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Wasim Akram Image Credit: Supplied
Wasim Akram Image Credit: Supplied
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IPL Can’t Match Int’l Cricket Standards As Full Strength India Last Played T20Is In March: Wasim Akram

Wasim Akram believes India’s negligence towards playing limited-overs international cricket seems to be the reason behind their poor show in the ongoing 2021 T20I World Cup. The legendary former pacer, who holds the record for most ODI wickets, pointed out an interesting fact that prior to the T20 World Cup, the last big international limited-overs series the senior players played was back in March against England.

Although the players took part in the Indian Premier League recently, no amount of league cricket can match international cricket standards, let alone in the World Cup, highlighted Wasim Akram.

Wasim Akram. (Photo: Twitter/ @shoaib100mph)
Wasim Akram. (Photo: Twitter/ @shoaib100mph)

Wasim Akram: India Thinks Playing The IPL Is Enough

Like many cricket stars, former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram is also not amused with India’s poor show in the T20 World Cup 2021.

“India last played a limited-overs series with all the senior players in March. Now, we are in November. So that shows they are not taking those international series seriously. They think playing the IPL is enough.

“You play as much league cricket in the world that you want. While playing league cricket, you will find one or two good bowlers in the opposition. In international cricket, you will face all five good bowlers,” Akram said on A Sports following India’s defeat to New Zealand.

India vs England
India vs England- Image Credit: Twitter

Wasim Akram makes a valid point. India did play three ODIs and three T20Is in Sri Lanka around July end, but it was a squad filled with youngsters, mostly comprising of youngsters who did well in IPL since the senior players, mostly Test specialists, were participating in the Test series in England.

While the squad which won the limited-overs-ODI, T20Is series at home in March 2021 against England, saw the likes of Prasidh Krishna, Krunal Pandya, Suryakumar Yadav, and Ishan Kishan debut, the series against Sri Lanka saw Ruturaj Gaikwad, Devdutt Padikkal, Nitish Rana, Krishnappa Gowtham and Chetan Sakariya playing for the first time for Men in Blue.

Wasim Akram: Biggest Mess Up Was Downgrading Rohit Sharma Who Has 4 T20I Tons As Opener To No. 3 In Do Or Die Game

Weighing in further on Sunday’s match, in which India lost to New Zealand by eight wickets to keep their semi-final chances hanging by a thread, Wasim Akram reckons to lose the toss deflated India in the first place, which further worsened when the management decided to push Rohit Sharma at No. 3.

“It wasn’t a great game. It was a one-sided game. India committed a lot of mistakes. When they lost the toss, I feel they were pushed back a little psychologically. The biggest mess-up was downgraded Rohit Sharma to 3 in a crucial, do-or-die game. The guy has got four centuries in T20Is as opener. They could have made Ishan Kishan bat at 3 too. This was the start when the panic button was pressed,” Wasim Akram pointed out.

Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma | AFP

The Indian batsmen Ishan Kishan (4 off 8 balls), Rohit Sharma (14 off 14 balls), KL Rahul (18 off 16), Virat Kohli (9 off 17), Rishabh Pant (12 off 19) failed when it mattered most. Ishan Kishan opened the batting along with KL Rahul while Rohit Sharma dropped to No. 3, but even that move didn’t work. Ishan Kishan scored just 4 runs from 8 balls, while Rohit Sharma made 14 from as many balls in India’s below-par total of 110 for 7 in 20 overs.

Ishan Kishan, KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma, and Virat Kohli all perished cheaply against New Zealand as India lost their first four wickets with only 48 on the board within 10 overs. As a result, India ended up posting 110 for 7 in stipulated 20 overs, in which they didn’t effectively score runs in nine of those overs (54 dot balls). Worse, they were just able to hit a single boundary between overs 8 and 15 when two Kiwi spinners-Ish Sodhi and Mitchell Santner, were in operation.
Head coach Brendon McCullum says KKR will make couple of changes in Mumbai (Image Courtesy: KKR Twitter)
Head coach Brendon McCullum with skipper Eoin Morgan (Image Courtesy: KKR Twitter)
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Brendon McCullum Admits His Style Of Coaching Or Leadership For KKR During IPL 2021 Was Perhaps “Wild”

Brendon McCullum, Kolkata Knight Riders head coach, has said that his coaching style during the IPL this year, initially in India and later in UAE, was “a little wild”.

After struggling in the first leg of the tournament in India, KKR made a remarkable turnaround when the event was moved to the UAE, reaching the finals to play eventual champions Chennai Super Kings, where they lost.

Kolkata Knight Riders
Kolkata Knight Riders (Image Credit: Twitter)

Brendon McCullum’s Style Of Coaching Or Leadership Was Perhaps Wild

KKR ended the season as runners-up, which was impressive, because they had won just two of their seven games in the India leg of the tournament. Eventually, CSK was the better team on the day as KKR fell short of their third IPL title.
Brendon McCullum
Brendon McCullum BCCI

Brendon McCullum played in the IPL as a player from 2008 to 2018. Brendon McCullum featured in 109 matches in the IPL and amassed 2881 runs with a strike rate of 131.61. In the opening season, Brendon McCullum’s 158 not out for the Kolkata Knight Riders is still engraved in every IPL fan.

“My style of leadership or coaching was perhaps a little wild,” Brendon McCullum said.

Shubman Gill amassed 478 runs in 17 games, while Nitish Rana amassed 383 runs and Rahul Tripathi managed 397 runs, while the likes of Eoin Morgan (133 runs) and Dinesh Karthik (223 runs) failed to deliver with the bat. Pacer Lockie Ferguson picked 13 scalps, spinners Sunil Narine picked 16, and Varun Chakravarthy picked 18 scalps- the highest by a KKR bowler. Indian pacers Shivam Mavi and Prasidh Krishna were also among the wickets.

Brendon McCullum: KKR Rocked In The Second Half Of IPL 2021

The former New Zealand captain, though, was pleased to see the comeback KKR made in the league.

“It takes a little while to really dig down and thankfully we were able to do it in the second half of the tournament and we got a bit more intent into batting and then we were able to play a bit more of an aggressive form of cricket. Thankfully it translated to results and we got on a bit of a roll.”

Venkatesh Iyer scored his maiden IPL fifty in the game vs MI.© Instagram
Venkatesh Iyer scored his maiden IPL fifty in the game vs MI.© Instagram

KKR had just two wins out of seven matches at the end of the first leg and was placed seventh. But, in the second half of the tournament in the UAE, they won five out of their remaining league matches to make the playoffs, and then, the finals.

“We rocked in the second half of the tournament, we were kind of dead and buried (after starting with two wins and five losses). We were under a fair amount of pressure with two wins from seven games and seventh on the table out of eight. The expectations on us were pretty low,” said McCullum, who won the IPL 2012 title with KKR as a player.
Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) head coach Brendon McCullum was full of praise for the impact that opener Venkatesh Iyer and the rest of the Indian top-order batsmen (Rahul Tripathi, Shubman Gill, and Nitish Rana) had in the second half of the 2021 Indian Premier League (IPL).
In opening the innings with Shubman Gill, Venkatesh Iyer scored 370 runs in 10 innings and even put in handy shifts with the ball, taking three wickets in the season. In just 10 IPL 2021 games, all at UAE, the opener Venkatesh Iyer has 370 runs beside his name, averaging 41.11 with as many as 4 fifties. It was his debut IPL season, where he also picked 3 scalps averaging 23 with the ball.
Venkatesh Iyer scored his maiden IPL fifty in the game vs MI.© Instagram
Venkatesh Iyer scored his maiden IPL fifty in the game vs MI.© Instagram
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Covid-19 Induced Break Came At The Right Time For Venkatesh Iyer: Brendon McCullum

Brendon McCullum hailed the impact Venkatesh Iyer, and the rest of his Indian players had in the UAE, allowing the team to bounce back from a dismal position after the first half of the season and reach the final.

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) head coach Brendon McCullum was full of praise for the impact that opener Venkatesh Iyer and the rest of the Indian top-order batsmen (Rahul Tripathi, Shubman Gill, and Nitish Rana) had in the second half of the 2021 Indian Premier League (IPL). As a result, KKR went from having just two wins in seven matches to reach the final in the UAE leg of the season.

Brendon McCullum
Brendon McCullum BCCI

Brendon McCullum: Venkatesh Iyer Has Been An Incredible Story

In opening the innings with Shubman Gill, Venkatesh Iyer scored 370 runs in 10 innings and even put in handy shifts with the ball, taking three wickets in the season. In just 10 IPL 2021 games, all at UAE, the opener Venkatesh Iyer has 370 runs beside his name, averaging 41.11 with as many as 4 fifties. It was his debut IPL season, where he also picked 3 scalps averaging 23 with the ball.

“Venkatesh Iyer has been an incredible story. He was actually going to play in the next game after what turned out to be our last game in India but the break came at the right time there in a funny way. It gave him the opportunity to get a couple of months of cricket under his belt,” Brendon McCullum told the media after KKR’s 27-run defeat to Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the final on Friday.

“Then it was just a matter of bringing the game that he owns. The ‘Venkatesh Iyer Game Plan’ which is an aggressive intent. He is a big presence, a tall man, plays the game with a kind of a cavalier streak. It is so important to hold on to that because he might be challenged to change his methods,” said Brendon McCullum.

Venkatesh Iyer scored a half century in the final.
Venkatesh Iyer scored a half-century in the final. (Courtesy of BCCI)
“He might not be the most consistent with his flamboyance but I hope he remains the Venkatesh Iyer we have seen so far. He has got a big future in this game and he is a very intelligent man. I thank him for all his efforts he was a big catalyst for our turnaround this season,” said Brendon McCullum.

Shubman Gill amassed 478 runs in 17 games, while Nitish Rana amassed 383 runs and Rahul Tripathi managed 397 runs, while the likes of Eoin Morgan (133 runs) and Dinesh Karthik (223 runs) failed to deliver with the bat.

Brendon McCullum: Break Came At The Right Time

Brendon McCullum said that the Covid-19 induced break in the season came at the right time for KKR as they could regroup from the dismal start they had to the season. But, unfortunately, the likes of KKR spinner Varun Chakravarthy and pacer Sandeep Warrier and SRH’s Wriddhiman Saha and DC’s Amit Mishra were contracted with the Covid-19 virus, which eventually led to the postponement of IPL 2021 in India and the remainder of the league was moved to UAE.

The virus had wreaked havoc in India at that time, claiming thousands of lives. Prasidh Krishna, who has been picked as a standby player for England tour, became the fourth Kolkata Knight Riders player to test positive for Covid-19. KKR wicketkeeper-batsman Tim Seifert was reported to have tested positive for Covid-19 earlier.

“The break came at a right time for us, it is difficult to keep your composure when the results are going against you. We had just two wins in seven games so the break came at a good time. We had some conversations in those months with some guys to smooth out some rough edges,” said Brendon McCullum.

Kolkata Knight Riders
Kolkata Knight Riders (Image Credit: Twitter)

“Always felt that our intent needed to increase to put pressure back on the opposition. I can’t speak highly enough about our top four Indian batters what they achieved during the second half of the tournament. It takes guts to play the way they did and courage to trust the way that we were asking them to play. They were absolutely fantastic and a massive reason we had such a huge chance at winning this competition,” Brendon McCullum said.

In IPL 2021 final, CSK opener Faf du Plessis led the charge, making 86 as he anchored half-century stands for each of the three wickets that fell during the course of Super Kings’ 192. Robin Uthappa and Moeen Ali played their parts with the bat before Shardul Thakur ended Venkatesh Iyer’s innings – and a dangerous opening stand – to cut Knight Riders’ middle-order open and consign them to their first defeat in an IPL final.

Chennai Super Kings 192 for 3 (du Plessis 86, Moeen 37*, Narine 2-26) beat Kolkata Knight Riders 165 for 9 (Gill 51, Iyer 50, Thakur 3-38, Hazlewood 2-29) by 27 runs

KKR captain Eoin Morgan Twitter/@KKRiders
KKR captain Eoin Morgan- Twitter/@KKRiders
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We Want Some More Runs From Eoin Morgan, Says Brendon McCullum

Brendon McCullum, Kolkata Knight Riders coach on Friday admitted that captain Eoin Morgan’s lack of form is not a good sign and demands runs from the skipper’s bat for the upcoming matches. Kolkata Knight Riders lost their IPL match against Punjab Kings by 5 wickets.

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) captain Eoin Morgan’s lack of form in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 has been a talking point in the ongoing season. In the last five matches, since the resumption of IPL 2021, Eoin Morgan has failed to cross the double digits. He has contributed only 7,8,0 and 2 in the last 4 matches at UAE leg.

Head coach Brendon McCullum says KKR will make couple of changes in Mumbai (Image Courtesy: KKR Twitter)
Head coach Brendon McCullum with skipper Eoin Morgan (Image Courtesy: KKR Twitter)

Brendon McCullum, Kolkata Knight Riders Coach Said Team Wants Some More Runs From Skipper Eoin Morgan

The skipper has managed only 17 runs in 4 innings so far when IPL 2021 resumed in UAE. After KKR’s five-wicket loss against Punjab Kings, coach Brendon McCullum also questioned Eoin Morgan’s lack of form with the bat.

“Morgan is one of our senior players, and he is one of our international batters. As captain also, in his own head he would have liked to contribute a lot more runs,” said Brendon McCullum during a virtual post-match press conference.

Kolkata Knight Riders
Kolkata Knight Riders (Image Credit: Twitter)

“Actually, I think he has captained the side really well tactically. We want some more runs from him. No doubt in that, you need some runs from your overseas batter. Look, I am confident that he will come right,” Brendon McCullum added.

The 2019 World Cup-winning captain made a return to the Kolkata Knight Riders in 2020 after being one of the top buys for KKR in the 2020 IPL Auction. He also took over captaincy duties from Dinesh Karthik mid-season in 2020 but hasn’t been consistent with the bat and as skipper. He scored 418 runs from 145 games in IPL 2020 averaging 41.8 but is clearly struggling in IPL 2021 managing only 109 runs from 12 appearances averaging a pathetic 10.9.

Eoin Morgan has scored 109 runs in 11 innings so far in IPL 2021 at an average of 10.98 and a strike rate of 100.92. While there have been several instances of franchises changing their captains because of a lack of runs, KKR has stressed that Eoin Morgan will stay in the role.

Brendon McCullum: Punjab Kings Deserved To Win As They Seized The Key Moments

Punjab Kings boosted their chances of making the IPL play-offs with a five-wicket close win over KKR as effective death over bowling and smart batting by skipper KL Rahul and Shahrukh Khan shaped their crucial victory in Dubai on Friday. KL Rahul scored 67 runs off 55 balls.

He shared a 70-run stand with fellow teammate opener Mayank Agarwal (40), knocking off a 166-run target with three balls to spare. Shahrukh Khan then produced an impactful 9-ball 22-run knock when it mattered and finished the match with a six.

“We played a great game, Punjab Kings deserved to win because they seized the key moments. I still felt we had a chance in the game, with two overs to go. It was a touch and go, small margin in the game, which didn’t go our way,” said Brendon McCullum.

KL Rahul
KL Rahul (Image Credit: Twitter)

Earlier, Venkatesh Iyer hit a fluent 67 while Nitish Rana produced a fiery 31 off 18 balls before Punjab Kings managed to stop KKR at 165 for 7.

“Venkatesh Iyer is definitely an all-rounder. It is not just his cricketing ability, it is his mindset and cricketing brain. He is a guy with huge ambition and has a great as a general all-rounder. I think he is one of those cricketer, who is going to get better and better,” said Brendon McCullum.

Kolkata Knight Riders will face SunRisers Hyderabad in Dubai on Sunday. KKR, who have ten points from 12 matches, now need to win their next two matches against Sunrisers Hyderabad and Rajasthan Royals and hope some other results go their way as well.

Deep Dasgupta
Deep Dasgupta. (Photo Source: Instagram)
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Better Words Should Be Used In Case Of A Disagreement, Says Deep Dasgupta

Deep Dasgupta, the former India wicketkeeper, was disappointed with the language used while expressing his opinion on the Ravichandran Ashwin-Eoin Morgan debacle. The on-field altercation between the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) captain and the Delhi Capitals (DC) all-rounder has sparked a debate among the cricketing fraternity, including prominent ex-cricketers.

Ravichandran Ashwin and Eoin Morgan both expressed their thoughts behind the incident after the culmination of the match. Deep Dasgupta felt the entire concept of “spirit of cricket” is very vague, making it a hard line to tread. Ravichandran Ashwin called his Delhi Capitals (DC) skipper Rishabh Pant for a run after a throw ricocheted, having hit the latter during an IPL 2021 clash against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in Sharjah.

Deep Dasgupta. Photo Credit (Twitter)
Deep Dasgupta. Photo Credit (Twitter)

Deep Dasgupta: Disgrace And Ashamed Are Very Harsh Words, And Better Words Should Be Used In Case Of A Disagreement

More than the incident, the events that have unravelled since it took place have particularly concerned Deep Dasgupta. While he does not hold an issue with someone expressing their opinion against something, he firmly believes the right language must be used.

Speaking on his YouTube channel, Deep Dasgupta said: “My opinion can be different and I may disagree with Ashwin, and that is fine. But the words that have been used so far like ‘disgrace’ and ‘ashamed,’ these are very harsh words. These are extremely, extremely harsh words. If there is only disagreement, better words could have been used.”

Ravichandran Ashwin of Delhi Capitals reacts with Tim Southee during the Indian Premier League match.(PTI)
Ravichandran Ashwin of Delhi Capitals reacts with Tim Southee during the Indian Premier League match. (PTI)

“Just because your thoughts are different and mine are different from yours, does not mean words like these are used. Especially from influential people and role models in cricket. Fewl weird hearing things like these from them.”

According to Ravichandran Ashwin, he was called a “disgrace” by the opposition skipper, and even Shane Warne used the terms “ashamed” and “disgraced” when it came to Ravichandran Ashwin’s actions. The incident follows in the footsteps of ugly on-field interactions from previous editions.

Deep Dasgupta: If Spirit Of Cricket Is Adhered To, There Shouldn’t Be An Issue

Deep Dasgupta noted that as long as the spirit of the game is being mended legally, there should not be an issue.

He added: “What I think is that, the rules of the game is a line, and the spirit of the cricket can be drawn anywhere inside the line , depends on you. The line is a barrier, as long as it is being drawn inside of it, there should not be any issue.”

KKR captain Eoin Morgan Twitter/@KKRiders
KKR captain Eoin Morgan. Twitter/@KKRiders

After Ravichandran Ashwin’s dismissal, KKR bowler Tim Southee and skipper Eoin Morgan got involved in a heated argument with the Indian spinner over the extra run taken. While Ravichandran Ashwin ended up with the last laugh by scalping Eoin Morgan for a duck, it was KKR who won the contest by 3 wickets with 10 balls to spare and delayed DC’s qualification for the playoffs.

KKR, however, went on to win the game by 3 wickets with 10 balls to spare. DC’s Rishabh Pant and Steve Smith scored 39 each, while KKR’s Sunil Narine scored a cameo (21 runs off 10 balls) besides taking 2 scalps. Nitish Rana top-scored for KKR with unbeaten 36 runs.

In the IPL 2019, Ravichandran Ashwin had come under criticism after running out Rajasthan Royals’ Jos Buttler before delivering the ball, although the dismissal is perfectly legal as per the laws.

Brief Scores: Kolkata Knight Riders 130/7 (Nitish Rana 36*, Shubman Gill 30; Avesh Khan 3/13) beat Delhi Capitals 127/9 (Rishabh Pant 39, Steve Smith 39; Sunil Narine 2/18) by 3 wickets.  

Delhi Capitals player Ravichandran Ashwin. (Photo | IPL)
Delhi Capitals player Ravichandran Ashwin. (Photo | IPL)
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Brad Hogg Insists To Play According To The Laws Referring Ravichandran Ashwin’s Controversial Run

The former Australian spinner, Brad Hogg, the “spirit of cricket” debate over an extra run taken by Ravichandran Ashwin during an IPL game needless. According to Brad Hogg, there are rules in place, and that’s all that matters.

Opinions have been split among the cricket fraternity over Ravichandran Ashwin calling his Delhi Capitals (DC) skipper Rishabh Pant for a run after a throw ricocheted having hit the latter. During an Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 clash against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in Sharjah, the incident occurred.

Brad Hogg was a part of two World Cup-winning Australian teams; 2003 and 2007 © Getty Images
Brad Hogg was a part of two World Cup-winning Australian teams; 2003 and 2007 © Getty Images.

Brad Hogg: Unwritten Rules Should Be Scraped

After Ravichandran Ashwin’s dismissal, KKR bowler Tim Southee and skipper Eoin Morgan got involved in a heated argument with the Indian spinner over the extra run taken. Sharing his views on the controversy, Brad Hogg wondered what Eoin Morgan would have done had Rishabh Pant refused the run, and Ravichandran Ashwin would have got run out.

The former chinaman bowler Brad Hogg wrote on Twitter: “If Pant (knowing the throw hit him) turned his back on Ashwin who looking for the second had to retreat causing a run out would Morgan have called him back? “

Brad Hogg said:”Unwritten rules should be scraped, play to the laws. #IPL2021.”

Ravichandran Ashwin of Delhi Capitals reacts during the Indian Premier League match.(PTI)
Ravichandran Ashwin of Delhi Capitals reacts during the Indian Premier League match. (PTI)

Virender Sehwag Considers Dinesh Karthik Biggest Culprit

Former India cricketer Virender Sehwag described KKR keeper former skipper Dinesh Karthik as the “biggest culprit” in the spirit of cricket controversy. According to Virender Sehwag, Dinesh Karthik shouldn’t have divulged all the details about what happened between Ravichandran Ashwin and Eoin Morgan.

Speaking to Cricbuzz, Sehwag said: “I consider Dinesh Karthik the biggest culprit in all this. If he had not talked about what Morgan said, there would have been no such uproar. If he had said, “It was nothing much, just an argument, it happens in the game, move on,” then it would have come out in that sense only. What was the need for an explanation that someone thinks this or that?”

At the post-match conference following the game’s conclusion, keeper Dinesh Karthik admitted that the altercation between Ravichandran Ashwin and Eoin Morgan took place due to the extra run. He also went on to narrate details of the incident.

Sehwag concluded: “The spirit of the game also says that players should leave what happens inside the ground as is and move on.”

Virender Sehwag
Virender Sehwag (Image Credit: Twitter)

Delhi Capitals’ Ravichandran Ashwin took to Twitter to observe that he didn’t realize the ball had deflected off Rishabh Pant’s body when the duo pinched the extra run via an overthrow, which in turn upset Kolkata Knight Riders’ fielders in the 41st game of the IPL 2021.

Ravichandran Ashwin also said he had the right to take the extra run even if he knew it had ricocheted off a batter’s body. Ravichandran Ashwin, the off-spinner, will next be seen in action when DC faces Mumbai Indians (MI) on Saturday, October 2 in Sharjah.

In the IPL 2019, Ravichandran Ashwin had come under criticism after running out Rajasthan Royals’ Jos Buttler before delivering the ball, although the dismissal is perfectly legal as per the laws.

KKR captain Eoin Morgan Twitter/@KKRiders
KKR captain Eoin Morgan- Twitter/@KKRiders
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Gautam Gambhir Lashes Out At KKR Skipper Eoin Morgan After He Received Code From Analyst In IPL 2021 UAE Leg

Gautam Gambhir played a pivotal role as KKR won two titles under his leadership in 2012 and 2014 and performed like a different unit altogether. However, after Gautam Gambhir quit the Kolkata Knight Riders franchise and took retirement from all formats, things haven’t gone so well for the Knights.

This year too, the franchise had a forgettable start to their campaign. With just 2 wins from 7 matches, KKR was staring at a possible eviction from the IPL 14 playoffs’ race as they were placed 7th. However, when the tournament moved to UAE for its second leg after bio bubble braches led to the Indian leg’s postponement, the Knights had a change in fortune.

Gautam Gambhir has led KKR to two IPL titles
Gautam Gambhir has led KKR to two IPL title

Gautam Gambhir Not Happy With Eoin Morgan’s Tactics

KKR registered two back-to-back dominating victories and announced that they were not out from the playoff race yet. But amidst all these ups and downs, the centre of attention is an intriguing tactic used by the franchise. During the matches at UAE, KKR skipper Eoin Morgan was seen receiving code from analyst Nathan Leamon. Now, their former skipper Gautam Gambhir has reacted sharply to this method.

Gautam Gambhir, who is also part of the commentary panel of IPL 14, lashed out at the tactic and said that he would have quit the captaincy if such methods were used during his tenure as KKR skipper. The former Indian southpaw was replying to a question by fellow commentator Aakash Chopra where he asked reaction to the move.

Eoin Morgan
Eoin Morgan (Image Credit: Twitter)

Eoin Morgan was appointed KKR captain last year replacing Dinesh Karthik midseason for the leadership role. KKR also roped England team analyst Nathan Leamon earlier this year to strengthen their support staff time. Although the partnership of Eoin Morgan and Nathan Leamon has delivered great results for the England team in international white-ball cricket, the duo failed to replicate the same performance for KKR this year.

Rahul Tripathi’s Knock In Vain As CSK Wins In The Last Ball Thriller

On Sunday, KKR clashed with MS Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings and scored 171/6 batting first. In response, CSK was able to chase down the target on the last ball of their innings. For KKR, Rahul Tripathi, and Nitish Rana scored 45 and 37 respectively as KKR posted 171/6 in the allotted twenty overs. Eoin Morgan’s side was struggling at one stage but Dinesh Karthik’s cameo of 26 runs of 11 balls helped KKR go past the 170-run mark.

Kolkata Knight Riders player Rahul Tripathi
Kolkata Knight Riders player Rahul Tripathi. Credit: PTI File Photo

With 24 required from ten balls, Ravindra Jadeja smashed Prasidh Krishna for 20 runs in four balls. Needing 34 runs to win from 21 balls with seven wickets in hand, Chennai Super Kings looked like they may have thrown away a simple chase as Moeen Ali, Suresh Raina, and MS Dhoni all fell within the space of six balls.

But Ravindra Jadeja crushed Kolkata Knight Riders’ victory hopes in the space of a devastating four-ball sequence in the 19th over as Chennai Super Kings eventually got over the line on the final ball in a dramatic two-wicket win on Sunday afternoon in Abu Dhabi.

Chennai Super Kings (Image Credit: Twitter)
Chennai Super Kings (Image Credit: Twitter)
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Opponents Needs To Play Their Best Game For 40 Overs To Beat In Form CSK: Virender Sehwag

Virender Sehwag said opponents would need to play their best game for the whole of 40 overs to beat MS Dhoni’s team, as he heaped massive praise on the CSK’s clever heist over KKR.

Chennai Super Kings on Sunday pulled off an emphatic 2-wicket win against Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 match no. 38 in Abu Dhabi. MS Dhoni and his boys came out with flying colours as they successfully completed a stiff chase of 172 runs.

Virender Sehwag Reuters Photo
Virender Sehwag Reuters Photo

Ravindra Jadeja Scored A Brisk 22 Runs Off Only 8 Balls Helping CSK Chase 172

Despite a solid start by the opening duo of Ruturaj Gaikwad and Faf du Plessis, CSK found it was hard to stop the regular fall of wickets. All-rounder Ravindra Jadeja played catalytic innings of 22 runs in 8 balls towards the end, before falling prey to Sunil Narine, on the fifth ball of the final over. With 1 required off 1 ball, Deepak Chahar gave the finishing touch.

Ruturaj Gaikwad was the top scorer for the Chennai Super Kings with 43 off 30 balls while his opening partner Faf du Plessis scored 40 off 28 balls.

Ravindra Jadeja With MS Dhoni CSK Twitter Handle
Ravindra Jadeja With MS Dhoni CSK Twitter Handle

Ravindra Jadeja single-handedly took the game away from a confident Kolkata Knight Riders in their Indian Premier League encounter at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium on Sunday as he scored 22 runs off the penultimate 19th over as Prasidh Krishna looked on haplessly.

With 24 required from ten balls, Ravindra Jadeja smashed Prasidh Krishna for 20 runs in four balls. Needing 34 runs to win from 21 balls with seven wickets in hand, Chennai Super Kings looked like they may have thrown away a simple chase as Moeen Ali, Suresh Raina, and MS Dhoni all fell within the space of six balls.

But Ravindra Jadeja crushed Kolkata Knight Riders’ victory hopes in the space of a devastating four-ball sequence in the 19th over as Chennai Super Kings eventually got over the line on the final ball in a dramatic two-wicket win on Sunday afternoon in Abu Dhabi.

Virender Sehwag: CSK Is Unbeatable When They Play Well

This win once again brought CSK skipper MS Dhoni under the limelight for his exemplary leadership. Heaping massive praise on the CSK’s clever heist over KKR, former India opener Virender Sehwag said opponents would need to play their best game for the whole of 40 overs to beat in-form MS Dhoni’s team.

“They made a statement right after arriving in the UAE as they won third game on the trot. It’s a known fact that if CSK is unbeatable when they play well. However, bowling has been their weak link. Like we saw today. They could have restricted KKR to 150-160 odd runs but, they conceded 171,”said Virender Sehwag.

Nitish Rana , AFP
Nitish Rana, AFP

“If they bat first and score 160-170 runs then may find it difficult to defend the total because they don’t have any variety in their bowling, neither the have any mystery spinner. So, that’s what I feel, the problem is. Otherwise, they have so much depth in their batting. Shardul comes in at no. 9 or 10. If you promote him up in the order, he will definitely score like a proper batter, like he did in England,” Virender Sehwag told Cricbuzz.

“The biggest challenge remains when they would bat first. It has to be seen how they play then. Everyone knows CSK is much better and you can’t have an easy win against them. You have to toil hard for the entire game. Like we say, when you face Australia, you need to play good cricket for the entire 40 overs. The same thing goes while playing against CSK,” Virender Sehwag added.

Virender Sehwag praised Chennai’s victory after a difficult last year in UAE when the franchise couldn’t reach the playoffs for the first time in IPL history. Earlier, for KKR, Rahul Tripathi and Nitish Rana scored 45 and 37 respectively as KKR posted 171/6 in the allotted twenty overs. Eoin Morgan’s side was struggling at one stage but Dinesh Karthik’s cameo of 26 runs of 11 balls helped KKR go past the 170-run mark.

Chennai Super Kings is now back on top of the IPL table with 16 points, ahead of Delhi Capitals on net run rate. The franchise next square off against out-of-the-race Sunrisers Hyderabad on Thursday in Sharjah.

Chennai Super Kings 172 for 8 (du Plessis 43, Gaikwad 40, Narine 3-41) beat Kolkata Knight Riders 171 for 6 (Tripathi 45, Rana 37, Thakur 2-20, Hazlewood 2-40) by two wickets

Ruturaj Gaikwad
Ruturaj Gaikwad (Image Credit: Twitter)
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Ruturaj Gaikwad Was Very Nervous To Watch The Last Ball But His Side CSK Clinch Thriller

Ruturaj Gaikwad, Chennai Super Kings (CSK) opening batsman has revealed that he was very nervous while watching the last ball of the Indian Premier League (IPL) game against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR).

Ravindra Jadeja single-handedly took the game away from a confident Kolkata Knight Riders in their Indian Premier League encounter at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium on Sunday as he scored 22 runs off the penultimate 19th over as Prasidh Krishna looked on haplessly. The two-wicket win saw CSK return to the top of the table.

Ruturaj Gaikwad
Ruturaj Gaikwad (Image Credit: Twitter)

Ruturaj Gaikwad Was Very Nervous To Watch The Last Ball But CSK Managed To Win By 2 Wickets

Chennai Super Kings defeated a confident Kolkata Knight Riders, who won their last 2 games against RCB and MI, by 2 wickets to win a thrilling encounter in Abu Dhabi on Sunday. With 4 runs required off the last over, CSK lost two crucial wickets in the final over. However, pacer all-rounder Deepak Chahar scored the winning runs. It turned out to be a close contest but CSK scraped through in an unlikely win.

“I was hiding behind one of our members, was very nervous to watch the last ball. When you are chasing a big total, the opening stand is crucial. We managed to do it today. Would have been better if one of us batted till the 13th over.

“The game wouldn’t have come this closer. He (Dhoni) is very cool. everyone sitting in the dugout is used to the pressure in their international careers too,” Ruturaj Gaikwad told host broadcaster Star Sports after the game ended.

Ravindra Jadeja
Ravindra Jadeja (Image Credit: Twitter)

With 24 required from ten balls, Ravindra Jadeja smashed Prasidh Krishna for 20 runs in four balls. Needing 34 runs to win from 21 balls with seven wickets in hand, Chennai Super Kings looked like they may have thrown away a simple chase as Moeen Ali, Suresh Raina, and MS Dhoni all fell within the space of six balls.

But Chennai Super Kings had another all-rounder in playing XI in the form of Ravindra Jadeja, who crushed Kolkata Knight Riders’ victory hopes in the space of a devastating four-ball sequence in the 19th over as Chennai Super Kings eventually got over the line on the final ball in a dramatic two-wicket win on Sunday afternoon in Abu Dhabi.

Ruturaj Gaikwad Didn’t Want To See The Last Ball For Batting Again In The Nervous Super Over In Case Scores Were Tied

Ruturaj Gaikwad was the top scorer for the Chennai Super Kings with 43 off 30 balls. Faf du Plessis scored 40 off 28 while Ravindra Jadeja contributed with an 8-ball 22. Faf du Plessis-394 runs and Ruturaj Gaikwad-362 runs to occupy the 3rd and 4th spot in leading run-getters in the ongoing IPL 2021 as the opening duo continued their dominance over KKR.

“So I think they are really cool and back themselves to cross the line, The last ball (didn’t want to see), because if there was a Super Over. maybe I could have batted and all the nervousness could have kicked in. Obviously, after every win, we do have celebrations. And when we lose the atmosphere is quite chilled out and normal as well. When we win we celebrate a lot,” he added.

Faf du Plessis and Ruturaj Gaikwad (Image Credit: Twitter)
Faf du Plessis and Ruturaj Gaikwad (Image Credit: Twitter)

Earlier, Rahul Tripathi and Nitish Rana scored 45 and 37 respectively as KKR posted 171/6 in the allotted twenty overs. Eoin Morgan’s side was struggling at one stage but Dinesh Karthik’s cameo of 26 runs of 11 balls helped KKR go past the 170-run mark. CSK will next lock horns with SunRisers Hyderabad on Thursday in the IPL. Chennai Super Kings is now back on top of the IPL table with 16 points, ahead of Delhi Capitals on net run rate.

Chennai Super Kings 172 for 8 (du Plessis 43, Gaikwad 40, Narine 3-41) beat Kolkata Knight Riders 171 for 6 (Tripathi 45, Rana 37, Thakur 2-20, Hazlewood 2-40) by two wickets

Rahul Dravid
Rahul Dravid - K. MURALI KUMAR
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Indian Batsmen Have An Opportunity To Reflect That Not All Wickets Are Going To Be Flat: Rahul Dravid

Rahul Dravid believes that the new crop of Indian batsmen will learn with experience that “not all wickets will be flat” and they need to develop the art of scrapping it out on low-scoring tracks like the ones on offer during the last two T20Is against Sri Lanka.

India lost the three-match T20I series against Sri Lanka 1-2 on Thursday, playing without nine of their first-team players due to COVID-19 related isolation. Rookies Devdutt Padikkal, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Nitish Rana besides out of form Sanju Samson literally struggled against a quality spin bowling attack led by leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga accompanied by Akila Dhananjaya and Dhananjaya de Silva.

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

Rahul Dravid: Indian Batsmen Have An Opportunity To Reflect That Not All Wickets Are Going To Be Flat

Asked if he was disappointed in the manner the younger players were found wanting against Wanindu Hasaranga and company, Rahul Dravid replied in the negative.

“I am not disappointed as they are young. They are going to learn and get better only when they are exposed to these kind of conditions and quality of bowling. Sri Lankan team’s bowling attack is an international bowling attack,” Rahul Dravid said.

But the former India captain admitted that there is a lot to learn on how to play on challenging tracks, saying pitches in domestic cricket have become easier to bat as compared to his times.

“They would have liked to score a few more runs. They now have an opportunity to reflect that not all wickets are going to be flat. We need to find ways to scrap and score 130, 140 on these wickets,” Rahul Dravid observed.

“It’s really a good learning as they are all young players. This is a great opportunity to reflect on these performances and may be come up with some slightly better strategies. Let me be fair, we don’t get these kind of conditions very often in T20 cricket but when you do, I think, you have responsibility to play slightly better,” the head of NCA said.

Rahul Dravid Photo Credit: PTI
Rahul Dravid Photo Credit: PTI

Rahul Dravid said even his generation had their share of struggles but he feels during their times, they did play on tracks that offered turn and some were “under-prepared.”

“I think the wickets in domestic cricket may have got better. I don’t think the talent is missing it’s just that you need experience to figure out a few more stroke making options in these kinds of pitches,” Rahul Dravid opined.

The problem with the COVID-19 isolation was the fact that except skipper Shikhar Dhawan, there wasn’t a single experienced batsman available who would have nicely blended with the youngsters in this team.

“It needs time and experience and you need to blood young players with experienced players so that you have that cushion. Obviously, last couple of games, we didn’t have that cushion, most of guys other than Shikhar were young.”

Rahul Dravid didn’t want to take names of who all are T20 World Cup aspirants while praising the Indian spin quartet of Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Varun Chakravarthy, and Rahul Chahar.

“We have a really good crop of spinners who are coming through. Heartening to see how our four spinners performed.”

In the 3rd T20I, Sri Lanka chased down the 82-run target in the 15th over to win by 7 wickets and take the T20 series 2-1, having lost the ODIs 1-2. With India forced to play with only five specialist batsmen once again, the home side won again as they were led by the ever-impressive Wanindu Hasaranga (4-9) mixing up his leg-spins and googlies, as Sri Lanka sent India’s top-order batsmen packing, turning the powerplay (4-29) into a highly unproductive one.

Rahul Dravid Defends Sanju Samson Despite Poor Run In T20Is For The Pitch In The Last Couple Of Matches Wasn’t Easiest To Bat On

Sanju Samson, who has now failed in nine consecutive T20 matches since last year, was defended by the Indian coach. Sanju Samson’s scores in the T20I series against Sri Lanka do not paint a good picture.

For someone who was tipped to make an impact before the T20 World Cup, 34 runs in 3 matches (with two fours and a six) at a strike rate of 94.44 and an average of just 11.33, these numbers are a massive disappointment. Sanju Samson simply squandered yet another golden opportunity before the T20 World Cup in October as he struggled against the Sri Lankan attack.

“It was not the easiest pitch to bat on. In ODIs, he got a chance and scored 46. He was batting well in the first T20 but last couple of wickets (pitches) were challenging. I guess yeah, if you look back at the series, we will be a little disappointed. Having said that not only Sanju but a lot of young guys in this team are talented kids, and we need to patient with them.”

Sanju Samson
Sanju Samson dives back to stop the ball from being hit on the wicket. (AP Photo)

So far in his career, Sanju Samson‘s T20 numbers are ordinary — 117 runs in 10 games at a strike rate of 110 despite being given opportunities to bat in the top four. In his last 10 T20I innings for India, his scores read- 19, 6, 8, 2, 23, 15, 10, 27, 7, 0. Rahul Dravid was also impressed by the fact that the young team was able to live a cooped-up life in a bio-bubble for 45 days with only six matches to play.

“It’s credit to all boys in the manner they maintained their spirit and worked really hard, I can’t fault any of the boys for their effort,” Rahul Dravid said.

He praised skipper Shikhar Dhawan and his deputy Bhuvneshwar Kumar for maintaining a good team environment in difficult times.

“Shikhar, Bhuvi, the leadership group for the environment that they created and terrific energy that they created, I can’t fault them on their effort.”

However, he put things in perspective as to how playing cricket in these times of pandemic was a privilege when so many people around the world were suffering.

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