Ambati Rayudu Age, Biography, career, stats, networth, Ranking & News

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Chetan Sakariya IPL
Chetan Sakariya IPL
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Chetan Sakariya’s Father Succumbs To COVID-19

Chetan Sakariya’s father Kanjibhai Sakariya passed away at a hospital in Gujarat’s Bhavnagar after it was reported a day ago that the cricketer visited his father at the hospital.

Young Saurashtra pacer Chetan Sakariya’s father Kanjibhai Sakariya died due to COVID-19 at a hospital in Bhavnagar on Sunday. He was 42 and was battling the infection for the past few days.

Chetan Sakariya Photo Credit: (IPL)
Chetan Sakariya Photo Credit: (IPL)

Chetan Sakariya’s Father Succumbs To Covid-19

The 22-year-old Chetan Sakariya played for the Rajasthan Royals in this year’s IPL, which was indefinitely suspended due to the outbreak of COVID-19 cases in its bio-bubble on May 4. The left-arm pacer has played 15 first-class matches for Saurashtra, in which he has picked 41 wickets.

Chetan Sakariya of Rajasthan Royals
Chetan Sakariya of Rajasthan Royals during match 4 of the IPL 2021 against Punjab Kings held at the Wankhede Stadium Mumbai on the 12th April 2021. Image Credit: Sportzpics

The Saurashtra Cricket Association condoled the demise, saying “Everyone at Saurashtra Cricket Association is deeply saddened on the sad demise of cricketer Chetan Sakariya’s father.”

“Saurashtra Cricket Association conveys heartfelt condolences to Chetan and prays to the Almighty to give enough strength to everyone in his family to bear the loss and grant eternal peace to the departed noble soul,” the cricket body said in a brief statement.

The pacer from Saurashtra performed remarkably well in his maiden IPL season after he was bought by Rajasthan Royals for INR 1.20 Cr during the player auction ahead of the IPL 2021.

The pacer also picked the scalps of KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Jhye Richardson, Nitish Rana besides the CSK trio of MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina, and Ambati Rayudu. He has 7 scalps bowling 27 overs averaging 31.71 at a strike rate of 23.14 and economy of 8.22.

Rajasthan Royals Also Condoled Chetan Sakariya’s Father’s Demise

The youngster will be coming into IPL 2021 on the back of some impressive performances in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy and Vijay Hazare Trophy. He picked 7 scalps in as many games averaging 31.71. Rajasthan Royals also condoled his father’s demise.

Chetan Sakariya (left) with his late brother Rahul, who passed away last month
Chetan Sakariya (left) with his late brother Rahul, who passed away last month

“It pains us so much to confirm that Mr. Kanjibhai Sakariya lost his battle with COVID-19 earlier today. We’re in touch with Chetan and will provide all possible support to him and his family in this difficult time,” the franchise tweeted.

On the day he became a crorepati within a few minutes of intense bidding at the IPL 2021 auction, Rajasthan Royals’ new signing, Chetan Sakariya, had one regret. Just last month, he had lost his younger brother, who he was very close to.

RR pacer Chetan Sakariya met CSK skipper MS Dhoni after the match.
RR pacer Chetan Sakariya met CSK skipper MS Dhoni after the match.
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Chetan Sakariya Felt Picking MS Dhoni’s Wicket Was Unreal

Chetan Sakariya, the latest pace sensation of Rajasthan Royals felt scalping the prized wicket of the CSK skipper MS Dhoni was something ‘unreal’. He admitted that MS Dhoni’s wicket was his favourite out of the 7 wickets he pocketed in as many matches.

The Indian Premier League has been acting as the launchpad for young cricketing talents. This year, the tournament came to an abrupt halt as the rising cases of Covid-19 in its bio bubbles forced the organizers of the league to suspend it indefinitely. But before that, the league introduced a fresh pace talent called Chetan Sakariya.

Chetan Sakariya Photo Credit: (IPL)
Chetan Sakariya Photo Credit: (IPL)

Chetan Sakariya Admits MS Dhoni’s Wicket Was His Favourite And It Felt Unreal As He Was Happily Shocked

The Rajasthan Royals’ left-arm quick was one of the highlights of the season. Despite a loose start, Chetan Sakariya hogged the limelight in match no. 12, against Chennai Super Kings.

The 23-year-old dismissed the likes of veteran experienced CSK batsmen Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, and MS Dhoni and became the star of the night despite his team losing the encounter. In a conversation with Sportstar, the newcomer admitted that MS Dhoni’s wicket was his favourite out of the 7 wickets he pocketed in as many matches.

“Dhoni’s wicket was my favourite. I was happily shocked. It felt unreal. If you see the video, you will know how shocked I was,” Sakariya told Sportstar.

MS Dhoni (BCCI/IPL)
MS Dhoni (BCCI/IPL)

Chetan Sakariya also spoke about the pressure of playing in IPL for the first time. He explained how bowling against some of the great batsmen helped him gain confidence.

“Initially, I felt the pressure but later on, I handled that. I bowled a few good spells to some great batsmen. I never thought I would bowl to them someday. That gave me a lot of confidence. I think I bowled better than I thought I would. I have to improve but I am happy with my performance,” he said.

The pacer from Saurashtra did reasonably well in his maiden IPL season after he was bought by Rajasthan Royals for INR 1.20 Cr during the player auction ahead of the IPL 2021. The youngster came into this year’s IPL on the brink of some impressive performances in the recently concluded domestic tournaments- Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy and Vijay Hazare Trophy and made a mark for RR.

Chetan Sakariya: Mustafizur Rahaman Is A Good Reader Of The Wicket While Jos Buttler Asked Not To Bowl A Loose Delivery

During his stint with the Rajasthan Royals, pacer Chetan Sakariya shared the dressing room with senior players like England’s wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler and Bangladesh pacer Mustafizur Rahman.

Speaking about the inputs he received from them, he said, “Mustafizur is a good reader of the wicket. He will tell you when to bowl your slower delivery. He knows how to unsettle the rhythm of a batsman.”

Rajasthan Royals batsman Jos Buttler in action | Sportzpics for BCCI / Pankaj Nangia
Rajasthan Royals batsman Jos Buttler in action | Sportzpics for BCCI / Pankaj Nangia

“Buttler, though a batsman, told me a lot about bowling in the Powerplay. He would stand beside me when I bowled during the practice games. He told me to stick to the length and not worry about conceding a boundary. It’s just that there should not be a single loose delivery,” he said.

Chetan Sakasriya also picked the scalps of KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Jhye Richardson, Nitish Rana besides the CSK trio of MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina and Ambati Rayudu. He has 7 scalps bowling 27 overs averaging 31.71 at a strike rate of 23.14 and economy of 8.22.

As soon he reached his home at Vartej in Bhavnagar district, Gujarat, medium-pacer Chetan Sakariya wore his PPE kit and rushed to a nearby hospital where his father Kanjibhai has been admitted after testing positive for Covid-19. Chetan Sakariya had got a call last week that his father had tested positive and was admitted to the hospital.

A few months ago, on the day he became a crorepati at the IPL 2021 auction, he had one regret. Just months before that, he had lost his younger brother, who he was very close to. He says that the unexpected windfall of Rs 1.20 crore will change his life but he feels an emptiness inside due to his brother’s demise.

Mumbai Indians' Kieron Pollard after playing a match-winning knock against Chennai Super Kings in their IPL 2021 match. Sportzpics for IPL
Mumbai Indians' Kieron Pollard after playing a match-winning knock against Chennai Super Kings in their IPL 2021 match. Sportzpics for IPL
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IPL 2021: Stephen Fleming Explains The Reason Behind Spread Out Field To Stop Kieron Pollard

Stephen Fleming, Chennai Super Kings (CSK) head coach has said that there was a reason why CSK skipper MS Dhoni kept a spread-out field on the last ball against Mumbai Indians batsman Kieron Pollard even though Mumbai Indians (MI) needing just two runs to win.

Stephen Fleming suggested that CSK was wary of Kieron Pollard’s big-hitting prowess, so there were fielders stationed at the boundary. Kieron Pollard scored a swashbuckling unbeaten 87 off only 34 balls, hitting six fours and eight maximums, as MI overhauled a stiff 219-run target off the last ball to produce their highest successful chase in IPL history.

Kieron Pollard
Kieron Pollard. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

Stephen Fleming: Kieron Pollard Is A Good Timer Of The Ball And CSK Was Unsure Of What He Will Do Next

Defying conventional wisdom, MS Dhoni kept most of his fielders outside the 30-yeard circle on the last ball. Pacer Lungi Ngidi bowled a sharp yorker, which elicited a grounded hit to long-on from Kieron Pollard. The deep fielder made a fine effort but couldn’t stop the batting pair from completing two runs and seal the win for MI.

Addressing the post-match press conference, coach Stephen Fleming said that he was not surprised to see a spread field, as CSK was looking for a lucky run-out or a 2019 IPL final-like finish to win the game.

Stephen Fleming and MS Dhoni (Photo Source: Twitter)
Stephen Fleming and MS Dhoni (Photo Source: Twitter)

“Not really (if he was surprised to see the field). Pollard is such a good timer of the ball that you never know what he’s going to do. Got so much to win, to be honest, we were looking for something like the stumps being hit or like the result we had when we got beaten in the (2019) final.

“So we’ll go have a look over that. I think there are a lot of other instances that we’ll have a look at rather than just the last ball,” said Stephen Fleming.

In a similar match situation in the summit clash of IPL 2019, MI’s veteran pacer yorker specialist Lasith Malinga bowled a slow, dipping yorker to dismiss Shardul Thakur off the last ball to seal his team’s title with a one-run win.

Stephen Fleming explained that as Kieron Pollard was in such good touch, having already hit 6 fours and 8 sixes in his knock, they thought he would once again go for the big hit; or maybe hit the stumps – as in the 2019 IPL final.

Rohit Sharma Rates Kieron Pollard’s Innings One Of The Best Ever

Rohit Sharma was all praise for Kieron Pollard after MI’s stunning way, rating the big West Indian’s knock one the best he has ever seen.

“I have never seen a chase like that before. One of the best innings from Polly. Brilliant to see that from the outside. Very proud of the efforts the boys put in,” said Sharma in the post-match presentation.

Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma. Photo Credit: IPL/BCCI.

Kieron Pollard not only shone with the bat but also picked up two crucial wickets – Suresh Raina and Faf du Plessis – in the middle overs to return with figures of 2/12. Unsurprisingly, the MI all-rounder was deservingly awarded the Player of the Match for his fabulous all-round performance.

Kieron Pollard hit nearly everything that was bowled at him on Saturday as he hit 8 sixes and 6 boundaries to pull off one of the most spectacular chases in the IPL history. CSK’s Ambati Rayudu hit 7 sixes for his 27-ball 62 not after hitting his fifty in just 20 balls but it went in vain as CSK lost despite scoring 218/4.

For CSK, opener Faf du Plessis scored 50 off 28 balls and Moeen Ali scored 58 off 36 balls besides Ambati Rayudu who scored 72 in a mere 27 balls and remained unbeaten. For MI, Quinton de Kock, Rohit Sharma, and Krunal Pandya scored in excess of 30 but Kieron Pollard’s unbeaten 87 off 34 balls turned the match in MI’s favour.

Brief Scores:  Mumbai Indians: 219/6 (Kieron Pollard 87*, Quinton de Kock 38; Sam Curran 3-34) beat Chennai Super Kings: 218/4 (Ambati Rayudu 72, Moeen Ali 58; Kieron Pollard 2-12) by 4 wickets.

Kieron Pollard
Hyderabad: Mumbai Indians' Kieron Pollard during the Final match of IPL 2019 between Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians at Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad, on May 12, 2019. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)
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Kieron Pollard Thanks Almighty For Giving Him The Strength After Faf du Plessis Dropped Him On 68

Kieron Pollard thanked ‘almighty’ for giving him strength after starring in Mumbai Indians’ record-breaking 219-run chase against Chennai Super Kings in Delhi on Friday. He said that he was fortunate as Faf du Plessis dropped him on 68 during MI’s innings.

A delighted Kieron Pollard thanked the almighty, saying he was fortunate enough that Faf du Plessis gave him another chance to complete the record 219-run chase for Mumbai Indians by dropping him in Delhi. He hoped that back-to-back wins will help MI retain the momentum at the midway of the league stage of IPL 2021.

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

Kieron Pollard Thanks Almighty For Giving Him Strength

Kieron Pollard singlehandedly powered Mumbai Indians to an astonishing four-wicket win over Chennai Super Kings, belting the ongoing IPL’s fastest half-century. Notably, Faf du Plessis, with one of the safest hands manning the boundary, dropped him at long-on off the penultimate ball of the 18th over, when the MI all-rounder was batting on 68.

“First of all, I want to thank the almighty for watching over me and giving me the strength. So, yeah, started to bowl [laughs]. Obviously being a small ground, we thought it was the best time for the seamer to bowl,” Kieron Pollard said in the post-match presentation ceremony.

Faf du Plessis (Image Credit: Twitter)
Faf du Plessis (Image Credit: Twitter)

Faf du Plessis dropped Kieron Pollard on 68 and that proved to be the turning point for Chennai Super Kings whose 5-match winning run came to an end.

Kieron Pollard Is Maximizing Hitting Through Off Side And Hopes 2 Wins In The Last 2 Games Will Give MI The Necessary Momentum

Kieron Pollard targetted the spinners on the small ground and wanted to hit as many sixes against Ravindra Jadeja. He conceded that bowlers bowl wide in the nets and hence, gain practice from it. At one stage, Mumbai was struggling at 81/3, but all-rounder Kieron Pollard turned the tables with his power-hitting at the Arun Jaitley Stadium’s batting paradise.

“They have four overs of spin on a small ground and I looked to hit some sixes against spin. I had to maximize that over from Jadeja. That would always keep us in the game. Each and every time as an individual you have to evolve. Guys bowl wide and a lot of practice goes into it,” Kieron Pollard added.

“I can’t say I’m 360, but I’m maximizing it [hitting through the off side]. I was fortunate Faf gave me the chance. Good wicket, but the bowlers didn’t do well for us. It was about time the batting stood out. Two wins in the last two games hopefully gives us the momentum into the back end of the tournament,” Pollard further said.

Ambati Rayudu
Ambati Rayudu (BCCI Photo)

Ambati Rayudu’s 72 went in vain as MS Dhoni’s men suffered a heartbreak. Middle-order batsman Ambati Rayudu came up with one of the finest big-hitting displays to propel the 3-time champions to 218 after it looked like CSK would be restricted to less than 180 runs. Ambati Rayudu hit 7 sixes for his 27-ball 62 not after hitting his fifty in just 20 balls. He took the aggressor’s role in his 102-run unbeaten stand with Ravindra Jadeja that came in just 48 balls.

Kieron Pollard was the unanimous choice for MOM for his valiant 87* and 2/12 as he took Faf Du Plessis and Suresh Raina’s wicket besides the valiant knock.

Kieron Pollard hit nearly everything that was bowled at him on Saturday as he hit 8 sixes and 6 boundaries to pull off one of the most spectacular chases in the IPL history. His blitz ensured Mumbai Indians complete the highest successful chase on Indian soil in the tournament. Kieron Pollard denied singles in the final over and backed himself to get the required 16 runs and he did so in emphatic style.

Brief Scores:  Mumbai Indians: 219/6 (Kieron Pollard 87*, Quinton de Kock 38; Sam Curran 3-34) beat Chennai Super Kings: 218/4 (Ambati Rayudu 72, Moeen Ali 58; Kieron Pollard 2-12) by 4 wickets.

Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Instagram
Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Instagram
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IPL 2021: Kieron Pollard’s Whirlwind 87-Run Knock Left Hardik Pandya Speechless

Kieron Pollard on Friday showcased why he is regarded as one of the most dangerous players in T20 cricket. Chasing 219 against Chennai Super Kings, Kieron Pollard smashed an unbeaten 87 runs in a mere 34 balls as he helped Mumbai Indians to script a thrilling four-wicket win on the final ball.

Mumbai Indians needed 16 to win in the final over, and despite two dot balls from CSK pacer Lungi Ngidi, Kieron Pollard took his team to a win.

Kieron Pollard
Mumbai Indians’ Kieron Pollard. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)

Kieron Pollard’s Inspirational Innings Left Hardik Pandya Speechless

Speaking after the match, MI allrounder Hardik Pandya described his performance as “inspirational” and said he was left speechless.

“After winning this sort of a game you got to be pumped for the rest of the night I guess. When he (Pollard) does something like this you are genuinely speechless,” Pandya said after the match on Star Sports.

Hardik Pandya celebrates the win with Kieron Pollard. (IPL)
Hardik Pandya celebrates the win with Kieron Pollard. (IPL)

“The best part was he has done it over the years again and again. Bloody… Fantastic. I mean I will say inspirational to watch someone do it consistently and on his day do something this amazing. I would have loved to finish the game, but us winning the game was more important. 210 (218)… the game can’t get better than this. Especially for me when you are chasing something like this you don’t have to think much. You bloody go and swing,” Pandya added.

“I feel we have arrived at the right time of the tournament now. I feel for us this game was very important This momentum is going to help us do wonders I think. Again special mention to Polly, I am just very proud of him,” he signed off.

Kieron Pollard played a blinder as Mumbai Indians completed the second-highest chase in the history of IPL, gunning down 219 to stop Chennai Super Kings’ winning run. Ambati Rayudu’s 72 went in vain as MS Dhoni’s men suffered a heartbreak.

Kieron Pollard Played A Gem Of An Innings Hitting 8 Sixes And 6 Fours As Ambati Rayudu’s Late Attack Goes In Vain

Kieron Pollard hit nearly everything that was bowled at him on Saturday as he hit 8 sixes and 6 boundaries to pull off one of the most spectacular chases in the IPL history. His blitz ensured Mumbai Indians complete the highest successful chase on Indian soil in the tournament.

Kieron Pollard denied singles in the final over and backed himself to get the required 16 runs and he did so in emphatic style. Faf du Plessis dropped him on 68 and that proved to be the turning point for Chennai Super Kings whose 5-match winning run came to an end.

Rohit Sharma and Quinton de Kock had earlier given Mumbai Indians a fine start, stitching a 71-run stand in just 7.4 overs. Mumbai Indians lost quick wickets as they went from 71 for 0 to 81 for 3, losing both their openers and Suryakyumar Yadav in quick succession.

Ambati Rayudu
Ambati Rayudu (BCCI Photo)

Earlier in the day, Chennai Super Kings never took their foot off the pedal after being sent into bat by Rohit Sharma who won the toss. They lost Ruturaj Gaikwad early but Moeen Ali and Faf du Plessis counter-attacked, taking the attack to the like of Jasprit Bumrah and Dhawal Kulkarni in the powerplay.

Faf Du Plessis and Moeen Ali added 108 runs in just 61 balls as the Super Kings raced past the 100-run mark in the 11th over. The duo hit 9 sixes and 7 boundaries before Jasprit Bumrah snapped the partnership with a slower ball.

Just when it looked like CSK would be restricted to less than 180 runs on board, middle-order batsman Ambati Rayudu came up with one of the finest big-hitting displays to propel the 3-time champions to 218. Ambati Rayudu hit 7 sixes for his 27-ball 62 not after hitting his fifty in just 20 balls. He took the aggressor’s role in his 102-run unbeaten stand that came in just 42 balls.

Kieron Pollard was the unanimous choice for MOM for his valiant 87* and 2/12 as he took Faf Du Plessis and Suresh Raina’s wicket besides scoring an entertaining knock.

Brief Scores:  Mumbai Indians: 219/6 (Kieron Pollard 87*, Quinton de Kock 38; Sam Curran 3-34) beat Chennai Super Kings: 218/4 (Ambati Rayudu 72, Moeen Ali 58; Kieron Pollard 2-12) by 4 wickets.

RR pacer Chetan Sakariya met CSK skipper MS Dhoni after the match.
RR pacer Chetan Sakariya met CSK skipper MS Dhoni after the match.
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Chetan Sakariya In Awe Of MS Dhoni After Meeting Him

Chetan Sakariya, Rajasthan Royals (RR) young pacer was left in awe of Chennai Super Kings (CSK) skipper MS Dhoni after meeting the legendary cricketer after the match on Monday.

MS Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings (CSK) registered their second successive win in Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 with a comprehensive win against Sanju Samson-led Rajasthan Royals (RR).

Chetan Sakariya Photo Credit: (IPL)
Chetan Sakariya Photo Credit: (IPL)

Chetan Sakariya Admired MS Dhoni And Finally Got An Opportunity To Play With Him And He Will Cherish The Best Moment Of His Life

Continuing the trend from the last few years, CSK captain MS Dhoni spent considerable time with youngsters after every match, sharing inputs that would help them to become better cricketers. Royals’ in-form pacer Chetan Sakariya met the Ranchi superstar after the match on Monday. Chetan Sakariya has been one of the finds of the tournament this season as he has bagged wickets regularly for the Royals in the last three games.

The Saurashtra left-arm seamer has picked up useful wickets since making his IPL debut this year. Like most aspiring Indian cricketers, Sakariya too had a dream to playing alongside CSK skipper MS Dhoni. After the match, he got the opportunity to take a picture with the CSK captain in the frame. Chetan Sakariya who was bought by Rajasthan Royals for Rs 1.2 crore,  picked up three wickets and conceded 36 runs in his quota of four overs.

Sharing his admiration for Dhoni, Sakariya wrote on Instagram, “I admire you since I was a child and today I got the opportunity to play with you, it was the best moment of my life and I will cherish it forever. There won’t be anyone like you ever. Thanks a lot for inspiring all of us throughout the career.”

Suresh Raina
Suresh Raina (Image Credit: Twitter)

Chetan Sakariya was the pick of the bowlers for the Royals with three wickets to his name including that of MS Dhoni. The left-arm speedster had earlier removed Suresh Raina and Ambati Rayudu. The Royals pacer continued to impress in IPL’s 14th edition and he has now picked six wickets from three matches.

MS Dhoni Praised Sam Curran But Admits CSK Shouldh’ve Scored More Runs

Batting first, CSK once again put a challenging 188 runs on board. In reply, the Royals kept losing wickets at regular intervals as Jos Buttler (49 off 35) fought a lone battle. CSK was on top once he was bowled by Ravindra Jadeja in the 12th over of the Royals’ chase. Despite a 45-run win over RR, MS Dhoni said CSK should have scored more runs.

“I always look at what’s the best at that point in time. I felt Sam bowled really well and Deepak I think he tried the knuckleball too much and felt that a good start (with the ball) was important. It was spinning a bit. I don’t really mind Jos (Buttler) playing the reverse where it’s turning a bit. It’s important to have that sixth bowler, it always helps and it was stopping a bit for spinners. There was slightly less dew than the usual,” Dhoni said at the post-match presentation.

MS Dhoni (BCCI/IPL)
MS Dhoni (BCCI/IPL)

“I felt we should have scored more and try to get as many as possible. A lot has changed over the years and right from the start we kept a very good atmosphere and a lot of the bowlers were under the pump last year but this time they are enjoying bowling on these wickets.”

Ravindra Jadeja and Moeen Ali rocked the Rajasthan Royals (RR)  batting line-up with five wickets in less than four overs as they dismissed the likes of David Miller, Jos Buttler, Riyan Parag, Shivam Dube, and Chris Morris to jolt the RR run-chase to win by 45 runs. MOM Moeen Ali starred with the ball having figures of 3/7 while Ravindra Jadeja grabbed 4 catches, adding to his two crucial breakthroughs that powered CSK to a comprehensive win over RR.

Brief Scores: Chennai Super Kings 188/9 (Faf du Plessis 33, Ambati Rayudu 27; Chetan Sakariya 3/36) beat Rajasthan Royals 143/9 (Jos Buttler 49, Jaydev Unadkat 24; Moeen Ali 3/7) by 45 runs.

Rishabh Pant, MS Dhoni
Rishabh Pant, MS Dhoni
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It Will Be Extra Special To Walk Out For The Toss With MS Dhoni, Says Rishabh Pant

Rishabh Pant will be making his captaincy debut in IPL 2021 as he leads his franchise Delhi Capitals against Chennai Super Kings on April 10.

As Delhi Capitals gear up to open their IPL campaign against Chennai Super Kings on Saturday, skipper Rishabh Pant is looking forward to leading the team for the first time and said it will be “extra special to walk out for the toss with MS Dhoni”.

Rishabh Pant will lead Delhi Capitals. Photo: BCCI
Rishabh Pant will lead Delhi Capitals. Photo: BCCI

Rishabh Pant On Toss With MS Dhoni:

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) had a forgettable campaign in IPL 2020, as the franchise finished 7th in the points table and didn’t qualify for the first time for playoffs in IPL history.  MS Dhoni himself who continued to play for CSK after retirement scored exactly 200 runs in 14 matches at a below-par average of 25 in IPL 2020.

“It will be extra special to walk out for the toss with MS Dhoni tomorrow.  I have learned a lot from him, and I have gained a lot of experience from him. Hopefully, I can use this experience against him, and we can win this match. That’s what I am looking forward to,” Rishabh Pant said in a statement.

MS Dhoni (BCCI/IPL)
MS Dhoni (BCCI/IPL)

Rishabh Pant added that the Delhi Capitals squad, for the IPL 2021, has a great mix of experience and youth.

“I have been talking to the senior players like Dhawan, Ashwin, and Rahane about the fields we can set and other strategic decisions for the team. I have been talking to Ricky and our bowling coach James Hopes as well. There’s a good mix of seniors and juniors in our squad and I think with the help of Ricky, we can do something different this year,” the skipper said.

Rishabh Pant expressed that he is just looking to keep things simple in his first match as skipper in the IPL.

“I haven’t thought about the fact that it’s my first match as captain in the IPL. I am just going to keep things simple and give my 100 percent. You get a good idea about setting fields as a wicketkeeper and now as captain, I will be making the changes in the field directly. So, there’s not going to be much of a difference for me,” said Rishabh Pant.

CSK spent big on acquiring the services of Moeen Ali and uncapped off-spinner Krishnappa Gowtham. Test specialist batsman Cheteshwar Pujara who announced his desire to play limited-overs T20 cricket again was also acquired. Delhi acquired the likes of Steve Smith, Sam Billings, and Umesh Yadav.

Ricky Ponting: Need To Approach 1st Game With Right Attitude

Runners-up in IPL 2020, Delhi Capitals will look to lift the trophy this time. Speaking ahead of their opening match, head coach Ricky Ponting said the team wants to build on last year’s performance and approach the opening game with the “right attitude”.

“The CSK have got a good squad of players and they’ve got lots of flexibility and a lot of options. But we’ve got a great squad as well and we want to build on last season.

“I have said to the boys that it’s not about last season, but there are a lot of positives that we can take from the way we have played in the last couple of seasons. “

“Although we’ve got a slightly different squad, we expect to play better as a group and achieve some better results. So, for us, CSK is just game one. We need to approach it with the right attitude and play well.

“Hopefully, win that game and move onto the second game. But we know that we’ll have to play well to win,” Ponting said.

Ricky Ponting is looking forward to working with Rishabh Pant. [Source: The SportsRush]
Ricky Ponting is looking forward to working with Rishabh Pant. [Source: Twitter]
The former Australia captain added that Suresh Raina, who missed the last season, will make a big difference to the CSK outfit this year.

He said: “The Chennai Super Kings have been one of the most successful teams in the history of the IPL. They have got a great leader and a great squad of players. They have always managed to play consistent cricket.”

“Last year, they were probably disappointed with the way their season worked out, but I think a lot of that had to do with the fact that Suresh Raina wasn’t there for the entire tournament. He comes back to the squad this year, which is almost like a new recruit for them.”

IPL’s second-highest run-scorer Suresh Raina has 5368 runs in 193 matches at an average of 33.34. He will bat in the top of the order for CSK along with Ambati Rayudu in IPL 2021. Ricky Ponting further stated that all players are hungry to perform and are ready for another challenge in the IPL.

Delhi Capitals Probable XI: Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan, Steve Smith/ Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant (c & wk), Marcus Stoinis, Shimron Hetmyer, Axar Patel/ Amit Mishra, Chris Woakes/ Kagiso Rabada/ Anrich Nortje, Ravichandran Ashwin, Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma

CSK Probable XI: Faf Du Plessis, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni (c and wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Moeen Ali/ Dwayne Bravo, Sam Curran, Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar, Lungi Ngidi/ Imran Tahir.

MS Dhoni (BCCI/IPL)
MS Dhoni (BCCI/IPL)
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MS Dhoni, Ambati Rayudu Arrives In Chennai For IPL 2021 Training Camp

MS Dhoni arrived in Chennai on March 3 as 3-time IPL winners Chennai Super Kings are set to begin preparations for the new season of the Indian Premier League beginning tentatively on 11th April. Batting mainstay Ambati Rayudu will join captain MS Dhoni and a few other domestic stars at a training camp.

Former India captain and World Cup winner MS Dhoni was spotted arriving at the Chennai airport on Wednesday. The Chennai Super Kings captain is all set to lead a training camp for the 3-time champions in the lead-up to Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021.

MS Dhoni has led the Chennai Super Kings to three IPL titles five runners-up positions. (Source: File)MS Dhoni has led the Chennai Super Kings to three IPL titles five runners-up positions. (Source: File)

MS Dhoni Will Lead A Training Camp For Chennai Super Kings From 2nd Week Of March While Ambati Rayudu Was The First To Reach Chennai

MS Dhoni was sporting a white t-shirt and a face mask as he was seen sporting a smile while making his way out of the airport. Chennai Super Kings took to social media to welcome their captain for the new season.

Notably, senior batsman, Ambati Rayudu was the first to reach Chennai and he will join hands with his captain along with a few other domestic stars this week in the south Indian city.

Ambati Rayudu
Ambati Rayudu (Photo: BCCI)

MS Dhoni is reportedly expected to lead a training camp for Chennai Super Kings players from the 2nd week of March. Even as the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is yet to confirm the schedule and venue details for IPL 2021 in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, CSK, it seems, wants to get into the groove.

MS Dhoni will be in Chennai along with other domestic players who will be available to turn up for the CSK camp. This will also be the first time he will be seen in competitive action since IPL 2020, which was held in the UAE.

The BCCI is thinking to host IPL 14, which is scheduled to be held between April and June, in six cities. The refurbished Motera Stadium in Ahmedabad is most likely to host the play-offs and the final, while the cities of Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, Ahmedabad, and Kolkata have been shortlisted to host the league games.

MS Dhoni Scored 200 Runs Averaging Below Par 25 In IPL 2020 As CSK Finished 7th

CSK had organized a training camp last year in Chennai in the lead up to IPL 2020 which was moved out of India due to the Covid-19 pandemic. CSK had gone in with a lot of expectations but they got off to a rocky start with 2 of their players Deepak Chahar and Ruturaj Gaikwad and other members of the camp testing positive for Covid-19.

CSK had to deal with pull-outs of senior players, including Suresh Raina, as their campaign never took off in the UAE. After languishing at the bottom of the table for the most part of the season, CSK stitched a run of wins towards the end to avoid languishing at the bottom of the points table, finishing 7th instead.

MS Dhoni scored exactly 200 runs in 14 matches at a below-par average of 25. Ambati Rayudu fared better scoring 359 runs in 12 appearances averaging 39.88.

Moeen Ali
Moeen Ali PANKAJ NANGIA/SPORTZPICS

MS Dhoni had confirmed during IPL 2020 that he was definitely not going to quit playing the IPL and would continue leading the side in IPL 2021. CSK was expected to make several changes to their squad for IPL 2021 but they retained most players before February’s auction. The franchise released Kedar Jadhav, Murali Vijay, Harbhajan Singh, Piyush Chawla, Monu Singh, Shane Watson(retired).

CSK spent big on acquiring services of England’s spinner Moeen Ali on the board while off-spinner Krishnappa Gowtham got a big contract from MS Dhoni’s 3-time champions. Another notable player that was acquired was Test specialist batsman Cheteshwar Pujara who announced his desire to play limited-overs T20 cricket again.

Chennai Super Kings Squad for IPL 2021

Retained players: MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, KM Asif, Deepak Chahar, Dwayne Bravo, Faf du Plessis, Imran Tahir, N Jagadeesan, Karn Sharma, Lungi Ngidi, Mitchell Santner, Ravindra Jadeja, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shardul Thakur, Sam Curran, Josh Hazlewood, R Sai Kishore.

Players bought at Auction: Moeen Ali (Rs 7 crore), K Gowtham (Rs 9.25 crore), Cheteshwar Pujara (Rs 50 lakh), Harishankar Reddy (Rs 20 lakh), Bhagath Varma (Rs 20 lakh), Hari Nishanth (Rs 20 lakh).

Yuvraj Singh
Yuvraj Singh. Photo Credit: Getty Images.
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Yuvraj Singh Denied Permission To Represent Punjab Again

Yuvraj Singh requested BCCI to represent Punjab again after retiring from all forms of international cricket in 2019 and then playing foreign global leagues like Canada T20 for Toronto Nationals and UAE T10 representing Maratha Arabians in the same year.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has turned down Yuvraj Singh’s request to represent Punjab in the upcoming Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. Yuvraj Singh had earlier written to the BCCI to allow him to make his return.

Yuvraj Singh
Yuvraj Singh, Image Credit: Getty Images.

Yuvraj Singh Denied Permission To Represent Punjab Again As BCCI Sticks To Rules Which Saw Pravin Tambe Disqualified For The Same Reason

According to the present rules, an Indian player participating in any foreign league can’t make his comeback to IPL or domestic cricket. The same rule saw the BCCI asking Kolkata Knight Riders management to drop spinner Pravin Tambe from IPL 2020 squad as he had played a T10 league abroad.

In season two of T10 League, Pravin Tambe played for Sindhis team. He became the first Indian cricketer to get a contract in the Caribbean Premier League 2020.

Yuvraj Singh was expected to be given a green signal given his stature and popularity but the board decided to stick to the rules. Interestingly, Ambati Rayudu, in 2019, made his return to domestic cricket after announcing retirement during the 2019 World Cup where he wasn’t selected. Since he hadn’t participated in any foreign league, he didn’t even need BCCI’s permission to reverse his decision.

Pravin Tambe
Pravin Tambe (Credits – Twitter)

Following his retirement, Yuvraj Singh went on to play Global T20 Canada and T10 league. As BCCI has now denied him the permission to play for Punjab, the fans might see Yuvraj Singh featuring in some more foreign leagues soon. He may play Big Bash or Caribbean Premier League if he is selected.

Punjab Will Be Led By Mandeep Singh

Punjab’s regular captain Mandeep Singh will lead the state team Punjab in the upcoming T20 tournament Syed Mushtaq Ali T20. He will be assisted by Gurkeerat Singh Mann, who is one of the capped players in the squad. The list of other capped players includes Sandeep Sharma, Siddharth Kaul, Mayank Markande and Barinder Sran.

Left-arm pacer Barinder Sran, who has represented India in six ODIs and two T20Is in 2016, has also been included in the Punjab squad after having switched to Chandigarh last year. India A batsman Anmolpreet Singh and all-rounder Abhishek Sharma are also part of the squad.

Manpreet Gony
Manpreet Gony-Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Munish Bali will continue as the coach while former India pacer Manpreet Gony has been named as the bowling coach. Manpreet Gony had announced retirement from Indian cricket a couple of weeks after Yuvraj Singh and both of them were teammates in Global T20 Canada.

Gurkeerat Singh Mann played for Royal Challengers Bangalore, Captain Mandeep Singh, Arshdeep Singh and Prabhsimran Singh played for Kings XI Punjab, Abhishek Sharma, Siddharth Kaul and Sandeep Sharma represented SunRisers Hyderabad, Mayank Markhande played for Rajasthan Royals and Anmolpreet Singh was a part of Mumbai Indians squad in IPL 2020.

Squad: Mandeep Singh (captain), Gurkeerat Mann (vice-captain), Rohan Marwaha, Abhinav Sharma, Prabhsimran Singh, Anmolpreet Singh, Anmol Malhotra, Sanvir Singh, Sandeep Sharma, Karan Kaila, Mayank Markande, Abhishek Sharma, Ramandeep Singh, Siddharth Kaul, Barinder Sran, Arshdeep Singh, Harpreet Brar, Baltej Dhanda, Krishan, Gitansh Khera

Suryakumar Yadav
Suryakumar Yadav
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Devang Gandhi Asks Experts That Who Should Have Been Kept Out To Include Suryakumar Yadav

Devang Gandhi, the former India batsman and selector in a conversation with Times of India, talked about how hard it is to select national squads which will be liked by all experts, fans and cricketers, especially after the exclusion of Suryakumar Yadav from India’s squad for Australia was severely criticized.

Selectors role have been under constant criticism as the likes of Ambati Rayudu was ignored despite his performances before 2019 World Cup and more recently, exclusion of Suryakumar Yadav for Australian T20Is despite his consistent performances in last 3 seasons in IPL and domestic circuit.

Ambati Rayudu
Ambadti Rayudu. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Devang Gandhi: Too Much Importance Is Given To Experience In India

He mentioned that Ed Smith and Trevor Hohns, the selectors of England and Australia haven’t played much or no international cricket unlike Indian selectors but managed to build World Cup-winning sides.

“Too much importance is given to experience in India. All you should have is an eye for talent and the willingness to work hard. We have unearthed a lot of talent over the past four years. Our focus has been to not just give India a good squad, but back it up with a strong bench. I think we have managed to do that quite well,” he said.

Devang Gandhi
Devang Gandhi. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

The 35-year-old Ambati Rayudu announced his retirement from all forms of cricket in July 2019  after the selectors dropped him from the World Cup squad in favour of Vijay Shankar and he wasn’t selected even as a replacement for injured players Shikhar Dhawan and Vijay Shankar.

“Yes, that was a mistake, but then we are humans too. At that time we seemed to have hit the right combination, but later we realised Rayudu’s presence might have helped. Actually, India had one bad day in office during the World Cup and that’s why Rayudu’s absence became such a big talking point. Apart from that one match, India had an excellent tournament. I can understand Rayudu’s angst and his reactions were justified,” he said responding to a question of ignoring Ambati Rayudu.

However, on 29 August 2019, Ambati Rayudu said that he was willing to play all formats of cricket again. He played 55 ODIs and has an average of 47.

The 49-year-old Devang Gandhi was an opener who played for Bengal and featured in 4 tests and 3 ODIs for India. Devang Gandhi announced his retirement in 2006.

Devang Gandhi: Suryakumar Yadav Among India’s Huge Bench Strength As He Will Have To Be Patient And Keep On Performing

Suryakumar Yadav scored 480 runs in 16 games averaging 40 after amassing 512 and 424 runs too in the previous two seasons. With his help, Mumbai Indians successfully defended their title in 2020.

“I would request the experts that while they are talking about Suryakumar’s exclusion, they should also tell us who should have been kept out. India has a huge bench strength and the selection process is often about exclusion. There can be four equally good players for one slot. Obviously, you have to keep some talented players out. Suryakumar is a brilliant player, but he will have to be patient. He must keep performing. Mayank Agarwal is one batsman who barged into the squad, consistently performing well,” he said in regards to Suryakumar Yadav’s exclusion.

Suryakumar Yadav
Suryakumar Yadav (Image Credit: Google)

“Yes, we had differences and we would debate, discus and come to a consensus. There have been times when Kohli has asked us what we have seen in a particular player. We had to convince him that the concerned player has the skills to play for India,” Devang Gandhi commented on differences and debates between selectors and Virat Kohli.

Suryakumar Yadav ages 30 and has performed outstandingly well in domestic circuit averaging 44 in first class and 35 in List A as well as IPL.

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