Mohammed Siraj | Sportzwiki

Mohammed Siraj

RCB leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal in action during IPL 2020 | Saikat Das / Sportzpics for BCCI
RCB leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal in action during IPL 2020 | Saikat Das / Sportzpics for BCCI
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Yuzvendra Chahal May Earn Big Bucks During IPL 2022 Mega Auction: Laxman Sivaramakrishnan

Yuzvendra Chahal is at a strange point in his career. Not too long ago, he was India’s premier spinner in white-ball cricket, but that soon changed when he was not included in India’s T20 World Cup squad in 2021 despite the team taking five spin-bowling options with them to the UAE.
Immediately after India’s disappointing outing in the World Cup, Yuzvendra Chahal was called back for the home T20I series against New Zealand but played only one T20I. A week later, the leg-spinner got another setback as Royal Challengers Bangalore decided not to retain him despite him being one of RCB’s top performers with the ball in the last eight seasons.
Yuzvendra Chahal was not retained by Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL retentions.© IPL
Yuzvendra Chahal was not retained by Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL retentions.© IPL

Yuzvendra Chahal May End Up Getting More Money For Being In IPL 2022 Auction Pool Instead Of Being Retained By RCB: Laxman Sivaramakrishnan

Former India cricketer Laxman Sivaramakrishnan, however, feels not all is lost for Yuzvendra Chahal. The former leg-spinner, in fact, is of the opinion that Yuzvendra Chahal might actually end up getting big bucks at the auction.

RCB retained Virat Kohli, Glenn Maxwell, and Mohammed Siraj in the IPL retention that took place on Tuesday. Yuzvendra Chahal, who had been a part of the franchise since 2014, was released. However, Laxman Sivaramakrishnan said RCB would want the leg-spinner back in the fold during the mega auction ahead of IPL 2022.

“RCB would want to buy him back. The other teams would want Chahal in their side because of his exceptional record in the IPL. The people who have more money will have the luxury of going for Chahal.

‘In the end, Chahal might end up getting more money for being in the auction than by being retained,” Sivaramakrishnan told NDTV during a media interaction arranged by Sony Sports Network.

Laxman Sivaramakrishnan
Laxman Sivaramakrishnan. (File)

Laxman Sivaramakrishnan, who is in the commentary panel for the Ashes, gave an example of the bidding war for Ravichandran Ashwin between RCB and CSK to explain how other franchises might increase the price of Yuzvendra Chahal if RCB desperately wants him back in the side.

“I remember how RCB was raising the paddle seeing CSK going hard for Ashwin. If RCB want Chahal then the other teams might just bid to ensure he costs more to them. So, in the end, Chahal might end up being benefitted,” Sivaramakrishnan added.

Yuzvendra Chahal’s exclusion comes as a huge surprise to RCB fans. The leg-spinner has been the leader of Bangalore’s bowling attack for a good five to six years now. Yuzvendra Chahal is the only RCB bowler to claim more than 100 IPL wickets. Yuzvendra Chahal has thus far featured in 114 IPL games, claiming 139 wickets at an average of 22.28 and an economy rate of 7.59-all for RCB.

The likes of George Garton, Navdeep Saini, Dushmantha Chameera, Tim David, Shahbaz Ahmad, Wanindu Hasaranga, Dan Christian, and retired AB de Villiers were released by Royal Challengers Bangalore before IPL 2022 mega auctions.

Laxman Sivaramakrishnan Said More Indian Payers Being Retained Means They Will Form The Core

Unlike past retentions, only eight overseas players were retained by the teams this time around, while the number of retained Indian players was 19. Laxman Sivaramakrishnan said it was a good sign for Indian cricket.

“The overseas players not being retained are a sign that the Indian players are good enough. And the Indian players is what we really need to look at. The foreign players might make a fortune but the Indian players will form the core,” he added.

David Warner
David Warner[photo: Twitter]
Asked whether the likes of Steve Smith, David Warner, Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer will be dejected for not being retained by their respective IPL franchises, Laxman Sivaramakrishnan said they would be focused on the Ashes, starting on December 8.

“Playing for the country is first and foremost. Your ambition as a young cricketer is not to play in IPL but to play for the country. There was no IPL when Ben Stokes or Steve Smith started to play.

“So, their aim would always have been to play for England and Australia. There are two ways to look at IPL retention. Firstly, the players who have already been retained will feel a sense of security. The players who have not been retained also have opportunity,” he signed off.

Many of the big-ticket players, including MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, and Glenn Maxwell, were retained. But the list of players released and going back into the auction pool is a long one.

Likes of Rashid Khan, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Shikhar Dhawan, Ravichandran Ashwin, Hardik Pandya, Ishan Kishan, Shubman Gill, Yuzvendra Chahal, and Deepak Chahar were released by their respective franchises.

Yuzvendra Chahal
Yuzvendra Chahal. Image Credits: Twitter
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Yuzvendra Chahal Who Wasn’t Retained By RCB For IPL 2022 Expressed Gratitude To RCB For Overwhelming Support

Yuzvendra Chahal, the Indian leg-spinner, expressed his gratitude towards the franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore for their support over the years. His reaction came after he wasn’t retained on Tuesday by the franchise ahead of the mega auction.

The Royal Challengers Bangalore, just like other franchises, announced their retained players list on Tuesday night. As was widely expected, the 2016 runners-up have retained former skipper Virat Kohli, Australian swashbuckler Glenn Maxwell, and pacer Mohammed Siraj.

Virat Kohli, Mohammed Siraj And Glenn Maxwell Retained By RCB Image: IPL/BCCI/PTI
Virat Kohli, Mohammed Siraj, And Glenn Maxwell Retained By RCB Image: IPL/BCCI/PTI

Yuzvendra Chahal Not Retained By Royal Challengers

Yuzvendra Chahal proceeded to comment on a video post where RCB revealed the names of players they’ve retained.

He wrote: “Thank you for everything @RCBTweets”

Virat Kohli is the first player retained by the franchise. He will fetch Rs 15 crore as opposed to Rs 17 Crore, which he was earning earlier. Glenn Maxwell is the second player to be retained for an annual retainer of Rs 11 crore.

Meanwhile, Mohammed Siraj is the third pick at a sum of Rs 7 crore. As a result, the total purse remaining for the Bangalore franchise is Rs 57 Crore.

RCB leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal in action during IPL 2020 | Saikat Das / Sportzpics for BCCI
RCB leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal in action during IPL 2020 | Saikat Das / Sportzpics for BCCI

Yuzvendra Chahal’s exclusion comes as a huge surprise to RCB fans. The leg-spinner has been the leader of Bangalore’s bowling attack for a good five to six years now. Yuzvendra Chahal is the only RCB bowler to claim 100+ IPL wickets. Over the course of the last few years, he was the real Most Valuable Player for the franchise as far as bowling is concerned.

Glenn Maxwell was phenomenal with the bat in his first season for RCB as he ended up the season as their highest-run scorer with 513 runs from 14 innings at the strike rate of 144.10. In 2008, Virat Kohli was inducted into the RCB squad and started leading the side in the year 2013.

In the year 2016, he sat atop on the leading run-scorers list, thereby donning the Orange Cap at the end of the ninth edition of the league. He is the leading run-scorer in IPL history with over 6000 runs, (6283 runs) at an average of over 37 in 207 matches, all for RCB. In addition, he has 5 tons and 42 fifties.

Pace bowler Mohammed Siraj has also developed his skills and is progressing at RCB by not leaking enough runs. Mohammed Siraj has picked 11 wickets each time in the last two seasons. Virat Kohli (15 cr), Glenn Maxwell (11 cr), and Mohammed Siraj (7 cr) were retained.

Royal Challengers Bangalore Expressed Gratitude To Non-Retained Cricketers

According to media reports, negotiations over contract money between the management and Yuzvendra Chahal couldn’t come to fruition. However, following the release of the retention list, RCB social media handles expressed their gratitude towards players who have not been retained.

“The RCB management wholeheartedly thanks all the players who were a part of our 2021 squad for their unquestionable commitment to RCB and we sincerely hope this is not a goodbye, and our paths cross sooner than later,” they wrote.

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

With Yuzvendra Chahal back in the auction pool, it could lead to a bidding war between the franchises. The newly formed Lucknow and Ahmedabad franchises are also set to randomly pick three players from the release pool.

Hence, the leg spinner could very well land up in either of these two teams. On the other hand, Yuzvendra Chahal has thus far featured in 114 IPL games, claiming 139 wickets at an average of 22.28 and an economy rate of 7.59-all for RCB.

The likes of George Garton, Navdeep Saini, Dushmantha Chameera, Tim David, Shahbaz Ahmad, Wanindu Hasaranga, Dan Christian, and retired AB de Villiers were released before IPL 2032 mega auctions.

India's Ishant Sharma prepares to ball during the third day of the second Test cricket match of a two-match series between India and Bangladesh at the Eden Gardens cricket stadium in Kolkata on November 24, 2019. (Photo by Dibyangshu SARKAR / AFP) / IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE
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Steve Harmison Couldn’t Understand Why Ishant Sharma Played Again vs New Zealand In The 1st Test After Failure In England

Steve Harmison, the former England pacer, couldn’t understand why pacer Ishant Sharma was picked after his performance in England after the first Test versus Kiwis ended in a thrilling draw.

Even a couple of years back, Ishant Sharma was India’s most improved bowler. In the first few years of his Test career, barring a five-wicket-haul on debut, the unforgettable spell at Sydney to Ricky Ponting and a match-winning seven-for at Lord’s came to mind when one thought of Ishant Sharma. But in the last few years, the India pacer had turned a new leaf and emerged to be a part of India’s famous five-pronged pace attack.

Ishant Sharma
Ishant Sharma[Image-Twitter]

Steve Harmison Couldn’t Understand Why Ishant Sharma Played After Failure In England And Wants Mohammed Siraj Replacing Him In The 2nd Test

However, if his performances in the last few Test matches are to be considered, it reflects a throwback to his initial years. While the rest of the pacers have gone from strength to strength, Ishant Sharma has struggled to pick up wickets. After a match-haul of nine wickets against Bangladesh in the Day/Night Test in 2019, the maximum Ishant Sharma has claimed in a match is five wickets.

Ishant Sharma’s lacklustre show was again on display during the 1st Kanpur Test in New Zealand, where the India pacer went wicketless in both innings. Reflecting on the 33-year-old pacer’s reaction, former England pacer Steve Harmison has said that he is baffled seeing Ishant Sharma play another Test match for India, and backed Mohammed Siraj to replace him in the Playing XI for the second Test in Mumbai.

“For me, both seamers were also below par in the first Test match, for the life of me I don’t understand how Ishant Sharma got another game of Test cricket after what he did in England, so for me, I’d bring [Mohammed] Siraj in for him. The three spinners bowled well enough, so they’ll be the only changes I make,” Steve Harmison said his YouTube channel.

Steve Harmison
Steve Harmison. Image-Twitter

In the World Test Championship final against eventual winners New Zealand in Southampton, Ishant Sharma picked up three wickets, all in the first innings, and went without any in the second. Next, he played the Lord’s Test, where Ishant Sharma grabbed three and two wickets in the first and second innings, respectively.

At Leeds, where England hammered India by an innings and 76 runs, Ishant Sharma again had gone wicketless, which means the India pacer has now failed to pick up a wicket in his last two Test matches.

Mohammed Siraj In Line To Replace Ishant Sharma In The 2nd Test

Ishant Sharma has so far picked 311 scalps in 105 Tests averaging a high 32.41. Ishant Sharma has picked 14 scalps in 8 Tests in 2021 at a high average of 32.71.

Mohammed Siraj (Photo: AP)
Mohammed Siraj (Photo: AP)

Mohammed Siraj, the 26-year-old pacer, signed off the recently concluded Australia 4 match Test series as the highest wicket-taker for his team India, claiming 13 wickets in 3 Tests, including one five-wicket haul. He picked 3 scalps against England, too, playing 2 Tests averaging 22.67. He also played all of the 4 away Tests against hosts England, claiming 14 scaps in 4 Tests averaging 30.71. He has already picked 30 scalps in 9 Tests.

India and New Zealand will clash swords with each other in the 2nd and final Test match on 3rd December 2021. Former England pacer Steve Harmison found it surprising that the Indian team persisted with Ishant Sharma despite how he performed in the recent tour of England. Steve Harmison mentioned that Mohammed Siraj would be the best replacement for the senior pacer.
The first Test ended in a thrilling Day 5 draw as New Zealand hung on to a solitary wicket and managed to scrape a draw in the final few minutes.
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.

Glenn Maxwell
Glenn Maxwell (Image Credit: Twitter)
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Glenn Maxwell Won’t Be Assigned A Role Of RCB Skipper In IPL 2022 Because He Is A Free-Flowing Cricketer: Irfan Pathan

Irfan Pathan feels that RCB might not find a captain from among the three players they retain for the 15th season and would rather have to look for a skipper from the IPL auction pool.

One of the biggest challenges for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the impending Indian Premier League (IPL) auction for the 2022 edition will be finding a new skipper as regular skipper Virat Kohli stepped down from his role at the end of IPL 2021.

Irfan Pathan. (Photo Source: AFP)
Irfan Pathan. (Photo Source: AFP)

Irfan Pathan: Glenn Maxwell Would Be Retained, But He Won’t Be Assigned Skipper Because He Is A Free-Flowing Cricketer

Former Indian all-rounder Irfan Pathan feels that Royal Challengers Bangalore might not find a captain from among the three players they will retain for the 15th season.

Talking about RCB’s possible retention for IPL 2022 during Lunch on day 4 of the ongoing first Test between India and New Zealand, Irfan Pathan felt that the franchise should retain Australian all-rounder Glenn Maxwell, who was their top scorer last season, but added that he shouldn’t be given the responsibility to captain the side.

Glenn Maxwell
Glenn Maxwell (Image Credit: Twitter)

“I think someone from the auction. Because whatever the 4 players are in my head, Virat is obviously not going to captain he has announced that, Glenn Maxwell is there, but you do not want to give him the captaincy because he his kind of a free-flowing cricketer and you do not want to give him that kind of responsibility. You want him to play freely,” he explained.

With AB de Villiers retiring from all formats of the game, many expect RCB to retain Australia’s Glenn Maxwell, who was one of their top performers last season. He scored 513 runs, his second-highest run-tally in an IPL season after 2012, at 42.75 and at a strike rate of 144.10 with six half-centuries.

Glenn Maxwell had a poor IPL outing in 2020 (for KXIP at UAE), managing just 108 runs in 13 matches averaging a pathetic 15.42, but managed to earn big bucks when RCB signed him for a whopping INR 14.25 crore.

Irfan Pathan Leaves Out IPL 2021 Purple Cap Winner Harshal

Irfan Pathan also felt that RCB should retain Yuzvendra Chahal and pacer Mohammed Siraj.

“The third is Chahal, who is a bowler. The fourth one is a topic of discussion but I will go with Siraj. So you might to find leadership in that but you might find it in the auction. They need to work hard on that part,” he added.

RCB's Harshal Patel celebrates his hat-trick with Mohammad Siraj (BCCI/IPL Photo)
RCB’s Harshal Patel celebrates his hat-trick with Mohammad Siraj (BCCI/IPL Photo)

The 4 picks imply that former pacer Irfan Pathan has left out Harshal Patel, who picked 32 wickets last season to grab the Purple Cap, but Irfan Pathan explained that Mohammed Siraj is a “more complete package” and is a “more long-term option”.

“A lot of people will be thinking about Harshal Patel, he was the Purple Cap winner, but when you look at the complete package in Mohammed Siraj who can bowl with the new ball and deliver outstanding yorkers, he has got pace as well. So you might be looking at a more long-term option. I certainly think it’s Siraj,” he explained. 

Irfan Pathan was also full of praise for leg spinner Yuzvendra Chahal and opined that RCB shouldn’t let go of a bowler like him.

“In Chinnaswamy, you need a spinner who bowls with a big heart. And Chahal has got a big heart. He takes wicket and knows the pitch in and out. Not many spinners come to Chinnaswamy and takes that kind of wicket what Chahal has given. You do not want to lose a bowler like him.”

He picked up as many as 32 wickets in 15 games, making him the highest Indian wicket-taker in a single season and joint-most with Dwayne Bravo. Mohammed Siraj who has picked 50 scalps in as many IPL matches, picked up 11 scalps in 15 appearances averaging 32.09 in IPL 2021, but RCB lost the Eliminator to runners-up KKR despite the two pacers’ excellent performances.

Yuzvendra Chahal picked only four wickets in seven games in the India leg of the 2021 Indian Premier League, at an economy rate of 8.26, which saw him fall out of contention for the race to the T20 World Cup squad, to Rahul Chahar, who snared 11 wickets in as many games at an economy rate of 7.21.

However, the RCB leg spinner made an impressive comeback in the second leg, picking 14 wickets in eight matches at an economy rate of 7.06.

Glenn Maxwell
Glenn Maxwell (Image Credit: Twitter)
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Aakash Chopra Doesn’t Have 100% Confidence In Glenn Maxwell And Feels RCB Won’t Retain Him In IPL 2022

Aakash Chopra, former Indian opener turned commentator, on Tuesday placed his predictions for the four players Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) might retain ahead of the Indian Premier League (IPL 2022) auction.

Aakash Chopra excluded two of the franchise’s IPL 2021 stars in naming four Indians that he feels are most likely to be retained for the next IPL 2022. Talking about the retention list on his YouTube channel, Aakash Chopra opined that RCB will retain Virat Kohli, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammed Siraj, and Devdutt Padikkal.

Yuzvendra Chahal of Royal Challengers Bangalore celebrates a wicket with skipper Virat Kohli. Sportzpics
Yuzvendra Chahal of Royal Challengers Bangalore celebrates a wicket with skipper Virat Kohli. Sportzpics

Aakash Chopra: It Will Be A Toss Up Between Harshal Patel And Mohammed Siraj, But RCB May Feel To Retain The Latter

He excluded Harshal Patel, who was the Purple Cap winner in the last IPL 2021, a season that helped the 30-year-old break into the Indian T20I team for the first time. He picked up as many as 32 wickets in 15 games, making him the highest Indian wicket-taker in a single season and joint-most with Dwayne Bravo.

Mohammed Siraj who has picked 50 scalps in as many IPL matches, picked up 11 scalps in 15 appearances averaging 32.09 in IPL 2021, but RCB lost the Eliminator to runners-up KKR despite the two pacers’ excellent performances.

“Virat Kohli and Yuzi Chahal will be my first two choices. If I have two more in my hand, I will try for Mohammed Siraj and Devdutt Paddikal. These will be my four. I will think about these four for sure. In fact, I can think about Harshal as well – Siraj/Harshal,” he said.

RCB's Harshal Patel celebrates his hat-trick with Mohammad Siraj (BCCI/IPL Photo)
RCB’s Harshal Patel celebrates his hat-trick with Mohammad Siraj (BCCI/IPL Photo)

Adding more to his final choice, Aakash Chopra explained that if RCB pick Mohammed Siraj, they will be looking at a long-term prospect rather than Harshal Patel, which is more of a two-season vision.

“It might be a toss-up between Harshal Patel and Mohammed Siraj. You can look at Siraj with a slightly more long-term vision. Harshal, the way he is developing, the last 12 months have been extremely good, so maybe Harshal Patel. But then you are looking at three seasons, not just one or two,” he explained.

Harshal Patel was able to bag 32 wickets in just 15 IPL 2021 games at an average of 14.34 economy of 8.14 and strike rate of 10.56. His best bowling figure was 5/27. Harshal Patel won the Gamechanger of the season, Most Valuable Player of the season, and Purple Cap award during his sensational run.

Aakash Chopra Doesn’t Want To Retain Glenn Maxwell For Not Having 100% Confidence In His Consistency

With AB de Villiers retiring from all formats of the game, many expect RCB to retain Australia’s Glenn Maxwell, who was one of their top performers last season. He scored 513 runs, his second-highest run-tally in an IPL season after 2012, at 42.75 and at a strike rate of 144.10 with six half-centuries. But Aakash Chopra admitted that he is worried about his consistency and would rather not take chances.

Glenn Maxwell had a poor IPL outing in 2020 (for KXIP at UAE), managing just 108 runs in 13 matches averaging a pathetic 15.42, but managed to earn big bucks when RCB signed him for a whopping INR 14.25 crore.

Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra. (Photo Source: Twitter)

“You might be thinking about Glenn Maxwell, why am I not wanting to retain him. It is because I don’t have hundred percent confidence. He is doing very well but I don’t know if he will continue doing that. So, I don’t want to take that chance,” he explained.

According to the retention rules, each IPL team will be allowed to retain up to four players from their IPL 2021 squads. This means a franchise can include up to three Indian players or a maximum of two overseas players, whereas the two new franchises – Ahmedabad and Lucknow – will be allowed to make their picks of three players from the pool of un-retained players ahead of the auction.

Zaheer Khan. Image-Sportstar
Zaheer Khan. Image-Sportstar
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Decision To Promote Venkatesh Iyer To No. 3 A Positive Move Keeping 2022 T20I WC In Mind: Zaheer Khan

Zaheer Khan described the decision to promote Venkatesh Iyer to No. 3 as a positive move that was made keeping the next T20 World Cup in mind. Venkatesh Iyer walked into bat at the fall’s KL Rahul’s wicket in the second T20I of the series against New Zealand in Ranchi on Friday.

KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma featured in an opening stand of 117 as India chased down 154 with ease. In his 2nd T20I, Venkatesh Iyer helped himself to an unbeaten 12 from 11. In his debut T20I, Venkatesh Iyer hit a boundary off his first ball and lost his wicket on the next ball.

Venkatesh Iyer scored 4 off 2 balls during a short stay at the crease on debut. (Getty)
Venkatesh Iyer. (Getty)

Zaheer Khan: Move To Promote Venkatesh Iyer At No. 3 Proves India Thinking Of Next T20I World Cup 2022

Speaking after India took an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series, Zaheer Khan pointed out that the Men in Blue acted proactively in sending Venkatesh Iyer to bat ahead of Suryakumar Yadav.

The former left-arm seamer Zaheer Khan said:  “The move to promote Venkatesh Iyer to No.3 when the opportunity arose proves that India are already thinking about the next T20 World Cup. Had they not done something like that, then you could have said that they missed an opportunity. It was definitely a proactive move by the management keeping the future in mind.”

Zaheer Khan (Photo credit should read Marty Melville/AFP/Getty Images)
Zaheer Khan (Photo credit should read Marty Melville/AFP/Getty Images)

Former India left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha chipped in and pointed out that the team needs to sort out its middle-order woes ahead of the next T20 World Cup.

He opined: “We need to sort out our middle order. That is what is hurting us in ICC tournaments. If we get that in place, rest all seems fine. Our top-order batting and bowling are excellent. But this is one box we still need to tick.”

India’s middle-order failed to deliver after Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul perished cheaply in the first two games of the T20 World Cup 2021 against Pakistan and New Zealand respectively. The below-par efforts ended up costing India a place in the semis.

Pragyan Ojha Wants Avesh Khan To Play If Mohammed Siraj Isn’t Fit

Although India has clinched the T20I series with a match to go, Pragyan Ojha doesn’t see the hosts making too many changes. He wants Avesh Khan to play if Mohammed Siraj is not fit.

Explaining his choice, the former cricketer said: “If Siraj is not fit, Avesh Khan might get a chance in the final T20I. Bhuvneshwar, Deepak Chahar and Harshal Patel are very similar in style. India need some pace in their attack. Don’t see any other changes since India need to maintain the momentum. The middle-order still needs some time because the top-order has done 90 percent work.”

Harshal Patel was the top wicket-taker in the IPL 2021 – claiming the joint-most 32 wickets in a season for Royal Challengers Bangalore. Delhi Capital’s Avesh Khan was right behind him with 24 wickets from 16 matches. While Harshal Patel debuted in the 2nd T20I and won Man of the Match for his 2/25, Avesh Khan is yet to debut.

Avesh Khan has been instrumental in Delhi Capitals’ early success in IPL 2021. Image: BCCI
Avesh Khan has been instrumental in Delhi Capitals’ early success in IPL 2021. Image: BCCI

The third and final T20I of the three-match series will be played at the iconic Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Sunday, November 21.

Sourav Ganguly. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Sourav Ganguly. (Photo Source: Twitter)
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Sourav Ganguly To Ring The Eden Bell To Commence The 3rd T20I In Kolkata

Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) President Sourav Ganguly will be ringing the Eden Bell at the Eden Garden stadium in Kolkata to commence the third T20I game between India and New Zealand on Sunday.

India and New Zealand will be squaring off with each other in the second T20I of the three-match series in Ranchi on Friday and in Kolkata for the third clash on Sunday.

Sourav Ganguly- Twitter
Sourav Ganguly- Twitter

Sourav Ganguly To Ring The Eden Bell To Commence The 3rd T20I; Suryakumar Yadav’s 62 See India Win 1st T20I By 5 Wickets

Suryakumar Yadav (62) and Rohit Sharma (48) starred with the bat as India chased down 165 to defeat New Zealand by five wickets in the first T20I of the three-match series here at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium on Wednesday.

Suryakumar Yadav
Suryakumar Yadav (BCCI)

Coming to the first match, Martin Guptill and Mark Chapman played knocks of 70 and 63 respectively as New Zealand posted a total of 164/6. For India, Ravichandran Ashwin and Bhuvneshwar Kumar returned with two wickets each. With this win, India gained a 1-0 lead in the three-match series, with the second game set to be played on Friday.

New Zealand Off To A Great Start In The 2nd T20I

In the 2nd T20I, New Zealand has gone off to a flier, managing 80/2 in only 9 overs after being inducted to bat first. Martin Guptill scored 31 off only 15 balls, and Mark Chapman, who scored 21 off 17 balls, were dismissed by Deepak Chahar and Axar Patel, respectively.

Martin Guptill - AP
Martin Guptill – AP

Harshal Patel replaced injured Mohammed Siraj for India, while New Zealand’s Lockie Ferguson, Todd Astle, and Rachin Ravindra weren’t included. However, Adam Milne, James Neesham, and Ish Sodhi were back in starting XI.

The Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) had made a lot of plans as Eden Gardens will be hosting an international match after two years. But a recent directive from the Board has advised against any other program or function before the game.

That means the Jagmohan Dalmiya Memorial Conclave will have to be deferred till the association stages its next international game, which could be an ODI in February when India hosts the West Indies. The CAB had also planned a short felicitation for new India head coach Rahul Dravid and T20I captain Rohit Sharma, but that too seems unlikely at present.

BCCI President Sourav Ganguly has been appointed as the Chairman of ICC’s Cricket Committee, the governing body confirmed on Wednesday (November 17). Sourav Ganguly will be replacing his former India teammate Anil Kumble, who has served a maximum of three-year terms after being appointed in 2012.

Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra. (Photo Source: Twitter)
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Aakash Chopra Opens Up On India’s Bowling Performance In 1st T20I vs New Zealand

Aakash Chopra reckons Rohit Sharma missed a trick by not bowling all-rounder Venkatesh Iyer, who was a revelation for Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL 2021’s UAE leg in the first T20I against New Zealand.

Venkatesh Iyer made his debut for Team India in last night’s match in Jaipur, more for his ability to provide the side with a sixth bowling option. However, he was not given the ball as Rohit Sharma used only the five specialist bowlers.  Venkatesh Iyer later scored a boundary off the first ball he faced but was dismissed in the 2nd ball.

Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Aakash Chopra: It’s A Rare Error On Rohit Sharma’s Part Not To Give The Ball To Debutant All Rounder Venkatesh Iyer

While reviewing India’s bowling performance in a video shared on his YouTube channel, Aakash Chopra was perplexed about the new full-time Indian T20I skipper’s decision not to bowl Venkatesh Iyer.

He elaborated: “The Indian team said they need a fast-bowling all-rounder, so they played Venkatesh Iyer at six. But they didn’t get him to bowl. I will say it’s a rare error on Rohit Sharma’s part, generally his captaincy is perfect, but it just left me a little befuddled.”

Venkatesh Iyer scored 4 off 2 balls during a short stay at the crease on debut. (Getty)
Venkatesh Iyer scored 4 off 2 balls during a short stay at the crease on debut. (Getty)

The cricketer-turned-commentator added that the debutant could have been eased into the game in the first half of the Kiwi innings. Venkatesh Iyer also picked up 3 scalps bowling 51 balls averaging 23 in the IPL 2021.

Aakash Chopra explained: “They could have got him to bowl, when you had won the toss and got to bowl first and the opposing team was struggling, especially in the first half. You could have got him to bowl one or two overs because Deepak Chahar and Siraj were not having a good day.”

Venkatesh Iyer could have been made to roll his arm over in the middle overs. However, with the pitch assisting the spinners slightly, Rohit Sharma opted to persist with Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel in that phase.

Venkatesh Iyer, who was a sensation in the second leg of the IPL 2021 in the UAE, has earned his maiden India call-up. Venkatesh Iyer scored 370 runs in 10 games at an average of 41.11 and a strike rate of 128.47, including four half-centuries. He finished as KKR’s fourth-highest run-scorer.

Aakash Chopra Felt Good Seeing Bhuvneshwar Kumar Bowl Effectively With Old And New Balls

Aakash Chopra lauded the experienced duo of pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar and off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin for being both economical and penetrative. Aakash Chopra highlighted that Bhuvneshwar Kumar bowled well both in the Powerplay and at the death. Bhuvneshwar Kumar returned with figures of 2/24, and Ravichandran Ashwin returned with figures of 2/23.

He pointed out: “Bhuvneshwar Kumar gets Daryl Mitchell out on the latter’s first delivery, Bhuvneshwar Kumar of old. It felt good seeing Bhuvneshwar Kumar bowl both with the new and the old ball. He took two wickets in all and was very economical. Ashwin and Bhuvi – the two experienced players, gave just 47 runs in four overs and took four wickets.”

Bhuvneshwar Kumar (Image Credit: Twitter)
Bhuvneshwar Kumar (Image Credit: Twitter)

The 44-year-old concluded by stating that Mohammed Siraj and Deepak Chahar did not cover themselves in glory and will have to raise their game if they get chances in the next 2 T20Is.

Aakash Chopra said: “Siraj and Deepak Chahar were very expensive. This will be in your mind because there will not be too many chances, Avesh and Harshal are sitting outside. Deepak Chahar will have to start picking wickets because he was in the reserves in the World Cup as well and did not play. The pressure will always be on him.”

Pacers Deepak Chahar (1/42) and Mohammed Siraj (1/39) conceded 81 runs in the eight overs they bowled. The latter also suffered an injury to his left hand in the last over he bowled which might put him in doubt for the second match to be played on Friday.

Harshal Patel
Harshal Patel (Image Credit: Twitter)
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Dinesh Karthik, Ajay Jadeja Name Harshal Patel To Replace Mohammed Siraj For 2nd T20I

Dinesh Karthik, wicketkeeper-batter, and former cricketer Ajay Jadeja have backed Royal Challengers Banglaore uncapped pacer Harshal Patel as the suitable replacement for pacer Mohammed Siraj for the second India-New Zealand T20I.

Mohammad Siraj tore the webbing of his left hand while bowling in the last over in Jaipur on Wednesday and might miss the coming games- the next 2 T20Is at Ranchi and Kolkata.

Harshal Patel
Harshal Patel (Image Credit: Twitter)

Dinesh Karthik: It’s A Good Headache To Select One Among Harshal Patel And Avesh Khan In Place Of Mohammad Siraj

Dinesh Karthik said while both Harshal Patel and Avesh Khan are in top form, the former’s change of pace will likely come in handy in Ranchi. He, however, also said the team management might want the extra pace of Avesh Khan to add some variety to the attack, making it a “good headache” to have.

A superlative display by their top-order and controlled bowling at the back-end ensured a five-wicket victory against Black Caps, ending ‘Men in Blue’ seven-match losing streak across formats. In absence of Virat Kohli, currently on leave, Suryakumar Yadav made full use of the opportunity at number three with a match-winning 62 off 42 balls.

Dinesh Karthik said:  “Both of them are bowling at the best of their careers so far… So you can blindly play any one of them. I personally feel Harshal Patel will be better because obviously, you know, the change of pace in Ranchi [which is a] slightly slow wicket.

“Avesh Khan is very good with slower ones as well but Harshal Patel is bowling with such good rhythm that you want to give him the opportunity and see what he brings to the table.

“But another way you look at it is – you have somebody who bowls 135 in Deepak Chahar and Bhuvi. If you want someone with more pace then the option is Avesh Khan. It’s a good headache to have,” said Dinesh Karthik.

Avesh Khan has been instrumental in Delhi Capitals’ early success in IPL 2021. Image: BCCI
Avesh Khan has been instrumental in Delhi Capitals’ early success in IPL 2021. Image: BCCI

Speaking during the same video interaction, former cricketer Ajay Jadeja also agreed with Dinesh Karthik. He noted that for the specific overs, Mohammed Siraj bowled on Wednesday (4th, 11th, 15th, and 20th), Harshal Patel would be the better option.

Ajay Jadeja explained: “The way Siraj was used, probably Harshal Patel because he bowled one in the powerplay and two right at the end.

“What he has done in the IPL, the reason why he’s been picked in the side – his strength is that when the game is moving at a different pace and the batsman is trying to dominate that’s when his slower one becomes more useful. If you have to use him the same way and the others around then Harshal is the one I’ll probably go with.”

Harshal Patel was the top wicket-taker in the IPL 2021 – claiming the joint-most 32 wickets in a season for Royal Challengers Bangalore. Delhi Capital’s Avesh Khan was right behind him with 24 wickets from 16 matches. Meanwhile, as a result of Mohammed Siraj’s valiant last over and other bowlers’ contributions, India kept New Zealand down to 164-6 and chased it with two balls to spare.

Dinesh Karthik: Rahul Dravid May Give Everyone An Opportunity

Furthermore, while Dinesh Karthik remarked that while India was unlikely to make more changes for the 2nd T20I game, Rahul Dravid’s coaching style has always been about rotating and giving most squad members a chance. Dinesh Karthik said if it goes that way here too, the head coach will have the “right conversation” to make sure that the players getting a rest don’t feel insecure.

Dinesh Karthik file image. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)
Dinesh Karthik file image. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)

Dinesh Karthik asserted: “The one thing Rahul Dravid has done fabulously well in his time as an India Under-19 and an India A coach is his ability to rotate and play the whole squad, consistently on all tours and give everybody an opportunity and that’s why we have such a large bench strength for the Indian team… and if that is anything to go by.

He’ll have the right conversations and spread the right message. One thing is giving a break but you have got to make sure that the guy is happy to get a break…”

The second match will begin at the same time in Ranchi on Friday. A loss in the 2nd T20I will mean that the Kiwis will surrender the series. On the other hand, India will look to land the knockout blow and take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match rubber.

Predicted Indian XI: KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma (C), Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (WK), Shreyas Iyer, Venkatesh Iyer, Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Chahar, Harshal Patel/Avesh Khan

Todd Astle leaked 34 runs in the 3 overs that he bowled, and failed to scalp a wicket in the 1st T20I. So, the Kiwis might get Ish Sodhi into their playing XI in his place. Also, James Neesham might replace Rachin Ravindra.

Predicted New Zealand XI: Martin Guptill, Daryl Mitchell, Mark Chapman, Glenn Phillips, Tim Siefert (WK), James Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee (C), Ish Sodhi, Lockie Ferguson, Trent Boult

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