Amit Mishra | Sportzwiki

Amit Mishra

Michael Hussey has now been cleared to return to Australia on a commercial flight via Doha BCCI/IPL
Michael Hussey has now been cleared to return to Australia on a commercial flight via Doha BCCI/IPL
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Michael Hussey Opens Up On Battling With Covid-19 During IPL 2021 India Leg

Michael Hussey recounted his horrific battle with COVID-19 during the 2021 Indian Premier League. Michael Hussey had tested positive for the virus during the India leg of IPL 2021. The 2021 Indian Premier League (IPL) season was a unique edition as it was played in two halves in two different countries.

While the first leg took place in India during the summer, the second half took place in September-October in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Unfortunately, it was a COVID-19 outbreak across the league in May, which forced the tournament to be suspended and completed in the UAE later in the year. Out of the people to test positive, one was Chennai Super Kings‘ (CSK) batting coach Michael Hussey.

Michael Hussey opened up on his CoVId-19 experience during IPL 2021
Michael Hussey opened up on his Covid-19 experience during IPL 2021  |  Photo Credit: IANS

Michael Hussey Felt Uneasy Flying To Covid-19 Hit India And After Getting Affected Was Isolated, Worried and Feeling Progressively Worse

Michael Hussey has opened up on his ordeal with the disease and described his experience of sitting in a body bag to be shifted from Delhi to Chennai in an air ambulance. The CSK coach also claimed he had doubts over coming to India from ‘the safest place in the world.’

In a column, Hussey wrote, “I felt uneasy when the time came to leave Perth earlier this year to coach with the Chennai Super Kings at the Indian Premier League.‘Why am I leaving one of the safest places in the world?”

“But I love my job and I had made a commitment to coach at the IPL. So, despite my nervousness, I flew to India and embarked on the mandatory seven-day quarantine which was a prerequisite for entering the IPL bubble,” he added. 

Michael Hussey was recuperating in Chennai after testing positive for Covid-19 (File Photo - TOI)
Michael Hussey was recuperating in Chennai after testing positive for Covid-19 (File Photo – TOI)

Michael Hussey spoke about his experience after being one of the support staff testing positive for COVID-19 and his isolation at the time. He described how his symptoms continued to get progressively worse in the beginning.

“I was locked in my room immediately. No one could come in, and I obviously couldn’t leave. Food was left outside my door like in quarantine. I was isolated, a bit worried and feeling progressively worse,” said Hussey. 

He further said, “My symptoms: I had a bad fever to the point where I was changing my shirt four or five times a night from sweating out. I had a relentless dry, barking cough. And I was really tired. I would try and sit at my desk to do some work, but quickly feel the need for a lie-down. I would wake up from what felt like a quick nap to realise three or so hours had passed.”

Michael Hussey, Chennai Super Kings (CSK) batting coach, believes that travelling from Mumbai to Delhi during the course of the IPL 2021 first Indian leg exposed all those involved to greater risk.

Michael Hussey and CSK bowling coach Laxmipathy Balaji, both of whom were detected with COVID-19, were brought to Chennai from Delhi in an air ambulance.

Michael Hussey Realized He Was Probably In The Worst Place To Get Covid-19

Michael Hussey claimed that the worsening COVID-19 situation in Delhi became a source of worry for doctors and led to his decision to be taken to Chennai in an air ambulance.

He wrote “The doctor with the team was concerned. He realised I was probably in the worst place in the world to get Covid at that time. Delhi was recording hundreds of thousands of known new cases a day, there were very few hospital beds and many, many more people lining up outside the hospitals in need of them.”

“If things turned bad, the doctor wasn’t sure if I could get the medical assistance I would need. They decided the best thing to do was to fly me back to Chennai, the team’s home base,” added Hussey. 

File photos of Delhi Capitals' Amit Mishra (left) with SRH's Wriddhiman Saha. Image Source : IPLT20.COM
File photos of Delhi Capitals’ Amit Mishra (left) with SRH’s Wriddhiman Saha. Image Source: IPLT20.COM

Michael Hussey further described that he had to sit in a fully zipped body-bad to take the flight to Chennai.

“All I could do was trust them. Once we got to the airport, I was wheeled straight onto the plane on a stretcher inside the body bag. The air ambulance flight to Chennai took about three and a half hours. Then it was back into an ambulance and straight to a quarantine hotel,” said the CSK assistant coach. 

Michael Hussey concluded by saying he felt ‘lucky’ after seeing the suffering of so many people around the country.

“All that said, I was incredibly lucky. There were so many people in worse situations than me. I had an employer that went out of its way to look after me at a time of crisis for the country. As confronting as it was to be sick and stranded, having people on the ground with your best interests at heart was very comforting,” said the Australian. 

Michael Hussey returned to the CSK camp for the UAE leg of IPL 2021 and oversaw the team’s fourth title victory as they defeated Kolkata Knight Riders in the final.

KKR spinner Varun Chakravarthy and pacer Sandeep Warrier returned with positive results. Then, however, the governing bodies were forced to take the massive step as two more players – SRH’s Wriddhiman Saha and DC’s Amit Mishra were infected by the virus.

The virus had wreaked havoc in India at that time, claiming thousands of lives. Prasidh Krishna, who has been picked as a standby player for England tour, became the fourth Kolkata Knight Riders player to test positive for Covid-19. Earlier KKR wicketkeeper-batsman Tim Seifert was reported to have tested positive for Covid-19.

Rishabh Pant. - SANDEEP SAXENA
Rishabh Pant. - SANDEEP SAXENA
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Delhi Capitals Skipper Rishabh Pant Has Become A Little Predictable: Salman Butt

Salman Butt, former Pakistan captain feels the India team’s dashing wicketkeeper-batter Rishabh Pant has become a bit predictable with his moves at the crease. Salman Butt pointed out that opponents have realized it’s only a matter of time before Rishabh Pant dances down the track during his innings.

Rishabh Pant had a poor Test series in England, where his footwork against the moving ball was exposed. Even in the second half of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021, he did not look in a great rhythm. Although he scored a decent number of runs while leading Delhi Capitals (DC), he wasn’t his usual aggressive self.

Controversial Pakistan batsman Salman Butt
Controversial Pakistan batsman Salman Butt (File Photo | AFP)

Salman Butt: Rishabh Pant Has Become A Little Predictable

In an interaction on his YouTube channel, Salman Butt was asked if Rishabh Pant could be a force for India at the T20 World Cup 2021. The former cricketer Salman Butt stated that the southpaw needed to build on his talent.

Explaining what, he felt, the 24-year-old was doing wrong, Salman Butt opined: “He is very moody. Out of nowhere, he steps down and tries to hit out. And, he does this so frequently that other teams have started anticipating his moves. I think Rishabh Pant has become a little predictable. He will need to bat with a more mature mindset. He is so talented and has such a high range of strokes. But teams are aware that he will charge down the track either first ball or after 2-3 deliveries. So he needs to work on that.”

Rishabh Pant
Rishabh Pant (Image Credit: Twitter)

Rishabh Pant ended IPL 2021 with 419 runs in 16 matches at a strike rate of 128.52 with three half-centuries. Rishabh Pant-led DC topped the points table after the completion of the IPL 2021 league stage. However, they failed to make the final, going down to Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in Qualifier 1 and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in Qualifier 2.

Rishabh Pant: Delhi Capitals Alway give 100%

Reacting after DC’s ouster from IPL 2021, new skipper Rishabh Pant tweeted that IPL 2021 ended in heartbreak for the franchise but lauded the team and described them as exceptional warriors. Rishabh Pant has 1 hundred and 15 IPL fifties to his name.

He wrote: “It ended in heartbreak last night, but I could not be more proud of leading this team of exceptional warriors. We battled hard through the season, and while we may have fallen short on some days, we always gave 100 per cent.”

Shreyas Iyer of Delhi Capitals in action during an IPL match for Delhi ©BCCI
Shreyas Iyer of Delhi Capitals in action during an IPL match for Delhi ©BCCI

Rishabh Pant was named DC captain after Shreyas Iyer was ruled out due to a shoulder injury ahead of the first half of IPL 2021. The Delhi management retained Rishabh Pant as skipper even after Shreyas Iyer was fit for the second half of the tournament in the UAE.

Among Delhi Capitals’ performers, Indian pacer Avesh Khan was in scintillating form. He was the team’s leading wicket-taker this season, with 24 wickets in 16 games. The South African pace duo of Kagiso Rabada(15) and Anrich Norje (12) have combined to pick 27 wickets. Axar Patel has been excellent with his spinning deliveries and has picked 15 wickets.

Shikhar Dhawan was the team’s highest run-getter with 587 runs in 16 games, while Prithvi Shaw managed 479 in 15 games. Steve Smith(152 runs) and Shreyas Iyer (175 runs) played 8 matches each. The failures for Delhi Capitals were Ishant Sharma (1 scalp in 3 outings) and Ravichandran Ashwin (7 wickets in 13 games).

Rishabh Pant(419 runs) led from the front. Marcus Stoinis couldn’t deliver the success of the previous edition of IPL 2020. He played 10 IPL 2021 games, managing only 89 runs and picking 2 scalps. Amit Mishra, despite picking 6 scalps in 4 games, wasn’t given many chances to play. Shimron Hetmyer had the best strike rate of the season- a whopping 168.05.

Rishabh Pant Photo: BCCI
Rishabh Pant Photo: BCCI
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Michael Vaughan Thinks Rishabh Pant Will Continue To Captain Delhi After Success In IPL 2021

Michael Vaughan said that the Delhi Capitals might have some tough decisions to make ahead of IPL 2022.

The mega auctions will take place ahead of the 2022 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), and former England skipper Michael Vaughan has opened up on the players that the Delhi Capitals (DC) will retain ahead of the auctions.

Michael Vaughan (Image Credit: Twitter)
Michael Vaughan (Image Credit: Twitter)

Michael Vaughan Thinks Rishabh Pant Will Continue To Captain Delhi

Michael Vaughan feels that Delhi Capitals will continue with Rishabh Pant as their skipper, as the 23-year-old has led the Delhi side to the playoffs stage in IPL 2021. Michael Vaughan also added that maybe Delhi Capitals’ Head Coach Ricky Ponting feels that Rishabh Pant has got something in him, and the wicket-keeper batsman will continue as the captain for the next few years.

“I think Rishabh Pant will carry on (as captain). I don’t see why you wouldn’t carry on with Pant. He has led the team to the semifinal. Ricky Ponting probably feels that Rishabh Pant has got something in him and Pant could be the captain for a few years,” said Michael Vaughan in a chat with Cricbuzz.

Ricky Ponting is looking forward to working with Rishabh Pant. [Source: The SportsRush]
Ricky Ponting is looking forward to working with Rishabh Pant. [Source: The SportsRush]
The bowling looks like the team’s most potent weapon. Indian pacer Avesh Khan was in scintillating form. He was the team’s leading wicket-taker this season, with 24 wickets in 16 games. The South African pace duo of Kagiso Rabada(15) and Anrich Norje (12) have combined to pick 27 wickets. Axar Patel has been excellent with his spinning deliveries and has picked 15 wickets.

Shikhar Dhawan was the team’s highest run-getter with 587 runs in 16 games, while Prithvi Shaw managed 479 in 15 games. Steve Smith(152 runs) and Shreyas Iyer (175 runs) played 8 matches each. The failures were Ishant Sharma (1 scalp in 3 outings) and Ravichandran Ashwin (7 wickets in 13 games).

Rishabh Pant(419 runs) led from the front. Marcus Stoinis couldn’t deliver the success of the previous edition. He played 10 IPL 2021 games, managing only 89 runs and picking 2 scalps. Amit Mishra, despite picking 6 scalps in 4 games, wasn’t given many chances to play.

Michael Vaughan: Delhi Has The Best Squad In Terms Of Depth

Michael Vaughan added that the Delhi Capitals, who lost the Qualifier-2 to a spirited KKR, might have some tough decisions to make ahead of IPL 2022. The 46-year-old former England batsman opined that the Delhi squad is good, and around six or seven players can be in contention for retention ahead of the mega auctions. Michael Vaughan concluded by stating that the Delhi Capitals have the best squad in terms of depth.

Delhi Capitals
Delhi Capitals (Image Credit: Twitter)

“So Rishabh is captaining again. Delhi is going to have some really tough decisions to make. You can argue that six or seven players should be retained, and how they get down to three, they could look to Ricky Ponting and Co for that. There will be a few players available for whom the franchises will be licking their lips. I think Delhi has the best squad in terms of depth,” concluded Michael Vaughan.

The Delhi Capitals have never won the IPL. In the 2021 edition of the IPL, the Rishabh Pant led side was knocked out of the tournament in Qualifier 2. Under Shreyas Iyer, Delhi lost to Mumbai in the finals of IPL 2020.

Venkatesh Iyer and Rahul Tripatih during their 88-run partnership, Image: BCCI
Venkatesh Iyer and Rahul Tripatih during their 88-run partnership, Image: BCCI
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Sanjay Manjrekar Credits Venkatesh Iyer And Rahul Tripathi For The Resurgence Of KKR In IPL 2021 UAE Leg

Sanjay Manjrekar credited the batting duo of Venkatesh Iyer and Rahul Tripathi for the resurgence of the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the second phase of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 in UAE. The attacking starts that they have provided at the top of the order have helped the side put up decent totals on the board.

KKR won just two out of their first seven matches in the first leg. They started the second leg in whirlwind fashion, however, winning their first two matches comprehensively. They then went down to the table-toppers Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in a closely fought contest in the third match, which was decided in the last ball.

Sanjay Manjrekar | Sportzpics
Sanjay Manjrekar | Sportzpics.

The free-flowing batting of openers Venkatesh Iyer and Rahul Tripathi has helped reduce KKR’s dependence on the senior batsmen in the side, reckons Sanjay Manjrekar.

“Kolkata, it’s been quite a story in this Indian T20 league. The resurgence of Kolkata in the second half. It’s really on the back of two players. One cost them (INR) 20 lakhs, the other (INR) 60 lakhs. I am talking about Venkatesh Iyer and Rahul Tripathi. These guys have set to light the whole platform for Kolkata to the extent that they have not had to rely so much on the likes of Shubman Gill, Nitish Rana, or Morgan,” Sanjay Manjrekar said on Instagram.

Sanjay Manjrekar lauded the bowling unit of KKR, especially the spin duo of Varun Chakravarthy and Sunil Narine.

“Bowling is looking really formidable. Both spinners, Varun Chakravarthy and Sunil Narine, showing class in the last couple of games. Lockie Ferguson, good death bowler. If Russell is fit, he bowls in the death as well. And they will be hoping that he is fit.”

Sanjay Manjrekar shared his concerns about pacer Prasidh Krishna’s bowling at the death overs. The expensive penultimate over against CSK cost his side the match on Sunday (September 26). Sanjay Manjrekar felt KKR could use their spinners more at the death.

“Maybe Kolkata could look to use Prasidh Krishna in the first 16-17 overs. And if he doesn’t bowl his full quota of four overs, maybe they could not use him at the death and have Varun Chakravarthy and Sunil Narine to bowl at the death, because these are bowlers capable of bowling in the death. A lot of power hitters aren’t so good at death when it comes to hitting the spin.”

Prasidh Krishna has been expensive as his economy rate is above 9. Right from his debut IPL season in 2018, he has leaked more than 9 runs per over every time. His IPL career average is also above 35, so he may be rested for the next few games and the likes of Shivam Mavi, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, and Sandeep Warrier may be tried out.

Sanjay Manjrekar: Delhi Capitals Is A Formidable Side And The Best Team In IPL 2021

Sanjay Manjrekar reckons Delhi Capitals (DC) is the best side in the IPL based on their current form. He pointed out that their bench strength allows the Delhi Capitals to be at their best even when a regular player misses out on a game citing the example when Marcus Stoinis wasn’t fit, DC played only 3 instead of 4 overseas players and yet won.

“Delhi is a formidable side. As of today or in current form, it is the best team in this T20 league. When you call a big team, that is a team that doesn’t have any major weaknesses. In the last game, when Stoinis wasn’t fit, they played Lalit Yadav and it didn’t affect their performance. When they miss a player, it doesn’t affect their team drastically,” Sanjay Manjrekar added.

The only weakness the Delhi Capitals have, according to the commentator Sanjay Manjrekar, would be their dependence on two finger spinners. He wants Rishabh Pant to play wrist-spinner Amit Mishra to change that up.

“If at all there is a little weakness, maybe two finger spinners is a gamble. If you get a flat pitch and a power-hitting batting unit in the opposition, that can be a bit of a risk. So maybe Amit Mishra could get some games on occasion, because, every time he has played for Delhi, he has made quite a mark,” Sanjay Manjrekar signed off.

Leg-spinner Amit Mishra remains a vital cog in the Delhi Capitals’ machinery. The wily leg-spinner, who has the most hat-tricks in the tournament, has 166 IPL wickets against his name. While the injury cut short his IPL 2020 journey, the veteran spinner picked six wickets in 4 games averaging 18.16 before contracting the virus, which eventually led to the postponement of IPL 2021 in India.

DC are placed second in the pecking order with eight wins and 16 points from 10 outings, while two-time winners KKR find themselves in the fourth position with four wins and six defeats.

Predicted Playing 11s

KKR Predicted 11:  Shubman Gill, Venkatesh Iyer, Rahul Tripathi, Nitish Rana, Eoin Morgan (c), Dinesh Karthik (wk), Andre Russell/ Shakib Al Hasan, Sunil Narine, Lockie Ferguson, Varun Chakravarthy, Prasidh Krishna/ Shivam Mavi

DC Predicted 11:  Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (c/wk), Shimron Hetmyer, Marcus Stoinis/Lalit Yadav, R Ashwin/ Amit Mishra, Axar Patel, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Avesh Khan

R Ashwin
R Ashwin. Image Credits: Twitter
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Sanjay Manjrekar Is Not A Big Fan Of Ravichandran Ashwin In White-Ball Cricket

Sanjay Manjrekar has opened up about not being a fan of Delhi Capitals spinner Ravichandran Ashwin when it comes to limited-overs cricket. This is because he wasn’t impressed by how the 35-year-old off-spinner in the previous match against Sunrisers Hyderabad.

Ravichandran Ashwin was the least effective amongst the Delhi Capitals bowlers in a match where Sunrisers Hyderabad was restricted to 134/9 in their 20 overs. The off-spinner conceded 22 runs in 2.5 overs without adding anything to the wickets column.

Delhi Capitals player Ravichandran Ashwin. (Photo | IPL)
Delhi Capitals player Ravichandran Ashwin. (Photo | IPL)

Sanjay Manjrekar Wished Amit Mishra Be Included Instead Of Ravichandran Ashwin Which Didn’t Happen

Delhi Capitals’ next match against Rajasthan Royals fielded Lalit Yadav instead of injuring Marcus Stoinis. Delhi Capitals are currently 114/4 in the 16th over, with Prithvi Shaw-10, Shikhar Dhawan-8, Shreyas Iyer-43, and Rishabh Pant-24 back in the Pavilion. However, Shimron Hetmyer is going all guns blazing, scoring an unbeaten 23 off 12 balls so far.

Reckoning that Delhi Capitals could give Amit Mishra the nod ahead of Ravichandran Ashwin, Sanjay Manjrekar said on Instagram: “I was a little surprised that they played Ashwin ahead of Amit Mishra. I don’t think Ashwin bowled too well. I am not a big fan of Ashwin in white-ball cricket. So if they can get Mishra in, he becomes that wrist spinner that is always a game-changer in T20 cricket.”

Sanjay Manjrekar | Sportzpics
Sanjay Manjrekar | Sportzpics

The former India batter felt the franchises were a bit unfair on low-profile players like Amit Mishra. He tends to get a raw deal despite performing well when he gets games, felt Sanjay Manjrekar.

“People like Amit Mishra, low profile players, tend to get a raw deal. Every time Mishra plays, he has got wickets for Delhi and the other franchises he has played before.”

Leg-spinner Amit Mishra remains a vital cog in the Delhi Capitals’ machinery. The wily leg-spinner, who has the most hat-tricks in the tournament, has 166 IPL wickets against his name. While the injury cut short his IPL 2020 journey, the veteran spinner picked six wickets in 4 games averaging 18.16 before contracting the virus.

Besides, as a result of which IPL 2021 was suspended indefinitely. He is the 2nd highest wicket-taker after Lasith Malinga (170 scalps).

Sanjay Manjrekar: Rajasthan Royals Needs To Field Tabraiz Shamsi In XI

Sanjay Manjrekar opined that Rajasthan Royals need a bit more depth in the spin department. Expressing his desire to see the team try and fit in left-arm wrist-spinner Tabraiz Shamsi in the side, Sanjay Manjrekar said he would add variety in the Royals’ spin department.

“The one thing that Rajasthan needs is some help with spin. Against Punjab, you could see that they were trying to get some spinners in, some variation. I really would like to see them fit in Tabraiz Shamsi, a typical T20 bowler, not quite orthodox. He might be able to give them a bit of variety. If the fast bowlers don’t get you wickets, maybe he could.”

Tabraiz Shamsi
Tabraiz Shamsi. Image Credits: Twitter
The No. 1 ranked bowler in the T20I format is the latest addition to the Rajasthan Royals line-up for the second phase of IPL 2021.

Sanjay Manjrekar revealed that he favors Delhi Capitals to win the match against the Royals on Saturday, saying: “Despite Rajasthan’s win in the last match, Delhi start as favorites. Punjab was the better side for 38 overs in the match. Something bizarre happened in the last two overs for Rajasthan to win,” Sanjay Manjrekar signed off.

Brendon McCullum
Brendon McCullum BCCI
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KKR Was Being Paralyzed By Fear Due To COVID-19 Cases: Brendon McCullum

Brendon McCullum, Kolkata Knight Riders head coach says they were “paralyzed a little bit by fear” when coronavirus struck the first half of the IPL in India. It was KKR’s mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy and seamer Sandeep Warrier, who first tested positive for COVID-19 in May in the middle of the league, which was eventually postponed due to more Covid-19 cases due to bio bubble breaches.

The Purple and Gold brigade led by England white-ball skipper Eoin Morgan had an underwhelming first half. They are languishing at the seventh spot but Brendon McCullum is hopeful for a strong showing when action resumes from September 19 in the UAE.

Kolkata Knight Riders
Kolkata Knight Riders (Image Credit: Twitter)

Brendon McCullum: There Were Sometimes Throughout IPL 2021 When KKR Was Being Paralyzed By Fear Due To Covid-19 Cases In The Camp

The spike of positive cases in the bio-bubble had already resulted in the postponement of two IPL games earlier. The KKR vs RCB clash was rescheduled after spinner Varun Chakravarthy and pacer Sandeep Warrier returned with positive results.

Later, the CSK vs RR fixture was also rescheduled after a couple of fresh cases were reported from the CSK camp. However, the governing bodies were forced to take the massive step as two more players – SRH’s Wriddhiman Saha and DC’s Amit Mishra were infected by the virus.

File photos of Delhi Capitals' Amit Mishra (left) with SRH's Wriddhiman Saha. Image Source : IPLT20.COM
File photos of Delhi Capitals’ Amit Mishra (left) with SRH’s Wriddhiman Saha. Image Source: IPLT20.COM

“In regards to the tournament which is upcoming (second half of the IPL phase), we can end it right. We can take the game on and we’re in a situation where we need things to go our way,” Brendon McCullum was quoted as saying by the KKR website.

“We need to hit the ground running, challenge one another privately, support one another publicly and try and get the best out of one another in the next 4-5 weeks. Who knows where we can go with this. There were sometimes throughout the season when I just felt we were being paralyzed a little bit by fear,” Brendon McCullum added.

The virus had wreaked havoc in India at that time, claiming thousands of lives. Prasidh Krishna, who has been picked as a standby player for England tour, became the fourth Kolkata Knight Riders player to test positive for Covid-19. KKR wicketkeeper-batsman Tim Seifert was reported to have tested positive for Covid-19.

Brendon McCullum: KKR Will Just Go Out There And Try And Enjoy The Game

The 39-year-old former New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum, who started his IPL journey as a player with KKR, is hopeful the team will be able to get rid of the angst that had been built in the first phase of the league.

“I wasn’t able to free the guys up enough to understand that and that’s sort of a challenge for me. But it is also a good challenge for the guys as well that they need to push the envelope of their own thinking as well.”

“Hopefully we will be able to strip away a bit of the angst which had built up in the first part of the season, just go out there and try and enjoy ourselves. That’s the ambition that I have got for the franchise and hence why I am unapologetic and unrelenting in my belief that we need to play a braver style of play,” Brendon McCullum said.

Head coach Brendon McCullum says KKR will make couple of changes in Mumbai (Image Courtesy: KKR Twitter)
Head coach Brendon McCullum with skipper Eoin Morgan (Image Courtesy: KKR Twitter)

Talking about his coaching style, McCullum said, “When we left India (after IPL was called off due to Covid), I think everyone understood me as a coach on how I want our team to play. I am unapologetic about that as well because my job is to try and build something at KKR that is going to last far longer than I am going to last for the franchise,” McCullum added.

KKR-led by Eoin Morgan will open their second-phase campaign against Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore on September 20 in Abu Dhabi. KKR have to lock horns with Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), Delhi Capitals (DC), Punjab Kings (PBKS), Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), Rajasthan Royals (RR), Mumbai Indians (MI), and Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the remaining 7 matches.

Standing at the 7th position, the team needs a victory in five matches to ensure a top-four spot. The likes of Tim Seifert, Shakib Al Hasan, Sheldon Jackson, Vaibhav Arora, Karun Nair, Harbhajan Singh, Ben Cutting, Venkatesh Iyer, Pawan Negi hasn’t played many games for KKR this season and may get opportunities in the UAE leg.

Wanindu Hasaranga
Wanindu Hasaranga
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Wanindu Hasaranga’s Recent Exploits See RCB Approaching BCCI To Replace Adam Zampa With Him In IPL 2021

Wanindu Hasaranga, Sri Lankan all-rounder leg spinner has impressed everyone with his bowling variations in the recently concluded limited-overs series against India. He played a major role in Sri Lanka’s comeback to clinch the T20I series 2-1.

Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 is set to return from 19 September 2021. Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) has approached BCCI with a request to replace their spinner Adam Zampa with the Sri Lankan leg spinner Wanindu Hasaranga. The Sri Lankan spinner was awarded the Player of the Series award, for his seven wickets in the series.

IPL 2021: Adam Zampa trains for RCB during the ongoing season.© BCCI/IPL
IPL 2021: Adam Zampa trains for RCB during the ongoing season.© BCCI/IPL

Wanindu Hasaranga Had A Successful Series Against England And India, As RCB Approached BCCI With A Request To Consider Him As A Replacement For Adam Zampa

Wanindu Hasaranga was also the best player for Sri Lanka on their tour of England. He was their highest run-scorer in the ODI series, with 100 runs in three matches. After his splendid performances lately, Wanindu Hasaranga’s stocks in world cricket have certainly risen. The Sri Lankan bowler performed exceedingly well in the recently concluded India vs Sri Lanka series – that must have acted as a catalyst for RCB to consider him ahead of the Australian leggie.

Wanindu Hasaranga Celebrates A Wicket in 1st T20I @SLC
Wanindu Hasaranga Celebrates A Wicket in 1st T20I @SLC

Royal Challengers Bangalore’s star players Adam Zampa and Kane Richardson flew back to Australia citing “personal reasons”. Later, Adam Zampa spoke with the Australian press about how the IPL bio-bubble was not as secure. On the other hand, SL’s Wanindu Hasaranga was on top of his bowling performance. He picked up 7 wickets in the three T20Is becoming hosts Sri Lanka’s top bowler.

Indian batsmen struggled against him in Colombo where the conditions were a bit like India. Pitches did not have pace and spinner Wanindu Hasaranga took full advantage of it. Only time can tell if he becomes a top IPL player for the future.

Adam Zampa And Kane Richardson Flew Back Midway Citing Personal Reasons And Insecure Bio Bubbles

The IPL 2021 was canceled after few players were found to be Covid-19 positive inside the bio-bubble. The remaining Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 will be held in Sharjah, Abu Dhabi, and Dubai from September 19, right after the end of the England vs India 5-match Test series. There are 31 remaining matches in the IPL 2021. It will be the first time that the IPL will be held in UAE for two consecutive years.

In April 2021, Australian leg-spinner Adam Zampa said he decided to quit the IPL midway as it was the “most vulnerable” bio-secure bubble he has been a part of and the tournament should have been held in UAE, like last year. Adam Zampa and Kane Richardson, who were part of the Royal Challengers Bangalore squad, flew back home later, having pulled out citing personal reasons.

(File) Muttiah Muralitharan
(File) Muttiah Muralitharan

Later IPL 2021 was postponed in early May 2021 after a bio bubble breach which saw KKR’s Varun Chakravarthy, Sandeep Warrier, DC’s Amit Mishra, and SRH’s Wriddhiman Saha testing positive. Former Sri Lankan cricketer and legendary off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan was confident of Wanindu Hasaranga’s chances of playing in the Indian Premier League.

IPL Trophy. (BCCI/IPL Photo)
IPL Trophy. (BCCI/IPL Photo)
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IPL 2021 Will Resume With A Clash Between CSK And MI On September 19 In Dubai

Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 season, which was suspended earlier this year because of the Covid-19 second wave and bio bubble breach, will resume with a clash between the 3 times IPL winners Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and defending champions Mumbai Indians (MI) on September 19, sources have confirmed. The first match of the remainder of the season will be played in Dubai.

The 31 remaining matches of IPL 2021 will be played at three venues — Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Sharjah — with Dubai set to host the final on October 15. While Dubai will host the first qualifier on October 10, the eliminator and second qualifier will be played in Sharjah on October 11 and 13 respectively.

Skippers of Chennai Super Kings (CSK) MS Dhoni and Mumbai Indians (MI) Rohit Sharma. Credit: PTI Photo
Skippers of Chennai Super Kings (CSK) MS Dhoni and Mumbai Indians (MI) Rohit Sharma. Credit: PTI Photo

Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 Season To Resume With CSK-MI Match

Earlier this year, BCCI had been forced to postpone the IPL 2021 after multiple players and support staff tested positive for Covid-19.

After the season was halted, the BCCI had in a press release stated, “The Indian Premier League Governing Council (IPL GC) and Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in an emergency meeting have unanimously decided to postpone IPL 2021 season, with immediate effect.”

“The BCCI does not want to compromise on the safety of the players, support staff, and the other participants involved in organizing the IPL. This decision was taken keeping the safety, health, and well-being of all the stakeholders in mind.”

Reports had emerged earlier that the BCCI stands to lose over Rs 2,000 crore of the broadcast and sponsorship money following the midway postponement of the IPL 2021 season. The decision that the pending matches would be played in the UAE had been taken earlier at a Special General Meeting (SGM) of the BCCI.

After the meeting, the BCCI in a press release said: “The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Saturday announced to complete the remaining matches of VIVO Indian Premier League 2021 season in the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E) considering the monsoon season in India in the months of September-October this year.”

Wriddhiman Saha (Picture Credit: BCCI/IPL)
Wriddhiman Saha (Picture Credit: BCCI/IPL)

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Saturday announced to complete the remaining matches of the IPL 2021 season in U.A.E considering the monsoon season in India in the months of September-October this year. But, the availability of foreign players remains a big headache for the Cricket Board.

The BCCI had to postpone the 14th edition of the lucrative tournament as the deadly second outbreak of the COVID-19 breached through the bubble. The likes of Varun Chakravarthy, Sandeep Warrier, Amit Mishra, Wriddhiman Saha, Lakshmipathy Balaji, Tim Seifert, and Michael Hussey tested positive for COVID-19.

Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Eoin Morgan, Trent Boult, And Kane Williamson May Remain Unavailable For IPL 2021 Phase 2 In The UAE

This is because a number of international players are likely to remain unavailable due to international commitments. Rajasthan Royals openers Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes are unlikely to be available for the remainder of IPL 2021. Jos Buttler had scored 254 runs in the first 7 matches, including a century.

Mumbai Indians could miss the services of New Zealand pace spearhead Trent Boult. Since Eoin Morgan is the captain of the KKR team, his absence could lead to big trouble for his franchise. CSK’s new recruit Moeen Ali who was phenomenal for the MS Dhoni’s squad may also miss the remainder of IPL.

Eoin Morgan
Eoin Morgan (Image Credit: Twitter)

SRH team management could be in a fix after removing David Warner from the captaincy role. Their newly-appointed skipper Kane Williamson might also be unavailable for IPL 2021 Phase 2.

Most Australian players, including all-rounders Glenn Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis, are likely to participate in the second phase of IPL 2021 when the tournament resumes in UAE. As for Pat Cummins, who had made himself unavailable for the T20 league well in advance, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) would have to do without the services of their most expensive player for the remaining games of the season.

Royal Challengers Bangalore all-rounder Washington Sundar is likely to be ruled out of the second phase of Indian Premier League 2021. As expected, Steve Smith is all set to miss out on the 2nd phase of IPL 2021 in UAE. One of the world’s most prolific batsmen will not be available to Delhi Capitals for the 2nd leg of IPL

Delhi Capitals, IPL 2021
Amit Mishra[photo: Twitter]
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Amit Mishra Thinks India Could Have Named A Fast Bowling All-Rounder In The Playing XI For The WTC Final

Amit Mishra, veteran leg-spinner and a member of the Indian Premier League (IPL) side Delhi Capitals, feels that while India playing XI for the World Test Championship (WTC) final against New Zealand “looks great”, a fast-bowling all-rounder could have further strengthened the side.

The first day of the WTC final at Ageas Bowl in Southampton on Friday was washed out because of rain and players would be hoping to get back to action later on Saturday.

Veteran Indian leg-spinner Amit Mishra
Veteran Indian leg-spinner Amit Mishra (Photo | PTI)

Amit Mishra Thinks India Could Have Named A Fast Bowling All-Rounder In The Playing XI For The WTC Final

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson won the toss and opted to bowl first against India on Day 2 of the final of the inaugural WTC in Southampton. New Zealand has gone with four specialist fast bowlers and another seam-bowling option in all-rounder Colin de Grandhomme.

“The playing XI looks great. We have Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin, two excellent spinners who can also contribute with the bat. Ashwin and Jadeja’s batting skills will help India a lot. I think India could have named a fast-bowling all-rounder in the playing XI, someone who could have bowled six-seven overs when the regular pacers are tired and the ball is swinging,” Mishra told JK 24×7 news.

Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja Photo Credit: AP
Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja Photo Credit: AP

Noting that the Kane Williamson-led New Zealand had an advantage in this department, Amit Mishra, who has played 22 Tests and taken 76 wickets, said, “I think it would have been better if India included a fast-bowling all-rounder. New Zealand has a fast-bowling all-rounder in their squad, so this is the one advantage that the Blackcaps have.”

Shardul Thakur has what it takes to be the fast-bowling all-rounder that the team has needed ever since Hardik Pandya’s back injury restricted his role with the ball. Hardik Pandya last played Test cricket for India in 2018, during the tour of England. He has been battling a back injury since 2019 and recently, during the IPL, also picked up a shoulder niggle.

The two-Test old Shardul Thakur was mighty impressive in the only longest format game he played in the away series against Australia this year, picking up seven wickets and a half-century to boot in Brisbane.

Amit Mishra: India’s Batting Is Stronger Than The Bowling Unit

Indians are fielding two spinners — Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja– and the pace trio of Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, and Jasprit Bumrah in the WTC final. Amit Mishra also said that India’s batting was stronger than its bowling.

“I think India’s batting line-up is stronger than the bowling unit. If you consider the all-rounders, we bat very deep. Only the three fast bowlers do not bat. So, I feel the batting is stronger.”

Amit Mishra is the second-highest wicket-taker in the history of IPL. (Source: File)
Amit Mishra is the second-highest wicket-taker in the history of IPL. (Source: File)

Leg-spinner Amit Mishra remains a vital cog in the Delhi Capitals’ machinery. The wily leg-spinner, who has the most hat-tricks in the tournament, has 166 IPL wickets against his name. While the injury cut short his IPL 2020 journey, the veteran spinner picked 6 wickets in 4 games averaging 18.16 before contracting the virus as a result of which IPL 2021 was suspended indefinitely. He is the 2nd highest wicket-taker after Lasith Malinga(170 scalps).

Indian openers Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill stitched together a 62-run partnership before departing to the New Zealand pacers before Lunch on Day 2.  India was placed at 69 runs for the loss of two wickets as players headed back to the pavilion at the end of the first session on Day 2. Rohit Sharma got out for 34 to Kyle Jamieson while Shubman Gill followed him shortly losing his wicket to Neil Wagner after scoring 28 runs.

The Dubai International Stadium. - BCCI/IPL
The Dubai International Stadium. - BCCI/IPL
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BCCI During Its SGM Formally Decides The Unfinished Part Of IPL 2021 Will Be At UAE

BCCI during its Special General Meeting, formally decided that the unfinished part of the Indian Premier League 2021 will be held in the United Arab Emirates.

The move to stage the IPL in the UAE was largely expected. As reported earlier, the BCCI has already had an informal agreement with the Emirates Cricket Board. The remainder of IPL 2021 has been moved to the UAE and BCCI has earmarked a window in September and October this year to conduct the matches.

BCCI Image-Twitter/ BCCI
BCCI Image-Twitter/ BCCI

BCCI Formally Decides To Stage The Remainder Of IPL 2021 In UAE

The formal decision was taken on Saturday (May 29) to move the remainder of IPL 2021 to the UAE – in view of the bad weather (monsoon) in India around September-October, when it wants to host the remaining 31 IPL games.

The biggest obstacle to host the tournament will be the non-availability of overseas players, and the Indian board has decided that the franchises will be told to take replacements, both from India and overseas, to refurbish their line-ups. England and Wales Cricket Board has already stated that it won’t release its players for the unfinished part of IPL while Cricket Australia is yet to come out with its position on the matter. A meeting with the IPL franchises will happen at some stage.

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

The spike of positive cases in the bio-bubble had already resulted in the postponement of two IPL games. Varun Chakravarthy, Sandeep Warrier (both KKR), Laxmipathy Balaji, Michael Hussey (both CSK coaches), Amit Mishra (Delhi), and Wriddiman Saha (Hyderabad) tested positive during IPL 2021 prompting organizers to indefinitely postpone IPL after 29 matches were held.

Later KKR’s Tim Seifert and Prasidh Krishna also tasted positive but all of them have hence recovered. Last year, the BCCI hosted the entire edition of the cash-rich tournament successfully in the Middle East, across three venues – Sharjah, Abu Dhabi, and Dubai.

BCCI Seekd Time Till 1st Week Of July From ICC For Decision To Stage T20I World Cup In India

The board also decided to seek time till the first week of July from the International Cricket Council for a decision on staging the T20 World Cup in India. The ICC has slated its meeting on June 1 to decide on the matter, but the world body may have to defer the decision on moving the October 18-November 15 tournament out of India in view of the BCCI’s request. The BCCI thinks that it will explore all possibilities to host it in India itself.

During the meeting, it was also decided that the BCCI will pursue talks with the government over tax concession for the upcoming T20I World Cup, and it was calculated that the BCCI will have a liability of INR 900 crores if it failed to get the exemption. Considering the financial liability and the constantly evolving grieve Covid-19 situation in the country, the BCCI will take a call on staging the T20 World Cup. For the time being, it would tell the ICC to grant another month’s time.

Sourav Ganguly- Twitter
Sourav Ganguly- Twitter

Meanwhile, the issue regarding payments to domestic players, who were supposed to be compensated after several tournaments were not hosted, and was not discussed in the SGM. One of the associations even raised this issue for discussion but was turned down by Sourav Ganguly and Rajeev Shukla, stating that it was not a part of the agenda.

The meeting was also a huge assertion for Mohammed Azharuddin, who was allowed to attend it ahead of Shivlal Yadav, who in turn was nominated in a faction-ridden Annual General Meeting of the Hyderabad Cricket Association. The meeting, held virtually, decided to allow Mohammed Azharuddin after the legal department of the BCCI concluded that the claim of the former India captain is genuine.

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