Irfan Pathan | Sportzwiki

Irfan Pathan

Venkatesh Iyer scored his maiden IPL fifty in the game vs MI.© Instagram
Venkatesh Iyer scored his maiden IPL fifty in the game vs MI.© Instagram

Venkatesh Iyer Showed A Lot Of Character For His Breezy 53 Off 30 Balls vs Mumbai Indians: Irfan Pathan

Venkatesh Iyer, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) opener continued from where he left off in the previous game against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) as he raced to his maiden IPL fifty during the ongoing second phase of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 against defending champions Mumbai Indians.

He registered a score of 53 runs off only 30 balls against a strong Mumbai Indians (MI) bowling line-up, something which garnered praise from former cricketers like Irfan Pathan and Matthew Hayden.

Venkatesh Iyer Of KKR Against RCB
Venkatesh Iyer Of KKR Against RCB (Image: Twitter)

Venkatesh Iyer Showed A Lot Of Character: Irfan Pathan

Speaking on Star Sports’ post-match show, Irfan Pathan stressed the fact that Venkatesh Iyer didn’t sit on his laurels against RCB and played with the same mindset and turned up again against Jasprit Bumrah and company consisting of pacers Trent Boult and Adam Milne and spin duo of Krunal Pandya and Rahul Chahar.

“The first match, he showed a lot of character. He showed some of the shots as well, cover drive and all. But there is always this question in your mind as a young player, what is going to happen in the next match. Who is going to turn up? Is it the same guy who is going to turn up?” he said.

Irfan Pathan. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Irfan Pathan. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Irfan Pathan also lauded the character shown by Venkatesh Iyer while tackling the likes of world-class pacers Jasprit Bumrah and Trent Boult.

“He did, he actually turned up better, especially against Bumrah, against Boult. Against the Mumbai Indians bowling line-up, he showed a lot of character. There is a lot more we are going to see of Venkatesh Iyer in the future,” he explained.

Rahul Tripathi and Venkatesh Iyer played knocks of unbeaten 74 and 53 respectively as Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) defeated Mumbai Indians by seven wickets in an Indian Premier League (IPL) encounter at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi on Thursday to register their second consecutive victory in their first two matches at UAE.

Before thrashing the MI by seven wickets and nearly five overs to spare while chasing 156, KKR had beaten Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) by nine wickets after bowling Virat Kohli’s team out for 92. KKR is now fourth in the IPL 2021 table and is firmly in the race for a top-four finish.

In their previous match, the Eoin Morgan-led KKR side chased down the 93 runs target in just ten overs as KKR openers Shubman Gill (48) and debutant Venkatesh Iyer (41 not out) ensured KKR to cruise to a 9 wicket win.

Venkatesh Iyer Impressed Matthew Hayden

Venkatesh Iyer also impressed former Australian cricketer Matthew Hayden.

“He got permission from his mother to play cricket. Wonderful stuff because let’s face it, fellas, we are all mummy’s boys at some point,” Hayden said.

Matthew Hayden
Matthew Hayden (Image Credit: Twitter)

Quinton de Kock’s 55-run knock helped Mumbai Indians post 155/6 against KKR in the allotted twenty overs but the failure of middle-order batsmen especially Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan hurt their chances to win. With this win, KKR has risen to the fourth spot in the points table while Mumbai Indians has slipped to the fifth position. KKR next face Chennai Super Kings (CSK) on September 26.

Brief Scores: Mumbai Indians 155/6 (Quinton de Kock 55, Rohit Sharma 33; Lockie Ferguson 2-27) vs KKR 159/3 (Rahul Tripathi 74*, Venkatesh Iyer 53, Jasprit Bumrah 3-43).

Varun Chakravarthy ran through the RCB middle order in Match 31 of IPL 2021. [P/C:]
Varun Chakravarthy ran through the RCB middle order in Match 31 of IPL 2021. [P/C:]

Varun Chakravarthy Can Be A Huge X-Factor In The T20I World Cup 2021: Irfan Pathan

Irfan Pathan believes leg spinner Varun Chakravarthy could be an X-factor for the Indian cricket team at the forthcoming T20 World Cup. He reasoned that the mystery element in his bowling is likely to remain.

Varun Chakravarthy is part of India’s 15-member squad for the global event to be played just after IPL 2021 concludes. The mystery spinner showed ample proof of his credentials while registering figures of 3/13 in the Kolkata Knight Riders’ (KKR) thrashing of the star-studded batting line-up of the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) on Monday (September 20).

Varun Chakravarthy
Varun Chakravarthy[photo: Twitter]

Irfan Pathan: Varun Chakravarthy Can Be A Huge X Factor

During a discussion on Star Sports, Irfan Pathan opined that mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy will be the surprise element in India’s bowling attack at the forthcoming T20 World Cup.  After the match concluded, RCB captain Virat Kohli lauded the 30-year-old spinner and called him a key player for Team India. Varun Chakravarthy has also been selected for India’s T20 World Cup squad with Virat Kohli as skipper.

“He can be a huge X-factor. You have not played him in international cricket, you have definitely played him in the IPL but the dynamics are slightly different in the IPL. When you play him in the World Cup after playing him in the IPL, it will still be different, the World Cup pressure will be different and the mystery will remain,” said Irfan Pathan.

Irfan Pathan. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Irfan Pathan. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The former India pacer Irfan Pathan cited the example of his former teammate pacer Zaheer Khan’s knuckleball at the 2011 World Cup to substantiate his point.

Irfan Pathan elaborated: “If you remember the 2011 World Cup, Zaheer Khan started using the knuckle ball in the World Cup and not before that. That was a surprise delivery. So, the surprise factor is definitely beneficial when you play a new thing or bowler. Something similar can happen for Varun Chakravarthy.”

Varun Chakravarthy has represented Team India in just three T20Is to date, which came on their last visit to Sri Lanka. Although he scalped just a couple of wickets, he was extremely economical (5.3).

In KKR’s opening match in the UAE leg, Varun Chakravarthy took the crucial wickets of Glenn Maxwell, Sachin Baby, and Wanindu Hasaranga. Meanwhile, Andre Russell also registered three dismissals including that of AB de Villiers and Lockie Ferguson bagged two wickets. He picked 17 wickets in the 2020 IPL season at an average of 20.94. and 10 scalps in 8 games in IPL 2021 averaging 23.2.

Aakash Chopra: Pitches In The UAE Helpful For Varun Chakravarthy

Aakash Chopra pointed out that the skiddy nature of the UAE pitches is an additional ally for Varun Chakravarthy.

“The pitches currently in the UAE are helpful for him because the ball is skidding after pitching and you are getting less time. If you don’t read from the hand, you try to get a clue off the pitch, which you are not going to get here.”

Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The former India opener concluded by stating that Varun Chakravarthy is a potent threat in the middle overs.

“His performance in the UAE was outstanding last time as well because of which his name came in the Indian team. The same Varun Chakravarthy was a slightly easier bowler to play when you were playing in India because that much fizz was not there after pitching. So, he is a four-over bowler and is a wicket-taking option in the middle overs.”

Varun Chakravarthy will hope to continue in the same vein for the remainder of IPL 2021. A good run here would assure him a spot in India’s starting XI at the T20 World Cup.

Shubman Gill slammed 48 runs off 34 balls, packed with six fours and a maximum. Meanwhile, debutant Venkatesh Iyer remained unbeaten after scoring 41 off 27 balls, consisting of seven fours and a maximum. Andre Russell arrived to bat after the dismissal of Shubman Gill but didn’t face a single delivery, with Venkatesh Iyer wrapping up the game for Kolkata.

File picture of Star Sports commentators.(Photo: Star Sports)
File picture of Star Sports commentators.(Photo: Star Sports)

Star Sports Unveil A Star-studded Commentary Panel For IPL 2021

Star Sports has unveiled a star-studded commentary panel for the season, a week before the start of IPL 2021. Mumbai Indians will take on Chennai Super Kings in the first game of the UAE leg.

Following the cancellation of the 5th Test between India and England, the fans are now anxiously waiting for the start of the UAE leg of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021.

Star Sports : IPL 2021
Star Sports: IPL 2021

Star Sports Tweet IPL 2021 Commentary Panel

The 2nd phase of the season kicks off next Sunday (September 19), with defending champions Mumbai Indians (MI) taking on Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in a blockbuster tie. As per the original schedule, Kolkata Knight Riders were slated to face Royal Challengers Bangalore in the 30th match of the season but it was altered. Both MI and CSK have a massive fan base and the fans crave to watch the two heavyweights take on each other.

Chennai Super Kings vs Mumbai Indians ©BCCI/IPL
Chennai Super Kings vs Mumbai Indians ©BCCI/IPL

Star Sports has already released a promo for the opening game. Now the official broadcaster of the T20 league has also unveiled a star-studded commentary panel for the season. Replying to users on Twitter, Star Sports named star-studded Hindi and English commentary panels.

Ian Bishop, Aakash Chopra, Sunil Gavaskar, And Harsh Bhogle Will Commentate In IPL 2021

Gautam Gambhir, Irfan Pathan, Aakash Chopra are among those in the Hindi commentary panel while Sunil Gavaskar, Kevin Peitersen, Harsha Bhogle, Murali Karthik, Ian Bishop are some prominent names in the English commentary panel. The Hindi commentary panel also includes MI’s backroom staff members Parthiv Patel and Kiran More.

Star Sports has announced the commentary team for the 14th season of IPL. Sanjay Manjrekar has not been able to secure a place in the commentary panel.

List of commentators and presenters for World Feed: Matthew Hayden, Kevin Pietersen, Michael Slater, Danny Morrisson, Ian Bishop, Harsha Bhogle, Simon Doull, Mpumelelo Mbangwa, Daren Ganga, Sunil Gavaskar, Mark Nicholas, Ajit Agarkar, Nick Knight, Deep Dasgupta, Rohan Gavaskar, Laxman Sivaramakrishnan, Murli Kartik, Anjum Chopra, Lisa Sthalekar, Mel Jones and Alan Wilkins

Dugout: Scott Styris, Brett Lee, Dominic Cork, Brian Lara, Graeme Swann. Talent joining remotely for few matches as a guest: Kevin Pietersen, Shane Watson, Ross Taylor, Dale Steyn, Nasser Hussain

Hindi: Aakash Chopra, Nikhil Chopra, Gautam Gambhir, Ajit Agarkar, Irfan Pathan, Parthiv Patel, RP Singh, Deep Dasgupta, Sunil Gavaskar.

World Test Championship, India
Indian test team[photo: Twitter]

India Will Be Favourites Whenever The Postponed 5th Test Takes Place: Irfan Pathan

Irfan Pathan, former all-rounder said the Virat Kohli-led Indian side will be the ‘favourites’ to win the postponed fifth Test against England whenever it takes place in the future.

Irfan Pathan’s comments came after the final Test of the India-England series slated to begin in Manchester on Friday was postponed indefinitely two hours before toss due to Covid-19 scares in the Indian camp.

Irfan Pathan (R) and a young Virat Kohli in 2012. (Getty Images)
Irfan Pathan (R) and a young Virat Kohli in 2012. (Getty Images)

Irfan Pathan: India Showed Great Character And Fighting Spirit In England Tour And Will Be Favourites Whenever The Postponed 5th Test Will Take Place

Irfan Pathan said India, who is leading the series 2-1, should be proud of the way they performed in England.

“India showed great character & fighting spirit throughout the series. Giving it back to them with top level of skills was something to be proud of this team. I’m sure India will be the favourites whenever this ‘postponed’ match will be held,” Irfan Pathan tweeted.

Irfan Pathan. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Irfan Pathan. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The India cricket team toured England in August and September 2021 to play five Test matches. Prior to their matches against England, India played New Zealand in the 2021 ICC World Test Championship Final at the Rose Bowl in Southampton in June 2021. The Test series between India and England were the first matches of the 2021–2023 ICC World Test Championship.

The first Test of the series ended in a draw, after more than two days of play was lost across the duration of the match to rain. India won the second Test by 151 runs, in the final hour of the fifth day, to take a 1–0 lead in the series. England won the third Test by an innings and 76 runs before the lunch break on day four, levelling the series 1–1. India won the fourth Test by 157 runs, to lead the series 2–1 before the 5th Test was cancelled.

Jay Shah: Both BCCI And ECB Will Work In Tandem To Find A Window To Reschedule The 5th Test

BCCI secretary said Jay Shah said they will work with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to reschedule the Manchester Test.

“The BCCI and ECB held several rounds of discussion to find a way to play the Test Match, however, the outbreak of Covid-19 in the Indian team contingent forced the decision of calling off the Old Trafford Test Match.

“In lieu of the strong relationship between BCCI and ECB, the BCCI has offered to ECB a rescheduling of the cancelled Test match. Both the Boards will work towards finding a window to reschedule this Test match,” Shah said. 

Secretary BCCI, Jay Shah. Courtesy: Indiatimes
Secretary BCCI, Jay Shah. Courtesy: Indiatimes

ECB CEO Tom Harrison indicated that the rescheduled Test match may not be treated as the fifth Test and instead played as a one-off fixture between the two sides. If that does turn out to be true then the current series will be treated as a four-Test series and India will be declared the winners by virtue of their 2-1 lead.

“No, I think it’s a stand-alone situation. We have been offered a few other options, probably need to take a look (at those),” Harrison told ‘Sky Sports’ when asked whether it would be a stand-alone game or the series-decider.

India head coach Ravi Shastri, bowling coach Bharat Arun, fielding coach R Sridhar and senior physio Nitin Patel had all tested positive during the fourth Test in London and did not travel with the team in Manchester.

The Indian players had no problems in going ahead with the fifth Test until assistant physio Yogesh Parmar tested, who had been helping in the training of most of the Indian cricketers, tested positive on the eve of the Manchester Test.  The Indian players expressed their reservation in taking the field on Friday citing Covid-related concerns, which led to the postponement of the Test match.

Shardul Thakur | Twitter
Shardul Thakur | Twitter

Time Hasn’t Come To Call 4 Test Veteran Shardul Thakur An All-Rounder: Irfan Pathan

Irfan Pathan, former India all-rounder has urged fans and critics not to burden Shardul Thakur with the pressure of expectations. Irfan Pathan, who himself was dubbed by many as the next ‘Kapil Dev’, advised Indian cricket to handle Shardul Thakur in a smart manner.

Shardul Thakur has made an impressive start to his international career. In the Oval Test, he scored two vital fifties and also got the wickets of Joe Root and Rory Burns on the final day. In an interaction, Irfan Pathan explained that it is important to allow Shardul Thakur to settle into a defined role in the team.

Shardul Thakur Photo: AFP.
Shardul Thakur Photo: AFP.

Irfan Pathan: Let Shardul Thakur Settle In His No. 8 Position And He Shouldn’t Be Put Under High Expectations

Shardul Thakur made two aggressive half-centuries (57 of 36 and 60 of 72), repairing a collapse in the first innings and stamping India’s advantage in the second. He also picked up 3 critical wickets in the game, including that of Joe Root. Shardul Thakur has featured in only 4 Tests so far since debuting in 2018 against the West Indies where he got injured and couldn’t bowl more than 10 balls.

“We’ve to be smart enough to manage him nicely. By that, I mean that we don’t put added pressure on him by promoting him from No 8 to No 7. Right now, he’s shown signs of being a good, handy lower-order batsman. He’s a very, very good No. 8 batsman at the highest level.”

Irfan Pathan (AFP Photo)
Irfan Pathan (AFP Photo)

“In modern-day cricket, it’s not just about No. 7…You need a guy who bats well, a match-winner at No. 8 as well. With a guy like Shardul at that slot, you may not need a top-quality allrounder at No 7. Let him settle in this position, and get better, and then put extra pressure on him. Don’t put high expectations on him, when he may not be yet ready to bat at No. 7. You’ve to be cautious about it. As of now, let things remain as they are and give him more matches at no.8. Let him grow as a cricketer.”

Irfan Pathan Urges To Be Patient With Shardul Thakur Who Shouldn’t Be Called An All-rounder Immediately After Only 4 Tests

Irfan Pathan described Shardul Thakur as a very good cricketer, who contributes regularly to his team. But he cautioned that it’s too early to come to a conclusion regarding Shardul Thakur being the all-rounder that India needs. Shardul Thakur is a bowling all-rounder, who bats right-handed and bowls right-arm medium-fast. He plays first-class cricket for Mumbai and has been a member of Chennai Super Kings since 2018.

“There’s a lot to like about him — his bowling action, work ethics. He tries to give it all whenever he plays. He has contributed outstandingly in England so far… However, don’t jump the gun in calling him an all-rounder or not calling him one. Let’s be patient with him. Just give him some time and space. Let him be a contributor for some time, and we can call him (an all-rounder) when the time comes. Don’t hurry. He’s shown potential. He can add things to his game, but with proper timing and planning.”

Shardul Thakur has so far featured in four Tests, 15 ODIs, and 22 T20Is for India. Irfan Pathan, who played 29 Tests and 120 ODIs for India as an all-rounder, is impressed with Shardul Thakur’s fitness. He also pointed out that the 29-year-old is a proven domestic cricketer and not just a product of the IPL.

Shardul Thakur. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Shardul Thakur. (Photo Source: Twitter)

“He’s a fit cricketer, who’s done well for Mumbai in first-class cricket. Whenever he’s played for India, he’s tried to contribute as much as he can. That’s the kind of a cricketer you want in your team. He might go for some runs, he can blow hot and cold in bowling, which can happen since he’s an aggressive pace bowler who tries to take wickets. He has that mindset. I like him. He’s got heaps of experience in first-class cricket before playing for India. It’s not that he’s just an IPL product.”

Having made his first-class debut in 2012, Shardul Thakur has featured in 66 matches. He has 221 wickets to his name apart from 1444 runs.

World Test Championship, India
Virat Kohli[photo: Twitter]

More Than Technical Aspects, Virat Kohli’s Aggressive Thinking Is Causing Him Problems: Irfan Pathan

Irfan Pathan believes aggressive instinct rather than any technical deficiency has led to Virat Kohli’s indifferent run in the series against England thus far. Virat Kohli has scored just 124 runs at a lowly average of 24.80 in the five innings he has played so far. The 55 runs he scored in his last knock is his only half-century of the series to date.

Across formats, the India skipper hasn’t scored a century since November 2019 and has also slipped to the 5th spot in the ICC Test rankings as a batsman.

Irfan Pathan (R) and a young Virat Kohli in 2012. (Getty Images)
Irfan Pathan (R) and a young Virat Kohli in 2012. (Getty Images)

Irfan Pathan: More Than Technical Aspects, Virat Kohli’s Aggressive Thinking Is Causing Him Problems

During an interaction on Aakash Chopra’s YouTube channel, Irfan Pathan attributed Virat Kohli’s underwhelming performance to his dominating nature.

Irfan Pathan said: “I feel more than the preparation, Virat Kohli looking to dominate is forcing him to play deliveries outside off-stump. It is just that small thing. More than technical, Virat Kohli’s aggressive thinking is causing him problems.”

Anjum Chopra: A multi-talented sportsperson who went to become one of the legends in Indian women’s cricket
Anjum Chopra was a basketball player, state-level swimmer, and one of the best-ever batswomen in Indian women’s cricket history © Getty Images

Anjum Chopra feels Virat Kohli’s pursuit of excellence has led to his downfall.

“He also knows that he has to score runs. But the thing about error-free batting, that he will make a statement is putting more weight on his shoulders and maybe not allowing him to move freely. I feel he needs to bring his standard slightly lower than the error-free batting he is trying to do,” said Anjum Chopra.

Virat Kohli has been targeted outside the off-stump by the English bowlers. They have played with his patience and eventually got him to poke at deliveries to be caught behind the wickets.

Irfan Pathan is a former Indian cricketer and actor. He was a bowling all-rounder and a member of the Indian cricket team that won the 2007 ICC World Twenty20 and 2013 ICC 2013 ICC Champions Trophy. Beginning his career as a fast-medium swing and seam bowler, Irfan Pathan broke into the national team soon after turning 19 and evoked comparisons with Pakistan’s Wasim Akram with his promising performances and prodigious swing.

Virat Kohli Has Lost Patience Against England Bowlers: Sanjay Bangar

Sanjay Bangar pointed out that Virat Kohli has lost the battle of patience against the England bowlers.

He observed: “The bottom line as far as I am concerned is that Virat Kohli has not shown the patience that England bowlers have shown against him. That was the only difference.”

The former Indian batting coach added that Virat Kohli’s mode of dismissals has been slightly different from the ones in 2014.

Bangar explained: “He has not got out defending a lot of times. He has gone towards the ball in all his dismissals. If you see his dismissals from 2014, he did not get out playing the drive as many times as he got out defending. I feel he is playing the sixth or seventh stump delivery, which is not required to be played.”

Sanjay Bangar | Twitter: ANI Digital
Sanjay Bangar | Twitter: ANI Digital

With the series tied at one apiece and all to play for, the Indian skipper will hope to rise to the occasion and play telling knocks in the remaining two Test matches.

In the 2014 England tour, the Indian skipper had a horrific series where he ended up scoring only 134 runs from four Tests. He averaged only 13, with scores of 1, 8, 25, 0, 39, 28, 0, 7, 6, and 20.

Virat Kohli had contrasting tours of England in 2014 and 2018. In 2014, he managed only 134 runs in five Tests at a poor average of 13.40. Four years later, he hammered 593 runs in the five-Test series. Virat Kohli averaged 59.30 with two hundred in 2018.

Rahul Dravid
Rahul Dravid - K. MURALI KUMAR

National Cricket Academy Has Revamped The Coaching Manual Under Rahul Dravid

National Cricket Academy has revamped the coaching manual, under Rahul Dravid’s stewardship, which now comprises “corporate classes” for aspiring coaches on tackling off-field issues, including selection pressures from various quarters.

Recently, a batch of distinguished former first-class cricketers attended the BCCI’s Level-2 coaching course at National Cricket Academy and also appeared for the theory and practical examination.

National Cricket Academy, Bengaluru is amongst the best cricket academies in India (Source: Mail Today)
National Cricket Academy, Bengaluru is amongst the best cricket academies in India (Source: Mail Today)

National Cricket Academy’s Coaching Module Tweaked To Make It More Appealing For Modern Coaches

While the coaching module at National Cricket Academy has been tweaked to make it more appealing for modern coaches, what came as a pleasant surprise was the introduction of a “corporate problem-solving class”, where the incumbents were asked to find methods of troubleshooting while dealing with multiple off-the-field stakeholders.

“The course has been devised by former Mumbai seamer Kshemal (Waingankar), who is an MBA and has a corporate background. I have never attended a class like this but it was very unique and helped me broaden my horizon,” a distinguished first-class cricketer, who attended the course at National Cricket Academy, said on the condition of anonymity.

“Well, it was about making us understand the difference between ‘bargaining’ and ‘negotiation’. We were told that we don’t need to solve a problem but it needs to be checked what are the trouble-shooting methods that we deploy (approach) in a critical situation,” he said.

 “The course instructor (Kshemal) picked two coaches – Person A and Person B. Person A was told that he is the ‘coach’ and Person B was told that he is the ‘selector’. He gave both of them a worksheet, he said while elaborating an example.

“The assignment was the person (B) who has been made the selector has to include three players in the team. He has pressure from various stakeholders it could be a state association, someone else… Now Person A, who is the coach, knows that he can only include two guys in the team and one in playing XI.”

Both Persons A and B were asked to display their “negotiation” skills where one needs to push his case and the other needs to stall it.

“The motive was to check how they deal with a situation like this. Who all does the coach involve? Is it his assistant coaches? Is it the captain? Or does he take help from a performance analyst with data? How does the selector convince the coach? Can he convince his fellow selectors or take help of administrators? It’s not about who gets his way but how one approaches the solution?” the player said.

BCCI (File Photo| PTI)
BCCI (File Photo| PTI)

All aspiring Level 2 coaches have to correct at least one player. While the Level-2 course is complete, all the aspirants now go back to their respective cities and, in the next three months, will have to at least work with one player and prepare a project report.

“This is also an interesting part. All of us will have to pick a player and make a complete video analysis of his bowling or batting depending upon our area of expertise. Then we prepare a project report on what specifics we are working on. After we have worked on corrective measures, we will again have to prepare a video of changes we have made. Then only our Level 2 course will be complete,” said another player.

BCCI had invited applications for batting, bowling (fast & spin), and fielding coaches at National Cricket Academy. The deadline to apply for these positions is September 10, as per the official website. The age limit of the candidates at the National Cricket Academy is 60 years.

The development comes as BCCI has decided not to renew the annual contracts of as many as 11 coaches at the National Cricket Academy at Bengaluru. Last year, the BCCI had decided not to renew their contracts which includes retired cricketers- Ramesh Powar, Sujith Somsundar, Subroto Banerjee, Hrishikesh Kanitkar, and SS Das.

After a brief period of inactivity due to COVID-19, BCCI is in fully functional mode again. It recently conducted a level 2 hybrid course spanning eight days for cricket coaches. It included former India cricketers Irfan Pathan, Yusuf Pathan, Abhishek Nayar, Ashok Dinda, Devang Gandhi, Naman Ojha, and Parveez Rasool.

Rahul Dravid Attends Classes With All Batches

Rahul Dravid doesn’t take classes, but he attends classes with all batches. What has amazed a lot of these players is the fact National Cricket Academy head Rahul Dravid always makes it a point to sit with the batches and also attend the lectures, taken by the likes of Sujith Somasundar, Apurv Desai, Rajib Datta and Kshemal Waingankar.

“In fact when we were shown videos of players and asked to offer solutions, even Rahul bhai would join us and try to figure out the problem. He would tell us that he still feels like a student and the day he stops learning, that will be the end of it,” another first-class player, who has played against Dravid, said.

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

“He told us that as coaches, we shouldn’t go on a fault-finding mission when a player comes to us. Rather than trying to nitpick and find faults, we should see what are the good qualities in that player and how we can make them better. The coaching manual in NCA is now more player-centric,” he said.

Some of the well-known past and present players who attended the course are Robin Bisht, Zakaria Zufri, Prabhanjan Mullick, Uday Kaul, Sagar Jogiyani, Sarabjeet Singh, Arindam Das, Saurashis Lahiri, Ranadeb Bose, KB Pawan, and Connor Williams.

Rahul Dravid has re-applied for the post of Head of Cricket at the National Cricket Academy and is the only person so far to file his nomination for the position.

Irfan Pathan and Rahul Dravid. (Photo by Hamish Blair/Getty Images)
Irfan Pathan and Rahul Dravid. (Photo by Hamish Blair/Getty Images)

Rahul Dravid Getting Associated With NCA Best Thing To Happen In Indian Cricket, Says Irfan Pathan

Irfan Pathan, former India left-arm pacer has termed former cricketer and teammate Rahul Dravid’s decision to head the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru as the “best thing that has happened to Indian cricket”.

Rahul Dravid recently reapplied for the position of Head of Cricket at the NCA after his tenure expired. With no other candidate applying for the post, BCCI has extended the deadline for applications but Rahul Dravid remains the front-runner to retain the position.

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

Irfan Pathan: Rahul Dravid Getting Associated With NCA Best Thing To Happen In Indian Cricket

Irfan Pathan hailed Rahul Dravid for his move to mentor the next generation. The former cricketer, who himself has completed the Level 2 coaching course at NCA, opined that the best thing to happen in Indian cricket is Rahul Dravid’s association with NCA.

“The best thing that has happened to Indian cricket is Rahul (Dravid) getting associated with NCA. I have a huge amount of respect for him. Rahul bhai has performed his role with utmost sincerity.

“Look, we know how Rahul Dravid got involved in U19 and India A. But how he gets involved in each and every coach as well in terms of sharing his knowledge, listening from their perspective as well which for a guy of his calibre is a big task.”

Pathan added: “But he does it with such ease. That’s why you have huge amount of respect. It doesn’t mater if you have played 1 or 100 first-class games, he gives you same amount of respect.”

Ravi Shastri. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Ravi Shastri. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Asked if Rahul Dravid had a special message for him, Irfan Pathan did not divulge too many details.

“His message was very clear to me and had a lot of positive things to say about me because he noticed me as I personally share a great rapport with him. What he said to me remains between us but you should ask him.”

Earlier in the day, ex-cricketers Brad Hogg and Salman Butt also backed Rahul Dravid’s move to reapply for the NCA post. By doing so, Rahul Dravid effectively ended speculation of him being in line to replace current Indian coach Ravi Shastri when his tenure ends after the T20I World Cup.

Rahul Dravid had been appointed as the Head of Cricket at NCA Bengaluru in July 2019 and has since played a key role in mentoring several youngsters at the academy. He has often been credited by several Indian stars for helping them raise their game. Irfan Pathan had shared the dressing room with Rahul Dravid during his playing days for Team India and also played under the legendary batsman’s captaincy.

Irfan Pathan Would Love To Take Up A Coaching Role For An IPL Franchise

In the same interaction, Irfan Pathan was also asked if he would be interested in taking up a coaching role with an IPL franchise. The former pacer replied in the affirmative.

“Yes, I would love to do that going forward and hopefully it will happen.”

Irfan Pathan. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Irfan Pathan. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Coaching is not something new to Irfan Pathan. He played for Jammu & Kashmir as a coach-cum-player and did a more than decent job.

On thoughts of becoming a full-time coach, Irfan Pathan commented: “I understand basic nitty-gritty of technical side of batting, the stance, the head position, the bat flow and other things. I understand basic structure of bowling biomechanics as well. So I like to help out people. Hopefully in future when something comes up, I will definitely take up and would love to help out Indian cricket directly or indirectly.”

36-year-old Irfan Pathan represented India in 29 Tests, 120 ODIs, and 24 T20Is, claiming 301 international scalps.


Irfan Pathan Welcomes Move To Rename Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award As Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award

Irfan Pathan, the former India all-rounder welcomed the move to rename the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award as the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award. He did not shy away from sharing the hope that the stadiums would also be named after eminent sports personalities.

The remarks from Irfan Pathan can be construed as a dig at the tendency of naming sports stadiums after political dignitaries. The 36-year-old also expressed optimism that the step by the Government will be the start of a new trend in sports.

PM Narendra Modi tweeted saying he was getting many requests that the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award be named after hockey legend Major Dhyan Chand. (file photo)
PM Narendra Modi tweeted saying he was getting many requests that the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award be named after hockey legend Major Dhyan Chand. (file photo)

Irfan Pathan Welcomes Move To Rename Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award As Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award

In his nine years of international career, Irfan Pathan saw many ups and downs, but he has played 29 Tests, 120 ODIs, and 24 T20Is. The all-rounder played under six different captains during his entire international career. The 35-year-old former Indian cricketer Irfan Pathan played 173 international matches between 2003 and 2012. The all-rounder has scored almost 3000 international runs and picked 300 wickets.

“Absolutely welcome this move. Sportsman getting recognition and award being named after him or her. Hopefully start of many such things in sports (…) Hopefully in the future sports stadium names will be after sportsmen too,” Pathan tweeted.

Irfan Pathan (AFP Photo)
Irfan Pathan (AFP Photo)

There are several stadiums named after political leaders in India. This includes famous stadiums like the Wankhede (Mumbai), DY Patil Stadium (Navi Mumbai), M Chinnaswamy Stadium (Bengaluru), and MA Chidambaram Stadium (Chennai).

World’s Largest Cricket Ground In Ahmedabad Was Named Recently After PM Narendra Modi

Former Prime Ministers Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi together have ten prominent stadiums named after them. More recently, we have seen the Feroze Shah Kotla stadium renamed after the late Arun Jaitley, while the world’s largest cricket ground in Ahmedabad was named after Narendra Modi.

The world's largest cricket stadium at Motera Ahmedabad is named after PM Narendra Modi(Image Courtesy: Twitter)
The world’s largest cricket stadium at Motera Ahmedabad is named after PM Narendra Modi(Image Courtesy: Twitter)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced earlier that the highest sporting honor in the country will be renamed after hockey legend Dhyan Chand. This move was welcomed by the cricket fraternity as well as the public in general.

Apart from Irfan Pathan, former Indian cricketers including Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir also hailed the decision made by the Government. The announcement came shortly after the semifinal between the Indian women’s hockey team and Great Britain in the Olympics this morning (August 6).

Irfan Pathan played his last international game at the age of 27. As far as his numbers are concerned, the Baroda-born all-rounder scored 2,821 runs and scalped 301 wickets in international cricket. The all-rounder didn’t play for India after 2012 despite doing well in national colours. For the unversed, Irfan Pathan retired from all forms of cricket in January 2020.

Deepak Hooda had alleged that Krunal Pandya had been trying to pull him down and also warned him that he would ensure he did not play for Baroda again. (FILE)
Deepak Hooda had alleged that Krunal Pandya had been trying to pull him down and also warned him that he would ensure he did not play for Baroda again. (FILE)

Deepak Hooda Decides To Leave Baroda And Join Rajasthan For 2021/22 Domestic Season

Deepak Hooda, a talented young all-rounder has decided to leave Baroda and join Rajasthan ahead of the next Indian domestic season. The decision comes after he had a fallout with the management last season.

As per reports in Sportstar, the all-rounder has already obtained the No-Objection Certificate (NOC) from the Baroda Cricket Association (BCA).

Deepak Hooda screengrab
Deepak Hooda screengrab

Deepak Hooda Feels Sad To Quit Baroda

Speaking on the development, Deepak Hooda believes it is the right decision as far as his career is concerned. While the 26-year-old would have been eligible to represent Baroda in the next season, he has left his state team.

“It is definitely a sad feeling to quit Baroda, for whom I have played throughout my career. But I spoke to my coaches, well wishers and thought this was the right decision for me.”

Krunal Pandya
Krunal Pandya-Instagram

Earlier this year, Deepak Hooda was suspended by the BCA during the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy following an argument with skipper Krunal Pandya. He left the bubble midway through and brought a plethora of allegations against Krunal Pandya in an email addressed to the BCA.

Deepak Hooda’s Decision Disappointed Irfan Pathan Who Criticized BCA

The Punjab Kings all-rounder alleged that spin all-rounder Krunal Pandya abused and bullied him in front of teammates and other cricketers from different states. The PBKS all-rounder also claimed that the series of events had pushed him into depression.

“At this moment, I am demoralised, depressed and under pressure. As from last some days and at least from last couple of days, my team captain Mr. Kurnal Pandiya is using abusing language to me in front of my teammates and also other states teams who have come for participation at Reliance stadium Vadodara,” Hooda wrote in the email.

Irfan Pathan
Irfan Pathan

Meanwhile, Deepak Hooda’s decision has disappointed former India cricketer and stalwart of Baroda side Irfan Pathan. The cricketer-turned-commentator took to Twitter to lash out at the BCA.

“How many cricket associations will lose out on a player who is in the Indian team probables list? Deepak Hooda leaving Baroda cricket is a huge loss. He could have easily given his services for another ten years as he is still young. As a Barodian It’s utterly disappointing!”

Deepak Hooda scored 741 runs in 76 IPL games averaging 17.23 with 3 fifties. He has also picked 9 scalps. Deepak Hooda played 46 first-class games for Baroda, scoring 2908 runs at an average of 43. He also played 68 one-dayers for the state.

Although the KL Rahul-led Punjab Kings side didn’t enjoy a stellar season, Deepak Hooda put up some sensational performance and impressed one and all. He, in total, scored 116 runs in eight games with his strike rate being more than 140. If that’s not enough, he bowled with an impressive economy rate of just over seven.

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