfully Pulls Off Fielding Two Different International Teams At The Same Time, It Will Be A Benchmark For Other Teams

India will be the first team in this decade to field two separate teams near the same time in two different countries, which shows the exemplary bench strength it has. And if they are able to pull this off, the former Pakistan batsman feels it will set a benchmark for other cricket-playing nations to match.

“India are bringing a change in world cricket and I believe whichever nation strengthens its base, improves its First-Class structure, that country would be able to do what India are doing now – fielding two different international teams almost at the same time. If India are able to successfully pull it off, it will set a benchmark for the rest of the teams,” Inzamam said.

Shikhar Dhawan Image Source : AP
Shikhar Dhawan Image Source: AP

Rahul Dravid, former India skipper, and current National Cricket Academy (NCA) head will coach the Indian limited-overs team that will play a six-game series (3 T20Is, 3 ODIs) against Sri Lanka in July. This will be Rahul Dravid’s second stint with the Indian team after working with the Men in Blue as a batting consultant during the England tour in 2014.

While Shikhar Dhawan and Hardik Pandya look the only certainty for the Indian side, speculations are rife over who all are going to be included in the side. Young guns like Prithvi Shaw, Devdutt Padikkal, N Jagadeesan, Ravi Bishnoi, Ruturaj Gaikwad, and Chetan Sakariya might get rewarded for a good show in the IPL 2021.

Rahul Dravid Photo Credit: PTI
Rahul Dravid Photo Credit: PTI
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Rahul Dravid To Coach Team India During Limited-Overs Series For Sri Lanka Tour

Rahul Dravid, former India skipper, and current National Cricket Academy (NCA) head will coach the Indian limited-overs team that will play a six-game series (3 T20Is, 3 ODIs) against Sri Lanka in July.

This will be Rahul Dravid’s second stint with the Indian team after working with the Men in Blue as a batting consultant during the England tour in 2014.

Rahul Dravid
Rahul Dravid- Photo K. MURALI KUMAR

Rahul Dravid Will Coach Indian Limited Overs Team For Sri Lanka Tour

Speaking to ANI, a BCCI official in the know of developments confirmed that the NCA head would be leading the team as the trio of Ravi Shastri, Bharat Arun, and Vikram Rathour will be in England with the Test team.

“The Team India coaching staff will be in the UK and it is best that the young team is guided by Rahul Dravid as he has already worked with almost all of India ‘A’ boys. The comfort the youngsters share with him will be an added advantage,” the official said.

Ravi Shastri. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Ravi Shastri. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Before taking over as the head of NCA in 2019, Rahul Dravid had worked closely with the current crop of youngsters in the Indian team at the U-19 level as well as in the India ‘A’ team. In fact, Rahul Dravid is seen to have played an integral role in building solid bench strength for the Indian national team over the last couple of years — having taken charge of the U-19 and ‘A’ team in 2015.

India Team For Sri Lanka Tour Consisting Of 3 ODIs And 3 T20Is Expected To Be Selected At End Of May

The Indian team for the Sri Lanka series is expected to be selected at the end of the month and they will have to undergo quarantine in the Island Nation before playing the three ODI and three T20I games. The three ODIs will be played on July 13, 16, 19 and the T20Is are expected to be played from July 22-27.

Shikhar Dhawan Image Source : AP
Shikhar Dhawan Image Source: AP

While the young Indian players look to fight it out with Sri Lanka in the limited-overs series, the Virat Kohli-led side will be in England waiting for the start of the five-match Test series against the English team from August 4. The Test series will take place after India battles it out with New Zealand in the final of the World Test Championship in Southampton from June 18 to 22.

While Shikhar Dhawan and Hardik Pandya look the only certainty for the Indian side, speculations are rife over who all are going to be included in the side. Young guns like Prithvi Shaw, Devdutt Padikkal, N Jagadeesan, Chetan Sakariya might get rewarded for a good show in the IPL 2021.

Squad Contenders To Choose From Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Shreyas Iyer (subject to fitness), Devdutt Paddikal, N Jagadeesan, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Manish Pandey, Sanju Samson (wk), Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Rahul Tewatia, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Navdeep Saini, Kartik Tyagi, Ravi Bishnoi, Deepak Chahar, T Natarajan, Rahul Chahar, Chetan Sakariya, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Khaleel Ahmed, Jaydev Unadkat, Harshal Patel

Avesh Khan has been instrumental in Delhi Capitals’ early success in IPL 2021. Image: BCCI
Avesh Khan has been instrumental in Delhi Capitals’ early success in IPL 2021. Image: BCCI
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Aakash Chopra Praised Delhi Pacer Avesh Khan For Doing Well In IPL 2021

Aakash Chopra, former India opener has hailed fast bowler Delhi Capitals’ Avesh Khan, calling him a ‘revelation’ of IPL 2021 for picking 14 wickets in 8 games and being 2nd highest wicket-taker before IPL was suspended for a surge in Covid-19 cases.

The Indian Premier League over the years has gained the reputation of being a breeding ground for the next generation of Indian cricketers.

Aakash Chopra. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Aakash Chopra. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Aakash Chopra: Avesh Khan Has Been A Revelation

Several players, who had been outstanding performers in the tournament, went on to play for the Indian cricket team and have achieved success like Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, and Hardik Pandya. This year too, the IPL 2021 saw some scintillating performances from some of India’s uncapped youngsters like Chetan Sakariya, Devdutt Padikkal, Harpreet Brar, Avesh Khan, and Harshal Patel.

Pacer Avesh Khan had successfully created an identity of his own in the 2021 IPL. The right-arm quick was trusted by the Delhi Capitals think tank when the likes of Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje weren’t available. In return, the youngster emerged as the most successful bowler for the team before the league came to an abrupt halt.

Kagiso Rabada
Kagiso Rabada (Image Credit: Twitter)

Impressed with his performance, former Indian opener Aakash Chopra has hailed the fast bowler, saying the opposition batsmen can’t afford to take Avesh Khan lightly. In his latest YouTube video, the cricketer-turned-commentator heaped praise on the youngster for consistently taking wickets for DC, irrespective of how difficult the situation was.

“Avesh Khan has been a revelation. He has stood up and gotten counted again and again. He showed that he cannot be taken lightly. Right from the first match, you will see that Avesh Khan performed consistently well. Whether it was the new ball or the old one, whether it was the middle overs or the death overs, he has been very, very good,” Aakash Chopra said.

Chetan Sakariya, the 22-year-old who picked up seven scalps in as many games for Rajasthan Royals in the IPL 2021, Harshal Patel who picked up an amazing 17 wickets for RCB in only 7 games and was well on his way to winning the Purple Cap, Devdutt Padikkal who slammed his maiden IPL ton and continued his form from his maiden IPL 2020 season and Harpreet Brar who picked the trio of AB De Villiers, Virat Kohli and Glenn Maxwell in a match were the standout young performers.

Aakash Chopra: Avesh Khan Was A Huge Contributor To Delhi Capitals’ Success

Avesh Khan picked up only 5 wickets in 2017 and 2018 combined and went wicketless in 2019 and 2020 but in 8 IPL 2021 games, picked up 14 wickets including Faf du Plessis, David Miller, MS Dhoni, Nicholas Pooran, Suryakumar Yadav, Jonny Bairstow, Vijay Shankar, Virat Kohli, and Shubman Gill.

“He took the huge wickets. He dismissed Faf du Plessis, Dhoni, and Kohli. He consistently and regularly felled the best player in the opposition line-up. So, he was a huge contributor to Delhi Capitals’ success,” Aakash Chopra concluded.

Avesh Khan
Avesh Khan (Image Credit: Twitter)

Avesh Khan was quick enough to make his way into the top half of the Purple Cap list. He scalped a total of 14 wickets at a decent economy rate of 7.70 and finished as the second-highest wicket-taker of the IPL 2021. His excellent performance paid off rich dividends as he was picked for India’s upcoming tour of England as one of the standby players.

Notably, Avesh Khan was the only Delhi Capitals bowler among the top 10 wicket-takers in IPL 2021 after the completion of 29 games. Delhi Capitals managed to top the points table with 12 points in 8 matches. The Rishabh Pant-led side won 6 matches and lost 2 in IPL 2021.

The right-arm fast bowler was part of the 2016 U-19 World Cup squad led by Ishan Kishan with the likes of Rishabh Pant and Washington Sundar part of the mix, that finished runner-up against West Indies. He burst onto the scene finishing as India’s best bowler with 12 wickets to his name, picking one wicket in the final as well.

Royal Challengers Bangalore
Royal Challengers Bangalore (Image Credit: Twitter)
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Aakash Chopra Believed RCB Would Have A Tough Time In Chennai But Eventually End Up Winning All Three Games

Aakash Chopra has acknowledged that he had thought the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) would come unstuck on the slow surfaces in Chennai.

RCB emerged victorious in five of the seven matches they played before IPL 2021 was suspended. This included wins in all three of their encounters at Chepauk at the start of the tournament.

Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Aakash Chopra: Concern For Virat Kohli That He Didn’t Have Good Bowlers For Death Overs Was Resolved In IPL 2021

While reviewing RCB’s performance in a video shared on his YouTube channel, former Indian opener turned commentator Aakash Chopra admitted he believed the franchise would have a tough time in Chennai, considering their death bowling issues and reliance on overseas batsmen.

“The concern for Virat Kohli has been that he does not have good bowlers for the death, this time that task happened very well. Let’s be honest, I had thought RCB would get stuck in Chennai as their bowling will not work and there are so many overseas players in the batting,” said Aakash Chopra.

Harshal Patel
Harshal Patel (Image Credit: Twitter)

The cricketer-turned-commentator spoke in glowing terms about the improvements seen in RCB’s death bowling over the last couple of IPL seasons.

“The big change that has been seen happening – in 2019 they were getting hit a lot in the death overs, in 2020 that graph started going lower and in 2021 it went further down.

“That means while you were conceding 12-13 runs per over till 2019, now you have gone under 10, that too when Harshal Patel bowled two very expensive overs. That means you are doing a lot of things right,” observed Aaksh Chopra.

Apart from the hammering received by Harshal Patel at the hands of Ravindra Jadeja and the KL Rahul-Harpreet Brar pair, the RCB bowlers held their own in the death overs more often than not.

RCB was placed 3rd with 10 points from 7 games behind Delhi and Chennai. For the team who is yet to win the IPL title, Virat Kohli-198 runs, AB De Villiers-207 runs, Devdutt Padikkal-195 runs and Glenn Maxwell-223 runs contributed with the bat while Harshal Patel-17 wickets, Kyle Jamieson-9 wickets, Mohammed Siraj-6 wickets, Shahbaz Ahmed-4 wickets, Yuzvendra Chahal-4 wickets hogged the limelight with the ball.

Aakash Chopra Praised Harshal Patel, Mohammed Siraj, And Shahbaz Ahmed

Aakash Chopra singled out Harshal Patel as the most significant contributor in RCB’s death bowling turnaround.

“The single most reason for the change was Harshal Patel. He took the wickets and had the Purple Cap on his head. When he took five wickets in the first match against Mumbai, the change started to happen, they got the belief that they can do it,” said Aakash Chopra.

Mohammed Siraj, Shahbaz Ahmed | BCCI/IPL
Mohammed Siraj, Shahbaz Ahmed | BCCI/IPL

The 43-year-old also lauded pacer Mohammed Siraj and spin all-rounder Shahbaz Ahmed for their match-winning contributions with the ball.

“How well Mohammed Siraj is bowling. He bowled one over to Andre Russell, continuous wide yorkers, he did not bowl a single ball that could be hit for a six. Shahbaz Ahmed came in the middle, he bowled an odd over where he took a couple of wickets. The performances were coming together quite nicely in the bowling department,” concluded Chopra.

Harshal Patel is the current Purple Cap holder in IPL 2021, with 17 scalps to his credit. Shahbaz Ahmed and Mohammed Siraj also struck crucial blows for RCB and conceded just 6.40 and 7.34 runs per over respectively.

RCB made their best-ever start to an IPL season, winning their first four games to grab the top spot on the points table. The team was performing like a well-oiled machine under Virat Kohli as finally, all the pieces of the puzzle seemed to have come together for them this season.

RCB was third with 5 wins from 7 games before the suspension ended their dream run. RCB can still hope to make history as the IPL could be played at a later date but chances of it restarting any time soon remain bleak.

Best Indian XI Of IPL 2021
Best Indian XI Of IPL 2021.

Best Indian XI Of IPL 2021

IPL 2021 had an unfortunate end as the tournament was suspended by BCCI after multiple players were infected by Covid-19. Almost half of the tournament was over with BCCI managing to conduct 29 IPL matches. BCCI has stated that IPL 2021 is not canceled but only suspended for an indefinite period.

It can be continued later, however, looking at the Covid-19 situation in India and the busy schedule of the Indian team this year, the continuation of the IPL later this year has very little chance.

Even after the suspension of IPL 2021, the tournament definitely managed to entertain cricket fans for many days. This year, many Indian players impressed fans with their spectacular performance. Many new faces also bagged the limelight with their fabulous show in IPL 2021. Here we look at the best XI Indian players of IPL 2021.

Best Indian XI Of IPL 2021

Shikhar Dhawan

Shikhar Dhawan, IPL 2021
Shikhar Dhawan (Image Credit: Twitter)

Shikhar Dhawan is one obvious Indian player who earned accolades with his batting in IPL 2021. He was the leading run-scorer in IPL 2021 with 380 runs in 8 matches. He smashed 3 half-centuries and was a leading force to help Delhi Capitals chase targets. He also got two players of the match awards out of Delhi Capitals’ 8 matches in IPL 2021. He was also the most valuable player with the highest 155.5 points.

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.

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