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Gautam Gambhir. Photo Credit: Getty Images.
Gautam Gambhir. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

New Zealand Have An Edge As There’s No Substitute For Match Practice: Gautam Gambhir

Gautam Gambhir believes New Zealand will have a slight edge over India in the World Test Championship (WTC) final at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton starting on Friday. India and New Zealand will lock horns for the inaugural WTC title at a neutral venue in what promises to be a cracker of a contest.

India played an intra-squad simulation match to prepare for the WTC final, but Gautam Gambhir believes there is no substitute for match practice.

Gautam Gambhir AFP
Gautam Gambhir AFP

Gautam Gambhir Puts New Zealand Ahead Of India

Gautam Gambhir put New Zealand ahead of India because of the two-Test matches they played against England before the WTC final. The Kane Williamson-led side took the two-match series 1-0 by winning the second Test at Birmingham by eight wickets.

“It is difficult to predict the favourites in the one-off final. But I feel New Zealand will have a slight advantage because they have played two Test matches in England, and most importantly, they have won it,” Gautam Gambhir told Aaj Tak on eSalaamCricket.

New Zealand's Tom Latham, left, holds the winners' trophy
New Zealand’s Tom Latham holds the winners’ trophy. (Photo | AP)

Indian cricketers, on the other hand, are coming from a long layoff as IPL 2021 was postponed after the first half due to Covid-19. Their last Test match was at home against England in the first week of March. The Virat Kohli-led side did play an intra-squad simulation match to prepare for the WTC final, but Gautam Gambhir believes there is no substitute for match practice.

“You can play as many intra-squad matches, but there is no substitute to match practice. As a result, New Zealand will be better prepared for the WTC final,” added Gambhir.

Tom Latham led the New Zealand team to a memorable 1-0 Test series triumph in the two-match series against hosts England, in the absence of injured Kane Williamson, which is their first in the UK since 1999.

Ishant Sharma(3/36) shone with the ball in the India intra-squad practice match in Southampton before the WTC final. Openers Shubman Gill (85 off 135 balls) and Rishabh Pant (121* off 94 balls) shone with the bat. Ravindra Jadeja scored an unbeaten 54 off 76 balls in India’s intra-squad practice match at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton. With the ball, Mohammed Siraj impressed with figures of 2/22 on the third day of the four-day practice match.

Gautam Gambhir Believes Indian Bowlers Can Trouble Any Team At Any Surface

The former left-hander, however, sang praises of the Indian bowling attack, which he believes can take 20 wickets on any track. Also, the WTC title will be shared between India and New Zealand if the Test match ends in a draw or a tie, but Gautam Gambhir reckons both sides should go for a win.

“I have always believed that it is bowlers who win you the Test matches. To win a Test match, you need to take 20 wickets, and I think the current Indian bowling line-up can trouble any team at any surface. The depth in Indian bowling attack is immense,” feels Gambhir.

Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah and Ishant Sharma are likely to lead India's bowling attack in England
Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, and Ishant Sharma are likely to lead India’s bowling attack in England (Source: AP)

For over a decade Ishant Sharma has been the spearhead of India’s fast-bowling attack, producing a level of quality that will only be fully appreciated when he’s no longer around to lead the line.

The 32-year-old has already achieved the milestone of passing 300 Test wickets. He also has played his 100th Test for India, becoming only the second Indian quick to do so, following in the footsteps of the legendary Kapil Dev.

Ravi Shastri Image Source : AP
Ravi Shastri Image Source : AP

Ravi Shastri Successful In Ensuring Players Remain In The Right Frame Of Mind, Says Sachin Tendulkar

Sachin Tendulkar said that at the international level, a coach’s job is to ensure that players remain positive in crunch situations which Ravi Shastri has been able to do successfully. India head coach Ravi Shastri has been successful in ensuring that the players remain in the right frame of mind, batting great Sachin Tendulkar has said.

Ravi Shastri has been head coach since July 2017 and under him, India has managed back-to-back wins in the Test series in Australia and advanced to the final of the World Test Championship.

Ravu Shastri has been India's head coach since July 2017.
Ravi Shastri has been India’s head coach since July 2017. (Reuters Photo)

Sachin Tendulkar: Coach’s Job Is To Keep Players In The Right Frame Of Mind

Sachin Tendulkar said that at the international level, a coach’s job is to ensure that players remain positive in crunch situations. Former cricketer and the head coach of India’s men’s team, Ravi Shastri was a member of the 1983 squad which lifted the ODI World Cup for India for the first time ever. The former all-rounder played 80 Tests and 150 ODIs between 1981 and 1992.

“At this level, everyone knows how to defend or drive, bowlers know how to bowl outswingers or inswingers. But to actually keep them in the right frame of my mind is the coach’s job. There is nothing better than having a good atmosphere in the dressing room during critical moments,” Sachin Tendulkar told India Today on eSalaamCricket.

Sachin Tendulkar Photograph: Niklas Halle’n/AFP/Getty Images
Sachin Tendulkar
Photograph: Niklas Halle’n/AFP/Getty Images

Ravi Shastri stands tall among all the head coaches in the longer format. Out of the 46 Tests India played under him, the team won 28. The winning percentage is 60.87. In ODIs, the former right-handed batsman led India in 91 matches out of which it won 57 with a winning percentage of 62.64.

The high point in Ravi Shastri’s coaching career came when India won the first-ever Test series against Australia in Australia. India’s fightback in the 2018-19 Border Gavaskar Trophy is largely credited to Ravi Shastri for filling the young talent with a never-say-die attitude. India had won the four-match Test by 2-1.

In the next Test series in Australia-the 2020/21 series, India won by the same margin despite missing several key players due to injuries.

Sachin Tendulkar: Gary Kirsten Played An Instrumental Role In Helping India Draw With New Zealand In A Test

Sachin Tendulkar gave an example of how former head coach Gary Kirsten played an instrumental role in helping India draw a Test match in New Zealand.

“We were playing against New Zealand in Napier and they had made a big score in the first innings. We also made a big score but theirs was huge and we were made to follow on with almost two days remaining in the Test,” said Tendulkar.

The coach of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 winning Indian team Gary Kirsten being carried on the shoulders of the champion team after India defeated Sri Lanka in the finals to lift the World Cup. (Photo: Twitter/@ICC)
The coach of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 winning Indian team Gary Kirsten being carried on the shoulders of the champion team after India defeated Sri Lanka in the finals to lift the World Cup. (Photo: Twitter/@ICC)

“Gary Kirsten did not get angry at all, he came into the dressing room and told us that this was the time to show what we were made of. Let’s go out and bat for two days. And we batted for two days and drew the Test.

“In those crunch moments, if the coach remains calm, a lot of problems go away and that is what Ravi has been able to do. I would also say you have to be stern with players when needed but how you talk to them at those moments is also very important. And he has been able to do that successfully,” said Tendulkar.

Gary Kirsten, the former South Africa cricketer, was Team India’s coach when the Men In Blue won the 2011 World Cup on April 2. Under MS Dhoni‘s captaincy, India lost just one match in the showpiece event against South Africa. India defeated arch-rivals Pakistan in the semi-final to set up a blockbuster finale with Sri Lanka.

A heroic inning by Gautam Gambhir (97) along with an exceptional knock from MS Dhoni (91*) saved India the blushes and saw the Men in Blue lifted the World Cup trophy after 28 years chasing a stiff target of 275.

Gautam Gambhir. Photo Credit: Getty Images.
Gautam Gambhir. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Gautam Gambhir Praised By Manvinder Bisla And KC Cariappa For Good Captaincy For KKR

Gautam Gambhir was one of the most successful captains in Indian Premier League history.  Gautam Gambhir led Kolkata Knight Riders to two IPL titles in his career while playing an important part in their batting department.

Several KKR players have talked about the leadership skills of Gautam Gambhir, who is the only KKR skipper to win IPL, and that too, twice, and how he led from the front to guide youngsters in the team.

Gautam Gambhir has led KKR to two IPL titles
Gautam Gambhir has led KKR to two IPL title

Gautam Gambhir Was Fiercely Protective Of His Players: Manvinder Bisla

One of the players, Manvinder Bisla was an integral part of KKR’s batting department during Gautam Gambhir’s reign as captain. He even top-scored in the final of IPL 2012. Manvinder Bisla hit 89 runs off just 48 balls to help KKR chase down Chennai Super Kings’ total of 190 runs in the final.

Manvinder Bisla played 39 matches in the IPL and hit 798 runs at an average of 21. He narrated how Gautam Gambhir was as a captain and said that the former India opener was fiercely protective of his players.

Manvinder Bisla during his match-winning knock of 89 runs in IPL 2012 final against CSK.
Manvinder Bisla during his match-winning knock of 89 runs in the IPL 2012 final against CSK. (Photo: Twitter/@KKRiders)

“As a captain, Gautam was fiercely protective of his players. He was like an older brother. Win or lose, he needed to just see focus and intensity. Even when I wasn’t converting starts, he was never short of encouraging words if he saw the effort.

“So chats with him at different times during the competition gave me the reinforcement that I was very much valued. Vijay Dahiya, our assistant coach, was also a great motivator. These two made it easy for me to deal with both success and failure,” Bisla said as quoted by ESPNCricinfo.

Gautam Gambhir is a captain who is known to take bold decisions and the fact that Manvinder Bisla was chosen ahead of Brendon McCullum in the IPL 2012 final, is a living testament. Manvinder Bisla was made to open the innings along with skipper Gautam Gambhir.

However, KKR was dealt with a big blow as their marquee batsman Gautam Gambhir departed in the first over itself after a peach of a delivery from Ben Hilfenhaus. Gautam Gambhir was KKR’s leading run-scorer in that tournament and had amassed 590 runs.

Manvinder Bisla and Jacques Kallis steadied KKR’s ship and steered them close to the target. The duo was on song and stitched a magnificent partnership of 136 runs before Manvinder Bisla got dismissed for 89. His power-packed innings was the cornerstone of KKR’s victory as he emerged as the ultimate game-changer. His inning was packed with 8 fours and 5 sixes. Jacques Kallis too scored 69 before departing.

Two Bengali boys in the form of Shakib-Al-Hasan and Manoj Tiwary orchestrated the victory from thereon as KKR successfully chased the target of 191 put up by CSK. In IPL 2014 final, Manish Pandey scored 94 as KKR chased down KXIP’s mammoth total of 199 made possible after KXIP’s Wriddhiman Saha had scored a ton.

Gautam Gambhir Was Strict In Bowling Discipline And Didn’t Compromise Poor Effort On The Field: KC Cariappa

Another find of Gambhir was spinner KC Cariappa who spent two seasons for the franchise – in 2015 and in 2019. In a recent interview, KC Cariappa recalled his experiences of playing under the two-time IPL winning captain Gautam Gambhir in the IPL 2015 season, and described him as a “very good captain”.

“Gambhir was a very good captain. He was a little strict in terms of bowling discipline, and effort on the field was something he wouldn’t compromise,” Cariappa told Sportskeeda.

KC Cariappa. (Photo Source: Twitter)
KC Cariappa. (Photo Source: Twitter)

“Outside the field, he didn’t bother you. On the field, you had to give your 100% and that’s what I loved,” he added.

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 where 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.

Sachin Tendulkar carried on the shoulders of his teammates after the 2011 World Cup win | AFP
Sachin Tendulkar carried on the shoulders of his teammates after the 2011 World Cup win | AFP

Sachin Tendulkar Asked Virat Kohli And Yusuf Pathan To Ensure He Won’t Fall Down During Victory Lap After 2011 World Cup Win Over Sri Lanka

Sachin Tendulkar retired former legendary Indian batsman has revealed he asked Virat Kohli and Yusuf Pathan to ensure he did not fall down as Team India did the victory lap after winning the 2011 World Cup.

India defeated Sri Lanka by six wickets in the 2011 World Cup final at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. Following the famous win, the players thanked the fans with a victory lap, during which Virat Kohli and Yusuf Pathan lifted Sachin Tendulkar on their shoulders.

Sachin Tendulkar being carried by teammates after India won the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup. (File Photo | PTI)
Sachin Tendulkar being carried by teammates after India won the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup. (File Photo | PTI)

Sachin Tendulkar Told Virat Kohli And Yusuf Pathan To Ensure He Won’t Fall Down After India Won 2011 ODI World Cup After A Hiatus Of 28 Years

Sachin Tendulkar, who went to complete a century of centuries in a 24-year-long career, scoring a mountain of runs for India, lifting the 2011 World Cup trophy turned out to be the moment he will cherish the most.

Recalling the iconic moment, Sachin Tendulkar said during an interaction organized by Unacademy: “The victory lap had one incident, when Virat and Yusuf Pathan lifted me, I told them to ensure that I do not fall down. It was not just the Indian team that won the World Cup, it was the entire nation, it is all of us who did it.”

Sachin Tendulkar also admitted that the 2011 World Cup triumph was the “best cricketing day of his life”. Sharing his emotions, the 48-year-old elaborated that the unbelievable moment saw the entire country celebrating.

“When I saw Kapil Dev lifting the World Cup in 1983, it was an unbelievable experience. I enjoyed it with my friends and I wanted to chase my dream. I decided what may come, I have to focus and chase my dream of lifting the World Cup.

“In Mumbai at Wankhede, it was just unbelievable, it was the best cricketing day of life. How many times you have the country celebrate, many few things are there which the entire country celebrates.”

That moment, titled ‘Carried On The Shoulders Of A Nation’, is a reference to the Indian historic win and has been shortlisted as one among the five contenders for the greatest Laureus Sporting Moment 2000-2020 Award. Virat Kohli and Yuvraj Singh have urged fans to vote for the cricketing great.

MS Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh PTI
MS Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh PTI

That moment made India the first team to win the World Cup on home soil, 28 years after Kapil Dev’s men had lifted cricket’s biggest trophy at Lord’s in 1983.

In the final, Sri Lanka had set India a target of 275, aided by Mahela Jayawardene’s sublime century. In reply, Lasith Malinga got Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag early, however, Gautam Gambhir (97) and MS Dhoni, who promoted himself up the order scoring an unbeaten 91, led the chase as India won by six wickets.

Sachin Tendulkar Who Recovered After Testing Covid-19 Positive Donated INR 1 Crore To Help Procure Oxygen Concentrators

India is grappling with one of its biggest crisis, as over 3 lakh COVID-19 positive cases are being reported per day, as per official numbers. Sachin Tendulkar himself tested positive for the virus earlier this year and was even admitted to a hospital.

Speaking about his battle with COVID-19, Sachin Tendulkar thanked the medical fraternity as well as his family and friends who kept him in a positive frame of mind.

“I think it is a difficult time for all of us, these are unprecedented times and all I can say is from my first-hand experience, the entire medical fraternity, I cannot thank them enough. How they have stayed committed to saving lives, helping so many people, and nobody has complained. Nobody has said that today we do not feel like working, they are saving lives. A big thank you to all of them.”

Sachin Tendulkar Photograph: Niklas Halle’n/AFP/Getty Images
Sachin Tendulkar
Photograph: Niklas Halle’n/AFP/Getty Images

“To my friends and family, when I was diagnosed with COVID-19, they kept me in that positive frame of mind. It is a challenging time for everyone, but we have to stay positive and help each other. My message for everyone will be to follow the new normal, washing your hands, making sure you maintain a certain level of hygiene and also to maintain social distancing,” Sachin Tendulkar added.

Kolkata Knight Riders (Image Credit: Twitter)
Kolkata Knight Riders (Image Credit: Twitter)

Deep Dasgupta : Confidence In KKR Camp Is At An All Time Low

Deep Dasgupta has suggested that confidence in the Kolkata Knight Riders’ (KKR) camp is at an all-time low, following another defeat in IPL 2021. KKR has now lost four games on the bounce and is currently at the bottom of the league standings.

The Kolkata Knight Riders suffered a six-wicket defeat against the Rajasthan Royals last night. They scored only 133 runs while batting first at the Wankhede Stadium, a low total given the smooth nature of the wicket in Mumbai.

Deep Dasgupta. (Photo Source: Instagram)
Deep Dasgupta. (Photo Source: Instagram)

Deep Dasgupta: KKR’s Body Language Suggested The Mentality Of The Team

Deep Dasgupta highlighted that KKR’s body language in the field suggested where they are as a team.

“Their body language tells you the confidence level which is obviously low when you have lost 4 games on the bounce it can be high.You can understand what they are going through and that’s why it is imperative that the dressing room environment is looked into so that they are happy, not too worried, making sure that they are in a better mental space.”

“The missed catches, misfields just tells you that they need a pick me up. This current situation is not easy for them.” Deep Dasgupta said on Sports Today.

Kolkata Knight Riders
Kolkata Knight Riders. Image Credits: Twitter

“The tournament is far from over, they need to win quite a few from here on, but they are very much in the race. It’s way too early to lose heart, and I’m sure they won’t lose heart. They are a good side and have the experience as well,”

One of the most followed franchises in the cricket world, KKR is now at the eighth spot in the IPL 2021 points table. Their worst performance in tournament history came in 2009 when they finished last in the edition that was played in South Africa. Two-time IPL champions KKR won both their trophies under the captaincy of Gautam Gambhir in 2012 and 2014. Under Dinesh Karthik, they last qualified for the playoffs in 2018.

Deep Dasgupta: All Players Want To Do Well For The Franchise

KKR’s top order came under the scanner as they only put up 24 runs in the powerplay against the Rajasthan Royals. Deep Dasgupta dispelled doubts about KKR players not being interested enough as he highlighted how many things are at stake based on players’ IPL performances.

“I don’t think they are disinterested, that’s being too harsh on them. All of them want to do well for the franchise, themselves, for their individual future because a lot is at stake for the Indian and international players here.”

Nitish Rana Image Source : IPL
Nitish Rana Image Source: IPL

The former India wicketkeeper further added: “Someone like Shubman, he would want to be there for the Indian side at the T20 World Cup. Varun Chakravarthy missed out on his international debut because of his injury, Nitish Rana was extremely close to making the national team as well. There is a lot at stake for the Indians here. It’s not just about the tournament, it’s about their future as well.” Dasgupta told Sports Today

KKR will be in action next on April 26 when they square off against the Punjab Kings in Ahmedabad. Eoin Morgan’s men ended the Mumbai leg without a win and the skipper will hope that their fortunes change with a switch in the venue. Despite four consecutive defeats in the IPL 2021, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) chief mentor David Hussey has revealed the team morale remains high and the players are confident of turning things around.

KKR started the tournament with a win over Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in Chennai. However, the side then went on to suffer a hat-trick of defeats against Mumbai Indians (MI), Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), and Chennai Super Kings (CSK). On Saturday, they lost to the Rajasthan Royals (RR) by six wickets after yet another disappointing outing as a batting unit.

Nitish Rana is their leading run-scorer and 6th overall with 186 runs in 5 matches while Rahul Tripathi has managed 127 runs followed by Andre Russell (108 runs). Andre Russell is the leading wicket-taker with 7 scalps to his name.


Chennai Super Kings
Chennai Super Kings. Image Credits: Twitter

Chennai Super Kings’ Skipper MS Dhoni Can Afford To Take Some Rest: Brian Lara

Chennai Super Kings, the three-time IPL champions are faring well in the 14th edition of the league, placing second on the table with their three-out-of-four victories so far. While skipper MS Dhoni has underwhelmed expectations as a cricketer so far, he has managed to keep CSK’s win streak going as a captain, ever since their loss against Delhi Capitals in the series opener.

However, some are in disagreement about his role within the team with former India cricketer Gautam Gambhir remarking that MS Dhoni coming in at No.7 was detrimental to the team’s batting order, as they needed him higher up top. Gautam Gambir expressed the belief that MS Dhoni would be better off at No.3, in order to keep the runs coming in steady for the team.

Gautam Gambhir AFP
Gautam Gambhir AFP

Chennai Super Kings’ Skipper MS Dhoni Can Take Some Rest: Brian Lara

MS Dhoni has amassed 35 runs only in 4 games and will be looking to amend the average of 11.66 in the next match against table-toppers Royal Challengers Bangalore. He isn’t in red hot form considering his age and retirement from international cricket in mind as he is playing only in the IPL.

Brian Lara, however, opined that the CSK skipper did not need to come in so early, considering the existing depth of the Yellow Army’s batting order.

Taking to Star Sports, Brian Lara said, “Of course, he got the gloves in his hands, he has got to take the catches and do the stumpings. But I find that batting order is so long, Dhoni can take some rest.”

Brian Lara David Gray/Reuters
Brian Lara David Gray/Reuters

With Sam Curran and Dwayne Bravo already forming the batting order, he remarked that MS Dhoni’s focus should be on running the ship as captain.

“If he concentrates on that aspect of it, getting every single individual performing, they can go all the way,” Lara added.

However, with both these remarks coming within days of each other, several are of the belief that they might spark controversy. CSK recently stepped off the plate with an 18-run victory against Kolkata Knight Riders and will be heading into a fierce battle with table-toppers Royal Challengers Bangalore on Sunday, April 25.

Chennai Super Kings Are Having A Good IPL 2021 In Contrast To IPL 2020 Where They Finished 7th

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) had a forgettable campaign in IPL 2020, as the franchise finished 7th in the points table and didn’t qualify for the first time for playoffs in IPL history. MS Dhoni himself who continued to play for CSK after international retirement on August 15, 2020, scored exactly 200 runs in 14 matches at a below-par average of 25 in IPL 2020.


Chennai Super Kings lost their first game against Delhi Capitals by 7 wickets despite scoring 188/7 with veteran Suresh Raina scoring 54 in a lost cause after a long layoff. Delhi Capitals’ Prithvi Shaw scored 72 and Shikhar Dhawan, the leading run-scorer in the ongoing IPL 2021 scored 85.

In the next match, Chennai Super Kings bundled Punjab Kings to a mere 106/8 and won the match by 6 wickets. For CSK, Deepak Chahar took 4/13 and Moeen Ali scored 46 as they reached the target in the 16th over.

In the 3rd match, Chennai Super Kings scored 188/9 with all batsmen getting starts. In reply, Rajasthan could only manage 143/9 despite Jos Buttler’s 49 as Moeen Ali registered match-winning figures of 3/7 in his 3 overs. Ravindra Jadeja took 2 catches and picked 2 scalps in CSK’s 2nd successive win.

CSK won their 3rd match on the trot when the team overcame a late assault from the Kolkata Knight Riders trio of Andre Russell, Dinesh Karthik, and Pat Cummins to win by 18 runs after posting a mammoth 220/3.

Ruturaj Gaikwad returned to form scoring 64 while another opener Faf du Plessis scored 95 and remained unbeaten.

In reply, KKR was down and out of the game with Deepak Chahar picking 4/29 as the team was reduced to 31/5 before the late comeback. Pacer Lungi Ngidi picked 3/28 as Dinesh Karthik’s 40, Andre Russell’s 54, and Pat Cummins’s unbeaten 66 went in vain.

Gambhir Russell
Gambhir Russell

IPL 2021: I’m Sure Andre Russell Must Be Regretting For Missing Out On 100 – Gautam Gambhir

Gautam Gambhir, former India batsman weighed in on the dismissal of Kolkata Knight Riders batsman Andre Russell against Chennai Super Kings at the Wankhede Stadium on Wednesday.

Andre Russell scored a quick-fire half-century off 21 balls, to lift KKR from the doldrums of 31/5 to 112 before he was bowled in a rather uncharacteristic manner.

Gautam Gambhir. Photo Credit: Getty Images.
Gautam Gambhir. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Gautam Gambhir: Andre Russell Ended Up Leaving Sam Curran’s Ball Since He Wasn’t Prepared

To a ball down the leg side from CSK pacer Sam Curran, Andre Russell decided to leave it altogether, but the ball was just on target enough to rattle his leg stump. Gautam Gambhir reckons CSK deserves credit for planning Andre Russell’s dismissal well.

“For me I think it was a bluff. I thought it was great thinking because the entire field was set as if he was going to bowl wide outside off stump. And Russell probably was preparing for that because Shardul Thakur kept bowling outside off and that too those full-length balls.

“So, he just probably attacked the leg stump and that’s where it looked weird. He ended up leaving that because he was not even prepared for it,” Gambhir said on ESPNCricinfo.

Andre Russell Clean Bowled by Sam Curran in Most Bizarre Fashion During KKR-CSK IPL 2021 Game
Andre Russell Clean Bowled by Sam Curran, IPL 2021, KKR vs CSK (Image: IPL)

“The way he was hitting the ball, I’m sure, he knew deep inside that had he played for another four-five overs, he knew that an off-spinner would never come on to bowl till the time Russell was on the crease.”

Gautam Gambhir, a former KKR captain himself, who led the team to two IPL titles in 2012 and 2014, added that Andre Russell, after returning to the dugout, must be regretting his shot selection.

Gautam Gambhir: Andre Russell Lost A Golden Opportunity To Score 100 And Finish Game By The 16-17th Over

Gautam Gambhir feels that had the West Indies batsman carried on a little longer, he could have not only won the match for KKR single-handedly but perhaps scored a century to go with it.

“He had already smashed them for 24 in the first over, so I’m sure on his way back to the dressing room, he must be thinking that he lost a golden opportunity to score his hundred and also to finish off his game on his own, by the 16th, 17th overs,” Gautam Gambhir added.

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

“You don’t get such opportunities often because you don’t really play much at the Wankhede. He was smashing it. I’m sure he must be regretting it. Had he just defended that ball, KKR would have probably won that game.”

Deepak Chahar broke the back of KKR’s top-order with 4 wickets in his 4 over-spell. KKR was reeling at 31/5 but a late assault from Andre Russell, Dinesh Karthik, and Pat Cummins helped the 2-time champions get close to the total. Despite the scare, CSK went on to win their match by 18 runs and jump to the top of the table with 3 wins from 4 matches in IPL 2021.

Andre Russell and Dinesh Karthik rescued the team and gave their fans slender hopes of a miraculous victory.

The partnership was worth 81 runs for the 6th wicket in just 6 overs before Andre Russell (22-ball 54) was bowled around his legs by Sam Curran in the 12th over.

Dinesh Karthik hit 40 from 24 but the former captain fell in the 15th over. Just when CSK was looking to wrap things up early, Pat Cummins came up with a brutal onslaught, taking the CSK pacers to the cleaners at the Wankhede. Cummins hit 6 sixes and 4 boundaries for his 34-ball 66 not out but he ran out of partners as KKR were bowled out for 202 in the 20th over.

Chennai Super Kings 220 for 3 (du Plessis 95, Gaikwad 64) beat Kolkata Knight Riders 202 (Cummins 66*, Russell 54, Chahar 4-29, Ngidi 3-28) by 18 runs.

Devdutt Padikkal (Screengrab: Iplt20)
Devdutt Padikkal (Screengrab: Iplt20)

Devdutt Padikkal Idolises Big Game Player Gautam Gambhir

Devdutt Padikkal had a breakthrough Indian Premier League (IPL) season last year in UAE and the left-handed opener entered the ongoing edition of the tournament on the back of a successful domestic season.

Prior to the start of this edition of the IPL, Devdutt Padikkal tested positive for Covid-19 and he missed RCB’s opening game against Mumbai Indians. He made his way back into the side for the next two games against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH). In the two matches, he managed to score 36 runs and he would now be hoping to get into his groove.

Devdutt Padikkal , RCB Twitter handle
Devdutt Padikkal , RCB Twitter handle

Devdutt Padikkal:  Virat Kohli’s Passion And Drive For Cricket Is Remarkable

In an interaction with ANI, Devdutt Padikkal opened up on his goals in the ongoing season, his bond with stalwarts like Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers.

“I do not think so (on him playing the aggressive role since he is opening with Virat). He is such a talented cricketer, he has so much experience, to be playing with him makes my game easier.

“I am really looking forward to having a really good partnership with him. Definitely, Virat’s passion for the game, the drive for the game he has is remarkable, that is something I have really tried to pick up on,” said the 20-year-old.

Virat Kohli, RCB
Virat Kohli, RCB

The left-handed batsman had a good build-up to the IPL after he finished the Vijay Hazare Trophy as the second-highest run-getter. He finished with a tally of 737 runs.

“To be honest, I look at every game as an opportunity to make a mark and that’s what I have continued to do since the past two seasons. That’s why I believe consistency is the most important part of the game right now and that is what I am looking to do, be it the IPL or domestic tournaments,” said Devdutt Padikkal.

“We have a balanced RCB side this season and we have a lot of options in every department. It is great to have such a great combination and that knowledge and experience as well. We can see that there is a real togetherness about the team this season,” he added.

The 20-year-old who plays for Karnataka in domestic cricket signed off IPL 2020 as RCB’s highest run-getter and 8th highest run-getter with 473 runs in 15 IPL matches at an average of 31.53 in his debut season.

He scored 218 runs at an average of 43.60 in six matches for Karnataka in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy and continued with his sublime touch in the Vijay Hazare Trophy amassing 737 runs in 7 matches at an astonishing average of 147.40. His onslaught in the Vijay Hazare Trophy included four back-to-back centuries.

Devdutt Padikkal Idolises Gautam Gambhir And Praises Teammates AB De Villiers And Glenn Maxwell

The talented left-handed opener also spoke about why he idolizes 2011 World Cup-winning hero Gautam Gambhir.

When asked why he idolises Gambhir, Devdutt Padikkal said: “He was a big-game player and it is one thing I really want to emulate because it is in those crunch situations that those big players come out and do well for the side. He always seemed to do that when the team was under pressure and that is something I would want to do.”

Speaking about Glenn Maxwell and AB de Villiers, Devdutt Padikkal said: “Maxwell is an amazing cricketer, the shots he plays can change the game on its head. To have such game-changers in the squad is really important. I think AB de Villiers keeps things simple in terms of his batting.

“He does not overcomplicate the situation too much and the sheer skill he has to pull of the shots is remarkable. He is a talented individual and it is great to play alongside him.”

Gautam Gambhir AFP
Gautam Gambhir AFP

When asked about the challenges of the bubble life, Padikkal said: “It does get challenging to stay in bio-bubbles over a long period of time. But at the same time, that’s the need of the hour and it is important that everyone stays safe.”

On Tuesday, global sports brand PUMA signed a long-term partnership deal with Washington Sundar and Devdutt Padikkal. As a result, the duo joins PUMA’s impressive roaster of cricketers including Virat Kohli and KL Rahul.

Commenting on the association, he said: “PUMA is such a global brand and to be part of a brand that is associated with such global superstars, such talented athletes around the world is a great feeling. Hopefully, I can have a long partnership with them. It is great to be acknowledged and know there are people who are there to support and really back you.”

RCB has acquired the services of in-form Mohammed Azharudeen, Rajat Patidar, Daniel Sams, Sachin Baby, Daniel Christian, and Srikar Bharat besides Glenn Maxwell and Kyle Jamieson in IPL 2021 auctions and they are atop the table after 3 matches winning all games.

MS Dhoni (Image Credit: Twitter)

Gautam Gambhir Wants CSK Skipper MS Dhoni To Bat At No. 4 Or 5

Gautam Gambhir, former Indian opener wants Chennai Super Kings (CSK) skipper, MS Dhoni, to lead from the front by batting at No. 4 or 5 in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021.

MS Dhoni was dismissed for a second-ball duck against DC in CSK’s opening game of IPL 2021. MS Dhoni-led CSK suffered a 7-wicket defeat against Delhi Capitals in IPL 2021. Batting at No. 7, MS Dhoni was dismissed for a second-ball duck by Avesh Khan.

Gautam Gambhir: MS Dhoni Should Batting Higher Up As A Leader Needs To Lead From The Front

MS Dhoni, one of the most consistent and dominating batsmen for the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) over the years, endured his worst season with the willow in IPL 2020 – where he looked a pale shadow of his former self. One of those batsmen who make the most of the death overs, MS Dhoni failed to get going for the Yellow Army in the UAE – where he managed to score just 200 runs in 14 matches.

In CSK’s first match in IPL 2021, MS Dhoni once again found it difficult to get going and was clean bowled for a second-ball duck by Delhi pacer Avesh Khan. With too many batting options available for CSK, MS Dhoni came to bat at No. 7 in CSK’s last match.

Gautam Gambhir. Photo Credit: Getty Images.
Gautam Gambhir. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Gautam Gambhir has shared his views on MS Dhoni’s batting position and wants him to bat higher for CSK.

“MS Dhoni should be batting higher, that’s what matters because ultimately people should start leading from the front. We keep mentioning this thing that a leader needs to lead from the front. You can’t be leading, when you’re batting at No.7,” Gautam Gambhir said on Star Sports’ show Cricket LIVE.

Delhi Capitals opener Shikhar Dhawan and Prithvi Shaw toyed with CSK’s bowling attack in the match as the opening pair stitched a formidable 138-run stand for the first wicket in just 13.3 overs to lay the foundation of a win.

Gautam Gambhir: MS Dhoni Isn’t Batting Like He Did 4-5 Years Back

Highlighting CSK’s bowling woes, Gautam Gambhir also added that MS Dhoni is no more the player who would go on to play aggressive innings right from the first delivery as a result of which he needs to bat at No. 4 or 5 to lay the base of solid foundation or play as a finisher.

“Yes, there are issues in their bowling lineup. Plus, he is not the MS Dhoni, which he used to be probably four or five years back, where he could just come in and start taking on the bowlers from the word go. For me, I think he needs to bat at number four/ five. Nothing below that,” Gambhir added.

Punjab Kings captain KL Rahul during match vs RR on Monday (PTI Image)
Punjab Kings captain KL Rahul during a match vs RR on Monday (PTI Image)

CSK is set to lock horns with KL Rahul-led Punjab Kings (PBKS) on Friday. MS Dhoni, one of the most consistent and dominating batsmen for the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) over the years, endured his worst season with the willow in IPL 2020 – where he looked a pale shadow of his former self.

One of those batsmen who made the most of the death overs, MS Dhoni failed to get going for the Yellow Army in the UAE – where he managed to score just 200 runs in 14 matches. With Lungi Ngidi and Jason Behrendorff still unavailable for selection, the challenge for MS Dhoni’s men would be to restrict Punjab’s star-studded batting line-up for a low total.

Unlike MS Dhoni, PBKS skipper KL Rahul is high on confidence for winning against RR and batting well scoring 91 valuable runs besides being Orange Cap winner in IPL 2020.

Punjab Kings (Probable XI): KL Rahul (c/wk), Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle, Deepak Hooda, Nicholas Pooran, Shahrukh Khan, Jhye Richardson, Murugan Ashwin, Riley Meredith, Mohammed Shami, Arshdeep Singh.

Chennai Super Kings (Probable XI): Ruturaj Gaikwad/Robin Uthappa, Faf du Plessis, Moeen Ali, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni (c/wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Sam Curran, Dwayne Bravo/ Lungi Ngidi, Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar.

Pat Cummins
Pat Cummins (File Photo)

Pat Cummins Favourite Moment Was IPL Title Win In 2014

Pat Cummins, Australian pacer loved the aggression with which former KKR skipper Gautam Gambhir led the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) franchise to their second Indian Premier League (IPL) title win in 2014.

Pat Cummins said that he enjoyed playing under Gautam Gambhir and loved the aggression with which he led the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) to their second Indian Premier League (IPL) title win in 2014. Notably, Pat Cummins was involved in a candid chat during a recent Q&A session on Instagram from his hotel room in Chennai.

Pat Cummins
Pat Cummins. Photo Credit: BCCI.

Pat Cummins’ Favourite Moment Was His First IPL In 2014 With Kolkata Winning The Title

Kolkata Knight Riders last won the IPL title in 2014, which was their second triumph under former skipper Gautam Gambhir before he went to Delhi Capitals in 2018. Asked to name his favourite IPL moment, Pat Cummins said that it was his first IPL season in 2014.

“Favourite moment was my first IPL in 2014 with Kolkata winning the title and then going to next day and see hundreds of thousands of fans on street going crazy,” said Cummins on his Instagram story.

“Enjoyed playing under GG (Gautam Gambhir) he was always really aggressive as a captain which I loved,” he added.

Gautam Gambhir has led KKR to two IPL titles

Gautam Gambhir’s contribution to Indian cricket is well known, but he also played a pivotal part in turning the fortunes of KKR since joining the franchise in 2011. Under his leadership, KKR created history by bringing to Kolkata its first IPL trophy.

KKR clinched a nail-biting encounter against CSK in the final of 2012 to lay hands on the trophy for the first time. Gautam Gambhir was a key contributor from both the captaincy front and the batting front, amassing 590 runs (6 half-centuries) in the championship season.

Gautam Gambhir managed to score only 1 run in the first 4 games in the 2014 season. But the fighter in Gautam Gambhir didn’t let him give up and he managed to keep making vital contributions in KKR’s 7 match winning streak which helped the team reach the play-offs. Two wins against Kings XI Punjab, one in the play-offs and one in the final made sure that KKR stood on the Champions podium for the second time.

Pat Cummins Likes Watching KKR Youngster Kamlesh Nagarkoti

There are four parallels that can be drawn between Pat Cummins and Kamlesh Nagarkoti. The first one is that they achieved fame as teenagers, the Australian as an 18-year-old Test debutant in 2011 and the Indian as an 18-year old at the 2018 Under-19 World Cup. The second one is that both are right-arm fast bowlers. Thirdly, they are part of the Kolkata Knight Riders, and finally, both have had to deal with injuries after breakthrough outings.

After suffering a stress fracture to the back, Pat Cummins had to wait for nearly six years before he would play Test cricket again for Australia while Kamlesh Nagarkoti hasn’t played top-flight cricket at all before IPL 2020 at UAE since February 2018, having suffered ankle and back injuries. He picked 5 scalps in 10 IPL matches in 2020 averaging 46.2.

Meanwhile, Cummins also said that Team India’s pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah and KKR’s emerging fast bowler Kamlesh Nagarkoti are his favorite bowlers. “I like watching Bumrah bowl and in KKR youngster Kamlesh Nagarkotti,” Cummins replied when a fan asked which bowler does he like to watch.

IPL 2020 was Pat Cummins’ second stint with the Kolkata Knight Riders as he had been part of the set-up between 2014 and 2015 as well. He played only seven games across those two seasons but he was sold for 15.5 crores (then approx. USD 2.1 million) in December 2019 to become the most expensive player in IPL history before Chris Morris broke his record by getting sold for above 16 crores in IPL 2021 auction.

Kamlesh Nagarkoti
Kamlesh Nagarkoti Photo Credit: BCCI.

Pat Cummins had an average IPL 2020 season, going wicketless in a lot of games. He found some form towards the second half of the campaign, finishing with 12 wickets in 14 games at a strike rate of 26 and an economy rate of 7.86.

KKR will open their IPL 2021 campaign against Sunrisers Hyderabad at the MA Chidambaram stadium in Chennai on April 11.