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Kevin Pietersen

Kevin Pietersen file image | Faheem Hussain - Sportzpics
Kevin Pietersen file image | Faheem Hussain - Sportzpics
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Kevin Pietersen Picked His Best 11 After 2021 T20I World Cup Concludes; David Warner Left Out

Kevin Pietersen, the former England superstar, has also picked his Best XI on the completion of the T20I World Cup in a blog after Australia won their maiden title. Interestingly, Kevin Pietersen has picked a spinner (Wanindu Hasaranga) and a batsman (Charith Asalanka) from Sri Lanka. Both have shown enormous promise.

Pietermaritzburg (Natal)-born Kevin Pietersen has chosen South Africans batsman Aiden Markram and pacer Anrich Nortje in his XI. Anrich Nortje has emerged as a top T20I bowler and should be a hot property in the big IPL 2022 auctions early next year.

Kevin Pietersen
Kevin Pietersen. Image Credits: Twitter

Kevin Pietersen Picked 2021 T20I World Cup Top Scorer Babar Azam In His XI

Another ICC event has ended, and every cricket lover is busy picking his best XI of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup. In a format where the margin of error is virtually negligible, it is extremely difficult to shortlist the best 11 players. The T20I  World Cup 2021 in UAE has been a tournament of comebacks.

If Player of the Tournament opener David Warner and Mitchell Marsh turned up for Australia at a time when critics had written them off after defeats against West Indies and even Bangladesh prior to WC, debutants Namibia caught the eye with some spirited performances.

At the same time, Pakistan rose from the ashes, and India’s pride as a T20I monster was buried. A World Cup tests the skills, temperament, and application of every cricketer. India was a classic example of how reputation can go for a toss if a team has two bad days in office.

After losing for the first time in a World Cup against arch-rivals Pakistan and then being humbled by New Zealand, India was always playing catch-up in their group and eventually did not qualify for the knockouts. As a result, Virat Kohli, who was captaining India for the last time in T20Is, had to leave UAE a disappointed man.

Babar Azam
Babar Azam (Photo by Aamir QURESHI / AFP via Getty Images)

Pakistan and Australia were never the bookmaker’s favourites. Australia had never won the T20 World Cup, and Aaron Finch’s team arrived in the Emirates, sans the aura of formidability usually associated with an Australian cricket team. A defeat against India in a warm-up match did no good to their morale.

A loss against England in a group match further exposed their vulnerability. But then the Aussies made a stunning turnaround, improved every match largely due to their top-order batting where David Warner and Mitchell Marsh were simply outstanding.

Even when the ICC named their dream 11 at the end of the T20 World Cup, there was not a single Indian player. There were no Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, and Jasprit Bumrah – the world’s leading players in the game’s shortest format. And even more surprising, there was no Mitchell Marsh, who anchored Australia to their maiden T20 World Cup title.

Invariably, the ICC had a jury comprising former cricketers, journalists, and even match officials who racked their brains to arrive at a list agreeable to all. ICC produced a team with Pakistan’s Babar Azam as captain. No one questioned Babar Azam’s selection. He led Pakistan from the front in every game till Mathew Wade played an unbelievable inning to end the fairy-tale run by the Green Shirts.

While Babar Azam scored 303 runs in 6 innings, David Warner managed 289 runs in 7 innings, followed by Pakistan’s Mohammad Rizwan (281 runs) and Jos Buttler (269 runs).

Kevin Pietersen Didn’t Pick Player Of The Tournament David Warner In His XI.

Interestingly, there is no David Warner, no Mitchell Marsh, Kane Williamson, or Daryl Mitchell in Kevin Pietersen’s Best XI. Kevin Pietersen has gone with four specialist batsmen, three all-rounders, and four specialist bowlers, two of whom are leg-spinners.

Australia's David Warner (Associated Press)
Australia’s David Warner (Associated Press)

Kevin Pietersen’s Best XI

Mohammad Rizwan (Pakistan, 281 runs): Consistent run-scorer at the top of Pakistan’s line-up, who did brilliantly to battle back from illness and scored 67 against Australia in the semi-final.

Jos Buttler (England, 269 runs): Magnificent century against Sri Lanka was the highlight of a superb tournament for England’s opener.

Babar Azam (Pakistan, 303 runs): Proved once more that he is among the most consistent and best T20 batters in the world.

Charith Asalanka (Sri Lanka, 231 runs): One of several exciting young Sri Lankan players who we can look forward to watching again at next year’s T20 World Cup in Australia.

Aiden Markram (South Africa, 162 runs): A solid presence in South Africa’s middle-order and bowled some useful overs with the new ball.

Moeen Ali (England, 92 runs): A very versatile and important member of England’s side, who impressed with bat and ball.

Wanindu Hasaranga (Sri Lanka, 119 runs, 16 wickets): The tournament’s leading wicket-taker with his devilish leg-spin, and showed his potential with the bat, too.

Adam Zampa (Australia, 13 wickets): Wicket-taking ability in the middle overs was one of the key reasons why Australia won the tournament.

Trent Boult (New Zealand, 13 wickets): Once again proved his worth to New Zealand with a string of timely and important wickets.

Anrich Nortje (South Africa, 9 wickets): Becoming a leader in South Africa’s attack after taking more wickets in the tournament than all but five bowlers.

Shaheen Shah Afridi (Pakistan, 7 wickets): A sensational new-ball spell against India set Pakistan’s tournament tone.

Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma | AFP
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Kevin Pietersen Picks Rohit Sharma As Top Run Scorer And Shaheen Shah Afridi As Top Wicket Taker In 2021 T20I WC

Kevin Pietersen picked the top run-scorer and highest wicket-takers of the T20 World Cup 2021. He also predicted the two favourites to lift the title. The T20 World Cup has begun, and so has Kevin Pietersen’s predictions. The former England captain has named India and England as his two favourite teams to win the T20 World Cup.

India is a three-time World Cup winner (1983 and 2011 ODI World cups and 2007 T20I World Cups), while England is the reigning world champions of one-day internationals in 2019, but if it comes to choosing between the two, Kevin Pietersen remains fateful towards the team he represented for eight years.

Kevin Pietersen
Kevin Pietersen. Image Credits: Twitter

Kevin Pietersen: Selection Of Tymal Mills Swings It In England’s Favour

Tymal Mills announced himself as a fast bowler on the rise in 2016 when he rearranged Chris Gayle’s stumps with a 150kph yorker in a T20 Blast match at Hove. Five years later, his dismissal of the same man confirmed his return to the big stage after a long struggle with injuries.

“I think it’s between India and England, it’s always tough to call between two good teams in the T20 format. I do think Morgan’s team has got a really good chance, though. Every single team fears England. Their firepower with the bat is the envy of other players on the circuit,” Pietersen wrote in his blog.

Shaheen Shah Afridi (Image Credit: Twitter)
Shaheen Shah Afridi (Image Credit: Twitter)

“They play without fear, without consequences, and when you have the backing of everybody in the dressing room to do what you do then you’re going to get results. I think the selection of Mills swings it in their direction.”

Weighing in further, Kevin Pietersen picked India star batsman Rohit Sharma to finish the T20 World Cup as its leading run-getter while backing Pakistan left-arm pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi to emerge with the most wickets.

“Rohit is just a class act in all formats in all conditions. He is very unlikely to struggle for form in this tournament, such is his consistency, and we know that the top of the innings is the best time to bat. I’m pretty sure I won’t be faraway with this one,” added Pietersen under the top run-scorer sub-heading.

“Shaheen is another key reason why I expect Pakistan to go so well. He’s brilliant with the new ball and I expect him to make mincemeat of a few top orders that fancy themselves,” Pietersen wrote in the top wicket-taker sub heading.

In Pakistan’s opening game against India, lanky paceman Shaheen Shah Afridi put India on the back foot from the start with the wickets of openers Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul off his first seven deliveries. He finished with 3-31 after dismissing India’s top scorer, skipper Virat Kohli for 57 in a total of 151-7 in 20 overs.

Kevin Pietersen: 2021 T20I World cup Could Be Remembered As Glenn Maxwell’s Tournament

As for the Player of the tournament, Kevin Pietersen picked Glenn Maxwell to walk away with the honour. Coming off a high in the IPL 2021 for Royal Challengers Bangalore, where Glenn Maxwell scored 513 runs, including six half-centuries, Kevin Pietersen is confident that the 33-year-old Australia all-rounder will be instrumental in getting his team some important wins.

The all-rounder, who did not hit even a single six for the Punjab Kings (PBKS) last year, was a rock in the RCB middle order, pocketing 513 runs at an average of 42.75 and a strike rate of 144.10.

“Like Pakistan, Australia are going under the radar. They have a superb pace attack, and they also have a stunning T20 player in red-hot form in their ranks. Maxwell was unbelievable for RCB in the IPL recently, scoring four 50s in five innings, and could win Australia some matches by himself. I think if he can take them through the group stage and into the latter stages, this could be remembered as Maxwell’s tournament,” Pietersen pointed out.

Glenn Maxwell
Glenn Maxwell

Glenn Maxwell is yet to fire as he has managed to score 18 against South Africa and only 5 against Sri Lanka the other night, but Australia won both the matches by 5 wickets and 7 wickets, respectively. David Warner’s 65 and spinner Adam Zampa’s 2/12 tilted the match in Australia’s favour against Sri Lanka as they cruised to a win chasing 155 with 3 overs remaining.

Kevin Pietersen file image | Faheem Hussain - Sportzpics
Kevin Pietersen file image | Faheem Hussain - Sportzpics
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India Should Play With Pakistan In 3 T20Is At A Neutral Venue Over A 5 Day Period: Kevin Pietersen

Kevin Pietersen, the former England skipper on Monday suggested that arch-rivals India and Pakistan should play every year in three T20Is at a neutral venue. Former England player Kevin Pietersen suggested a three-match T20I series between India and Pakistan annually, which will add to financial benefits to both the boards.

Kevin Pietersen’s suggestion comes after India and Pakistan’s T20 World Cup game on Sunday witnessed a viewership of more than 1 billion. The former England captain also suggested that whoever wins the series, gets to take the prize money of USD 15 million.

Kevin Pietersen
Kevin Pietersen. Image Credits: Twitter

Kevin Pietersen: India Should Play Pakistan In 3 T20Is At A Neutral Venue Over A 5 Day Period

The tall paceman Shaheen Shah Afridi dismissed dangerous opener Rohit Sharma with the fourth delivery of the match for a first-ball duck and then had KL Rahul (three) and Virat Kohli (57) in an incisive 3-31 spell off his four overs. His effort restricted India to a below-par 151-7 in their 20 overs – a target which Pakistan overhauled in 17.5 overs without losing a wicket — their first victory over India in six Twenty20 World Cup games.

“IDEA: India should play PAK every year in 3 T20s at a neutral venue over a 5 day period! 15 man squads, $15M purse for the winning team. Cities/countries/broadcasters would queue up to have that week every single year,” tweeted Kevin Pietersen.

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

India and Pakistan have not played the Test series for more than 14 years since 2007. As far as bilateral series in ODIs and T20Is are concerned, it has been over almost eight years since 2012-13. India-Pakistan only faces off each other during ICC events and Asia Cup.

The political tension between the two neighbouring countries flared up after the terror attack in Mumbai’s Taj Hotel. Due to the unfortunate political situation, the two teams haven’t played a bilateral series since 2012-13. Their last bilateral ties at either of the two neighbouring countries were 2 T20Is and 3 ODIs in India way back in 2012.

Mohammad Rizwan And Babar Azam Ensures Pakistan Didn’t Lose A Wicket Chasing A Competitive 152

Mohammad Rizwan and skipper Babar Azam put on a remarkable show on Sunday as Pakistan thrashed India by 10 wickets at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium. Mohammad Rizwan (79*) and Babar Azam (68*) didn’t give any chance to India bowlers to come on top as the two batsmen dominated the proceedings. Pakistan chased down the target of 152 without losing a wicket as India looked clueless in their opening match.

Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan steered Pakistan to a 10-wicket victory against India (PTI)
Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan steered Pakistan to a 10-wicket victory against India (PTI).

This is the first time that India has lost a T20I by ten wickets. Coincidentally, this is also the first time that Pakistan has won a T20I by ten wickets. India will next square off against New Zealand on Sunday, October 31 while Pakistan will take on New Zealand on Tuesday, October 26.

Chris Gayle PTI
Chris Gayle PTI
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Kevin Pietersen And Sunil Gavaskar Criticize Punjab Kings For Unfair Treatment Of Chris Gayle

Kevin Pietersen and Sunil Gavaskar lashed out at the Punjab Kings team management for their unfair treatment of Chris Gayle after the 42-year-old decided to leave the IPL bio-bubble midway.

Chris Gayle is arguably the greatest ever player to have played in the history of the IPL. However, the league might have seen the last of him. The star batsman has decided to leave the Punjab Kings’ (PBKS) bio-bubble for the ongoing edition to stay fresh for the T20 World Cup.

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

Kevin Pietersen Lashes Out For Unfair Treatment Of Chris Gayle As Punjab Kings Didn’t Play Him On His Birthday

With a mega-auction set to take place for IPL 2022, it remains to be seen if Chris Gayle decides to put his name in the hat again and whether any franchise puts in a bid for the 42-year-old. However, legendary Indian cricketer Sunil Gavaskar and former England captain Kevin Pietersen have blamed PBKS’s unfair treatment of the Caribbean southpaw for his decision to leave the ongoing tournament midway.

Speaking to Star Sports, Kevin Pietersen recounted that Chris Gayle was left out of the side for the first game of the UAE leg against Rajasthan Royals on his birthday.

Kevin Pietersen file image | Faheem Hussain - Sportzpics
Kevin Pietersen file image | Faheem Hussain – Sportzpics

Kevin Pietersen said: “He is not being treated right in his environment. He feels like they are using him and getting rid of him, using him and getting rid of him. They didn’t play him on his birthday, cast him aside. If he is not happy, he is 42, let him do what he wants.”

A day after Chris Gayle left them to be fresh for West Indies at the Twenty20 World Cup, Punjab joined Kolkata and Mumbai on 10 points on Friday as the three teams battle for the fourth and final qualifying spot.

Kevin Pietersen highlighted that PBKS did not give Chris Gayle a game on his 42nd birthday last month. As a result, Chris Gayle played only two out of PBKS’s three matches in the UAE leg of IPL 2021, where he managed just 1, and 14 in the two said games.

Sunil Gavaskar  Chris Gayle Is A Game Changer

Meanwhile, Sunil Gavaskar felt that despite his age Chris Gayle is still a game-changer who can turn the game’s momentum in no time, and his absence from the team will be a big loss, echoing Kevin Pietersen’s statement.

“A game-changer like Chris Gayle, if he is not in the team, 100 percent it’s a big loss. I think he is in and out of the team. I don’t know what the calculations are. And sure, he is over 40 and he might not be able to do it at a consistent level that he used to do. But he is a game-changer. 3 overs of Gayle storm and the game is gone from the opposition,” said Gavaskar. 

File image of former India captain Sunil Gavaskar | AFP
File image of former India captain Sunil Gavaskar | AFP

Chris Gayle’s decision to leave the competition on Thursday night left Punjab Kings’ fans perplexed.

In a statement issued by the franchise, Chris Gayle said: “Over the last few months, I have been a part of the CWI bubble, CPL bubble followed by the IPL bubble, and I wish to mentally recharge and refresh myself.” 

Chris Gayle added, “I want to refocus on helping the West Indies in the T20 World Cup and would like to take a break in Dubai. My thanks to the Punjab Kings for giving me the time off. My wishes and hopes are with the squad always. All the very best for the games coming up.” 

Despite leaving the Punjab camp, he remains in UAE and joins the West Indies squad in a few days for the upcoming T20 World Cup after a short break.  In the 2021 season, Chris Gayle featured in 10 games and scored just 193 runs at an average of 21.44 and strike rate of 125.44.

The ‘Universe Boss’ is an IPL legend who already has several records to his name. The Caribbean batsman has amassed 4965 runs in the IPL. He is the third-highest run-getter among overseas players in the IPL, only behind Sunrisers Hyderabad opener David Warner, who has scored 5449 runs and AB de Villiers (5083 runs).

Chris Gayle’s feat includes six tons, which is the most by a batsman in the league. He was won 59 Man of Match awards in his T20 career, which the most by a batsman in the format. The big-hitter holds the record for fastest IPL hundred, as he scored a ton in 30 balls against Pune Warriors India in 2013. His 175 not out against PWI is still the highest individual score in the league.

Tim Paine. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)
Tim Paine. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)
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Ashes Going Ahead From December 8 Irrespective Of Joe Root Traveling With England Team Or Not: Tim Paine

Tim Paine, Australia Test captain, said that the Ashes will begin on December 8 regardless of whether counterpart Joe Root is part of the tour amid ongoing uncertainty about the level of restrictions the tourists may face.

Cricket Australia is negotiating with the government and England and Wales Cricket Board over the exact nature of travel conditions and whether players’ families will be able to come.
Australia Test skipper Tim Paine (Photo | AP)
Australia Test skipper Tim Paine (Photo | AP)

Tim Paine: Ashes Going Ahead From December 8 As No One Forces Any England Player To Come

England skipper Joe Root and others on his team have expressed doubts about the tour due to ‘bubble fatigue’ and concerns their families will not be able to travel with them due to Australia’s strict protocols due to covid-19.

“The Ashes are going ahead. The first Test is on Dec. 8 — whether Joe is here or not,” Paine told radio station SEN Hobart.

“It’ll be worked out above us and then they’ll have a choice whether to get on that plane or not. No one is forcing any England player to come. That’s the beauty of the world we live in — you have a choice. If you don’t want to come, don’t come.”

Ashes will go ahead, with or without Joe Root: Australia Test captain Tim Paine (Reuters Photo)
Ashes will go ahead, with or without Joe Root: Australia Test captain Tim Paine (Reuters Photo)

Australia has caps on international arrivals, and there is a mandatory 14-day hotel quarantine even for the fully vaccinated. Australia might be without their captain Tim Paine during the upcoming Ashes 2021-22, scheduled to commence on December 8 at the Gabba.

Australia’s Test captain is likely to be out of action until early November, giving him a month to prepare for the Ashes. Tim Paine is all set to undergo surgery on a chronic neck injury, making him doubtful for the all-important series against arch-rivals England.

Kevin Pietersen: England Players Won’t Travel Unless The Quarantine Rules Are Squashed And Family Will Be Allowed

Former England batsman skipper Kevin Pietersen said England players should not travel if placed under any restrictions. Kevin Pietersen suggested that there was no way possible he would tour Australia.

The players wanted to ease restrictions to allow their families to travel with them. Reports suggest that the players and their families will be able to quarantine in a resort-style facility in Queensland before the opening Test at the Gabba, and not be restricted to just their rooms.

“There is NO WAY I would go to The Ashes this winter. ZERO chance!” he tweeted.

“Unless, the ridiculous quarantine rules were squashed and my family could travel with zero restrictions.”

Kevin Pietersen file image | Faheem Hussain - Sportzpics
Kevin Pietersen file image | Faheem Hussain – Sportzpics

Tim Paine said Kevin Pietersen did not speak for the players and said he should leave the decision-making up to them. On Friday, Australian captain Tim Paine suggested that the series would go through as Cricket Australia and England Cricket Board continue their negotiations. Tim Paine stated that the Ashes 2021/22 would happen whether Joe Root would travel with the team or not.

“If you want to know anything on any topic in the world, you just ask Kevin Pietersen. He is an expert on everything,” added the captain dryly.

“We have not heard one England player come out and say they will not be coming. I think it‘s been beat up and people like Kevin like to get themselves a little bit of exposure in the media.”

Tim Paine’s captaincy and his wicket-keeping standards have come under severe criticism ever since India thrashed Australia 2-1 in the recently-concluded 4 match Test series. Tim Paine has led his country to 11 wins, four draws, and eight defeats. Under Tim Paine’s leadership, Australia has retained the Ashes and won 11 of 23 matches, but has lost two successive home series to India.

The first Australia vs England Test match will be contested at Brisbane’s Gabba from 8-12 December whereas, the 2nd Test match will be at the Adelaide Oval from 16-20 December, and it will be a Day-Night affair. The iconic Boxing Day and New Year’s Tests will be played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (26-30 December) and Sydney Cricket Ground (5-9 January), respectively, with the final Test scheduled for Perth’s Optus Stadium (14-18 January).

MS Dhoni (BCCI/IPL)
MS Dhoni (BCCI/IPL)
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Sunil Gavaskar And Kevin Pietersen Praised MS Dhoni Who Showed Glimpses Of Return To Form

Sunil Gavaskar, former Indian legendary batsman, and former England batsman Kevin Pietersen praised Chennai Super Kings skipper MS Dhoni for his performance, with the latter even saying MS Dhoni’s return to form is a big worry for other teams.

In the all-important match against bottom-ranked Sunrisers Hyderabad, MS Dhoni came to bat at a stage when CSK still needed 26 runs to win in just about four overs. Former captains, Sunil Gavaskar and Kevin Pietersen relished MS Dhoni’s heroics against SRH as they looked back to the MS Dhoni of the old.
Sunil Gavaskar and Kevin Pietersen react on MS Dhoni's finishing skills in the IPL
Sunil Gavaskar and Kevin Pietersen react to MS Dhoni’s finishing skills in the IPL

Sunil Gavaskar: MS Dhoni Does Take The Game Into The Last Over Often And Then Win The Game For CSK

CSK beat SRH by 6 wickets to book a place in the playoffs, while Sunrisers became the first team to be knocked out of IPL 2021, officially. Sunil Gavaskar and Kevin Pietersen praised MS Dhoni for his performance.

“He (Dhoni) does it so often. He takes it into the last over. When the supporters are biting the nail – they also know he is going to do it. But that anxiety, that you feel. He has done it so many times in his career,” Sunil Gavaskar said on Star Sports after the match.

MS Dhoni finished off the chase with a huge six over deep mid-wicket off Siddharth Kaul in the final over to seal a playoff spot for his team Image Source : iplt20.com
MS Dhoni finished off the chase with a huge six over deep mid-wicket off Siddharth Kaul in the final over to seal a playoff spot for his team. Image Source: iplt20.com

Once again, in typical MS Dhoni fashion, the CSK skipper stretched the match to the final over, and just when it looked like the match may go to a Super Over, MS Dhoni finished off the game with his signature six-off SRH pacer Siddarth Kaul. While Sunil Gavaskar said, MS Dhoni does it often taking the game deep into the last over, Kevin Pietersen reckoned this should scare oppositions.

Kevin Pietersen: MS Dhoni Hasn’t Been In The Form For Two Seasons

MS Dhoni scored exactly 200 runs in IPL 2020, averaging a below-par 25 while managing only 66 runs in IPL 2021 in 10 games averaging a dismal 13.2. His strike rate is also below 120 in both editions. But he scored an unbeaten 14 off only 11 balls including 1 four and 1 six showing that he can still perform as a batsman.

Chennai Super Kings is the second most successful team in the history of IPL, with 3 titles under their belt, only 2 behind Mumbai  Indians (5 titles). But arguably they are the most consistent team in the IPL. CSK has been involved in 8 finals and qualified for playoffs 10 times, only missing out in 2020 while the side was suspended for two years in 2016 & 2017.

“Dhoni has done it for so many years, he keeps doing it and doing it and doing it. What he has done now, should strike fear into the opposition,” Kevin Pietersen added.

Australian pacer Josh Hazlewood during IPL 2020 in the UAE. Credit: iplt20.com/Ron Gaunt/Sportzpics for BCCI
Australian pacer Josh Hazlewood during IPL 2020 in the UAE. Credit: iplt20.com/Ron Gaunt/Sportzpics for BCCI

“He has not been in the form for two seasons, so if he starts doing that nowhere, then, goodness, they got one hand on the trophy, they really do. They are serious out, on these conditions that are really good. They got the Hazlewood effect, and the Jadeja effect, and the openers have been really good. So, if Dhoni starts coming off now, finishes games off, then others team have a problem. Scary proposition,” he signed off.

Josh Hazlewood thrived at the death, picking up two wickets in three balls besides picking Jason Roy early. Ruturaj Gaikwad’s (45 off 38) 75-run partnership with Faf du Plessis (41 off 36) broke the back of a small chase and ensured even a little hiccup towards the end – three wickets in eight balls – didn’t matter. Josh Hazlewood was the pick of CSK bowlers returning with figures of 3/24 while Dwayne Bravo picked 2 scalps conceding 17 runs.

Chennai Super Kings 139 for 4 (Gaikwad 45, du Plessis 41, Holder 3-27) beat Sunrisers Hyderabad 134 for 7 (Saha 44, Hazlewood 3-24, Bravo 2-17) by six wickets

AB de Villiers
AB de Villiers. Image Credits: Twitter
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Kevin Pietersen : This Is Just Not The AB de Villiers That Is Used To Seeing In IPL 2021 UAE Leg

Kevin Pietersen, the former England captain said AB de Villiers would not want to see captain Virat Kohli and Glenn Maxwell do the bulk of the scoring in every match.

It’s not usual to see AB de Villiers short of runs in a tournament let alone the IPL. But the UAE leg of IPL 2021 has not been a happy run-scoring country for some of the biggest stars of cricket and AB de Villiers is one of them.

AB de Villiers
AB de Villiers[photo: Twitter]

Kevin Pietersen: Experienced Senior AB de Villiers Won’t Want To See Virat Kohli And Glenn Maxwell Do The Bulk Of Scoring Runs

The Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) stalwart has only managed scores of 0, 11, 14, and 4* in the four matches ever since the 14th edition of the Indian Premier League began at the UAE after a four-month postponement due to Covid-19 in India.

Former England captain Kevin Pietersen said AB de Villiers would not want to see captain Virat Kohli and Glenn Maxwell do the bulk of the scoring in every match. Kevin Pietersen, who has played a lot of cricket against AB de Villiers, said this is not the high standard that the former Proteas batsman sets for himself.

Kevin Pietersen file image | Faheem Hussain - Sportzpics
Kevin Pietersen file image | Faheem Hussain – Sportzpics

“He is an established player; he is a senior player. He would not want to see Kohli or Maxwell score the runs he is scoring. He must be thinking ‘I’m not holding my side of the bargain. This is just not the AB de Villiers that he is used to seeing,” Kevin Pietersen told Star Sports after RCB registered a comfortable 7-wicket win over Rajasthan Royals on Wednesday in Dubai. 

Kevin Pietersen said it wouldn’t matter if the RCB batsman AB de Villiers scores three ducks in a row. The former South Africa captain would still warrant a place in the XI because of the things he has done in the past for RCB.

“He is a proud player; he is a fabulous player. We have seen that over a number of years. From his point of view, he would like to contribute. He would be hating the fact that he hasn’t been able to contribute. He has contributed so much to the world of cricket and in the IPL. If he gets three ducks in a row, it doesn’t matter. What he has done for the IPL and RCB is incredible. However, he would want to score,” Kevin Pietersen said. 

AB de Villiers has scored 5083 runs in 180 matches in the IPL and is the only second overseas after David Warner to score more than 5000 runs in the league.

Virat Kohli: RCB Got The Rewards Of Middle Overs Bowling By Taking Wickets

RCB, meanwhile, will be happy with the form of their other big overseas recruit Glenn Maxwell. The Australian all-rounder struck another important fifty as RCB took a giant step towards confirming a spot in the playoffs.

“We’ve got the rewards because we’ve been fearless and confident in the moments that the game can go either way,” Kohli said at the post-match presentation ceremony.

Virat Kohli, RCB
Virat Kohli, RCB

“Couple of important things are clicking: middle-overs bowling is one. If you take wickets you can change the game. And batting also, we’ve got a few good opening starts. Devdutt and I have focused on giving the team good starts so that the middle-order with AB, Bharat and Maxwell can make more. Boys have stepped up, so that’s been key for us,” Kohli added. 

An all-around bowling performance and Glenn Maxwell’s fifty were the highlights as Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) beat Rajasthan Royals (RR) by seven wickets in Match 43 of the VIVO Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 in Dubai on Wednesday.

Rajasthan Royals were in sight of a tall total when they were 100 for 1 in 11 overs, on the back of Evin Lewis’ breakneck half-century. However, his dismissal triggered a terminal collapse as the Royals lost 8 for 49 – and their heads – to be restricted to under 150 on a fresh Dubai track.

They might have still hoped of a comeback when Devdutt Padikkal and Virat Kohli fell either side of the powerplay, but KS Bharat and Glenn Maxwell forged a 69-run partnership to dash all hopes of RR’s win. Royal Challengers ultimately sealed victory with seven wickets and 17 balls to spare, also giving their net run-rate a leg-up.

Royal Challengers Bangalore 153 for 3 (Maxwell 50*, Bharat 44, Mustafizur 2-20) beat Rajasthan Royals 149 for 9 (Lewis 58, Jaiswal 31, Harshal 3-34, Shahbaz 2-10, Chahal 2-18) by seven wickets

Kevin Pietersen
Kevin Pietersen. Image Credits: Twitter
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Kevin Pietersen: It Is An Issue That RCB Lost The Game From A Very Good Position From Being 111/0

Kevin Pietersen, former England batsman said the Royal Challengers Bangalore have a couple of big issues which they need to sort quickly in order to get their campaign back on track in IPL 2021.

RCB lost to current table-toppers Chennai Super Kings by 6 wickets in Sharjah on Friday. This loss came after the 9-wicket hammering they took against KKR in their first match of the second leg in Abu Dhabi where the team was dismissed after scoring only 92.

Kevin Pietersen file image | Faheem Hussain - Sportzpics
Kevin Pietersen file image | Faheem Hussain – Sportzpics

Kevin Pietersen: It Is An Issue That RCB Lost The Game From A Very Good Position From Being 111/0

Kevin Pietersen said, unlike in the last game, RCB was in a very good position against CSK. But they failed to drive home the advantage despite a 111-run opening stand between captain Virat Kohli and Devdutt Padikkal after being asked to bat first by MS Dhoni.

“You can gain momentum through winning and then you can gain momentum through losing as well. If you are going to get hammered like they were against KKR and now you are going to lose a game from being in a very good position then there is a problem. They were 111 for no loss but lost the game, that’s an issue,” Kevin Pietersen said in the post-match show on Star Sports.

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

Both the RCB openers Virat Kohli and Devdutt Padikkal struck spectacular fifties but CSK pulled the strings to restrict them to 156 for six. RCB managed only 45 runs in the remaining 6.4 overs after being in a position from where they could have pushed for a score in the vicinity of 200.

Dwayne Bravo Restricted RCB To Below 160 From 111 For No Loss

Dwayne Bravo’s bowling changed the course of the RCB innings as he conceded only 24 runs in his four overs besides picking the wickets of RCB all-rounders Glenn Maxwell (11) and Harshal Patel (3).

In reply, CSK openers Ruturaj Gaikwad and Faf Du Plessis added 71 runs in 8.2 overs and later Moeen Ali (23) and Ambati Rayudu (32) also got starts but could not convert those into big knocks. Suresh Raina (17) and skipper MS Dhoni (11) ensured that there were no further hiccups, taking the side past the finish line.

Neither of the two RCB Indian pacers Mohammed Siraj nor Navdeep Saini could trouble the CSK openers. Whether the ball was pitched up, short, or bowled at a good length, Ruturaj Gaikwad and his Protea partner treated them with equal disdain. Realizing that spinners may turn the game around, Virat Kohli handed the ball to off-spinner Glenn Maxwell and the Australian responded with the wicket of Faf du Plessis, who was guilty of playing a loose shot.

Dwayne Bravo. (AFP)
Dwayne Bravo. (AFP)/ AFP PHOTO / PUNIT PARANJPE

However, middle-order batsmen of CSK Ambati Rayudu and Moeen Ali did not show any respect to the slow bowlers. They worked the ball around to keep the scoreboard moving and also got the big shots.

“There are bowling issues too. We keep saying it, who is the bowler (who is going get wickets… Chahal can’t continue to do it. I know h gets wickets, he gets wickets for RCB but you cannot say to him that you’ve got to do it every match. Somebody else has to stand up. One of the seamers have to stand up,” Kevin Pietersen added.

Kevin Pietersen said RCB and Virat Kohli can’t be depending on Yuzvendra Chahal alone to deliver with the ball every time. The duo of Mohammed Siraj and Navdeep Saini overall gave away 48 runs overall in 5 overs, while Wanindu Hasaranga conceded 40 runs in 4 overs.

Kevin Pietersen
Kevin Pietersen. Image Credits: Twitter
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Kevin Pietersen Doesn’t Know What Kieron Pollard Was Thinking As Jasprit Bumrah Was Taken Off After 1 Over

Kevin Pietersen feels Mumbai Indians missed a trick, allowing Chennai Super Kings to get to over 150 when they had them on the mat at 24/4. Kevin Pietersen was pretty outspoken at the mid-innings interval of the Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians Match 30 of the IPL 2021, believing MI lost grip of the game when they allowed CSK to come back in the game after having them on the mat at 24/4 in the Powerplay(6 overs).
CSK finished their innings on 156/6 thanks to Ruturaj Gaikwad’s innings of 88 not out and Dwayne Bravo who played a cameo of 23 runs from just eight balls, including three massive sixes besides picking 3 scalps. CSK was 24/4 at one stage and Ambati Rayudu was retired hard but the momentum was shifted as unlike the opening pacers Trent Boult and Adam Milne, the spinner Krunal Pandya(2 overs 27 runs) was too expensive.
Kevin Pietersen file image | Faheem Hussain - Sportzpics
Kevin Pietersen file image | Faheem Hussain – Sportzpics

Kevin Pietersen: Mumbai Indians Missed A Trick And Lost Despite Starting Well

The total proved to be a match-winning one as MI finished on 136/8; thus, losing the contest by 20 runs. Kevin Pietersen was sceptical of Kieron Pollard’s captaincy, pointing out areas where he felt Mumbai Indians should have been tactically smarter.

“Mumbai started so well. They really got themselves into the game. They knew they needed to get themselves going. They lost their captain so he was replaced. And they started so well. CSK was 4 down very early. Ambati Rayudu retired out. When you get that many wickets early, you have to keep your foot down. You talk about momentum; you need to keep it going,” Pietersen said during the innings interval on Star Sports.

Kieron Pollard
Kieron Pollard (Image Credit: Twitter)

“I think Mumbai Indians missed a trick. I don’t know what Kieron Pollard was thinking by not bowling Jasprit Bumrah for 2 or 3 overs. They could have been 40/7, 50/7. CSK could have been 60, 70, or 80 all out. I’m not being silly when I say that. You have got to bowl your fast, strike bowlers.”

Jasprit Bumrah was taken off after just one over, and the ball was handed to Krunal Pandya and Rahul Chahar. Although Rahul Chahar bowled a tight spell at one end, Krunal Pandya leaked runs with Ruturaj Gaikwad and Ravindra Jadeja growing in confidence. Apart from the MI pacers Trent Boult, Adam Milne, and Jasprit Bumrah who took 2 wickets each, the other bowlers failed to take a scalp.

Kevin Pietersen:  Mumbai Indians Should Have Cleaned CSK Out

The two Ravindra Jadeja and Ruturaj Gaikwad stitched a partnership of 81 runs to put CSK back in the game, which is something  Kevin Pietersen reckons should have been avoided given the fact that 3 of their top four were all dismissed for ducks – Ambati Rayudu was retired hurt – MS Dhoni fell for 3 and Suresh Raina for 4.

Dwayne Bravo. (AFP)
Dwayne Bravo. (AFP)/ AFP PHOTO / PUNIT PARANJPE

“They were allowed into the game. There is nowhere in this world that they should have been in this game. Mumbai Indians should have cleaned them out. These are things that are discussed in team meetings. If you had been 40/4 or something like that, you don’t bring spinners in and if you do, you don’t put fielders in the boundary,” Pietersen added at the end of the match.

Ravindra Jadeja and Dwayne Bravo scored 26 and 23 respectively before being dismissed while Faf du Plessis, Moeen Ali, Suresh Raina, and MS Dhoni couldn’t contribute even 5 runs each. For CSK, pacers Dwayne Bravo scalped three wickets and Deepak Chahar took two scalps. For Mumbai Indians, Saurabh Tiwary was the highest scorer after playing a knock of 50 runs.

With this win, Chennai Super Kings went to the top of the IPL table while Mumbai is now in danger of falling outside the top 4 if they get on a losing streak.

Chennai Super Kings 156 for 6 (Gaikwad 88*, Jadeja 26, Milne 2-21) beat Mumbai Indians 136 for 8 (Tiwary 50*, Bravo 3-25, D Chahar 2-19) by 20 runs

Sunil Gavaskar. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Sunil Gavaskar. (Photo Source: Twitter)
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Sunil Gavaskar Thinks Rescheduling The Cancelled 5th Test At Manchester Was A Correct Decision

Sunil Gavaskar has lauded the BCCI’s offer of rescheduling the cancelled Old Trafford Test, saying India should never forget England’s gesture of returning back to complete a tour, which was halted midway due to the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks in 2008.

The Manchester Test at Old Trafford was cancelled at the last moment on Friday after India could not field a team due to a COVID-19 scare in their camp. The fifth Test between India and England was called off hours before its start on Friday after a COVID-19 outbreak in the visiting team’s camp which made the Indian players reluctant to play fearing a positive result might lead to 10-day isolation and scheduling nightmare of the Indian Premier League.

File image of former India captain Sunil Gavaskar | AFP
File image of former India captain Sunil Gavaskar | AFP

Sunil Gavaskar Thinks Rescheduling The Cancelled 5th Test At Manchester Was A Correct Decision Pointing Out To England Returning After Heading Home Due To Mumbai Terror Attack

Both the BCCI and England Cricket Board (ECB) officials later announced that the match will be rescheduled at a later date as a one-off game, but the decision is yet to be made official.

“Yes, I think that (rescheduling the cancelled Test) would be the correct thing to do. Look, we, in India, should never forget what the England team did in 2008 after the horrific attack, the 26/11. They came back,” Sunil Gavaskar said.

“They would have been perfectly entitled to say -‘we don’t feel safe. We are not coming back,’ ” Sunil Gavaskar said.

Kevin Pietersen
Kevin Pietersen. Image Credits: Twitter

The visiting England team was playing an ODI against India in Cuttack on November 26 when terrorists attacked Mumbai, leading to the cancellation of the last two ODIs of the seven-match series. England headed home immediately but later returned for the two-Test series which India won 1-0. Sunil Gavaskar said that the then skipper Kevin Pietersen was instrumental in England’s decision to return back for the Test matches.

“Never forget that Kevin Pietersen led the team, and he was the main man. If KP had said, no I don’t want to go, that would have been the end of the matter. It was because KP was willing to go and he convinced the others, the team came and we had that fantastic Test match in Chennai where India chased 380 to win on the last day,” the batting great said.

The 6th and 7th ODIs were cancelled without a ball bowled on November 29 and 2nd December 2008 after the terror attacks on 26th November. England then played 2 Tests at Chennai and Mohali after returning in December.

Sunil Gavaskar Termed BCCI’s Rescheduling Offer As Fantastic News

Sunil Gavaskar termed BCCI’s rescheduling offer as ‘fantastic news’ and said the cancelled Test can be held next year after the Indian Premier League.

“Don’t forget, the gesture of the ECB has to be remembered,” he said.

“It’s absolutely apt that the BCCI now says, right next year, we are still coming to England. I think there will be a little lean period. I think the IPL will finish in early June. So there is enough time for them to go a few days early, depending on whether we still have Covid and all the restrictions and maybe play a Test match before or after,” Gavaskar said.

BCCI, ECB Logo
BCCI, ECB Logo

“This is fantastic news coming that the BCCI will make up for it. This is exactly what the relations between boards should be.”

India’s refusal to feature in the 5th and final Test against England at Manchester due to fears of Covid-19 has strained relationships between the two teams. While many in the English cricket fraternity are criticising Virat Kohli-led Indian management, some cricketers are reportedly even looking to pull out from the UAE leg of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021.

News that the Manchester Test match wouldn’t begin as originally planned came in hours before the scheduled toss. The development came on the back of intense discussions between the BCCI and the ECB after India’s assistant physiotherapist Yogesh Parmar returned a positive Covid-19 test on Wednesday.

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