Ishan Kishan | Sportzwiki

Ishan Kishan

Gautam Gambhir. Photo Credit: Getty Images.
Gautam Gambhir. Photo Credit: Getty Images.
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T20I World Cup 2021: Gautam Gambhir Said Nothing Will Impact India’s Performance Predicting India To Win Against Pakistan

Gautam Gambhir, a former Indian cricketer, said that Team India are firm favourites to win their upcoming T20 World Cup 2021 clash against Pakistan on Sunday, October 24, at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium. Gautam Gambhir, who retired back in December 2018, said that external factors won’t affect Virat Kohli and Co. going into the marquee clash.

India and Pakistan have faced each other five times in the T20 World Cup, and the Men in Blue have come out trumps every other time. The last time the two teams met was in 2016 when Virat Kohli’s knock took India over the line at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata.

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli (BCCI)

Gautam Gambhir: Nothing Will Impact India’s Performance

In fact, in the T20I World Cups, Virat Kohli has scored 169 runs from three innings against the arch-rivals Pakistan. In all those three innings, he remained unbeaten. 78* off 61 balls (2012), 36* off 32 balls (2014), and 55* off 37 balls (2016) were his scores against Pakistan in the T20I World Cups.

Virat Kohli has been India’s highest run-getter against Pakistan in T20Is. He has scored 254 runs from six innings at 84.66 with two fifty-plus scores and a strike rate of 118.6.

“My best wishes are with the team. They have performed well till now. They will surely win. I have full confidence in them. The team is doing great. Nothing will impact their performance. The team will play well and will win,” Gautam Gambhir was quoted as saying.

Prior to the much-awaited game, the Pakistan cricket fraternity and their players have dropped in several comments. However, Gautam Gambhir reckoned that Virat Kohli’s men are less likely to pay heed to the remarks.

“Pakistan always says like this. If India plays with the same potential then we can win over any country,” Gautam Gambhir stated.

Pakistan pacer Hasan Ali | AFP
Pakistan pacer Hasan Ali | AFP

India will be going into the contest after back-to-back wins against England and Australia in the warm-ups at the ICC Academy Ground. In both games, they chased down targets in a comprehensive manner. Pakistan, on the other hand, started with a win over the West Indies. Then, however, they slumped to a defeat against South Africa after Hasan Ali leaked 22 runs off the final over. India has never beaten Pakistan in World Cups regardless of the format.

Gautam Gambhir Wants Nobody To Sleep With An Empty Stomach

The Delhi-born Gautam Gambhir also had a few words to say about Jan Rasoi, an initiative he set up to serve healthy and nutritious food to poor people.

“I want nobody to sleep empty stomach. With that idea, I am come up with Jan Rasoi. From each centre we are feeding around 4,000 people. I want to open more such centres so that we can feed more needy people,” Gambhir added.

Gautam Gambhir AFP
Gautam Gambhir AFP
In their first warm-up game, Pakistan brushed defending champions West Indies aside, crushing Kieron Pollard’s side with seven wickets with 27 balls to spare. In a comprehensive all-around bowling performance, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Imad Wasim, Haris Rauf, and Hasan Ali found themselves amongst the wickets before a half-century from Babar Azam, and an unbeaten 24-ball 46 from Fakhar Zaman saw Pakistan cruised to a 7 wicket win.
Pakistan 131 for 3 (Babar 50, Zaman 46*, Walsh 2-41) beat West Indies 130 for 7 (Hetmyer 28, Hasan Ali 2-21, Rauf 2-32, Afridi 2-41) by seven wickets

Rassie van der Dussen got an emphatic ton that resulted in South Africa clinching a last-ball thriller against Pakistan. Chasing a stiff 186, South Africa was kept in the chase largely by Rassie van der Dussen, and with 19 needed off the final over, he helped them over the finish line and struck fours off the last two balls from Hasan Ali. David Miller, too hit a crucial six in the final over before Rassie van der Dussen registered his ton off the final ball of the match.

Brief Scores: Pakistan 186/6 (Fakhar Zaman 52; Kagiso Rabada 3-28) lost to South Africa 190/4 (Rassie van der Dussen 101*, Temba Bavuma 46) by six wickets.

Against England in their first warm-up game, chasing a target of 189, India reached 192 for three in 19 overs. KL Rahul smashed 51 off 24 deliveries, and Ishan Kishan retired after playing a knock of 70 runs off 46 balls.

In their second warm-up game, India thumped Australia by nine wickets with Rohit Sharma (60 retired off 40), KL Rahul (39 off 31), and Suryakumar Yadav (38), all getting some runs under their belts as India chased down Australia’s 152 for five in 17.5 overs.

Rashid Latif Screengrab: YouTube
Rashid Latif Screengrab: YouTube
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Pakistan Will Win Only If Indian Players Make Mistakes: Rashid Latif Opens Up On The Blockbuster India-Pakistan Clash

Rashid Latif gave his verdict on the upcoming Super 12 fixture in the 2021 T20I Worlds Cup between India and Pakistan. Ahead of Team India’s T20 World Cup opener on Sunday, former Pakistan captain Rashid Latif stated that his country can only win if India makes plenty of mistakes on the field.

Pakistan will start their ICC T20I World Cup 2021 campaign against arch-rivals India in Dubai on 24 October.  They will then face New Zealand in Sharjah on 26 October before returning to Dubai to take on Afghanistan.

Rashid Latif file image. (Photo: IANS)
Rashid Latif file image. (Photo: IANS)

Rashid Latif: Pakistan Will Win Only If Indian Players Make Mistakes

Both sides face each other at the Dubai International Stadium on Sunday and will be hoping to start their respective campaign with a win.

“In my opinion, no matter how well Pakistan plays, if Indian players don’t make mistakes, then it will be difficult for Pakistan to win the match”, Rashid Latif said.

India vs Pakistan game (Reuters Photo)
India vs Pakistan game (Reuters Photo)

“When I captained Pakistan, I always tried to induce errors from the opposition. Of course, you have to do your own job first, but at the same time, it’s important to make the other team commit mistakes. So, it’s not just about the technique or skills, it’s about tactics. You have to get your tactics right and try to make the other team commit errors”, Rashid Latif further added.

India has won seven of their eight T20Is against Pakistan, with five of those coming at the World Cup. However, the Men in Green are yet to win a World Cup game, be it T20Is or ODIs, against their arch-rivals.

Pakistan is yet to beat their arch-rivals India in a World Cup game in 12 encounters across the T20I and 50-over editions. Both India (2007) and Pakistan (2009) are former champions in the World T20 and have played plenty of cricket in UAE thanks to IPL and PSL.

Rashid Latif: There Is A Chance Of Making A Mistake By The Skipper As There Are Too Many Options Vying For A Place In XI

The 52-year-old also pointed out that Virat Kohli could be more prone to making a mistake due to the presence of many options for his playing XI.

“We have to see what Virat does if he wins the toss, and what combination he will be playing”, Rashid Latif said.

Ishan Kishan (Image Credit: BCCI)
Ishan Kishan (Image Credit: BCCI)

“Will he play Suryakumar Yadav? Or Ishan Kishan? Then you also have to see which spinners they will play. There is Varun Chakravarthy, Ravichandran Ashwin, and Ravindra Jadeja. So there is a chance of making a mistake by the captain in terms of picking the right players because you have so many options”, he also stated.

Pakistan is yet to defeat India in World Cups, having lost in their last 12 encounters. It also includes five defeats in the T20 World Cup. India has been paired with Afghanistan, Namibia, New Zealand, Pakistan, and Scotland in Group B. At the same time, South Africa, West Indies, England, Australia, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh will fight it out in Group A in the Super 12 stage.

Rohit Sharma blasted 60 off just 41 balls in the warm-up games to give India a blistering start against Australia. KL Rahul was impressive in the two warm-up games scoring a quickfire half-century against England followed by a solid 39 against Australia.

Ishan Kishan too hit 70 against England but is likely to be ignored in the all-important opening game. The middle and lower-order are very likely to comprise Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant, Hardik Pandya, and Ravindra Jadeja. Ravichandran Ashwin is an experienced campaigner and did well in the warm-up encounter against Australia  (claiming two scalps). Still, there is a chance that India might play Varun Chakravarthy to surprise the opposition.

Pakistan AFP / Lindsey Parnaby
Pakistan AFP / Lindsey Parnaby
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Brad Hogg Reckons If Pakistan Loses Against India, They Will Not Get Through

Brad Hogg, former Australia spinner, feels Pakistan might be out of the World Cup very soon if they lose their opening game against India.

Speaking to Deep Dasgupta on his YouTube channel, Brad Hogg said that Pakistan won’t be able to turn around their campaign in case of a possible loss as they play their next game in two days’ time against New Zealand.

Brad Hogg was a part of two World Cup-winning Australian teams; 2003 and 2007 © Getty Images
Brad Hogg was a part of two World Cup-winning Australian teams; 2003 and 2007 © Getty Images

Brad Hogg Backing India, Pakistan, West Indies, And England To Reach Semi-Finals

The former Australian bowler is backing India, Pakistan, West Indies, and England to reach the semi-finals of the upcoming T20I WC. The Super 12s stage of the 2021 T20 World Cup is set to get underway this week.

“If Pakistan gets beaten by India in the first game, they’ve got a short turnaround to play New Zealand. I think that will be a huge factor in whether Pakistan goes through or not. If Pakistan loses against India in the first game, I don’t think they will get through, India will get through. So watch that space,” Brad Hogg said.

Meanwhile, Brad Hogg sounded quite optimistic about their arch-rivals India who he felt will surely be in the semi-finals, adding that Pakistan will also go through provided that they win against India.

“The teams that I think are going to go to the semis are England and the West Indies from Group 1 and from Group 2 I think it’s going to be Pakistan and India,” Brad Hogg added.

India and Pakistan rarely play against each other but have a heated rivalry. (Photo by Tharaka Basnayaka/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
India and Pakistan rarely play against each other but have a heated rivalry. (Photo by Tharaka Basnayaka/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

These are certainly interesting picks from Brad Hogg, who is not expecting his home country Australia to reach the semi-finals of the T20 World Cup. England and the West Indies were the finalists of the 2016 T20 World Cup. Meanwhile, India and Pakistan are both looking to win the tournament for the second time in their history having won the trophy in 2007 and 2009 respectively.

India has been outstanding so far in a couple of warm-up games they have played so far. They beat England quite handsomely and then went on to beat Australia as well. India has some issues to ponder, but they look for the team to beat with their top three in prime form. In their first warm-up game,

Pakistan brushed defending champions West Indies aside, crushing Kieron Pollard’s side with seven wickets with 27 balls to spare. Russie van der Dussen hit a stunning unbeaten century off 51 deliveries as South Africa pulled off an extraordinary run chase to beat Pakistan.

Brett Lee Expects KL Rahul To Be Top Scorer and Mohammed Shami To Be Leading Wicket Taker

Former Australia speedster Brett Lee feels India’s KL Rahul and Mohammed Shami could emerge as the top run-getter and the leading wicket-taker in the T20 World Cup Super 12s. KL Rahul has been in sublime form in the IPL where he was the third-highest scorer and his Punjab Kings teammate Mohammed Shami bowled some great spells in recent times including one in the World Cup practice game against England.

Against England in their first warm-up game, chasing a target of 189, India reached 192 for three in 19 overs. Openers KL Rahul and Ishan Kishan were in brilliant form. KL Rahul smashed 51 off 24 deliveries, and Ishan Kishan retired after playing a knock of 70 runs off 46 balls.

KL Rahul for Punjab Kings In IPL 2021
KL Rahul for Punjab Kings In IPL 2021 (Image Credit: Twitter)

In their second warm-up game, India thumped Australia by nine wickets with Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, and Suryakumar Yadav (38), all getting some runs under their belts. Australia’s bowlers captured only one wicket, with spinner Ashton Agar removing opener KL Rahul for 39.

Rohit Sharma (60 retired off 41) showed sublime touch alongside opening partner KL Rahul (39 off 31) as India chased down Australia’s 152 for five in 17.5 overs.

Mohammed Shami picked up three wickets to deal body blows to England on the bowling front, while Jasprit Bumrah picked up one scalp with an excellent economy rate. Although Bhuvaneshwar Kumar went for plenty against England, he made a strong comeback against Australia, showing that the ability to bowl late swing hadn’t deserted him completely.

Ravichandran Ashwin – who had a rather barren IPL — picked up two scalps in one over early in the innings to scuttle Australia’s prospects of getting a big score.

Yuvraj Singh celebrates after guiding India to victory against Australia in the quarter-finals of the 2011 ODI World Cup | AFP / Manan Vatsyayana
Yuvraj Singh celebrates after guiding India to victory against Australia in the quarter-finals of the 2011 ODI World Cup | AFP / Manan Vatsyayana
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India Has The Same Depth As Mumbai Indians: Yuvraj Singh

Yuvraj Singh, the former India all-rounder, and 2007 T20I and 2011 ODI World Cup hero, feels the current Indian squad for the 2021 T20I World Cup is looking balanced and strong, and the team has a good chance of adding a second World T20 trophy after 2007 to their decorated cabinet.

Warm-up games are instead used to gauge individual players and how good they are feeling about themselves and are usually not precise parameters to judge the form of a team. However, they do offer an insight into how confident a certain outfit is. Considering the two warm-up matches that India has played are anything to go by, the Men in Blue could well be the team to beat in this edition of the T20 World Cup.

File image of Yuvraj Singh | Oli Scarff/AFP
File image of Yuvraj Singh | Oli Scarff/AFP

Yuvraj Singh: T20I Format Is Very Unpredictable, But India Has The Same Depth As Mumbai Indians

India pummelled England and then Australia in the warm-up games and are now all set to begin their ICC World T20 campaign against arch-rivals Pakistan on Sunday. Team India won the inaugural World T20 title in 2007, under Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s leadership. This edition, meanwhile, will be the T20I captaincy swansong for current skipper Virat Kohli who will retire as skipper from T20Is after the conclusion of the T20I WC.

Questions arise whether Virat Kohli, who has a junior ICC title to his name (ICC Under-19 World Cup win in 2008), win his maiden senior ICC trophy and become the second Indian captain to take India to the T20 World Cup title.

“It is not only about the captain; the whole team needs to perform. Then only you can win the title. I feel India has a great T20 side but the T20 format is very unpredictable. One session of five overs can take away the game,” Yuvraj Singh said.

KL Rahul And Rohit Sharma (Image Credit: Twitter)
KL Rahul And Rohit Sharma (Image Credit: Twitter)

“I feel Team India has the same depth as Mumbai Indians. They have 5,6,7 and 8 as allrounders. The left-right combinations. Hardik, Krunal, Pollard are there. They have depth in their batting. They have allrounders. We do have a side like that.

“If you look at Jadeja, Hardik, and Rishabh, we have a strong side. New guys are also coming in. We have a strong batting lineup. We have all-rounders. We have a strong batting lineup till number 8 and we have a mix of extra bowlers,” the 39 year old further said.

One crucial aspect of this World Cup is that it is being played in the UAE, where the pitches are generally slower and do assist spin. In that context, sub-continental teams might have the upper hand over other opposition. But, on the other hand, any team with quality spinners and a variety of them should feel rather confident about themselves.

“I feel we (India) have a very good chance. The UAE wickets can get slow in the second half. So, spinners come in very handy. So, we have a really good, balanced side,” Yuvraj Singh, who was part of the MS Dhoni-led 2007 T20 World Cup-winning team and scored 148 runs in 6 matches at an average of 29.60, further said.

In a warm-up game, India thumped Australia by nine wickets with Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, and Suryakumar Yadav (38), all getting some runs under their belts. Australia’s bowlers captured only one wicket, with spinner Ashton Agar removing opener KL Rahul for 39. Rohit Sharma (60 retired off 41) showed sublime touch alongside opening partner KL Rahul (39 off 31) as India chased down Australia’s 152 for five in 17.5 overs.

Against England, chasing a target of 189, India reached 192 for three in 19 overs. Openers KL Rahul and Ishan Kishan were in brilliant form. KL Rahul smashed 51 off 24 deliveries, and Ishan Kishan retired after playing a knock of 70 runs off 46 balls.

Yuvraj Singh: Hitting Six Sixes Of Stuart Broad A Historic Moment And Greatest Memory Of Career

Yuvraj Singh is one of the biggest match-winners Indian cricket has ever produced. He played multiple unforgettable knocks in his career. But the one thing that he will forever be synonymous with will be hitting 6 sixes in an over-off England pacer Stuart Broad.

“We just smile at each other (when they meet). The good thing was that the monkey was off my back because two weeks before that match, I got hit for five sixes in an ODI match vs England. I had bowled the 50th over. Getting hit for five sixes and then hitting sixes was a big relief doing against the same country (England).

“The monkey was off my back and it is obviously one of the greatest memories,” Yuvraj Singh, who scored over 11,000 runs and took 148 wickets in international cricket across all formats told TimesofIndia.com.

Stuart Broad and Yuvraj Singh. (Getty Images)
Stuart Broad and Yuvraj Singh. (Getty Images)

“I realised the importance of that memory over the years because every time September 19 comes, people start celebrating that moment. It is one of the historic moments of my career and I will always cherish that,” Yuvraj Singh, who played 40 Tests, 304 ODIs, and 58 T20Is between 2000 and 2019, signed off.

During the 2007 T20 World Cup, Yuvraj Singh took Stuart Broad to the cleaners in the 19th over of the Indian innings, whacking him for 6 sixes and taking India’s total past the 200-run mark. India defeated England by 18 runs in that game.

Yuvraj Singh featured in two World Cup wins for India (T20 World Cup in 2007 and ODI World Cup in 2011). In the 2007 T20 World Cup, Yuvraj Singh scored only 148 runs in the tournament, with two fifties. But he got those runs at a strike rate close to 195. In the tournament, his 12-ball half-century against England remains the fastest fifty in international cricket as he hit 6 sixes in one over off Stuart Broad.

With 362 runs at an average of 90.5 and 15 wickets at an average of 25.13, he was a key player in India’s second ODI World Cup Win after a hiatus of 28 years, and deservingly won the Player of the Tournament award.

India and Pakistan rarely play against each other but have a heated rivalry. (Photo by Tharaka Basnayaka/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
India and Pakistan rarely play against each other but have a heated rivalry. (Photo by Tharaka Basnayaka/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
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VVS Laxman Picks Playing XI Against Pakistan In 2021 T20I World Cup

VVS Laxman, former cricketer decided to give his own predicted line-up for Virat Kohli’s team and gave the usual names with a few surprises. With Team India set to open their T20 World Cup 2021 campaign on Sunday, many fans have been left wondering about Virat Kohli’s preferred playing XI for the tournament.

Speaking on Star Sports, the Test cricket legend didn’t include dashing keeper Ishan Kishan in his batting order and also skipped pace bowling all-rounder Shardul Thakur, whose performance wasn’t good in the warm-up game against Australia (0/30 in 3 overs).

VVS Laxman. (File Photo: IANS)
VVS Laxman. (File Photo: IANS)

VVS Laxman Picks Playing XI Against Pakistan Omitting Ishan Kishan, Ravichandran Ashwin, Shardul Thakur, And Mohammed Shami

VVS Laxman went with KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma as his openers instead. He also included Suryakumar Yadav at number five. The batting looked solid on both the warm-up games against England and Australia as Rohit Sharma  (60 retired vs Aus), Ishan Kishan (70 retired vs Eng) and KL Rahul(51 vs Eng and 39 vs Aus) scored heavily.

KL Rahul And Rohit Sharma (Image Credit: Twitter)
KL Rahul And Rohit Sharma (Image Credit: Twitter)

“They are spoilt for choices. But I will go with Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul to open. No. 3 will be Virat Kohli, No. 4 will be Suryakumar Yadav, No. 5 Rishabh Pant, No. 6 Hardik Pandya, No. 7 will be Ravindra Jadeja, No. 8 will be Bhuvneshwar Kumar, No. 9 will be Bumrah”, Laxman said.

“No. 10 and No. 11 will be two spinners, Varun Chakaravarthy and Rahul Chahar”, he continued.

For numbers 10 and 11 VVS Laxman has opted to go with Varun Chakravarthy and Rahul Chahar. Strangely, the cricketer-turned-expert did not include Ravichandran Ashwin in his playing XI.

The all-rounder had a good match against Australia as he managed to pick two wickets and was also pretty economical having match figures of 2/8 from 2 overs. Pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar too had a good outing against Australia (1/27) after a poor outing against England (0/54) like spinner Rahul Chahar (1/17 off 3) who failed in the previous warm-up game (1/43).

VVS Laxman Explained That He Will Back The Top 7 To Score Bulk Of The Runs

Justifying his line-up, VVS Laxman explained that the top seven in the order would be able to score plenty of runs.

“It’s a long tail but I will back the top seven to get the bulk of the runs”, he stated.

For their first match, India faces Pakistan on Sunday at the Dubai International Stadium. They have already played a warm-up game against England, winning by seven wickets. Chasing a target of 189, India reached 192 for three in 19 overs. Openers KL Rahul and Ishan Kishan were in brilliant form. KL Rahul smashed 51 off 24 deliveries and Ishan Kishan retired after playing a knock of 70 runs off 46 balls.

Ishan Kishan (Image Credit: BCCI)
Ishan Kishan (Image Credit: BCCI)

Virat Kohli, who batted at No.3, could only muster 11 off 13 deliveries. Meanwhile, Rishabh Pant was unbeaten at No. 4 after registering 29 off 14 balls. Suryakumar Yadav, who batted at No. 5, could only bag eight in nine balls and Hardik Pandya remained unbeaten at No. 6 after hitting 12 off 10 balls.

India fine-tuned its T20 World Cup preparations with a convincing nine-wicket win over Australia in its final warm-up game at ICC cricket Academy Stadium. Rohit Sharma (60 retired off 41) showed sublime touch alongside opening partner KL Rahul (39 off 31) as India chased down Australia’s 152 for five in 17.5 overs.

Suryakumar Yadav (38 not out off 27) came at number three in Virat Kohli’s absence and got valuable time in the middle, which should boost his confidence going ahead. Finally, Hardik Pandya (14 not out off 8) came at four to finish the game, and he did it with a clean hit over the bowler’s head. Steve Smith (57 off 48), Glenn Maxwell (37 off 28), and Marcus Stoinis (41 not out off 25 balls) did well but their contributions went in vain.

Hardik Pandya Image Source : GETTY
Hardik Pandya Image Source : GETTY
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Parthiv Patel Doesn’t Think Hardik Pandya Is Going To Bowl In Initial Matches Of 2021 T20I World Cup

Parthiv Patel listed out two worries for India after their seven-wicket win over England in the warm-up game. Parthiv Patel said Hardik Pandya not bowling and Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s lackluster show with the ball is a major concern for Team India.

Openers KL Rahul and Ishan Kishan hammered scintillating fifties after Mohammed Shami’s three-wicket burst as India registered a seven-wicket win over England in their first warm-up match of the ICC T20 World Cup in Dubai on Monday.

File photo of Parthiv Patel with Mumbai Indians | Sandeep Shetty – Sportzpics – IPL
File photo of Parthiv Patel with Mumbai Indians | Sandeep Shetty – Sportzpics – IPL

Parthiv Patel Doesn’t Think Hardik Pandya Is Going To Bowl In Initial Matches And Is Worried About Bhuvneshwar Kumar

However, despite their convincing win, former India wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel pointed out two worries for India. All-rounder Hardik Pandya didn’t bowl, while Bhuvneshwar Kumar went for 54/0 in his quota of four overs.

“I don’t think Hardik is going to bowl in the first few games looking at the way Virat Kohli has used only five bowlers,” said Parthiv Patel during the mid-innings interval.

“Yes, I’m worried about Bhuvneshwar Kumar. He looks in the kind of form which he had in the IPL, where he took just six wickets, but yeah, he looked out of rhythm, almost as if didn’t practice. We might just see Shardul Thakur in the next game. It might be a combination that we might see,” Parthiv added.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar (L) and Hardik Pandya (Photo credit should read LAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI/AFP/Getty Images)
Indian cricketer Bhuvneshwar Kumar (L) and Hardik Pandya (Photo credit should read LAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI/AFP/Getty Images)

Bhuvneshwar Kumar who conceded 54 runs in four overs in India’s first warm-up clash against England before the T20I World Cup, may not be picked for the mega clash against Pakistan as Shardul Thakur’s chances to play against Pakistan have increased. Bhuvneshwar Kumar has a massive haul of 142 wickets in 132 IPL games averaging 25.26, which is much better than his IPL 2021 bowling average- an extremely poor 55.83 picking only 6 scalps in 11 games.

Hardik Pandya has played 49 T20Is and has averaged below 20 with the bat despite a strike rate of 145, amassing 484 runs in 49 matches. He has also taken 42 scalps averaging 26.45. As a finisher in the 2021 T20I World Cup, he would certainly look forward to amending his batting average and bowling a few overs, trying to pick crucial wickets.

Ishan Kishan And KL Rahul’s Opening Partnership Saw India To Cruise To A 7 Wicket Game In Warm-Up Fixture Against England

Ishan Kishan smashed an unbeaten 46-ball 70, while KL Rahul (51 off 24) and Rishabh Pant (29 off 14) also chipped in as India chased down 188 runs with six balls to spare.

Ishan Kishan (Image Credit: BCCI)
Ishan Kishan (Image Credit: BCCI)

Earlier, Jonny Bairstow smashed a 36-ball 49 and Moeen Ali hit a whirlwind 20-ball 43 to help England post 188 for 5 after being sent in to bat. For India, besides Mohammed Shami (3/40), fellow pacer Jasprit Bumrah (1/26) and spinner Rahul Chahar (1/43) were also among the wickets.

While Ishan Kishan smashed 70 off 46 balls, KL Rahul made a blazing 51 off 24. The duo featured in an opening stand of 82 in 8.2 overs as India chased down a target of 189 with ease, winning the clash by seven wickets.

Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra. (Photo Source: Twitter)
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Aakash Chopra On Hardik Pandya And Suryakumar Yadav Not Getting Game Time “Once Again An Unfinished Story”

Aakash Chopra believes Team India should have given middle-order batsman Suryakumar Yadav and all-rounder aggressive batsman Hardik Pandya more time in the middle by making them bat ahead of Rishabh Pant in the warm-up match against England.

Team India registered an easy seven-wicket win in their first warm-up match against strong England ahead of the Super 12 stage of the T20 World Cup. While KL Rahul, Ishan Kishan, and Rishabh Pant shone with the bat, Suryakumar Yadav and Hardik Pandya did not get to face too many deliveries.

Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan - SPORTZPICS
Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan – SPORTZPICS

Aakash Chopra Questioned Decision To Send Rishabh Pant Ahead Of Suryakumar Yadav And Hardik Pandya

While reflecting on India’s successful run chase in a video shared on his YouTube channel, Aakash Chopra questioned Team India’s decision to send Rishabh Pant ahead of Suryakumar Yadav and Hardik Pandya.

He elaborated: “There was a big question in my mind that when Ishan was batting well, why did you send Rishabh Pant. End of the day, Surya made 8 runs off 9 balls, neither the form came nor went, you don’t know what really happened. Hardik Pandya, the shots he played, all balls were not hitting the middle of the bat, and once again a story which is unfinished.”

Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The former India cricketer highlighted that both Suryakumar Yadav and Hardik Pandya needed a longer stint in the middle. Aakash Chopra reasoned that they needed more game time.

“You did not have a need to send Rishabh Pant there, you could have sent Suryakumar Yadav and then Hardik Pandya so that both of them would have got some game time. Rishabh Pant had scored runs just now in the IPL as well.”

Suryakumar Yadav and Hardik Pandya come into the T20 World Cup on the back of indifferent performances in IPL 2021. Although the duo seemed to be getting some of their touches back towards the end of the tournament, a little more time in the middle would have helped their cause.
Suryakumar Yadav managed only 317 runs in 14 IPL 2021 games after scoring above 400 runs every time since 2018, but Hardik Pandya had a poor IPL managing only 127 runs in 12 games averaging a pathetic 14.11.

Aakash Chopra: Undoubtedly KL Rahul Should Open

Speaking about some of the positives for Team India, Aakash Chopra opined that KL Rahul is head and shoulders above any other Indian batsman.

“The captain has said that Rahul is going to open and there is no doubt that Rahul should open. In my opinion, he is India’s best T20 batsman at this point in time, nobody comes close.”

KL Rahul
KL Rahul-Reuters.

The 44-year-old commentator concluded by stating that Ishan Kishan is unlikely to be a part of Team India’s playing XI despite his exploits with the bat.

“If you are speculating if Ishan can open or come in the middle order, you didn’t make him bat in the middle order and there is no place where you made him bat. I think Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul are your two openers however well Ishan Kishan might bat.”

Virat Kohli has already confirmed that KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma will bat at the top of the order for Team India. Kishan could play at the expense of Suryakumar Yadav or Hardik Pandya in the middle order, especially if the latter is not fit to resume bowling.

While Ishan Kishan smashed 70 off 46 balls, KL Rahul made a blazing 51 off 24. The duo featured in an opening stand of 82 in 8.2 overs as India chased down a target of 189 with ease, winning the clash by seven wickets. Ishan Kishan’s 70 off 46 balls was studded with 7 fours and 3 sixes, and his strike rate was 152.17.

Ishan Kishan retired on 70, after which Rishabh Pant (29 not out) and Hardik Pandya (12 not out) took India past the finish line in 19 overs. KL Rahul was equally impressive, smashing six fours and three sixes. His strike rate was a monumental 212.5-the best of the Indian innings as it came off only 24 balls.

Salman Butt. Image-Twitter
Salman Butt. Image-Twitter
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Rohit Sharma And KL Rahul Will Open, Ishan Kishan Can Bat Anywhere In 2021 T20I World Cup: Salman Butt

Salman Butt, the former Pakistan skipper, reckons Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul will open the batting for India despite Ishan Kishan’s brilliant knock as an opener against England in a T20 World Cup 2021 warm-up game in Dubai on Monday. Ishan Kishan opened the batting with KL Rahul in India’s first warm-up clash ahead of the T20 World Cup.

While Ishan Kishan smashed 70 off 46 balls, KL Rahul made a blazing 51 off 24. The duo featured in an opening stand of 82 in 8.2 overs as India chased down a target of 189 with ease, winning the clash by seven wickets.

KL Rahul And Rohit Sharma (Image Credit: Twitter)
KL Rahul And Rohit Sharma (Image Credit: Twitter)

Salman Butt: Rohit Sharma And KL Rahul Will Open

On Monday, despite Ishan Kishan’s brilliant innings against England, Salman Butt opined that India will stick to the Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul opening pair.

Discussing India’s batting order for the T20 World Cup 2021, the former cricketer stated: “Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul will open, I don’t think that will change. Ishan Kishan can bat one down or in the middle-order or after Virat Kohli. He is in amazing form and can bat anywhere in the batting order.”

Ishan Kishan (Image Credit: BCCI)
Ishan Kishan (Image Credit: BCCI)

Speaking about youngster Ishan Kishan, Salman Butt added that he looked equally good against pace and spin. His 70 off 46 balls was studded with 7 fours and 3 sixes, and his strike rate was 152.17.

The 37-year-old elaborated: “I haven’t seen him in any kind of trouble either against the new ball or against the spinners. These are very good signs because he played Moeen Ali very well. Adil Rashid is a very good leg-spinner and he attacked him in rather impressive fashion. As an opener, he was confident against the fast bowlers as well.”

Ishan Kishan retired on 70, after which Rishabh Pant (29 not out) and Hardik Pandya (12 not out) took India past the finish line in 19 overs.

Salman Butt: It Looked Like KL Rahul Was Batting Against A Bowling Machine

While Ishan Kishan top-scored for India in the warm-up encounter against England on Monday, KL Rahul was equally impressive, smashing six fours and three sixes. His strike rate was a monumental 212.5-the best of the Indian innings as it came off only 24 balls.

Analyzing KL Rahul’s batting, Salman Butt said: “The highlight of India’s batting, according to me, was KL Rahul’s knock. If anyone wants to watch beautiful batting, they must watch KL Rahul bat. The way he took on England’s bowlers, it seemed like he was batting against a bowling machine. “

Controversial Pakistan batsman Salman Butt
Controversial Pakistan batsman Salman Butt (File Photo | AFP)

“He was able to hit the ball anywhere at his will. The standout aspect of his innings was that most of the shots he played were correct strokes. The kind of shots he played demonstrated the dangerous form that he is currently in.”

KL Rahul has an amazing T20 record. He has smashed 1557 runs in 49 T20Is at a strike rate of 142.19. In IPL 2021, he amassed 626 runs in 13 games and was the third-leading run-getter in the edition.
Earlier, England managed to score 188/5 after Jonny Bairstow’s 49 off 36 balls and Moeen Ali’s cameo of unbeaten 43 off 20 balls as Indian pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar(4 overs, 54 runs, 0 wickets) was taken to the cleaners. Mohammed Shami conceded 40 runs, too, despite picking 3 scalps. For England, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood, Chris Jordan, Moeen Ali, and Adil Rashid were too expensive as all of them conceded 10 runs per over or more.
Rishabh Pant
Rishabh Pant File Photo: PTI
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Rishabh Pant Can Change The Course Of A Match With His Power Hitting: VVS Laxman

VVS Laxman believes Rishabh Pant’s batting position should be defined by the number of overs remaining considering the dashing wicketkeeper-batter’s match-winning abilities.

Rishabh Pant walked into bat at the No. 4 position during India’s run chase in their first T20 World Cup warm-up encounter against England. The southpaw smashed an unbeaten 29 off only 14 deliveries, including 1 four and 3 sixes to see his team across the finish line, chasing a stiff 189.

Rishabh Pant (Photo Source: Disney+Hotstar VIP)
Rishabh Pant (Photo Source: Disney+Hotstar VIP)

VVS Laxman: Rishabh Pant Can Change Course Of A Match With His Power Hitting

While reviewing the India-England warm-up encounter on Star Sports, VVS Laxman was asked if Rishabh Pant should continue to bat at No. 4 ahead of Suryakumar Yadav.

He responded: “I feel No. 4 is the right position for Suryakumar Yadav. Rishabh Pant can start at No. 5 but if two or three wickets have fallen around the 13th or 14th over, then Rishabh Pant can go and bat. I will pay more attention to the overs because Rishabh Pant is a batter who can change the course of a match with his power hitting.”

VVS Laxman. (File Photo: IANS)
VVS Laxman. (File Photo: IANS)

The former India cricketer added that game-changers like Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya need to be promoted based on the match situation.

VVS Laxman explained: “So I will send Rishabh Pant in as soon as 14 overs are done. Batters like Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya who can play the big shots and play the role of a finisher, showing that flexibility is extremely necessary.”

VVS Laxman was also happy that Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya had provided the finishing touches to India’s run chase. After KL Rahul’s 51 and Ishan Kishan’s 70, Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya(12*) remained unbeaten as India managed to cross the 189 run target in the penultimate over.

“I feel 40 runs were required off the last four overs and you can see a similar situation in the main round of the World Cup, so it was a proper warm-up match as you saw the challenges you will see in the main round.”

Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya are expected to play the finishers’ role for Team India. However, the latter has not been at his best lately, and the Indian team will hope that he regains his touch before the actual tournament begins.

VVS Laxman: No. 3 Is The Right Position For Virat Kohli

VVS Laxman was also asked about Virat Kohli’s decision to bat at No. 3.

He replied: “I feel it is the right position for him because you have experienced opening batsmen in KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma. And the way Ishan Kishan is batting, I am feeling that he is going to force the team management to play him in the playing XI but No. 3 is the right position for Virat Kohli.”

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli (BCCI)

Virat Kohli, who batted at No. 3 in yesterday’s warm-up encounter, scored 11 runs off 13 deliveries. However, he wasn’t at his fluent best and will hope for a longer hit in the middle during the second warm-up match against Australia.

Earlier, England managed to score 188/5 after Jonny Bairstow’s 49 off 36 balls and Moeen Ali’s cameo of unbeaten 43 off 20 balls as Indian pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar(4 overs, 54 runs, 0 wickets) was taken to the cleaners. Mohammed Shami conceded 40 runs despite picking 3 scalps. For England, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood, Chris Jordan, Moeen Ali, and Adil Rashid were too expensive as all of them conceded 10 runs per over or more.

KL Rahul And Rohit Sharma (Image Credit: Twitter)
KL Rahul And Rohit Sharma (Image Credit: Twitter)
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KL Rahul Should Open Alongside Rohit Sharma In 2021 T20I World Cup: Aakash Chopra

Aakash Chopra has shared his wishlist about Team India ahead of the T20 World Cup warm-up game against England. It includes KL Rahul batting at the top of the order alongside Rohit Sharma.

The 15-member Indian squad has multiple opening spot options in Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, and Ishan Kishan. Skipper Virat Kohli had also expressed his wish to bat at the top of the order after India’s home series last match against England.

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

Aakash Chopra:  Now That KL Rahul Is Firing And Running Better, He Should Open Alongside Rohit Sharma

While reflecting on India’s opening conundrum, in a video shared on his YouTube channel, Aakash Chopra highlighted that KL Rahul is in better touch than Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli.

“The first thing is the batting order, who is going to open? Last time when they played, Rohit and Kohli had opened, and both had hit a lot and the talk started to make them open because Rahul was not making runs at that time. But now Rahul is firing. He is not walking; he is running and running better than Rohit and Virat.”

KL Rahul
KL Rahul (Image Credit: Twitter)

While picking Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul as his two openers, Aakash Chopra wants KL Rahul to be carefree and bat in a fearless approach.

“So, please get Rohit and Rahul to open. Virat Kohli at No.3, I want to see how Surya is batting. I want the carefree and fearless approach from Rahul. I want the big innings from Rohit because he is only showing the trailer, we haven’t seen the picture for a long time in white-ball cricket.”

KL Rahul brought his explosive side to the fore in the Punjab Kings’ last match of IPL 2021 against the Chennai Super Kings. Meanwhile, Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma got off to starts but did not play substantial knocks in the UAE leg of the tournament.

KL Rahul scored 626 runs from 13 innings in IPL 2021 while opening the batting for Punjab Kings and his last innings against Chennai Super Kings was breathtaking. The Punjab skipper smashed an unbeaten 98 off 42 balls with seven fours and eight sixes that took his overall strike rate to 138.30 at the end of the tournament.

The 23-year-old Ishan Kishan scored 84 off 32 balls and 50 not out off 25 balls at the top of the order in the final two games for Mumbai Indians, but it went in vain as the defending champions were knocked out of play-offs due to inferior net run-rate compared to Kolkata Knight Riders.

Aakash Chopra: If Hardik Pandya Is Unable To Bowl, Batting Order Will Be Changed Entirely

While naming Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya as his finishers, Aakash Chopra highlighted the question marks about the latter’s ability to bowl, though.

“Virat Kohli should continue playing the way he is playing. He anyways plays very well in the World Cup. I will keep Rishabh Pant at No.5, Hardik Pandya at No.6, and that’s my big question – Hardik Pandya’s bowling.”

The 44-year-old commentator added that India’s balance will be compromised if all-rounder Hardik Pandya can’t roll his arm over.
Aakash Chopra pointed out: “If Hardik Pandya is bowling, we are all happy. You will have to change your batting order entirely if Hardik Pandya is not bowling. How will you do that, I am unable to understand.”
Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Aakash Chopra concluded by saying that Team India will have a formidable look if Hardik Pandya is at his best both with bat and ball, which wasn’t on show in the recently concluded IPL 2021.

He reasoned: “Hardik Pandya at No.6 is only possible if you get him to bowl and he scores runs because he has not scored runs. If he is there at No.6 and Jaddu at No.7, you will have six bowling options and two rocket batsmen at No.6 and No.7.”

Team India will have their task cut out if Hardik Pandya can’t bowl. They would either have to bat Ravindra Jadeja at No.6 if they want an extra bowling option or hope that the five frontline bowlers would do the job.

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