India vs Sri Lanka 2021 | Sportzwiki

India vs Sri Lanka 2021

Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya
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Hardik Pandya Is Getting Closer To Playing After Missing First 2 IPL Games In UAE :Shane Bond

Hardik Pandya is “close to playing” but Mumbai Indians won’t rush him back as the franchise is also keeping in mind the needs of the Indian team while managing his workload, MI bowling coach Shane Bond said.

Hardik Pandya, who has hardly bowled ever since returning to action after back surgery last year, missed his second successive IPL game in the UAE leg but coach Shane Bond asserted that the Baroda all-rounder was training well and hopefully will make a mark in the business end of the tournament.

Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya[photo: Twitter]

Hardik Pandya Is Getting Closer To Playing As MI Balancing Needs Of Team With The Needs Of Indian Team As Well: Shane Bond

Mumbai Indians suffered a seven-wicket loss to Kolkata Knight Riders on Thursday in their second IPL 2021 game at UAE. It was after their 20-run loss to Chennai Super Kings in the first game after the resumption.

“Look, Hardik is training well, like Rohit. He is getting closer to playing. We are obviously balancing the needs of our team with the needs of Team India as well,” Bond said at the post-match press conference when asked about Hardik’s status.

“The one thing that this franchise does very well is look after its players with an eye on not only to try and win this competition but also on the T20 World Cup that’s following on,” said the former New Zealand speedster.

“We are hopeful that Hardik will be back for the next match. As I said, he has trained today and trained pretty well by all counts.”

Mumbai Indians coach Mahela Jayawardene (Photo| Mumbai Indians website)
Mumbai Indians coach Mahela Jayawardene (Photo| Mumbai Indians website)

Mumbai head coach Mahela Jayawardene had earlier said that Hardik Pandya was kept out of the IPL game against Chennai Super Kings as a precautionary measure as he had a little niggle. Shane Bond backed the team management’s decision to not play the all-rounder Hardik Pandya in the first two matches. Hardik Pandya is in India’s T20I 2021 World Cup squad and may be seen bowling apart from aggressive batting.

“We are obviously desperate to put him back out on the field. But like anything you have to balance everything up, you have to also consider what the player wants,” he said.

“There’s also no point rushing him back to get injured to miss the rest of the tournament when we may have a chance to win it. I think we are doing the right thing and hopeful (that) we will get him back shortly and he’ll have an impact on the back-end of the tournament and get us into the playoffs and hopefully win the tournament from there.”

Hardik Pandya scored just 19 runs in the two innings he played in the ODI series against Sri Lanka. He picked up only two wickets in the three matches. Even in the solitary T20I, he played on the tour, Hardik Pandya scored 10 runs at a strike rate of 83.33 and conceded 17 runs in the two overs he bowled.

After missing out on a lot of action owing to a back injury, Hardik Pandya made a phenomenal comeback in the IPL 2020 season, playing the finisher role for the team Mumbai Indians and hammering the ball in the slog overs at a strike rate of 178. But in IPL 2021, he disappointed scoring only 52 runs in 7 games averaging a pathetic 8.66. He didn’t bowl in the last two IPL editions.

Shane Bond: Mumbai Indians Was Short Of Their Target Predicted Score As He Credited KKR Bowlers For Restricting Them To Below 160

On Thursday, Mumbai Indians were restricted to sub-par 155 against eventual winners KKR and Shane Bond said that the defending champions were well short of the score.

“I think it was a 175-180 kind of wicket and we were well short of the score. And KKR bowled beautifully, bowled disciplined and then came out and really put us under pressure with the bat and dominated the game and they really deserved to win,” said the 46-year-old.

Shane Bond (BCCI.TV)
Shane Bond (BCCI.TV)

Shane Bond conceded that his team was completely outplayed by the Eoin Morgan-led KKR.

“Today, they played well. You have to give them credit. They were positive, put us under pressure. We bowled some balls that by our standards weren’t good enough,” he said.

“You can say that they put pressure on us and we weren’t good enough to respond. Look, we have won four of the last six tournaments on the back of some brilliant bowling performances. We will improve, I am sure, over the next coming outings. I am not concerned about that. We were just outplayed today but expect a lot better from us in our next game.”

Rahul Tripathi and Venkatesh Iyer smashed quick half-centuries as Kolkata Knight Riders defeated Mumbai Indians by seven wickets in their Indian Premier League (IPL) match at Abu Dhabi. Rahul Tripathi scored an unbeaten 74 off 42 balls and Venkatesh Iyer, playing his second IPL game, smashed 53 off 30 balls, as Kolkata raced to 159 for 3 in 15.1 overs, chasing down Mumbai Indians’ 155 for 6 quite comfortably.

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

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

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

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

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

Imran Tahir

Imran Tahir
Imran Tahir (Image Credit: Twitter)

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

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

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

Mitchell Santner

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

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

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

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

Krishnappa Gowtham

Krishnappa Gowtham
Krishnappa Gowtham (Image Credit: Twitter)

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

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

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

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

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

Shikhar Dhawan
Shikhar Dhawan (Getty Images)(HT_PRINT)
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Shikhar Dhawan’s Omission From 2021 T20I World Cup Squad Surprised And Disappointed Farokh Engineer 

Shikhar Dhawan’s exclusion left former India wicketkeeper Farokh Engineer disappointed, who otherwise believes India has picked a formidable squad for the 2021 T20I World Cup. Despite Ravichandran Ashwin’s comeback and the inclusion of leg-spinner Rahul Chahar, a couple of big names like Shikhar Dhawan and Yuzvendra Chahal went missing from India’s squad of 15 for the ICC event.

The announcement of India’s T20 World Cup squad by the BCCI selectors on Wednesday packed a few surprises. Against everyone’s expectations, India recalled spinner Ravichandran Ashwin back to its limited-overs fold after four years, while former captain MS Dhoni was appointed mentor of the side.

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

Shikhar Dhawan’s Omission Surprised And Disappointed Farokh Engineer

There was no place for either opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan or spinner Yuzvendra Chahal, which sparked a debate. While Shikhar Dhawan is expected to have missed out to KL Rahul, Yuzvendra Chahal fell behind fellow leg-spinner Rahul Chahar, who bowled wonderfully in Sri Lanka and has been growing in reputation. So while both exclusions were notable, Shikhar Dhawan’s axe despite being in form disappointed Farokh Engineer.

“I haven’t exactly studied it. I only heard it once. But it seems that all the top players are there. Suryakumar Yadav is in the squad, which I am really happy to see. Chahar is a very good bowler, and there is Bumrah of course. I think with Ravindra Jadeja and Rohit Sharma, the balance of the team is good. I think we’ve got a good squad,” Engineer told Sports Tak.

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

“Shikhar Dhawan… well, I’m surprised that he has been omitted because he has come in and done fantastically well. But that is such a huge problem for the Indian selectors that players such as Dhawan are getting to be dropped, which is a huge disappointment because he would walk into any international team as a batsman. He has proved himself time and again and I don’t think a player of his caliber should be on trial.”

The likes of Shikhar Dhawan, Kuldeep Yadav, Krunal Pandya, Yuzvendra Chahal, Prithvi Shaw, and Yuzvendra Chahal were some notable omissions. Shikhar Dhawan has been one of India’s most consistent players in the ICC tournaments and the selectors’ decision to not name him even among the reserves left many surprised.

While it hasn’t yet been revealed as to why the southpaw didn’t make the cut for the T20 World Cup, a report has claimed that the decision was taken keeping in mind his ‘conservative approach’ while batting. Shikhar Dhawan was a part of the Indian team that toured Sri Lanka, playing all 6 matches on the tour. He registered scores of 86*, 29, 13 in the 3 ODIs and 46, 40, 0 in the 3 T20Is.

Farokh Engineer: India Can Win T20I World Cup

Having said that, Farokh Engineer reckons the strength of the Indian team is such that the selectors couldn’t have helped it. The former wicketkeeper feels India is spoilt for choices as far as the opening batsmen are concerned, provided how brilliant KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma have been lately.

Farokh Engineer played 46 Tests for India between 1961 and 1975 Getty Images
Farokh Engineer played 46 Tests for India between 1961 and 1975 Getty Images

“But who do you drop? KL Rahul has done very well. He is superb; one of the best batsmen in the world, I think. Rohit Sharma is on top of his form. Still, I think it’s a very good team they have picked and I think we have every chance of winning the T20 World Cup,” Engineer added.

Ravichandran Ashwin made a comeback after playing his last T20I in 2017. Delhi Capitals’ batsman Shikhar Dhawan is currently the highest run-getter in the IPL 2021 season with 380 runs in 8 matches averaging 54.28 with 3 fifties. He was 2nd among leading run-scorers in IPL 2020 too after KL Rahul with 618 runs in 16 matches averaging 44.14 with 2 tons and 4 fifties.

Full squad: Virat Kohli (c), Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ishan Kishan (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Rahul Chahar, Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel, Varun Chakravarthy, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammad Shami; Stand-by: Shreyas Iyer, Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur

Suryakumar Yadav
Suryakumar Yadav (BCCI)
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‘Unorthodox’ Suryakumar Yadav Is A Completely Different Class As Compared To Shreyas Iyer, Says Gautam Gambhir

Gautam Gambhir believes Suryakumar Yadav is in a different league as a T20 batsman compared to Shreyas Iyer. Suryakumar Yadav is part of India’s 15-member squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup. Another middle-order batsman Shreyas Iyer, on the other hand, is part of the three standbys named in India’s squad for T20I WC alongside pacers Deepak Chahar and Shardul Thakur.

Following a long wait, Suryakumar Yadav made an excellent start to his international career. He was the Player of the Series in the ODIs against Sri Lanka and scored a half-century in India’s win in the first T20I as well. In his brief international career, the 30-year-old middle-order batsman has played 3 ODIs where he amassed 124 runs averaging 62 and 4 T20Is where he amassed 139 runs averaging 46.33.

Gautam Gambhir AFP
Gautam Gambhir AFP

Gautam Gambhir: ‘UnOrthodox’ Suryakumar Yadav Is A Completely Different Class As Compared To Shreyas Iyer

During a discussion on the Star Sports show Follow the Blues, Gautam Gambhir was asked about the two batsmen. The question posed was whether it was Shreyas Iyer’s injury or the range and temperament that Suryakumar Yadav has shown that has helped the latter pip the former to the post.

“Suryakumar Yadav is a completely different class as compared to Shreyas Iyer. He is much more versatile. He is much more unorthodox as well and in T20 cricket you want people who are unorthodox.”

Suryakumar Yadav plays a shot during the first one day international cricket match between Sri Lanka and India in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Sunday, July 18 (Photo | AP)
Suryakumar Yadav plays a shot during the first one-day international cricket match between Sri Lanka and India in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Sunday, July 18 (Photo | AP)

The former India opener added that the middle-order batsman 30-year-old Suryakumar Yadav has a full array of shots at his disposal.

“You want people who can hit that ball in different areas. He can lap you, he can late cut you, he can hit you over extra cover, he has got all the shots, especially at No.4.”

Suryakumar Yadav has set the stage alight in the four T20Is he has played for Team India. He has smashed 139 runs at a strike rate of 169.51 and has hit two fifties in three innings.

Gautam Gambhir: No. 4 Is The Most Tricky Position To Bat In T20Is

Gautam Gambhir highlighted that Suryakumar Yadav can adjust his game to the demands of the situation.

“Sometimes, No.4 is the most tricky position to bat in T20 cricket. Probably the easiest is the top three but No.4, sometimes you might be in when you have lost two early wickets and sometimes you come into the middle when you are 120/2 and then you have got to continue with that momentum. So, Surya has got both kinds of game which probably Shreyas Iyer doesn’t have,” said Gautam Gambhir.

Shreyas Iyer
Shreyas Iyer- Getty Images

The 39-year-old acknowledged that Shreyas Iyer having recovered recently from a serious injury, could also have played a role in his omission from the 15 member squad.

Gautam Gambhir said: “You have also got to be mindful that he is coming off a serious injury and you never know what kind of a form he would be in the second leg of the IPL as well. So, they have gone with someone who has done really well since he has got into international cricket.”

The Indian selectors could have opted to keep both Suryakumar Yadav and Shreyas Iyer in the 15-man member squad, with the latter coming in at the expense of probably Ishan Kishan or a spinner. However, they may have refrained from going that route due to question marks over Shreyas Iyer’s fitness.

Shreyas Iyer has played 29 T20Is where he amassed 550 runs averaging a modest 28.94 with 3 fifties apart from 22 ODIs where he managed 813 runs averaging 42.78. His last T20I and ODI appearance came against England at home in March 2021 where he injured himself.

Ravichandran Ashwin made a comeback after playing his last T20I in 2017 while the likes of Krunal Pandya, Shikhar Dhawan, Kuldeep Yadav, and Yuzvendra Chahal didn’t find a place in the squad.

Full squad: Virat Kohli (c), Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ishan Kishan (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Rahul Chahar, Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel, Varun Chakravarthy, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammad Shami; Stand-by: Shreyas Iyer, Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur

Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya
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Hardik Pandya Isn’t An Automatic Pick In India’s Squad For 2021 T20I World Cup: Reetinder Singh Sodhi

Reetinder Singh Sodhi believes Hardik Pandya is not an automatic pick in Team India’s squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup. The T20 World Cup will be played from October 17 in the UAE and Oman. The Indian selectors are likely to choose the squad for the mega event on Wednesday.

The BCCI is all set to announce India’s squad for the T20 World Cup on Wednesday. While the selectors had already had a chat with skipper Virat Kohli and coach Ravi Shastri, they will have one more customary meeting on Wednesday morning to finalize the selection. Furthermore, India will also carry a few additional players as a COVID-19 contingency.

Hardik Pandya Image Source : GETTY
Hardik Pandya Image Source: GETTY

Reetinder Singh Sodhi: Hardik Pandya Didn’t Set The Stage On Fire In The Recent Sri Lanka Series So He Isn’t A Certainty In T20I WC Squad

During a discussion on India News, Reetinder Singh Sodhi opined that Hardik Pandya might not be a certain pick in India’s squad.

“I will stick my neck out, it is not certain that Hardik Pandya has sealed his spot. Hardik Pandya is a great potential and is called an all-rounder, but if you talk about the recent Sri Lanka series, he did not set the stage on fire.”

Reetinder Singh Sodhi. Photo Credit: Getty Images.
Reetinder Singh Sodhi. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Hardik Pandya scored just 19 runs in the two innings he played in the ODI series against Sri Lanka. He picked up only two wickets in the three matches and was taken for an average of 6.92 runs per over. Even in the solitary T20I, he played on the tour, Hardik Pandya scored 10 runs at a strike rate of 83.33 and conceded 17 runs in the two overs he bowled.

After missing out on a lot of action owing to a back injury, Hardik Pandya made a phenomenal comeback in the IPL 2020 season, playing the finisher role for the team Mumbai Indians and hammering the ball in the slog overs at a strike rate of 178. But in IPL 2021, he disappointed scoring only 52 runs in 7 games averaging a pathetic 8.66. He didn’t bowl in the last two IPL editions.

Reetinder Singh Sodhi: Shardul Thakur Is Slightly Ahead Of Hardik Pandya At Present

Reetinder Singh Sodhi believes that Shardul Thakur has the edge over Hardik Pandya at the moment.

“My opinion is that if you compare Hardik Pandya and Shardul Thakur at this point in time, Shardul Thakur might be seen slightly ahead. I agree Shardul Thakur has done very well in Test cricket but he has the signs of showing exceptional play in T20s as well.”

The former India all-rounder added that Shardul Thakur can be extremely useful for the Virat Kohli-led side.

“The emergence of Shardul Thakur, he has come into consideration suddenly and people have started talking about him all of a sudden. He can be an asset, a player who has the ability to win the match both with bowling and batting.”

Shardul Thakur | Twitter
Shardul Thakur | Twitter

Reetinder Singh Sodhi signed off by reiterating that Shardul Thakur could be a viable alternative for Hardik Pandya.

“So if you have an option, there is Shardul Thakur, you can take him as well. Competition is very tight, we will have to see who the selectors pick.”

Shardul Thakur has certainly staked his claim for a spot in India’s T20 World Cup squad with his excellent performances in England. While Hardik Pandya is almost a sure-shot pick, Shardul Thakur is likely to be in the selectors’ thoughts as he can provide much-needed depth in batting.

With the final date for submitting the squad list nearing, the Virat Kohli-led Indian team is expected to announce their 15-member squad soon. With Washington Sundar set to miss IPL due to an injury and World Cup in all probability, Ravichandran Ashwin may feature in the WC squad.

With wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant and KL Rahul in the side, Ishan Kishan would have to miss out. There could be a toss-up between Shikhar Dhawan and Prithvi Shaw for the 3rd opener’s slot.

Hardik Pandya Bowling
Hardik Pandya Bowling
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Hardik Pandya’s Body Too Weak To Take The Workload Of An All-rounder: Salman Butt

Salman Butt feels that Hardik Pandya’s body, in its present state, is too weak to shoulder the workload of an all-around player. According to the former Pakistan skipper, Salman Butt, the Indian cricketer is undoubtedly talented but will need to work extremely hard on building his physique.

Hardik Pandya has bowled sparingly since returning to international cricket following back surgery in 2019. He has even lost his place in the Test team due to his inability to bowl his medium pacers on a consistent basis.

Hardik Pandya Image Source : GETTY
Hardik Pandya Image Source: GETTY

Salman Butt: Hardik Pandya Needs Some Muscle In His Body But Skill Wise He Can Improve Himself But His Body Can’t Take Excess Workload

After missing out on a lot of action owing to a back injury, Hardik Pandya made a phenomenal comeback in the IPL 2020 season, playing the finisher role for the team and hammering the ball in the slog overs at a strike rate of 178. But in IPL 2021, he disappointed scoring only 52 runs in 7 games averaging a pathetic 8.66. He didn’t bowl in the last two IPL editions.

Speaking on his YouTube channel, Salman Butt shared his views on Hardik Pandya and stated: “India had high hopes from Hardik Pandya, but he has been on a long layoff period. He looks very skilful when he bats. And when he was bowling before injury, he looked very effective with decent pace. But again, Hardik Pandya’s problem is that he is so slim, if there is extra load on his body, he will keep getting unfit.”

Salman Butt. Image-Twitter
Salman Butt. Image-Twitter

“He needs some muscle on his body. Skill-wise, he has a lot of capacity to become better and better. The way he bats and bowls… he has a very good bowling action. But again, his body cannot take the excess workload. That is what needs to be managed.”

Hardik Pandya, India’s premier seam-bowling all-rounder, has been dealing with his back injury issues, which have forced him to bowl less. He hasn’t played Test cricket since 2018 and he hasn’t been fit enough to bowl even short spells, let alone take the toll of a full day’s work.

He didn’t bowl a single ball in last season’s IPL, and in the first half of the IPL 2021 as well. But he is now gradually gaining fitness as the T20 World Cup nears. Being a pace-bowling all-rounder, it would be key for India that Hardik Pandya is able to provide his quota of 4 overs as that would give the desired balance to the eleven.

Salman Butt Doesn’t Know If There Is Any Issue With Hardik Pandya’s Physique

Salman Butt cited the examples of Kapil Dev and Imran Khan to explain why it is important to have a strong body structure to fulfill all-round duties.

The former Pakistan batter Salman Butt added: “If you compare Hardik Pandya with Kapil Dev or Imran Khan, they were far fitter than him. You can watch their YouTube videos. They were double in size, and had more muscle. I don’t know if there is any issue with Hardik Pandya’s physique. The physios and trainers must be definitely talking to him about it.”

Recently, National Cricket Academy (NCA) bowling coach Paras Mhambrey said that IPL 2021 would provide a decent idea of the extent to which Hardik Pandya can be utilized as a bowler, especially with the T20 World Cup coming up.

Paras Mhambrey
Paras Mhambrey

Speaking to IANS, Mhambrey said about the Mumbai Indians’ fast bowler: “Yes, the way I look at him, and the way I feel, I am sure he will bowl (in IPL). First step is the IPL. Maybe the franchise will decide how will they use him. That, kind of, will decide how it will be (a) preparatory ground for the World Cup.”

In the white-ball series in Sri Lanka last month, Hardik Pandya bowled 14 overs in three ODIs, picking up two wickets at an average of 48.5 and an economy rate of 6.92. He also sent down two overs in one T20I.

Against England in March, he had bowled 17 overs in the five T20 Internationals, picking three wickets and conceding runs at 6.94 an over which was the second-best on either side after Bhuvneshwar Kumar. He could complete his four-over quota in three of the five games. Hardik Pandya also bowled in the third and final ODI against England and was quite economical, conceding runs at 5.33 in nine overs.

Royal Challengers Bangalore. Image Credits: Twitter
Royal Challengers Bangalore. Image Credits: Twitter
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RCB Signed Wanindu Hasaranga, Dushmantha Chameera, And Tim David For IPL 2021 Replacements

RCB has signed the Sri Lanka duo of Wanindu Hasaranga and Dushmantha Chameera for the second leg of the Indian Premier League (IPL).

The franchise has also signed Singapore batsman Tim David who keeps impressing in the other global T20 leagues with his hitting prowess. The shuffle in the RCB squad comes after Australia players Adam Zampa, Kane Richardson, and Daniel Sams have decided not to travel for the IPL.

Wanindu Hasaranga, Dushmantha Chameera and Tim David
Wanindu Hasaranga, Dushmantha Chameera, and Tim David. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

Royal Challengers Bangalore Picks The Sri Lankan Duo Of Wanindu Hasaranga And Dushmantha Chameera As Replacement Players

The IPL contract is the reward for both Wanindu Hasaranga and Dushmantha Chameera for their impressive performances at the international level. Even as Sri Lanka lost all the games in England, the two players were on top of their game and the same continued when they hosted India for three ODIs and as many T20Is in July.

RCB- Royal Challengers Bangalore
RCB- Royal Challengers Bangalore (Image Credit: Twitter)

Wanindu Hasaranga was brilliant in the T20I series against India picking eight wickets and also played an important role with the bat in the last two matches to help Sri Lanka clinch the series. Dushmantha Chameera, on the other hand, didn’t have expected numbers to show but he made the ball talk all the time and impressed the India head coach on the tour Rahul Dravid with his bowling.

Wanindu Hasaranga, the legspinner, and lower-order hitter was impressive in India’s series against Sri Lanka picking up 7 wickets from 3 matches to be Man of the Series.

Tim David Is A T20 Specialist Representing Singapore

Meanwhile, Tim David is the specialist when it comes to T20 cricket. In 49 matches, he has scored 1171 runs at a brilliant strike rate of 155. He has played 14 T20I games for Singapore and scored 558 runs averaging 46.5.

The reason why RCB had to pick the duo of Dushmantha Chameera and Tim David in the line-up was the unavailability of the New Zealand players Finn Allen and Scott Kuggeleijn. Finn Allen is part of the T20I and ODI squads for the tours of Bangladesh and Pakistan. While the Bangladesh tour concludes well before the IPL resumes, the Pakistan tour clashes directly with the cash-rich league.

Finn Allen Twitter
Finn Allen Twitter

Scott Kuggeleijn, meanwhile, is only part of the T20 squad on both tours and will also miss the IPL for the same reason. RCB will resume their IPL 2021 campaign in the UAE on September 20 with the game against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR). RCB has won 5 games out of their first 7 matches losing only to Punjab and Chennai.

RCB won against Mumbai Indians (2 wickets), Sunrisers Hyderabad (6 runs),  Kolkata Knight Riders (38 runs), Rajasthan Royals (10 wickets), Delhi Capitals (1 run), and lost to Chennai Super Kings (69 runs) and Punjab Kings (34 runs) before IPL 2021 was suspended.

Suryakumar Yadav
Suryakumar Yadav (Instagram)
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Suryakumar Yadav And Prithvi Shaw’s Quarantine Finished; They Started Training; To Be Available For 3rd Test

Suryakumar Yadav and Prithvi Shaw finished their quarantine and reunited with the squad. They have started training at the Lord’s Cricket Stadium. Both cricketers will be available for selection in the third Test against England, which starts on August 25 at Headingley.

In a video uploaded by ESPNCricinfo on Twitter, Suryakumar Yadav was seen batting in the nets. In the short clip, Suryakumar Yadav, who had landed in the UK in outstanding form, was seen playing a shot with the middle of the bat and let one go.

Suryakumar Yadav and Prithvi Shaw (Credit: BCCI)
Suryakumar Yadav and Prithvi Shaw (Credit: BCCI)

Suryakumar Yadav Is Yet To Debut In Tests But Is In The Form Of His Life In The White Ball Cricket

Suryakumar Yadav and Prithvi Shaw were also observed obliging fans requesting selfies while heading to training. Earlier, the BCCI welcomed both Mumbai cricketers as they linked up with the entire Indian contingent.

Prithvi Shaw And Suryakumar Yadav Were Called-up As Injury Replacements

Suryakumar Yadav and Prithvi Shaw had been called up to the squad as injury replacements. India suffered three injuries ahead of the series. Shubman Gill was ruled out of the entire series with an aggravated knee injury while Washington Sundar and Avesh Khan copped blows while playing for Select County XI in the warm-up game to be ruled out of the entire series.

Prithvi Shaw was dropped from the Test squad earlier in the year. | Photo Credit: PTI
Prithvi Shaw was dropped from the Test squad earlier in the year. | Photo Credit: PTI

They were in Sri Lanka with the limited-overs squad when Prithvi Shaw and Suryakumar Yadav were named in the squad. They started on August 3, and upon landing served a mandatory 10-day quarantine, before joining the squad.

Prithvi Shaw has already represented India in five Tests. He has accumulated 339 runs at an average of 42.39, including a century and two fifties. However, Prithvi Shaw was dropped owing to poor form midway through the Australian tour last year.

India Squad For Sri Lanka Tour (Image: BCCI)
India Squad For Sri Lanka Tour (Image: BCCI)
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Sri Lanka Cricket Got $14.5 Million For India-Sri Lanka Series: Says SLC Secretary Mohan de Silva

Mohan de Silva, SLC Secretary said that India’s recent cricket tour of Sri Lanka has resulted in a $ 14.5 million (INR 107.7 Crore) revenue to Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC).

Even after the camp got hit by COVID-19, India agreed to continue its recent limited-overs series against Sri Lanka. The teams played out the three ODIs and three T20Is and the tour has resulted in the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) yielding profits of USD 14.5 million (INR 107.7 Crore). The figures were revealed by SLC secretary, Mohan de Silva.

Mohan de Silva
Mohan de Silva

Mohan de Silva: Sri Lanka Cricket Got $ 14.5 Million From Broadcasting And Other Rights During India-SL Limited Overs Series

SLC had incurred huge losses during the pandemic and, several of their planned series were canceled or postponed. Also, the board was at the loggerheads with the players owing to a contract dispute.

“According to the FTP the tour was only for 3 ODIs, but our President Shammi Silva managed to persuade the BCCI to give us an additional 3 T20Is which resulted in the enhancement of the commercial value. It was made possible because of the relationship we have cultivated with BCCI. We got $ 14.5 million from broadcasting and other rights like ground, etc.,” Mohan de Silva said.

“The fact that the BCCI and the Indian Government gave the blessings for their team to come to Sri Lanka during the pandemic times and meet their commitments was also due to the cordial relationships we have with the BCCI,” Mohan de Silva emphasized.

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

The six-match white-ball series was played behind closed doors with no spectators allowed to attend the matches due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Mohan de Silva said that SLC was also grateful to the Minister of Sports and the Government of Sri Lanka for allowing them to continue with the tour with the proper health guidelines.

“Without their encouragement, we would not have been able to go ahead with this tour which resulted in a lucrative commercial value and revenue coming into Sri Lanka.”

There were some doubts cast about the tour to be continued or not after Krunal Pandya tested COVID positive before the second T20I. At that point in time, India had completed the three-match ODI series and one of the three T20Is.

“Even the Indian High Commissioner was concerned and the BCCI. In this context, I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude on behalf of SLC to the management of the Indian team, and the BCCI who monitored the situation. They wanted certain guidance given by us and the assurances, which we did by moving the patient to another hotel and so on, and we continued with the tour,” said de Silva.

The Indian and Sri Lankan boards thought of calling off the tour, but BCCI’s late intervention, helped the remaining two T20Is to be conducted as per plan.

Had India pulled out of the series midway, then SLC would have suffered huge losses. As a result of his COVID-19 positive test, his 8 close contacts were also isolated. Hardik Pandya (Krunal Pandya’s brother), Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Prithvi Shaw, Krishnappa Gowtham, Yuzvendra Chahal, Deepak Chahar, and Manish Pandey came in Krunal Pandya’s contact and were ruled out of the remainder of the fixtures (last 2 T20Is).

Mohan de Silva: The Indian Tour Helped Sri Lankan Players A Lot By Uplifting Their Morals

From the players’ point of view, Mohan de Silva said that the tour had been of immense benefit.

“It has helped the players a lot. It has uplifted the morale of the cricketers. The T20I series win against India really bolstered the confidence of the players and we also had a lot of positives. We’ve seen emerging players coming and playing leading roles under a new captain, you could see their body language and self-confidence improving. These are good signs for the upcoming T20 World Cup,” said de Silva.

Sri Lanka has to qualify to get into the Super 12s of the T20 World Cup that will be played in the UAE and Oman in October. Speaking further, Mohan de Silva said that even during the ongoing pandemic times, SLC had done extremely well to obtain sponsorships from local commercial partners.

“The interim committee was in office when the budgets were prepared and they had envisaged a severe deficit, but we were able to reduce that drastically and also contribute more to the stakeholders. There was an anticipated loss during the last year up to 31 December 2020, but we managed to reduce that deficit to a great extent by way of prudent management and by sourcing a lot of sponsorship agreements with local commercial partners,” said de Silva.

Sri Lanka Cricket(Photo credit: SLC Twitter)
Sri Lanka Cricket(Photo credit: SLC Twitter)

“Getting sponsorships during this period is no joke. I think we are one of the few Cricket Boards that didn’t impose any pay cuts or reduce staff during the height of the pandemic on players and administration,” he said.

Mohan de Silva said that he did not foresee any issues with regards to the SLC Invitational tournament and the South African tour taking place as scheduled, despite the current health situation in the country.

“We are continuing with the same principles with the teams going into a bio-bubble and following strict protocols laid down by the Health Ministry for the South African tour, and as for the Invitational T20 tournament, the four participating teams have already taken their positions in the respective hotels in Kandy and they are undergoing training under the bio-bubble,” said de Silva.

The SLC Invitation T20 tournament, which is a forerunner to the South African tour and the T20 World Cup, will take place at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium from today till 24 August. South Africa is due to make a tour of Sri Lanka from 2-14 September and play a series of three ODIs and three T20Is.

Krunal Pandya
Krunal Pandya
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Krunal Pandya Returns To India After Completing 10-Day Mandatory Isolation Period

Krunal Pandya, the spin all-rounder has finally returned to India after completing his mandatory isolation period in Sri Lanka. Krunal tested positive for coronavirus just before India was scheduled to square off against Sri Lanka in the second T20 International of the three-match series.

After the conclusion of the Sri Lanka tour, other Indian players came back to India but Krunal Pandya had to stay in the island nation. The cricketer completed the mandatory seven-day isolation period, followed by two negative RT-PCR reports. He touched down in Mumbai on August 5, Thursday. The video of Krunal Pandya coming out from the airport was shared by a media portal.

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

Yuzvendra Chahal And Krishnappa Gowtham Are Still Present In Sri Lanka

Now, the only two players who are present in Sri Lanka are Yuzvendra Chahal and Krishnappa Gowtham. Along with Krunal Pandya, both the players had also received positive Covid-19 results. They are expected to undergo two RT-PCR tests on Thursday and can fly back to India after testing negative.

Yuzvendra Chahal, Krishnappa Gowtham (Pic Source: Twitter)
Yuzvendra Chahal, Krishnappa Gowtham (Pic Source: Twitter)

There was a potential breach in the bio-bubble of the Indian camp. After Krunal Pandya tested positive, as many as eight other Indian players, who were deemed as his close contacts, were isolated with immediate effect. The players who were isolated include the likes of Hardik Pandya, Prithvi Shaw, Suryakumar Yadav, Manish Pandey, Deepak Chahar, Krishnappa Gowtham, Ishan Kishan, and Yuzvendra Chahal.

Krunal Pandya’s Positive Covid-19 Result Cost India The T20I Series As His 8 Close Contacts Also Missed The Last 2 T20Is

While Yuzvendra Chahal and Krishnappa Gowtham tested positive, all the other six players had negative results and were allowed to travel back to India. All the nine players including Krunal Pandya were ruled out from the remaining of the T20I series.

Krunal Pandya’s positive Covid-19 result cost India the T20I series as they were forced to play with an inexperienced and relatively young squad. India had secured a victory in the first T20 International by 38 runs. However, they lost the last two matches by four wickets and seven wickets, respectively, to lose the three-match series by 1-2.

Shikhar Dhawan
Shikhar Dhawan (Getty Images)(HT_PRINT)

The ODI series was delayed by five days and then the second T20 International, slated on Tuesday, had to be deferred by a day after Krunal Pandya tested positive, having shown symptoms on that day. In the 2nd T20I match, India was restricted to a modest 132 for 5 with skipper Shikhar Dhawan top-scoring with 40. The hosts Sri Lanka then chased down the target with four wickets in hand and two balls to spare.

In the 3rd and final T20I, opting to bat first, Shikhar Dhawan-led India got off to a poor start as the captain fell for a golden duck. Birthday boy Wanindu Hasaranga’s 4 for 9 and SL skipper Dasun Shanaka’s brilliant athleticism and 2/20 restricted India’s inexperienced batting line-up for a mere 81/9 in 20 overs-their second lowest T20I score.

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