Sunil Gavaskar | Sportzwiki

Sunil Gavaskar

File image of former India captain Sunil Gavaskar | AFP
File image of former India captain Sunil Gavaskar | AFP

Punjab Kings Repeating Same Mistakes Of IPL 2020 At UAE: Sunil Gavaskar

Sunil Gavaskar lashed out at the Punjab Kings (PBKS) for not learning from their past mistakes and repeating them. The former India captain came down heavily on the KL Rahul-led unit for losing their match against the Rajasthan Royals (RR). Punjab needed 10 runs off 15 balls at one stage with eight wickets in hand, yet they unbelievably lost.

Sunil Gavaskar: Punjab Once Again Made A Mess Of A Chase

In the previous match against Rajasthan Royals, KL Rahul led from the front by scoring 49 while his opening batting partner Mayank Agarwal aided him in scoring 67. Still, middle-order woes were out in the open as Aiden Markram and Nicholas Pooran failed to rotate the strike, and Deepak Hooda’s dismissal ended their hopes of winning.

Punjab Kings
Punjab Kings (Image Credit: Twitter)

With eight runs needed off 12 balls and eight wickets in hand, Mustafizur Rahman conceded just four singles off the penultimate over. Punjab Kings needed only four off the final over with eight wickets in hand, but they came up short. Not many expected the RR pacer to guide his team to a win, but Kartik Tyagi stunned everyone with a fantastic final over.

He bowled a dot ball to Aiden Markram to begin the over. The PBKS batsman took a single on the next ball. In the last over, well-set Nicholas Pooran handed a catch to Sanju Samson on the third ball while new batsman Deepak Hooda played a dot ball and lost his wicket on the penultimate delivery of the match. Caribbean star Fabian Allen had to score three runs off the last ball as he failed to connect the shot.

“Punjab once again made a mess of a chase and lost a match they should have won. Despite all talk of learning from past mistakes, the same errors of last year in UAE were repeated to give Rajasthan a win that three overs earlier looked highly unlikely.”

KL Rahul
KL Rahul (Image Credit: Twitter)

Sunil Gavaskar emphasized the importance of partnerships, throwing light on how it becomes the responsibility of the other batter to carry on batting after losing his settled partner.

“It’s important even in this ultra-short format of the game that after a good partnership, the batter, who is at the crease after his partner gets out, has to ensure that he carries on batting without taking too many chances, even as the new batter at the crease settles in. Punjab, last year, got great starts as they did in the game against Rajasthan, but then when the opening partnership was broken, the other partner got out fast,” Sunil Gavaskar added.

In KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal, the PBKS have two of the most successful openers in IPL. However, all four of their century opening stands since IPL 2020 have resulted in losses as they find little support from the middle-order.

Sunil Gavaskar: Punjab Tried Non-Regular Bowlers Which Changed Rhythm And Momentum Of The Game

Sunil Gavaskar also stated that PBKS have let matches slip away by shifting the momentum with bowling part-timers at crucial junctures. In a major surprise, KL Rahul introduced Deepak Hooda as the first change bowler against RR, who was plundered for 37 runs off his two overs.

“Punjab keep trying non-regular bowlers, who go for 15 or 20 runs, and that changes the rhythm and momentum of the game completely,” Sunil Gavaskar further wrote.

Sunil Gavaskar. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Sunil Gavaskar. (Photo Source: Twitter)

“Punjab will take heart from the fact that Hyderabad are stuck at the bottom of the table, and if they get their team selection right, then they could still turn things around.”

PBKS will face bottom-placed Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in Sharjah on Saturday (September 25).

Punjab left-arm pacer Arshdeep Singh will be one to watch out for after a five-wicket haul against Rajasthan. David Warner’s horror time in the IPL continued as he was dismissed for a three-ball duck in the previous outing against Delhi Capitals. The absence of Jonny Bairstow has increased the pressure on the likes of Kane Williamson.

Sherfane Rutherford, Jonny Bairstow’s replacement, has left the IPL bubble to return home after his father’s death. His exit is a big blow. SRH has faced PBKS 17 times in the IPL since 2013, holding a 12-5 win-loss record.

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

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

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

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

Star Sports : IPL 2021
Star Sports: IPL 2021

Star Sports Tweet IPL 2021 Commentary Panel

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunil Gavaskar. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Sunil Gavaskar. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Sunil Gavaskar Urges People To Find Out The Truth Before Criticising India

Sunil Gavaskar has urged people to find the truth before criticising the Indian team. The cancellation of the fifth Test match has thrown a lot of people into a puzzle. Initially, it was believed that the Indian team refused to take part in the series-deciding game in Manchester, with reports doing the rounds that players were not keen on taking the field after their physio Yogesh Parmar had tested positive.
Whereas later on, contradicting reports emerged, which stated that the calling off of the Manchester Test was not due to the outbreak of Covid but because of the uncertainty of what might happen next within the players, stated England and Wales Cricket Board CEO, Tom Harrison.
Sunil Gavaskar File image of former India captain | AFP
Sunil Gavaskar File image of former India captain | AFP

Sunil Gavaskar Urges To Find Out The Truth Before Criticizing India For 5th Manchester Test Cancellation

While many have been quick to jump the gun and blame India for the outbreak of Covid – Ravi Shastri’s book launch is taking most of it – and cancelling the final Test, former captain Sunil Gavaskar has urged people to find the truth before criticizing the Indian team.

“How does anyone know that it happened during the book launch? Because even after the book launch, when players were tested, they were negative. From what I’ve heard, the tests that took place on the eve of the match were all negative. So if none of our players were positive, what was the problem?” Gavaskar said on Sports Tak.

Ravi Shastri and Virat Kohli during Shastri's book launch event in London | Twitter
Ravi Shastri and Virat Kohli during Shastri’s book launch event in London | Twitter

“And reports that suggest the Indian players refused to play the match, I want to know who it was? These reports are only in English papers. They will never say or write anything good about the Indian team; they will always hold them responsible. Please find what is the truth and then point fingers.”

Sunil Gavaskar was also pissed with the fact that people in India were buying the lies that the English media was feeding them and were targeting their own team and players on social media, without knowing the whole truth.

Sunil Gavaskar Request Not To Make Allegations That Indian Team Refused To Play The 5th Test Without Any Proof

Sunil Gavaskar feels the chances of Indian players being the ones to refuse are slim, purely due to the manner in which they had performed in the Test series. With India leading it 2-1, with one game to go, Sunil Gavaskar reckons India would have instead been willing to take the field and finish the series 3-1 to register their maiden Test series win in England in 14 years.

“Our players worked so hard to lead the series 2-1. And in Manchester, their bowlers would have been aided… why wouldn’t they want to play? They would want to play the match because they can win the series 3-1.

“So I will never believe that Indian players refused to play the 5th Test. If these reports are true, then the BCCI needs to officially say, that Yes, our players said that they won’t play. Else, I would request not to make such claims without any proof,” the former India batsman added.

Indian Test Team
Indian Test Team[photo: Twitter]
Various reports in English media speculated that the English board wasn’t pleased with India’s head coach Ravi Shastri for attending his book launch event with several members of the team two days before the fourth Test. Some reports also claimed that some of the Indian players, despite testing negative for the coronavirus on the eve of the fifth Test, weren’t very keen on taking the field and that’s why the match had to be called off.

The BCCI or the ECB both released their respective statements and there was no mention of any of the reasons stated above, which leads to the question of whether any of it was actually true or was just lies spread by the English media to tarnish the image of the Indian cricket team and portray them as the villains.Besides Ravi Shastri, several other Indian players, including skipper Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara, had also gone to the same event and none of them tested positive for the virus.

Sunil Gavaskar. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Sunil Gavaskar. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Sunil Gavaskar Thinks Rescheduling The Cancelled 5th Test At Manchester Was A Correct Decision

Sunil Gavaskar has lauded the BCCI’s offer of rescheduling the cancelled Old Trafford Test, saying India should never forget England’s gesture of returning back to complete a tour, which was halted midway due to the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks in 2008.

The Manchester Test at Old Trafford was cancelled at the last moment on Friday after India could not field a team due to a COVID-19 scare in their camp. The fifth Test between India and England was called off hours before its start on Friday after a COVID-19 outbreak in the visiting team’s camp which made the Indian players reluctant to play fearing a positive result might lead to 10-day isolation and scheduling nightmare of the Indian Premier League.

File image of former India captain Sunil Gavaskar | AFP
File image of former India captain Sunil Gavaskar | AFP

Sunil Gavaskar Thinks Rescheduling The Cancelled 5th Test At Manchester Was A Correct Decision Pointing Out To England Returning After Heading Home Due To Mumbai Terror Attack

Both the BCCI and England Cricket Board (ECB) officials later announced that the match will be rescheduled at a later date as a one-off game, but the decision is yet to be made official.

“Yes, I think that (rescheduling the cancelled Test) would be the correct thing to do. Look, we, in India, should never forget what the England team did in 2008 after the horrific attack, the 26/11. They came back,” Sunil Gavaskar said.

“They would have been perfectly entitled to say -‘we don’t feel safe. We are not coming back,’ ” Sunil Gavaskar said.

Kevin Pietersen
Kevin Pietersen. Image Credits: Twitter

The visiting England team was playing an ODI against India in Cuttack on November 26 when terrorists attacked Mumbai, leading to the cancellation of the last two ODIs of the seven-match series. England headed home immediately but later returned for the two-Test series which India won 1-0. Sunil Gavaskar said that the then skipper Kevin Pietersen was instrumental in England’s decision to return back for the Test matches.

“Never forget that Kevin Pietersen led the team, and he was the main man. If KP had said, no I don’t want to go, that would have been the end of the matter. It was because KP was willing to go and he convinced the others, the team came and we had that fantastic Test match in Chennai where India chased 380 to win on the last day,” the batting great said.

The 6th and 7th ODIs were cancelled without a ball bowled on November 29 and 2nd December 2008 after the terror attacks on 26th November. England then played 2 Tests at Chennai and Mohali after returning in December.

Sunil Gavaskar Termed BCCI’s Rescheduling Offer As Fantastic News

Sunil Gavaskar termed BCCI’s rescheduling offer as ‘fantastic news’ and said the cancelled Test can be held next year after the Indian Premier League.

“Don’t forget, the gesture of the ECB has to be remembered,” he said.

“It’s absolutely apt that the BCCI now says, right next year, we are still coming to England. I think there will be a little lean period. I think the IPL will finish in early June. So there is enough time for them to go a few days early, depending on whether we still have Covid and all the restrictions and maybe play a Test match before or after,” Gavaskar said.


“This is fantastic news coming that the BCCI will make up for it. This is exactly what the relations between boards should be.”

India’s refusal to feature in the 5th and final Test against England at Manchester due to fears of Covid-19 has strained relationships between the two teams. While many in the English cricket fraternity are criticising Virat Kohli-led Indian management, some cricketers are reportedly even looking to pull out from the UAE leg of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021.

News that the Manchester Test match wouldn’t begin as originally planned came in hours before the scheduled toss. The development came on the back of intense discussions between the BCCI and the ECB after India’s assistant physiotherapist Yogesh Parmar returned a positive Covid-19 test on Wednesday.

MS Dhoni (Image Credit: Twitter)

MS Dhoni Was Initially Reluctant To Take The Role As A Mentor But Agreed After Consultation With Virat Kohli

MS Dhoni surprised all by announcing that he would be retiring from all international cricket, on Independence Day last year,  A little more than a year later, his return to the Team India folds as ‘mentor’ for the forthcoming T20 World Cup in the UAE has been equally surprising.

Indian cricket board (BCCI) secretary Jay Shah said on Wednesday after the announcement of the Indian team that he had had a meeting with MS Dhoni and the former India captain had been brought on board for the ICC T20 event.
Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni (Photo:AFP)
Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni (Photo: AFP)

MS Dhoni Was Initially Reluctant To Take The Role As A Mentor

The meeting that happened in Dubai about 10 days ago lasted around 90 minutes and MS Dhoni had not said “yes” immediately. According to sources close to the development, the Chennai Super Kings captain was initially a little reluctant to take on the role.

“It was a request to which he couldn’t say no to, but he took his time before giving his nod,” a source said.

Ravi Shastri and Virat Kohli PTI Photo by Shashank Parade (PTI11_21_2014_000176B)
Ravi Shastri and Virat Kohli- PTI Photo by Shashank Parade (PTI11_21_2014_000176B)

When the offer was made, captain Virat Kohli and coach Ravi Shastri were obviously consulted. But the feeling is MS Dhoni himself must have had a discussion with Virat Kohli before giving his consent.

“In the initial proposal, the term ‘mentor’ wasn’t mentioned. It was more of an advisory role to the team. But it was Dhoni’s equation with Virat that proved to be the clincher,” the source added.

Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni worked brilliantly in tandem after the Jharkhand cricketer stepped down from India’s limited-overs captaincy in 2017. The sight of wicketkeeper MS Dhoni setting the field, even as Virat Kohli chose to field closer to the boundary line to make optimum use of his superb throwing arm, became common in both T20Is and ODIs in 2018-19.

“Kohli always valued Dhoni’s judgement and that has to be one of the reasons behind his decision to do the mentorship,” the source added.

It is true that both are strong personalities, but Ravi Shastri is towards the fag end of his tenure as coach: his contract is till the 2021 T20I World Cup, and it’s unlikely that he will get into any confrontation with a legend of Indian cricket.

MS Dhoni’s T20 Intelligence Saw Him Being Appointed As A Mentor

MS Dhoni’s T20 Intelligence saw him being appointed as a mentor.

“It is Dhoni’s T20 intelligence. Due to his IPL commitments, is extremely aware of the goings-on of the T20 world,” the source added.

One of the most successful captains in the history of Indian cricket, the enigmatic wicketkeeper-batsman led India to two world titles — the 2007 T20 World Cup in South Africa and the 2011 ODI World Cup in India. MS Dhoni is currently with his IPL team Chennai Super Kings, gearing up for the resumption of the IPL league from September 19 in the UAE.

The reticent player’s retirement, announced by him through an Instagram post on August 15 last year, had taken the cricket world by surprise and he has not spoken even once about it after that. The highly-respected wicketkeeper-batsman played 90 Tests, 350 ODIs, and 98 T20 Internationals amassing 4876, 10773, and 1617 runs respectively across formats.

The BCCI apex council has reportedly received a Conflict of Interest complaint against MS Dhoni’s appointment as Team India mentor for the showpiece event. Legendary India cricketer Sunil Gavaskar ‘prays’ there is no clash or disagreements between current India head coach Ravi Shastri and former India captain MS Dhoni, who has been appointed as the mentor of the side for the T20 World Cup.

Team India head coach Ravi Shastri feels former India 2011 World Cup and 2007 World T20 winning captain MS Dhoni will be a great addition to the camp as Virat Kohli and Co. gear up for the upcoming 2021 ICC T20 World Cup next month.

File image of former India captain Sunil Gavaskar | AFP
File image of former India captain Sunil Gavaskar | AFP

Sunil Gavaskar Picks His 15-Man India Squad For 2021 T20I World Cup

Sunil Gavaskar has named his 15-man roster for the showpiece event ahead of the official announcement of India’s squad for the T20 World Cup 2021.

Indian cricket lovers are holding on to their nerves, awaiting the selection committee’s announcement of the 15-man squad for the forthcoming T20 World Cup 2021. While fans have had their discussions over who deserves a spot in the team and who doesn’t, the experts are also weighing in. India legend Sunil Gavaskar also picked his 15-man squad for the showpiece event ahead of the official announcement.

Sunil Gavaskar. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Sunil Gavaskar. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Sunil Gavaskar Picks Krunal Pandya And Injured Washington Sundar In His 15 Man Squad For The Upcoming 2021 T20I World cup

Sunil Gavaskar surprisingly left out two stalwarts of Indian cricket in the form of Shikhar Dhawan and Shreyas Iyer. While Shikhar Dhawan has been one of India’s most important batsmen in ICC events, Shreyas Iyer made the No. 4 position in white-ball cricket his own with some really responsible outings in the last couple of years.

Krunal Pandya. (Photo: Twitter)
Krunal Pandya. (Photo: Twitter)

Instead, Sunil Gavaskar put his confidence in spin-bowling all-rounder Krunal Pandya.

“He’s an all-rounder, a very experienced player, has performed very well in the IPL for the past many years so he surely deserves a place. He’s left-handed, which is an advantage as well,” he said over the selection of the elder of the Pandya brothers.

Ravindra Jadeja and Washington Sundar — two spin bowling all-rounders — made the cut in Sunil Gavaskar’s team though there isn’t much clarity on the selection of Washington Sundar because of his injury.

Washington Sundar, who plays for Royal Challengers Bangalore in IPL, had traveled to England with the Indian Test squad but returned to the country after injuring his finger while playing in a County game that served as a practice game for the visitors. He was ruled out from the Test series against England and the UAE leg of IPL 2021.

The T20I World cup 2021 is slated to begin immediately after the conclusion of the IPL and it remains to be seen if Washington Sundar is picked in the Indian squad without playing a single IPL game.

Sunil Gavaskar Picks Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, And Bhuvneshwar Kumar Alongside Deepak Chahar And Shardul Thakur As Pacers

In terms of pacers, the original Little Master went with the experienced trio of Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, and Bhuvneshwar Kumar while Chennai Super Kings duo of Deepak Chahar and Shardul Thakur also received his nod. Yuzvendra Chahal was the only specialist spinner selected in the 15-man team by Sunil Gavaskar.

Shardul Thakur | Twitter
Shardul Thakur | Twitter

Sunil Gavaskar’s India squad for T20 World Cup 2021: Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli (c), KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wk), Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Washington Sundar (subject to fitness), Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur, and Yuzvendra Chahal.

It also has to be noted that a total of 18 players will be picked for the showpiece event, including three reserves. The official announcement of the squad is expected to be made on Wednesday (September 08).


Rahul Chahar/ Varun Chakravarthy: It could be a toss-up between the Mumbai Indians’ leg-spinner and Varun Chakravarthy, KKR’s mystery spinner.

Prithvi Shaw/Shikhar Dhawan: The choice could be between Shikhar Dhawan and Prithvi Shaw. The flamboyant Mumbai opener has shown he could get into the fifth gear quicker than Shikhar Dhawan as he scored the most runs ever in the 50 overs domestic tournament Vijay Hazare Trophy. But Shikhar Dhawan, his DC teammate posted the most runs in IPL 2021 so far.

Mohammed Siraj/Mohammed Shami: While Mohammed Siraj is in red-hot form, he is yet to establish himself as a T20 bowler. Mohammed Shami’s experience and wicket-taking ability could give him an edge.

Axar Patel: Like-for-like backup for spinner all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja.

Washington Sundar: His selection is subject to recovery from a finger injury.

Rohit Sharma, India
Rohit Sharma. Image Credits: Twitter

Rohit Sharma’s Maiden Overseas Test Hundred Praised By Sunil Gavaskar

Rohit Sharma’s maiden away century was lauded by several experts and former cricketers, including Sunil Gavaskar, who loved every bit of the technical aspects of Rohit Sharma’s game. Rohit Sharma’s wait for his maiden overseas Test century ended on Day 3 of the 4th Oval Test when he peeled off his 8th ton to put India in command against England on Saturday.
Rohit Sharma scored a magnificent 127 – the second century by an Indian batsman in the series – which put India in a commanding position against England in the fourth Test. India ended the day on 270/3, with a lead of 171 runs, and with seven wickets in hand, find themselves in a strong position.
Rohit Sharma celebrates his century during the fourth Test against England. (Twitter/BCCI)
Rohit Sharma celebrates his century during the fourth Test against England. (Twitter/BCCI)

Rohit Sharma Played An Impressive And Incredible Knock Of 127: Sunil Gavaskar

Rohit Sharma’s maiden away century was lauded by Sunil Gavaskar, who loved every bit of the technical aspects of his game. Making most of the two dropped chances – once when he was on 6 and other time on 33 – Rohit Sharma cashed in on the opportunity and went big.

“Incredible knock. Very, very impressive, for the simple reason that the way he was covering the swing when the ball was new. Not just here, but even in the earlier matches. The way he was playing very late, the way he had the bat and pad close to each other… not pushing at deliveries. Once he settled down, then all the shots began to flow. But then the most impressive thing is the straightness of his bat when he’s defending. Then of course the use of his feet to get to his Test century,” Gavaskar said on the Sony Sports Network.

Rohit Sharma scored his maiden overseas Test hundred on Day 3 at The Oval. Pic: Getty Images
Rohit Sharma scored his maiden overseas Test hundred on Day 3 at The Oval. Pic: Getty Images

Of the many traits about Rohit Sharma that impressed Sunil Gavaskar was the batsman’s ability to curb his natural attacking instincts – something he has been able to achieve throughout the series – and have more than one shot to the same ball, similar to some of India’s greats over the years.

“Once he got to fifty, he opened up. He’s widened the range of his shots. He’s played the V, played the cuts and the sweep shot. That’s exactly how a Test match innings have to be built. That is the biggest challenge of players of his genius. For someone like him or GR Viswanath, or Azharuddin… they all had different options for deliveries. They could play on the onside and the offside, but then to curb that and play what is needed for the occasion is very important and that’s what he’s done today,” Gavaskar added.

Rohit Sharma notched up his eighth Test hundred and, more significantly, his first away from home on Saturday. He scored 127 off 256 balls as India ended Day 3 of The Oval Test at 270 for 3.

Rohit Sharma Has Been Scoring Heaps Of Runs In T20Is Too: Sunil Gavaskar

With one away century checked, Sunil Gavaskar expects many more from Rohit Sharma to come. The former India captain also spoke of Rohit Sharma’s knack for scoring big runs in T20 cricket.

“He’s shown to himself that he can do that. Many more on the way. He has realized I need to play more than those lovely cameos, those lovely 30s, 40s. Mind you, even in T20s, he was scoring heaps of runs, getting 70s, 80s, 100s over there as well, because he realized, he has to bat and take the responsibility and bat throughout 20 runs,” Gavaskar pointed out.

Sunil Gavaskar. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Sunil Gavaskar. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Bad light stopped play at The Oval with India ahead by 171 runs. India ended the day at 270/3, with Rohit Sharma and Cheteshwar Pujara scoring 127 and 61, respectively.

Virat Kohli and Ravindra Jadeja will resume India’s innings on Day 4. Rohit Sharma and Cheteshwar Pujara were dismissed in the same over by Ollie Robinson soon after the pair brought up their 150-run stand. While Rohit Sharma fell to a pull shot on 127, Cheteshwar Pujara was caught in the slips for 61.


Nasser Hussain Feels Promoting Ravindra Jadeja To No. 5 Was A Tactical Move

Nasser Hussain feels it could have been a tactical move from India, to go ahead with the right-hand, left-hand combination, and the fact that Ravindra Jadeja is a pretty damn good batsman. Ravindra Jadeja’s promotion in India’s batting order, which saw him bat ahead of vice-captain of the team, Ajinkya Rahane, at No. 5 during Day 1 of the Oval Test against England on Friday, sparked a debate which was joined by Nasser Hussain.

Ravindra Jadeja’s batting graph has witnessed an upward curve in the last three years, and most of his impactful scores lately have come while batting with the lower order. Hence, India perhaps thought this could be an opportune time to send Ravindra Jadeja up the order. Former England captain Nasser Hussain stated it was a well-thought-out plan on India’s part.

Nasser Hussain. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)
Nasser Hussain. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

Nasser Hussain Feels Promoting Ravindra Jadeja To No. 5 Was A Tactical Move

India’s tactic did not work as Ravindra Jadeja was snared by Chris Woakes after lunch, but it did raise multiple points with several former cricketers weighing in on India’s decision to send the all-rounder at No. 5, let alone in a Test match in England. Former England captain Nasser Hussain feels it could have been a tactical move from India.

“I don’t know the reason. I heard the debate over whether Ajinkya went to the loo. But Jadeja was ready, so he must have been told. So it was more a tactical move,” Nasser Hussain told Sony Sports during Lunch on Day 1.

“They must have wanted a left-hander in. He is a very fine player. He has got 3 triple hundreds in first-class cricket. The balance of the side still looks a little wonky in England,” said Nasser Hussain.

File image of former India captain Sunil Gavaskar | AFP
File image of former India captain Sunil Gavaskar | AFP

Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar, on the other hand, reckons Ravindra Jadeja’s promotion could do with Ajinkya Rahane being on a possible loo break. In that case, as to why Rishabh Pant wasn’t sent ahead, Sunil Gavaskar feels the wicketkeeper batsman’s twin failures at Headingley could have had a role to play in the same.

“Ajinkya Rahane came in and sat and put on his gloves. He may have been on a toilet break. Maybe they didn’t want to send Pant. Maybe he has been demoted down the order. Jadeja has batted longer in this series than Pant,” Gavaskar said on the Sony Sports Network, not aggreeing with Nasser Hussain.

“I don’t know the reason. I heard the debate over whether Ajinkya went to the loo. But Jadeja was ready, so he must have been told. So it was more a tactical move. They must have wanted a left-hander in. He is a very fine player. He has got 3 triple hundreds in First-Class cricket. Balance of the side still looks a little wonky in England.”

Ravindra Jadeja was sent at the No. 5 spot on Day 1 of the 4th Test against England, ahead of vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane and wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant.

 Ajay Jadeja: Team Management Has Begun Losing Faith In Ajinkya Rahane

Meanwhile, former India batsman Ajay Jadeja raised a big point, stating that Ravindra Jadeja being sent ahead of Ajinkya Rahane could be an indication that the team management has begun losing faith in its vice-captain. Ajinkya Rahane has been going through a lean patch and although he scored a half-century at Lord’s, the overall numbers have been a pale shadow of his once dominating self in overseas conditions.

“I am just thinking what Ajinkya Rahane is going through. One of your best batsmen, vice-captain of the side. Even before he has walked in, it’s like Rahane has almost got a signal, saying ‘we’re not too sure about you’,” Jadeja said on the Sony Sports Network.

Ajinkya Rahane and Ravindra Jadeja
Ajinkya Rahane and Ravindra Jadeja. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

“It could be the left-hander combination but I am just thinking in terms of someone who is uncertain with not a lot of runs. Before you walk in, you have got Ravindra walking ahead of you and there will be some time, whenever he walks in he is going to be thinking about it.”

While many expected Ravindra Jadeja to make way for Ravichandran Ashwin, the world No.2 bowler was asked to warm the bench for the fourth time in a row. Ravindra Jadeja, who was earlier taken to hospital for precautionary scan for suspected knee injury not only retained his place in the playing XI but the batting all-rounder was also promoted by the Indian think tank in the 4th Test match at the Oval.

Team India’s decision to promote Ravindra Jadeja to the top order failed to pay them rich dividends as the batting all-rounder perished after playing 34 deliveries. Ravindra Jadeja only managed to score 10 runs in India’s 1st essay at The Oval. After losing the 3rd Test by a handsome margin, Virat Kohli-led Team India suffered a batting collapse in the 4th Test match. Ollie Robinson picked 3 scalps while Chris Woakes picked 4 on his Test return.


Shardul Thakur: Ravindra Jadeja Promoted At 5 Since India Could Use Left-Right Hand Combination

Shardul Thakur has answered arguably the most sought-out question on Day 1 of the 4th Oval Test – why was spin all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja sent to bat at No. 5 spot ahead of Ajinkya Rahane and Rishabh Pant.

Shardul Thakur revealed that it was a pre-planned move, considering Ravindra Jadeja’s form in the series, and a straightforward attempt to maintain the left-right batting combination at the crease.

Shardul Thakur- Getty Images
Shardul Thakur- Getty Images

Shardul Thakur: Since Ravindra Jadeja Has Scored Crucial Runs And India Could Use Left-Right Hand Combination, So He Was Promoted

Ravindra Jadeja came in ahead of vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane and wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant and scored an uncomfortable 34-ball 10 runs. This was only the second time he batted in the middle-order position (the first was in March 2017 against Australia) inarguably as a reward for his half-century in the first Test at Trent Bridge and a gritty 40 at Lord’s.

“I think everyone was thinking about it since a long time and whether Rishabh goes or Jadeja goes, it doesn’t really matter because both of them are match-winners.”

Ravindra Jadeja Photo Credit: (Sky Sports)
Ravindra Jadeja Photo Credit: (Sky Sports)

“We have seen that on a number of occasions Jadeja has scored crucial runs and coming to England, if you saw his batting in the first Test and also at Lord’s in the first innings, he’s been trying to stay on the pitch, he’s batting patiently and just to use that left-right combination we sent him up the order,” said Shardul Thakur, in reply to Sportskeeda’s query in the press-conference.

Shardul Thakur’s explanation also clarified that it wasn’t a reaction to Ajinkya Rahane not being ready with his batting gear after Cheteshwar Pujara’s wicket, as pundits like Sunil Gavaskar initially believed it to be.

Ajinkya Rahane Fails Again

Although Ravindra Jadeja’s promotion showed the team’s growing trust in his batting abilities, it also had a glaring subtext. Ajinkya Rahane has been going through a rough patch and the manner of his dismissals has exposed his new-ball struggles against a relentless attack at home. Batting at No.6, Ajinkya Rahane scored 14 runs off 47 balls on Thursday as India was dismissed for only 191 with Shardul Thakur(57) and Virat Kohli (50) being the saving grace.

Ajinkya Rahane. (Photo Source: Getty Images)
Ajinkya Rahane. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

Thus, it won’t be a diabolical assumption to say that Ravindra Jadeja batting means that Ravi Shastri and Co. don’t have the same confidence in Ajinkya Rahane as they had before the last 99 times he was sent out to bat at No. 5. At the moment, it all looks to be going downhill for the vice-captain.

Ajinkya Rahane has managed only 109 runs in the ongoing series at a pathetic average of 18.17. Apart from the 61 in the 2nd Test at Lord’s, his scores read 5, 1, 18, 10, and 14.

Sunil Gavaskar. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Sunil Gavaskar. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Sunil Gavaskar Questions Why Rishabh Pant Was Told To Change His Stance On Day 1 Of 3rd Test

Sunil Gavaskar expressed his dismay at the umpires asking India keeper-batsman Rishabh Pant not to bat out of his crease. Sunil Gavaskar never shies away from making his point loud and clear.

After expressing his disagreements with Nasser Hussain’s comments about India’s previous generation cricketers getting ‘bullied,’ the legendary cricketer Sunil Gavaskar this time expressed his dismay at the umpires asking India keeper-batsman Rishabh Pant not to bat out of his crease.

Nasser Hussain. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)
Nasser Hussain. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

Sunil Gavaskar Was Wondering Why Rishabh Pant Was Told To Change His Stance

The southpaw slightly batted outside the crease on Day 1 of the Leeds Test, which the umpires had found wrong as they felt he was trying to deliberately come into the danger area by creating footmarks, and hence he was told to bat inside the crease itself. Sunil Gavaskar’s comments came during Day 3 of the India vs England third Test at Headingley in Leeds. Sunil Gavaskar said footmarks don’t determine a batsman’s stance.

“I was wondering why was he told to change his stance if that is true. I only read it. A batsman can stand anywhere, even on the middle of the pitch, and what about when the batsman goes down the track against the spinners (footmarks can form even then),” Gavaskar said while commentating on the third day of the match.

Rishabh Pant and Sunil Gavaskar collage.(AP/File)
Rishabh Pant and Sunil Gavaskar collage.(AP/File)

His fellow commentator and former India player Sanjay Manjrekar called it “ridiculous”. Rishabh Pant spoke about this after India was bowled out for 78 on the opening day of the match.

“Because I was standing outside the crease and my front foot was coming into the danger area, so he (the umpire) told me that you can’t stand there,” Pant had said during the virtual post-day press conference on Wednesday.

“So, I have (had) to change my stance, but as a cricketer, I don’t have to think too much about that, because it’s everyone who is going to do that, umpires are going to say the same thing. I didn’t do that the next ball and you move on.”

The decision by the two English umpires once again asks whether it’s time that ICC reverts back to its two neutral on-field umpires for Test matches has been stopped due to travel restrictions in the post-Covid-19 world. On-field umpires Paul Wharf and Richard Kettleborough decided the verdict against Rishabh Pant.

India Lost By An Innings And 76 Runs As Series Level At 1-1

Meanwhile, Cheteshwar Pujara led India’s fightback as they reached 215 for 2 at stumps on Friday(3rd Day). Cheteshwar Pujara was unbeaten on 91 with captain Virat Kohli (45) for company. India was still 139 runs away from making England bat again.

However, India lost 8 wickets in the morning session on Day 4 to hand England a series leveling win in Leeds. Joe Root-led England crushed India by an innings and 76 runs as Ollie Robinson clinched a fifer in the second innings. The fourth Test will now be played at The Oval from September 2.

Ollie Robinson PA Images via Getty Images
Ollie Robinson PA Images via Getty Images

Resuming at an overnight score of 215 for 2, India’s second innings folded in 99.3 overs with England pacer Ollie Robinson claiming five wickets. India was bundled out for a paltry 78 in their first innings on an opening day. England then posted 432 in their first innings to take a mammoth lead of 354 runs. India lost their last eight wickets for 53 runs in the morning session on Day 4 to hand England a convincing win.

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