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Gautam Gambhir

Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli in action against Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2021. (IPL)
Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli in action against Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2021. (IPL)

Virat Kohli May Be Removed As RCB Skipper Mid-way Through UAE Leg Of IPL 2021

Virat Kohli could be removed as the captain of Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) mid-way through the ongoing UAE leg of the Indian Premier League (IPL), a former India cricketer has said. Virat Kohli earlier announced that he will step down as the captain of RCB after IPL 2021 concludes. Earlier this week, Virat Kohli had announced that he will relinquish his India T20I captaincy after the upcoming T20I World Cup to be staged in the UAE and Oman.

The reason for his axe as skipper seems to be quite evident after witnessing RCB’s meek surrender against the Kolkata Knight Riders in Abu Dhabi on Monday. RCB had made a humiliating return to IPL’s UAE leg when they were bundled out for just 92 by KKR in their first match of Phase-2. It was RCB’s sixth-lowest total in IPL, as they lost to the Eoin Morgan-led KKR by nine wickets.

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli (Image Credit: Twitter)

Virat Kohli May Be Sacked As RCB Skipper Midway In IPL 2021

After opting to bat by winning the toss against KKR, Virat Kohli (5 runs off 4 balls) fell prey to pacer Prasidh Krishna in just the second over of the match. The 32-year-old batsman was trapped plumb in front and a bad review call didn’t help his case either. Even the body language of Virat Kohli was not the same, as it used to be, throughout the match. He was actually emanating shades of a player who has just decided to step down as the captain of RCB after the conclusion of IPL 2021.

Prasidh Krishna trapped Virat Kohli LBW for just 5 runs | Photo: BCCI / IPL
Prasidh Krishna trapped Virat Kohli LBW for just 5 runs | Photo: BCCI / IPL

His call to step down before the start of the IPL 2021 UAE leg further was criticized by many including former cricketer Gautam Gambhir, who had questioned the timing of his decision. He reckoned if Virat Kohli had to do something like that, he could have done it after the IPL was over. Some cricketers even went on suggesting that the team looked “unsettled” by the untimely announcement. One former India cricketer, on condition of anonymity said that it seems that Virat Kohli might be removed “mid-way”.

“Look at the way he was playing against Kolkata Knight Riders. Just clueless! It seems he is struggling big time right now. There are chances that he could be removed mid-way through the season. “

“It has happened earlier also with other teams — like with Dinesh Karthik in KKR and David Warner in Sunrisers Hyderabad, among others. They were either removed or they stepped down mid-way. So it can happen in RCB as well… I have this feeling after watching yesterday’s match. One more bad game and you can see a change in RCB captaincy right away,” said the former cricketer.

Virat Kohli was appointed the skipper of RCB ahead of the 2013 IPL season as a successor to outgoing captain Daniel Vettori. Since then, the side has unsatisfactory won 62 of the 132 matches under him, to go with 66 losses and 4 no-results, and an IPL trophy has forever eluded him. Appointed ahead of the 2013 season as a successor to spinner Daniel Vettori, Virat Kohli will end up with nine seasons at the helm for RCB.

AB de Villiers, Yuzvendra Chahal, And Devdutt Padikkal Are Likely Candidates To Replace Virat Kohli As RCB Skipper

Senior player AB de Villiers will probably be the apt candidate to replace Virat Kohli. He is greatly respected within the team. But there are also chances that he might not accept the offer. Yuzvendra Chahal’s name is also doing the rounds on the basis of seniority in the team. Yuzvendra Chahal has also been the leading wicket-taker for RCB in the IPL, clinching 125 wickets in 106 games that he has played for the franchise so far.

Yuzvendra Chahal
Yuzvendra Chahal. Image Credits: Twitter

Youngster Devdutt Padikkal’s name has been coined as well, following the trend seen in recent times of appointing young captains such as Delhi’s Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant, and Rajasthan’s Sanju Samson. The Karnataka batsman Devdutt Padikkal has been among the leading run-scorers for RCB in the last couple of seasons and is considered one of the favourites of Virat Kohli.

Chennai Super Kings
Chennai Super Kings. Image Credits: Twitter

It Can Be A Blessing In Disguise For CSK Players Are Not Tired By Playing Too Many International Matches: Gautam Gambhir

Gautam Gambhir talked about the one advantage MS Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings (CSK) have over other teams in the UAE leg of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021.

Former Indian opener Gautam Gambhir believes playing less competitive cricket can be a blessing for players representing the MS Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings (CSK) franchise at the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021.

Gautam Gambhir AFP
Gautam Gambhir Photo Credit: AFP

Gautam Gambhir: It Can Be A Blessing In Disguise For CSK Players Are Not Tired By Playing Too Many International Matches

Gautam Gambhir is an integral part of the recently announced star-studded commentary lineup for the second leg of the IPL 2021. The first half of the cash-rich league played in India was suspended after several cases of Covid-19 were reported inside IPL’s bio-bubble.

The remainder of the 14th season will be contested in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from September 19. Speaking ahead of the mouth-watering clash between CSK and Mumbai Indians (MI) which is billed as the curtain-raiser of the UAE leg, Gautam Gambhir explained how the Yellow Brigade can actually benefit from the players who are not getting a crack at international cricket.

Chennai Super Kings
Chennai Super Kings (Image Credit: Twitter)

In the build-up to the UAE leg of IPL 14, the former Indian opener and full-time cricket pundit talked about the one advantage MS Dhoni-led CSK has over other teams in the 2021 edition of domestic cricket’s biggest extravaganza.

“Yes, they have the players who do not play much cricket, but it can be a blessing at times because you don’t have the pressure to play international cricket or making a comeback. They have put themselves in a position that even if they start slightly slowly, it will not make too much of a difference. If they start slowly in one or two matches, you will still be able to qualify for the top four and once you do that, it could be anyone’s game,” Gambhir said.

The 2021 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) can be MS Dhoni’s last one with Chennai Super Kings (CSK) if the charismatic leader of the Yellow Brigade opts to call time on an illustrious T20 career at the age of 40. Under MS Dhoni’s leadership, CSK has secured the 2nd spot in the IPL 2021 after playing seven matches. CSK is only behind table-toppers Delhi Capitals in the current IPL 2021 standings.

Gautam Gambhir: CSK Will Be Confident That They Performed Well In The Difficult Wankhede Ground During India Leg Of IPL 2021

During the India leg of the IPL 2021, MS Dhoni-led CSK capped off an impressive run at the Wankhede Stadium.

“Plus after playing at the Wankhede, if you are going to these conditions, you will be better placed because Wankhede is very difficult ground. They have done something good to be in this position despite having such a squad. They will take that confidence with them,” the former Kolkata Knight Riders and Delhi Capitals skipper added. 


After a forgetful campaign in IPL 2020, MS Dhoni-led CSK made a spectacular comeback in the 14th season of the cash-rich league. The three-time champions are placed second on the points table with five wins and two defeats from seven matches.

The 14th season of IPL, which was postponed in May this year in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic across India and bio bubble breaches, will resume on September 19 in Dubai with a blockbuster clash between CSK and MI.

With the ball, Deepak Chahar and Sam Curran were the standout performers while Faf du Plessis and Ruturaj Gaekwad formed perhaps the most consistent opening combination of the IPL. The inclusion of spin all-rounder Moeen Ali infused a new sense of edge to the side and with the bat, the left-hander was aggressive and never allowed any momentum to slip.

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

John Buchanan Was Very High-Tech Coach As He Used To Have Long Meetings Where Players Fall Asleep: Salman Butt

Salman Butt has raised an objection to the “glorifying” of World Cup-winning coach John Buchanan. Salman Butt, who played under John Buchanan during his stint with Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in 2008, said the Australian was a ‘high-tech’ man who used to bore his players to sleep during team meetings.

John Buchanan was the head coach of the legendary Ricky Ponting-led Australian team that won three consecutive World Cups from 1999 to 2007. However, his contributions were always in question, with many believing that he simply inherited a great team. At KKR, his “multiple captaincy” strategy courted a lot of criticism, and he was ousted in 2009 after the team failed to perform as expected.

Controversial Pakistan batsman Salman Butt
Controversial Pakistan batsman Salman Butt (File Photo | AFP)

Salman Butt: John Buchanan Was Very High Tech Coach As He Used To Have Long Meetings Where Players Fall Asleep

Salman Butt said John Buchanan wasn’t successful in any other coaching assignments since the Australians would have won even without a coach.

“John Buchanan was a very high-tech coach. He used to have long meetings. I have also run teams and I am not a fan of such long meetings where players fall asleep. Players used to fall asleep in his meetings and he’s been part of a lot of coaching projects around the world but none were successful. “

John Buchanan did a commendable job as a coach Getty Images
John Buchanan did a commendable job as a coach Getty Images

“The Australian team was a massive side, it wouldn’t have mattered if they didn’t have a coach at all. Australian players have written the same in their books as well. He was a decent man but the glorifying of his coaching [is wrong]. Give any coach such players and the results will be similar,” Salman Butt remarked on his YouTube channel.

While Ricky Ponting once commended John Buchanan for his contributions to the team, players like Shane Warne were often dismissive of his convoluted coaching style. Former Australian coach John Buchanan trained the Australian side from 1999 to 2007, this was also the period when the side won three World Cups. Not just this, Australia also won the Champions Trophy and a couple of Ashes.

Salman Butt played under John Buchanan’s tutelage during his only year in the IPL. He was a part of seven matches, scoring 193 runs at an average of 27.57. KKR, despite starting the inaugural game with a bang, finished sixth in the points table that season.

Salman Butt Spoke Highly of Sourav Ganguly

“He was a good captain, there’s no doubt about that, he captained India very well. He’s very soft spoken, keeps the team with utmost care and a brilliant player too. I have a lot of respect for him. No, no, he was not at all strict. I have played with him, against him and under his captaincy as well, he was never strict,” concluded Salman Butt.

Sourav Ganguly played for KKR in the first three editions of IPL. Photo AFP
Sourav Ganguly played for KKR in the first three editions of IPL. Photo AFP

KKR finished sixth, eighth, and sixth in the first three editions of the IPL since its inception in 2008. Sourav Ganguly was an icon player for the franchise being a local lad, which resulted in fans outraging when he was left out. Gautam Gambhir replaced Sourav Ganguly, and under his leadership, the results began to improve. KKR won the tournament in 2012 and 2014, beating CSK and KXIP in the respective finals.

The left-handed batsman from Kolkata debuted for Team India in 1992. Sourav Ganguly was adjudged as the skipper for the Indian side after the match-fixing fiasco in 2000. His cricketing career spanned 16 years.

In the 2011 IPL auctions, Sourav Ganguly was released by the KKR franchise and went unsold in the auction to the surprise of many. However, Ganguly was bought by Sahara-owned Pune Warriors after Ashish Nehra injured his finger during the 2011 World Cup and was unavailable for the tournament. Also missing for them was the 2011 World Cup Man of the tournament Yuvraj Singh, who was diagnosed with cancer and went to the USA for treatment.

File picture of Star Sports commentators.(Photo: Star Sports)
File picture of Star Sports commentators.(Photo: Star Sports)

Star Sports Unveil A Star-studded Commentary Panel For IPL 2021

Star Sports has unveiled a star-studded commentary panel for the season, a week before the start of IPL 2021. Mumbai Indians will take on Chennai Super Kings in the first game of the UAE leg.

Following the cancellation of the 5th Test between India and England, the fans are now anxiously waiting for the start of the UAE leg of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021.

Star Sports : IPL 2021
Star Sports: IPL 2021

Star Sports Tweet IPL 2021 Commentary Panel

The 2nd phase of the season kicks off next Sunday (September 19), with defending champions Mumbai Indians (MI) taking on Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in a blockbuster tie. As per the original schedule, Kolkata Knight Riders were slated to face Royal Challengers Bangalore in the 30th match of the season but it was altered. Both MI and CSK have a massive fan base and the fans crave to watch the two heavyweights take on each other.

Chennai Super Kings vs Mumbai Indians ©BCCI/IPL
Chennai Super Kings vs Mumbai Indians ©BCCI/IPL

Star Sports has already released a promo for the opening game. Now the official broadcaster of the T20 league has also unveiled a star-studded commentary panel for the season. Replying to users on Twitter, Star Sports named star-studded Hindi and English commentary panels.

Ian Bishop, Aakash Chopra, Sunil Gavaskar, And Harsh Bhogle Will Commentate In IPL 2021

Gautam Gambhir, Irfan Pathan, Aakash Chopra are among those in the Hindi commentary panel while Sunil Gavaskar, Kevin Peitersen, Harsha Bhogle, Murali Karthik, Ian Bishop are some prominent names in the English commentary panel. The Hindi commentary panel also includes MI’s backroom staff members Parthiv Patel and Kiran More.

Star Sports has announced the commentary team for the 14th season of IPL. Sanjay Manjrekar has not been able to secure a place in the commentary panel.

List of commentators and presenters for World Feed: Matthew Hayden, Kevin Pietersen, Michael Slater, Danny Morrisson, Ian Bishop, Harsha Bhogle, Simon Doull, Mpumelelo Mbangwa, Daren Ganga, Sunil Gavaskar, Mark Nicholas, Ajit Agarkar, Nick Knight, Deep Dasgupta, Rohan Gavaskar, Laxman Sivaramakrishnan, Murli Kartik, Anjum Chopra, Lisa Sthalekar, Mel Jones and Alan Wilkins

Dugout: Scott Styris, Brett Lee, Dominic Cork, Brian Lara, Graeme Swann. Talent joining remotely for few matches as a guest: Kevin Pietersen, Shane Watson, Ross Taylor, Dale Steyn, Nasser Hussain

Hindi: Aakash Chopra, Nikhil Chopra, Gautam Gambhir, Ajit Agarkar, Irfan Pathan, Parthiv Patel, RP Singh, Deep Dasgupta, Sunil Gavaskar.

Suryakumar Yadav
Suryakumar Yadav (BCCI)

‘Unorthodox’ Suryakumar Yadav Is A Completely Different Class As Compared To Shreyas Iyer, Says Gautam Gambhir

Gautam Gambhir believes Suryakumar Yadav is in a different league as a T20 batsman compared to Shreyas Iyer. Suryakumar Yadav is part of India’s 15-member squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup. Another middle-order batsman Shreyas Iyer, on the other hand, is part of the three standbys named in India’s squad for T20I WC alongside pacers Deepak Chahar and Shardul Thakur.

Following a long wait, Suryakumar Yadav made an excellent start to his international career. He was the Player of the Series in the ODIs against Sri Lanka and scored a half-century in India’s win in the first T20I as well. In his brief international career, the 30-year-old middle-order batsman has played 3 ODIs where he amassed 124 runs averaging 62 and 4 T20Is where he amassed 139 runs averaging 46.33.

Gautam Gambhir AFP
Gautam Gambhir AFP

Gautam Gambhir: ‘UnOrthodox’ Suryakumar Yadav Is A Completely Different Class As Compared To Shreyas Iyer

During a discussion on the Star Sports show Follow the Blues, Gautam Gambhir was asked about the two batsmen. The question posed was whether it was Shreyas Iyer’s injury or the range and temperament that Suryakumar Yadav has shown that has helped the latter pip the former to the post.

“Suryakumar Yadav is a completely different class as compared to Shreyas Iyer. He is much more versatile. He is much more unorthodox as well and in T20 cricket you want people who are unorthodox.”

Suryakumar Yadav plays a shot during the first one day international cricket match between Sri Lanka and India in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Sunday, July 18 (Photo | AP)
Suryakumar Yadav plays a shot during the first one-day international cricket match between Sri Lanka and India in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Sunday, July 18 (Photo | AP)

The former India opener added that the middle-order batsman 30-year-old Suryakumar Yadav has a full array of shots at his disposal.

“You want people who can hit that ball in different areas. He can lap you, he can late cut you, he can hit you over extra cover, he has got all the shots, especially at No.4.”

Suryakumar Yadav has set the stage alight in the four T20Is he has played for Team India. He has smashed 139 runs at a strike rate of 169.51 and has hit two fifties in three innings.

Gautam Gambhir: No. 4 Is The Most Tricky Position To Bat In T20Is

Gautam Gambhir highlighted that Suryakumar Yadav can adjust his game to the demands of the situation.

“Sometimes, No.4 is the most tricky position to bat in T20 cricket. Probably the easiest is the top three but No.4, sometimes you might be in when you have lost two early wickets and sometimes you come into the middle when you are 120/2 and then you have got to continue with that momentum. So, Surya has got both kinds of game which probably Shreyas Iyer doesn’t have,” said Gautam Gambhir.

Shreyas Iyer
Shreyas Iyer- Getty Images

The 39-year-old acknowledged that Shreyas Iyer having recovered recently from a serious injury, could also have played a role in his omission from the 15 member squad.

Gautam Gambhir said: “You have also got to be mindful that he is coming off a serious injury and you never know what kind of a form he would be in the second leg of the IPL as well. So, they have gone with someone who has done really well since he has got into international cricket.”

The Indian selectors could have opted to keep both Suryakumar Yadav and Shreyas Iyer in the 15-man member squad, with the latter coming in at the expense of probably Ishan Kishan or a spinner. However, they may have refrained from going that route due to question marks over Shreyas Iyer’s fitness.

Shreyas Iyer has played 29 T20Is where he amassed 550 runs averaging a modest 28.94 with 3 fifties apart from 22 ODIs where he managed 813 runs averaging 42.78. His last T20I and ODI appearance came against England at home in March 2021 where he injured himself.

Ravichandran Ashwin made a comeback after playing his last T20I in 2017 while the likes of Krunal Pandya, Shikhar Dhawan, Kuldeep Yadav, and Yuzvendra Chahal didn’t find a place in the squad.

Full squad: Virat Kohli (c), Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ishan Kishan (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Rahul Chahar, Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel, Varun Chakravarthy, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammad Shami; Stand-by: Shreyas Iyer, Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur

Virender Sehwag Reuters Photo
Virender Sehwag Reuters Photo

Virender Sehwag: Sourav Ganguly Best Skipper For He Taught India To Win Tests Abroad

Virender Sehwag has weighed Sourav Ganguly over MS Dhoni in captaincy, saying the former taught India how to win abroad.

Indian cricket has been blessed with some of the finest captains there ever have been. From Kapil Dev to Virat Kohli, there have been a number of leaders who have contributed immensely towards the growth of the sport.

Virender Sehwag
Virender Sehwag (Image Credit: Twitter)

Virender Sehwag Feels Captaincy Wise Both MS Dhoni And Sourav Ganguly Were Great But The Best Was Sourav Ganguly For He Taught India To Win Tests Abroad

Virender Sehwag, who has played under some brilliant leaders, picked the better one between Sourav Ganguly and MS Dhoni. Both Sourav Ganguly and MS Dhoni made significant contributions to Indian cricket.

Sourav Ganguly (Source: File Photo)
Sourav Ganguly (Source: File Photo)

While Sourav Ganguly took the Indian team to the 2003 ICC World Cup final, MS Dhoni won three ICC titles during his days at the helm. Though there’s no denying that MS Dhoni tops the charts of all India captains when it comes to success at major tournaments, Virender Sehwag feels current BCCI President Sourav Ganguly was the better one of the two.

“I feel captaincy-wise, both of them were great. But I feel the best amongst the two was Ganguly because he built the team from the onset, took in new players, and rebuilt a unit. He taught India to win matches abroad, we drew Test matches, won some abroad under him,” the former India cricketer said on RJ Raunak’s YouTube show “13 Jawab Nahi”.

“Dhoni was lucky in the sense that he got the same team to lead that Ganguly had nurtured, so they both were great but better was Sourav Ganguly,” he added.

MS Dhoni announced his retirement from all forms of International Cricket on 15th December 2020. He retired as the only captain to win all major ICC trophies (2011 ODI World Cup, 2007 T20 World Cup, and 2013 Champions Trophy). MS Dhoni played his last game in the Indian colors in the semi-final of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.

Unfortunately, India lost the game to New Zealand and was eliminated from the competition. He had made his debut for Team India back in 2004. On the other hand, Sourav Ganguly’s Test debut came at Lord’s. The left-hander made the world sit up and take notice of his skills with a spectacular hundred on debut against England in 1996. 6 years later, Sourav Ganguly led India to a famous tri-series win in the Natwest series, this time as skipper.

Virender Sehwag Also Opened Up On Not Taking Single On Sri Lanka’s Tour In 2008 And Favourite Ground Being Mohali

Virender Sehwag is known to reach some of the major milestones in his career with a six. Often in the 90s, Virender Sehwag would hit a six to complete his century. However, once batting on 199, he refused to take a single. Shedding light on the matter during the conversation with RJ Raunak, Virender Sehwag revealed the reason behind his decision.

“This is a very old tale. We were on Sri Lanka’s tour in 2008. I remember Muttiah Muralitharan was bowling and I had Ishant Sharma at the non-striker’s end. I knew that if I take a single, Muralitharan would dismiss Ishant, so I decided to farm the strike and save Ishant. But Muralitharan placed all the fielders close by, and luckily the ball went in the gap and we took a single on the last ball. Ishant did not survive too long after that and was dismissed in the very next over.”

Virender Sehwag Image Credits: Twitter/@ICC
Virender Sehwag Image Credits: Twitter/@ICC

During the chat, the former opener also revealed his favorite ground to be Mohali in Chandigarh.

“I have always loved Mohali. I always enjoyed playing there. Whenever I used to step out at that venue, I felt I will score runs for sure. Also, there are huge sofas there, so even if you get dismissed, just go back and relax on those sofas. Outside India, I like Melbourne. The food there is great, and even at that venue I felt like I would be able to score many runs,” he revealed.

In a career spanning over 14 years, Virender Sehwag reinforced Team India’s top-order across formats. Following his first few years, he became the mainstay opener in all three formats alongside Gautam Gambhir. In 104 Tests, he racked up 8,586 runs at a terrific average of 49.34, including 23 tons. He also registered 8,273 ODI and 394 T20I runs in his career.

Virender Sehwag is one of the four cricketers (Don Bradman, Chris Gayle, and Brian Lara) in the world to have slammed two triple hundreds in Test cricket. Notably, he is the only Indian to do so. He recorded his first triple ton (309) against Pakistan in the famous Multan Test of 2004. Four years later, he registered his second (319) against South Africa in Chennai.

Gautam Gambhir feels New Zealand's excellent record against India in ICC events does not matter
Gautam Gambhir feels New Zealand's excellent record against India in ICC events does not matter

India And New Zealand Match In 2021 T20I World Cup Will Be Evenly Poised: Gautam Gambhir

Gautam Gambhir believes the India-New Zealand clash at the upcoming T20 World Cup is an evenly-matched contest. Team India will play New Zealand in their second match of the T20 World Cup, scheduled to be played on October 31 in Dubai.

The Virat Kohli-led side will go into the match after opening their campaign against arch-rivals Pakistan.

Gautam Gambhir AFP
Gautam Gambhir AFP

Gautam Gambhir: India And New Zealand Match In 2021 T20I World Cup Will Be Evenly Poised

During a discussion on the Star Sports show Game Plan, Gautam Gambhir pointed out that the success the Kiwis have enjoyed in previous ICC tournaments against India is immaterial.

“Absolutely 50-50. When you go to such a big tournament, the records are only for the media and the fans. The records do not matter for the players at all and they do not think about them as well.”

India will have a one-week break after playing against Pakistan, and will next take on the New Zealand side on 31st October 2021 once again in Dubai. The Indian side will play their third match of the tournament on 3rd November 2021, against the Afghanistan side.

India will play their 4th match of the tournament against the first placed qualifier team from Group B on 5th November 2021 at Dubai. And, their final Group fixture will be played on 8th November 2021, against the second-placed qualifying team from Group A in Dubai.

Indian Cricket Team
Indian Cricket Team. Image Credits: Twitter

The former Indian opener added that an individual player might be concerned about his record against an opposition cricketer, but teams are not bothered about such stats.

“Yes, you can think about your individual record. If a player is struggling against a particular bowler, that can be on his mind. But Pakistan having never won against India and India having never won against New Zealand, that never matters.”

India has not defeated New Zealand in an ICC event since the 2003 ODI World Cup. The Kiwis were also the only team they lost to during their title-winning run at the 2007 T20 World Cup.

Gautam Gambhir: India Can Definitely Defeat New Zealand For Having Firepower

Gautam Gambhir believes Team India can certainly put it across the Kane Williamson-led side, considering the all-around depth of their squad.  Gautam Gambhir highlighted that Team India has plenty of star players in their lineup.

“India can definitely defeat New Zealand, you have the firepower. You have Jasprit Bumrah, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul – when you have batsmen and bowlers like these, it will not be easy for New Zealand.”

New Zealand's Kane Williamson celebrates with the trophy and teammates after winning the final of the ICC World Test Championship. Photograph: John Sibley/Reuters
New Zealand’s Kane Williamson celebrates with the trophy and teammates after winning the final of the ICC World Test Championship. Photograph: John Sibley/Reuters

On the flip side, Gautam Gambhir warned that the Kiwis cannot be taken lightly either as they have a well-balanced side too.

“We cannot say New Zealand are the underdogs because they are a very very well-balanced side. They have Trent Boult and Lockie Ferguson, and they have the firepower in the batting. So, you will have to play good cricket.”

Team India’s run at the last two ICC events has come to an end at the hands of New Zealand namely at the 2019 World Cup semi-final and the inaugural World Test Championship. They will hope to buck the trend and put it across the ICC World Test champions this time around.

New Zealand knocked out India in the 2019 ODI World Cup, defeating the Virat Kohli-led side in the semifinal. India travelled to New Zealand in February 2020, where they lost the ODI series and the Test series to the Kane Williamson-led team. The recent World Test Championship final defeat against NZ further showcased India’s inability to beat the Kiwis in ICC tournaments.

Gautam Gambhir reacted after Harbhajan Singh called Neeraj Chopra's gold triumph bigger than India's 2011 World Cup win. | Photo Credit: IANS
Gautam Gambhir reacted after Harbhajan Singh called Neeraj Chopra's gold triumph bigger than India's 2011 World Cup win. | Photo Credit: IANS

Neeraj Chopra’s Gold Medal At Olympics Is Bigger Than 2011 ODI World Cup Win, Says Harbhajan Singh

Harbhajan Singh has made a controversial statement after Neeraj Chopra bagged India’s first gold medal in Tokyo Olympics 2020. He covered a distance of 87.58 meters on his throw and registered the longest distance among all the athletes who contested in the event. He defeated Czech Republic’s Jakub Vadlejch and Vítězslav Veselý to resgister the best throw.

Meanwhile, speaking to Aaj Tak, Harbhajan Singh has said that Neeraj Chopra’s gold at the Tokyo Olympics is bigger than India’s 2011 World Cup win at home. India’s second World Cup win at home came after a 28 years hiatus as they won the first World Cup way back in 1983. Kapil Dev inspired an entire generation of youngsters.

Neeraj Chopra won independent India's first-ever athletics medal on Saturday. (AP Photo)
Neeraj Chopra won independent India’s first-ever athletics medal on Saturday. (AP Photo)

Harbhajan Singh: Neeraj Chopra’s Gold Medal At Olympics Is Bigger Than 2011 ODI World Cup Win

After former cricketer, Gautam Gambhir, veteran spinner Harbhajan Singh compared an Olympic medal with the Indian cricket team’s 2011 World Cup win. Harbhajan Singh said Neeraj Chopra’s historic gold medal triumph at the Tokyo Olympics 2020 on Saturday (August 07) was bigger than India’s 2011 World Cup victory.

Neeraj Chopra scripted history as he became the first Indian to win a gold medal in athletics in the history of the Olympics. With a throw of 87.58m in the men’s javelin throw final, Neeraj Chopra finished on top of the podium and brought an end to the country’s 100-year-long wait for a medal in track and field events in athletics at the Olympics.

Harbhajan Singh poses for a photograph ahead of a practice session
Harbhajan Singh poses for a photograph ahead of a practice session © AFP

Speaking to Aaj Tak, Harbhajan Singh compared Neeraj Chopra’s heroics to India’s World Cup victory and said the latter’s gold medal was bigger.

“This gold medal win is bigger than the Cricket World Cup win in 2011. This should be celebrated 50 times more than the 2011 World Cup,” said Harbhajan, who was part of the Indian team which won the World Cup in 2011 after beating Sri Lanka in the final.

Neeraj Chopra became the 2nd Indian in the history of the Olympics to win a medal in track and field events. Norman Pritchard, a British Indian, was the first athlete to win a medal for the country. Neeraj Chopra ended India’s 100-year wait for a medal in track and field events.

Gautam Gambhir Agrees Sarcastically To Harbhajan Singh’s Remark

Gautam Gambhir, who had earlier called India’s bronze medal win in men’s hockey at the Tokyo Olympics, a bigger win than the 2011 Cricket World Cup, reacted to Harbhajan Singh’s remark on Twitter.

“True that @harbhajan_singh …But You shouldn’t have said this! You should not say this ! You shall never say this,” he wrote.

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

Meanwhile, Harbhajan Singh has echoed exactly the same sentiments former Indian batsman Gautam Gambhir share on Twitter after Neeraj Chopra’s world record. He also said that the 2011 World Cup was nothing compared to Neeraj Chopra’s gold medal feat in Tokyo Olympics. After Harbhajan Singh’s statement to Aajtak, Gautam Gambhir replied to him on his Twitter handle saying that he should not have said on Twitter adding a sarcastic tone to it.

Both Harbhajan Singh and Gautam Gambhir were part of India’s 2011 World Cup squad which India played under MS Dhoni. Gautam Gambhir, for a matter of fact, scored a brilliant 97 in the final with then skipper MS Dhoni scoring 91.

Both Harbhajan Singh and Gautam Gambhir after winning the 2011 World Cup together were dropped from India’s 2015 World Cup squad in Australia and New Zealand. India made an exit in the tournament, losing the semifinal against Australia.


Irfan Pathan Welcomes Move To Rename Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award As Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award

Irfan Pathan, the former India all-rounder welcomed the move to rename the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award as the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award. He did not shy away from sharing the hope that the stadiums would also be named after eminent sports personalities.

The remarks from Irfan Pathan can be construed as a dig at the tendency of naming sports stadiums after political dignitaries. The 36-year-old also expressed optimism that the step by the Government will be the start of a new trend in sports.

PM Narendra Modi tweeted saying he was getting many requests that the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award be named after hockey legend Major Dhyan Chand. (file photo)
PM Narendra Modi tweeted saying he was getting many requests that the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award be named after hockey legend Major Dhyan Chand. (file photo)

Irfan Pathan Welcomes Move To Rename Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award As Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award

In his nine years of international career, Irfan Pathan saw many ups and downs, but he has played 29 Tests, 120 ODIs, and 24 T20Is. The all-rounder played under six different captains during his entire international career. The 35-year-old former Indian cricketer Irfan Pathan played 173 international matches between 2003 and 2012. The all-rounder has scored almost 3000 international runs and picked 300 wickets.

“Absolutely welcome this move. Sportsman getting recognition and award being named after him or her. Hopefully start of many such things in sports (…) Hopefully in the future sports stadium names will be after sportsmen too,” Pathan tweeted.

Irfan Pathan (AFP Photo)
Irfan Pathan (AFP Photo)

There are several stadiums named after political leaders in India. This includes famous stadiums like the Wankhede (Mumbai), DY Patil Stadium (Navi Mumbai), M Chinnaswamy Stadium (Bengaluru), and MA Chidambaram Stadium (Chennai).

World’s Largest Cricket Ground In Ahmedabad Was Named Recently After PM Narendra Modi

Former Prime Ministers Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi together have ten prominent stadiums named after them. More recently, we have seen the Feroze Shah Kotla stadium renamed after the late Arun Jaitley, while the world’s largest cricket ground in Ahmedabad was named after Narendra Modi.

The world's largest cricket stadium at Motera Ahmedabad is named after PM Narendra Modi(Image Courtesy: Twitter)
The world’s largest cricket stadium at Motera Ahmedabad is named after PM Narendra Modi(Image Courtesy: Twitter)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced earlier that the highest sporting honor in the country will be renamed after hockey legend Dhyan Chand. This move was welcomed by the cricket fraternity as well as the public in general.

Apart from Irfan Pathan, former Indian cricketers including Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir also hailed the decision made by the Government. The announcement came shortly after the semifinal between the Indian women’s hockey team and Great Britain in the Olympics this morning (August 6).

Irfan Pathan played his last international game at the age of 27. As far as his numbers are concerned, the Baroda-born all-rounder scored 2,821 runs and scalped 301 wickets in international cricket. The all-rounder didn’t play for India after 2012 despite doing well in national colours. For the unversed, Irfan Pathan retired from all forms of cricket in January 2020.

Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma © BCCI
Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma © BCCI

Responsibility Will Be Huge On Virat Kohli And Rohit Sharma In India-Pakistan Match In T20I WC 2021:Gautam Gambhir

Gautam Gambhir, a former Indian opener said that the responsibility will be huge on Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma after India and Pakistan were drawn in Group 2 of the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup in the UAE and Oman. The former India opener reckoned that the senior players will have to control the nerves of the youngsters in the high-pressure match.

Gautam Gambhir, who top-scored with 75 in India’s win in the final against Pakistan in the inaugural T20I World Cup in 2007 feels it is the responsibility of the seniors to keep the youngster teammates calm and composed in the high octane match.

Gautam Gambhir AFP
Gautam Gambhir AFP

Gautam Gambhir: It’s The Responsibility Of Seniors To Keep Youngsters Calm

The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Friday announced the groups for the Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 to be hosted by the BCCI in Oman and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from October 17 to November 14. India and Pakistan have been placed in Group 2 of the Super 12s.

“When I played my first international game against Pakistan I was probably much more excited and nervous as compared to some of the guys who have played a lot of cricket against Pakistan. So, it is the responsibility of the senior guys to probably keep the younger guys calm,” Gambhir said on Star Sports show ICC T20 World Cup Special.

Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma
Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma Twitter

“Because ultimately it is not the emotion that will win you a game of cricket, it is the contest between the bat and the ball that will end up winning you a game of cricket. So people like Virat Kohli for example, or Rohit Sharma will have a huge responsibility when India take on Pakistan,” he added.

Gautam Gambhir was part of the twin India’s World Cup wins in 2007 and 2011 and has been part of several high-octane clashes with Pakistan. This will be the first T20I World Cup since 2016 when West Indies beat England in the final in Kolkata.

Robin Uthappa: Every Cricketer Looks Forward To An India And Pakistan Game

Former India batsman Robin Uthappa, who was part of the Indian team which won the inaugural T20 World Cup in South Africa, said that all the cricketers of India look forward to playing against Pakistan in their careers.

“It just brings out so many emotions, expectations and people always look forward to it. I think, any cricketer who has played in the past or anyone who looks to play for India is always looking forward to an India-Pakistan game,” said Uthappa.

“Because it brings out a lot of emotions – at least for the people who watch the game, more than the people playing it,” he added.
Robin Uthappa
Robin Uthappa (Image Credit: Twitter)

Both Gautam Gambhir and Robin Uthappa also spoke on how Team India should get rid of its “obsession” with 2007 and 2011 World Cup wins.

“It was special (being a part of the 2007 T20 World Cup squad), but I have forgotten about it. To be honest, India needs to move on from that. 2007, it’s what, more than 13 years ago and I think we need to get rid of this obsession of 2007 and 2011,” said Gambhir.

“Of course, for me personally, it is a special moment, but I tend to agree with Gautam Gambhir. I think we have achieved that in 2007, so we know that is achievable,” said Uthappa.

Group 2 will comprise former champions India and Pakistan, apart from New Zealand, Afghanistan, and the other two qualifiers from Round 1. Eight teams will contest the first round including automatic qualifiers Sri Lanka and Bangladesh with the remaining six who booked their spot through the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Qualifier 2019.

Ireland, Netherlands, and Namibia join Sri Lanka in Group A, whilst Oman, PNG, and Scotland will face Bangladesh in Group B. Group 1 features England, Australia, West Indies, South Africa, Winner of Group A, and Runner Up of Group B.

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