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IPL 2021 will is scheduled from April 9 to May 30 [Credits: IPL]
IPL 2021 will is scheduled from April 9 to May 30 [Credits: IPL]
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T20 Cricket: 5 New Rules Which Can Make T20s More Interesting

T20 cricket is now watched eagerly across the globe as the shortest format has generated a lot of interest. The game of cricket has evolved vastly over the years. There was a time when 5 days of Test cricket was probably the only thing that happened. Then came the 50 overs ODI and the 20 overs T20I format which made the cricket on-lookers experience the fresh breeze blowing. With the inception of T20 cricket, the game became even more athletic.

T20 cricket made people ponder then so as to how cricket can be played in such a short span of 20 overs. But then came the T10 league that further shortened the format. With T20s, the approach of the game witnessed a shift. The batters came in with innovative shots whereas bowlers introduced more variations. The Hundred (100 balls) and T10 leagues (10 overs) have generated a lot of interest but T20s were the first thing that saw edge-of-the-seat thrillers and generated revenues.

The IPL further garnered the audacity of the T20 cricket format as its pace and entertainment fetched in a large chunk of the audience to watch the games. It is probably the most celebrated format now with fans yearning to watch the action unfold. But T20 cricket can be more interesting if some rules are changed.

IPL Trophy. (BCCI/IPL Photo)
IPL Trophy. (BCCI/IPL Photo)

T20 Cricket: 5 New Rules Which Can Make T20s More Interesting

1. 8 runs for sixes over 100 meters

Chris Gayle Image Source : IPLT20.COM
Chris Gayle Image Source: IPLT20.COM

The T20 cricket matches carry a tag of being entertaining and full of action-packed performances. With the likes of power hitters like Chris Gayle, Andre Russell, AB de Villiers to name a few, big hits are always in the scenario. Often the power that these players generate whilst hitting the shots leaves many in awe of their strength.

Big sixes aren’t a rare sight in T20 cricket and often the ball is out of the stadium. So the thought of rewarding the batters with much more than just 6 runs for their effort of hitting it big will do wonders to the individual player and team. Hitting the ball over 100 meters requires immense strength in T20 cricket and the ones who can do it must be provided with some advantage. So giving eight runs instead of six to a maximum that goes over 100 meters could be a new rule that adds to the fascination of the T20 cricket format.

Maybe one can think of bringing it in the franchise leagues in the first place. If that happens, the team with hard hitters will benefit. It will take the target of the side to an even more challenging total for the opposition to chase. In case the team batting first had struggled initially to get in runs, if their attacking batters are able to send the ball out of the stands it might help the team to chip in some necessary runs.

2. More Than 4 Overs For A Bowler

Jasprit Bumrah
Jasprit Bumrah. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

The format is shorter but it demands the players to challenge themselves even more. By tuning out all the distractions, they have to find the shelf of possibilities to take the team past the total or put a commanding target on board. It thus becomes the game of calculation, wherein the batters decide their targets.

They play out the tough bowlers and then design their approach in such a way that they then take on the part-timers and the less fancied ones. A batter has the opportunity to play an entire inning when in form, but when it comes to the bowlers, they have just four overs to bowl.

However, a tweak in the quota of the bowlers can be made. If the number of overs is increased, the bowler who is having a good day will make most of it and the team will be gifted with more important breakthroughs. This will scrape off the tension of the skipper in case one of his prime bowlers is having a bad day.

The batters will then have to face more balls from the lethal in form bowlers and that would test their abilities in T20 cricket. This move can provide more challenges to the batters and will produce furthermore compelling contests for the fans. The batsman will have to go big against the prime bowlers and that would exude more competition and build excitement around the matches.

Bowlers like pacer Jasprit Bumrah of Mumbai Indians or spinner Rashid Khan of Sunrisers Hyderabad can bowl more than 4 overs if this rule comes to effect in T20 cricket thus worrying the opposition.

3. Player Replacement In The 2nd Half Of T20s

Chris Lynn and Dan Lawrence
Chris Lynn and Dan Lawrence in Big Bash League (Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images)

This rule was brought in by Cricket Australia in the recent edition of the Big Bash League. As per the rule, the teams will be allowed to make use of one ‘X’ factor player after the 10th over of the ongoing match.

The ‘X’ factor player can only replace a player who hasn’t been quite active in the game. Thus, on the batting side, he can replace a batter who hasn’t taken the charge of the field. And from the bowling side, the replacement will come for a bowler who hasn’t bowled more than an over. If this rule is considered in the bigger picture, it might sometimes change the fortunes of the game upside down.

For instance, after playing a few overs on the field, if the team realizes that a certain player who isn’t in the playing XI can be crucial whilst the conditions, they can rope in him. It takes no time for the game to turn around completely in T20 cricket. The substitution of the player at times can have an immediate impact on the game.

If the team is in trouble they can get in an extra batsman and put a respectable total on the board. On the other hand, with the bowlers, it will provide an extra option for the side. The teams will have the opportunity to bring in an extra spinner or pacer depending on the surface and the condition. The anticipation that the substitute will bring on the 22 yards will keep the fans etched to the match to see if he changes the things around.

Super Substitute was a rule that was in existence in 2005, for ODI cricket but was scrapped within a year of its introduction. So, this rule says that a team can select a player and nominate him as the SuperSub before the toss. And, during the game, they can substitute the Super Sub, with another player in the playing XI.

4. 5 Penalty Runs For Slow Over Rate

IPL Franchises' Skippers
IPL Franchises’ Skippers

There have been talks on the issue of slow over-rate since always. To complete the innings in the fixed time is what is expected of the teams. Often it doesn’t go that way as the teams exceed the time and are then fined for the same in T20 cricket. But imposing fines on the cricketers particularly captains necessarily doesn’t solve the concern.

Instead, if 5 penalty runs are added to the opposing team’s total, then it might create a greater impact and a convincing solution. In the shorter format, even a single run can decide the outcome of the match. The teams strive hard on the field to save runs. Probably a run saved in the T20 cricket format is a run scored. And thus if this ruling comes to the forefront, the teams will put their thinking hats on the seriousness of following the time.

This will make the teams more conscious about the pre-set marks and they might follow them more effectively. A fine might not hurt the players the way these penalty runs would. It can then go on to affect the match’s outcome.

An over rate in cricket is generally defined as the number of overs bowled in an hour (60 minutes). In the general run of things, an over-rate in the range of 13-15 is considered to be an apt one for it allows the match to move at a fast pace.  To further curb fielding captains regarding over rates, the authorities have reduced the mandatory time of completing an IPL inning to 90 minutes in IPL 2021.

Therefore, starting from tonight in IPL 2021, fielding captains will have to ensure that they bowl their 20 overs within a 90-minute period. Technically, the time for a fielding side to bowl 20 overs in 85 minutes as an IPL innings comprises a couple of strategic timeouts (combined duration of five minutes).

5. The Golden Over

AB de Villiers played an unbeaten 75-run knock against the Delhi Capitals [P/C: iplt20.com]
AB de Villiers played an unbeaten 75-run knock against the Delhi Capitals [P/C: iplt20.com]

If one aims to add even more thrill to the T20 cricket, another rule that probably sneaks in is the golden over. Under this, the team can avail one over from the match wherein the runs scored in that particular over will count double, including the extras. The batting team will have to decide on that over before their innings start.

This creates a lot more enthusiasm as the fans will probably be waiting for that over to start. The batting team will have an unsaid pressure of delivering in this over. The over will be of utmost importance as if the side is able to smash big and pile up good runs, it will take them in a better position in the match. It would equally be challenging as well because the opposition will make sure that their best bowler takes the run-up in this case.

This tussle between the two teams in T20 cricket might produce a good fight as both sides will be keen on seizing the moment. If it is in the case of a chase, the batters on the field can calculate their innings and think of fetching in maximum runs from the over as it will get doubled.

In the T20 cricket matches where a single delivery changes the fate of the game, a Golden Over can pretty much do wonders by further increasing the anticipation of the fans. In franchise cricket leagues which attracts a lot of audiences already, such a ruling can add to the plethora of anticipation of the leagues.

In a first for a major T20 cricket competition, the Big Bash League introduced three major rule changes in the 2020/21 season: the Power Surge (the usual six-over powerplay split into four overs at the start of an innings and a floating block of two for the batting team to call in the second half of the innings), the Bash Boost (a bonus point for the team with the higher ten-over score) and X-factor replacements (the option to bring in a substitute player after ten overs of the match).

Former South Africa opening batsman Herschelle Gibbs. (Getty Images)
Former South Africa opening batsman Herschelle Gibbs. (Getty Images)
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It’s Sad When Politics Get Involved In Sports: Herschelle Gibbs On BCCI’s Interference Over KPL

Herschelle Gibbs, South Africa’s former legendary batsman in an interview with Cricket Pakistan, termed the threats meted out to him by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) over his participation in the inaugural edition of the Kashmir Premier League (KPL) as ‘sad and disappointing.

The 47-year-old expressed his belief that politics should be kept firmly away from the sport and that he would always go wherever cricket was being played in the world.

Herschelle Gibbs have made some serious allegations on BCCI.
Herschelle Gibbs has made some serious allegations on BCCI.

 

Herschelle Gibbs Found It Bizarre That The BCCI Interfered Suddenly And Said It’s Sad When Politics Get Involved In Sports

Herschelle Gibbs plans to play for the Overseas Warriors in the six-team Kashmir Premier League, which runs from August 6-17 and includes several retired international cricketers and Pakistan stalwarts.

“No, there is no pressure on me whatsoever. I have been traveling for so many years to all cricket-playing countries without interference from the BCCI. I found it very strange and bizarre that they wanted to interfere with my business all of a sudden when I was coming to the Kashmir Premier League.”

“For me, it is no politics. I just go where there is cricket being played. Kashmir is another place where they are playing cricket and that is the way I look at it. That is why I find it bizarre that the BCCI interfered all of a sudden and wanted to prevent me from coming here,” Gibbs said.

Herschelle Gibbs, one of the accused in the 2000 match-fixing scandal, has signed up to play for KPL franchise Overseas Warriors. (AP File Photo)
Herschelle Gibbs, one of the accused in the 2000 match-fixing scandal, has signed up to play for KPL franchise Overseas Warriors. (AP File Photo)

“It was a little sad in a lot of ways because I have worked lots of times in India and have a lot of friends there. For them to want to step in and interfere and prevent me from coming here and threaten me by saying that I would be denied entry in India is sad and disappointing. I have never liked politics in sports. There is a lot of politics back home in South Africa cricket too. It’s really sad when politics get involved in sports,” he added.

Herschelle Gibbs, one of the accused in the 2000 match-fixing scandal, has signed up to play for KPL franchise Overseas Warriors. The tournament is likely to see six teams- Overseas Warriors, Rawalakot Hawks, Muzaffarabad Tigers, Bagh Stallions, Kotli Lions, and Mirpur Royals. Players like Imad Wasim, Mohammad Hafeez, Shahid Afridi, Shadab Khan, Shoaib Malik, Herschelle Gibbs, and Kamran Akmal are expected to participate in this league.

Herschelle Gibbs: KPL Couldn’t Have Asked For A Fantastic Start In Picturesque Muzaffarabad

The former batsman praised the beauty of Muzaffarabad, where the KPL is being played while explaining that lack of practice was the reason why the fans were yet to see him in action for his side.

“It’s beautiful. It’s a wonderful opportunity to play. It’s an inaugural time for the league. It’s nice to be part of a new league for the first time. The location and the venue are fantastic. I think the games have been highly entertaining. I think the league couldn’t have asked for a better start. Entertainment is what T20 cricket is all about and it has been a fantastic start,” he said.

 

“Because it is winter back home, there hasn’t been any nets available and because of the Covid restrictions back home in South Africa, there weren’t any net facilities I could use indoors. When I arrived, I thought I could have a couple of practice sessions but there are no net facilities at the ground, unfortunately. I think it would be wrong for me to get a game at this stage. It would be unfair since I haven’t practiced. But there might be a bit of surprise on the way,” he concluded.

Herschelle Gibbs is a South African cricket coach and former cricketer, who played all formats of the game for fourteen years. A right-handed batsman who mostly opened the batting, Herschelle Gibbs became the first player to hit six consecutive sixes in one over in ODI cricket, doing so against the Netherlands in the 2007 Cricket World Cup.

He held the record for the highest score in a successful run-chase (175*) in the match where Australia for the 1st time in ODIs scored above 400- 434 but was beaten by South Africa. Regarded as one of the most naturally talented cricketers South Africa has ever produced, Herschelle Gibbs was also known as an excellent fielder, like his compatriot Jonty Rhodes. 

 

Herschelle Gibbs keeps Deccan Chargers on winning track
Happy hooker: Herschelle Gibbs hit 69 off 56 balls in Durban CREDIT: Photo: AP

In April 2008, Herschelle Gibbs joined the Deccan Chargers of the Indian Premier League. His mediocre performance in the 2008 season made the Deccan Chargers’ management put him on sale. However, he came up with splendid knocks in the second season helping the Deccan Chargers go ahead with four continuous wins in their first four matches.

He also played a crucial role in the finals by scoring an unbeaten 53 (48 balls) in the final when Adam Gilchrist went out for a duck. In the 2012 version of the IPL, he was signed by the Mumbai Indians with a reported fee of US$50,000. His top score is 69* (56) v Chennai Super Kings. In 2012, he scored 66* (46) for the Mumbai Indians.

India Squad For Sri Lanka Tour (Image: BCCI)
India Squad For Sri Lanka Tour (Image: BCCI)
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The Tour Of Sri Lanka Has Been A Waste For India: Yajurvindra Singh

Yajurvindra Singh reckons that the decision to send a young squad comprising of several uncapped fringe players to the Sri Lanka tour has proved to be a wasteful exercise and termed it as a goodwill gesture on the part of the BCCI to help the financially struggling Sri Lankan cricket board.

Former India cricketer Yajurvindra Singh opined that BCCI’s decision to send a second-string outfit for an international series against Sri Lanka degraded the essence of a national side.

Team India [Image-Twitter]
Team India [Image-Twitter]

Yajurvindra Singh: International Cricket Is An Entirely Different Ball Game From IPL

India won the ODI series 2-1 but lost the T20I series by the same margin – that after they lost several players to covid forced isolation. In a helpful gesture, the BCCI agreed to send an Indian team to Sri Lanka to help out the SLC recover losses due to the pandemic.

“The idea of India sending two teams, one to England to play the Test series there and the other to Sri Lanka for limited-overs series was actually demeaning to the very essence of a national side. “

Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka. (Credits: Twitter)

“One can debate on the fact that India can make two international level cricket teams. If so, one wonders as to why India has not won a single major tournament in the last six years. The quantity is surely there for one to see, however, it is the skill and quality of a player at the top level that makes the difference. Performance in the Indian Premier League (IPL) is a good indicator to unearth talented cricketers, but international cricket is an entirely different ball game.”

Yajurvindra Singh, however, isn’t pleased with this act of the governing body thrusting young IPL stars into international cricket. He felt that the “national pride and prestige” is at stake in international matches and the board had damaged it as Sri Lanka registered their first-ever T20I series win over India.

Yajurvindra Singh: The Tour Of Sri Lanka Has Been A Waste For India As It Was A Goodwill Gesture By BCCI To Help Struggling Sri Lankan Cricket Board

India was up against Sri Lanka for the limited-overs series comprising of six games. The men in blue won the ODI series but lost the T20I series while playing with its depleted side. The visitors were marching up in all the confidence before the COVID-19 scare broke in their camp and they had to go up with their limited options.

“The tour of Sri Lanka, involving three ODIs and equal number of T20Is, has been a waste for India. The whole exercise was a goodwill gesture by the BCCI to help Sri Lankan cricket board which is struggling financially.”

“One appreciates being nice to one’s neighbour and to assist them in their hour of need, but one has to realise that national pride and prestige is at stake. Apart from this, points are accumulated for qualifying for World Cup tournaments and so generosity may not be the best option.

Yajurvindra Singh
Yajurvindra Singh. Image-Twitter

“India may have won the ODI series but had to face a defeat in the last game. In cricket, one never takes one’s opponent lightly and India in doing so lost valuable points by losing a match. Although, it was a golden opportunity for the youngsters, their performance against a relatively weak Sri Lankan side would not be an ideal indicator of their ability against top cricket sides, ” said Yajurvindra Singh.

Yajurvindra Singh, who featured in 4 Tests for India between 1977 and 1980, was disappointed seeing the tour head coach Rahul Dravid also “fell victim to the system” for making a number of changes in the third ODI after India had won the series by winning the first two ODIs.

Rahul Dravid had earlier claimed that they will always be fielding their best eleven and giving opportunities to inexperienced players wasn’t their priority. But for the third ODI six changes were made – five ODI debut caps were handed – including dropping of Deepak Chahar, the Man of the Match in the second ODI.

“Sri Lanka look like a team in complete disarray and the small wins against India have given them a ray of hope for their future. Rahul Dravid insisted that his squad will play to win all the matches and that it will not be possible to give everyone an opportunity to play on such a short tour. He too fell victim to the system by making changes. One felt that he failed to understand that this was not an India A side but an India senior side and that every match is important as it goes down in cricket history.”

“The T20 series between India and Sri Lanka had to be completed despite the Covid infection of Krunal Pandya and the quarantine requirements of a few other players.This is precisely why Indian cricket looks good with plenty of options. But the Indian team management is unable to finalize ideal combinations.”

“The IPL will be more of an Indian domestic affair and one has to understand that even in full flight, the bowling arsenal of each team is not as potent and of the same caliber as that of a good International side. “

“India needs to be cautious that a Sri Lankan pandemic and quarantine situation does not arise in England. The BCCI needs to ensure that replacements are on call, if required, at short notice. One dreads to think of an Indian side with fringe players being inducted to make their Test eleven.”

In the same line of events, former India Test cricketer Yajurvindra Singh had stated that the entire Tour was a waste, and the Indian side just played the whole series in order to assist the Sri Lankan cricket board financially. Yajurvindra Singh added that sending a B-side team to a nation is altogether not a good idea only. He added that there is a lot of difference between playing IPL and shining at the international level.

Afghanistan’s Rashid Khan has been so busy because of his prowess in short-form cricket that he is rarely at home. Photograph: Catherine Ivill/ICC/Getty Images
Afghanistan’s Rashid Khan has been so busy because of his prowess in short-form cricket that he is rarely at home. Photograph: Catherine Ivill/ICC/Getty Images
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Rashid Khan Reveals That He Has Spent Just 25 Days At Home In The Last 5 Years

Rashid Khan plies his trade in several major T20 competitions worldwide. 22 years old Afghanistan spinner Rashid Khan is already arguably the most sought out T20 bowler going around.

The talismanic leg-spinner has been instrumental in the rise of Afghanistan cricket. Rashid Khan just doesn’t tend to restrict the run flow but also picks up wickets at regular intervals. In fact, the leggie has shown his prowess in many prominent T20 leagues worldwide.

Rashid Khan
Rashid Khan (Photo Credit: Twitter/@cricketworldcup)

Rashid Khan Reveals That He Has Spent Just 25 Days At Home In The Last 5 Years Due To Commitments In The Global T20 Leagues

Although Rashid Khan is a global star now, his road to glory hasn’t been easy by any means. The star cricketer had to make tough significant sacrifices to pursue his dreams. The biggest of them is being away from his family. With Rashid Khan playing his trade in international cricket, IPL, BBL, CPL, and PSL, he hardly gets any free time. In fact, he has spent just 25 days at home in the last five years.

“In the last five years I’ve spent about 25 days at home. I didn’t have that opportunity to celebrate my achievement with the family because I was just so busy. I forgot my achievements and that hurts sometimes. I don’t get enough time to be with the family, but at the same time it is the start of my career so I have to struggle,” Rashid told Guardian.co.uk.

Rashid Khan hopes his country will soon start hosting international teams (Reuters Photo)
Rashid Khan hopes his country will soon start hosting international teams (Reuters Photo)

Rashid Khan made his One-day International debut for Afghanistan against Zimbabwe in October 2015 and has become an indispensable part of the national team. The 22-year-old leg-spinner has so far played in five Tests, picking 34 wickets, while in 74 ODIs he took 140 wickets. In the T20 Internationals, he has scalped 95 wickets from 51 outings.

It seems odd to call someone a veteran at 22 years but Rashid Khan is sort of in T20 cricket having played 266 matches in the format spread across IPL, BBL, PSL, CPL, Afghanistan, and more.

Rashid Khan Regrets Not To Play An International Match In His Country Afghanistan

It’s a known fact that Rashid Khan takes a lot of pride in representing Afghanistan. However, the youngster is yet to play an international game at home and he regrets it. The Sunrisers Hyderabad star also opined that people will come in large numbers when his country Afghanistan hosts an international game.

“Wherever I go I see international players playing at home in front of their crowds, getting the support, getting all the love; we so much want the same in our country. Our people, they love cricket, they love sport and the moment we have a series back home it will be massive. There will be no single spot to sit,” says Rashid.

Rashid Khan
Rashid Khan. Image Credits: Twitter

Meanwhile, Rashid Khan must gear up to unleash his A-game with the ICC T20 World Cup being months away. The tournament will get underway in October in UAE. Although many are not backing Afghanistan to go far, Rashid Khan would be raring to defy the odds.

Ever since his debut IPL season in 2017, the leg spinner has garnered all the right eyeballs owing to his mastery with the ball. The leg-spinner turned in a few memorable match-winning efforts in SRH’s journey to the finals of the 2018 edition. He took 21 wickets and emerged as the second-highest wicket-taker in that edition. He has 85 scalps in 69 IPL games averaging a mere 20.1 at an economic rate of 6.24-the lowest economy rate ever in IPL history.

He has been SRH’s standout bowler over the last few seasons of the IPL. The Afghanistan leg-spinner has grabbed 10 wickets in 7 games in IPL 2021 at an impressive average of 17.20 and a splendid economy rate of 6.14.

Indian Cricket Team
Indian Cricket Team. Image Credits: Twitter
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It’s A Process Of Over 5 Years That’s Bearing Dividends: MSK Prasad On India Fielding Two Teams

MSK Prasad, the former chairman of selectors, has highlighted that Team India is reaping the rewards of the hard work that the selectors have put in over the last five years.

India will field two different teams simultaneously in international cricket after 23 long years. Virat Kohli & Co. will continue with their training in Durham, ahead of their Test series against England. The second Indian team, led by Shikhar Dhawan, will be in Colombo to face Sri Lanka for a white-ball series.

MSK Prasad. (Photo Source: Twitter)
MSK Prasad. (Photo Source: Twitter)

MSK Prasad: Process Of 5 Years Is Bearing Dividends

Both teams have good chances of winning their respective series. Former India cricketer and selector MSK Prasad credited India A tours and the IPL for surfacing unnurtured talent.

Former India’s chairman of selectors MSK Prasad opened up on India’s enormous talent pool that has enabled them to field two teams. MSK Prasad, who served as the chairman of India’s selectors until late 2019, produced mixed results for India, the high of which included the team’s maiden Test series win in Australia. But he stated that it’s the hard work of five years that has landed them to the possibility of fielding two teams.

“There have been numerous India A tours during my tenure as a selector. The senior team management, along with the national selectors and India A head staff would sit down and identify fringe players and hand them opportunities for the smooth transition to take place. It’s a process of over 5 years that’s bearing dividends,” said MSK Prasad.

Virat Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan
Virat Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan. (Photo Source: Twitter)

From 2017 to 2019, the India A team has played 24 unofficial Test matches, which is more than what New Zealand, Bangladesh, and Pakistan have played during this period. No other A team has played more than 14 unofficial Test matches, which speaks volumes about the time and money the BCCI has invested to build the bench strength.

Miles away from Durham where the Virat Kohli-led Test team is camped, Shikhar Dhawan on Sunday will walk out for the Colombo ODI. This will be the first time in 23 years that India will be fielding two teams simultaneously in international cricket. And interestingly both Indian teams start as favourites. This move showcases the staggering reservoir of talent at India’s disposal, something that Australia had tried to inculcate into its system.

Inzamam-ul-Haq: Idea Of Assembling A Second Indian Team Interesting And India Appears To Pull It Off

Former Pakistan skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq, meanwhile, is fascinated by the idea of fielding two different teams simultaneously. The legendary batsman is confident that India can pull it off, unlike Australia, who had failed to do the same a few years back.

“This idea of assembling a second Indian team is interesting. What India are trying to do today, Australia did this years ago, but they were not able to be successful in it. India appears to be pulling it off,” Inzamam-ul-Haq said on his YouTube channel, Inzamam ul Haq – The Match Winner.

Inzamam-ul-Haq | AFP
Inzamam-ul-Haq | AFP

In 2017, Australia decided to send completely different squads for playing the Test series against India and a T20I series against Sri Lanka at the same time. In February 2017, Australia had played a T20I against Sri Lanka in Adelaide on February 22, and on the next day, their Test team played India in Pune in the first game of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

In September 1998, India was scheduled to participate at the Commonwealth Games in Malaysia, a showpiece event that was overlapping with the big-ticket five-match ODI series against Pakistan in Toronto. BCCI assembled two squads — one led by Ajay Jadeja that bowed out of CWG with just one win, while the other led by incumbent captain Mohammed Azharuddin were skittled away 4-1.

RCB leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal in action during IPL 2020 | Saikat Das / Sportzpics for BCCI
RCB leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal in action during IPL 2020 | Saikat Das / Sportzpics for BCCI
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Yuzvendra Chahal Still Hopes To Represent India In Tests

Yuzvendra Chahal has seen several players younger than him make their Test debuts for India. Although India hasn’t considered him an option in red-ball cricket yet, the leg-spinner still harbours hopes of representing his nation in the longest format.

The 30-year-old has a solid record in first-class cricket, picking up 84 wickets in 31 games. However, the likes of Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, and Shahbaz Nadeem have featured ahead of him in recent years whenever India’s frontline spinners (Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja) have been unavailable for Tests.

RCB spin wizard Yuzvendra Chahal expresses his desire to play Test cricket

 

Yuzvendra Chahal Wants To Wear The Whites

Yuzvendra Chahal spoke to Sports Tak about his Test prospects, pointing to his stellar record in red-ball cricket over the past few years.

“Obviously, you want to wear the whites. If someone calls you a Test player, there is no bigger compliment. In the last 3-4 years, I have picked 50 wickets in the ten first-class matches, out of which two are India A games,” Chahal revealed.

Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja have been India’s frontline Test spinners for several years now, making the difference time and again. Axar Patel made a sensational start to his Test career too, running through the England side in the home series earlier in the year. But Yuzvendra Chahal isn’t too bogged down for not getting a look in, admitting he needs to improve further, considering the spin options India has presently.

Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin AFP
Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin AFP

“You see Axar came in and did well. Ashwin, Jadeja and Kuldeep are already there, so you feel that 3-4 players are already in the reckoning and it will be difficult for you to get a chance. Especially when they are performing so well. Ashwin bhaiyya completed 400 Test wickets and Jaddu Pa has over 250 wickets. Looking at them you feel that you have to improve more to get a chance,” Chahal admitted.

From having made his debut for RCB in 2014 to earning a national call-up in 2016 and taking 100 wickets in the IPL, Yuzvendra Chahal has had an impressive career so far. In his young international career thus far, the 30-year old has bagged 92 and 62 wickets in 54 ODIs and 48 T20Is respectively.

Yuzvendra Chahal was not expecting to be part of India’s latest Test squad, with the team travelling to England for the World Test Championship final and the subsequent five-Test series against the host nation. But the leg-spinner interestingly revealed how he was hoping he would get a call-up when England toured India earlier this year.

“No, this time I wasn’t expecting a call-up. But yes, when England toured India and some of our spinners were injured, I felt somewhere that my name my prop up,” Chahal mentioned.

Axar Patel | Pankaj Nangia/ Sportzpics for BCCI
Axar Patel | Pankaj Nangia/ Sportzpics for BCCI

Shahbaz Nadeem and Washington Sundar were picked in absence of injured Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel in the 1st Test before Axar Patel’s stunning debut in the next Test. Axar Patel picked 27 wickets in 3 Tests finishing behind Ravichandran Ashwin who had 32 scalps.

Yuzvendra Chahal will get a chance to show his credentials when India takes on Sri Lanka in July. He is expected to be part of the Indian squad which will play three T20Is and three ODIs against the Lankans. In 106 IPL games since debuting for Mumbai in 2013, he has 125 scalps averaging 23.3.

Sending You Fresh Quarantine Rule Book: Zaheer Khan Hilarious Reply To Mitchell McClenaghan
Mitchell McClenaghan. Image Credit: IPL.
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Mitchell McClenaghan Shares Sweet Message For Mumbai Indians After Franchise Releases Him Ahead Of IPL 2021

In the Indian Premier League (IPL), the release of players can turn the relationship between franchise and players into sour. But Mitchell McClenaghan has openly expressed his happiness of sharing six years journey with Mumbai Indians after being released on Wednesday (January 20) ahead of the IPL 2021 auction.

Taking to Twitter, McClenaghan stated that he was grateful to share the amazing experience with Mumbai Indians. He added that he would miss playing for the franchise. But he ends the Tweet on a hopeful note, stating that it is not a goodbye and hopefully he will be with them again.

“What an amazing journey over the last 6 years. Grateful for some amazing experiences, lifelong friendships and Big thanks to the @mipaltan owners, management and staff to all the @mipaltan fans, I will miss you a lot It’s a See you later, not a goodbye,” he wrote on Twitter.

Mitchell McClenaghan,
Mitchell McClenaghan. Photo Credit: BCCI/IPL.

It was for the second time that MI had released McClenaghan. Ahead of IPL 2018 auction, McClenaghan was back in the auction and went unsold. He was roped in by MI as Jason Behrendorff’s replacement.

The left-arm pacer, who had first joined MI in 2015, stayed on the bench in IPL 2020 as the team management had a number of overseas options. Hence, his release didn’t surprise many. He has 71 wickets in 56 matches for MI.

Mitchell McClenaghan and four other overseas players released by MI:

Lasith Malinga,
Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Mitchell McClenaghan, who last played for New Zealand in the 2016 T20 World,  only participates in franchise cricket now. Since a number of leagues were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he didn’t play a competitive game from March to December 2020. In IPL 2020, he didn’t feature in a match.

Meanwhile, apart from the Kiwi, Lasith Malinga, who has now retired from IPL, highlighted the list of released players of MI which also included James Pattinson, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Mitchell McClenaghan and all-rounder Sherfane Rutherford. Uncapped players Digvijay Deshmukh and Prince Balwant Rai were also released.

Gautam Gambhir Reckons MS Dhoni Is Not Planning To Release A Lot Of Players Ahead Of IPL 2021
MS Dhoni. Image Credit: Twitter.
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Gautam Gambhir Reckons MS Dhoni Is Not Planning To Release A Lot Of Players Ahead Of IPL 2021

After the disappointing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 season, Chennai Super Kings (CSK) needs a makeover to succeed in the upcoming 14th edition of the league. The major reason behind their failure was sticking with the senior players even though they were having a poor outing match after match.

But to buy new players in the auction, CSK captain MS Dhoni will have to release a lot of players to increase their purse value. However, former Indian cricketer, Gautam Gambhir doesn’t reckon that the CSK skipper will look to let go of many players.

MS Dhoni has made CSK such a successful side in the IPL: Gautam Gambhir

Gautam Gambhir Reckons MS Dhoni Is Not Planning To Release A Lot Of Players Ahead Of IPL 2021 1
CSK. Image Credit: MS Dhoni.

Former KKR captain admits that CSK has an ageing squad with Dwayne Bravo, Kedar Jadhav and MS Dhoni himself. But Gautam Gambhir believes that the wicketkeeper-batsman will only focus to buy players according to the coming season rather than planning for coming years.

“If you release a lot of players, you also need to see what is available in the auction. I agree we have been talking for the last two or three years that CSK has an ageing squad, no doubt it was an ageing squad as well with the likes of Shane Watson, Dwayne Bravo and MS Dhoni,” Gautam Gambhir said on Star Sports show Cricket Connected.

“But the way they performed and I have been saying for a number of years that MS Dhoni has this quality, people talk how MS Dhoni has made CSK such a successful side in the IPL, that he only concentrates on that year,” said  Gautam Gambhir.

Gautam Gambhir Reckons MS Dhoni Is Not Planning To Release A Lot Of Players Ahead Of IPL 2021 2
CSK. Image Credit: IPL.

Observing the previous year’s strategies of Dhoni, the cricketer-turned-politician explains that CSK’s team management will only plan for the IPL 2021.

“He will not concentrate to make the squad for the next three years, not at all. So MS Dhoni’s quality is going to remain same this year as well, what best squad and best opportunity can win them the title this year, he will do that only.

“So, I don’t feel they are going to release too many players unless and until a lot of players are coming in the auction whom they are targeting,” Gautam Gambhir explained.

Meanwhile, according to reports, IPL 2021 auction is likely to be organised on February 11.

Not Two But BCCI Planning To Add One More Franchise In IPL: Reports
Image Credit: IPL.
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BCCI To Discuss About Adding Two More Teams In IPL’s Next Edition

Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is planning to include two more teams in the coming Indian Premier League (IPL) edition which the total number of teams will become 10 next year. In the upcoming Annual General Meeting (AGM) on December 24, the board will discuss the expansion of the cash-rich league.

The addition of the teams will help the Indian board to make it up for the loss because of the COVID-19. But the BCCI will have to plan a lot before considering the expansion because the next edition of the IPL is only four months away.

BCCI To Discuss About Adding Two More Teams In IPL’s Next Edition 3
Image Credit: IPL

The Ahmedabad-based Adani Group, which lost out in the bidding war during the 2011 expansion, is known to have expressed interest again, with the hope of making the newly renovated Motera Stadium (which boasts of seating 110,000 spectators) their home. So have the RP Sanjiv Goenka Group, which ran the Rising Pune Supergiant franchise for two years (2016-17).

“I would be surprised if the valuation of the new franchise, whenever it comes on board, is anything less than Rs 300-400 crores per year,” said a former BCCI official, familiar with the ongoing developments.

BCCI to discuss having 10 teams in IPL’s next addition:

BCCI To Discuss About Adding Two More Teams In IPL’s Next Edition 4
Image Credit: IPL

In the 2011 edition, 10 teams featured in the cash-rich league, but they could not survive for long. Kochi Tuskers and Pune Warriors were added to the roster after their owners agreed to pay Rs 170 crore and Rs 150 crore per year, respectively. But Kochi was terminated after their only season in 2011 and Pune lasted until 2013.

The inclusion of teams will also mean the league will take more days from the calendar for its competition which might also affect the international schedule. According to the source, BCCI would use its good term to ask for more days off for the overseas players.

“It would mean finding more days at the cost of international cricket. BCCI will try and use it’s good relations with ICC member boards,” said a BCCI source.

Meanwhile, the IPL 2020 ended in early November after Mumbai Indians lifted the title. The league had to go through several difficulties in the coronavirus halted year.

Virat Kohli Should Not Be The Only One Held Responsible For RCB's Loss: Parthiv Patel
Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers donning green jersey. Image Credit: Twitter.
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Virat Kohli Should Not Be The Only One Held Responsible For RCB’s Loss: Parthiv Patel

Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) once again returned home without the Indian Premier League (IPL) trophy even though they reached the playoffs for the first time since 2016. And, yet another time RCB skipper Virat Kohli’s captaincy was under the radar with many suggesting the removal of him from the captain’s position. But his RCB teammate Parthiv Patel has disagreed to blame Kohli for the franchise’s failure solely.

Parthiv Patel, who was benched in the whole IPL 2020 season, admitted that RCB had the team this season who should have lifted the IPL title. After three seasons, they entered the playoffs but were kicked out of the tournament after SunRisers Hyderabad defeated them in the eliminator. The Bangalore-based franchise had an off day in batting as they set up below par 130 runs target. With the help of Jason Holder and Kane Williamson, SRH chased down the target easily.

“I personally felt that we had a team that could win the tournament. Everyone in the camp felt it. We had all the bases covered. Sometimes the playoff games just don’t go your way. Scoring 130 in a playoff game, we came very close. I thought we fought really hard, ” he said.

I feel Virat is not the only one who is responsible for RCB not winning: Parthiv Patel

Virat Kohli Should Not Be The Only One Held Responsible For RCB's Loss: Parthiv Patel
Image Credit: IPL.

Parthiv stated that the captain could not be entirely blamed for the team’s failure. The people behind the scene – coaches and other members who are involved in preparation-also have responsibilities on their shoulders to deliver.

“But as I said, you can’t just blame the captain. There are a lot of other things as well – there is director of cricket, there is head coach – there are a lot of other things involved in it. To blame the captain is also not true,” the wicketkeeper-batsman said.

“I personally feel he (Kohli) should not be the only one held responsible for RCB not winning. The role of Mike Hesson, Simon Katich – quite experienced coaches, been there and thereabouts. There isn’t just one factor that is responsible. I feel Virat is not the only one who is responsible for RCB not winning,” Parthiv Patel maintained. 

Virat Kohli Should Not Be The Only One Held Responsible For RCB's Loss: Parthiv Patel 5
Image Credit: IPL.

RCB had a good start to the tournament and ended at the fourth position in the points table. The slump of Virat Kohli in the latter half, unarguably, affected the Bangalore-based franchise.

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