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Rahul Dravid

Rohit Sharma celebrates his century during the fourth Test against England. (Twitter/BCCI)
Rohit Sharma celebrates his century during the fourth Test against England. (Twitter/BCCI)
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Rohit Sharma Breaks Rahul Dravid’s Record Of Most Int’l 100s In England By An Indian Batsman

Rohit Sharma on Saturday surpassed former skipper Rahul Dravid’s record of hitting most international hundreds in England by an Indian batsman. He achieved the feat during the ongoing fourth Test against England at the Kennington Oval on day three of the penultimate match of the series.

Rohit Sharma hit his first overseas Test ton on Saturday to lead India’s comeback into the fourth Test after the visiting side was folded for 191 in the first innings and conceding a first-innings lead of 99.

Rohit Sharma, India
Rohit Sharma. Image Credits: Twitter

Rohit Sharma Overtakes Rahul Dravid Who Had 8 Tons In England

Rohit Sharma has now scored nine tons in England while Rahul Dravid has eight centuries in the country. Interestingly, eight of the former’s last nine tons in England have come since the start of 2018. Overall, legendary batsman, Sir Donald Bradman has the most (11) tons in England among the visiting cricketers.

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

Meanwhile, Rohit Sharma is the first visiting cricketer to hit tons in all three formats while opening in England. The Indian batsman also completed 3000 runs in the longest format of the game on Saturday.

Cheteshwar Pujara Too Contributed With 61

In the match, Rohit Sharma and Cheteshwar Pujara’s 153-run stand for the second wicket enabled India to get in a dominant position on Day 3 of the ongoing fourth Test. At stumps, India’s score read 270/3 — a lead of 171 runs with seven wickets in the bag in the second essay.

For the visitors, Virat Kohli (22*) and Ravindra Jadeja (9*) are at the crease. The duo of Rohit Sharma and Cheteshwar Pujara was dismissed in the same over by Ollie Robinson soon after the pair brought up their 150-run stand. While the opener fell to a pull shot on 127, Cheteshwar Pujara was caught in the slips for 61.

Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma | AFP

The opener who has represented the national team since 2007 has made 41 centuries in international cricket—29 in One Day Internationals (ODI), 8 in Tests, and 4 Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is)—as of September 2021. He holds the record for the highest number of T20I centuries.

Rohit Sharma hit a purple patch in the World Cup 2019 in England scoring 648 runs in 9 games at an average of 81.00 with five hundred and a half-century. During the tournament, he became the first batsman in World Cup history to score five centuries in a single edition.

Inzamam-ul-Haq | AFP
Inzamam-ul-Haq | AFP
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India Can Do Something Similar Like The 2001 Kolkata Test, Says Inzamam-ul-Haq

Inzamam-ul-Haq, former Pakistan captain praised India’s fightback on Day 3 that saw them only lose two wickets and close in on a mammoth first-innings lead. The fifties from Rohit Sharma and Cheteshwar Pujara have instilled hope into India’s chances as the 3rd Test heads into its final two days.

After wrapping up proceedings with the ball on Day 3, India stared at a 354-run deficit. The visitors lost KL Rahul right at the end of the first session but managed to escape unscathed in the second session of the day. Despite losing Rohit Sharma, the pair of Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli have kept India afloat with their unbeaten stand for the third wicket.

Inzamam-ul-Haq JEWEL SAMAD / AFP
Inzamam-ul-Haq JEWEL SAMAD / AFP

Inzamam-ul-Haq notes how India was initially on the backfoot just like they were in the 2001 Test in Kolkata against Australia. VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid batted an entire day to send India from a follow-on deficit to a match-winning lead.

Speaking on his YouTube channel, Inzamam said: “I remember the India vs Australia Test, where Laxman had scored 281 and Dravid scored 180, India can do something similar now. The way they are playing, they lost only two wickets in the entire day, this is a huge deal under such pressure”

India won the match by 171 runs after being forced to follow on, only the third time this has happened since Test cricket began in 1877. The Australian team, rated as the best in the world, had won 16 Tests in a row, a Test cricket record, including the previous Test at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai by 10 wickets.

VVS Laxman (left) returns to the pavilion with Rahul Dravid at the end of the fourth day of the second Test match between India and Australia at Eden Gardens in Calcutta © Getty Images
VVS Laxman (left) returns to the pavilion with Rahul Dravid at the end of the fourth day of the second Test match between India and Australia at Eden Gardens in Calcutta © Getty Images

The match is remembered for VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid’s batting performance, Harbhajan Singh’s hattrick and last day wicket-taking, Sachin Tendulkar’s wicket-taking spell on the final day, and Sourav Ganguly’s aggressive brand of captaincy in deciding to go for the improbable victory and not just a draw.

After India trailed by more than 250 runs in the first innings, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman batted the entirety of day four to build up a lead of 384. In the process, VVS Laxman also posted what was, at that time, the highest individual score by an Indian. VVS Laxman (281) and Rahul Dravid (180) both departed to standing ovations from the capacity Eden Gardens crowd. The two eventually added 376 in that game-changing stand.

Inzamam-ul-Haq: Rohit Sharma Should Have Stayed Longer

Coming into England, Rohit Sharma’s ability to open the batting in England’s challenging conditions was questioned, given his natural style of play. While he showed a glimpse of that at the World Test Championship final, he has unfurled into a classic red ball batsman on the ongoing tour.

Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma. Image Credits: Twitter

Inzamam-ul-Haq added: “India have made a good comeback. India’s batting unit is experienced, and they showed their experience as well. Rohit Sharma, who was set at 59, should have stayed longer according to me. He had the ability, the oitch was in favour and he had moved past the initial tough stage.”

India is still 139 runs behind England with Cheteshwar Pujara (91*) nearing a century while Virat Kohli (45) keeps him company at the other end.

Sanjay Bangar | Twitter: ANI Digital
Sanjay Bangar | Twitter: ANI Digital
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“The Fewer Shots One Have, The Better It Is: Sanjay Bangar Recalls 2002 Leeds Test

Sanjay Bangar, the former Indian batting coach spoke about batting in English conditions ahead of the third Test. The 48-year-old was part of the Indian team that toured England in 2002.

India scripted one of their most dominant overseas wins during their visit to Leeds in 2002. Centuries scored by Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, and Sourav Ganguly paved the way for a famous win, but the platform was set up by a 170-run partnership registered by Sanjay Bangar and Rahul Dravid for the second wicket. Sanjay Bangar stood his ground in extremely challenging conditions and played out 236 deliveries for his 68-run knock.

Sanjay Bangar
Sanjay Bangar

Sanjay Bangar: The Fewer Shots One Have, The Better It Is In Headingley

Sanjay Bangar noted that keeping things simple was one of the things that worked in his favour.

While speaking on Brad Hogg’s YouTube channel, Bangar said: “What happens at Headingley or in conditions which are seaming and swinging, the less shots you have, the better it is. And I never had too many shots in my book so that worked to my advantage, when you know, I sort of was restricted or very limited in my range of scoring or the range of shots that I had.”

Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly (Photo Credits: Twitter)
Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, and Sourav Ganguly (Photo Credits: Twitter)

In the Leeds Test in 2002, Sanjay Bangar (68 in 236 balls) and Rahul Dravid (148 in 307 balls) joined hands after the fall of the first wicket and stitched a patient 170-run partnership for the second wicket after playing 414 balls. The duo showed immense application, composure, and grit to counter the English bowling attack in the challenging overcast conditions on Day 1 to give India the upper hand in the encounter.

Later Sachin Tendulkar (193) and Sourav Ganguly (128) cashed in on the perfect platform set by the top order and helped India reach 628/8 before declaring the innings.

England came in to bat after 180.1 overs on the field. Indian bowlers bowled impressively and bundled out the hosts for just 273 in their first innings. The bowling figures read – Zaheer Khan (2/59), Ajit Agarkar (2/59), Anil Kumble (3/93), and Harbhajan Singh (3/40).

England went on to bat again after Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly enforced a follow-on. Things did not change much this time either as the home team got all-out for 309 runs and lost the match by an innings and 46 runs.

Sanjay Bangar Don’t Think The Conditions Determine The Choice Of Openers

One of the positives for the Indian team so far has been the stability provided at the top of the order by Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul. Sanjay Bangar noted how Rohit Sharma cemented his place following a good run of performances and KL Rahul’s credentials justified his place at the top of the order.

“I think it was a bit of a chance for KL Rahul that he got a nod in, in the first place because all along Rohit Sharma has been nurtured as an opening batsman since the last two years, since he played a lot of home Test matches and that is a great place to begin for any opener.

“I don’t think the conditions determine the choice of the openers as such but it was basically what was available and who were the personnel were and both of them were very very well adept at doing that particular role,” Sanjay Bangar said.

KL Rahul (Image Credit: Twitter)
KL Rahul (Image Credit: Twitter)

Following a lengthy break after events at Lord’s, India and England will meet at Headingley, Leeds for the third Test of the series, starting today-25th August.

Rahul Dravid
Rahul Dravid - K. MURALI KUMAR
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National Cricket Academy Has Revamped The Coaching Manual Under Rahul Dravid

National Cricket Academy has revamped the coaching manual, under Rahul Dravid’s stewardship, which now comprises “corporate classes” for aspiring coaches on tackling off-field issues, including selection pressures from various quarters.

Recently, a batch of distinguished former first-class cricketers attended the BCCI’s Level-2 coaching course at National Cricket Academy and also appeared for the theory and practical examination.

National Cricket Academy, Bengaluru is amongst the best cricket academies in India (Source: Mail Today)
National Cricket Academy, Bengaluru is amongst the best cricket academies in India (Source: Mail Today)

National Cricket Academy’s Coaching Module Tweaked To Make It More Appealing For Modern Coaches

While the coaching module at National Cricket Academy has been tweaked to make it more appealing for modern coaches, what came as a pleasant surprise was the introduction of a “corporate problem-solving class”, where the incumbents were asked to find methods of troubleshooting while dealing with multiple off-the-field stakeholders.

“The course has been devised by former Mumbai seamer Kshemal (Waingankar), who is an MBA and has a corporate background. I have never attended a class like this but it was very unique and helped me broaden my horizon,” a distinguished first-class cricketer, who attended the course at National Cricket Academy, said on the condition of anonymity.

“Well, it was about making us understand the difference between ‘bargaining’ and ‘negotiation’. We were told that we don’t need to solve a problem but it needs to be checked what are the trouble-shooting methods that we deploy (approach) in a critical situation,” he said.

 “The course instructor (Kshemal) picked two coaches – Person A and Person B. Person A was told that he is the ‘coach’ and Person B was told that he is the ‘selector’. He gave both of them a worksheet, he said while elaborating an example.

“The assignment was the person (B) who has been made the selector has to include three players in the team. He has pressure from various stakeholders it could be a state association, someone else… Now Person A, who is the coach, knows that he can only include two guys in the team and one in playing XI.”

Both Persons A and B were asked to display their “negotiation” skills where one needs to push his case and the other needs to stall it.

“The motive was to check how they deal with a situation like this. Who all does the coach involve? Is it his assistant coaches? Is it the captain? Or does he take help from a performance analyst with data? How does the selector convince the coach? Can he convince his fellow selectors or take help of administrators? It’s not about who gets his way but how one approaches the solution?” the player said.

BCCI (File Photo| PTI)
BCCI (File Photo| PTI)

All aspiring Level 2 coaches have to correct at least one player. While the Level-2 course is complete, all the aspirants now go back to their respective cities and, in the next three months, will have to at least work with one player and prepare a project report.

“This is also an interesting part. All of us will have to pick a player and make a complete video analysis of his bowling or batting depending upon our area of expertise. Then we prepare a project report on what specifics we are working on. After we have worked on corrective measures, we will again have to prepare a video of changes we have made. Then only our Level 2 course will be complete,” said another player.

BCCI had invited applications for batting, bowling (fast & spin), and fielding coaches at National Cricket Academy. The deadline to apply for these positions is September 10, as per the official website. The age limit of the candidates at the National Cricket Academy is 60 years.

The development comes as BCCI has decided not to renew the annual contracts of as many as 11 coaches at the National Cricket Academy at Bengaluru. Last year, the BCCI had decided not to renew their contracts which includes retired cricketers- Ramesh Powar, Sujith Somsundar, Subroto Banerjee, Hrishikesh Kanitkar, and SS Das.

After a brief period of inactivity due to COVID-19, BCCI is in fully functional mode again. It recently conducted a level 2 hybrid course spanning eight days for cricket coaches. It included former India cricketers Irfan Pathan, Yusuf Pathan, Abhishek Nayar, Ashok Dinda, Devang Gandhi, Naman Ojha, and Parveez Rasool.

Rahul Dravid Attends Classes With All Batches

Rahul Dravid doesn’t take classes, but he attends classes with all batches. What has amazed a lot of these players is the fact National Cricket Academy head Rahul Dravid always makes it a point to sit with the batches and also attend the lectures, taken by the likes of Sujith Somasundar, Apurv Desai, Rajib Datta and Kshemal Waingankar.

“In fact when we were shown videos of players and asked to offer solutions, even Rahul bhai would join us and try to figure out the problem. He would tell us that he still feels like a student and the day he stops learning, that will be the end of it,” another first-class player, who has played against Dravid, said.

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

“He told us that as coaches, we shouldn’t go on a fault-finding mission when a player comes to us. Rather than trying to nitpick and find faults, we should see what are the good qualities in that player and how we can make them better. The coaching manual in NCA is now more player-centric,” he said.

Some of the well-known past and present players who attended the course are Robin Bisht, Zakaria Zufri, Prabhanjan Mullick, Uday Kaul, Sagar Jogiyani, Sarabjeet Singh, Arindam Das, Saurashis Lahiri, Ranadeb Bose, KB Pawan, and Connor Williams.

Rahul Dravid has re-applied for the post of Head of Cricket at the National Cricket Academy and is the only person so far to file his nomination for the position.

Harmeet Singh (Photo: Twitter)
Harmeet Singh (Photo: Twitter)
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Harmeet Singh Signs Three-Year Contract With Major Cricket League In USA

Harmeet Singh is an Indian cricketer who plays for Mumbai. He was part of the India Under-19 cricket team in the 2012 ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup.  He is a slow left-arm orthodox bowler who was a member of the Rajasthan Royals squad during the 2013 Indian Premier League. He was the leading wicket-taker for Tripura in the 2018–19 Vijay Hazare Trophy, with thirteen dismissals in eight matches.

Amongst the plethora of India’s domestic cricketers to have retired from Indian cricket and moved to play professional cricket in the US in recent times is a left-arm spinner, Harmeet Singh.

Harmeet Singh (centre) with India U-19 captain Unmukt Chand during the World Cup in Australia 2012 © Getty Images

Harmeet Singh Signs 3 Year Contract With Major Cricket League

The 28-year-old has signed a three-year contract with Major Cricket League in the US and is playing for Seattle Thunderbolt this season. In 31 first-class games, Harmeet Singh picked up 87 wickets averaging 34.18, while also scoring 733 runs averaging 15.59, including a hundred.

“I retired (in July) because I wasn’t getting to play for Mumbai, which is my home team. I’m getting good money to play cricket here, which gives me a sense of security. The level of cricket is good too,” Harmeet told TOI from Seattle.

The tweaker moved to the US last year, and, like many Indian players who’ve retired from India cricket and shifted to the US, now hopes to play for them in the future.

“If you stay in the US for 30 consecutive months, you qualify to play for the US national cricket team. I’ve completed 12 months, so 18 are left. By the beginning of 2023, I should be eligible to play international cricket for the US. By then, I would be 30. For a spinner, that’s prime-age,” he said.

Unmukt Chand has moved to USA after retiring from Indian cricket.
Unmukt Chand has moved to the USA after retiring from Indian cricket. | Photo Credit: AP

Harmeet Singh has quit Indian cricket with one big regret that he lacked opportunities.

“I made my debut for Mumbai back in 2009, but never got one full season to prove myself. Still, till 2017, I kept pursuing my dream to play for Mumbai. Basically, in almost a decade, I got to play just nine games for Mumbai. I didn’t even get an opportunity to fail! I was never given a chance to prove myself,” he rued.

Continuous snub by the Mumbai selectors forced Harmeet Singh to play for Tripura in 2017.

“I’m thankful for the chance that Tripura gave me. When I played for them in the 2017-18 season, I played a full Ranji Trophy season for the first time in my life. That experience taught me how to keep myself fit throughout the season. Still, as a professional player, there’s no assurance of your spot on the team. If your performance goes down, you can be dropped too. They wanted me to play for them last year, but then I had to live here continuously to qualify to play for the US,” he explained.

Harmeet Singh’s captain in India’s 2012 under-19 World Cup-winning team, Unmukt Chand had recently quit his dream of representing India and is in the USA playing MCL.

Harmeet Singh Shocked To Be Ignored Repeatedly By Mumbai

For someone who was hyped up and earned the praise of former Australian skipper Ian Chappell and Bishan Singh Bedi with his fine show during India’s Under-19 World Cup triumph in Australia, Harmeet Singh was shell-shocked to be ignored repeatedly by Mumbai.

“After coming back from that World Cup, I played in the Irani and Duleep Trophy tournaments and picked up four wickets in each game. Still, Mumbai didn’t play me in a Ranji Trophy game just 10 days later! For the next three years, I was ignored consistently. This was despite the fact that I had an offer from Anirudh Chaudhary to play for Haryana, but the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) officials assured my father that I would be given chances to play for Mumbai.”

“The national selectors had belief in me, which is why I was being picked for these tournaments, but the Mumbai selectors had no faith in me! They would call me for practice matches, in which I would get top batsmen out, and still not get picked, ” he said.

Harmeet Singh
Harmeet Singh. (Photo Source: Twitter)

During this period, one of the few people who believed in him was batting legend Rahul Dravid, who was then the mentor of the Rajasthan Royals in the IPL.

“I can’t thank Rahul Dravid enough. He called me to join RR when I wasn’t playing at any level for Mumbai,” he said.

Harmeet Singh wasn’t given any reason for constant snub in the Mumbai team.

“None ever gave me a reason why I wasn’t being picked. A few people said that I had attitude problems and disciplinary issues. Even in the Indian team right now, we all know of a few players who had disciplinary issues in the past. I still deserved to get my chances,” he asserted.

Finally, Harmeet Singh staged a return to the Mumbai team in the 2014-15 season.

“I played two games — picking four wickets against Baroda and six against Karnataka on a flat track to help Mumbai qualify for the knockouts. At that time, people said: ‘His bowling action has changed.’ Those who began their career with me had played 80 first-class games, and I was struggling to even complete 10!” he recalled.

The 28-year-old made his debut for Mumbai way back in 2009, but unfortunately, the lack of game time made him make the switch. He also felt he was not offered one full season to showcase his skills.

Irfan Pathan and Rahul Dravid. (Photo by Hamish Blair/Getty Images)
Irfan Pathan and Rahul Dravid. (Photo by Hamish Blair/Getty Images)
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Rahul Dravid Getting Associated With NCA Best Thing To Happen In Indian Cricket, Says Irfan Pathan

Irfan Pathan, former India left-arm pacer has termed former cricketer and teammate Rahul Dravid’s decision to head the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru as the “best thing that has happened to Indian cricket”.

Rahul Dravid recently reapplied for the position of Head of Cricket at the NCA after his tenure expired. With no other candidate applying for the post, BCCI has extended the deadline for applications but Rahul Dravid remains the front-runner to retain the position.

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

Irfan Pathan: Rahul Dravid Getting Associated With NCA Best Thing To Happen In Indian Cricket

Irfan Pathan hailed Rahul Dravid for his move to mentor the next generation. The former cricketer, who himself has completed the Level 2 coaching course at NCA, opined that the best thing to happen in Indian cricket is Rahul Dravid’s association with NCA.

“The best thing that has happened to Indian cricket is Rahul (Dravid) getting associated with NCA. I have a huge amount of respect for him. Rahul bhai has performed his role with utmost sincerity.

“Look, we know how Rahul Dravid got involved in U19 and India A. But how he gets involved in each and every coach as well in terms of sharing his knowledge, listening from their perspective as well which for a guy of his calibre is a big task.”

Pathan added: “But he does it with such ease. That’s why you have huge amount of respect. It doesn’t mater if you have played 1 or 100 first-class games, he gives you same amount of respect.”

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

Asked if Rahul Dravid had a special message for him, Irfan Pathan did not divulge too many details.

“His message was very clear to me and had a lot of positive things to say about me because he noticed me as I personally share a great rapport with him. What he said to me remains between us but you should ask him.”

Earlier in the day, ex-cricketers Brad Hogg and Salman Butt also backed Rahul Dravid’s move to reapply for the NCA post. By doing so, Rahul Dravid effectively ended speculation of him being in line to replace current Indian coach Ravi Shastri when his tenure ends after the T20I World Cup.

Rahul Dravid had been appointed as the Head of Cricket at NCA Bengaluru in July 2019 and has since played a key role in mentoring several youngsters at the academy. He has often been credited by several Indian stars for helping them raise their game. Irfan Pathan had shared the dressing room with Rahul Dravid during his playing days for Team India and also played under the legendary batsman’s captaincy.

Irfan Pathan Would Love To Take Up A Coaching Role For An IPL Franchise

In the same interaction, Irfan Pathan was also asked if he would be interested in taking up a coaching role with an IPL franchise. The former pacer replied in the affirmative.

“Yes, I would love to do that going forward and hopefully it will happen.”

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

Coaching is not something new to Irfan Pathan. He played for Jammu & Kashmir as a coach-cum-player and did a more than decent job.

On thoughts of becoming a full-time coach, Irfan Pathan commented: “I understand basic nitty-gritty of technical side of batting, the stance, the head position, the bat flow and other things. I understand basic structure of bowling biomechanics as well. So I like to help out people. Hopefully in future when something comes up, I will definitely take up and would love to help out Indian cricket directly or indirectly.”

36-year-old Irfan Pathan represented India in 29 Tests, 120 ODIs, and 24 T20Is, claiming 301 international scalps.

Sri Lanka Cricket(Photo credit: SLC Twitter)
Sri Lanka Cricket(Photo credit: SLC Twitter)
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Sri Lanka Cricket Secretary Mohan de Silva Lauds Rahul Dravid For Completing Series Amid Covid Outbreak

Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has acknowledged the positive role of Rahul Dravid in the recent white-ball home series against India. Sri Lanka Cricket said that tour could’ve been discontinued, but for Rahul Dravid, who, as per the Sri Lanka Cricket Board, was responsible for ensuring the completion of the six-match series which resulted in a windfall of sorts for the Lanka board.

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

Sri Lanka Cricket Secretary Mohan de Silva Said If Rahul Dravid Wanted, He Could’ve Taken Team Back After Krunal Pandya Tested Covid-19 Positive

Sri Lanka Cricket had incurred huge losses during the pandemic and, several of their planned series were cancelled or postponed. Also, the board was at the loggerheads with the players owing to a contract dispute.

“If he wanted, he could have easily taken the team back to India,” Mohan de Silva, the secretary of Sri Lanka Cricket, told Cricbuzz explaining the role of various factors that made sure the tour went ahead despite the covid-19 outbreak.

“The most encouraging aspect of the whole Pandya episode was the role of the support staff of the Indian team, led by Rahul. If he wanted, he could have easily taken the team back to India. He was very accommodating and understood the situation. He appreciated the efforts we were taking and realised that we were doing our best to protect the boys from virus dangers with all bio-secure guidelines,” the SLC official explained.

After the fourth game of the six-match series(3 ODIs and 1 T20I), Krunal Pandya was found to be Covid positive leading to the isolation of eight other players who were deemed close contacts. That left the Indian squad with exactly 11 available players to field in the remaining fixtures.

“We have 11 players available and we will play them. There is nothing to feel sorry about. All the 11 are good enough to make the XI and that’s why they were picked in the squad. I feel it is exciting to see them perform. Yes, the balance of the side will be a little fragile because we can only pick from the players available,” Dravid had said just before the start of the 2nd T20I on July 28.

Sri Lanka Cricket Secretary Mohan de Silva
Sri Lanka Cricket Secretary Mohan de Silva

India went on to lose the T20I series by a margin of 2-1 but Rahul Dravid saw the importance of completing the task on hand than offering excuses. With all the planned six matches going ahead, the SLC reaped dividends of over 280 crore Sri Lankan rupees.

“It was a very, very valuable tour for us. We were looking forward to it for a long time. We were very grateful to BCCI top brass – Jay Shah and Sourav Ganguly – for acceding to our request to play three additional T20Is. Originally the tour was for only three ODIs. It enhanced the commercial value of the whole tour. We ended up earning almost $ 14.5 million. It is a huge boost to our finances,” the Sri Lanka Cricket secretary disclosed.

There were some doubts cast about the tour to be continued or not after Krunal Pandya tested COVID positive before the second T20I. At that point in time, India had completed the three-match ODI series and one of the three T20Is.

Mohan de Silva: BCCI, Indian High Commission, And Team Management Were Concerned And Sought Regular Updates After Krunal Pandya’s Episode

Mohan De Silva also stressed the role of the governments of the two countries in ensuring the series did not end abruptly. The Indian and Sri Lankan boards thought of calling off the tour, but BCCI’s late intervention, helped the remaining two T20Is to be conducted as per plan. Had India pulled out of the series midway, then Sri Lanka Cricket would have suffered huge losses.

“There were concerns from many quarters – the BCCI, the Indian High Commission and the team management. We were in regular touch with all of them. In the Indian High Commission in Colombo, they were very concerned; sought regular updates.”

“The officers were in constant touch with us, particularly after the Krunal episode. They wanted the details of arrangements made. The relations were cooperative and cordial and they went a long way in the continuation of the tour,” the official pointed out.

Krunal Pandya. (Photo: Twitter)
Krunal Pandya. (Photo: Twitter)

“Usually without their (governments) approval, especially during the pandemic times, the tour would not have been possible. The governments assess the situations before permitting a team to fly abroad and the same can be said of conducting one as well. The role of the governments cannot be overemphasized. By the way, we have a very young and enthusiastic Sports Minister (Namal Rajapaksa),” he signed off.

Mohan de Silva said Sri Lanka Cricket did try to trace how Krunal Pandya got infected.

“We are not sure still but it could have been because the hotel staff who served Grant Flower (who had returned positive test before the series) may have come in contact with Pandya too,” he felt.

After Krunal Pandya, two other Indian players – Yuzvendra Chahal and Krishnappa Gowtham – too had tested positive and had to be separated from the Indian contingent.

The six-match series got postpone initially by three days because of the Covid cases in the Sri Lanka camp and the schedule was again disrupted following the Krunal Pandya incident. Eventually, all six matches were played with India and Sri Lanka winning the ODI and T20I series respectively.

Rahul Dravid
Rahul Dravid - K. MURALI KUMAR
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National Cricket Academy (NCA) Fitness Clearance Must For Injured Players

National Cricket Academy (NCA) physios in Bengaluru will mandatorily monitor an injured cricketer’s rehabilitation process before the player is deemed fit for selection. Contracted players have been informed verbally that once the injury heals, they will have to be present in NCA, where a physio will monitor their progress on a day-to-day basis.

The BCCI has advertised for the position of head of cricket at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bangalore. The position was till now held by former India captain Rahul Dravid, whose two-year term has come to an end. Rahul Dravid can apply again should he be interested in getting an extension.

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

National Cricket Academy (NCA) Fitness Clearance Must For Injured Players

The new guideline was issued after a meeting with NCA’s Head of Cricket Rahul Dravid, BCCI secretary Jay Shah, Indian team head coach Ravi Shastri and captain Virat Kohli, was held to discuss the need to make NCA the final authority on the fitness of players. It’s understood that the NCA was not happy with a certain player, who had initiated his rehab with his IPL physio and then flew to Bengaluru only to clear his fitness test.

Contracted players have been informed verbally that once the injury heals, they will have to be present in National Cricket Academy, where a physio will monitor their progress on a day-to-day basis. Owing to the pandemic, if players cannot travel and want to train with their personal physio, they need to make a formal request to the BCCI and NCA.

“The players have been told that whenever they get injured, they need to inform the NCA. Once their injury has healed, the rehabilitation part will be taken care of by their physios in Bengaluru. It will also help prepare a database that will help the BCCI in the future,” a BCCI official said.

National Cricket Academy, Bengaluru is amongst the best cricket academies in India (Source: SportsWiki)
National Cricket Academy, Bengaluru is amongst the best cricket academies in India (Source: SportsWiki)

In the past, the National Cricket Academy had urged the BCCI to streamline the post-injury process of players since they were not kept in the loop on how the rehab was conducted. Indian players like Shreyas Iyer and Shubman Gill are currently at the NCA. Shreyas Iyer has cleared his fitness test, while Shubman Gill is on the road to recovery from his shin injury.

Shreyas Iyer Cleared By NCA To Participate In Competitive Games

India batsman Shreyas Iyer is now fully match-fit and cleared by the National Cricket Academy (NCA) to return to competitive action. India batsman Shreyas Iyer is now fully match-fit and cleared by the National Cricket Academy (NCA) to return to competitive action, which is set to take place when the IPL 2021 resumes in the UAE from September 19.

Shreyas Iyer will rejoin Delhi Capitals, the IPL franchise which he led to the final for the first time in 2020 but his injury meant that Rishabh Pant captained the side during the last edition, which was halted after multiple COVID-19 cases inside the bio-bubble.

Shreyas Iyer
Shreyas Iyer- Getty Images

The 26-year-old Shreyas Iyer, who has played 22 ODIs and 29 T20 Internationals for India, sustained a horrifying shoulder dislocation during a one-dayer against England in Pune on March 23 and had to undergo surgery in the United Kingdom. Having completed an intense rehabilitation program and proved his fitness during his week-long stay at the NCA, it is understood that its medical team has declared him fit to return to competitive cricket.

Team India has been hampered by injuries in recent series’. Apart from Shubman Gill, the likes of Washington Sundar and Avesh Khan were also ruled out of the England Tests. Earlier, in Australia, India suffered multiple injury issues and went into the final Test at the Gabba with a number of their fringe players.

Ravi Shastri Image Source : AP
Ravi Shastri Image Source : AP
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Ravi Shastri Plans To Part Ways As Team India Coach After T20I World Cup: Report

Ravi Shastri has informed some cricket board members that he is planning to part ways with the national team after the forthcoming T20I World Cup when his contract ends, it is learnt. Some of the other support staff, meanwhile, are already in talks with IPL teams. Team India’s backroom may soon undergo a total revamp.

Head coach Ravi Shastri, bowling coach Bharat Arun, fielding coach R Sridhar and batting coach Vikram Rathour are all set to move on after the T20 World Cup to be held across October-November in the UAE.

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

Ravi Shastri Plans To Part Ways As Coach Of India After T20I World Cup

Ravi Shastri has informed some cricket board members that he is planning to part ways with the national team when his contract ends. Some of the other support staff, meanwhile, are already in talks with IPL teams. The cricket board also wants a new group on board, sources said.

Ravi Shastri first took over the team in 2014 as director till the T20 World Cup in 2016 after which Anil Kumble was appointed for a year. He was made the full-time coach in 2017 after India’s defeat in the Champions Trophy final. With Ravi Shastri as a coach, India won two away series in Australia before reaching the finals of the World Test Championship last month.

Brisbane Test: India beat Australia by 3 wickets at Gabba to win series 2-1, retain Border-Gavaskar Trophy Image Source : AP IMAGE
Brisbane Test: India beat Australia by 3 wickets at Gabba to win series 2-1, retain Border-Gavaskar Trophy Image Source: AP IMAGE

Bharat Arun was instrumental in making India’s bowling one of the most feared in the world while R Sridhar played a role in the evolution of the team as a sturdy fielding side. However, India could not land an ICC trophy during their tenure, losing in the semifinal of the 50-over World Cup in 2019 and the final of the World Test Championship.

The setbacks aside, India made massive leaps in their four-year tenure, clean-sweeping Test series in West Indies and Sri Lanka, and putting on creditable shows in South Africa and England. At home, they were near-invincible, defeating Australia, England and South Africa.

During this period, India’s bench strength increased manifold — as borne out by the staggering series win in Australia in 2020/21 where key players were ruled out due to injuries— with a swelling pool of ready-for-international cricketers.

BCCI has set an upper age limit for the head coach job to 60. At 59, Ravi Shastri will only have the chance to lead the team for another year, so both BCCI & the head coach is set to explore other options. There are indications from the BCCI which suggests that the board is now looking beyond Ravi Shastri.

Rahul Dravid Is One Of The Frontrunners To Take Over As India’s Coach If He Decides To Apply

Ravi Shastri is widely credited with infusing the streak of resilience that has come to define this team. His chemistry with Virat Kohli was visible even as he groomed the youngsters in the team – the blossoming of Rishabh Pant is a case in point. But now, the cricket board has decided that a change is needed for the team to reach the next level, and emerge as world-beaters in all forms of the game.

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

According to protocol, the board will invite applications for the coaching positions after the T20 World Cup. Some officials are already pointing to Rahul Dravid, the NCA chief and coach of India ‘A’ and U-19 sides — and the second-string international side that performed impressively in Sri Lanka last month by winning the ODI series.

Rahul Dravid’s experience in working with most of the current senior team, especially those who had been India-A regulars, would make him one of the frontrunners if he decides to apply.

However, when asked about this option during the Lanka tour, he said: “I have enjoyed the experience of working with these guys, it has been great. I have not given any other thoughts to anything else. There are a lot of challenges in doing full-time roles, so I really don’t know,” he said.

Incidentally, Rahul Dravid’s contract with the NCA ends in September. Rahul Dravid has been touted as a potential head coach ever since his retirement in 2012. However, pundits and former cricketers close to him have often suggested that the 48-year-old is reluctant to put up with the immense travel and trips away from home that comes with the job.

KL Rahul, Rahul Dravid Image Credit: shortpedia
KL Rahul, Rahul Dravid Image Credit: shortpedia
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Zaheer Khan Sees A Few Similarities Between KL Rahul And Rahul Dravid

Zaheer Khan sees a few similarities between batsman KL Rahul and ex-India captain Rahul Dravid who besides sharing the same name and originating from the same city of Bengaluru keep wickets too.

Former India fast bowler Zaheer Khan, who played a lot with and under Rahul Dravid’s captaincy drew a comparison between the two players after KL Rahul, 29, opened the innings for India and did a great job top-scoring for India with 84 in the first Test against England.

KL Rahul | Photo Credit: PTI
KL Rahul | Photo Credit: PTI

Zaheer Khan Points Out Similarities Between Rahul Dravid And KL Rahul

Given how KL Rahul has been Virat Kohli’s go-to man for India and stepping up to take up different responsibilities – such as shuffling up and down the batting order and keeping wicket when need be, Zaheer Khan reckons some traits are common between the two Rahul’s.

“‘That’ Rahul also held the wicketkeeping gloves for the team and this Rahul did the same as well. It could either be the Bangalore connection or the connection of their names but he’s very talented too,” Zaheer said on Cricbuzz.

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

“Rahul Dravid has done so much for India that this show won’t suffice to talk about it. But yes, seeing such a role model who has done so much for the team compared to him and seeing that he’s being looked at with the same eyes, KL Rahul would be very happy.”

KL Rahul, who last played a Test before Nottingham in August of 2019, was drafted into the Playing XI after opening batsman Mayank Agarwal was ruled out due to a concussion. KL Rahul has scored 670 runs in 14 games in IPL 2020 and was the highest scorer and scored 331 runs in IPL 2021 as well in the first half. He played his last Test way back in 2019 August against and in West Indies.
The 28-year-old batsman who can do wicket-keeping job as well debuted in 2014 in Tests. His average was a dismal 7.5 against South Africa in 2018 and 11.4 against Australia in 2018 which led to his snub from Tests. KL Rahul featured in all five Tests during the tour of England in 2018.

KL Rahul Surely Deserves Praise: Zaheer Khan

With Shubman Gill already back home, Mayank Agarwal injured and Prithvi Shaw having just reached England, KL Rahul was tasked with the responsibility of opening the innings along with Rohit Sharma, and he answered the challenge with aplomb, keeping the innings steady with a 12th Test fifty. Zaheer Khan feels as the series progresses, KL Rahul will be the player to watch out for.

“KL Rahul will be talked about a lot throughout this series. The way he has utilized the opportunity, the application he has shown, the way he’s leaving balls and even some of the cover drives he has played, the head position and the perfect lean, he surely deserves praise,” Zaheer added.

Zaheer Khan. Image-Sportstar
Zaheer Khan. Image-Sportstar

KL Rahul had scored a century in a three-day warm-up game before the Test series and produced a confident 84 in the first innings of the opening match, helping India take a 95-run lead. Opening batsman KL Rahul, in his first Test for nearly two years, top-scored with 84 as India made 278 in reply to England’s meagre first-innings 183.

All-rounder Ravindra Jadeja’s typically dashing 56 featured eight fours and a six. There was more pain for England in-store when tailender Jasprit Bumrah made a Test-best 28 after his 4 wicket haul in England’s 1st innings.

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