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IPL 2021: Complete List Of Players Who Have Withdrawn From The UAE Leg
IPL 2021: Complete List Of Players Who Have Withdrawn From The UAE Leg.

IPL 2021: Complete List Of Players Who Have Withdrawn From The UAE Leg

IPL 2021 has been facing a different scenario so far as the tournament was suspended midway in April and the resumption is set to take place in a few day’s time. With the T20I World Cup set to take place in UAE straightway after the IPL 2021 gets over, the players have been looking at the tight schedule ahead and have opted out of the cash-rich league.

Injuries often see player pullouts in the IPL. But when players register their name in the auction and then fail to honor their contract without injuries, it becomes a problem for the franchises. A total of 64 foreign players are allowed in IPL and in IPL 2021, 17 of them have withdrawn, dealing a blow to both BCCI and the franchises.

IPL 2021: Complete List Of Players Who Have Withdrawn From The UAE Leg

Adam Zampa (RCB)

Royal Challengers Bangalore leg-spinner Adam Zampa was thinking about his mental health before pulling out of IPL 2021. (Source: Twitter)Royal Challengers Bangalore leg-spinner Adam Zampa was thinking about his mental health before pulling out of IPL 2021. (Source: Twitter)

One of the first players to pull out midway through IPL 2021 was Australian spinner Adam Zampa. The Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) player pulled out citing bubble fatigue amid the second wave of COVID-19 in India in May. In phase 1, Adam Zampa didn’t feature in any match. Royal Challengers Bangalore have roped in Sri Lanka’s spin all-rounder Wanindu Hasaranga for the 2nd phase of IPL 2021. He has replaced leg-spinner Adam Zampa.

Adam Zampa was one of the few players who had withdrawn from IPL 2021 before the season was suspended. He has been named in Australia’s T20 World Cup squad.

Adam Zampa has picked 21 scalps in 14 IPL games averaging 17.61 including a 6 wicket haul in his debut season in 2016. He played in IPL 2016, 2017 and 2020. His career-best figures of 6/19 for Rising Pune Supergiants against Sunrisers Hyderabad is 3rd best figure ever in IPL history.

Daniel Sams (RCB)

Daniel Sams 
Daniel Sams Image Source: Twitter

Another RCB player to pull out was Daniel Sams. The Australian played two matches in the IPL 2021 after spending 14 days in isolation after contracting COVID-19 upon reaching India. But he didn’t want to come back and pulled out ahead of Phase 2.

He played 5 IPL games scoring only 6 runs and picking up a solitary scalp and didn’t have an impact as expected. Delhi Capitals brought Daniel Sams to their squad for IPL 2020 as a replacement for an injured Jason Roy and he played for RCB in IPL 2021.

Daniel Sams, who was traded to the RCB this season from Delhi Capitals, was the second player of the franchise to recover from COVID-19. Opener Devdutt Padikkal, who was the highest run-scorer for RCB last season with 473 runs from 15 matches, had earlier recovered from the dreaded disease and joined the team after returning negative.

Mitchell Marsh (SRH)

Mitchell Marsh winces in pain BCCI
Mitchell Marsh. Image Credits: BCCI

Australian Mitchell Marsh was the first player to pull out of IPL 2021 even before the tournament began. Retained for the 14th edition of IPL, SRH looked for consistency in batting and roped in Mitchell Marsh in the IPL 2020 auctions but he pulled out next season citing bubble fatigue after getting injured in 2020.

Mitchell Marsh played 21 IPL games scoring 225 runs averaging 17.3 and picking 20 scalps averaging 21 with the ball. He played only 1 IPL game in 2020 where he failed to make an impact. Last year, Mitchell Marsh was not able to play the entire tournament for SunRisers Hyderabad as he was ruled out with an ankle injury mid-season. He was ruled out after suffering an ankle injury in the match against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB).

Josh Philippe (RCB)

Australia's keeper Josh Philippe will be unvailable for RCB during IPL 2021 (Courtesy of BCCI)
Australia’s keeper Josh Philippe will be unavailable for RCB during IPL 2021 (Courtesy of BCCI)

RCB have had a long list of pull outs and Australian youngster Josh Philippe was one of them. He too informed the franchise that he won’t be available for the IPL 2021. Royal Challengers Bangalore had signed explosive New Zealand wicketkeeper-batsman Finn Allen as a replacement for Josh Philippe.

Finn Allen has a career T20 strike rate of over 180. Josh Philippe, who made his debut for RCB in IPL 2020 in the UAE, made himself unavailable for the whole of the upcoming season.  He played 5 matches for RCB in IPL 2020 managing 78 runs averaging 19.5.

Regarded as one of the brightest batting prospects in Australia, particularly in limited-overs cricket, wicketkeeper-batsman Josh Philippe was given his first taste of the international set-up for the 2020 tour of England which took place amid the Covid-19 pandemic. To date, he has played 3 ODIs and 10 T20Is for Australia.

Ben Stokes (RR)

Ben StokesBen Stokes. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Ben Stokes played just one match for RR in IPL 2021 before injuring his finger. He returned to England after the match and since then has been recovering from the injury. However, the all-rounder decided to take an indefinite break from cricket citing mental health, and decided not to return for IPL 2021.

England and Rajasthan Royals all-rounder Ben Stokes is unlikely to take part in the second leg of the Indian Premier League 2021. Ben Stokes had announced an indefinite break from cricket last month, intending to focus on his mental health. The all-rounder had spent considerable time away from family and in bio-secure environments with the England team.

Ben Stokes was a part of the Royals set up in the first half of the IPL before he broke his finger in a fixture against Punjab Kings while fielding in the deep. Having been ruled out ever since from all cricketing action, he returned to lead England to a 3-0 ODI win over Pakistan after Covid-19 struck the home camp, ruling out four players including skipper Eoin Morgan. Ben Stokes, however, did not participate in the T20I series that followed and revealed his decision soon after.

Jos Buttler (RR)

Rajasthan Royals batsman Jos Buttler in action | Sportzpics for BCCI / Pankaj Nangia
Rajasthan Royals batsman Jos Buttler in action | Sportzpics for BCCI / Pankaj Nangia

Another Rajasthan Royals player to pull out was Jos Buttler. The England opener played the entire IPL 2021 phase 1 but decided against returning for Phase 2 citing bubble fatigue.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler hit the top gear against Sunrisers Hyderabad by smashing 124 off 64 balls in an IPL 2021 match. RR opener Jos Buttler wasn’t at his usual best before he came to his own with a scintillating 124 versus Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), just a few days before BCCI suspended the tournament due to Covid-19 threat.

He had scored 328 runs in the IPL 2020 and 254 runs in 7 games in the IPL 2021 averaging 36.28. While he had to leave IPL 2019 midway to join the England team for the World Cup 2019 preparations, he made an impact during his eight-game stint, scoring 311 runs, following his 548-run season in IPL 2018 where he averaged 54.8.

Liam Livingstone (RR)

Liam Livingstone Instagram
Liam Livingstone Instagram

Liam Livingstone left IPL 2021 midway through the season amid the second wave of COVID-19 in India. The England batsman although will be returning for Phase 2. In a major boost to Rajasthan Royals, English all-rounder Liam Livingstone is all set to be available for the second phase of IPL 2021 which will resume from Sep 19 onwards.

After three English players Jonny Bairstow, Dawid Malan, and Chris Woakes pulled out of IPL 2021 there were question marks of Liam Livingstone’s availability for IPL. However, Rajasthan Royals confirmed that Liam Livingstone will be featuring in the second phase of the cash-rich league.

Rajasthan Royals though have been dealt with a massive blow as in-form batsman Liam Livingstone is likely to miss the first few games of the second phase of IPL 2021 due to injury.

Dawid Malan (PBKS)

Dawid Malan File Photo
Dawid Malan File Photo

It is difficult to term Dawid Malan’s pull out other than plain and simple revenge. After Virat Kohli-led India decided not to play the 5th Test amid the COVID-19 outbreak inside India’s camp, Dawid Malan pulled out at the last moment, annoying Punjab Kings.

Dawid Malan was picked by the Punjab Kings in the 2021 auction for a price tag of INR 1.5 crores and it will be the lefthander’s debut IPL season. He played only 1 game scoring 26 runs.

Jonny Bairstow (SRH)

Jonny Bairstow
Jonny Bairstow of SRH (Photo Source: Twitter)

Another last-minute pullout came from SRH’s top-scorer Jonny Bairstow and it is believed that he too followed similar instincts as Dawid Malan, dealing an ailing SRH a heavy blow. Jonny Bairstow had a brilliant debut IPL season in 2019 scoring 445 runs that included a century while opening the batting with David Warner. He had amassed 1038 runs in 28 IPL games averaging 41.52.

Sunrisers Hyderabad have roped in West Indies batsman Sherfane Rutherford for the remainder of IPL 2021. The middle-order batsman from the West Indies comes in as a replacement for opener Jonny Bairstow. Notably, SRH has had a disastrous campaign so far winning only one of the seven games in the first phase of IPL 2021, and are currently placed at the bottom of the table.

Chris Woakes (DC)

Chris Woakes | Delhi Capitals
Chris Woakes | Delhi Capitals

Amongst the three players, Delhi Capitals’ Chris Woakes is the other England player to announce his pull-out at the 11th hour. The England pacer gave no reason behind the opt-out. Chris Woakes played just two matches in Phase 1 due to injury.

Chris Woakes did not feature in IPL 2020 but Delhi Capitals retained the England cricketer for the IPL 2021. He scored 15 runs and picked up 5 scalps in 3 games before IPL 2021 was suspended due to Covid-19. Overall, he has 30 scalps in 21 matches averaging 21.93, and scored 78 runs playing IPL 2017,2018, and 2021.

Andrew Tye (RR)

Andrew Tye has flown back home from IPL.
Andrew Tye has flown back home from IPL. Photo: BCCI

After returning midway through IPL 2021 Phase 1, Australian pacer Andrew Tye informed RR that he won’t be returning for Phase 2 due to bubble fatigue. Andrew Tye, who had first joined RR in 2020, wasn’t a regular for RR but was one of the overseas options that RR could have considered.

The Purple Cap winner of IPL 2018, Andrew Tye only played 6 matches for Punjab Kings(then KXIP) in 2019. He moved to RR at his base price of Rs 1 crore. He only played one match in IPL 2020 in UAE. He went for 50 runs and scalped one wicket in the fixture and despite that fact, he was retained by the franchise.

Kane Richardson (RCB)

Kane Richardson. (Image Source: Twitter)
Kane Richardson. (Image Source: Twitter)

After playing Phase 1 of IPL, the Australian all-rounder Kane Richardson decided against returning for Phase 2. He had also opted out of Australia’s tour of the West Indies and Bangladesh. Signed by the Pune Warriors India for IPL 2013, he had the opportunity to sharpen his skills with the legendary Allan Donald.

He was then inducted into the Rajasthan Royals side in the 2014 auction, followed by RCB in IPL 2016. The fourteenth edition of the league will be his second stint with the RCB. He played 1 IPL game in 2021 picking a solitary scalp.

Pat Cummins (KKR)

Pat Cummins
Pat Cummins[photo: Twitter]
KKR’s star pacer and Australia’s vice-captain Pat Cummins was the first confirmed pullout of Phase 2. The star opted out to be with his partner who is expecting their first child. Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) have signed Tim Southee for the remaining 31 games of the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Pat Cummins, who was signed for Rs. 15.5 crores for IPL 2020 season, has been a key member of their side, and this season he played all their seven games, taking nine wickets and scoring 93 runs, including a career-best 66 not out against Chennai Super Kings. Pat Cummins picked 12 wickets in 14 games that included a 4-wicket haul in the 2020 IPL season. He bowled well in IPL 2021 picking 9 scalps in 7 games averaging 26.33 besides scoring 93 runs averaging 31.

Jhye Richardson (Image Credit: Twitter)
Jhye Richardson (Image Credit: Twitter)

Riley Meredith (PBKS)

Riley Meredith is excited to be part of the IPL | PBKS Instagram
Riley Meredith is excited to be part of the IPL | PBKS Instagram

The other PBKS pacer to pull out is Riley Meredith. The Australian star also featured in Phase 1 and has missed Australia’s tours while also opting out of Phase 2. The right-arm pacer from Tasmania is capable of clocking 140 kmph very consistently and has proved his worth in the domestic circuit.

He made his T20 debut against New Zealand in 2021 and debuted in the IPL after the Punjab Kings won the bidding war, eventually acquiring the Aussie pacer for INR 8 Cr. He picked 4 scalps in 5 IPL games.

Finn Allen (RCB)

Finn Allen IPL 2021
Finn Allen IPL 2021

The New Zealander Finn Allen came as a replacement player for Josh Philippe and spent the first half of IPL on the bench. But he has informed the franchise that he won’t be returning and Tim David has been roped in as a replacement.

Chris Woakes. (Getty Images)
Chris Woakes. (Getty Images)
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Chris Woakes Preferred The 2021 T20I World Cup And Ashes 2021/22 Over IPL 2021

Chris Woakes, England seam-bowling all-rounder has elaborated on his decision to skip the second phase of the IPL 2021. Chris Woakes of Delhi Capitals earned a spot in England’s T20 squad and is among three English players to pull out of the UAE leg.

The 32-year old has put his international commitments ahead of the lucrative tournament. Chris Woakes wants to be available, fit and firing in England’s bid to win their second T20 crown and the Ashes in Australia soon after.

Chris Woakes, playing for his first-class side Warwickshire, preferred the T20 World Cup and the Ashes, claiming it would be an exciting few months for the English team. Thus, he had to sacrifice his IPL deal. The UAE leg of the IPL 2021 begins on September 19 and goes on till October 15, following which the T20 World Cup will begin in a couple of days.

“With the World Cup and the Ashes, it would have been too much in a short space of time. I would have loved to have been part of the IPL but something has to give. A World Cup and an Ashes tour, it’s almost as big a winter as our summer was in 2019.”

“It’s a shame with what’s going on Covid-wise that it’s not going to be as normal as everyone would like. But, from a cricket perspective, it’s very exciting,” Woakes said as quoted by The Guardian.

Story Image Ben Dwarshuis is the sixth-highest wicket-taker in the BBL Getty Images
Ben Dwarshuis is the sixth-highest wicket-taker in the BBL Getty Images

Chris Woakes further remarked that he was unaware of being part of the T20 squad. The right-arm seamer said the IPL has stumbled upon them at the end of their summer. Chris Woakes has featured in only 10 T20Is since debuting in early 2011. He was recalled after 6 years in T20Is and featured in 2 matches of the Sri Lanka T20Is in June 2021.

“My inclusion in the World Cup squad, I didn’t know was going to happen – especially a couple of months ago. The IPL has been rescheduled and thrown on to the end of our summer,” Woakes said as quoted by The Guardian.

Chris Woakes was part of the Delhi Capitals and took five wickets in three games in the first half at 16.40 apiece. The franchise announced Australian seamer Ben Dwarshuis as his replacement on Monday.

Chris Woakes Played Only 1 Test This Summer Against India

The 32-year old could only feature in one Test this summer, playing in the fourth Test at the Oval against India. He recovered from his heel injury to replace Sam Curran and picked up four wickets in the first innings. Chris Woakes followed it by scoring a crucial fifty.

The all-rounder was named in England squad for South Africa, Sri Lanka, and India series but wasn’t picked in the playing XI in any of the tours. The talented all-rounder underwent knee surgery before New Zealand Tests, which made him unavailable for the 2 match Test series against the Kiwis.

England’s Chris Woakes Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian
England’s Chris Woakes Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian

Unfortunately, England slumped to a 157-run loss in the 4th Test. The fifth Test in Manchester was abandoned after India refused to take the field. It emerged later that the influx of COVID-19 cases within their support staff had created tensions in their minds.

Chris Woakes had pulled out of the remainder of the IPL because of personal reasons, joining Sunrisers Hyderabad’s Jonny Bairstow, Punjab Kings’ Dawid Malan, and Rajasthan Royals’ Jos Buttler in withdrawing from the tournament. The Delhi Capitals are currently on top of the IPL points table with 12 points from eight matches. They resume their campaign against the Sunrisers Hyderabad on September 22.

Chris Woakes did not feature in IPL 2020 but Delhi Capitals retained the England cricketer for the IPL 2021. He scored 15 runs and picked up 5 scalps in 3 games before IPL 2021 was suspended due to Covid-19. Overall, he has 30 scalps in 21 matches averaging 21.93 and scored 78 runs playing IPL 2017,2018, and 2021.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Indian test team
Indian test team[photo: Twitter]

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

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

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

BCCI, ECB Logo
BCCI, ECB Logo

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

List & Status of England Cricketers in IPL 2021:

  • Jos Buttler (Rajasthan Royals) 4.4 Crore – Has pulled out of IPL already citing birth of his child.
  • Jofra Archer (Rajasthan Royals) – 7.2 Crore, Has pulled out due to injury
  • Ben Stokes (Rajasthan Royals) – 12.5 Cr, pulled out citing mental health issues
  • Liam Livingstone (Rajasthan Royals) – 0.75 Cr – Injured & doubtful
  • Eoin Morgan (KKR – 5.25 Cr), Sam Curran (CSK – 5.5 Cr), Moeen Ali (CSK – 7 Crore), Jonny Bairstow (SRH – 2.2 Crore), Tom Curran (DC – 5.5 Cr), Sam Billings (DC – 2 Crore), Chris Woakes (DC – 1.5 Cr), Chris Jordan (PBKS – 3 Crore), Dawid Malan (PBKS – 1.5 Cr), Jason Roy (SRH – 2 Cr),
Nasser Hussain said England were lacking "a bit more toughness in that middle order" and Mark Butcher stated that they "let India back in" to the game ( Image: Sky Sports)
Nasser Hussain said England were lacking "a bit more toughness in that middle order" and Mark Butcher stated that they "let India back in" to the game ( Image: Sky Sports)
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Mark Butcher Unimpressed By England’s Batting And Agrees With Nasser Hussain As Lead Must Have Been Above 100

Mark Butcher was unimpressed by the national team’s batting display on day two of the fourth Test against India. Mark Butcher criticized the Three Lions for allowing India a sniff despite favorable batting conditions on day two at the Oval.

Although England did well to recover from 62-5 to take a 99-run lead but the fact is that most batsmen failed to convert their starts. The likes of Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, and Dawid Malan made impressive 30s and perished at crucial junctures. Only Ollie Pope and Chris Woakes made half-centuries, with the former top-scoring with 81.

Mark Butcher waves to the crowd as he walks off celebrating England's victory over South Africa.(Getty Images)
Mark Butcher waves to the crowd as he walks off celebrating England’s victory over South Africa.(Getty Images)

Mark Butcher: India Had Ran Out Of Ideas And They Couldn’t Stop Runs From Moeen Ali And Ollie Pope

Responding to Nasser Hussain’s comments on the lack of England’s toughness in the middle order on Sky Sports, Mark Butcher remembered when Indian bowlers looked clueless. Mark Butcher said India could not make the ball talk, failing to control Moeen Ali and Ollie Pope.

“It’s easy to forget they were five down for 60 but I think there was an occasion there towards the back end towards the lunch and tea break and onwards where India had ran out of ideas. They weren’t able to make the ball move so much, it was getting soft which they were complaining about and they couldn’t stem the flow of runs from Moeen Ali and Ollie Pope.”

Nasser Hussain. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)
Nasser Hussain. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

Nasser Hussain claimed that “if there was just a bit more toughness in that middle order then they could almost still be batting”, while Mark Butcher believes England “let India back in” and they should be “150 in front”.

Speaking on Sky Sports, Nasser Hussain said: “You can always have a better day but when they were 60-odd for five, to get up to 290 just shows the value of that middle order and Chris Woakes in particular, batting with the tail, got them a healthy lead. Both sides actually ended up getting more than expected but you always feel, on a flatter Oval pitch that if there was just a bit more toughness in that middle order then they could almost still be batting.”

Ollie Pope scored an excellent 81 on his return to the Test team, sharing an 89-run partnership with Jonny Bairstow and a 71-run partnership with Moeen Ali. Chris Woakes also scored an excellent fifty, further underlining his impressive all-around credentials.

However, with Ollie Pope unable to reach the three-figure mark and both Jonny Bairstow and Moeen Ali getting out for 37 and 35 respectively, Nasser Hussain and Mark Butcher believe England should have ended up getting a much bigger lead.

Mark Butcher Criticizes Moeen Ali’s Shot Selection

Mark Butcher further claimed that England let India back into the game. The cricketer-turned-commentator was particularly unhappy about Moeen Ali’s shot selection against Ravindra Jadeja. Mark Butcher stated that Moeen Ali has repeated the pattern often throughout his career.

“England let them back in again and I’m not criticising Moeen for trying to have a go at the left-arm spinner, he has the best strike-rate against spin of anybody in the world in white-ball cricket so he can take down the left-arm spinner. It’s the option that has blown people’s minds about Moeen Ali throughout his career. How can a guy who’s so good and with so many options often pick the wrong one?”

Moeen Ali's shot selection was questioned after he was dismissed playing a slog-sweep with both mid-off and mid-on up inside the circle and two fielders back on the leg side
Moeen Ali’s shot selection was questioned after he was dismissed playing a slog-sweep with both mid-off and mid-on up inside the circle and two fielders back on the leg side ( Image: Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Butcher added: “Mid-off and mid-on were up, there were two men back on the leg side for that slog sweep and he went for the slog sweep when he could bash it over long-on and long-off and there was nobody back.”

Both Mark Butcher and Nasser Hussain opined that England should have extended the lead well beyond 100. At the close of day two, India reached 43-0, still trailing by 56 runs. On the 3rd day, India is on 108/1 having lost KL Rahul (46). Rohit Sharma is batting on 47 and Cheteshwar Pujara is batting on 14 when Lunch was taken.

Ollie Pope Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images
Ollie Pope Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images
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Ollie Pope Would Have Loved To Score A Ton But Was Gutted After Being Dismissed On 81

Ollie Pope was on 81 when the 23-year-old reached for a Shardul Thakur delivery and edged it into his stumps. It was his second-highest score for his country, an innings that carried his team from crisis towards a measure of supremacy, and it ended with the batsman heaving his bat into the ground in frustration.

It was an opportunity missed, and not just to assist Chris Woakes in his attempt to take the game away from India in the final session. Because there is something about the pavilion at the Oval that makes Ollie Pope particularly enjoy waving his bat at it, and he had seemed destined to get another chance.

After Ollie Pope's dismissal for 81, he averages 99.40 at the Oval, compared to 100.71 before
After Ollie Pope’s dismissal for 81, he averages 99.40 at the Oval, compared to 100.71 before @Getty Images

Ollie Pope Returned In The England Test Team With A Superb 81 And Was Gutted On Missing Out On A Ton

More than three years after his Test debut, Ollie Pope is back in the side after Jos Buttler’s decision to prioritize the birth of his second child and representing England at the Oval for the first time. As a Surrey player, he might be expected to feel particularly at home on this ground, but not everyone manages to convert that feeling of familiarity into consistently high scores as Ollie Pope has.

Ollie Pope’s dismissal for 81 meant his first-class average at The Oval dropped from 100.71 to 99.40.  He now has 1,491 runs there in 19 innings, with seven centuries (and four not-outs).

“To be honest I was pretty gutted,” Ollie Pope told Sky Sports. “At my home ground, it would have been a bit of a dream to have got over the line. But I guess if someone said you’d get an 80 first game back you’d have taken that, but I’m gutted all the same.”

It took India only four balls to dispose of Craig Overton, England’s nightwatchman, and bring Ollie Pope to the crease. England was 53 for four, soon to become 62 for five when Dawid Malan fell, like Craig Overton, to Umesh Yadav, courtesy of an excellent diving catch at second slip. At this stage, India’s once-trifling total of 191 had developed a daunting, menacing distance as the home side toiled on the lower slopes of a molehill.

As on the first day Shardul Thakur had inspired a sudden rush of runs that shifted the momentum of the game, only this time it was with the ball in his hand rather than a bat. It started with Ollie Pope and three excellent shots in four deliveries, all of which sped to the rope.

Ollie Pope made 81 on his Surrey home ground and all-rounder Chris Woakes exactly 50 before England was dismissed for 290 in reply to India’s first-innings 191 on the second day of the fourth Test.

 

India Was 43 For No Loss Behind By 56 Runs At Stumps On Day 2

India was 43-0 in their second innings at stumps, a deficit of 56 runs. Rohit Sharma was 20 not out and KL Rahul 22 not out, with this intriguing five-match series level at 1-1. England was struggling at 62-5 early on Friday after paceman Umesh Yadav, playing his first Test in nearly a year, removed Craig Overton and Dawid Malan in a return of 3-76 in 19 overs.

But Ollie Pope, only recalled because Jos Buttler missed the match on paternity leave, revived the innings during partnerships of 89 and 71 with Jonny Bairstow (37) and Moeen Ali (35) respectively.

Umesh Yadav. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Umesh Yadav. (Photo Source: Twitter)

This was Ollie Pope’s first half-century in 16 Test innings since a 62 against Pakistan in Manchester last year and also extended the 23-year-old excellent record at the Oval where, prior to Friday, he had scored 1,410 runs at an average of 100.71 in 18 first-class innings.

Warwickshire paceman Chris Woakes, who’d already marked his first Test in over a year by leading England’s attack with 4-55 on Thursday, then blazed his way to a fifty in just 58 balls in front of a sun-drenched crowd.

Michael Vaughan (Image Credit: Twitter)
Michael Vaughan (Image Credit: Twitter)
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Michael Vaughan Blames India And England Batsmen For Poor Batting On Day 1 Of The 4th Test

Michael Vaughan, former England captain, and broadcaster slammed the batters of both England and India for their lack of application on Day 1 of the Oval Test. He pointed out that there wasn’t any instance of the ball misbehaving. According to him, it was just poor batting on display.

After being put in to bat, India struggled to get going and scraped their way through to 191, courtesy of half-centuries from Virat Kohli and Shardul Thakur. England has already lost three wickets at the close of play on stumps at Day 1.

Shardul Thakur starred with a free-flowing half-century on Day 1 of fourth Test.© AFP
Shardul Thakur starred with a free-flowing half-century on Day 1 of the fourth Test.© AFP

Michael Vaughan: Day 1 Of The 4th Test Was A Really Poor Day For The Craftsmanship Of Test Match Batting

Michael Vaughan stated that the ball was expected to move around in the overcast conditions, but it wasn’t an unplayable surface by any means.

Michael Vaughan said on BBC’s Test Match Special podcast: “We know at the Oval that you get a true bounce. I haven’t seen any ball kept low or bounce too much. You have got to expect a little bit of movement when the clouds are around. I think it’s been a very good day for bowling. I don’t think it has been a great day for catching. because there have been catches that have been dropped. I think it has been a really poor day for the craftsmanship of Test match batting.”

Michael Vaughan
Michael Vaughan

He further added that somebody ought to have put their hands up and scored that big knock on day 1.

“You can’t tell me that with the talent of players in both sides someone shouldn’t be getting a big score on that kind of surface.”

The fourth Test opened with the clatter of 13 wickets and, when the last of these fell moments before the close, Joe Root looking back at a set of stumps freshly rearranged by Umesh Yadav, the mood changed significantly.

Michael Vaughan: England Gifted A Couple Of Wickets

Michael Vaughan reckons that England gifted at least a couple of wickets to India in the last session. He marked his disappointment at the way opener Haseeb Hameed got out to a loose shot outside the off-stump.

“They gifted a couple of easy ones. Haseeb Hameed, opening the batting. Dots, dots, dots. Couldn’t get the scoreboard ticking. And all of a sudden he plays a big yaaahooo at a wide one. That’s not what opening batters should be doing.”

Joe Root is bowled by Umesh Yadav late on the first day of the fourth Test.
Joe Root is bowled by Umesh Yadav for 21 late on the first day of the fourth Test at the Oval, as India fought back Photograph: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

India has got the price scalp of Joe Root before stumps. Dawid Malan will resume the innings along with nightwatchman Craig Overton on Day 2. England trail India by 138 runs at the moment with 7 wickets in hand.

England’s reply began with the cheap removals of Rory Burns and Haseeb Hameed, the pair unable to repeat the century stand witnessed at Headingley as Jasprit Bumrah bowled the former off the inside edge for five and then had the latter caught behind trying to open his account with an uppercut.

Umesh Yadav’s strikes in his first over of the 2nd day by sending back nightwatchman Craig Overton on 1 (12). An outswinger bowled by Umesh Yadav and Craig Overton went for a cut, getting an outside edge with Virat Kohli taking the catch.

Ravichandran Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)
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Ravichandran Ashwin’s Exclusion Is Up To Team Management: Mohammed Shami Says ‘We Need To Back And Trust The XI’

Ravichandran Ashwin’s absence from India’s playing XI in the third Test against England was once again a subject of debate as the team went in with 4 pacers and Ravindra Jadeja as the sole spinner.

Seeing Indian pacers struggle for wickets in Headingley, many questioned if the decision to exclude Ravichandran Ashwin was the right one. Even pacer Mohammed Shami was asked about this at the press conference after stumps on Day 2. Joe Root ran riot at Headingley, scoring 121 off 165 while the top three England batters — Rory Burns, Haseeb Hameed, and Dawid Malan — all of whom scored a half-century each to take England into a strong position.

Indian players Ishant Sharma, left, Ravichandran Ashwin, center, and Mohammed Shami
Indian players Ishant Sharma, left, Ravichandran Ashwin and Mohammed Shami

Ravichandran Ashwin’s Exclusion Is Upto Team Management: Mohammed Shami

The situation, hence, saw many questions raised if Ravichandran Ashwin should’ve been a part of the match. As far as Mohammed Shami is concerned, however, the decision remains the team management’s and it is the players’ responsibility to back whatever XI is picked.

Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma
Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma

“I wouldn’t like to comment on the selection. That’s a team management decision. The XI that’s there on the field will have to do the job. We need to back and trust the XI that the team management has picked. You can’t think of it [selection] too much.”

Indian pacers, who were on the money in the 2nd Lord’s Test, struggled to extract any help from the pitch. Of the 8 wickets that fell on Day 2, Mohammed Shami bagged three while Ravindra Jadeja and Mohammed Siraj claimed two each. Jasprit Bumrah also bagged a wicket but Ishant Sharma remained wicket-less.

Mohammed Shami: As The Pitch Slows Down, Picking Up Wickets Become Difficult With Less Bounce And Carry

Contrary to Indian batters, the Englishmen did incredibly well with the bat, triggering a plethora of questions over India skipper Virat Kohli’s decision to bat first. Mohammed Shami, however, stressed that the pitch became a lot more conducive to the batters after the Indian innings.

“As the pitch slows down, it gets difficult with less bounce and less carry. As you saw, we also got the edges. When the wicket slows down, it stops swinging and seaming. The chances of getting reverse swing reduce in such conditions where the wicket is green. The pitch was very slow today.

“The key is not to overthink and understand how the wicket is behaving and adapt accordingly. If it’s slow, then the key is to bowl good line and length,” Shami explained.

Virat Kohli, Joe Root
Virat Kohli, Joe Root

With England’s lead already 345, India has an uphill task to make a comeback in the match.  Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah got the remaining two wickets early on Day 3 as England got all out for 432 in their first innings. Riding on a scintillating Joe Root ton on Day 2, England took a massive lead of 354 runs.

Indian openers KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma will have a tough task at hand against the swing bowling of the likes of James Anderson in overcast conditions. India is batting currently and is 16/0 as KL Rahul survives after taking an LBW review.

Ravichandran Ashwin has scalped 413 wickets in the 79 Tests he has played for India, at an excellent average of 24.56. The off-spinner was the second-highest wicket-taker for India and fourth overall, in the four-match Test series in Australia in 2020/21. Ravichandran Ashwin claimed 12 wickets in 3 Tests, including one four-wicket haul.

In the four-match home series against England 2021, he was the highest wicket-taker. He signed off the series with 32 scalps in 4 Tests, including 3 five-wicket hauls. He played the WTC Final which India lost but didn’t feature in any of the first 3 Tests against hosts England.

Dawid Malan stroked his way to an efficiency-saving 70 on the second day of the third Test. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images
Dawid Malan stroked his way to an efficiency-saving 70 on the second day of the third Test. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images
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The Wicket Changed Massively From The 1st Day As Indian Bowlers Didn’t Get Much Help: Dawid Malan

Dawid Malan, playing his first Test in three years, hit a splendid 70 and added 139 runs for the third wicket with skipper Joe Root as England reached 423 for 8 at stumps on day two to take a massive lead of 345.

Dawid Malan played the last of his 15 Tests back in 2018, against the same opponents. Rory Burns (61), Haseeb Hameed (68), Dawid Malan (70), and Joe Root (121) ensured England take a huge first-innings lead over a hapless India, who won the 2nd Test and is leading 1-0 in the 5 match series.

Dawid Malan
Dawid Malan of England. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Dawid Malan: The Wicket Changed Massively From The 1st Day

Indian was blown away for a paltry 78 in their first innings on the 1st day but it looked like a different pitch when England came out to bat as they piled the misery on the opposition bowlers. Indian bowlers worked really hard and asked a lot of questions but didn’t get much help from the wicket, which has changed massively since the opening day of the third Test, said England batsman Dawid Malan on Thursday.

“The wicket changed massively from the first day the first hour when they were batting,” the 33-year-old Malan said in a virtual press conference after the end of the second day’s play.

Ishant Sharma
Ishant Sharma[Image-Twitter]

“I would not say they were flat with their bowling. They absolutely ran in and tried their socks off. They asked a lot of questions probably didn’t get that much help from the wicket,” the left-hander said.

Senior-most Indian pacer Ishant Sharma looked lacklustre and returned wicketless after bowling 22 overs as the four-pronged pace attack struggled to make early inroads. Mohammed Shami picked 3 scalps, while Mohammed Siraj and Ravindra Jadeja picked 2 apiece and Jasprit Bumrah picked a solitary wicket-that of Joe Root.

Dawid Malan: It Was Great To Watch Joe Root Batting From The Other End

India failed to trouble Joe Root, who led from the front with a hat-trick of centuries in three Tests to put England in total control of the third Test. Playing in front of his family at home, Joe Root played an effortless inning of 121 — his sixth century of the calendar year.

“He scores runs all the time, and with the ease and the speed with which he does, it is quite fantastic. He has led from the front again as he has done in the Test series so far, all credit goes to him,” Malan said showering praise on his skipper.
Joe Root. [Image-Twitter]
Joe Root. [Image-Twitter]

“He moves his feet so well, the ball position where he hits the ball is so good. He hits the ball so much late than most people, he always looks to score.”

Calling him one of the greats of the game, Malan said: “If you bowl a bad ball, he just puts you away. If you look at all the greats who played if you miss your length they hurt you and Joe is one of those. It’s great to watch from the other end.”

With this century, England skipper Joe Root now equals Kevin Pietersen for the second-most Test hundreds for an England batsman – 23, while Alastair Cook has 10 more. After carrying the batting of his side on his shoulders, for once, the top three gave their skipper a decent amount of time of rest in the dressing room, as he arrived at the score of 159/2 in the 63rd over.

Joe Root then, along with fellow Yorkshiremate Dawid Malan, batted throughout the second session with the left-hander getting out on the last ball before tea. He took on India’s lone spinner, Ravindra Jadeja, with cuts and sweeps, which had been the highlight of his tour to Asia earlier in the year. He raced away to his fifty in 57 balls, before taking on the Indian pacers.

File image of former India captain Sunil Gavaskar | AFP
File image of former India captain Sunil Gavaskar | AFP
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Sunil Gavaskar Hopes Virat Kohli-led India Will Repeat Feat Of Ajit Wadekar By Beating England At The Oval

Sunil Gavaskar, the legendary India cricketer said the Virat Kohli-led Indian side will repeat the feat of Ajit Wadekar’s side by clinching the series at the Oval in England. Sunil Gavaskar was speaking on the 50th anniversary of India’s first-ever Test win in England back in 1971 under Ajit Wadekar’s captaincy.

India had beaten England in the third Test at the Oval in 1971 by four wickets which turned out to be a series-clinching one – India’s first-ever England – as the first two Tests had ended in draws.

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

Sunil Gavaskar Believes India Will Clinch The Series In Oval Just Like 1971

Sunil Gavaskar said the current Virat Kohli-led side will win the next two Tests in Headingley and Oval to seal the series. India is currently leading the five-match series 1-0. The first Test had ended in a draw due to rain on the 5th day. India won the second Test by 151 runs.

“So now this time around too, at The Oval, India will clinch the series just like we did way back in 1971. Be rest assured of that. This team will repeat what 1971 Wadekar’s team did,” Gavaskar said in a video on his official Instagram handle.

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

India went into the third Test unchanged. England has a couple of changes in their team as they bring in Dawid Malan and Craig Overton in place of opener Dominic Sibley and injured Mark Wood. James Anderson struck in his first over by removing KL Rahul who falls for a four-ball duck. A peach from James Anderson just outside off and a tentative KL Rahul edges it straight to keeper Jos Buttler.

Sunil Gavaskar Recalls That 50 Years Ago India Won A Test In England And With It The Test Series

Sunil Gavaskar, who was a part of the Ajit Wadekar-led side that achieved the historic win in Oval in 1971, went on to narrate his experience.

“50 years ago, on August 24th, India won a Test in England for the first time and with it the Test series. What a day it was… It was truly unforgettable. The crowds that lined up the Oval were something similar to what happened in 1983. Of course, 1983 was much bigger because the whole of Lord’s cricket ground seemed to be taken by Indian supporters. But it was truly unforgettable(India’s first Test win), truly memorable.”

Skipper Ajit Wadekar waves to the crowd after India's historic series win in England at the Oval in 1971. - GETTY IMAGES
Skipper Ajit Wadekar waves to the crowd after India’s historic series win in England at the Oval in 1971. – GETTY IMAGES

“Ajit Wadekar led the side superbly and there was some tremendous batting by Farokh Engineer, Gundappa Viswanath, Dilip Sardesai to take us home. But above all, it was BS Chandrasekhar six wickets for 38 that dismissed England for only 101 in the second innings and paved the way for India to win,” he said.

In 1971, India beat England in the third and final Test by four wickets with 205 minutes to spare at the Kennington Oval, to clinch to series 1-0. The victory established at least three firsts. This was the first time India won a Test in England. It was the first time in, 28 Tests since June 1968 that England was defeated and it was also the first time that India triumphed in two series in one year, having defeated the West Indies earlier.

Meanwhile, India will face England in the third Test of the series at Headingley which begins on Wednesday, 25th August 2021, exactly 50 years after their maiden series win in England on 24th August 1971.

England XI: Rory Burns, Haseeb Hameed, Dawid Malan, Joe Root(capt.), Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler(wk), Moeen Ali, Sam Curran, Craig Overton, Ollie Robinson, James Anderson

India XI: Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli(capt.), Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant(wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj

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