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Mike Hesson

Ravi Shastri. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Ravi Shastri. (Photo Source: Twitter)
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BCCI To Start Process To Find A New Coach Before T20I World Cup 2021

BCCI would’ve started the process of finding a new coach when present head coach Ravi Shastri will assemble the Indian team for his last assignment as head coach of the Indian team for the 2021 T20I World Cup. The BCCI is close to finalizing the documentation and the criteria for the next support staff and is likely to come out with an advertisement this week.

Along with Ravi Shastri, bowling coach Bharat Arun and fielding coach R Sridhar’s contracts also end in November. India is due to play a full series against New Zealand at home from November 17, which is three days after the T20 World Cup final in Dubai.

BCCI (File Photo| PTI)
BCCI (File Photo| PTI)

BCCI Keen To Bring In The New Coach During New Zealand Series Before South Africa Tour

Former Indian cricketers Anil Kumble and VVS Laxman are in contention for the next chief coach of Team India. According to the reports, the BCCI may mull over appointing big names like Anil Kumble and VVS Laxman for the head coach role.

Anil Kumble served as the chief coach for one year in 2016-17 before he gave up after a fallout with the skipper Virat Kohli. Besides Anil Kumble, the BCCI may also approach VVS Laxman, who has been the mentor of Sunrisers Hyderabad since the IPL 2013 season.

“The process of hiring the next support staff will start this week. The board is looking at October 14 to come out with the advertisement. The board is keen to bring in the new coach during the New Zealand series so that he gets used to the dressing room before the team leaves for South Africa in the second week of December,” a top BCCI official told TOI.

VVS Laxman and Anil Kumble (Photo Source: Twitter)
VVS Laxman and Anil Kumble (Photo Source: Twitter)
According to sources, BCCI has been in touch with the former cricketers’ Anil Kumble and VVS Laxman to know if they are interested in the job.

“These are very early stages. There could be more big names applying for the job. The board will wait to see who all apply and then decide on pursuing individuals,” the BCCI official added.

The source stated that the likes of VVS Laxman and Anil Kumble perfectly fit the bill to become the next coach. Moreover, they have tremendous experience in coaching or mentorship.

Paras Mhambrey Is In Running To Be India’s Bowling Coach

Former India pacer and current National Cricket Academy bowling coach Paras Mhambrey is in the running to be the bowling coach. Paras Mhambrey has been grooming the next generation of future players as NCA head Rahul Dravid’s trusted lieutenant over the last six years.

Rahul Dravid’s reapplying for Head of Cricket at National Cricket Academy contradicts the reports of him being Ravi Shastri’s successor at the highest level. Rahul Dravid had travelled with the men’s team to Sri Lanka as a head coach earlier this year.

“It will be great if Mhambrey applies for the job. He knows the system well. But the board will have to figure out who will take care of the U-19 team because there is not much time to prepare or the U-19 World Cup,” the official said.

Paras Mhambrey
Paras Mhambrey

Under Ravi Shastri, India has achieved several milestones, more significantly in Test cricket that included reaching the final of the inaugural ICC World Test Championship, back-to-back series wins on Australian soil, and the recent tour of England where his team was leading 2-1 before the final contest was called off due to Covid-19 outbreak in the touring camp.

Among overseas coaches, former Australia all-rounder Tom Moody is said to be interested in applying for the position for the fourth time. In addition, the former South African all-rounder and the coach of the Afghanistan cricket team, Lance Klusener, expressed his desire to be the next coach of the India cricket team if given an opportunity.

Regarded as one of the best coaches to have served New Zealand cricket, Mike Hesson is well respected all around the world and was instrumental in making the Black Caps one of the best cricket teams in the world. Mike Hesson is the Director of Operations at Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Glenn Maxwell
Glenn Maxwell (Image Credit: Twitter)
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Glenn Maxwell’s Run-out After Scoring A Brisk 40 Turned The Game: Mike Hesson

Mike Hesson, Royal Challengers Bangalore head coach, said that Australian all-rounder Glenn Maxwell was the only batsman who managed to get any flow on the Abu Dhabi pitch against Sunrisers Hyderabad and his run out hurt their progress in the chase on Wednesday.

Glenn Maxwell’s run-out was probably the turning point of Wednesday’s Indian Premier League (IPL) match between Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH). RCB was denied a chance at fighting for a spot in the top two as SRH stunned them with just their third win of the season.

Glenn Maxwell had scored 40 off 25 balls when he was dismissed.
Glenn Maxwell had scored 40 off 25 balls when he was dismissed. (Courtesy of BCCI)

Mike Hesson: Glenn Maxwell Only Batsman Who Was Fluent And Set But His Runout Turned The Game

Glenn Maxwell and Devdutt Padikkal had put up 54 runs in 44 balls for the fourth wicket in what was RCB’s highest partnership in the match. However, they went for an ill-advised single in the 15th over, which ended with SRH captain Kane Williamson managing a direct hit and running out Glenn Maxwell. He had scored 40 off 25 balls.

“Glenn was the only batsman who got any fluency on that surface and he was set, so he was probably the man we wanted at the crease so, it probably was. It bounced up nicely for the fielder and then an exceptional piece of work for the runout. Probably turned the game but, we just left a little bit too much to do at the end. We weren’t quite good enough in those key moments to get over the line,” Hesson told the media after the match.

Mike Hesson will look to take RCB to the IPL Trophy | RCB
Mike Hesson will look to take RCB to the IPL Trophy | RCB

Chasing the target of 142 runs, RCB lost three early wickets, but then Glenn Maxwell (40) and Devdutt Padikkal (41) added 54 runs for the fourth wicket. However, Devdutt Padikkal struggled in the middle and played with a strike of less than 80. Umran Malik was the best bowler for SRH when it came to bowling figures. The 21-year-old pacer from Jammu and Kashmir also bowled the fastest delivery by an Indian in IPL history.

Mike Hesson Reasons Why Dan Christan Was Promoted

Chasing a target of 142, RCB had sent in Dan Christian at No.3. Mike Hesson said that this was done to maximize the powerplay overs, but the ploy failed, with Dan Christian being dismissed for just one run of four balls.

“We felt that the powerplay was probably the easiest time to score. So we gave Dan Christian a bit of a license in the last couple of games – just to go out, try and attack and get us ahead of the game. Obviously, it hasn’t worked on either occasion,” said Mike Hesson.

Dan Christian
Dan Christian[photo: Twitter]
Dan Christian has failed to show any form with the bat in IPL 2021, managing only five runs in 7 games averaging 1. However, he also picked up three scalps. After representing RCB in 2013, Dan Christian is back to the RCB fold in the IPL 2021. The Australian brings with him a rich experience of playing over 200 T20 games. Dan Christian has represented the Delhi Capitals, Deccan Chargers, and the Rising Pune Super Giants and Sunrisers Hyderabad sides.

Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli in action against Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2021. (IPL)
Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli in action against Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2021. (IPL)
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Losing To CSK In IPL 2021 Should Hurt Guys: Virat Kohli

Virat Kohli, Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper on Saturday said losing to Chennai Super Kings by 6 wickets at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium should hurt the team as they gave away a great opportunity to win the game and put MS Dhoni’s team under pressure.

Coach Mike Hesson and captain Virat Kohli addressed the team after a tough loss against CSK, and identified areas to improve ahead of the all-important fixture against MI on Sunday.

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli (Image Credit: Twitter)

Virat Kohli: RCB Squandered A Great Opportunity To Win Against CSK

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.

“Giving a game away when we knew, could have really put them under pressure, and won this one. It should hurt everyone when looking to win this tournament and go all the way. It should hurt guys that we gave away a great opportunity, which is acceptable as long as we are willing to learn from it,” skipper Virat Kohli said in a video post on RCB Twitter.

Mike Hesson will look to take RCB to the IPL Trophy | RCB
Mike Hesson will look to take RCB to the IPL Trophy | RCB

Coach Hesson said: “170 would have been a good score, everybody saw it got harder and harder to bat, the pitch was always going to be tough to start. 6/66 in the last 10, we would have wanted 10-15 more than that. You would have certainly wanted a few more runs.”

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

Virat Kohli: 175 Would Have Been A Winning Total

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).

Earlier, speaking at the post-match presentation, Kohli said: “The wicket did slow down a bit. But I feel we left out 15-20 runs out there. 175 would’ve been a winning total. Didn’t bowl consistently. Didn’t show that much courage I guess with the ball.”

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

Ruturaj Gaikwad and Ambati Rayudu played knocks of 38 and 32 respectively as CSK chased down the target of 157 with six wickets in hand. With this win, the MS Dhoni-led outfit went to the top of the table.

Earlier, Devdutt Padikkal and Virat Kohli scored 70 and 53 respectively to help RCB post 156/6 in the allotted twenty overs. Both openers shared a stand of 111 runs for the first wicket, but Dwayne Bravo’s spell of 3-24 helped CSK restrict RCB under the 160-run mark.

Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli in action against Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2021. (IPL)
Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli in action against Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2021. (IPL)
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It’s The Right Time For Virat Kohli To Step Down As RCB Skipper: Dale Steyn

Dale Steyn, former Proteas pacer believes that it is probably the right time for Virat Kohli to step aside from T20 captaincy and focus purely on his batting.

Virat Kohli announced last week that he would step down as India’s T20I captain after the upcoming T20 World Cup and a few days later, he announced that he would also give up the leadership of Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) who is yet to win the coveted IPL trophy after the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) season.

Dale Steyn
Dale Steyn-RCB Twitter

Dale Steyn: Virat Kohli Is Involved In Everything And It’s The Right Time To Relinquish Captaincy

Dale Steyn had retired from Test cricket after taking 439 scalps from 93 Tests averaging 22.95. Dale Steyn also has 196 ODI scalps and 64 T20I scalps besides his name. Dale Steyn had also taken 97 scalps from 95 IPL matches playing many games for Royal Challengers Bangalore besides skipper Virat Kohli. He has played 33 matches for RCB taking 32 scalps.

“You see the way that he plays, he’s involved in everything, whether he’s in Test matches when he’s standing at first slip or even if he’s at the cover, he wants the ball immediately when it goes to the keeper, he always wants to be involved. But I think sometimes now in this COVID time maybe as Parthiv referred to bubble-life, his family that he’s got,” Dale Steyn said on Star Sports’ Live Feed of Select Dugout’.

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli (Image Credit: Twitter)

“It’s a lot of responsibility — and playing for RCB before — you see Virat, he’s in every advert and every meeting; he’s just so busy. So maybe it is the right time for him to just put this aside and focus purely on his batting,” Dale Steyn added.

While Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) started well in the first leg of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021, they haven’t kick-started the UAE leg on an emphatic note.

Facing Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in their first match after season resumption, RCB suffered a humiliating nine-wicket defeat at Abu Dhabi. It was indeed a comprehensive win for the two-time champions as RCB never really looked in the hunt and failed in both batting and bowling departments.

Parthiv Patel: It Has Been A Rollercoaster Ride For Virat Kohli And RCB

Unfortunately for RCB, none of Virat Kohli, Devdutt Padikkal, Srikar Bharat, and Glenn Maxwell could play a substantial knock. Even, AB de Villiers, who has rescued RCB from numerous batting collapses, got out for a golden duck. As a result, RCB skittled out for just 92 runs. Chasing the mediocre total, KKR didn’t break a sweat.

Speaking about Virat’s decision, former India wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel said: “I think he looked more emotional than happy. I think when you’re playing for one franchise for so many years, you get that emotional connection which was there in RCB. I think RCB actually invested in Virat Kohli’s talent in 2008 and then showed a lot of trust in him as well because if you look at his and RCB’s journey, it has been a rollercoaster one.”

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

“But yeah, he might be relieved because see moving around from one bubble to another can take a load on you and he has spoken about the workload and intensity, which he plays with. I think every practice session, every match session or gym session, he does it with full intensity and that’s something I’m sure he must’ve thought about,” he added.

After stumbling to a nine-wicket loss against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) Director of Cricket and head coach Mike Hesson said that skipper Virat Kohli’s announcement to step down after the ongoing season did not impact the team’s performance.  Virat Kohli became the first player to play 200 IPL matches for a franchise. Overall, he’s the fifth to get the feat.

Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli in action against Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2021. (IPL)
Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli in action against Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2021. (IPL)
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Mike Hesson Refused To Blame Virat Kohli’s Decision To Step Down As Skipper For RCB’s Poor Batting Show Against KKR

Mike Hesson said that his team RCB’s pathetic performance against KKR was not impacted by skipper Virat Kohli’s announcement to step down as captain after the ongoing season. Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) Director of Cricket and head coach Mike Hesson refused to blame Virat Kohli’s announcement to step down as captain after the ongoing season for his team’s absurd performance against KKR in Abu Dhabi on Monday where they managed to score only 92 before being dismissed and KKR won by 9 wickets with 60 balls to spare.

Virat Kohli's announcement to leave captaincy did not impact RCB's performance vs KKR: Mike Hesson (Courtesy by BCCI)
Virat Kohli’s announcement to leave captaincy did not impact RCB’s performance vs KKR: Mike Hesson (Courtesy by BCCI)

Mike Hesson Admits RCB Got The Toss Wrong And RCB Should Have Been Able To Score 150

Virat Kohli had made it clear that he will continue playing for his franchise- the Royal Challengers Bangalore but won’t be captaining the franchise beyond the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 season. Mike Hesson opened up on the humiliating 9-wicket defeat against KKR, saying RCB had a poor outing with the bat but he was confident that his team would turn around things very quickly.

RCB won the toss and opted to bat in Virat Kohli’s landmark match in IPL-his 200th match for RCB, but the former finalists failed to step up, managing a paltry 92 in 19 overs. It was the 6th lowest total for RCB in the history of the IPL and their 7th sub-100 total in the tournament.

“I think it was actually to get any form of distraction out early. We talked about making that announcement as soon as possible really, all the players were aware of it. It has not impacted performance against KKR, we were not sharp with the bat, we lost wickets. But I am confident that this group will turn around pretty quickly,” Mike Hesson said during a virtual post-match press conference.

Mike Hesson will look to take RCB to the IPL Trophy | RCB
Mike Hesson will look to take RCB to the IPL Trophy | RCB

“The team combination was not the problem today. To be fair, we probably got the toss wrong. It was not a 93-run wicket, we should have been able to get to 150. Whether that would have been enough or not, it is debatable because the ball started to slide down, but we were not sharp enough with the bat,” Mike Hesson added.

Then, the opening duo of KKR- Shubman Gill and debutant Venkatesh Iyer played some breathtaking shots and made light work of the chase of 93, completing the formality with as many as 10 overs to spare.

Mike Hesson: AB de Villiers Is An Important Player But KS Bharat Deserves His Inclusion

In KKR’s opening match in the UAE leg, Varun Chakravarthy took the crucial wickets of Glenn Maxwell, Sachin Baby, and Wanindu Hasaranga. The mystery spinner showed ample proof of his credentials while registering figures of 3/13. Meanwhile, Andre Russell also registered three dismissals including that of AB de Villiers and Lockie Ferguson bagged two wickets.

“AB de Villiers did not have the gloves, we have to look after him. He is an important player for us, he is not one we can risk behind the stumps so that was unfortunate for Rajat as we needed a keeper-bat to do the role for us at number three. To be fair, KS Bharat has been outstanding in the camp and he deserves his inclusion,” he further said.

AB de Villiers had no answer to Andre Russell's fast yorker (Twitter)
AB de Villiers had no answer to Andre Russell’s fast yorker. (Twitter)

“We were pretty clear in terms of Virat batting at the top, it is a lot harder to start against spin. We are very happy with Devdutt Padikkal and Virat opening the batting for us, high-quality players, left-right combination and KS Bharat can bat anywhere. We were forced for that change with AB de Villiers not keeping,” Hesson signed off.

After RCB skipper Virat Kohli won the toss and opted to bat, things did not exactly go as per plan as KKR had RCB at 52/4 in nine overs. Captain Virat Kohli was dismissed for 5 after getting out LBW to Prasidh Krishna, while Devdutt Padikkal gloved Lockie Ferguson to Dinesh Karthik, and debutant KS Bharat was out caught in the deep.

After getting KS Bharat out for 16, Andre Russell grew in confidence and bowled a spectacular – gem of delivery – to dismiss Mr. 360 degree AB de Villiers for a golden duck. This is AB de Villiers’s 6th golden duck in the IPL to go with 10 overall ducks.

Tim David (Image Source: timdavid8- Instagram)
Tim David (Image Source: timdavid8- Instagram)
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Royal Challengers Bangalore Strengthened Middle-Order With An Addition Of Tim David

Royal Challengers Bangalore head coach named the team’s power player ahead of the resumption of IPL 2021 in UAE. RCB has signed three players ahead of the UAE leg.

Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) boast one of the most formidable batting line-ups in the Indian Premier League (IPL). While they have skipper Virat Kohli and the talented Devdutt Padikkal on top, the presence of Glenn Maxwell and AB de Villiers in the middle-order makes RCB a daunting opposition to face for any bowling line-up.

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

Royal Challengers Bangalore Decided To Strengthen Middle Order With Finn Allen Leaving: Mike Hesson

Both AB de Villiers and Glenn Maxwell are known for their attacking style of batting and possess the ability to single-handedly destroy the best of bowling attacks on their day. Royal Challengers Bangalore’s middle-order has been strengthened further ahead of the resumption of IPL 2021 in UAE with the addition of batsman Tim David.

RCB head coach Mike Hesson believes Tim David is a power player and can be a direct replacement for the likes of AB de Villiers and Maxwell in the squad when required. Australian batsman Tim David, who plays for Singapore, has so far scored 558 runs in 15 T20Is at an impressive strike rate of 158.42. He also has 1186 runs to his name in 50 T20 matches at 155.84 including six half-centuries.

Wanindu Hasaranga, Dushmantha Chameera and Tim David
Wanindu Hasaranga, Dushmantha Chameera, and Tim David. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

“With Finn Allen leaving, we have decided to strengthen our middle-order possibilities, in terms of options, so Tim David has joined our squad. He is currently part of the Southern Brave [at the Hundred], he has been performing for Surrey and also Hobart Hurricanes in recent times – a power player. He could become a direct swap for either [Glenn] Maxwell or AB de Villiers if required, also gives us other options throughout the order,” said Hesson.

Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) has roped in three players ahead of the start of the second leg of IPL 2021 in UAE. They signed Sri Lankan all-rounder Wanindu Hasaranga as a replacement for Adam Zampa while Dushmantha Chameera and Tim David will replace Daniel Sams and Finn Allen respectively.

Royal Challengers Bangalore Won 5 Of Their First 7 Games In IPL 2021

Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) made a brilliant start to the new season as they won five out of their first seven matches in the first phase of the tournament in India earlier this year. The Virat Kohli-led side will be looking to secure a few more wins and book a spot in the top four for the second straight season in the UAE this year. With the additions of the new players, RCB has become one of the favourites for the title this year.

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli (Image Credit: Twitter)

Finn Allen is part of the T20I and ODI squads for the tours of Bangladesh and Pakistan. While the Bangladesh tour concludes well before the IPL resumes, the Pakistan tour clashes directly with the cash-rich league. RCB will resume their IPL 2021 campaign in the UAE on September 20 with the game against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR). RCB has won 5 games out of their first 7 matches losing only to Punjab and Chennai.

RCB won against Mumbai Indians (2 wickets), Sunrisers Hyderabad (6 runs),  Kolkata Knight Riders (38 runs), Rajasthan Royals (10 wickets), Delhi Capitals (1 run), and lost to Chennai Super Kings (69 runs) and Punjab Kings (34 runs) before IPL 2021 was suspended.

The second phase of the 14th edition of IPL will feature a Singapore cricketer for the first time as Royal Challengers Bangalore have roped in freelance T20 sensation Tim David, who has made a name for himself across leagues in the world.  While he is of Australian descent, the 6 feet 5 inches tall Tim David currently plays international cricket for Singapore and he brings with him a novelty factor in Virat Kohli’s team.

Since ICC has accorded T20 International status to all its 106 member nations, Tim David has played 14 T20 Internationals with 558 runs in his kitty at a strike rate of 158 plus. Overall, he has played 49 T20 games, factoring in his appearances in the BBL and PSL with a tally of 1171 runs at a strike rate of 155 plus.

RCB head coach Simon Katich (Photo- BCCI)
RCB head coach Simon Katich (Photo- BCCI)
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Simon Katich Steps Down As RCB Head Coach Before IPL 2021 Resumes

Simon Katich, RCB head coach has stepped down due to personal reasons ahead of the resumption of IPL 2021. Director of Cricket Mike Hesson to take over in the UAE.

Royal Challengers Bangalore on Saturday announced that their head coach Simon Katich has stepped down due to personal reasons in the lead up to the resumption of Indian Premier League 2021. The IPL will resume from September 19 in the UAE.

Simon Katich
Simon Katich, RCB coach with Team Director Mike Hesson (FILE)

Simon Katich Saw RCB Reach The Playoffs In IPL 2020

Director of Cricket Mike Henson will double as the head coach until the end of the IPL 2021 season. The announcement was made when Mike Henson interacted virtually with the press on Saturday, which was also Simon Katich’s 45th birthday.

Mike Hesson. Credit: AFP Photo
Mike Hesson. Credit: AFP Photo

The former Australia opener had played a key role in reviving the fortunes of RCB over the last 2 years. After coming onboard along in 2020, Simon Katich oversaw the team’s preparations as the head coach while Mike Henson was roped in as the Director of Cricket. Under Simon Katich, RCB reached the play-offs in IPL 2020 — the first time they managed to do so since 2016.

RCB lost the IPL 2020 ‘Eliminator’ against Sunrisers Hyderabad by six wickets to bow out of the competition after a poor batting performance. Royal Challengers Bangalore is a powerful team in the Indian Premier League that has made it to the finals on three occasions- IPL 2009, IPL 2011, and IPL 2016. But unfortunately, the Virat Kohli-led side ended up as runners-up in all these seasons.

RCB Was At The 3rd Spot In IPL 2021 Before Its Suspension

RCB was in a strong position, having won 5 out of their first 7 matches in the IPL 2021 season before it was suspended in May following positive Covid-19 cases in the bio-bubbles of multiple franchises in Ahmedabad and New Delhi. RCB was at the 3rd spot on the 8-team points table.

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

RCB made a great start to the latest edition of the IPL, winning five of their seven games. They were third in the points table behind the Delhi Capitals and Chennai Super Kings when the season was suspended back in April.

Their IPL 2021 campaign was bolstered by the arrival of Glenn Maxwell and Kyle Jamieson. Both players positively impacted their batting and bowling fronts, respectively. RCB will be hoping for their stars to continue in the same vein when the remainder of the IPL resumes in the UAE.

RCB won against Mumbai Indians (2 wickets), Sunrisers Hyderabad (6 runs),  Kolkata Knight Riders (38 runs), Rajasthan Royals (10 wickets), Delhi Capitals (1 run), and lost to Chennai Super Kings (69 runs) and Punjab Kings (34 runs) before IPL 2021 was suspended.

The likes of Glenn Maxwell-223 runs, AB de Villiers-207 runs, Virat Kohli-198 runs and Devdutt Padikal-195 runs starred with the bat while Harshal Patel-17 scalps, Kyle Jamieson-9 scalps, and Mohammed Siraj-6 scalps starred with the ball.

Mike Hesson will look to take RCB to the IPL Trophy | RCB
Mike Hesson will look to take RCB to the IPL Trophy | RCB
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The WTC Final Will Be A Test Of Captaincy For Both Kane Williamson And Virat Kohli : New Zealand Coach Mike Hesson

New Zealand has produced several top-quality memorable performances on the international stage, but an ICC title has eluded New Zealand cricket for over two decades now. New Zealand’s only ICC crown came in the form of the Champions Trophy which they won beating India in 2000.

They have made the summit clashes of the last two ODI World Cups – 2015 and 2019 – but failed to cross the final hurdle. The upcoming World Test Championship final against India in Southampton offers another chance for the Black Caps to win a major title.

New Zealand celebrate with the ICC Mini World Cup in the dressing-room Getty Images
New Zealand celebrate with the ICC Mini World Cup in the dressing-room Getty Images

New Zealand Coach Mike Hesson: Battle Between India’s Top Order And New Zealand’s Pacers Could Decide Outcome Of The WTC Final

In a chat with TOI, former New Zealand coach Mike Hesson spoke on the WTC final, how the two teams are placed, and captaincy credentials.

“They are even. The fact that it’s being played in a neutral venue makes the WTC final an even contest. I think both sides are going to be at their strongest which is great. Assuming there are no injuries in the next couple of weeks —both sides will be in full strength and we are in for an exciting Test match,” on assessing the two teams for the WTC Final.

Mike Hesson. Photo Credit: BCCI/IPL.
Mike Hesson. Photo Credit: BCCI/IPL.

“I am keen to see how India’s top-order fares against the swinging ball. The ball does a bit in Southampton and as the cross breeze comes into play — it can be a challenge for the batsmen. How the Indian top-order plays the NZ pacers could decide the outcome of the WTC final,” on big battles of the WTC Final.

Former New Zealand coach Mike Hesson feels that the battle between India’s much-vaunted top-order and New Zealand’s swing bowlers could decide the fate of the World Test Championship (WTC) final.

Mike Hesson: Whoever Wins The WTC Final Would Be Worthy Champions

Virat Kohli-led India’s batsmen haven’t quite proved themselves yet against the swinging ball and their techniques were exposed on the New Zealand tour in 2020. Meanwhile, the Kiwi pace attack of Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Kyle Jamieson, and Neil Wagner has time and again displayed its ability to extract any purchase from the pitch and would be raring to do the same at Southampton.

“We are in our third final after the 2015 ODI World Cup followed by the 2019 WC in England. The Black Caps are a top-quality side who have played quality cricket for a long period of time. It’s a huge moment for both sides. Whoever wins the WTC final will be worthy champions,” on chance for New Zealand to add 2nd ICC crown after 2000 Champions Trophy.

“Both are very good leaders and yes, both are different in styles of captaincy. The players want to follow which is a great sign for any leader. Kane is more of a slow-burn in the sense that he likes to put pressure over a period of time. Virat, on the other hand, is constantly looking for ways to put his side in the driver’s seat.”

Devon Conway celebrates his century on debut PA Images via Getty Images
Devon Conway celebrates his century on debut PA Images via Getty Images

“The WTC final will be a test of captaincy for both Kane and Virat. As the wicket changes from day to day, it will be interesting to see how both Kane and Virat make those little tweaks in their strategies to stay ahead of the game,” on assessing the captains, having worked with both Virat Kohli (as director of cricket operations in RCB) and with Kane Williamson closely.

“I do. I think the fact that they have a reserve day is good. If after five tough days of cricket there isn’t a winner, then I am happy to say that a draw will be a good result,” on sharing title in case of a draw.

“In this edition, we only have one final. It will be interesting to see if ICC does opt for the best-of-three final in the future. It will depend on a lot of factors such as venue, playing conditions, and even time,” on best of 3 final.

New Zealand is currently bossing the first Test against England at Lord’s. Indian team players, on the other hand, are in quarantine and have started their staggered training sessions. The summit clash will kick off at 3:30 pm IST on June 18.

New Zealand leads in the 1st Test against England by 165 runs being placed at 62/2 at the end of the 4th day’s play. New Zealand scored 378 with debutant opener Devon Conway scoring 200 while England managed 275 in reply with Rory Burns scoring 132. Tim Southee picked 6 scalps.

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

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

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

Mumbai Indians
Mumbai Indians (Image Credit: Twitter)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

James Pamment
James Pamment Image courtesy Mumbai Indians

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

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

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

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

James Pamment, former New Zealand cricketer. (Photo Source: Stuff.co.nz)
James Pamment, former New Zealand cricketer. (Photo Source: Stuff.co.nz)
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Travel Was A Issue But Bio-bubble Was Safe Enough, Says James Pamment

James Pamment, former New Zealand cricketer and Mumbai Indians fielding coach has revealed that after the Covid-19 cases emerged in the Kolkata Knight Rider (KKR) and Chennai Super Kings’ (CSK) camps, the Australian and New Zealand cricketers he was in touch with became a ‘little more fearful and a little more apprehensive’.

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

James Pamment
James Pamment

James Pamment Felt Safe In Bio Bubble And Added That Travel Was Allows Going To Be A Challenging Aspect

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

“We’d pretty much taken over a hotel in Mumbai and created a safe space – I think I was the first person in there. You felt as long as everyone was disciplined and people weren’t tempted … staff were also part of the bubble, they had to isolate for a two-week period before working and we were getting regular tests, so you felt it was an extremely safe bubble being formed. You did feel confident you’d be fine, and everybody around you would be fine,” James Pamment told Stuff.co.nz.

James Pamment
James Pamment Image courtesy Mumbai Indians

“We felt the travel was always going to be a challenge. We had a case ourselves on our first travel when we went to Chennai to prepare for the start of the tournament – it was a support staff member, fortunately, picked up very quickly and he was isolated, and none of the people considered close contacts to him were infected. But it was a very early reminder that your bubble’s not impenetrable. We probably got even stricter around how we operated,” he added.

Among those who returned home(New Zealand) from India were Shane Bond, Adam Milne, and James Pamment for whom the plane seat was reserved earlier.

James Pamment Felt Safe And Didn’t Feel Bubble Would Be Compromised With

James Pamment also said that he was happy with the franchise’s management of the whole situation. He said he and the Kiwi players felt very confident in the franchise’s management.

” Some of the senior Indian guys don’t like being restricted and told what to do, but we did feel safe – at no point did we feel the bubble would be compromised, the challenge was the travel,” he said, adding, “We all had MIQ vouchers booked for June, so as soon as we knew we were coming back, we jumped online individually to get the vouchers. “

“The plane was initially booked for three people – myself, Shane Bond, and Adam Milne – because Trent’s plans were to go to England, Jimmy Neesham’s plans were to go to England. RCB [Royal Challengers Bangalore] hadn’t had any cases and the Mumbai management were happy to consider them coming back with us as well.”

James Neesham
James Neesham (Photo by Andy Kearns/Getty Images)

Besides Kane Williamson, the UK-bound group includes Trent Boult, Kyle Jamieson, Mitchell Santner, Chris Donaldson (trainer), Tommy Simsek (physio), Lockie Ferguson, James Neesham, and Finn Allen.

The last three will feature in the T20 Blast in the UK starting June 9. Kane Williamson will also be a part of The Hundred, to be played from July 21. New Zealand plays England in a two-match Test series, beginning on June 2, before they face India in the World Test Championships finals at Southampton from June 18.

Tim Seifert, who was part of the Kolkata Knight Riders squad for the Indian Premier League 2021 season, was tested positive for Covid-19, as per a statement released by New Zealand Cricket. The wicketkeeper-batsman missed his charter flight back to New Zealand with all the other members of the New Zealand contingent. Tim Seifert now will stay in isolation in Ahmedabad and will be transferred to Chennai, where he will be taken to a private hospital for treatment, before making his way back home.

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