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RCB,
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Virat Kohli Is A Modern Great Who Wants To Win Titles – Pragyan Ojha

Virat Kohli had a couple of ordinary outings as Royal Challengers Bangalore have lost their last consecutive 3 matches against CSK, MI and SRH. Still, former India spinner Pragyan Ojha backs the captain to lead as an example from the front and deliver in their crunch IPL 2020 match against Delhi Capitals which will decide a playoff spot on Monday 2nd October.

Pragyan Ojha backed Virat Kohli to step up and said that he is a modern-day great sportsperson like footballers Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and runner Usain Bolt. RCB are 2nd on the IPL 2020 points table with 14 points in 13 games.

Virat Kohli And Pragyan Ojha
Virat Kohli And Pragyan Ojha

Virat Kohli Will Be Hungry To Lead Royal Challengers Bangalore To Their Maiden IPL Title – Pragyan Ojha

Virat Kohli’s RCB who are placed 3rd face 4th placed Delhi Capitals in a crucial IPL 2020 tie in Abu Dhabi on Monday. Virat Kohli has achieved great heights as a batsman having an average of above 50 in international cricket across formats, and the Indian and Royal Challengers Bangalore captain will be determined to win major titles under his belt with his teams since RCB are yet to win a single IPL trophy.

Pragyan Ojha, speaking to Sports Today, said RCB and Indian skipper Virat Kohli is undoubtedly a modern-day genius and likened his hunger to win titles to that of legendary footballers Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and sprinter Usain Bolt.

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli (Image Credit: IPL)

After 3 unsuccessful seasons since 2016 when they were runners up, RCB have finally been consistent in IPL 2020 and remain at the 2nd spot of the points table despite three back-to-back defeats. RCB start as favourites in Monday’s encounter against DC, who have lost momentum, especially with their batsmen failing at the wrong time in their campaign as they too have suffered four back to back defeats.

“Virat Kohli is the modern great. For modern greats, you look at Messi, you look at Ronaldo, you look at Usain Bolt, they have their own race. They want to win everything. When they are going in their path, they want to win everything that they look at.”

“That’s how Virat must be thinking. ‘As a batsman, I have done so much. As a captain, now, I have to win World Cups, ICC tournaments, win Test matches’. This is what his mind will be telling him. IPL, ‘I will do this’,” Pragyan Ojha said.

Virat Kohli and RCB are eyeing their maiden Indian Premier League title in the UAE after finishing thrice as runners up in previous editions. Virat Kohli’s men are a win away from reaching the playoffs as they take on Delhi Capitals in their last game in a crucial 55th match of IPL 2020.

Virat Kohli Will Be Charged Up: Pragyan Ojha

The winner of the match between RCB and DC is assured of a spot in the play-offs. At the same time, there are chances that the loser might crash out if the margin of defeat is big enough and provided that SunRisers Hyderabad win their last match against already qualified defending champions Mumbai Indians on Tuesday.

Pragyan Ojha
Pragyan Ojha. Photo Credit: Getty Images

Pragyan Ojha pointed out that both teams fighting for a place in playoffs should be looking to keep things simple and the team which makes fewer mistakes will win and backed Virat Kohli to step and deliver like he has done several times under crunched pressured situations which his records speak of.

“I am sure he (Kohli) will be charged up. His record tells us that when it comes to the bigger games, this man has delivered. So that’s why we all are talking about them. It again comes to down basics. The team that makes lesser mistakes. Teams have to keep it simple,” Pragyan Ojha said.

While RCB are at 2nd spot with 14 points and Delhi Capitals are placed 3rd, RCB skipper Virat Kohli had amassed 431 runs in 13 matches averaging 47.89 and has scored 3 fifties. He is at 6th spot among leading run-scorers in IPL 2020.

Rohit Sharma, Pragyan Ojha, Retirement, Message
Pragyan Ojha and Rohit Sharma. Photo Credit: BCCI/IPL.
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Pragyan Ojha: Exclusion Of Rohit Sharma Is Questionable

Pragyan Ojha, the former Mumbai Indians spinner questioned the BCCI’s selection policy after they excluded Rohit Sharma’s name from the T20I, ODI and Test teams for the upcoming Australia tour.

Kieron Pollard-led MI in their last 2 games which Rohit Sharma missed due to his injury and the latter’s name was missing from all 3 Indian squads for the Australian tour. KL Rahul has been named India’s limited-overs vice-captain in Rohit Sharma’s absence.

Rohit Sharma, Kieron Pollard
Rohit Sharma and Kieron Pollard (Image Credit: Google)

Pragyan Ojha: Rohit Sharma May Eventually Make It To Each Format If He Gets Fit In Time

Former Mumbai Indians left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha on Tuesday questioned the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) selection policy after controversy erupted over hitman Rohit Sharma’s availability for India’s upcoming tour of Australia next month where India will play 3 ODIs, 3 T20Is and 4 Tests.

Rohit Sharma has not been named in either of the T20I, ODI or Test sides after suffering a hamstring injury on October 18 in the match against Kings XI Punjab. He missed Mumbai’s last two matches due to this reason but was seen hitting the nets just hours after India’s squad announcement.

Pragyan Ojha
Pragyan Ojha

BCCI rules state that any player who is carrying an injury cannot be considered for selection immediately. BCCI said that in a statement that both Rohit Sharma and Ishant Sharma will be monitored by the board which basically means that if they recover completely in time then they can travel to Australia and join the Indian contingent.

But Pragyan Ojha questioned this policy especially when the BCCI selectors named Mayank Agarwal in all the 3 Indian squads despite him carrying a similar hamstring injury.

“I was a bit surprised because there is Mayank Agarwal as well who is injured, has a hamstring issue but he still makes it to the team. I believe Rohit Sharma will make it to all the 3 Indians teams because he will not only be the part but has the ability to dominate in Australia and can make a difference,” Ojha said on Sports Today.

“Not only did BCCI not include Rohit’s name, but also handed over the limited-overs vice-captaincy to him in the Hitman’s absence.” Ojha was further puzzled with this development as he asked what will the board do if Rohit gets fit in time and joins the squad Down Under

The 33-year-old Rohit Sharma is an Indian international cricketer who plays for Mumbai in domestic cricket and captains Mumbai Indians in the IPL as a right-handed batsman and an occasional right-arm off-break bowler. He had played in 364 international matches (32 Tests, 224 ODIs, 108 T20Is) and scored 39 tons (6 Tests, 29 ODIs, 4 T20Is). Pragyan Ojha was puzzled not to see Rohit Sharma’s name in any squad.

Pragyan Ojha: Confusion Is Created As KL Rahul Handed Vice Captaincy

Rohit Sharma is a vital member of the Indian team and is even India’s vice-captain in limited-overs format. But for the Australian tour, vice-captaincy was assigned to wicket-keeper KL Rahul in white-ball cricket. Pragyan Ojha feels confusion may be created if Rohit Sharma comes back.

“Suddenly if you have given the vice-captaincy to KL Rahul, and Rohit comes into the team then why create that confusion? It is something very unnecessary when your going for a big tournament or series.”

“Rohit is not a rookie, he is the most important member of the team. If you tell me Mayank is not part of the team because of a hamstring injury, I can take it. But as a cricket fan or a person who tries to read the game, it is very unlike what has happened. You could have taken some time and announced the team little later if you are so confused about Rohit Sharma. But there is lot of confusion.”

Mayank Agarwal
Mayank Agarwal. Image Credit: IPL.

“Rohit is not there in any team, Mayank Agarwal is there in all 3 sides despite being injured. And the other thing is that you have given the vice-captaincy to KL Rahul, when you do certain things there are consequences. It’s like you are creating a confusion which is not required,” Ojha said.

KL Rahul made his international debut in 2014 and scored his maiden Test century in his second Test match. He became the first Indian to score a century on One Day International debut and became the third Indian to score a century in all three formats of international cricket.

Sunil Narine (Image Credit: IPL)
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IPL 2020: Pragyan Ojha Wants Sunil Narine To Deliver With Ball

Pragyan Ojha, the former Indian spinner feels that for KKR to go into the playoff stages, they really need Sunil Narine the bowler to perform in their upcoming games against KXIP, CSK and Rajasthan.

Kolkata Knight Riders will take on Kings XI Punjab in Sharjah on Monday, 26th October. Sunil Narine was destructive with the bat in KKR’s last match against Delhi Capitals as he roared back to form with a blistering 32-ball 64 that had six 4s and four 6s against DC alongside Nitish Rana who scored 81 as Kolkata posted 194/6.

Nitish Rana
Nitish Rana. Photo Credit: IPL/BCCI.

Sunil Narine Continued To Struggle Both With Ball And Bat Before Shining Will Bat Against Delhi

The West Indian had previously seemed to be struggling both with the bat and the ball for the KKR. With the bat, he was tried out as an opener in the first four innings, but he just could not get going returning mostly with single-digit scores. After that, he was dropped down the order where still he continued to struggle with the bat before the knock against Delhi.

Sunil Narine then also missed out on three matches after his bowling action was again under doubt by the ICC and was under review. Sunil Narine was called for suspect bowling action in a match against KXIP. Sunil Narine changed his bowling action after being reported. In his new bowling action, he does not raise the bowling right hand until he swings it to gather pace to bowl the delivery.

Sunil Narine
Sunil Narine (Image Credit: IPL)

But then he returned after his bowling action was cleared on Saturday and immediately got going with the bat and laid the foundation for the above-par target of 195 against the Delhi Capitals, with the assistance of Nitish Rana. But once again, with his spin, he was not able to have an impact. With the ball, the spinner has not been in his best form for the KKR this season picking up only five wickets in seven matches averaging 43 at an economy rate of 8.27.

Pragyan Ojha Feels Sunil Narine Should Bowl Well Too

According to former India spinner Pragyan Ojha, it is Sunil Narine, the bowler that the KKR seems to be missing right now. With the tournament now coming to its business end, Pragyan Ojha feels that his team really need Sunil Narine to deliver as a bowler, or else it will be tough for them to progress even to the playoffs.

“When he was batting you could see he was freely playing his shots, but when it came to bowling he seemed to just want to get done with his overs.”

“And when you talk about Sunil Narine, Rashid Khan and Yuzvendra Chahal, their strength is picking wickets and being attacking, and if you are not attacking then you are just being like the other bowlers, and you are not giving the best to your team,” Pragyan Ojha told Sports Today.

Pragyan Ojha
Pragyan Ojha. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

“It will be interesting to see how Narine reacts now, as the KKR are almost at the business end of the tournament, and they will play some important games.”

“So, it is important that Sunil Narine is back as a bowler, as a batsman he is brilliant and is getting those runs. But I would like to see Sunil Narine the bowler and how he bowls in the remaining fixtures,” Ojha said.

Sunil Narine is KKR’s leading wicket-taker with 127 wickets in 117 matches averaging 24.09 at an economy rate of 6.77 besides scoring 879 runs averaging 17.58.

Ben Stokes Thankful To Kevin Pietersen For Paving Way For England Players In IPL
Ben Stokes. Image Credit: IPL.
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IPL 2020: Pragyan Ojha Questions Rajasthan Royals For Sending Ben Stokes An An Opener

Former Indian cricketer Pragyan Ojha has questioned Rajasthan Royals for their logic behind sending the England allrounder — Ben Stokes as the opener even though he has not delivered as per expectations in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020.

Ben Stokes has managed to only score 80 runs in four matches. He hasn’t been able to set a good base for RR which had added pressure on the middle-order to score runs.

Ben Stokes
Ben Stokes. Image Credit: IPL.

Pragyan Ojha hasn’t been able to understand the science behind Ben Stokes playing as the opening batsman though he is a middle-order batsman. He believes that the management shouldn’t experiment with the natural position of players until they are struggling.

“We all are asking the question (Why is Ben Stokes not playing in the middle-order?). Every player, they have played a particular brand of cricket and are comfortable in a particular position. So you have to give them that first. If that doesn’t work, then you change your plan.

“If you look at all the successful captains, they would give the bowler the freedom to set their plans and execute them and if that doesn’t work, then they pitch to step in and give their ideas,” Pragyan Ojha said.

Pragyan Ojha advises Royals to play Jos Buttler as the opener:

IPL 2020,
Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler. Photo Credit: BCCI/IPL.

Pragyan Ojha believes that Jos Buttler should return to the opener position while Ben Stokes should be demoted and play the role of finisher.

“So when you know Ben Stokes has delivered at No.5 and No. 6, then why not have him there? You have a great opener with you. It’s not like you don’t have an opener. You have a brilliant opener who is getting you runs, Jos Buttler. Why change your positions?”

Jos Buttler had started the campaign for Rajasthan Royals this year as the opener. He has amassed 262 runs in nine matches at the strike rate of 143.95.

RCB Are Going In More Mature Way; Close To Their IPL Dream : Pragyan Ojha
RCB. Image Credit: IPL.
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IPL 2020: RCB Are Going In More Mature Way; Close To Their IPL Dream – Pragyan Ojha

Former Indian cricketer Pragyan Ojha believes that Royal Challengers Bangalore can fulfil their dream of lifting the maiden Indian Premier League (IPL) trophy in 2020. He has made this assumption after seeing RCB’s planning and composure this season.

Currently, RCB is in the top three in the points table, which is not a usual sight in the tournament. They have defeated Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings in their first meeting.

RCB
Image Credit: IPL/BCCI.

Speaking to Sports Today ahead of the clash between RCB and KKR, Pragyan Ojha expressed that the Bangalore-based franchise is ‘very close’ to achieve their goal. He stated that when players AB de Villiers, Virat Kohli and Chris Morris are in outstanding form, RCB can’t miss the chance to lift the trophy.

The way they are playing, I think they are very close to reality. This year, I believe, it won’t be a dream for them because of the way they are playing. Once these kind of players, like ABD (de Villiers), Virat Kohli and Chris Morris, once they get that flow and the start, they are different players,” Pragyan Ojha said.

Citing unprecedented things happened in past competition, prominently for KXIP, Pragyan Ojha said no team can be taken lightly in the ongoing edition.

“Yesterday, we saw it with Kings XI Punjab. We have always spoken about the potential of this team, when they got going, they beat Mumbai, they beat DC — the top 2 teams. We shouldn’t take anybody lightly. This format is such that things will change within a minute.”

Mike Hesson has got the stability in RCB: Pragyan Ojha

Simon Katich and Mike Hesson, RCB IPL, UAE
RCB’s Simon Katich and Mike Hesson. Image Credit: IPL.

Pragyan Ojha also mentions what has changed for RCB this season. He stated that Virat Kohli’s men are looking more composed and have clarity for their role.

“I think they are much more composed. Their clarity of thought is very good, except that one game,” Ojha said.

According to him, Mike Hesson has been a difference. He said that the RCB coach has cleared the vision and maintained the balance in the team.

“The one thing that they were lacking is the coach, they had the players all these years, Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers. Mike Hesson has got that stability (they needed). They had most of their players earlier also. This year, their planning and the way they are going about their business is more mature,” he said. 

Royal Challengers Bangalore are closure to qualify for playoffs this season. They will look to grab two points against KKR on Wednesday.

MS Dhoni (Image Credit: IPL)
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Pragyan Ojha: MS Dhoni’s Messages Are Cryptic

Pragyan Ojha, former Indian spinner who also represented various IPL franchises on Tuesday reacted to MS Dhoni’s “did not see the spark in some of our youngsters” comment and pointed out that the CSK skipper must have spoken about Kedar Jadhav.

Pragyan Ojha said that if MS Dhoni’s ‘youngster spark comment’ was directed at young CSK players like 23 year old Rituraj Gaekwad and 24 year old Narayan Jagadeesan then it is unfair since both have got limited opportunities to prove themselves.

Pragyan Ojha
Pragyan Ojha

Pragyan Ojha: MS Dhoni’s Messages Are Cryptic

However, Pragyan Ojha also said MS Dhoni’s messages are cryptic as he was probably pointing to 35-year-old Kedar Jadhav and 31-year-old Piyush Chawla for non-performance and he was very sure that the CSK skipper will never comment on the two young players.

MS Dhoni said the Chennai Super Kings’ youngsters didn’t show enough spark for them to push the senior players out of the team but also confirmed that the younger players will be given chances in the forthcoming games.

“It’s fair enough [the criticism for not playing youngsters], this season we weren’t there. Maybe we didn’t see as much spark from some of our youngsters. Maybe going forward we bring them in and they play without pressure,” MS Dhoni had said.

Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni
Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni
Photo Credit: AFP.

“Who is the youngster? If he is referring to himself as senior players and he is talking about. Did he mention Ruturaj and Jagadeesan? He must have spoken about Kedar. What I have seen of MS Dhoni is that his messages are very very cryptic,” Pragyan Ojha told Sports Today.

Batsman Rituraj Gaekwad had played only 2 matches scoring 5 runs while Narayan Jagadeesan has featured in only 1 match scoring 33 runs off 28 balls. Other guys like KM Asif have played only 2 matches picking up 3 wickets in an earlier edition of IPL and Ravi Sai Kishore and Monu Kumar are yet to debut.

Pragyan Ojha Is Sure That MS Dhoni Is Not Talking About Narayan Jagadeesan And Rituraj Gaekwad Since Both Have Featured In A Few Matches

CSK are at the bottom of the points table with batsmen like Murali Vijay scoring only 32 runs in 3 matches and Kedar Jadhav scoring only 62 runs in 8 appearances. Moreover, fans have questioned the team’s selection policies with both spinners Imran Tahir and Mitchell Santner not getting a single chance along with pacer Lungi Ngidi who picked 4 wickets in 2 games averaging 23.5.

“I am very sure he will never comment on these two young boys. Why will I comment on a player who has played one game? I want to go more deeply into this. If it is about those two guys (Ruturaj and Jagadeesan) then I don’t back it for sure. But what if he is talking about Piyush Chawla, he is talking about others.”

Rituraj Gaikwad
Rituraj Gaekwad

“I am very sure he is not talking about these two boys because they have just played two games. How can you judge anybody with 1 or 2 games? That will be very unfair. If the statement is about those two boys then it is unfair,” Ojha added.

RR’s victory pushed CSK at the bottom of the IPL 2020 points table. Chennai are at a position where one more defeat can end their playoff hopes and they will also depend upon outcomes of other matches.

Andre Russell
Photo Credit: Getty Images.
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Andre Russell Is Playing The Way He Used To Play Four Years Ago: Pragyan Ojha

Andre Russell entered IPL 2020 having a huge reputation of a big hitter but had a dismal IPL so far, averaging only 11.86 with the bat and has scored only 83 runs in 8 matches which is in contrast to his average of 30.27 and a staggering strike rate of 183.09 in IPL with 1483 runs in 72 matches.

Pragyan Ojha reckons that Andre Russell has not changed his approach towards cricket and hasn’t even tried to improve for which he has become a liability in the squad. He hasn’t bowled well too but is it is better than his batting, as he has 6 wickets in 8 games averaging 24.33.

Pragyan Ojha and Rohit Sharma
Pragyan Ojha and Rohit Sharma. Photo Credit: BCCI/IPL.

Andre Russell Hasn’t Changed His Game: Pragyan Ojha

Pragyan Ojha criticized Kolkata Knight Riders approach after losing against Mumbai Indians and came down hard on Andre Russell besides being critical on the captaincy change after the regular captain, Dinesh Karthik quit as captain to hand over reins to Eoin Morgan to focus on batting.

“Andre Russell is not an improved cricketer, he has not changed his game. You see all the top players, they have changed their approach. Andre Russell is playing just the way he was playing 4 years ago, that is a liability,” Ojha told Sports Tak

Andre Russell, Sunil Narine
Andre Russell, Sunil Narine

“Look at Jasprit Bumrah, when he came into the Mumbai Indians side and what he is today, you have to improve. You have to improve as a cricketer, cricket is evolving and you have to evolve, you cannot be stagnant.”

Andre Russell scored only 12 from 9 balls before being dismissed again by pacer Jasprit Bumrah. Mumbai Indians have won 21 and lost only 6 matches in 27 matches. Rohit Sharma has scored as many as 788 runs while Sunil Narine has taken 22 wickets in the matches between the two sides. Sunil Narine didn’t play as KKR shielded him after he was reported for suspect bowling action. Another report would mean he would be ruled out of IPL 2020.

Pragyan Ojha Don’t Understand Dinesh Karthik Quitting Captaincy In Middle Of IPL

In the eve of the match, Dinesh Karthik stepped down from captaincy and handed over the role to Eoin Morgan who was the 2019 World Cup winner England’s skipper.

“Dinesh Karthik is the captain. He calls all the decisions, he talks to the coaches, management, he picks the Indian players, he is in the thick and thin of the team’s decisions. Suddenly in the middle of the tournament, he says that he doesn’t want to take the captaincy because of my batting. I don’t understand that, somehow I feel it is not right,” he said.

Dinesh Karthik and Eoin Morgan.
Dinesh Karthik and Eoin Morgan. Image Credit: IPL.

“When you have taken the responsibility, you have a set of ideas that you want to finish this season, then you finish the season and give the captaincy to someone else. That’s what I feel. I know Morgan was there in the leadership group but he was not the captain till everybody started this tournament. But I doubt he was part of the selection, part of the decision-making process.”

Dinesh Karthik has led KKR in 37 matches where KKR have won 19 and lost 17 which 1 match was a no-result. He was captain since 2018 taking over from predecessor Gautam Gambhir who was KKR’s most successful captain with 61 wins and who led KKR to title wins in 2012 and 2014.

David Warner, Jonny Bairstow
David Warner, Jonny Bairstow (Credits: Twitter)
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IPL 2020: Rajasthan Royals Thump SunRisers Hyderabad By Five Wickets In A Close-Fought Contest

SunRisers Hyderabad lost IPL 2020 match to Rajasthan Royals by five wickets after Royals successfully chased 159 with Riyan Parag and Rahul Tewatia scoring unbeaten 42 and 45 respectively in an unbeaten partnership of 85 runs for the sixth wicket.

For SunRisers Hyderabad, opener skipper David Warner scored 48, and Manish Pandey scored 54. Jofra Archer, Jaydev Unadkat and Kartik Tyagi picked one wicket each.

Rahul Tewatia
Rahul Tewatia. Photo Credit: IPL/BCCI.

SunRisers Hyderabad Look Better With Openers David Warner And Jonny Bairstow Firing-Pragyan Ojha

Ben Stokes played in his first match for Rajasthan after arriving late from New Zealand. Jonny Bairstow who missed out on a 100 in the last match by a whisker, found the going tough scoring 16 before being dismissed by Kartik Tyagi.

“This will be an interesting game [SRH vs RR]. For me the SRH are there in the top 4 teams this IPL. They have a good team. They also now look better after their openers David Warner and Jonny Bairstow have fired. The way these two are batting, that’s where the key lies for the SRH in IPL 2020,” Pragyan Ojha told Sports Today before the game.

SunRisers Hyderabad Favourites: Pragyan Ojha
SunRisers Hyderabad Favourites: Pragyan Ojha

Manish Pandey and David Warner, however, took them to a respectable total but couldn’t score runs at will with Jofra Archer, Shreyas Gopal and Jaydev Unadkat conceding less than eight runs per over. None of RR’s bowlers conceded more than 10 runs per over.

“For them, whatever has happened in the past, has happened. They have had some unfortunate injuries and have missed out on their players [Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mitchell Marsh], but they have come back strong and have played good cricket,” Ojha said.

It was a close match, and SRH were in a comfortable position as RR were reduced to 78/5 in the 12th over. They needed as much as 81 runs more in only eight overs which was a herculean task to achieve by any standard. Rashid Khan again was economical with 2/25, and K Khaleel Ahmed was the other wicket-taker with 2/37.

SunRisers Hyderabad Loses To Rajasthan Royals After The Latter’s Rampage

But from the 16th over, Riyan Parag and Rahul Tewatia went on a rampage scoring more than 11 runs per over. The last five overs saw as much as 69 runs. Riyan Parag scored 42 off 26 balls while Rahul Tewatia scored 45 off 28 balls. Both remained unbeaten as RR won by five wickets and the unbroken partnership of 85 was the second-highest in successful run chases.

Riyan Parag
Riyan Parag. Photo Credit: BCCI/IPL.

With the win by RR who have won three and lost four, they are placed 6th and SRH are placed 5th with the similar win-loss record but are ahead on net run rate. Both teams have six points each.

In the previous match, though against bottom-placed KXIP, Jonny Bairstow scored 97 and David Warner scored 52 as the duo put on 160 run partnership for the opening wicket. KXIP lost by 69 runs.

Glenn Maxwell,
Glenn Maxwell. Photo Credit: Getty Images.
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IPL 2020: Glenn Maxwell Will Walk Out When Chris Gayle Comes In- Pragyan Ojha

Glenn Maxwell who played well in the UAE leg in IPL 2014, has failed to perform up to expectations in IPL 2020 and his side Kings XI Punjab is languishing at bottom of the table with 1 win and as many as 5 losses despite KL Rahul, their skipper being leading run-scorer.

KL Rahul has 313 runs but failed in the last 2 matches while Glenn Maxwell, the Australian all-rounder has scored only 48 runs despite playing all 6 matches. His average is 12 and the highest is a dismal 13 not out. He has also taken only 1 wicket but conceded 65 runs.

KL Rahul
KL Rahul

KL Rahul Was Uncomfortable In Last Two Games-Pragyan Ojha

KXIP have earned only 2 points when they defeated RCB by 97 runs but has found the going tough since then. Their opening game was closely fought with Mayank Agarwal scoring 89 but Delhi Capitals won in Super Over.

“Last game, and this game also we saw that KL Rahul was not comfortable, the way he was batting. Previously we have seen he just went out, he batted the way he wanted to, pure magic. But the last two games, I don’t know he was not there,” Ojha told Sports Today.

Pragyan Ojha
Pragyan Ojha

“I think he was just trying to play because he knew that the middle order is not doing well, that pressure and this game you know when you have over 200 runs to chase, any batsman would feel the pressure.”

“And Rahul knows that if he and Mayank don’t do well, they have a fragile middle order. Anil Kumble mentioned Chris Gayle, they wanted him to play but he was not well,” Ojha further said.

KL Rahul is the leading run-scorer while opener Mayank Agarwal is the third-highest run-scorer with 281 runs in 6 matches averaging 46.83. Apart from the two, the others have failed according to expectations. Pragyan Ojha has felt that KXIP have a fragile middle order.

A lot of expectation was on Glenn Maxwell who was coming after a successful England and Australia series. Glenn Maxwell had scored a match-winning century against England in the last and third ODI where he was Man of the Match for scoring 108. He was Man Of The Series as well.

Glenn Maxwell Will Walk Out When Chris Gayle Walks In-Pragyan Ojha

Nicholas Pooran has scored 196 runs but Karun Nair, Sarfaraz Khan, Mandeep Singh, Krishnappa Gowtham, James Neesham, and Glenn Maxwell have failed to produce fireworks. KXIP have failed as a batting unit and bowlers apart from Mohammad Shami haven’t fared any better.

Chris Gayle
Chris Gayle

“The message was very clear that they were not happy with Maxwell. It’s a clear statement if Chris Gayle walks in, Maxwell walks out. KXIP have been unlucky but KL Rahul was not the ‘KL’ that we have seen so far,” Ojha concluded.

Chris Gayle who is aged 40 is 8th in the list of all-time run-scorers with 4484 runs in 125 matches averaging 41.13. He has registered the highest individual score ever in IPL history-175* and has scored the maximum number of centuries and hit the maximum number of sixes-326 which is more than 100 more than next placed AB De Villiers.

But despite his stature, KXIP team management hasn’t included him in XI. He should have played a match against SRH, but was down with stomach upset.

Sunil Gavaskar, CSK, Chennai, IPL 2020 training camp, UAE
CSK. Image Credit: Getty Images.
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IPL 2020: MS Dhoni Alone Can’t Be Blamed – Pragyan Ojha

Pragyan Ojha, the former Indian spinner felt it was harsh to blame the only skipper MS Dhoni and stated that the whole team was to blame for the defeat against KKR by 10 runs which was CSK’s fourth defeat in six matches. They won the opening game against Mumbai Indians and then defeated Kings XI Punjab comfortably by 10 wickets after a hat-trick of losses which gave fans a glimmer of hope.

But their hopes crashed as CSK succumbed to a defeat at the hands of KKR after being in a comfortable position and looking to win as they were placed at 99/1 in 12 overs chasing 168. They won by 10 wickets chasing 179 against KXIP and were again looking for an easy victory after being placed at 90/1 in 10th over.

CSK take on KKR
CSK skipper MS Dhoni and KKR skipper Dinesh Karthik

Pragyan Ojha: One MS Dhoni Is Not Responsible For Everything And Cannot Be Blamed As Kedar Jadhav Not Performing Well

From nowhere, CSK suffered defeat as Kedar Jadhav played five dot balls and failed to rotate strike scoring only seven in 12 balls. CSK lost as Dwayne Bravo did not get a chance to bat despite being one of the greatest finishers. MS Dhoni could only score 11 in 12 balls while Ravindra Jadeja scored 21 off eight balls and CSK lost despite his cameo.

“It is not just about the KKR game, but it is about what has been happening since many days [in the CSK unit]. Every time CSK does something that the fans don’t like, they start talking about MS Dhoni.”

Kedar Jadhav
Kedar Jadhav. Image Credit: IPL.

“But is it humanly possible for just one individual to be responsible for everything. We cannot just blame him. We have got Kedar Jadhav who is not scoring. He is not looking the way we all expect him to perform,” Pragyan Ojha told Sports Today.

Rahul Tripathi of KKR scored 81 off 51 balls hitting 8 boundaries and 3 sixes, but none of the others could score more than 17 as KKR managed 167. Pragyan Ojha remarked that Kedar Jadhav is not performing according to expectations as he averages below 20 in IPL 2020.

Pragyan Ojha: Two Big Gaps Of Absence Of Suresh Raina And Non-Performance Of Kedar Jadhav Are To Be Filled

In reply, Shane Watson scored 50, and Ambati Rayudu scored 30. MS Dhoni too promoted himself up the batting order, but CSK lost the match by 10 runs as KKR bowlers bowled exceedingly well in death overs. Apart from Shivam Mavi, none of the other bowlers conceded more than 10 runs per over. Except for Pat Cummins who was economical, the other bowlers picked one wicket apiece.

“Also, MS Dhoni came up the order to bat, so he is trying to fill the gaps that are there in the team. There are two big gaps to be filled. One was Suresh Raina, who was there for CSK for so many years. And the second is Jadhav not performing. So, it becomes very difficult for you,” the spinner added.

Pragyan Ojha
Pragyan Ojha. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Apart from Faf Du Plessis who is the 2nd highest run-scorer with 299 runs in six matches in IPL 2020 so far and Shane Watson who has scored 185 runs, none of the other batsmen could accumulate more than 110 runs. Ambati Rayudu has scored 109 runs while MS Dhoni has 102 runs. Ravindra Jadeja has 94 runs but has failed with the ball.

The inconsistency of players like Kedar Jadhav who has only 58 runs in 6 matches averaging a dismal 19.33 has hampered CSK along with the fact that they are missing both Suresh Raina and Harbhajan Singh, both of whom opted out of IPL 2020 before its commencement.

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