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Vikram-Rathour-photo
Vikram-Rathour-photo
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Aakash Chopra Calls For A Relook At Indian Batting Coach Vikram Rathour’s Contributions As Batsmen Failed In South Africa 2021/22 Tour

Aakash Chopra, the former Indian opener turned commentator wants a relook at present India batting coach Vikram Rathour’s contributions amid a stark decline in the team’s performances with the willow as evident in the recent South African tour.

Aakash Chopra remarked that as people have taken credit for the improvement in the bowling department, the “buck has to stop somewhere” for the dipped averages of the middle order batting trio of Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, and Cheteshwar Pujara in the last couple of years or so.

Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Aakash Chopra: One Need To Look Whether Vikram Rathour Is Doing His Job As A Batting Coach Well

He said India needs to see if there have been any shortcomings in Vikram Rathours work and how he has addressed them. Ajinkya Rahane has managed just 479 runs in 2021 at a paltry average of 20.83 while Cheteshwar Pujara has scored 702 runs at an average of 28.08. Virat Kohli too ended the year 2021 without scoring a century in international cricket. His last ton came in a Test against Bangladesh in 2019.

In a video on his Youtube channel, Chopra said: “Everyone has taken credit for India’s bowling improvement. Some people gave credit to Virat Kohli, some to Bharat Arun, some to Ravi Shastri. Everyone said, ‘Indian bowling has improved a lot’. But who is responsible for the batting decline? … If you are taking credit then responsibility needs to be taken as well. The decline is palpable. Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane and Virat Kohli’s numbers have dipped in the last 2-2.5 years so where’s the batting coach?”

The former India batter added: “The batting coach has the responsibility and the buck has to stop somewhere. Vikram Rathour, who is with the team for quite some time, you need to look at him again whether he’s doing his job well and if not then what are the shortcomings and how is he addressing them.”

Batting coach Vikram Rathour- PTI
Batting coach Vikram Rathour- PTI

Vikram Rathour was appointed batting coach in late 2019. While the likes of head coach Ravi Shastri, bowling coach Bharat Arun, and fielding coach R Sridhar left last year, Vikram Rathour was the only coach to get an extension. However, India’s well-documented overseas success, which began at the same time as his arrival, has been mostly attributed to the fitter and more incisive bowling group.

Their consistency papered over the batting cracks, especially in the middle order. But it all came to a head in the recent series in South Africa, where the bowlers failed to bail out the struggling batting lineup in the last two Tests.

Aakash Chopra: The Coach Is Suddenly Like A Football Manager With An Enhanced Role As Coach’s Role Becomes More Important Than Captain

Speaking on the second major issue presently associated with Indian cricket – Virat Kohli’s sudden stepping down from the Test captaincy, Aakash Chopra said newly-appointed head coach Rahul Dravid’s job has got even tougher.  He feels that in this phase, Rahul Dravid’s role in designing India’s future path will be more important than the new captain, almost like a football club manager.

Aakash Chopra explained: “It’s difficult for the coach because he’s a new coach. If he had been there for a long time then he would have a blueprint ready for the new captain. Now there’s a new captain, a new coach and they have to travel a new path… In cricket, the captain is the most important and the coach is just below him. But in such situations, the coach goes up and the captain comes a bit behind him because there’s a guarantee of the coach’s continuity. The coach is suddenly like a football manager with an enhanced role.”

Rahul Dravid, Ajinkya Rahane. (Photo: Twitter)
Rahul Dravid, Ajinkya Rahane. (Photo: Twitter)

Aakash Chopra also lamented India’s failure to build a leadership group to succeed Virat Kohli who resigned as India’s most successful Test skipper with 40 Test wins in 68 Tests. He said there had been a “slight mismanagement” with regards to the trust shown in Ajinkya Rahane as a captaincy prospect despite his poor form.

Aakash Chopra added: “We’ve failed to create a leadership group, honestly speaking. If Ajju had been in good form it would have been a natural succession. That was certainly a plan but his performances were on a downswing in the last two years and we were not ready to look at anywhere else because we believed that Kohli is going to continue for a long time. That didn’t happen and there’s been a slight mismanagement.”

After opting to bat, South Africa lost their opener, Janneman Malan, early in the fifth over of the first ODI against India at the Boland Park In Paarl against India. Jasprit Bumrah was the wicket-taker and he along with Bhuvneshwar Kumar has bowled well so far.

India Playing XI: KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli (c), Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (wk), Venkatesh Iyer, Shardul Thakur, Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal

BCCI (File Photo| PTI)
BCCI (File Photo| PTI)
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BCCI Silent On CVC Capitals As Their Lawyers Engaged On Finding Right Terms For Agreement

BCCI has been consistently and steadfastly maintaining silence on CVC Capitals after the American company’s acquisition of an Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise. The lawyers of the two parties are engaged in finding suitable and lawful terminology for the agreement to be signed for the Ahmedabad team of the extravagant league.

The protracted delay is only because of the efforts from the legal luminaries to find the right wordings for the fine print of the agreement. The broad consensus is understood to have been reached already. Despite the fact that there is an acknowledgement from all concerned that the issue is taking too much time but it is believed that the delay cannot be avoided.

IPL Trophy. (BCCI/IPL Photo)
IPL Trophy. (BCCI/IPL Photo)

BCCI Hoping To Stick To February Mega Auctions Dates For IPL 2022 But It May Be Extended By 1 Week Or 10 Days

An obvious fallout of this delay is the potential impact on the IPL 15 timeline and the board is believed to be preparing for this, even if it means postponement of the mega auction.  The new teams – Lucknow and Ahmedabad – are expected to be given at least 15 days once the CVC issue is resolved for signing its players and that could have a rub-on effect on other IPL activities.

BCCI is hoping to stick to the February 12-13 auctions dates as of now, but if need be, it may put it off by a week or 10 days. The final auction dates will be announced once the agreement with CVC Capitals is signed which the board officials are saying will be sooner than later.

Like the original eight teams, even the new franchises will have an auction purse of ₹90 crores going into the auction. Out of which they will be able to spend up to ₹33 crores on the player draft. They are allowed to sign three players with a price bracket of ₹15 crores, ₹11 crores, and ₹7 crores respectively.

CVC Capital
CVC Capital: Getty Images.
CVC Capital, an investment firm, is all set to get the green signal from BCCI ahead of IPL 2022. It is notable that the company’s links to online betting and gambling companies became the big hurdle to their participation in IPL. Earlier the firm bought the rights for Ahmedabad based team after a successful bid of Rs 5625 crores while the other new addition- Lucknow based franchise is owned by Sanjiv Goenka group with the price tag of Rs 7090 crores.

BCCI May Utilize Only Mumbai As An IPL 2022 Centre For Covid-19 Cases Rising

Simultaneously, the board is also preparing a Plan B for the league. With the growing number of Covid-19 cases in the country, there may be a possibility that the BCCI will utilise only Mumbai as an IPL centre. At this stage, two options are on the table – 10 centres or just three centres (the Wankhede, CCI and DY Patil Stadium in Mumbai). Going back to UAE has not yet been thought of by the Board officials as yet.

With the country seeing a rapid increase in the number of Omicron cases lately, the BCCI is understandably concerned about the Covid-driven health hazards nationwide in April or May, when the IPL is scheduled.

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

However, the option of advancing the starting date by week — from April 2 to March 25 – is also being considered, the purpose of it being to have fewer double-headers and day games.

Meanwhile, BCCI extended the deadline for the two new franchises to sign three players before the Mega Auction. Earlier the deadline for the same was December 25. Also, the BCCI officials confirmed that the Mega Auction for IPL 2022 will be held on February 12 and 13 at Bengaluru.

It’s notable that this time IPL will be a 10-team affair. BCCI also asked various boards to submit the list of the players who will go under the hammer. Soon the IPL governing council will have a meeting with the IPL franchises to discuss the plans for IPL 2022.

Gautam Gambhir was appointed as the mentor of the Lucknow franchise for IPL 2022. Andy Flower has been picked as the head coach. According to reports, the franchise has approached Gary Kirsten to be the consultant of the team for the 2022 season. The franchise is also looking to pick KL Rahul or Shreyas Iyer as the skipper of the team.

The Ahmedabad franchise is interested to pick Ravi Shastri as the head coach of the team for IPL 2022. Moreover, Bharat Arun and R Sridhar are reported to join the Ahmedabad franchise as bowling and fielding coaches respectively for IPL 2022 season. Like the Lucknow team, the franchise might also target KL Rahul or Shreyas Iyer for the skipper’s role.

Don’t Chase Wickets, Just Be Very Mean, Bharat Arun Shares His Success Mantra For South Africa Series

Former India bowling coach Bharat Arun has shared the success mantra for India’s upcoming series in the rainbow nation. Notable that under his guidance, the Indian pace bowling unit achieved new heights.

In the last South Africa tour, the Indian bowling attack picked 20 wickets in each of three tests. However, they lost the series by a 1-2 margin.

Don't Chase Wickets, Just Be Very Mean, Bharat Arun Shares His Success Mantra For South Africa Series 1
Bharat Arun (file photo)

Speaking ahead of the series, The former bowling coach shared his wisdom in an interview with journalist Boria Majumdar.

“I would still go for them being very accurate. All the time, I tell the bowlers to work for excellence. It’s not chasing wickets, it’s not going after anything. It is just the thought of being very very mean – not giving the batters anything.” Arun said.

“There are two ways to put pressure on a team. One is to get wickets and the other way is to curtail the flow of runs. If you are not able to get wickets, you need to curtail runs so that the opponents don’t run away from you. They are where they are. And, the minute you get a couple of wickets, you are on top of the game. This is going to be the mantra and this is what, I think, they should be following.” he added further.

Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah (Photo-Getty)
Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah (Photo-Getty)

India’s campaign in South Africa will begin with the series starting on December 26 at Centurion as the visitors will be chasing their first Test series in the rainbow nation. India played 7 test series in South Africa in which the hosts got the upper hand in 6 of them while the series in 2010-11 ended in a draw.

Though things have been a little different this time. South Africa skipper also warned his team to be wary of the Indian pace attack.

“He (Jasprit Bumrah) is a world class bowler. If there is one bowler who can exploit South African conditions pretty well, it would be him. But again, we don’t focus on one guy. Indian as a whole is a pretty, pretty good side.” Dean Elgar spoke in a media interaction.

Also read Anrich Nortje Ruled Out Of The Test Series Against India

Shardul Thakur | Twitter
Shardul Thakur | Twitter
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Shardul Thakur Added To Play Only 3rd India A-South Africa A Unofficial 4-Day Test In Bloemfontein

Shardul Thakur will play only the third India A vs South Africa A game in Bloemfontein. However, head coach Rahul Dravid wants every player to be match-ready with some games under their belt before they enter an international game.

India pacer Shardul Thakur has been asked to travel to South Africa to be part of the India A squad while batsman Suryakumar Yadav has been asked to stay with the Indian Test team, which will play two Tests against New Zealand at home.

Shardul Thakur Photo: AFP.
Shardul Thakur Photo: AFP.

Shardul Thakur Was Added To India A Squad As Rahul Dravid Wants Every Player To Be Match Ready

Shardul Thakur wasn’t part of the T20I or Test squads against New Zealand as the national selection committee had decided to give the Mumbai pacer a break after being away from home for six months at a stretch playing cricket.

Shardul Thakur will play only the 3rd India A vs South Africa A game in Bloemfontein. Rahul Dravid wants every player to be match-ready with some games under their belt before they enter an international game. If picked for the South Africa series next month, Shardul Thakur wouldn’t have had any games behind him, if not for the A match.

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

It was for the same reason that the Indian team sent Hanuma Vihari with India A side as the selection committee felt he might not have got any Tests against the Kiwis. They thought it would be better if he got a few games in India A series. Shardul Thakur played vital roles in Tests in Australia and later in England. It’s his batting that hogged the limelight when he slammed two half-centuries in the fourth Test against England.

Shardul Thakur has played only 4 Tests in his career so far after debuting in 2018 against West Indies, where he got injured after bowling only 10 balls. He managed 190 runs averaging 38, besides picking up 14 scalps averaging 22.71.

Shardul Thakur Is Coming Along Superbly, And Each Match There Is Tremendous Improvement In Both Batting And Bowling: Bharat Arun

The former bowling coach Bharat Arun had raved about the importance of Shardul Thakur.

“Shardul Thakur is coming along superbly. Just imagine the pressure and how well he has coped and grabbed them. Each match, I see tremendous improvement – bowling and batting. Knocks in Brisbane and Leeds were amazing, no?

“And he is a pretty intelligent bowler – a lovely outswinger at close to 140 kmphs and a well-directed bouncer. He is a good thinker, not afraid to speak his mind, fearless and you need players like him in a team environment,” Arun said.

The BCCI is likely to pick the squad for the South Africa tour after the first Test against New Zealand in Kanpur starting on Thursday.

Suryakumar Yadav
Suryakumar Yadav (BCCI)

Meanwhile, there is no official communication on why middle-order batsman Suryakumar Yadav was asked to stay with the Indian Test squad. The squad already includes Shreyas Iyer as a middle-order batsman, and chances of him making a Test debut are looking promising enough. It seems the selection committee and BCCI don’t want to take a chance with the players’ health, especially during COVID-19 times.

The BCCI doesn’t want to be in a situation where a player gets infected, and they don’t have a replacement in the squad. Suryakumar Yadav was sent as a backup player for the England tour, too, along with Prithvi Shaw, but they didn’t get to play a game.

In the ongoing 1st unofficial Test, South Africa A is batting first, and the score reads 98/2 in 27 overs, with Navdeep Saini and Arzan Nagwaswalla picking 1 wicket each. Priyank Panchal, Prithvi Shaw, Abhimanyu Easwaran, Rahul Chahar, Hanuma Vihari, Rahul Chahar, and Umran Malik are playing.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, Indian opener KL Rahul has been reportedly ruled out of the 1st Test against New Zealand.

Virat Kohli took over captaincy from MS Dhoni in all forms in 2017 | Photo Credit: AP, File Image
Virat Kohli took over captaincy from MS Dhoni in all forms in 2017 | Photo Credit: AP, File Image
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Bharat Arun Opens Up On Captaincy Transition Between The Two Of Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni

Bharat Arun, former India bowling coach, has now revealed that Virat Kohli would even let MS Dhoni handle small details of the game. MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli haven’t just been formidable on the field but have also grabbed attention for their mutual understanding of each other and chemistry off the field.

When Virat Kohli took over the captaincy of the Indian cricket team from MS Dhoni, the transition seemed seamless, all because of the respect the duo carried for each other. Virat Kohli had taken limited-overs captaincy from MS Dhoni in 2017 and Tests in 2014.

Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni (Photo:AFP)
Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni (Photo: AFP)

Bharat Arun: Virat Kohli Would Often Let MS Dhoni Handle Little Details As There Was Mutual Trust And Respect Between The Duo

Even though MS Dhoni was in the team when Virat Kohli took the captaincy baton in his hands, the two stalwarts worked in tandem for the benefit of Team India. Under MS Dhoni, India achieved wholesome success as the former Indian wicketkeeper-batsman still remains the only international captain to lead his national side to all three major ICC titles (2007 T20I WC, 2011 ODI WC, and 2013 Champions Trophy) during his captaincy tenure.

When MS Dhoni stepped aside as the captain from all formats, in early 2017, Virat Kohli stepped up and took over the reins from his senior cricketer. MS Dhoni, however, remained a vital cog of Virat Kohli-led India’s limited-overs side, having retired from Tests in late 2014, till he played his last match in the 2019 ODI World Cup and decided to hang up his boots the following year.

“Ravi told the importance of having a senior member like Dhoni in the team. It was about giving a lot of respect and he would definitely help him. Kohli understood that of course and it was a seamless transition.

“You could see the respect in the way Kohli would often let Dhoni handle little details and prowl on the boundary in ODIs. That kind of stuff can’t have happened without trust and respect. And Dhoni also saw he was given the space and responded so well,” Bharat Arun said in an interview.

File picture of Bharat Arun. - B. JOTHI RAMALINGAM
File picture of Bharat Arun. – B. JOTHI RAMALINGAM

MS Dhoni was even added to the Indian team as a mentor for the T20I World Cup 2021. Although the team didn’t get the desired result as they were ousted from the group stage itself, the idea was to have an influential member in the support staff that all of the players respect.

Bharat Arun: During Ravi Shastri’s Tenure, There Was Absolutely No Agenda

Speaking of Ravi Shastri, Bharat Arun said that the former India head coach’s tenure was purely based on cricketing values.  Even when the team would not get the results they desired, Ravi Shastri would insist on learning from the mistakes and moving on.

“Fearlessness and honesty. During his tenure, there was absolutely no agenda. The decisions might have been right or wrong, that is irrelevant, but they came from the right place, purely thinking about team values and what we stood for as a team. Honesty encompasses criticism, self-introspection. It was in telling the team that ‘accept that we messed up’. It helped us evolve the team,”Bharat Arun said.

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

With Ravi Shastri gone, Rahul Dravid has taken over his role in the team as head coach. As for captaincy, Virat Kohli has been replaced by Rohit Sharma in the shortest T20I format.

Ravi Shastri, the outgoing India coach, hoped India would make a strong comeback under Rahul Dravid in the next ICC T20 World Cup 2022 in October. However, India failed to reach the semifinals of the ICC T20 World Cup 2021 after suffering defeats against Pakistan and New Zealand in the Super 12 matches.

Skipper Virat Kohli and coach Ravi Shastri had worked together as captain and coach since 2017 for four years, during which Indian cricket achieved phenomenal success. However, their stint ended on a disappointing note, with India getting knocked out of the 2021 T20I World Cup, failing to qualify for the semifinals for the first time in eight ICC events.

India's Virat Kohli. Credit: Reuters Photo
India's Virat Kohli. Credit: Reuters Photo
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Virat Kohli Has Been One Of The Great Ambassadors: Ravi Shastri

Ravi Shastri, outgoing India coach, said Virat Kohli has been one of the great ambassadors for the game, especially in red-ball cricket. After the curtain came down on his four-year stint coaching India, Ravi Shastri said Virat Kohli has been one of the great ambassadors for cricket, especially in the longest format Test cricket.

Fresh from seeing his team finish their ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 campaign with a nine-wicket win over Namibia, the outgoing coach — who was first involved with the squad as a director in 2014 — praised his team’s all-conquering past despite a disappointing end to their time in the UAE.

Ravi Shastri was all praise for Virat Kohli.© AFP
Ravi Shastri was all praise for Virat Kohli.© AFP

Ravi Shastri: Virat Kohli Has Been One Of The Great Ambassadors

Ravi Shastri, the outgoing India coach, hoped India would make a strong comeback under Rahul Dravid in the next ICC T20 World Cup 2022 in October. However, India failed to reach the semifinals of the ICC T20 World Cup 2021 after suffering defeats against Pakistan and New Zealand in the Super 12 matches.

Player of the tournament in the 2014 and 2016 T20 World Cups, Virat Kohli remains the world’s leading run-scorer in T20I cricket. The run-machine has racked up 3227 runs in just 87 innings at an average of 52.05 and a strike rate of 137.91 with 29 50-plus scores. Virat Kohli led India in 50 T20Is, winning 32 and losing 16. He won bilateral T20I rubbers in Australia, England, New Zealand, South Africa, West Indies, and Sri Lanka.

When asked about the Indian team having each other’s back, Ravi Shastri in the virtual press conference on Monday said: “We actively worked towards it. We wanted to trust in that dressing room. That’s the only way you can get each other’s back.”

“We needed communication. We wanted no finger-pointing at each other. We needed the word ‘I’ to be thrown into the dustbin and the word ‘we’ coming in. And we created a culture that had to be obeyed and followed.”

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

“With Virat leading the way, he’s been one of the great ambassadors for the games, especially when you look at red ball cricket, the way he’s embraced it. And it’s allowed other players on the team to follow suit. You’ve got to give credit where it’s due.”

“So it’s a team culture, which was impressed upon the team to follow, and they followed it to the hilt. They played fearless cricket round the globe,” Shastri added.

Ravi Shastri achieved back-to-back Test series wins in Australia in his tenure, but an ICC trophy eluded him and skipper Virat Kohli. Ravi Shastri also heaped praise on outgoing bowling coach Bharat Arun and fielding coach R Sridhar, whose tenures too ended with the team’s World Cup campaign.

Ravi Shastri: Everything Including Bilateral Series Win Is Important

Ravi Shastri also said that everything, including bilateral series and tournaments, is important for him.

He said: “For me, everything is important. If you’re playing a big tournament, a big series, you play to win. So it’s not happened this time, but it will happen another time for this team. They’re far too talented not to get something going or get something and a big trophy in the hands soon, just like they did in Australia twice.”

“Up in England now, the way they played white-ball cricket in bilateral series. So somewhere down the line, things should go their way. The rub of the green should go their way.”

New Zealand’s victory over Afghanistan on Sunday secured the Black Caps’ progression and ended India’s hopes of reaching the semi-finals before Monday’s clash against Namibia, but they remained resolutely professional in their performance against the Namibians.

Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin AFP
Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin AFP

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

Dinesh Karthik file image. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)
Dinesh Karthik file image. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)
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Dinesh Karthik Praised Outgoing Coaching Staff For Valuable Contributions

Dinesh Karthik, wicket-keeper batsman, praised outgoing head coach Ravi Shastri and the rest of the coaching staff for their contributions during their tenure with the Indian team. The T20 World Cup 2021 marked their last assignment as they chose not to re-apply for the posts.

Rahul Dravid has been formally announced by the BCCI as the next head coach, with the rest of the appointments to be declared soon.

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

Dinesh Karthik Wishes People To Remember This Set Of Coaching Staff For Contributions In Winning Many Bilateral Series

Dinesh Karthik noted that the glaring absence of ICC silverware should not be the first thing that is associated with the trio. He explained how each member of the coaching staff brought something to the table and improved the quality and depth of the team.

“We always talk about how Shastri was not able to deliver a ICC title but we should also speak about how many bilateral series we won under him, it was second to none. I wish people remember this set of coaching staff for all the things they achieved in terms of batting, bowling and fielding, ” said Dinesh Karthik.

Dinesh Karthik Photo: © Reuters (Main Image)
Dinesh Karthik Photo: © Reuters (Main Image)

He talked about the improvement in the fielding and bowling department.

“R Sridhar has been fabulous in that department, the level of fielding has gone upto a couple of notches. Going abroad, picking up 20 wickets consistently, so B Arun has done a fabulous job over a period of time. Credit to Shastri, for pulling up the team when the chips were down,” Dinesh Karthik elaborated.

Ravi Shastri, the outgoing India coach, hoped India would make a strong comeback under Rahul Dravid in the next ICC T20 World Cup 2022 in October. However, India failed to reach the semifinals of the ICC T20 World Cup 2021 after suffering defeats against Pakistan and New Zealand in the Super 12 matches.

Simon Doull: Ravi Shastri’s Combinational With Virat Kohli Has Been Exceptional

Simon Doull was also all praise for the way head coach Ravi Shastri and others transformed the Indian side into a force to be reckoned with. He noted how the combination of skipper Virat Kohli and coach Ravi Shastri took Indian cricket forward.

“Shastri’s legacy will be the bilateral series and the depth that has been created. His combination with Virat has been exceptional. This tournament should not be what should be used to judge the coaches. Shastri has left the Indian team in an incredibly strong position.”

Simon Doull
Simon Doull. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Rahul Dravid will have two captains to manage, with Virat Kohli having stepped down from his role as the T20 skipper. Dinesh Karthik feels that Rohit Sharma and Rahul Dravid will click right away. He is eager to see how Virat Kohli forges a dynamic with Rahul Dravid, given their contrasting personalities.

Dinesh Karthik added: “Rohit and Rahul know each other well, they will be in constant touch during this whole process. It will be interesting to see the Kohli-Dravid dynamic. Very different personalities, they have not worked too much together as well. Maybe a season with RCB together”

It is to be noted that Virat Kohli reportedly did not share a good rapport with Anil Kumble, which eventually led to his exit as the coach of the team. The dynamic between a coach and the captain is pivotal to the team’s success.

Ravi Shastri achieved back-to-back Test series wins in Australia in his tenure, but an ICC trophy eluded him and skipper Virat Kohli. Ravi Shastri also heaped praise on outgoing bowling coach Bharat Arun and fielding coach R Sridhar, whose tenures too ended with the team’s World Cup campaign.

Rahul Dravid’s first assignment will be the home series against New Zealand, starting on November 17, for which BCCI is likely to announce a new T20I captain as the 2021 T20I World Cup was Virat Kohli’s last as India’s shortest format leader.

Ravi Shastri Image Source : AP
Ravi Shastri Image Source : AP
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N Srinivasan Deserves Special Mention For Believing In Me, Says Ravi Shastri

Ravi Shastri was appointed Team Director by erstwhile BCCI president N Srinivasan back in 2014 after India lost the Test series in England 1-3.

Former BCCI president N Srinivasan had “more faith” in his coaching abilities, and outgoing Team India head coach Ravi Shastri thanked the Tamil Nadu strongman in earnest while stating that he performed his duties without any vested interests.

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

Ravi Shastri Said N Srinivasan Deserves Special Mention After His 4 Year Tenure As Head Coach Came To An End

As India made an early exit from the 2021 T20 World Cup, it marks the end of Ravi Shastri’s four-year tenure as the head coach.

In two successive stints of two years each, Ravi Shastri oversaw India’s transition to a world-beating unit in Test cricket, and while he may not have an ICC trophy to show for it, under his regime India grew from strength to strength as a formidable white-ball side, reaching the semifinals of World Cup in 2019 and staying in the top three in ICC rankings for the most part of his tenure.

“I think it’s been one helluva of a journey for me, personally. I know it is my last day in the dressing room, I just spoke to the boys, but I would like to thank the BCCI, for giving me this opportunity, believing that I could do the job and I wish the coach coming after me all the luck,” Shastri said at the press conference.

“I must thank in this also, all the committees, that were there in picking me as the coach, including Vinod Rai and his team for some-time, the COA, I would like thank all of them because, they were all part of the journey,” he said.

N Srinivasan, vice chairman & managing director of India Cements and former president of the BCCI Image: P Ravikumar for Forbes India
N Srinivasan, vice chairman & managing director of India Cements and former president of the BCCI Image: P Ravikumar for Forbes India

But the highest regard was reserved for N Srinivasan, one of the most powerful BCCI presidents in the history of Indian cricket.

“But one man I would like to give special mention – – his name is N Srinivasan. He was the man who insisted that I do this job in 2014. In fact, I didn’t have the belief (that) I could do this job, he seemed to have more belief in my ability than I had.”

“And I hope, I haven’t let him down, so if Sir (Srinivasan), you are listening, I got the opportunity and I did my work without any agenda,” Shastri seemed a touch emotional while thanking the former board supremo.”

Emotions ran high as cameras captured India captain Virat Kohli hugging head coach Ravi Shastri followed by spinner Ravichandran Ashwin and bowling coach Bharat Arun after India’s victory over Namibia in their last T20 World Cup 2021 match.

Rohit Sharma And KL Rahul Hit Fifties To Chase 133 Comfortably Against Namibia In Ravi Shastri-Virat Kohli’s Swansong

Led by half-centuries from Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul, to back up three-wicket hauls by Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, India comfortably chased down the 133-run target 15.2 overs – to secure a nine-wicket win over Namibia in a dead-rubber, in Dubai, on Monday.

KL Rahul And Rohit Sharma (Image Credit: Twitter)
KL Rahul And Rohit Sharma (Image Credit: Twitter)
The match was Virat Kohli’s last game as India’s T20I captain, and the last for the successful coaching trio of Ravi Shastri, Bharat Arun, and R Sridhar. A victory or defeat didn’t mean much for either side, but there were emotions all around.
For nearly four years before the Scotland game, Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja hadn’t been included in the same XI for a white ball game. However, the veteran duo combined to derail Namibia’s innings.
Brief Scores: Namibia 132/8 in 20 overs (David Wiese 26, Stephan Baard 21; Ravindra Jadeja 3-16, R Ashwin 3-20) lost to India 136/1 in 15.2 overs (Rohit Sharma 56, KL Rahul 54*) by 9 wickets
Ravi Shastri Image Source : AP
Ravi Shastri Image Source : AP
/

Ravi Shastri Happy With India’s Performance As His Tenure As A Coach Comes To An End

Ravi Shastri, the outgoing India coach, hoped India would make a strong comeback under Rahul Dravid in the next ICC T20 World Cup 2022 in October. However, India failed to reach the semifinals of the ICC T20 World Cup 2021 after suffering defeats against Pakistan and New Zealand in the Super 12 matches.

Outgoing head coach Ravi Shastri feels his successor Rahul Dravid has inherited a “great team” and backed him to raise the bar with his wealth of experience as a player and coach.

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

Ravi Shastri Opens Up On Challenges In The Bio Bubble

The 2021 T20I World Cup game against Namibia was Ravi Shastri’s last day in the office as the head coach.

“Let’s be honest, I am not here to make excuses. We lacked daring in the second game against New Zealand. “I know the toss was important and I do feel it will be important, not as much now because the weather has cooled down a bit.”

“It is something for the boys to learn, they will get an opportunity next year. It is not often you have World Cup in 12 months, hopefully, they will kick some butt next year in Australia,” Shastri said in the post-match press conference.

Ravi Shastri also talked about the challenges of staying in bio-bubble, saying that even a great batter like Sir Don Bradman would see his average come down if asked to stay in bubbles for a long period of time.

“When you are six months in the bubble, there are lots of players in this team who are all-format players. In the last 24 months, they have been home for 25 days.”

“I do not care who you are, if you’re name is Bradman and you are in a bubble, your average will come down because you are human. It is not something you put petrol in the backside and expect the guy to move on,” said Ravi Shastri during a virtual post-match press conference.

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

“It does not happen that way. These are tough times, in life, it is not what you accomplish, it is what you overcome and this is what this team has shown. “They have shown the drive to hang in there. No complaints but sooner or later the bubble will burst, so you have to be careful,” Ravi Shastri added.

When asked whether he reached out to the BCCI in order to get a break for his players, Ravi Shastri said: “That is not my job, it was already done. Big administrators around the globe will be looking to have gap before big tournaments so that guys are mentally fresh and ready to play.”

“Everyone was free to speak, no one player was treated as a junior and it has been one heck of a journey for me.”

Talking about his tenure as the head coach, Ravi Shastri said: “I mean just the quality of cricket this team has played in the last five years across all formats.”

Under Ravi Shastri’s tenure, India beat Australia in Australia twice in the Test series, led England 2-1 in England and won limited-overs matches, series almost everywhere in the world.

Ravi Shastri: The Performance Are There For Everyone To See

Ravi Shastri agreed that not winning an ICC tournament – the closest they came was the final of the World Test Championship, which they lost to New Zealand – was a disappointment with this team but added that the cricketers will get more opportunities in the future to fulfil the dream.

“The performances are there for everyone to see, when you perform in that fashion, when you go across the globe and beat teams then you know you are part of one great cricket team.  I am not saying a great Team India, I am saying great cricket teams in the history of the game because if you look at those performances, they do not happen often.”

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

“You need to have bunch of players who are fit, hungry, fearless and they have the hunger and belief. If you want the real highlights, nothing beats Australia, England — we are up in that particular series. It will be the longest time we will up in the series, I might be commenting on that game. But, everywhere we beat teams. All-round it has been fabulous,” he added.

Ravi Shastri achieved back-to-back Test series wins in Australia in his tenure but an ICC trophy eluded him and skipper Virat Kohli. Ravi Shastri also heaped praise on outgoing bowling coach Bharat Arun and fielding coach R Sridhar, whose tenures too ended with the team’s World Cup campaign.

Rahul Dravid’s first assignment will be the home series against New Zealand, starting on November 17, for which BCCI is likely to announce a new T20I captain as the 2021 T20I World Cup was Virat Kohli’s last as India’s shortest format leader.

Harbhajan Singh poses for a photograph ahead of a practice session © AFP
Harbhajan Singh poses for a photograph ahead of a practice session © AFP
/

Harbhajan Singh And Sunil Gavaskar Rubbished Bharat Arun’s Claim That The Toss Was Responsible For India’s Early Exit

Harbhajan Singh and Sunil Gavaskar rubbished India’s bowling coach Bharat Arun’s claim that the toss was responsible for India’s early exit from the T20 World Cup.

Veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh rubbished bowling coach Bharat Arun’s ‘toss excuse’ for India’s shocking exit from the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, saying that the Virat Kohli-led side failed to progress to knockout stages due to a couple of bad performances and nothing else.

File picture of Bharat Arun. - B. JOTHI RAMALINGAM
File picture of Bharat Arun. – B. JOTHI RAMALINGAM

Harbhajan Singh Opens Up On Bharat Arun’s Toss Excuse

Notably, India was knocked out of the race to the semi-final of the ongoing ICC T20 World Cup in the UAE after New Zealand beat Afghanistan by eight wickets in Abu Dhabi to join Pakistan in the knockouts.

Harbhajan Singh pointed out IPL franchise Chennai Super Kings’ example, saying despite batting first, the team went on to beat Kolkata Knight Riders in the final of IPL 2021 not too long ago. Chennai Super Kings managed to score 192 for 3 due to Faf du Plessis 86 and beat Kolkata Knight Riders 165 for 9 by 27 runs despite Shubman Gill and Venkatesh Iyer’s fifties.

Harbhajan Singh (Photo Credits: Twitter)
Harbhajan Singh (Photo Credits: Twitter)

Bharat Arun, on the eve of India’s final match of the T20 World Cup, listed two reasons behind India’s indifferent performance at the ICC event, mentioning that toss and bio-bubble fatigue were the reasons behind India’s defeats in the first two matches against Pakistan and New Zealand.

“I am not trying to give any excuses but I think in this World Cup the trend has been the team that wins the toss has a big advantage especially when you are in playing in Dubai. The wicket kind of eases out when you come out to bowl the second time. These are no excuses. We should have done better, we should have batted better. In the first match, we had the chance to defend a good total, but we looked a little below par,” Bharat said while speaking in the pre-match press conference ahead of the India vs Namibia match.

India lost the toss in the matches versus Pakistan and New Zealand, wherein the opponents chased down the target without much fuss. Bowling coach Bharat Arun stated that the toss and bio-bubble fatigue were the two reasons behind the defeats against Pakistan and New Zealand.

“I heard Bharat Arun saying that had India won the toss, they could have done this and done that. All that is up for a later discussion. If you had thought that you wanted to bowl first or bat first, well didn’t Chennai Super Kings win the IPL after batting first? They did score 190, so you have to make runs. Let us accept the fact that we didn’t play well as we should have and we did not live up to expectations,” Harbhajan said on Sports Tak.

India’s bowling coach on Sunday blamed the toss for India’s early ouster from the ongoing T20 World Cup. Now, Harbhajan Singh and Sunil Gavaskar have rubbished Bharat Arun’s lame excuse. Both the players reckon toss was not the only reason for India’s exit from the marquee tournament. Harbhajan Singh cited the example of CSK, who won the final despite batting first in similar conditions.

Sunil Gavaskar: If Batting Flourished Like Afghanistan Where India Posted Above 200, TheIndian Bowlers Wouldh’ve Got A Cushion Of 30-40 Runs

Sunil Gavaskar felt India did not have enough runs on the board in the first place against Pakistan and the Kiwis.

“If our batting had flourished as it did against Afghanistan when they scored 200 then the dew factor wouldn’t have come into play at all because the bowlers have a cushion of 30-40 runs already. So even if they were taken for a few extra runs with the wet ball, those 40 extra runs would make the difference,” Gavaskar said.

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

With Afghanistan losing to New Zealand, India will now play a dead rubber against Namibia on Monday, capping off a disappointing end to Virat Kohli’s T20 captaincy career.

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