India vs West Indies

Indian Cricket Team After Wining T20I Series Against West Indies Credits: BCCI
Indian Cricket Team After Wining T20I Series Against West Indies Credits: BCCI

Indian Cricket Team Will Have A Hetic Schedule Before 2022 T20I World Cup

Indian cricket team will have very little time off from the game over the next eight months leading up to the 2022 T20I World Cup in Australia. Bio-bubble fatigue is a huge factor while planning the Indian cricket team’s cricket schedule. It is learned from reliable sources that the Indian cricket board (BCCI) is planning to squeeze in three more limited-overs overseas tours after the tour of England in July and before the 2022 T20I World Cup.

India are scheduled to play a one-off T20I against Ireland while in the UK.  The Indian cricket team might not feature in the upcoming 2022 Asian Games.

Indian Cricket Team
Indian Cricket Team Image Credits: BCCI

Indian Cricket Team Will Play Asia Cup In UAE And One-Off Test Against England Besides West Indies, Zimbabwe And Ireland Tours Before 2022 T20I World Cup

According to sources, the Indian cricket team will be touring West Indies immediately after the England tour before travelling to Zimbabwe and then participating in the Asia Cup in UAE as preparation for the 2022 T20I World Cup, which is due to start on October 16.

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

Once Sri Lanka’s tour of India is over on March 16, the Indian players will be busy with the IPL 2022 which will run till the third week of May, followed by a five-match T20I series at home against South Africa till June 19. The team will fly out to the UK a week after the South Africa series. The Indian team management and selectors have already started contemplating a mega-pool of nearly 35 players who will represent the Indian cricket team.

During the last calendar year, the Indian cricket team had also played two sides parallelly when Virat Kohli’s Test side were in England whereas Shikhar Dhawan-led Men in Blue travelled to Sri Lanka for a white-ball series, during mid-July 2021.

India Could Field 2 Teams Simultaneously As Ireland And Zimbabwe Tours Will Overlap With England Test And Asia Cup Respectively

With the one-off T20I in Ireland likely to overlap with the one-off Test in England, there is every chance India could be having two teams at different venues at a given time, much like how a second-string team toured Sri Lanka last year when the Test team was playing a series in England.

“The discussions on bio-bubble breaks have already started. Every player has been communicated about the busy itinerary. They have been given time to think about when they would like to take a break.

“It’s likely a depleted side will travel to Zimbabwe. Ideally, the Asia Cup will be the right tournament to play the first team, in order to get combinations right before the T20 World Cup,” a BCCI official said.

The Indian team will be mostly playing T20Is on these tours. It will be a time for the final round of auditions for players to stake their claim for the mega event in Australia.

Rahul Dravid Photo Credit: PTI
Rahul Dravid Photo Credit: PTI

However, Indian cricket team coach Rahul Dravid has said that the team management has more or less identified the core of the team which is likely to play in the World Cup. After the last T20I against West Indies, Rahul Dravid had said that he didn’t want to spread his net too wide. But with such a busy schedule, he will have to play with a big pool of players.

BCCI’s decision to play so many series comes from its commitment to help member nations generate revenues for their own boards. It is believed that the revenue generated from the one-off T20 International against Ireland will suffice for the Irish board’s expenses for a year. The schedule is a tough one to work around and the Indian cricket team management has already got working to ensure a fresh and ready team for the T20I World Cup.

After India host Sri Lanka in three T20Is and two Tests, the Indian players will take part in IPL 2022, which will be followed by five home T20Is versus South Africa, a one-off T20I versus hosts Ireland and fifth and final Test (from the incomplete 2021 series) against England, in the United Kingdom.

India will then reportedly travel to West Indies and Zimbabwe. The Asia Cup will also take place during the same time, hence, the Indian cricket board might field two teams simultaneously; with a second-stringed team playing against Ireland and Zimbabwe.

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

Sachin Tendulkar Reveals His Special Request To BCCI For His Final Test In 2013

Sachin Tendulkar recently revealed that ahead of his farewell series, he had spoken to the BCCI and urged the board to agree to his ‘only request’. It’s been over 8 years since Sachin Tendulkar played his final match for India, but looking back at it, his parting visuals still make his fans emotional.

Sachin Tendulkar called time on his 24-year-long illustrious career in November of 2013 after completing 200 Tests for India, finishing with over 33,000 international runs and 100 centuries.

Sachin Tendulkar walks off after playing his final innings for India. (BCCI)
Sachin Tendulkar walks off after playing his final innings for India. (BCCI)

Sachin Tendulkar Requested BCCI To Grant His Only Request To Play His Last Game In Mumbai So That His Mother Could Come To The Stadium And Watch

Besides it being Sachin Tendulkar’s last international match, another reason behind the Master Blaster getting emotional was the fact that for the first time in his career, his mother was in the stadium to watch him play.

Sachin Tendulkar recently revealed that ahead of his farewell series in 2013 against West Indies, he had spoken to the BCCI and urged the board to agree to his  ‘only request’.

“When I was about to play my last match, I told the board… the BCCI, that these two games are going to be my last but my only request and my wish is that I play my last game in Mumbai so that my mother could come to the stadium and watch.

“So they graciously agreed to host the last game in Mumbai and that’s the only time she has seen me play live in 24 years,” Tendulkar told Graham Bensinger.

Sachin Tendulkar after his last Test. Photo BCCI
Sachin Tendulkar after his last Test. Photo BCCI

“It was unbelievable. I was batting. They showed her on that mega-screen and she wasn’t aware of it. And the whole stadium is watching her reaction. I was anyway emotional, and in those emotions, you need to stay focussed. That was an important over, the last six balls but what I saw on the mega-screen was equally important.”

Sachin Tendulkar played his final Test in his hometown of Mumbai, a match that was attended by celebrities. He scored 74 in his final innings and once Mohammed Shami picked up the last wicket, the entire stadium and millions on their TV sets got up to give their beloved son a fitting farewell. As an emotional Sachin Tendulkar struggled to hold back tears, he paid a last visit to the pitch and paid his respects.

Sachin Tendulkar Revealed Only Brother Ajit Tendulkar Watched Him Play As His Brother Said He Will Get Distracted By Family Members

Sachin Tendulkar revealed how during his entire career, no one from his family watched him play live, barring his brother Ajit Tendulkar.

“It started from my school days. I kind of hated anyone watching me live. So my brother would hide somewhere behind a tree and watch me the whole day. So my brother has seen every match of my life. So he would watch me and prepare his notes and we would be discussing that.

“Also, my brother kind of told all the family members that nobody is going to go and watch him. He has to perform… he has to score runs and if he is going to be distracted with family members, that is not going to work,” revealed Tendulkar.

Sachin Tendulkar
Sachin Tendulkar (Image Credit: Twitter)

The iconic player announced his retirement from all formats of the game in 2013 and played his last Test series against West Indies on home soil. Sachin Tendulkar scored 84 runs from two innings after scoring 74 from 118 balls in the final Test innings of his career at his home ground Wankhede.

After eight years, the 48-year-old recalled his emotional moment when his mother, Rajni Tendulkar, was displayed on the big screen while he was batting in his final Test innings at the Wankhede.

Sachin Tendulkar currently holds the record for most hundreds in both Tests and ODIs. Incredibly, he retained a divine enthusiasm for the game till his last match. He also scored the first double-century in one-day cricket. In 2012, he became the first player to score 100 international centuries.

Later that year, though, he announced his retirement from ODIs. And on November 16, 2013, Sachin Tendulkar retired from Test cricket after a memorable 200th Test-the most by any player.

Indian Cricket Team
Indian Cricket Team Image Credits: BCCI

India vs West Indies 2022: KN Ananthapadmanabhan’s Three Decisions Were Overturned In 1st ODI

India had registered an emphatic victory in the first ODI against West Indies on Sunday and will be aiming to seal the three-match series, when Rohit Sharma’s men meet the ‘Men in Maroon’ for the second game in Ahmedabad. The hosts had chased down a 177-run target with six wickets to spare after the Indian spinners ran through a hapless Windies batting order.

It was a near-perfect outing for the Indian team in the 1st ODI but the same cannot be said for umpire KN Ananthapadmanabhan, who had three of his decisions overturned in significantly quick successions.

KN Ananthapadmanabhan (L); Rohit Sharma (extreme right) taking the review during 1st ODI.(Hotstar/AP)
KN Ananthapadmanabhan (L); Rohit Sharma (extreme right) taking the review during 1st ODI.(Hotstar/AP)

India Wins The 1st ODI But KN Ananthapadmanabhan Was Criticized For His Multiple Errors Resulting In His Decision Being Overturned Thrice

The first successful review came in the 12th over of the West Indies innings when Washington Sundar trapped Darren Bravo in front of the wickets. A second came in the 20th over when Yuzvendra Chahal was convinced on another leg-before shout.

Merely two overs later, Yuzvendra Chahal induced an outside edge off Sharmarh Brooks and Rohit Sharma took the review straight away, resulting in another dismissal.

Washington Sundar With Rohit Sharma Image: PTI
Washington Sundar With Rohit Sharma Image: PTI

As a result, KN Ananthapadmanabhan was criticized by fans for his multiple errors and former Pakistan captain Salman But made a cheeky remark as he discussed the umpiring standard in first ODI.

“In India’s game (against West Indies), the umpire’s (KN Ananthapadmanabhan) decision was overturned on three occasions. In one of the decisions, the camera was on Rohit Sharma. Now, I might be wrong, he was wearing glasses so I couldn’t see his eyes, but his face looked like he took the review only because this umpire gave the decision,” Butt said.

Rohit Sharma succeeded in overturning umpire KN Ananthapadmanabhan’s three decisions during the first ODI between India-West Indies on Sunday.

Salman Butt: Umpiring Errors Not A Good Sign

The former Pakistan captain further added that such errors are “not a good sign.”

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

“India were benefitted on three occasions after taking the review against the umpire’s decision, so this definitely signals that the umpiring wasn’t good. It’s not a good sign,” said Butt.

Rohit Sharma will be aiming to seal a first series win as full-time limited-overs captain of the Indian team. West Indies stand-in skipper Nicholas Pooran won the toss and decided to field first against India in the 2nd ODI at Ahmedabad on Wednesday.

India made one change in the starting XI, bringing in KL Rahul for Ishan Kishan, while Odean Smith replaced injured captain Kieron Pollard for West Indies. Rishabh Pant opened with skipper Rohit Sharma.

India Playing XI: Rohit Sharma (c), KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Rishabh Pant (w), Suryakumar Yadav, Deepak Hooda, Washington Sundar, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Siraj, Yuzvendra Chahal, Prasidh Krishna

West Indies Playing XI: Shai Hope (w), Brandon King, Darren Bravo, Shamarh Brooks, Nicholas Pooran (c), Jason Holder, Akeal Hosein, Fabian Allen, Odean Smith, Alzarri Joseph, Kemar Roach

Mohammed Siraj (Photo: AP)
Mohammed Siraj (Photo: AP)

Mohammed Siraj Impressed Sunil Gavaskar For His Wholehearted Efforts In The 1st ODI Against West Indies

Mohammed Siraj did pick just one wicket for India in the series opener against West Indies on Sunday, but it was enough to impress former India captain Sunil Gavaskar who praised the youngster, hailing him as a “whole-hearted and thinking” bowler.

Since the 2019 World Cup, India picked 10 wickets in the powerplay at an average of over 120. Picking wickets with the new ball has been one of the major concerns for India in the ODI format.

And although India picked only one wicket in the first ODI against Kieron Pollard’s men, they also registered 49 dot balls during that phase. And young Mohammed Siraj played a key role in that.  He dismissed Shai Hope in just the third over of the match and finished the powerplay with figures of 5-2-13-1.

Mohammed Siraj celebrates dismissing West Indies opener Shai Hope. Photograph: BCCI
Mohammed Siraj celebrates dismissing West Indies opener, Shai Hope. Photograph: BCCI

Mohammed Siraj Keeps On Improving And Has Always Been A Whole Hearted Bowler: Sunil Gavaskar

Impressed with his commitment and energy through each of his deliveries, Sunil Gavaskar, in conversation with Star Sports, was effusive in his praise for Mohammed Siraj.

“He was very good. And he keeps on improving. He has always been a whole-hearted bowler. You see the first ball that he bowls and the last ball that he bowls at the end of the day, he is running in with the same energy. That is what every captain is looking for. Somebody who is going to give 100 per cent every single time,” he said.  

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

The legendary cricketer then dissected Mohammed Siraj’s comeback in that third over where he was smashed for two consecutive boundaries before he dished out that scrambled-seam delivery that took the inside edge of the bat and rattled against the stumps.

“You can see that…the first two boundaries that were hit of him were deliveries where he was trying to move away. He had two slips in position so the thinking was good…if the ball was bouncing a little more the catch would go to the second slip. Then he bowled the scrambled seam delivery and got the batsman out. He is a thinking bowler,” he added.

Put in to bat, the visitors lost opener Shai Hope (8; 2×4) cheaply, castled by Mohammed Siraj (1 for 26) in the third over, and were one down for just 13 runs. Shai Hope had hit Mohammed Siraj for two successive boundaries but, on the next, his inside edge, while attempting a drive, shattered the middle and leg stump.

Sunil Gavaskar: Mohammed Siraj Will Get Better If He Bowls With Mohammed Shami And Jasprit Bumrah

Sunil Gavaskar feels that Mohammed Siraj will only get better at it the more he bowls alongside the senior Indian pace duo of Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah.

“The more he is going to bowl along with Jasprit Bumrah or Mohammed Shami, who are both not here… and both stand at mid-off and mid-on when he is bowling and all the time having a word with him. That is such a plus for a young bowler to have two top bowlers talking to him just about every delivery. He is just going to get better and better.”

Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah (AP Photos)
Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah (AP Photos)

Mohammed Siraj made a return to the ODI XI after over 3 years, having last made an appearance in 2019 against Australia. Deepak Hooda, a batting all-rounder, also made a return to the Indian squad after over four years for the three-match ODI series against the West Indies and debuted in the 1st ODI against West Indies.

Mohammed Siraj gained significant strides in Indian cricket circles after impressive performances in the IPL 2020, where he took 11 wickets in nine games; while his performances improved further in IPL 2021 when he bowled at an economy rate of merely 6.78 in fifteen matches.

As a result, he earned an international call-up for the tour of Australia and made his Test debut in Melbourne; eventually finishing as India’s highest wicket-taker in the series (13 wickets in three games). So far in his 12 Test match career, he picked 36 wickets in 12 Test matches with an average of 29.63.

Washington Sundar Image: PTI
Washington Sundar Image: PTI

Washington Sundar Was Disappointed To Have Lost Out On A Chance To Play The ICC T20I World Cup 2021

Washington Sundar said that he was quite disappointed when he had to miss out on last year’s T20I World Cup due to injury concerns. Speaking after his match-winning spell of 3/30 on the comeback to the side, Washington Sundar said he wants to focus on doing well and earn his spot in the upcoming World Cup campaigns.

The off-spinner said his focus now will be on doing well for India over the next 18 months wherein they will play a T20 World Cup (2022) and a 50-over World Cup (2023).

 Washington Sundar returned match-winning figures of 3/30 on his comeback to the Indian side (AFP Photo)
Washington Sundar returned match-winning figures of 3/30 on his comeback to the Indian side (AFP Photo)

Washington Sundar Was Disappointed To Lose Out A Chance To Play 2021 T20I World Cup

Washington Sundar, who made his international debut in 2017, had been an integral member of the T20I aside. The young off-spinner also made his Test debut last year and shone in the longest format of the game, getting opportunities to play at home against England.

He was a certainty for the T20 World Cup last year but a finger injury he suffered during his trip to England saw him get ruled out of the second half of Indian Premier League 2021 and the T20I World Cup last year. Washington Sundar was picked in India’s ODI squad for the South Africa tour last month but he contracted Covid-19 before the tour and was not able to travel to the Rainbow Nation.

“It was very disappointing to have lost out on a chance to play the World Cup. But yes, there are two World Cups in the next 15-16 months, so that should be my focus,” Sundar told the press.

“More than anything, I have always wanted to be in the present and keep getting better as a cricketer. If I do that, there would be a lot of opportunities and also the fact that I would be able to perform a lot better,” he added.

Rohit Sharma turned to Washington Sundar inside the PowerPlay.
Rohit Sharma turned to Washington Sundar inside the PowerPlay. ©BCCI

“There were a lot of challenges but I just wanted to do what I could do to improve myself as a cricketer. That’s all that’s in my control and I was only focusing on that.

“Yes, there will always be challenges, that’s something that I have realized especially in the last couple of years. But what matters is how I push myself, keep getting better at the aspects that I want to and keep improving myself. I’ve tried to focus on it,” he added.

The last time Washington Sundar wore India blues in a match was 11 months ago, at the same venue. Since then, having suffered a finger injury, he could not be considered for the T20I World Cup. As if that wasn’t a bitter pill to swallow, his international comeback was delayed further last month when he was diagnosed with COVID-19 days before his departure for South Africa.

Washington Sundar Was Just Bowling To His Strengths In 1st ODI Against West Indies

Talking about the match, it was all about focusing on his strengths. India all-rounder Washington Sundar made an instant impact on his return to the international circuit, which came after a long gap of five-month. The 22-year-old’s services were not required with the bat in the series opener against West Indies in Ahmedabad but he bowled exceptionally well in the nine overs he delivered on Sunday.

“I was just bowling to my strength and of course we had some plans for their batsmen. We just wanted to execute the plans and it was heartening to get off. I am happy that I could bowl to my strengths,” he said.

Rohit Sharma congratulates Washington Sundar after a wicket BCCI
Rohit Sharma congratulates Washington Sundar after a wicket BCCI

On Sunday too, Washington Sundar bowled early in the power-play, and he said the experience of the Vijay Hazare Trophy helped him.

“That’s something I have been doing for the last few years. I enjoy bowling in the Powerplay now. Even the fact that I played Vijay Hazare, that helped me bowl in different situations of the game. Even there, I bowled a lot with the new ball. All those experiences have definitely helped,” he added.

Washington Sundar was a vital cog in the Tamil Nadu unit, which went to win the latest edition of the domestic 50-over tournament. He was among the top three wicket-takers, completing 16 scalps from 8 matches.

Coming to India’s 1000th ODI, the hosts folded West Indies for a paltry 176 and then chased down the target in 28 overs to beat the visitors by six wickets. With this win, India took a 1-0 lead in the three-match ODI series.

Yuzvendra Chahal Image Source: Twitter
Yuzvendra Chahal Image Source: Twitter

Yuzvendra Chahal Understood The Importance Of Bowling Googlies After South Africa Tour

Yuzvendra Chahal said he understood the importance of getting back to bowling more googlies when he watched and learned from mistakes from the disastrous South Africa tour’s limited-overs ODI leg.  Leg spinner Yuzvendra Chahal revealed that captain Rohit Sharma’s inputs during their training sessions made him think about making some minor changes to his bowling style in the home series against the West Indies.

Speaking after picking up a match-winning 4-wicket haul in the first ODI, Yuzvendra Chahal said Rohit Sharma made him understand that googlies make his leg-spin more effective. Yuzvendra Chahal’s 4/49, Washington Sundar’s 3/30 and captain Rohit Sharma’s quick-fire 60 helped India beat the West Indies by six wickets in the series opener

Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma. Image Credits: AFP

Yuzvendra Chahal Reckons Googly Is Very Important For A Leg Spinner And He Missed Bowling Them In South Africa’s Disastrous ODI Matches

It was a role reversal for Rohit Sharma and Yuzvendra Chahal as the skipper interviewed the Player of the Match after India’s emphatic 6-wicket win in their 1000th ODI in Ahmedabad. Rohit Sharma and Yuzvendra Chahal spoke about the art of leg-spin bowling and facing ups and downs in one’s career.

Rohit Sharma said he was able to see some notable changes in Yuzvendra Chahal’s bowling style in the first ODI as the leg-spinner, who has been criticized for not being attacking enough, picked up 2 wickets, including that of West Indies captain Kieron Pollard, in his first over.

Yuzvendra Chahal was India’s best performer with the ball picking up four wickets in the 1st ODI. The leg spinner put West Indies reeling at 78/6 in 21.5 overs by dismissing  Sharmarh Brooks and Kieron Pollard in successive deliveries. He also accounted for the wickets of Alzarri Joseph and Nicholas Pooran.

“You had told me before the match and even I thought I missed this during the South Africa tour — I was not bowling a lot of googlies. It was in my mind and when a hard-hitter sees the ball in the slot and decides that he will go for the big shot, I have a weapon. Googly is very important for a leg-spinner,” Yuzvendra Chahal told in a video interaction with Rohit Sharma for the BCCI.

Kieron Pollard
Kieron Pollard(Getty Images)

“You told me that the more googlies I bowl, my leg-spin will become more effective. I keep bowling them to you at the nets and then I realised that maybe I should try a bit more of these in the matches,” he added.

“I wanted to mix it up (1n the 1st ODI). And like we planned when Kieron Pollard came in, you told me to bowl it a bit fuller. I knew that if the length was not right, there were 80 percent chances of him hitting me for a six.”

Rohit Sharma brought Yuzvendra Chahal into the attack only in the 20th over in the first ODI and the leg-spinner delivered big time, picking up 3 quick wickets in the middle over to break the back of the West Indies bowling unit.

During his spell, Yuzvendra Chahal mixed his variation — the googly — well and got the big wicket of Kieron Pollard with a googly to the Mumbai Indians star in the very first delivery he faced. The senior leg-spinner, who has struggled to retain his place in the limited-overs sides in the recent past, also became the 2nd fastest spinner from India to get 100 ODI wickets during the first ODI on Sunday.

Jason Holder and Fabian Allen added 78 runs for the eighth wicket partnership and helped the visitors post a target of 177 runs. Skipper Rohit Sharma scored 60 runs off 51 balls to give India a sold start with Ishan Kishan, while Suryakumar Yadav and Deepak Hooda remained unbeaten on 34 and 26 runs respectively to see Indian win in their 1000th ODI match.

Rohit Sharma Reckons Yuzvendra Chahal An Important Player And Should Play With That Mindset

Rohit Sharma told Yuzvendra Chahal that he is an important player for the Indian white-ball side and he should also believe in the same whenever he steps onto the field.

Yuzvendra Chahal Image: Indian Cricket Team/ Instagram
Yuzvendra Chahal Image: Indian Cricket Team/ Instagram

“You are a very important player. I would tell you to play with that mindset. There will be ups and downs but keeping the mindset at the right place is very important,” Rohit told Chahal.

Yuzvendra Chahal managed to pick up only 2 wickets in 3 matches in South Africa and gave away 179 runs in 29 overs. However, the leg-spinner seems to have found his mojo back even as India begin their road to the 2022 T20 World Cup and the 50-over World Cup in 2023.

Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma

Harbhajan Singh Praised Rohit Sharma’s Captaincy In The 1st ODI Against West Indies

Harbhajan Singh has lauded Rohit Sharma’s captaincy in the first ODI between Team India and West Indies. Rohit Sharma was leading the Indian team in an ODI for the first time since taking over from Virat Kohli as the full-time white-ball skipper. The Mumbaikar started his tenure on a positive note, with Team India registering a comprehensive six-wicket win in the encounter.

India’s white-ball captain showcased stunning form in the encounter, scoring 60 crucial runs at the top from just 51 deliveries. His knock was instrumental in the hosts clinching the contest by six wickets.

Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma. Image Credits: AFP

Harbhajan Singh: Rohit Sharma Gives A Lot Of Freedom To The Bowlers

During an interaction on Star Sports, former off-spinner Harbhajan Singh was asked if he saw anything different from Rohit Sharma as skipper. Rohit Sharma’s stint as the full-time ODI captain of Indian cricket got the perfect start as the Men in Blue defeated West Indies by six wickets in Ahmedabad’s Narendra Modi Stadium in India’s 1000th ODI-the most by any team in the format.

He responded: “I saw he [Rohit] was giving a lot of encouragement to all the bowlers. I have played a lot of cricket with him, that’s the kind of captain he is, he gives a lot of freedom to the bowlers and tells them to just go out there and express themselves.”

Harbhajan Singh Image Credit Reuters
Harbhajan Singh Image Credit Reuters

The former India off-spinner was particularly appreciative of Rohit Sharma for not imposing himself on the bowlers.

Harbhajan Singh elaborated: “If you don’t know the plan, then he has a second plan. It’s a great thing from a captain if you get to do what you have to do as a bowler. That’s exactly what any bowler would require.”

Rohit Sharma has an excellent overall record as Team India’s ODI skipper. He has led the Men In Blue to a win in nine of the 11 matches he has captained in the 50-over format of the game. Rohit Sharma was making a comeback to the international stage after a two-month layoff due to a hamstring injury looked in fine touch with the bat too.

Harbhajan Singh: Rohit Sharma Was Spot On With His Captaincy

Harbhajan Singh spoke in glowing terms about Rohit Sharma’s handling of his two spinners – Yuzvendra Chahal and Washington Sundar.

He explained “Rohit Sharma was spot on with his captaincy. He rotated his bowlers very nicely. When Yuzvendra Chahal and Washington Sundar were bowling, he was always there for them. He was talking to them in between the overs.”

Yuzvendra Chahal
Yuzvendra Chahal © AFP

The 41-year-old was also asked whether Deepak Hooda was unfortunate not to be given the ball.

Harbhajan Singh responded: “I don’t think he [Hooda] was unlucky. Whatever little opportunity he got in the latter part of the innings, he did what was required to be done at that point in time. I think he is a fabulous cricketer who has done really well over the years in domestic cricket and it’s good to see him in the Indian team.”

Harbhajan Singh concluded by saying that he has great expectations from debutant Deepak Hooda. He added the 26-year-old can play as a finisher at either No. 5 or No. 6. Suryakumar Yadav(34*) and debutant Deepak Hooda(26*) steadied the ship for the Men in Blue and saw India through with their unbeaten 62-run partnership.

Earlier, Indian spinners helped restrict West Indies to a score of just 176 after Rohit Sharma won the toss and chose to bowl first. Yuzvendra Chahal took four wickets for 49 runs while Washington Sundar, who was playing an international game for India for the first time since March last year took three scalps, conceding 30 runs.

Brief Score: West Indies: 176 in 43.5 overs (Jason Holder 57, Yuzvendra Chahal 4/49, Washington Sundar 3/30, Prasidh Krishna 2/29). India: 178 for 4 in 28 overs (Rohit Sharma 60; Alzarri Joseph 2/45).

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

Jason Holder Could Be One Of The Most Expensive Buys At IPL 2022 Auction As RCB Expected To Bid Heavily On Him

Jason Holder, the former West Indies captain and one of world’s premier all-rounders could well turn out to be one of the most expensive buys at IPL 2022 mega-auction with RCB expected to bid heavily for him.

Although the Caribbean all-rounder didn’t feature in all of Sunrisers Hyderabad’s matches, he proved his mettle with both bat and the ball by picking 16 scalps in IPL 2021 averaging 15.44.

Jason Holder[photo: BCCI/IPL]
Jason Holder[photo: BCCI/IPL]

Jason Holder Has Been Phenomenal And RCB Have Reserved Rs. 12 Crores For Him: RCB Official

If sources privy to RCB’s auction strategy are to be believed, the franchise that has Virat Kohli, Glenn Maxwell and Mohammed Siraj in its ranks as retained players, are likely to bid up till Rs 12 crore because of Jason Holder’s multiple skill-sets, which is a rarity in this format.

“Ben Stokes isn’t available, Hardik Pandya and Marcus Stoinis are taken. Mitchell Marsh you never know whether he can survive a full IPL with his injury-prone career, Jason Holder has been phenomenal if one looks at his record. RCB will like to go the distance as some others will also pitch in,” a source close to franchise said.

Ambati Rayudu [P/C:]
Ambati Rayudu [P/C:]
It is understood that RCB, who have Rs 57 crore in their auction purse are interested in three players including Jason Holder, former CSK batter Ambati Rayudu and young ex-Rajasthan Royals’ Riyan Parag.

“For Jason Holder, they have reserved Rs 12 crore and another Rs 8 crore for Rayudu and Rs 7 crore for Parag. If they spend Rs 27 crore approximately on these players, they would have another Rs 28 crore left. The core with Kohli, Maxwell, Siraj, Holder, Rayudu and Parag will be set. Let’s hope they can get two out of preferred three,” the source said.

While the auction dynamic can’t be predicted before, Jason Holder’s emergence as a potent IPL auction star has happened, often the case with multi-skilled players where the market determines the value.

“Chris Morris was a good cricketer but was he worth Rs 16 crore plus when he got that? Perhaps no but the paucity of all-rounders made some franchises desperate. Same for Yuvraj Singh’s Rs 15 crore by Delhi Daredevils back in 2015, when he was already well past his sell-by date. It was brand plus market,” another senior official from a franchise said.

Jason Holder took 15 wickets in the five-match T20I series against England, including a double hat-trick in the 5th T20I. If his batting credentials in the series were not enough, he looked the best batsman in his side against India in the 1st ODI at Ahmedabad scoring 57 runs including 4 big sixes against Yuzvendra Chahal.

Virat Kohli Captaining Once Again In IPL 2022 Will Be Easiest Solution For RCB Reckons Ajit Agarkar

In the case of Ambati Rayudu, his contribution to CSK’s success has been immense and MS Dhoni’s reliance on tried and tested performers could mean that the defending champions will do their bit to get Ambati Rayudu back.  He has enlisted as a keeper-batter for this auction and therefore the multi-dimensional skill-sets along with his experience make him a worthy candidate for big bucks.

Riyan Parag had a poor 2021 IPL after a good edition in 2020. He is a big hitter who also gives a bowling option with his tight off-breaks, making him a viable proposition. The RCB is also looking at a potential captaincy candidate after Virat Kohli stepped down post last season. Whether they buy someone like Shreyas Iyer or request Virat Kohli to do it for one more season is the question.

Former pacer Ajit Agarkar said: “If Virat Kohli can take over the captaincy and if he is happy to do it and if he has the energy to do it, I think that will be the easiest solution for them.”

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli (Image Credit: Twitter)

“At the end of the day, we have seen RCB over the years they haven’t invested enough money in making a proper team of 12, 13 or 14 players with enough depth. It’s always been dependent on the top three, not enough middle order players and if you don’t have the money, you can’t do that again. So, if you break the bank for one player, doesn’t matter how good he is – will win you games but will never win you competitions.”

Virat Kohli announced that he will also be stepping down as the RCB captain after IPL 2021. Virat Kohli has been captaining the Royal Challengers Bangalore since the IPL 2013 and he has led the franchise in 9 seasons so far.

KL Rahul Image Source : GETTY IMAGES
KL Rahul Image Source : GETTY IMAGES

KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal And Navdeep Saini Trained At Nets Preparing Ahead Of The 2nd ODI

KL Rahul, India’s vice-captain and opener Mayank Agarwal joined the Team India camp in Ahmedabad on Monday, a few days ahead of the 2nd ODI against the West Indies. Meanwhile, pacer Navdeep Saini, who was in isolation after contracting Covid-19, is also back with the team. While KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal joined the India camp after missing the first ODI, Navdeep Saini, who tested positive for Covid-19, also trained in Ahmedabad on Monday.

KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal and Navdeep Saini were seen training at the Narendra Modi Stadium as India began preparation for the 2nd ODI, which will be played on Wednesday-9th February. Ideally, KL Rahul should be playing at number five, where he had a lot of success in the past.

KL Rahul, seen training at nets, missed the first ODI against West Indies due to personal reason (Courtesy of BCCI)
KL Rahul, seen training at the nets, missed the first ODI against West Indies due to personal reasons (Courtesy of BCCI)

KL Rahul Missed The 1st ODI Due To Personal Reason, Mayank Agarwal Was Still In Quarantine While Backup Pacer Navdeep Saini Was Covid-19 Positive

Notably, KL Rahul had missed the first ODI due to personal reasons. Mayank Agarwal was not part of the squad for the 1st ODI as he was still completing his quarantine after having been added to the squad last week following Covid-19 cases in the Indian camp.

Notably, the trio of Shikhar Dhawan, Ruturaj Gaikwad and Shreyas Iyer along with 4 members of the support staff and backup player Navdeep Saini tested positive for Covid-19 upon their arrival in Ahmedabad. The BCCI said all 8 members of the team entered isolation and were monitored by the BCCI medical team.

Mayank Agarwal (Image Credit: Twitter)
Mayank Agarwal (Image Credit: Twitter)

The rest of the team trained and took the field during the first ODI after returning negative RT-PCR tests last week. The BCCI selection committee also added Ishan Kishan and Shahrukh Khan to the squad for the first ODI against the West Indies on Sunday.

There is a possibility that Mayank Agarwal would open the batting with skipper Rohit Sharma on Wednesday-9th February. In the opening game, Rohit Sharma had opened with Ishan Kishan, who exactly isn’t a regular opener, but the Jharkhand dasher did a decent job, scoring 28 runs in an 84-run stand with his skipper.

Yuzvendra Chahal Picked 4 Scalps While Washington Sundar Picked 3 Scalps To Restrict West Indies To 176

Notably, Ishan Kishan opened the batting with captain Rohit Sharma as India successfully gunned down a target of 177 in what was their 1000th ODI. Rohit Sharma, who returned from a hamstring injury that kept him out of the tour of South Africa, led from the front with the bat with an outstanding 51-ball 60 while Suryakumar Yadav and debutant Deepak Hooda came up with crucial contributions after India suffered a middle-order wobble.

Washington Sundar, Rohit Sharma, Yuzvendra Chahal Photo: Twitter/Sundarwashi5
Washington Sundar, Rohit Sharma, Yuzvendra Chahal Photo: Twitter/Sundarwashi5

Earlier on Sunday, leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal and Washington Sundar picked up 7 wickets between them as West Indies were bundled out for 176 despite Jason Holder hitting a fifty.

Rohit Sharma’s captaincy was spot on in the first ODI after electing to the bowl and scuttling out the Windies for just 176. Pacers Mohammed Siraj (1/26) and Prasidh Krishna (2/29) chipped in with handy breakthroughs but it was the spinners Washington Sundar (3/30) and Yuzvendra Chahal (4/49) who wreaked havoc.

The Indian opening pair of Rohit Sharma (60) and Ishan Kishan (28) then provided a solid base and the win was sealed by a composed 62-run unbeaten partnership for the 5th wicket between Suryakumar Yadav (34*) and debutant Deepak Hooda (26*). India got their three-match ODI series against the West Indies off to a perfect start with a dominant 6-wicket victory with 22 overs to spare.

Brief Score: West Indies: 176 in 43.5 overs (Jason Holder 57, Yuzvendra Chahal 4/49, Washington Sundar 3/30, Prasidh Krishna 2/29). India: 178 for 4 in 28 overs (Rohit Sharma 60; Alzarri Joseph 2/45).

Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma. Image Credits: AFP

Virender Sehwag Impressed By Rohit Sharma’s Brilliant Comeback After He Scores 60 In 1st ODI Against West Indies

Virender Sehwag, the former India opener has lauded newly appointed full-time limited-overs skipper Rohit Sharma for making an impact on his return after injury. He commended the right-hander for his impressive captaincy and batting in the ODI series opener against West Indies.

In a video shared by Virender Sehwag on his social media accounts, he pointed out how Rohit Sharma has made a thumping comeback after missing the entire South Africa tour because of his hamstring injury.

Virender Sehwag
Virender Sehwag (Image Credit: Twitter)

Virender Sehwag: Rohit Sharma Has Made A Brilliant Comeback

India’s white-ball captain showcased stunning form in the encounter, scoring 60 crucial runs at the top from just 51 deliveries. His knock was instrumental in the hosts clinching the contest by six wickets.

Rohit Sharma’s stint as the full-time ODI captain of Indian cricket got the perfect start as the Men in Blue defeated West Indies by six wickets in Ahmedabad’s Narendra Modi Stadium. In what was a historic occasion for India as they became the first team to play 1000 ODIs in history, they dominated the visitors from start to finish.

Sehwag said: “Rohit Sharma, who missed the South Africa tour due to injury, has made a brilliant comeback. While India won the match under his captaincy, he also contributed significantly with that bat.”

Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma
Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma- Twitter

Virender Sehwag added that many expected ex-captain Virat Kohli to perform with the bat, as he is due for a big knock for a while now. He pointed out that while the star batter started off well by slamming two boundaries, he perished trying to play the pull shot.

“Everybody thought that India would win the game by 8-9 wickets. The openers gave a great start. It was expected that Virat Kohli would impress with the bat. He started off that way too, but unluckily got caught at fine leg.”

Rohit Sharma, who was making a comeback to the international stage after a two-month layoff due to a hamstring injury looked in fine touch before being dismissed after a knock of 60 in 51 deliveries. But he had ensured India is on the path to victory.

Virender Sehwag: Rishabh Pant Was Unlucky While Suryakumar Yadav And Deepak Hooda Showed Great Composure To Finish The Game

India then lost Ishan Kishan and Rishabh Pant in quick succession as well. Virender Sehwag labelled Rishabh Pant’s runout as unlucky. The southpaw was dismissed by Alzarri Joseph at the non-striker’s end as he used his shoe to deflect Suryakumar Yadav’s straight drive back to the stumps.

Rishabh Pant had to take the long walk back as he was caught outside his crease. Suryakumar Yadav and debutant Deepak Hooda then steadied the ship for the Men in Blue. Virender Sehwag hailed the duo for seeing India through with their unbeaten 62-run partnership.

Suryakumar Yadav
Suryakumar Yadav (BCCI)

The former cricketer noted that India’s middle-order had failed to do the job in South Africa and it was good to see the two batters take responsibility on Sunday.

“Rishabh Pant was unlucky. Very rarely it happens that a batter hits a perfect straight drive and the non-striker gets run out because of it. At this juncture, it seemed West Indies would make a comeback, as India’s middle-order is inexperienced.

“Suryakumar Yadav and Deepak Hooda showcased great composure and finished off the game, which we did not see in South Africa from our middle-order and lower middle-order batters.”

Rohit Sharma’s 84-run opening stand with Ishan Kishan put India in a comfortable position despite Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Ishan Kishan, and Rishabh Pant departing in quick succession.

Earlier, Indian spinners helped restrict West Indies to a score of just 176 after Rohit Sharma won the toss and chose to bowl first. Yuzvendra Chahal took four wickets while Washington Sundar, who was playing an international game for India for the first time since March last year took three scalps.

India will resume their battle and try to win the ODI series with an unassailable lead against West Indies on Wednesday, February 9 as they lock horns in the 2nd ODI of the three-match series at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.

Brief Score: West Indies: 176 in 43.5 overs (Jason Holder 57, Yuzvendra Chahal 4/49, Washington Sundar 3/30, Prasidh Krishna 2/29). India: 178 for 4 in 28 overs (Rohit Sharma 60; Alzarri Joseph 2/45).

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