Rahul Chahar | Sportzwiki

Rahul Chahar

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Glenn Maxwell
Glenn Maxwell (Image Credit: Twitter)

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

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

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

Irfan Pathan Leaves Out IPL 2021 Purple Cap Winner Harshal

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Shardul Thakur | Twitter
Shardul Thakur | Twitter
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Shardul Thakur Added To Play Only 3rd India A-South Africa A Unofficial 4-Day Test In Bloemfontein

Shardul Thakur will play only the third India A vs South Africa A game in Bloemfontein. However, head coach Rahul Dravid wants every player to be match-ready with some games under their belt before they enter an international game.

India pacer Shardul Thakur has been asked to travel to South Africa to be part of the India A squad while batsman Suryakumar Yadav has been asked to stay with the Indian Test team, which will play two Tests against New Zealand at home.

Shardul Thakur Photo: AFP.
Shardul Thakur Photo: AFP.

Shardul Thakur Was Added To India A Squad As Rahul Dravid Wants Every Player To Be Match Ready

Shardul Thakur wasn’t part of the T20I or Test squads against New Zealand as the national selection committee had decided to give the Mumbai pacer a break after being away from home for six months at a stretch playing cricket.

Shardul Thakur will play only the 3rd India A vs South Africa A game in Bloemfontein. Rahul Dravid wants every player to be match-ready with some games under their belt before they enter an international game. If picked for the South Africa series next month, Shardul Thakur wouldn’t have had any games behind him, if not for the A match.

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

It was for the same reason that the Indian team sent Hanuma Vihari with India A side as the selection committee felt he might not have got any Tests against the Kiwis. They thought it would be better if he got a few games in India A series. Shardul Thakur played vital roles in Tests in Australia and later in England. It’s his batting that hogged the limelight when he slammed two half-centuries in the fourth Test against England.

Shardul Thakur has played only 4 Tests in his career so far after debuting in 2018 against West Indies, where he got injured after bowling only 10 balls. He managed 190 runs averaging 38, besides picking up 14 scalps averaging 22.71.

Shardul Thakur Is Coming Along Superbly, And Each Match There Is Tremendous Improvement In Both Batting And Bowling: Bharat Arun

The former bowling coach Bharat Arun had raved about the importance of Shardul Thakur.

“Shardul Thakur is coming along superbly. Just imagine the pressure and how well he has coped and grabbed them. Each match, I see tremendous improvement – bowling and batting. Knocks in Brisbane and Leeds were amazing, no?

“And he is a pretty intelligent bowler – a lovely outswinger at close to 140 kmphs and a well-directed bouncer. He is a good thinker, not afraid to speak his mind, fearless and you need players like him in a team environment,” Arun said.

The BCCI is likely to pick the squad for the South Africa tour after the first Test against New Zealand in Kanpur starting on Thursday.

Suryakumar Yadav
Suryakumar Yadav (BCCI)

Meanwhile, there is no official communication on why middle-order batsman Suryakumar Yadav was asked to stay with the Indian Test squad. The squad already includes Shreyas Iyer as a middle-order batsman, and chances of him making a Test debut are looking promising enough. It seems the selection committee and BCCI don’t want to take a chance with the players’ health, especially during COVID-19 times.

The BCCI doesn’t want to be in a situation where a player gets infected, and they don’t have a replacement in the squad. Suryakumar Yadav was sent as a backup player for the England tour, too, along with Prithvi Shaw, but they didn’t get to play a game.

In the ongoing 1st unofficial Test, South Africa A is batting first, and the score reads 98/2 in 27 overs, with Navdeep Saini and Arzan Nagwaswalla picking 1 wicket each. Priyank Panchal, Prithvi Shaw, Abhimanyu Easwaran, Rahul Chahar, Hanuma Vihari, Rahul Chahar, and Umran Malik are playing.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, Indian opener KL Rahul has been reportedly ruled out of the 1st Test against New Zealand.

Yuzvendra Chahal
Yuzvendra Chahal
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Yuzvendra Chahal Will Be On That Flight To Australia For The Next T20 World Cup, Says Dinesh Karthik

Dinesh Karthik, a veteran Indian wicketkeeper-batsman on Sunday picked leg-spinner, Yuzvendra Chahal, as an absolute certainty for Rohit Sharma-led India’s squad for the 2022 T20 World Cup slated to be played in Australia next October.

Following the culmination of the India-New Zealand bilateral T20I series, Dinesh Karthik named one bowler Yuzvendra Chahal who he believes will be a certain selection in Rohit Sharma’s India in the 2022 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia.

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

Dinesh Karthik: Yuzvendra Chahal Has Single-Handedly Grown In Stature In IPL And Will Be Retained By RCB Franchise

Yuzvendra Chahal was finally picked in India’s T20I squad for the third game against New Zealand in the series. It was his first appearance for India since the tour of Sri Lanka in summer earlier this year, following which he was dropped from the T20 World Cup squad where Rahul Chahar was picked ahead of him. However, following the end of the tournament, the bowler was reconsidered for the New Zealand series while Rahul Chahar was dropped.

Dinesh Karthik was all praise for the leg-spinner as he made his comeback to the XI, pointing out how he has improved as a bowler and how also being a chess player has helped him as a bowler.

“Great to see him come back. And he showed his character. The way he bowled in the second leg of IPL, he was an absolute champion. He is the top leg-spinner in India. I always rate him very high because he is also a chess player and they are always a couple of moves ahead than normal people,” said Dinesh Karthik.

“And that is always a special attribute for me. He’s got good skills, good variations and is a brave bowler and he has single-handedly grown in stature in IPL. He was bought for INR 10 lakhs by RCB in 2013, and now he is beyond what it is and that shows he has improved over time and has shown his value. I’m sure he will be retained by the franchise,” said Dinesh Karthik.

Leg-spinners Rahul Chahar (L) and Yuzvendra Chahal
Leg-spinners Rahul Chahar (L) and Yuzvendra Chahal

”He is also a very good bowler abroad as well, a very important attribute to keep in mind when India travel to Australia for the next T20 World Cup. I am sure he will be on that flight to Australia. And I also know Rohit trusts him a lot. Their relationship is not just strong off the field, on the field they have some good conversations,” said Dinesh Karthik.

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

However, the RCB leg spinner made an impressive comeback in the second leg, picking 14 wickets in eight matches at an economy rate of 7.06. At the same time, Rahul Chahar struggled immensely, managing only two wickets in four games at an economy rate of 7.73.

Yuzvendra Chahal Felt Down For 2-3 Days After Being Surprisingly Dropped For T20I World Cup

Earlier this month, Yuzvendra Chahal had opened up about his World Cup snub, saying that he found it difficult to come to terms with the shocking decision, but his family and fans helped him bounce back.

“I was not dropped in four years and then I got dropped for such a marquee event. I felt really bad. I was down for two-three days. But then I knew the second leg of the IPL was still around the corner. I went back to my coaches and spoke to them a lot,” Yuzvendra Chahal said.

Yuzvendra Chahal picked a wicket, that of New Zealand opener Martin Guptill, on his return to XI, conceding 26 runs in four overs as India beat New Zealand by 73 runs in the final inconsequential T20I against New Zealand and register a 3-0 whitewash at home.

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

Yuzvendra Chahal missed the bus to T20 World Cup 2021 owing to some inconsistent performances, both for India as well as in the first half of the Indian Premier League for Royal Challengers Bangalore. Varun Chakravarthy, Rahul Chahar, Ravichandran Ashwin, and Ravindra Jadeja were the spin options for India in the 2021 T20I World Cup.

The 35-year old spinner Ravichandran Ashwin made noteworthy outings in the opening two games against New Zealand, where he returned with figures 4-0-23-2 and 4-0-19-1, but he was rested for the final 3rd T20I as Yuzvendra Chahal was picked instead.

Yuzvendra Chahal
Yuzvendra Chahal
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Yuzvendra Chahal’s Axe From Starting XI In 1st T20I Vs New Zealand Surprised Daniel Vettori

Yuzvendra Chahal saw himself warming the bench again as Ravichandran Ashwin was preferred over him in the India squad for the first T20I of the 3-match series against New Zealand in Jaipur. However, former New Zealand spinner Daniel Vettori has questioned the preference of off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin over leg spinner Yuzvendra Chahal considering the upcoming 2022 T20 World Cup in Australia.

The Indian cricket team put their T20 World Cup 2021 disappointment behind them as they took on New Zealand in the first of the 3-match T20I series in Jaipur on Wednesday. The match marked the return of some familiar and some new faces, but leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal had to settle for the bench again as he was overlooked in the playing XI for the opening contest.

Ravichandran Ashwin was selected over Yuzvendra Chahal  |  Photo Credit: AP
Ravichandran Ashwin was selected over Yuzvendra Chahal  |  Photo Credit: AP

Yuzvendra Chahal Was Omitted From T20I World Cup Squad And Starting XI For 1st T20I vs NZ Despite Consistent Showing In IPL 2021

Deepak Chahar, Axar Patel, Shreyas Iyer, and Mohammed Siraj were some of the faces who were recalled in India’s T20I team after a number of senior players were rested. All-rounder Venkatesh Iyer also got the nod, earning his maiden India cap, but the absence of Yuzvendra Chahal from the team did leave a few surprised.

Former New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori was one of those who were left baffled by the team management’s decision to leave out Yuzvendra Chahal and play Ravichandran Ashwin instead. Daniel Vettori questioned the inclusion of Ravichandran Ashwin over Yuzvendra Chahal, considering the team is being built, keeping the next 2022 T20 World Cup in mind.

Bangladesh Hire Daniel Vettori, Charl Langeveldt As Bowling CoachesDaniel Vettori, New Zealand's record wicket-taker, will work for 100 days leading up to next year's World Twenty20 in Australia starting with November's tour of India.Agence France-PresseUpdated: July 28, 2019 12:11 AM ISTRead Time:2 min Bangladesh Hire Daniel Vettori, Charl Langeveldt As Bowling Coaches Daniel Vettori is New Zealand's record wicket-taker.© Twitter
Daniel Vettori is New Zealand’s record wicket-taker.© Twitter

“Venkatesh Iyer, who is being rewarded for his form in the IPL. It’s sad to see Chahal not being given the same opportunity. We all know what Ashwin can do, is he going to be in the starting XI for the World Cup next year, who knows?

“But Chahal was bowling exceptionally well and was a wicket-taking option for Kohli throughout the IPL. He is one of the best T20 leggies in the world,” said Vettori.

Yuzvendra Chahal missed the bus to T20 World Cup 2021 owing to some inconsistent performances, both for India as well as in the first half of the Indian Premier League for Royal Challengers Bangalore. Varun Chakravarthy, Rahul Chahar, Ravichandran Ashwin, and Ravindra Jadeja were the spin options for India in the 2021 T20I World Cup.

Yuzvendra Chahal was left out of the Indian squad for the T20I World Cup 2021, and he wasn’t named in the reserves as well, owing to his poor form. Even in phase one of IPL 2021 in India, Yuzvendra Chahal could pick up just 4 wickets in 6 games at a high bowling average and never looked in a good rhythm.

However, he has been a revelation since the start of the UAE phase of IPL 2021. Yuzvendra Chahal has picked up 14 wickets in 8 games in UAE with an excellent economic rate.

Yuzvendra Chahal Deserved Opportunity To Comeback In Starting XI: Daniel Vettori

However, as the wrist-spinner made his return to India’s T20 squad for the New Zealand series after an impressive show in the UAE-leg of IPL, Daniel Vettori expected him to be in the starting XI.

“At the time, the decision was probably right to leave him out of the World Cup squad but then the Chahal that we saw in the IPL, was the Chahal we all know.

“Chahal bowled quicker in the IPL, trying to spin more, and attacked the stumps more often. So, I thought he deserved the opportunity to come back into the starting XI tonight after being left out earlier,” said the Kiwi legend.

Yuzvendra Chahal
Yuzvendra Chahal. [Photo: Twitter]
Ravichandran Ashwin had a memorable outing in Jaipur, conceding just 23 runs in 4 overs while also picking two important wickets of Mark Chapman and Glenn Phillips. As things stand, it doesn’t look like leg spinner Yuzvendra Chahal will get to feature for India in the 2nd T20I against New Zealand, too, at Ranchi.
India's Yuzvendra Chahal celebrates the wicket of Sri Lanka's Avishka Fernando during the first one day international cricket match between Sri Lanka and India in Colombo, Sri Lanka. (AP Photo)
India's Yuzvendra Chahal celebrates the wicket of Sri Lanka's Avishka Fernando during the first one day international cricket match between Sri Lanka and India in Colombo, Sri Lanka. (AP Photo)
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Yuzvendra Chahal Who Felt Down For 2-3 Days After His Axe In T20I WC Feels Rashid Khan Is In A Different League

Yuzvendra Chahal put in impressive performances during the UAE leg of the Indian Premier League (IPL), which led to many questioning his omission from India’s T20 World Cup 2021 squad.

Varun Chakravarthy, Rahul Chahar, Ravichandran Ashwin, and Ravindra Jadeja were the spin options for India in the T20 World Cup. Spinners, wrist spinners especially, had a massive impact in the recently-concluded tournament, which Australia won for the first time. The top two highest wicket-takers in the competition were both spinners — Wanindu Hasaranga and Adam Zampa.

Yuzvendra Chahal
Yuzvendra Chahal feels Afghan spinner Rashid Khan is in a “different league” to others.© AFP

Yuzvendra Chahal: Rashid Khan Is In A Different League

But Yuzvendra Chahal is of the opinion that one spinner is head and shoulders above the rest and in a different league altogether.

“Rashid Khan is in a different league. I believe he is a cut above the rest like we used to talk about Muralidharan sir or Shane Warne sir. My calling card is mind game. I don’t try fancy variations. I back whatever variations I have,” Yuzvendra Chahal said in an interview.

Rashid Khan
Rashid Khan (Photo Credit: Twitter/@cricketworldcup)

Rashid Khan of Afghanistan picked up 8 scalps at an economic rate of 6.1 in the T20I World Cup. Rashid Khan has 93 scalps in 76 games in IPL, averaging 20.55 at an economic rate of 6.33- the best in IPL history.

Yuzvendra Chahal was left out of the Indian squad for the T20 World Cup 2021, and he wasn’t named in the reserves as well, owing to his poor form in the last six months. Even in phase one of IPL 2021 in India, Yuzvendra Chahal could pick up just 4 wickets in 6 games at a high bowling average and never looked in a good rhythm.

However, he started to get better in the series against Sri Lanka and has been a revelation since the start of the UAE phase of IPL 2021. Yuzvendra Chahal has picked up 14 wickets in 8 games in UAE with an excellent economic rate. In his international career thus far, the 30-year old has bagged 97 and 63 wickets in 56 ODIs and 49 T20Is, respectively apart from 139 scalps in 114 IPL games.

Yuxzvendra Chahal Felt Down For 2-3 Days After His Surprising Axe For 2021 T20I World Cup

Speaking about his exclusion, Yuzvendra Chahal said he felt “really bad” and was feeling “down for two-three days”. But encouragement from his family and fans helped him overcome the tough period.

“I was not dropped in four years and then I got dropped for such a marquee event. I felt really bad. I was down for two-three days. But then I knew the second leg of the IPL was still around the corner.”

“I went back to my coaches and spoke to them a lot. My wife and family were constantly encouraging me. My fans kept putting out motivational posts. That buoyed me. I decided to back my strengths and overcome my confusion. I couldn’t have sulked for long because that would have impacted my IPL form,” said the India spinner.

During the T20 World Cup, India persisted with mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy, but he could not replicate his performances in domestic tournaments on the international stage going wicketless in 3 games. Rahul Chahar got a solitary game but did nothing of note.

After being overlooked for the first two games, both of which India lost, off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin was finally brought into the playing XI after a hiatus of 4 years in T20Is and was the standout spinner for Team India in the three matches he played in the Super 12 stage.

Ravichandran Ashwin of India. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)
Ravichandran Ashwin of India. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Yuzvendra Chahal, though, is back in the reckoning after being included in the T20I squad for the upcoming home series against World Cup finalists New Zealand. India play three T20Is against New Zealand on November 17, 19, and 21.

India’s T20I squad against NZ: Rohit Sharma (captain), KL Rahul (vice-captain), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wicketkeeper), Ishan Kishan (wicketkeeper), Venkatesh Iyer, Yuzvendra Chahal, R Ashwin, Axar Patel, Avesh Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Chahar, Harshal Patel, Mohammed Siraj
File image of former India captain Sunil Gavaskar | AFP
File image of former India captain Sunil Gavaskar | AFP
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Sunil Gavaskar Not Surprised By Hanuma Vihari’s Axe From Indian Squad For NZ Tests

Sunil Gavaskar was not surprised by Hanuma Vihari’s exclusion from India’s squad for the home Test series against New Zealand unlike most in the cricket fraternity. The former captain turned commentator argued on Saturday that since Hanuma Vihari didn’t feature in IPL 2021, he remained “out of sight and out of mind” of the national selectors.

Hanuma Vihari heroically helped India draw the Sydney Test in his last international appearance. He was the designated backup batter in the last couple of Test series, though didn’t get any game time.

Sunil Gavaskar. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Sunil Gavaskar. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Sunil Gavaskar Wasn’t Surprised With Hanuma Vihari’s Axe As He Hasn’t Played Much In The Last 3-4 Months

His snub caused a public furor because it was coincident with the inclusion of players like Shreyas Iyer and Jayant Yadav, who are talented but haven’t played much red-ball cricket in years.

Weighing on the issue while speaking to Sports Today, Sunil Gavaskar said: “I really was not surprised to be honest because he hasn’t played any cricket in the interim. He hasn’t played in the IPL so hasn’t had any cricket under his belt in the last three or four months. On the other hand, the others who have been selected have had some cricket, not necessarily Test cricket, so maybe that’s the reason why they came into the picture.

“Also, a lot of times we have seen over the years that the performances in the IPL have invariably been the ones that nudge the selection committee so that seems to have happened. Hanuma Vihari hasn’t played a single IPL game so out of sight, out of mind, ” Sunil Gavaskar said.

Jayant Yadav
Jayant Yadav—Image Source: Twitter

Hanuma Vihari hasn’t played in the IPL since 2019 when he represented the Delhi Capitals in two games. He has featured in 24 IPL games overall, scoring 284 runs at an average of 14.20. The 28-year-old went unsold in the 2020 auction. To make matters more intriguing, hours after the uproar over Hanuma Vihari’s exclusion, the BCCI made him a late entrant of the India ‘A’ squad for a tour of South Africa.

Jayant Yadav, who returned to the team after 4 years, played his last Test against Australia in 2017 while newcomers Shreyas Iyer and Prasidh Krishna got a place in the Indian Test team.  Jayant Yadav made his Test debut against England in Vizag in 2016. So far he has taken 11 wickets in 4 Tests. He picked 9 wickets in 3 Tests against England and 2 scalps in a solitary Test against Australia way back in 2017.

The India ‘A’ team, which also includes the likes of Prithvi Shaw and Rahul Chahar, will compete with South Africa ‘A’ in three four-day matches from November 23 to December 9 in Bloemfontein.

Sunil Gavaskar: India A Callup A Big Advantage For Hanuma Vihari

Sunil Gavaskar called the India ‘A’ callup a “big advantage” for Hanuma Vihari, saying scoring runs in South African conditions would keep the Andhra batter ready for an international comeback when India plays the Proteas in a Test series in December. Hanuma Vihari has scored 624 runs in 12 Tests averaging 32.84.

Sunil Gavaskar said: “I think if he’s playing and scoring in the ‘A’ team, that’s very good. He’ll be playing in the same conditions, will get some match practice under his belt. He’ll get a feel of the conditions, the pitch conditions, and everything. And therefore he’ll be absolutely ready in case he’s called for the Test team. So that’s a big advantage for him going to South Africa with the ‘A’ team.”

Hanuma Vihari
Hanuma Vihari– AP Photo

The India-New Zealand Tests will commence on November 25 and the South African tour will begin on December 17.

India’s squad for NZ Tests:

Ajinkya Rahane (captain for 1st Test), KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara (vice-captain), Shubman Gill, Shreyas Iyer, Wriddhiman Saha (wicket-keeper), KS Bharat (wicket-keeper), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel, Jayant Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Mohammad Siraj, Prasidh Krishna

** Virat Kohli (captain for 2nd Test, won’t play 1st Test)

 

India ‘A’ squad for South Africa tour:

Priyank Panchal (Captain), Prithvi Shaw, Abhimanyu Easwaran, Devdutt Padikkal, Sarfaraz Khan, Baba Aparajith, Upendra Yadav (wicket-keeper), K Gowtham, Rahul Chahar, Saurabh Kumar, Navdeep Saini, Umran Malik, Ishan Porel, Arzan Nagwaswalla, Hanuma Vihari

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
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Aakash Chopra Expressed Dismay At Virat Kohli Losing Tosses

The former cricketer-turned broadcaster, Aakash Chopra, has expressed his dismay at Indian captain Virat Kohli’s unlucky correspondence with tosses.

Speaking in a video on his YouTube channel on Friday, Aakash Chopra observed how Virat Kohli’s toss-winning percentage of just around 40 across formats is the worst in international cricket in the last five decades.

Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Aakash Chopra: Virat Kohli Has The Worst Record Of Winning Toss In The Last 50 Years Or So

He also spoke about how soon-to-be head coach Rahul Dravid still holds the best toss record in the world and how current team mentor MS Dhoni falls between Virat Kohli and Rahul Dravid.

Aakash Chopra said: “What about Kohli and tosses? If you see, he has captained India in 8 T20Is this year and won just one toss. If you look at his career, then in the win and loss toss percentage for players who have captained in more than 100 games (across formats), Kohli has the worst record in the last 50 years.

“He’s won the toss in about 40% of matches. And the best is Rahul Dravid’s. His was nearly 58-60%. Dhoni is also around 47-48. And Kohli is right around the bottom which means luck doesn’t support him.”

India's Virat Kohli. Credit: Reuters Photo
India’s Virat Kohli. Credit: Reuters Photo

Virat Kohli, who turns 33 today, has won the toss only once in his last 14 matches. His rotten luck with the coin has also hurt India in the T20 World Cup. On chase-favouring Dubai wickets, India had to bat first against both Pakistan and New Zealand, which resulted in heavy losses. India lost by 10 wickets against arch-rivals Pakistan and 8 wickets to the Kiwis.

The skipper lost the toss against Afghanistan, too, but it didn’t matter in the end as India went on to win by 66 runs. Virat Kohli has won only 18 tosses in T20Is out of 48 matches he captained at 37.5%. India needs to win their remaining two encounters against Scotland and Namibia and hope for other results to go their way to qualify for the knockout stages.

India will now hope Afghanistan upset New Zealand, following which they can hope to correct their own net run-rate in the last match of the Super 12s, against Namibia.

Aakash Chopra Suggests India Bring In Rahul Chahar Instead Of Shardul Thakur In The Scotland clash

Coming to tonight’s match against Scotland, Aakash Chopra suggested a change to the Indian playing XI. He argued that Shardul Thakur – who hasn’t picked up a wicket in the last two games – hasn’t looked ‘spicy’ enough, adding that considering Scotland’s spin weakness, leg-spinner Rahul Chahar would be a better choice.

Shardul Thakur conceded 31 runs in 3 overs against Afghanistan at an economic rate of 10.3, while against New Zealand conceded 17 runs in 1.3 overs. He went wicketless in both matches.

Aakash Chopra added: “I am seeing one change and why is that? Because Hardik has started bowling now and we have seen Scotland struggle against spin before. So play another spinner. In the two matches he has bowled, Shardul Thakur hasn’t looked spicy enough. I feel that you can take 2-3 overs from Hardik plus you have two fast bowlers and you can get three spinners… I am going with Rahul Chahar.”

Rahul Chahar celebrates a wicket © Ishara S.Kodikara/AFP/Getty Images
Rahul Chahar celebrates a wicket © Ishara S.Kodikara/AFP/Getty Images.

Rahul Chahar has played only 1 ODI and 5 T20Is and has picked 3 and 7 wickets, respectively. He averages an excellent 18 in ODIs and 19.57 in T20Is. The match between India and Scotland will kickstart at 7:30 PM IST in Dubai, with the toss at 7:00 PM IST.

India National Cricket Team.
India National Cricket Team. Image Credits: BCCI
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Rajkumar Sharma Warns India Not To Be Complacent Against Pakistan Who Can Spring A Surprise

Rajkumar Sharma, India skipper Virat Kohli’s childhood coach, on Saturday said that team India is a better team than Pakistan, but the men in blue shouldn’t take their neighbours lightly ahead of the high-voltage clash in ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021.

The Sunday evening’s blockbuster match will see the Dubai International Stadium house one of the most historic and mouth-watering fixtures in cricketing history as team India lock horns with arch-nemesis Pakistan in the Super 12 stage of the T20 World Cup.

Rajkumar Sharma with Virat Kohli(Getty Images)
Rajkumar Sharma with Virat Kohli(Getty Images)

Rajkumar Sharma Warns India Not To Be Complacent Or Over Confident Against Pakistan In T20I WC

Ahead of that, Rajkumar Sharma said India doesn’t need to be complacent or over-confident because Pakistan is a team that can surprise anyone.

“The match between India and Pakistan is always exciting, as there are many nerves included. India has always defeated Pakistan in World Cup and I hope the same result comes tomorrow,” Rajkumar Sharma said. 

India and Pakistan rarely play against each other but have a heated rivalry. (Photo by Tharaka Basnayaka/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
India and Pakistan rarely play against each other but have a heated rivalry. (Photo by Tharaka Basnayaka/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

“Even if you look team-wise, India is a lot better team if compared to Pakistan. But India doesn’t need to be complacent or over-confident because Pakistan is such a team that can surprise anyone.”

Pakistan has never beaten India at a World Cup but most recently, beat the Indian team in the final of the Champions Trophy in 2017. Both India (2007) and Pakistan (2009) are former champions in the World T20 and have played plenty of cricket in UAE thanks to IPL and PSL.

India-Pakistan faced each other last in the 2019 ODI World Cup round-robin stage, where the former won by 89 runs (DLS method). Their last T20 World Cup face-off resulted in India’s 6-wicket win over Men in Green in Kolkata in the 2016 edition.

Rajkumar Sharma Backs India’s Bowling To Come Good In The WC

Virat Kohli has scored 169 runs from three innings against arch-rivals. In all those three innings, he remained unbeaten. 78* off 61 balls (2012), 36* off 32 balls (2014), and 55* off 37 balls (2016) were his scores against Pakistan in the T20I World Cups. Virat Kohli has been India’s highest run-getter against Pakistan in T20Is. He has scored 254 runs from six innings at 84.66 with two fifty-plus scores and a strike rate of 118.6.

Talking about the form of Indian skipper, his childhood coach said: “Virat from the beginning has a habit of accepting such challenges as he enjoys it. Pakistan hasn’t even got him out in T20 World Cup. He will continue his form and will be more relaxed and determined. As he has left captaincy and will be eager to win World Cup for India.”

Indian pacer Mohammed Shami (Photo | PTI)
Indian pacer Mohammed Shami (Photo | PTI)

Rajkumar Sharma also backed India’s bowling ahead of the Super 12s stage.

He said: “When the proper combination will play, the pressure will come from both sides. The Indian bowling attack is looking very good to me and they will also do great in the upcoming tournament.”

Besides Mohammed Shami (3/40), fellow pacer Jasprit Bumrah (1/26) and spinner Rahul Chahar (1/43) were also among wickets at the ICC Academy Ground in Dubai against England, but the pace duo was rested against Australia. Spinner Ravichandran Ashwin bowled 2 overs and finished with figures of 2/8 during India’s T20 World Cup warm-up match against Australia. All four spinners played in the match against Australia.

While Rahul Chahar finished with 1/17 from his 3 overs, Ravindra Jadeja was taken for 35 runs in his 4 overs, and he picked up one wicket. Ravichandran Ashwin bowled 2 overs and finished with figures of 2/8, while Varun Chakravarthy was tried in the death overs, where he went for 23 runs in 2 overs.

Rashid Khan
Rashid Khan. Image Credits: Twitter
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Rashid Khan Denied He Ever Said He Will Marry If Afghanistan Win 2021 T20I WC

Rashid Khan insists his mind is occupied by the forthcoming T20I World Cup and not wedding bells as the leg-spin wizard looks to inspire Afghanistan at the Twenty20 global showpiece.

Still only 23 years of age, Rashid Khan is key to his nation’s hopes of a first-world title and a potential triumph that would deliver a rare bout of good news for his home country, especially after the militant group Taliban’s takeover. However, Rashid Khan said that speculation over his private life in the run-up to the tournament, currently underway in Oman and the UAE, will not derail his ambitions.

Rashid Khan
Rashid Khan (Photo Credit: Twitter/@cricketworldcup)

Rashid Khan Denied He Ever Said He Will Marry If Afghanistan Win Their First- 2021 T20I World Cup

Rashid Khan, who made his Afghanistan debut when he was a teenager- 17, is one of international cricket’s most in-demand players. He has already played 51 T20Is and more than 280 games in the format for franchises around the world.  A lucrative career has seen him ply his trade in England, Australia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, South Africa, and, of course, the IPL in India, where he has been a regular for Sunrisers Hyderabad since 2017.

He denied he ever said: “I will marry when Afghanistan win a World Cup.”

“Actually, I was so shocked when I heard this because, to be honest, I never made a statement that I will marry once I win the World Cup,” said Rashid, whose family lives in Nangarhar in the eastern part of Afghanistan.

Rashid Khan, Sunrisers Hyderabad, IPL 2021
Rashid Khan, Sunrisers Hyderabad, IPL 2021[photo: Twitter]

“I just said that in the next few years I have more cricket and three World Cups (the 2021 and 2022 Twenty20 World Cups and the 50-over World Cup in 2023) so my focus will be on cricket rather than on getting married.”

He has 95 wickets in T20 internationals with an average of just 12.63 and in 2020 was voted the ICC’s Cricketer of the Decade in the format. Initially, ACB named Rashid Khan as their captain for the T20 World Cup 2021.

Rashid Khan soon came up with a tweet stating that he will be leaving the captaincy. Post that, ACB announced that Mohammad Nabi will be the captain of the team. Rashid Khan decided to step down from captaincy after the spinner claimed that his “consent” was not obtained before announcing the squad.

Rashid Khan Feels It Will Be A Spinners World Cup

On the low, slow wickets of the Gulf, the spinners will be key contributors, according to the leg-spin wizard. Rashid Khan, who will be playing his second T20 World Cup, said that the spinners are always “effective” on the slow pitches at three venues in the UAE, where the Super 12s, as well as the semi-finals and final, will be played.

Leg-spinner Rashid Khan turned in a few memorable match-winning efforts in SRH’s journey to the finals of the 2018 edition. He took 21 wickets and emerged as the second-highest wicket-taker in that edition. He has 93 scalps in 76 IPL games averaging a mere 20.55 at an economic rate of 6.33- the lowest economy rate ever in IPL history.

“I think it will be a spinners’ World Cup,” said Rashid.

“The wickets here are mostly very good for spinners, so I think that’s the main reason most of the teams have more spinners in their attack.”

India has packed four slow bowlers in their squad with Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Varun Chakravarthy, and Rahul Chahar, while England has Adil Rashid, Moeen Ali, and Liam Livingstone. Defending champions, the West Indies have Akeal Hosein, Hayden Walsh, and Roston Chase. Chris Gayle can also turn his arm over.

Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin AFP
Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin AFP

Pakistan can call on Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, and Imad Wasim as frontline spinners. Veterans Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik can also give the ball a tweak. New Zealand has Ish Sodhi, Mitchell Santner, and Todd Astle. Australia, yet to win a T20 World Cup, will look to Adam Zampa and Ashton Agar. Rashid Khan is not Afghanistan’s only front-line spinner — there is also Mujeeb Ur Rahman and skipper Mohammad Nabi.

“What I noticed during the Indian Premier League (the conclusion of which was also played in the UAE) was that wickets were good but there was not that much spin,” said Rashid.

“But I think the more we play in this World Cup we might see wickets which are a bit different and the more you play on these tracks it becomes slower and slower and they will be handy for spinners.” Rashid refused to predict any favourites for what is the seventh edition of the World Cup.

“Well it’s T20 and anyone can beat anyone on the day,” said Rashid, who stepped down from the captaincy ahead of the event over not being consulted in squad selection.

“We have a mixture of both experienced and young players and most importantly it’s quite balanced with a few all-rounders which make the side very balanced, especially in T20 when you have more of that all-round option.”

Afghanistan is placed in Group 2 of the World Cup with India, Pakistan, New Zealand, and two qualifiers in the Super 12 stage, which begins on Saturday.

Virat Kohli and Ravindra Jadeja Image Source : GETTY
Virat Kohli and Ravindra Jadeja Image Source : GETTY
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Aakash Chopra Feels India’s Balance Will Be Compromised With Ravindra Jadeja-Virat Kohli Completing 5th Bowlers’ Duties

Aakash Chopra feels Team India will have an arduous task in getting Ravindra Jadeja and Virat Kohli to complete the fifth bowlers’ duties between the duo.

The Indian team is likely to go into the T20 World Cup with only five frontline bowling options, with Hardik Pandya unlikely to roll his arm over. The likes of Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, and Suryakumar Yadav might have to be called into action if any of the regular bowlers are unable to bowl their full quota of overs.

Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Aakash Chopra: If Hardik Pandya Isn’t Bowling, India Is Pegged Back Somewhat As Ravindra Jadeja Isn’t 4 Over Bowler

While reflecting on Team India’s possible bowling lineup in a video shared on his YouTube channel, Aakash Chopra opined that the Virat Kohli-led side might allow their opponents off the hook if both Ravindra Jadeja and the skipper bowl in the middle overs.

He explained: “When you are playing with five bowlers, Jaddu bowls in the middle overs – after the 6th and before the 14th – now if he is also going to bowl in that and you want to get an over from Kohli as well, I feel you will get stuck.”

Hardik Pandya Image Source : GETTY
Hardik Pandya Image Source: GETTY

The cricketer-turned-commentator added that Hardik Pandya’s inability to bowl will compromise Team India’s balance.  Virat Kohli was expected to sit out in India’s second warm-up match against Australia, but he instead came on the field and even bowled 2 overs for the team. Virat Kohli conceded a decent 12 runs from his spell.

Aakash Chopra reasoned: “Team India’s balance is slightly awry, let’s be honest. If Hardik is not bowling, the Indian team is pegged back a little. Jadeja, the 4-over bowler in T20 cricket, is still a bit of a question mark.”

Team India has the option to strengthen their bowling by batting all-rounder spinner Ravindra Jadeja at no.6 and playing Shardul Thakur as the seam-bowling all-rounder at no.7. But they are unlikely to go that route as it will weaken their batting considerably.

Aakash Chopra: Varun Chakravarthy Should Have Been Used Better

Aakash Chopra also questioned Team India’s handling of Varun Chakravarthy in their warm-up match against Australia. Varun Chakravarthy conceded 23 runs off 2 overs and went wicketless.

India went off to a flier in the opening stages of the game as the spinners headed by Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, and Rahul Chahar took four out of the five wickets. Australia then went on to set a target of 153, thanks to the heroics of Marcus Stoinis’ quick-fire 41 and Steve Smith’s well-made 57.

“I feel Varun Chakravarthy should have been used better because if you don’t do that, you will get found out. You are thinking of hiding him and I am saying to give him some confidence because he has not played international cricket.”

Varun Chakravarthy (File Photo)
Varun Chakravarthy (File Photo)

The former India opener turned commentator is slightly worried about the mystery spinner having not bowled much before the crunch match against Pakistan.

Aakash Chopra said: “If someone hasn’t played international cricket and you get him to play an India-Pakistan match straightaway, he becomes nervous. I am slightly concerned about Varun Chakravarthy.”

Varun Chakravarthy played the IPL 2021 final for the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) against the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) on October 15. The team management might have also wanted the injury-prone bowler to get sufficient rest, apart from keeping the mystery spinner away from glaring eyes. He picked 17 wickets in the 2020 IPL season at an average of 20.94 from 13 games and also 18 scalps in 17 games in IPL 2021, averaging 24.88.

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