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Kieron Pollard

Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma (Image Credit: Twitter)
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Rohit Sharma’s Quest Is To Win The 2023 World Cup

Rohit Sharma’s three double-hundreds in One-day cricket make him one of the most prominent limited-overs batsmen ever. Five IPL titles for Mumbai Indians make him one of T20’s finest captains. The limited-overs cricket alone has given him more than he could have ever wished for.

The white-ball sorcerer now understands, more than anything else, that red-ball Test magic alone instils cricketing glory.  He knows that despite being the highest scorer at the 50-over 2019 World Cup with 648 runs and five centuries, the Indian team will be remembered for losing to New Zealand in the semifinals.

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

Rohit Sharma’s Quest To Win 2023 World Cup Driving Him

A World Cup win, a Test match hundred, earning an opposition’s respect are the few things that count. Rohit Sharma will want to make the most between the present and October 2023 – when India hosts the 50-over World Cup. It’ll be 12 years to the 2011 ODI World Cup which was won by India where the lost opportunity of not making it to the squad pains him no end.

The opener has been working on a blueprint for quite a while now and there’s a larger plan to ensure India comes ahead of everything else over the next 24 months. Rohit Sharma rested in the first game between Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings (CSK) on Sunday but it wasn’t a last-minute call because of any niggle.

He will time and again keep taking these short breaks when required and it’s part of that larger plan. Rohit Sharma though will play MI’s second game versus the Knight Riders on Thursday because it’s the tournament’s business end and he should make it count.

Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Instagram
Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Instagram

Kieron Pollard captained the Mumbai Indians side in the absence of their regular skipper Rohit Sharma, who was given additional time off after returning from the England tour where he was on duty with the Indian team in their Test series against England. The duo of Rohit Sharma and Hardik Pandya missed out on the match against CSK which was played in Dubai International Stadium on Sunday.

Rohit Sharma Will Play Next Game Against KKR Confirms Coach Mahela Jayawardene

Mahela Jayawardene, Mumbai Indians head coach, after suffering a 20-run defeat against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021, said regular skipper Rohit Sharma will be available for the next game, which will be against Kolkata Knight Riders, who beat RCB in the 2nd game in the IPL 2021 UAE leg.

Mumbai Indians coach Mahela Jayawardene (Photo| Mumbai Indians website)
Mumbai Indians coach Mahela Jayawardene (Photo| Mumbai Indians website)

Rohit Sharma, the MI regular skipper will be on the top of his confidence after his recent success against England in the Test series, where he smacked his first overseas century. In the 1st leg, Rohit Sharma was the team’s highest run-getter with 250 runs in 7 innings averaging 35.71.

He had scored 5480 runs in 207 IPL matches averaging 31.49 with 1 ton and 40 fifties. Rohit Sharma led the Mumbai Indians to a successful campaign in the 2020 season, which was their second consecutive title.

MS Dhoni (BCCI/IPL)
MS Dhoni (BCCI/IPL)
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MS Dhoni’s Captaincy Was Spot On In IPL 2021 UAE Leg’s 1st Match: Virender Sehwag

Virender Sehwag, former Indian opener lauded MS Dhoni’s presence of mind and the on-field decision that turned the game upside down on Sunday in Dubai.

Chennai Super Kings skipper MS Dhoni’s on-field tactics against defending champions Mumbai Indians in the IPL 2021 match no. 30 in Dubai was simply remarkable. A Rohit Sharma-less MI began the UAE leg’s opening game in a phenomenal fashion, reducing Chennai to 24/4 inside the Powerplay’s 6 overs. But soon the fortunes turned in CSK’s way with opener Ruturaj Gaikwad firing all cylinders.

Virender Sehwag
Virender Sehwag (Image Credit: Twitter)

Virender Sehwag: MS Dhoni’s Captaincy Was Spot On

After Ruturaj Gaikwad’s unbeaten superb knock (88 not out off 58 balls), which helped Chennai to set a 157-run target, MS Dhoni rotated his bowlers in such a way that MI ultimately succumbed to a 20-run defeat. MS Dhoni & Co earned the valuable 2 points to gain the first position on the points table.

Virender Sehwag lauded veteran MS Dhoni’s presence of mind and the on-field decision that turned the game upside down. The former cricketer said the CSK captain has the sharpest brain among all in the ongoing tournament.

“MS Dhoni’s captaincy was spot on, no doubt about that. He doesn’t plan before the game. He observes the things on the field and takes calls accordingly. He watches the opposition batsmen and deploys a bowling attacks according to that. He anticipates in such a way that if a batter is comfortable against pace, he brings in a spinner and vice-versa,” Sehwag said.

Ruturaj Gaikwad
Ruturaj Gaikwad (Image Credit: Twitter)

“The best example was when he set the field for Dwayne Bravo. Four fielders were inside the circle to stop singles and generate the possibilities of a wicket. And that’s how they got rid of Ishan Kishan. Indeed, he’s a good captain but, his bowlers bowl according to the field setup. If anybody has the sharpest brain in this league, it’s MS Dhoni,” he added.

CSK recovered from 24 for 4 to post a creditable 156 for 6 mainly due to Ruturaj Gaikwad’s unbeaten 88 and then defended the total by restricting the defending champions to 136 for 8 in 20 overs to grab the top spot on the points table with 6 wins from 8 games.

Virender Sehwag: The Turning Point Ws Bringing In Josh Hazlewood Against Kieron Pollard

Virender Sehwag further spoke about the dismissal of stand-in MI captain Kieron Pollard, calling it the turning point of the game.

“For me the turning point was bringing in Josh Hazlewood against Kieron Pollard. Because he knew, if he gets a spinner to bowl, Pollard won’t spare the bowler. So, I think, the game changed from there,” Sehwag concluded.

Kieron Pollard
Kieron Pollard (Image Credit: Twitter)

The 42-year-old commentator former batsman Virender Sehwag further mentioned the tactical astuteness shown by MS Dhoni when he brought on the pacers against the danger man in form Kieron Pollard who was the stand-in skipper. The burly West Indian has been a thorn in CSK’s side but he was nipped out early when Josh Hazlewood struck him on the pads for an easy LBW.

Kieron Pollard had turned out to be one of the game-changers for the Mumbai Indians as he smacked 87 off 34 balls against the same opponent- Chennai Super Kings in India in the first half of IPL 2021. He hit eight sixes and six fours in the knock and made sure that his team got over the line in a tough chase of 219 runs.

But in the return match, Kieron Pollard could manage only 15 off 14 balls, while MI’s top scorer Saurabh Tiwary’s unbeaten knock of 50 off 40 balls went in vain.

Kevin Pietersen
Kevin Pietersen. Image Credits: Twitter
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Kevin Pietersen Doesn’t Know What Kieron Pollard Was Thinking As Jasprit Bumrah Was Taken Off After 1 Over

Kevin Pietersen feels Mumbai Indians missed a trick, allowing Chennai Super Kings to get to over 150 when they had them on the mat at 24/4. Kevin Pietersen was pretty outspoken at the mid-innings interval of the Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians Match 30 of the IPL 2021, believing MI lost grip of the game when they allowed CSK to come back in the game after having them on the mat at 24/4 in the Powerplay(6 overs).
CSK finished their innings on 156/6 thanks to Ruturaj Gaikwad’s innings of 88 not out and Dwayne Bravo who played a cameo of 23 runs from just eight balls, including three massive sixes besides picking 3 scalps. CSK was 24/4 at one stage and Ambati Rayudu was retired hard but the momentum was shifted as unlike the opening pacers Trent Boult and Adam Milne, the spinner Krunal Pandya(2 overs 27 runs) was too expensive.
Kevin Pietersen file image | Faheem Hussain - Sportzpics
Kevin Pietersen file image | Faheem Hussain – Sportzpics

Kevin Pietersen: Mumbai Indians Missed A Trick And Lost Despite Starting Well

The total proved to be a match-winning one as MI finished on 136/8; thus, losing the contest by 20 runs. Kevin Pietersen was sceptical of Kieron Pollard’s captaincy, pointing out areas where he felt Mumbai Indians should have been tactically smarter.

“Mumbai started so well. They really got themselves into the game. They knew they needed to get themselves going. They lost their captain so he was replaced. And they started so well. CSK was 4 down very early. Ambati Rayudu retired out. When you get that many wickets early, you have to keep your foot down. You talk about momentum; you need to keep it going,” Pietersen said during the innings interval on Star Sports.

Kieron Pollard
Kieron Pollard (Image Credit: Twitter)

“I think Mumbai Indians missed a trick. I don’t know what Kieron Pollard was thinking by not bowling Jasprit Bumrah for 2 or 3 overs. They could have been 40/7, 50/7. CSK could have been 60, 70, or 80 all out. I’m not being silly when I say that. You have got to bowl your fast, strike bowlers.”

Jasprit Bumrah was taken off after just one over, and the ball was handed to Krunal Pandya and Rahul Chahar. Although Rahul Chahar bowled a tight spell at one end, Krunal Pandya leaked runs with Ruturaj Gaikwad and Ravindra Jadeja growing in confidence. Apart from the MI pacers Trent Boult, Adam Milne, and Jasprit Bumrah who took 2 wickets each, the other bowlers failed to take a scalp.

Kevin Pietersen:  Mumbai Indians Should Have Cleaned CSK Out

The two Ravindra Jadeja and Ruturaj Gaikwad stitched a partnership of 81 runs to put CSK back in the game, which is something  Kevin Pietersen reckons should have been avoided given the fact that 3 of their top four were all dismissed for ducks – Ambati Rayudu was retired hurt – MS Dhoni fell for 3 and Suresh Raina for 4.

Dwayne Bravo. (AFP)
Dwayne Bravo. (AFP)/ AFP PHOTO / PUNIT PARANJPE

“They were allowed into the game. There is nowhere in this world that they should have been in this game. Mumbai Indians should have cleaned them out. These are things that are discussed in team meetings. If you had been 40/4 or something like that, you don’t bring spinners in and if you do, you don’t put fielders in the boundary,” Pietersen added at the end of the match.

Ravindra Jadeja and Dwayne Bravo scored 26 and 23 respectively before being dismissed while Faf du Plessis, Moeen Ali, Suresh Raina, and MS Dhoni couldn’t contribute even 5 runs each. For CSK, pacers Dwayne Bravo scalped three wickets and Deepak Chahar took two scalps. For Mumbai Indians, Saurabh Tiwary was the highest scorer after playing a knock of 50 runs.

With this win, Chennai Super Kings went to the top of the IPL table while Mumbai is now in danger of falling outside the top 4 if they get on a losing streak.

Chennai Super Kings 156 for 6 (Gaikwad 88*, Jadeja 26, Milne 2-21) beat Mumbai Indians 136 for 8 (Tiwary 50*, Bravo 3-25, D Chahar 2-19) by 20 runs

West Indies
West Indies. Image Credits: Twitter
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West Indies Squad, Schedule, Date, Time And Venue For 2021 T20I World Cup

West Indies recalled experienced pace bowler Ravi Rampaul to the team for the first time in six years as the defending champions on Thursday named their squad for the Twenty20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates and Oman in October-November.

Ravi Rampaul, a member of the 2012 World Cup-winning squad, played his last T20 match against Sri Lanka in 2015 and returns to bolster a solid-looking lineup that will look to deliver an unprecedented third title for a single team. All-rounder Roston Chase earned his maiden call-up to the T20I squad.

Ravi Rampaul File photo — Collected
Ravi Rampaul File photo — Collected

West Indies Are The Only Team To Win 2 T20I World Cups

The much-awaited T20 World Cup tournament is all set to commence from 17 October 2021. The marquee event will be played in OMAN and United Arab Emirates (UAE). Notably, the final of the tournament will take place in UAE on 14 November 2021. The defending champions West Indies will once again be favourites to win the championship.

West Indies Cricket won the 2016 ICC T20 World Cup. Credits: Twitter
West Indies Cricket won the 2016 ICC T20 World Cup. Credits: Twitter

West Indies, who are in Group 1, which also includes Australia and South Africa, take on England in their opening match of the tournament on Oct. 23 in Dubai. West Indies have power hitters like Chris Gayle, Nicholas Pooran, Kieron Pollard, Shimron Hetmyer, Andre Russell, Dwayne Bravo, and Evin Lewis. Also, their bowling unit is showing continuous improvements.

Team West Indies were not having great performance previously, However recently they have gained a sensational form and looking like a dominating force once again under the captaincy of Kieron Pollard. They will be the biggest threat for every team present in the T20 World.

Meanwhile, West Indies has been the most successful team in the T20 World Cup. As they have already won 2 trophies. One came in 2012 by defeating Sri Lanka by 36 runs, and the other came in 2016 defeating England by 4 wickets. They will commence their tournament facing South Africa and will have an eye on lifting their 3rd T20 World Cup trophy in 2021.

West Indies Squad For The Upcoming T20 World Cup 2021

Defending champion West Indies recalled Ravi Rampaul for the first time since 2015 and left out six-hitting star Carlos Brathwaite in their 15-man squad for next month’s T20 World Cup. Carlos Brathwaite hit four consecutive sixes off Ben Stokes in the final over of the 2016 T20 World Cup to win the game for West Indies. The Caribbean side won by four wickets with two balls remaining in the finals at Eden Gardens in Kolkata.

Squad: Kieron Pollard (captain), Nicholas Pooran, Fabian Allen, Dwayne Bravo, Roston Chase, Andre Fletcher, Chris Gayle, Shimron Hetmyer, Evin Lewis, Obed McCoy, Lendl Simmons, Ravi Rampaul, Andre Russell, Oshane Thomas, Hayden Walsh Jr.

Kieron Pollard
Kieron Pollard(Getty Images)

Reserves: Darren Bravo, Sheldon Cottrell, Jason Holder, Akeal Hosein

West Indies Schedule For The Upcoming T20 World Cup 2021

October 23, 2021: vs England, Dubai (07:30 PM IST)

October 26, 2021: vs South Africa, Dubai (03:30 PM IST)

October 29, 2021: vs Qualifier (B2), Sharjah (03:30 PM IST)

November 4, 2021: vs Qualifier (A1), Abu Dhabi (07:30 PM IST)

November 6, 2021: vs Australia, Abu Dhabi (03:30 PM IST)

Royal Challengers Bangalore
Royal Challengers Bangalore (Image Credit: Twitter)
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IPL 2021: Top 5 Teams With The Biggest Win Margin In The League

IPL 2021 is in its 14th edition. IPL is a T20 competition that was organized by the BCCI. Notably, the tournament was first held in the year 2008 and Rajasthan Royals (RR) won the tournament. Since then every year it is held and has become a fan-favourite tournament.

People of every age group enjoy the high octane and nail-biting encounters between the franchise teams. The cash-rich Indian T20 league is regarded as the World’s best T20 league ahead of CPL, PSL, LPL and it has witnessed some of the greatest cricket games of all time.

However, sometimes fans have also witnessed the dominance of one team which resulted in one-sided games. In this article, we will have a look at the most one-sided games played in the history of the tournament. However, our main focus will be on the victories based on the biggest run margin. Because in total 15 times, a team has won the game with 10 wickets in hand.

IPL Trophy
IPL Trophy. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

Top 5 IPL Teams With The Biggest Win Margin In The Tournament

5. Royal Challengers Bangalore won by 130 runs

On April 23, 31st match of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2013 at M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore saw the most extraordinary, explosive, exceptional, and destructive innings in the history of T20 Cricket. Pune Warriors India was facing Royal Challengers Bangalore and they won the toss and elected to field first. The Universe Boss Chris Gayle opened the innings with Tillakaratne Dilshan and he literally demolished the PWI bowling unit.

Chris Gayle slammed 175 against Pune Warrior in 2013
Chris Gayle slammed 175 against Pune Warrior in 2013 | Photo Credit: PTI.

Almost half of Chris Gayle’s inning was filled with boundaries as the West Indies opener smashed 13 fours and 17 sixers. The Universe Boss was going berserk against every bowler.

Meanwhile, in the end, he finished his knock at unbeaten 175 off 66 deliveries at a massive strike rate of 265.15. With the help of his century, RCB posted 263/5 on the board. During the chase, PWI was unable to give a tough fight to the opposition and in 20 overs they scored 133 at the loss of 9 wickets.

Meanwhile, the Virat Kohli-led RCB won the game by a humongous margin of 130 runs. Chris Gayle had scored the highest individual score and RCB’s total was the highest to date.

4. Royal Challengers Bangalore won by 138 runs

Team Royal Challengers Bangalore was in the records again when they locked horns with Kings XI Punjab ( now Punjab Kings) in the 40th match of IPL 2015 at M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore on May 6. The George Bailey led Kings XI Punjab won the toss and elected to field first inviting RCB to bat.

Opener Chris Gayle had a sensational outing as he scored 117 runs from just 57 balls. Also, Skipper Virat Kohli and AB De Villiers scored 32 and 47 respectively. Meanwhile, RCB posted 226 runs on the board.

RCB teammates Virat Kohli, Chris Gayle and AB de Villiers (Image Credit: Twitter)
RCB teammates Virat Kohli, Chris Gayle, and AB de Villiers (Image Credit: Twitter)

During the chase Kings XI, Punjab (now Punjab Kings) were bowled out at the score of 88 in the 14th over. Notably, Axar Patel made the biggest contribution from the Punjab side scoring 40 runs from 21 balls. Only Wriddhiman Saha and Axar Patel scored double-digit runs. Meanwhile, Sreenath Aravind and Mitchell Starc were able to bag 4 wickets each from team RCB.

3. Kolkata Knight Riders won by 140 runs

Yet another RCB involvement, in the biggest win margin columns came this time on the losing side. The match was the 1st game of the inaugural edition of IPL at M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore on April 18, 2008.

Brendon McCullum scored 158 runs off 73 balls in IPL 2008 opener.
Brendon McCullum scored 158 runs off 73 balls in IPL 2008 opener. | Photo Credit: BCCL

Royal Challengers Bangalore which was led by Rahul Dravid won the toss and they elected to field first. Meanwhile, KKR openers skipper Sourav Ganguly and Brendon McCullum opened for the first time in IPL. The openers had a 61 runs partnership and Sourav Ganguly was dismissed at 10.

Meanwhile, the New Zealand cricketer Brendon McCullum played a destructive knock of 158 off 73 balls to show the world what they are going to witness in the marquee Indian Premier League (IPL). His innings were filled with 10 fours and 13 maximums. Notably, he batted with a strike rate of 216.43. He helped KKR score 222/3. This was the only ton to date from a KKR batsman.

Meanwhile, during the chase RCB had a horrible run as all their main batters got out in single-digit scores. Only Praveen Kumar was able to score 18 runs and all the other players were dismissed under the score of 10 which resulted in RCB getting bowled out at 82 and losing the game by 140 runs. Ajit Agarkar-3, Ashok Dinda-2, and Sourav Ganguly-2 were amongst the wickets.

2. Royal Challengers Bangalore won by 144 runs

In the 44th match of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2016, Royal Challengers Bangalore faced off Gujrat Lions at M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore. The Virat Kohli-led side lost the toss and was invited to bat first. The start was not at all good for RCB as they lost the opener, Chris Gayle, in the 4th over and they were at 19-1 in 3.5 overs.

However, after that fans witnessed a batting master class by two of the greatest batsmen of the generation. Former Proteas batsman AB De Villiers and Indian masterclass batsman Virat Kohli. Both the batsmen brought in the storm and destroyed the opposite bowling unit.

AB de Villiers
AB de Villiers (Image Credit: Twitter)

AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli added 229 runs for the 2nd wicket which is the record of highest partnership in the IPL. The captain of RCB scored marvellous 109 runs off 55 deliveries including 5 fours and 8 six at a strike rate of 198.18. Meanwhile, Virat Kohli’s mate AB de Villiers scored exceptional 129 runs off 52 balls including 10 fours and 12 sixes at a strike rate of 248.07. Notably, RCB posted 248 runs on the board in that IPL game.

Meanwhile, during the chase Gujrat Lions despite having star batters were bowled out at 104 and RCB won the game by 144 runs. Notably, in that match, RCB used as many as 9 bowlers. Apart from Aaron Finch’s 37, the likes of power hitters Dwayne Smith-7, Brendon McCullum-11, Ravindra Jadeja-21, Dinesh Karthik-2, and Dwayne Bravo-1 failed with the bat.

1. Mumbai Indians won by 146 runs

Team Mumbai Indians is currently sitting at the top in terms of the biggest winning margin in the history of the tournament. The match was the 45th game of the IPL 2017 at Feroz Shah Kotla, Delhi. The Rohit Sharma-led team was facing the team Delhi Daredevils (Capitals).

Delhi Capitals won the toss and they invited Mumbai Indians to bat first. Meanwhile, The decision turned out to be a horrible one for the Zaheer Khan-led franchise. As Mumbai batters went berserk against the DC bowling unit.

Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Instagram
Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Instagram

West Indies powerhouse Kieron Pollard & Lendl Simmons smashed 63 and 66 runs. Also Indian all-rounder Hardik Pandya batted with a 207.14 strike rate and MI finished the innings at 212/3.

During the chase, Mitchell McClenaghan dismissed Sanju Samson on the very first ball. Before the power play ended Delhi Capitals were reduced at 35-5 and soon they were bowled out at the score of 66 which resulted in Delhi Capitals setting the record of the biggest loss in the history of IPL by 146 runs.

The likes of Karun Nair (21), Corey Anderson (10), and Pat Cummins (10) were the only cricketers to score double-digit runs as the likes of heavyweights Sanju Samson, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant, and Marlon Samuels failing. Harbhajan Singh and Karn Sharma took 3 scalps apiece.

Mumbai Indians
Mumbai Indians (Image Credit: Twitter)
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IPL 2021: CSK vs MI – 3 Players Of Mumbai Indians Who Can Be The Man Of The Match

Mumbai Indians will have their task cut out against the formidable CSK side in the first fixture after the resumption of IPL 2021 and it will be a belter of a game. Mumbai has gone 1-0 up in the battle against CSK this year in the first half of IPL 2021 and the rivalry is expected to heat up the fans in the ground.

Rohit Sharma-led defending champions Mumbai Indians hold the 4th spot currently in IPL 2021 points table with 8 points. Chennai Super Kings hold the 2nd spot with 10 points. The Rohit Sharma-led side has already won five titles under their belt and the defending champions will be up against the three-time champions Chennai Super Kings. This will be one of the most interesting battles in IPL and here are 3 MI Players Who Can Be The Man Of The Match.

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

IPL 2021: CSK vs MI- 3 MI Players Who Can Be The Man Of The Match

Kieron Pollard

Mumbai Indians' Kieron Pollard after playing a match-winning knock against Chennai Super Kings in their IPL 2021 match. Sportzpics for IPL
Mumbai Indians’ Kieron Pollard after playing a match-winning knock against Chennai Super Kings in their IPL 2021 match.
Sportzpics for IPL

Kieron Pollard turned out to be one of the game-changers for the Mumbai Indians in the first phase of the IPL and he smacked 87 off 34 balls against the same opponent- Chennai Super Kings in India in the first half of IPL 2021. He hit eight sixes and six fours in the knock and made sure that his team got over the line in a tough chase of 219 runs.

Mumbai Indians will be happy that they have the services of the West Indies captain who is one of the fearsome strikers of the cricket ball. Kieron Pollard will be keen to get his best all-round game against CSK especially and he has been in good form in the recently concluded CPL 2021.

In the first leg of IPL 2021, the West Indies all-rounder scored 168 runs in 7 matches at an average of 56 and strike rate of 171+. Kieron Pollard formed a critical part of the victorious MI squad in the 2020 season, smashing the ball at a strike rate of 191. He is loved by the Mumbai fans and big Trinidadian will look to set things straight again in the 14th season.

Quinton de Kock

Quinton de Kock of Mumbai Indians plays a shot. (BCCI/IPL)
Quinton De Kock of Mumbai Indians plays a shot. (BCCI/IPL)

The South African wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock likes the ball coming onto the bat and he scored loads of runs in the UAE in the previous edition. He struggled to find his form in the spinning wickets in India in the first half of IPL 2021 but seemed to get better when the wickets changed. The left-hander will be one of the challenges for the CSK bowlers as well.

Quinton de Kock scored 155 runs in the first phase of the IPL 2021 at an average of 31 and he excelled at times but he will need to convert his starts into a big score this time and this will be the right scenario for him to show his skills.

The Proteas batsman has been a spectacular batting form, which was visible during the recent Sri Lanka vs South Africa T20I series. Quinton De Kock had a terrific 2020 season, scoring 503 runs including four half-centuries at the top in UAE, and will look to perform in a similar fashion in the UAE leg.

Jasprit Bumrah

Jasprit Bumrah
Jasprit Bumrah (Image Credit: Twitter)

Jasprit Bumrah is one of the best bowlers in recent times in the world at the moment and he showed his class in the recently concluded red-ball Test series against England. He finished as the highest wicket-taker for India in the four Tests and picked up 18 wickets. In his prime form, Jasprit Bumrah has been one of the match-winners for the Mumbai Indians and has bowled splendidly in the India leg of IPL 2021 as well.

The right-arm quick was superb in the previous edition IPL 2020 in UAE too by being the 2nd highest wicket-taker and he enjoyed the conditions really well. He used the pace of the wickets to his advantage and executed the yorkers to perfection. He will be one of the candidates for the man of the match in the first game against CSK and he relishes the challenge against big teams.

In the first leg of IPL 2021, the right-arm pacer with an unorthodox action scalped 6 wickets in 7 matches at an average of 32 and an economy of 7.11. In the previous season in IPL 2020, he picked 27 scalps in 15 games averaging an awesome 14.96, and was 2nd highest wicket-taker.

Mumbai Indians
Mumbai Indians (Image Credit: Twitter)
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IPL 2021: CSK vs MI – MI’s Predicted XI For The 1st Match

IPL 2021 UAE leg will see Mumbai Indians will take on Chennai Super Kings in the opening game. The much-awaited encounter will take place on September 19 at Dubai International Stadium. Rohit Sharma-led defending champions Mumbai Indians hold the 4th spot currently in IPL 2021 points table with 8 points. Chennai Super Kings hold the 2nd spot with 10 points.

During MI vs CSK’s first encounter in IPL 2021, Mumbai Indians defeated Chennai Super Kings by 4 wickets. With Kieron Pollard’s spectacular unbeaten 87-run-knock, MI chased down the mammoth target of 219 runs in the match. The team will seek to defeat CSK once again in the UAE leg. Ahead of the high octane match, let’s take a look at Mumbai Indians’ playing XI for the first match against Chennai Super Kings in IPL 2021’s UAE leg.

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

IPL 2021: CSK vs MI- MI’s Predicted XI For The 1st Match

Rohit Sharma

Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma (Image Credit: Twitter)

Rohit Sharma will lead Mumbai Indians in the first match of IPL 2021. The MI skipper will be on the top of his confidence after his recent success against England in the Test series, where he smacked his first overseas century. In the 1st leg, Rohit Sharma was the team’s highest run-getter with 250 runs in 7 innings averaging 35.71.

He had scored 5480 runs in 207 IPL matches averaging 31.49 with 1 ton and 40 fifties. Rohit Sharma led the Mumbai Indians to a successful campaign in the 2020 season, which was their second consecutive title.

Quinton de Kock

Quinton de Kock of Mumbai Indians plays a shot. (BCCI/IPL)
Quinton de Kock of Mumbai Indians plays a shot. (BCCI/IPL)

For the wicket-keeper’s role, Mumbai Indians will go with South African batsman Quinton de Kock. The Proteas batsman has been a spectacular batting form, which was visible during the recent Sri Lanka vs South Africa T20I series. In the first leg of IPL 2021, the left-handed batsman scored 155 runs in 6 matches at an average of 31. He also smacked one unbeaten half-century.

Quinton de Kock had a terrific 2020 season, scoring 503 runs including four half-centuries at the top. The left-hander also has a great understanding with his opening partner, Rohit Sharma, and his explosive hitting makes things easier for the MI skipper at the other end. His form and performance will be vital to MI’s fortune.

Suryakumar Yadav

Suryakumar Yadav
Suryakumar Yadav (Image Credit: Twitter)

Sunryakumar Yadav will be a great batsman for MI at the middle-order in the opening game. Yadav showed a magnificent batting performance during the Sri Lanka tour earlier in July. During the first leg, the right-handed batsman scored 173 runs in 7 innings at an average of 24.71. He also held a strike rate of 144+.

Asked to open the batting, Suryakumar Yadav excelled in his role and scored over 500 runs in 2018, including four fifties. In IPL 2019, he amassed 424 runs to be MI’s second-highest run-getter. He outperformed himself in the 2020 season scoring 480 runs at a strike rate of 145 and went on to make his T20 International debut later for India.

Ishan Kishan

Ishan Kishan. Photo Credit: (Twitter)
Ishan Kishan. Photo Credit: (Twitter)

Mumbai Indians might keep Quinton de Kock as the wicketkeeper in IPL 2021 opener against CSK. However, Ishan Kishan might also make it into the playing XI as a batsman. During the ODI series against Sri Lanka in July, Ishan Kishan smacked half-century on his ODI debut. In the first leg, he scored 73 runs in 5 matches averaging a below-par 14.6, and will certainly try to make amends in the UAE leg.

Bought for a whopping INR 5.5 crore, Ishan Kishan, who played 14 games in 2018, played seven in 2019, scoring just 101 runs with an average of 16.83. Ishan Kishan was the top run-getter for Mumbai Indians in the 2020 season, scoring 516 runs at an average of 57.33, and later went on to make his International T20 debut where he scored a fearless fifty.

Hardik Pandya

Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya[photo: Twitter]
Hardik Pandya is another confirmed player for Mumbai Indians in the opening game of the IPL 2021 UAE leg. The younger Pandya largely failed to hit a big knock in the first leg. In 7 matches, he scored 52 runs in 6 innings averaging a pathetic 8.66. However, he is toiling hard in training and all set for a good performance in the UAE leg.

In the 12th edition of IPL 2019, he scored 400 runs and picked up 14 wickets, proving his versatility. After missing out on a lot of action owing to a back injury, Hardik Pandya made a phenomenal comeback in the 2020 season, playing the finisher role for the team and hammering the ball in the slog overs at a strike rate of 178.

Kieron Pollard

Mumbai Indians' Kieron Pollard after playing a match-winning knock against Chennai Super Kings in their IPL 2021 match. Sportzpics for IPL
Mumbai Indians’ Kieron Pollard after playing a match-winning knock against Chennai Super Kings in their IPL 2021 match.
Sportzpics for IPL

Kieron Pollard is another player who will be part of Mumbai Indians in the opening game of IPL 2021 against Chennai Super Kings. In the first leg, the West Indies all-rounder scored 168 runs in 7 matches at an average of 56 and strike rate of 171+. He also smacked a match-winning knock of 87 runs against CSK in the earlier encounter.

Kieron Pollard formed a critical part of the victorious MI squad in the 2020 season, smashing the ball at a strike rate of 191. He is loved by the Mumbai fans and big Trinidadian will look to set things straight again in the 14th season. After not bowling in 2018 and 2019, he picked 7 scalps in the last two editions.

Krunal Pandya

Krunal Pandya
Krunal Pandya. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)

Krunal Pandya is another player who might make it to MI’s playing XI in the opening game. In the first leg, the left-handed batsman scored 100 runs in 7 innings at an average of 16.66. He also picked 3 wickets. On spin-friendly UAE grounds, Krunal Pandya might emerge as a crucial bowler for Mumbai Indians.

He hit the winning runs in the 2020 season that gave MI their fifth title. An important member of the side, Krunal Pandya will once again be required of playing the dual role of picking wickets with his left-arm spin and providing a boost to the middle order.

Rahul Chahar

Rahul Chahar's rapid rise in the Indian Premier League (IPL). | Photo Credit: Instagram
Rahul Chahar’s rapid rise in the Indian Premier League (IPL). | Photo Credit: Instagram

Rahul Chahar will be part of Mumbai Indians in IPL 2021 opener against CSK. In the first leg, Rahul Chahar gave a magnificent bowling show, picking 11 wickets in 7 matches at an outstanding average of 18.36 and an economy of 7.21. He is the 4th highest wicket-taker in the tournament currently.

Mumbai Indians showed confidence in this skilful leg spinner and gave him 13 of the 16 matches they played in 2019. There is no dearth of talent in him and he surely proved that in the 2020 season scalping 15 wickets in as many matches, not letting the batsmen get away with his clever googlies.

Trent Boult

Trent Boult. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)
Trent Boult. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

Trent Boult will be one of the pacers for MI in the opening game of the IPL 2021 UAE leg. The New Zealander bowled brilliantly in the first leg, picking 8 wickets in 7 games at an average of 27.87. He owns an economy rate of 8.46 so far and picked a three-wicket haul in one match.

Trent Boult was truly sensational in the 13th edition of IPL 2020, sharing the new ball with Jasprit Bumrah. He picked up 25 scalps in only 15 appearances averaging only 18.28 and was the third-highest wicket-taker in IPL 2020.

Jasprit Bumrah

Jasprit Bumrah
Jasprit Bumrah (Image Credit: Twitter)

After his successful bowling show against England in the Test series, Jasprit Bumrah would be quite confident for IPL 2021 UAE leg. He is another player who will definitely play for MI in the opening game. In the first leg, the right-arm pacer scalped 6 wickets in 7 matches at an average of 32 and an economy of 7.11. In the previous season in IPL 2020, he picked 27 scalps in 15 games averaging an awesome 14.96, and was 2nd highest wicket-taker.

Marco Jansen

Marco Jansen
Marco Jansen. Image-BCCI

For the third pacer, Mumbai Indians might induct Marco Jansen into the playing XI. The uncapped Proteas player played 2 games in the first leg, picking 2 wickets at an economy of 7.50. He picked 2 wickets in one match but remained wicketless in the other. His bowling average in his debut IPL season was 22.5 before IPL 2021 got postponed for bio bubble breaches.

Other Options:-

Nathan Coulter Nile

Nathan Coulter-Nile
Nathan Coulter-Nile

The right-arm pacer picked five wickets in the seven games he played for the Mumbai Indians in the 2020 season. MI bought him again in the 2021 auctions for INR 5 cr. He remained wicketless in IPL 2021 playing only 1 game.

Jayant Yadav

Jayant Yadav Photo Credit - IPL
Jayant Yadav Photo Credit – IPL

Photo Credit – IPL

Although he featured in only 2 games in the 2020 season, the spinner Jayant Yadav made it count by getting an early breakthrough with the ball for MI in the finals of the 13th edition. Although he has only played 14 IPL games, 31-year-old Jayant Yadav is a senior in the domestic circuit and has represented India in four Tests and one ODI.  He has picked 7 scalps in 17 IPL games averaging 53 but with a decent economy of 6.74. He picked 1 scalp in IPL 2021.

Mumbai Indians Predicted XI:-

Rohit Sharma (c), Quinton de Kock (wk), Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Nathan Coulter-Nile/Jayant Yadav/ Marco Jansen, Rahul Chahar, Jasprit Bumrah, Trent Boult

Shahid Afridi brings out his trademark starfish celebration Pakistan Super League
Shahid Afridi brings out his trademark starfish celebration Pakistan Super League
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Shahid Afridi May Retire After PSL 2022

Shahid Afridi looks set to finally call time on his playing career, strongly suggesting next year’s season at the Pakistan Super League will be his last.
Shahid Afridi, who is currently with Multan Sultans and spent two seasons at Peshawar Zalmi and one at Karachi Kings, expressed a desire to represent a fourth franchise, Quetta Gladiators, in his final season.
Shahid Afridi suggested he may finally call it a day AFP/Getty Images
Shahid Afridi suggested he may finally call it a day AFP/Getty Images

Shahid Afridi Last Played For Pakistan More Than 5 Years Ago But Has Continued To Play In The PSL Since Its Inception

Shahid Afridi last played international cricket for Pakistan more than five years ago in 2016 but has continued to take part in the PSL ever since its inception well into his forties.  In his international career, he scored 11,196 runs with 11 centuries and 51 half-centuries. He also picked up 541 wickets at the highest level with 10 five-wicket hauls.
“Maybe this ends up being my last PSL,” Shahid Afridi told reporters. “I would like to play for Quetta Gladiators this season, provided Multan allows me to leave. If Nadeem Omar and Quetta’s owners want to have me, I would love to represent them.”
Shahid Afridi played in 27 Tests, 398 ODIs and 99 T20Is for Pakistan.© AFP
Shahid Afridi played in 27 Tests, 398 ODIs, and 99 T20Is for Pakistan.© AFP

He captained Peshawar Zalmi in the first season and was part of the team that won the title the following year. His current franchise, Multan Sultans, are the defending champions, having beaten Peshawar Zalmi in the final in June. Shahid Afridi played a part in the first half of this year’s edition before missing the UAE leg with a back injury.

Shahid Afridi, however, who played four times for Multan Sultans during the Karachi leg of the tournament, wasn’t available for the UAE leg after suffering the injury during training. Shahid Afridi retired from international cricket back in 2016 but continued to play league cricket mostly in Pakistan.

He has won the PSL with Peshawar Zalmi in his second season at the franchise, and also played a minor role for the Multan Sultans when they won the trophy last year.

Shahid Afridi Has Been One Of The Most Successful All-rounders In PSL

In case Shahid Afridi retires next season, he would walk away from the Pakistan Super League as one of its most successful all-rounders. To date, Shahid Afridi has 44 wickets in 50 Pakistan Super League games at an economy rate of 6.97. That places him eighth on the all-time list; no one who has taken more wickets and conceded fewer than seven runs per over.

While he has been relatively less successful with the bat, he has still had an impact. His 465 runs have come at a strike rate of 153.46 – only Kieron Pollard (166.24), Luke Ronchi (166.12), and Asif Ali (164.29) top that for those with at least 30 innings. Babar Azam tops the list of highest run-getters with 2070 runs in 58 PSL matches. Kamran Akmal with 1820 runs is 2nd on the list.

Wahab Riaz. Image-Sky Sports
Wahab Riaz. Image-Sky Sports

Amongst bowlers, Wahab Riaz tops the list with 94 wickets while the likes of Hasan Ali -72 scalps, Faheem Ashraf, and Mohammed Nawaz-55 scalps each, Mohammed Amir-54 scalps, Sohail Tanvir-53 scalps, and Shaheen Shah Afridi-50 scalps are amongst bowlers with 50 or more wickets in the PSL.

The 2022 Pakistan Super League will take place in January and February after it was moved to an earlier window to avoid a clash with the Indian Premier League and squeeze in a tour by Australia.

T20I World Cup trophy. (Photo Source: Twitter)
T20I World Cup trophy. (Photo Source: Twitter)
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India Well Placed To Win Forthcoming 2021 T20I World Cup, Says WV Raman

WV Raman, former Indian Women’s coach has claimed that Team India under Virat Kohli is well placed to win the upcoming T20I World Cup 2021. India last won an ICC event way back in 2013 when they beat England to be crowned as the Champions Trophy 2013 winners under talismanic skipper MS Dhoni, the only skipper to win all 3 ICC trophies.

India’s best chance to break that trophy drought this year will come in the form of the ICC T20 World Cup 2021.

WV Raman PC: Twitter
WV Raman PC: Twitter

WV Raman: Virat Kohli-led India Shouldn’t Be Complacent

With a strong and established mixture of youngsters and seniors in the squad, Virat Kohli has a great opportunity to lead the side to success. However, they need to be wary of complacency while facing the ‘weaker sides’ in the tournament, according to WV Raman.

“It’s not so much pressure as it could be complacency. Complacency may not be the reason every time. But most importantly, if a very powerful and popular side is up against a side that is seen as inexperienced and weak, there is the danger of always being caught unawares by a team of unknown.

“Because, if you have a side where you know about each and every player, the opponents can plan and try and see how they can counter the best players in the opposition side,” the 56-year-old WV Raman said.

The T20 World Cup will be held from October 17 starting with the qualifiers in Oman. Alongside England and West Indies, the Men in Blue go into the tournament as firm favorites. But the nature of the format doesn’t guarantee anything, as stated by WV Raman.

Taking the example of tennis legend Novak Djokovic, WV Raman said: “T20 is a format where no one is sure what would happen. Everything can change in just one over. That is the beauty of sport. You look at World No. 1 Djokovic, who could not win the bronze medal in the Tokyo Olympics He was in great form in tennis this year.”

Virat Kohli T20 World Cup
Virat Kohli (Image Credit: Twitter)

“This happens in top-level sport. Generally, we cannot predict what happens in cricket, and more so in T20 cricket. Who wins, whether Kohli wins, it is different. If you look at his captaincy record, he has a very good success record. India is well placed to win the T20 World Cup,” WV Raman said.

The World Cup will be held right after the completion of the 2nd phase of the IPL 2021. Both the mega-events are set to take place in the United Arab Emirates in the September-November window.

West Indies Are The Defending Champions Of T20I World Cup

T20 World Cup 2021 is set to start from October 17 in the UAE, with the final for the 16-team tournament scheduled for November 14. T20 World Cup 2021 will start a few days after the IPL final, which is likely to be held on October 15. The remainder of IPL 2021 will also be played in the UAE, starting September 19.

According to the current plan, the first round of the T20 World Cup 2021 will be split across two groups and played in the UAE and Oman. Round 1, which will include 12 matches, will comprise eight teams from which four (top two from each group) would qualify for the Super 12s.
Chris Gayle PTI
Chris Gayle PTI
Four teams from this lot of eight – Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Ireland, Netherlands, Scotland, Namibia, Oman, Papua New Guinea – will then progress to the Super 12s, joining the top eight ranked T20I teams. The Super 12s phase, which will comprise 30 matches, is scheduled to start from October 24.
The Super 12s, where teams will be split across two groups of six each, will be played at three venues in the UAE – Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Sharjah which will be followed by three playoff games – the two semi-finals and the final.
The T20 World Cup which was scheduled to be held in Australia from October 18, 2020, was postponed in July due to the COVID-19 pandemic, making way for the cash-rich IPL 2020 in the United Arab Emirates. The T20 World Cup in 2021 will be the seventh edition of the tournament and the first since 2016.
West Indies, the defending champions of the T20I World Cup in 2016, is the favourite and frontrunner to win again with consistent big-hitting performers like Evin Lewis, Chris Gayle, Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard and Andre Russell in the team.
Barbados Tridents To Rebrand Themselves As Barbados Royals [Image-Twitter]
Barbados Tridents To Rebrand Themselves As Barbados Royals [Image-Twitter]
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Barbados Tridents Is Set To Be Renamed As Barbados Royals

The Barbados Tridents is all set to be renamed as Barbados Royals. This move is done because of Royals Sports Group entering into the Caribbean Premier League (CPL). Notably, the Royals Sports Group will become the third IPL franchise to own a team in Caribbean Premier League (CPL). With the immediate effect, the Barbados Tridents will now be called Barbados Royals.

The Barbados Caribbean Premier League franchise will change its name following a deal that sees the Royals Sports Group (EM Sporting Holdings Ltd), the owners of the Rajasthan Royals IPL franchise acquire a majority stake in the team. The two-time CPL champions will be rebranded as the Barbados Royals, a partner franchise of the Rajasthan Royals, as the Royals Sports Group seeks to expand its global presence.

Barbados Tridents Is Set To Be Renamed As Barbados Royals 1

The Barbados Tridents To Be Renamed After Royals

Notably, Red Chillies Entertainment owns Trinbago Knight Riders in CPL, and KPH Dream Cricket Private Limited owns St Lucia Zouks.  The Barbados Royals were Hero CPL champions in 2014 and 2019 and are currently led by West Indies all-rounder Jason Holder. The team will get their 2021 campaign underway against St Kitts & Nevis Patriots on 26 August at Warner Park, Basseterre.

Manish Patel, principal of the Barbados franchise, added, “We are extremely excited about the partnership with Manoj and the Rajasthan Royals family, which will further advance cricket in Barbados and the region.”

The Barbados Tridents won their second CPL title in 2019 Getty Images
The Barbados Tridents won their second CPL title in 2019 Getty Images

Royals Sports Group Chairperson, and the Lead Owner of Rajasthan Royals, Manoj Badale, commented: “We are delighted to have signed this deal with Manish Patel, to acquire a majority stake in the Barbados CPL franchise.

“We are extremely grateful to the Barbados government for their continued support, and we look forward to making a positive impact on both cricket and tourism for the country. We have ambitious plans for the Royals brand globally, and this is an important strategic step.”

Meanwhile the Barbados Tridents now Barbados Royals is a very successful franchise. The Barbados Tridents is one of the three teams in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) to win the championship at least twice.

Jason Holder Will Continue As Skipper

Notably last year the team didn’t have a great run as they failed to enter the playoffs stage. Adding to it, The team ended the tournament on the fifth spot. Also, they were able to win only 3 out of 10 matches. Star all-rounder, Jason Holder will continue to captain the side. Also, Kumar Sangakkara will oversee all the CPL operations.

Jason Holder Getty Images
Jason Holder Getty Images

The Barbados franchise is one of the three teams to win the CPL title twice. The Tridents won the 2014 CPL under the leadership of Kieron Pollard, who is now captain at the Trinbago Knight Riders. In 2019 the Tridents ended the unbeaten run of the Guyana Amazon Warriors in the final to win the CPL under the captaincy of Jason Holder. The Tridents failed to defend their title, however, finishing fifth in the 2020 edition with just three wins in 10 games.

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