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Kieron Pollard

KL Rahul
KL Rahul (Image Credit: Twitter)
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KL Rahul Could Be Made Skipper Of New Lucknow Franchise And Rashid Khan May Be Included But The Duo Can Be Banned For 1 Year

KL Rahul has been in ominous form with the bat, especially in the T20 format. Now, with KL Rahul parting ways with Punjab Kings, as per a report, new franchise Lucknow is set to lap him up. Reports claim Lucknow has offered him Rs 20 Cr. If that happens, he would become the most expensive player in the history of the league.

Even otherwise, KL Rahul at Rs 17 Cr (2018-2021) is still the most expensive player. If Lucknow ropes him in, then he could very well be made the captain of the side. Thus far, KL Rahul has played 94 matches in IPL and has amassed 3273 runs at an average of over 41.

KL Rahul
KL Rahul (Image Credit: Twitter)

KL Rahul Could Be Made Skipper Of New Lucknow Franchise Which Reportedly Has Offered INR 20 Crores Making Him The Most Expensive Player In IPL History

In the 2021 IPL, KL Rahul smashed 626 runs in 13 matches and was the third-highest run-getter in IPL 2021, but unfortunately, failed to inspire the side to a title. KL Rahul has been the best opener in IPL since 2018 and scored 659, 593, 670, and 626 runs in the past four seasons, respectively.

The Lucknow franchise has zeroed in on KL Rahul to be their next captain, and negotiations are learnt to be on with the opening batsman. If it goes ahead, the development will leave seven franchises – including SRH, if they want an Indian to replace Kane Williamson as captain and the new Ahmedabad franchise – looking for a new skipper. The BCCI will come out with its new media-rights tender after the mega-auction gets over.

Rashid Khan
Rashid Khan. Image Credits: Twitter

Some reports also suggest that the new franchise is in talks with Rashid Khan. Lucknow is interested in getting the services of the Afghan star. Rashid Khan is apparently not happy with Hyderabad’s offer. He wants to be the first-choice at the Retention, but the franchise reckons Kane Williamson is the one for that.

The existing eight franchises of the Indian Premier League (IPL) have reached the deadline to submit their respective lists for player retention. The BCCI will make the names of retained players public on Tuesday afternoon and pave the way for the two new teams to start signing players ahead of the mega-auction.

The retention rules are as follows: A franchise can retain a maximum of a) three Indians and one overseas player; b) two Indians and two overseas players.

It has been learnt that RPSG owned Lucknow based new IPL franchise is willing to offer INR 20 Crores salary to KL Rahul to leave PBKS while Rashid Khan will be getting INR 16 Crores for his services in the coming season.

Chennai Super Kings Have Retained MS Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, Ruturaj Gaikwad and Moeen Ali, While Mumbai Indians Have Retained Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishan Kishan and Kieron Pollard

Bearing these set of rules in mind, IPL 2021 defending champions Chennai Super Kings (CSK) have retained MS Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, Ruturaj Gaikwad and Moeen Ali.

Five-time champions Mumbai Indians are holding back captain Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishan Kishan and Kieron Pollard. However, it is learnt that MI have, until the last moment, been deliberating over all-rounder Hardik Pandya who played as a specialist batter in the last 2 IPLs but whether the Baroda cricketer will be fit to bowl or not starting next season remains the key.

MS Dhoni (BCCI/IPL)
MS Dhoni (BCCI/IPL)

Here are the details from the remaining franchises:

Delhi Capitals: Rishabh Pant, Prithvi Shaw, Axar Patel, Anrich Nortje. The franchise has decided to let go of former skipper Shreyas Iyer and their leading batsman Shikhar Dhawan.

Kolkata Knight Riders: Sunil Narine, Venkatesh Iyer, Varun Chakravarthy and Andre Russell. Late until Monday evening, there was no confirmation if Shubhman Gill would remain part of the Knight Riders’ plans.

Royal Challengers Bangalore: Virat Kohli, Mohammed Siraj and Glenn Maxwell. The franchise wanted to retain Yuzuvendra Chahal, but it is learnt that both sides couldn’t reach an understanding.

Sunrisers Hyderabad: The beleaguered franchise may just retain New Zealand captain Kane Williamson. Afghanistan leg spinner Rashid Khan is learnt to be negotiating with one of the new franchises.

Punjab Kings: Mayank Agarwal and two uncapped players Ravi Bishnoi and Arshdeep Singh, are what Punjab is looking to retain.

Rajasthan Royals: Sanju Samson, Jos Butler and Yashasvi Jaiswal.

This list of retention is based on sources in the IPL, but final confirmation of the same can only be expected on Tuesday. Once the BCCI ratifies these retentions, the two new franchises – Lucknow and Ahmedabad – will be asked to identify players – a maximum of three Indians and one overseas player or two Indians and two overseas players – by mid-December and the remaining players will go into the mega-auction being planned either towards the end of December or January first week.

Last mega auction

This will be the last mega-auction that the IPL intends to hold and most stakeholders in the league, including the majority of franchises, are in line with the proposal.

“We genuinely hope this is the last mega-auction because the trend has clearly gone past its sell-by date. This, in turn, will also put pressure on franchisees to pick well at this mega-auction because they’ll be building their future teams around these set of players,” said sources privy to developments.

Amidst all the retention process going on with the eight Indian Premier League (IPL) franchises, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) could hand-over one year ban to Indian star batsman KL Rahul and Afghanistan spinner Rashid Khan for breaching the IPL code of conduct.

A verbal complaint has been raised by Punjab Kings (PBKS) and Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) against Lucknow based new IPL franchise for ‘pursuing & poaching’ Rashid Khan and KL Rahul to leave their respective franchise in the coming season.

West Indies
West Indies. Image Credits: Twitter
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West Indies Announce White-Ball Squad For Pakistan Tour Commencing On December 13

West Indies have announced their squad for their upcoming white-ball tour of Pakistan to be captained by Kieron Pollard. The series is set to feature three One Day Internationals and three T20Is. They will be played from December 13 to 22 at the National Stadium in Karachi.

The three-match ODI series will be part of the ICC Men’s ODI Super League. The ODI Series will be West Indies’ fourth series of 12 in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League. The top seven teams in the league can secure automatic qualification for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 in India.

Kieron Pollard
Kieron Pollard(Getty Images)

West Indies Announced White Ball Squad For Pakistan Tour Commencing On December 13; Jason Holder Rested

West Indies currently lie in the eighth position out of 13 teams and have the opportunity to leapfrog Pakistan into the seventh position. There will be some new faces in the West Indies T20I squad for the upcoming tour. West Indies have opted to give Jason Holder a rest, viewing his workload management.

West Indies cricketer Shimron Hetmyer celebrate his century during the first One Day International cricket match against India.(PTI)
West Indies cricketer Shimron Hetmyer celebrates his century during the first One Day International cricket match against India. (PTI)

Meanwhile, Evin Lewis, Shimron Hetmyer, Andre Russell, and Lendl Simmons are unavailable due to personal reasons. Fabian Allen and Obed McCoy also miss out due to injury and rehabilitation. Pakistan’s series against West Indies starting on December 13 will be the first visit by a foreign country since England, and New Zealand pulled out of scheduled tours this year for security reasons.

West Indies, who failed to reach the 2021 T20I World Cup semi-finals, has picked several uncapped players in the two 15-man squads, including batsmen Justin Greaves and Shamarh Brooks, spinner Gudakesh Motie and all-rounder Odean Smith.

Kieron Pollard To Lead Side; Shai Hope His Deputy For ODIs And Nicholas Pooran His Deputy In T20Is

CWI has confirmed that Kieron Pollard will continue to lead the side in both formats. Shai Hope has been appointed his deputy for ODIs, while Nicholas Pooran will continue to be the vice-captain in the T20Is.

Odean Smith knocked the stuffing out of Tallawahs' chase © Getty Images
Odean Smith knocked the stuffing out of Tallawahs’ chase © Getty Images

Batters Justin Greaves and Shamarh Brooks, left-arm spinner Gudakesh Motie and allrounder Odean Smith have earned maiden ODI call-ups for the West Indies tour of Pakistan. Odean Smith and Gudakesh Motie have also been included in the T20I squad, along with left-arm pace-bowling allrounder Dominic Drakes.

ODI squad:

Kieron Pollard (Captain), Shai Hope (Vice-Captain), Darren Bravo, Shamarh Brooks, Roston Chase, Justin Greaves, Akeal Hosein, Alzarri Joseph, Gudakesh Motie, Anderson Phillip, Nicholas Pooran, Raymon Reifer, Romario Shepherd, Odean Smith, Hayden Walsh Jr.

T20I squad:

Kieron Pollard (Captain), Nicholas Pooran (Vice-Captain), Darren Bravo, Roston Chase, Sheldon Cottrell, Dominic Drakes, Shai Hope, Akeal Hosein, Brandon King, Kyle Mayers, Gudakesh Motie, Romario Shepherd, Odean Smith, Oshane Thomas, Hayden Walsh Jr.

Schedule:

13 Dec – 1st T20I, Karachi

14 Dec – 2nd T20I, Karachi

16 Dec – 3rd T20I, Karachi

18 Dec – 1st ODI, Karachi

20 Dec – 2nd ODI, Karachi

22 Dec – 3rd ODI, Karachi

Krunal Pandya. (Photo: Twitter)
Krunal Pandya. (Photo: Twitter)
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Krunal Pandya Decides To Step Down As Baroda Skipper After Team Won Only 1 Match In SMAT

Krunal Pandya has decided to step down as Baroda team captain from the forthcoming domestic season.

The 30-year-old spin all-rounder informed the Baroda Cricket Association (BCA) president Pranav Amin through email on Friday evening. Under the senior Pandya’s captaincy, the team had an underwhelming run in the recently concluded Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, where they finished last in Group B.

Krunal Pandya
Krunal Pandya (Instagram)

Krunal Pandya Steps Down As Skipper Of Baroda After Poor Run In Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy Where They Finished Last

The team managed to win just one game in five matches and failed to qualify for the knock-outs for the domestic T20 tournament. Under Krunal Pandya’s captaincy, the team had an underwhelming run in the recently concluded Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, where they finished last in Group B.

In his email, Krunal Pandya wrote, “This is to put on record that I will be unavailable to lead Baroda in the current domestic season. However, I will be available for selection to play for the team. I will offer my best as a team member and player to Baroda cricket. My support and contribution will always be in the best interest of the team.”

Krunal Pandya Of Mumbai Indians- [File photo]
Krunal Pandya Of Mumbai Indians- [File photo]
In the five games, Krunal Pandya scored 87 runs with one half-century and took five wickets at an economy rate of 5.94. This came under the charge of new Baroda coach Dav Whatmore, whose tenure at the team got off to a disappointing start.

It is understood that BCA will now appoint veteran Kedar Devdhar as captain while left-arm spinner Bhargav Bhatt is likely to be appointed vice-captain of the team for the upcoming Vijay Hazare Trophy, which is scheduled to be played next month. Kedar Devdhar had previously captained the team to the final of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy last year.

Krunal Pandya Was Accused Of Using Abusive Language Towards Deepak Hooda

Krunal Pandya took over as skipper two seasons ago, but his time as captain was marred by a few controversies. Last year, Deepak Hooda, who later moved to Rajasthan, had written an email to BCA where he had made a series of allegations about the skipper, the senior Pandya after he had spat with the Mumbai Indians player.

“At this moment, I am demoralized, depressed, and under pressure. For the past few days, my team captain Mr. Krunal Pandya is using abusive language towards me in front of my teammates and also other state teams who have come for participation at Reliance Stadium Vadodara,” Hooda, who represented Kings XI Punjab in the IPL, wrote.

Deepak Hooda screengrab
Deepak Hooda screengrab

Deepak Hooda later decided to move on from BCA and represented Rajasthan this season.

Krunal Pandya has so far scored 1143 runs in 84 matches where he also picked 51 wickets averaging 34.76 whereas his batting average is 22.86. His best bowling figure is 3/14 in 2017. His highest score is 86 in 2016, and it is his only half-century in IPL.

Krunal Pandya has played 19 T20Is where he picked 15 wickets averaging 36.93 and scored 124 runs averaging 24.8. He debuted against West Indies in 2018 and played his last T20I against Sri Lanka in 2021 after which he was hit with Covid-19. He has picked up 1 four-wicket haul in T20I as his career-best bowling figure is 4/36.  He has also played 5 ODIs amassing 130 runs averaging 65 and taken 2 scalps, playing all his matches in 2021.

Meanwhile, Mumbai Indians are all but set to part ways with Hardik Pandya and Krunal Pandya as none of them is on the five-time champions’ retention list. The reports have suggested that Mumbai Indians will go with Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Kieron Pollard, and Ishan Kishan as their four retentions for IPL 2022 in all likeliness.

Hardik Pandya played 12 games in the 2021 season but scored just 127 runs at an average of 14.11 and hasn’t bowled a single ball in the last two seasons. Krunal Pandya too struggled, scoring just 143 runs in 13 matches at an average of 14.3 while taking just five wickets in the 2021 season.

MS Dhoni (BCCI/IPL)
MS Dhoni (BCCI/IPL)
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Chennai Super Kings Likely To Retain MS Dhoni For Next 3 IPL Seasons As Franchises Decide On Player Retentions For IPL 2022

Chennai Super Kings are likely to retain their longstanding captain MS Dhoni for the next three Indian Premier League seasons. Apart from MS Dhoni, the franchise Chennai Super Kings is set to retain all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, and opener Ruturaj Gaikwad-the top run-getter in IPL 2021, who played crucial roles as Chennai Super Kings won the 2021 IPL title.

As per BCCI rules, each team is allowed to retain a maximum of four players. Chennai Super Kings is also in talks with England all-rounder Moeen Ali to come on board. As BCCI secretary Jay Shah had stated that the next season of IPL 2022 will be played in India, CSK feels Moeen Ali could be a handy player on the slow, turning Chennai wicket.

Chennai Super Kings' Ravindra Jadeja With MS Dhoni CSK Twitter Handle
Chennai Super Kings’ Ravindra Jadeja With MS Dhoni CSK Twitter Handle

Chennai Super Kings Likely To Retain MS Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, Ruturaj Gaikwad And Moeen Ali Or Sam Curran

If Moeen Ali doesn’t agree to stay, Chennai Super Kings will have left-arm medium-pacer Sam Curran as their fourth retained player. The franchises have to submit their lists of retained players by November 30 and the IPL 2022 will have its mega auction next month.

Chennai Super Kings retaining MS Dhoni wouldn’t come as a surprise, especially with the brand value he brings to the team. At a recent Chennai Super Kings event, MS Dhoni had confirmed that his last T20 game will be in Chennai, putting his IPL retirement speculations to bed.

“I have always planned my cricket. My last ODI in India was in Ranchi. Hopefully, my last T20 will be in Chennai. Whether it’s next year or in five years’ time, I don’t know,” Dhoni had said.

Ishan Kishan and Rishabh Pant | BCCI/IPL
Ishan Kishan and Rishabh Pant | BCCI/IPL

Chennai Super Kings are also likely not to retain Suresh Raina for the first time. The former India batsman has been out of touch and didn’t play crucial knockout IPL games. Meanwhile, Delhi Capitals are set to retain wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant, all-rounder Axar Patel, Prithvi Shaw and pacer Anrich Nortje. Shreyas Iyer was released since he wanted to lead Delhi Capitals, but the franchise was keen to have Rishabh Pant as their leader going ahead.

However, most franchises will be following the tactic of not retaining four players as this could lead to stress on their purse during the auction. It is understood that Mumbai Indians will retain Rohit Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah. While negotiations with their West Indies all-rounder Kieron Pollard are still on, the franchise wants to buy Suryakumar Yadav from the auction pool and chances of Ishan Kishan being retained are also bright.

KL Rahul Has Parted Ways With Punjab Kings And Will Likely Lead Lucknow Franchise

Two new teams Sanjiv Goenka’s RPSG group and CVC Capitals (though they haven’t been given the green signal yet from the board), have begun approaching a few top Indian players. India opener KL Rahul is likely to lead Sanjeev Goenka’s new Lucknow team. KL Rahul, who was signed by PBKS for Rs 11 crore at the IPL 2018 auction, will reportedly spearhead the new Lucknow franchise in the IPL 2022.

It is learnt KL Rahul has parted ways with Punjab Kings and has accepted Sanjeev Goenka’s offer. It is also learnt that Suryakumar Yadav was approached by the new franchise, but the batsman hasn’t responded yet.

KL Rahul
KL Rahul (Image Credit: Twitter)

Meanwhile, Kolkata Knight Riders are likely to retain their two all-rounders, Sunil Narine and Andre Russell, while they want to keep Varun Chakravarty too. However, it is learnt that KKR is still deciding on whether to retain Shubman Gill or Venkatesh Iyer.

Meanwhile, Aakash Chopra opined that RCB will retain Virat Kohli, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammed Siraj, and Devdutt Padikkal. However, he excluded pacer Harshal Patel, who was the Purple Cap winner in IPL 2021 and inconsistent big-hitting batsman Glenn Maxwell.

Players Likely To Be Retained:

CSK: MS Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, Moeen Ali/ Sam Curran , Ruturaj Gaikwad

KKR: Sunil Narine, Andre Russell, Shubman Gill/Venkatesh Iyer, Varun Chakravarthy

RCB: Virat Kohli, Glenn Maxwell, Yuzvendra Chahal

DC: Rishabh Pant, Prithvi Shaw, Anrich Nortje, Avesh Khan/Axar Patel

RR: Ben Stokes, Sanju Samson, Jos Buttler

SRH: Rashid Khan, Jonny Bairstow/Kane Williamson

MI: Rohit Sharma, Ishan Kishan, Jasprit Bumrah, Kieron Pollard

PBKS: KL Rahul (if he agrees to stay), Mayank Agarwal, Ravi Bishnoi

Dwayne Bravo receives a guard of honour on his farewell appearance for West Indies, Australia vs West Indies, Men's T20 World Cup 2021, Super 12s, Abu Dhabi, November 6, 2021© ICC via Getty
Dwayne Bravo receives a guard of honour on his farewell appearance for West Indies, Australia vs West Indies, Men's T20 World Cup 2021, Super 12s, Abu Dhabi, November 6, 2021© ICC via Getty
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Dwayne Bravo Intends To Play Franchise Cricket For Some More Years

Dwayne Bravo says he intends to play franchise cricket for some more years if his body allows and insisted that time was right to finally call time on his international career and let the younger players take West Indies cricket forward.

Dwayne Bravo, 38, played his swansong game as West Indies exited the T20 World Cup following an eight-wicket defeat against Australia. Dwayne Bravo played in the 91 T20Is for the West Indies since making his debut against New Zealand at Auckland in 2006.

Dwayne Bravo (FILE)
Dwayne Bravo (FILE)

Dwayne Bravo Will continue Playing Franchise Cricket For A Few More Years As Lomg As His Body Persists

Dwayne Bravo came out of retirement in 2019 to help West Indies defend their T20 title, but it could not happen as they could manage to win only one of their five Super 12 games. Dwayne Bravo was part of the West Indies teams that won the T20 World Cup in 2012 and 2016.

“I will continue playing franchise cricket for a few more years as long as my body will allow me to,” Bravo, who played for West Indies for 18 years, said during the post-match press conference.

“My aim was to retire a few years ago, but with a change of presidency and change of leadership comes a change of heart, and I wanted to give back to West Indies because I was still in a good place physically and enjoy my cricket,” he said.

Dwayne Bravo is set to quit international cricket after T20 World Cup 2021 | Photo Credit: AP
Dwayne Bravo is set to quit international cricket after T20 World Cup 2021 | Photo Credit: AP

“….I think this was the right moment for me to walk away from the game, and allow the next generation and young players who I share a very good friendship with to come through.

“They still see me around but more passing information around as policy and trying to give my experience back to the next group of players, and hopefully they can also have a 12 to 18-year career as well,” Bravo added.

Asked about the special moments of his career, the all-rounder mentioned getting his Test cap at Lord’s and “walking on the field for the first time”.

“That was a special moment. Obviously my childhood hero, Lara, was a captain. That was very special. Winning the ICC Champions Trophy in 2004 was another specialty moment for me.

“My first Test against South Africa, another special moment. And obviously, the two T20 World Cup was a special moment for me. It was good that I was able to have some success throughout my career.”

Dwayne Bravo made his T20I debut in 2006 and went on to represent the West Indies in 91 games in the shortest format. He also featured in 40 Tests and 164 ODIs in a career that spanned nearly 18 years.

Dwayne Bravo Says Kieron Pollard Is A Superstar Of The Game And Chris Gayle Has Some Cricket Left In Him

Dwayne Bravo shared his special bond with skipper Kieron Pollard, who was instrumental in his coming out of retirement. But, unfortunately, Dwayne Bravo had a below-par tournament in the United Arab Emirates, scoring 16 runs in four group games and picking up only two wickets. As a result, West Indies only beat Bangladesh and lost to England, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Australia in group games.

“In terms of friendship with Polly, as he said before, I’m his senior but when he come into cricket at a very young age, we all spotted his talent and his ability I wish he could have played some Test cricket. He didn’t even know he was good enough or qualified to play.”

“But to see the way he went on and become a superstar in the game, and regardless of what people might say with him not playing Test cricket, he has his own legacy, and he’s a superstar of the game and we should be grateful, I am grateful to have him as a teammate and more so a friend. I’m still very happy with the way how we lead West Indies cricket in the last two years, and West Indies need strong leadership, and he’s a strong leader.”

Chris Gayle PTI
Chris Gayle PTI

“We know this wasn’t meant to be, but I know as an individual, he will bounce back strong with his character, and I’m very happy that I was able to be a part of this journey with him.”

Asked to confirm whether Chris Gayle has also officially quit international cricket, Bravo said: “He said half of it. He halfway retires. He still has some cricket left. I’m not sure what he’s decided yet, but yeah.”

Dwayne Bravo said he would not mind taking up a coaching role in the future.

“It’s only fair that I love to give back to the game that has given me so much.”

Dwayne Bravo has played all the T20 World Cups since 2007 and has helped his side win the title in 2012 and 2016. He came out of retirement in international cricket in December 2019 to help his side retain the World T20I title.

Chris Gayle on Saturday received a guard of honour during the Super 12 clash against Australia in Abu Dhabi. However, he spoke about his retirement after the game, leaving the cricket fraternity confused over his future. He stated that he wishes to play another T20 World Cup but won’t be allowed to participate by the Windies cricket board. But the 42-year-old said he is not going to join his teammate Dwayne Bravo in quitting international cricket.

West Indies
West Indies. Image Credits: Twitter
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It’s The End Of A Generation As A Disappointing Campaign In 2021 T20I World Cup Ends For West Indies: Kieron Pollard

On Saturday, Kieron Pollard, West Indies skipper, admitted that it’s the “end of a generation” for the Caribbeans, and they need to start from scratch to build a world-beating side. However, Kieron Pollard was left disappointed at crashing out of the T20 World Cup with just one win from five matches.

Veteran Australian opener David Warner produced a feisty unbeaten 89 as Australia recorded a facile eight-wicket win over the West Indies to stay alive in the semi-final race at the showpiece. With the defeat in the swansong game for Dwayne Bravo and probably also for Chris Gayle, 2016 T20I WC winners defending champions West Indies missed out on direct qualification for next year’s World Cup. They dropped out of top-8 after Saturday’s defeat.

Kieron Pollard
Kieron Pollard(Getty Images)

Kieron Pollard Terms 2021 T20I World Cup A Disappointing Campaign

West Indies and Sri Lanka are demoted into the first round of the 2022 edition after failing to make the top-eight in the T20I rankings before the November 15 cut-off date.

Meanwhile, Kieron Pollard thanked the all-rounder Dwayne Bravo for his service to the team for almost 18 years and wished him luck for the next chapter in his life. Kieron Pollard acknowledged Dwayne Bravo’s service as an all-rounder and highlighted his immense influence on shaping the cricketing culture of the nation.

“Overall it’s been a disappointing campaign. In terms of the batting we have not done well at all. Our bowling has been decent but not good enough. It’s the end of a generation, we have some guys who have done good things for T20 cricket in our team and around the world,” Kieron Pollard said at the post-match presentation.

West Indies players celebrate with the 2016 T20 WC Trophy [Image-Getty]
West Indies players celebrate with the 2016 T20 WC Trophy [Image-Getty]

“We as people are very proud. We have to look at the way we play T20 cricket. What we’ve seen is that one guy in the top four has to bat as long as possible. Going forward I need to do that better. We have to start from a foundation now,” Kieron Pollard said at the post-match press conference.

Dwayne Bravo, who made his international debut back in 2004, played his final T20I game for the West Indies against Australia. Dwayne Bravo made his T20I debut in 2006 and went on to represent the West Indies in 91 games in the shortest format. Both Dwayne Bravo and Chris Gayle got a guard of honour from the Australian players.

Defending champion of the last T20I World Cup in 2016, West Indies was surprisingly eliminated from semifinal contention after losing to Sri Lanka in the 2021 WC. Dwayne Bravo has played all the T20 World Cups since 2007 and has helped his side win the title in 2012 and 2016. He came out of retirement in international cricket in December 2019 to help his side retain the World T20I title.

Aaron Finch Cannot Understand Why Critics Doubted David Warner’s Abilities

Australia captain Aaron Finch lauded David Warner for his 56-ball 89-run unbeaten knock.

“It was a really pleasing day. I thought it was going to be a long day the way Evin Lewis played. We held our nerves nicely. The way (Warner) managed his innings, got off to a flyer and allowed Mitch Marsh to get into his innings. He’s been a super player for a long time. Can’t understand why people doubted him,” he said.

Australia's Aaron Finch (L) and teammate David Warner (R) are expected to open throughout the World Cup. Photo: AFP
Australia’s Aaron Finch (L) and teammate David Warner (R) are expected to open throughout the World Cup. Photo: AFP

Man-of-the-match David Warner said he just played his natural game.

“Felt satisfying to be there at the end. The key was to play my natural game. It’s about targeting the first two balls and I was able to do that,” said Warner.

“(Our bowlers) have been outstanding. We knew they would come out hard against us. We know the firepower West Indies have and got to a very competitive total.”

Opener David Warner also paid his tribute to the West Indies’ retiring duo of Dwayne Bravo and Chris Gayle, saying they have set a benchmark for future generations.

“DJ (Bravo) has been a benchmark for all players coming through, and Chris, he’s someone I look up to.”

The left-hander was at his vintage best as he smashed four sixes and nine fours to anchor the 158-run chase. David Warner got good support from Mitchell Marsh, who slammed a 32-ball 53 (5×4, 2×6) before getting out while trying to score the winning run.

MS Dhoni (BCCI/IPL)
MS Dhoni (BCCI/IPL)
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Harbhajan Singh Picks MS Dhoni To Lead His All-Time T20 XI

Harbhajan Singh, a veteran Indian spinner, has picked MS Dhoni as his all-time T20 XI skipper. The now 40-year-old MS Dhoni started his T20I career, guiding Team India to glory in the inaugural edition of the T20 World Cup in South Africa in 2007, a year before IPL started. Thereafter, he helped his IPL franchise Chennai Super Kings win the Indian Premier League four times and the Champions League T20 a couple of times as well.

As his openers, Harbhajan Singh picked India’s Rohit Sharma and West Indies’ Chris Gayle. Then, for the No.3 slot, the Turbanator went for England’s Jos Buttler. He said that Jos Buttler is reliable and has the ability to dictate terms after getting set.

Harbhajan Singh. (Twitter/KKRiders)
Harbhajan Singh. (Twitter/KKRiders)

Harbhajan Singh: Jos Buttler Is A Reliable Batsman

Jos Buttler has scored in excess of 250 every time since making his IPL debut in 2016. While he had to leave IPL 2019 midway to join the England team for the World Cup 2019 preparations, he made an impact during his eight-game stint, scoring 311 runs, following his 548-run season in IPL 2018.

The right-hander scored 328 runs in the IPL 2020 and 254 runs in 7 games in the India leg of IPL 2021 that included a ton-his career-best 124 before opting out of the UAE leg IPL 2021.

Rajasthan Royals wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler in action in IPL 2019. - AFP
Rajasthan Royals wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler in action in IPL 2019. – AFP

“He is a very reliable batsman and someone who can control the game once he gets set,” Harbhajan was quoted as saying.

At No.4, Harbhajan Singh picked Shane Watson, who retired from all forms of cricket in November 2020. Back in 2016, after the World T20 in India, Shane Watson bid adieu to international cricket. However, Harbhajan Singh said that Shane Watson had the potential to put in all-around performances and help his team win matches.

“Being an all-rounder, he has won many matches through his batting ability and has won games with the ball as well,” he stated.

In IPL 2020, held entirely in UAE, Shane Watson scored 299 runs from 11 matches averaging 29.9 at a strike rate of 121.05. CSK finished their campaign in seventh place with 12 points from 14 matches, and it was the first time they couldn’t reach the playoffs.

Harbhajan Singh: Kieron Pollard Can Be Moved Up And Down The Batting Order As Per Demands Of The Situation

Harbhajan Singh went for South Africa’s AB de Villiers, India’s MS Dhoni, West Indies’ Dwayne Bravo, and Kieron Pollard at No. 5, 6, 7, and 8 respectively. However, the veteran said that Kieron Pollard could also be slotted up the order if the situation demands so.

“The batting order can be altered and Pollard could be moved up and down the order depending on the needs of the side. Any T20 team is incomplete without Pollard,” Harbhajan added.

Kieron Pollard(Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)
Kieron Pollard(Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)

He also picked the wily Sunil Narine, who has plied his trade in numerous T20 leagues around the world. Next, Harbhajan Singh went for Lasith Malinga and Jasprit Bumrah as his two specialist fast bowlers. Lasith Malinga is the leading wicket-taker in the history of the IPL, having racked up 170 wickets at an economy rate of 7.14. Jasprit Bumrah, on the other hand, is the Indian pace spearhead across formats.

Indian skipper Virat Kohli and Pakistani batter Babar Azam, who doesn’t feature in IPL, were not picked by Harbhajan Singh in his all-time T20I playing XI. Another surprise exclusion is Afghanistan’s Rashid Khan, who has the best economic rate in IPL. Also, missing was the 2011 ODI World cup and 2007 T20I World cup hero Yuvraj Singh, who hit 6 maximums in an over against England’s Stuart Broad in the 2007 T20I World Cup.

Harbhajan Singh’s T20 XI 

Rohit Sharma, Chris Gayle, Jos Buttler, Shane Watson, AB de Villiers, MS Dhoni (c &wk), Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard, Sunil Narine, Lasith Malinga, Jasprit Bumrah

West Indies players celebrate with the T20 WC Trophy [Image-Getty]
West Indies players celebrate with the T20 WC Trophy [Image-Getty]
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Clive Lloyd: West Indies Played Poor Cricket In Both 2021 T20I WC Matches Versus England And South Africa

Clive Lloyd was wearing green and not maroon to start with for West Indies’ match against South Africa. Clive Lloyd answered with a big smile when asked so, saying that he hopes not wearing maroon changes luck which however did not change as the West Indies put on yet another meek performance, and are staring at an early exit from the T20 World Cup 2021.

With a team full of match winners and franchise stars of the caliber of Andre Russell and Kieron Pollard, it is baffling to see them not stand up to the World Cup test. The 2016 T20I World Cup defending champions have lost all 4 matches in the UAE including the warm-up fixtures.

Clive Lloyd
Former West Indies captain Clive Lloyd (Photo- Getty)

Clive Lloyd: West Indies Played Poor Cricket And Poor Shots At The Wrong Time Cost Windies Dear

 

Clive Lloyd is hugely disappointed as West Indies played poorly throwing their wickets away by playing poor shots at the wrong time as was evident after being bundled for 55 against England and finishing on 143/8 which wasn’t a par score. Lendl Simmons was the one to be blamed as he faced 35 balls – of which he attacked just five, including the one-off which he was bowled for 16. Nineteen of his 35 balls were dots and all of his 16 runs came via singles.

 

“We have played some poor cricket. We should have scored 165 against South Africa to be able to challenge them. Yet again some poor shots at the wrong time cost us dear. The first match was dismal and one would have thought we would pick ourselves up in the next game but that too did not happen. Now we have to win all we can and hope some other results go our way to have a chance in the World Cup. Frankly, as defending champions, this was a very ordinary performance, ” said Clive Lloyd on West Indies putting another dismal performance.

West Indies opener Lendl Simmons suffered an afternoon of horror with the bat [Source: ICC]
West Indies opener Lendl Simmons suffered an afternoon of horror with the bat [Source: ICC]

“Everything (laughs). You see you have to take a lot of pride when you play for the national team. You are the select few who get this opportunity. And when it is the World Cup it is about that ultimate mantle. World Champion. You can hold that trophy and tell the world that you are the best team in the world. The entire world. That’s why you play this sport and we played this sport, ” said Clive Lloyd

Of batters who’ve faced 35 balls or more in the history of T20I cricket, this was the second slowest innings of all time. Lendl Simmons had a strike rate of 45.71 in his 16 off 35 balls.

Clive Lloyd: West Indies Made Basic Mistakes In Both Games

Lendl Simmons failed to hit a single six or boundary and it’s unbelievable to imagine how his opening partner Evin Lewis smashed a 35-ball 56 from the other end.

Opener Evin Lewis struck a fine half-century before South Africa restricted West Indies to 143/8. In response, South African batters overhauled the target with 10 balls to spare. Rassie van der Dussen (43 not out), Aiden Markram (51 not out), and Reeza Hendricks (39) played match-winning knocks as West Indies bowlers looked on helplessly.

Evin Lewis unbelievably brought up his half-century in just 32 deliveries when his opening partner struggled even to get going [Source: ICC]
Evin Lewis unbelievably brought up his half-century in just 32 deliveries when his opening partner struggled even to get going [Source: ICC]

“It is more than life and death you see. I want these boys to believe they too can experience this. Be a world champion. Unless that happens you will fall short. The hunger has to be of a very different level. That’s what brings out the best in you. That’s when you fight for the last run and the last ball, ” said Clive Lloyd

” Nothing else matters and nothing should matter to these boys except the dream of becoming world champion. No pain, no injury, nothing. Just pursue this dream. We have made basic mistakes in both games. When you have hit two boundaries you don’t need to play another fancy shot in the next ball. Just do the basics right. That’s what has been lacking, ” said Clive Lloyd

After being handed two thrashings, first against England (6-wicket loss) and then to South Africa (8-wicket loss), West Indies face the uphill task of staying in contention for a semifinal spot in the T20 World Cup 2021. Apart from their loss against England and Proteas, West Indies suffered reversals in both their warm-up encounters as well, losing to Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Against England, West Indies lost nine of their 10 wickets, looking to hit a four or a six, while 59 of the 86 balls they faced were dots, and they did not attempt to rebuild after losing early wickets. Lendl Simmons (3), Evin Lewis (6), Shimron Hetmyer (9), Dwayne Bravo (5), Nicholas Pooran (1), Kieron Pollard (6), and Andre Russell (0) didn’t contribute much with the bat. Chris Gayle ended as the top scorer for West Indies with 13 runs off 13 balls.

Brief Scores:

West Indies: 143 for 8 in 20 overs (Evin Lewis 56, Kieron Pollard 26); Dwaine Pretorius (3/17) Keshav Maharaj (2/24). South Africa: 144 for 2 in 18.2 overs (Rassie van der Dussen 43, Aiden Markram 52; Akeal Hosein 1/27)

West Indies
West Indies. Image Credits: Twitter
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Don’t Know If They’ve Actually Come For The T20 World Cup Or Have Come On A Tourist Visa To Dubai: Aakash Chopra On West Indies

Aakash Chopra has questioned light-heartedly whether the West Indies have turned up at the T20 World Cup 2021 to take part in a tournament or a pleasure trip.

West Indies take on South Africa in their second Super 12 stage match of the global event. Kieron Pollard‘s side goes into the encounter after a mauling at the hands of England in their tournament opener. South Africa had lost to Australia in the first match by 5 wickets after scoring a below-par 118.

Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Aakash Chopra Doesn’t Know If West Indies Came On A Tourist Visa To Dubai After Being Dismissed For 55 Against England

While previewing the West Indies-South Africa encounter in a video shared on his YouTube channel, Aakash Chopra raised doubts about the two-time champions’ intentions.

West Indies lost nine of their 10 wickets, looking to hit a four or a six, while 59 of the 86 balls they faced were dots, and they did not attempt to rebuild after losing early wickets. Lendl Simmons (3), Evin Lewis (6), Shimron Hetmyer (9), Dwayne Bravo (5), Nicholas Pooran (1), Kieron Pollard (6), and Andre Russell (0) didn’t contribute much with the bat. Chris Gayle ended as the top scorer for West Indies with 13 runs off 13 balls.

Aakash Chopra observed: “It is an encounter between two sides who lost their first matches. South Africa lost after a great fight but West Indies, the defending champions, we don’t know if they have actually come for the T20 World Cup or have come on a tourist visa to Dubai.”

West Indies' Andre Russell is clean bowled by England's Adil Rashid during the T20 World Cup match. (AP Photo)
West Indies Andre Russell is clean bowled by England’s Adil Rashid during the T20 World Cup match. (AP Photo)

The cricketer-turned-commentator highlighted that the West Indies can either post a massive score or get bowled out cheaply.

Aakash Chopra elaborated: “We don’t know which West Indies team will come to play. It is a team which we have been repeatedly saying that if they score can make 225 runs and if not, they won’t make even 125 and that is what happened in the last match – they made 55 in total.”

Apart from their loss against England, West Indies suffered reversals in both their warm-up encounters as well. They batted extremely cautiously in these matches against Pakistan and Afghanistan and never brought their dominant side to the fore.

Afghanistan combined a belligerent batting performance with tight bowling to stomp to a shocking 56-run win against a somewhat lethargic 2016 T20I WC defending champions West Indies in both teams’ second and final warm-up match for the T20 World Cup 2021. 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.

Aakash Chopra: West Indies Collected A Team Of Aged Men

Aakash Chopra also stated that the West Indies do not have a youthful side as the selectors picked more experienced and aged cricketers like Chris Gayle (41), Lendl Simmons (36), Dwayne Bravo (37), and Ravi Rampaul (37).

Aakash Chopra pointed out: “It was reeking of arrogance at some stage. It looked like every guy was saying that runs will get scored, we are the champions and play T20 very easily. They have collected a team of aged men, which has Ravi Rampaul, Dwayne Bravo, Chris Gayle – they have been playing for such a long time. Even if you see Lendl Simmons.”

The 44-year-old reckons the 2016 defending champions West Indies will have an uphill task against South Africa.

Aakash Chopra explained:”You might give them a chance again if they play in a bold and carefree fashion. If the professionalism, processes and everything else that goes right, I feel South Africa will trouble them because they will push them to the back foot with their bowling.”

Aakash Chopra acknowledged that the West Indies cannot be ruled out because one player can change the course of a T20 encounter. However, he concluded by picking South Africa as the likely winners of today’s clash.
Aiden Markram (Getty)
Aiden Markram (Getty)
Australia chased down the target of 119 in 19.4 overs against South Africa, with Steve Smith scoring 34-ball 35. For South Africa, Anrich Nortje took two wickets. Earlier, electing to bowl, Australia restricted South Africa to a meagre 118 for nine. Aiden Markram scored 40 for the Proteas after their top-order crumbled. Fast bowlers Josh Hazlewood (2/19) and Mithcell Starc (2/31) took two wickets apiece, while spinner Adam Zampa (2/21) also picked 2 scalps.
In the England-West Indies match, there was no thriller in the repeat of the 2016 T20 World Cup final, as West Indies played low-percentage cricket on a difficult pitch to be bowled out for 55, a target England had to work reasonably hard to overhaul, losing four wickets and taking 8.2 overs. Between them, England spinners Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid bowled 6.2 overs for 19 runs and took six wickets.
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.

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