Lungi Ngidi Age, Biography, career, stats, networth, Ranking & News

Lungi Ngidi

Ravindra Jadeja With MS Dhoni CSK Twitter Handle
Ravindra Jadeja With MS Dhoni CSK Twitter Handle
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Ravindra Jadeja Should Bat Ahead Of MS Dhoni In IPL 2021 UAE Leg: Sanjay Manjrekar

Sanjay Manjrekar, former cricketer turned commentator feels Ravindra Jadeja will bat again at the No. 6 spot for his franchise Chennai Super Kings ahead of their talismanic skipper MS Dhoni. It was followed in the first half of IPL 2021. Sanjay Manjrekar feels the batting positions of Ravindra Jadeja and MS Dhoni won’t change in the UAE leg.

CSK had a poor outing in the previous IPL 2020 season held in the UAE as they won just six games and failed to qualify for the playoffs for the first time in IPL history.  However, Sanjay Manjrekar is of the opinion that players like Moeen Ali and Sam Curran have changed the way CSK plays and they will fare better this time around.

Sanjay Manjrekar | Sportzpics
Sanjay Manjrekar | Sportzpics

Sanjay Manjrekar: Ravindra Jadeja Should Bat Ahead Of MS Dhoni

The all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja was in clinical form in the first phase of IPL 2021 with the bat especially and he played some crucial knocks. He has the ability to turn a match on its head quickly. He has been excellent under MS Dhoni’s captaincy and he will be expecting to produce the same.

The left-handed batsman scored 131 runs in 6 innings at an average of 131. He also batted at a strike rate of 126+ and scored a half-century. He also picked 6 wickets while bowling at an economy of 6.70 and an average of 26.83.

On the other hand, MS Dhoni will lead the team in the match against Mumbai Indians in the IPL 2021 opener. In the first leg, the wicketkeeper-batsman could not come up with a big knock in any game. In 4 innings, he scored 37 runs averaging a below-par 12.33.

Sanjay Manjrekar said about CSK: “Jadeja should bat ahead of MS Dhoni. I think so (CSK will do well) because their approach has changed and Moeen Ali and Sam Curran have become impact players so they should perform better than the last time we saw them in UAE.”

Ravindra Jadeja, CSK
Ravindra Jadeja. Image Credits: Twitter

Sanjay Manjrekar and Ian Bishop picked overseas players for both the two teams CSK and MI ahead of their encounter on September 19. CSK might not have the services of Faf du Plessis due to his injury in the CPL. Both Sanjay Manjrekar and Ian Bishop want MS Dhoni to play the pace duo of Josh Hazlewood and Lungi Ngidi.

“I think Moeen Ali, they should get both their fast bowlers in Hazlewood and Lungi Ngidi. And if there is a little bit of turn, Imran Tahir,” Manjrekar said.

“For the first game because of injuries, I will go with Moeen Ali, Josh Hazlewood and Lungi Ngidi,” Bishop opined.

Lungi Ngidi might play as a pacer in the opening game against Mumbai Indians. During the first leg, the South African pacer played 3 matches. He picked 5 wickets at an average of 25, with a three-wicket haul in one match.

Josh Hazlewood played 3 games in IPL 2020 picking 1 scalp. Josh Hazelwood had cited personal reasons for pulling out of IPL 2021. In his absence, CSK roped in left-arm pacer Jason Behrendorff from Australia. However, he did not play a single game for the 3-time champions in IPL 2021. But Josh Hazlewood announced his availability for the UAE leg of IPL 2021.

Sanjay Manjrekar And Ian Bishop Wants Adam Milne To Play As The 4th Overseas Option For Mumbai Indians

As far as Mumbai Indians are concerned, the likes of Quinton de Kock, Kieron Pollard, and Trent Boult pick themselves. When it comes to the fourth overseas player, both Sanjay Manjrekar and Ian Bishop want the in-form Adam Milne to play ahead of Nathan Coulter Nile.

“Toss up between Coulter Nile and Adam Milne. There is enough batting for MI so I think Adam Milne.” Manjrekar stated.

Adam Milne- Twitter
Adam Milne- Twitter

“Adam Milne definitely should play. He is the form of his life,” Bishop concluded.

Adam Milne was the leading wicket-taker in the inaugural edition of the Hundred claiming 12 scalps bowling 135 balls for Birmingham Phoenix.

Probable XIs:-

Chennai Super Kings: 1 Ruturaj Gaikwad, 2 Moeen Ali, 3 Suresh Raina, 4 Ambati Rayudu, 5 Ravindra Jadeja, 6 Dwayne Bravo, 7 MS Dhoni (capt & wk), 8 Shardul Thakur, 9 Deepak Chahar, 10 Imran Tahir, 11 Lungi Ngidi/Josh Hazlewood.

Mumbai Indians: 1 Rohit Sharma (capt), 2 Quinton de Kock (wk), 3 Suryakumar Yadav, 4 Ishan Kishan, 5 Kieron Pollard, 6 Hardik Pandya, 7 Krunal Pandya, 8 Adam Milne/Nathan Coulter-Nile, 9 Jayant Yadav/Rahul Chahar, 10 Trent Boult, 11 Jasprit Bumrah.

Chennai Super Kings (Image Credit: Twitter)
Chennai Super Kings (Image Credit: Twitter)
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IPL 2021: CSK vs MI- CSK’s Predicted XI For The 1st Match

IPL 2021, UAE leg is all set to get underway from September 19 and it would be a blockbuster to get things rolling in UAE as defending champions Mumbai Indians lock horns with familiar foes in Chennai Super Kings in Dubai. While expectations would be high from both sides, the winner would be the one side who holds their nerves best on the given day as both teams are well-matched on paper.

The two teams have met on 32 occasions, with Mumbai being the winners 19 times. CSK holds the 2nd spot in the points table with 10 points. The MS Dhoni-led side has won 5 matches and lost 2 out of 7 matches. On the other hand, Mumbai Indians are in the 4th spot in the points table with 8 points. Out of 7 games, MI has won 4 matches and lost 3. In the earlier encounter in India in IPL 2021, MI won the match by 4 wickets while chasing a mammoth target of 219 runs.

For CSK, they have concerns to address ahead of their opener against MI as a couple of their stars – Faf du Plessis and Sam Curran – may miss out.  While the SA cricketer picked up an injury during a CPL match and that puts his participation in doubt, the English all-rounder has arrived in Dubai only on Wednesday morning and has to serve a mandatory 6-day quarantine – which makes him unavailable.

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

IPL 2021:- Chennai Super Kings Predicted XI:-

Robin Uthappa

Robin Uthappa
Robin Uthappa (Image Credit: Twitter)

Robin Uthappa might get a chance to play for Chennai Super Kings in the match against Mumbai Indians as Faf du Plessis is currently injured. Faf du Plessis recently faced a groin injury during a CPL 2021 and reports suggest that he might need one week to recover.

As a result, the team might give Robin Uthappa a chance in the opening slot against Mumbai Indians. The unfailingly consistent and proven match-winner, Robin Uthappa, who has scored 4607 IPL runs, was traded to Chennai Super Kings by the Rajasthan Royals ahead of IPL 2021 Player Auction.

Ruturaj Gaikwad

Ruturaj Gaikwad
Ruturaj Gaikwad (Image Credit: Twitter)

Ruturaj Gaikwad will be the other opener CSK might choose in the opening game of IPL 2021. Ruturaj Gaikwad executed a great batting show in the first leg, scoring 196 runs in 7 games at an average of 28. He also smacked 2 half-centuries, while batting at a strike rate of 128+.

Moeen Ali

Moeen Ali
Moeen Ali[photo: Twitter]
After his brilliant quickfire knocks in the first leg of IPL 2021, Moeen Ali is most likely to be part of the CSK’s playing XI against MI. The England player played 6 matches in the first leg, scoring 206 runs in 6 innings at an average of 34.33. The leg-handed batsman owned a strike rate of 157+ and also hit 1 fifty. He also picked 5 scalps averaging an impressive 14.8.

Suresh Raina

Suresh Raina
Suresh Raina (Image Credit: Twitter)

Suresh Raina is another player who might make it into the playing XI during CSK’s opening game against Mumbai Indians in IPL 2021. In 7 matches so far, the left-handed batsman scored 123 runs in 6 innings at an average of 24.60. Suresh Raina has also hit a half-century in one game. He has played exactly 200 IPL games and has scored 5491 runs in IPL and is the third-highest run-getter in IPL history.

Ravindra Jadeja

Ravindra Jadeja
Ravindra Jadeja. Image Credits: Twitter

Ravindra Jadeja is one player who will definitely make it into the playing XI for CSK in the opening encounter against Mumbai Indians in IPL 2021. The left-handed batsman scored 131 runs in 6 innings at an average of 131. He also batted at a strike rate of 126+ and scored a half-century. He also picked 6 wickets while bowling at an economy of 6.70 and an average of 26.83.

MS Dhoni

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

MS Dhoni will lead the team in the match against Mumbai Indians in IPL 2021 opener. In the first leg, the wicketkeeper-batsman could not come up with a big knock in any game. In 4 innings, he scored 37 runs averaging a below-par 12.33.  MS Dhoni is the best option for a wicketkeeper for CSK.

While MS Dhoni has hung up his boots on a 16-year illustrious career for Team India, he will be seen donning the CSK colours once again. MS Dhoni would want to end IPL 2021 on a winning note as this season may be the last one for the keeper. CSK failed to qualify for the first time in IPL history in 2020 but the MS Dhoni-led team will want to make amends.

Imran Tahir

Imran Tahir
Imran Tahir (Image Credit: Twitter)

Imran Tahir is another player who might make it to CSK’s playing XI in the opening game. Since the IPL 2021 2nd phase will take place in UAE, spinners will be a lot more effective. As a result, CSK might induct 42-year-old veteran Imran Tahir into the team for the game against Mumbai Indians.

The 2019 purple cup winner, who picked 26 scalps in 17 games in 2019, didn’t get enough opportunities in IPL 2020 and IPL 2021. He played only 4 games in the last 2 seasons picking up 3 scalps.

Mitchell Santner

Mitchell Santner
Mitchell Santner. (Photo Source: Twitter)

For another spinner in the team, Mitchell Santner can be part of CSK in the IPL 2021 opener against Mumbai Indians. The Kiwi player did not play any match during the first leg. In 6 games in IPL so far, the bowling all-rounder Santner has picked 6 wickets and scored 32 runs. His matches came in 2019 and 2020 but he didn’t get enough opportunities to prove himself.

Deepak Chahar

Deepak Chahar, Twitter @BCCI
Deepak Chahar, Twitter @BCCI

Deepak Chahar is the first pacer that CSK will pick in the IPL 2021 opener against Mumbai Indians. The right-arm pacer showed magnificent form in the first leg, picking 2 four-wicket hauls. With 8 wickets in 7 games, he averaged 24.12 and an economy of 8.04.

Lungi Ngidi

Lungi Ngidi (AFP)
Lungi Ngidi (AFP)

Sam Curran and Dwayne Bravo might miss the first game due to quarantine protocols. Hence, Lungi Ngidi might play as a pacer in the opening game against Mumbai Indians. During the first leg, the South African pacer played 3 matches. He picked 5 wickets at an average of 25, with a three-wicket haul in one match.

Shardul Thakur

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

Shardul Thakur is another pacer that CSK might go for. The right-arm pacer played all 7 matches during the first leg. He scalped 5 wickets. He was a bit costly with his economy rate of 10.33 and his average of 53.4 wasn’t that good.

However, he is a crucial bowler for CSK with his ability to pick wickets when the team needs them. Moreover, he is also a great tailender batsman as proved in the Test tours to England and Australia in international cricket. He has picked up 51 scalps in 52 IPL games so far.

Other options:-

Ambati Rayudu

Ambati Rayudu © BCCI
Ambati Rayudu © BCCI

In 7 matches in the Indian leg of IPL 2021, Ambati Rayudu scored 136 runs averaging 34 at an excellent strike rate of 200 and might play in the middle order. Once a regular in the Indian ODI team, Ambati Rayudu would come in handy for the CSK in the middle-order, if needed.

Josh Hazlewood

Josh Hazlewood Credit: iplt20.com/Ron Gaunt/Sportzpics for BCCI
Josh Hazlewood Credit: iplt20.com/Ron Gaunt/Sportzpics for BCCI

Josh Hazlewood played 3 games in IPL 2020. Josh Hazelwood had cited personal reasons for pulling out of IPL 2021. In his absence, CSK roped in left-arm pacer Jason Behrendorff from Australia. However, he did not play a single game for the 3-time champions in IPL 2021.

But Josh Hazlewood announced his availability for the UAE leg of IPL 2021. He has picked 1 scalp in his brief IPL career playing 3 games for CSK. Josh Hazlewood, who played only 3 matches for CSK last season, will be available to play for the 3-time champions in the remainder of the season, starting September 19 in the UAE.

CSK Playing XI vs MI: Ruturaj Gaikwad, Robin Uthappa, Moeen Ali, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu/ Mitchell Santner, Ravindra Jadeja, MS Dhoni (c & wk), Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar, Lungi Ngidi, J Hazlewood/Imran Tahir

Kusal Perera
Kusal Perera
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Kusal Perera Tests Covid-19 Positive And Is Likely To Miss ODI And T20Is Against Proteas

Kusal Perera has tested positive for COVID-19, which has put his participation in next month’s series against South Africa in jeopardy after missing the limited-overs series against India due to injury.

Kusal Perera, who led Sri Lanka in England earlier this year, sprained his shoulder and was ruled out of the entire limited-overs series against India. All-rounder Dasun Shanka led the side in Kusal Perera’s absence, defeating the Men in Blue in the three-match T20I series by 2-1 and winning 1 game in the ODIs too.

Kusal Perera. (Credits: Twitter)
Kusal Perera. (Credits: Twitter)

Kusal Perera Underwent Mandatory RT-PCR Tests Which Revealed He Contracted Covid-19

Meanwhile, in a bid to return to training, Kusal Perera underwent mandatory RT-PCR tests, which revealed that the cricketer had contracted the deadly virus. It will likely keep the southpaw out of the all-important series against South Africa leading up to the ICC T20 World Cup, set to take place in the UAE and Oman in October-November.

The 30-year-old Kusal Perera has so far represented Sri Lanka in 22 Tests, 107 ODIs, and 50 T20Is, scoring 5595 runs across formats, including eight centuries. Although Kusal Perera is no longer captain, having been replaced in that role by Dasun Shanaka following the contracts standoff between the players and the board, he remains one of Sri Lanka’s key batters in the top order.

Sri Lanka's Dasun Shanaka was among the first to agree to sign Sri Lanka Cricket's tour contracts for India series PA Images via Getty Images
Dasun Shanaka was among the first to agree to sign Sri Lanka Cricket’s tour contracts for India series PA Images via Getty Images

He is, in addition, the team’s primary wicketkeeping option, with Niroshan Dickwella still suspended over his breach of the team bio-bubble, in Durham. Kusal Perera’s probable absence, as well as that of Niroshan Dickwella, Kusal Mendis, and Danushka Gunathilaka will mean Sri Lanka will field almost the same second-string team which did well in the recently concluded series against India.

The likes of Lahiru Udara, Lahiru Kumara, Ashen Bandara, Kasun Rajitha, Ishan Jayaratne, Minod Bhanuka and Bhanuka Rajapaksa may get chances.

South Africa’s Faf Du Plessis Not Included In T20I And ODI Squads

The Proteas are scheduled to play the Islanders in three ODIs, starting September 2. The second and the third ODIs will take place on September 4 and 7 respectively, followed by three T20Is on September 10, 12, and 14. All matches will be played in a bio-secure bubble at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo.

South Africa vs Sri Lanka
South Africa vs Sri Lanka (Gallo Images)

Meanwhile, South Africa has announced their squad for the upcoming series. Former skipper Faf du Plessis, who withdrew from The Hundred due to a concussion injury he suffered during PSL 2021, has been left out of the squad.

 Dwaine Pretorius has returned to both squads while Junior Dala has been included in the ODI squad.

South Africa ODI squad– Temba Bavuma (c), Beuran Hendricks, Reeza Hendricks, Heinrich Klaasen, Janneman Malan, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, Wiaan Mulder, Anrich Nortje, Andile Phehlukwayo, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Rassies Van Der Dussen, Kyle Verreynne, Lizaad Williams, George Linde, Junior Dala, and Dwaine Pretorius.

South Africa T20I squad– Temba Bavuma (c), Quinton de Kock, Bjorn Fortuin, Reeza Hendricks, Heinrich Klaasen, George Linde, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Wiaan Mulder, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Kafia Rabi, Basi Benjadara.

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South Africa Will Be Without 3 Key Players In ODIs In Sri Lanka, But The Trio May Return In T20Is

South Africa will be without a number of key players for their three one-day internationals in Sri Lanka next month but expect their big guns to return for the Twenty20 series that follows as they build towards the upcoming T20I World Cup in the United Arab Emirates.

South Africa plays three ODIs in Colombo from Sept. 2-7 but will be without leading batsman Quinton de Kock (rested), powerful middle-order hitter David Miller (hamstring injury), and seamer Lungi Ngidi (personal reasons).

South Africa Cricket Team
South Africa Cricket Team (Photo by Lorraine O’Sullivan/PA Images via Getty Images)

South Africa Plays 3 ODIs And As Many T20Is Against Sri Lanka

All-rounder Dwaine Pretorius will return to the squads for both series after an injury lay-off that saw him miss successful tours to West Indies and Ireland in recent months. The missing trio has been included in the expanded 19-man squad for the T20 matches, which will also be staged in Colombo from Sept. 10-14, a month before the World Cup starts.

David Miller (L), Quinton de Kock (C) and Lungi Ngidi. Credit: DH, AFP, Reuters File Photos
David Miller (L), Quinton de Kock (C), and Lungi Ngidi. Credit: DH, AFP, Reuters File Photo.
The takeaways from the squad announcement of Proteas are, Dwaine Pretorius has returned to both the squads. Junior Dala has been included in the ODI squad and ace batter and wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock has been rested from the ODIs. Pacer Lungi Ngidi will miss out on the ODIs due to personal reasons while David Miller’s injury is being monitored regularly.

South Africa won their T20 series against world champions West Indies and Ireland, and will once again be captained by Temba Bavuma in both formats.

Sri Lanka Will Be Confident After Their Show Against India In The T20Is

South Africa will fight against Sri Lanka who will be instilled with great confidence after recently defeating India in the T20Is. Sri Lanka recently played three ODIs and as many T20Is against India wherein the ODI series was won by India but hosts took away the T20Is.

Wanindu Hasaranga Celebrates A Wicket in 1st T20I @SLC
Wanindu Hasaranga Celebrates A Wicket in 1st T20I @SLC

After COVID-19 havoc broke in India’s camp, India played with their depleted side and completed the series. Under the guidance of Rahul Dravid, many youngsters got the chance to showcase their skills. Talking about South Africa, they played last against West Indies and won the two-match Test series as 2-0 and the five-match T20I series as 3-2.

Wanindu Hasaranga, the No.2 ranked T20I bowler in the world, bamboozled the Indian batsmen in the recently-concluded limited-overs series, picking up 10 wickets from five matches, including a match-winning 4/9 in the deciding T20I, which Sri Lanka won to clinch the series.

ODI squad: Temba Bavuma (captain), Junior Dala, Beuran Hendricks, Reeza Hendricks, Heinrich Klaasen, George Linde, Janneman Malan, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, Wiaan Mulder, Anrich Nortje, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Rassie van der Dussen, Kyle Verreynne, Lizaad Williams.

T20 squad: Temba Bavuma (captain), Quinton de Kock, Bjorn Fortuin, Beuran Hendricks, Reeza Hendricks, Heinrich Klaasen, George Linde, Keshav Maharaj, Sisanda Magala, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Wiaan Mulder, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Rassie van der Dussen, Lzaad Williams.

Ashwell Prince squeezes a run off Danish Kaneria © AFP
Ashwell Prince squeezes a run off Danish Kaneria © AFP
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It Was No Dream To Represent South Africa After Being Targeted Racially: Ashwell Prince

Ashwell Prince, a Proteas batsman who scored 3,665 runs at an average of 41.64 in 66 Tests, claimed he had been labelled a “quota player” and was not made to feel welcome in the national team.

CSA has for several years set racial “targets” to ensure diversity in the team and several players said they had to fight accusations that they were selected only because of their colour.

Ashwell Prince at a press conference
Ashwell Prince at a press conference © Getty Images

Ashwell Prince: It Was No Dream To Represent South Africa

Allegations of racial discrimination in South African cricket have been made during a month of hearings, with one star claiming he was blasted as a “quota player” and that representing the national team was “no dream”.

Another cricketer said a modified version of the 1970s pop song “Brown Girl in the Ring” was used to single him out. What Cricket South Africa (CSA) described as a Social Justice and Nation Building project was sparked by current fast bowler Lungi Ngidi’s support for the Black Lives Matter movement in 2020.

Lungi Ngidi. Picture: REUTERS
Lungi Ngidi. Picture: REUTERS

Public criticism of Lungi Ngidi’s comments, including from some former players, led to a statement from a group of black former international cricketers that they had suffered discrimination during their careers. An independent ombudsman, advocate Dumisa Ntsebeza, has heard testimony from some prominent former players, including Ashwell Prince and Paul Adams.

“You think that you’re playing for your country, that you’re living a dream, but it was no dream,” said Prince, who now coaches the Cape Cobras franchise team.

Ashwell Prince revealed how three fellow national teammates had used the quota issue to insult him during a franchise game the week before he scored a Test century against Australia as an opening batsman, despite not normally batting in that position.

“I raised my bat to my parents, then to my wife on the other side of the stadium and then, lastly and reluctantly, I raised my bat to my teammates,” he said.

“If I had a choice, I wouldn’t have raised my bat to them. We weren’t a team.”

Ashwell Prince said team management including Gary Kirsten as a coach, had rejected a request from another player of colour to discuss South Africa’s history during a team bonding weekend. He said if such discussions had taken place, the Black Lives Matter issue might not have been so controversial.

Paul Adams Had Not Initially Complained But His Wife Pointed Out He Was Racially Being Targeted

Paul Adams, a spin bowler who took 134 wickets in 45 Tests, said he had been called a “brown shirt” in after-match fines meetings when teammates adapted the words of a Boney M song “Brown Girl in the Ring”.

He said he had not initially complained, but his girlfriend, now his wife, had pointed out that he was being racially stereotyped. Several white former players, including current coach Mark Boucher, director of cricket Graeme Smith and recently retired star batsman AB de Villiers, have been mentioned during the hearings. Mark Boucher has stated that he will respond to allegations against him.

South African spinner Paul Adams. (Photo by WILLIAM WEST/AFP/Getty Images)
South African spinner Paul Adams. (Photo by WILLIAM WEST/AFP/Getty Images)
Ashwell Prince said he felt unwelcome throughout his nine years in the national team, was labelled a “quota player” by his teammates on several occasions, and experienced racism in the dressing room. He has not been convinced the issues have been resolved to this day.
Ashwell Prince last played for South Africa in 2011 and detailed how the national team had an opportunity in that year to discuss their diverse backgrounds but rejected it, something that he feels has repercussions on the team dynamic today.
Steve Smith (Image Credit: Twitter)
Steve Smith (Image Credit: Twitter)
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Steve Smith Reclaims The No. 1 Spot In The ICC Test Batsmen Rankings

Steve Smith, Australian batsman has surpassed New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson to become the top-ranked Test batsman in the latest ICC Test rankings that were revealed on Wednesday. India captain Virat Kohli jumped to the number 4th spot while Australia batsman Steve Smith reclaimed the No.1 position in the ICC Test rankings for batsmen for the first time since the Boxing Day Tests last year.

Steve Smith takes over from New Zealand captain Kane Williamson, who is set to lead his team in the ICC World Test Championship Final against India at the Hampshire Bowl in Southampton from Friday.

Kane Williamson, Steve Smith, Virat Kohli (L-R)
Kane Williamson, Steve Smith, Virat Kohli (L-R)

Steve Smith Reclaims Top Spot While Kane Williamson Is Second Among Batsmen

Kane Williamson, who missed the second Test against England at Edgbaston due to injury after scoring 13 runs in the drawn first Test at Lord’s, has slipped five points behind Steve Smith’s 891 rating points and is second in the batters’ list. This means that Steve Smith has been at the top for 167 Tests played worldwide in total, only behind Garry Sobers (189 matches) and Viv Richards (179 matches).

Kane Williamson (AP)
Kane Williamson (AP)

An injury saw Kane Williamson miss the second Test against England at Edgbaston, hence paving way for Steve Smith to claim the No. 1 spot. Courtesy of his performances in the Test series, Kane Williamson lost 5 points because of which he dropped down to No. 2 spot.

The rankings also produced a positive change for Virat Kohli who moved from 5th position to 4th in the ICC Test Rankings for batsmen. Virat Kohli has as many as 6 Test matches to come — one against New Zealand in the WTC final and 5 against England — and he would be determined to further improve his position in the ICC Test rankings.

Quinton de Kock Gains 11 Positions To Reach Joint 12th Position, While South African Pave Trio Of Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, And Lungi Ngidi Moves Up

The latest men’s weekly update, which also includes performances from the first Test between South Africa and the West Indies in St Lucia, sees Quinton de Kock in joint-12th position with Cheteshwar Pujara while his compatriot Adrian Markram has advanced two slots to reach 14th position.

Quinton de Kock, who was named player of the match for scoring an unbeaten 141 that helped his team win by an innings and 63 runs, has gained 11 positions to attain his highest position since December 2019.

Quinton de Kock works one on the leg side AFP/Getty Images
Quinton de Kock works one on the leg side AFP/Getty Images

South Africa’s pace bowlers too have made rapid strides after the huge win. Formerly top-ranked Kagiso Rabada has gained two spots to reach the seventh place after a five-wicket haul in the second innings, Anrich Nortje is up into the top 30 for the first time in his career finishing with seven wickets in the match, while Lungi Ngidi is up 14 places to 44th position with a first-innings five-wicket haul.

Kagiso Rabada ended with figures of 5 for 34 in the second innings AFP/Getty Images
Kagiso Rabada ended with figures of 5 for 34 in the second innings AFP/Getty Images
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Kagiso Rabada Feels Taking 5 Wicket-Haul Is Like Scoring A Ton

The South African pacer Kagiso Rabada felt like scoring a hundred when he picked his tenth five-wicket haul to help Proteas thrash West Indies by an innings and 63 runs in the first Test on Saturday. It was his first Test five-for in an innings in more than three years and Kagiso Rabada was elated with his performance against the West Indies.

Kagiso Rabada likened his emotions after his first five-for in Test cricket since March 2018 to the feeling a batsman has when he scores a hundred after a lean patch. However, he maintained that not much had changed about his bowling in the last three years.

Kagiso Rabada's 5 for 34 saw South Africa wrap up an innings win AFP/Getty Images
Kagiso Rabada’s 5 for 34 saw South Africa wrap up an innings win AFP/Getty Images

Kagiso Rabada Really Glad About His Performance As He Picked Up 5 Wickets For The First Time Since 2018

Kagiso Rabada’s 5 for 34 saw South Africa wrap up an innings win over West Indies in less than two-and-a-half days; a victory built on a strong first-innings showing with the ball when they dismissed West Indies for 97. The architect of that performance was his new-ball partner Lungi Ngidi, who took 5 for 19 to record his second five-for in Test cricket and first since debut in January 2018.

“You measure the highest accolades in cricket by scoring hundreds and taking five-fors and ten-fors. It’s something you always strive to do. Unfortunately, it hasn’t happened for me in recent years but I’m glad that’s happened today,” ESPNcricinfo quoted Rabada as saying.

Kagiso Rabada (L) of South Africa appeals for lbw against Kemar Roach (R) of West Indies(AFP)
Kagiso Rabada (L) of South Africa appeals for lbw against Kemar Roach (R) of West Indies(AFP)
“The only thing you can judge yourself on is being consistent in your preparation. It’s like scoring a hundred. Who wouldn’t be happy with scoring a hundred? I am really glad about the performance I put in,” he added.
South African speedster Kagiso Rabada on Saturday picked up his 10th five-wicket haul in Test cricket. During the first match against West Indies in St Lucia, Kagiso Rabada finished with 5-34 for South Africa in the second innings as the hosts won the game by an innings and 63 runs to go 1-0 up in the 2-match series.
This was Kagiso Rabada’s first 5-wicket haul against West Indies in Test cricket. He’s now the 7th South African bowler to take a five-for in a Test in the Caribbean.
Kagiso Rabada claimed his first five-wicket haul in 33 innings, since March 2018, as South Africa wrapped up the St Lucia Test before lunch on the third day to take an unassailable lead in the two-match series. West Indies lost six for 65 in an extended first session on Saturday to stumble to a sixth innings defeat in 253 matches at home.

Kagiso Rabada: South Africa Is A Rebuilding Team As Even Most Experienced Players Are Young

West Indies was bowled out for 162 in their second innings as South Africa sealed a win in the opening Test inside three days. Kagiso Rabada said the win will give South Africa massive confidence going into further games.

“We’re a young team and we are rebuilding,” he said. “Even our most experienced players are young, like myself and Quinny [de Kock]. Dean is our most experienced but for me, at 26, to be one of the most experienced paints a picture of how young we are as a team,” said Rabada.

Quinton de Kock works one on the leg side AFP/Getty Images
Quinton de Kock works one on the leg side AFP/Getty Images

“It’s going to give us massive confidence not only moving into the next Test match but moving into the next few years. We can’t take anything for granted but just take all the positives that we’ve done in this Test match and keep building on those. This win has given us a lot of confidence,” he added.

Quinton de Kock won the Player of the Match for his impressive hundred. The second Test between both sides will be played from June 18. De Kock returned to international form with his century in the Caribbean, his first Test score over 30 in seven innings to break a lean patch that was starting to get under his skin.

South Africa 322 (de Kock 141*, Holder 4-75) beat West Indies 97 (Holder 20, Ngidi 5-19, Nortje 4-35) & 162 (Chase 62, Rabada 5-34) by an innings and 63 runs

MS Dhoni (BCCI/IPL)
MS Dhoni (BCCI/IPL)
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One Saw A Change In Captaincy Tactics Of MS Dhoni From IPL 2020, Says Aakash Chopra

Aakash Chopra said that there was a massive change in MS Dhoni’s captaincy tactics in IPL 2021 as compared to last year’s edition of the league.

MS Dhoni seemed to be under pressure last season in IPL 2020, with the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) batsmen not firing as per expectations and unable to post substantial scores. The talismanic skipper was back to his calm and collected self in IPL 2021, as his team delivered the goods to be placed 2nd before IPL 2021 was postponed for rising Covid-19 cases.

MS Dhoni
MS Dhoni (Image Credit: Twitter)

Aakash Chopra Liked MS Dhoni’s Captaincy In IPL 2021 Which Was Changed Compared To IPL 2020 7 Indians Played Continuously Unlike Last Season

While reviewing CSK’s performance in a video shared on his YouTube channel, Aakash Chopra picked MS Dhoni’s astute leadership as one of the reasons for the franchise’s turnaround.

“One thing I liked a lot was MS Dhoni’s captaincy. We could see a change in his captaincy from last year to this year. Last year we saw Dhoni, he had only five bowlers at the start and he made changes quickly,” said Chopra.

The cricketer-turned-commentator pointed out that MS Dhoni has played the same seven Indian players in all encounters of IPL 2021 thus far.

“Ruturaj didn’t score runs and he was dropped. Narayan Jagadeesan was dropped, players were getting dropped very quickly. But this time in seven encounters, seven Indians played continuously. He did not change a single Indian player,” observed Chopra.

Aakash Chopra. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Aakash Chopra. (Photo Source: Twitter)

CSK had one of the most consistent batting line-ups in the tournament. With six of their batsmen scoring half-centuries, they didn’t rely on anyone in particular. Before IPL 2021 was suspended last week, CSK was placed second with 10 points and a net run rate of +1.263 – the highest among all teams.

IPL 2020 was a season the Chennai Super Kings brigade would want to forget in a hurry. For the first time in the history of the tournament and in all the editions till then that CSK had played (11), the MS Dhoni-led side failed to make the cut for the play-offs.

Aakash Chopra: Overseas Changes Were Only Injury Related

Aakash Chopra highlighted even the overseas changes were injury-forced and to maintain the balance of the line-up.

“The overseas changes were only injury related. Moeen Ali got injured, so he got Dwayne Bravo to get an all-rounder. He also thought of playing a spinner as Moeen Ali’s spin will not be there,” added Chopra.

CSK has used just 13 players in the seven matches they have played in IPL 2021 to date. Imran Tahir was brought into the playing XI when Moeen Ali had to miss an encounter due to injury, while Dwayne Bravo and Lungi Ngidi played four and three matches respectively.

Imran Tahir
Imran Tahir (Image Credit: Twitter)

Aakash Chopra signed off by stating that consistency in selection showed MS Dhoni’s belief in his players.

“The tactical changes were absolutely fine but MS Dhoni not making the changes shows the confidence he had. It is because of this CSK and MS Dhoni are special, they are not trigger-happy, they give time and keep faith in their selections. Because of this they don’t find but make players,” concluded Chopra.

Many players have credited MS Dhoni for bringing out the best in them. A case in point is Deepak Chahar, who has acknowledged the CSK skipper’s role in his development as a death bowler.

Faf du Plessis continued from where he left in the UAE in 2020 scoring 320 runs in 7 matches at a strike rate of 145.45 including 4 fifties. The platform laid by him and opener Ruturaj Gaikwad (196 runs at a strike rate of 128.94) eased the pressure on the middle order and went a long way enabling CSK to put up massive totals.

Moeen Ali was a revelation with the bat at number three as he scored a useful 206 runs at a strike rate of 157.25. Ambati Rayudu-136 runs, Ravindra Jadeja-131 runs, Suresh Raina-123 runs also were among runs. Among the CSK bowlers, Sam Curran(9), Deepak Chahar (8), Ravindra Jadeja (6), Moeen Ali (5), and Lungi Ngidi(5) were among the wickets. Deepak Chahar twice took 4 wicket hauls.

MS Dhoni (Image Credit: Twitter)
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Parthiv Patel Credits MS Dhoni For Handling CSK In A Remarkable Manner

Parthiv Patel, former Indian and Chennai Super Kings (CSK) player, credited skipper MS Dhoni for handling the team in a remarkable manner.

MS Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings (CSK), made a strong comeback in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021. Though they began their campaign with a loss against Delhi Capitals, the three-time champions were quick enough to make it to the top half of the IPL 2021 points table and consolidated their position with back-to-back wins.

File image of Parthiv Patel | Vipin Pawar /SPORTZPICS
File image of Parthiv Patel | Vipin Pawar /SPORTZPICS

Parthiv Patel: It Was Remarkable To See The Way MS Dhoni Handled CSK

CSK had one of the most consistent batting line-ups in the tournament. With six of their batsmen scoring half-centuries, they didn’t rely on anyone in particular. Before the tournament was suspended last week, CSK was placed second with 10 points and a net run rate of +1.263 – the highest among all teams.

Former Indian and CSK player Parthiv Patel credited skipper MS Dhoni for handling the team in a remarkable manner. While speaking to the Star Sports network, the cricketer-turned-commentator said that a ‘strong captain’ is always needed if a team wants to make a ‘comeback’.

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

“I had no doubts about it. CSK was in my top four even before the tournament started. But I thought the way MS Dhoni handled the team, it was remarkable. When you have to make a comeback, you need a strong captain,” said Parthiv Patel.

IPL 2020 was a season the Chennai Super Kings brigade would want to forget in a hurry. For the first time in the history of the tournament and in all the editions till then that CSK had played (11), the MS Dhoni-led side failed to make the cut for the play-offs. In fact, the men in yellow were the first ones to be eliminated from the play-off berth.

IPL 2021 however saw a reversal of fortunes as they are 2nd in the points table currently with 10 points from only 7 games winning 5 and losing 2 against Delhi Capitals and Mumbai Indians. They played a brand of attacking and aggressive cricket which was missing from their campaign last year.

Parthiv Patel: MS Dhoni Decided Batting Line-up By Keeping Players Form In Mind

Parthiv Patel further highlighted the way MS Dhoni decided his batting line-up, by keeping the form of his players in mind. As both Suresh Raina and Ambati Rayudu hadn’t played any competitive cricket before the IPL 2021, MS Dhoni went with Moeen Ali at No.3. The move paid off well as the English all-rounder amassed 206 runs at an average of 34.33 and a strike rate of 157.25.

“Everyone thought Suresh Raina will bat at No.3 but it was Moeen Ali. He knew what changes he needed to do. Everyone was thinking that MS Dhoni will come and bat at No.4 or No.5. He took a backseat, he knew that there are guys who are batting well and they should get more number of overs,” Parthiv Patel said.

Moeen Ali (Photo Credit : CSK Twitter Handle)
Moeen Ali (Photo Credit: CSK Twitter Handle)

Faf du Plessis continued from where he left in the UAE in 2020 scoring 320 runs in 7 matches at a strike rate of 145.45 including 4 fifties. The platform laid by him and opener Ruturaj Gaikwad (196 runs at a strike rate of 128.94) eased the pressure on the middle order and went a long way enabling CSK to put up massive totals.

Moeen Ali was a revelation with the bat at number three as he scored a useful 206 runs at a strike rate of 157.25. Ambati Rayudu-136 runs, Ravindra Jadeja-131 runs, Suresh Raina-123 runs also were among runs. Among the CSK bowlers, Sam Curran(9), Deepak Chahar (8), Ravindra Jadeja (6), Moeen Ali (5), and Lungi Ngidi(5) were among the wickets. Deepak Chahar twice took 4 wicket hauls.

South Africa's Director of Cricket, Graeme Smith Image Source : ICC
South Africa's Director of Cricket, Graeme Smith Image Source : ICC
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It’s In South African Players Hands To Stay Or Not But CSA Offer Support: Graeme Smith

Graeme Smith, South Africa’s Director of Cricket on Monday said that the country’s cricket board has offered support to their players in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 after positive Covid-19 cases were reported in the league. However, Graeme Smith said the players have been given the choice to decide about their stay in India, which has been badly hit by the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic.

There are as many as 11 South African players featuring in the IPL 2021. None of them are part of the Kolkata Knight Riders squad though as the franchise had two positive Covid-19 cases on Monday. However, the likes of Faf du Plessis, Lungi Ngidi, and Imran Tahir are part of Chennai Super Kings whose bowling coach Laxmipathy Balaji tested positive on Monday.

Imran Tahir
Imran Tahir (Image Credit: Twitter)

Graeme Smith Offered Support To Players But It’s In Their Hands To Make A Choice To Stay Or Not For IPL

Meanwhile, it has emerged that the BCCI has asked Delhi Capitals to isolate themselves after their match against KKR on April 29. Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje are integral members of the Delhi unit, which is at the top of the IPL 2021 points table.

Graeme Smith
Graeme Smith Source: Bloomberg www.bloomberg.com

“We’ve offered support to the players and made ourselves available to them should there be any concerns,” Cricket SA’s Director of Cricket Graeme Smith was quoted as saying by iol.co.za.

“Ultimately, it is in their hands to make a choice (continued participation).”

Notably, as many as 3 Australian players namely Andrew Tye, Kane Richardson, and Adam Zampa left India before the Australian government closed its borders for citizens heading back from India in a much-criticized move. New Zealand has also banned flights from India but South Africa has kept its borders open with travellers needing to submit a negative test report within 72 hours of travelling.

11 South African Players Are Participating In The IPL 2021

A COVID-19 outbreak left the star-sprinkled IPL on tenterhooks as Kolkata Knight Riders’ Varun Chakravarthy and Sandeep Warrier tested positive for the dreaded virus, forcing a postponement of their game against Royal Challengers Bangalore, while cases also came to light in the Chennai Super Kings camp.

Kagiso Rabada
Kagiso Rabada. Image Credits: Twitter

As many as 11 South African players, including former white-ball skipper Quinton de Kock, pacer Kagiso Rabada and former captain Faf du Plessis, are currently participating in the IPL for various teams. While there are no Proteas players in KKR, Faf du Plessis, Lungi Ngidi, and Imran Tahir play for Chennai, whose bowling coach Laxmipathy Balaji and a bus driver have tested positive.

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