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Suryakumar Yadav
Suryakumar Yadav (BCCI)
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Suryakumar Yadav Receives Maiden Test Call-up For 5-match Test Series Against England

Suryakumar Yadav has received his maiden Test team call-up and he along with opener Prithvi Shaw and off-spinner all-rounder Jayant Yadav will be flying to England as replacements sought by the team management after three players were ruled out due to injury.

Shubman Gill, Washington Sundar, and Avesh Khan have been ruled out from the ongoing tour after suffering injuries. The Test series is due to start on August 4. While Shubman Gill was ruled out due to shin splints suffered during the World Test Championship final against New Zealand, Avesh Khan dislocated a thumb during the warm-up game against County XI while Washington Sundar aggravated his finger injury.

Shubman Gill, Avesh Khan & Washington Sundar | Getty
Shubman Gill, Avesh Khan & Washington Sundar | Getty

Suryakumar Yadav Receives Maiden Test Call-up

A senior BCCI office-bearer confirmed the development. Suryakumar Yadav has played 77 first-class games amassing 5326 runs averaging 44.01 with 14 tons to his name.

“Yes, Prithvi, Surya, and Jayant will be flying to England. Whether they will fly in the middle of the T20 Internationals (Prithvi and Surya are part of the team in Sri Lanka) or post that is being worked out. But yes, these three are our replacement players for Test series in England.

“They might just leave after the three T20 Internationals but we will get confirmation in another three days,” the senior official told PTI.

Suryakumar Yadav, Prithvi Shaw, Jayant Yadav going to England: Report
Suryakumar Yadav, Prithvi Shaw, Jayant Yadav going to England: Report

It is understood that Prithvi Shaw’s form has impressed the team management and Mayank Agarwal’s current rhythm isn’t the greatest. However, with quarantine rules in place, it is not clear if Suryakumar Yadav and Prithvi Shaw can make it in time for the first Test after completing their hard quarantine.

Suryakumar Yadav May Play A Role As Ajinkya Rahane Has A Hamstring Injury

As far as Jayant Yadav is concerned, his superior batting abilities got the nod as he has a Test hundred and also will be a steady net bowler unless Ravichandran Ashwin or Ravindra Jadeja suffer from any injury in a long series. Suryakumar Yadav’s assertive batting could be used during some point in the series as Ajinkya Rahane’s hamstring injury will keep the team concerned.

“In any case, if Ajinkya misses the first Test, it will be KL Rahul who will bat in the middle order in Nottingham. The team management is still confident that Ajinkya might be alright before the Nottingham Test.”

Ajinkya Rahane. (Photo Source: Getty Images)
Ajinkya Rahane. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

Jayant Yadav was out of favour with the national selectors and last played for India way back in February 2017. Four months before that, he had made his debut in international cricket during the Vizag ODI against New Zealand.

Jayant Yadav has not played any ODI since 2017. Few days after debuting in ODI, he made his debut in Tests too in India’s home Tests against England– a five-Test series. The Haryana all-rounder impressed straight away by making notable contributions with both bat and ball in hand in the Tests. In his debut Test, he scored 62 runs in addition to picking up 4 wickets.

It was followed by his maiden fifty and four wickets in the following game. In his third Test, Jayant Yadav became the first Indian batsman to score a Test century at No.9. In February, he played one more Test which was against Australia before being dropped.

Deep Dasgupta
Deep Dasgupta
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It’s A Good Opportunity To Send Bhuvneshwar Kumar And Prithvi Shaw To England After Sri Lanka Series Concludes, Says Deep Dasgupta

Deep Dasgupta, former Indian wicket-keeper has suggested a couple of players, who could be sent to the UK ahead of the five-match Test series against England, which starts on August 4 in Nottingham.

Team India has been marred by a couple of injury bowls. After opener Shubman Gill was ruled out with a knee injury, pacer Avesh Khan and all-rounder Washington Sundar are also set to miss the high-profile Test series.

Deep Dasgupta. (Photo Source: Instagram)
Deep Dasgupta. (Photo Source: Instagram)

Deep Dasgupta On England Series:

Speaking on his YouTube channel ‘Deep Point’, Deep Dasgupta said Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Deepak Chahar can be handy options in English conditions.

“With Avesh Khan ruled out even though he was a net bowler, it is a good opportunity to send Deepak Chahar or even Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Both are swing bowlers and are in good form and will be useful in English conditions. They are making the white ball swing, so they can definitely swing the red Duke ball in England.”

Bhuvneshwar Kumar
Bhuvneshwar Kumar[photo: Twitter]
The young fast bowler from Madhya Pradesh, Avesh Khan reportedly fractured his finger while fielding for Select County XI during the warm-up game against India on July 20.

In his only Test series in England (in 2014) to date, Bhuvneshwar Kumar had shared the Man of the Series award with England’s James Anderson on the back of picking 19 wickets in five Tests at an average and strike rate of 26.63 and 54.5 respectively.

The 31-year-old right-arm pacer has not played multi-day format cricket since January 2018 when he appeared in a Test in South Africa.

Deep Dasgupta: Sending Prithvi Shaw As An Opener Won’t Be A Bad Idea

With Shubman Gill ruled out, management has requested BCCI to send Prithvi Shaw and Devdutt Padikkal as reserve openers. However, the offer was turned down by the selection committee which resulted in a lot of chaos. But Deep Dasgupta believes having an in-form Prithvi Shaw in England will give India a lot of flexibility in the five-match Test series.

“There has been a debate about sending openers in the last few days but I think the kind of form Prithvi Shaw is in, he can be a good choice. Obviously there is (Abhimanyu) Easwaran, there is Mayank Agarwal and Rohit Sharma, but sending Prithvi will not be a bad idea,” Deep Dasgupta added.

Prithvi Shaw was dropped from the Test squad earlier in the year. | Photo Credit: PTI
Prithvi Shaw was dropped from the Test squad earlier in the year. | Photo Credit: PTI

Opening batsman Prithvi Shaw missed being a part of the 20-member squad for the five-match Test series against England. All-rounder Hardik Pandya also was not picked as it seems he is still some time away from bowling full throttle. A notable miss also was pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

Prithvi Shaw earned a call-up into the white-ball squad following his excellent form in IPL 2021 (308 runs) and Vijay Hazare Trophy (827 runs).

The IPL 2020 in the UAE last year did not help his cause, as Prithvi Shaw registered three ducks. Even as he was picked for the tour of Australia, after the two nightmarish outings against the pink ball in Adelaide in 2020-21, the door seemingly shut on him. He then worked upon his technique which worked wonders.

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Indian Team Will Benefit Even If Bhuvneshwar Kumar Play 2-3 Tests, Says Nasser Hussain

Former captain Nasser Hussain wants the management to fly the experienced swing expert Bhuvneshwar Kumar to England for the five-Test series starting August 4, after India’s average dismal show with the ball in the WTC final, in which New Zealand beat India comfortably by 8 wickets to be crowned winners.

The Indian cricket team went to England with a decent fast-bowling unit in veterans Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, and youngsters Mohammed Siraj, Navdeep Saini, and Shardul Thakur, while keeping Prasidh Krishna, Avesh Khan, and Arzan Nagwaswalla as the reserve players.

Nasser Hussain. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)
Nasser Hussain. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

Nasser Hussain Wants Indian Team Management To Fly The Experienced Bhuvneshwar Kumar To England For 5 Match Test Series

In the build-up to the WTC final, there were discussions on the bowling combination which India may opt to field in the WTC Final and 5 Tests against England. The debate continued before the Playing XI was finally announced on the match eve and Indian skipper Virat Kohli went ahead with three pacers and two spinners and refused to change it even after Day 1 of the World Test Championship against New Zealand was washed out.

Mohammed Shami (AP Photo)
Mohammed Shami (AP Photo)

Bhuvneshwar Kumar missed the flight to England and was instead picked for the limited-overs tour of Sri Lanka. However, given how barring Mohammed Shami, no other bowler was able to generate swing in conditions favouring seam bowlers, Nasser Hussain feels Bhuvneshwar Kumar could be a valuable addition to the team.

“Bhuvneshwar should be called up for the England series. Though he has injury concerns, even if he can play two or three Tests for India, the team will greatly benefit. The conditions will suit him and we all saw how the team is missing a genuine swing bowler,” Nasser Hussain said on air during Day 3 of the WTC final at Southampton’s Ageas Bowl.

Nasser Hussain does make a valid point though as Mohammed Shami picked up 4/76 and Ishant Sharma claimed 3/48, which restricted New Zealand’s first-innings lead to 32, Jasprit Bumrah went wicketless in the WTC final.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s Absence Was Felt As He Did Well During The 2014 Tour

Mohammed Shami picked up a four-wicket haul in the first innings and even though Ishant Sharma accounted for 3/48, there wasn’t much on the surface for either the veteran of 100 Tests or the latest sensation Jasprit Bumrah.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar has a good record in England, having picked up 19 wickets at an average of 26.63 with two five-wicket-hauls in five Tests. During the 2014 tour, Bhuvneshwar Kumar picked up 19 wickets from five Tests with a best of 6/82 but did not make the cut for the 2018 tour.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar
Bhuvneshwar Kumar[photo: Twitter]
But Bhuvneshwar Kumar hasn’t played a First-Class match in over three years with his last Test dating back to January of 2018. Besides, whether Bhuvneshwar Kumar can have the time to fly to England from Sri Lanka (as he was named vice-captain for the Sri Lanka series) and complete the necessary quarantine is another point that cannot be ignored.

If needed by the management, he surely can make the final two or three Tests but it is unlikely that India will consider the 31-year-old quick especially with the likes of Mohammed Siraj and Navdeep Saini already available. The 31-year-old found a place for himself in the ODIs and T20s against England after a long injury layoff, where he impressed picking 4 T20I scalps and 6 ODI scalps against England at home.

Despite being overlooked from the 20-men squad for the upcoming Test summer in England, he was picked in the limited-overs team for the Sri Lanka series comprising of 3 ODIs and 3 T20Is.

Suryakumar Yadav
Suryakumar Yadav (BCCI)
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Suryakumar Yadav Is The Batsman To Watch Out For In 3 ODIs And As Many T20Is vs Sri Lanka, Says MSK Prasad

MSK Prasad, former India chief selector believes the 30-year-old Mumbai batsman Suryakumar Yadav can make a big impact in the upcoming limited-overs series in Sri Lanka. India is set to play three ODIs and three T20Is starting July 13th against Sri Lanka.

But with Virat Kohli-led Test squad away in England, India is expected to send a squad of fringe players to Sri Lanka for the limited-overs series. So, MSK Prasad believes that players like Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, and Sanju Samson, who have been excellent in the IPL, can make a great impact in the series.

MSK Prasad
MSK Prasad (Getty Images)

MSK Prasad Feels Standby For England, Avesh Khan Will Be Unfortunate If He Miss Out On Playing Either Series

MSK Prasad also praised Delhi Capitals fast bowler Avesh Khan, who has been named as a standby in the UK tour, and said it would be unfortunate if the pacer misses both the series.

“Suryakumar Yadav is the guy to watch out for. Ishan and Sanju also have a great opportunity at hand. I would have also loved to see Avesh Khan (named standby for the UK tour). He has been excellent in the IPL, and it would be unfortunate to see him miss out on playing in either series,” Prasad told Sportstar.

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

While Shikhar Dhawan, Hardik Pandya, and Bhuvneshwar Kumar look certain to be included in the Indian side, speculations are rife over who all are going to be included in the side. Young guns like Prithvi Shaw, Devdutt Padikkal, N Jagadeesan, and Chetan Sakariya might get rewarded for a good show in the IPL 2020-2021 while Suryakumar Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, and Ishan Kishan are likely to retain their spots.

Avesh Khan was a find of IPL 2021 for picking 14 wickets in 8 games and being 2nd highest wicket-taker before IPL 2021 was suspended for a surge in Covid-19 cases.

MSK Prasad: Confidence Level Of Modern Cricketers Is High An Example Being Suryakumar Yadav’s First Ball Six On Debut

MSK Prasad further on to went explain how the youngster of today’s generation is differentiating themselves from the players from the bygone era.

“The skill level back then was similar to what we have now. But the confidence levels of the boys today are five times more than what we had then,” Prasad said.

“Simple example: first ball, Suryakumar Yadav, gets an opportunity to play in a T20I game, smashes one of the best bowlers in the world for a six. Or Ishan Kishan, the way he blasted the opposition (England) on debut.”

He went on to make a bold prediction.

“I won’t be surprised if this young squad wins the series in Sri Lanka,” Prasad signed off.

Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan were given their debut caps ahead of India's second T20I against England in Ahmedabad on Sunday. - SPORTZPICS
Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan. SPORTZPICS.

Suryakumar Yadav has so far played two T20I innings. He has scored 89 runs at an average of 44.50 and a strike rate of 185.41. He kicked off his international career with a magnificent six against English speedster Jofra Archer.

Suryakumar Yadav has scored 512, 424, and 484 runs respectively in the last three seasons for Mumbai Indians and played a key role in them winning two titles. Ishan Kishan, another Mumbai Indians batsman scored 56 runs off just 32 balls while Suryakumar Yadav did not get a chance to bat in the 2nd T20I match where both batsmen debuted.

Suryakumar Yadav got the chance to bat in the fourth T20I and went on to score 57 runs from 31 deliveries before scoring a rapid 32 off 17 balls in the series decider T20I and was inducted in the ODI squad.

Delhi Capitals all-rounder Axar Patel has tested positive for coronavirus.© Instagram
Delhi Capitals all-rounder Axar Patel has tested positive for coronavirus.© Instagram
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Axar Patel Was Confident Of Bowling The Super Over Against SRH In IPL 2021

Axar Patel, Delhi Capitals spinner said that he was confident of doing a good job because the Chennai pitch was assisting the spinners.

The initial phase of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 was extremely tough for Delhi Capitals spinner Axar Patel. He had tested positive for Covid-19 before the tournament kicked off. His sour health kept didn’t let him play the first four matches for Delhi. However, when he returned in the fifth encounter against Sunrisers Hyderabad in Chennai, he stole the show with his terrific bowling in the Super Over.

Axar Patel during the Super Over against SRH in IPL 2021 match no. 20(IPL)
Axar Patel during the Super Over against SRH in IPL 2021 match no. 20(IPL)

Axar Patel Was Confident Of Bowling The Super Over Since The Pitch Was Aiding The Spinners

The match was tied after Sunrisers posted 159/7 while chasing. While the DC think tank was busy discussing who would bowl the Super Over, Axar Patel himself approached captain Rishabh Pant and expressed confidence that he could do the job without conceding more runs. While speaking in an interview with India TV, the left-arm spinner said that he was confident of doing a good job because the Chennai pitch was assisting the spinners.

“Because the pitch was aiding spinners, I thought I or Ashwin would be bowling the Super Over. But then I saw the think tank gathered around Avesh Khan. When I asked (Steve) Smith, he told me that Avesh will bowl the Super Over.

“I was confident that I could do better than Avesh under the conditions. I then went up to Rishabh (Pant) and said that I can bowl the Super Over without conceding many runs. Pant consulted coach Ricky (Ponting), and he gave the captain the freedom to take the final call,” Axar told India TV.

“I knew I could either become a hero or a zero. For a few moments, my heartbeat did increase. But I had the confidence and mental strength to pull me through,” he added.

Ricky Ponting, Rishabh Pant. [Source: The SportsRush]
Ricky Ponting, Rishabh Pant. [Source: The SportsRush]
Axar Patel also spoke about his battle against Covid-19. The spinner said that he was worried about how would he perform once he returns post-recovery.

“Many thoughts were going through my mind. I was in good form and then suddenly this COVID thing happened. I was also worried if COVID would affect my rhythm and how my body would respond after the battle with the virus,” said Axar.

“In the first match itself, my COVID recovery was put to test, as I bowled the Super Over against Sunrisers Hyderabad. After that, I became more confident as my rhythm was intact.”

The left-arm orthodox spinner endured a memorable Test debut as he racked up as many as 27 wickets across just three Test matches during the home series against England earlier this year. Axar Patel had already made an impact in the game versus Sunrisers Hyderabad by notching up figures of 2/26 in four overs.

However, the left-arm orthodox spinner wasn’t done yet. On a pitch that was aiding the bowlers, Axar Patel was confident of doing well in the Super Over and so he approached captain Rishabh Pant to allow him to bowl it instead of the initially chosen Avesh Khan.

Axar Patel Who Took 2 Scalps In SRH’s Innings Conceded Only 7 Runs In Super Over And Contributed To Delhi Capitals’ Win

Axar Patel backed up with his words with his performances as he gave away just 7 runs against the duo of David Warner and Kane Williamson and the target was eventually knocked off by Rishabh Pant and Shikhar Dhawan. Prior to the Super Over finish, Axar Patel had turned the tie on its head by getting the better of Abhishek Sharma and Rashid Khan in the 17th over.

Axar Patel
Axar Patel[photo: Twitter]
Axar Patel has been selected in Team India’s squad for the World Test Championship final and the five-match series against England. Axar Patel picked 6 scalps in 4 games in IPL 2021 before the league was postponed indefinitely. He had 86 scalps in 101 IPL games averaging 29.86 besides scoring 913 runs.

Jaydev Unadkat hopes IPL 2020 will go ahead this year | IANS
Jaydev Unadkat hopes IPL 2020 will go ahead this year | IANS
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I Was Hoping To Make It To The England Tour, Says Disappointed Jaydev Unadkat

Jaydev Unadkat was hopeful of returning to the India Test squad but says he still has a lot of time and not feeling frustrated for sure. It’s been over 10 years since pacer Jaydev Unadkat, then 19, made his India Test debut. He bowled 26 wicketless overs for 156 runs against South Africa, not a remarkable first appearance but surely not something that would mean it should be his only international appearance in the format so far.

Jaydev Unadkat during his Test debut in South Africa | Getty
Jaydev Unadkat during his Test debut in South Africa | Getty

Jaydev Unadkat Felt He Deserved A Chance In Australian Tour

Jaydev Unadkat has since developed into a reliable left-arm pacer with consistent performances year after year in the domestic circuit. Not that he hasn’t played for India since 2010 – he had sporadic appearances in white-ball limited-overs cricket (7 ODIs and 10 T20Is between 2013 and 2018).

But given the number of fast bowlers India has tried in the past six months in Test cricket alone, the 29-year-old, who finished as the leading wicket-taker of the last Ranji Trophy season, feels a little let down.

“I felt (exclusion from) Australia tour was fine because everyone was fit in the main squad. But later on, (looking at) those who got chances due to injuries, I felt I deserved one,” Unadkat told The Hindu.

Jaydev Unadkat@ AFP
Jaydev [email protected] AFP

His consistent performances in the domestic circuit and IPL helped him gain selection for India’s tour of Zimbabwe in July 2013, where he made his ODI debut. It proved a largely successful trip, as he picked up eight wickets in five matches. He later played two more ODIs in the upcoming home season – against Australia and West Indies – but went wicketless in both.

He picked 8 scalps in 7 ODIs and 14 scalps in 10 T20Is besides the solitary Test. His last T20I appearance came in 2018. In 84 IPL matches, he has 85 scalps besides his name.

Jaydev Unadkat Was Hoping To Make It To The England Tour And Is Disappointed But Not Frustrated

He was also hopeful that for the 2021 England tour, where India is to play six Tests starting with June 18’s World Test Championship final, he would be given a chance. However, he wasn’t even named among the standbys with the pace trio of Prasidh Krishna, Avesh Khan, and Arzan Nagwaswalla making the cut in the list instead.

“I was hoping to make it to the England tour. As simple as that. I have said in the past that the guys who are at the top are doing well, so I have to wait for my chance. This time around, I have been honestly disappointed. I’ll still take the disappointment positively to motivate myself to do better,” Unadkat said.

Prasidh Krishna Source: Google/ Image Credit: India Today
Prasidh Krishna Source: Google/ Image Credit: India Today

However, Jaydev Unadkat, who has taken 327 wickets in 89 First-Class matches so far, isn’t frustrated.

“I haven’t reached that level of frustration for sure. As I look at it, it’s not now or never for me. When I say I am at my peak, it’s still four or five years more to remain at my peak,” he said.

“I am 29 and because I made my debut early (in 2010), people consider me ‘old’. I was a teenager when I made my Test debut a decade ago, so I still have a lot of time. I am not that frustrated for sure,” he added.

While Rajasthan Royals had released Jaydev Unadkat after the IPL 2019, they bought him back at the auction for INR 3 crores and retained him for the IPL 2021. The 2017 IPL season was one of the best for Jaydev Unadkat, who claimed 24 wickets from 12 matches for the defunct Rising Pune Supergiants.

With 11 wickets in 15 games in IPL 2018, the pacer was probably bogged down by the expectation of a high salary he received at the IPL Player Auction 2018.

However, after being released initially, RR bought him back for INR 8.4 crore at the auction prior to the 2019 season, showing faith in his ability. In IPL 2021-his fourth season with the Rajasthan Royals- he picked 4 scalps in as many matches averaging 28.25.

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
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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.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar (AP Photo)
Bhuvneshwar Kumar (AP Photo)
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Bhuvneshwar Kumar Doesn’t Want To Play Tests Anymore: Reports

Bhuvneshwar Kumar, the Indian pacer would have been Team India’s greatest asset on the tour of England. In ideal circumstances, nobody among the current Indian pacers is capable of getting handed a ticket to the United Kingdom ahead of swing expert Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

In a country that favours swing seamers, the Meerut-born seamer would’ve been the perfect arsenal to carry along. Yet he is not in the squad. Right now, Bhuvneshwar Kumar is not injured, as has been the case often in his career, especially over the last four years. Unlike last year, when he got ruled out of the Australia series because of a thigh injury he suffered during an IPL game, he has been fit for the most part of this year.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar
India’s Bhuvneshwar Kumar. (Photo | AP)

Bhuvneshwar Kumar Just Doesn’t Want To Play Tests Anymore

The Syed Mushtaq Ali and the Vijay Hazare tournaments saw the 31-year-old find a place for himself in the One-dayers and T20s against England, where he impressed, and it appeared as if he was on the move again. Those tracking the pace bowler’s career and cricket say he is “focusing on the next T20 opportunities coming up”.

“Bhuvneshwar just doesn’t want to play Test cricket anymore. That drive has gone missing,” they add. “Those who have seen him from close insist he brought in a huge change in his work-drills a couple of seasons ago, doing away with heavyweight training, falling to the lure of the white-ball comfort, and avoiding those hours of long spells that are so integral to red-ball cricket.”

Bhuvneshwar Kumar
Bhuvneshwar Kumar[photo: Twitter]

“To be honest, the selectors don’t even see Bhuvi hungry for 10 overs, forget Test cricket. It’s Team India’s loss no doubt because if one bowler should have made it to England, it should have been him,” say those tracking developments.

The pacer was ruled out of the Australian tour after sustaining a thigh muscle injury while playing for the SunRisers Hyderabad franchise in the IPL 2020. The 30-year-old pacer made his comeback with Uttar Pradesh in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. Bhuvneshwar Kumar has played the last Test against South Africa in 2018. He picked 4 T20I scalps and 6 ODI scalps against England at home.

Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami And Jasprit Bumrah Almost Certainties In WTC Final While Mohammed Siraj And Shardul Thakur May Get Chances During 5 Tests Against Hosts England

Despite Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s absence, the Indian team is travelling to England with a 24-member contingent, unlike the tour of Australia. However, this contingent includes only six pacers as a lot is expected from the likes of Jasprit Bunrah, Mohammed Shami and Ishant Sharma besides Umesh Yadav.

“Ishant has been the backbone of India’s attack, and rightly so, but when was the last time he worked his way through an entire series? Injury relapses and niggles have been a constant irritant. That will leave the bulk of the responsibility on two pacers, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami,” say sources.

In that, the team management is learnt to be leaning heavily on the backup pacers Mohammed Siraj and Shardul Thakur to rise to the occasion besides Avesh Khan who’s on standby.

“Their hard work, recent performances and the ability to deal with the given conditions has been a plus. Umesh is around, but he’s been a lottery at most times. Also, expect Avesh Khan to be a find during this tour, regardless of whether he gets a Test match or not,” is how the team management is believed to be seeing things.

Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav
Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav. Photo by Deepak Malik / Sportzpics for BCCI

The team will be going through eight days of quarantine. Four of them will be spent in isolation and the remaining four in restricted spaces. That means losing that much more time in preparing for the World Test Championship final against New Zealand starting on June 18.

“Bowlers who travel to England usually require two weeks to get a hang of what line and length to bowl on the wickets there. It’s the early onset of summer but things always get tricky in the UK,” says a team source.

It’ll be a battle against time, conditions and a host team that’s desperate to see India in their backyard and payback in the same coin. India’s bowling attack, which has done very well between 2018 and now, will be facing its biggest challenge in both WTC Final and 5 Tests against England.

Rishabh Pant
Rishabh Pant (Image Credit: Twitter)
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Rishabh Pant Showed A Spark As Delhi Capitals’ Skipper In IPL 2021: Sunil Gavaskar

Rishabh Pant, who did well in Tests in Australia and against England at home, captained for the first time in IPL 2021. For, this is the first time in his life that he took over the role of a captain and excelled in it. By the time the tournament happened, keeper Rishabh Pant was getting into his own.

He had led India to victory at Brisbane and then his scintillating hundred against England at Motera impressed everyone. Now, he got the biggest backing from one of the greats of the game.

Rishabh Pant
Rishabh Pant Photo Credit: PTI

Sunil Gavaskar: Rishabh Pant Showed A Spark That Can Become A Roaring Fire If Allowed To Burn Naturally

Sunil Gavaskar has said that Rishabh Pant ‘showed a spark’ as far as leadership skills are concerned.

“The standout team Delhi Capitals under young Rishabh Pant. By the sixth game, one could see that he was getting tired of being asked about being captain. Every presenter at the post-game ceremony had the same question to him.

“What he showed was a spark that can become a roaring fire if allowed to burn naturally. Yes, he will make mistakes; which captain doesn’t?” Sunil Gavaskar wrote in his column for Sportstar.

Sunil Gavaskar. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Sunil Gavaskar. (Photo Source: Twitter)

“But like he showed in the few games in the IPL that he is clever enough to learn and his usual street-smart savvy meant he was on top of most situations and was finding his own method to get out of sticky ones.

“He is one for the future, no doubt about it. That’s because he has shown that talent can meet opportunity only when it walks hand in hand with temperament,” he added.

Under Rishabh Pant’s captaincy, DC has won 6 out of their first 8 matches and is table toppers with 12 points before the postponement of IPL 2021. Notably, Rishabh Pant is leading an IPL franchise for the first time in his career. He was appointed as the skipper of DC after Shreyas Iyer was ruled out of IPL 2021 with a shoulder injury.

Rishabh Pant To Provide Oxygen Cylinders With Beds And Kits

Rishabh Pant who is now locked up in his room is trying to stay fit. Rishabh Pant who usually has fun on the field is a good samaritan as well. He recently donated an undisclosed amount of money for procuring Oxygen cylinders for Covid-19 patients.

“I am supporting the Hemkunt Foundation through a monetary donation that will help provide O2 Cylinders with Beds, kits, and much more to the suffering across the country. I am especially keen to work with organizations providing medical aid and support to rural India and non-metro cities which do not have the capacity of the medical infrastructure of the major cities,” he wrote on Twitter.

Rishabh Pant Photo: BCCI
Rishabh Pant Photo: BCCI

Since the start of this year, Rishabh Pant has been impressive with the bat and again impressed everyone with his leadership skills in IPL 2021. Considering that the keeper was leading the IPL team for the first time, he did a reasonably good job.

Delhi Capitals finished on the top spot in IPL 2021 points table with 12 points before it got indefinitely postponed. The team won 6 matches out of 8. Delhi Capitals was one of the strongest teams in IPL 2021 with a solid bowling and batting attack.

Shikhar Dhawan(380 runs), Prithvi Shaw(308 runs), and Rishabh Pant(213 runs) were some of the top performers in batting for Delhi Capitals. On the other hand, Avesh Khan was the leading bowler for Delhi Capitals picking 14 wickets. Kagiso Rabada also did a good job as a pacer picking 8 scalps. Among spinners, both Amit Mishra and Axar Patel picked 6 wickets each. Lalit Yadav excelled scoring 54 runs and picking 3 wickets in 5 games in his first IPL.

Devdutt Padikkal , RCB Twitter handle
Devdutt Padikkal , RCB Twitter handle
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Devdutt Padikkal Is Definitely The Guy For The Future: MSK Prasad

Devdutt Padikkal became only the second player in the history of the tournament to score over 400 runs in his maiden season in IPL 2020, and this time around, he smashed his maiden IPL century against Rajasthan Royals.

Former chief selector of the BCCI, MSK Prasad has weighed down on what the squad announcement means for fringe players, including Devdutt Padikkal, who set the IPL ablaze last year and continued to do so this year as well.

Devdutt Padikkal
Devdutt Padikkal (Image Credit: Twitter)

Devdutt Padikkal Is Definitely The Guy For The Future, MSK Prasad Said Adding It Will Take Some Time For Him To Break Into The Longest Format

Contrary to the belief that the BCCI would pick a jumbo 30-member squad for India’s near four-month-long tour of England, the selectors rather stuck to the usual 20-member squad. While there were a few names expected to return – Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, and Hanuma Vihari – the squad packed a few surprises when Hardik Pandya and Kuldeep Yadav were dropped while Prithvi Shaw and Bhuvneshwar Kumar were ignored.

With the announcement, many budding cricketers’ dream of wanting to represent India was prolonged. It was assumed that the squad would feature several fringe players such as Rahul Chahar, Priyank Panchal, Kona Bharath, and Devdutt Padikkal, but the BCCI picked only went ahead with Abhimanyu Easwaran, Avesh Khan, Prasidh Krishna, and Arzan Nagwaswalla as the four stand-by players.

MSK Prasad has huge expectations from Devdutt Padikkal (Getty Images)
MSK Prasad has huge expectations from Devdutt Padikkal (Getty Images)

MSK Prasad feels that the left-handed batsman from Bengaluru is certainly a prospect for India, but it may take him a while to break into the longest format.

“It will take some time for Devdutt Padikkal to break into the longest format. He’s definitely the guy for the future, there are no two ways about it. But if you’re looking at longer formats, maybe he will take one more year of domestic cricket,” Prasad told SportsKeeda in an interview.

Since his comeback from Covid-19, Devdutt Padikkal has scored 195 runs at an average of 39, including the 52-ball ton against the Rajasthan Royals. He scored 473 runs in his debut IPL 2020 season.

MSK Prasad Has Hopes From Avesh Khan Who Picked 14 Scalps In IPL 2021

Similarly, MSK Prasad, who played six Tests and 17 ODIs for India, feels the future is bright for the likes of Prasidh Krishna and Bengal fast bowler Ishan Porel. The former wicketkeeper has high hopes from DC pacer Avesh Khan as well, who performed exceedingly well for Delhi Capitals in IPL 2021 cranking up some good speeds and picking up 14 wickets from eight matches including a couple of three-wicket-hauls.

Behind RCB pacer Harshal Patel, he was second on the list of leading wicket-takers for the season.

Avesh Khan
Avesh Khan (Image Credit: Twitter)

“You have India A bowlers, all these Prasidh Krishna and Ishan Porel have gone through India A cricket. Also, it’s pretty evident the way Avesh Khan bowled in the IPL, he was hitting 145-147 kph in the T20 format, so he will obviously be very helpful to practice within England. And eventually, these are the guys who are going to play for the country in the future,” Prasad pointed out.

India’s long tour of England will begin with the World Test Championship final against New Zealand in Southampton from June 18 to 22. After the Test Championship, the Indian team will play a few practice matches in England before the 4-match Test series will begin against the hosts.

India’s Predicted XI For WTC Final: Shubman Gill, Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane (VC), Rishabh Pant, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah

India’s squad: Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (Captain), Ajinkya Rahane (vice-captain), Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), R. Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Mohd. Shami, Md. Siraj, Shardul Thakur, Umesh Yadav, KL Rahul (subject to fitness clearance), Wriddhiman Saha (wicket-keeper; subject to fitness clearance).

Standby players: Abhimanyu Easwaran, Prasidh Krishna, Avesh Khan, Arzan Nagwaswalla