Chetan Sakariya | Sportzwiki

Chetan Sakariya

Jaydev Unadkat Pic: IPLT20.COM
Jaydev Unadkat Pic: IPLT20.COM
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IPL 2021: Jaydev Unadkat Reckons High Scoring Games On Flat Wickets In UAE

Jaydev Unadkat, the Rajasthan Royals pacer, believes that the conditions in the UAE for the second leg of IPL 2021 will be similar to last year with high-scoring games expected on flat wickets.
With the competition set to resume in Dubai on September 19, the left-arm pacer is confident that Rajasthan Royals, who are placed fifth in the table currently, “can perform well” despite missing the likes of Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes, and Jofra Archer due to injuries and personal issues.
Jaydev Unadkat (File Image)
Jaydev Unadkat (File Image)

Jaydev Unadkat On IPL 2021 UAE Leg: Its About Restricting Those Boundaries In Smaller Grounds Like In Sharjah

Jaydev Unadkat has been in stellar form in the First-class circuit, emerging as the leading wicket-taker of the last season of Ranji Trophy, where he picked up 67 wickets. In IPL 2021-his fourth season with the Rajasthan Royals– he picked 4 scalps in as many matches averaging 28.25.
“It is harder to bowl when the boundaries are smaller like in Sharjah because the batsmen are more confident of clearing the boundary, but you have to accept the challenge and find ways to bowl,” Unadkat, who has accumulated 85 wickets in 84 matches in the IPL, said.
Jaydev Unadkat
Jaydev Unadkat | IANS
“We know that those games are going to be high scoring, so you got to be aware that even if you get hit, you must come back stronger. It’s not about going for 24 runs or getting 2 wickets – it’s about restricting those boundaries. On a ground which is small, and has flat wickets, every single ball matters. We played quite a few games on all the grounds last season, and the wickets and the weather are going to be similar, and we’re confident that we can do well.”
Jaydev Unadkat, 29, also revealed that he has worked on some of the technicalities in his bowling during the offseason, at his hometown in Rajkot. Having made his international debut in a Test match against South Africa in 2010, Jaydev Unadkat has so far represented India in 1 Test, 7 ODIs, and 10 T20Is. He picked 8 scalps in 7 ODIs and 14 scalps in 10 T20Is besides the solitary Test. His last T20I appearance came in 2018. In 84 IPL matches, he has 85 scalps besides his name.

Jaydev Unadkat Wanted To Make A Few Changes In His Bowling Action

Having made a decent start to the season, which includes him picking up a three-wicket haul against the Delhi Capitals, Jaydev Unadkat is keen on “looking to continue doing the same in this phase as well.”
Jaydev Unadkat (File Image)
Jaydev Unadkat (File Image)
“I wanted to make a few changes in my bowling action, so (I) was working on that, and that itself requires a good amount of time,” Unadkat, who picked up four wickets in four matches in the first half of the IPL that was held in India, said. “So, I was devoted towards making those changes and getting used to them.”
It was also the time when he was ignored for the limited-overs series against Sri Lanka when India fielded a second-string side. He had a record-breaking 2019-20 Ranji Trophy season when he picked up 67 wickets that culminated in Saurashtra’s historic win and he was in contention. However, his Rajasthan Royals team-mate Chetan Sakariya was drafted into the squad.
Chetan Sakariya picked up two wickets in the third ODI of the India vs Sri Lanka series (Image Source: Twitter)
Chetan Sakariya picked up two wickets in the third ODI of the India vs Sri Lanka series (Image Source: Twitter)
Jaydev Unadkat, who took a break from social media after the disappointment, feels “that kind of a phase can actually help you at times” and helps in one coming back stronger with renewed confidence.
“I wanted to do some work with my bowling and wanted to go off the attention a bit. It’s always nice if you can have some time with only yourself and the family, and not really listen to what the outside world has to say about you,” he said.
“And I’ve done that in the past as well so it’s kind of a normal process which gives me that space to go deep and just be honest with myself and find out what I need to work on, and what I’m good at. That helps in gathering confidence again and come back stronger.”
Jaydev Unadkat has been snubbed for India’s ongoing tours as the 29-year-old pacer is too old to be picked for India, according to a BCCI selector. Jaydev Unadkat had done his best job as the left-arm pacer bagged 67 wickets in the 2019-20 season, the most by any bowler in the season.

However, despite his heroics with the ball in the Ranji Trophy, left-arm pacer Jaydev Unadkat wasn’t picked for the Indian squad for the UK tour comprising of the WTC Final and 5 Tests against hosts England. He might be just 29, but as per a Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) selector, he is ‘too told’ to be picked for the senior squad.

Muttiah Muralitharan is considered one of the greatest bowlers in the history of cricket and he has the most wickets in Tests and ODIs with 800 and 534 respectively , Twitter
Muttiah Muralitharan is considered one of the greatest bowlers in the history of cricket and he has the most wickets in Tests and ODIs with 800 and 534 respectively , Twitter
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Chamika Karunaratne’s Six Off The Full Toss Was The Turning Point, Says Muttiah Muralitharan

Muttiah Muralitharan, a former Sri Lanka legendary spinner termed the six in the penultimate over as the moment where the course of the 2nd T20I changed in favour of the hosts. Chamika Karunaratne dispatched a full toss beyond the boundary ropes to change the equation drastically.

 Sri Lanka's Chamika Karunaratne in action (Courtesy: AP)
Sri Lanka’s Chamika Karunaratne in action (Courtesy: AP)

Muttiah Muralitharan noted that India had not posted enough runs on the board, but lauded the fight put up by the visitors. Muttiah Muralitharan added that had Sri Lanka required 14 or 15 runs in the final over, it would have been very difficult to obtain.

“Yeah, definitely because the total was not enough. 132 was not a par score, but India gave a very good fight because it looked at one time we’ll win the match, but Dhananjaya played well and Karunaratne came and that six he hit off the full toss changed the course of the match and changed the equation.

“So, if we had 14-15 to chase in the last over, it would have been difficult for Sri Lanka,” Muralidaran said while speaking to ESPN Cricinfo after the match.

Krunal Pandya. (Photo: Twitter)
Krunal Pandya. (Photo: Twitter)

India could only play with five batsmen, with the majority of the contingent being in isolation with Krunal Pandya having contracted the virus. With eight close contacts being off the series, India only had five batsmen in the playing eleven that included three debutants.

India named 4 T20I debutants in Nitish Rana, Devdutt Padikkal, Ruturaj Gaikwad, and Chetan Sakariya for the 2nd T20I match. Hardik Pandya, Ishan Kishan, Krishnappa Gowtham, Prithvi Shaw, Suryakumar Yadav, Manish Pandey, Yuzvendra Chahal, and Shikhar Dhawan were the close contacts of Krunal Pandya all of whom barring skipper Shikhar Dhawan weren’t allowed to take the field.

Muttiah Muralitharan: India Was Depleted Due To Covid-19

According to Muttiah Muralitharan, this made a huge impact in the match, as despite the slow nature of the track, they could only post 132. Shikhar Dhawan donned the role of the anchor while Ruturaj Gaikwad and Devdutt Padikkal chipped in with valuable cameos. However, it was the frail middle order that cost India, as they fell flat in the death overs flourish.

(File) Muttiah Muralitharan
(File) Muttiah Muralitharan

“I think India was depleted due to COVID and they only played with 5 batsmen and no all-rounders at all. That made them very difficult to set a decent total for Sri Lanka. Bowling wise, they had decent bowlers and only used five bowlers and did not use the fast bowler because the wicket was on the slower side,’ Muralidaran added

The third T20I which also marks the final game of the tour will be contested tomorrow (July 29) at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo. Team India might have to turn towards their net bowlers to replace the injured Navdeep Saini.

Dasun Shanaka’s Sri Lanka defeated Shikhar Dhawan-led India by 4 wickets to level the three-match series. Dhananjaya de Silva scored 40 not out off 34 balls while wicketkeeper-batsman Minod Bhanuka smashed 36 off 31 deliveries to help the hosts chase the 133-run target with 2 balls to spare.

Kuldeep Yadav returned with the figures of 2 for 30. Earlier, Sri Lanka won the toss and opted to bowl. Indian captain Shikhar Dhawan top-scored with a 42-ball 40 as India posted 132 for 5. Ruturaj Gaikwad scored 21 off 18 balls while Devdutt Padikkal contributed with a 23-ball 29.

Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra. (Photo Source: Twitter)
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Umpires Should Show Consistency Regarding Wide-Ball Calls, Says Aakash Chopra

Aakash Chopra was clear-cut in saying that the umpires should show a little bit of ‘consistency’ regarding the wide-calls as when the hosts Sri Lanka batted, the umpires turned down Wanindu Hasaranga’s request against a wide-off Nitish Rana.

During India’s run-chase, a couple of calls off Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Chetan Sakariya also hogged the limelight. One of them came in the final over of the game when Sri Lanka needed eight runs. Aakash Chopra said that the umpires involved should show a little bit of ‘consistency’ regarding the wide-balls.

Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Aakash Chopra: Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s Wide Should Have Been Given And Chetan Sakariya’s Wide Should Not Have Been Given

Aakash Chopra, the former Indian cricketer turned commentator, has opined on the controversies surrounding the wide-balls during the second T20I between India and Sri Lanka.  The veteran said that decisions shouldn’t be such where the advantage is taken away from the bowlers. Aakash Chopra put forth his opinions in an interaction.

“Our game is very unique – the only game that has an umpire and not a referee. But what you are actually looking for is just consistency. I think the line moves when the batsman moves, if it doesn’t that it won’t make any sense because then you are taking everything away from a bowler,” Chopra said.

“If it’s a switch it, for example, if a right-hander turns and becomes a left-hander then he should be treated as a left-hander. In fact, it gives something to the bowlers when he beats the batsman on both sides and it’s still not wide because he (the batsman) has changed while the field remained the same,” he stated.

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

“A lot of Indians might be feeling slightly hard done by but then but Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s wide should have been given a wide, it wasn’t and now Sakariya’s ball didn’t look like a wide but it was given. So, it evened out in the hand but the question remained on the consistency,”Aakash Chopra added.

The match on Wednesday, July 28 wasn’t a high-scoring affair, but it wasn’t short of entertainment by any stretch of the imagination. Batting first, the Men in Blue managed only 132 for the loss of five wickets on a sluggish pitch after Shikhar Dhawan’s 42-ball 40 with five fours.

In the second innings, India did try their level best. However, in the end, Dhananjaya de Silva’s unbeaten 34-ball 40 took the hosts over the finishing line. With the four-wicket win, the Sri Lankans also drew level 1-1 in the three-match series.

Shikhar Dhawan Rues The Absence Of An Additional Batsman

With as many as 9 first-team players missing and 4 youngsters making their debut in T20I cricket, India was handed a 4-wicket defeat by Sri Lanka in the 2nd T20I on Wednesday. While skipper Shikhar Dhawan rued the absence of an additional batsman in the team, fans felt umpiring should also have been blamed for the result.

Shikhar Dhawan
Shikhar Dhawan (Getty Images)(HT_PRINT)

Debutant Chetan Sakariya was handed his maiden T20I cap after a string of first-team players were ruled out. He was handed the ball for the tricky 20th over with the Lankans needing 8 runs from the final over to win the match. The second ball of the over was deemed wide by the line umpire and the decision left fans fuming. Even experts opined that the delivery should’ve been legal.

India fought hard defending their 132 as the Indian spinners in the game – Varun Chakravarthy, Rahul Chahar, Kuldeep Yadav – chipped in with timely wickets keeping the game in the balance. But eventually, the hosts crossed over the line. The series moves into the decider on Thursday.

The pitch, which was offering plenty of turn, holding the ball, and was slow in nature, was tailor-made for the Sri Lankan bowlers to make hay against a depleted Indian batting line-up, missing several batsmen like Prithvi Shaw, Suryakumar Yadav, and Hardik Pandya to name a few after close contacts of Covid-19 hit Krunal Pandya were placed in isolation.

Chetan Sakariya picked up two wickets in the third ODI of the India vs Sri Lanka series (Image Source: Twitter)
Chetan Sakariya picked up two wickets in the third ODI of the India vs Sri Lanka series (Image Source: Twitter)
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Too Early To Consider Chetan Sakariya An Option For 2021 T20I World Cup, Says Aakash Chopra

Aakash Chopra believes it’s still too early for India to consider Chetan Sakariya as an option for the T20 World Cup. The venerable pundit said despite his highly impressive ODI debut, the young left-arm pacer is still developing and can’t be looked at par with the likes of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Deepak Chahar.

Chetan Sakariya picked up two crucial wickets in the final India-Sri Lanka ODI, giving away just 34 runs from his eight overs.  Chetan Sakariya made his debut for Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2021. The left-arm pacer made a big impact and bagged 7 wickets in 7 matches.

Chetan Sakariya Photo Credit: (IPL)
Chetan Sakariya Photo Credit: (IPL)

Aakash Chopra: Chetan Sakariya’s Variations And Left Arm Angle Is An Advantage But He Isn’t An Option For The T20I World Cup After Just One Good Performance

The 23-year-old got just a 2-over spell in the powerplay. He then returned to bowl at a time when the hosts were running away with the game and brought his team back with consecutive strikes.

“It (Chetan Sakariya’s variations and left-arm angle) could be an advantage but we should never take our eyes off the big picture and analyze everything in a balanced manner. He played the first game here, which is in itself a tough job. He has only played 10 List A matches and then got just a 2-over spell upfront on debut. “

“Coming back from all that and still performing well is an arduous task and he did all that so you earmark him as a good bowler and observe his development. But you can’t, after just one good performance, think of him straightaway as an option for the T20 World Cup,” Aakash Chopra told ESPNcricinfo.

Aakash Chopra. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Aakash Chopra. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The former opener cited the example of Vijay Shankar and Dinesh Mongia to explain how ‘wildcard’ players tend to be unsuccessful in World Cups.

“When you pick a 15-member team for an ICC event, I believe you should pick those guys you have observed and analyzed for a long time. When you find someone out-of-the-box, mark him for the future and not for the present.

“We have the example of Vijay Shankar from 2019 and Dinesh Mongia before that. There’s always one wildcard entry in every World Cup and Chetan Sakariya might be the one this time, but, I have never seen any wildcard perform well yet,” Aakash Chopra added.

With an unassailable lead of 2-0, Team India handed debuts to five players ahead of the third and final ODI game against Sri Lanka on Friday. While the inexperience may have cost Shikhar Dhawan’s side the match, there was plenty to take away from the lost cause, one being Chetan Sakariya’s debut in the Indian jersey.

The Rajasthan Royals pacer picked up his maiden wicket in the form of Bhanuka Rajapaksa (65) when Krishnappa Gowtham (another debutant) took a splendid catch at fine leg to dismiss him after the Lankan batter was dropped by Shikhar Dhawan for 31 while Chetan Sakariya dropped him 11 runs later.

His second wicket was more fulfilling for the viewers to watch when he followed up his maiden international wicket with a slower ball. Completely deceived by the variation, Dhananjaya de Silva fell caught and bowled.

Aakash Chopra Doubts Whether Chetan Sakariya Will Play The First T20I After Impressive Performance In The 3rd And His Debut ODI

When asked whether Chetan Sakariya will warrant a place in the first T20I on Sunday (July 25), Aakash Chopra replied negatively. He lauded the youngster but said he’d still go with the experience of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Deepak Chahar.

“I really liked Chetan Sakariya’s performance. He bowled two overs upfront and then returned with a host of back-of-hand slower ones, bouncers, yorkers, from over the stumps and around the stumps; he is a brilliant bowler. But can I play him in the first match? Probably not, I’ll go with Bhuvi (Bhuvneshwar Kumar) and (Deepak) Chahar,” Aakash Chopra concluded.

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

The first of the three T20Is starts at 8:00 PM IST in Colombo on Sunday (July 25). The final match of the India and Sri Lanka ODI series ended in the favor of the home team. The Sri Lankan cricket team snapped its 9-year-long winless streak in home ODIs against Team India to end the 3-match series on a winning note.

India vs Sri Lanka 3rd ODI, Brief Scores: India 225 (Prithvi Shaw 49, Sanju Samson 46; Akila Dananjaya 3/44, Praveen Jayawickrama 3/59) lost to Sri Lanka 227/7 (Avishka Fernando 76, Bhanuka Rajapaksa 65; Rahul Chahar 3/54, Chetan Sakariya 2/34) by 3 wickets.

Hardik Pandya Bowling
Hardik Pandya Bowling
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Hardik Pandya Thinks India Can Pick Two More Teams And Win Any Competition In The World

Hardik Pandya said India can now field two more teams that can win any competition in the world. Hardik Pandya’s words came minutes after India handed debuts to five cricketers in the third and final ODI at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Friday.
India is simultaneously fielding two teams-one with Virat Kohli as captain in England for a five-match Test series against the hosts while Shikhar Dhawan is leading a limited-overs team comprising of youngsters in Sri Lanka.
Hardik Pandya Image Source : GETTY
Hardik Pandya Image Source: GETTY

Hardik Pandya Thinks India Can Pick Two More Teams And Win Any Competition In The World

After sealing the three-match series on Tuesday, five rookies – aggressive left-handed batsman Nitish Rana, leggie Rahul Chahar, left-arm pacer Chetan Sakariya, off-spinner Kishnappa Gowtham, and wicket-keeper Sanju Samson, made their ODI debuts. Rahul Chahar and Sanju Samson have already played T20 Internationals for India but got their ODI caps on Friday.

“The kind of talent which the Indian team possesses right now, I think we can pick two more teams and win any competition in the world,” Hardik told the host broadcaster.

 Krishnappa Gowtham, Nitish Rana, Rahul Chahar, Sanju Samson and Chetan Sakariya are making their ODI debuts for India (Courtesy of BCCI)
Krishnappa Gowtham, Nitish Rana, Rahul Chahar, Sanju Samson, and Chetan Sakariya are making their ODI debuts for India (Courtesy of BCCI)

The only time when India had five debutants in an ODI was against Australia in December 1980 at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground when spinner Dilip Doshi, Kirti Azad, Roger Binny, Mumbai stylish batsman Sandeep Patil and Tirumalai Srinivasan made their debuts. A left-handed batsman and wicket-keeper Ishan Kishan and Mumbai’s Suryakumar Yadav had made their ODI debut in the first game at the same venue.

Hardik Pandya Learns From Mistakes And Grow As A Cricketer And Human Being

Hardik Pandya’s fitness and bowling form have been in focus in this limited-overs series. The India all-rounder has not been at his best in the ODI series. He bowled 9 overs in the first two ODIs and was dismissed for a duck and 19 in the second and third ODI. He picked 2 wickets in the series. Speaking about his performance, the talented all-rounder said, he always tries to learn from his mistakes and grow both as a cricketer and also as an individual.

Hardik Pandya talks about the talent at disposal of Indian cricket. (BCCI)
Hardik Pandya talks about the talent at disposal of Indian cricket. (BCCI)

“I understand that in life you have to keep growing. As a cricketer and a person, you need to keep growing. My process is just growing as a human being. You tend to make mistakes, you fail, but I like to celebrate my failures. I like to celebrate my bad days, it is a part of the sport and it teaches you a lot of things. I like to remember it,” he added.

Rahul Chahar picked up three wickets in his final spell but Sri Lanka managed to secure a nervy three-wicket win over India in the 3rd ODI in Colombo on Friday.

Avishka Fernando scored his second consecutive half-century of the series, while Bhanuka Rajapaksa registered his maiden ODI fifty as Sri Lanka seized control of their chase of 227 runs. Their partnership accounted for 109 runs before pacer Chetan Sakariya broke the stand and picked up his maiden wicket.

Before that, Krishnappa Gowtham had dismissed Minod Bhanuka for his maiden ODI wicket. Debutant Chetan Sakariya picked up two wickets as he removed Bhanuka Rajapaksa and Dhananjaya de Silva.

Earlier, Sri Lanka bowled India out for 225 in the 3rd ODI as left-arm spinner Praveen Jayawickrama and Akila Dananjaya picked up three wickets each. After a 90-minute delay due to rain and wet outfield, play restarted in Colombo and the match was revised to a 47-overs-a-side contest.

Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra. (Photo Source: Twitter)
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Aakash Chopra Opens Up On India’s Complacency In The 3rd ODI Against Sri Lanka By Making 6 Changes

Aakash Chopra, a former Team India batsman has opined that the visitors displayed a sense of complacency by making wholesale changes to the team for the third ODI against Sri Lanka on Friday.

India made as many as six changes to the team for the final ODI, handing out debuts to five players. The visitors struggled with the bat after a positive start and ended up losing the match by three wickets.

Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Aakash Chopra: Complacency Is The Mindset When 6 Changes Are Made

Speaking on his YouTube channel, Aakash Chopra stated that Team India, perhaps, took the dead rubber a little too lightly. Ishan Kishan, Krunal Pandya, Deepak Chahar, Yuzvendra Chahal, and Kuldeep Yadav were the players who were left out of the playing XI with the series already in the bag.

“When you make six changes to your team, complacency is the mindset. It seemed Team India took Sri Lanka a bit lightly in the third ODI, having already won the series. Although the match was important for the debutants, collectively the group seemed to believe that ‘we will win the game easily as Sri Lanka are a weak side.’ But there is a lesson for Team India in the defeat – do not take any opponent lightly.”

India started well after winning the toss and opting to bat first but completely lost their way after the rain break. They were all-out for 225 in 43.1 overs as Akila Dananjaya and Praveen Jayawickrama picked up three wickets apiece for the hosts. Sri Lanka got home in the rain-curtailed encounter by three wickets courtesy half-centuries from Avishka Fernando (76) and Bhanuka Rajapaksa (65).

 Krishnappa Gowtham, Nitish Rana, Rahul Chahar, Sanju Samson and Chetan Sakariya are making their ODI debuts for India (Courtesy of BCCI)
Krishnappa Gowtham, Nitish Rana, Rahul Chahar, Sanju Samson, and Chetan Sakariya are making their ODI debuts for India (Courtesy of BCCI)

According to Aakash Chopra, India’s tactics for the final ODI lacked planning, the result of which saw Nitish Rana bat at No. 7 on debut instead of his usual top 3 spot.

“India made six changes, included five debutants and changed the entire bowling line-up. Not a single bowler from the previous game played in the third ODI. Also in the batting, India gave a chance to Nitish Rana but he batted at No. 7 on debut. Here is a player who has batted in the Top 3 all his life – whether IPL, Delhi or List A cricket.”

India handed debuts to as many as 5 players in the inconsequential third ODI against Sri Lanka at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo. Sanju Samson, Nitish Rana, Rahul Chahar, Chetan Sakariya, and Krishnappa Gowtham were handed their maiden ODI caps just before the toss while Navdeep Saini has also been named in the team.

This is only the second time that India is fielding five debutants in an ODI, since their inaugural match. It was in Australia at the MCG in December 1980, when Dilip Doshi, Kirti Azad, Roger Binny, Sandeep Patil, and Tirumalai Srinivasan made their debuts.

Aakash Chopra: Resting Kuldeep Yadav And Deepak Chahar Made Little Sense

Aakash Chopra added that ‘resting’ bowlers like Kuldeep Yadav and Deepak Chahar made little sense. He pointed out that Kuldeep Yadav is trying to work his way back into the Indian team while Deepak Chahar has only played a few matches in international cricket.

Deepak Chahar smashed an unbeaten 69 and strung together an unbroken 84-run partnership for the eighth wicket with Bhuvneshwar Kumar who scored 19* to help India register an improbable three-wicket win successfully chasing 276 in the second ODI against Sri Lanka despite being 193/7 at one stage.

“What was the bowlers’ fault? Kuldeep Yadav is not going to play in the T20Is, so why wasn’t he retained? Navdeep Saini and Chetan Sakariya got a chance but there was no logic behind resting Deepak Chahar. It is not that he had played a lot of ODIs. One can understand when you rest a player who has played a lot of matches like Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah or Mohammed Shami. But Chahar has only just started playing for India.”

Deepak Chahar and Bhuvneshwar Kumar's 8th wicket partnership saw India home in the 2nd ODI vs Sri Lanka (BCCI)
Deepak Chahar and Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Image Credits: BCCI

“Chahar must be wondering why he was ‘rested’. He was the man of the match in the previous game. So he deserved another opportunity. The pacer was another big positive for Team India.

“He picked up two wickets each in the first two games and that too with the old ball. He also scored an unbeaten 69, which almost single-handedly won Team India the second match. Unless he was unfit, he should have played,” Aakash Chopra added.

Sri Lanka on the other hand made three changes with Praveen Jayawickrama, Akila Dananjaya, and Ramesh Mendis coming into their playing XI. India and Sri Lanka will now battle it out in the three-match T20I series, which starts on Sunday, July 25 in Colombo.
Pragyan Ojha LAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI/AFP
Pragyan Ojha LAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI/AFP
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Indian Cricket Is Flexing Its Muscle, Says Pragyan Ojha

Pragyan Ojha, former Indian cricketer showered praise on second-string Team India after they thrashed Sri Lanka by seven wickets on July 19 (Sunday) at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo. As a result, the Men in Blue have gone 1-0 up in the three-match ODI series.

Taking to Twitter, Pragyan Ojha credited India A tours and IPL for creating a pool of cricketers who can take international cricket by storm on any given day.

Pragyan Ojha — File Photo
Pragyan Ojha — File Photo

Pragyan Ojha: Indian Cricket Is Flexing Its Muscle

Pragyan Ojha played for Mumbai Indians for 4 seasons between 2012 and 2015 and twice won the IPL title with them. He picked 89 scalps in 92 IPL games averaging 26.2 playing from 2008-2015. Pragyan Ojha played 24 Tests, 18 ODIs, and 6 T20Is picking 113, 21, and 10 wickets respectively.

Pragyan Ojha wrote: “Indian cricket is flexing its muscle. Pure dominance and contagious confident attitude. Without a doubt frequent India A tournaments and IPL have been revolutionary.”

Suryakumar Yadav
Suryakumar Yadav (BCCI)

Incidentally, the India A team has played 24 unofficial Test matches between 2017-2019, which is more than what international teams like Pakistan, New Zealand, and Bangladesh have played during the same period. The BCCI has invested a lot of time and money in creating strong bench strength over the last couple of years under Rahul Dravid, which is reaping rewards now.

The likes of Devdutt Padikkal, Nitish Rana, Ruturaj Gaikwad, and Chetan Sakariya have been successful in IPL 2020 and/or 2021 and were chosen for the first time in the Sri Lanka tour while other experienced stars like Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Suryakumar Yadav, and Prithvi Shaw have performed consistently well in IPL and domestic cricket for which they were selected in the senior team.

India Chased Down 263 Successfully With Crucial Knocks From The Trio Of Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, And Ishan Kishan

Chasing a target of 263 in the 1st ODI, set by Sri Lanka after a late resurgence from Chamika Karunaratne (43* off 35 balls), India got off to a flying start. Prithvi Shaw went berserk against Sri Lanka’s new-ball bowlers. By the time he was dismissed after scoring 43, the visitors were already at 58 in just 5.3 overs.

After the dismissal, debutant Ishan Kishan came to the crease and announced his arrival with a six and four. The southpaw partnered with captain Shikhar Dhawan and steered the run chase with ease. Ishan Kishan scored a brilliant fifty on debut to become only the second Indian after Robin Uthappa to score a half-century on both ODI and T20I debuts.

Ishan Kishan (Image Credit: BCCI)
Ishan Kishan (Image Credit: BCCI)

They added 85 runs for the second wicket before the debutant was dismissed after scoring 58 runs. While Prithvi Shaw and Ishan Kishan went all guns blazing, Shikhar Dhawan was happy to play the role of a second fiddle.

Shikhar Dhawan remained unbeaten on 86 runs along with another debutant, Suryakumar Yadav, who chipped in with 31 as India went past the target within 36.4 overs to go 1-0 up in the series. The second ODI of the three-match series is on July 20 (Tuesday) at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo.

File picture of Russel Arnold. - THE HINDU
File picture of Russel Arnold. - THE HINDU
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Russel Arnold Envious That India Has So Many Quality Players

Russel Arnold has made heads turn with his glaring remark on Shikhar Dhawan-led India who will battle it out against Sri Lanka in the three-match ODI series from July 18 (Sunday), which will be followed by three T20Is.

While a lot of talks have been made on the second-string Shikhar Dhawan-led Team India, without white-ball regulars in the likes of India captain Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, former Sri Lankan cricketer Russel Arnold is envious of the team having quality cricketers as the batting line-up has a lot of talented youngsters.

Russel Arnold | Twitter
Russel Arnold | Twitter

Russel Arnold Is Jealous That India Has So Many Quality Players In Their Bench

On one hand, Arjuna Ranatunga feels Sri Lanka playing a second-stringed Indian team in home conditions is an ‘insult’ to SLC, Russel Arnold has revealed that he is jealous of Shikhar Dhawan-led India as it gives an account into the Men in Blue’s rich depth and solid bench strength.

Despite no Virat Kohli or Rohit Sharma, India has great balance in their squad with the likes of Shikhar Dhawan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Pandya brothers, Yuzvendra Chahal, Manish Pandey, Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Kuldeep Yadav along with youngsters such as Prithvi Shaw, Devdutt Padikkal, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Nitish Rana, Chetan Sakariya, Varun Chakravarthy and Krishnappa Gowtham, most of whom are yet to debut for India in limited-overs.

Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan - SPORTZPICS
Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan – SPORTZPICS

Even the uncapped Indian players are big names, or known faces, due to their success in the extravagant IPL in the recent editions.

Russel Arnold told, “I just feel jealous that India has those cricketers. Even this team, we’ve seen them play. We’ve seen the quality they bring. There is a lot of experience too in Shikhar Dhawan, the Pandyas, spinners Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav. There’s a lot of exciting prospects.”

“We also know about the youngsters and what they can do. The question for the India team would be, can these youngsters actually perform on their own knowing that there is no cushion of a Rohit or Virat. Can they take that next step? It will be exciting to see. As I said, I’m jealous that India is actually in this position (of having so many quality players),” Russel Arnold added.

Devdutt Padikkal, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Nitish Rana, Krishnappa Gowtham and Chetan Sakariya got maiden India call-ups. Yuzvendra Chahal will lead the spin department and will have support from the likes of Kuldeep Yadav, Krunal Pandya, Rahul Chahar, and Varun Chakravarthy. Bhuvneshwar Kumar will spearhead the pace attack with support from the likes of Deepak Chahar, Navdeep Saini, and Chetan Sakariya.

Russell Arnold: There Is A Lot Of Talent In The Batting Line-up

Prithvi Shaw has earned a call-up into the white-ball squad following his excellent form in IPL 2021 (308 runs) and Vijay Hazare Trophy (827 runs). Openers Devdutt Padikkal (473 runs in IPL 2020 and 195 runs in IPL 2021) and Ruturaj Gaikwad (204 runs in IPL 2020 and 196 runs in IPL 2021) performed well in IPL.

Nitish Rana had scored above 300 runs in every edition since IPL 2017 and managed 201 runs in 7 games in IPL 2021. Chetan Sakariya who impressed everyone in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 where he picked 7 wickets in as many games for Rajasthan Royals has also earned a place in the squad.

The former Sri Lanka cricketer Russel Arnold further opined, “Of course, you will be looking at Dhawan and Pandyas to perform but I’m thinking Prithvi Shaw might get a run. Helpfully he will prove me right by entertaining everyone.”

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

“There is Padikkal, Gaikwad. When we look at the batting, there is a lot of talent. Will they look at it as an opportunity and will they push the seniors? It comes down to what you have and what you want to prove.

“You can sit back and think I’m a part of it, I’ve got my opportunity and that’s fine, this attitude will not take you far. Hunger is what will make the difference. It’s hard to give names right now because we don’t know who is going to play from the big squad of 20. But whoever plays, we know can be dangerous,” concluded Russel Arnold.

The forthcoming SL tour will also see Rahul Dravid, India’s former captain, serving as the head coach of the national side for the first time ever in Ravi Shastri’s absence, who is still in the UK for the five Tests against England. Many believe with Ravi Shastri’s tenure set to get over after the 2021 T20 World Cup in the UAE, Rahul Dravid will be a strong contender to take over the top job.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar (AP Photo)
Bhuvneshwar Kumar (AP Photo)
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Bhuvneshwar Kumar Hasn’t Prioritised Limited-Overs Cricket Over Tests

Bhuvneshwar Kumar, pacer and vice-captain of the Indian team at Sri Lanka, said that he has not prioritized limited-overs cricket over Tests and is ready to play in whatever format he is asked to by the management or selectors.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar has grappled with recurring injuries in the last three years. He hasn’t played Test cricket since 2018 and was recently overlooked from the 20-men squad for the upcoming Test summer in England.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar
Bhuvneshwar Kumar[photo: Twitter]

Bhuvneshwar Kumar: There Is No Priority Whether It’s White Or Red Ball And Will Definitely Try To Contribute If Selected In Tests

Bhuvneshwar Kumar has last played Test cricket and a First-Class game more than three years ago but says he is ready for top-flight red-ball cricket and if given a chance, the India fast bowler would contribute and put his best foot forward.  In May, a report had claimed that Bhuvneshwar Kumar was not interested in playing Test cricket anymore, which the fast bowler dismissed later in the day.

“To be honest, there is no priority for me, whether it is white ball or red ball. So, if I am selected as part of the red ball cricket team, I will definitely try to contribute. I am not looking to prioritise white ball or red ball cricket. Just working normally to prepare for all the formats,” he told the media in a virtual interaction. 

Bhuvneshwar Kumar
Bhuvneshwar Kumar (Image Credit: Twitter)

“If I get a chance in any of the formats, I will look to contribute. I am not looking ahead, say at 18-20 months. Have to prepare so that I have to play all three formats. If I get a chance then I definitely will try to contribute,” he added. 

Clearing the air once and for all, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, during a press conference on Friday, ahead of the first ODI between India and Sri Lanka, clarified that he is not prioritizing any format over the other and is always available whenever the team requires him in whichever format.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar Is Satisfied With His Career

The 31-year-old right-arm pacer has not played multi-day format cricket since January 2018 when he appeared in a Test in South Africa. He said he has no regrets as injuries are part and parcel of the game.

“I am satisfied with my career. Injuries happen; ups and downs happen. I try to recover as quickly as possible from injury and return to the ground. Whatever I can contribute to the team, I want to contribute in future as well,” he said further.

The pacer also said that he hasn’t changed much in bowling style, except that he wants to get over injuries quickly.

“Not really (I haven’t changed much). The only thing I have worked on is how to get over those injuries quickly. Not any major thing, just particular workload — how to recover from it quickly and a few things that trainers and physios advised me to do. But there is not any particular thing. Nothing has changed,” added the fast bowler. 

The new ball bowler, who has represented India in 117 ODIs and 48 T20 Internationals, is by far the most experienced bowler in the Indian line-up on the Sri Lanka tour, said he is guiding youngsters.

“These are very talented young guys. They have done well in their respective IPL teams. They have made a place in Indian team. We never try to make anything complicated. Being a senior member, I have not done any rocket science, just tried to do things that we can contribute,” he added.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Chahar, & Navdeep Saini
Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Chahar, & Navdeep Saini

Bhuvneshwar Kumar will spearhead the pace attack with support from the likes of Deepak Chahar, Navdeep Saini, and Chetan Sakariya. Hardik Pandya will be another option as a pace-bowling all-rounder if he is fit to bowl.

Shikhar Dhawan
Shikhar Dhawan (Getty Images)(HT_PRINT)
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Shikhar Dhawan’s Idea Is To Keep Every Cricketer Together And Happy After Being Assigned Captaincy

Shikhar Dhawan’s idea of leadership is all about keeping the flock together and in a good state of mind after he was handed the captaincy for the Sri Lanka tour.

The left-handed opener was given the reins of the team after Virat Kohli and other key players were sent to England for the WTC Final against New Zealand and the five-Test series against the hosts.

Shikhar Dhawan Image Source : AP
Shikhar Dhawan Image Source: AP

Shikhar Dhawan’s Idea Is To Keep Everyone Together And Happy

India’s Sri Lanka limited-overs tour, comprising of three ODIs and as many T20s, will begin on July 18 in Colombo. Shikhar Dhawan has had a long and glittering career for India in one-day internationals. He has represented the country in all three formats but it is the ODIs where he has stamped his authority.

Eight years after making his presence felt and cementing his place in India’s ODI set-up, Shikhar Dhawan will lead the country for the first time when his team takes on Sri Lanka in the first encounter of the three-match ODI series.

“It is a big achievement for me that I have become the captain of the Indian side. As a leader, my idea is to keep everyone together and happy – that is the most important thing,” Dhawan said on the Star Sports show ‘Follow the Blues’.

“We have got a lovely bunch of boys, great support staff, and we have worked earlier as well.”

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

Shikhar Dhawan says he shares good chemistry with legendary Rahul Dravid, who is the head coach for the series.

“I have a good relation with Rahul Bhai. When I started playing Ranji Trophy, I played against him, and I have known him since then. When I went to play India A match, I was the captain, and he was the coach, so there was interaction.

“When he became the director of NCA, we used to go there for around 20 days, so we had a lot of interaction, and now we have good chemistry. And now that we have the chance to play six matches together, so it will be great fun, and I think we all sync nicely,” he said.

Shikhar Dhawan said he is looking forward to working with Rahul Dravid, who will travel with the team as the head coach in the absence of Ravi Shastri, who is with the Test regulars in England. The opener stressed that it’s an honour for him to lead India in Sri Lanka.

Shikhar Dhawan Is Happy To See Youngsters Dreams Of Being In Indian Squad Come True

The selectors have picked several uncapped players, including the likes of Ruturaj Gaikwad and Chetan Sakariya, and Shikhar Dhawan wants the youngsters to enjoy their journey.

“Happy to get the youngsters in the team and see their dreams come true. It’s a big thing that these youngsters have come from their respective home towns with certain dreams, and their dreams are getting fulfilled. And now, they should enjoy the journey which landed them in team India, and they should know the value of their strength and how to improve it,” he said.
Chetan Sakariya Photo Credit: (IPL)
Chetan Sakariya Photo Credit: (IPL)

Shikhar Dhawan said that both the seniors and youngsters from the squad will learn from each other.

“There are seniors in the team, so the youngsters will learn from them, and we will get to learn from the youngsters. Whenever I meet the youngsters they often have new ways of thinking, and I try to learn things which will help us,” Dhawan signed off.

Shikhar Dhawan will lead a 20-man squad comprising of many youngsters who did well in IPL 2020 and/or IPL 2021. Devdutt Padikkal, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Nitish Rana, Krishnappa Gowtham and Chetan Sakariya got maiden India call-ups. Varun Chakravarthy was selected earlier twice but couldn’t make it to the final squad owing to injury.

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