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Jimmy Neesham

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New Zealand’s Pakistan Tour Subjected To Security Clearance After Taliban’s Afghanistan Takeover

New Zealand will go ahead with its tour of Pakistan subjected to clearance from security consultant Reg Dickason after some Kiwi players expressed concerns about touring the country following the militant group Taliban’s takeover of neighbouring Afghanistan.

New Zealand is due to reach Islamabad on September 11 to play three ODIs and five T20 Internationals in Rawalpindi and Lahore until October 3.

New Zealand Cricket Team
New Zealand Cricket Team-AFP

New Zealand Appointed International Security Consultant And Expert Reg Dickason To Visit Pakistan To Advise Whether Tour Will Go Ahead After Assessing Security

However, New Zealand Cricket officials have now commissioned an international security consultant and expert, Reg Dickason to visit Pakistan later this week to carry out thorough security and COVID-19 assessment before advising them whether they should send their team to Pakistan.

“Dickason has been a regular visit to Pakistan to carry out security and other cricket related assessments for the International Cricket Council and other boards in recent years so we are confident there is no one better than him to give a compressive report on the security situation in the region following the events in Afghanistan,” an official source in the Pakistan Cricket Board, said.

Kane Williamson (AP)
Kane Williamson (AP)

New Zealand is already set to field a depleted team with seven to eight of their leading players, including the captain, Kane Williamson, not coming due to their IPL commitments.

Kane Williamson and senior players like Trent Boult, Lockie Ferguson, Kyle Jamieson, Tim Siefert, Jimmy Neesham, Mitchel Santner have skipped the tour because of their commitments in the T20 event, while others like Tim Southee and Devon Conway are also unavailable for the Pakistan tour.

Tom Latham To Lead New Zealand In The Limited Overs Pakistan Tour In Several Cricketers Absence For IPL Commitments

New Zealand Cricket said on Wednesday that the players would have the right to withdraw from the tour if they felt uneasy about touring Pakistan even if the tour went ahead on the advice of Reg Dickason and other assessments.

New Zealand batsman Tom Latham acknowledges the crowd after reaching his century (Photo: AFP)
New Zealand batsman Tom Latham acknowledges the crowd after reaching his century (Photo: AFP)

New Zealand will be captained by senior batsman Tom Latham during the tour, which will be their first to the country since 2003. New Zealand cricket also has sent one of their officials and a security consultant in Bangladesh for a reconnaissance visit as their team first visits Bangladesh and then flies to Pakistan. New Zealand takes on Bangladesh in five T20Is in September, followed by three ODIs and five T20Is in Pakistan.

New Zealand has also named 15 member squad for the forthcoming T20 World Cup under the leadership of Kane Williamson. Ross Taylor, the veteran Kiwi batsman, and all-rounder Colin de Grandhomme are the major exclusions from the squad. New Zealand last toured Pakistan in November 2003 when they played five ODIs.

New Zealand T20 World Cup squad: Kane Williamson (c), Todd Astle, Trent Boult, Mark Chapman, Devon Conway, Lockie Ferguson, Martin Guptill, Kyle Jamieson, Daryl Mitchell, Jimmy Neesham, Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner, Tim Seifert (wk), Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Adam Milne (injury cover).

Squad for Bangladesh T20Is and Pakistan ODIs: Tom Latham (capt, wk), Finn Allen, Hamish Bennett, Tom Blundell (wk), Doug Bracewell, Colin de Grandhomme, Jacob Duffy, Matt Henry (ODI only), Scott Kuggeleijn, Cole McConchie, Henry Nicholls, Ajaz Patel, Rachin Ravindra, Ben Sears (T20 only), Blair Tickner, Will Young.
Squad for Pakistan T20Is: Tom Latham (capt, wk), Finn Allen, Todd Astle, Hamish Bennett, Tom Blundell (wk), Mark Chapman, Colin de Grandhomme, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Daryl Mitchell, Ajaz Patel, Ish Sodhi, Ben Sears, Blair Tickner, Will Young.
Inzamam-ul-Haq | AFP
Inzamam-ul-Haq | AFP
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Inzamam-ul-Haq Questions Why ICC Is Silent Despite Several New Zealand Players Pulling Out Of Pakistan Series For IPL 2021

Inzamam-ul-Haq lashed out at ICC and questioned its silence on the matter after being irked with New Zealand’s players’ decision to pull out of the Pakistan series for IPL 2021.

Ahead of the all-important T20 World Cup 2021, the New Zealand cricket team will square off against Bangladesh and Pakistan in a white-ball series between September 1 and October 3. While Pakistan will have their first-choice players for the series, New Zealand will be missing out on the services of 7 players who are in the WC squad as they will participate in IPL 2021 once it resumes which was criticized by Inzamam-ul-Haq.

Inzamam-ul-Haq JEWEL SAMAD / AFP
Inzamam-ul-Haq JEWEL SAMAD / AFP

Inzamam-ul-Haq: Pakistan Team Not Getting Proper Practice As They Aren’t Getting To Play Against Main Squads

New Zealand Cricket has released its players for the 2nd half of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 and 7 players, including skipper Kane Williamson, will be in UAE to take part in the T20 league.

Upset with NZ players pulling out of the Pakistan series to play IPL, former captain Inzamam-ul-Haq has lashed out at ICC and questioned its silence on the matter. As per Inzamam-ul-Haq, the players are giving more importance to private leagues instead of international cricket.

“Wherever the Pakistan team is going, they are not getting a chance to play against the main players. When we went to South Africa in April, they sent their players for the IPL. With the upcoming NZ series in Pakistan, eight NZ players have opted out of the tour to play IPL. Even in the recent England tour, the whole England team got changed due to COVID-19 in the camp,” Inzamam-ul-Haq said on his Youtube channel.

“I feel that the Pakistan team is not getting proper practice because they are not getting to play against the main players. What is the ICC doing? What message are they trying to give? Players are giving importance to private leagues and not international cricket. It’s like degrading international cricket. If you see the whole sequence, it’s happening only against Pakistan,” Inzamam-ul-Haq added.

New Zealand batsman Tom Latham
New Zealand batsman Tom Latham (Photo: AFP)

Trent Boult, Kyle Jamieson, Lockie Ferguson, Jimmy Neesham, Mitchell Santner, and Tim Seifert are other players who have been released by NZC.  Tom Latham will be leading NZ in both series.  Interestingly, he isn’t part of the T20 World Cup squad.

The 2nd phase of IPL 2021 will be played from September 19 to October 15 in the UAE. The T20 World Cup 2021 kicks off on October 17.  Following the ICC event, the NZ players will travel to India for T20I and Test series against the hosts.

Tom Latham To Lead New Zealand On Limited Overs Tours Of Pakistan And Bangladesh

Tom Latham will lead New Zealand in the absence of Kane Williamson on their white-ball tours of Pakistan and Bangladesh starting September.  The opener will stand in as leader on both tours across white-ball formats.  New Zealand takes on Bangladesh in five T20Is in September, followed by three ODIs and five T20Is in Pakistan.

New Zealand has also named 15 member squad for the forthcoming T20 World Cup under the leadership of Kane Williamson. Ross Taylor, the veteran Kiwi batsman, and all-rounder Colin de Grandhomme are the major exclusions from the squad. Ross Taylor. (Source: Twitter)

Ross Taylor. (Source: Twitter)

Todd Astle was picked along with two other spinners in the squad – legspinner Ish Sodhi and left-arm spinning allrounder Mitchell Santner. Trent Boult, Kyle Jamieson, Lockie Ferguson, Tim Southee will lead Kiwi’s pace attack. The same squad will also tour India later this year for three T20Is.

Adam Milne has been selected as the 16th man in the T20 World Cup squad as an injury cover.  New Zealand will make their first trip to Pakistan in 18 years this September to play three ODIs and five T20Is in the lead-up to the T20 World Cup that kickstarts on October 17.
New Zealand last toured Pakistan in November 2003 when they played five ODIs. A year before, their last Test appearance in Pakistan was at the Gaddafi Stadium in May 2002, which is remembered for Inzamam-ul-Haq’s 329 and Shoaib Akhtar’s six for 11 in the first innings that set the platform for an innings and 324-run victory.

New Zealand T20 World Cup squad: Kane Williamson (c), Todd Astle, Trent Boult, Mark Chapman, Devon Conway, Lockie Ferguson, Martin Guptill, Kyle Jamieson, Daryl Mitchell, Jimmy Neesham, Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner, Tim Seifert (wk), Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Adam Milne (injury cover).

Squad for Bangladesh T20Is and Pakistan ODIs: Tom Latham (capt, wk), Finn Allen, Hamish Bennett, Tom Blundell (wk), Doug Bracewell, Colin de Grandhomme, Jacob Duffy, Matt Henry (ODI only), Scott Kuggeleijn, Cole McConchie, Henry Nicholls, Ajaz Patel, Rachin Ravindra, Ben Sears (T20 only), Blair Tickner, Will Young.
Squad for Pakistan T20Is: Tom Latham (capt, wk), Finn Allen, Todd Astle, Hamish Bennett, Tom Blundell (wk), Mark Chapman, Colin de Grandhomme, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Daryl Mitchell, Ajaz Patel, Ish Sodhi, Ben Sears, Blair Tickner, Will Young.
New Zealand Cricket Team
New Zealand Cricket Team-AFP
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New Zealand Cricket Confirms Kane Williamson, James Neesham, And Lockie Ferguson Will Feature In The IPL 2021 2nd Phase

New Zealand Cricket’s (NZC) chief David White has confirmed the participation of New Zealand cricketers in the upcoming second phase of IPL 2021. Over the last few days, there have been several speculations on this topic, given that the Kiwis are to tour Pakistan in the September-October window.

With this tour clashing with the recently released schedule for the second phase of IPL 2021, many opined that the likes of Kane Williamson, Trent Boult, James Neesham, and others would not take part in the elite T20 tournament.

Kane Williamson of Sunrisers Hyderabad
Kane Williamson of Sunrisers Hyderabad

New Zealand Cricket Confirms Kane Williamson, James Neesham, And Lockie Ferguson Will Feature In The IPL 2021 2nd Phase

Further doubts were raised about their availability after the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) requested two additional T20I matches apart from the already planned three ODIs and three T20Is. However, David White stated that these cricketers would give precedence to the IPL to be played in the UAE, the same place where the upcoming T20 World Cup will be held.

“New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson, Trent Boult, James Neesham, and Lockie Ferguson will feature in the second phase of the IPL 2021 in the UAE,” David White said as quoted by GeoTV.

New Zealand Cricketers In IPL 2021 (Picture Credit: BCCI/IPL)
New Zealand Cricketers In IPL 2021 (Picture Credit: BCCI/IPL)

New Zealand Players in IPL 2021: Kane Williamson (Sunrisers Hyderabad), Adam Milne (Mumbai Indians), Trent Boult (Mumbai Indians), Mitchell Santner (Chennai Super Kings), Lockie Ferguson (Kolkata Knight Riders), Tim Seifert (Kolkata Knight Riders), Finn Allen (Royal Challengers Bangalore), Kyle Jamieson (Royal Challengers Bangalore).

The IPL bound players include the likes of Kyle Jamieson, Trent Boult, Kane Williamson, Lockie Ferguson, Jimmy Neesham, Tim Seifert, and Finn Allen. The Blackcaps will open their new WTC campaign (2021-23) against India. The Kiwis did not lose a single Test to Virat Kohli’s men in the first edition of the tournament. The Blackcaps will play its first home series(2 Tests) of the new WTC tournament versus Bangladesh.

BCCI In Talks With Cricket Australia And England And Wales Cricket Board To Come To A Consensus Regarding Players’ Availability

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is also in talks with Cricket Australia (CA) and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to come to a consensus about their players’ availability.

“We are much relieved now. BCCI are in talks with English and Australian boards to come to a consensus regarding this. Given April and May are earmarked for the IPL, they are right to raise their own objections, but we are now confirmed to witness New Zealand players in action,” one of the franchise officials told Cricket.com last month after hearing the rumours.

New Zealand have not toured Pakistan since December 2003 Getty Images
New Zealand have not toured Pakistan since December 2003 Getty Images

The second phase of IPL 2021 is scheduled to begin on September 19 and will close with the final on October 15. New Zealand is likely to tour Pakistan for a limited-overs series just before the T20 World Cup. The last time Blackcaps toured Pakistan was in 2003, where they were white-washed in the five-match ODI series.

New Zealand Cricket Team
New Zealand Cricket Team-AFP
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New Zealand Is Likely To Tour Pakistan For Limited-Overs Series Ahead Of The T20 World Cup

New Zealand is likely to tour Pakistan for a limited-overs series just before the T20 World Cup. The last time Blackcaps toured Pakistan was in 2003, where they were white-washed in the five-match ODI series.

From 2009 to 2019, Pakistan was unable to host international matches in Pakistan after the terror attack in 2009 on the touring Sri Lanka cricket team bus. A bus carrying Sri Lankan cricketers, part of a larger convoy, was fired upon by 12 gunmen near Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore, Pakistan but the cricketers luckily escaped with minor injuries.

New Zealand have not toured Pakistan since December 2003 Getty Images
New Zealand have not toured Pakistan since December 2003 Getty Images

New Zealand Is Working Out On A Bilateral Series With Pakistan

This decade led to almost no international cricket taking place in Pakistan and Pakistan played its home series in the UAE (specifically Dubai and Abu Dhabi). After the year 2019, international test cricket returned to Pakistan as the security situation improved.

The NZC and the PCB are in talks regarding the bilateral series, David White, chief executive of the board confirmed.

“Our intention is to tour Pakistan, and we’re working through that with [the PCB], and Government agencies. All going well, ensuring that we satisfy all the security arrangements which I’m confident we will do, we will be touring Pakistan,” White was quoted as saying in stuff.co.nz.

New Zealand Cricketers In IPL 2021 (Picture Credit: BCCI/IPL)
New Zealand Cricketers In IPL 2021 (Picture Credit: BCCI/IPL)

Meanwhile, a packed schedule for the Kiwis in the next 12 months awaits the cricketers. After the upcoming T20 World Cup, they will play in nine WTC matches as well. Also, some players are set to take part in the second leg of IPL 2021 too.

“There’s a lot of moving parts right now, but ideally we would allow our guys to play in the IPL,” White said.

New Zealand last toured Pakistan in 2003, the year after a suicide bombing outside their Karachi hotel killed 15 people. The IPL bound players include the likes of Kyle Jamieson, Trent Boult, Kane Williamson, Lockie Ferguson, Jimmy Neesham, Tim Seifert, and Finn Allen.

The Blackcaps will open their new WTC campaign (2021-23) against India. The Kiwis did not lose a single Test to Virat Kohli’s men in the first edition of the tournament. The Blackcaps will play its first home series(2 Tests) of the new WTC tournament versus Bangladesh.

The Proteas will pay a visit to New Zealand for a 2-Test series in February 2022. New Zealand will then travel to the United Kingdom again in the 2022 English summer to play a 3-Test series against England. The United Arab Emirates will likely host the 2-match Test series between Pakistan and New Zealand. New Zealand will conclude its campaign with a 2-Test home series against Sri Lanka.

Brad Hogg Praises Wonderful Performance From New Zealand To Win Inaugural WTC Beating India In The Final

Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor played unbeaten knocks off 52 and 47 respectively as New Zealand defeated India by eight wickets to clinch the inaugural edition of the WTC.

On the other hand, after India’s loss in the WTC final, former Australia spinner Brad Hogg said, “A wonderful performance from New Zealand. India had their chances at the back end of the Test match to stay in it and win it. (Cheteshwar) Pujara dropping (Ross) Taylor with 55 runs still needed at that stage proved extremely costly. It was the final day of a final.”

New Zealand's Kane Williamson celebrates with the trophy and teammates after winning the final of the ICC World Test Championship. Photograph: John Sibley/Reuters
New Zealand’s Kane Williamson celebrates with the trophy and teammates after winning the final of the ICC World Test Championship. Photograph: John Sibley/Reuters

“There was pressure. You had (Henry) Nicholls, Watling was injured. Anything could have happened with the pressure around there. Taylor went, (Kane) Williamson might have played a rash shot as well, not having that experience up at the other end,” he further said.

The architects of New Zealand’s victory were Kane Williamson(49 and 52*), Kyle Jamieson (5/31 in the 1st innings), and Tim Southee (4/48 in the 2nd innings). New Zealand was so disciplined with the ball throughout the match that they didn’t let an Indian batsman score a fifty in the entire Test.

New Zealand Cricketers In IPL 2021 (Picture Credit: BCCI/IPL)
New Zealand Cricketers In IPL 2021 (Picture Credit: BCCI/IPL)
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New Zealand Players To Play In Remainder Of IPL 2021

IPL 2021 in its 14th year was indefinitely postponed on May 4 after there was a breach in the bio-bubble and a number of players and support staff tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has now decided to host the tournament in September and October in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The rescheduling of the IPL 2021 has caused a lot of buzz among the fans and the Indian cricket fraternity. However, some franchises received massive blows when it was learned that many overseas players won’t be able to make it to the UAE leg of the league. Rajasthan Royals (RR) star player England’s Jos Buttler made himself unavailable for the remainder of the cash-rich tournament.

Jos Buttler, Rajasthan Royals, IPL 2021
Jos Buttler, Rajasthan Royals, IPL 2021
[photo: Twitter]

IPL 2021 Remaining Matches To See Participation Of New Zealand Players

The remaining matches of IPL 2021 are likely to clash with the international schedules of almost all cricket countries. The cricket boards didn’t seem much interested in meddling with their international schedule to again accommodate the 2nd phase of IPL 2021. However, it has been learned that the Black Caps’ players have confirmed their availability for the remaining matches of the tournament to be staged in UAE.

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

A source close to an IPL franchise revealed that New Zealand players will be participating in the UAE leg of IPL 2021. The source also confirmed that the Indian board is in talks with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and Cricket Australia (CA) to ensure the availability of Australian and England players too.

7 New Zealand Players Have Contract With IPL Franchises 

Notably, as many as seven Kiwi players have a contract with different IPL franchises. The seven IPL bound players include the likes of Kyle Jamieson, Trent Boult, Kane Williamson, Lockie Ferguson, Jimmy Neesham, Tim Seifert, and Finn Allen.

Kyle Jamieson
Kyle Jamieson. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

A report has quoted an IPL franchise official, who confirmed the availability of Black Caps’ players.

He said, “We are much relieved now. BCCI is in talks with English and Australian boards to come to a consensus regarding this. Given April and May are earmarked for the IPL, they are right to raise their own objections but we are now confirmed to witness New Zealand players in action.”

Meanwhile, West Indies players in the likes of Andre Russell, Dwayne Bravo, and Kieron Pollard will also be present on IPL 2021 as Cricket West Indies (CWI) preponed CPL 2021 to ensure that it doesn’t clash with the Indian league.

Sam Curran, Moeen Ali, Jason Behrendorff of CSK, Eoin Morgan, Pat Cummins, Shakib Al Hasan of KKR, Sam Billings, Chris Woakes, Tom Curran, Steve Smith, Marcus Stoinis of DC, Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer, Liam Livingstone, Andrew Tye, Mustafizur Rahman of RR,  Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, Adam Zampa of RCB, Chris Jordan, Dawid Malan, Moises Henriques, Jhye Richardson, Riley Meredith of Punjab Kings may miss the 2nd leg of IPL 2021.

James Pamment, former New Zealand cricketer. (Photo Source: Stuff.co.nz)
James Pamment, former New Zealand cricketer. (Photo Source: Stuff.co.nz)
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Some Senior Indians Didn’t Like Being Restricted Inside IPL 2021 Bio Bubble, Says James Pamment

James Pamment, Mumbai Indians’ (MI) fielding coach has claimed that some senior Indian players did not like being subjected to restrictions inside the currently-suspended Indian Premier League’s (IPL) bio-bubble, but it felt completely safe until the time cases from participating teams hadn’t come to light.

James Pamment did not elaborate on his assertion about the Indian players and did not take any names either. The IPL was suspended on May 4.

Mumbai Indians
Mumbai Indians (Image Credit: Twitter)

James Pamment: Some Indian Senior Players Didn’t Like Being Restricted

James Pamment, along with Trent Boult, Finn Allen, Jimmy Neesham, Adam Milne, Scott Kuggeleijn, Shane Bond, and Mike Hesson reached their country Saturday night after IPL 2021 was suspended midway owing to the rising cases of Covid-19 in the country.

“Some of the senior Indian guys don’t like being restricted and told what to do,” he was quoted as saying by stuff.co.nz.

“But we did feel safe – at no point did we feel the bubble would be compromised…We felt travel was always going to be a challenge.”

Trent Boult and Jasprit Bumrah | MI Twitter
Trent Boult and Jasprit Bumrah | MI Twitter

The New Zealander, a former Northern Districts coach, said he and the MI players started to feel apprehensive shortly before the competition was halted.

“It was when cases started to come with the teams [that the concerns grew]. They [players] were a little more fearful, a little more apprehensive,” said the 52-year-old, who returned home on Saturday.

“Chennai (Super Kings) announced their cases and we’d played Chennai at the weekend, so straight away the dynamic changed; I certainly noticed from within my group. I’d spend most of my time with the Kiwis and the Aussies; their mindset had changed. We started to get Indian guys in our environment whose families were sick. There were bereavements as well and we were taking a bit of a cue from those guys who were saying ‘no, we want to carry on’ and the messages were coming back that this is a good distraction.”

James Pamment, who had been in India since January said he felt safe in the bio-secure bubble set up by Mumbai Indians and it was only the inter-city travel that was posed a concerning issue, according to him.

James Pamment  Felt Confident Of Being Fine As Long As Everyone Was Disciplined And Wasn’t Tempted

James Pamment said at no stage did he feel his health was going to be put in jeopardy within the bubble set up by MI at a Mumbai hotel.

“…as long as everyone was disciplined and people weren’t tempted, you did feel confident you’d be fine, and everybody around you would be fine…an extremely safe bubble being formed.”

James Pamment
James Pamment Image courtesy Mumbai Indians

He said long before the suspension of IPL 2021 that he was aware of the pandemic getting worse in India and the event should not have been spread across six venues.

“If it (IPL) had been held solely in Mumbai, perhaps it’d have been easily managed, but once cases rise in Mumbai, you’re looking at ground staff, you’re looking at different service-type people that it’s going to be hard to manage,” he said.

“We had a case ourselves on our first travel to Chennai – it was a support-staff member, fortunately picked up very quickly and he was isolated, and none of the people considered close contacts to him were infected. It was a very early reminder that your bubble’s not impenetrable. We probably got even stricter around how we operated.”

He also said that allowing 70,000 spectators in Ahmedabad for the last two-Test matches of the 4 Tests series against England “was a little irresponsible and now Ahmedabad is a hot-bed of Covid.”

Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra. (Photo Source: Twitter)
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IPL 2021: Aakash Chopra Picks 6 Players Whose Recent Performances Should Excite Franchises

Aakash Chopra, former Indian opening batsman turned commentator has picked six players drafted by different franchises for IPL 2021 whose recent performances should excite their respective IPL franchises.

He named the players in a video shared on his YouTube channel.

Aakash Chopra. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Aakash Chopra Picks Devdutt Padikkal, Prithvi Shaw, And Suryakumar Yadav As Indian Batsmen Whose Recent Forms Will Delight Respective Franchises In IPL

The cricketer-turned-commentator noted that opener Devdutt Padikkal’s consistent performances in the ongoing Vijay Hazare Trophy will delight the Royal Challengers Bangalore. He is the leading run-scorer with 572 runs at a staggering average of 190.67 playing only 5 games in the ongoing Vijay Hazare Trophy.

“I will talk about Devdutt Padikkal first. He is the future of Indian cricket and RCB’s present. He is in absolutely red-hot form. He has scored three consecutive hundreds in the Vijay Hazare Trophy. His lowest score in the last five games is 52. He is definitely going to open for RCB. I am pretty sure RCB is looking at his form very closely and India is also looking at it very closely because he is a long-term prospect,” said Aakash Chopra.

Prithvi Shaw @ AFP Tweeted By ICC
Prithvi Shaw @ AFP Tweeted By ICC

Aakash Chopra believes Prithvi Shaw who scored a tournament-record score of an unbeaten 227 in the ongoing Vijay Hazare Trophy, will hold the Delhi Capitals and the diminutive opener in good stead. Prithvi Shaw didn’t have a good tour to Australia earlier in 2020-21 where the gap between his bat and pad was exposed.

“The second player I want to talk about is Prithvi Shaw. It seems like he is hurt because of not being considered for the Indian team. He scored a double-century in a List A game as a captain. He scored 227 not out off 152 balls, that’s a stellar performance. The Delhi Capitals will be happy and from his point of view, it is important that he scores runs,” observed Chopra.

Suryakumar Yadav scored 512 runs, 424 runs, and 480 runs respectively in IPL 2018,2019 and 2020. His average was also above 30 every time for Mumbai Indians after a modest outing for Kolkata Knight Riders from 2014 to 2017. He returned to Mumbai Indians in 2018 after a short stint from 2011-2013. His impressive show in IPL saw him being inducted in India’s squad for 5 T20Is against England.

Aakash Chopra: Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Santner, And Jimmy Neesham’s Performances In Ongoing Australia-New Zealand T20I Series Will Delight Franchises

Aakash Chopra believes the Delhi Capitals franchise will be ecstatic after seeing all-rounder Marcus Stoinis’ swashbuckling knock for Australia in the second T20I against New Zealand.

“At No.4, I am keeping Marcus Stoinis. He is one of the most improved all-rounders in the recent times. He is pulling his weight in the side and how. He scored 78 off 37 balls, he demolished the opposition team. DC must be very excited because he is a very good acquisition,” said Chopra.

The 43-year-old reckons Mitchell Santner’s spell of 4/31 in the same Australia-New Zealand encounter should make his franchise Chennai Super Kings happy.

“Next in my list is Mitchell Santner who took 4 wickets. It was a high-scoring encounter but this player did his job. Chennai Super Kings must be excited because they have let go of a few spinners. He might just slip into their playing XI very often,” observed Aakash Chopra.

James Neesham
BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND – JUNE 26: Jimmy Neesham of New Zealand during the Group Stage match of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 between New Zealand and Pakistan at Edgbaston on June 26, 2019 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Andy Kearns/Getty Images)

Aakash Chopra signed off by stating that Jimmy Neesham’s destructive knock and match-winning final over would have thrilled the Mumbai Indians.

“Last but not the least, Jimmy Neesham. He smashed 45 not out off 16 balls including four consecutive sixes. Mumbai Indians have acquired him at base price. He will not play at the start but eventually there is a possibility he might play because of the balance,” concluded Chopra.

Australian Marcus Stoinis scored 78 runs in the 2nd T20I while New Zealand’s Jimmy Neesham scored a breezy 45 in the 2nd T20I after a quick 26 in the 1st T20I. In the 2nd T20I, Mitchell Santner returned with figures of 4/31.

Besides the aforementioned players, the performances of Krunal Pandya, Robin Uthappa, Siddharth Kaul, and Dhawal Kulkarni in the Vijay Hazare Trophy would delight their respective franchises.

Aakash Chopra, Fab Four, Steven Smith, Joe Root
Aakash Chopra. Photo Credit: BCCI/IPL.
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Aakash Chopra Criticizes Kings XI Punjab’s Tactics After Their Loss To Mumbai Indians In IPL 2020

Aakash Chopra has criticized the Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) management after they lost their third match of the season to Mumbai Indians. KXIP have been at the receiving end of all the criticism for their wrong tactics. Aakash Chopra questioned the decision to give inexperienced Krishnappa Gowtham the last over of the Mumbai Indians innings where the off-spinner was smacked for 25 runs.

Moreover, Sheldon Cottrell, their best bowler of the day, wasn’t given the ball in the death overs as his quota was finished much earlier in the Mumbai Indians innings. Sheldon Cottrell had gone for 30 runs in the previous game while bowling at the death overs and for the same reason in all probability, KL Rahul finished all of his overs. But Jimmy Neesham and Krishnappa Gowtham bowled three of the last five overs and KXIP ended up conceding 104 runs in the last six overs.

Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra. Image Credit: Twitter.

Aakash Chopra Didn’t Like Idea Of Jimmy Neesham Playing

Aakash Chopra also didn’t like the idea of all-rounder Jimmy Neesham playing while stating that the Kiwi all-rounder is neither a proper bowler nor a batsman.

“First thing is that Kings XI Punjab is not playing the right team. Honestly, they are the only team in the world where Mujeeb is not able to make it to the playing XI after being in the squad. They play Neesham, an overseas fast bowler, who neither bowls in the powerplay nor in the death overs.”

Jimmy Neesham
Jimmy Neesham. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

“He is neither a great finisher nor a big batsman who bats in the top four or five. So why is Kings XI Punjab playing him? You are playing a player who is not really a match-winner,” he said while speaking on his Youtube channel.

KXIP are facing a selection dilemma with players like big-hitter Chris Gayle not playing as both Mayank Agarwal and KL Rahul scoring big runs opening the batting. Chris Jordan also has played just 1 game and there are not great players on the bench as the likes of Hardus Viljoen, Arshdeep Singh, Darshan Nalkande, Tajinder Singh, Simran Singh, Harpreet Brar, and Jagadeesha Sucith lacks experience.

They are yet to try out Bengal’s pacer Ishan Porel, Mandeep Singh, and Deepak Hooda in IPL 2020. Mujeeb ur Rahman is yet to be played though he had taken IPL 2018 by storm on his way to picking 14 wickets in 11 matches at under 7 runs an over.

Aakash Chopra Also Not Pleased With Jimmy Neesham, Krishnappa Gowtham, And Even Mohammed Shami Bowling Death Overs

Aakash Chopra wasn’t pleased at all with the duo of Jimmy Neesham and Krishnappa Gowtham bowling the death overs of the innings. He also stressed that Mohammed Shami is also not a gun death bowler as well. The pacer went for 19 runs in the penultimate over of the innings.

“They bowled Sheldon Cottrell at the start and finished his quota of overs before the 15th over. What sort of bowling is that, you have to get him to the death.”

Sheldon Cottrell
Sheldon Cottrell. Image credits: ANI

“Otherwise who will bowl at the death, Jimmy Neesham and Krishnappa Gowtham with Mohammed Shami. Shami is not India’s gun death bowler and then they give the 20th over to Gowtham, an off-spinner in the 20th over. You don’t even give that over to Sunil Narine, Ravichandan Ashwin or Harbhajan Singh nowadays and you gave it to Gowtham,” the 43-year-old further added.

Jimmy Neesham has played 3 matches but has taken only 1 wicket besides scoring 7 runs.

Jimmy Neesham, KXIP, IPL 2020
Jimmy Neesham. Photo Credit: Getty Images.
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IPL 2020: Jimmy Neesham Wants To Learn To Play Spin From Anil Kumble

Jimmy Neesham, the New Zealand all-rounder picked up three wickets off seven overs in the thrilling final which was decided on boundary count after scores were tied even after Super Over. New Zealand had scored 241/8 but Ben Stokes of England who incidentally was born in New Zealand scored an unbeaten 84 to tie the match.

Jimmy Neesham was in the middle, fighting till the very last against England. The all-rounder took three wickets in the title clash besides effecting a last-ball run-out that tied the match and then scored 13 off five balls against Jofra Archer in the super over.

Then, Martin Guptill’s run out happened and the match got tied for the second time, and England took the trophy simply because they had more boundaries.

Jimmy Neesham
Jimmy Neesham. (Photo by Andy Kearns/Getty Images)

Jimmy Neesham: New Zealand Simply Unlucky To Lose 2019 World Cup Final

New Zealand were unlucky to lose their second successive final in 2015 and 2019 after England won due to scoring more boundaries. The boundary count rule was definitely controversial and was rejected later mainly due to protests.

“At the end there was no skill involved…we were unlucky,” Neesham says in an interview from Dubai, where he is with his IPL franchise Kings XI Punjab.

The IPL will be his first tournament in six months after the corona-virus induced break and the 29-year-old talks about his excitement in being back on the field and how he’s hoping to learn how to tackle spin from Anil Kumble.

” New Zealand is not as badly hit as a lot of other countries. One month would have been good, but at the end it was a six,” Said Jimmy Neesham while commenting on lockdown.

Anil Kumble
Anil Kumble. Photo Credit: IPL/BCCI.

“The reason we don’t have a franchise T20 Cup has nothing to do with the lack of quality players. There are NZ players who are good enough to be picked up as an overseas player in the IPL,” said Jimmy Neesham while commenting on absence of T20 league in New Zealand.

“So, may be one day we have little more exposure for New Zealanders so that the local players can get bit more of an even shot. My role is to take the opportunity as given, being among the five-six guys who have got the opportunity to play in IPL,” he added.

Jimmy Neesham is present while some others like Colin Munro, Martin Guptill and Colin De Grandhomme missed out on an opportunity to play in IPL 2020. The six New Zealand players who will play in the IPL are Jimmy Neesham (KXIP), Lockie Ferguson (KKR), Mitchell McClenaghan and Trent Boult (MI), Kane Williamson (SRH) and Mitchell Santner (CSK).

Jimmy Neesham Want To Make Most Of the Opportunity To Win A Global Trophy

Although New Zealand appeared in two World Cup finals and a World T20 semi-final finish in last five years, they have not won a coveted ICC trophy since 2000. The last and the only time they won an ICC trophy was when they won Champions Trophy in 2000.

“So, we need to make most of the opportunity by winning a global trophy. We haven’t done that since the 2000 (The ICC Champions Trophy).” said Jimmy Neesham.

“But we have few global tournaments coming in the next few years with a couple of T20 World Cups and the 2023 ODI World Cup as well,” siad he while commenting on future of New Zealand cricket.

New Zealand won 2000 ICC Champions Trophy
New Zealand won the 2000 ICC Champions Trophy. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

“When you have one of the best spinners of all time in your team, I think it’s foolish to not talk about how to play spin, especially in the subcontinent. I am going to talk about how to play spin basically,” said Jimmy Neesham on learning from coach Anil Kumble.

“We have to be vigilant about what’s coming. Fast bowlers won’t enjoy me saying this, but as all-rounders we do it twice as hard as anyone,” said fast bowling all-rounder Jimmy Neesham.

James Neesham has picked up only one wicket in 4 IPL matches way back in 2014 for Delhi Daredevils.

Jimmy Neesham, KXIP, IPL 2020
Jimmy Neesham. Photo Credit: Getty Images.
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IPL 2020: Jimmy Neesham Getting Bored In Bio-Secure Bubble Asks Fan To Give Him Contact Numbers For Renting A Golf Simulator

Jimmy Neesham, who is set to play for Kings XI Punjab, is getting bored in the bio-secure bubble while the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 is set to begin from 19th September.

To live in a bio-secure bubble is a tough challenge, especially mentally, because the players are not allowed to meet any outsider or enjoy or room freely outside their hotels. All thanks to the coronavirus.

As per norms, the players will have to stay in a bubble to curb the spread of the infectious virus. The rules have become more strict after the virus spread in the CSK camp.

KXIP, IPL, UAE
Image Credit: Twitter.

Taking to Twitter, Jimmy Neesham wrote that he was desperate to do something in the IPL bubble. For which, he has asked the Twitter users to give contact numbers for renting a gold simulator for two months, which means till the tournament gets over.

“Does anybody have contacts for renting a golf simulator for the 2 months while we’re in Dubai? Desperate for something to do in the IPL bubble!”

Several players Virat Kohli, Shikhar Dhawan and others have talked about how challenging is for the players to remain positive while surviving in the current scenario.

Jimmy Neesham first IPL season for KXIP:

Jimmy Neesham,
Jimmy Neesham. (Photo by Andy Kearns/Getty Images)

New Zealand allrounder Jimmy Neesham will make his debut for KXIP, under the new captain KL Rahul and coach Anil Kumble. He last played for Delhi Capitals in 2014 since then he hasn’t been featured in IPL.

Apart from Jimmy Neesham, some of the other new players to join the KXIP this year, include  Sheldon Cottrell and Glenn Maxwell.

Under the new leadership, the franchise would like to take their maiden IPL title home. They will play the first match against Delhi Capitals on 20 September.

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