Ajinkya Rahane | Sportzwiki

Ajinkya Rahane

Chris Silverwood, England head coach Getty Image.
Chris Silverwood, England head coach Getty Image.
/

England To Take A Cue From India’s Game Plan Against Australia In Ashes 2021/22: Chris Silverwood

Chris Silverwood, England’s head coach says his team will look to take a cue from India’s game plan, which saw the visitors script a stunning, come-from-behind Test series triumph in Australia earlier this year when they face their traditional rivals in the upcoming Ashes 2021/22.

Down 0-1 after being skittled out for a paltry 36 in the opener, an injury-ravaged India staged an incredible comeback to claim the four-match series in their last Test series in Australia.

Chris Silverwood Getty Images
Chris Silverwood – Getty Images

Chris Silverwood: England Will Be Very Competitive In The Ashes 2021/22 Respecting Australia

Being 1-0 down, losing the services of regular skipper Virat Kohli due to his paternity leave, having lost several key players like Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Hanuma Vihari, Ravichandran Ashwin, KL Rahul, and Ravindra Jadeja due to injuries at various stages of 4 match Test series, a second-string Ajinkya Rahane-led India staged a comeback as they won their second straight Test series on Australian soil.

“I think we’ll be very competitive (in the Ashes). We look at the fact Australia have been very strong over the years and we have to respect them. But we have over the last 6-7 months played the top two teams in the world, learned a hell of a lot,” Chris Silverwood said.

Brisbane Test: India beat Australia by 3 wickets at Gabba to win series 2-1, retain Border-Gavaskar Trophy Image Source : AP IMAGE
Brisbane Test: India beat Australia by 3 wickets at Gabba to win series 2-1, retain Border-Gavaskar Trophy-Image Source: AP IMAGE

“We look at India, how do they go about their business. They’ve shown a game plan that was successful over there and so we will be learning from them. There is a strong belief we can do something very special,” Chris Silverwood was quoted as saying by ‘Cricbuzz’.

India used no fewer than 20 different players during their four-Test series in difficult, hostile conditions. In the 2020/21 Australia series, stand-in captain Ajinkya Rahane set the tone for a dramatic turnaround for the visitors with a match-winning ton in the 2nd Test at Melbourne.

He was the guiding light for the youngsters like Washington Sundar, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Siraj, and T Natarajan who stepped up in the absence of senior injured players and gave their best to outclass the Aussies in their own backyard.

Chris Silverwood: England Has Proven To Compete With India

England is seeking to reclaim the Ashes for the first time since 2015. Chris Silverwood was speaking after naming his 17-man squad for the series which begins in Brisbane on December 8. He also said his team has become battle-hardened having played top sides like India in recent times.

“We are battle-hardened. We had some success along the way and we’ve proven we can compete with India.  The important thing for me is our players have seen what the best in the world look like, they’ve played against it, they’ve felt what it is to have them push against us. We’ve also tasted success against them.”

“Look at the Headingley Test when we came back very strong, which shows that we have got the skills within the ranks to take 20 wickets and push the best. So I see that as a real positive, a real galvaniser to the group, to better handle pressure now that they see it more and more, which is great.”

India vs England (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
India vs England (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Chris Silverwood also said that his coaching staff would study how India’s bowlers operated during their series in Australia. Mohammed Siraj ended the 2020/21 Border Gavaskar Trophy as India’s highest wicket-taker, with 13 wickets in three Tests in his debut Test series.

“We watched how India performed in Australia (last winter) and we tried to learn lessons from them. What we will be doing is looking back over the plans India used and adapting any of those to what our bowling attack is.”

“How do we get the best out of the bowling attack we have got rather than worrying about what we haven’t got. There is nothing we can do about that so it’s pointless. We will be using the skills we have in the best possible way and I do believe that we can make it work.”

In the four matches prior to the canceled Manchester fixture, India had led the series 2-1. The opening Test at Trent Bridge was drawn due to persistent rain on the 5th day before India won the next clash at Lord’s. England inflicted India an innings defeat in the third Test at Headingley but the visitors rallied to win the fourth Test at the Oval.

Danish Kaneria (Getty Images)
Danish Kaneria (Getty Images)
/

Danish Kaneria: BCCI’s Top Brass Won’t Tolerate Indiscipline From Virat Kohli

Danish Kaneria, the former Pakistan spinner shared his thoughts on Virat Kohli’s captaincy tenure coming under the scanner of late. Danish Kaneria expressed his views on his YouTube channel and responded to the rumors of senior players complaining about Virat Kohli’s behavior to the BCCI. Recent rumors have floated around about Virat Kohli’s boorish behavior towards the senior teammates, who have complained to the BCCI secretary Jay Shah.

Reports have suggested that the Indian skipper behaved rudely with Ajinkya Rahane, Ravichandran Ashwin, and Cheteshwar Pujara following the side’s loss in the World Test Championship final.
Danish Kaneria (Image credit: Twitter)
Danish Kaneria (Image credit: Twitter)

Danish Kaneria: Virat Kohli’s Captaincy Is In A Dilemma

Danish Kaneria opined that Virat Kohli’s leadership could be in danger as the BCCI’s top dignitaries demand discipline from every individual. He feels that if the reports have any truths attached to them, Sourav Ganguly will deal with it strongly to ensure such behavior isn’t encouraged in the future.

Danish Kaneria said: “Virat Kohli’s captaincy is in a dilemma because BCCI’s top bosses in Sourav Ganguly and Jay Shah won’t tolerate indiscipline towards anybody. They won’t see if he is a big-ticket player and treat everyone the same way. Unlike Pakistan, where there are such concerns, I don’t think it happens in India because a top-notch cricketer is the BCCI president.”

Virat Kohli in action during the third day of the WTC final against New Zealand. (File)
Virat Kohli was in action during the third day of the WTC final against New Zealand. (File)

Danish Kaneria added: “He (Ganguly) changed Indian cricket and he won’t see different players in different ways. Thus, I trust the BCCI to ensure that in future no player behaves roughly with their teammates.”

Despite rumors of a rift within the dressing room, the Indian team, under Virat Kohli, has delivered compelling performances on the pitch. Their recent outings in Tests against England justified why Virat Kohli is the right man to lead the side. Virat Kohli is India’s most successful captain to date, winning 38 out of 65 Tests he has led. Of those 38, six have come in Australia, England, and South Africa, four in the Caribbean, five in Sri Lanka, and 23 at home.

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 29 times while losing 14 times.

Danish Kaneria: Virat Kohli Needs To Follow The Culture Set By Predecessor Skipper MS Dhoni

Danish Kaneria opined that while aggression is a good trait to have, but it must be controlled while dealing with your countrymen teammates. The 40-year-old former spinner thinks Virat Kohli must take a leaf out of his predecessor MS Dhoni’s book ahead of the World Cup.

Kaneria added: “Virat Kohli’s aggression while captaining is a known thing, but misbehaving with your own players isn’t acceptable. He needs to follow the culture set by MS Dhoni. MS Dhoni dragged the players along with him despite win or loss by backing them. Hence, with the T20 World Cup looming and with Ravichandran Ashwin also part of the squad, Kohli must handle things carefully.”

Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni (Photo:AFP)
Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni (Photo: AFP)

MS Dhoni will join Team India as a mentor for the upcoming T20I World Cup. The retired cricketer is the first and only Indian captain to win the T20I trophy in the inaugural edition in 2007. Fans will hope the Men in Blue break their jinx this year and Virat Kohli ends his T20 captaincy reign with an ICC trophy.

Virat Kohli announced that he will step down as the captain of RCB after IPL 2021 concludes. Virat Kohli had also announced earlier that he will relinquish his India T20I captaincy after the upcoming T20I World Cup to be staged in the UAE and Oman, while MS Dhoni retired as the only captain to win all major ICC trophies (2011 ODI World Cup, 2007 T20 World Cup, and 2013 Champions Trophy).

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

Arun Dhumal Ridicules Rumours: No Complaint About Virat Kohli’s Captaincy

Arun Dhumal, BCCI treasurer claimed that rumours going around that Virat Kohli’s captaincy has been complained about by senior Test cricketers on England tour would only do damage to Indian cricket.

The BCCI is “peeved” over obscure and unsubstantiated media reports doing the rounds lately that certain Team India cricketers complained to BCCI about Virat Kohli. Sections of the media reported this week about Indian cricketers calling BCCI secretary Jay Shah to complain about Virat Kohli and his captaincy, and hence the BCCI decided to step in.

Arun Dhumal
Arun Dhumal, Treasurer of BCCI Photo by: Arjun Singh / Sportzpics for BCCI

Arun Dhumal: Media Must Stop Writing This Rubbish, No Indian Cricketer Made Any Complaint Written Or Verbal To BCCI

The BCCI, once again for the record, revealed that the board had no role to play in all format skipper Virat Kohli resigning as captain of the T20I team as it was the cricketer’s own decision. When he resigned as T20I captain on September 16, certain media reports claimed that Virat Kohli had gone to the selectors and asked that Rohit Sharma be removed as vice-captain of the team.
On September 28, there were reports going around that two senior India cricketers Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane complained to Jay Shah about Virat Kohli’s captaincy. Initially, it was suggested that off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin had gone and spoken to the BCCI top brass over issues with Virat Kohli’s leadership probably since he didn’t feature in any of the 4 Tests against hosts England.

“The media must stop writing this rubbish. Let me say this on the record that no Indian cricketer has made any complaint to the BCCI – written or verbal. The BCCI can’t keep answering every false report that keeps appearing. The other day, we saw some reports saying there will be changes in India’s World Cup squad. Who said that?” BCCI treasurer Arun Dhumal told TOI on Wednesday.

Virat Kohli, Ravichandran Ashwin Photo: © Reuters (Main Image)
Virat Kohli, Ravichandran Ashwin Photo: © Reuters (Main Image)

On September 13, when it was reported that Virat Kohli would step down as India’s white-ball captain, Arun Dhumal had denied the same to the media and said that BCCI had not discussed the matter of split-captaincy. Arun Dhumal was technically right because it wasn’t the BCCI that was discussing the removal of Virat Kohli as white-ball captain.

“Virat himself will make the announcement. He is of the view that he needs to concentrate on his batting and go back to becoming what he’s always been – the best batsman in the world. The decision to quit (white-ball) captaincy is his alone, ” said Arun Dhumal.

Virat Kohli himself made the decision to relinquish T20I captaincy after World Cup’s conclusion. Arun Dhumal’s statement to the media then was also absolutely in line with the said report because, as the treasurer maintained, it wasn’t BCCI’s but Virat Kohli’s decision to step down.

“The media asked me if the BCCI had taken a decision and I said no because that was true – the BCCI had not taken any decision or even discussed it. Eventually, Virat took his own decision and conveyed it to the BCCI and that was his call. Today, the same media is saying players complained to the BCCI. So, on behalf of the board, I can tell you, there have been no complaints. Is there any confusion?” Arun Dhumal further said.

There shouldn’t be any more confusion because even the office of the BCCI secretary is not aware of any such complaint. The BCCI says it finds it extremely intriguing that hours after Virat Kohli resigned as T20 captain, a section of the media seems to know almost everything about the Indian team. But 24 hours before he resigned, nobody had a clue that there were complaints against him.

Virat Kohli Decided To Quit As T20I Captain After World Cup And RCB Skipper After IPL 2021 Concludes

Virat Kohli later spoke with several individuals who hold positions of responsibility in Indian cricket after reports emerged that a few cricketers were unhappy with his captaincy. Every single one of those individuals has denied that players have filed any complaint whatsoever against the current Indian captain, not with the secretary’s office or with any other office within the Board.

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli (Image Credit: Twitter)

“This kind of reporting harms Indian cricket more than anything else. We can understand if senior journalists – who have followed the game for a very long time and tracked it so devotedly – believe the Indian team should do this or do that. That’s an opinion and we respect that. It’s an observation and that’s their job. I myself enjoy reading good reports. But to concoct tales and say this person said this or that person said that, without substantiating it, is not done,” Dhumal further said.

With the BCCI treasurer deciding to put the record straight, it is now clear that the rumours were without any substance. Meanwhile, Virat Kohli has gone on to announce that he will step down from the captaincy of Royal Challengers Bangalore as well at the completion of IPL 2021. The Indian skipper will be leading the T20 side for the final time at the T20 World Cup 2021 in UAE and Oman next month.

/

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.

Ravi Shastri Image Source : AP
Ravi Shastri Image Source : AP
/

Ravi Shastri Defends Book Launch Event

Ravi Shastri has defended his book launch event, saying that anything could have happened from the opening Test match of the series. The Indian cricket team’s camp was hit by COVID-19 last week when Ravi Shastri’s lateral flow test returned positive after day 3 of the 4th Test match. Following him, bowling coach Bharat Arun and fielding coach R Sridhar contracted the infection.

On the eve of the 4th Test, junior physio Yogesh Parmar also tested positive for COVID-19, which led to the cancellation of the 5th Test match, which was to start on September 10. While the source of COVID-19 isn’t known, some are criticizing Shastri for his book launch event as it took place with over 100 people in attendance.

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

Ravi Shastri: The UK Is Open As Anything Could Have Happened From 1st Test

Indian skipper Virat Kohli and other members of Team India were also present at the event. Ravi Shastri, who is in isolation in the UK, has responded to the criticism and defended the book launch event.

“The whole country [United Kingdom] is open. Anything could have happened from Test One,” Shastri was quoted as saying by mid-day.

“It’s been the best summer of cricket England has seen in a long time certainly from an Indian cricket team. It’s Covid times, awesome summer though. The boys were fantastic either side of the Thames.”

Ravi Shastri. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Ravi Shastri. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The cancelled 5th Test match is likely to take place at a rescheduled date as the BCCI said that the two boards will look to find a window for the fixture. Team India is scheduled to play a white-ball series against England next year and the one-off fixture could take place then.

Indian Players Who Feature In IPL Too Joined Their Respective Franchises And serving 6 Day Mandatory Quarantine Period

Meanwhile, the majority of Indian players have joined their IPL franchises in UAE. They are now serving the six-day mandatory isolation period. The 2nd phase of IPL 2021 kicks off on September 19. Ravi Shastri and other COVID-19 positive coaches will land in India after completing their isolation period. They will likely reach UAE for T20 World Cup next month.

The players started departing in clusters — some in charter flights arranged by their franchises like Mumbai Indians and Sunrisers Hyderabad while Chennai Super Kings cricketers took commercial flights. RCB captain Virat Kohli and his premier pacer Mohammed Siraj also took a charter flight from Manchester.

The three Punjab Kings players in the Indian Test side – KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, and Mohammed Shami – are also taking commercial flights out of England. England players in the franchise, none from the Test side, will travel later. As many as six Indian Test players – Rishabh Pant, Ishant Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Prithvi Shaw, Umesh Yadav, and Axar Patel – play for Delhi Capitals. They will join their IPL bubble on Sunday.

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli (Image Credit: Twitter)

The six-day quarantine rule led to some pull-outs. England trio Jonny Bairstow (Sunrisers Hyderabad), Chris Woakes (Delhi Capitals), and Dawid Malan (Punjab Kings) decided to give the IPL second phase a miss. It isn’t known if the three opted out after consulting the English Cricket Board to manage workload. All three are expected to feature in the Ashes series at the year-end.

Ian Chappell
Ian Chappell
/

Ian Chappell Backs Rohit Sharma To Take Up Vice-Captain’s Role

Ian Chappell heaped praise on Virat Kohli’s Indian Test side and also backed Rohit Sharma to take up the vice-captain’s role from Ajinkya Rahane, who didn’t find a place in the Australian’s suggested XI.

Former Australia captain Ian Chappell hailed the Indian Test side for their all-around capabilities and “substantial depth” after they put up yet another outstanding show on an overseas tour under Virat Kohli.

Ian Chappell. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
Ian Chappell. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

Ian Chappell: Undoubtedly India Is A Very Good Team Which Was Proved In Australia And England Tours

The England-India Test series saw the visitors outplay the hosts at Lord’s and The Oval to take an unbeatable 2-1 lead before the fifth and final match was called off in Manchester due to the Covid-19 outbreak in the visiting camp. India was clearly the superior side in the series despite England playing in their home conditions.

Each and every player who got a chance to play for India stood up for the team on one or more occasions to help them take the upper hand which is why the visitors were the favourites to win the series instead of hosts England. Ian Chappell, who has been vocal in his admiration for this Indian team, heaped praise on Virat Kohli’s side once again and also gave his opinion on what could be their best combination, according to him.

“There’s no doubt that India are a very good all-round team. They have conclusively proved it by winning consecutive series in Australia and now having had success in England, albeit Covid-affected, while they are virtually unbeatable at home.

“However, that isn’t to say they can’t improve. That’s how good teams remain at or near the top – by constantly searching for ways to be better,” Chappell wrote in his column for ESPNCricinfo.

Ravichandran Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)

Ian Chappell also urged the Indian selectors to fit in Ravichandran Ashwin and Hardik Pandya in the Test team’s middle order to further improve the balance.

“India’s best combination includes R Ashwin. He is a fine bowler under all conditions, as he proved in Australia, so India needs to find a way to fit him into the XI. In trying to find a balance between the right- and left-hand batters in the middle order at The Oval, they may have inadvertently stumbled on the solution – Ravindra Jadeja at No. 5. “

“The ideal player would be a fully fit Hardik Pandya, but they do have a second choice in Shardul Thakur. That is the great strength of this Indian side. They have substantial depth. Tweaking the Indian middle order to accommodate the skills of Ashwin should be a priority for the selectors. It’s a scary thought for the other Test sides that Virat Kohli’s highly successful team can be improved.”

Ravichandran Ashwin’s absence from the playing XI for the fourth Test was criticized by several experts. Cricket experts and fans were calling for Ravichandran Ashwin’s inclusion in the XI after India lost the third Test by an innings and 76 runs at Headingley but he was ignored for the fourth time on the ongoing tour.

Ian Chappell Backs Rohit Sharma To Take Up Vice Captain’s Role

Ian Chappell also backed Rohit Sharma to take up the vice-captain’s role from Ajinkya Rahane, who didn’t find a place in his suggested XI. Ajinkya Rahane has batted in seven innings in the 4 Tests and managed to score 109 runs at an 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.
“The only downside (of adding Ashwin and Pandya) would be the loss of Ajinkya Rahane’s tactical input and his slip fielding to the spinners. Nevertheless, Rohit Sharma is now an acclaimed captain and he’s capable of handling the vice-captaincy role,” Chappell said.
Rohit Sharma celebrates his century during the fourth Test against England. (Twitter/BCCI)
Rohit Sharma celebrates his century during the fourth Test against England. (Twitter/BCCI)

The Virat Kohli-led side marched to an emphatic 157-run win over England in the 4th Test to take a 2-1 lead in the ongoing five-match series. This was also India’s first win in Oval in 50 years. Rohit Sharma was the highest scorer of the match, amassing an outstanding 127 in the second innings.

Ajinkya Rahane
Ajinkya Rahane
/

Vikram Rathour: Team Management Yet To Arrive At The Point Where Ajinkya Rahane’s Form Should Become A Concern

Vikram Rathour has said the stage has not come yet where the team management starts worrying about the form of the team’s vice-captain. Ajinkya Rahane has been struggling to score runs in the ongoing Test series against England. Though he got a fighting fifty at Lord’s in the second Test, after that knock, the India vice-captain is drawing flak for his lack of runs.

So far, Ajinkya Rahane has batted in seven innings and has managed to score 109 runs at an average of 15.57. On Sunday, 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.

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

Vikram Rathour: Team Management Hasn’t Arrived At The Point Where Ajinkya Rahane’d Form Should Become A Concern

While the dip in Ajinkya Rahane’s form has become one of the talking points of this series, India batting coach Vikram Rathour has said the stage has not come yet where the team management starts worrying about the form of the team’s vice-captain. During the post-match virtual presser, Vikram Rathour was asked if Ajinkya Rahane’s form is a concern.

In reply, he said, “Not at this point.”

“As I said earlier also when you are playing cricket for a long time, you will have phases where you will not get runs. That is the time when we need to support the player as a team. As we saw with Pujara also, he has played a couple of important innings for us. We are hoping Ajinkya will get back into form and still play a major role in the Indian team’s batting. I do not think we have arrived at that point where Rahane’s form should become a concern,” Vikram Rathour further said.

Vikram Rathour- Batting coach - PTI
Vikram Rathour- Batting coach – PTI

“When you are playing such an important series like this one, playing in the conditions which are tough for batting and we are playing against such a disciplined bowling attack, which has been bowling so well, so as a batting unit, the technique is the last thing you should be thinking about. I do not think we are looking at technique right now, there is time to look for it, I do not think mid-series or mid-game is the time for that,” Vikram Rathour added.

Earlier on Sunday, Shardul Thakur (60 of 72) struck his second fifty of the match and shared a hundred-run stand with Rishabh Pant (50 of 106) to put India in a strong position. The visitors posted a mammoth total of 446 in the second innings, setting a 368-run target for England.

Rory Burns And Haseeb Hameed Ensure England Don’t Lose Any Wicket On The Penultimate Day Of The Penultimate Test

In reply, Haseeb Hameed and Rory Burns provided the hosts a solid start. At stumps, England’s score read 77/0, still needing 291 runs for the win with all ten wickets in hand. For the hosts, Rory Burns (31*) and Haseeb Hameed (43*) are at the crease.

Rory Burns, Haseeb Hameed | Photo: England Cricket / ICC
Rory Burns, Haseeb Hameed | Photo: England Cricket / ICC

England is up against a herculean task– chasing down 368 against India at the Oval to go 2-1 up in the series. A century from Rohit Sharma and fifties from Cheteshwar Pujara, Shardul Thakur, and Rishabh Pant in India’s second innings saw India post a strong total of 466, which means that England needs to pull off a record highest run chase at the venue.

With niggles to Mohammed Shami and Ishant Sharma, as captain Virat Kohli had pointed out at the toss, India included Shardul Thakur and Umesh Yadav in the XI which paid rich dividends as both of them had an impact. While Shardul Thakur scored the fifties in both innings, Umesh Yadav picked up 3 scalps in England’s 1st innings.

Suryakumar Yadav or Hanuma Vihari are waiting in the wings and may get a chance in the last Test. Although he is yet to play Tests, Suryakumar Yadav has a compelling record in first-class cricket, scoring 5326 runs in 77 first-class games at 44.01, with 14 tons.

Ravi Shastri Image Source : AP
Ravi Shastri Image Source : AP
/

Ravi Shastri Among 4 Members Of Staff Isolated After He Tests Covid-19 Positive

Ravi Shastri, fielding coach R Sridhar, bowling coach Bharat Arun and physio Nitin Patel have been isolated from the rest of the Indian team after the head coach’s Covid-19 lateral flow test returned positive.

The BCCI Medical Team has isolated Ravi Shastri, Head Coach, Bharat Arun, Bowling Coach, R. Sridhar, Fielding Coach, and Nitin Patel, Physiotherapist as a precautionary measure after Ravi Shastri’s lateral flow test returned positive last evening.

Ravi Shastri. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Ravi Shastri. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Ravi Shastri Among 4 Members Of Staff Isolated After He Tested Covid-19 Positive

They have undergone RT-PCR testing and shall remain in the team hotel and not travel with Team India until confirmation from the medical team. The remaining members of the Team India contingent underwent two Lateral Flow Tests – one last night and another this morning. The members upon returning negative COVID reports were allowed to proceed for Day 4 of the ongoing fourth Test at The Oval.

India Test Team
India Test Team [photo: Twitter]
The players and the rest of the Indian team staff had to undergo 2 lateral flow tests after Ravi Shastri’s positive result. Everybody else returned negative and was cleared for Day 4 of the fourth Test.

India Leads By 199 Runs As Ajinkya Rahane Disappoints Again

India will begin Day 4 with a lead of 171 runs over England after reaching 270 for 3 in their second innings on Saturday thanks to Rohit Sharma (127) and Cheteshwar Pujara’s (61) 153-run partnership for the second wicket which put the visitors in the driver’s seat on Day 3.

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

Bad light brought an early end to play on Saturday — to groans from the crowd, given the state of the match — with India closing on 270/3 and with a lead of 171 runs. India currently leads by 199 runs after being placed at 298/5 losing Ravindra Jadeja and out of form Ajinkya Rahane early. Virat Kohli is batting on 40 with Rishabh Pant giving him company at the other end.

Indian skipper Virat Kohli started well but Chris Woakes soon dismissed Ravindra Jadeja on Day 4 of the ongoing fourth Test match, at The Oval on Sunday. India was placed at 298/5 leading by 199 runs as Ajinkya Rahane, disappointed again as he returned back to the pavilion without troubling the scorers despite playing 8 balls.

 

Michael Vaughan
Michael Vaughan
/

Michael Vaughan Feels Cheteshwar Pujara Has Traits Like Him And Inzamam-ul-Haq

Michael Vaughan, former England skipper feels Cheteshwar Pujara has traits similar to him and the former Pakistan captain Inzamam-Ul-Haq. During Day 3 of the ongoing fourth Test between India and England at the Oval on Saturday, when India was making steady progress with opener Rohit Sharma and Cheteshwar Pujara in the middle of a phenomenal partnership, for a moment, the Indian fans were left worried.
While running at the non-striker’s end for a single, Cheteshwar Pujara twisted his ankle and went down in pain. Cheteshwar Pujara immediately received attention on his ankle, with the Indian physio attending him. After carefully examining it, Cheteshwar Pujara’s ankle was heavily taped up, and fortunately for India, the batsman was up and running and appeared in no discomfort whatsoever there onward.
Cheteshwar Pujara flicks one off this pads Getty Images
Cheteshwar Pujara flicks one-off this pads Getty Images

Michael Vaughan Feels Cheteshwar Pujara Is A Bit Like Him And Inzamam-ul-Haq

Examining the whole episode, Michael Vaughan feels Cheteshwar Pujara has traits similar to him and the former Pakistan captain and great batsman Inzamam-Ul-Haq.

“From knowing Pujara a bit from his time at Yorkshire, he’s a bit like me and I wouldn’t say that fielding is high up on his list of priorities. It’ll be an injury in that ankle that if there’s any prospect of him taking a bit of time off the field, he will take it. There’s a few around who used to be like that, Inzamam is one who comes to mind,” Michael Vaughan said on the BBC Test Match Special.

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

Rohit Sharma and Cheteshwar Pujara were dismissed in the same over by Ollie Robinson soon after the pair brought up their 150-ruin stand. While Rohit Sharma fell to a pull shot on 127, Cheteshwar Pujara was caught in the slips for 61. Rohit Sharma hit a massive six-over long-on off Moeen Ali to get his first-ever Test century outside India. It also happened to be his 8th career century in the longest format.

Michael Vaughan Feels There Was A Lack Of Intent And Variety From England Bowlers

India strengthened their grip on the Oval Test, ending the day on 270/3, with a lead of 171 runs. The star of the day was Rohit Sharma, who peeled off his 8th Test century, first away from home. With Cheteshwar Pujara and Rohit Sharma striking a partnership of 153 runs, Michael Vaughan felt there was a little lack of intent and variety from the England bowlers.

“It just feels that this England attack is very similar. It’s a concern when the ball’s not moving around that much as a batter you can’t get used to it. Everything’s almost the same pace. There isn’t a go-to bowler to rough Pujara up,” Vaughan added.

Michael Vaughan (Image Credit: Twitter)
Michael Vaughan (Image Credit: Twitter)
“I’m just staggered. There’s so much experience in this England team, how they haven’t noticed the need to bowl shorter deliveries before now to both batsmen. I don’t think I’ve seen Ollie Robinson bowl a single bouncer in this match yet, he’s had Rohit out twice in this series with the short ball.”
India concluded a brilliant Day 3 at 270-3 (lead of 171 runs) with Virat Kohli looking solid at 22 off 37 alongside Ravindra Jadeja and with three more capable batsmen yet to come. India will look to bat out the first hour against the new ball and then unleash an all-out attack until the tea break with Virat Kohli, Ravindra Jadeja, Ajinkya Rahane, and Rishabh Pant capable of scoring briskly.
Cheteshwar Pujara wasn’t in form after failures against New Zealand (WTC Final, average 11.5) and at home against England (average 22.17). But this series, he is batting more positively as evident from his 91 at Headingley (Strike Rate 48.15) and 61 at Oval (Strike Rate 48.03). He has managed 227 runs so far averaging 32.43.
Danish Kaneria (Getty Images)
Danish Kaneria (Getty Images)
/

Danish Kaneria Don’t Understand Why India Is Saving Out Of Form Ajinkya Rahane Who Should’ve Been Replaced

Danish Kaneria, the former Pakistan leg-spinner was baffled by India’s decision to demote Ajinkya Rahane to No.6. The Indian Test vice-captain hasn’t been in the best of form and has struggled to score consistently.

Danish Kaneria feels the Indian team management is trying to shield Ajinkya Rahane by sending Ravindra Jadeja to bat at No.5. He reckons someone like Suryakumar Yadav or Hanuma Vihari should have got the chance ahead of the out-of-form Ajinkya Rahane.

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

Danish Kaneria Don’t Understand Why India Is Saving Ajinkya Rahane

In a video on his YouTube channel, Danish Kaneria explained how the move to demote Ajinkya Rahane sends out the wrong message to the opposition. The Indian middle-order batsman Ajinkya Rahane has managed only one half-century in the series against England.

“I don’t understand why they are saving Ajinkya Rahane. If he isn’t able to perform in this innings then let the gates open for Suryakumar Yadav or Hanuma Vihari. Rahane is not in form and he doesn’t know where his off-stump is. If you know a player isn’t in form then you should have replaced him. A message goes to the opposition that you are saving the batsman,” Danish Kaneria stated.

Danish Kaneria (Image credit: Twitter)
Danish Kaneria (Image credit: Twitter)

Suryakumar Yadav and Hanuma Vihari are waiting in the wings and should get a chance according to Danish Kaneria. Although he is yet to play Tests, Suryakumar Yadav has a compelling record in first-class cricket, scoring 5326 runs in 77 first-class games at 44.01, with 14 tons.

Hanuma Vihari’s last innings for India was a heroic 161-ball 23 which helped India draw the Test match against Australia in Sydney. He made his Test debut for India in September 2018 and has featured in 12 Tests, 93 first-class games, 80 List A, and 74 T20 games.

Danish Kaneria Enjoyed The Way Rohit Sharma Batted

Rohit Sharma was the star man for India on Day 3 as he scored his maiden overseas Test hundred. Danish Kaneria was impressed with the application that the Indian opener showed in conditions that weren’t easy to bat on. Danish Kaneria believes India’s opening stand of 83 was crucial in them getting a good lead so far. He reckons India can post a huge target if they bat well on Day 4.

“I really enjoyed the way Rohit Sharma batted, the way he fought out in the first session. The elegance, class, focus and determination were there and India really needed such partnership from their openers. This is how you score in England and it was fantastic to see him bat,” Danish Kaneria concluded.

Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma. Image Credits: Twitter

The first session will be crucial on Day 4 as India looks to push on and add to their lead, while England will look to trigger a batting collapse. Bad light stopped play at The Oval with India ahead by 171 runs. India ended the day at 270/3, with Rohit Sharma and Cheteshwar Pujara scoring 127 and 61, respectively.

Virat Kohli and Ravindra Jadeja will resume India’s innings on Day 4. Rohit Sharma and Cheteshwar Pujara were dismissed in the same over by Ollie Robinson soon after the pair brought up their 150-run stand.

While Rohit Sharma fell to a pull shot on 127, Cheteshwar Pujara was caught in the slips for 61. Rohit Sharma hit a massive six-over long-on off Moeen Ali to get his first-ever Test century outside India. It also happened to be his 8th career century in the longest format. India concluded a brilliant Day 3 at 270-3 (lead of 171 runs) with Virat Kohli looking solid at 22 off 37 alongside Ravindra Jadeja and with three more capable batsmen yet to come.

1 2 3 75