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Harshal Patel
Harshal Patel (Image Credit: Twitter)
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IPL 2021 Team Of The Season

IPL 2021 got suspended due to the Covid-19 crisis, however, the 14th edition of the tournament did manage to entertain cricket fans for a short time. With 29 matches, IPL 2021 reached the halfway mark before BCCI had to suspend the tournament due to safety concerns of everyone involved.

In 29 matches of IPL 2021, many players entertain and impressed fans with their performances on the field. While there we few players who continued their great form from the last season, there were few new faces who bagged the limelight with their impressive batting and bowling show. Here we will look at some top performers of IPL 2021 and build the best team of IPL 2021.

IPL 2021 Team Of The Season

Shikhar Dhawan

Shikhar Dhawan
Shikhar Dhawan (Image Credit: Twitter)

Shikhar Dhawan is definitely one Indian player who impressed a lot with his batting in IPL 2021. Dhawan showed a great performance last season and he continued with that form in IPL 2021 as well. The left-handed batsman Dhawan was the leading run-scorer from the start and even after the end, Dhawan ended up as the highest run-scorer. He scored 380 runs in 8 matches at an average of 54+. He also smashed 3 fifties, one of which was an unbeaten 92 run knock. When we talk about the best team of IPL 2021, Shikhar Dhawan should be selected as the opener.

Prithvi Shaw

Prithvi Shaw
Prithvi Shaw (Image Credit: Twitter)

Prithvi Shaw gave great support to Shikhar Dhawan in IPL 2021. While Shikhar Dhawan played with patience at the one end, Shaw made sure to hit big shots to keep the run rate high at the start for Delhi Capitals. The right-handed batsman smashed 308 runs in 8 matches at a brilliant strike rate of 166+. Shaw should be selected as the second opener in the best team of IPL 2021. Also, since Shaw and Dhawan have experience of the opening together, their combination as openers will be very effective.

Faf du Plessis

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

Faf du Plessis impressed everyone with his batting in IPL 2021. For Chennai Super Kings, Plessis was the highest run-scorer. In 7 matches, he scored 320 runs. He also smacked an unbeaten 95 run-knock in one match. Moreover, his strike rate of 145+ was also commendable. Plessis batted as an opener but he will still do a great job at one-down position. So he should be part of the playing XI in the best team of IPL 2021.

Rishabh Pant

Rishabh Pant
Rishabh Pant (Image Credit: Twitter)

There are no doubts that MS Dhoni is a great wicket-keeper, however, if we look at the IPL 2021 figures, Rishabh Pant will be a great choice for the wicket-keeper batsman. Also, Pant does a good job at the middle-order. With his aggressive batting, Pant will be a good choice for the wicket-keeper batsman.

Pant scored 213 runs in 8 matches at an average of 35+. This is good stats considering the fact that Pant gets fewer balls to play as compared to top-order batsmen. Pant also smashed 2 half-centuries. Pant is a player who can twist the match at any point with his batting.

Glenn Maxwell

Glenn Maxwell
Glenn Maxwell (Image Credit: Twitter)

Glenn Maxwell had a great start to IPL 2021 season. In the first few initial games, Maxwell was phenomenal with the bat. In 7 matches, the Australian star piled up 223 runs at an average of 37+. He also smashed 2 half-centuries. Also, Maxwell’s strike rate of 144+ in IPL 2021 gives him another reason to be on this list. Maxwell suffered to score in the last few games of Royal Challengers Bangalore, however, he would have come to the top with his batting if IPL 2021 continued further.

AB de Villiers

AB de Villiers
AB de Villiers (Image Credit: Twitter)

Along with Glenn Maxwell, we need another aggressive batsman in the best team of IPL 2021. AB de Villiers will be the best batsman at the lower-middle order. AB de Villiers is arguably the best finisher in the T20I format. In 6 matches in IPL 2021, the South African southpaw scored 207 runs at an average of 51+. He also had a strike rate of 164+ throughout IPL 2021. With his ability to score maximum runs in few balls, Villiers will be the best option for a finisher in the best team of IPL 2021.

Ravindra Jadeja

Ravindra Jadeja
Ravindra Jadeja (Image Credit: Twitter)

For the all-rounder spot in the team, Ravindra Jadeja will be the best option. Not only he will smack big hits in the death overs, but he will also grab wickets while bowling. His ability to bowl makes him a great option for the second spinner in the team. Moreover, his fielding will set the tone for the team while bowling. In 6 innings in IPL 2021, Jadeja scored 131 runs with 1 fifty. The left-handed batsman had a great strike rate of 161+. He also picked up 6 wickets.

Rahul Chahar

Rahul Chahar
Rahul Chahar (Image Credit: Twitter)

For the primary spinner’s slot, Rahul Chahar will be the best option. With 11 wickets in 7 matches, the Mumbai Indians’ spinner was the 4th highest wicket-taker in IPL 2021. He twisted the match against Kolkata Knight Riders, after dismissing all the top 4 batsmen. If we take a look at IPL 2021 performances of spinners, Chahar will be the best choice for the best team of IPL 2021.

Chris Morris

Chris Morris
Chris Morris (Image Credit: Twitter)

Chris Morris was definitely one of the overseas pacers who impressed with his bowling in IPL 2021. Playing for Rajasthan Royals, Chris Morris scalped 14 wickets in 7 matches which made him the joint 2nd highest wicket-taker in the tournament. Moreover, Morris becomes an asset as he also comprises the ability to bat. It was totally visible during the match against Delhi Capitals. So Morris should be the choice of the pacer in the best team of IPL 2021.

Avesh Khan

Avesh Khan
Avesh Khan (Image Credit: Twitter)

Avesh Khan is one bowler who became quite famous after his stint in IPL 2021. The Delhi Capitals’ pacer took 14 wickets in 8 matches, becoming the 2nd highest wicket-taker in the tournament. Avesh Khan also managed to dismiss crucial batsmen of opposition teams which made him a great asset in the bowling zone. Therefore, Avesh Khan should be selected as the other pacer in the best team of IPL 2021.

Harshal Patel

Harshal Patel
Harshal Patel (Image Credit: Twitter)

Harshal Patel was totally commendable with his bowling show in IPL 2021. Patel ended up as the highest wicket-taker in IPL 2021 after grabbing 17 wickets in just 7 matches. Harshal Patel was the leading force for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the bowling department. There was a big chance that Harshal Patel could have ended up as the purple cap winner in IPL 2021 if the tournament was able to complete.

Avesh Khan
Avesh Khan (Image Credit: Twitter)

IPL 2021: No One Talks About Avesh Khan! Virender Sehwag Praises Delhi Capitals Pacer For His Incredible Bowling Show  

Virender Sehwag heaped praises on Delhi Capitals’ pacer Avesh Khan for his brilliant bowling in IPL 2021. The former Indian cricketer Sehwag also feels that no one spoke enough about Avesh Khan despite his great bowling in IPL 2021. Avesh Khan was the 2nd highest wicket-taker in IPL 2021 with 14 wickets in 8 matches. He was leading the race for the purple cap with Harshal Patel, who had 17 wickets in 7 games before IPL 2021 got suspended.

Avesh Khan was magnificent from the opening match itself. Against Chennai Super Kings, the right-arm pacer dismissed experienced batsmen MS Dhoni and Faf du Plessis for a duck. With his consistent bowling and wicket-taking ability, Avesh Khan managed to become the leading contender for the purple cap. Moreover, Avesh Khan also bowled at a brilliant economy of 7.70 throughout the tournament.

Virender Sehwag
Virender Sehwag (Image Credit: Twitter)

Avesh Khan Is Under-The-Radar Player: Virender Sehwag

While speaking to Cricbuzz, Sehwag said that no one talks enough about Avesh Khan in spite of his impressive bowling in IPL 2021. He called Avesh Khan an under-the-radar player of IPL 2021 season.

“In this team, we talk about Rabada, Ashwin, Patel, Mishra… but no one talks about Avesh Khan. So, he is this season’s ‘under-the-radar’ player. He comes quietly, picks up 2-3 wickets and was up there in race for Purple Cap, next only to Harshal Patel,” Sehwag said.  

Former Zimbabwe cricketer Pommie Mbangwa also agreed with Sehwag on the matter. Mbangwa said that there’s not been much said about Avesh Khan who did his job efficiently in IPL 2021.

“No doubt, it’s Avesh Khan. I don’t think there’s been too much said about him, or written about him. But he’s just gone about doing his job efficiently. He’s been effective at the front and at the end. He’s taken wickets in all three phases of the game and at the death too, he has been very good bowling nice lengths, changing his pace when needed to and bowling good yorkers at the back end too,” Mbangwa said.

 

Delhi Capitals, Avesh Khan
Delhi Capitals (Image Credit: Twitter)

There are no doubts that Avesh Khan was a crucial pacer for Dehli Capitals in IPL 2021. 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.

Best Indian XI Of IPL 2021
Best Indian XI Of IPL 2021.

Best Indian XI Of IPL 2021

IPL 2021 had an unfortunate end as the tournament was suspended by BCCI after multiple players were infected by Covid-19. Almost half of the tournament was over with BCCI managing to conduct 29 IPL matches. BCCI has stated that IPL 2021 is not canceled but only suspended for an indefinite period.

It can be continued later, however, looking at the Covid-19 situation in India and the busy schedule of the Indian team this year, the continuation of the IPL later this year has very little chance.

Even after the suspension of IPL 2021, the tournament definitely managed to entertain cricket fans for many days. This year, many Indian players impressed fans with their spectacular performance. Many new faces also bagged the limelight with their fabulous show in IPL 2021. Here we look at the best XI Indian players of IPL 2021.

Best Indian XI Of IPL 2021

Shikhar Dhawan

Shikhar Dhawan, IPL 2021
Shikhar Dhawan (Image Credit: Twitter)

Shikhar Dhawan is one obvious Indian player who earned accolades with his batting in IPL 2021. He was the leading run-scorer in IPL 2021 with 380 runs in 8 matches. He smashed 3 half-centuries and was a leading force to help Delhi Capitals chase targets. He also got two players of the match awards out of Delhi Capitals’ 8 matches in IPL 2021. He was also the most valuable player with the highest 155.5 points.

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IPL 2021: Delhi Capitals As A Team Isn’t Over Dependent On Any One Individual, Says Shikhar Dhawan

Shikhar Dhawan, senior opener feels Delhi Capitals are enjoying a successful IPL campaign because the team is functioning like a well-oiled unit and is not dependent on any one individual.

Rishabh Pant and his men have won five of their seven matches and are sitting second on the points table behind league leaders Chennai Super Kings.

Delhi Capitals
Delhi Capitals (Image Credit: IPL)

Shikhar Dhawan: Entire Team Is Doing Well As Delhi Capitals Isn’t Depending On Any One Individual

Shikhar Dhawan has scored 311 runs from 7 games averaging 44.42 in IPL 2021 but according to him, the entire team is doing well and Delhi Capitals isn’t over-dependent on one individual.
True to his word, the likes of Prithvi Shaw(269 runs in 7 games), Steve Smith (80 runs in 5 games), Rishabh Pant(199 runs in 7 games) have done well with the bat while Chris Woakes (5 wickets in 3 games), Axar Patel (5 wickets in 3 games), Amit Mishra (6 scalps in 4 games), Avesh Khan (13 wickets in 7 games ) and Kagiso Rabada(5 scalps in 6 games) have delivered with the ball.

“We are performing very well as a team this season. We have won five out of seven matches, so we are in a pretty good position at the moment,” Shikhar Dhawan was quoted as saying in a DC media release.

“The good thing is that the entire team is doing well, and we are not depending on any one individual. There has always been someone who has taken the responsibility to win matches for us.”

Shikhar Dhawan and Prithvi Shaw of Delhi Capitals during match 2 of the Vivo Indian Premier League. (Photo | ANI)
Shikhar Dhawan and Prithvi Shaw of Delhi Capitals during match 2 of the Vivo Indian Premier League. (Photo | ANI)

“We have a strong side, and I am glad that we are in this position at the moment,” Shikhar Dhawan added.

The Delhi Capitals put up a clinical performance to defeat Kolkata Knight Riders by seven wickets in their previous game. Opener Prithvi Shaw lit up the match with a blazing 82 of 41 balls. Shikhar Dhawan, who had the best seat in the house when Prithvi Shaw struck six fours in an over against KKR, feels the youngster showed a lot of courage during his innings.

“It was lovely to see Prithvi strike six boundaries in one over in the last game. We got 25 runs in the first over and the game was over there itself. He made the game easy for me as I didn’t have to take any risks.

“Prithvi was in a good flow, and he backed himself to continue scoring runs in that flow, which I think shows a lot of courage he has as a batsman. His inning of 80-odd is bigger than many centuries because the manner in which he got the runs was of a different class altogether,” he added.

Prithvi Shaw provided a blistering start to DC in the chase in the IPL 2021 match. He hogged the limelight with his six consecutive boundaries against KKR pacer Shivam Mavi in the opening over. Interestingly, he is only the second batsman after his teammate Ajinkya Rahane to do so in the history of the league.

Shikhar Dhawan: Punjab Kings Is A Good Side And Delhi Won’t Take Them Lightly

The Delhi Capitals are set to take on Punjab Kings in their next match here on Sunday.

“The Punjab Kings are a good side. We cannot take any team in the IPL lightly. We have to make sure that we give our best and implement our plans properly every time we step on the field,” Dhawan said.

Punjab Kings captain KL Rahul during match vs RR on Monday (PTI Image)
Punjab Kings captain KL Rahul during the match vs RR on Monday (PTI Image)

“They are playing well at the moment and we respect that but, at the same time, we are looking forward to beating them and win another match in our campaign.”

Punjab Kings are no pushovers and has the likes of Orange Cap holder of IPL 2020 and IPL 2021(so far), KL Rahul(331 runs in 7 games), Mohammed Shami (8 scalps in 7 games), destructive Chris Gayle (165 runs in 7 games), Mayank Agarwal (161 runs in 6 games), Arshdeep Singh (7 scalps in 6 games), and Jhye Richardson (3 scalps in 3 games).

Debutant Harpreet Brar picked the wickets of AB de Villiers, Virat Kohli, and Glenn Maxwell of RCB and so Punjab Kings is a force to reckon with as their side boasts of several youngsters ready to deliver.

Delhi Capitals fast bowler Ishant Sharma (Photo Courtesy: Twitter/@TN_Chronicle)
Delhi Capitals fast bowler Ishant Sharma (Photo Courtesy: Twitter/@TN_Chronicle)
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IPL 2021: Ishant Sharma Fit To Play For Delhi Capitals

Ishant Sharma, Delhi Capitals pacer is fit to play in the remainder of the 14th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021.

In what comes as a huge boost for the previous season’s runners-up Delhi Capitals ahead of the game against defending champions Mumbai Indians, pacer Ishant Sharma has been cleared to play in the remainder of the 14th edition of the Indian Premier League.

Ishant Sharma fit to play in the IPL
Ishant Sharma fit to play in the IPL. Photo | BCCI (IPL)

Ishant Sharma Was Struggling With A Heel Niggle But Is Fit Now

Speaking to ANI, sources in the DC camp said that while Ishant Sharma was struggling with a heel niggle, he is now fit and ready to take the field.

“He was struggling with a heel niggle, but he is good to go now. Had to take it slow and easy as we have a long road ahead of us and he is an integral part of the bowling attack,” the source explained.

Avesh Khan
Avesh Khan (Courtesy by BCCI)

While Delhi has been impressive with two wins from three games, the fast bowlers haven’t been in top form with both Kagiso Rabada and Lukman Meriwala proving to be expensive in the last game against Punjab Kings.

In fact, Avesh Khan has been the only pacer who has impressed with his variations in all the games so far. And going into the game against defending champions Mumbai Indians, the DC unit will be happy to have Ishant Sharma available to play.

Ishant Sharma had played only 1 IPL match in 2020 after which he was sidelined with injury before recovering and playing against England in Tests after missing the Australia tour.

Shikhar Dhawan: Mumbai Indians Know Conditions In Chennai Well Having Played A Few Games There

Coming to the MI encounter, DC opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan reckons that the challenge for his side would be to switch on mentally on the Chennai wicket. Delhi Capitals has played all its three games at Wankhede Stadium and the side would now play its next two games at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.

“MI has played 2-3 three over there before so they know the conditions, for us the challenge will be to switch on mentally according to the wicket and prepare our plan and just go and implement it and play with a positive mindset, aggression and look to win the game,” said Dhawan in a video posted on the official Twitter handle of Delhi Capitals.

Shikhar Dhawan and Prithvi Shaw of Delhi Capitals during match 2 of the Vivo Indian Premier League. (Photo | ANI)
Shikhar Dhawan and Prithvi Shaw of Delhi Capitals during match 2 of the Vivo Indian Premier League. (Photo | ANI)

The Delhi Capitals qualified for the finals first time in IPL 2020 after twelve years of the start of this tournament and qualified for the IPL playoffs in 2019 for the first time in seven years.

While Delhi Capitals came into the match after beating Punjab Kings by six wickets at the Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai has recorded back-to-back victories by defending low totals in Chennai, something a formidable opponent like DC may not offer.

For Delhi Capitals, the biggest positive has been the form of Shikhar Dhawan, who is the leading scorer so far in the tournament with 186 runs. Shikhar Dhawan and young Prithvi Shaw form a lethal opening combination, but the Mumbaikar needs to convert his starts into big scores.

Their pace attack is led by South African Kagiso Rabada and Chris Woakes, and the two have been impressive so far. They have an additional option in Anrich Nortje, who has also joined the squad.

Delhi played four pacers in the game against Punjab, but in Chennai, they could play more spinners as the track is conducive for the slower bowlers. They have options in the experienced Amit Mishra, Pravin Dubey, and new recruit Shams Mulani, who can complement Ravichandran Ashwin.

Mumbai Indians Predicted XI: Rohit Sharma (c), Quinton de Kock (wk), Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Rahul Chahar, James Neesham, Trent Boult, Jasprit Bumrah

Delhi Capitals Predicted XI: Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan, Steve Smith, Rishabh Pant (c&wk), Marcus Stoinis, Ravichandran Ashwin, Chris Woakes, Kagiso Rabada, Avesh Khan, Ishant Sharma, Amit Mishra

File image of Kings XI Punjab opener Mayank Agarwal | Rahul Gulati / SPORTZPICS
File image of Kings XI Punjab opener Mayank Agarwal | Rahul Gulati / SPORTZPICS
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IPL 2021: Delhi Capitals Made Batting Look Easy In The 2nd Innings, Says Mayank Agarwal

Mayank Agarwal, the Punjab Kings opener has said that batting in the 2nd innings of their match against Delhi Capitals wasn’t as easy as the likes of Shikhar Dhawan made it look in the latter’s facile win in IPL 2021 on Sunday.

Delhi Capitals made light work of Punjab Kings’ mammoth total of 195 on Sunday. Shikhar Dhawan scored a vintage 92 off just 49 balls while Marcus Stoinis (27* off 13) played a crucial cameo to take the team home with six wickets and ten balls to spare.

Shikhar Dhawan and Prithvi Shaw of Delhi Capitals during match 2 of the Vivo Indian Premier League. (Photo | ANI)
Shikhar Dhawan and Prithvi Shaw of Delhi Capitals during match 2 of the Vivo Indian Premier League. (Photo | ANI)

Mayank Agarwal: Batting Wasn’t Easy As It Looked In The 2nd Innings As Delhi Capitals Batted Well And Dew Played A Role

Speaking in the post-match press conference, Mayank Agarwal remarked that dew made bowling difficult for the Punjab Kings’ bowlers. The 30-year-old also lauded the opposition bowlers for their ‘beautiful’ death bowling.

“It wasn’t as easy as it looked in the 2nd innings. I think Delhi Capitals batted exceedingly well also there was dew as well. It wasn’t as easy. Also, credit to the Delhi bowlers for how they executed after the 12th over. That’s what we recognized that they executed their death overs beautifully,” said Mayank.

Mayank Agarwal (Image Source: Twitter)
Mayank Agarwal (Image Source: Twitter)

Mayank Agarwal and KL Rahul gave the team an outstanding start with their 122-run partnership. At one point the duo was threatening to clear the 200-run mark easily. However, Lukman Meriwala broke the stand in the 13th over and Punjab Kings had to settle for a par score.

Mayank Agarwal Wanted To Look Forward Without Stress

In reply to Sportskeeda’s query in the press conference, Mayank Agarwal talked through the change of approach in his batting approach. The right-hander wasn’t in good touch before IPL 2021 and even failed to make it big in the first two games of the season. Mayank Agarwal emphasized that he went back to what worked for him in the IPL 2020 while forgetting the results of the previous games.

Mayank Agarwal’s last edition in the UAE was his best IPL season. The Kings XI Punjab (now Punjab Kings) opener hit his first IPL century, returned the best tally (424 runs), and average (38.54) in his 10 seasons.

Mayank Agarwal and KL Rahul
Mayank Agarwal and KL Rahul. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

“I wasn’t thinking too much. I just planned to keep the mindset that worked for me last year. In the last match, I got a good ball, I didn’t want to stress too much about it and wanted to look forward so just went out there and stuck to what has worked for me,” signed off Mayank Agarwal.

Mayank Agarwal and KL Rahul built a strong 122-run opening stand in the losing cause. Delhi Capitals (DC) bounced back with a victory after beating the Punjab Kings (PBKS) in Match 11 of the VIVO Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Sunday. Shikhar Dhawan’s magnificent 92(49) at the top helped DC edge out PBKS as they chased down the target of 196 in a run-fest at Wankhede.

Earlier, PBKS, who were put in to bat first, was off to a flying start after Mayank Agarwal and KL Rahul took on the debutant Lukman Meriwala in the second over and scored 20 off the left-arm pacer.

Mayank Agarwal then creamed two consecutive boundaries off Chris Woakes as the 50-run stand was up for the opening wicket and the duo was striking the boundaries in plenty on a belter of a wicket, scoring at nearly ten runs per over at the end of the powerplay. Mayank Agarwal brought his fifty with a four with an edge over the keeper’s head off Avesh Khan and PBKS was 94/0 at the 10-over mark.

The openers of PBKS were dealing in boundaries at the Wankhede as the 100 partnership was up for the opening wicket as well for PBKS. Lukman Meriwala came back to bowl the 13th over of the innings and provided the all-important breakthrough as Mayank Agarwal chipped a catch straight to Shikhar Dhawan at deep point and got out for 69 (36).

Brief Scores: Delhi Capitals (Shikhar Dhawan 92, Prithvi Shaw 32; Jhye Richardson 2/41) beat Punjab Kings 195/4 (Mayank Agarwal 69, KL Rahul 61; Lukman Meriwala 1/32) by 6 wickets

MS Dhoni (Image Credit: Twitter)
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Gautam Gambhir Wants CSK Skipper MS Dhoni To Bat At No. 4 Or 5

Gautam Gambhir, former Indian opener wants Chennai Super Kings (CSK) skipper, MS Dhoni, to lead from the front by batting at No. 4 or 5 in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021.

MS Dhoni was dismissed for a second-ball duck against DC in CSK’s opening game of IPL 2021. MS Dhoni-led CSK suffered a 7-wicket defeat against Delhi Capitals in IPL 2021. Batting at No. 7, MS Dhoni was dismissed for a second-ball duck by Avesh Khan.
MS Dhoni (BCCI/IPL)
MS Dhoni (BCCI/IPL)

Gautam Gambhir: MS Dhoni Should Batting Higher Up As A Leader Needs To Lead From The Front

MS Dhoni, one of the most consistent and dominating batsmen for the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) over the years, endured his worst season with the willow in IPL 2020 – where he looked a pale shadow of his former self. One of those batsmen who make the most of the death overs, MS Dhoni failed to get going for the Yellow Army in the UAE – where he managed to score just 200 runs in 14 matches.

In CSK’s first match in IPL 2021, MS Dhoni once again found it difficult to get going and was clean bowled for a second-ball duck by Delhi pacer Avesh Khan. With too many batting options available for CSK, MS Dhoni came to bat at No. 7 in CSK’s last match.

Gautam Gambhir. Photo Credit: Getty Images.
Gautam Gambhir. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Gautam Gambhir has shared his views on MS Dhoni’s batting position and wants him to bat higher for CSK.

“MS Dhoni should be batting higher, that’s what matters because ultimately people should start leading from the front. We keep mentioning this thing that a leader needs to lead from the front. You can’t be leading, when you’re batting at No.7,” Gautam Gambhir said on Star Sports’ show Cricket LIVE.

Delhi Capitals opener Shikhar Dhawan and Prithvi Shaw toyed with CSK’s bowling attack in the match as the opening pair stitched a formidable 138-run stand for the first wicket in just 13.3 overs to lay the foundation of a win.

Gautam Gambhir: MS Dhoni Isn’t Batting Like He Did 4-5 Years Back

Highlighting CSK’s bowling woes, Gautam Gambhir also added that MS Dhoni is no more the player who would go on to play aggressive innings right from the first delivery as a result of which he needs to bat at No. 4 or 5 to lay the base of solid foundation or play as a finisher.

“Yes, there are issues in their bowling lineup. Plus, he is not the MS Dhoni, which he used to be probably four or five years back, where he could just come in and start taking on the bowlers from the word go. For me, I think he needs to bat at number four/ five. Nothing below that,” Gambhir added.

Punjab Kings captain KL Rahul during match vs RR on Monday (PTI Image)
Punjab Kings captain KL Rahul during a match vs RR on Monday (PTI Image)

CSK is set to lock horns with KL Rahul-led Punjab Kings (PBKS) on Friday. MS Dhoni, one of the most consistent and dominating batsmen for the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) over the years, endured his worst season with the willow in IPL 2020 – where he looked a pale shadow of his former self.

One of those batsmen who made the most of the death overs, MS Dhoni failed to get going for the Yellow Army in the UAE – where he managed to score just 200 runs in 14 matches. With Lungi Ngidi and Jason Behrendorff still unavailable for selection, the challenge for MS Dhoni’s men would be to restrict Punjab’s star-studded batting line-up for a low total.

Unlike MS Dhoni, PBKS skipper KL Rahul is high on confidence for winning against RR and batting well scoring 91 valuable runs besides being Orange Cap winner in IPL 2020.

Punjab Kings (Probable XI): KL Rahul (c/wk), Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle, Deepak Hooda, Nicholas Pooran, Shahrukh Khan, Jhye Richardson, Murugan Ashwin, Riley Meredith, Mohammed Shami, Arshdeep Singh.

Chennai Super Kings (Probable XI): Ruturaj Gaikwad/Robin Uthappa, Faf du Plessis, Moeen Ali, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni (c/wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Sam Curran, Dwayne Bravo/ Lungi Ngidi, Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar.

Ishant Sharma, Ricky Ponting Image Source : DELHI CAPITALS/GETTY IMAGES
Ishant Sharma, Ricky Ponting Image Source : DELHI CAPITALS/GETTY IMAGES
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IPL 2021: Ricky Ponting Reveals Ishant Sharma Is Suffering From Heel Niggle

Ricky Ponting, Delhi Capitals head coach said that Delhi pacer Ishant Sharma is suffering from a heel niggle and the side is working on his faster recovery.

The experienced lanky Indian pacer missed the first two games for Delhi Capitals. Rishabh Pant-led side lost against Rajasthan Royals by three wickets in their second game. Ishant Sharma’s absence created space for Avesh Khan who has impressed with his bowling in both games.

Ishant Sharma injured during training in IPL 2020
Ishant Sharma injured during training in IPL 2020 Twitter/@DelhiCapitals

Ricky Ponting: Ishant Sharma Had A Heel Niggle That Delhi Capitals Are Trying To Work Through But Avesh Khan Grabbed The Opportunity With Both Hands

Ishant Sharma was signed up by Delhi Capitals in 2018 for a salary of INR 1.1 crore and was retained by the franchise for the IPL 2021. The right-arm pacer had to miss out on the majority of the previous IPL season due to an injury playing only 1 match. He has taken 72 scalps in 90 IPL games averaging 36.19 and conceding runs at 8.09.

“He has been ultra-impressive, pretty much from the first day we arrived here for the training camp. Physically he looks a little bit better, he lost a little bit of weight from last season. He is definitely fitter and bowling faster.

“Without a little bit of extra fitness on his side, he is able to maintain his action better. His lines and lengths and slower ball execution is excellent so far,” Ricky Ponting said while replying to an ANI query in the virtual post-match press conference.

Ricky Ponting
Ricky Ponting

“Coming into the first game, Ishant Sharma obviously had a heel niggle that we have been trying to work through but Avesh grabbed his opportunity with both hands. He has been around with this franchise for a few years now and has not got the opportunity that he has been craving.

“Look so far, he has been one of our real finds and if you got an Indian fast bowler like him and the likes of Woakes, Rabada, Nortje and T Curran around we end up with a really strong fast bowling brigade,” Ricky Ponting added.

Ricky Ponting feels that spinner Ravichandran Ashwin not completing his four overs is a ‘mistake on their behalf’ despite just giving 14 runs in his three overs.

“That’s certainly something that we will talk about when I get a chance to sit down with the team. He had bowled beautifully. Three overs, none for 14. Hadn’t even conceded a boundary.
“Look he had a disappointing game in game one, but he has worked really hard in the last few days to make sure he adjusted and got things right in this game. I thought he bowled beautifully tonight. Probably a mistake on our behalf, and something we will be talking about later on,” Ricky Ponting said.

Sanju Samson won the toss and opted to bowl against DC. RR pacer Jaydev Unadkat built severe pressure with dot balls. Jaydev Unadkat scalped his third-wicket inside the six overs helping RR limit DC to 36/3 after 6 overs.

MOM Jaydev Unadkat returned with figures of 3/15 in 4 overs which included wickets of openers Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan, and Ajinkya Rahane. Rishabh Pant’s 51 helped Delhi reach 147/8. Rajasthan was reduced to 42/5 and then 90/6 but then David Miller and Chris Morris led a fightback as Rajasthan scored 60 runs in the last 5 overs.

Ricky Ponting: Delhi Probably Gave Morris Too Many Easy Balls To Hit

Back in the team, left-handed batsman David Miller produced a 62-run knock and it was followed by Chris Morris’ cameo of 36 runs off just 18 balls as Royals defeated Delhi Capitals at the Wankhede Stadium.

The left-handed batsman came out to bat at the score of 17/3, and he guided Rajasthan’s innings. And with 27 needed off the final two overs, Chris Morris stepped up to the occasion to take his side over the line with two balls to spare.

David Miller's (62 off 43) and Chris Morris' cameo (36 off 18) lifted Rajasthan Royals to a last-over win over Delhi Capitals on Thursday. - BCCI/IPL
David Miller’s (62 off 43) and Chris Morris’ cameo (36 off 18) lifted Rajasthan Royals to a last-over win over Delhi Capitals on Thursday. – BCCI/IPL

“We probably gave him (Morris) a few too many easy balls, a few too many slot balls if you like. The length wasn’t quite where it needed to be. If you look at the replay of the game, if you bowled a reasonable yorker, he didn’t score off them.

“If it was back of a length, sort of, above stump high, he didn’t get hold of them either, especially with pace on the ball. We talked about how to bowl to him, but the execution probably wasn’t there,” Ricky Ponting said.

“The other thing you have got to factor in is just how wet and how dewy the ball was in the second innings of the game. It wasn’t easy for the bowlers to grip. You could see it at the end there.

“There were a few full tosses that fast bowlers bowled with the ball slipping out of their hand a little bit. That’s part and parcel of IPL cricket. We knew coming here that there will be a little bit of dew in the second half of the game. And we didn’t adapt, and we didn’t execute as well as we could have tonight,” he added.

Delhi Capitals will next take on Punjab Kings here at the Wankhede Stadium on Sunday.

Brief Scores:  Rajasthan Royals 150/7 (David Miller 62, Chris Morris 36*; Avesh Khan 3/32) beat Delhi Capitals 147/8 (Rishabh Pant 51, Tom Curran 21; Jaydev Unadkat 3/15) by 3 wickets. 

MS Dhoni (Image Credit: Twitter)
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IPL 2021: MS Dhoni Must Bat Higher Up The Order And Guide CSK Youngsters, Says Sunil Gavaskar

Sunil Gavaskar, a former India skipper has a piece of advice for CSK skipper veteran MS Dhoni. Sunil Gavaskar wants MS Dhoni to bat a little up the order in IPL 2021 as the CSK skipper needs to guide youngsters.

There was a lot of anticipation regarding MS Dhoni’s return to cricket. But the CSK skipper could only manage to face 2 balls as he was dismissed by Avesh Khan without scoring.

MS Dhoni (BCCI/IPL)
MS Dhoni (BCCI/IPL)

Sunil Gavaskar: MS Dhoni Needs To Guide CSK As He Needs To Tinker With His Batting Order In The Upcoming Matches

Chennai Super Kings’ Indian Premier League 2021 campaign got off to a disappointing start. Batting first, CSK scored 188 runs in 20 overs with Suresh Raina hitting a fifty on comeback before being run out, unfortunately. But Delhi openers Prithvi Shaw and Shikhar Dhawan were in great form as they smashed 72 and 85 respectively to take the game away from CSK. DC eventually chased down the target in 18.4 overs with seven wickets to spare.

Shikhar Dhawan and Prithvi Shaw of Delhi Capitals during match 2 of the Vivo Indian Premier League. (Photo | ANI)
Shikhar Dhawan and Prithvi Shaw of Delhi Capitals during match 2 of the Vivo Indian Premier League. (Photo | ANI)

“I think as far as CSK is concerned, MS Dhoni also has to take a few calls about his batting order. He came down and he thinks maybe he should bat only for the last four-five overs. But I think he also needs to guides the team a little bit.

“He has a team of youngsters, some of them are pretty young. Even Sam Curran is not too old as far as international cricket is concerned, and he batted so well. So, yes, maybe he looks at having Sam Curran up the batting order at no. 3 or 4 just like he was in the UAE,” Sunil Gavaskar said on Star Sports.

There were a lot of talks doing the rounds regarding MS Dhoni’s return to cricket. But the CSK skipper could only manage to face 2 balls before being dismissed by pacer Avesh Khan. MS Dhoni would like to turn around the performances of CSK in their quest to win their fourth IPL title.

Sunil Gavaskar: MS Dhoni Needs To Bat Higher Up The Order

CSK’s total was mainly due to the contributions of comeback man Suresh Raina’s 54, Moeen Ali’s 36, and Sam Curran’s 34. Openers Faf Du Plessis (0), Ruturaj Gaikwad (5) failed while MS Dhoni too didn’t score. Ambati Rayudu looked good before throwing his wicket away after scoring 23 off 16 balls.

Moeen Ali was looking good but played an unnecessary shot of Ravichandran Ashwin after hitting 2 consecutive sixes. Suresh Raina was run out when he was looking to play big innings.

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

“But Dhoni also has to come up the batting order somewhere down the line. Because that is the way he will be able to control it. He was out on the 2nd ball he faced today, that can happen to anybody. But as the tournament progresses, he has to come at a little bit higher, maybe at 6, maybe at 5, and show the way,” Sunil Gavaskar said.

CSK had given a tricky target of 189 to chase but Delhi’s batsmen were up to it as the openers Shikhar Dhawan and Prithvi Shaw laid the solid foundation with a 138 run opening stand-in only 13.3 overs. CSK’s total was mainly due to the contributions of Suresh Raina, Moeen Ali, and Sam Curran.

Chennai Super Kings: Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ambati Rayudu, Faf du Plessis, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni (w/c), Moeen Ali, Ravindra Jadeja, Sam Curran, Dwayne Bravo, Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar

Delhi Capitals: Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant (w/c), Marcus Stoinis, Shimron Hetmyer, Chris Woakes, Ravichandran Ashwin, Tom Curran, Amit Mishra, Avesh Khan

CSK will face Punjab Kings on April 16 at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai in their second match. They may bring in the likes of Imran Tahir, Mitchell Santner, Lungi Ngidi, and Krishnappa Gowtham for the next game.

Prasidh Krishna
Prasidh Krishna bowls quite fast. Photo Credit: Getty Images.
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Five Bowlers Who Can Cross 150-Mark, But Are Yet to Feature in Team India

In past, the Indian cricket team has delivered great batsmen like Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, and Kapil Dev but hardly given a pure fast bowler. However, now the times have changed. Under the captaincy of Virat Kohli, the bowling department has got the admiration from worldwide.

Evidently, Jasprit Bumrah has come out as one of the best fast bowlers of India. He is mentioned as the dangerous bowler in the cricket world. Also, Navdeep Saini is the rising star for India. Saini has the ability to constantly bowl at the speed of 140 kmph.

Thus, in today’s world, there is a big shift in Team India’s bowling department. The pacers are getting the reward for delivering in crunch situations of the game. While some talented bowlers are quick and bowl consistently at the speed of 150 kmph.

In this article, we will discuss five players who can clock over 150 kmph but till now haven’t featured in the Indian team.

Five bowlers who can cross 150-mark, and are yet to feature in Team India:

5. Avesh Khan:

Five Bowlers Who Can Cross 150-Mark, But Are Yet to Feature in Team India 1

A tall and lanky pacer can constantly bowl at the speed of 145 kmph. He first got the eye during the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup in 2016. In the mega event, he picked 12 wickets to steal the limelight.

The 23-year-old finished as the highest wicket-taker for Madhya Pradesh in the last Ranji season, with 35 dismissals in seven matches. Like the modern-day players, he can swing both ways and has different variations under his sleeves.

The MP player had a break in his career after he surfaced with an injury. But after his comeback, he has developed to bowl at 150 kmph regularly.

Meanwhile, Avesh Khan has regularly featured in India A team. Currently, he is representing India A on their tour of New Zealand.

So, the speedster is surely in the eyes of national selectors.