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Avesh Khan

Zaheer Khan. Image-Sportstar
Zaheer Khan. Image-Sportstar
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Decision To Promote Venkatesh Iyer To No. 3 A Positive Move Keeping 2022 T20I WC In Mind: Zaheer Khan

Zaheer Khan described the decision to promote Venkatesh Iyer to No. 3 as a positive move that was made keeping the next T20 World Cup in mind. Venkatesh Iyer walked into bat at the fall’s KL Rahul’s wicket in the second T20I of the series against New Zealand in Ranchi on Friday.

KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma featured in an opening stand of 117 as India chased down 154 with ease. In his 2nd T20I, Venkatesh Iyer helped himself to an unbeaten 12 from 11. In his debut T20I, Venkatesh Iyer hit a boundary off his first ball and lost his wicket on the next ball.

Venkatesh Iyer scored 4 off 2 balls during a short stay at the crease on debut. (Getty)
Venkatesh Iyer. (Getty)

Zaheer Khan: Move To Promote Venkatesh Iyer At No. 3 Proves India Thinking Of Next T20I World Cup 2022

Speaking after India took an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series, Zaheer Khan pointed out that the Men in Blue acted proactively in sending Venkatesh Iyer to bat ahead of Suryakumar Yadav.

The former left-arm seamer Zaheer Khan said:  “The move to promote Venkatesh Iyer to No.3 when the opportunity arose proves that India are already thinking about the next T20 World Cup. Had they not done something like that, then you could have said that they missed an opportunity. It was definitely a proactive move by the management keeping the future in mind.”

Zaheer Khan (Photo credit should read Marty Melville/AFP/Getty Images)
Zaheer Khan (Photo credit should read Marty Melville/AFP/Getty Images)

Former India left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha chipped in and pointed out that the team needs to sort out its middle-order woes ahead of the next T20 World Cup.

He opined: “We need to sort out our middle order. That is what is hurting us in ICC tournaments. If we get that in place, rest all seems fine. Our top-order batting and bowling are excellent. But this is one box we still need to tick.”

India’s middle-order failed to deliver after Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul perished cheaply in the first two games of the T20 World Cup 2021 against Pakistan and New Zealand respectively. The below-par efforts ended up costing India a place in the semis.

Pragyan Ojha Wants Avesh Khan To Play If Mohammed Siraj Isn’t Fit

Although India has clinched the T20I series with a match to go, Pragyan Ojha doesn’t see the hosts making too many changes. He wants Avesh Khan to play if Mohammed Siraj is not fit.

Explaining his choice, the former cricketer said: “If Siraj is not fit, Avesh Khan might get a chance in the final T20I. Bhuvneshwar, Deepak Chahar and Harshal Patel are very similar in style. India need some pace in their attack. Don’t see any other changes since India need to maintain the momentum. The middle-order still needs some time because the top-order has done 90 percent work.”

Harshal Patel was the top wicket-taker in the IPL 2021 – claiming the joint-most 32 wickets in a season for Royal Challengers Bangalore. Delhi Capital’s Avesh Khan was right behind him with 24 wickets from 16 matches. While Harshal Patel debuted in the 2nd T20I and won Man of the Match for his 2/25, Avesh Khan is yet to debut.

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 third and final T20I of the three-match series will be played at the iconic Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Sunday, November 21.

Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra. (Photo Source: Twitter)
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Aakash Chopra Hails Ravichandran Ashwin And Axar Patel For Turning The Course Of The 2nd T20I

Aakash Chopra has highlighted that Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel’s exceptional spells turned the course of the second T20I against New Zealand in Team India’s favour.

Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel conceded just 45 runs in the combined eight overs they bowled and scalped two wickets in the process. Harshal Patel, who was duly chosen as the Player of the Match for his spell of 2/25 on his T20I debut, was the other standout Indian bowler. Harshal Patel picked the most wickets in IPL 2021-32 scalps.

Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Aakash Chopra Praised Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel For Being Economical And Feels The Duo Won India The Match

While reviewing India’s bowling performance in a video shared on his YouTube channel, Aakash Chopra was effusive in his praise of Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel.  Cruising at 64 for one in the powerplay, the Kiwis suddenly hit a roadblock in the crucial middle overs and managed just 64 runs from 7 to 16 overs, with Ravichandran Ashwin (1/19) and Axar Patel (1/26) dominating the New Zealand batters in the dew-laden condition.

“Ashwin and Axar together took a couple of wickets, they were economical as well. In my opinion, both of them set the match, let’s be very honest. It is difficult to bowl spin with an extremely wet ball, both bowled exceedingly well and brought India back in the match. In fact, in my opinion they won India the match.”

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

The cricketer-turned-commentator pointed out that the spin duo had brought India back into the game after Martin Guptill and Daryl Mitchell had given the Kiwis a blazing start.

Aakash Chopra elaborated: “The start Guptill and Mitchell had given, they were smashing it from the first over. They started batting as though they are going to post 200-225 runs. They demolished the Indian bowlers in the first six overs.”

Martin Guptill and Daryl Mitchell smoked 48 runs for the first wicket before the former was dismissed on the second ball of the fifth over. Team India staged a comeback thereafter to restrict the Black Caps to a score of 153/6 in their allotted 20 overs.

Aakash Chopra Praised Harshal Patel For Bowling Difficult Overs But Was Surprised And Troubled That Deepak Chahar And Bhuvneshwar Kumar Were Expensive

Aakash Chopra highlighted the impact the spinners had post the powerplay overs.

Aakash Chopra explained: “When you score 64 runs in the powerplay and still do not post a total of 154, it means you didn’t even score 90 runs in the last 14 overs, it implies the spinners bowled amazingly well, whether it was Ashwin or Axar Patel.”

While also lauding Harshal Patel’s excellent spell on debut, the 44-year-old added that Deepak Chahar and Bhuvneshwar Kumar were found slightly wanting.

Harshal Patel picked up the key wickets of Daryl Mitchell and Glenn Phillips BCCI
Harshal Patel picked up the key wickets of Daryl Mitchell and Glenn Phillips BCCI.

Aakash Chopra observed: “After that, Harshal Patel. He bowled the difficult overs, I thought he was very very good. The surprising and troubling thing is that Deepak Chahar is not bowling well and in this match Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who was economical in the last match, his meter was also down.”

Deepak Chahar and Bhuvneshwar Kumar conceded a total of 81 runs in the eight overs they bowled. Team India might look to leave one of the two-seamers out and play Avesh Khan in the final T20I.

Man of the Match Harshal Patel’s slower ball, meanwhile, proved just as effective on international debut as it had done through his record-breaking 2021 IPL season where he took the maximum of 32 scalps, in conjunction with the long boundaries at the JSCA Stadium. He conceded just 25 in his four overs and took the wickets of Daryl Mitchell and Glenn Phillips, both caught in the deep.

Post-powerplay, New Zealand only scored 89 at 6.36 per over, with Daryl Mitchell, Mark Chapman, Tim Seifert, and James Neesham combining to score 36 off 51 after the fields spread out. That New Zealand ended up with 153 was largely down to the fast hands of Glenn Phillips, who hit three sixes in scoring 34 off 21.

India 155 for 3 (Rahul 65, Rohit 55, Southee 3-16) beat New Zealand 153 for 6 (Phillips 34, Mitchell 31, Harshal 2-25, Ashwin 1-19) by seven wickets

Harshal Patel
Harshal Patel (Image Credit: Twitter)
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Dinesh Karthik, Ajay Jadeja Name Harshal Patel To Replace Mohammed Siraj For 2nd T20I

Dinesh Karthik, wicketkeeper-batter, and former cricketer Ajay Jadeja have backed Royal Challengers Banglaore uncapped pacer Harshal Patel as the suitable replacement for pacer Mohammed Siraj for the second India-New Zealand T20I.

Mohammad Siraj tore the webbing of his left hand while bowling in the last over in Jaipur on Wednesday and might miss the coming games- the next 2 T20Is at Ranchi and Kolkata.

Harshal Patel
Harshal Patel (Image Credit: Twitter)

Dinesh Karthik: It’s A Good Headache To Select One Among Harshal Patel And Avesh Khan In Place Of Mohammad Siraj

Dinesh Karthik said while both Harshal Patel and Avesh Khan are in top form, the former’s change of pace will likely come in handy in Ranchi. He, however, also said the team management might want the extra pace of Avesh Khan to add some variety to the attack, making it a “good headache” to have.

A superlative display by their top-order and controlled bowling at the back-end ensured a five-wicket victory against Black Caps, ending ‘Men in Blue’ seven-match losing streak across formats. In absence of Virat Kohli, currently on leave, Suryakumar Yadav made full use of the opportunity at number three with a match-winning 62 off 42 balls.

Dinesh Karthik said:  “Both of them are bowling at the best of their careers so far… So you can blindly play any one of them. I personally feel Harshal Patel will be better because obviously, you know, the change of pace in Ranchi [which is a] slightly slow wicket.

“Avesh Khan is very good with slower ones as well but Harshal Patel is bowling with such good rhythm that you want to give him the opportunity and see what he brings to the table.

“But another way you look at it is – you have somebody who bowls 135 in Deepak Chahar and Bhuvi. If you want someone with more pace then the option is Avesh Khan. It’s a good headache to have,” said Dinesh Karthik.

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

Speaking during the same video interaction, former cricketer Ajay Jadeja also agreed with Dinesh Karthik. He noted that for the specific overs, Mohammed Siraj bowled on Wednesday (4th, 11th, 15th, and 20th), Harshal Patel would be the better option.

Ajay Jadeja explained: “The way Siraj was used, probably Harshal Patel because he bowled one in the powerplay and two right at the end.

“What he has done in the IPL, the reason why he’s been picked in the side – his strength is that when the game is moving at a different pace and the batsman is trying to dominate that’s when his slower one becomes more useful. If you have to use him the same way and the others around then Harshal is the one I’ll probably go with.”

Harshal Patel was the top wicket-taker in the IPL 2021 – claiming the joint-most 32 wickets in a season for Royal Challengers Bangalore. Delhi Capital’s Avesh Khan was right behind him with 24 wickets from 16 matches. Meanwhile, as a result of Mohammed Siraj’s valiant last over and other bowlers’ contributions, India kept New Zealand down to 164-6 and chased it with two balls to spare.

Dinesh Karthik: Rahul Dravid May Give Everyone An Opportunity

Furthermore, while Dinesh Karthik remarked that while India was unlikely to make more changes for the 2nd T20I game, Rahul Dravid’s coaching style has always been about rotating and giving most squad members a chance. Dinesh Karthik said if it goes that way here too, the head coach will have the “right conversation” to make sure that the players getting a rest don’t feel insecure.

Dinesh Karthik file image. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)
Dinesh Karthik file image. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)

Dinesh Karthik asserted: “The one thing Rahul Dravid has done fabulously well in his time as an India Under-19 and an India A coach is his ability to rotate and play the whole squad, consistently on all tours and give everybody an opportunity and that’s why we have such a large bench strength for the Indian team… and if that is anything to go by.

He’ll have the right conversations and spread the right message. One thing is giving a break but you have got to make sure that the guy is happy to get a break…”

The second match will begin at the same time in Ranchi on Friday. A loss in the 2nd T20I will mean that the Kiwis will surrender the series. On the other hand, India will look to land the knockout blow and take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match rubber.

Predicted Indian XI: KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma (C), Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (WK), Shreyas Iyer, Venkatesh Iyer, Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Chahar, Harshal Patel/Avesh Khan

Todd Astle leaked 34 runs in the 3 overs that he bowled, and failed to scalp a wicket in the 1st T20I. So, the Kiwis might get Ish Sodhi into their playing XI in his place. Also, James Neesham might replace Rachin Ravindra.

Predicted New Zealand XI: Martin Guptill, Daryl Mitchell, Mark Chapman, Glenn Phillips, Tim Siefert (WK), James Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee (C), Ish Sodhi, Lockie Ferguson, Trent Boult

Rahul Dravid
Rahul Dravid - K. MURALI KUMAR
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‘Exceptional’ New Zealand Has Changed Narrative, Says Rahul Dravid

Rahul Dravid, India’s new head coach, has stated that every team competing against New Zealand knows how big a team they are.

With a little over 24 hours prior to the first India and New Zealand T20I in Jaipur, head coach Rahul Dravid and skipper Rohit Sharma addressed their first press conference together. They answered questions on a range of topics, and one of them included talking about their opponents New Zealand and the reputation they hold.

Rahul Dravid Photo Credit: PTI
Rahul Dravid Photo Credit: PTI

Rahul Dravid: Narrative To Term New Zealand Underdogs Has Changed Over The Past Few Years

The Black Caps, the ‘nice guys of cricket’, is often considered the ‘underdogs’. The term has been in existence for so long now, despite the side winning WTC 2021 and finishing runners-up in the 2015 and 2019 50-over World Cups, besides the recently concluded 2021 T20 World Cup, that it has ended up becoming a “fashionable” statement; one far from reality. Speaking on the topic, India’s new head coach Rahul Dravid has stated that the narrative has changed over the last few years.

“New Zealand is a very good side, make no mistake about it. Their performance over the last few years has been exceptional, I think it has become fashionable to call them underdogs in every tournament but honestly, I think the narrative has changed, they enter the tournament, from outside point, they would be underdog but I am sure internally teams which compete against them, know they are going to be a top contender in any tournament they play in,” said Rahul Dravid.

New Zealand cricket team. (Credits: Twitter)
New Zealand cricket team. (Credits: Twitter)

Rahul Dravid added: “New Zealand is well led and they are well prepared. They have beaten India in recent tournaments, this is a fact. But here lies a good opportunity for us to keep getting better and hopefully, we get an opportunity against them in a big tournament, we put one over them.”

The two sides will be without their talismans skippers Virat Kohli, and Kane Williamson, as both the modern-day greats, have decided to take a break from this format and return for the Test series. Moreover, this will be the teams’ second meeting in less than 3 weeks. They last met in the Super 12 stage of the T20 World Cup, with the Kiwis winning the contest by eight wickets.

Ruturaj Gaikwad, Avesh Khan, Venkatesh Iyer, And Harshal Patel Will Be Eager To Do Well Against New Zealand In 3 T20Is

The likes of Ruturaj Gaikwad, Avesh Khan, Venkatesh Iyer, and Harshal Patel will be eager to perform on the big stage.  India will enter a new era in Jaipur when they take the field against New Zealand in the first T20I. This will be their first match with Rahul Dravid as head coach and Rohit Sharma as the permanent T20I captain.

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 BCCI, a few days back, announced a very different-looking squad for T20Is, one devoid of regulars like Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya, and Ravindra Jadeja, to name a few.

With 24 wickets in 16 matches, Avesh Khan was the second-most successful bowler in the recently-concluded IPL 2021. For Delhi Capitals, Avesh Khan was the find of the season. Moreover, he was also a part of India’s red-ball squad in England. Keeping all these factors in mind, he could be in line to make his T20I debut ahead of Harshal Patel, the highest wicket-taker of IPL 2021, and Mohammed Siraj.

Venkatesh Iyer, who was a sensation in the second leg of the IPL 2021 in the UAE, has earned his maiden India call-up. Venkatesh Iyer scored 320 runs in 10 games at an average of 41.11 and a strike rate of 128.47, including four half-centuries. He finished as KKR’s fourth-highest run-scorer.

Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma | AFP
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Rohit Sharma Strictly Want To Assign Roles After Taking Over As T20I Skipper

Rohit Sharma is a man with an uncluttered plan. Perhaps, this was his magic recipe to win five IPL titles as Mumbai Indians captain. He has never been big on having multiple theories.

Rohit Sharma has also inspired the team in Virat Kohli’s absence to memorable triumphs in Asia Cup and Nidahas Trophy, besides leading Mumbai Indians to an unprecedented five IPL titles. Rohit Sharma, 34, has led India 10 times in ODIs and led them to victories on eight occasions. In T20Is, he has captained them 19 times, of which they have won 15 and lost four.

Rohit Sharma and Mumbai Indians created history as they won the IPL title for the fifth time, with Rohit winning it for the sixth time. , BCCI/IPL Twitter handle
Rohit Sharma and Mumbai Indians created history as they won the IPL title for the fifth time, with Rohit Sharma winning it for the sixth time.  BCCI/IPL Twitter handle

Rohit Sharma: India Has Been Brilliant In T20Is, And Only Regret Is Not Winning An ICC Trophy

India’s new T20 captain Rohit Sharma doesn’t foresee any change in Virat Kohli’s role as a batter in the new set-up and expects his predecessor to continue dishing out impactful performances. Virat Kohli has relinquished his T20 captaincy and from Wednesday’s opening T20 International against New Zealand, Rohit Sharma will be the full-time skipper in the shortest format going into next year’s World Cup.

And he doesn’t mind conceding: “India has been brilliant in this particular format. It’s just that we haven’t won the ICC tournament. Of course, there are little holes that we need to fill up, and that will be the biggest challenge as a team,” Rohit said on the eve of the first T20I against New Zealand in Jaipur.

Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma
Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma — Twitter

For Rohit Sharma, assigning definite roles to his players is the key which goes down to domestic and IPL matches too. In the recent T20I World Cup, it came to the fore that most batters are comfortable batting in the top four positions, and there was hardly any option for the late middle-order to flourish.

“Our boys play Syed Mushtaq Ali and IPL and they play differently for their franchisees and states. When they come here, they have different roles. We strictly want to assign the role which they do here matters. For that, it can take a few games or it can take a while,” he asserted.

While Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah, and Ravindra Jadeja have been rested, Hardik Pandya has been dropped from the team. Varun Chakravarthy, who generated hype leading up to the T20 World Cup but went wicketless, too has been left out. Venkatesh Iyer, who was a sensation in the second leg of the IPL 2021 in the UAE, has earned his maiden India call-up along with RCB pacer Harshal Patel and DC pacer Avesh Khan.
India’s T20I squad against NZ: Rohit Sharma (captain), KL Rahul (vice-captain), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wicketkeeper), Ishan Kishan (wicketkeeper), Venkatesh Iyer, Yuzvendra Chahal, R Ashwin, Axar Patel, Avesh Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Chahar, Harshal Patel, Mohammed Siraj

Rohit Sharma: India Need To Create Own Template And Get It Right

India’s brand of T20 cricket has been questioned by experts. The overtly conservative approach looked outdated in front of their competitors. But newly-appointed skipper for the shortest format, Rohit Sharma insisted that it was more important to make a brand of their own than tailing other teams.

“We just need to set the template right and we have got some time to do that. I am not going to say that we are going to follow a certain team’s template. We just have to create our own template and what is best for our team,” he claimed.

Rahul Dravid Photo Credit: PTI
Rahul Dravid Photo Credit: PTI

“We are starting afresh after the T20 World Cup. We want to absorb and we have set some ideas and thoughts for this particular series. Let’s see how it pans out and we will take it from there,” Rohit added.

Speaking about the template that he will look to set in T20Is, Rohit Sharma spoke about the need to define specific roles for players in T20Is. Sharma said that he and new coach Rahul Dravid will stress on helping the youngsters hone specific skills by playing similar roles in international, domestic, and franchise cricket.

Venkatesh Iyer, Sourav Ganguly, Image Source: Google
Venkatesh Iyer, Sourav Ganguly, Image Source: Google
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Venkatesh Iyer Reveals Conversation With Idol Sourav Ganguly After IPL 2021 Final

Venkatesh Iyer looks set to make his international debut in the T20I series against New Zealand. He has earned his maiden India call-up. Venkatesh Iyer had also met his idol, Sourav Ganguly, after the conclusion of the IPL 2021 final, where the BCCI President exchanged a few ideas with the budding all-rounder.

Venkatesh Iyer, who was a revelation for Kolkata Knight Riders in the UAE leg of the recently concluded IPL 2021, earned a maiden India call-up alongside the likes of Avesh Khan and Harshal Patel. Venkatesh Iyer scored 320 runs in 10 games at an average of 41.11 and a strike rate of 128.47, including four half-centuries.

Venkatesh Iyer and Sourav Ganguly had met after IPL 2021 final
Venkatesh Iyer and Sourav Ganguly had met after IPL 2021 final | Courtesy: BCCL/Twitter(IPL)

Venkatesh Iyer Met Idol Sourav Ganguly After The IPL 2021 Final Against CSK

The dream to represent his nation at the highest level is set to come true for all-rounder Venkatesh Iyer who only came into the spotlight in the UAE-leg of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021. After getting his maiden India call-up for the T20I series against New Zealand, Venkatesh Iyer revealed the conversation he had with ‘idol’ Sourav Ganguly after the T20 league’s final in October.

Venkatesh Iyer idolizes Sourav Ganguly, having watched the latter mesmerize cricket lovers with his glorious shots through the off-side over the years. In fact, Venkatesh Iyer had transformed himself into a left-handed batsman only because Dada batted left-handed.

Venkatesh Iyer scored his maiden IPL fifty in the game vs MI.© Instagram
Venkatesh Iyer scored his maiden IPL fifty in the game vs MI.© Instagram

The KKR all-rounder said that he got the opportunity to meet Sourav Ganguly after the IPL 2021 final against Chennai Super Kings (CSK). Having been impressed by Venkatesh Iyer’s performances thus far, Dada gave him a few tips that could help the budding all-rounder elongate his career at the highest level.

“When I was very young, I used to bat right-handed by watching Dada, I wanted to copy him, do everything like him so I became a left-handed. Feels nice when people compare me with him,” Iyer said.

“Met Dada after the IPL final and it felt nice to speak to him. It was a very normal conversation. He said it is going well and told me to put more effort and hard work into my game. Instead of thinking about the result, focus on the process. Do that and you will automatically see the results,” Iyer added.

Venkatesh Iyer has been drafted into the Indian team as a seam-bowling all-rounder. While he opened for KKR in IPL 2021, the role for the Indian team is expected to be quite different.

Venkatesh Iyer Came Into Indian Team To Fill In The Void Left By Hardik Pandya

With the likes of Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Ruturaj Gaikwad, and Ishan Kishan already included in the Indian team as openers, Venkatesh Iyer is likely to be groomed as a No. 5 or No. 6 player who can finish games for the team and bowl a few overs too. The 26-year-old has come into the national team to fill in the void left by Hardik Pandya, who is reportedly not being considered for national selection over form and fitness issues.

Hardik Pandya AFP/Getty Images
Hardik Pandya AFP/Getty Images

India’s squad was announced for the upcoming T20I at home against New Zealand. The tour will commence with the T20Is on November 17, while the Test matches are set to be played from November 25.

A lot of players who were a part of the World Cup squad have been rested for the T20I series after spending more than six months inside a bubble. As a result, the likes of Virat Kohli, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, and Ravindra Jadeja have been kept away from the three T20Is against the Kiwis.

Hardik Pandya played as a specialist batsman in the two warm-up matches ahead of the Super 12 round of the T20 World Cup 2021. The Gujarat-born cricketer did not bowl a single over during the second leg of the IPL 2021 in the UAE. In fact, a lot of questions were raised over his selection in India’s T20 World Cup squad.

The hard-hitting right-hander has been finally dropped for the home T20I series against New Zealand, and if sources are to be believed, Hardik Pandya will have to perform in the domestic cricket to earn a place back in the squad.

India's Virat Kohli. Credit: Reuters Photo
India's Virat Kohli. Credit: Reuters Photo
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Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah Bio-bubble Fatigue Issue Will Now Be Taken Care Of By BCCI

Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah, and outgoing coach Ravi Shastri raised the bio-bubble fatigue concern. Now the BCCI will reportedly consider the workload management of players, among other factors, before picking a team for a series from now on.

During India’s campaign at the ongoing ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in UAE, Virat Kohli, and Jasprit Bumrah talked about the exhaustion due to players switching from one bio-bubble to another without sufficient breaks was affecting them mentally.

Virat Kohli and Jasprit Bumrah said bubble fatigue is one of the major reasons behind India's disappointing show at T20 WC. (AFP Photo)
Virat Kohli and Jasprit Bumrah said bubble fatigue is one of the major reasons behind India’s disappointing show at T20 WC. (AFP Photo)

Virat Kohli And Jasprit Bumrah Raised The Bio Bubble Fatigue Issue, Which Will Now Be Taken Care Of By BCCI

India failed to make it to the semi-finals of the showpiece event after managing three wins out of their five group matches. The BCCI wants to avoid bubbles affecting the mental well-being of players.

As per a report, newly-appointed head coach Rahul Dravid had also spoken about the players’ workload management with the Cricket Advisory Committee when he appeared for his interview for the position. An unnamed BCCI official said that the board will now decide on which players get rested for a particular series.

“The BCCI will decide on which player needs to be rested depending on how much cricket is being played. We are aware of the fatigue issue. The player who has been rested will get his place back in the team even if the replacement does well,” the official was quoted as saying.

Rahul Dravid Photo Credit: PTI
Rahul Dravid Photo Credit: PTI

India failed to make it to the semi-finals of the showpiece event after managing three wins out of their five group matches. New Zealand and Pakistan, the two sides India lost against, have qualified for the semi-finals from Group 2. India’s comprehensive victories in the last three matches of the T20 World Cup were against minnows Afghanistan, Scotland, and Namibia that helped the team to sign off on a high.

Ravi Shastri: Even Don Bradman’s Average Would’ve Been Down If He Was Put Inside Bio Bubble

Following the conclusion of India’s final match of the T20I world cup, outgoing coach Ravi Shastri had said even Don Bradman would have struggled to play in bio-bubble continuously. Outgoing T20I skipper Virat Kohli led India in 50 T20Is, winning 32 and losing 16. He won bilateral T20I rubbers in Australia, England, New Zealand, South Africa, West Indies, and Sri Lanka.

“I don’t read too much into Virat Kohli’s form. I don’t care who the player is. If you put even Don Bradman in the bubble, his average will come down. Eventually, the bubble will burst,” he had said.

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

Virat Kohli, Ravindra Jadeja, and Jasprit Bumrah are among the senior members of the Indian team who have been rested for the upcoming New Zealand T20I series. The 16-member squad to face New Zealand includes veteran wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant, middle-order batsman Suryakumar Yadav, keeper Ishan Kishan, spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, and pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar. All these players were part of the T20 World Cup squad too.

Deepak Chahar, Shreyas Iyer, and Axar Patel, who were on the standby list for the tournament, were also included in the team to take on the Blackcaps. In addition, leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal has been recalled to the side. In addition, CSK opening batsman Ruturaj Gaikwad and all-rounder Harshal Patel, who finished IPL 2021 as the highest run-getter and wicket-taker, respectively, have earned an India call-up.

Venkatesh Iyer, who was a revelation for Kolkata Knight Riders in the UAE leg of the recently concluded IPL 2021, also earned a maiden India call-up. Delhi Capitals (DC) bowler Avesh Khan was also included in the squad.

India’s T20I squad against NZ: Rohit Sharma (captain), KL Rahul (vice-captain), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wicketkeeper), Ishan Kishan (wicketkeeper), Venkatesh Iyer, Yuzvendra Chahal, R Ashwin, Axar Patel, Avesh Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Chahar, Harshal Patel, Mohammed Siraj

India National Cricket Team.
India National Cricket Team. Image Credits: BCCI
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India Cannot Afford To Play T20Is Like ODIs, Says VVS Laxman

VVS Laxman, former Indian batsman, was left impressed by the manner of India’s comprehensive victories in the last three matches of the T20 World Cup against minnows Afghanistan, Scotland, and Namibia that helped the team to sign off on a high.

On a winning note, Virat Kohli ended his stint as India’s 20-overs captain after his eliminated side beat Namibia by 9 wickets on Monday. New Zealand and Pakistan, the two sides India lost against, have qualified for the semi-finals from Group 2.

VVS Laxman. (File Photo: IANS)
VVS Laxman. (File Photo: IANS)

VVS Laxman: India can Take Lessons From Their Abortive Run At 2021 T20I World Cup And Make Necessary Corrections

India registered comprehensive wins against Afghanistan, Scotland, and later Namibia. However, New Zealand’s triumph over Afghanistan on Sunday ended their slim semi-final qualification hopes.

In his column, VVS Laxman wrote, “Yet another World Cup gone by, yet another dream unfulfilled. India has every reason to look back at their campaign in the UAE with disappointment but I am a firm believer that every adversity presents an opportunity.

“If India can take the lessons from their abortive run at the T20 World Cup on board and make the necessary course correction, some goodwill still has come out of the last fortnight.”

“The signs are promising already. After being tentative with the bat in the first two matches, India shed their inhibitions and played the brand of cricket they are capable of.

“Yes, it might have been against the less experienced and pedigreed teams, but you are looking for intent and not so much performance.”

“That intent manifested itself not just in breathtaking batting but also in incisive bowling. R Ashwin’s inclusion had a big part to play in the latter because he naturally looks for wickets. Reunited with his old mate, Ravindra Jadeja too looked a bowler transformed as they hunted as a pack,” VVS Laxman added.

Rahul Dravid Photo Credit: PTI
Rahul Dravid Photo Credit: PTI

VVS Laxman hoped that the new coach-captain combination of Rahul Dravid and Rohit Sharma would help India in performing better in the next T20 World Cup, slated in 2022.

“With the next T20 World Cup less than a year away, I am sure India will have identified a template that new coach Rahul Dravid and Rohit Sharma, all set to become the next captain, will encourage the team to embrace whole-heartedly. It’s important for India to understand that they can’t afford to keep playing 20-over cricket in the same mould as they would the 50-over game,” VVS Laxman added.

For the forthcoming T20I series against New Zealand, the selectors on Tuesday made a number of changes to the squad that featured in the T20 World Cup, bringing in Ruturaj Gaikwad, Venkatesh Iyer, Avesh Khan, and Harshal Patel, while dropping all-rounder Hardik Pandya and spinner Varun Chakravarthy besides resting senior players.

“I do feel two crucial gaps must be addressed post-haste. The first priority will be to invest in a batsman who can bowl a few overs of medium pace, whether that be Venkatesh Iyer or Shivam Dube. This option doesn’t necessarily have to be a back-up to Hardik Pandya but a standalone choice because it will give the captain more flexibility in picking his 11,” VVS Laxman opined.

India’s batting finally clicked against Afghanistan as they racked up the tournament’s highest total of 210-2 and restricted their opponents to 144-7. After that, India cruised to a second consecutive win in the T20 World Cup 2021 as they thumped Scotland by eight wickets, chasing an 86-run target inside 6.3 overs.

Spinners Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin took three wickets apiece to limit Namibia to 132 for eight before half-centuries from openers Rohit Sharma, and KL Rahul helped their side cruise home, not only sending Ravi Shastri off with a win but also Virat Kohli in his final game as T20I captain.

VVS Laxman Acknowledged Contributions Of The Trio Of Ravi Shastri, Bharat Arun, And R Sridhar

Under Ravi Shastri, India became the first Asian team to win a Test series in Australia (2018-19) and triumphed again Down Under in 2020-21. As a result, India climbed to the top of the Test rankings and reached the final of the inaugural World Test Championship in the 2019-2021 cycle, where they were beaten by New Zealand.

“The other would be zeroing in on two solid pacemen capable of supporting Jasprit Bumrah and capitalizing on the pace and bounce Australia is certain to offer. If one of them is a left-arm who brings a different angle of operation, then all the better.

“The process of identification and grooming must begin immediately so that by the time of the World Cup, these players are comfortable and secure in their roles and aware fully of the responsibilities they are entrusted with.”

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

“As three long-serving members of the coaching staff move on to their next innings, I’d like to acknowledge the wonderful contributions of Ravi Shastri as well as B Arun and R Sridhar.

“Ravi is an excellent man-manager whose tactical acumen is second to none. His inspirational presence enabled the team to bounce back from setbacks frequently and immediately. He instilled belief, killer instinct, and a never-say-die attitude,” VVS Laxman signed off.

Ravi Shastri, who took up the job of Indian team coach in mid-2017, had ruled out seeking an extension after his tenure expires following the T20 World Cup.

Deep Dasgupta
Deep Dasgupta. (Photo Source: Instagram)
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Deep Dasgupta Delighted At BCCI’s Decision To Appoint Rahul Dravid As Team India’s Head Coach

Deep Dasgupta expressed delight over the management’s decision to appoint Rahul Dravid as a coach.  The former India captain will replace outgoing coach Ravi Shastri at the helm and will take charge of the team, starting with the upcoming series at home against New Zealand.

With Virat Kohli stepping down from Team India’s T20I captaincy, Rohit Sharma will lead the side in the home series against New Zealand, and KL Rahul will serve as vice-captain.

Deep Dasgupta. Photo Credit (Twitter)
Deep Dasgupta. Photo Credit (Twitter)

Deep Dasgupta: It’s A Brilliant Move To Bring Rahul Dravid In As A Coach

Deep Dasgupta feels that Rahul Dravid is the right person to lead this pool of players forward as a majority have been groomed by him during their Under 19 and India A days.

While speaking on his YouTube channel, Deep Dasgupta said: “It is a brilliant move to bring Dravid in as coach. He has had a big line in establishing and developing the current pipeline of players. It is only natural that he works with the players he groomed while coaching India A and U-19. So, it is a very very good choice.”

Rahul Dravid Photo Credit: PTI
Rahul Dravid Photo Credit: PTI

Rahul Dravid coached and led the India U-19 side to great success in the U-19 World Cup. He would hope to translate the efforts into the senior team, who are struggling at the big stage for quite some time now.

He was recently appointed as the interim head coach for the Sri Lanka series, with Ravi Shastri busy with the Test team in England. The new coach has been offered a hefty contract and will be drawing a salary of Rs 10 crore.

The amount makes him one of the highest-paid Indian coaches. His first stint came in 2014 when he travelled to England as a batting consultant for the Test series. In July 2021, he returned as interim head coach for Sri Lankan limited-overs tour as Ravi Shastri-led coaching staff was in England for a Test series.

Deep Dasgupta: Bilateral T20I Series Will Decide Future Of Bhuvneshwar Kumar

Deep Dasgupta also spoke about the squad that was picked for the three-match T20I series, which will mark Rohit Sharma’s stint as full-time captain of the T20 team. He noted how this could potentially be a future deciding series for long-time seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

Deep Dasgupta added: “The series against NZ will be a huge one, and a future deciding one for Bhuvneshwar with bowlers like Harshal Patel, Arshdeep Singh, and Avesh Khan coming upto the first team now and pushing their case.”

Bhuvneshwar Kumar (Image Credit: Twitter)
Bhuvneshwar Kumar (Image Credit: Twitter)

Bhuvneshwar Kumar has been a vital cog in the Indian seam attack in white-ball cricket since his debut in 2012. As of late, however, he has derailed over the years because of his quest for pace, injuries, and inconsistency.

He was dropped from the India team following their loss against Pakistan and was never recalled into playing XI for the rest of the tournament. The 16-member squad to face NZ includes veteran wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant, middle-order batsman Suryakumar Yadav, keeper Ishan Kishan, spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, and pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar. All these players were part of the T20 World Cup squad too.

Deepak Chahar, Shreyas Iyer, and Axar Patel, who were on the standby list for the tournament, were also included in the team to take on the Blackcaps. In addition, Leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal has been recalled to the side. In addition, CSK opening batsman Ruturaj Gaikwad (635 runs in IPL 2021) and all-rounder Harshal Patel (32 wickets in IPL 2021), who finished IPL 2021 as the highest run-getter and wicket-taker, respectively, have earned an India call-up.

Venkatesh Iyer, who was a revelation for Kolkata Knight Riders in the UAE leg of the recently concluded IPL 2021, also earned a maiden India call-up. Delhi Capitals (DC) bowler Avesh Khan was also included in the squad. He had picked up 24 wickets in IPL 2021 and was 2nd highest wicket-taker after Harshal Patel (32). Venkatesh Iyer scored 320 runs in 10 games at an average of 41.11 and a strike rate of 128.47, including four half-centuries.

India’s T20I squad against NZ: Rohit Sharma (captain), KL Rahul (vice-captain), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wicketkeeper), Ishan Kishan (wicketkeeper), Venkatesh Iyer, Yuzvendra Chahal, R Ashwin, Axar Patel, Avesh Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Chahar, Harshal Patel, Mohammed Siraj

Kapil Dev, BCCI
Kapil Dev, BCCI
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Kapil Dev Feels India Shouldn’t Depend On Others To Succeed And Youngsters Should Be Given A Chance If Big Names Falter

Kapil Dev, former Indian skipper feels depending on other teams to succeed is not a template the Indian team should believe in and pointed out that if the established players are not able to prove themselves, perhaps it is time for the next generation to take command.

Former India captain and all-rounder Kapil Dev believes it might be time for the BCCI to think about giving more chances to youngsters rather than depend on the big names of the Indian cricket team. Kapil Dev’s statement comes after India’s defeat to New Zealand – their second straight loss in the T20 World Cup which now places them on the brink of getting eliminated early from the marquee event.

Former India skipper Kapil Dev (Photo | PTI)
Former India skipper Kapil Dev (Photo | PTI)

Kapil Dev: India Shouldn’t Depend On Other Teams To Succeed In World Cups

India has an outside chance of qualifying if they win all the remaining group matches comprehensively and hope that either Afghanistan, Scotland, or Namibia are able to beat New Zealand. Kapil Dev feels depending on other teams to succeed is not a template the Indian team should believe in and stressed that if the established players are not able to prove themselves, perhaps it is time for the next generation of youngsters to take command.

“If we succeed on the basis of some other teams, Indian cricket has never appreciated it. If you want to win the World Cup or reach the semi-finals, do it on your own strengths. It is better not to depend on other teams. I guess the selectors will have to decide the future of the big names and the big players,” Kapil Dev said.

India cricket team. Photo: @BCCI
India cricket team. Photo: @BCCI

There can be plenty of reasons behind India’s poor show at the ongoing T20 World Cup. Bio-bubbles, fatigue, and team selection seem to be at the top of the list. While Pakistan and England have already qualified, India is looking down the barrel. If India gets eliminated in the group stage, it would be the first time since the 2007 ODI World Cup that India will be eliminated at such an early stage.

Kapil Dev: It’s Time To Give Chance To The Youngsters Performing Well In IPL

If that is the case, Kapil Dav reckons there are plenty of players who have performed well in the extravagant IPL 2020 and IPL 2021 and are relatively fresher, who could be considered to usher Indian cricket in the next era.

“They need to think whether the youngsters who are performing well in the IPL, is it time to give them a chance? How do we make the next generation better? If they lose, there is no harm because they will gain experience. But if these big players don’t perform now and play such bad cricket, there is going to be plenty of criticism. The BCCI needs to intervene and think about bringing more youngsters in,” added India’s first World Cup-winning captain.

Devdutt Padikkal , RCB Twitter handle
Devdutt Padikkal , RCB Twitter handle
Among the youngsters who did well in IPL 2020 and 2021 is Devdutt Padikkal who made his debut in 2020 for RCB and was the leading run-scorer for RCB in 2020. He scored a century in 2021 IPL. He scored 473 runs in IPL 2020 and 411 runs in IPL 2021. Prithvi Shaw smashed 6 fours in an over against KKR’s Shivam Mavi had hammered 827 runs in 8 matches to power Mumbai to the Vijay Hazare Trophy triumph. He managed to amass 479 runs in 15 games in IPL 2021.

Ruturaj Gaikwad who debuted in 2020 smashed 3 back to back half-centuries in the last few games. He opened for CSK in 2021 too and showed his class later in the tournament. He scored the maximum runs in IPL 2021- a staggering 635 runs in 16 games averaging 45.35 with 1 ton. CSK won the IPL 2021 as both openers Faf du Plessis and Ruturaj Gaikwad showed their class by being No. 1 and No. 2 leading run-getters.

Avesh Khan led the bowling attack of DC, as he bowled in powerplay and death overs and with his variations was able to take big wickets, finishing as 2nd highest wicket-taker in IPL 2021 with 24 scalps behind RCB’s Harshal Patel who picked 32 scalps. Chetan Sakariya managed to perform despite family losses and took crucial breakthroughs for the team showing his class with the ball, picking up 14 scalps for Rajasthan Royals in as many games.

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