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Anrich Nortje

Ab de Villiers
Ab de Villiers.

Linda Zondi Reveals Reasons Behind AB de Villiers Not Playing 2019 WC

Linda Zondi, the former South Africa chief selector has revealed the reasons behind star batsman AB de Villiers not taking part in the 2019 World Cup in England and Wales. Back in May 2018, AB de Villiers retired from international cricket but continued playing franchise cricket around the world.

Thereafter, rumours of him making a comeback did the rounds, but nothing substantial came to the fore. Linda Zondi said that despite his repeated requests to AB de Villiers to postpone his retirement after the World Cup, the latter didn’t budge.

AB de Villiers
AB de Villiers. Image Credits: Twitter

Linda Zondi Opines On AB de Villiers Who Wanted To Retire Before 2019 World Cup

Later, the Pretoria-born showed his keenness to play the mega event-the 2019 World Cup in England but as per Linda Zondi, it would then have been unfair on the team members if the retired batter was included in the squad. Linda Zondi was also surprised after AB de Villiers refrained from sharing with him the reason behind taking a prolonged break from Test cricket back in 2017.

“When AB took a break [in 2017], he didn’t share the information with me. I contacted him and said I wasn’t happy with what you have done and he apologized,” Zondi told ESPNcricinfo.

Linda Zondi
Linda Zondi – Image: Lee Warren/Gallo Images

“Then there was the World Cup, which was a massive story. The captain [Faf du Plessis] came to me and said AB would like to be included in the World Cup. I turned it down because AB had earlier come to me and said he wanted to retire and I told him [then] we need you in the World Cup in England,” he stated.


“If there are certain series you miss, we can work with that. I said I am happy to manage your time and you can retire after the World Cup. He said no, he wants to retire. Then, Faf came that AB wanted to return. I turned it down. I thought it was unethical to the players who were part of the squad,” Linda Zondi added.

South Africa, led by Faf Du Plessis, had a disastrous campaign in 2019 as they failed to qualify for the semis. After playing 114 Tests, 228 ODIs, and 78 T20Is for the Proteas, AB de Villiers had called it a day.

AB de Villiers Expressed Desire To Return Through Faf du Plessis But It Was Too Late

Notably, the former South Africa captain had expressed his desire to return a month before the marquee event, through the then skipper and childhood friend Faf du Plessis, but was overlooked from the eventual squad.

Linda Zondi, who was South Africa’s chief selector then, opened up on the entire episode, as he appeared before Cricket South Africa’s (CSA) Social Justice and National-Building (SJN) committee recently. He stated that AB de Villiers’ selection would’ve been “unethical” to the players who were already a part of the squad.

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

As far as AB de Villiers is concerned, he recently played for the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the second leg of the 2021 IPL in the UAE. The veteran still holds the record for the fastest century in international cricket that he accomplished against the West Indies in 2015.

In the IPL 2021, CSK openers Ruturaj Gaikwad (635 runs) and Faf du Plessis (633 runs) finished as leading run-getters in IPL 2021, while AB de Villiers was 19th among leading run-getters with 313 runs in 15 games. AB de Villiers recently told Mark Boucher that he would not be playing for South Africa again in T20I WC 2021. The Proteas great’s excellent form for the Royal Challengers Bangalore in IPL 2021 had earlier rekindled hopes of his return to the national setup.

South Africa has some exceptionally talented players in the likes of Quinton de Kock, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Russie Van Der Dussen, David Miller, and Anrich Nortje on the team. So far, South Africa has yet to win a single T20 World Cup trophy and ODI World Cup. Also, they never made it to the finals of the T20I World Cup tournament. Meanwhile, this time under the leadership of Temba Bavuma, the Proteas team will be hoping for a better outcome in the T20 World Cup 2021.


Rishabh Pant. - SANDEEP SAXENA
Rishabh Pant. - SANDEEP SAXENA

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.

File photo of Anrich Nortje. | BCCI / Sportzpics
File photo of Anrich Nortje. | BCCI / Sportzpics

Anrich Nortje Expressed Disappointment To Not Win An Elusive IPL 2021 Title For Delhi Capitals

Anrich Nortje, Delhi Capitals pacer said he was “proud” to be a part of the set-up but expressed “disappointed” on not being able to clinch the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 trophy.

Delhi Capitals’ IPL 2021 campaign ended with a hurtful defeat as Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) got over the line courtesy of Rahul Tripathi’s six-off Ravichandran Ashwin in the final over.

Delhi Capitals
Delhi Capitals (Image Credit: Twitter)

Anrich Nortje Feels Proud Of Delhi Capitals Achievement And Disappointed To Not Win Elusive IPL 2021 Title

Anrich Nortje shared pictures from his IPL 2021 campaign and thanked fans who supported Delhi Capitals.

“In sport and in life, things move so rapidly. Can’t believe how time went by with this amazing bunch. Proud of what we achieved and disappointed that we couldn’t get the trophy. Thank you to everyone involved, especially the fans for sticking with us,” Anrich Nortje tweeted.

Anrich Nortje
Anrich Nortje (Image Credit: Twitter)

Delhi Capitals brought in Anrich Nortje as a replacement for Chris Woakes ahead of IPL 2020 and the South African speedster, in his maiden IPL season, delivered the goods for Delhi Capitals, scalping as many as 22 wickets in 16 games. The right-arm pacer proved his worth yet again in IPL 2021 by picking 12 scalps for Delhi Capitals in 8 games averaging a mere 15.58.

Shimron Hetmyer Thanks Delhi Capitals For Giving Him Opportunity To Represent The Franchise

West Indies star batter Shimron Hetmyer thanked Delhi Capitals for giving him the opportunity to represent the side in the IPL 2021. Shimron Hetmyer managed to score 242 runs in 14 IPL 2021 games averaging a decent 34.57 at an excellent strike rate of 168.05- the best of the season.

“Thanks to @DelhiCapitals for supporting me and giving me the opportunity to represent you guys really enjoyed it,” Hetmyer tweeted.

Shimron Hetmyer (Photo: BCCI/IPL/ANI)
Shimron Hetmyer (Photo: BCCI/IPL/ANI)

After the defeat, Delhi Capitals (DC) head coach Ricky Ponting said he would like to retain each and every player on his team for the IPL 2022.

“I would like to keep everyone, to be honest. We have got this terrific group of people at the Delhi Capitals. The playing staff and the coaches have done an amazing job for the last couple of seasons and I think our performances so to speak for themselves,” said Ponting during the post-match press conference.

Ricky Ponting also said Delhi Capitals failed to utilize the powerplay and were eight to 10 runs short of the good first six overs score in the game. Needing 136 runs to win, KKR was off to a brisk start, courtesy of Shubman Gill and Venkatesh Iyer. The pair cashed in on all the scoring opportunities but DC though managed to get Venkatesh Iyer out when he and Shubman Gill were inching closer to a hundred-run stand.

While Nitish Rana and Shubman Gill added 27 runs together, DC continued to put in a fight and scalped three wickets, conceding just three runs as KKR moved from 123/1 to 126/4 at the end of the 18th over – an over where Kagiso Rabada conceded just a run and picked up a wicket. Anrich Nortje then had the better of Eoin Morgan in the penultimate over as DC pushed KKR to score 7 runs in the final over.

Ravichandran Ashwin then scalped two wickets, dismissing Shakib Al Hasan and Sunil Narine – in the first four balls of the last over. However, with 6 runs to get from the last 2 balls, Rahul Tripathi creamed a maximum to help KKR seal a place in the final.

Brief Scores: Kolkata Knight Riders 136/7 (Venkatesh Iyer 55, Shubman Gill 46; Kagiso Rabada 2/23) beat Delhi Capitals 135/5 (Shikhar Dhawan 36, Shreyas Iyer 30*; Varun Chakravarthy 2/26) by 3 wickets. 

Avesh Khan. (Photo Source: Twitter/Indian Premier League)
Avesh Khan. (Photo Source: Twitter/Indian Premier League)

Ian Bishop And Gautam Gambhir Picks Avesh Khan To Have A Brighter Future Than Harshal Patel

Ian Bishop and Gautam Gambhir, former cricketers turned commentators have opined that Avesh Khan has a brighter future in terms of national team selection ahead of Harshal Patel. The pace duo has been leading the pack in terms of wickets and the race for the purple cap.

Harshal Patel leads the wickets charts by a significant margin and has already set the record for the most wickets taken by an Indian pacer in the history of the tournament. However, both Ian Bishop and Gautam Gambhir sided with Avesh Khan as their pick.

Ian Bishop
Ian Bishop. (Photo by MICHAEL STEELE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Ian Bishop: Avesh Khan Can Bowl Across Different Phases Of The Innings With Great Impact Than Harshal Patel

Ian Bishop felt pacer Avesh Khan has the ability to bowl with equal proficiency across all stages of the game. Ian Bishop feels his age gave him a significant headstart over Harshal Patel in terms of the race for national team selection.

“Avesh Khan can bowl across different phases of the innings with great impact. He can bowl with the new ball, nip it in, he cam bowl in the middle and hustle you with pace. Harshal is slightly different, depends more on batsmen coming at him. So, you can compartmentalize them in different packages. The greater upside belongs to Avesh Khan if he can continue on the trend,” said Ian Bishop.

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

The former U-19 cricketer has been able to keep bowlers like Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav away from the Delhi Capitals playing XI. Avesh Khan has also matched the rhythm of world-class bowlers like Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje. Avesh Khan was selected for the tour of England earlier this year as a net bowler, but his maiden stint was cut short after he suffered an injury in a warm-up fixture.

Avesh Khan is second on the list for the purple cap with 22 wickets in 13 matches averaging 15.9. Only Harshal Patel, with 29 wickets in 13 matches, is ahead of the Madhya Pradesh cricketer. Incidentally, they will play against each other in the RCB-DC clash in the final league game.

Gautam Gambhir: Avesh Khan Can Bowl At Different Situations

Gautam Gambhir felt Avesh Khan’s skill set makes him a huge asset and picked him ahead of Harshal Patel for a potential national team call-up in the future. He named Avesh Khan the ‘standalone’ bowler of the tournament.

In this regard, Gambhir said: “Avesh Khan can bowl at different situations of the game. He is bowling alongside the likes of Rabada and Nortje and he has not looked any less than them, and they are world class bowlers. “

“He can bowl over 140, I still remember the yorker he bowled to Pandya at Sharjah, so the skillset is there. So, Avesh Khan is closer and I will probably pick Avesh Khan before, he has been the stand-alone bowler in this tournament,” Gambhir added.

Gautam Gambhir AFP
Gautam Gambhir AFP

Avesh Khan was roped in by the Delhi Capitals for a sum of ₹75 lakh in the IPL 2018 auction. He made sporadic appearances for the franchise in his initial years but has now cemented his place in the playing XI on the back of some tremendous performances at IPL 2021.

Harshal Patel is the leading wicket-taker in IPL 2021 so far, with as many as 29 scalps in 13 matches averaging an impressive 14. This is his best tally since debuting in IPL 2012. The current Purple Cap holder pacer picked a hat-trick and returned with a four-wicket haul, conceding just 17 runs from his 3.1 over spell against Rohit Sharma-led Mumbai Indians.

R Ashwin
R Ashwin. Image Credits: Twitter

Ravichandran Ashwin Said ‘All These Things Don’t Matter’ After Spat With Eoin Morgan In IPL 2021

Ravichandran Ashwin ran an extra run when the ball hit Rishabh Pant after a throw. Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) fast bowler Tim Southee exchanged words with Ravichandran Ashwin first and then KKR skipper Eoin Morgan. The spin all-rounder then celebrated animatedly when he dismissed Eoin Morgan during the KKR innings, but KKR won the contest.

In the IPL 2021 match between the Delhi Capitals and Kolkata Knight Riders at UAE, the “spirit of cricket” controversy arose involving Ravichandran Ashwin. The Delhi spinner took a run while batting after the ball had ricocheted off his Delhi Capitals skipper after a KKR throw. After Tim Southee dismissed the former, that resulted in some words being exchanged between Ravichandran Ashwin and Eoin Morgan.

Ravichandran Ashwin and Eoin Morgan had a heated exchange during KKR vs DC match.© IPL
Ravichandran Ashwin and Eoin Morgan had a heated exchange during KKR vs DC match.© IPL

Ravichandran Ashwin Doesn’t Pay Heed To Such Incidents

The spinner recently admitted to being upset over KKR skipper Eoin Morgan’s comments during the particular fixture. In a video shared by the Delhi-based franchise on their social media handles, the veteran bowler expressed astonishment with what had transpired on the field in the match.

The crafty spinner opined he has been at the top of his game in recent years. Furthermore, he also suggested that he does not pay heed to such incidents and that he regained his composure soon after the encounter.

KKR captain Eoin Morgan Twitter/@KKRiders
KKR captain Eoin Morgan- Twitter/@KKRiders

“Look, I think when there’s a lot being spoken for me, I’m the sort of person who needs to get it out of my system, and I believe it is very important. It just wipes out of my head. Like I’ve said all along for the past couple of years, I feel like I’m enjoying my game and I’m at the top of my game. And all these things don’t matter”

After Ravichandran Ashwin’s dismissal, KKR bowler Tim Southee and skipper Eoin Morgan got involved in a heated argument with the Indian spinner over the extra run taken. While Ravichandran Ashwin ended up with the last laugh by scalping Eoin Morgan for a duck, KKR won the contest by three wickets with ten balls to spare and delayed DC’s qualification for the playoffs.

Ravichandran Ashwin Scored 20 Crucial Runs As Delhi Beat Mumbai

Ravichandran Ashwin contributed with 20 crucial unbeaten runs lower down the order to help his side clinch a low-scoring thriller against the Mumbai Indians on Saturday. The 35-year-old in the video mentioned that he felt he was in good form with the bat after the England tour.

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

He also pointed out how he was striking the ball nicely while batting in practice games ahead of the UAE leg of this year’s cash-rich league. Ravichandran Ashwin’s cameo towards the end was key in Delhi’s win over Mumbai Indians. They chased down a target of 130 on a sluggish wicket at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.

The right-hander stated it was essential for him to take some time before attempting aggressive strokes, considering the slow nature of the surface. He also received appreciation from all quarters for finishing the game in the final over with a stunning six against Krunal Pandya.

Delhi Capitals qualified for the playoffs again as former skipper Shreyas Iyer dented Mumbai Indians’ playoff chances and strengthened Delhi Capitals’ own chances of a top-two finish with smart innings in the company of Ravichandran Ashwin. While Avesh Khan and Anrich Nortje defied the slowness of the pitch with an outstanding display of pace and guile, left-arm finger spinner Axar Patel thrived with his more subtle variations.

Delhi Capitals 132 for 6 (Iyer 33*, Ashwin 20*, Coulter-Nile 1-19) beat Mumbai Indians 129 for 8 (Suryakumar 33, Avesh 3-15, Axar 3-21) by four wickets


Delhi Capitals Head Coach Ricky Ponting’s Passion For Team Gets The Better Of Him

Delhi Capitals head coach Ricky Ponting on Sunday said that his passion for the franchise sometimes ends up getting the better of him.

Ricky Ponting’s remarks came while commenting on a video shared by Delhi Capitals on Twitter in which the former Australia skipper can be seen celebrating his side’s win over Mumbai Indians in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 season.

Delhi Capitals head coach Ricky Ponting (Photo | IPL Twitter)
Delhi Capitals head coach Ricky Ponting (Photo | IPL Twitter)

Delhi Capitals Head Coach Ricky Ponting’s Passion For Team Gets The Better Of Him

Delhi Capitals got off to a very strong start as they restricted Mumbai Indians to 57/2 after 9 overs. While Avesh Khan dismissed Rohit Sharma on 7, Axar Patel struck in his first over by getting the wicket of Quinton de Kock (19). He then came back to pick up two more wickets, Suryakumar Yadav (33), and Saurabh Tiwary (15), to rock Mumbai.

The pacers then tightened the stranglehold as Anrich Nortje got the better of Kieron Pollard (6) and completed a wicket-maiden. Mumbai Indians reached 88/5 after completion of 16 overs. Eventually, three wickets each from Avesh Khan and Axar Patel, along with Anrich Nortje’s run-stemming spell restricted MI to below-par 129/8 in stipulated 20 overs.

“Sometimes my passion for my team gets the better of me! Always hard to beat MI, tough conditions for batting but Shreyas and Ashwin did exactly what we needed them to do. Great win @delhicapitals,” tweeted Ponting.

Axar Patel, Delhi Capitals, IPL 2021
Axar Patel, Delhi Capitals, IPL 2021[photo: Twitter]
Shreyas Iyer played an unbeaten inning of 33 as Delhi Capitals chased down a target of 130 with four wickets in hand and five balls to spare. Axar Patel was adjudged as Man of the Match for his three-wicket haul.

Axar Patel Planned Not To Concede Boundaries

Avesh Khan also returned with three wickets as Mumbai Indians was restricted to 129/8 in the allotted twenty overs. The head coach was also full of praise for Avesh Khan. He is second on the list for the purple cap with 21 wickets in 12 matches. Only Harshal Patel, with 26 wickets in 11 matches, is ahead of the Madhya Pradesh cricketer.

“I think after the six overs, I came onto bowl. My planning was not to concede boundaries on such a slow wicket. It was not an easy wicket for the batters to slog. Our team has Avesh Khan, he told me that we have qualified for the playoffs. Our team environment is very good,” Axar told teammate Avesh Khan in a video posted on

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

Mumbai Indians bowlers started off well as they sent openers Shikhar Dhawan (8), Prithvi Shaw (6), and Australian Steve Smith (9) back to the pavilion to leave DC reeling at 46/3 after the first 6 overs. Then, spinner Jayant Yadav dismissed Rishabh Pant (26) and Axar Patel was trapped LBW by pacer Trent Boult on 9 as DC was reduced to 77/5.

Big-hitting Windies batsman Shimron Hetmyer looked dangerous during his cameo before being undone by Jasprit Bumrah’s slower ball. He was dismissed for 15. Eventually, it was a 39- run unbeaten stand between Shreyas Iyer (33*) and Ravichandran Ashwin (20*) that guided the side to a four-wicket win with 5 balls to spare. Delhi Capitals will next lock horns against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) on Monday.

Delhi Capitals have become the second team this season to book their place in the IPL 2021 playoffs. The Rishabh Pant-led side has 16 points to their name after 11 matches in the competition.

Delhi Capitals 132 for 6 (Iyer 33*, Ashwin 20*, Coulter-Nile 1-19) beat Mumbai Indians 129 for 8 (Suryakumar 33, Avesh 3-15, Axar 3-21) by four wickets

CSK and DC have been the most consistent sides' in IPL 2021 [Image- IPLT20]
CSK and DC have been the most consistent sides' in IPL 2021 [Image- IPLT20]

Chennai Super Kings Is Still Looking As The Better Side Than Delhi Capitals In IPL 2021: Ajay Jadeja

Ajay Jadeja, the former Indian cricketer, has picked the 2nd placed MS Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings (CSK) as the better team than table-toppers Delhi Capitals (DC) in the ongoing season of the IPL.

CSK and DC have proved to be the most consistent sides in the 14th season of the Indian Premier League. The two sides occupy the first two spots in the IPL 2021 points table. While Delhi is placed at the numero-uno spot with eight wins in ten games, Chennai is second with seven victories in nine matches.

Ajay Jadeja
Ajay Jadeja (Photo- Twitter)
Delhi Capitals once again asserted their dominance with a clinical win against Rajasthan. Delhi Capitals beat Rajasthan Royals by 33 runs as the top-ranked Delhi Capitals once again proved that why they are the team to beat in this edition of IPL.
Marvellous bowling from the likes of Anrich Nortje helped DC to defend the 155-run target. But their struggles with the bat on a sluggish pitch and Chennai’s big-match experience make the latter the favourites to go all the way.

Ajay Jadeja said in this regard: “I think Chennai is still looking for the better side among the two, although Delhi is also doing really well. Delhi sometimes get rushed in a big game like we saw today with their batting.

“Semi-final, final are one-game shoot-outs, and Chennai have immense experience of crunch game,” said Ajay Jadeja.

Ajay Jadeja, former Indian cricketer, and commentator said Chennai is ahead of Delhi to win IPL 2021 for their immense experience in crunch games.

Chennai Super Kings
Chennai Super Kings (Image Credit: Twitter)

The Super Kings will have a chance to regain the top spot on Sunday when they lock horns with the Kolkata Knight Riders in Abu Dhabi. Chennai has 14 points but has a better run rate than Delhi Capitals who has 16 points.

The star of the match between DC and RR was South Africa’s Anrich Nortje who took two important wickets in the four overs spell that he bowled giving away just 18 runs. RR Skipper Sanju Samson played a lone hand of unbeaten 70, but it wasn’t enough on the night as none of the other batsmen managed to hang in with the RR captain.

Pragyan Ojha: MS Dhoni’s Tactics And Strategies Proved Helpful For CSK Players

Meanwhile, former spinner Pragyan Ojha knows MS Dhoni may not be contributing with the bat. But his prowess as a tactician and a leader cannot be understated. Pragyan Ojha also echoed former batsman Ajay Jadeja’s opinion. He said that when it comes to crunch games, CSK skipper MS Dhoni knows how to absorb pressure and play mind games with the opposition.

Pragyan Ojha — File Photo
Pragyan Ojha — File Photo

DC and CSK locked horns earlier in the season where the Rishabh Pant-led unit emerged winners. CSK had scored 188/7, with Suresh Raina scoring a fifty. Still, it wasn’t enough as Delhi Capitals openers Prithvi Shaw(72) and Shikhar Dhawan(85) hit spectacular fifties batting at a strike rate of above 150.

They laid a solid foundation as the openers added 138 for the 1st wicket. DC won by 7 wickets as the likes of Moeen Ali, Shardul Thakur, and Sam Curran were taken to the cleaners. DC has won three consecutive games against CSK and will look to extend their dominance over the former champions in their next meeting as well.

South Africa ( Photo Credit: Twitter )
South Africa ( Photo Credit: Twitter )

South Africa T20I World Cup Squad 2021, Schedule, Date, Time, And Venue

South Africa, who hasn’t won a World Cup before and is labelled chokers for failure to perform in the knockout matches, is placed in Group 1 in the marquee event- 2021 T20I World Cup alongside heavyweights Australia, England, and West Indies. Notably, among the aforementioned four already qualified teams in the group, the Proteas team is the weakest. South Africa has witnessed a significant downfall in international cricket recently.

They are currently placed on the 5th spot in the latest ICC T20 Internationals rankings. Also, in the last 5 T20 international series, they have lost three series. Notably, they have several good promising players on the team who are match winners. However, they have been unable to fire together as a team.

South Africa Image source: Twitter
South Africa Image source: Twitter

South Africa Has Some Exceptional Talented Players In The Likes Of Quinton de Kock, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi

The South Africa management will hope things change before the forthcoming T20 World Cup 2021 despite star batsman AB de Villiers’ absence, who decided not to return from retirement.

They have some exceptionally talented players in the likes of Quinton de Kock, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Rassi Van Der Dussen, David Miller, and others on the team. If the players are in good form, they can surely give tough competition to other teams. Notably, South Africa recently faced Sri Lanka in the T20I series, and they earned an amazing series victory by 3-0.

Tabraiz Shamsi
Tabraiz Shamsi. Image Credits: Twitter

So far, South Africa has yet to win a single T20 World Cup trophy and ODI World Cup. Also, they never made it to the finals of the T20 World Cup tournament. Meanwhile, this time under the leadership of Temba Bavuma, the Proteas team will be hoping for a better outcome in the T20 World Cup 2021.

South Africa’s Squad For The Upcoming ICC T20 World Cup 2021: Notable Omissions And Inclusions

The squad did not feature all-rounder Chris Morris, former captain Faf du Plessis, and veteran leg-spinner Imran Tahir. In particular, Imran Tahir and Faf du Plessis had retired from other forms of the game, with one eye on playing in the upcoming World Cup.Imran Tahir and Faf du Plessis plays for CSK in IPL, while Chris Morris became the most expensive acquisition after Rajasthan Royals bought him for Rs. 16.25 crores in IPL 2021 auctions.Temba Bavuma will captain a young side in the UAE as he is expected to recover from a thumb injury in time for the tournament – that also featured Keshav Maharaj, the left-arm spinner who is yet to play a T20I.

Faf du Plessis, Imran Tahir, and Chris Morris
Faf du Plessis, Imran Tahir, and Chris Morris-Image AP

South Africa is well stocked in the spin department, with spinner Keshav Maharaj being joined by World’s No. 1 spinner Tabraiz Shamsi and Bjorn Fortuin as specialist spinners.

In addition, keeper Quinton de Kock, opener Aidem Markram, keeper Heinrich Klaasen, and middle-order batsman David Miller form part of an experienced batting line-up. The Proteas also boast a fearsome fast-bowling line-up featuring Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi, and Anrich Nortje.

Quinton de Kock, David Miller, and Kagiso Rabada are the only players in the squad who participated in the 2016 World T20 in India. The Proteas have gone in Wiaan Mulder and Dwaine Pretorious as all-around options. Meanwhile, the trio of George Linde, Andile Phehlikwayo, and Lizaad Williams will travel with the team as reserves. 

Quinton de Kock and Henrich Klaasen are the two wicket-keeping options present in the team, while David Miller, Reeza Hendricks, Rassie van der Dussen and Aiden Markram are quality options with the bat. South Africa has a strong pace attack and included Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, and Lungi Ngidi, while Tabraiz Shamsi and Keshav Maharaj are the two specialist spinners. 

Another notable player to miss out from South Africa’s squad was Janneman Malan, who has scored 241 runs in 11 T20I matches with the highest score of 55 runs since making his debut against Pakistan in 2019.

Temba Bavuma (c), Keshav Maharaj, Quinton de Kock (wk), Bjorn Fortuin, Reeza Hendricks, Heinrich Klaasen, Aiden Markram, David Miller, W Mulder, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Rassie van der Dussen; Reserves: George Linde, Andile Phehlukwayo, Lizaad Williams

The complete schedule of South Africa for the upcoming T20 World Cup 2021:

Saturday, October 23, 2021: vs Australia, at Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium, in Abu Dhabi. (3:30 PM IST)

Tuesday, October 26, 2021: vs West Indies, at Dubai International Cricket Stadium, in Dubai. (3:30 PM IST)

Saturday, October 30, 2021: vs Qualifier (A1) Sharjah Cricket Stadium, in Sharjah. (3:30 PM IST)

Tuesday, November 2, 2021: vs Qualifier (B2), at Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium, in Abu Dhabi. (3:30 PM IST)

Saturday, November 6, 2021: vs England, at Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium, in Abu Dhabi. (7:30 PM IST)

Steve Smith (Image Credit: Twitter)
Steve Smith (Image Credit: Twitter)

Steve Smith Reclaims The No. 1 Spot In The ICC Test Batsmen Rankings

Steve Smith, Australian batsman has surpassed New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson to become the top-ranked Test batsman in the latest ICC Test rankings that were revealed on Wednesday. India captain Virat Kohli jumped to the number 4th spot while Australia batsman Steve Smith reclaimed the No.1 position in the ICC Test rankings for batsmen for the first time since the Boxing Day Tests last year.

Steve Smith takes over from New Zealand captain Kane Williamson, who is set to lead his team in the ICC World Test Championship Final against India at the Hampshire Bowl in Southampton from Friday.

Kane Williamson, Steve Smith, Virat Kohli (L-R)
Kane Williamson, Steve Smith, Virat Kohli (L-R)

Steve Smith Reclaims Top Spot While Kane Williamson Is Second Among Batsmen

Kane Williamson, who missed the second Test against England at Edgbaston due to injury after scoring 13 runs in the drawn first Test at Lord’s, has slipped five points behind Steve Smith’s 891 rating points and is second in the batters’ list. This means that Steve Smith has been at the top for 167 Tests played worldwide in total, only behind Garry Sobers (189 matches) and Viv Richards (179 matches).

Kane Williamson (AP)
Kane Williamson (AP)

An injury saw Kane Williamson miss the second Test against England at Edgbaston, hence paving way for Steve Smith to claim the No. 1 spot. Courtesy of his performances in the Test series, Kane Williamson lost 5 points because of which he dropped down to No. 2 spot.

The rankings also produced a positive change for Virat Kohli who moved from 5th position to 4th in the ICC Test Rankings for batsmen. Virat Kohli has as many as 6 Test matches to come — one against New Zealand in the WTC final and 5 against England — and he would be determined to further improve his position in the ICC Test rankings.

Quinton de Kock Gains 11 Positions To Reach Joint 12th Position, While South African Pave Trio Of Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, And Lungi Ngidi Moves Up

The latest men’s weekly update, which also includes performances from the first Test between South Africa and the West Indies in St Lucia, sees Quinton de Kock in joint-12th position with Cheteshwar Pujara while his compatriot Adrian Markram has advanced two slots to reach 14th position.

Quinton de Kock, who was named player of the match for scoring an unbeaten 141 that helped his team win by an innings and 63 runs, has gained 11 positions to attain his highest position since December 2019.

Quinton de Kock works one on the leg side AFP/Getty Images
Quinton de Kock works one on the leg side AFP/Getty Images

South Africa’s pace bowlers too have made rapid strides after the huge win. Formerly top-ranked Kagiso Rabada has gained two spots to reach the seventh place after a five-wicket haul in the second innings, Anrich Nortje is up into the top 30 for the first time in his career finishing with seven wickets in the match, while Lungi Ngidi is up 14 places to 44th position with a first-innings five-wicket haul.

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

Aakash Chopra Praised Delhi Pacer Avesh Khan For Doing Well In IPL 2021

Aakash Chopra, former India opener has hailed fast bowler Delhi Capitals’ Avesh Khan, calling him a ‘revelation’ of IPL 2021 for picking 14 wickets in 8 games and being 2nd highest wicket-taker before IPL was suspended for a surge in Covid-19 cases.

The Indian Premier League over the years has gained the reputation of being a breeding ground for the next generation of Indian cricketers.

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

Aakash Chopra: Avesh Khan Has Been A Revelation

Several players, who had been outstanding performers in the tournament, went on to play for the Indian cricket team and have achieved success like Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, and Hardik Pandya. This year too, the IPL 2021 saw some scintillating performances from some of India’s uncapped youngsters like Chetan Sakariya, Devdutt Padikkal, Harpreet Brar, Avesh Khan, and Harshal Patel.

Pacer Avesh Khan had successfully created an identity of his own in the 2021 IPL. The right-arm quick was trusted by the Delhi Capitals think tank when the likes of Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje weren’t available. In return, the youngster emerged as the most successful bowler for the team before the league came to an abrupt halt.

Kagiso Rabada
Kagiso Rabada (Image Credit: Twitter)

Impressed with his performance, former Indian opener Aakash Chopra has hailed the fast bowler, saying the opposition batsmen can’t afford to take Avesh Khan lightly. In his latest YouTube video, the cricketer-turned-commentator heaped praise on the youngster for consistently taking wickets for DC, irrespective of how difficult the situation was.

“Avesh Khan has been a revelation. He has stood up and gotten counted again and again. He showed that he cannot be taken lightly. Right from the first match, you will see that Avesh Khan performed consistently well. Whether it was the new ball or the old one, whether it was the middle overs or the death overs, he has been very, very good,” Aakash Chopra said.

Chetan Sakariya, the 22-year-old who picked up seven scalps in as many games for Rajasthan Royals in the IPL 2021, Harshal Patel who picked up an amazing 17 wickets for RCB in only 7 games and was well on his way to winning the Purple Cap, Devdutt Padikkal who slammed his maiden IPL ton and continued his form from his maiden IPL 2020 season and Harpreet Brar who picked the trio of AB De Villiers, Virat Kohli and Glenn Maxwell in a match were the standout young performers.

Aakash Chopra: Avesh Khan Was A Huge Contributor To Delhi Capitals’ Success

Avesh Khan picked up only 5 wickets in 2017 and 2018 combined and went wicketless in 2019 and 2020 but in 8 IPL 2021 games, picked up 14 wickets including Faf du Plessis, David Miller, MS Dhoni, Nicholas Pooran, Suryakumar Yadav, Jonny Bairstow, Vijay Shankar, Virat Kohli, and Shubman Gill.

“He took the huge wickets. He dismissed Faf du Plessis, Dhoni, and Kohli. He consistently and regularly felled the best player in the opposition line-up. So, he was a huge contributor to Delhi Capitals’ success,” Aakash Chopra concluded.

Avesh Khan
Avesh Khan (Image Credit: Twitter)

Avesh Khan was quick enough to make his way into the top half of the Purple Cap list. He scalped a total of 14 wickets at a decent economy rate of 7.70 and finished as the second-highest wicket-taker of the IPL 2021. His excellent performance paid off rich dividends as he was picked for India’s upcoming tour of England as one of the standby players.

Notably, Avesh Khan was the only Delhi Capitals bowler among the top 10 wicket-takers in IPL 2021 after the completion of 29 games. Delhi Capitals managed to top the points table with 12 points in 8 matches. The Rishabh Pant-led side won 6 matches and lost 2 in IPL 2021.

The right-arm fast bowler was part of the 2016 U-19 World Cup squad led by Ishan Kishan with the likes of Rishabh Pant and Washington Sundar part of the mix, that finished runner-up against West Indies. He burst onto the scene finishing as India’s best bowler with 12 wickets to his name, picking one wicket in the final as well.

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