Virat Kohli Profile, ICC Ranking, Biography, Records, Career info & Stats

Virat Kohli

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli (Image Credit: Twitter)
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Brian Lara Opens Up On Virat Kohli’s Decision To Quit As RCB Skipper After IPL 2021 Concludes

Brian Lara, one of the greatest West Indies former batsmen opened up on RCB and Indian skipper Virat Kohli’s decision to leave the captaincy of Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) after IPL 2021 concludes. Brian Lara said that he was proud of Virat Kohli for making such a decision at the peak of his career.

West Indies great Brian Lara has backed Virat Kohli’s decision to leave the captaincy of Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) after IPL 2021, saying the India skipper wants to understand his workload in the next few seasons and keep committing to the responsibility he has as a batsman for India and RCB.

Brian Lara (Image Credit: Twitter)
Brian Lara (Image Credit: Twitter)

Virat Kohli Will Give Up T20I Skipper Role After T20I World Cup And Will Also Quit As RCB Captain After IPL 2021 Concludes

Virat Kohli made it clear that he will continue playing for the Royal Challengers Bangalore but won’t be captaining the team beyond the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 season. Virat Kohli this week also gave up the captaincy of India’s Twenty20 side to manage his immense workload, saying he would not continue in the role after this year’s World Cup in the United Arab Emirates and Oman.

“This will be my last IPL as captain of RCB. I’ll continue to be an RCB player till I play my last IPL game. I thank all the RCB fans for believing in me and supporting me,” said Virat Kohli on RCB’s Twitter handle.

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

Virat Kohli, who took over as RCB skipper full time in 2013, has yet to lead the side to an IPL title. Virat Kohli’s eight-year tenure as the RCB skipper wasn’t as fruitful as expected despite having some of the biggest names in the shortest format like AB de Villiers and Chris Gayle. The closest he came to winning the trophy was in 2016, driven by himself with staggering 973 runs, but it eluded him.

Brian Lara: Virat Kohli’s Announcement Is Pretty Straightforward As He Wants To Understand His Workload

RCB restart this season’s campaign on Monday (September 20) against Kolkata Knight Riders in Abu Dhabi. Before stepping down, Virat Kohli will be hoping to lead RCB to their maiden IPL title this year. RCB is currently placed third in the league table with 10 points from seven games as they have managed to register five wins before the season was postponed midway through in May due to Covid-19 bio bubble breaches.

“I mean, it’s pretty straightforward. He has said it as clear as possible. He wants to understand his workload and keep committing to the responsibility he has. Very well put together (his statement),” Brian Lara told Star Sports.

Royal Challengers Bangalore
Royal Challengers Bangalore (Image Credit: Twitter)

“I totally understand. It’s 3 formats of the game. When you go back, it was just Test cricket and the 50-over format. Now he is playing every format of the time. There has come a time when he feels ‘listen, I need to take a step back and maybe the focus on Test cricket and 50-overs format of the game and allow somebody else to take the responsibility (in T20s)’. To me, it’s pretty clear. Proud of someone who is at the height of his career and makes a decision such as this,” Brian Lara added.

RCB takes on the 7th placed Kolkata Knight Riders in Abu Dhabi on Monday in their first game since the resumption of the 2021 season at UAE. Enduring a forgettable outing in the first half of this year’s IPL, two-time former champions Kolkata Knight Riders would look for a change in fortunes when they resume their campaign against 3rd placed Royal Challengers Bangalore in the UAE leg of the extravagant T20 league on Monday.

While Virat Kohli’s RCB are third in the eight-team standings with 10 points from seven games, the 2012 and 2014 champions KKR are languishing at the seventh spot with just two wins out of seven ties.

Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli in action against Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2021. (IPL)
Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli in action against Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2021. (IPL)
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Virat Kohli To Step Down As RCB Skipper After IPL 2021 Concludes

Virat Kohli announced that he will step down as the captain of his IPL franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore after IPL 2021 concludes. Earlier this week, Virat Kohli had announced that he will relinquish his India T20I captaincy after the upcoming T20I World Cup to be staged in the UAE and Oman.

Appointed ahead of the 2013 season as a successor to spinner Daniel Vettori, Virat Kohli will end up with nine seasons at the helm for RCB.

Daniel Vettori, Virat Kohli (BCCI Photo)
Daniel Vettori, Virat Kohli (BCCI Photo)

Virat Kohli To Step Down As RCB Skipper After IPL 2021 Concludes At UAE

So far, the franchise has won 62 out of the 132 matches under him beside 66 losses and 4 no-results. The best season finish under the Indian skipper so far has been a runners-up spot in 2016, a final that RCB lost to SunRisers Hyderabad by 8 runs at the Chinnaswamy Stadium, their home ground. Other than that, the franchise made the playoffs on only two other occasions under Virat Kohli’s leadership: in 2015 and 2020.

Virat Kohli’s eight-year tenure as the RCB skipper wasn’t as fruitful as expected despite having some of the biggest names in the shortest format like AB de Villiers and Chris Gayle. The closest he came to winning the trophy was in 2016, driven by himself with staggering 973 runs, but it eluded him.

“It has been a great and an inspiring journey, captaining a talented bunch of players in the RCB squad,” Kohli said. “I would like to take this opportunity to thank the RCB management, coaches, support staff, players, and the entire RCB family, who have been instrumental in the growth of the franchise over the years.”

“It wasn’t an easy decision but one that has been well thought of and in the best interest of this wonderful franchise. The RCB family remains close to my heart as we continue to strive to achieve excellence. As I have mentioned previously in many occasions, I will only play for RCB until my retirement from the game of cricket.”

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli (Image Credit: Twitter)

RCB Chairman Prathmesh Mishra said, “Virat Kohli is one of the finest cricketers, and has been a true asset to RCB. His impeccable work ethics and leadership skills has been phenomenal. We respect and support this decision and would like to thank Virat for his incredible contribution to the RCB leadership group. He has left an indelible mark on the franchise and will continue to be a senior member of the team.”

With a mega auction planned ahead of the next edition which will feature 10 teams, RCB will be able to dive into their squad make-up focusing on Virat Kohli as a pure batsman. Virat Kohli, 32, got back to opening for RCB towards the end of last season and it could be a role he looks to fulfil going forward.

Virat Kohli Said Stepping Down As RCB Captain Was Something On His Mind For A While

The announcement of stepping down as RCB skipper comes a few days after Virat Kohli issued a statement to inform that he will step down as India’s T20I captain at the end of the forthcoming T20I World Cup, which will immediately follow the IPL 2021 in UAE and Oman. Virat Kohli though will continue to lead the Indian team in Tests and ODIs.

“Spoke to the management this evening. It was something on my mind for a while. As I recently announced, (I’ll be) stepping down from T20 captaincy as well to manage my workload which has been immense over the last so many years. I want to continue to remain committed to the responsibilities I am fulfilling and I felt I needed this space to refresh, regroup and be absolutely clear in how I want to move forward.”

Royal Challengers Bangalore
Royal Challengers Bangalore (Image Credit: Twitter)

“And also understanding that RCB is going to go through a transitional phase with a big auction coming in next year. I made it clear to the management that (smiles) I can’t think of being in any other team than RCB and that’s been my commitment from day one,” Kohli told RCB in his announcement video.

RCB restart this season’s campaign on Monday (September 20) against Kolkata Knight Riders in Abu Dhabi. Before stepping down, Virat Kohli will be hoping to lead RCB to their maiden IPL title this year. RCB is currently placed third in the league table with 10 points from seven games as they have managed to register five wins before the season was postponed midway through in May due to Covid-19 bio bubble breaches.

Ravi Shastri Image Source : AP
Ravi Shastri Image Source : AP
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Ravi Shastri Told Virat Kohli And Selectors Not To Unleash Pacer Jasprit Bumrah In Tests In Indian Soil

Ravi Shastri was ready to put his money on pacer Jasprit Bumrah being an all-format bowler so much that he even told captain Virat Kohli and the selectors not to reveal him before the South Africa tour in 2018.

When Jasprit Bumrah with an unorthodox bowling action burst onto the scene in the cash-rich IPL playing for Mumbai Indians in 2013, very few believed he could make it big at the international level. Those who predicted he would gain stardom were only vouching for Jasprit Bumrah’s white-ball skills.

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)

Ravi Shastri Told Virat Kohli And Selectors Not To Unleash Jasprit Bumrah In Tests Before 2018 Cape Town Test Against South Africa

There was hardly anyone willing to put their weight behind Jasprit Bumrah as the Test cricketer apart from India head coach Ravi Shastri who vouched to include Jasprit Bumrah in Tests. After making his limited-overs ODI and T20I debuts in Australia in 2016, pacer Jasprit Bumrah quickly built a reputation of being a bankable seam bowler. It was Ravi Shastri who insisted not to ‘unleash’ Jasprit Bumrah on Indian pitches in Test cricket.

“No one believed Jasprit Bumrah could play Test cricket. He was a white-ball bowler. But when I took over as coach I asked myself: ‘How do I take 20 wickets overseas?’ said Ravi Shastri.

Jasprit Bumrah (Photo by PETER PARKS / AFP)
Jasprit Bumrah (Photo by PETER PARKS / AFP)

“I knew I needed four great fast bowlers because I had played so much Test cricket against the West Indies. It started in South Africa in 2018 and we lost that fantastic series 2-1. I wanted to unleash Bumrah in that first Test in Cape Town. I bounced the idea off Virat months before and told the selectors: ‘Do not unleash him in India. I don’t want the world to see him in Test cricket before Cape Town.’ That was three years ago. Since then he’s taken 101 wickets [in 24 Tests]. It’s remarkable,” Ravi Shastri said.

Jasprit Bumrah was an instant success in his first Test appearance in Cape Town. His delivery to Proteas batsman AB de Villiers that found the gap between his bat and pad had a stamp of class and authority. Since then, the right-arm seamer has never looked back.
In his three years at the Test level, Jasprit Bumrah has proved coach Ravi Shastri right and all his doubters wrong.
During the recent Test series in England, he was India’s most impressive seamer and even went on to become the fastest Indian pace bowler to reach 100 Test wickets.
Before his achievement, Kapil Dev held the record, getting to the feat in 25 Tests, but the World Cup-winning captain’s record was bettered by Jasprit Bumrah, who picked up his 100th Test scalp in his 24th game. He has picked 6 five-wicket hauls and his career-best figure is 6/27 and his career average is 22.79 which is quite impressive.

Jasprit Bumrah Will Ply His Trade For The Mumbai Indians In IPL 2021 UAE Leg

Jasprit Bumrah, who will ply his trade for the Mumbai Indians in IPL 2021 resuming on Sunday at the UAE, had major roles to play in India’s historic back-to-back Test series wins in Australia in 2018-19 and then in 2020-21.

Ravi Shastri said that India had the upper hand in the series when he was asked about the outcome of the England series which is still undecided as the fifth Test was cancelled due to Covid-19 concerns in the Indian camp.
Jasprit Bumrah
Jasprit Bumrah (Image Credit: Twitter)

“I think so because you are playing overseas and you’re ahead with one game to go. Look at the first Test [India were 52 for one and chasing 209 when the rain ruined the final day]. We would have knocked off those runs, definitely. It could have easily been 3-1. Then no one would have cared for the last Test,” Ravi Shastri added.

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 of IPL 2020 held entirely 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. 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.

India cricket team. Photo: @BCCI
India cricket team. Photo: @BCCI
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ICC T20 World Cup 2021: India Squad, Schedule, Date, Time, And Venue

ICC T20 World Cup 2021 will start from 17th October immediately after the conclusion of IPL’s UAE leg. Cricket experts and fans got filled with excitement after the International Cricket Council (ICC) announced the schedule for the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup 2021 to be staged in the UAE.

Notably, the marquee tournament is scheduled to begin on 17th October and the finals of the event will take place on 14th November in United Arab Emirates (UAE). Meanwhile, Team India will be entering the tournament as one of the favourites to win the Cup having won it only once previously in the inaugural 2007 edition.

ICC T20 World Cup 2021:- Representational image of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup trophy | AFP / Jewel Samad
ICC T20 World Cup 2021:- Representational image of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup trophy | AFP / Jewel Samad

ICC T20 World Cup 2021: India Squad, Schedule, Date, Time, And Venue

ICC T20 World Cup 2021: India Placed In Group B Alongside Pakistan, New Zealand, And Afghanistan

India is placed in the Group B of the tournament alongside arch-rivals Pakistan, nemesis New Zealand, and rising team Afghanistan. Virat Kohli will be leading India in the marquee event and they will be starting their campaign with the high-profile battle against arch-rivals Pakistan.

Pakistan has always struggled against India in the World Cups. Whether it is T20 World Cup or 50-over World Cup, India has remained victorious in all the games. Meanwhile, after facing arch-rivals, India will lock horns with New Zealand, and so far New Zealand has been the dominant side in the ICC events against India. New Zealand defeated India in the 2007 T20 World Cup, 2016 T20 World Cup, 2019 ODI World Cup, and 2021 WTC final.

India and Pakistan rarely play against each other but have a heated rivalry. (Photo by Tharaka Basnayaka/NurPhoto via Getty Images) NURPHOTO VIA GETTY IMAGES
India and Pakistan rarely play against each other but have a heated rivalry. (Photo by Tharaka Basnayaka/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Meanwhile, Team India is one of the strongest sides in the upcoming T20 World Cup event. As they have covered each and every aspect of the team. From top-order batters to middle-order batters and from batting all-rounders to bowling all-rounders India has figured everything out.

The strong bench strength that India has is one of the biggest positives for India heading into the tournament. Also with the UAE leg of the Indian Premier League ( IPL) 2021 taking place just before the World Cup, the big names like Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, and Jasprit Bumrah are expected to take a good form in their bag. Meanwhile, legendary Indian captain MS Dhoni will be the mentor of the Indian team, he will provide much-needed experience to the team in the T20 World Cup 2021.

So far, India has won one T20 World Cup trophy, back in the inaugural edition of the World Cup in 2007 under MS Dhoni. Also, they were runner-ups in 2014, Moreover, they reached in semi-finals of the 2016 World Cup.

ICC T20 World Cup 2021: India’s Squad

Virat Kohli (Capt), Rohit Sharma (vc), KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ishan Kishan (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Rahul Chahar, Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel, Varun Chakravarthy, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohd Shami.

Standby players: Shreyas Iyer, Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar.

Coming back to the squad, in a surprise move, Ravichandran Ashwin has been included in the team which will begin its campaign in the showpiece event against arch-rivals Pakistan. He had last played a T20I against West Indies in July 2017. Veteran former skipper MS Dhoni will be the mentor of the team. The likes of Krunal Pandya, Shikhar Dhawan, Kuldeep Yadav, and Yuzvendra Chahal didn’t find a place in the squad.

Ravichandran Ashwin of India. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)
Ravichandran Ashwin of India. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

ICC T20 World Cup 2021: India’s Complete Schedule

24th October 2021: India vs Pakistan, 7:30 PM, Dubai

31st October 2021 India vs New Zealand, 7:30 PM, Dubai

3rd November 2021 India vs Afghanistan, 7:30 PM, Abu Dhabi

5th November 2021 India vs B1, 7:30 PM, Dubai

8th November 2021 India vs A2, 7:30 PM Dubai

Virat Kohli in action during the third day of the WTC final against New Zealand. (File)
Virat Kohli in action during the third day of the WTC final against New Zealand. (File)
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Virat Kohli: 10 Famous Sledges From Current Indian Skipper

Virat Kohli is unarguably one of the greatest players of this generation having scored a lot of runs and leading India from the front. One wouldn’t find too many players as popular as him. It wouldn’t be an overstatement to say that he is a brand himself.

His stature has resulted in him grabbing the headlines, no matter what. Thus, this has prompted everyone to keep observing him. The media and cameras always have a close look at each and every move that he makes on the field. His fierce spirit just adds fuel to the fire. As Virat Kohli has had a huge history of getting involved in sledges intentionally or unintentionally, he has been a part of several arguments on the field.

Virat Kohli, Image Source : AP IMAGE
Virat Kohli, Image Source: AP IMAGE

Virat Kohli: 10 Famous Sledges From Current Indian Skipper

10) Virat Kohli and James Anderson in 2021

Virat Kohli and James Anderson
Virat Kohli and James Anderson. (Photo by Eddie Keogh/Getty Images)

This is one of the most recent incidents which has managed to grab the headlines all over the world. The Indian skipper and England’s veteran pacer Jimmy Anderson have had their own rivalry for a really long time. Irrespective of their legacies, they were involved in an ugly incident this time around.

Tempers flared between the duo on the fourth day of the second Test between India and England at Lord’s. During India’s second innings, India’s superstar skipper and England’s superstar pacer had a verbal spat at the non-striker’s end. The two had a go at each other thrice in quick succession.

Everything started a day earlier as on Day 3 when pacer Jasprit Bumrah welcomed the English pacer with several fiery bouncers. James Anderson seemingly didn’t like it and In reply, Virat Kohli had a go at James Anderson the next day by telling him that this wasn’t his backyard.

In the second Test match, England speedster James Anderson had to face a 10-ball over from Jasprit Bumrah. The Indian pacer struck with a barrage of bouncers to James Anderson in search of his first wicket of the match. He survived the spell of Jasprit Bumrah but eventually lost his wicket to Mohammed Shami.

The first Test of the five-match Test series between India and England was drawn, and then India won the second Test. After which England won the third Test and then Team India won the fourth Test to take a 2-1 lead before the final Test got called-off due to Covid-19 scare.

9) Virat Kohli and Tabraiz Shamsi in 2018

Tabraiz Shamsi
Tabraiz Shamsi. Image Credits: Twitter

The year 2018 belonged to the Indian skipper. While he was scoring runs for fun back then, he also sledged Tabraiz Shamsi. It was the Proteas spinner who first had a go at Virat Kohli while he was batting. The Indian captain wasn’t the one to hold back and thus, gave Tabraiz Shamsi a taste of his own medicine when Tabraiz Shamsi came to bat. He kept asking him if he had his chest pad on.

The Proteas bowler barely lasted a ball as he got out while attempting a big shot off Kuldeep Yadav. India went on to win this series 5-1 and Virat Kohli went on to win the player of the series award. The batting maestro scored three centuries in this ODI series as well.

Former Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) teammates Virat Kohli and Tabraiz Shamsi had a go at each other during India’s 73-run win over South Africa. Tabraiz Shamsi was seen sledging the Indian skipper during the latter’s 36-run innings in the 5th ODI at St. George’s Park.

8) Virat Kohli and Steve Smith in 2014

Virat Kohli and Steve Smith
Virat Kohli and Steve Smith. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

Steve Smith and Virat Kohli are unarguably the biggest names of cricket currently. Seldom would one find a rivalry as iconic as the duo. However, this incident took place before the two of them became absolute legends of the game.

This happened during the Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2014/2015 where Steve Smith was smashing Indian bowlers to all corners of the park. When Rohit Sharma was bowling to the Aussie superstar, the ball hit his pads and he appealed only to get absolutely no response from the umpire. Despite that, Rohit Sharma continued to appeal to which Steve Smith got frustrated. This frustrated Virat Kohli who went to the Aussie and started to argue with him.

The RCB captain even went on to tell Steve Smith to “Stay in his limits” which the Aussie batsman seemingly ignored. David Warner then tried to curb the situation and pacified the two, this was the beginning of a new era between two of the greatest players of the 2010s as their rivalry managed to get the best out of them.

In the match, the Indian captain along with his teammates’ pacer Ishant Sharma and batsman Shikhar Dhawan, was involved in a heated exchange with David Warner and Steve Smith. Officiating umpire Ian Gould recently compared the final three days of that Test to a ‘war’ as things spiralled out of control due to the cricketers’ constant chirping on the field.

7) Virat Kohli and Mitchell Johnson in 2014

Virat Kohli and Mitchell Johnson
Virat Kohli and Mitchell Johnson. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

This incident occurred in the same series where Steve Smith and Virat Kohli had an argument. The Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2014/2015 was famous for the number of ugly incidents it had.  The “Fire meets fire” phrase would perfectly describe this situation. India’s No. 4 batsman in Tests arrived on the crease after the dismissal of Cheteshwar Pujara and was welcomed by the Australian pace attack with a lot of short balls. Suddenly, an instance on the field happened that attracted a big controversy.

The Indian skipper played the ball towards Mitchell Johnson, who soon picked the ball and attempted a non-existent run-out. However, the ball directly hit Virat Kohli, who looked in pain. Both of them suddenly got riled up after this and a few words were exchanged between the two. India’s tour of Australia in 2014 saw Virat Kohli’s rise to the top.

The right-handed batsman just didn’t smash Australian bowlers, but also took over as full-time Test captain by the end of the series. Leading the team for the first time in Test cricket – MS Dhoni missed the opening Test due to an injury – Virat Kohli started the tour with twin centuries in Adelaide. The vice-captain had a tough outing in Brisbane but bounced back with a gutsy 169 in Melbourne.

6) Virat Kohli and Tim Paine in 2018

Virat Kohli and Tim Paine
Virat Kohli and Tim Paine. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Things got so heated during the incident that even the umpires couldn’t stop the two from having a go at each other. This occurred during the second Test match of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2018/2019. While Tim Paine was generally referred to as the “Mr Nice guy” all along, even he didn’t hold back this time around.

On Day-3 of that game, Tim Paine was on the strike when the Indian skipper said, “If he messes it up, it’s 2-0 in the series.”

This didn’t sit well with the Aussie skipper as he came out all guns blazing the next day in order to give it back to Virat Kohli. Things got ugly on the field and a lot of inappropriate words were exchanged between the two skippers.

At one point, the on-field umpire Chris Gaffaney had to come in between the two players in order to separate them. Moreover, he reminded both the players that they are the skipper of their respective sides. Virat Kohli then gave Tim Paine a long send-off after the Aussie wicketkeeper was dismissed. Tim Paine then ended up sledging again in the 4th innings as Australia went on to win the match by 146 runs.

On day four of the second Test at Perth, Virat Kohli and his Australian counterpart Tim Paine were involved in a verbal spat. This happened after Virat Kohli had celebrated a couple of Australian wickets a bit more animatedly than usual. That was time Tim Paine thought he had enough.

5) Virat Kohli and Kesrick Williams in 2019

Kesrick Williams and virat Kohli
Kesrick Williams and virat Kohli. (Photo Source: Twitter)
The rivalry between the Indian captain and the Windies pacer was running throughout the series between West Indies and India. The seeds of this incident were planted way back in 2017.

After Kesrick Williams dismissed Virat Kohli in a T20I match in 2017, he did his trademark notebook celebration. Virat Kohli did the same in 2019 after hitting Kesrick Williams in the first T20I. He had hit the Windies pacer for three sixes and a four. The Indian captain later clarified that he meant no disrespect.

“Williams had given me the notebook when he dismissed me in Jamaica, so I remembered it from there. We gave each other a high-five later. Play hard but respect the opponent,” Kohli said after the match. One can watch this moment over and over again!

Virat Kohli took apart Kesrick Williams during a T20 series in India in 2019, even mimicking the bowler’s celebration from India’s 2017 tour of the Caribbean. The two first came face—to—face in 2017 when Kesrick Williams used his signature ‘notebook celebration’ after dismissing Virat Kohli during a contest in Jamaica.

Fast—forward two years and Virat Kohli took apart Kesrick Williams during the T20 series in India in 2019. He smashed an unbeaten 94 off 50 deliveries in Hyderabad and during his innings, also mimicked Kesrick Williams’ celebration.

4) Virat Kohli and Ollie Robinson in 2021

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

This is the most recent amongst all the incidents featuring Virat Kohli sledging the opponents. However, unlike the previous one, this was an absolutely “No Nonsense” scenario as the Indian captain seemed pretty furious while sledging Ollie Robinson.

The fifth and final day at Lord’s was an absolute cracker of a contest, to say the least. After England had a batting collapse, they needed to save the Test match with three wickets in hand. Ollie Robinson was the batsman and Virat Kohli had a go at him. Virat Kohli’s voice got recorded on the stumps mics and a Twitter user shared the video.

Indicating to Ollie Robinson, Virat Kohli said, “Pujj (Pujara), How boring was your innings? Maybe, that’s how you survive in a test match.” Calling Robinson “big mouth,” the Indian skipper said, “Come on, Gonna bring your sheets today?”

At that point of the match, India needed 3 wickets to bring the game home. Referring to Cheteshwar Pujara’s 206-ball 45-run knock, Virat Kohli passed a nasty comment to sledge Ollie Robinson during the fourth innings of the game. Cheteshwar Pujara’s 100-run stand with vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane in the second innings played a vital part in India’s win.

3) Virat Kohli and Rubel Hossain in 2011

Virat Kohli and Rubel Hossain
Virat Kohli and Rubel Hossain. (Photo by WILLIAM WEST/AFP via Getty Images)

Virat Kohli was just a talented star and not an all-time great back in 2011. However, even back then, he never held himself back and always spoke his mind out on the field. This aforementioned incident occurred in the opening match of the World Cup (WC) in 2011, which was later won by India ending a 28-year-old hiatus.

Virat Kohli and Bangladesh pacer Rubel Hossain were rivals since their U-19 days and continued it in the 20211 World Cup. They had a heated moment during the 2011 WC. Virat Kohli was seen abusing the Bangladesh seamer after defending a ball off him. The then youngster abused him and asked him to get back to his bowling.

The Bangladeshi pacer, later on, went to reveal that Virat Kohli used to sledge a lot, even during his U-19 days. Both of them played together in the 2008 U-19 World Cup in Kuala Lumpur in which Virat Kohli led India to victory and thus, began his legacy. Virat Kohli made 282 runs in 9 matches in the 2011 World Cup. He hit an unbeaten 100 in that game against Bangladesh.

2) Virat Kohli and Brad Haddin in 2014

Virat Kohli and Brad Haddin
Virat Kohli and Brad Haddin. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

As mentioned earlier, the Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2014/15 had a lot of sledging. However, this incident involving Virat Kohli and Brad Haddin tops all of them.

The engaging verbal dual between the two occurred during the fifth and final day of the third cricket Test at Melbourne Cricket Ground. While the Indian batsman was batting, he survived a run-out chance.  After the incident, Brad Haddin started saying “It’s all about you. It’s all about you” while clapping his hands in Virat Kohli’s direction.

Virat Kohli appeared to gesture in the direction of the umpires, apparently in protest of the Australians’ needling which was audible on Channel Nine’s stump microphone. Virat Kohli then continued it when the Aussie wicketkeeper walked out to bat with the game in the balance. As Brad Haddin asked for and marked centre, a chirpy Virat Kohli shadowed the batsman in a fashion more commonly associated with AFL taggers. A total of four misconduct fines were dished out in the opening two Tests.

1) Virat Kohli and James Faulkner in 2016

Australia's James Faulkner (Eranga Jayawardena/AP)
Australia’s James Faulkner (Eranga Jayawardena/AP)

Arguably one of the most famous incidents of all time, Virat Kohli and James Faulkner indulged inoffensive banter on the field. The Indian captain is someone who would always give it back to the opposition no matter what. Thus, he replied to the Aussie all-rounder in his own style. In the ODI series between Australia and India in the third ODI, James Faulkner tried to sledge Virat Kohli when he was batting.

“You tried to smash me there, but you failed.” is what he said.

India’s number 3 in ODIs then gave it back to him when he was in the non-striker’s end.

“I’ve smashed you enough in my life. Don’t waste your time, go bowl.” is what Kohli replied to Jimmy Faulkner. The Aussie then replied to him by saying something in the lines of “Yeah b***h we’ll see who’s wasting time after the match”.

This video of Virat Kohli and James Faulkner sledging each other went viral as well. The 5-ODI series between Australia and India has not witnessed any ugly incidents on the field barring Virat Kohli and James Faulkner exchanging few words during the 3rd and 4th matches in Melbourne and Canberra respectively.

Coming to the third ODI, Virat Kohli was at his usual best and slammed a memorable 117 (117 balls) at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, MCG after Australia opted to bowl first. For the unversed, Virat Kohli slammed another ton in the fourth and penultimate ODI of the 2016 five-match series Down Under. However, India lost both the encounters before winning the fifth and final match to lose the series 4-1.

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.

Chris Gayle Image Source : IPLT20.COM
Chris Gayle Image Source : IPLT20.COM
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IPL 2021: Year-wise Players With The Most Sixes In IPL

IPL 2021 resumption will be watched eagerly by fans who want to see who hit the big sixes and clear the ropes. The franchises in IPL have always preferred players who can sixes on a consistent basis and those players have a big impact on the performances of the franchise. Sixes can change a game very quickly and clearing the ropes consistently requires a completely different set of skills that aren’t associated with the normal game techniques.

These players certainly bag a hefty amount of money if they go into the auction pool and such has been their worth to the franchises. With the second phase of IPL 2021 set to take place in a few day’s time, there will be a lot of sixes hit in the small ground at Sharjah like in IPL 2020. Here is the list of year-wise players with the most sixes in IPL.

Sixes In IPL:- Chris Gayle (357), AB de Villiers(245), Rohit Sharma (224), MS Dhoni (217) and Virat Kohli (205)
Sixes In IPL:- Chris Gayle (357), AB de Villiers(245), Rohit Sharma (224), MS Dhoni (217) and Virat Kohli (205)

IPL 2021: Year Wise Players With The Most Sixes In IPL

Sanath Jayasuriya(2008): Mumbai Indians

Sanath Jayasuriya
Sanath Jayasuriya (Image Credit: Twitter)

Former Sri Lankan cricketer Sanath Jayasuriya was one of the reputed names in the inaugural IPL 2008 season and he did have a good season with his franchise the Mumbai Indians at the top of the order alongside Sachin Tendulkar. Sanath Jayasuriya hit 31 maximums in the 2008 season which was the highest in the inaugural edition and he also hit one century and two half-centuries in 14 innings he played in the season. He scored 518 runs in the season at an average of 43.16.

Adam Gilchrist(2009): Deccan Chargers

Adam Gilchrist inspired Deccan Chargers to IPL glory Photo Credit: AP
Adam Gilchrist inspired Deccan Chargers to IPL glory Photo Credit: AP

Former Australian wicket-keeper batsmen Adam Gilchrist captained the now-defunct Deccan Chargers to a victory in the 2009 season-the 2nd edition of IPL in which he hit the most maximums of 29. The left-hander is a natural six-hitting machine in IPL and he also hit 54 boundaries in the year. He finished with 495 runs in 16 innings at an average of 30.93 in the IPL 2009 and he hit three half-centuries in the year.

Robin Uthappa(2010): Royal Challengers Bangalore

Robin Uthappa plays the reverse sweep, Royal Challengers Bangalore v Chennai Super Kings, IPL, Bangalore, March 23, 2010
Robin Uthappa plays the reverse sweep • Mar 23, 2010, © Indian Premier League

Robin Uthappa had a scintillating season in 2010 for the Royal Challengers Bangalore and he was one of the key factors in taking the side to the semifinals of the tournament. Robin Uthappa hit the most sixes in the 2010 IPL with 27 maximums and also hit 21 fours at a stunning strike rate of 171.55 in the season. He finished with 374 runs in 16 innings in the season at an average of 31.16.

Chris Gayle(2011): Royal Challengers Bangalore

Chris Gayle © AFP
Chris Gayle © AFP

Chris Gayle hit sixes for fun as always and after being surprisingly unsold in the 2011 mega auction, he made the franchises regret not buying him. He came in as a replacement for the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the 2011 season and smashed 608 runs in 12 innings at an average of 67.55 in the season. He hit two centuries and three half-centuries in the season and his tally of 44 sixes in the season is the highest for the IPL 2011 edition as well.

Chris Gayle(2012): Royal Challengers Bangalore

Chris Gayle
Chris Gayle. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Chris Gayle continued his good form from the 2011 IPL season into the 2012 season as RCB decided to retain his services. Chris Gayle looked at the epitome of consistency with 733 runs in 15 games in the season at an average of 61.08 and he hit one century and 7 half-centuries in the season. He finished with 59 sixes in the 2012 IPL which is the highest for a season in history until now.

Chris Gayle(2013): Royal Challengers Bangalore

Chris Gayle © IANS
Chris Gayle © IANS

Chris Gayle managed yet another blockbuster season in the 2013 IPL for the Royal Challengers Bangalore side and he notched up the highest T20 individual score with a 175 not out against Pune Warriors. The big left-hander finished with 708 runs in 16 innings in the season and he hit one century and 4 half-centuries in the season. Chris Gayle smacked 51 sixes in the season as well which is the third overall highest for an IPL season in history.

Glenn Maxwell(2014): Kings XI Punjab

Glenn Maxwell
Glenn Maxwell. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Glenn Maxwell brought up his show at UAE in the 2014 IPL in the first few games and he looked unstoppable in the 2014 season. Glenn Maxwell hit 552 runs in 16 games in the season at an average of 34.50 and he hit four half-centuries in the process of taking his side Kings XI Punjab to their maiden finals. He hit 36 sixes in IPL 2014 which was the highest for the season and had a strike rate of 187 in IPL 2014.

Chris Gayle(2015): Royal Challengers Bangalore

Chris Gayle PTI
Chris Gayle PTI

Chris Gayle had made up for missing out few games in 2014 with an excellent 2015 season for the Royal Challengers Bangalore and he piled up 491 runs in 14 innings at an average of 40.91. He hit one century and two half-centuries in the season and his tally of 38 sixes in IPL 2015 was the highest for the season as well. He had a strike rate of 147.44 in the season and looked very threatening to the opponents.

Virat Kohli (2016): Royal Challengers Bangalore

Virat Kohli, RCB
Virat Kohli, RCB

Virat Kohli had a breakout season in 2016 in which he shattered most of the IPL records and led his team Royal Challengers Bangalore to the finals single-handedly. In fact, it was his most productive season scoring 973 runs in 16 innings at a mind-boggling average of 81.08. He hit four centuries and seven half-centuries in a single season and it was no brainer that he hit 38 sixes in the season which is the highest for IPL 2016.

Glenn Maxwell(2017): Kings XI Punjab & David Warner(2017)- Sunrisers Hyderabad

Kings XI Punjab batsman Glenn Maxwell
Kings XI Punjab batsman Glenn Maxwell (Photo | PTI)

Glenn Maxwell did produce glimpses of his excellent show from the 2014 season in the 2017 IPL when he played for the Punjab franchise. The big-hitting right-hander struck 310 runs in 14 innings at an average of 31 and he had a strike rate of 173 in the season as well.

Glenn Maxwell hit 26 sixes in the 2017 season coming in the middle order and played the finisher role to perfection. Opener skipper David Warner of Sunrisers Hyderabad too had hit 26 sixes and amassed 641 runs averaging 58.27.

Rishabh Pant (2018): Delhi Capitals

Rishabh Pant Photo: BCCI
Rishabh Pant Photo: BCCI

Rishabh Pant is one of the powerful strikers of the cricket ball at the moment among the Indian batsman and the youngster rocked the show in the 2018 season. Rishabh Pant finished with 684 runs in 14 innings for the Delhi Capitals in the 2018 season at an average of 52.61 and he hit one century in the edition as well along with 5 half-centuries. His tally of 37 sixes was the highest for IPL 2018 by any player.

Andre Russell (2019): Kolkata Knight Riders

Andre Russell. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)
Andre Russell. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

Andre Russell is known for bludgeoning the cricket ball and no player hits the cricket ball as hard as he does. The West Indian all-rounder had a phenomenal run in IPL 2019 where he hit 510 runs in 14 innings at an average of 56.66 and he had an unbelievable strike rate of 204 in the whole season. Andre Russell powered 52 sixes in the IPL 2019 which is the second-highest for any player in a season.

Ishan Kishan (2020): Mumbai Indians

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

Ishan Kishan had an excellent IPL 2020 in the UAE where he gathered 516 runs in 14 innings at an average of 57.33 and his brilliance earned him a maiden call up to the Indian squad. He hit four half-centuries in the season and had a strike rate of 145 in IPL 2020. The left-hander finished with 30 sixes in the season which is the highest in the IPL 2020 and he will be looking to continue his good form in the second phase in UAE next week.

In IPL 2021, Punjab Kings’ KL Rahul had hit 16 sixes followed by SRH’s Jonny Bairstow who hit 15 sixes before IPL 2021 was suspended due to bio bubble breaches. The likes of Ambati Rayudu-Chennai, Jos Buttler-Rajasthan, Andre Russell-Kolkata, Faf du Plessis-Chennai, and Kieron Pollard-Mumbai were tied in the 3rd spot with 13 sixes each.

Here are the players with the most sixes in each IPL season:

2008: Sanath Jayasuriya (31) – Mumbai Indians
2009: Adam Gilchrist (29) – Deccan Chargers (defunct)
2010: Robin Uthappa (27) – Royal Challengers Bangalore
2011: Chris Gayle (44) – Royal Challengers Bangalore
2012: Chris Gayle (59) – Royal Challengers Bangalore
2013: Chris Gayle (51) – Royal Challengers Bangalore
2014: Glenn Maxwell (36) – Kings XI Punjab (now Punjab Kings)
2015: Chris Gayle (38) – Royal Challengers Bangalore
2016: Virat Kohli (38) – Royal Challengers Bangalore
2017: Glenn Maxwell (26) – Kings XI Punjab (now Punjab Kings); David Warner (26) – Sunrisers Hyderabad
2018: Rishabh Pant (37) – Delhi Daredevils (now Delhi Capitals)
2019: Andra Russell (52) – Kolkata Knight Riders
2020: Ishan Kishan (30) – Mumbai Indians

 

World Test Championship, India
Indian test team[photo: Twitter]
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Paul Newman Blames IPL 2021 For 5th Test Cancellation Saying “India Did Not Respect Test Cricket”

Paul Newman did not shy away from firing shots at the IPL, Indian cricketers, and the BCCI after the fifth Test against England in Manchester was cancelled due to Covid-19 fears in the Indian camp. India’s assistant physio Yogesh Parmar tested positive for Covid-19 on the eve of the series-decider sending tremors down the Indian dressing room and ultimately leading to the cancellation of the match.

The former English cricketer said the Indian cricketers did not want to take the field because they did not want to risk missing the resumption of IPL on September 19 in Dubai.

Paul Newman (Image credit: Reuters)
Paul Newman (Image credit: Reuters)

Paul Newman: No India Player With An IPL Contract Wanted To Risk Playing In The 5th Test, Testing Positive And Be In England Missing Restart Of IPL 2021

Paul Newman, however, said the Indian cricketers did not want to take the field because they did not want to risk missing the resumption of IPL on September 19 in Dubai.

“There is no way this series decider would have been called off on the morning of the first day had the majority of India’s players not been flying to Dubai next Wednesday for the resumption of the richest tournament in cricket.

“No India player with an IPL contract wanted to risk playing in this Test, then testing positive and being forced to stay in England for another 10 days, so missing the restart of the tournament in the UAE on September 19,” Newman, who has played 135 first-class matches and 177 List A games, wrote in his column for the Daily Mail.

India vs England Test
India vs England Test- Image Credit: Twitter

“The positive PCR test of Yogesh Parmar was the trigger India’s players needed to up sticks and get out of here as soon as possible even after they had all returned negative tests themselves en masse on Thursday evening.

“There really should have been no reason why they could not play on once those test results were returned. That is the criterion that has governed every game this season as cricket continues to navigate the complex Covid world. Why should that change now?”

Junior physio Yogesh Parmar was tested positive for COVID-19 and even the ECB in their press release explained that the Indian players will not be able to take on the field. Now, former English cricketer Paul Newman has slammed Indian players for flouting the rules.

Paul Newman: India Did Not Respect Test Cricket And Series

Paul Newman said that India did not respect this series and they did not respect Test cricket by violating the guidelines of Covid-19 before the fourth Test.

“India did not respect this series in pulling out yesterday and they did not respect Test cricket either in flouting Covid guidelines ahead of the fourth Test,” he added.

The former seamer also blamed India head coach Ravi Shastri‘s book launch event ahead of the fourth Test in London. Paul Newman was quite angry with the Indian team pulling out of the series and slammed Virat Kohli and men for pulling out the series.

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

“This whole outbreak in their camp could well have been started by the presence of Shastri along with captain Virat Kohli and several players and staff at a book launch at a London hotel attended by more than 150 people two days before the Oval Test.

“It was a breach of protocols that privately angered those at the ECB who have done so much to keep the show on the road in the last 18 months, not least with three Tests at Old Trafford last year that salvaged millions of pounds of revenue for the game. What a way for Lancashire to be rewarded for all they did then,” he said.

He said that the team disrespected the series by pulling out in this fashion. The former England cricketer also slammed the Indian team for flouting COVID-19 rules and not following the given guidelines. The England Cricket Board was about to write to the ICC for seeking the results of the last Test match.

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VVS Laxman Hopes ICC Will Award The Series 2-1 In Favour Of India As He Refused To Blame IPL 2021 For Manchester Test Cancellation

VVS Laxman, the former Indian batsman expressed his disappointment at the abrupt end of the Test series between India and England but refused to blame the Indian Premier League (IPL) for the cancellation of the 5th Test at Old Trafford in Manchester.

While the Covid-19 scare is certainly one of the factors affecting the cancellation of the Manchester Test with India’s assistant physio Yogesh Parmar testing positive for the virus, there could be more factors that led to the calling off of the Manchester Test.

VVS Laxman. (File Photo: IANS)
VVS Laxman. (File Photo: IANS)

VVS Laxman Says It’s Unfair To Play The Blame Game And Hopes ICC Will Award The Series 2-1 In Favour Of India

Some reports claim that Indian players, despite testing negative on the eve of the match, were reluctant to take the field, while some others are blaming the IPL, believing that players prioritized the IPL since the tournament was to resume from September 19, a few days after the conclusion of the 5th Test.

In his column, VVS Laxman wrote, “It was an abrupt, somewhat disappointing end to what had been a cracking series but given the circumstances in which the final Test at Old Trafford was cancelled, it’s unfair to point fingers or play the blame game.”

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

The fifth and deciding Test was dramatically cancelled on Friday just over two hours before the scheduled start because of Covid-19 concerns in the Indian camp. The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said fears over the coronavirus, related to an outbreak among backroom staff, had left India unable to field a team at Old Trafford.

“To take the field in that mental state is far from ideal. So is the potential risk of endangering others on the park, be it your teammates, the officials or the opponents. Against that backdrop, I think the cancellation of the Test was the right call, though I feel deeply for the fans who had invested so much time, money and emotion in the contest. I hope the ICC sees the situation for what it is and awards the series 2-1 to India, particularly with the BCCI having offered to play a Test during their white ball tour of England next year,” VVS Laxman added.

India was 2-1 up in the five-match contest after a 157-run win in the fourth Test at the Oval and was bidding to complete a notable double just months after winning a series in Australia. India cancelled their final training session and mandatory pre-match press conference on Thursday after reports that a physiotherapist who had been in close contact with the players had tested positive for Covid.

“What this episode reiterates is that we must not let our guard down. If that means having to stay in bubbles, even if the host country doesn’t demand it, so be it. It might be tough on players, agreed, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. I understand bubble fatigue can become a factor, but there can’t be any compromise on safety,” VVS Laxman opined.

Cancellation would give India a 2-1 series victory, and a forfeiture led to a 2-2 draw. Currently, India has pocketed 26 WTC points from the series while England has 14 out of the available 48 points.

VVS Laxman: Biggest Takeaway From India Was The Quality And Belief Of Their Pace Attack

In the fourth Test at the Oval, where 50 years earlier India won their first Test on English soil, Rohit Sharma scored his first overseas Test century and Shardul Thakur starred with both bat and ball. Jasprit Bumrah’s devastating spell of reverse swing — 2-6 in six overs — was key to England losing their last eight wickets for 69 runs.

“It might be stating the obvious, but the biggest takeaway for the visitors was the quality and belief of their pace attack. The fast bowlers are the reason India are winning Tests and series overseas with regularity, and once again, they stood up and asked to be counted,” VVS Laxman observed.

Virat Kohli backs Ajinkya Rahane Image Source : GETTY IMAGE
Virat Kohli backs Ajinkya Rahane Image Source: GETTY IMAGE

The Indian team management preferred the left-spinner all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja over off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin in the Test matches in England.

“If there is one thing the attack can get better at, it is in staying patient and stringing maidens together when the pitch flattens out like it did on Day Three at Lord’s and Day Two in Leeds. I know I have been insistent on R Ashwin’s inclusion in these columns; that being said, Ravindra Jadeja was more than effective throughout the series, especially on the final day at The Oval, both in a containing and wicket-taking role,” VVS Laxman wrote.

Rohit Sharma’s 127 was the cornerstone of India’s second innings at Oval in the 4th Test. It was the opener’s eighth hundred in 43 Tests but first outside of India in 24 matches at this level.

“India’s largest plus was the unearthing of a fabulous opening pair. Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul are not just skilled but also experienced. They brought those traits into play to make handsome, significant runs. They trusted their game plans and backed their defense; I would go so far as to say that they are the best opening pair in Test cricket currently, shading Tom Latham and Devon Conway,” VVS Laxman added.

Ajinkya Rahane, who led India to a series victory in Australia earlier this year when regular captain Virat Kohli was on paternity leave, has now gone 20 innings without a Test hundred.

“The one obvious concern India must address is the inability of the experienced middle-order to capitalize on the great starts. Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli showed signs of returning to form, but Ajinkya Rahane and Rishabh Pant were out of touch. A few technical issues have crept into the middle-order batting, and with more challenging assignments in store, it’s imperative that those are ironed out at the earliest,” VVS Laxman signed off.

Ajinkya Rahane has batted in seven innings and has managed to score only 109 runs at a pathetic average of 15.57. He was dismissed for an eight-ball duck in the second innings of the Oval Test. Earlier in the first innings, he scored just 14 off 47 deliveries.

File photo | Twitter/Rajeev Shukla
File photo | Twitter/Rajeev Shukla
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The Rumour Of Virat Kohli Stepping Down After T20I World Cup Isn’t True, Says Rajeev Shukla

Rajeev Shukla, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Vice-President is not impressed by the latest rumours of Team India looking at a change of captain in the limited-overs format after the T20 World Cup in UAE and Oman. Rajeev Shukla is unimpressed by the latest rumours that regular skipper Virat Kohli will step down from limited-overs format after the T20I World Cup.

Reports have been doing the rounds that Rohit Sharma could take over at the end of the showpiece event and Virat Kohli could continue as the Test captain and focus on his batting.

Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma
Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma- Twitter

Rajeev Shukla Urges Indian Team To Focus On The 2021 T20I World Cup

Rajeev Shukla said while there is no truth to this rumour, it is important the team focuses on the showpiece’s event rather than getting distracted by such news.

“There is nothing to this rumour. Also, let’s focus on the T20 World Cup rather than playing soothsayer and predicting the future, ” Rajeev Shukla said.

“There have been no talks on split captaincy,” Rajeev Shukla said.

Rajeev Shukla Ron Gaunt/SPORTZPICS
Rajeev Shukla Ron Gaunt/SPORTZPICS

The Indian national selectors last Wednesday picked the squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup. There were inputs from Rohit Sharma as well as the deputy of the limited-overs team and that seems to have led to talks of split captaincy post the World Cup.

One of India’s most successful captains, Virat Kohli led India in 95 ODIs, and with 65 wins and 27 defeats. In 45 T20Is so far where he has been the captain, India has won 27 times while losing 14 times. Meanwhile, Rohit Sharma, 34, has led India 10 times in ODIs and led them to victories on eight occasions. In T20Is, he has captained them 19 times of which they have won 15 and lost four.

Rohit Sharma is in the form of his life across formats and enjoys the status of a senior member of the squad. His T20 captaincy records are second to none, having won five IPL titles for the Mumbai Indians apart from Asia Cup and Nidhas Trophy 2018 wins in Virat Kohli’s absence.

Ravichandran Ashwin Stages A Comeback Into World Cup Squad After Playing His Last T20I In 2017

Coming back to the squad, in a surprise move, Ravichandran Ashwin has been included in the team which will begin its campaign in the showpiece event against arch-rivals Pakistan. He had last played a T20I against West Indies in July 2017. The likes of Shikhar Dhawan and Yuzvendra Chahal missed out as veteran former skipper MS Dhoni will be the mentor of the team.

Ravichandran Ashwin of India. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)
Ravichandran Ashwin of India. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

While the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has the hosting rights, the tournament has been moved out of the country with an eye on the COVID-19 pandemic. India will start its campaign against Pakistan. India and Pakistan will be locking horns on October 24 in a group-stage encounter. The tournament will get underway from October 17, with the final to be played in Dubai on November 14.

The likes of Shikhar Dhawan, Kuldeep Yadav, Krunal Pandya, Yuzvendra Chahal, Prithvi Shaw, and Yuzvendra Chahal were some notable omissions from the World Cup squad. India is placed in the Group B of the tournament alongside Pakistan, New Zealand, and Afghanistan.

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

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