Prithvi Shaw | Sportzwiki

Prithvi Shaw

Rishabh Pant. - SANDEEP SAXENA
Rishabh Pant. - SANDEEP SAXENA
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Delhi Capitals Skipper Rishabh Pant Has Become A Little Predictable: Salman Butt

Salman Butt, former Pakistan captain feels the India team’s dashing wicketkeeper-batter Rishabh Pant has become a bit predictable with his moves at the crease. Salman Butt pointed out that opponents have realized it’s only a matter of time before Rishabh Pant dances down the track during his innings.

Rishabh Pant had a poor Test series in England, where his footwork against the moving ball was exposed. Even in the second half of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021, he did not look in a great rhythm. Although he scored a decent number of runs while leading Delhi Capitals (DC), he wasn’t his usual aggressive self.

Controversial Pakistan batsman Salman Butt
Controversial Pakistan batsman Salman Butt (File Photo | AFP)

Salman Butt: Rishabh Pant Has Become A Little Predictable

In an interaction on his YouTube channel, Salman Butt was asked if Rishabh Pant could be a force for India at the T20 World Cup 2021. The former cricketer Salman Butt stated that the southpaw needed to build on his talent.

Explaining what, he felt, the 24-year-old was doing wrong, Salman Butt opined: “He is very moody. Out of nowhere, he steps down and tries to hit out. And, he does this so frequently that other teams have started anticipating his moves. I think Rishabh Pant has become a little predictable. He will need to bat with a more mature mindset. He is so talented and has such a high range of strokes. But teams are aware that he will charge down the track either first ball or after 2-3 deliveries. So he needs to work on that.”

Rishabh Pant
Rishabh Pant (Image Credit: Twitter)

Rishabh Pant ended IPL 2021 with 419 runs in 16 matches at a strike rate of 128.52 with three half-centuries. Rishabh Pant-led DC topped the points table after the completion of the IPL 2021 league stage. However, they failed to make the final, going down to Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in Qualifier 1 and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in Qualifier 2.

Rishabh Pant: Delhi Capitals Alway give 100%

Reacting after DC’s ouster from IPL 2021, new skipper Rishabh Pant tweeted that IPL 2021 ended in heartbreak for the franchise but lauded the team and described them as exceptional warriors. Rishabh Pant has 1 hundred and 15 IPL fifties to his name.

He wrote: “It ended in heartbreak last night, but I could not be more proud of leading this team of exceptional warriors. We battled hard through the season, and while we may have fallen short on some days, we always gave 100 per cent.”

Shreyas Iyer of Delhi Capitals in action during an IPL match for Delhi ©BCCI
Shreyas Iyer of Delhi Capitals in action during an IPL match for Delhi ©BCCI

Rishabh Pant was named DC captain after Shreyas Iyer was ruled out due to a shoulder injury ahead of the first half of IPL 2021. The Delhi management retained Rishabh Pant as skipper even after Shreyas Iyer was fit for the second half of the tournament in the UAE.

Among Delhi Capitals’ performers, Indian pacer Avesh Khan was in scintillating form. He was the team’s leading wicket-taker this season, with 24 wickets in 16 games. The South African pace duo of Kagiso Rabada(15) and Anrich Norje (12) have combined to pick 27 wickets. Axar Patel has been excellent with his spinning deliveries and has picked 15 wickets.

Shikhar Dhawan was the team’s highest run-getter with 587 runs in 16 games, while Prithvi Shaw managed 479 in 15 games. Steve Smith(152 runs) and Shreyas Iyer (175 runs) played 8 matches each. The failures for Delhi Capitals were Ishant Sharma (1 scalp in 3 outings) and Ravichandran Ashwin (7 wickets in 13 games).

Rishabh Pant(419 runs) led from the front. Marcus Stoinis couldn’t deliver the success of the previous edition of IPL 2020. He played 10 IPL 2021 games, managing only 89 runs and picking 2 scalps. Amit Mishra, despite picking 6 scalps in 4 games, wasn’t given many chances to play. Shimron Hetmyer had the best strike rate of the season- a whopping 168.05.

Rishabh Pant Photo: BCCI
Rishabh Pant Photo: BCCI
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Michael Vaughan Thinks Rishabh Pant Will Continue To Captain Delhi After Success In IPL 2021

Michael Vaughan said that the Delhi Capitals might have some tough decisions to make ahead of IPL 2022.

The mega auctions will take place ahead of the 2022 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), and former England skipper Michael Vaughan has opened up on the players that the Delhi Capitals (DC) will retain ahead of the auctions.

Michael Vaughan (Image Credit: Twitter)
Michael Vaughan (Image Credit: Twitter)

Michael Vaughan Thinks Rishabh Pant Will Continue To Captain Delhi

Michael Vaughan feels that Delhi Capitals will continue with Rishabh Pant as their skipper, as the 23-year-old has led the Delhi side to the playoffs stage in IPL 2021. Michael Vaughan also added that maybe Delhi Capitals’ Head Coach Ricky Ponting feels that Rishabh Pant has got something in him, and the wicket-keeper batsman will continue as the captain for the next few years.

“I think Rishabh Pant will carry on (as captain). I don’t see why you wouldn’t carry on with Pant. He has led the team to the semifinal. Ricky Ponting probably feels that Rishabh Pant has got something in him and Pant could be the captain for a few years,” said Michael Vaughan in a chat with Cricbuzz.

Ricky Ponting is looking forward to working with Rishabh Pant. [Source: The SportsRush]
Ricky Ponting is looking forward to working with Rishabh Pant. [Source: The SportsRush]
The bowling looks like the team’s most potent weapon. Indian pacer Avesh Khan was in scintillating form. He was the team’s leading wicket-taker this season, with 24 wickets in 16 games. The South African pace duo of Kagiso Rabada(15) and Anrich Norje (12) have combined to pick 27 wickets. Axar Patel has been excellent with his spinning deliveries and has picked 15 wickets.

Shikhar Dhawan was the team’s highest run-getter with 587 runs in 16 games, while Prithvi Shaw managed 479 in 15 games. Steve Smith(152 runs) and Shreyas Iyer (175 runs) played 8 matches each. The failures were Ishant Sharma (1 scalp in 3 outings) and Ravichandran Ashwin (7 wickets in 13 games).

Rishabh Pant(419 runs) led from the front. Marcus Stoinis couldn’t deliver the success of the previous edition. He played 10 IPL 2021 games, managing only 89 runs and picking 2 scalps. Amit Mishra, despite picking 6 scalps in 4 games, wasn’t given many chances to play.

Michael Vaughan: Delhi Has The Best Squad In Terms Of Depth

Michael Vaughan added that the Delhi Capitals, who lost the Qualifier-2 to a spirited KKR, might have some tough decisions to make ahead of IPL 2022. The 46-year-old former England batsman opined that the Delhi squad is good, and around six or seven players can be in contention for retention ahead of the mega auctions. Michael Vaughan concluded by stating that the Delhi Capitals have the best squad in terms of depth.

Delhi Capitals
Delhi Capitals (Image Credit: Twitter)

“So Rishabh is captaining again. Delhi is going to have some really tough decisions to make. You can argue that six or seven players should be retained, and how they get down to three, they could look to Ricky Ponting and Co for that. There will be a few players available for whom the franchises will be licking their lips. I think Delhi has the best squad in terms of depth,” concluded Michael Vaughan.

The Delhi Capitals have never won the IPL. In the 2021 edition of the IPL, the Rishabh Pant led side was knocked out of the tournament in Qualifier 2. Under Shreyas Iyer, Delhi lost to Mumbai in the finals of IPL 2020.

Delhi Capitals
Delhi Capitals (Image Credit: Twitter)
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Delhi Capitals Showed Panic In Qualifier 1 Against CSK: Brad Hogg

Brad Hogg opined that the Delhi Capitals (DC) showed signs of panic going into Qualifier 1 against the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in Dubai. Brad Hogg felt the change in the team combination was a huge call for the playoff stages and could have been prompted by panic.

The Delhi Capitals went into the match with six specialist bowling options and five batters in the line-up. However, they ended up promoting all-rounder Axar Patel to no.4 in a bid to lengthen their batting line-up. Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant, Shimron Hetmyer were the specialist batsmen, while Tom Curran, Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, and Avesh Khan were bowlers.

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: Delhi Capitals Panicked Going In With 6 Frontline Bowlers Rather Than The Extra Batsmen

Brad Hogg stated that the decision not to include the extra batsman in the side was a “big change-up”. The Delhi Capitals had failed to defend a target of 165 runs in the last league match against the Royal Challengers Bangalore in a last-over thriller earlier this week.

The result of the match might have had a bearing on the Delhi Capitals going in with an extra bowler against the Super Kings. However, the Chennai Super Kings outfit proved to be the better side on the night, edging past the table-toppers with two balls to spare.

“Delhi Capitals going in with 6 front line bowlers rather than the extra specialist batter was a big change up for the finals. Signs of panic,” Hogg wrote on Twitter.

Prithvi Shaw
Prithvi Shaw (Image Credit: Twitter)

Delhi Capitals was four-down just past the halfway stage but had a lot to thank Prithvi Shaw for his 60 off 34 had ensured they weren’t behind the rate.

That allowed skipper Rishabh Pant and Shimron Hetmyer – the Delhi Capitals’ last specialist batting pair – to play risk-free cricket as they tried to stretch the innings as deep as possible. Their 83-run stand for the fifth wicket came off 50 balls and gave Delhi Capitals a bigger total than had seemed possible after Prithvi Shaw’s departure.

Brad Hogg: Josh Hazlewood’s Spell Against Shreyas Iyer The Turning Point In Qualifier 1 Between CSK And DC

Brad Hogg felt that the mini-battle between Shreyas Iyer and Josh Hazlewood at the start of the first innings was the turning point in Qualifier 1. Brad Hogg reckons Josh Hazlewood’s spell against Shreyas Iyer was the turning point. Delhi Capitals began with a flier, scoring 32 runs without losing a wicket in the first three overs. Then, Shreyas Iyer came into the middle, replacing Shikhar Dhawan, who fell to Josh Hazlewood in the fourth over.

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

The right-hander only managed a single run of the first 7 balls he played on the night. After that, Shreyas Iyer faced six balls from the Aussie pacer without scoring a run and top-edged the seventh delivery-his 8th, holing out to cover point. Brad Hogg pointed out that dot balls in the powerplay are crucial on the UAE tracks.

Ruturaj Gaikwad and Robin Uthappa put on 110 for the second wicket. MS Dhoni rolled back the clock with a finishing act as Chennai Super Kings qualified for their ninth IPL final, beating league-stage toppers Delhi Capitals in Qualifier 1.

“Iyer v Hazlewood was the turning point in the match. & balls no run in a PP is crucial in the UAE,” Hogg tweeted.

Delhi Capitals have one more shot at booking a place in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 final. They will face the winners of the Eliminator in Qualifier 2 on October 13 at Sharjah.

Chennai Super Kings 173 for 6 (Gaikwad 70, Uthappa 63*, T Curran 3-29) beat Delhi Capitals 172 for 5 (Shaw 60, Pant 51*, Hazlewood 2-29) by four wickets

Delhi Capitals head coach Ricky Ponting (Photo | IPL Twitter)
Delhi Capitals head coach Ricky Ponting (Photo | IPL Twitter)
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Loss Against RCB Gives Delhi Capitals A Chance To Reflect And Win Qualifier 1 In IPL 2021: Ricky Ponting

Ricky Ponting, Delhi Capitals coach, feels the last defeat to Royal Challengers Bangalore in their previous league game of the ongoing IPL has given his team a “chance to reflect” ahead of the playoffs.

Having suffered a dramatic seven-wicket loss against RCB here on Friday, Delhi Capitals will look to bounce back with a win in Qualifier to make a direct entry into the final of the lucrative event for the second successive time in a row when they take on Chennai Super Kings in Qualifier 1 at the same venue on Sunday.

Ricky Ponting. Photo Credit: Getty Images.
Ricky Ponting. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Ricky Ponting: It Was Disappointing To Lose The Game, But It Will Give DC A Chance To Reflect And Improve Upon In The 1st Qualifier

What was essentially a dead rubber looked like slipping away from Royal Challengers Bangalore’s grasps at 55 for 3 halfway into a chase of 165 against top-ranked Delhi Capitals. But then two catches slipped through the hands of Shreyas Iyer and Ravichandran Ashwin, and Glenn Maxwell made the most of their lives to set the scene for a blockbuster finish from KS Bharat.

“It was a disappointing way for the game to end, and for us to lose the way we did, but I am not unhappy about it at all. I actually think, it’s a really good thing because it will give the boys a chance to reflect and think about how we can improve for Sunday’s game,” said Ricky Ponting.

“It’s a short turnaround, so you have to forget about things and start focusing on the next game,” said Ricky Ponting.

KS Bharat and Glenn Maxwell starred with the bat as Royal Challengers Bangalore sealed a seven-wicket win over Delhi Capitals in a last-ball thriller.
KS Bharat and Glenn Maxwell starred with the bat as Royal Challengers Bangalore sealed a seven-wicket win over Delhi Capitals in a last-ball thriller.

He also termed the loss a “step forward”. He reckoned that despite losing, the team played better compared to the last couple of matches they won in the league stage.

“A lot to like about the game, even though we have lost. I think it’s a step forward. If you look at the last game (against Chennai Super Kings), it wasn’t a great performance, the Mumbai game wasn’t a great performance either, but we still managed to win those games. If you look at it, we probably have played better tonight than the games we have won, so that’s certainly the way I look at it. It’s not about end results, it’s about the performances we were putting on the board,” said Ricky Ponting.

Needing 165 runs to win, RCB rode on KS Bharat’s 78* off 52 and Glenn Maxwell’s 33-ball 51* and sealed a seven-wicket win in the final league-stage encounter.

Ricky Ponting: Prithvi Shaw And Shikhar Dhawan Looked In Great Touch, And Delhi Is Confident To Win In Qualifier 1 Against CSK

The Australian batting great is optimistic heading into the playoffs.

“Prithvi played his best game tonight, Shikhar probably looked his best in the tournament, so there’s a lot to like about this group. As I said earlier, we have played good cricket, the challenge now for us over the next week is to play great cricket, and I think that’s just around the corner for us.”

Ricky Ponting been working with Prithvi Shaw for the past two seasons in the Delhi Capitals camp Courtesy: BCCI
Ricky Ponting has been working with Prithvi Shaw for the past two seasons in the Delhi Capitals camp Courtesy: BCCI.

On the top of the points table, Delhi Capitals, who finished the IPL 2021 league stage, have beaten Chennai Super Kings in their league matches.

Speaking about their Qualifiers 1 match against MS Dhoni’s men, Ricky Ponting said, “I think we should be very confident. We have beaten them twice in the league games, but as you know, the playoff games are completely different, and our tournament really starts now.”

Earlier, unchanged RCB elected to bowl against DC, who also retained the same playing XI which took the field in the last game. DC made a solid start, courtesy of the opening pair of Shikhar Dhawan and Prithvi Shaw, whose fireworks helped DC post 55 runs on the board in the powerplay. The duo then added 33 runs in the next four overs and took DC to 88/0 at the halfway stage of their innings.

However, RCB broke the partnership as Harshal Patel dismissed Shikhar Dhawan for 43 in the 11th over. Yuzvendra Chahal got Prithvi Shaw out for 48. Shreyas Iyer and Shimron Hetmyer then helped DC cross the 140-run mark before the right-hander got out for 18 off Mohammed Siraj in the 18th over. Shimron Hetmyer, meanwhile, scored a brisk 29 off 22 balls as DC posted 164/5 on the board.

Brief Scores: Royal Challengers Bangalore 166/3 (KS Bharat 78*, Glenn Maxwell 51*; Anrich Nortje 2/24) beat Delhi Capitals 164/5 (Prithvi Shaw 48, Shikhar Dhawan 43; Mohammed Siraj 2/25) by 7 wickets. 

Shubman Gill (Image Credit: Twitter)
Shubman Gill (Image Credit: Twitter)
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Shubman Gill’s Place In Test Squad Is Doubtful And Several Players Have Moved Ahead Of Him In T20s: Ajay Jadeja

Shubman Gill scored his first half-century of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 to help Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) secure a crucial win over bottom-ranked Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) on Sunday.

In a low-scoring affair, opener Shubman Gill scored 57 off 51 balls to help KKR chase 116 to stay in the fourth spot, with qualification for the playoffs still in their hands. Former India batsman Ajay Jadeja, however, remained critical of Shubman Gill and said that several players had moved ahead of the KKR opener since he got injured after the World Test Championship final against New Zealand.

Shubman Gill Photo Credit: (BCCI)
Shubman Gill Photo Credit: (BCCI)

Shubman Gill Didn’t Have A Good Year: Ajay Jadeja

Ajay Jadeja said that Shubman Gill’s Test spot was already in jeopardy following the resurgence of KL Rahul in the recently concluded Test series against England and consistent stellar performances from Rohit Sharma. Ajay Jadeja opined that now in the T20s as well, other young openers like Prithvi Shaw, Devdutt Padikkal, and Ruturaj Gaikwad have surpassed Shubman Gill with their showings this season.

Ajay Jadeja
Ajay Jadeja (Photo- Twitter)

“This year has not been a good one for Shubman Gill. When he came back from injury, other players had moved way ahead of him. Because he had become a favourite in the Indian team after the series in Australia. After his injury, KL Rahul, who wasn’t even in the team, has established himself, Rohit Sharma too. So even his place in the Test squad is now in doubt, and in T20s, all these names are also there ahead of him now,” Jadeja told Cricbuzz.

Shubman Gill was acquired by the Kolkata Knight Riders in 2018 and turned in useful contributions for them in his debut season and 2019 season, managing above 200 runs in both editions, averaging about 33. He averaged similarly in 2020, where he managed 440 runs, but he could score only 239 runs in 12 games in IPL 2021, averaging below 20 before this match against Sunrisers Hyderabad.

Shubman Gill has played only 8 Tests and 3 ODIs but is touted as a future star in the making. However, he was injured after the WTC Final and didn’t play any of the 4 Tests against hosts England.

Ajay Jadeja: Shubman Gill Is A Boundary Player As He Doesn’t Take A Lot Of Singles

Ajay Jadeja said KKR opener Shubman Gill has good game sense and is good in low-scoring chases, but needs to improve his skillset.

“The players who score a lot of runs when they are young, they have a great game sense. He has a good idea of the game, so when the game is in control, he won’t throw it away, but if he makes some additions to his skills, he can be even better,” he said.

Shubman Gill | Vipin Pawar / Sportzpics for BCCI
Shubman Gill | Vipin Pawar / Sportzpics for BCCI

Ajay Jadeja opined that Shubman Gill has consistently played short knocks that have given KKR the much-needed momentum they need in their innings. Still, he has had an otherwise poor season as he failed to capitalize on good starts and failed to convert starts to big innings.

Ajay Jadeja went on to explain: “He’s not made a big score before this. He has played impressive knocks, but short ones. Whenever an innings has needed some momentum or impetus, he has provided that, so it doesn’t feel like he has had a poor season. “

“But he hasn’t played a long knock after the field has spread after the Powerplay. Because that’s his style. He is a boundary player. He doesn’t take a lot of singles. So when he hits a four, you think oh, what a shot, but then one or two dots around the boundary brings him back to run-a-ball.”

Shubman Gill has scored 296 runs in 13 matches this year, at a strike rate of 117.92. While he had seven half-centuries in the three seasons before this one, this was his first in this edition of the IPL.

Brief Scores: Kolkata Knight Riders 119/4 (Shubman Gill 57, Nitish Rana 25; Jason Holder 2/32) beat Sunrisers Hyderabad 115/8 (Kane Williamson 26, Priyam Garg 21; Varun Chakravarthy 2/26) by 6 wickets. 

Yuvraj Singh celebrates after guiding India to victory against Australia in the quarter-finals of the 2011 ODI World Cup | AFP / Manan Vatsyayana
Yuvraj Singh celebrates after guiding India to victory against Australia in the quarter-finals of the 2011 ODI World Cup | AFP / Manan Vatsyayana
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There’s A Lot Of Yuvraj Singh’s Flair In Venkatesh Iyer’s Batting After His Impressive Knocks In IPL 2021 vs RCB, MI: Parthiv Patel

Parthiv Patel lavished praise on Kolkata Knight Riders’ youngster Venkatesh Iyer after the latter’s impressive showing with the willow in the UAE leg of IPL 2021.

Kolkata Knight Riders opening batsman Venkatesh Iyer grabbed eyeballs with his fine knocks against Royal Challengers Bangalore and Mumbai Indians in the ongoing UAE leg of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021.

There's A Lot Of Yuvraj Singh's Flair In Venkatesh Iyer's Batting After His Impressive Knocks In IPL 2021 vs RCB, MI: Parthiv Patel 1
Venkatesh Iyer has impressed for KKR in the UAE leg of the IPL 2021 so far.© BCCI/IPL

Parthiv Patel: There’s A Lot Of Yuvraj Singh In Venkatesh Iyer’s Batting

Venkatesh Iyer remained unbeaten on 41 against RCB in a 9 wicket win and brought up his maiden IPL half-century against defending champions Mumbai Indians in the next game. Impressed with the left-hander’s batting prowess, former India wicketkeeper-batsman Parthiv Patel said Venkatesh Iyer’s flair reminds him of Yuvraj Singh.

“There is a lot of Yuvraj Singh in his (Venkatesh Iyer) batting. He has a bit of flow into him. I mean, sure, you don’t compare him to Yuvraj Singh but here you talk about the bat flow, the shots, the drive… standing upright. The backfoot drive which he played I thought was the shot of the day,” Parthiv Patel said on the pre-match show for the official broadcasters Star Sports.

Parthiv Patel, whose father had passed away on 26th September played 25 Tests, 38 One Day Internationals (ODIs), and 2 T20Is for Team India. Parthiv Patel has scored 934 runs in Tests while he has 736 runs to his name in ODIs. In T20Is, he scored 36 runs. After retiring from cricket, Parthiv Patel is currently playing the role of a commentator. He is currently doing commentary in IPL 2021.

File photo of Parthiv Patel with Mumbai Indians | Sandeep Shetty – Sportzpics – IPL
File photo of Parthiv Patel with Mumbai Indians | Sandeep Shetty – Sportzpics – IPL

On Sunday, Venkatesh Iyer scored 18 runs against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) as KKR suffered their first defeat in the UAE leg of IPL 2021. Venkatesh Iyer’s contribution at the top of the order has given the likes of skipper Eoin Morgan, Andre Russell and Dinesh Karthik to come in and play big shots from the word go. Despite going down against CSK in a last-ball thriller on Sunday, KKR are still placed fourth on the IPL 2021 points table.

KKR Named Tim Southee In Place Of Injured Andre Russell And Sandeep Warrier In Place Of Expensive Prasidh Krishna Against Delhi Capitals

The Kolkata-based franchise will be up against Rishabh Pant’s Delhi Capitals in Sharjah on Tuesday. While KKR will look to get back to winning ways, Delhi Capitals will be aiming to continue their unbeaten run in the UAE.

Tim Southee is the third-highest wicket-taker in T20I cricket, with 99 strikes in 83 games Associated Press
Tim Southee is the third-highest wicket-taker in T20I cricket, with 99 strikes in 83 games Associated Press

Kolkata Knight Riders skipper Eoin Morgan won the toss and elected to bowl first in their Indian Premier League match against Delhi Capitals. KKR made a couple of changes from the previous game with injured all-rounder Andre Russell and out-of-form pacer Prasidh Krishna making way for Kiwi quick Tim Southee and fast bowler Sandeep Warrier. For the Delhi Capitals, the injured Prithvi Shaw made way for Australian Steve Smith in the playing XI.

In 40 IPL games, Tim Southee has picked 28 wickets at an economy rate of 8.47. He came as a replacement player for Pat Cummins who picked 9 scalps in 7 games averaging 26.33 besides scoring 93 runs averaging 31 in the first half of IPL 2021 in India.

Playing XI – Delhi Capitals

Shikhar Dhawan, Steven Smith, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (c/wk), Shimron Hetmyer, Lalit Yadav, Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Avesh Khan

Playing XI – Kolkata Knight Riders

Shubman Gill, Venkatesh Iyer, Rahul Tripathi, Eoin Morgan (c), Nitish Rana, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Sunil Narine, Lockie Ferguson, Tim Southee, Varun Chakaravarthy, Sandeep Warrier

Shreyas Iyer. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Shreyas Iyer. (Photo Source: Twitter)
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Shreyas Iyer Revealed IPL 2021 Skipper Rishabh Pant Make Him Comfortable

Shreyas Iyer opened up on his camaraderie with skipper Rishabh Pant and revealed how the left-handed batsman makes him feel comfortable while he is batting on the other end.

Delhi Capitals middle-order batsman and regular skipper Shreyas Iyer opened up on his camaraderie with new IPL 2021 skipper Rishabh Pant and revealed how the left-handed southpaw batsman makes him feel comfortable while he is batting on the other end.

Shreyas Iyer of Delhi Capitals in action during an IPL match for Delhi ©BCCI
Shreyas Iyer of Delhi Capitals in action during an IPL match for Delhi ©BCCI

Shreyas Iyer Revealed Rishabh Pant Make Him Comfortable

There were concerns over the Delhi Capitals franchise retaining Rishabh Pant as captain for the remainder of the IPL 2021 despite Shreyas Iyer’s return from injury, but all those have been waved away with the two players stitching important partnerships for DC in their last two games.

Against Rajasthan Royals on Saturday, the duo added 62 runs together for the third wicket and their partnerships were key for DC in posting a total of 154/6 in 20 wickets on a slow batting track.

Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant added a fifty-run stand. (IPL/Twitter)
Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant added a fifty-run stand. (IPL/Twitter)

RR fell short by 33 runs and lost the match, but after the win, Shreyas Iyer, who scored 43 runs in 32 balls – and was named man of the match was questioned about his partnership with Rishabh Pant after DC openers Shikhar Dhawan and Prithvi Shaw were dismissed cheaply.

“Both (Dhawan and Shaw) of them are aggressive batsmen, just didn’t work out for them today. Whenever they get going, they give us a good start. Today unfortunately it didn’t happen, so I was like we have to build a partnership here,” Iyer said at the post-match presentation ceremony.

“To be honest I really didn’t know how it was playing so I backed myself (the pitch?). Decided that whatever happens, I’m just going to back my instincts, see the ball closely and try to hit in the gaps, and take over the spinners later on.”

Batting first, Delhi Capitals faltered early on, losing both of their openers inside five overs. Rishabh Pant (24) and Shreyas Iyer (43) steadied the ship in the middle overs with ultimately the team finishing on 154/6 after 20 overs. Chasing, RR looked uncomfortable right from the start. The Rajasthan Royals lost three wickets inside five overs and despite an unbeaten 70-run knock by skipper Sanju Samson, they failed to chase the target in the end.

Shreyas Iyer Relaxes At The Other End As Rishabh Pant Takes On The Bowler Right At The Onset

Shreyas Iyer also opened up on his equation with Rishabh Pant and how the fact that they have known each other and batted together for years has played a catalyst behind the smooth relation both share.

Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant steadied the Delhi Capitals ship with a 62-run alliance for the third wicket as the Mumbai batsman scored 43 from 32 balls, his innings included one boundary and a couple of sixes. Rishabh Pant made a run-a-ball 24 and his innings was ended by Bangladesh’s left-arm pacer Mustafiur Rahman.

“And then Rishabh came in and we got a partnership of 50 runs. We’ve been batting for the last 5 years together playing for the same franchise,” Iyer added. “The camaraderie and gelling have turned pretty awesome over the last few years. He takes on the bowler as soon as he comes in. Really relaxes me at the other end. That communication has been set.”

Rishabh Pant Photo: BCCI
Rishabh Pant Photo: BCCI

Delhi Capitals beat Rajasthan Royals by 33 runs. RR continued to lose wickets at regular intervals in the 155-run chase. Skipper Sanju Samson remained unbeaten on 70 but it was not enough to win the match for RR. Apart from Sanju Samson, all the other Rajasthan Royals batsmen struggled against Delhi’s bowling attack with Mahipal Lomror being the only other batsman to go into double figures.

CSK and DC have been the most consistent sides' in IPL 2021 [Image- IPLT20]
CSK and DC have been the most consistent sides' in IPL 2021 [Image- IPLT20]
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Chennai Super Kings Is Still Looking As The Better Side Than Delhi Capitals In IPL 2021: Ajay Jadeja

Ajay Jadeja, the former Indian cricketer, has picked the 2nd placed MS Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings (CSK) as the better team than table-toppers Delhi Capitals (DC) in the ongoing season of the IPL.

CSK and DC have proved to be the most consistent sides in the 14th season of the Indian Premier League. The two sides occupy the first two spots in the IPL 2021 points table. While Delhi is placed at the numero-uno spot with eight wins in ten games, Chennai is second with seven victories in nine matches.

Ajay Jadeja
Ajay Jadeja (Photo- Twitter)
Delhi Capitals once again asserted their dominance with a clinical win against Rajasthan. Delhi Capitals beat Rajasthan Royals by 33 runs as the top-ranked Delhi Capitals once again proved that why they are the team to beat in this edition of IPL.
Marvellous bowling from the likes of Anrich Nortje helped DC to defend the 155-run target. But their struggles with the bat on a sluggish pitch and Chennai’s big-match experience make the latter the favourites to go all the way.

Ajay Jadeja said in this regard: “I think Chennai is still looking for the better side among the two, although Delhi is also doing really well. Delhi sometimes get rushed in a big game like we saw today with their batting.

“Semi-final, final are one-game shoot-outs, and Chennai have immense experience of crunch game,” said Ajay Jadeja.

Ajay Jadeja, former Indian cricketer, and commentator said Chennai is ahead of Delhi to win IPL 2021 for their immense experience in crunch games.

Chennai Super Kings
Chennai Super Kings (Image Credit: Twitter)

The Super Kings will have a chance to regain the top spot on Sunday when they lock horns with the Kolkata Knight Riders in Abu Dhabi. Chennai has 14 points but has a better run rate than Delhi Capitals who has 16 points.

The star of the match between DC and RR was South Africa’s Anrich Nortje who took two important wickets in the four overs spell that he bowled giving away just 18 runs. RR Skipper Sanju Samson played a lone hand of unbeaten 70, but it wasn’t enough on the night as none of the other batsmen managed to hang in with the RR captain.

Pragyan Ojha: MS Dhoni’s Tactics And Strategies Proved Helpful For CSK Players

Meanwhile, former spinner Pragyan Ojha knows MS Dhoni may not be contributing with the bat. But his prowess as a tactician and a leader cannot be understated. Pragyan Ojha also echoed former batsman Ajay Jadeja’s opinion. He said that when it comes to crunch games, CSK skipper MS Dhoni knows how to absorb pressure and play mind games with the opposition.

Pragyan Ojha — File Photo
Pragyan Ojha — File Photo

DC and CSK locked horns earlier in the season where the Rishabh Pant-led unit emerged winners. CSK had scored 188/7, with Suresh Raina scoring a fifty. Still, it wasn’t enough as Delhi Capitals openers Prithvi Shaw(72) and Shikhar Dhawan(85) hit spectacular fifties batting at a strike rate of above 150.

They laid a solid foundation as the openers added 138 for the 1st wicket. DC won by 7 wickets as the likes of Moeen Ali, Shardul Thakur, and Sam Curran were taken to the cleaners. DC has won three consecutive games against CSK and will look to extend their dominance over the former champions in their next meeting as well.

Shikhar Dhawan
Shikhar Dhawan (Getty Images)(HT_PRINT)
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Shikhar Dhawan’s Omission From 2021 T20I World Cup Squad Surprised And Disappointed Farokh Engineer 

Shikhar Dhawan’s exclusion left former India wicketkeeper Farokh Engineer disappointed, who otherwise believes India has picked a formidable squad for the 2021 T20I World Cup. Despite Ravichandran Ashwin’s comeback and the inclusion of leg-spinner Rahul Chahar, a couple of big names like Shikhar Dhawan and Yuzvendra Chahal went missing from India’s squad of 15 for the ICC event.

The announcement of India’s T20 World Cup squad by the BCCI selectors on Wednesday packed a few surprises. Against everyone’s expectations, India recalled spinner Ravichandran Ashwin back to its limited-overs fold after four years, while former captain MS Dhoni was appointed mentor of the side.

Shikhar Dhawan Image Source : AP
Shikhar Dhawan Image Source: AP

Shikhar Dhawan’s Omission Surprised And Disappointed Farokh Engineer

There was no place for either opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan or spinner Yuzvendra Chahal, which sparked a debate. While Shikhar Dhawan is expected to have missed out to KL Rahul, Yuzvendra Chahal fell behind fellow leg-spinner Rahul Chahar, who bowled wonderfully in Sri Lanka and has been growing in reputation. So while both exclusions were notable, Shikhar Dhawan’s axe despite being in form disappointed Farokh Engineer.

“I haven’t exactly studied it. I only heard it once. But it seems that all the top players are there. Suryakumar Yadav is in the squad, which I am really happy to see. Chahar is a very good bowler, and there is Bumrah of course. I think with Ravindra Jadeja and Rohit Sharma, the balance of the team is good. I think we’ve got a good squad,” Engineer told Sports Tak.

Yuzvendra Chahal & Kuldeep Yadav. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Yuzvendra Chahal & Kuldeep Yadav. (Photo Source: Twitter)

“Shikhar Dhawan… well, I’m surprised that he has been omitted because he has come in and done fantastically well. But that is such a huge problem for the Indian selectors that players such as Dhawan are getting to be dropped, which is a huge disappointment because he would walk into any international team as a batsman. He has proved himself time and again and I don’t think a player of his caliber should be on trial.”

The likes of Shikhar Dhawan, Kuldeep Yadav, Krunal Pandya, Yuzvendra Chahal, Prithvi Shaw, and Yuzvendra Chahal were some notable omissions. Shikhar Dhawan has been one of India’s most consistent players in the ICC tournaments and the selectors’ decision to not name him even among the reserves left many surprised.

While it hasn’t yet been revealed as to why the southpaw didn’t make the cut for the T20 World Cup, a report has claimed that the decision was taken keeping in mind his ‘conservative approach’ while batting. Shikhar Dhawan was a part of the Indian team that toured Sri Lanka, playing all 6 matches on the tour. He registered scores of 86*, 29, 13 in the 3 ODIs and 46, 40, 0 in the 3 T20Is.

Farokh Engineer: India Can Win T20I World Cup

Having said that, Farokh Engineer reckons the strength of the Indian team is such that the selectors couldn’t have helped it. The former wicketkeeper feels India is spoilt for choices as far as the opening batsmen are concerned, provided how brilliant KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma have been lately.

Farokh Engineer played 46 Tests for India between 1961 and 1975 Getty Images
Farokh Engineer played 46 Tests for India between 1961 and 1975 Getty Images

“But who do you drop? KL Rahul has done very well. He is superb; one of the best batsmen in the world, I think. Rohit Sharma is on top of his form. Still, I think it’s a very good team they have picked and I think we have every chance of winning the T20 World Cup,” Engineer added.

Ravichandran Ashwin made a comeback after playing his last T20I in 2017. Delhi Capitals’ batsman Shikhar Dhawan is currently the highest run-getter in the IPL 2021 season with 380 runs in 8 matches averaging 54.28 with 3 fifties. He was 2nd among leading run-scorers in IPL 2020 too after KL Rahul with 618 runs in 16 matches averaging 44.14 with 2 tons and 4 fifties.

Full squad: Virat Kohli (c), Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ishan Kishan (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Rahul Chahar, Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel, Varun Chakravarthy, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammad Shami; Stand-by: Shreyas Iyer, Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur

Ravi Shastri Image Source : AP
Ravi Shastri Image Source : AP
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Ravi Shastri Defends Book Launch Event

Ravi Shastri has defended his book launch event, saying that anything could have happened from the opening Test match of the series. The Indian cricket team’s camp was hit by COVID-19 last week when Ravi Shastri’s lateral flow test returned positive after day 3 of the 4th Test match. Following him, bowling coach Bharat Arun and fielding coach R Sridhar contracted the infection.

On the eve of the 4th Test, junior physio Yogesh Parmar also tested positive for COVID-19, which led to the cancellation of the 5th Test match, which was to start on September 10. While the source of COVID-19 isn’t known, some are criticizing Shastri for his book launch event as it took place with over 100 people in attendance.

Ravi Shastri and Virat Kohli during Shastri's book launch event in London | Twitter
Ravi Shastri and Virat Kohli during Shastri’s book launch event in London | Twitter

Ravi Shastri: The UK Is Open As Anything Could Have Happened From 1st Test

Indian skipper Virat Kohli and other members of Team India were also present at the event. Ravi Shastri, who is in isolation in the UK, has responded to the criticism and defended the book launch event.

“The whole country [United Kingdom] is open. Anything could have happened from Test One,” Shastri was quoted as saying by mid-day.

“It’s been the best summer of cricket England has seen in a long time certainly from an Indian cricket team. It’s Covid times, awesome summer though. The boys were fantastic either side of the Thames.”

Ravi Shastri. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Ravi Shastri. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The cancelled 5th Test match is likely to take place at a rescheduled date as the BCCI said that the two boards will look to find a window for the fixture. Team India is scheduled to play a white-ball series against England next year and the one-off fixture could take place then.

Indian Players Who Feature In IPL Too Joined Their Respective Franchises And serving 6 Day Mandatory Quarantine Period

Meanwhile, the majority of Indian players have joined their IPL franchises in UAE. They are now serving the six-day mandatory isolation period. The 2nd phase of IPL 2021 kicks off on September 19. Ravi Shastri and other COVID-19 positive coaches will land in India after completing their isolation period. They will likely reach UAE for T20 World Cup next month.

The players started departing in clusters — some in charter flights arranged by their franchises like Mumbai Indians and Sunrisers Hyderabad while Chennai Super Kings cricketers took commercial flights. RCB captain Virat Kohli and his premier pacer Mohammed Siraj also took a charter flight from Manchester.

The three Punjab Kings players in the Indian Test side – KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, and Mohammed Shami – are also taking commercial flights out of England. England players in the franchise, none from the Test side, will travel later. As many as six Indian Test players – Rishabh Pant, Ishant Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Prithvi Shaw, Umesh Yadav, and Axar Patel – play for Delhi Capitals. They will join their IPL bubble on Sunday.

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli (Image Credit: Twitter)

The six-day quarantine rule led to some pull-outs. England trio Jonny Bairstow (Sunrisers Hyderabad), Chris Woakes (Delhi Capitals), and Dawid Malan (Punjab Kings) decided to give the IPL second phase a miss. It isn’t known if the three opted out after consulting the English Cricket Board to manage workload. All three are expected to feature in the Ashes series at the year-end.

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