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Mumbai Indians . Image Credits: Twitter
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Mumbai Indians Looking To Manage Workload Of Indian Players For T20I World Cup

Mumbai Indians franchise is looking to manage the workload of the players in the second leg of the Indian Premier League at UAE, but the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has no role in this and it is their individual call with an eye on the humid conditions in the UAE and the upcoming T20 World Cup.

A BCCI official said the board has not passed any directive to franchises on workload management and it is an individual call.

Mumbai Indians
Mumbai Indians (Image Credit: Twitter)

Mumbai Indians Hasn’t Passed Any Information To Any Team With Regards To Workload Management

Rahul Tripathi and Venkatesh Iyer smashed quick half-centuries as Kolkata Knight Riders defeated Mumbai Indians by seven wickets in their Indian Premier League (IPL) match at Abu Dhabi. Rahul Tripathi scored an unbeaten 74 off 42 balls and Venkatesh Iyer, playing his second IPL game, smashed 53 off 30 balls, as Kolkata raced to 159 for 3 in 15.1 overs, chasing down Mumbai Indians’ 155 for 6 quite comfortably.

It was the 2nd win for KKR in the UAE leg after they defeated RCB by 9 wickets while Mumbai Indians lost their 2nd consecutive game after their defeat by 20 runs to Chennai Super Kings in the UAE leg.

“We haven’t passed any information to any team with regards to workload management. If a player is rested, it has to be the call of the franchise and the player. Also, the franchises know how to take care of their players,” the official said.

Venkatesh Iyer made a quick-fire half century (53 off 30) against Mumbai Indians to follow up on his unbeaten 41 against RCB (Twitter/KKR)
Venkatesh Iyer made a quick-fire half-century (53 off 30) against Mumbai Indians to follow up on his unbeaten 41 against RCB (Twitter/KKR)

In fact, while three franchise officials confirmed that they are looking to rotate players keeping an eye on the humid weather conditions in the UAE, they were quick to point there has been no diktat from the BCCI on this.

“It is very hot and the humidity can sometimes get to even the fittest player in the team. So, we are looking to rotate some of the players with an eye on workload management. Players are always the priority and everyone is on the same page when it comes to this. But no, no diktat from the BCCI on this and honestly they also know it isn’t needed as franchises have always worked closely with the board in ensuring players are in top shape while playing the league,” one of the officials said.

Before entering this match, KKR had a dismal record against MI, registering just six wins in a total of 28 games, but Venkatesh Iyer and Rahul Tripathi helped the franchise turn around their fortunes.

Shane Bond: Hardik Padya Is Getting Closer To Playing

Shane Bond, Mumbai Indians bowling coach on Thursday night said the franchise is also looking at the needs of the Indian team when managing the workload of all-rounder Hardik Pandya. Hardik Pandya has not played both the games against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the ongoing UAE leg of IPL 2021.

“Hardik is training well. He trained today (Thursday) and he is getting closer to playing. We are balancing the needs of our team along with the needs of Team India as well. This franchise looks after its players. We are hopeful that Hardik will be back for the next match, he trained well on Thursday,” said Bond during the post-match virtual press conference after the game against KKR.

Shane Bond (BCCI.TV)
Shane Bond (BCCI.TV)

But Shane Bond too was quick to clarify that there is no directive from the BCCI board on this front.

“It is not a hard directive, you have a duty towards the players. You have to look after them, like anything you have to balance everything and you have to balance what the player wants. One thing our franchise does is look after our players. There is no point in rushing him back, you do not want him to get injured and miss rest of the tournament when we have a chance to win it,” he added.

In fact, MI just like the other franchises had been known to keep Team India’s interest in mind over the years and it is no different this time either.

Hitman Rohit Sharma is very cautiously managing his workload for Mumbai Indians in the UAE leg of IPL 2021 with several big-ticket tournaments lined up for Team India in the near future. For the unversed, next month’s T20 World Cup will be held in the UAE whereas the following edition will take place in late 2022.

Moreover, the ODI World Cup is also scheduled to take place in the second half of 2023. Rohit Sharma, at 34, isn’t willing to take any chances of missing out from any of the marquee events, hence, he is keeping ‘India above MI’.

Brief Scores: Mumbai Indians 155/6 (Quinton de Kock 55, Rohit Sharma 33; Lockie Ferguson 2-27) vs KKR 159/3 (Rahul Tripathi 74*, Venkatesh Iyer 53, Jasprit Bumrah 3-43).

File photo | Twitter/Rajeev Shukla
File photo | Twitter/Rajeev Shukla
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The Rumour Of Virat Kohli Stepping Down After T20I World Cup Isn’t True, Says Rajeev Shukla

Rajeev Shukla, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Vice-President is not impressed by the latest rumours of Team India looking at a change of captain in the limited-overs format after the T20 World Cup in UAE and Oman. Rajeev Shukla is unimpressed by the latest rumours that regular skipper Virat Kohli will step down from limited-overs format after the T20I World Cup.

Reports have been doing the rounds that Rohit Sharma could take over at the end of the showpiece event and Virat Kohli could continue as the Test captain and focus on his batting.

Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma
Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma- Twitter

Rajeev Shukla Urges Indian Team To Focus On The 2021 T20I World Cup

Rajeev Shukla said while there is no truth to this rumour, it is important the team focuses on the showpiece’s event rather than getting distracted by such news.

“There is nothing to this rumour. Also, let’s focus on the T20 World Cup rather than playing soothsayer and predicting the future, ” Rajeev Shukla said.

“There have been no talks on split captaincy,” Rajeev Shukla said.

Rajeev Shukla Ron Gaunt/SPORTZPICS
Rajeev Shukla Ron Gaunt/SPORTZPICS

The Indian national selectors last Wednesday picked the squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup. There were inputs from Rohit Sharma as well as the deputy of the limited-overs team and that seems to have led to talks of split captaincy post the World Cup.

One of India’s most successful captains, Virat Kohli led India in 95 ODIs, and with 65 wins and 27 defeats. In 45 T20Is so far where he has been the captain, India has won 27 times while losing 14 times. Meanwhile, 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 is in the form of his life across formats and enjoys the status of a senior member of the squad. His T20 captaincy records are second to none, having won five IPL titles for the Mumbai Indians apart from Asia Cup and Nidhas Trophy 2018 wins in Virat Kohli’s absence.

Ravichandran Ashwin Stages A Comeback Into World Cup Squad After Playing His Last T20I In 2017

Coming back to the squad, in a surprise move, Ravichandran Ashwin has been included in the team which will begin its campaign in the showpiece event against arch-rivals Pakistan. He had last played a T20I against West Indies in July 2017. The likes of Shikhar Dhawan and Yuzvendra Chahal missed out as veteran former skipper MS Dhoni will be the mentor of the team.

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

While the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has the hosting rights, the tournament has been moved out of the country with an eye on the COVID-19 pandemic. India will start its campaign against Pakistan. India and Pakistan will be locking horns on October 24 in a group-stage encounter. The tournament will get underway from October 17, with the final to be played in Dubai on November 14.

The likes of Shikhar Dhawan, Kuldeep Yadav, Krunal Pandya, Yuzvendra Chahal, Prithvi Shaw, and Yuzvendra Chahal were some notable omissions from the World Cup squad. India is placed in the Group B of the tournament alongside Pakistan, New Zealand, and Afghanistan.

Full squad: Virat Kohli (c), Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ishan Kishan (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Rahul Chahar, Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel, Varun Chakravarthy, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammad Shami; Stand-by: Shreyas Iyer, Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur

Controversial Pakistan batsman Salman Butt
Controversial Pakistan batsman Salman Butt (File Photo | AFP)
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Salman Butt Feels It’s Not The Proper Time To Rake Up The Captaincy Debate Between Virat Kohli And Rohit Sharma

Salman Butt said with a successful Test series in England and a crucial T20 World Cup looming, this is not the time to rake up the captaincy debate.

Following reports that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) was unhappy with some of Virat Kohli’s decisions during the World Test Championship (WTC) final, former Pakistan captain Salman Butt said that the Indian skipper is being made a target of a “dirty game”.

Virat Kohli, Image Source : AP IMAGE
Virat Kohli, Image Source: AP IMAGE

Salman Butt Feels It’s Not The Proper Time To Discuss Captaincy

Salman Butt was responding to a recent news report that also claimed that Virat Kohli could be asked to make way for Rohit Sharma as captain if India fails to perform well in the ICC World T20 competition. The former Pakistan captain further said with a successful Test series in England and a crucial T20 World Cup looming, this is not the time to rake up the captaincy debate.

“Do you see the timing of this news? I don’t have a problem with what the board thinks, it’s about their own evaluation of who can take their cricket forward… but is this the time to discuss these things? Now there’s talk of Virat Kohli’s captaincy being on the danger line,” Butt said in a video on his YouTube channel.

Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma
Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma- Twitter

“He’s (Virat) recently played a series in England, led his team really well, he was being criticized for his team selections but he’s constantly backing his team and in turn, the team is responding to him and playing good cricket… the team is at the top in every format and the World Cup is right up front, so such news surfacing in the media is nothing but a dirty game.”

One of India’s most successful captains, Virat Kohli led India in 95 ODIs, and with 65 wins and 27 defeats. In 45 T20Is so far where he has been the captain, India has won 27 times while losing 14 times.

Salman Butt: Virat Kohli Has Done A Lot Of Good As Captain In Indian Cricket

Asked about comparing the white-ball trophies won by Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, Salman Butt said the latter is a very good captain but the former, too, has a decent win percentage across formats.

“I have said this before, Rohit Sharma is a very good captain, very successful, but this is not the time to talk about these things… Trophies matter, I agree but see the percentage of the games he has won and how successful he has been around the world. I think this is not the time and the guy has done a lot of good to Indian cricket. This news resurfacing is nothing but bad intent which shouldn’t happen.”

Salman Butt. Image-Twitter
Salman Butt. Image-Twitter

Rohit Sharma has also inspired the team in Virat Kohli’s absence to memorable triumphs in Asia Cup 2018 and Nidahas Trophy 2018, 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 has proven his mettle as the most successful captain in the Indian Premier League. The hitman Rohit Sharma has led the Mumbai Indians (MI) to victory in the seasons 2013, 2015, 2017, 2019, and 2020.

One of the biggest criticisms of Virat Kohli’s captaincy is his failure to land a major ICC trophy since taking over the charge of the team. Recently, in June, India lost in the final of the World Test Championship against New Zealand in Southampton. India’s all-format captain Virat Kohli will soon quit ODI and T20 captaincy.

Virat Kohli will quit as India’s white-ball captain right after the T20 World Cup and IPL’s most successful skipper Rohit Sharma will take over the mantle. However, on Monday, BCCI treasurer Arun Dhumal rubbished the reports.

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England Pacer James Anderson Hopes Manchester Test Will Be Played Again

England pacer James Anderson on Sunday said he hopes the Manchester Test against India will be played at some point and the fast bowler will get to feature in the game at his home ground.

The fifth Test match between England and India was cancelled in Manchester on Friday. The BCCI and ECB held several rounds of discussion to find a way to play the Test match, however, the outbreak of COVID-19 in the Indian team contingent forced the decision of calling off the game.

James Anderson
James Anderson (AP Photo/Andy Brownbill)

England Pacer James Anderson Hopes Manchester Test Will Be Played Again And He Will Play Another Int’l Match At His Home Ground

James Anderson felt gutted for the Lancashire fans but is hopeful of playing another international game at his home ground. Ahead of the fifth and final Test against England, physio Yogesh Parmar tested positive for COVID-19 in Manchester. This had led to Team India’s training session for Thursday afternoon being cancelled.

“It’s such a shame the summer of international cricket ended this way. I’m gutted for everyone at @lancashirecricket, for the fans who paid for tickets/trains/hotels, for both sets of supporters that wanted to see the finish this series deserved,” Anderson said in his Instagram post.

James Anderson
James Anderson. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)

“I hope it will be played again at some point and I hope I will get to play another international game at my home ground that I love so much,” he added.

The 39-year-old bowler rued the anticlimactic end to the summer cricket season and offered words of support to hosts Lancashire country cricket club as well as fans who had travelled to the stadium. Even at the age of 39, he doesn’t seem to lose his magic and showed his calibre outright in the last Test series against India. James Anderson picked 15 wickets against India across four Tests with an average of 24.66.

James Anderson, who is the leading wicket-taker of England in Test cricket, said his family won’t be travelling with him to Australia as his children will have to be present in England for their education.

There will be a lot of hectic moments for England players who will be travelling to both UAE for the T20 World Cup (and IPL 2021) and later Australia as they will have to be under various COVID-19 bubbles and compel to strict quarantine rules of the respective country. James Anderson, who only plays red-ball cricket for England, said he will manage somehow but expressed concern over his teammates who would be participating in both the tours.

England Was Trailing By 2-1 When The Manchester Test Was Abandoned Without A Ball Being Bowled

In the four matches prior to the Manchester fixture, India had led the series 2-1. The opening Test at Trent Bridge was drawn before India won the next clash at Lord’s. England inflicted India an innings defeat in the third Test at Headingley but the visitors rallied to win the fourth Test at the Oval.

India vs England (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
India vs England (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has offered to ECB a rescheduling of the cancelled 5th Test match which was scheduled to be played at Manchester from Friday.

England’s James Anderson became the first seam bowler to reach 600 Test wickets, reaching the milestone in a gloomy last session of a rain-hit final day of the third Test against Pakistan. He is now the first bowler to possess 400 wickets in England, and the second bowler – after Muttiah Muralitharan – to have claimed as many wickets in his home country.

James Anderson is one of only two England bowlers – the other being Stuart Broad – to have taken more than 300 wickets at home in Test matches. Fred Trueman is third in the list of highest wicket-takers in England, with 229 wickets. Among the leading wicket-takers at home, Anil Kumble is third, with 350, followed by Stuart Broad (341 wickets), and Shane Warne (319 wickets).

Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma
Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma Twitter
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Virat Kohli May Step Down As Limited-Overs Skipper And Pave Way For Rohit Sharma After T20I WC 2021

Virat Kohli, the regular Indian all format skipper is likely to step down as the white-ball (ODI & T20Is) captain after the T20 World Cup in October-November, paving the way for Rohit Sharma to take up the responsibility.

The script for Team India’s white-ball story is set to undergo a huge change in the coming months.

Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma © BCCI
Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma © BCCI

Virat Kohli May Step Down As Limited Overs Skipper To Concentrate On His Batting

Virat Kohli (32), who currently leads the team across all formats and is India’s most successful captain ever, is learned to have taken the call to share leadership responsibilities with Rohit Sharma (34), according to the BCCI sources. Virat Kohli has had prolonged discussions with Rohit Sharma and the team management over the last few months, particularly after Team India’s triumph in Australia, one that coincided with Virat Kohli becoming a father.

“Virat himself will make the announcement. He is of the view that he needs to concentrate on his batting and go back to becoming what he’s always been — the best batsman in the world,” sources said.

While this development is going to create a huge buzz in the media and social media, BCCI has been busy gearing up for this moment.

“We realize spin-masters will be at work, giving their own twists to these developments. That’s the reason BCCI is planning this well in advance. In the end, Virat and Rohit are on the same page,” the sources revealed.

Virat Kohli, Image Source : AP IMAGE
Virat Kohli, Image Source: AP IMAGE

It was first reported about Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma’s growing camaraderie and renewed friendship in March this year and how the long quarantines and isolation windows had brought the two ‘alpha males’ in the dressing room closer than ever. Virat Kohli feels his batting, across formats, needs more time and greater impetus as Team India looks at two World Cups – T20 and ODI – between 2022 and 2023 respectively.

Between 2018 and now, he’s led India to some historic Test wins in Australia and England, and his team now stands on the brink of repeating a similar feat in South Africa should India succeed on that tour in the coming months.

“It will wrap up a historic Test cycle from an India perspective. Virat is also the first to realize that his overall responsibilities as captain across formats are taking a toll on his batting. He needs that space and freshness because he has a lot more to offer.

“If Rohit takes over as white-ball captain, Virat can continue leading India’s red-ball aspirations and work on his T20 and One-day batting. He’s just 32 and given his fitness, he will easily play top cricket for another five to six years at least,” say those in the know.

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.

One of India’s most successful captains, Virat Kohli led India in 95 ODIs, and with 65 wins and 27 defeats. In 45 T20Is so far where he has been the captain, India has won 27 times while losing 14 times. Meanwhile, 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’s Time Has Arrived At Captaining Indian White Ball Limited Overs Team: BCCI Sources

Rohit Sharma, meanwhile, is in the form of his life across formats and enjoys the status as a senior member of the squad. His T20 captaincy records are second to none, having won five IPL titles for the Mumbai Indians, and the fact that he happens to be among the world’s best white-ball openers is not lost on anyone.

“If he had to ever take over as white-ball captain, that time is now. And it’s going to be a win-win for the Indian team because the two senior cricketers are so well in tune with each other,” said a source.
Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni (Photo:AFP)
Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni (Photo: AFP)

Of course, Rohit Sharma will have to ensure he maintains top-level fitness. Virat Kohli has led by example on that front. For the record, MS Dhoni coming aboard as a mentor has nothing to do with the captaincy.

“MS has come as a mentor because his mere presence in the dugout will help the team strategize better. When you have such resources at your disposal, why not use them at the opportune moment,” BCCI sources said.

MS Dhoni had stepped down as Test skipper in 2014 in Australia, with BCCI handing over the reins to Virat Kohli. The Delhi dasher became the leader in all formats in 2017 when MS Dhoni stepped down from that role as well.

Michael Atherton
Michael Atherton
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COVID-19, Player Power And IPL 2021 Combined To Manchester Test Abandonment: Michael Atherton

Michael Atherton believes that Covid-19 or the IPL alone is not a factor and that three factors overall and their combination resulted in the abandonment of the deciding 5th and final Test at the Old Trafford Cricket Stadium in Manchester. The cancellation of the fifth Test between India and England in Manchester came as a big let-down for players and fans alike.

With India leading the series 2-1, the final deciding Test promised to be a mouth-watering clash, but the match never happened, and a lot is being talked about what could have been the reason behind it. Former England captain Michael Atherton is the latest to present his views.

Michael Atherton Image Source : GETTY IMAGES
Michael Atherton Image Source: GETTY IMAGES

Michael Atherton: Covid-19, Player Power And IPL 2021 Combined To Manchester Test Abandonment

While the Covid-19 scare is certainly one of them, with India’s assistant physio Yogesh Parmar testing positive for the virus, there could be more factors that led to the calling off of the Manchester Test. Some reports claim that Indian players, despite testing negative on the eve of the match, were reluctant to take the field, while some others are blaming the IPL, believing that players prioritized the IPL since the tournament was to resume from September 19.

However, Michael Atherton has offered a fresh take on the entire episode. Michael Atherton believes that Covid or the IPL alone is not a factor and that three factors overall and their combination resulted in the abandonment of the Manchester Test.

“Covid-19, player power and the Indian Premier League combined to scupper the fifth Test in Manchester yesterday, to the consternation of the Lancashire club and the 85,000 or so supporters who had bought tickets to attend the first four days. There was a profound sense of shock and disappointment over the cancellation of the match, especially at the end of a compelling series that stood at 2-1 to India with everything to play for,” Michael Atherton wrote in his column for The Times.

India vs England (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
India vs England (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

“That there has been so little international cricket lost to Covid is, amid the anger and sadness, a surprise too. Authorities recognized that they could not ask players to operate in last summer’s strict bio-secure bubbles, as society was opening up again. Inevitably this relaxation increased the risk of a Covid outbreak.

“County games have been affected this summer, as was the ODI series against Pakistan, which required a whole new England squad, and now a Test match has gone, although space will probably be found in the calendar at some point to mitigate the loss of broadcast income,” Michael Atherton wrote.

Why certain players and experts hold the IPL responsible for the cancellation is because of what transpired after the match was called off. Several key players were flown to the UAE on charter flights as early as possible, so they could undergo a six-day quarantine, re-join the squad and be ready for the IPL 2021, which resumes next Sunday.
The majority of Indian players playing the Test series have joined their IPL franchises in UAE. They are now serving the six-day mandatory isolation period. The 2nd phase of IPL 2021 kicks off on September 19. Ravi Shastri and other COVID-19 positive coaches will land in India after completing their isolation period. They will likely reach UAE for T20 World Cup next month.

Michael Atherton Points Out That There Was A Potential Danger Over The Manchester Test Due To The Proximity Of The IPL

The likes of Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Virat Kohli, and Mohammed Siraj have already reached the UAE and entered mandatory quarantine, while more are expected to arrive shortly. Keeping this in mind, Michael Atherton makes an interesting point.

“The proximity of the IPL was always a potential danger hanging over the Manchester Test: before the summer began there were pointed discussions between the ECB and BCCI about rescheduling the fifth Test for earlier in the summer, something the ECB held firm on. India’s players were concerned that further positive tests would result in a ten-day isolation period in England, thus meaning they would miss the start of the tournament, while the cost to the BCCI of not staging the IPL is about £360 million,” Michael Atherton further wrote.

Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma (Image Credit: Twitter)

“After the India players’ stated reluctance on Thursday evening, officials from the ECB and BCCI were locked in discussions throughout the night to try to navigate a way through the situation, with the ECB providing whatever assurances it could around the safety and well-being of the players.

“No solution was forthcoming, which reflects on where the balance of power lies in the modern game. Once the players had spoken, there was little the administrators could do about it. Players have never been more powerful than now,” Michael Atherton said.

The players started departing in clusters — some in charter flights arranged by their franchises like Mumbai Indians and Sunrisers Hyderabad while Chennai Super Kings cricketers took commercial flights.  The ECB has written to the ICC seeking an outcome to the Test series. Although the BCCI has stated that the Indian board and the ECB are hoping to work towards staging the cancelled Test match, nothing is concrete yet.

Shane Warne - Getty Images
Shane Warne - Getty Images
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Shane Warne Praises Virat Kohli And Indian Team For Another Outstanding England Test Series

Shane Warne praised Indian captain Virat Kohli and his team’s magnificent show in the Test series against England. Australian spin legend Shane Warne has heaped praise on Virat Kohli and the Indian team for their stellar show in the Test series against England. The five-match Test series came to an abrupt end on Friday (September 10) with the fifth Test getting called off due to COVID-19 concerns in the Indian camp.

Shane Warne. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)
Shane Warne. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Shane Warne Felt A Bit Robbed That The 5th Test Didn’t Go Ahead As He Felt The Series Was An Outstanding One

India was leading the five-match series 2-1 having won the second and fourth Test respectively and were on the verge of their first Test series win in England after 14 years. However, COVID-19 jeopardized their chances of pulling off a historic win against the hosts in their own backyard.

The abrupt end to the Test series left several fans, experts, and former cricketers of the cricket fraternity disappointed including Shane Warne, who said he felt robbed as he doffed his hat to Virat Kohli and his Indian team for putting on a show in the Test rubber.

“I just feel a bit robbed. I feel this series has been absolutely outstanding. I take my hat off to India with the cricket they played. I think both sides have played in the right spirits. So I think we all feel a little bit robbed that this Test match didn’t go ahead. If they were in the middle of a Test match or delayed it by a couple of days, that means the flow-on effect with the IPL and everything else is going to be thrown into chaos so I’m not sure they are left with any other option,” Shane Warne said on Sky Cricket.

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli[photo: Twitter]
Shane Warne said India ticked all the boxes in the Test series and saluted their desire to beat England in England irrespective of the swinging and seaming conditions.The first Test of the series ended in a draw, after more than two days of play was lost across the duration of the match to rain. India won the second Test by 151 runs, in the final hour of the fifth day, to take a 1–0 lead in the series. England won the third Test by an innings and 76 runs before the lunch break on day four, levelling the series 1–1. India won the fourth Test by 157 runs, to lead the series 2–1 before the 5th Test was cancelled.

Shane Warne Feel For The Players As The Tests Meant A Lot To Both The Sides

The Aussie legend hailed the visitors for showcasing their desire to be the no.1 Test team in the world and conquering English conditions after back-to-back Test series wins in Australia.

“I feel for the players. Both sides were up for it and I can tell that by the way the series has been played. This Test series meant a lot to both sides. India left the series 2-1. Being the No. 1 Test side was their goal. They wanted to beat England in England… in swinging and seaming conditions with the Dukes’ ball. So, they sort of felt like they ticked every box. They would have liked to go out on a high,” Shane Warne said.

Brisbane Test: India beat Australia by 3 wickets at Gabba to win series 2-1, retain Border-Gavaskar Trophy Image Source : AP IMAGE
Brisbane Test: India beat Australia by 3 wickets at Gabba to win series 2-1, retain Border-Gavaskar Trophy
Image Source: AP IMAGE

“I saw India first hand this year in Australia play some amazing Test cricket. Just remember… they got bowled out for 36 in the first Test match and they came back and won the next. Virat Kohli went back home, they lost their captain, they had injuries. Australia hadn’t lost a Test match in Brisbane for 40 years.

“They chased over 300 to win. I just saw it firsthand how determined they were… how important Test cricket is. I think all of us have to say Thank You to Virat Kohli, thank you to India for pushing Test cricket,” he added.

Virat Kohli & Co. were a draw away from sealing the Test series against England. It would have been India’s first Test series win on English soil since 2014. BCCI has assured the England Cricket Board (ECB) of conducting the Test match at a later date next year to ensure a thrilling end to a riveting series.

IPL Trophy. (BCCI/IPL Photo)
IPL Trophy. (BCCI/IPL Photo)
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BCCI Informed IPL Franchises That Every Player Coming In From The UK To UAE Have To Undergo 6 Days Of Quarantine Before Joining Team Bubbles

BCCI directs six days mandatory quarantine for players coming from the UK.  The final Test between India and England got cancelled owing to some COVID-19 cases in the Indian camp and BCCI and ECB are discussing when to reschedule the match.

To further avoid the spread of the virus, the Indian side didn’t take the field in Manchester and the match stood cancelled. It has to be noted that the second phase of IPL 2021 is just around the corner and franchises are eyeing how to take their players out of the UK.

BCCI Image-Twitter/ BCCI
BCCI Image-Twitter/ BCCI

BCCI Informed IPL Franchises That Every Player Coming In From The UK To UAE Have To Undergo 6 Days Of Quarantine Before Joining Team Bubbles

In the latest turn of development, it has been confirmed by a franchise official that BCCI has directed a mandatory quarantine of six days for players coming from the UK before they join the IPL bubble. It is very obvious that bubble to bubble transfer no longer stands valid as there are already few cases in the Indian camp.

“The BCCI has informed us that every player coming in from the UK to UAE will have to undergo six days of quarantine before they can join the team bubbles. Obviously, the bubble-to-bubble transfer from the UK to UAE no longer stands keeping in mind the current scenario,” a franchise official said.

Suryakumar Yadav and Rohit Sharma Image Source : SURYAKUMAR YADAV/TWITTER
Suryakumar Yadav and Rohit Sharma  Image Source: SURYAKUMAR YADAV/TWITTER

Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma, pacer Jasprit Bumrah and Suryakumar Yadav along with their families arrived in UAE on Saturday for the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021. They will now undergo six days of quarantine and then will link up with the Mumbai Indians squad. The trio tested negative before departure from Manchester and arrival in Abu Dhabi.

RCB Have Arranged A Charter Flight For Their Skipper Virat Kohli And Pacer Mohammed Siraj

Talking about several franchises airlifting their players from the UK, RCB stated that they have arranged a charter flight for their skipper Virat Kohli and ace pacer Mohammed Siraj. They will move from the UK to Dubai on Saturday around 11.30 pm. The team source added that the safe transit of players stands at the utmost priority for them.

“Yes, we have arranged a charter flight for Virat and Siraj, both of them will be flying out at 11:30 PM UK time on Saturday and they will reach Dubai early Sunday morning. The safe transit of players is the utmost priority for RCB. They will undergo 6-day quarantine there before joining the team bubble,” a team source added.

RCB skipper Virat Kohli with pacer Mohammed Siraj(Twitter)
RCB skipper Virat Kohli with pacer Mohammed Siraj(Twitter)

In the same line, CSK is also trying its best to get its players out of the UK as quickly as possible. CSK’s CEO confirmed that they will move Cheteshwar Pujara, Ravindra Jadeja, and Shardul Thakur to Dubai on Saturday itself.

“Now that the Test match is off, we are looking to get the CSK boys into Dubai tomorrow,” said Kasi Vishwanathan on Friday.

Meanwhile, several of England’s all-format players have withdrawn from this year’s IPL as a result of bubble fatigue and in anticipation of a long winter. Jonny Bairstow, Chris Woakes, and Dawid Malan have joined Jos Buttler in confirming their withdrawals.

Dawid Malan will be replaced at Punjab Kings for the rest of the season by Aiden Markram. Jonny Bairstow (Sunrisers Hyderabad), Chris Woakes (Delhi Capitals), Dawid Malan (Punjab Kings), and Jos Buttler (Rajasthan Royals) have all been named in England’s T20 World Cup squad and might expect to be named in England’s Ashes tour party, too.

Moeen Ali, Sam Billings, Sam Curran, Tom Curran, George Garton, Eoin Morgan, Chris Jordan, Adil Rashid, Liam Livingstone, and Jason Roy are the England players still expected to participate in the IPL.

India vs England (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
India vs England (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
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India’s Refusal To Play 5th Test Strained Relationships, One Cricketer May Pull Out Of IPL 2021

India’s refusal to feature in the 5th and final Test against England at Manchester due to fears of Covid-19 has strained relationships between the two teams. While many in the English cricket fraternity are criticising Virat Kohli-led Indian management, some cricketers are reportedly even looking to pull out from the UAE leg of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021.

At least one of the England players, a part of the Test series against India, is looking to pull out from IPL 2021 after Team India’s unwillingness to feature in the 5th Test led to its cancellation.

Indian test team
Indian test team[photo: Twitter]

Indian Cricket Team’s Refusal To Play 5th Test Strained Relationships

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) have had a healthy relationship with each other. However, after Team India’s 11th-hour withdrawal from the Old Trafford match, many English cricketers are said to be left unamused.

Some members of the England team claim that they had even spotted the Indian players roaming around in Manchester on Thursday even though they were supposed to remain inside their hotel rooms due to the Covid-19 scenario in the camp.

BCCI, ECB Logo
BCCI, ECB Logo

The cancellation of the Test is said to cost the ECB and others involved in organizing the match several millions of pounds. What has infuriated the hosts most is the fact that the match could’ve been deferred by a day or two if the resumption of IPL 2021 on September 19 wasn’t at stake.

At Least One Among Five Cricketers Of Test Squad Participating In The UAE Leg Of IPL 2021 May Pull Out

While the BCCI is busy planning its players’ departure from the UK to UAE, 5 England Test players are also supposed to participate in the extravagant T20 league. At least one of those five players — Jonny Bairstow, Sam Curran, Moeen Ali, Dawid Malan, and Chris Woakes — is said to be thinking of pulling out from IPL 2021 because of the 5th Test’s cancellation.

The aforementioned five England players are supposed to travel to UAE with the Indian contingent and serve 6 days of quarantine upon their arrival.

Sam Curran for CSK (Photo: Twitter/@IPL)
Sam Curran for CSK (Photo: Twitter/@IPL)

At 6 PM on Thursday, the England cricket team was reportedly informed of the Indian team’s availability for the match since all of them had tested negative for Covid-19.

Later, however, they were informed of the players’ unwillingness to go ahead with the match amid the risk of catching the virus. Most of the English players even travelled to the ground to collect their kits while the spectators had also started to show up.

List & Status of England Cricketers in IPL 2021:

  • Jos Buttler (Rajasthan Royals) 4.4 Crore – Has pulled out of IPL already citing birth of his child.
  • Jofra Archer (Rajasthan Royals) – 7.2 Crore, Has pulled out due to injury
  • Ben Stokes (Rajasthan Royals) – 12.5 Cr, pulled out citing mental health issues
  • Liam Livingstone (Rajasthan Royals) – 0.75 Cr – Injured & doubtful
  • Eoin Morgan (KKR – 5.25 Cr), Sam Curran (CSK – 5.5 Cr), Moeen Ali (CSK – 7 Crore), Jonny Bairstow (SRH – 2.2 Crore), Tom Curran (DC – 5.5 Cr), Sam Billings (DC – 2 Crore), Chris Woakes (DC – 1.5 Cr), Chris Jordan (PBKS – 3 Crore), Dawid Malan (PBKS – 1.5 Cr), Jason Roy (SRH – 2 Cr),
BCCI (File Photo| PTI)
BCCI (File Photo| PTI)
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Manchester Test Postponed Indefinitely Amid Covid-19 Fear; BCCI, ECB Will Reschedule The Test Later

Manchester Test- the fifth and final Test in the ongoing series has been postponed indefinitely in the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak within the India squad. In a statement released on Friday, the BCCI said it was in talks with the ECB over conducting the Manchester Test at a later date.
Soon after it emerged that the fifth Manchester Test between England and India at the Old Trafford was getting cancelled – which the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) first called forfeiture but soon changed it & the BCCI called postponement – the big talking point so far has been whether this series has ended up being 2-2 in favour of England and India or 2-1 in India’s favour, which was the result after the first four Tests.
Manchester Test: The message on the scoreboard after the fifth Test was called off PA Photos/Getty Images
Manchester Test: The message on the scoreboard after the fifth Test was called off PA Photos/Getty Images

Manchester Test To Be Rescheduled: BCCI And ECB Will Work Together

It remains to be seen how the boards can work out a window for the Manchester Test, though one could possibly be carved out when India returns to England next year for a scheduled limited-overs series.

This development seems to have ended the possibility of India having to forfeit the Manchester Test match, though further developments are awaited. News that the Manchester Test match wouldn’t begin as originally planned came in hours before the scheduled toss. The development came on the back of intense discussions between the BCCI and the ECB after India’s assistant physiotherapist Yogesh Parmar returned a positive Covid-19 test on Wednesday.

“The BCCI and ECB held several rounds of discussion to find a way to play the Manchester Test Match, however, the outbreak of Covid-19 in the Indian team contingent forced the decision of calling off the Old Trafford Test Match. The BCCI has offered to ECB a rescheduling of the cancelled Test match. Both the Boards will work towards finding a window to reschedule this Test match.”
BCCI, ECB Logo
BCCI, ECB Logo
More than one India player had expressed concerns about taking the field in talks between the BCCI and the team management over the last two days. The entire India squad returned negative RT-PCR tests on Thursday, but results of the second round of testing performed on Thursday are still awaited.
It is understood that the players and both boards suspect another case emerging from this round of tests, and hence the BCCI told the ECB that India would struggle to put out a playing XI for the fifth Manchester Test, which was to be played at Old Trafford from September 10 to 14.
A sense of confusion had spread among the Indian camp in the last two days even as the BCCI was in discussions with ECB over whether to carry on with the series or cancel the final Test. While the discussion carried on through the middle of Thursday night, the Indian contingent remained unaware of what decision the BCCI was going to take.
However, it is understood the BCCI did ask the players to keep their bags ready to fly out to the UAE for the IPL well ahead of the scheduled departure date of September 15, when the bulk of the India and England players were to board charter flights to join their franchises.

Yogesh Parmer’s Close Contacts Couldn’t Be Identified As He Was Training A Wider Group Of Players

After the entire squad returned negative RT-PCR tests on Thursday, it is understood that during one of the meetings with the BCCI, several players grouped into one room for the virtual discussion. Yogesh Parmar had only taken charge midway into the fourth Test at the Oval after lead physio Nitin Patel went into isolation after being identified as a close contact of India head coach Ravi Shastri, who tested positive for Covid-19 on the third evening of the fourth Test at The Oval.
While three members of the contingent – Nitin Patel, bowling coach Bharat Arun and fielding coach R Sridhar – were identified as immediate contacts of Ravi Shastri, it was far more difficult to determine who the close contacts of Yogesh Parmar were, considering he was treating a wider group of players. These players have been mingling among the wider group, which has made identifying close contacts even more complicated.
Ravi Shastri. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Ravi Shastri. (Photo Source: Twitter)
In their chats with the BCCI, the players were also concerned about the situation having an impact on their families. Most of the Indian players are travelling with their families. The key concern, though, for the BCCI was it did not want the UAE leg of the IPL 2021 to be impacted considering it is starting in nine days’ time.
With that in mind, the BCCI discussed cancelling the final Test, but the ECB is understood to have made it clear that it would interpret any refusal to play the Manchester Test as forfeiture. The BCCI was keen to avoid such a scenario, as not only would it see England square the series, but it could expose the BCCI to claims of lost revenue from broadcasters and the venue.
The World Test Championship competition terms state that a Covid-19 outbreak within a team is an acceptable reason for a Test to be abandoned – and not forfeited. With the WTC points system now calculated on the basis of the percentage of points contested, a four-Test series instead of five would not adversely impact a side’s points total.

“Following ongoing conversations with the BCCI, the ECB can confirm that the fifth LV= Insurance Manchester Test between England and India Men due to start today at Emirates Old Trafford, will be canceled.  Due to fears of a further increase in the number of COVID cases inside the camp, India is regrettably unable to field a team.”

Had the boards not agreed to the postponement, the series result could have gone into the hands of the ICC match referee Chris Broad based on whether the ECB accepted India’s fears of a larger outbreak in their camp as “acceptable non-compliance” as per the WTC regulations. Cancellation would have given India a 2-1 series victory, and a forfeiture led to a 2-2 draw. Currently, India has pocketed 26 WTC points from the series while England has 14 out of the available 48 points.
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