KL Rahul Age, Biography, career, stats, networth, Ranking & News

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Wasim Jaffer. Image Credits: Twitter
Wasim Jaffer. Image Credits: Twitter
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Wasim Jaffer Suggests Wriddhiman Saha To Open In Place Of Mayank Agarwal In The 2nd Test

Wasim Jaffer, the former Indian cricketer, came up with an unusual and temporary fix for the playing XI for the second Test against New Zealand.

He admitted the playing XI dilemma to be a “tough call” for the team management amid poor returns from senior batters Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane and two impressive knocks from debutant Shreyas Iyer, but Wasim Jaffer offered a solution for India’s opening problem.

Wasim Jaffer (Credits: Twitter)
Wasim Jaffer (Credits: Twitter)

Wasim Jaffer:  It’s A Toss-up Between Mayank Agarwal And Ajinkya Rahane To Drop In The 2nd Test And Suggests Wriddhiman Saha To Open

While Shubman Gill scored a 93-ball 52 in the first innings before being dismissed for just 1 in the second, Mayank managed scores of 13 and 17 in the Kanpur Test. On other hand, Ajunkya Rahane scored 35 and 4 in the game, following which his career batting average has fallen to 39.3, his lowest since February 2014.

Wasim Jaffer feels that it will be a toss-up between Mayank Agarwal and Ajinkya Rahane, as either of the two will be dropped for the 2nd Test to include Virat Kohli.

“It’s a toss-up between Mayank Agarwal and Ajinkya Rahane. I would think on those two. That’s the toss-up that Virat Kohli has to make. Whether he wants to go with Mayank Agarwal and give him another go or whether [he thinks] Ajinkya Rahane hasn’t got enough runs in the last 10-12 Test matches after that Melbourne Test so he goes out. It’s a tough call, definitely a tough call. It depends on whom the sword falls on,” he said.

India Test wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha (Photo | PTI)
India Test wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha (Photo | PTI)

Wasim Jaffer then suggested that if India drops Mayank Agarwal for the Mumbai Test, then they can go with Wriddhiman Saha as one of the openers. However, the veteran wicketkeeper, who scored a gutsy 61 not out in the second innings, has never batted above No.6 in Tests, let alone open the innings. Besides, he has a sore neck and was substituted by KS Bharat when New Zealand batted, which may mean that he may miss the 2nd Test.

“I think I will open with Saha if at all Mayank Agarwal goes out because then everybody bats out of their position. Pujara will open and then Ajinkya Rahane will bat at some other position… If Saha opens then everyone bats at the same position. And you can do that in Indian conditions with Saha. Is it a long-term call? Definitely not because India will go to South Africa. So they’ll have to reconsider their top-six for Mumbai,” he explained.

Ajinkya Rahane has had a horror run with the bat over the last year, which has seen his average dip to under 40. In fact, he averages a mere 19.57 in 12 Tests in 2021, his lowest average in a year since debuting in 2013. Cheteshwar Pujara has done slightly better at 30.43 from the same number of games in 2021 but had a horrid time in 2020, averaging only 20.38 in 4 Tests.

Daniel Vettori: Stop Gap Scenario To Open With Wriddhiman Saha As It Is An Easy Decision To Leave Mayank Agarwal

Former New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori agreed with Wasim Jaffer, saying that it could be “a stop-gap scenario” given that Virat Kohli will be back for the next Test while KL Rahul will be fit again for South Africa Tests. The rested trio of Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant, and Mohammed Shami are also expected to return for South Africa Tests.

“I think most selection panels take the easy decisions and I don’t blame them for that. The easy decision is to leave Mayank out and open with Saha which I think is fair enough on a stop-gap scenario because Rohit will come back and KL Rahul will be fit again and they’ll look at those guys for South Africa.”

Mayank Agarwal
Mayank Agarwal[photo: Twitter]

“So for a one-off Test match, to keep the balance, to keep the feeling off the order that they want I don’t see any issues with that. Whether it’s the right call to leave Mayank out is debatable but I think it’s the easier decision to make so they’ll go with that,” he said.

With Mayank Agarwal in focus, former New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori agreed with Wasim Jaffer, saying that it could be “a stop-gap scenario” Mayank Agarwal scored 1082 runs in 15 Tests with an average of 43.28. The right-handed opening batsman hit 4 half-centuries besides 3 tons in this period, including the best knock of 243 runs.

The 37-year-old Wriddhiman Saha has amassed 1313 runs in 39 Tests averaging 29.84. He has 3 tons and 6 fifties.

Shreyas Iyer revealed how MS Dhoni and Bollywood stars helped him in recovery from injury |Courtesy BCCI/Instagram @Shreyas41
Shreyas Iyer revealed how MS Dhoni and Bollywood stars helped him in recovery from injury |Courtesy BCCI/Instagram @Shreyas41
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Shreyas Iyer Had Fun Chat With MS Dhoni And Played Football With Hindi Filmstars Which Helped Him To Recover

Shreyas Iyer revealed MS Dhoni played a major role in helping him recover from injury and return to his best. He also disclosed playing football with friends from the film industry helped him in his comeback.

In March this year, Shreyas Iyer’s world was thrown upside down as he suffered a devastating shoulder injury during the first ODI between India and England in Pune. Shreyas Iyer was forced to undergo surgery which meant he had to be out of action for almost six months.

Shreyas Iyer
Shreyas Iyer – Getty Images

Shreyas Iyer Missed IPL 2021’s First Indian Leg But Returned In UAE Leg And Was Part Of The Reserves In 2021 T20I WC Squad

In the meantime, he was forced to miss the first leg of the 2021 Indian Premier League (IPL) and eventually lost his Delhi Capitals (DC) captaincy to Rishabh Pant. As a result, from being a leading contender to being part of India’s 2021 T20 World Cup squad, Shreyas Iyer could only make the reserves as the injury starved him of valuable game-time before the selection for the marquee event.

Shreyas Iyer dislocated his shoulder while fielding against England in the first ODI in Pune on March 24. He had to leave the field right away and later underwent surgery that kept him away from the first session of the 14th edition of IPL before the tournament was suspended midway due to the breakout of Covid-19 inside the bio-bubble.

Rishabh Pant
Rishabh Pant (Image Credit: Twitter)

However, Shreyas Iyer has shown his character by making his Test debut in the same year and beginning his international career in the longest format of the game by scoring a century. On Friday, Shreyas Iyer became just the 16th Indian ever to score a century on Test debut.

Shreyas Iyer Credited Mentor For T20I WC MS Dhoni For Helping Him By Having ‘Fun Chats’ With Him

Shreyas Iyer credited former Indian captain MS Dhoni for helping him through the recovery period. During rehab, the former DC skipper revealed he had some ‘fun chats’ with the 2011 World Cup-winning captain.

Talking in a press conference, Iyer said, “Mahi Bhai was there and we spoke a little bit about IPL at that point of time, never discussed winning the IPL (chuckles). You know he is really calm and composed, whenever you for a chat, he’s got so much so experience in the IPL and different forms of the game, so it’s always fun to chat with him.”

The 26-year-old also revealed that playing football with friends from the Indian film industry (Bollywood) helped him maintain his competitive spirit and maintain his fitness levels.

“It didn’t switch me off completely because my focus was more on cricket rather than playing football. But I really love going out there and trying different sports – whether it be table tennis or badminton, but football is something I’ve been playing since my school days. And when I went and played with my Bollywood friends over there, they were very competitive and they were friendly at the same time,” said Iyer. 

MS Dhoni (BCCI/IPL)
MS Dhoni (BCCI/IPL)

He added, “So it was a good mixture, and also I wanted to get into that competitive zone and see it to that my fitness level was pretty intact. Because you keep running 90 minutes and it’s about how your stamina pans out throughout the game.”

After a long hiatus, Shreyas Iyer made his comeback during the second leg of IPL 2021 in the UAE (scoring 175 runs in 8 games averaging 35). After missing out on India’s main 15-man squad for the T20 World Cup (he was named in the reserves), Shreyas Iyer returned to play for India in the three-match T20I series against New Zealand he played all three games.

With Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli resting and KL Rahul suffering from an injury, Shreyas Iyer got a chance to make his debut in the first Test against New Zealand in Kanpur. He took the opportunity with both hands by scoring a brilliant knock of 105 under pressure.

Shreyas Iyer, on his debut, scored a century for India against the defending World Test Champions New Zealand, batting at No.5. He scored 105 before being dismissed by Tim Southee. His runs came off 171 balls after smashing 2 sixes and 13 boundaries. Among those to score a century on Test debut for India are the likes of Mohammad Azharuddin, Sourav Ganguly, Virender Sehwag, Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, and Prithvi Shaw.

Shreyas Iyer has featured in 22 ODIs and 32 T20Is and averaged 42.78 and 27.61 in the two formats, respectively, before making his Test debut, 4 years after his limited-overs debut in 2017.

India National Cricket Team.
India National Cricket Team. Image Credits: BCCI
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Inzamam-ul-Haq Hints That Problems Between BCCI, Ravi Shastri And Virat Kohli Led To India’s Early Exit From T20I World Cup

Inzamam-ul-Haq, the former Pakistan captain, feels that the relations between Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri may have turned frosty ahead of the T20 World Cup 2021, which resulted in India’s early exit from the ICC tournament.

The legendary former Pakistan batter reckons the announcement of Virat Kohli stepping down as India’s T20 captain after the World Cup was something the BCCI and the team could have done without.

Inzamam-ul-Haq addresses a press conference in Lahore. — AP/File
Inzamam-ul-Haq addresses a press conference in Lahore. — AP/File

Inzamam-ul-Haq: Virat Kohli’s Statement Of Leaving Captaincy After T20I WC Not Good And All Knew Ravi Shastri Was To Be Replaced By Rahul Dravid

Inzamam-ul-Haq has made a bold statement about the Indian cricket team and their performance against Pakistan at the T20 World Cup 2021, which saw the Men in Blue lose to their arch-rivals for the first time ever in World Cups. The former Pakistan captain commented about India’s performance against Pakistan at the T20 World Cup 2021.

“I said this even before the match, that this statement of leaving captaincy after the tournament… it is not good. You have to play a big event and this shows that there is pressure on you and you are not comfortable. They all knew that after this tournament, Shastri was to get replaced by Dravid,” Inzamam-ul-Haq said.

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

Inzamam-ul-Haq weighed in further on the matter, pointing out that the news of Ravi Shastri’s impending departure and Virat Kohli stepping down as the team’s T20I captain indicated that not all was right within the Indian camp, including relations between the captain-coach duo and the BCCI.

“This should not happen before a big event. Your authority gets challenged. And this means that relations between Kohli, Shastri, and the board were not great. If India were to win the T20 World Cup, would they have removed the captain and coach? There was some problem between them,” said the former Pakistan batter Inzamam-ul-Haq.

Pakistan hammered India by 10 wickets as the opening pair of Babar Azam, and Mohammad Rizwan chased down 152 to break the team’s almost three-decade-long jinx in World Cups.

Inzamam-ul-Haq: Pakistan Always Have A Good Pace Attack And Every Team Is A Little Apprehensive Facing Pakistan

Inzamam-ul-Haq spoke about Shaheen Shah Afridi’s destructive spell against India, which saw him return 3/31, including the wickets of openers KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma and later captain Virat Kohli. Lauding Pakistan’s pace battery comprising of Shaheen Shah Afridi, Hasan Ali, and Haris Rauf in T20I WC 2021, Inzamam-ul-Haq said the country’s pacers are of the quality that they can dismantle any batting unit in the world.

“Our fast bowlers always stamp their authority on India. We have always had a good pace battery. Every team is a little apprehensive about facing Pakistan’s bowling,” said Inzamam-ul-Haq.

Virat Kohli played a 57-run knock while Shaheen Afridi celebrating one of his three wickets | Photo: ICC
Virat Kohli played a 57-run knock while Shaheen Afridi celebrated one of his three wickets | Photo: ICC

Shaheen Shah Afridi ran through Team India’s top-order after he got rid of Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul in his opening spell. Then he came back to dismiss Virat Kohli, who scored a half-century. He finished with 3-31 after dismissing India’s top scorer, skipper Virat Kohli for 57 in a total of 151-7 in 20 overs.

But in the end, the target of 152 was not enough as Pakistan openers Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam scored 79*, and 68*, respectively, to win the match for their team by 10 wickets with 13 balls to spare.

In the next match, India managed only 110 for seven batting first against New Zealand. They lost the game by eight wickets, which pretty much sealed their fate in the T20 World Cup 2021.

Inzamam-ul-Haq JEWEL SAMAD / AFP
Inzamam-ul-Haq JEWEL SAMAD / AFP
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Inzamam-ul-Haq Feels Indian Team Was Scared Even Before The India-Pakistan 2021 T20I World Cup Match Started

Inzamam-Ul-Haq has made a bold statement about the Indian cricket team and their performance against Pakistan at the T20 World Cup 2021, which saw the Men in Blue lose to their arch-rivals for the first time ever in World Cups. The former Pakistan captain commented about India’s performance against Pakistan at the T20 World Cup 2021.

Pakistan hammered India by 10 wickets as the opening pair of Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan chased down 152 to break the team’s almost three-decade-long jinx in World Cups.

Inzamam-ul-Haq | AFP
Inzamam-ul-Haq | AFP

Inzamam-ul-Haq Feels Indian Team Was Scared Even Before The Match Started

Plenty has been said and written about India’s indifferent outing at the Dubai international stadium, with Inzamam-ul-Haq claiming that Virat Kohli’s unit was scared to fight even before the World Cup match even began.

Shaheen Shah Afridi ran through Team India’s top-order after he got rid of Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul in his opening spell. Then he came back to dismiss Virat Kohli, who scored a half-century. He finished with 3-31 after dismissing India’s top scorer, skipper Virat Kohli for 57 in a total of 151-7 in 20 overs.

But in the end, the target of 152 was not enough as Pakistan openers Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam scored 79*, and 68*, respectively, to win the match for their team by 10 wickets with 13 balls to spare.

“I feel the Indians were scared even before the match started. Their body language, if you see Virat Kohli and Babar Azam’s interview at the toss, you could sense who was under pressure. Our team’s body language was much better than theirs. It wasn’t that India were under pressure after Rohit Sharma’s dismissal. Sharma himself was under pressure. It was evident that they all were under pressure,” Inzamam-ul-Haq said.

Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan steered Pakistan to a 10-wicket victory against India (PTI).
Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan steered Pakistan to a 10-wicket victory against India (PTI).

India had an off-colour T20 World Cup, getting eliminated before making it to the semi-finals, making it the first time in eight years, and events that the team failed to make it to the knockouts of an ICC event. Following defeats to Pakistan and New Zealand, India was always under the pump and even though they did manage to beat Afghanistan, Scotland and Namibia in their last three games, it was not enough to see them through to the final four.

Inzamam-ul-Haq Feels India Was Surmounted On A Lot Of Pressure After Losing To Pakistan So That They Lost To New Zealand Too

Inzamam-ul-Haq feels the pressure coped by the Indian team after the Pakistan defeat was so much that the team failed to recover from the beating, in turn affecting their T20 World Cup campaign.

“Indian team never plays the way they did. They are a good T20 team, there is no doubt about it. If you look at their performance in the last 2-3 years, they were the favourites. But that India-Pakistan match put so much pressure on them that there was no looking back,” added Inzamam-ul-Haq.

Ishan Kishan and Virat Kohli failed against New Zealand (Reuters Photo)
Ishan Kishan and Virat Kohli failed against New Zealand (Reuters Photo)

“Their feet weren’t moving at all. After losing to Pakistan, they were handed so much criticism and there was a 3-4 day break. The poor guys couldn’t even play Santner and Sodhi. They are such good players of spin. That pressure mounted on them,” added Inzamam-ul-Haq.

India managed only 110 for 7 batting first against New Zealand. They lost the game by eight wickets, which pretty much sealed their fate in the T20 World Cup 2021. The make-shift opening pair of KL Rahul and Ishan Kishan managed to add only 11 runs, with Ishan Kishan scoring four off eight balls. New Zealand chased down the score in just 14.3 overs, handing India a massive defeat.

The Indian batsmen Ishan Kishan (4 off 8 balls), Rohit Sharma (14 off 14 balls), KL Rahul (18 off 16), Virat Kohli (9 off 17), Rishabh Pant (12 off 19) failed when it mattered most against New Zealand, losing the second successive match after the one against Pakistan where Rohit Sharma (0) and KL Rahul (3) failed as openers.

Shubman Gill (Express photo: Jasbir Malhi)
Shubman Gill (Express photo: Jasbir Malhi)
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Shubman Gill Impressed With 52, But Aakash Chopra Said He Doesn’t Look Like A Test Opener

Shubman Gill impressed the cricketing fraternity with a flamboyant half-century in the first Test match of the two-match home series against New Zealand. India’s Test against New Zealand saw India register 345 after debutant Shreyas Iyer scored 105 but New Zealand started superbly and has crossed 100 runs without losing a wicket.

However, former Indian cricketer, ex-opener turned commentator Aakash Chopra wasn’t impressed and questioned his credentials to open the batting in Test cricket. Aakash Chopra believes that Shubman Gill’s technique makes him vulnerable as an opener.

Shubman Gill Photo Credit: (BCCI)
Shubman Gill Photo Credit: (BCCI)

Shubman Gill Doesn’t Look Like A Test Opener: Aakash Chopra

Opening the batting alongside Mayank Agarwal, Shubman Gill scored a free-flowing knock of 52 in 93 balls before pacer Kyle Jamieson dismissed him.

In an interaction, Aakash Chopra said, “Whenever I see him play, he doesn’t look like a Test opener to me. The way he plays inside the line, the outside edge and inside edge are both exposed.”

Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra. (Photo Source: Twitter)

He added, “But when he plays spin, he is tall and uses his feet well, uses the reach very well, his footwork is impeccable and his defense is also solid. The bat is always in front of the pad.”

Shubman Gill has played only 9 Tests and 3 ODIs but is touted as a future star in the making. However, he was injured after the WTC Final and didn’t play any of the 4 Tests against hosts England. Shubman Gill was ruled out due to shin splints suffered during the World Test Championship final against New Zealand. Shubman Gill scored 36 across the two innings in the final which India lost.

Shubman Gill Is A Middle Order Batsman Although He Has Done Well As An Opener: Aakash Chopra

The ex-Indian opener claimed that Shubman Gill is better suited to batting in the middle-order in Test cricket and he will flourish batting lower down the order for India.

“In my opinion, he is a middle-order batter, he has been made to open. He has done well as an opener but his true color and form will be seen when he bats in the middle order,” said Chopra. 

K L Rahul and Mayank Agarwal. (AFP File Photos)
K L Rahul and Mayank Agarwal. (AFP File Photos)

Before the series, multiple media reports suggested that Shubman Gill would bat in the middle-order with KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal set to open. However, KL Rahul’s injury changed India’s plans. However, these reports left also Aakash Chopra perplexed as Shubman Gill was above Mayank Agarwal in the pecking order.

Chopra said, “People were saying that you should make Shubman bat in the middle order. But Shubman Gill was before Mayank in the pecking order, so why were you sending him down the order. If the slot was made available, it should have been given to the one who had the first right.”

Shubman Gill made his Test debut during the boxing day Test match in Australia last year and played a key role in India’s historic series victory down-under. However, he missed India’s away series against England after sustaining an injury during the World Test Championship (WTC) final.

Although Shubman Gill, who had a successful debut in Australia, started the England home Test series with a 50 as well, it has all gone downhill for him since then. Although he has scored 466 runs so far in 9 Tests averaging 33.29 in his Test career, his last few innings score read: 0, 14, 11, 15*, 0, 28, and 8 before the 52 against New Zealand at home.

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

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

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

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

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

KL Rahul
KL Rahul (Image Credit: Twitter)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MS Dhoni (BCCI/IPL)
MS Dhoni (BCCI/IPL)
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Chennai Super Kings Likely To Retain MS Dhoni For Next 3 IPL Seasons As Franchises Decide On Player Retentions For IPL 2022

Chennai Super Kings are likely to retain their longstanding captain MS Dhoni for the next three Indian Premier League seasons. Apart from MS Dhoni, the franchise Chennai Super Kings is set to retain all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, and opener Ruturaj Gaikwad-the top run-getter in IPL 2021, who played crucial roles as Chennai Super Kings won the 2021 IPL title.

As per BCCI rules, each team is allowed to retain a maximum of four players. Chennai Super Kings is also in talks with England all-rounder Moeen Ali to come on board. As BCCI secretary Jay Shah had stated that the next season of IPL 2022 will be played in India, CSK feels Moeen Ali could be a handy player on the slow, turning Chennai wicket.

Chennai Super Kings' Ravindra Jadeja With MS Dhoni CSK Twitter Handle
Chennai Super Kings’ Ravindra Jadeja With MS Dhoni CSK Twitter Handle

Chennai Super Kings Likely To Retain MS Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, Ruturaj Gaikwad And Moeen Ali Or Sam Curran

If Moeen Ali doesn’t agree to stay, Chennai Super Kings will have left-arm medium-pacer Sam Curran as their fourth retained player. The franchises have to submit their lists of retained players by November 30 and the IPL 2022 will have its mega auction next month.

Chennai Super Kings retaining MS Dhoni wouldn’t come as a surprise, especially with the brand value he brings to the team. At a recent Chennai Super Kings event, MS Dhoni had confirmed that his last T20 game will be in Chennai, putting his IPL retirement speculations to bed.

“I have always planned my cricket. My last ODI in India was in Ranchi. Hopefully, my last T20 will be in Chennai. Whether it’s next year or in five years’ time, I don’t know,” Dhoni had said.

Ishan Kishan and Rishabh Pant | BCCI/IPL
Ishan Kishan and Rishabh Pant | BCCI/IPL

Chennai Super Kings are also likely not to retain Suresh Raina for the first time. The former India batsman has been out of touch and didn’t play crucial knockout IPL games. Meanwhile, Delhi Capitals are set to retain wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant, all-rounder Axar Patel, Prithvi Shaw and pacer Anrich Nortje. Shreyas Iyer was released since he wanted to lead Delhi Capitals, but the franchise was keen to have Rishabh Pant as their leader going ahead.

However, most franchises will be following the tactic of not retaining four players as this could lead to stress on their purse during the auction. It is understood that Mumbai Indians will retain Rohit Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah. While negotiations with their West Indies all-rounder Kieron Pollard are still on, the franchise wants to buy Suryakumar Yadav from the auction pool and chances of Ishan Kishan being retained are also bright.

KL Rahul Has Parted Ways With Punjab Kings And Will Likely Lead Lucknow Franchise

Two new teams Sanjiv Goenka’s RPSG group and CVC Capitals (though they haven’t been given the green signal yet from the board), have begun approaching a few top Indian players. India opener KL Rahul is likely to lead Sanjeev Goenka’s new Lucknow team. KL Rahul, who was signed by PBKS for Rs 11 crore at the IPL 2018 auction, will reportedly spearhead the new Lucknow franchise in the IPL 2022.

It is learnt KL Rahul has parted ways with Punjab Kings and has accepted Sanjeev Goenka’s offer. It is also learnt that Suryakumar Yadav was approached by the new franchise, but the batsman hasn’t responded yet.

KL Rahul
KL Rahul (Image Credit: Twitter)

Meanwhile, Kolkata Knight Riders are likely to retain their two all-rounders, Sunil Narine and Andre Russell, while they want to keep Varun Chakravarty too. However, it is learnt that KKR is still deciding on whether to retain Shubman Gill or Venkatesh Iyer.

Meanwhile, Aakash Chopra opined that RCB will retain Virat Kohli, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammed Siraj, and Devdutt Padikkal. However, he excluded pacer Harshal Patel, who was the Purple Cap winner in IPL 2021 and inconsistent big-hitting batsman Glenn Maxwell.

Players Likely To Be Retained:

CSK: MS Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, Moeen Ali/ Sam Curran , Ruturaj Gaikwad

KKR: Sunil Narine, Andre Russell, Shubman Gill/Venkatesh Iyer, Varun Chakravarthy

RCB: Virat Kohli, Glenn Maxwell, Yuzvendra Chahal

DC: Rishabh Pant, Prithvi Shaw, Anrich Nortje, Avesh Khan/Axar Patel

RR: Ben Stokes, Sanju Samson, Jos Buttler

SRH: Rashid Khan, Jonny Bairstow/Kane Williamson

MI: Rohit Sharma, Ishan Kishan, Jasprit Bumrah, Kieron Pollard

PBKS: KL Rahul (if he agrees to stay), Mayank Agarwal, Ravi Bishnoi

Hanuma Vihari
Hanuma Vihari AP Photo
//

Leaving Out Hanuma Vihari From 2 Tests vs NZ Looks Like A Faux Pas And Was A Grave Mistake To Begin With Aakash Chopra

Aakash Chopra lashed out at India’s selection committee for a “grave mistake” they committed to dropping Test specialist Hanuma Vihari for the two-match Test series against New Zealand, which begins from November 25. Aakash Chopra’s tweet came shortly after opener KL Rahul was ruled out of the entire series with a muscle strain.

Hanuma Vihari was dropped from the 16-member squad (will be 17 in the next Test), which will take on New Zealand as the second cycle of the World Test Championship begins in Kanpur.
Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Aakash Chopra: Leaving Out Hanuma Vihari Was A Grave Mistake, To Begin With

Although the Chetan Sharma-led selection committee is yet to make an official explanation behind the squad announcement, the Andhra batter was later added to the Priyank Panchal-led India A side, which began their first four-day game at Bloemfontein in South Africa on Tuesday.

Taking to Twitter, Aakash Chopra said, “Leaving out Hanuma Vihari for the #IndvNZ Tests looks like a faux pas now. It was a grave mistake, to begin with…”

KL Rahul (Image Credit: Twitter)
KL Rahul (Image Credit: Twitter)

An hour earlier, opener KL Rahul was ruled out of the Test series with a muscle strain on his left thigh, and hence the board named Suryakumar Yadav as his replacement. This development implies that Shubman Gill, who was expected to take a middle-order position in the series, will now open for India as usual, and either Shreyas Iyer and Suryakumar Yadav will make their Test debut on Thursday and fill the empty middle-order spot.

Ajay Jadeja Too Was Disappointed With Hanuma Vihari Getting Dropped

Aakash Chopra hence felt that Hanuma Vihari’s inclusion in the squad would have avoided a new addition, and India would have straightaway relied on the Test specialist, who has managed to feature in only one home Test in his 12-match career. The veteran cricketer Aakash Chopra isn’t alone who slammed the selectors for this decision. Former cricketer Ajay Jadeja too, was disappointed with Hanuma Vihari getting dropped after the squad was announced.

Ajay Jadeja
Ajay Jadeja (Photo- Twitter)

“Vihari, poor guy. He did well. He has been with Indian cricket for a while, done well. What has he done wrong? Why should he go to India A tour, why can’t he play a Test match at home? Or don’t send him on A tour also. Somebody who has been with the team, now goes to India A tour and a new guy comes in. That’s messing with people’s minds,” explained Jadeja.

Interestingly, Hanuma Vihari hasn’t played more than a single Test match at home since making his debut in the longest format in 2018. However, the Hyderabad-based batter has been a vital cog for the side overseas and has constantly put in good performances. Most recently, between December 2020 and January 2021, Hanuma Vihari gained immense popularity by playing through an injury to save the Sydney Test match with Ravichandran Ashwin against Australia.

Hanuma Vihari has scored 624 runs in 12 Tests averaging 32.84. Hanuma Vihari battled a hamstring injury to hit a match-saving 23 runs from 161 balls against Australia in the Sydney 3rd Test. However, he missed out on the 4th and final Test at Gabba that India went on to win and script history. Since then, Hanuma Vihari has not played for India in Tests. He was part of the Test squad for the England series but did not get a game.

To make matters more intriguing, hours after the uproar over Hanuma Vihari’s exclusion, the BCCI made him a late entrant of the India ‘A’ squad for a tour of South Africa.

Hanuma Vihari (Image Credit: Twitter)
Hanuma Vihari (Image Credit: Twitter)
//

Ajay Jadeja Criticises Selectors For Axing Hanuma Vihari From Test Series Against Kiwis Despite Doing Nothing Wrong

Ajay Jadeja, the former India cricketer, has spoken in stern criticism of the Indian team selectors following their decision to drop Hanuma Vihari for the New Zealand Test series.

Hanuma Vihari has scored 624 runs in 12 Tests averaging 32.84. Hanuma Vihari battled a hamstring injury to hit a match-saving 23 runs from 161 balls against Australia in the Sydney 3rd Test.

Hanuma Vihari
Hanuma Vihari—AP Photo

Ajay Jadeja Questions What Has Hanuma Vihari Done Wrong To Be Axed For 2 Tests Against The Kiwis

During a discussion, Ajay Jadeja lashed out at the decision-makers for overlooking Hanuma Vihari despite impressive performances.

“Vihari, poor guy. He did well. He has been with Indian cricket for a while, done well. What has he done wrong? Why should he go to India A tour, why can’t he play a Test match at home? Or don’t send him on A tour also. Somebody who has been with the team, now goes to India A tour and a new guy comes in. That’s messing with people’s minds,” explained Ajay Jadeja.

Ajay Jadeja
Ajay Jadeja (Photo- Twitter)

The Chetan Sharma-led committee faced a major backlash from fans and numerous experts after the announcement. In addition, they came under heavier scrutiny for deciding to go with Shreyas Iyer in place of Hanuma Vihari.

Ajay Jadeja Has No  Doubts That India Will Send New Zealand Packing

Interestingly, Hanuma Vihari hasn’t played more than a single Test match at home since making his debut in the longest format in 2018. However, the Hyderabad-based batter has been a vital cog for the side overseas and has constantly put in good performances. Most recently, between December 2020 and January 2021, Hanuma Vihari gained immense popularity by playing through an injury to save the Sydney Test match with Ravichandran Ashwin against Australia.

Meanwhile, Ajay Jadeja has predicted the outcome of the upcoming series, saying: “ I don’t expect anything but turners that we have seen. Last few series at home, we have seen pitches that were not Test standard. New Zealand will be tested with their skills how to play spin. I have no doubt India will send them packing.”

Ajay Jadeja isn't happy with Hanuma Vihari's absence from New Zealand series
Ajay Jadeja isn’t happy with Hanuma Vihari’s absence from the New Zealand series | Photo Credit: AP, File Image

To make matters more intriguing, hours after the uproar over Hanuma Vihari’s exclusion, the BCCI made him a late entrant of the India ‘A’ squad for a tour of South Africa. Initially, the 28-year-old wasn’t a part of the India A team but was added later after he wasn’t picked for the Tests against the Kiwis.

Hanuma Vihari has now been sent to South Africa with India A side’s tour of the Rainbow Nation. India A will play 4-day matches in Bloemfontein, with Priyank Panchal as the skipper.

Hanuma Vihari had battled a hamstring injury to hit a match-saving 23 runs from 161 balls against Australia. However, he missed out on the 4th and final Test at Gabba that India went on to win and script history. Since then, Hanuma Vihari has not played for India in Tests. He was part of the Test squad for the England series but did not get a game.

Meanwhile, KL Rahul was on Tuesday ruled out of the upcoming two-match Test series against New Zealand due to a muscle strain in his left thigh. The first Test between India and New Zealand will be played at the iconic Green Park stadium in Kanpur, starting November 25.

Suryakumar Yadav, who was a part of India’s Test squad that travelled to England, has replaced KL Rahul in the 16-member squad for the Test series against Black Caps.

Shardul Thakur | Twitter
Shardul Thakur | Twitter
//

Shardul Thakur Added To Play Only 3rd India A-South Africa A Unofficial 4-Day Test In Bloemfontein

Shardul Thakur will play only the third India A vs South Africa A game in Bloemfontein. However, head coach Rahul Dravid wants every player to be match-ready with some games under their belt before they enter an international game.

India pacer Shardul Thakur has been asked to travel to South Africa to be part of the India A squad while batsman Suryakumar Yadav has been asked to stay with the Indian Test team, which will play two Tests against New Zealand at home.

Shardul Thakur Photo: AFP.
Shardul Thakur Photo: AFP.

Shardul Thakur Was Added To India A Squad As Rahul Dravid Wants Every Player To Be Match Ready

Shardul Thakur wasn’t part of the T20I or Test squads against New Zealand as the national selection committee had decided to give the Mumbai pacer a break after being away from home for six months at a stretch playing cricket.

Shardul Thakur will play only the 3rd India A vs South Africa A game in Bloemfontein. Rahul Dravid wants every player to be match-ready with some games under their belt before they enter an international game. If picked for the South Africa series next month, Shardul Thakur wouldn’t have had any games behind him, if not for the A match.

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

It was for the same reason that the Indian team sent Hanuma Vihari with India A side as the selection committee felt he might not have got any Tests against the Kiwis. They thought it would be better if he got a few games in India A series. Shardul Thakur played vital roles in Tests in Australia and later in England. It’s his batting that hogged the limelight when he slammed two half-centuries in the fourth Test against England.

Shardul Thakur has played only 4 Tests in his career so far after debuting in 2018 against West Indies, where he got injured after bowling only 10 balls. He managed 190 runs averaging 38, besides picking up 14 scalps averaging 22.71.

Shardul Thakur Is Coming Along Superbly, And Each Match There Is Tremendous Improvement In Both Batting And Bowling: Bharat Arun

The former bowling coach Bharat Arun had raved about the importance of Shardul Thakur.

“Shardul Thakur is coming along superbly. Just imagine the pressure and how well he has coped and grabbed them. Each match, I see tremendous improvement – bowling and batting. Knocks in Brisbane and Leeds were amazing, no?

“And he is a pretty intelligent bowler – a lovely outswinger at close to 140 kmphs and a well-directed bouncer. He is a good thinker, not afraid to speak his mind, fearless and you need players like him in a team environment,” Arun said.

The BCCI is likely to pick the squad for the South Africa tour after the first Test against New Zealand in Kanpur starting on Thursday.

Suryakumar Yadav
Suryakumar Yadav (BCCI)

Meanwhile, there is no official communication on why middle-order batsman Suryakumar Yadav was asked to stay with the Indian Test squad. The squad already includes Shreyas Iyer as a middle-order batsman, and chances of him making a Test debut are looking promising enough. It seems the selection committee and BCCI don’t want to take a chance with the players’ health, especially during COVID-19 times.

The BCCI doesn’t want to be in a situation where a player gets infected, and they don’t have a replacement in the squad. Suryakumar Yadav was sent as a backup player for the England tour, too, along with Prithvi Shaw, but they didn’t get to play a game.

In the ongoing 1st unofficial Test, South Africa A is batting first, and the score reads 98/2 in 27 overs, with Navdeep Saini and Arzan Nagwaswalla picking 1 wicket each. Priyank Panchal, Prithvi Shaw, Abhimanyu Easwaran, Rahul Chahar, Hanuma Vihari, Rahul Chahar, and Umran Malik are playing.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, Indian opener KL Rahul has been reportedly ruled out of the 1st Test against New Zealand.

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