Chris Morris Age, Biography, career, stats, networth, Ranking & News

Chris Morris

Sourav Ganguly reveals T20 world Cup trophy | Image Credit: Twitter
Sourav Ganguly reveals T20 world Cup trophy | Image Credit: Twitter
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ICC T20I World Cup 2021: 4 Teams Which Won’t Be Able To Qualify For The Semi-Final

ICC T20I World Cup 2021 is just a month away from taking place after a gap of five years and the excitement for the tournament in UAE is at its’ peak already. The previous edition took place in 2016 when West Indies emerged as the champions and this will be a 12 team affair this time around for the group stages.

The top eight teams from the T20 international rankings qualified automatically for the league stages of the T20 Worldcup while the remaining four teams will have to make it through the ICC T20I World Cup 2021 qualifiers. Surprisingly, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh haven’t been able to make it to the league stages and are placed in the qualifiers. Here are 4 teams that won’t be able to qualify for the semi-finals of ICC T20I World Cup 2021.

Representational image of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup trophy | AFP / Jewel Samad
Representational image of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup trophy | AFP / Jewel Samad

ICC T20I World Cup 2021: 4 Teams Which Probably Won’t Be Able To Qualify For The Semi-Final

Australia:

Australia Pic: Getty
Australia Pic: Getty

Australia is one of the powerhouses in world cricket at present for a long time now and they still continue to dominate best teams but haven’t been doing it on a consistent basis. But recent losses to West Indies and Bangladesh with a depleted squad saw their reputation diminish.

When it comes to T20 cricket, Australia hasn’t always been the team to watch out for as they do have a lot of stars in their lineup but despite that, they have lacked the T20 flavour. 2010 was the only year they reached the finals of the ICC T20I World Cup and they lost to England.

Australia’s recent form in T20I hasn’t been impressive either as they lost the T20I series in West Indies 4-1 and lost a bilateral series for the first time against Bangladesh which wasn’t the ideal preparation they needed. Australia has been placed in a strong group comprising of England, West Indies, and South Africa and their chances of making it to the semifinals look bleak at the moment.

Australia has lost the last 5 T20I series they have played against New Zealand, India, England, West Indies, and Bangladesh. With the return of big names like David Warner, Glenn Maxwell, Steve Smith, and Pat Cummins the Aaron Finch-led side will be looking forward to gaining back the momentum.

South Africa:

South Africa ( Photo Credit: Twitter )
South Africa ( Photo Credit: Twitter )

South Africa has lacked the edge needed in the knockouts to progress to the finals of the tournament and it has been evident through their results so far in ICC events. They haven’t made it to a final in ICC T20 World Cup yet and have been succumbing down when it comes to pressure games for which they are labelled chokers.

The Proteas are a different looking side now without AB De Villiers and Faf du Plessis, and their new skipper Temba Bavuma will have a huge responsibility under his belt for the T20I World Cup. Their bowling attack does look good but they are expected to struggle with their inexperienced batting lineup and are unlikely to progress to the semi-finals after being placed in a tough group.

They are currently placed on the 5th spot in ICC T20 Internationals rankings. Also in the last 5 T20 international series, they have lost 3 series. They have some exceptionally talented players like Quinton de Kock, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Rassi Van Der Dussen, and David Miller on the team but have left out experienced Chris Morris, Faf du Plessis, and Imran Tahir.

Afghanistan :

Afghanistan
Afghanistan

Afghanistan has been one of the teams that have come from far behind in terms of development and the results are there to see as well. They have produced a lot of young match winners already and the best example is Rashid Khan who has been the best spinner in the world in the last two years globally.

Afghanistan has picked up a good squad for the ICC T20I World Cup 2021 but they have a lot of issues going on with the Taliban government and it will certainly take a toll on their performance. They have gone in for experience in the fast bowling department and Rashid Khan has stepped out as the captain of the side as well for the ICC T20I World Cup 2021. With India and New Zealand in the group, Afghanistan might not be able to progress to the semi-finals.

Currently, Afghanistan is placed on the 7th spot in the ICC T20 international rankings. Once the team enters the tournament all eyes will be on big names like Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, and Mohammad Nabi. ACB named Rashid Khan as their captain for the T20 world cup 2021. Rashid Khan soon came up with a tweet stating that he will be leaving the captaincy. Post that, ACB announced that Mohammad Nabi will be the captain of the team.

Pakistan:

Pakistan AFP / Lindsey Parnaby
Pakistan AFP / Lindsey Parnaby

Pakistan is looking like a better group in the last few international series and with the change in the coaching staff and the Director, a lot could change for the Pakistan side ahead of the ICC T20I World Cup 2021.

However, their recent performances haven’t been up to the mark especially in England and they still have holes to fill inside the group. Lead by captain Babar Azam, Pakistan will kickstart their ICC T20I World Cup 2021 campaign against arch-rivals India in Dubai on 24 October.

They will then face New Zealand in Sharjah on 26 October before returning to Dubai to take on Afghanistan. Their last two matches in the Super 12 stages will see them face runners-up of Group A and table-toppers of Group B from Round 1 in Abu Dhabi and Sharjah respectively.

Their middle order needed some solid experience and they have gone in for youngsters who had failed earlier. Their fast bowling and spin department don’t look bad either but they still do not like getting past New Zealand and India who have strong depth in their squads for the ICC T20I World Cup 2021.

Pakistan chose youth over experience for the backup wicketkeeper spot with the inclusion of Azam Khan over Sarfaraz Ahmed. Azam Khan has featured in only three T20Is in his career and has aggregated only six runs in two innings but his exploits in domestic T20 competitions has helped him seal a berth in the ICC T20I World Cup 2021 squad.

Asif Ali and Khushdil Shah were among the surprise inclusions in the squad for the ICC T20I World Cup 2021 World Cup, having last played a T20I for Pakistan earlier this year against Zimbabwe and South Africa respectively.

They did not find a place in the squad for the tours of England and the West Indies. The experienced campaigners Shoaib Malik, Wahab Riaz, and Sarfaraz Ahmed surprisingly didn’t find a place in ICC T20I World Cup 2021 squad.

T20I World Cup trophy. (Photo Source: Twitter)
T20I World Cup trophy. (Photo Source: Twitter)

ICC T20 World Cup 2021: Best XI Of World Beaters Who Missed Out On Squad Selection

ICC T20 World Cup 2021: Best XI Of World Beaters Who Missed Out On Squad Selection. The ICC T20 World Cup 2021 is scheduled to begin on October 17, a few days after the conclusion of IPL 2021, and the final clash of the tournament will take place on November 14 in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Originally, T20 World Cup 2021 was scheduled to commence in India but was shifted to UAE and OMAN besides IPL 2021 due to the Covid-19 scare in the country.

There have been a total of 8 teams that have made entry into the T20 World Cup 2021 through direct qualifications apart from the few teams battling out in the qualifying stage including Sri Lanka and Bangladesh who could not qualify directly for the Super 12 stage of the ICC T20 World Cup 2021 in the UAE and Oman.

In the already qualified teams, Group 1 consists of England, Australia, West Indies, and South Africa. On the other hand Group, 2 consists of India, Pakistan, New Zealand, and Afghanistan. All the teams have announced their squads for the T20 World Cup 2021. However, there have been several big names that have been left out from the 15-member squad and their absence from the main squad was a big shocker for cricket fans.

T20I World Cup 2021
T20I World Cup 2021

ICC T20 World Cup 2021: Best XI Of World Beaters Who Missed Out On Squad Selection

Alex Hales

Alex Hales
Alex Hales [Image Credit: Getty]
So far Alex Hales has managed to score 1644 runs in T20Is at a strike rate of 136.65 and 8733 runs in T20 cricket at a strike rate of 145.93. Alex Hales has got highly impressive numbers in T20I as well as T20 cricket and he bats with a massive strike rate as well.

Alex Hales was axed from England’s (eventual winners) 50-over World Cup squad in 2019 for failing a second test for use of recreational drugs. He recently enjoyed an excellent BBL campaign and continues to hold the record for the highest T20I score by an England player – 116 not out against Sri Lanka in the 2014 World T20.

The 31-year-old Alex Hales made his international debut in August 2011 through the T20I cricket. He has played 11 Tests, 70 ODIs, and 60 T20Is for England.

Shikhar Dhawan

Shikhar Dhawan
Shikhar Dhawan (Getty Images)

Shikhar Dhawan missed out on the T20 World Cup 2021 squad as it shocked cricket fans as many thought that the BCCI selection committee would add him to the squad based on his healthy amount of experience and his red hot form in the IPL.

in T20Is Shikhar Dhawan has scored 1759 runs at an average and strike rate of 27.92 and 126.36. Notably, Shikhar Dhawan has been scoring 450 and above runs in IPL since 2016 and there is no doubt if Shikhar Dhawan would have been on the team for T20I World Cup 2021, he would have performed amazingly well. He was really unfortunate to miss out on selection.

Shikhar Dhawan was the captain recently of the Indian team that toured Sri Lanka, playing all 6 matches on the tour. He registered scores of 86*, 29, 13 in the 3 ODIs and 46, 40, 0 in the 3 T20Is. Delhi Capitals’ batsman Shikhar Dhawan is currently the highest run-getter in the IPL 2021 season with 380 runs in 8 matches averaging 54.28 with 3 fifties. He was 2nd among leading run-scorers in IPL 2020 too with 618 runs in 16 matches averaging 44.14 with 2 tons and 4 fifties.

Faf Du Plessis

Faf du Plessis. (Twitter)
Faf du Plessis. (Twitter)

Almost every T20 World Cup 2021 squad prediction of South Africa contained the name of Faf Du Plessis. However when the squad was announced fans were left upset and shocked not to see his name in T20I World Cup 2021 squad. Notably, Faf Du Plessis on February announced his retirement from Test cricket to focus on his T20 career. Also, he is in red hot form in the ongoing Caribbean Premier League.

Faf Du Plessis has already smashed a century in the league. But he may miss a few initial IPL games in UAE for an injury he picked up in the Caribbean Premier League. The opener didn’t play any part in this season’s inaugural edition of English cricket’s new Hundred competition because of the lingering effects of a concussion suffered during the Pakistan Super League.

Faf Du Plessis was in tremendous form for CSK this season in India and scored 320 runs in 7 matches at a strike rate of 145.45 before the event got postponed due to a bio-bubble breach. He was the 3rd highest run-getter after Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul.

Ben Stokes

Ben Stokes (Image Credit: Twitter)
Ben Stokes (Image Credit: Twitter)

Ben Stokes broke his hand taking a catch for Rajasthan Royals in the IPL 2021 and a repeat X-ray and CT scan revealed that he has a fracture of his left index finger. He missed the 2 Tests against New Zealand while his last Test came against India in March 2021.

England was forced to pick an entirely new squad of players and support staff for the ODI series against Pakistan after seven members of the party originally selected tested positive for the virus. Ben Stokes returned to the squad to captain the side. After the Covid-19 outbreak, England named a new 18 member squad captained by Ben Stokes and consisting of 9 uncapped players and still won 3-0.

Ben Stokes withdrew from the Test series against India, IPL 2021, and T20I World Cup 2021 as he has decided to ‘prioritize his mental wellbeing’.  Ben Stokes’ heroics in the final of World Cup 2019 where he scored 84 runs, helping England win their maiden 50-over World Cup title, are still fresh in every English fan’s memory. England won by boundary count after scores were tied in 50 overs and Super Over.

AB de Villiers

AB de Villiers
AB de Villiers. Image Credits: Twitter

Having initially retired from international cricket in 2018, AB de Villiers decided in May of this year that he wasn’t going to return for the T20 World Cup 2021 citing concerns about coming in ahead of players who had long been in the system.

AB de Villiers has played 114 Tests scoring 8765 runs averaging 50.66 and 228 ODIs scoring 9577 runs averaging 53.5. He also featured in 78 T20Is where he averaged a modest 26.12. In 176 IPL matches, he has 5056 runs averaging 40.77 and is 6th among the leading run-scorers in IPL history.

Chris Morris

Chris Morris
Chris Morris (Image Credit: Twitter)

The most expensive player in IPL auction history will be absent from the T20I World Cup 2021. Chris Morris hasn’t played for South Africa for two years. Chris Morris had last represented the country as a replacement for injured Anrich Nortje in the Cricket World Cup 2019 two years back and the 33-year-old hasn’t been in any contention for a spot despite veterans like Dale Steyn have retired.

Chris Morris has played in 42 One day internationals,23 T20s, and 4 tests in the South African colors taking 48, 34, and 12 wickets respectively.

Sunil Narine

Sunil Narine (Photo Credit: Twitter/ Sunil Narine)
Sunil Narine (Photo Credit: Twitter/ Sunil Narine)

Sunil Narine has been a regular in T20 franchises across the world, however, has not played for the West Indies since 2019. In February he was approached by selectors in relation to being called up to the squad for T20I World Cup 2021 and told them that he wasn’t ready to return to international cricket.

In-form batsman Sherfane Rutherford and spinner Sunil Narine were among a few players not eligible for selection to the World Cup squad after failing fitness standards. Sunil Narine, once the top-ranked spinner in the world, has recently shown versatility at the top of the order as a pinch-hitter and could have been a weapon for the team at the tournament.

Jofra Archer

Jofra Archer / AFP via Getty Images
Jofra Archer / AFP via Getty Images

Jofra Archer’s stress fracture has ruled him out of all cricket for the remainder of 2021. Already a 50-over World Cup winner, Jofra Archer’s pace and lower order hitting make him one of the most sought-after T20 players in the world.

Jofra Archer last played international cricket during the tour of India in March this year. He featured in all five T20Is before being ruled out of the one-day series. Jofra Archer was ruled out of the entire 2021 season following a recurrence of the stress fracture in his elbow. Apart from the ongoing Test series against India, Jofra Archer will also miss The Ashes and the T20I World Cup 2021.

Imran Tahir

Imran Tahir retired from ODIs after the World Cup in England last year. (Reuters Photo)
Imran Tahir retired from ODIs after the World Cup in England last year. (Reuters Photo)

Despite being one of the leading spinners on the T20 circuit, Imran Tahir has been left out of South Africa’s squad for T20 World Cup 2021. Imran Tahir has also said in the press that he hasn’t been contacted by South Africa’s selectors since being told he was in their plans for the competition last year. In March 2019, he announced that he would quit ODI cricket following the 2019 Cricket World Cup.

Imran Tahir was one of the three big omissions alongside Faf du Plessis and Chris Morris from South Africa’s squad for the T20 World Cup to be held in Oman and the UAE from October 17 to November 14. He is South Africa’s second-highest wicket-taker in T20Is with 61 wickets at an economy rate of 6.56. Imran Tahir last featured in a T20I for South Africa in March 2019.

Yuzvendra Chahal And Kuldeep Yadav

Yuzvendra Chahal & Kuldeep Yadav. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Yuzvendra Chahal & Kuldeep Yadav. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Yuzvendra Chahal’s exclusion from the squad was a big surprise. In the IPL and in international cricket, Yuzvendra Chahal was Virat Kohli’s, go-to man. Virat Kohli decided to stick with the leg spinner when the team management decided to bring an end to the ‘Kul-Cha’ partnership.

Rahul Chahar’s rise in recent times might also have played a role in the more experienced spinner not being picked in the XI. The Mumbai Indians leggie had a brilliant first half of the IPL in India picking up 11 wickets from his first seven games.

The UAE conditions for T20 World Cup 2021 will be helpful for him bagging a few more wickets as well. Along with Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav was also not selected in India’s T20 World Cup squad. The mystery spinner’s confidence is really down in recent times. Despite being with the side in the last two to three years, Kuldeep Yadav has not played consistent cricket.

 

Chennai Super Kings
Chennai Super Kings. Image Credits: Twitter
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IPL 2021: 3 Options To Replace Sam Curran Who Is Unavailable For 1st Match Against Mumbai Indians

IPL 2021 franchise Chennai Super Kings (CSK) have been dealt two blows ahead of the first match of IPL 2021 Phase 2 against Mumbai Indians (MI) which is scheduled on September 19 at UAE. All-rounder Sam Curran is not available while opener Faf Du Plessis is also doubtful with a groin injury. It has raised questions on who will open the innings and who will come in place of Sam Curran. In fact, questions have been raised about what will be CSK’s Playing XI against MI in Dubai.

Sam Curran is guaranteed not to feature in CSK’s Playing XI in the first match. The English bowling all-rounder has arrived in Dubai only on Wednesday morning. Since all players are supposed to serve a mandatory 6-day quarantine upon arrival in UAE, Sam Curran will miss the first match as he can leave quarantine latest by September 21.

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

IPL 2021:- 3 Players Who Can Replace Sam Curran In CSK’s Playing 11:-

Imran Tahir

Imran Tahir
Imran Tahir (Image Credit: Twitter)

Imran Tahir has been playing under talismanic skipper MS Dhoni at Chennai Super Kings for the last three seasons in the Indian Premier League and wishes to continue doing that in the near future as well. Imran Tahir has been playing under MS Dhoni at CSK since 2018 in the Indian Premier League and wishes to continue playing for CSK in the near future as well. From 2014 to 2016, he was playing for Delhi.

Imran Tahir was bought by Chennai Super Kings in the 2018 IPL auction. The leg-spinner had finished as the highest wicket-taker in the 2019 IPL. Imran Tahir, who has been retained by the franchise, is hoping that they can turn their fortunes around in the IPL 2021 season.

Imran Tahir, who is playing in IPL since 2014 has 82 wickets in 59 games averaging 20.76. He picked 26 wickets in IPL 2019 playing 17 games averaging 16.57 and won the purple cap for being the highest wicket-taker but he played only 3 games in IPL 2020 and picked a solitary wicket and featured in 1 game in IPL 2021 before its postponement and picked 2 scalps.

Mitchell Santner

Mitchell Santner and MS Dhoni , AFP File Photo
Mitchell Santner and MS Dhoni, AFP File Photo

In the IPL history, Mitchell Santner was picked up for the first time by the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the 2018 IPL auction for INR 50 lakh (same as his base price). The New Zealand cricketer was very excited to participate in the IPL 2018 but he was ruled out from that edition due to a knee injury.

He finally made his IPL debut in the 2019 edition. He played only four matches in that season where the left-arm spinner bagged four wickets. Also, the left-handed batsman scored 32 runs in that season (average 32.00). In 2020, he picked 2 scalps from 2 games.

Since his debut, left-handed batsman and left arm leg spinner Mitchell Santner has been an impressive prospect although he’s had his share of ups and downs in world cricket. He is yet to feature in IPL 2021 as the likes of Moeen Ali has been preferred.

Krishnappa Gowtham

Krishnappa Gowtham
Krishnappa Gowtham (Image Credit: Twitter)

The spin-bowling all-rounder Krishnappa Gowtham bagged a staggering INR 9.25 crore contract from Chennai Super Kings in IPL 2021. While overseas players like Chris Morris, Kyle Jamieson, and Glenn Maxwell stole headlines bagging contracts of above INR 14 crores, Krishnappa Gowtham became the most expensive uncapped Indian player in the history of the competition.

Rajasthan Royals picked Krishnappa Gowtham for a whopping INR 6.2 crore from his base price of INR 20 lakhs in IPL 2018 auctions. The all-rounder scored 126 runs and took 11 wickets in 2018 where he played 15 games. He played only 7 games in 2019 for Rajasthan and only 2 in 2020 for Punjab Kings (formerly Kings XI Punjab) and didn’t perform that well.

He is yet to play for CSK in IPL 2021 although he debuted for India in the recent white-ball series against Sri Lanka where he played 1 ODI and contracted Covid-19 after being isolated due to being in close contact with Krunal Pandya.

CSK Predicted XI against MI: Ruturaj Gaikwad, Robin Uthappa, Moeen Ali, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni (c/wk), Dwayne Bravo, Mitchell Santner, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar, Imran Tahir

Also In Contention: Ambati Rayudu, Josh Hazlewood, Lungi Ngidi

Imran Tahir celebrates the fall of another TKR wicket at the Werner Stadium, St Kitts & Nevis Patriots.
Imran Tahir celebrates the fall of another TKR wicket at the Werner Stadium, St Kitts & Nevis Patriots.
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Imran Tahir Felt He Deserved More Respect After He Was Axed For 2021 T20I World Cup

Imran Tahir, South Africa’s leg-spinner has said that he felt he deserved a little more respect from the team management who thought of him as worthless. He also said that since Mark Boucher became the head coach, there was no communication with him on plans for the T20 World Cup.

Imran Tahir was one of the three big omissions alongside Faf du Plessis and Chris Morris from South Africa’s squad for the T20 World Cup to be held in Oman and the UAE from October 17 to November 14.

 Faf du Plessis, Imran Tahir, and Chris Morris
Faf du Plessis, Imran Tahir, and Chris Morris-Image AP

Imran Tahir Not Feeling Great After Not Being Picked In South Africa’s T20I Squad For 2021 World Cup

Though Imran Tahir retired from ODIs after the 2019 World Cup, he had made himself available for T20Is. He is South Africa’s second-highest wicket-taker in T20Is with 61 wickets at an economy rate of 6.56. Imran Tahir last featured in a T20I for South Africa in March 2019.

“I am not feeling great that I am not in the squad. Last year Graeme Smith spoke to me and said I want you to play in the World Cup, which was in Australia. I said obviously I am available and excited and honoured because you give me respect. I am ready,” said Tahir in an interview to IOL Sport on Friday.

Temba Bavuma Source: twitter
Temba Bavuma Source: Twitter

“I am working hard and you can see my performances in all these leagues. He said that’s why he wants me. He also said he was going to speak to a few other guys like AB (de Villiers) and Faf (du Plessis). They put me on the Proteas group and everything, but then nobody contacted me,” added Tahir.

“After a few months I texted Smith and Boucher and nobody replied to me. Since Boucher has become coach, he has not contacted me once to tell me what his plans are. It’s really sad man. I served the country for 10 years. I think I deserve a little more respect than these guys thinking I’m worthless.”

The 42-year-old revealed how he tried to reach out to white-ball captain Temba Bavuma, who directed him towards convenor of selectors Victor Mpitsang.

“I spoke to Temba and he said he has a meeting with Boucher the following week. Temba came back to me with a message from Boucher that I must speak to Victor. I again tried to reach him (Mpitsang) and he tried to call me on my WhatsApp number. But he didn’t realize WhatsApp doesn’t work in Dubai. Victor eventually spoke to me and said he will let me know. But then after a couple of months again I heard nothing.”

Imran Tahir said the South African team management hasn’t spoken to him about his future even as he was not picked as part of the 15-member squad for the marquee tournament, starting October 17 in Oman and the UAE. Following the T20 World Cup snub, Imran Tahir has revealed that he hasn’t received a reply from CSA director of cricket Graeme Smith, who wanted the spinner to play the ICC event.

Imran Tahir Wants To Win A World Cup For South Africa

Imran Tahir, currently playing in the Caribbean Premier League, has no plans to retire from international cricket. He is still passionate to represent South Africa in T20Is.

“I want to tell the people of South Africa my story because I played with my heart. Whether people accept me as a South African or not, I am South African. My wife is South African and my family is South African. My child is born in South Africa, so it’s home to me. I have always wanted to win a World Cup for South Africa to say thank you for the opportunity this country has given me, so I am not planning on retiring. I am going to play until 50 if I have to,” concluded Tahir.

Imran Tahir
Imran Tahir (Image Credit: BCCI/ Twitter)

Imran Tahir, who retired from ODI cricket after the World Cup in 2019, said he is not planning to retire from the shortest format of the game, adding his dream is to help South Africa win a World Cup.

Imran Tahir has been playing under MS Dhoni at CSK since 2018 in the Indian Premier League and wishes to continue playing for CSK in the near future as well.  Leg-spinner Imran Tahir had finished as the highest wicket-taker in the 2019 IPL. He has so far picked 35 wickets in 27 matches for CSK in the IPL. He has picked 82 scalps overall in IPL in 59 games averaging a decent 20.76.

South Africa squad for T20 World Cup 2021: Temba Bavuma (c), Keshav Maharaj, Quinton de Kock (wk), Bjorn Fortuin, Reeza Hendricks, Heinrich Klaasen, Aiden Markram, David Miller, W Mulder, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Rassie van der Dussen.

South Africa ( Photo Credit: Twitter )
South Africa ( Photo Credit: Twitter )
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South Africa’s Free Agents Faf du Plessis, Chris Morris And Imran Tahir Left Out Of 15-Member Squad For 2021 T20I World Cup

South Africa will go into this year’s T20 World Cup without experienced T20I specialists Faf du Plessis and Chris Morris besides Imran Tahir, Cricket South Africa (CSA) said on Thursday. Temba Bavuma will lead a 15-man squad which CSA director of cricket Graeme Smith said was “a new group of players, with new heroes to be made.”

The tournament will be played in the United Arab Emirates from October 23 to November 14. The T20I World Cup was last held in 2016 which was won by West Indies.

South Africa's Director of Cricket, Graeme Smith Image Source : ICC
South Africa’s Director of Cricket, Graeme Smith – Image Source: ICC

South Africa’s Director Graeme Smith Opens Up On Discussions About Free Agents- Imran Tahir, Chris Morris, And Faf du Plessis

Graeme Smith said talks had been held with 37-year-old Faf du Plessis but said it was not possible to reach an agreement with the former captain who is now regarded as a “free agent” as he is no longer contracted to CSA.

“When you are working with free agents you have to come together. You have to find that balance that works for both the team and the free agents,” said Smith.

“With Faf in particular we struggled to find that balance.”

Although Faf du Plessis retired from Test cricket last year he said he was available for white-ball cricket and stated that he wanted to play in the next two T20 World Cups. He confirmed before Thursday’s announcement he remained available for selection. Faf du Plessis underlined his credentials by hitting 120 off 60 balls in a Caribbean Premier League match for St Lucia Kings against St Kitts & Nevis Patriots in Basseterre last Saturday.

Chris Morris, 34, signed a record US$2.2-million deal with Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League earlier this year and is regarded as a leading T20 all-rounder. Chris Morris was sold to Rajasthan Royals for a whopping sum of INR 16.25 Cr & became the most expensive player bought in the IPL Auction history. He was the 2nd joint-highest wicket-taker in IPL 2021 before it was postponed with 14 scalps.

 Faf du Plessis, Imran Tahir, and Chris Morris
Faf du Plessis, Imran Tahir, and Chris Morris-Image AP

Graeme Smith said Chris Morris had made himself unavailable to play for South Africa after last representing the country in March 2019. Graeme Smith said veteran leg-spinner Imran Tahir, 42, was another free agent whose participation had been discussed.

“He’s had a great run and he’s still being successful but we’re very confident in the spin bowlers we have available.”

Faf du Plessis made his T20I debut against England in 2012. Since then he has gone on to play fifty T20I matches for the Proteas and scored 1,528 runs at a strike rate of 134.39.

Another notable player to miss out from South Africa’s squad was Janneman Malan, who has scored 241 runs in 11 T20I matches with the highest score of 55 runs since making his debut against Pakistan in 2019. He has also scored 645 runs in 10 ODI matches for South Africa and has shined in domestic cricket as well.

Keshav Maharaj, Uncapped In T20Is Is Included In A Squad Led By Temba Bavuma

Temba Bavuma will captain a young side in the UAE – he is expected to recover from a thumb injury in time for the tournament – that also featured Keshav Maharaj, the left-arm spinner who is yet to play a T20I. Quinton de Kock, David Miller, and Kagiso Rabada are the only players in the squad who played in the 2016 World T20 in India.

Temba Bavuma Source: twitter
Temba Bavuma Source: Twitter

The Proteas instead have gone in Wiaan Mulder and Dwaine Pretorious as all-around options. Meanwhile, George Linde, Andile Phehlikwayo, and Lizaad Williams will travel with the team as reserves. 

Quinton de Kock and Henrich Klaasen are the two wicket-keeping options while David Miller, Reeza Hendricks, Rassie van der Dussen and Aiden Markram are quality options with the bat. South Africa has gone with a strong pace attack and included Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, and Lungi Ngidi while Tabraiz Shamsi and Keshav Maharaj are the two specialists spinners.

Squad: Temba Bavuma (captain), Quinton de Kock, Bjorn Fortuin, Reeza Hendricks, Heinrich Klaasen, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Wiaan Mulder, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Rassie van der Dussen.

Travelling reserves: George Linde, Andile Phehlukwayo, Lizaad Williams.

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

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

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

IPL 2021 Team Of The Season

Shikhar Dhawan

Shikhar Dhawan
Shikhar Dhawan (Image Credit: Twitter)

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

Prithvi Shaw

Prithvi Shaw
Prithvi Shaw (Image Credit: Twitter)

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

Faf du Plessis

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

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

Rishabh Pant

Rishabh Pant
Rishabh Pant (Image Credit: Twitter)

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

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

Glenn Maxwell

Glenn Maxwell
Glenn Maxwell (Image Credit: Twitter)

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

AB de Villiers

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

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

Ravindra Jadeja

Ravindra Jadeja
Ravindra Jadeja (Image Credit: Twitter)

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

Rahul Chahar

Rahul Chahar
Rahul Chahar (Image Credit: Twitter)

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

Chris Morris

Chris Morris
Chris Morris (Image Credit: Twitter)

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

Avesh Khan

Avesh Khan
Avesh Khan (Image Credit: Twitter)

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

Harshal Patel

Harshal Patel
Harshal Patel (Image Credit: Twitter)

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

Rajasthan Royals, IPL 2021
Jos Buttler[photo: Twitter]
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Best Overseas XI Of IPL 2021

The IPL 2021 did have a lot of actions in the first half of the tournament until it was suspended due to the surge in Covid-19 cases among the players in the bio-bubble. The Overseas players did take a big risk by staying in the country despite all that’s happening around and they will be relieved to be back in their nation.

Four overseas players pulled out of the IPL 2021 citing Covid reasons and the remaining players had to step up in time for the franchises. Teams like Rajasthan Royals who have relied too much on the overseas players, felt the heat as they had only four overseas options available and it was a tough task for them. Here is the best overseas XI of IPL 2021.

Best Overseas XI Of IPL 2021:

Faf Du Plessis:

Chennai Super Kings, IPL 2021
Faf du Plessis (Photo: IANS)

Faf Du Plessis had a brilliant start to the season and he had a major impact on the Chennai Super Kings this year. The South African batsman who retired from test cricket to concentrate on limited-overs cricket did show a lot of intent and he is an electric fielder too. He finished with 320 runs in 7 games at the third spot in the race for the orange cap.

Jos Buttler(WK):

Rajasthan Royals, IPL 2021
Jos Buttler[photo: Twitter]
Jos Buttler found his feat in the last game for the Rajasthan Royals after a string of low scores. He showed why he is one of the best T20 players in the world and he can hit sixes to all parts of the ground. He scored a big hundred against Sunrisers which allowed Rajasthan to put up a massive total. Buttler had to step up being the senior player in the side and he finished with 254 runs in 7 games at the seventh position in the orange cap standings.

Moeen Ali:

Chennai Super Kings, IPL 2021
Moeen Ali[photo: Twitter]
Moeen Ali has proved to be a great addition to the Chennai Super Kings side as he has delivered whenever he has been given a chance. The off-spinning all-rounder was promoted to number three in the batting order and it did reap benefits as he played with a lot of freedom. He finished with 206 runs in 6 games and picked up 5 wickets too at a very decent economy rate.

Glenn Maxwell:

Royal Challengers Bangalore, IPL 2021
Glenn Maxwell[photo: Twitter]
Glenn Maxwell who was picked up for a hefty price in the auction by the RCB franchise was assigned a different role this year rather than finishing and he did an excellent job with the bat. Maxwell scored 223 runs in 6 innings for the franchise and he was the top scorer for his team too. He bailed them out of tough situations and showed a lot of character for the team by taking calculative risks in the crease.

AB Devilliers:

Royal Challengers Bangalore, IPL 2021
AB de villiers[photo: Twitter]
AB Devilliers has been a consistent performer for the RCB franchise over the years and he did continue to have a great impact in this season too. De Villiers has scored 207 runs in 7 games until the tournament was suspended and he won games of his own for the franchise. He still has the flavour needed for the biggest stages and did look in good touch.

Kieron Pollard(C):

Mumbai Indians, IPL 2021
Kieron Pollard (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)

Kieron Pollard did not start the tournament well but capitalized in the end with a scintillating knock in the game against Chennai Super Kings. He scored an unbeaten 87 off just 25 balls which helped Mumbai Indians overcome a daunting task of a 218 run chase. Pollard can also bowl some overs in the middle if needed and he can be very destructive at the end over.

Sam Curran:

Chennai Super Kings, IPL 2021
Sam Curran[photo: Twitter]
Sam Curran was very impressive in the IPL 2021 with the bat and ball as well. Curran did not score as many runs as he would have liked but did pick up wickets at regular intervals. He turned out to be a great asset for the team scoring important knocks at the end and picked up 9 wickets in 7 games. He was the go-to bowler for Dhoni this IPL and proved to be a match-winner.

Pat Cummins:

Kolkata Knight Riders, IPL 2021
Pat Cummins[photo: Twitter]
Pat Cummins did not have the best of seasons last year but he proved to be very effective this season in the powerplay as well as the back end. Cummins also showed his batting prowess by almost pulling off a victory for KKR against CSK and picked up 9 wickets in the 7 games he played. He is a fantastic all-rounder and he would be looking to continue his good run of form if the IPL restarts.

Chris Morris:

Rajasthan Royals, IPL 2021
Chris Morris[photo: Twitter]
Chris Morris found his best form in the IPL in the last few games and turned out to be the most valuable player for the Rajasthan Royals. Morris’s batting effort won the game against Delhi Capitals and he won three games of his own for the Royals. He picked up 14 wickets in 7 games lying at third in the purple cap for IPL 2021 and was the standout bowler for the Royals. Morris can tonk the ball in the backend of the innings.

Rashid Khan:

Sunrisers Hyderabad, IPL 2021
Rashid Khan[photo: Twitter]
The leg spinner Rashid Khan, was the only limelight for Sunrisers this season picking up 10 wickets in 7 games. He was very economical too in his spells and proved to be the trump card for the Hyderabad franchise. Rashid Khan is a top-class spinner and does know how to operate in a big tournament like IPL even when things aren’t going his way. He was at the fifth position in the purple cap standings.

Kyle Jamieson:

Royal Challengers Bangalore, IPL 2021
Kyle Jamieson [Source IPL Twitter]
Kyle Jamieson has had an excellent debut season so far and has been very impressive for the RCB franchise. Jamieson picked up 9 wickets in 7 games and did a good job at the back end of the innings too with the death bowling. The New Zealand quick was bagged up for a big price in the IPL auction 2021 and he did justice to the price tag. Jamieson can be a good batsman down the order too.

Ab de Villiers
Ab de Villiers.
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AB de Villiers Likely To Play For South Africa In 5 Matches T20I Series Against Windies

AB de Villiers, a former South Africa legendary batsman is likely to take a u-turn from retirement and play for the national team in the 5-match T20I series against West Indies.

The former South African batsman Mr. 360 truly mesmerized the international cricketing spectrum with his stupendous performances in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021.

AB De Villiers
AB De Villiers. Image Credits: Twitter

AB De Villiers, Chris Morris, And Imran Tahir In Line To Play For South Africa Again

Despite the fact that he doesn’t play cricket for the national team, he has been categorized as the finest batsman in T20 cricket at present. While it’s been known for a while that the former Proteas skipper has been willing to come out of retirement any time soon, the moment could finally arrive in the 5 matches T20I series between South Africa and West Indies.

AB De Villiers hung up his boots in 2018, bringing an end to his illustrious 15-year-old cricketing career for South Africa but since last year, the talismanic batsman has been speaking about making a u-turn. AB de Villiers had made his intentions of playing in the upcoming T20 World Cup public last year but the tournament got postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Chris Morris
Chris Morris (Image Credit: Twitter)

With this year’s T20 World Cup expected to remain on schedule, AB De Villiers is understandably interested to make his international return and feature in the showpiece event.

When asked about his plans about the same during an IPL 2021 match, De Villiers had said: “It will be fantastic to play for South Africa again, I will be speaking with Boucher late end of IPL – last year, he asked me whether I am interested and I said ‘absolutely.”

As per reports, Cricket South Africa Director Graeme Smith has reportedly hinted towards the return of AB De Villiers as well as Chris Morris and Imran Tahir for the national team’s T20I series against West Indies. South Africa is reportedly set to travel to the Caribbean on June 02 and will lock horns in a 5-match T20I series.

Graeme Smith said he is hopeful of “free agents” AB de Villiers, Imran Tahir, and Chris Morris returning in South Africa colours next month. He also confirmed that South Africa will be playing a two-match Test series and a 5-game T20I series against West Indies in June.

AB De Villiers Is An Asset For RCB : Virat Kohli

AB De Villiers was doing wonders for his IPL franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore in the 14th edition of the league before it was indefinitely postponed. Despite batting at No. 4 or No. 5 for RCB, AB De Villiers was among the top run-scorers for his side. He had aggregated 207 runs in 6 innings at an average of 51.75 at a highly impressive strike rate of 164.28.

AB de Villiers, Virat Kohli
AB de Villiers, Virat Kohli

Even RCB skipper Virat Kohli admitted being surprised at how AB De Villiers manages to perform at the requisite level despite not playing cricket regularly.

“AB doesn’t like me saying this, but he hasn’t played competitive cricket for 5 months, but if you look at him bat it doesn’t feel like he doesn’t play international cricket anymore. Hats off to him, keeps doing it again and again for us. Such an asset for us. I’ll say this again (smiles). He hasn’t played for five months, just watch that inning,” Kohli had said after De Villiers’ 75 helped the franchise beat Delhi Capitals in IPL 2021.

AB De Villiers has 5056 runs in his IPL career playing 176 matches averaging 40.77 at an impressive strike rate of 152.38. He has scored 3 tons and 40 fifties. He is the 6th highest run-scorer in IPL. AB De Villiers averages above 50 in both Tests and ODIs but he will certainly try to make amends to his below-par average of 26.12 in 78 T20Is where he amassed 1672 runs.

Quinton de Kock is hopeful that the Mumbai top-order will fire. - VIVEK BENDRE
Quinton de Kock is hopeful that the Mumbai top-order will fire. - VIVEK BENDRE
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Quinton de Kock Feels Pretty Safe In Bio-Bubble In IPL 2021 Unlike Adam Zampa

Quinton de Kock, Mumbai Indians’ senior wicket-keeper batsman on Thursday said he feels “very safe” inside the IPL bio-security bubble, two days after leg-spinner Adam Zampa called it one of the “most vulnerable” before taking a flight back to Australia.

A day after deciding to quit the league midway citing personal reasons, Adam Zampa had said the bio-bubble put in place for the ongoing T20 event was the “most vulnerable” he has been a part of. But Quinton de Kock thought otherwise.

Quinton de Kock of Mumbai Indians plays a shot. (BCCI/IPL)
Quinton de Kock of Mumbai Indians plays a shot. (BCCI/IPL)

Quinton de Kock Feels Pretty Safe In Bio Bubbles Unlike Adam Zampa

Australian leg-spinner Adam Zampa on Tuesday said he decided to quit the IPL midway as it was the “most vulnerable” bio-secure bubble he has been a part of and the tournament should have been held in UAE, like last year.

Adam Zampa and Kane Richardson, who were part of the Royal Challengers Bangalore squad, flew back home later on Tuesday, having pulled out citing personal reasons.

“To be honest, we trust in our doctors, so we are pretty safe in our bubbles. At least we feel very safe and it is quite easy,” Quinton de Kock said after winning the match against Rajasthan Royals

IPL 2021: Adam Zampa trains for RCB during the ongoing season.© BCCI/IPL
IPL 2021: Adam Zampa trains for RCB during the ongoing season.© BCCI/IPL

“We still take precautions and I felt safe. I don’t know about other guys. I am speaking for myself. It is being easy to get on with the game and practice and everything,” the South African added.

Quinton De Kock, on his part, said that it was a ‘lot easier’ to bat on the ‘Kotla’ track after the struggles in Chennai. In the match, Rajasthan Royals posted 171/4 but it was overshadowed by Quinton de Kock’s blistering 70, as the defending champions completed the task in 18.3 overs.

“Obviously, it was a lot bit easier to bat over here. Was quite pleasant. We are just happy to win it. It feels good to score some runs again, especially in a winning cause,” the southpaw said.

“Yeah, genuinely with our team, we always try and get one of our top four just bat through to the last (part) of our innings. We did that today and obviously the changes from Chennai to Delhi have helped a bit,” he added.

Pacer Chris Morris broke the 49-run first wicket partnership after opener Rohit Sharma was caught by Chetan Sakaria at mid-on and MI was 49 for 1 at the end of the powerplay. Both – Quinton de Kock and Suryakumar Yadav ensured the momentum stood by MI’s side and kept the boundaries flowing off the bat against the RR seamers.

MI was 83-1 after 9 overs before Chris Morris provided the all-important breakthrough to get rid of Suryakumar Yadav, who scored 16. Meanwhile, Quinton de Kock reached his fifty and was joined by Krunal Pandya. The equation came down to 32 off 24 deliveries.

Krunal Pandya edged one into the stumps but Kieron Pollard wrapped up the chase after Chris Morris conceded 16 runs in his final over and MI sealed a victory by seven wickets.

Sanju Samson Feels Rajasthan Was 20-25 Runs Short

Rajasthan Royals skipper Sanju Samson conceded that his side was 20-25 runs short.

“We played an afternoon game, but the wicket was fine and the ball was coming on the bat. I felt we were a bit 20-25 runs short. We need to play some fearless and positive cricket when we come out there and play the next game,” Samson said at the post-match conference.

Rajasthan Royals' Sanju Samson in action during IPL 2020 | Sportzpics for BCCI
Rajasthan Royals’ Sanju Samson in action during IPL 2020 | Sportzpics for BCCI

Despite the loss and unavailability of stars, Sanju Samson backed his players to come good saying they were still looking to win games.

“We keep on believing in our players and keep on believing in our team. We know that we are going a bit tough phase, star players are not available with us, Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer, Liam Livingstone but, at the same time, I am proud of my team that we are keeping up the positive vibes, we are still looking to win the coming games,” he said.

Sanju Samson also said the current COVID-19 situation in the country is discussed among his players.

“I think it (the donation) is the least we can do according to the financial part. But, at the same time, we often keep on discussing (about) the situation in the country (and) throughout the world. 

“We feel very privileged to be out there and play this game. We just need to go out there and play some good cricket to make them happy or keep them entertain(ed), so we keep having discussions.

“The purpose is very clear you just need to play some good cricket to bring up the spirit of the entire country,” added Samson.

The situation became worse with Rajasthan Royals’ main all-rounder Ben Stokes being ruled out of the tournament with a broken finger while Liam Livingstone and Andrew Tye leaving the tournament midway due to bio-bubble fatigue after premier pacer Jofra Archer was declared to miss the entire IPL 2021 after undergoing surgery on his middle finger.

Brief Scores:  Mumbai Indians: 172-3 (Quinton de Kock 70*, Krunal Pandya 39; Chris Morris 2-33 ) beat Rajasthan Royals: 171/4 (Sanju Samson 42, Jos Buttler 41; Rahul Chahar 2-33) by 7 wickets.

Chris Morris (Pic Source: Twitter)
Chris Morris (Pic Source: Twitter)
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IPL 2021: Chris Morris Says His Favourite Players Are Sanju Samson And Hardik Pandya

Chris Morris, South African allrounder who guided Rajasthan Royals (RR) to a six-wicket victory against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in an Indian Premier League (IPL) game last Saturday, says his favourite players in world cricket are Sanju Samson and Hardik Pandya.

Chris Morris is playing for the Rajasthan Royals under the captaincy of Sanju Samson in the 14th season of the ongoing Indian Premier League in India.

Sanju Samson Deepak Malik/SPORTZPICS
Sanju Samson Deepak Malik/SPORTZPICS

Chris Morris: Sanju Samson Is Favourite No. 1 Player But Also Love ‘Showstopper’ Hardik Pandya Play

During the 14th season auction, the Rajasthan franchise bought Chris Morris for 16.25 crores making him the most expensive player in IPL history. He had given Rajasthan a resounding 6-wicket win in the previous match against Kolkata Knight Riders by taking four wickets. Earlier in the match against Delhi Capitals, he played a match-winning cameo inning of 36 runs off 18 balls.

Speaking to the programme host Sanju Samson — who incidentally is his skipper at RR — Morris said, “Sanju is my favourite No. 1 player, obviously because I’ve watched him for a long time now and watched him develop into the man and the player he is today, but I really enjoy Hardik (Pandya) play. I think, he’s a showstopper — he is prime time.”

File image of Hardik Pandya | Vipin Pawar - IPL - Sportzpics
File image of Hardik Pandya | Vipin Pawar – IPL – Sportzpics

In the video posted on the RR homepage on Monday, Sanju Samson, who scored an unbeaten 42 against KKR, agreed with Chris Morris’s assessment with a thumbs-up sign. Sanju Samson gave all the credit for his hard-hitting skills to the South African cricketer.

“The best piece of advice I ever got was from you (Morris). And it was to smack every ball I faced. That’s what I’ve been doing since 2016 when I met you. And, yes, it feels good,” said Samson, who smashed a brilliant 119 in a losing cause against Punjab Kings in their opening match.
Hardik Pandya who plays for Mumbai Indians hasn’t fired as expected scoring only 36 runs in 5 matches averaging a pathetic 7.2 unlike previous seasons as he had contributed to the team’s winning run in IPL 2019 and IPL 2020 by notching up 402 runs and 282 runs respectively averaging 44.66 and 35.12 in the previous two editions. He also didn’t bowl in IPL 2020 and IPL 2021 so far to not risk aggravating back pain.
Sanju Samson, on the other hand, was appointed the new skipper and led from the front against Punjab Kings scoring the first ton of IPL 2021 but it went in vain as Rajasthan Royals lost by 4 runs. He has managed 187 runs in 4 games averaging a decent 46.75 at a strike rate of above 140.

Sanju Samson Hates Speaking During Team Meetings

Sanju Samson said that while smacking the ball to all corners of the ground was something he loved, the “most difficult thing” he has had to do as captain was to speak during team meetings.

“That’s the most difficult task? speaking at each and every meeting. I hate doing that; each and everyone expects me to give a long speech. Though I might be getting good at it, I feel I actually hate it,” said Sanju Samson.

Chris Morris hit 36 runs of 18 balls as Rajasthan Royals defeated Delhi Capitals by three wickets in their Indian Premier League (IPL) match in Mumbai on Thursday. BCCI
Chris Morris hit 36 runs off 18 balls as Rajasthan Royals defeated Delhi Capitals by three wickets in their Indian Premier League (IPL) match in Mumbai on Thursday. BCCI

The RR skipper wants his bat to do the talking. Sanju Samson scored 342 runs in IPL 2019 and then followed it up with 375 runs in the IPL 2020.

Chris Morris dismissed Dinesh Karthik, Eoin Morgan, Andre Russell and Pat Cummins to help Rajasthan Royals defeat Kolkata Knight Riders at the Wankhede Stadium, on Saturday. Chris Morris’ four-wicket burst in the death overs and skipper Sanju Samson’s measured innings gave Rajasthan Royals a much-needed win over Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL, on Saturday.

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