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David Miller

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.

Kusal Perera
Kusal Perera
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Kusal Perera Tests Covid-19 Positive And Is Likely To Miss ODI And T20Is Against Proteas

Kusal Perera has tested positive for COVID-19, which has put his participation in next month’s series against South Africa in jeopardy after missing the limited-overs series against India due to injury.

Kusal Perera, who led Sri Lanka in England earlier this year, sprained his shoulder and was ruled out of the entire limited-overs series against India. All-rounder Dasun Shanka led the side in Kusal Perera’s absence, defeating the Men in Blue in the three-match T20I series by 2-1 and winning 1 game in the ODIs too.

Kusal Perera. (Credits: Twitter)
Kusal Perera. (Credits: Twitter)

Kusal Perera Underwent Mandatory RT-PCR Tests Which Revealed He Contracted Covid-19

Meanwhile, in a bid to return to training, Kusal Perera underwent mandatory RT-PCR tests, which revealed that the cricketer had contracted the deadly virus. It will likely keep the southpaw out of the all-important series against South Africa leading up to the ICC T20 World Cup, set to take place in the UAE and Oman in October-November.

The 30-year-old Kusal Perera has so far represented Sri Lanka in 22 Tests, 107 ODIs, and 50 T20Is, scoring 5595 runs across formats, including eight centuries. Although Kusal Perera is no longer captain, having been replaced in that role by Dasun Shanaka following the contracts standoff between the players and the board, he remains one of Sri Lanka’s key batters in the top order.

Sri Lanka's Dasun Shanaka was among the first to agree to sign Sri Lanka Cricket's tour contracts for India series PA Images via Getty Images
Dasun Shanaka was among the first to agree to sign Sri Lanka Cricket’s tour contracts for India series PA Images via Getty Images

He is, in addition, the team’s primary wicketkeeping option, with Niroshan Dickwella still suspended over his breach of the team bio-bubble, in Durham. Kusal Perera’s probable absence, as well as that of Niroshan Dickwella, Kusal Mendis, and Danushka Gunathilaka will mean Sri Lanka will field almost the same second-string team which did well in the recently concluded series against India.

The likes of Lahiru Udara, Lahiru Kumara, Ashen Bandara, Kasun Rajitha, Ishan Jayaratne, Minod Bhanuka and Bhanuka Rajapaksa may get chances.

South Africa’s Faf Du Plessis Not Included In T20I And ODI Squads

The Proteas are scheduled to play the Islanders in three ODIs, starting September 2. The second and the third ODIs will take place on September 4 and 7 respectively, followed by three T20Is on September 10, 12, and 14. All matches will be played in a bio-secure bubble at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo.

South Africa vs Sri Lanka
South Africa vs Sri Lanka (Gallo Images)

Meanwhile, South Africa has announced their squad for the upcoming series. Former skipper Faf du Plessis, who withdrew from The Hundred due to a concussion injury he suffered during PSL 2021, has been left out of the squad.

 Dwaine Pretorius has returned to both squads while Junior Dala has been included in the ODI squad.

South Africa ODI squad– Temba Bavuma (c), Beuran Hendricks, Reeza Hendricks, Heinrich Klaasen, Janneman Malan, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, Wiaan Mulder, Anrich Nortje, Andile Phehlukwayo, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Rassies Van Der Dussen, Kyle Verreynne, Lizaad Williams, George Linde, Junior Dala, and Dwaine Pretorius.

South Africa T20I squad– Temba Bavuma (c), Quinton de Kock, Bjorn Fortuin, Reeza Hendricks, Heinrich Klaasen, George Linde, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Wiaan Mulder, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Kafia Rabi, Basi Benjadara.

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South Africa Will Be Without 3 Key Players In ODIs In Sri Lanka, But The Trio May Return In T20Is

South Africa will be without a number of key players for their three one-day internationals in Sri Lanka next month but expect their big guns to return for the Twenty20 series that follows as they build towards the upcoming T20I World Cup in the United Arab Emirates.

South Africa plays three ODIs in Colombo from Sept. 2-7 but will be without leading batsman Quinton de Kock (rested), powerful middle-order hitter David Miller (hamstring injury), and seamer Lungi Ngidi (personal reasons).

South Africa Cricket Team
South Africa Cricket Team (Photo by Lorraine O’Sullivan/PA Images via Getty Images)

South Africa Plays 3 ODIs And As Many T20Is Against Sri Lanka

All-rounder Dwaine Pretorius will return to the squads for both series after an injury lay-off that saw him miss successful tours to West Indies and Ireland in recent months. The missing trio has been included in the expanded 19-man squad for the T20 matches, which will also be staged in Colombo from Sept. 10-14, a month before the World Cup starts.

David Miller (L), Quinton de Kock (C) and Lungi Ngidi. Credit: DH, AFP, Reuters File Photos
David Miller (L), Quinton de Kock (C), and Lungi Ngidi. Credit: DH, AFP, Reuters File Photo.
The takeaways from the squad announcement of Proteas are, Dwaine Pretorius has returned to both the squads. Junior Dala has been included in the ODI squad and ace batter and wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock has been rested from the ODIs. Pacer Lungi Ngidi will miss out on the ODIs due to personal reasons while David Miller’s injury is being monitored regularly.

South Africa won their T20 series against world champions West Indies and Ireland, and will once again be captained by Temba Bavuma in both formats.

Sri Lanka Will Be Confident After Their Show Against India In The T20Is

South Africa will fight against Sri Lanka who will be instilled with great confidence after recently defeating India in the T20Is. Sri Lanka recently played three ODIs and as many T20Is against India wherein the ODI series was won by India but hosts took away the T20Is.

Wanindu Hasaranga Celebrates A Wicket in 1st T20I @SLC
Wanindu Hasaranga Celebrates A Wicket in 1st T20I @SLC

After COVID-19 havoc broke in India’s camp, India played with their depleted side and completed the series. Under the guidance of Rahul Dravid, many youngsters got the chance to showcase their skills. Talking about South Africa, they played last against West Indies and won the two-match Test series as 2-0 and the five-match T20I series as 3-2.

Wanindu Hasaranga, the No.2 ranked T20I bowler in the world, bamboozled the Indian batsmen in the recently-concluded limited-overs series, picking up 10 wickets from five matches, including a match-winning 4/9 in the deciding T20I, which Sri Lanka won to clinch the series.

ODI squad: Temba Bavuma (captain), Junior Dala, Beuran Hendricks, Reeza Hendricks, Heinrich Klaasen, George Linde, Janneman Malan, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, Wiaan Mulder, Anrich Nortje, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Rassie van der Dussen, Kyle Verreynne, Lizaad Williams.

T20 squad: Temba Bavuma (captain), Quinton de Kock, Bjorn Fortuin, Beuran Hendricks, Reeza Hendricks, Heinrich Klaasen, George Linde, Keshav Maharaj, Sisanda Magala, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Wiaan Mulder, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Rassie van der Dussen, Lzaad Williams.

Khaya Zondo made his debut when India visited South Africa for an ODI series in 2018. Three years earlier, he had spent an entire series on the bench in India. (File Photo/AFP)
Khaya Zondo made his debut when India visited South Africa for an ODI series in 2018. Three years earlier, he had spent an entire series on the bench in India. (File Photo/AFP)
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Khaya Zondo Lost Respect For AB de Villiers As Skipper As He Blocked The Batsman’s Inclusion In ODIs Vs India In 2015

Khaya Zondo, an aggressive middle-order batsman, recalled how the-then South African skipper AB de Villiers blocked his inclusion in the playing XI during the Proteas’ ODI series against India in 2015.

After Thami Tsolekile, another South African cricketer has lashed out at AB de Villiers for his approach during his days as an international player.

Khaya Zondo expressed the hurt he felt in 2015  PTI
Khaya Zondo expressed the hurt he felt in 2015  PTI

Khaya Zondo Said AB de Villiers Called Him Aside And Mentioned That He Won’t Play In The ODI Series Against India

Khaya Zondo was set to make his debut in the ODI series against India in 2015 after JP Duminy’s injury in the third game. However, the South African management decided to rope in Dean Elgar as a replacement for JP Duminy. Dean Elgar, who was not even in the original squad, played the last two matches of the series.

As per reports, the team management had picked Khaya Zondo in the playing XI for the final ODI, but skipper AB de Villiers threatened to walk out of the tour if Khaya Zondo played. Khaya Zondo revealed all details of his conversations with AB de Villiers during that period in his prepared submission to the Transformation Ombudsman, Adv. Dumisa Ntsebeza.

AB de Villiers retired from international cricket in 2018 BCCI
AB de Villiers retired from international cricket in 2018 BCCI

 

 

 

 

“The captain (AB de Villiers) called me over to the side, away from the rest of the team and mentioned to me he was the one who felt I should not play. He was trying to explain himself and he was taking full responsibility for the decision,” Zondo said during the Social Justice and Nation-Building (SJN) Hearings.

Khaya Zondo revealed the anguish he suffered after being left out of South Africa’s ODI team to play against India in 2015, a decision Cricket South Africa (CSA) ruled was unfair as it violated their selection policy. Dean Elgar was slotted into the XI in place of an injured JP Duminy, despite Khaya Zondo being the back-up batsman in the squad, and David Miller was kept in the team, allegedly at the insistence of then captain AB de Villiers.

Khaya Zondo Lost Respect For AB de Villiers As Skipper

Khaya Zondo, who finally made his ODI debut in 2018, added that he lost all respect he had for his hero AB de Villiers after he blocked his selection.

“I remember in the moment of him explaining himself to me, losing all respect for him as a captain, and as someone I looked up to as a cricketing hero of mine because I could not believe this guy was trying to justify himself to me, and it came across as if I should accept this decision because the decision came from him,” Zondo continued.

Khaya Zondo concluded by saying he detached himself from the squad after his conversation with AB de Villiers because he understood his services were not required. He labeled the phase of watching other South African cricketers get opportunities ahead of him as the ‘hardest part’ of his life.

Kyle Abbott was dropped for Vernon Philander to meet the guidelines in the semi-finals of 2015 World Cup
Kyle Abbott was dropped for Vernon Philander to meet the guidelines in the semi-finals of the 2015 World Cup

The South African cricket team had a troubled year in 2015. Following their defeat in the World Cup semifinal earlier that year, there were reports that AB de Villiers had been forced to play Vernon Philander in the XI instead of Kyle Abbott. In January 2018, Khaya Zondo was named in South Africa’s One Day International (ODI) squad for their series against India. He made his ODI debut for South Africa against India on 4 February 2018.

Darren Sammy goes traditional after Peshawar Zalmi's PSL title win in 2017 AFP via Getty Images
Darren Sammy goes traditional after Peshawar Zalmi's PSL title win in 2017 AFP via Getty Images
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Darren Sammy Insists PSL 2021 Wasn’t Called Off Due To Him And Wahab Riaz

Darren Sammy and Wahab Riaz had allegedly breached the bio-secure bubble in the first half of PSL 2021. The Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2021 will reportedly resume in the first week of June, and all the teams would be gearing up for the marquee event.

Wahab Riaz. Image - @thePSLt20/Twitter.
Wahab Riaz. Image – @thePSLt20/Twitter.

Darren Sammy Insists He And Wahab Riaz Didn’t Break The Bio-Secure Bubble

The T20 tournament, which was initially scheduled to take place in February and March, was suspended midway after several members contracted the COVID-19 virus despite being in the bio-bubble. While the main reason behind the breach isn’t understood yet, some reports suggested that Wahab Riaz and Darren Sammy have violated the protocols. Darren Sammy is the head coach of Peshawar Zalmi, while Wahab Riaz leads the side.

At the start of PSL 2021, the duo was accused of breaching the bio-secure protocols to meet team owner Javed Afridi during their practice session. As per the rules, they were supposed to be in isolation for three days and had to return two negative COVID-19 tests to be allowed back in the bubble. However, Darren Sammy and Wahab Riaz joined the squad before the required period, and the latter even played all the games.

England batsman Tom Banton tested positive for COVID-19 in Pakistan.
England batsman Tom Banton tested positive for COVID-19 in Pakistan. (Source: Twitter/ Getty Images)

Subsequently, fans lashed out at Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for easing the norms for the duo. The duo came under the scanner even further when the entire competition was postponed. Speaking of the same, Darren Sammy claimed he had nothing to do with the PSL being paused indefinitely.

“I wouldn’t say we broke the bio-secure bubble. This is new territory for everybody. When I read the news, it made it sound like Wahab and myself left the hotel and ventured out. We just had training and we said hello to our boss (Javed Afridi). By the time we realized what had happened, we had two COVID tests, so did the Boss,” Sammy said in an interview with The Current.

Peshawar Zalmi has a strong squad for PSL 2021 consisting of the likes of Fabian Allen, David Miller, Fidel Edwards, Imam-ul-Haq, Kamran Akmal, Shoaib Malik, and the team management will expect their batsmen to perform better under mentor and batting consultant Inzamam-ul-Haq’s guidance.

Fawad Ahmed, Tom Banton, and another Islamabad United player besides one support staff member with the Karachi Kings (Kamran Khan) testing positive for Covid-19 have led to concerns which eventually led to the postponement of PSL 2021.

Darren Sammy: PSL 2021 Wasn’t Called Off Because Of Me And Wahab Riaz Shaking Hands With Peshawar Zalmi Boss

Highlighting that no one from the Peshawar Zalmi squad had got infected, the former West Indies captain said that the whole team was very strict about the rules, so it would be wrong to claim that PSL 2021 was suspended due to Wahab Riaz and his actions.

“We were negative and I could tell you from that day onwards, Peshawar Zalmi was really strict to the books and if you noticed, none of our players tested positive during or after that and the tournament was definitely not called off because of me and Wahab shaking hands with our boss at the cricket ground,” he added.

Darren Sammy
Darren Sammy. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

PSL will now be resuming in Abu Dhabi, with Darren Sammy joining his team soon. The Wahab Riaz-led side is currently second in the team standings, with three wins in five games.

Only 14 games were completed in the 34-match tournament. The remaining 20 Pakistan Super League 2021 matches are scheduled to be held in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from June 1-20.

KC Cariappa. (Photo Source: Twitter)
KC Cariappa. (Photo Source: Twitter)
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KC Cariappa Shares Experience Of Being At Rajasthan Royals In IPL 2021

KC Cariappa was with the Rajasthan Royals squad before IPL 2021 was indefinitely suspended due to the Covid-19 crisis. He spoke about his experience of being at Rajasthan Royals and praised his skipper, Sanju Samson.

The Indian Premier League (IPL) provides youngsters, especially local talent, with a great opportunity to mingle, discuss, and learn various aspects of the game from some of the world’s best players and equally good coaching staff. Be it Indian stalwarts or overseas stars, the learning can be immense and the experience, supremely cherishable.

K. C. Cariappa played for Kings XI Punjab in 2016 and 2017. - G. P. SAMPATH KUMAR
K. C. Cariappa played for Kings XI Punjab in 2016 and 2017. – G. P. SAMPATH KUMAR

KC Cariappa Praised Calm Sanju Samson, Warm Person Ben Stokes, Less Talkative Jos Buttler For Creating Positive Vibes In Rajasthan Royals Team Environment

A certain Indian uncapped player namely Konganda Charamanna Cariappa, or as usually know, KC Cariappa can vouch for it. Having been a part of the Kolkata Knight Riders, erstwhile Kings XI Punjab, and most recently the Rajasthan Royals, this spinner has shared the dressing with the likes of Gautam Gambhir, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler among others.

The 27-year-old was with the Rajasthan Royals squad before IPL 2021 was indefinitely suspended due to the Covid-19 crisis in India and an outbreak in various franchise bio-bubbles. While speaking to Sportskeeda, the Karnatak player spoke about his experience.

Rajasthan Royals batsmen Ben Stokes and Sanju Samson
Rajasthan Royals batsmen Ben Stokes and Sanju Samson Photograph: BCCI/IPL

“Samson was really good, he is always calm. When I played U-19, he also played that same season for Kerala. The way he captained the side in IPL 2021, he always ensured the players were brimming with confidence,” he said.

KC Cariappa also lavished praise on two prominent Englishmen and added that the team environment was great.

“RR look at every player the same, there are no assumptions. Ben Stokes is such a warm person, he would come and talk to us while we would eat. Buttler would talk the least, he is always smiling, and when you see him you get really positive vibes. Even in the practice sessions, whether you are international or domestic, it didn’t matter, we were all looked after very well,” he remarked.

Sanju Samson topped the run-scorers chart for the franchise, as he smashed a century and amassed 277 runs in 7 matches. Rajasthan Royals, under Sanju Samson’s captaincy debut, won three of their first seven matches and stood fifth in the points table.

Jos Buttler scored 254 runs while Shivam Dube and David Miller scored more than 100 runs. Among bowlers, all-rounder Chris Morris took 14 scalps, Mustafizur Rahman took 8 wickets and debutant Chetan Sakariya took 7 scalps. Ben Stokes was out injured in the very 1st match.

KC Cariappa Hopes When IPL 2021 Resumes, Rajasthan Royals Start Off Well

He revealed that leg-spinner Shreyas Gopal is a prank master and that he is hopeful of the season resuming soon.

“Shreyas is a prank master. When he was in quarantine, he would call up everyone through the hotel phone. He’s a very jolly guy. I was close with Miller and Tewatia in the RR camp, I have played with them before. This season was turning out to be good, hopefully, when it resumes we should be in a good position to start off well,” signed off Cariappa.

Shreyas Gopal
Shreyas Gopal. Image Credits: Twitter

KC Cariappa has played 11 matches, the last of which came in 2019 and picked 8 scalps. He made his debut with the Kolkata Knight Riders in 2015, and later was a part of the Kings XI Punjab setup. He did not have the best of IPLs picking up just 8 wickets in 10 matches across three seasons(2015-17).

He was roped in as one of the replacements for injured KKR pacers Kamlesh Nagarkoti & Shivam Mavi in 2019 and played a solitary game where he went wicketless. KC Cariappa will ply his trade for RR after being brought on board for INR 20 Lac in the IPL 2021 Player Auction. The leg-spinner has thus far played 29 T20s and has 25 wickets to his name and will be out to make an impact for RR in the IPL 2021.

Inzamam-ul-Haq | AFP
Inzamam-ul-Haq | AFP
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Peshawar Zalmi Signs Inzamam-ul-Haq As Mentor And Batting Consultant For PSL 2021

Peshawar Zalmi took to social media Twitter on Saturday to announce that they have signed former Pakistan batsman Inzamam-ul-Haq as a mentor and batting consultant for their remaining matches of Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2021.

Inzamam-ul-Haq is one of the most successful batsmen in Pakistan cricket history. The former Pakistan skipper played 378 ODI matches, scoring 11,739 runs at an average of 39.53. In Test cricket, Inzamam-ul-Haq has amassed 8,830 runs, including 46 half-centuries and 25 hundred.

Inzamam-ul-Haq
Inzamam-ul-Haq JEWEL SAMAD / AFP

Peshawar Zalmi Ropes In Legendary Former Pakistan Skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq As Mentor Cum Batting Consultant

Since retiring, Inzamam-ul-Haq has had coaching stints with Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Peshawar Zalmi welcomed him to their franchise with the following tweet: “Legend Inzamam Ul Haq joins Peshawar Zalmi as Mentor/Batting Consultant for remaining matches of PSL 6. Welcome to the Zalmi family.”

Inzamam-ul-Haq played a vital role in the rise of the Afghanistan cricket team. When he was the team’s coach, the Afghans upset the West Indies in the ICC T20 World Cup 2016. Peshawar Zalmi has a strong squad for PSL 2021, and the team management will expect their batsmen to perform better under Inzamam-ul-Haq’s guidance.

Peshawar Zalmi Is In 2nd Spot Before IPL 6 Was Suspended Midway Due To Bio Bubble Breach

Having recorded three wins and two defeats in the first phase of PSL 2021, Peshawar Zalmi is currently in the second position on the points table, behind defending champions Karachi Kings. Peshawar Zalmi won three of their five matches in the first phase of PSL 2021.

Peshawar will resume their PSL 2021 campaign on June 4 against the Lahore Qalandars. The team has a strong chance of qualifying for the next round.

Shoaib Malik. (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)
Shoaib Malik. (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)

With the likes of Wahab Riaz, Shoaib Malik, Ravi Bopara, Fidel Edwards, David Miller, and Sherfane Rutherford in their ranks, Peshawar Zalmi will start as one of the favourites to win PSL 2021 in the UAE.

Shimron Hetmyer will make his Pakistan Super League debut with Multan Sultans. PSL 6, which was suspended in March, will resume in Abu Dhabi in June. Multan Sultans signed the West Indies big-hitter along with opener Johnson Charles.

Afghanistan’s star-leg spinner Rashid Khan will return to Lahore Qalandar for the PSL 6. The six-team tournament was stopped after 14 games in March after seven people, including six players, tested positive for COVID-19, and the franchises were allowed to add two more players to their squads in Saturday’s virtual players draft.

Peshawar Zalmi: Wahab Riaz (c), Abrar Ahmed, Amad Butt, Bismillah Khan, David Miller (partially available), Fabian Allen (partially available), Fidel Edwards (partially available), Haider Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Kamran Akmal, Mohammad Amir Khan, Mohammad Irfan Snr, Mohammad Imran, Mohammad Imran Randhawa, Rovman Powell, Waqar Salamkheil, Sherfane Rutherford, Shoaib Malik, and Umaid Asif

Rajasthan Royals (Image Credit: Twitter)
Rajasthan Royals (Image Credit: Twitter)
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Rajasthan Royals Approached 7 Franchises Seeking Players On Loan

Rajasthan Royals management has reportedly approached all remaining 7 franchises seeking players on loan with several of their overseas players being ruled out of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021. Rajasthan Royals are left with just four overseas players in IPL 2021.

Sanju Samson-led Rajasthan Royals (RR) had suffered a big blow ahead of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 when premier pacer Jofra Archer was declared to miss some of the games after undergoing surgery on his middle finger. Later, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) that the pacer will miss the entire IPL 2021.

Rajasthan Royals batsmen Ben Stokes and Sanju Samson
Rajasthan Royals batsmen Ben Stokes and Sanju Samson Photograph: BCCI/IPL

Rajasthan Royals Is The Worst Affected Franchise With 4 Foreigners Out Of IPL 2021 And 4 Remaining

The situation became even worse with their 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 has only added to the Royals’ woes.

In terms of overseas players, Rajasthan Royals is the worst affected franchise as a result of which the franchise has approached other franchises seeking players on loan. Currently, the Royals are left with Jos Buttler, Chris Morris, Mustafizur Rahman, and David Miller as the only four players in their squad.

RR's Aussie pacer Andrew Tye decided to leave midway from the IPL as he feared getting 'locked out' of his own country in the wake of a Covid-19 surge in India
RR’s Aussie pacer Andrew Tye decided to leave midway from the IPL as he feared getting locked out of his own country in the wake of a Covid-19 surge in India (Photo: Cricketcomau Twitter)

Also, as per the IPL playing conditions, the loan window activates at 9 AM IST on the day following the 20th league game and ends at noon IST on the day following the 56th league match scheduled for the season. According to the rule, the window got activated on Monday (April 26) morning.

Rajasthan Royals Approached Other Franchises To Loan A Player Who Has Featured In Less Than 2 Matches For The Franchise

Amid the ongoing crisis, the Sanju Samson-led side is eyeing the loan window to rope in more players with 60 percent of their matches yet to be played in the 14th edition.

As per the IPL playing conditions, “the loan Window will start at 9 am IST on the day following the 20th league match scheduled for the season and will end at noon IST on the day following the 56th league match scheduled for the season.”

Rajasthan Royals
Rajasthan Royals

As reported by Cricbuzz, a few CEOs have confirmed about Royals approaching them for players.

“We have received a request from them a couple of days ago and we have not decided on it. The team management will take a call,” confirmed a CEO from a southern-based franchise to Cricbuzz.

Sharing his views on the matter, another CEO said, “We will consider if we can loan them a player or two from our surpluses.”

As per the rules, any player who has featured in less than two matches during the time when the loan window starts can be a part of the loan window. If taken on loan, the player will be a part of the particular franchise for the entire season but cannot play against his home franchise. Also, the player has to give his consent for him to be transferred while no franchise can loan more than three of its players to the same team during the season.

In the last match, Rajasthan Royals beat Kolkata Knight Riders by six wickets for their second win of IPL 2021. This has been a complete all-around performance from RR after a string of three consecutive losses. After the departure of Liam Livingstone and Ben Stokes from the Rajasthan Royals camp, the team finds themselves in a tricky situation. As per fresh reports, South African batsman Rassie van der Dussen could be brought in as a replacement.

David Miller Image Credits: RR Twitter
David Miller Image Credits: RR Twitter
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IPL 2021: I Won’t Mind Batting Anywhere To Help Team Win, Says David Miller

David Miller, Rajasthan Royals (RR) batsman said that it was a tactical decision behind him batting at number six position after his team registered a comprehensive six-wicket win over Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021.

Sanju Samson and David Miller played unbeaten knocks of 42 and 24 respectively as Rajasthan Royals defeated KKR by six wickets with seven balls to spare on Saturday at the Wankhede Stadium. Yashasvi Jaiswal and Shivam Dube also chipped in with 22 runs each to guide Rajasthan to a comfortable victory.

David Miller
David Miller

David Miller: Since Rahul Tewatia Is A Local And Plays Spin Well He Was Promoted

South African batsman David Miller was bought by Rajasthan Royals for INR 75 lakh during the IPL Players Auction ahead of IPL 2020 and despite playing just one game in the IPL 2020, retained him for the IPL 2021. David Miller has scored 88 runs so far playing 4 matches out of 5 games averaging 29.33 with a highest of 62 in IPL 2021.

“The body gave in towards the back end, but it was nice to finish off the match well. Sanju batted extremely well, he actually did in the first game, showed what he got, was a good team performance, nice and clinical.

“In T20 cricket, everything happens rather fast, it was a tactical decision (batting down the order), and came off well tonight. The key is to finish off games, I will not mind batting anywhere, just want to help the team win,” David Miller told host broadcaster Star Sports.

Sanju Samson, Rahul Tewatia Image Source : IPLT20.COM
Sanju Samson, Rahul Tewatia Image Source: IPLT20.COM

“Tewatia is a local and he plays the spinners well, brings out the sweeps and reverse sweeps hence he batted ahead. We have a good bunch of guys and a great set-up, There was a lot of positive energy tonight, today was a big win and we’ll take confidence into the next game, hopefully, get onto a nice little run.

“Was a nice wicket although the cutters were holding up a bit, I couldn’t get bat on the ball at the start, it was good to finish it off,” he added.

Rahul Tewatia though managed to score only 5 off 8 balls as he had an off day since he went wicketless too. But the other players of RR setup delivered as RR won to be placed 6th in the points table with 2 wins and 3 losses from 5 games and thereby accumulating 4 points.

Chris Morris Picked 4 Scalps To Restrict KKR To A Paltry 133/9

Earlier, a spirited bowling performance helped Rajasthan Royals restrict KKR to 133/9 in the allotted twenty overs. For the Sanju Samson-led side, Chris Morris scalped four wickets. For KKR, Rahul Tripathi and Dinesh Karthik played knocks of 36 and 25 respectively.

Chris Morris (Pic Source: Twitter)
Chris Morris (Pic Source: Twitter)

Rajasthan Royals has now moved to sixth place in the points table with 4 points from 5 games. The side will next take on Mumbai Indians on Thursday at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi.

Earlier, Rajasthan Royals was dealt with another blow after news came in that Jofra Archer who was the Most Valuable Player Of The Tournament in IPL 2020 will miss the entire IPL 2021 which is a cause of concern for the franchise. Rajasthan Royals finished last season at the bottom of the table with 12 points from their 14 matches.

The news comes in addition to the fact that the franchise is missing their X factor, all-rounder Ben Stokes who suffered a hand fracture and was ruled out after playing only 1 match. Liam Livingstone has also headed home for bubble fatigue, but Rajasthan won despite missing the England trio.

Chris Morris, the most expensive player in IPL’s history has so far scored 48 vital runs and taken 9 scalps averaging 24 and 18 respectively with the bat and ball. 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.

Kevin Pietersen file image | Faheem Hussain - Sportzpics
Kevin Pietersen file image | Faheem Hussain - Sportzpics
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IPL 2021: Kevin Pietersen In Absolute Awe Of ‘Inconsistent’ Sanju Samson’s Strokemaking

Kevin Pietersen, legendary England’s former batsman has heaped praise on Sanju Samson, insisting he is in ‘absolute awe’ of the India and Indian Premier League star.

Sanju Samson, who has made seven appearances for India in T20 cricket, produced an early contender for the innings of the tournament during Rajasthan Royals’ IPL defeat to Punjab Kings last week.

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

Kevin Pietersen In Awe Of The Way Sanju Samson Plays His Shots

The 26-year-old smashed 119 from 63 balls – with 12 fours and seven sixes – as Rajasthan fell agonizingly short of Punjab’s 221-6 at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. He scored the first and only ton in IPL 2021 so far.

“The standard has been set, once again, by the Indian youngsters,” former England batsman Kevin Pietersen, who played for IPL teams RCB, DD and defunct RPS , told Betway.

“I just love Sanju Samson every single year. I’m just in absolute awe of the way he plays his shots and the time that he has to play shots. His century against the Punjab Kings was absolutely magnificent and he was very unlucky not to get his side over the line.”

Despite hailing Sanju Samson, Kevin Pietersen admits the wicketkeeper-batsman must become more consistent, having often underwhelmed during the middle stages of the IPL. Since his impressive century against Punjab Kings, Sanju Samson has scored just five runs in two innings, failing in Rajasthan’s victory over Delhi Capitals and defeat to Chennai Super Kings.

“I talked about it a lot on commentary last year, but it’s all about consistency with Samson,” Kevin Pietersen added. “He has a tendency to go missing in the middle of the tournament.

“We don’t want this to be the only innings worth talking about for a few weeks, so we should be wary that he only scored four in Rajasthan’s second match against Delhi Capitals. His responsibilities are going to another level now that he is the Royals’ captain, though, and he must also cover the hole left by Ben Stokes in that batting line-up.”

Kevin Pietersen
Kevin Pietersen. Image Credits: Twitter

“As captain, you start thinking about others as well as yourself, which can go one of two ways. When you don’t think too much about batting, a free spirit like Samson can go out there and just start tonking it everywhere.

“I’m so pleased that everybody is realizing the importance of the IPL and how much it benefits each and every country. Of course, the players earn their money and they deserve to, but the experience is priceless.”

Sanju Samson was appointed as the captain of the Royals before the IPL 2021 after the former champions released Australia star, Steve Smith. Sanju Samson, who made his India debut as early as 2015, has not managed to find a permanent spot in the Indian team but there are no doubts about his talent.

Kevin Pietersen: Ben Stokes Absence Due To Injury Is A Massive Blow For Rajasthan

Sanju Samson’s contributions for Rajasthan will be of even greater importance this season as England all-rounder Ben Stokes has been ruled out of the tournament with a finger injury. Ben Stokes faces up to three months on the sidelines after breaking his finger in Royals’ 1st game.

Rajasthan Royals batsmen Ben Stokes and Sanju Samson
Rajasthan Royals batsmen Ben Stokes and Sanju Samson Photograph: BCCI/IPL

On Stokes’ absence, Kevin Pietersen said: “You want the best players playing in the competition, so it’s very disappointing that we have lost Ben from it before he had the chance to get going. He’s been on the road for a long time now and can rest up ahead of England v India this summer and then the T20 World Cup.

“But for Rajasthan, it’s a massive blow. By losing Jofra Archer and now Stokes, their chances have diminished substantially. Other players in that set-up are going to have to stand up but I’m not sure I see anybody there who can replace those two long-term. It’s a shame for them,”Kevin Pietersen said.

The allrounder Ben Stokes sustained the injury during the Royals’ opening game, against the Punjab Kings, when he ran in from long-on and dived forward to take Chris Gayle’s catch in the tenth over of the Kings’ innings.

Ben Stokes’ injury could disrupt the Royals’ plans significantly, especially because they are already without a first-choice player in pacer Jofra Archer, who is recuperating and is expected to miss at least the first four games of the season.

While Sanju Samson led the team to within touching distance of victory with his sensational century against Punjab Kings, the duo of David Miller (62) and Chris Morris (36* of 18) pulled off a win against the Delhi Capitals. Against CSK, opener Jos Buttler looked dangerous but the other batsmen failed to provide any valuable contributions.

Liam Livingstone, the England and Rajasthan Royals batter, has also opted to return home early from the IPL, citing “bubble fatigue” after spending much of the last ten months moving in and out of biosecure environments.

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