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Sachin Tendulkar. (Photo Source: Twitter
Sachin Tendulkar. (Photo Source: Twitter
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VVS Laxman Praised Sachin Tendulkar For Playing Under Different Skippers After Quitting Captaincy In 2000

VVS Laxman, a former India batsman lavished praise on Sachin Tendulkar and said only a player like master blaster could have played under different skippers after quitting captaincy in 2000. Sachin Tendulkar was named the Greatest Of All Time (GOAT) batsman in Tests of the 21st century leaving behind the likes of Jacques Kallis, Steve Smith, and Ricky Ponting by an exquisite 50-member jury put together by Star Sports.

Sachin Tendulkar retired from international cricket in 2013 after scoring 15,921 Test runs and 18,426 ODI runs and is still the leading run-scorer in international cricket in Tests and ODIs. His illustrious career spanned more than two decades where he played 200 Tests and 463 ODI, scoring 51 and 49 centuries, respectively.

Sachin Tendulkar Photograph: Niklas Halle’n/AFP/Getty Images
Sachin Tendulkar. Photograph: Niklas Halle’n/AFP/Getty Images

VVS Laxman: Sachin Tendulkar Inspired The Younger Generation Of Indian And World Cricketers

As many as 118 Tests have been played together by the trio of Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, and VVS Laxman – the most by a combination of three players. The record for the most Tests played by a combination of four players together is also held by veteran Indian players. Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Anil Kumble, and Sourav Ganguly played 86 matches together. VVS Laxman played 134 Tests and 86 ODIs where he amassed over 10,000 runs overall.

“I’ve played alongside him for so long. Sachin played under different captains. I think in 2000 he decided that he is not going to captain anymore. And such a senior player, such a legend of the game. But to adjust and contribute to the progress of Indian cricket under different captains, and to help them flourish as captains, is something only a role model and inspiration like Sachin can do — which he did really good,” said VVS Laxman on Star Sports’ show Cricket Live.

File image of former Indian cricketers Sachin Tendulkar (L) and VVS Laxman | AFP
File image of former Indian cricketers Sachin Tendulkar (L) and VVS Laxman | AFP

“The legacy that he left-back is not only scoring hundreds, double hundreds, 100 hundred, but also the way he inspired the younger generation of Indian cricketers and the world cricketers. I still remember Kane Williamson in his debut Test match in Ahmedabad; chatting with Sachin, understanding the game.

“As recently as the IPL, which just finished, we had a long chat with Sachin; talking about his tennis elbow injury. So, not only the Indian cricketers got inspiration from Sachin, but all the cricketers from all over the world got inspiration from him and that’s why he is the greatest,” VVS Laxman added.

Sachin Tendulkar played the IPL till 2013 where his last year saw him lift the first IPL trophy for Mumbai Indians. Throughout his career, Sachin Tendulkar had prominent figures in the IPL. He played a total of 78 matches, scoring 2334 runs. He had an average of 33.83 and a strike rate of 119.82. IPL 2011 was also the time when Sachin Tendulkar scored his only century in T20 cricket. In 2013, Sachin Tendulkar was paid INR 8.28 crore to play in the IPL.

Sachin Tendulkar A Great Ambassador For Cricket From India: Nasser Hussain

Former England skipper Nasser Hussain termed Tendulkar a “great ambassador for cricket from India”.

“There are some great candidates and any of these (GOAT nominees) would be worthy winners. I mean, it’s not just the stats between those hundreds you get. I think it’s sometimes too driven by stats,” he said.
Nasser Hussain. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)
Nasser Hussain. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)
“This occasion has shown it — here today in the final — it’s about how you handle pressure; how you cope with pressure. Also, an ambassador for the game, Sachin, was a great ambassador for cricket from India. When he speaks, people listen,” he added.

Sachin Tendulkar, who called time on his illustrious Test career in 2013, notched up 15,921 runs at a phenomenal average of 53.78.

Ravichandran Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin. (Photo Source: Twitter)
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Ravichandran Ashwin Might Quit Cricket If He Feels He Lost The Urge To Improve His Craft

Ravichandran Ashwin, star India off-spinner says competition always brings out the best in him, and the day he feels he has lost that urge to improve his craft, he will quit the sport.

Ravichandran Ashwin is regarded as a thinking cricketer who always strives to explore something new, something extra in his game and that attitude has paid rich dividends for him throughout his career.

Ravichandran Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)

Ravichandran Ashwin Might Not Play Cricket Anymore If He Feels He Lost The Urge To Improve His Craft

Ravichandran Ashwin has bagged more than 200 wickets of left-handers in Test cricket. He has 409 career wickets and is India’s fourth-highest wicket-taker currently behind Kapil Dev, Anil Kumble, and Harbhajan Singh. He picked 12 wickets in 3 Tests in the Australia series and followed it up by taking 32 scalps in the following England 4 Test series where he was the leading wicket-taker.

“The beauty about Test cricket is you are always aspiring to be perfect but you can settle for excellence, so that’s pretty much I think I do,” Ashwin was quoted as saying by the ICC ahead of the ongoing World Test Championship final between India and New Zealand.

“I think whatever I have achieved so far in my career is because of that attitude, did not settle for anything, constantly looking to improve. I maintained that if I don’t like doing different things and if I lose the patience to do something new or get satisfied then I might not play the sport anymore,” he said.

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

The 34-year-old from Chennai, who has captured 409 Test wickets so far, said that he doesn’t enjoy controversy but if poked he doesn’t hesitate to give it back on the field with his performance.

“It’s not like that I enjoy controversy but I enjoy a fight and that pretty much sums up why I am here,” he said.

“I don’t celebrate victories as much as I ideally should because for me victory is an incident and is coincidental to planning and practice. I sit and think about what can be better,” Ashwin said.

By his own admission, Ravichandran Ashwin doesn’t like to talk much about his own performances as for him playing the sport and excelling in it is his profession.

“I don’t really read or dwell on my performances to be very honest. To be brutally honest I just hate the fact that I am who I am because of what I do. In India you get a lot of adulation but I am just another normal person who finds peace and happiness playing the sport,” he said.

“It is just absolutely wonderful that I can ply my trade and feed my family and I get paid so well. This is a sport that gives meaning for me to live. I am too excited about it. I don’t time for people rating me or not rating me, it’s just another person’s opinion and that’s just brutally how I live my life.”

Ravichandran Ashwin has last featured in an ODI and T20I in 2017 in June-July against West Indies. He has 150 ODI scalps in 111 ODIs.  Ravichandran Ashwin’s last international ODI game was on 30 June 2017 in the 3rd ODI at North Sound against the West Indies.

Ravichandran Ashwin Is One Of The Greats Of The Game: Jasprit Bumrah

India pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah considers Ravichandran Ashwin as one of the greats of the game.

“I think he (Ashwin) is one of the greats of the game because if you look at his records, it speaks for itself. He has done well with the bat as well as with the ball. He has taken more than 400 Test wickets so that doesn’t come by chance,” he said.

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

India bowling coach Bharat Arun also lavished praise on Ravichandran Ashwin’s work ethic and said he is never satisfied and wants to learn new things daily.

“Ashwin is not very happy with whatever he does, he always loves to come out of his comfort zone and learn new things, develop different angles and that’s what makes him so special,” Arun said.

“He understands his bowling most often. What bowlers actually and think they are doing are two different things, so Ashwin understands his bowling to bridge this gap. So once a bowler bridges this gap he has a bigger chance to innovate and that’s makes very special,” he added.

In the ongoing WTC Final, Ravindra Jadeja and Ishant Sharma were at the crease after the fall of skipper Virat Kohli, Rishabh Pant, Ajinkya Rahane, and Ravichandran Ashwin on Day 3 with India reaching 211 runs for seven wickets. Ravichandran Ashwin fell for a quick 22 to Tim Southee.

Ravichandran Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin. (Photo Source: Twitter)
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Curtly Ambrose Reacts To Sanjay Manjrekar’s Comments On Ravichandran Ashwin

Curtly, Ambrose, the former West Indies fast bowler has reacted to Sanjay Manjrekar’s comments on Ravichandran Ashwin, where the former India batsman had said that he does not consider the off-spinner to be an all-time great.

Sanjay Manjrekar’s take on Ravichandran Ashwin created an uproar on social media with many criticizing the commentator for his remarks on India’s premier spinner. Certain current and ex-cricketers had reacted to the matter, with the legendary Curtly Ambrose being the latest to give his take on it.

Curtly Ambrose weighed in on the Ashwin-Manjrekar development. (Getty Images)
Curtly Ambrose weighed in on the Ashwin-Manjrekar development. (Getty Images)

Curtly Ambrose Wonders How One Define Greatness

Sanjay Manjrekar was of the opinion that Ravichandran Ashwin’s lack of five-wicket hauls in pace-friendly conditions is the reason behind him not being an all-time legend of cricket.

“We all have our different opinions. We all look at greatness in different ways. Sanjay Manjrekar was a wonderful cricketer in his time. He has his opinion of that, we all have our views. But, how do you define greatness? That is a good question,” Ambrose told sports presenter Karishma Kotak on ‘The Curtly and Karishma Show’ on YouTube.

“Because sometimes, to be quite fair, we use the word greatness loosely. So, we have to be careful with how we define greatness. According to me, greatness is when a player can be very consistent over a period of time, for years, not one or two years.”

Sanjay Manjrekar | Sportzpics
Sanjay Manjrekar | Sportzpics

Currently ranked 2nd in the ICC Test rankings for bowlers, Ravichandran Ashwin has played 78 Tests, picking up 409 wickets at an average of 24.69. He holds the record for being the fastest to breach the 250, 300, and 350 wickets and is just 26 victims short of becoming India’s 2nd most successful bowler. Ravichandran Ashwin was also the most successful spinner on the tour down under, with his 12 wickets from three games coming at just under 29 apiece.

Curtly Ambrose: One Can Be Judged Great On Basis Of Consistency Over The Years

Curtly Ambrose, who picked up 405 wickets from 98 Tests and 225 wickets from 176 ODIs for the West Indies, and was considered one of the best fast bowlers of his era, suggested that the best way to determine whether someone is a ‘great’ is to see the overall growth of a player since he first made an appearance.

Ravichandran Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)

In the case of Ravichandran Ashwin, the off-spinner is in his 11th year as an international cricketer and with 409 wickets – which makes him India’s fourth-highest wicket-taker in Tests – he surely is one of India’s best bowlers of all time. He also has the most five-wicket-hauls (30) by an Indian bowler in Test matches after the great leg spinner Anil Kumble (35).

Ravichandran Ashwin is set to play the WTC final and is four wickets away from being the leading wicket-taker in the championship. He has 409 career wickets and is India’s fourth-highest wicket-taker currently behind Kapil Dev, Anil Kumble, and Harbhajan Singh.
He picked 12 wickets in 3 Tests in the Australia series and followed it up by taking 32 scalps in the following England 4 Test series where he was the leading wicket-taker.
In the Test bowling rankings, senior India spinner Ravichandran Ashwin continued to occupy second place (850 rating points), behind Australian pacer Pat Cummins (908 points). Ravichandran Ashwin is the lone Indian in the top-10.
Ravichandran Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)
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Abhinav Mukund Disagrees With Sanjay Manjrekar, Feels Ravichandran Ashwin Is One Of The Legends

Abhinav Mukund, Tamil Nadu batsman has ‘respectfully disagreed’ with Sanjay Manjrekar’s comments about Ravichandran Ashwin not being a ‘legend of the game’.

Abhinav Mukund argued that the off-spinner is a meticulous planner, a ‘fantastic’ performer, and has enough records to back him as a legend. In a recent interaction with ESPNcricinfo, Sanjay Manjrekar was of the opinion that Ravichandran Ashwin’s lack of five-wicket hauls in pace-friendly conditions is the reason behind him not being an all-time legend of cricket.

Sanjay Manjrekar | Sportzpics
Sanjay Manjrekar | Sportzpics.

Abhinav Mukund Respectfully Disagree With Sanjay Manjrekar As He Has Several Impactful Performances

Abhinav Mukund refuted the claims, saying that one should look at Tamil Nadu’s spinner Ravichandran Ashwin’s overall impact, including during the tour of Australia last year, and his ‘several world records’ before judging.

“I read an article today where Sanjay Manjrekar said that ‘I disagree that he is a legend of the game’. I have to respectfully disagree with Mr. Manjrekar and say he is a legend of the game because he holds several world records. The accusation towards him is that he’s never performed in SENA countries.”

Ravichandran Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin. (Photo Source: Twitter)

“But I think he had a fantastic tour to Australia. If you look at it that way, and if you just look at the number of five-wicket-hauls he’s taken and what an impact he’s been to as a leader, he’s probably one of the legends of the game in my opinion at least,” Mukund told stand-up comedian Sorabh Pant on his YouTube channel ‘Wake Up With Sorabh’.

Currently ranked 2nd in the ICC Test rankings for bowlers, Ravichandran Ashwin has played 78 Tests, picking up 409 wickets at an average of 24.69. He holds the record for being the fastest to breach the 250, 300, and 350 wickets and is just 26 victims short of becoming India’s 2nd most successful bowler. Ravichandran Ashwin was also the most successful spinner on the tour down under, with his 12 wickets from three games coming at just under 29 apiece.

Ravichandran Ashwin is set to play the WTC final and is four wickets away from being the leading wicket-taker in the championship. He has 409 career wickets and is India’s fourth-highest wicket-taker currently behind Kapil Dev, Anil Kumble, and Harbhajan Singh. He picked 12 wickets in 3 Tests in the Australia series and followed it up by taking 32 scalps in the following England 4 Test series where he was the leading wicket-taker.

Abhinav Mukund: Ravichandran Ashwin’s Been Fantastic

Abhinav Mukund also talked about Ravichandran Ashwin’s penchant for planning and preparation for every game. He said that the 34-year-old spinner ‘just loves the game’ and it shows in his execution on the field.

“He just loves the game. Ashwin is actually a guy who will research everything there is to cricket. He just needs to be one of those very well-prepared individuals who go on to a cricket field and that kind of shows in the way he has performed, especially in Test match cricket. He’s been fantastic,” Mukund, who has played 7 Tests for India, added.

Abhinav Mukund ESPNcricinfo Ltd
Abhinav Mukund ESPNcricinfo Ltd

Ravichandran Ashwin will be seen in action in the much-anticipated World Test Championship final between India and New Zealand on June 18 at Southampton.

In 2011, Abhinav Mukund made his debut in the Indian national cricket team. After playing 7 Test matches (played only in 2011 and 2017), he was dropped from the team. When he was 21, he played his first Test match for the country. Abhinav Mukund is a hard-hitting batsman who has played 145 first-class, 84 List A, and 35 T20s.

In First-Class cricket, he has scored 10258 runs at a staggering average of 47.93 in 145 games which include 31 tons. He also notched up 12 tons in List A matches averaging above 50.

Ravichandran Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin. (Photo Source: Twitter)
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Sanjay Manjrekar Explain Reasons For Not Considering Ravichandran Ashwin An All Time Great

Sanjay Manjrekar, former India cricketer turned commentator explained why he doesn’t consider Indian spinner Ravichandran Ashwin as an all-time great citing Ravindra Jadeja’s example.

Ravichandran Ashwin has impressive stats as off-spinner-409 wickets in 78 matches at an average of 24.69, including 30 five-wicket hauls in an innings and seven 10-wicket hauls in Tests. These aren’t just random numbers but the Test record of Team India’s fourth-highest wicket-taker currently.

Ravichandran Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)

Sanjay Manjrekar: Ravichandran Ashwin Doesn’t Have A Single 5 Wicket Haul In SENA Countries So He Can’t Be Termed One Of All-Time Greats

The senior India off-spinner is regarded as not only one of the best spinners in India but also in the world. In the list of highest wicket-takers in the history of Test cricket, Ravichandran Ashwin is the fifth most successful spinner currently. In India, he’s only behind Kapil Dev, Anil Kumble, and Harbhajan Singh in terms of most wicket-takers.

Despite possessing such stellar numbers, Ravichandran Ashwin does not make the cut as an all-time great for former India batsman Sanjay Manjrekar.

File image of Sanjay Manjrekar | Sportzpics
File image of Sanjay Manjrekar | Sportzpics

While speaking on a show on ESPNCricinfo, Sanjay Manjrekar said that the reason behind his decision is the fact that Ravichandran Ashwin does not have the numbers in SENA countries – South Africa, England, New Zealand, and Australia – to show for it. The cricketer-turned-commentator also added that his colleague Ravindra Jadeja has often been at par with the Tamil Nadu off-spinner.

“When people start talking about him as being one of the all-time greats of the game then I have a few problems. One basic problem I have with Ashwin is that when you look at SENA countries, Ashwin doesn’t have a single five-wicket haul there.”

“And the other thing when you talk about him running through sides on Indian pitches that are suited to his kind of bowling is that in the last four years, Jadeja has matched him with wicket-taking abilities. Then, interestingly, in the last series against England, Axar Patel got more wickets than Ashwin on similar pitches. So that is my problem with accepting Ashwin as a real all-time great,” explained Sanjay Manjrekar.

Ravichandran Ashwin is currently world No.2 in the ICC Test rankings for bowlers. He is only nine wickets away from surpassing Harbhajan Singh, who is India’s third-highest wicket-taker currently and is only 26 wickets away from displacing the legendary Kapil Dev from the second position in the list.

Axar Patel Picked 27 Scalps In 3 Tests Against England And Finished 2nd Behind Ravichandran Ashwin (32 Scalps In 4 Tests)

Axar Patel made his Test debut in February 2021, six years after playing his maiden limited-overs match for India, and starred so much so with the ball that he ended up picking 27 wickets from the 3 matches in the series. He took 4 five-wicket hauls as England lost the series 3-1.

Axar Patel | Pankaj Nangia/ Sportzpics for BCCI
Axar Patel | Pankaj Nangia/ Sportzpics for BCCI

England managed to win only the first Test match which Axar Patel missed due to a knee injury. In his debut Test series, he picked 27 scalps to finish behind Ravichandran Ashwin (32) in the leading wicket-takers list.

Ravichandran Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)
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Brad Hogg Backs Ravichandran Ashwin To Surpass Muttiah Muralitharan’s Record 800 Test Scalps

Brad Hogg has backed veteran Indian spinner Ravichandran Ashwin to surpass Muttiah Muralitharan’s record of 800 Test scalps if he continues to pick up wickets at the current rate.

Muttiah Muralitharan’s world record of 800 Test wickets is a rare feat but not one that may last forever, reckons Brad Hogg. The former Australia wrist-spinner has backed veteran Indian spinner Ravichandran Ashwin to surpass Muttiah Muralitharan’s record if he continues to pick up wickets at the current rate.

Ravichandran Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Brad Hogg Reckons Ravichandran Ashwin May Break Muttiah Muralitharan’s Record Of Maximum 800 Test Wickets

Brad Hogg feels Ravichandran Ashwin, 34, who can carry on for another eight years in Tests, is very much capable of going past 600 Test wickets, and if things work in his favour, breaking Muttiah Muralitharan’s record is not something Hogg feels is impossible.

“I think he will probably play till 42 in Tests. I think his batting might drop off but he’ll be more lethal with the ball by the time passing by. I can see him pushing 600+ Test wickets at least. He might even break Muttiah Muralitharan’s record (of 800 Test wickets) as well,” Hogg told Timesnownews.com.

Ravichandran Ashwin and Muttiah Muralitharan. (Getty Images)
Ravichandran Ashwin and Muttiah Muralitharan. (Getty Images)

Ravichandran Ashwin has played 78 Test matches for India in which he’s picked up 409 wickets at an average of 24.69. Currently, he is placed fourth in the list of India’s leading wicket-takers behind Anil Kumble, Kapil Dev, and Harbhajan Singh.

Anil Kumble currently holds the record for most wickets by an Indian in Test (619 in 132 matches). Overall, Ravichandran Ashwin is currently the fourth-highest wicket-taker for India, behind Anil Kumble, former Indian captain Kapil Dev (434 wickets), and Harbhajan Singh (417 wickets).

Brad Hogg: Ravichandran Ashwin Is Adaptable And Hungry For Success Becoming Successful Recently

Furthermore, he has picked as many as 30 five-wicket hauls and seven ten-wicket hauls in a match, making him one of the best spinners to ever play the game and arguably the greatest finger spinner of the modern era. One of the many reasons behind Ravichandran Ashwin’s success, Brad Hogg reckons is how he has mastered the art of bowling all around the world.

“The reason why I think he’s so good because he is adaptable and his hunger of continuing to grow up as a cricketer. He also played county cricket to get used to England conditions and that’s how he has become so successful especially in recent years,” Hogg added.

Brad Hogg (PTI Photo)
Brad Hogg (PTI Photo)

On the other hand, Ravichandran Ashwin has 409 wickets from 78 Tests and Brad Hogg feels should the 34-year-old manage to play in his early 40s, the record would be his for the taking.

Muttiah Muralitharan is widely regarded as one of the greatest spinners to have played the game and he took a whopping 800 wickets during his Test career which is the most by any in the format’s rich history. Shane Warne, another legend of the game, is the second in the list with 708 wickets with Anil Kumble completing the top-three having taken 619 scalps.

In the Border-Gavaskar Trophy down under in 2020/21, Ravichandran Ashwin played the innings of his life to rescue India from the jaws of defeat. In the third Test at Sydney, India was 272/5, while chasing 407, when the spin all-rounder joined hands with Hanuma Vihari, who was suffering from a hamstring injury, and the duo batted for 43 overs, as the spinner, who was himself suffering from serious back spasm, played cautiously and scored 39 runs off 128 deliveries to draw the third Test match.

In the home series against England, Ravichandran Ashwin scored his 5th Test ton on a turning track of Chepauk. In the same series, he picked up his 400th wicket in Test matches and finished the series with 32 wickets to get the player of the series award.

Shahrukh Khan swats one on the leg side NurPhoto/Getty Images
Shahrukh Khan swats one on the leg side NurPhoto/Getty Images
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Shahrukh Khan Wants To Create Own Identity After Doing Well In IPL 2021

Shahrukh Khan admitted that it’s a big thing for him to be compared with West Indian Kieron Pollard but he wants to create his own identity, after proving his mettle in his debut IPL season in 2021.

Tamil Nadu batsman Shahrukh Khan made a sensational entry to Punjab Kings in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021. Following a terrific stint in the domestic circuit for Tamil Nadu, the youngster was bought for a whopping Rs. 5.25 crore at the players’ auction for currently suspended IPL 2021.

Shahrukh Khan Image Credit : BCCI
Shahrukh Khan Image Credit: BCCI

Shahrukh Khan Needs To Create Own Identity But Felt Good When Anil Kumble Compared Him With Kieron Pollard

The PBKS team management looked for a hard-hitter in him as head coach Anil Kumble compared him with Caribbean all-rounder Kieron Pollard before the start of the tournament.

Shahrukh Khan didn’t get many opportunities to play in the season before it got suspended midway. However, the Tamil Nadu cricketer left no stones unturned in leaving an impact. His fiery cameos on multiple occasions made him a go-to middle-order batsman in Punjab’s line-up. Shahrukh Khan scored 107 in 8 innings at a strike rate of 127.38.

Shahrukh Khan, Anil Kumble And Kieron Pollard Image Courtesy: AFP | Getty Images
Shahrukh Khan, Anil Kumble, And Kieron Pollard Image Courtesy: AFP | Getty Images

In a conversation with InsideSport, Shahrukh Khan stated that he felt great to be compared with Kieron Pollard but he wants to create his own identity.

“Definitely, that is obviously a big thing when Anil Kumble compared me to Kieron Pollard. But I’m just starting off. So, I feel that I need to create an identity of my own. I want to become what I do, the way I go about. Obviously, it’s a wonderful thing that he compared me to Kieron Pollard. He is head and shoulders ahead of me. I’m just starting off. I will get there but him comparing me to Kieron Pollard was pretty good,” Shahrukh khan was quoted as saying.

With his batting exploits in the Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL), the 25-year-old Shahrukh Khan sparked an intense bidding war for his services in the IPL auction in February. The West Indian Kieron Pollard was picked up by Mumbai Indians for the 2010 season and has remained with them ever since.

Shahrukh Khan Wanted To Bat In IPL 2021 In A Similar Manner Like Tamil Nadu In Domestic Circuit

The 24-year-old further revealed the message he got from skipper KL Rahul and head coach Anil Kumble before going to bat in his debut season.

“It was very simple for me. They just told me to go and do what I do for Tamil Nadu and nothing different, nothing else. They told me, ‘You don’t need to do anything differently yet. It’s just a change in name, but the ball, everything is the same. We’ll be very happy with it,” said Shahrukh.

IPL 2021- PBKS vs RR: Punjab Kings' costliest uncapped India player Shahrukh Khan makes his IPL debut vs Rajasthan Royals
IPL 2021- PBKS vs RR: Punjab Kings’ costliest uncapped India player Shahrukh Khan makes his IPL debut vs Rajasthan Royals

Named after a popular Bollywood star, Shahrukh Khan is a right-hand batsman and occasional right-arm off-spinner. At 6 feet 6 inches, the 25-year-old showed plenty of promise in the 2018 edition of the Tamil Nadu Premier League tournament, where he honed his skills and compiled 325 runs in nine games for a new franchise – the Kovai Kings and it paved the way for his comeback into the Tamil Nadu side.

He was part of the Tamil Nadu side that went unbeaten all season on their way to winning the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy in 2021. The 25-year-old Shahrukh Khan was one of the star performers in Tamil Nadu’s victorious 2020-21 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy campaign. He blasted 88 runs in four innings at a strike rate of 220, scoring a best of 40 not out off 19 balls. Subsequently, he was purchased by PBKS in the IPL mini-auction for INR 5.25 crore, becoming Punjab’s biggest Indian buy-in IPL 2021.

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Shahrukh Khan Of PBKS Reminds Anil Kumble Of Kieron Pollard

Shahrukh Khan, Punjab Kings’ new recruit has managed to impress the team’s head and director of cricket operations, Anil Kumble.

The former Indian captain heaped massive praise on the youngster and even drew parallels with Kieron Pollard.

Shahrukh Khan, Anil Kumble And Kieron Pollard Image Courtesy: AFP | Getty Images
Shahrukh Khan, Anil Kumble, And Kieron Pollard Image Courtesy: AFP | Getty Images

Anil Kumble Says Shahrukh Khan Reminds Him Of Kieron Pollard

Anil Kumble recollected his experience of bowling to Kieron Pollard in the Mumbai Indians (MI) nets and said that Shahrukh Khan brings a similar skillset to the table.

Anil Kumble said in this regard: “Yeah, he reminds me a bit of Pollard actually. When I was with Mumbai Indians, Pollard in the nets was dangerous. I used to bowl a bit (in the nets), and the first thing I used to tell him was don’t hit straight. Here I’m not even trying. I’m a lot older now, and the body doesn’t take the bowling anymore. So, I’m not going to bowl at Shahrukh, for sure”.

File image of KXIP coach Anil Kumble(Kings Xi Punjab/Twitter)
File image of KXIP coach Anil Kumble(Kings Xi Punjab/Twitter)

Shahrukh Khan has played 31 T20 matches thus far, scoring 293 runs at a strike rate of 131.39. With his batting exploits in the Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL), the 25-year-old sparked an intense bidding war for his services in the IPL auction in February.

Kieron Pollard’s IPL Record: After his heroics in the CLT20 for Trinidad and Tobago, Kieron Pollard was picked up by Mumbai Indians for the 2010 season and has remained with them ever since. He has played many memorable knocks for them and has bowled several worthy spells. In 164 IPL games, he has scored 3023 runs averaging nearly 30 and has picked 60 scalps.

Shahrukh Khan Surprised At Bidding War At IPL 2021 Auction

The Delhi Capitals, the Royals Challengers Bangalore, and the Punjab Kings bid for him, with Preity Zinta’s franchise acquiring Shahrukh Khan for Rs 5.25 crore.

Named after a popular Bollywood star, Shahrukh Khan is a right-hand batsman and occasional right-arm off-spinner. At 6 feet 6 inches, the 25-year-old showed plenty of promise in the 2018 edition of the Tamil Nadu Premier League tournament, where he honed his skills and compiled 325 runs in nine games for a new franchise – the Kovai Kings and it paved the way for his comeback into the Tamil Nadu side.

He made his List A debut on 27 February 2014, for Tamil Nadu in the 2013–14 Vijay Hazare Trophy. He made his first-class debut for Tamil Nadu in the 2018–19 Ranji Trophy on 6 December 2018. He was part of the Tamil Nadu side that went unbeaten all season on their way to winning the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy in 2021.

Shahrukh Khan (right) was sold to Punjab Kings in IPL 2021 auction(PTI)
Shahrukh Khan (right) was sold to Punjab Kings in IPL 2021 auction(PTI)

“Being amongst such stalwarts of cricket, it feels amazing to be here and the inputs have been great. I have been having a lot of conversations with everyone around here, getting to learn a lot as well,” Shahrukh Khan has said about his Punjab Kings experience.

Shahrukh Khan said that he was pleasantly surprised that there was a bidding war for his services in the auction.

“The auction started at around 3 PM I guess, and we were practising at the Holkar Stadium, obviously I had to bat and bowl a bit. So I told our physio that ‘please let me know when my name comes up. I’ll take a break and come and see the auction.’ Luckily my name didn’t come up, and it didn’t bother my batting much. Right after we finished practice and we hopped onto the bus, I still remember sitting on the first seat and my name came up. My heart started pumping, but I didn’t expect it to rise as much as it did,” Shahrukh Khan added.

Punjab Kings went in with the biggest purse for the IPL 2021 auction after having released several of their big names, including Glenn Maxwell. As expected, the Priety Zinta co-owned franchise spent big at the IPL auction, bringing in overseas stars like Jhye Richardson, Dawid Malan, Riley Meredith, and Moises Henriques.

Punjab Kings also signed up Tamil Nadu big-hitter Shah Rukh Khan, seasoned all-rounder Jalaj Saxena among others. After missing the play-offs berth at IPL 2020 despite a strong late surge, KL Rahul-led Punjab Kings will be keen on making it to the play-offs stage in IPL 2021.

IPL 2021: Punjab Kings squad

Retained players: KL Rahul, Arshdeep Singh, Chris Gayle, Darshan Nalkande, Harpreet Brar, Mandeep Singh, Mayank Agarwal, Mohd. Shami, M Ashwin, Nicholas Pooran, Sarfaraz Khan, Deepak Hooda, Ishan Porel, Ravi Bishnoi, Chris Jordan, Prabhsimran Singh.

Players bought at Auction: Jhye Richardson (Rs 14 crore), Shahrukh Khan (Rs 5.25 crore), Dawid Malan (Rs 1.5 crore), Riley Meredith (Rs 8 crore), Moises Henriques (Rs 4.20 crore), Jalaj Saxena (Rs 30 lakhs), Utkarsh Singh (Rs 20 lakhs), Fabian Allen (Rs 75 lakh), Saurabh Kumar (Rs 20 lakh).

Indian pacer Mohammed Shami (Photo | PTI)
Indian pacer Mohammed Shami (Photo | PTI)
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Anil Kumble Provides Fitness Update On Mohammed Shami

Anil Kumble, head coach of Punjab Kings, the IPL franchise pacer Mohammed Shami is part of, has finally provided an update as to how the fast bowler is faring.

Ever since Mohammed Shami fractured his arm during the first Test against Australia in December of last year, there is yet to be an official confirmation about his recovery or fitness. It’s been over three months that Mohammed Shami was ruled out of the Indian team but so far nothing was announced as far as his recovery is concerned.

Anil Kumble And Mohammed Shami Twitter
Anil Kumble And Mohammed Shami Twitter

Anil Kumble: Mohammed Shami Is Fine And Will Play A Few Practice Games

However, Anil Kumble, head coach of Punjab Kings, the IPL franchise Mohammed Shami is a part of, has finally provided an update as to how the fast bowler is faring. Anil Kumble informed that Mohammed Shami is ‘good to go’ and that everyone in the franchise is looking forward to him playing the 14th edition of the IPL starting April 9.

“He is fine as far as I know. He is coming to the bio-bubble for the quarantine and he will be out in a few days. I know he hasn’t played any matches since his injury but he is good to go. We are really looking forward to him playing a few practice games and then getting ready for the first game,” Anil Kumble told Sportstar.

Mohammad Shami
Mohammed Shami. Photo Credit: BCCI

Mohammed Shami has revived his limited-overs career in recent months and was picked up by Kings XI Punjab for a hefty price tag of INR 4.8 crore. He has the skills to be effective both at the start of the innings and also in the death overs. He had a fine run in 2019 and finished the season as KXIP’s highest wicket-taker with 19 wickets from 14 games. He also picked 20 scalps in IPL 2020 held at UAE averaging 23 playing 14 games.

Anil Kumble: Punjab Kings Have A Squad Giving Options In Case Need Arises To Rotate Pacers

Having finished the previous season at 12 points from 14 matches, Punjab Kings went into the IPL 2021 auction with the fattest purse among all eight franchises, with a whopping 53.2 crore to spent. They ended up spending 14 crores on Australian pacer Jhye Richardson, while also acquiring the likes of Shahrukh Khan, Riley Meredith, Moises Henriques, Jalaj Saxena, Utkarsh Singh, Fabian Allen, and Saurabh Kumar.

“I think in the smaller auctions, people tend to forget that the options are minimal. Every team wants to reinforce and fill the gaps and since the options are lesser, you tend to spend a lot more on the players. We wanted to have a squad that gives us options in case we want to rotate a few of our fast bowlers. Even our young Indian pacers are exciting. It is a fairly long tournament and the conditions will be pretty hot,” Anil Kumble added.

Jhye Richardson
Jhye Richardson Source: AAP

The former finalists of IPL 2014 have rebranded themselves as Punjab Kings as they are hopeful of a change in fortunes in Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021.

Punjab Kings(formerly KXIP) did not reach the play-offs in IPL 2020 despite staging a stunning comeback, winning 5 games on the trot after a poor start. The Punjab-based franchise has only reached the play-offs twice so far in the IPL. The Punjab franchise has never won IPL but was semi-finalists in 2008 and runners-up in 2014. Apart from the two occasions, they couldn’t reach playoffs in other editions. They were 6th in IPL 2020.

The Kings XI Punjab released as many as nine players as part of their retention exercise ahead of the auction. Glenn Maxwell, Sheldon Cottrell, Krishnappa Gowtham, and Karun Nair are some of the cricketers they decided against retaining while they retained the likes of KL Rahul, Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal, Ravi Bishnoi, Nicholas Pooran, Chris Jordan, and Mohammed Shami.

Ravichandran Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin. (Photo Source: Twitter)
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Ravichandran Ashwin Is Reinventing Himself: VVS Laxman

Ravichandran Ashwin has been in spectacular form in the last three months as he produced match-winning performances one after another. After getting the better of Steve Smith in Australia, he spun a web around the English batsmen. Along with Axar Patel, the 34-year-old off-spinner picked up the bulk of the wickets as India finally qualified for the World Test Championship final.

Ravichandran Ashwin was named the man of the series after the contest ended with India beating England in three days to win the four-match series 2-1. He picked up 32 wickets in eight innings and helped India reach the WTC final against England.

Ravichandran Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)

Ravichandran Ashwin Plans Dismissals According To Batsman’s Mistakes And Is Reinventing Himself: VVS Laxman

Former India batsman VVS Laxman is also full praise for off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, as he insisted that preparation is key to the veteran spinner’s success besides mentioning that he is a thinking cricketer, who is constantly reinventing himself.

Ravichandran Ashwin recently became the fourth Indian bowler to take 400 Test wickets, when he achieved the feat by dismissing Jofra Archer in the pink ball Test at Ahmedabad, which the hosts won by 10 wickets under two days.

VVS Laxman
VVS Laxman. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Ravichandran Ashwin, 34, also became the second-fastest bowler to reach the landmark after Sri Lanka spin wizard Muttiah Muralitharan.

“I think he’s (Ashwin) a very intelligent person. When you’re playing at the highest level, then it’s not only about your skill, it’s about your preparation, your planning and execution is so critical. So, he works out what are the weaknesses of the batsman. He plans those dismissals and that’s why I think he is reinventing himself,” VVS Laxman, a veteran of 134 Tests, said on the Star Sports show ‘Cricket Connected’.

To prove his point, VVS Laxman cited the example of Australian star batsman Steve Smith’s trouble against Ravichandran Ashwin during India’s recent tour Down Under.

“We saw recently in the Australia series how he (Ashwin) troubled someone as great as Steve Smith and that’s another thing that makes Ashwin or any champion player special, that he wants to be the best and compete against the best,” he said.

Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel combined to claim 59 English wickets as the Joe Root-led side squandered a 1-0 advantage and suffered three back-to-back defeats. Ravichandran Ashwin scored his fifth Test hundred in the 2nd Test at Chennai on a pitch that was the subject of intense criticism besides being the leading wicket-taker. For his all-around effort (32 wickets and 189 runs), Ravichandran Ashwin walked away with the Man of the Series award.

Former India opener Aakash Chopra too lavished praise on the off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, saying he is one of the biggest match-winners the country has ever produced.

“78 Test matches for 400 Test wickets. Let the naysayers be! He’s been absolutely phenomenal with the craft that he has displayed over a period of time and as he’s growing as a bowler, he’s picking a lot of wickets. So, that question mark is also getting answered quite nicely,” said Chopra.

Aakash Chopra. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Aakash Chopra. (Photo Source: Twitter)

“I feel that he’s an absolute rockstar. He’s one of the biggest match-winners that India has ever produced, of course, Anil Kumble will still remain at No.1,” added 43-year-old, who has played 10 Tests for the country.”

Aakash Chopra termed Ravichandran Ashwin’s scalping of 400 wickets in only 77 Tests as a ‘phenomenal’ achievement. Ravichandran Ashwin proved his credentials in away conditions during the Australia series where he picked 12 scalps in 3 Tests averaging 28.83 which is creditable as the pitches were mostly seaming friendly.

The former opener concluded by calling Ravichandran Ashwin one of India’s greatest-ever match-winners, probably second only to former leg spinner Anil Kumble, who is India’s leading Test wicket-taker with 619 scalps.