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Ajay Jadeja

Hanuma Vihari
Hanuma Vihari AP Photo

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ajay Jadeja Too Was Disappointed With Hanuma Vihari Getting Dropped

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

Ajay Jadeja
Ajay Jadeja (Photo- Twitter)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hanuma Vihari
Hanuma Vihari—AP Photo

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

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

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

Ajay Jadeja
Ajay Jadeja (Photo- Twitter)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dinesh Karthik Photo: © Reuters (Main Image)
Dinesh Karthik Photo: © Reuters (Main Image)

Shreyas Iyer And Venkatesh Iyer Won’t Be Judged After Their Failure vs New Zealand In The 1st T20I, Says Dinesh Karthik

Dinesh Karthik believes that despite their failures in the first India-New Zealand T20I, Shreyas Iyer and Venkatesh Iyer won’t feel “judged” or insecure in the Indian dressing room under the watch of Rohit Sharma and Rahul Dravid.

Chasing 165 in Jaipur, India, looked comfortable for the most part. But when skipper Rohit Sharma (48) and Suryakumar Yadav (62) were dismissed in quick succession, the pressure was back. Shreyas Iyer (5 off 8) struggled with his timing, and debutant Venkatesh Iyer, too, hit a boundary off his first ball and lost his wicket on the next ball.

Dinesh Karthik file image. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)
Dinesh Karthik file image. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)

Dinesh Karthik: It’s Just One Game Where Shreyas Iyer And Venkatesh Iyer Failed As They Won’t Be Judged On The Basis Of The 1st T20I vs NZ

Their performances didn’t affect the result as Rishabh Pant (17*) sealed the final-over chase with two balls to spare. Speaking after the match, Dinesh Karthik said both Rohit Sharma and Rahul Dravid had endured a lot of failure in their careers, so they won’t let just one bad game affect Shreyas Iyer and Venkatesh Iyer’s confidence.

Dinesh Karthik said: “Shreyas Iyer and Venkatesh Iyer, the middle-order batsmen that didn’t look as good as they would have if they had played a long innings, won’t feel so judged in this dressing room. Both the coach and the captain have seen a lot of failures and that is the biggest advantage these boys will have in the dressing room.”

“They’ll feel rather calm and they’ll know it’s just one game… Sometimes you can feel judged and you question that ‘Am I good enough for this level?’ I think those questions won’t be the ones they’ll answer so early. It will be a very calm and easygoing dressing room,” said Dinesh Karthik.

Shreyas Iyer
Shreyas Iyer – Getty Images

Dinesh Karthik even defended Shreyas Iyer for his innings, saying he didn’t have a choice but to attack every ball, but it just didn’t come off on the day. Dinesh Karthik said that if someone needs to be blamed for the match going close, Suryakumar Yadav or Rohit Sharma should be well set for giving away their wickets.

Dinesh Karthik added: “You can’t fault Shreyas Iyer for doing it because at that stage you want boundaries. If it’s not there to be hit then you probably try and hit a cut shot, a flick shot, or a cover drive but your first instinct is to hit it for a six straight over the bowler’s head or over deep mid-wicket… If you have to go by results you can fault Surya or Rohit but if you go by process I think all of them played the right shots…”

Shreyas Iyer made a comeback to the Indian team after a long injury-forced break. Venkatesh Iyer, meanwhile, was slotted in a position – No.6 – where he hasn’t played much before. The duo is likely to get a long rope to cement their place in the team, including in the remaining two matches of the series.

Shreyas Iyer dislocated his shoulder while fielding against England in the first ODI in Pune on March 24.  He missed the half-season of IPL 2021 due to an injury in his left shoulder while playing for India in the first match of an ODI series against England. He made his comeback after a span of 6 months for Delhi Capitals in IPL 2021. In September 2021, Shreyas Iyer was named as one of three reserve players in India’s squad for the 2021 ICC T20I World Cup.

Ajay Jadeja: Rahul Dravid Best Man To Keep Things Calm

Earlier in the same interaction, Ajay Jadeja spoke on similar lines as Dinesh Karthik and remarked that international cricket is the best test of new coach Rahul Dravid’s nous. Ajay Jadeja also said that Rahul Dravid is the “best man” to keep the dressing room environment calm.

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

“The skill of a coach is tested at this stage, you know, how calm can you keep the dressing room, the guys going in next get the vibes… Rahul Dravid is the probably the best man around to keep things calm.”

India will look to extend their 1-0 lead on Friday in the second T20I in Ranchi.

Harshal Patel
Harshal Patel (Image Credit: Twitter)

Dinesh Karthik, Ajay Jadeja Name Harshal Patel To Replace Mohammed Siraj For 2nd T20I

Dinesh Karthik, wicketkeeper-batter, and former cricketer Ajay Jadeja have backed Royal Challengers Banglaore uncapped pacer Harshal Patel as the suitable replacement for pacer Mohammed Siraj for the second India-New Zealand T20I.

Mohammad Siraj tore the webbing of his left hand while bowling in the last over in Jaipur on Wednesday and might miss the coming games- the next 2 T20Is at Ranchi and Kolkata.

Harshal Patel
Harshal Patel (Image Credit: Twitter)

Dinesh Karthik: It’s A Good Headache To Select One Among Harshal Patel And Avesh Khan In Place Of Mohammad Siraj

Dinesh Karthik said while both Harshal Patel and Avesh Khan are in top form, the former’s change of pace will likely come in handy in Ranchi. He, however, also said the team management might want the extra pace of Avesh Khan to add some variety to the attack, making it a “good headache” to have.

A superlative display by their top-order and controlled bowling at the back-end ensured a five-wicket victory against Black Caps, ending ‘Men in Blue’ seven-match losing streak across formats. In absence of Virat Kohli, currently on leave, Suryakumar Yadav made full use of the opportunity at number three with a match-winning 62 off 42 balls.

Dinesh Karthik said:  “Both of them are bowling at the best of their careers so far… So you can blindly play any one of them. I personally feel Harshal Patel will be better because obviously, you know, the change of pace in Ranchi [which is a] slightly slow wicket.

“Avesh Khan is very good with slower ones as well but Harshal Patel is bowling with such good rhythm that you want to give him the opportunity and see what he brings to the table.

“But another way you look at it is – you have somebody who bowls 135 in Deepak Chahar and Bhuvi. If you want someone with more pace then the option is Avesh Khan. It’s a good headache to have,” said Dinesh Karthik.

Avesh Khan has been instrumental in Delhi Capitals’ early success in IPL 2021. Image: BCCI
Avesh Khan has been instrumental in Delhi Capitals’ early success in IPL 2021. Image: BCCI

Speaking during the same video interaction, former cricketer Ajay Jadeja also agreed with Dinesh Karthik. He noted that for the specific overs, Mohammed Siraj bowled on Wednesday (4th, 11th, 15th, and 20th), Harshal Patel would be the better option.

Ajay Jadeja explained: “The way Siraj was used, probably Harshal Patel because he bowled one in the powerplay and two right at the end.

“What he has done in the IPL, the reason why he’s been picked in the side – his strength is that when the game is moving at a different pace and the batsman is trying to dominate that’s when his slower one becomes more useful. If you have to use him the same way and the others around then Harshal is the one I’ll probably go with.”

Harshal Patel was the top wicket-taker in the IPL 2021 – claiming the joint-most 32 wickets in a season for Royal Challengers Bangalore. Delhi Capital’s Avesh Khan was right behind him with 24 wickets from 16 matches. Meanwhile, as a result of Mohammed Siraj’s valiant last over and other bowlers’ contributions, India kept New Zealand down to 164-6 and chased it with two balls to spare.

Dinesh Karthik: Rahul Dravid May Give Everyone An Opportunity

Furthermore, while Dinesh Karthik remarked that while India was unlikely to make more changes for the 2nd T20I game, Rahul Dravid’s coaching style has always been about rotating and giving most squad members a chance. Dinesh Karthik said if it goes that way here too, the head coach will have the “right conversation” to make sure that the players getting a rest don’t feel insecure.

Dinesh Karthik file image. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)
Dinesh Karthik file image. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)

Dinesh Karthik asserted: “The one thing Rahul Dravid has done fabulously well in his time as an India Under-19 and an India A coach is his ability to rotate and play the whole squad, consistently on all tours and give everybody an opportunity and that’s why we have such a large bench strength for the Indian team… and if that is anything to go by.

He’ll have the right conversations and spread the right message. One thing is giving a break but you have got to make sure that the guy is happy to get a break…”

The second match will begin at the same time in Ranchi on Friday. A loss in the 2nd T20I will mean that the Kiwis will surrender the series. On the other hand, India will look to land the knockout blow and take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match rubber.

Predicted Indian XI: KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma (C), Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (WK), Shreyas Iyer, Venkatesh Iyer, Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Chahar, Harshal Patel/Avesh Khan

Todd Astle leaked 34 runs in the 3 overs that he bowled, and failed to scalp a wicket in the 1st T20I. So, the Kiwis might get Ish Sodhi into their playing XI in his place. Also, James Neesham might replace Rachin Ravindra.

Predicted New Zealand XI: Martin Guptill, Daryl Mitchell, Mark Chapman, Glenn Phillips, Tim Siefert (WK), James Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee (C), Ish Sodhi, Lockie Ferguson, Trent Boult

India National Cricket Team.
India National Cricket Team. Image Credits: BCCI

India ‘Pressed The Panic Button’ Before The Toss Against New Zealand In 2021 T20I World Cup: Ajay Jadeja

Ajay Jadeja, the former India cricketer, lamented that Virat Kohli and co. “pressed the panic button” even before the T20 World Cup 2021 game against New Zealand. But, according to the former middle-order batsman Ajay Jadeja, New Zealand was dominant over the Indians much before the toss in Dubai, which was evident in the Men in Blue’s team selection.

With middle-order batsman Suryakumar Yadav unfit for the game, India brought dashing opener Ishan Kishan into the playing XI. However, he opened the innings with KL Rahul, while Rohit Sharma moved down to number three and captain Virat Kohli pushed himself down to number four.

Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan - SPORTZPICS
Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan – SPORTZPICS

Ajay Jadeja: India Pressed The Panic Button Before The Toss As Was Evident In Team Selection

Ajay Jadeja opined that India’s surprising moves clearly indicated they were unsure of their plans. Ishan Kishan opened the batting along with KL Rahul while Rohit Sharma dropped to No. 3, but even that move didn’t work. Ishan Kishan scored just 4 runs from 8 balls, while Rohit Sharma made 14 from as many balls in India’s below-par total of 110 for 7 in 20 overs.

“New Zealand were dominant on India even before the game started. India pressed, what I could call the panic button, before the toss with the team they picked. Then, losing the toss was also a big setback. Obviously, that wasn’t in India’s hands. But the openers (Ishan Kishan and KL Rahul) who walked in were a surprise. There were more surprises at numbers three (Rohit Sharma) and four (Virat Kohli) as well,” Ajay Jadeja elaborated.

Ajay Jadeja added: “By the time New Zealand came out to bat, nothing was left in the game. There were only faint hopes, which also disappeared the way they bowled in the first six overs.”

Ajay Jadeja
Ajay Jadeja (Photo- Twitter)

The 50-year-old also lashed out at the Indian think-tank for playing “musical chairs” with the opening slot. He described the top-order batters as the star performers in any T20 line-up.

Ajay Jadeja added: “The simplest funda of T20 is that the top order should be your strongest suit. The best players bat at the top because there are only 120 balls. If you are unsure about it, then your starting on the wrong foot. The debate over the last few days was over Hardik Pandya’s bowling and whether Shardul Thakur should play. But they lost the plot with the confusion in the top order, which is the star power of any batting side in T20s.”

Ishan Kishan, KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma, and Virat Kohli all perished cheaply against New Zealand as India lost their first four wickets with only 48 on the board within 10 overs. Their net run rate was below 5, and the pressure to not lose wickets besides accelerating run-rate was a tough ask for India’s next in line batsmen.

They ended up posting 110 for 7 in stipulated 20 overs, in which they didn’t effectively score runs in nine of those overs (54 dot balls). Worse, they were just able to hit a single boundary between overs 8 and 15 when two spinners-Ish Sodhi and Mitchell Santner, were in operation.

Virender Sehwag : Only Positive Was Hardik Pandya Bowling

According to former India opener Virender Sehwag, it is difficult to find any positive from the team’s lacklustre showing against New Zealand. He pointed out that while Hardik Pandya’s bowling was a good sign, it came a little too late as New Zealand was already in course for a resounding win.

Virender Sehwag said while reflecting on India’s loss against New Zealand: “The only positive for India was that Pandya bowled. But it really won’t matter whether he bowls or not or even doesn’t play in the next few games.”

Virender Sehwag
Virender Sehwag (Image Credit: Twitter)

Rather surprisingly, Hardik Pandya came on to bowl against New Zealand. But by the time he took the ball, only the formalities remained as the Kiwis were in total control. Hardik Pandya conceded 17 runs in 2 overs.

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli (BCCI)

Virat Kohli’s Statement Of Falling Behind Against Pakistan After Losing 2 Early Scalps Disappointed Ajay Jadeja 

Virat Kohli’s press conference remarks after the conclusion of the opening India-Pakistan T20I match in the 2021 T20I World Cup did not go down with former India player Ajay Jadeja, who confessed he was disappointed to hear the captain say such a thing as falling behind after losing two early wickets.

The start of India’s opening T20 World Cup game against Pakistan was not the best one. After losing the toss, Virat Kohli-led India was asked to bat first on a tricky batting surface by Pakistan captain Babar Azam. To make matters worse, Pakistan pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi dismissed Rohit Sharma for a golden duck, and soon after, sent back in-form opener KL Rahul to the hut.

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

Virat Kohli’s Statement Of Falling Behind Against Pakistan After Losing 2 Scalps Disappointed Ajay Jadeja

India captain Virat Kohli played a crucial knock of 57 runs after coming to bat at no. 3, as wickets continued to fall on the other end. Virat Kohli, though, helped his team to a total of 151/7 in 20 overs. But in the end, the target of 152 was not enough as Pakistan openers Mohammed Rizwan and Babar Azam scored 79*, and 68*, respectively, to win the match for their team by 10 wickets with 13 balls to spare.

Ajay Jadeja
Ajay Jadeja (Photo- Twitter)

At the post-match press conference, Virat Kohli lauded the efforts by Pakistan and admitted that his team was outplayed by the arch-rivals. But one of Virat Kohli’s remarks did not go down with former India player Ajay Jadeja, who confessed he was disappointed to hear Virat Kohli say such a thing.

“I heard Virat Kohli’s statement that day. He said when we lost two wickets, we fell behind in the match against Pakistan. I was disappointed with that,” Ajay Jadeja said.

“When a player like Virat Kohli is out there in the middle, there is no way the match has ended. He had not played even two balls and was thinking like that. So, it shows India’s approach,” Ajay Jadeja further added.

India will next play against New Zealand on Sunday and Virat Kohli will hope his team can bounce back from the horrendous defeat to pick up their first win of the tournament.

India Was Reduced To 31/3 Against Pakistan And Never Recovered

India was reduced to 1/1 with Rohit Sharma’s golden duck, then 6/2 after KL Rahul’s dismissal, and then 31/3 with Suryakumar Yadav’s dismissal, as Pakistan had the psychological edge. In the 2017 Champions Trophy final too, India had been reduced to 33/3, with Rohit Sharma falling for a three-ball duck to a similar vicious inswinger from Mohammad Amir. In the 2019 World Cup semifinal against New Zealand, India was reduced to 5/3.

KL Rahul And Rohit Sharma (Image Credit: Twitter)
KL Rahul And Rohit Sharma (Image Credit: Twitter)

Sunday’s match between India and Pakistan was also the 10th time India lost 3 wickets inside the Powerplay since the last T20 WC in 2016. They have lost on seven of those occasions.

MS Dhoni
MS Dhoni

Shaun Pollock Feels CSK Will Retain MS Dhoni As ‘Mentor’ Not As A ‘Player’ In IPL 2022

Shaun Pollock, the former South Africa skipper, has expressed his reservations about Chennai Super Kings (CSK) retaining MS Dhoni as a franchise player ahead of the IPL 2022 auction.

MS Dhoni had said he hadn’t left behind with a wide grin when the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) captain was asked if the talismanic batsman is proud to have left a legacy behind in 12 seasons for the newly crowned Indian Premier League (IPL) champions. However, one of the most successful captains in the shortest format of cricket, MS Dhoni, had earlier admitted to the ‘uncertainties’ surrounding the 2022 edition of the cash-rich league.


Shaun Pollock Feels CSK Will Retain MS Dhoni As A Mentor In Managerial Role

Even after guiding CSK to their fourth IPL crown in the 14th season, MS Dhoni has remained in speculations about calling time on his incredible T20 career. However, when it comes to MS Dhoni’s future, a lot will depend on the retention policy of the BCCI for the mega auction. Former South Africa skipper Shaun Pollock feels CSK will retain MS Dhoni as a mentor for the 15th season of domestic cricket’s biggest extravaganza – the IPL.

Shaun Pollock was the first South African to 400 Test wickets © AFP
Shaun Pollock was the first South African to 400 Test wickets © AFP.

MS Dhoni won CSK to four IPL titles and two Champions League T20 trophies. The 40-year-old is the only captain to have played more than 200 matches as a leader of CSK and Rising Pune Supergiants. IPL 2022 will see a majority of players going under the auction, and each franchise will be able to retain a maximum of three players. Considering the retention policy, which is yet to be announced, MS Dhoni might take over as the team’s mentor.

Shaun Pollock Would Go With Faf du Plessis, Ravindra Jadeja, And Ruturaj Gaikwad As The 3 Retentions

Discussing CSK’s retention strategy for the next season- IPL 2022 with ex-Indian player Ajay Jadeja, the legendary all-rounder, named his top three picks that CSK should retain in the build-up to the mega auction. According to Shaun Pollock, the CSK think tank can invest in star openers Ruturaj Gaikwad, Faf Du Plessis, and veteran all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja for the 2022 season.

“You have got to keep Ruturaj Gaikwad. Going forward, I feel he will be absolutely fantastic for them. Jadeja, I would hold on to because he’s been great with the bat and the ball. And I personally don’t think we will see Dhoni, I think he will be retained in a managerial role. I would probably go with Faf, Jadeja, and Gaikwad as the three retentions,” Shaun Pollock said. 

Faf du Plessis and Ruturaj Gaikwad (Image Credit: Twitter)
Faf du Plessis and Ruturaj Gaikwad (Image Credit: Twitter)

This year, Faf du Plessis, Ruturaj Gaikwad, and Ravindra Jadeja were instrumental in CSK’s title-winning season. MS Dhoni-led CSK defeated Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) by 27 runs to clinch their fourth IPL title on Friday. All four of CSK’s IPL titles have come under MS Dhoni’s leadership. The 40-year-old has been CSK’s skipper since the inception of the tournament in 2008.

In the IPL 2021, the likes of CSK openers Ruturaj Gaikwad (635 runs) and Faf du Plessis (633 runs) finished as leading run-getters in IPL 2021. Moeen Ali (357 runs), Ambati Rayudu (257 runs) also delivered in crunch situations. Dwayne Bravo (14), Deepak Chahar(14), Ravindra Jadeja(13), Josh Hazlewood(11), and Shardul Thakur(21) were amongst the wickets.

MS Dhoni does not know whether he would represent his franchise Chennai Super Kings in the IPL 2022 as there are uncertainties about retention policy and the addition of two new teams. However, after winning the maiden World T20 in 2007 and 2011 ODI World Cup after a hiatus of 28 years to lead Chennai Super Kings to 4 Indian Premier League titles, the list of MS Dhoni’s achievements in white-ball cricket matches doesn’t have an end.

Yuzvendra Chahal
Yuzvendra Chahal

Yuzvendra Chahal Can Ask RCB And India Skipper Virat Kohli About T20I World Cup Axe: Ajay Jadeja

Ajay Jadeja believes Yuzvendra Chahal can now perhaps ask captain Virat Kohli about his non-selection in the T20 World Cup squad. The statement from Ajay Jadeja has come following leg spinner Yuzvendra Chahal’s brilliant run in the UAE leg of the current IPL season.

Ajay Jadeja made his comments after the Haryana leg-spinner pulled off yet another brilliant performance (3/29 in four overs) on Sunday afternoon. This one came against the Punjab Kings to lead the Royal Challengers Bangalore into the playoffs.

Yuzvendra Chahal
Yuzvendra Chahal[photo: Twitter]

Ajay Jadeja:  Yuzvendra Chahal’s Skills And Sharpness Came To The fore During Tense Run Chases

Ajay Jadeja reckoned that Yuzvendra Chahal thrives in pressured crunch situations. The former Indian cricketer believes Yuzvendra Chahal’s street-smartness comes to the fore massively in tough game-changing tough situations.

“Chahal’s skills and mental sharpness come to the fore during high-pressure run-chases. He scripted a turnaround in just one over. After he dismissed Mayank Agarwal, he was mentally all over the rest of the batsmen. Perhaps, now he can ask captain Kohli about his snub from the T20 World Cup squad which he couldn’t have done before because his performance wasn’t great,” said Ajay Jadeja.

Ajay Jadeja
Ajay Jadeja (Photo- Twitter)

Yuzvendra Chahal claimed his first wicket in the form of Nicholas Pooran. He followed it up with the dismissals of a dangerous-looking Mayank Agarwal and Sarfaraz Khan in one over as RCB beat Punjab Kings by six runs.

Yuzvendra Chahal Has Been Sensational In The IPL 2021 UAE Leg So Far

Yuzvendra Chahal’s omission from India’s T20 World Cup squad was one of the biggest talking points in Indian cricket. Fans and pundits have questioned the selector’s call. The likes of spinners Ravindra Jadeja, Rahul Chahar, Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel, and Varun Chakravarthy were preferred over Yuzvendra Chahal who wasn’t selected even among the standby players.

But to put things in perspective, his performance had taken a massive dip in the past 15 months leading into the UAE leg of the IPL. Since the start of 2020, the right-arm leggie has managed just 11 wickets in 13 T20Is at an average of 41.36 and a highly expensive economy rate of 8.92.

Yuzvendra Chahal
Yuzvendra Chahal. Image Credits: Twitter

Yuzvendra Chahal was dropped from playing XI midway through the T20I series against England at India earlier this year. His performance during the Indian leg of the IPL wasn’t great either. In 7 games, he managed just 4 wickets at an average of 47.5 and an economy rate of 8.26.

But, the 30-year-old has stormed back in the UAE leg and has regularly come up with consistent match-winning performances. His numbers in the second phase read: 1/23 (2), 1/26 (4), 3/11 (4), 2/18 (4), 3/29 (4), which sumps up to 10 wickets in 5 matches.

If he continues in the same vein in the remaining games of the team’s season, he may just sneak his way into the Indian squad for the T20 World Cup as the deadline for changing the team for T20I World Cup 2021 is October 10.

From having made his debut for RCB in 2014 to earning a national call-up in 2016 and taking 100 wickets in the IPL, Yuzvendra Chahal has had an impressive career so far. In his international career thus far, the 30-year old has bagged 97 and 63 wickets in 56 ODIs and 49 T20Is respectively apart from 135 scalps in 111 IPL games.

The RCB spinner has taken 10 wickets in five matches in the UAE this season while Rahul Chahar has only managed to get two wickets and proved a tad bit too expensive for the defending champions Mumbai Indians. All the teams can make changes to their provisional squad by October 10.

Royal Challengers Bangalore 164 for 7 (Maxwell 57, Padikkal 40, Henriques 3-12) beat Punjab Kings 158 for 6 (Agarwal 57, Rahul 39, Chahal 3-29) by six runs

Shubman Gill (Image Credit: Twitter)
Shubman Gill (Image Credit: Twitter)

Shubman Gill’s Place In Test Squad Is Doubtful And Several Players Have Moved Ahead Of Him In T20s: Ajay Jadeja

Shubman Gill scored his first half-century of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 to help Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) secure a crucial win over bottom-ranked Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) on Sunday.

In a low-scoring affair, opener Shubman Gill scored 57 off 51 balls to help KKR chase 116 to stay in the fourth spot, with qualification for the playoffs still in their hands. Former India batsman Ajay Jadeja, however, remained critical of Shubman Gill and said that several players had moved ahead of the KKR opener since he got injured after the World Test Championship final against New Zealand.

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

Shubman Gill Didn’t Have A Good Year: Ajay Jadeja

Ajay Jadeja said that Shubman Gill’s Test spot was already in jeopardy following the resurgence of KL Rahul in the recently concluded Test series against England and consistent stellar performances from Rohit Sharma. Ajay Jadeja opined that now in the T20s as well, other young openers like Prithvi Shaw, Devdutt Padikkal, and Ruturaj Gaikwad have surpassed Shubman Gill with their showings this season.

Ajay Jadeja
Ajay Jadeja (Photo- Twitter)

“This year has not been a good one for Shubman Gill. When he came back from injury, other players had moved way ahead of him. Because he had become a favourite in the Indian team after the series in Australia. After his injury, KL Rahul, who wasn’t even in the team, has established himself, Rohit Sharma too. So even his place in the Test squad is now in doubt, and in T20s, all these names are also there ahead of him now,” Jadeja told Cricbuzz.

Shubman Gill was acquired by the Kolkata Knight Riders in 2018 and turned in useful contributions for them in his debut season and 2019 season, managing above 200 runs in both editions, averaging about 33. He averaged similarly in 2020, where he managed 440 runs, but he could score only 239 runs in 12 games in IPL 2021, averaging below 20 before this match against Sunrisers Hyderabad.

Shubman Gill has played only 8 Tests and 3 ODIs but is touted as a future star in the making. However, he was injured after the WTC Final and didn’t play any of the 4 Tests against hosts England.

Ajay Jadeja: Shubman Gill Is A Boundary Player As He Doesn’t Take A Lot Of Singles

Ajay Jadeja said KKR opener Shubman Gill has good game sense and is good in low-scoring chases, but needs to improve his skillset.

“The players who score a lot of runs when they are young, they have a great game sense. He has a good idea of the game, so when the game is in control, he won’t throw it away, but if he makes some additions to his skills, he can be even better,” he said.

Shubman Gill | Vipin Pawar / Sportzpics for BCCI
Shubman Gill | Vipin Pawar / Sportzpics for BCCI

Ajay Jadeja opined that Shubman Gill has consistently played short knocks that have given KKR the much-needed momentum they need in their innings. Still, he has had an otherwise poor season as he failed to capitalize on good starts and failed to convert starts to big innings.

Ajay Jadeja went on to explain: “He’s not made a big score before this. He has played impressive knocks, but short ones. Whenever an innings has needed some momentum or impetus, he has provided that, so it doesn’t feel like he has had a poor season. “

“But he hasn’t played a long knock after the field has spread after the Powerplay. Because that’s his style. He is a boundary player. He doesn’t take a lot of singles. So when he hits a four, you think oh, what a shot, but then one or two dots around the boundary brings him back to run-a-ball.”

Shubman Gill has scored 296 runs in 13 matches this year, at a strike rate of 117.92. While he had seven half-centuries in the three seasons before this one, this was his first in this edition of the IPL.

Brief Scores: Kolkata Knight Riders 119/4 (Shubman Gill 57, Nitish Rana 25; Jason Holder 2/32) beat Sunrisers Hyderabad 115/8 (Kane Williamson 26, Priyam Garg 21; Varun Chakravarthy 2/26) by 6 wickets. 

Glenn Maxwell
Glenn Maxwell

Ajay Jadeja: RCB Is In A Dilemma To Retain Whom Between AB de Villiers And Glenn Maxwell In IPL 2022 Mega Auctions

Ajay Jadeja reckons that Glenn Maxwell’s brilliant displays in the ongoing season of the IPL will make it hard for the Royal Challengers Bangalore owners to let go of his services ahead of the mega-auction in IPL 2022.

Ajay Jadeja said that Glenn Maxwell may well have exceeded the expectations that the RCB camp would have had of him given his underwhelming returns for his previous franchises.

Glenn Maxwell
Glenn Maxwell (Image Credit: Twitter)

Ajay Jadeja: RCB Is In A Dilemma To Retain Whom Between AB de Villiers And Glenn Maxwell

Glenn Maxwell, who was bought by RCB for a whopping price of INR 14.25 crore in IPL 2021 auctions, has been phenomenal with both bat and the ball. He had a poor show with Kings XI Punjab (now Punjab Kings) in IPL 2020 in UAE where he could only make 108 runs from 13 matches at an average of 15.42.

But things are totally different since he moved to the RCB franchise, as the swashbuckling all-rounder has scored 350 runs from 10 innings and has also been effective with the bowl while chipping in some important breakthroughs.

“Plenty of people have invested money and time on Glenn Maxwell. If you ask them, then they will tell you that he isn’t value for money. But for RCB, he has proved to be a multi banner. He has done things for them which he didn’t do for his previous franchises, ” said Ajay Jadeja.

Ajay Jadeja wondered if the presence of foreign coaches in the IPL has helped Glenn Maxwell. He also said that RCB might have to take a tough call between the Australian and AB de Villiers when it comes to the retention of players for the next edition.

“But at auction, I feel that Maxwell has benefitted from the presence of foreign coaches. RCB has backed him and he has given them more dividends than they would have expected. Now they won’t be able to let go of his services. So, the question is, will they retain him or AB de Villiers?” said Ajay Jadeja.

Ajay Jadeja
Ajay Jadeja (Photo- Twitter)
Glenn Maxwell has been a perennial underachiever in the IPL over the years. Between 2015 and 2020, the enigmatic Australian managed just 911 runs in 61 matches at an average of 18.59 and a strike rate of 142.12. The right-hander has scored nearly 1/3rd of those runs for RCB this year. In 10 games, Glenn Maxwell has scored 350 runs at an average of 38.88 and a strike rate of 141.7 with four 50+ scores in 11 games.

Pragyan Ojha: Glenn Maxwell Got Confidence In The RCB Set-up

Meanwhile, former Indian spinner Pragyan Ojha opined that while Glenn Maxwell always got the backing of his previous coaches, the confidence he has received in the RCB camp has led to a revival in his fortunes.

“If you talk about coaches, Ricky Ponting and Mike Hesson backed him at Delhi Capitals, Mumbai Indians, and Punjab Kings. But I think, Maxwell got the cushion and confidence in the RCB set-up which is why he has performed brilliantly.”

Pragyan Ojha — File Photo
Pragyan Ojha — File Photo

Pragyan Ojha signed off by stating that Glenn Maxwell’s emergence has come at the right time for RCB as he believes that AB de Villiers might be nearing the end of his IPL career.

Pragyan Ojha added: “I think Maxwell’s form is a blessing in disguise for RCB as I feel this might be the last season for AB de Villiers.”

The Royal Challengers will hope that Glen Maxwell continues his form for the remainder of the season as the Virat Kohli-led unit aims to win their maiden title. The South African batsman AB de Villiers is struggling to score in the second leg of IPL 2021 in UAE as scores of 0,12, 11, and 4* indicate so since the tournament restarted.
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