Rahul Tewatia | Sportzwiki

Rahul Tewatia

David Miller Image Credits: RR Twitter
David Miller Image Credits: RR Twitter
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IPL 2021: I Won’t Mind Batting Anywhere To Help Team Win, Says David Miller

David Miller, Rajasthan Royals (RR) batsman said that it was a tactical decision behind him batting at number six position after his team registered a comprehensive six-wicket win over Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021.

Sanju Samson and David Miller played unbeaten knocks of 42 and 24 respectively as Rajasthan Royals defeated KKR by six wickets with seven balls to spare on Saturday at the Wankhede Stadium. Yashasvi Jaiswal and Shivam Dube also chipped in with 22 runs each to guide Rajasthan to a comfortable victory.

David Miller
David Miller

David Miller: Since Rahul Tewatia Is A Local And Plays Spin Well He Was Promoted

South African batsman David Miller was bought by Rajasthan Royals for INR 75 lakh during the IPL Players Auction ahead of IPL 2020 and despite playing just one game in the IPL 2020, retained him for the IPL 2021. David Miller has scored 88 runs so far playing 4 matches out of 5 games averaging 29.33 with a highest of 62 in IPL 2021.

“The body gave in towards the back end, but it was nice to finish off the match well. Sanju batted extremely well, he actually did in the first game, showed what he got, was a good team performance, nice and clinical.

“In T20 cricket, everything happens rather fast, it was a tactical decision (batting down the order), and came off well tonight. The key is to finish off games, I will not mind batting anywhere, just want to help the team win,” David Miller told host broadcaster Star Sports.

Sanju Samson, Rahul Tewatia Image Source : IPLT20.COM
Sanju Samson, Rahul Tewatia Image Source: IPLT20.COM

“Tewatia is a local and he plays the spinners well, brings out the sweeps and reverse sweeps hence he batted ahead. We have a good bunch of guys and a great set-up, There was a lot of positive energy tonight, today was a big win and we’ll take confidence into the next game, hopefully, get onto a nice little run.

“Was a nice wicket although the cutters were holding up a bit, I couldn’t get bat on the ball at the start, it was good to finish it off,” he added.

Rahul Tewatia though managed to score only 5 off 8 balls as he had an off day since he went wicketless too. But the other players of RR setup delivered as RR won to be placed 6th in the points table with 2 wins and 3 losses from 5 games and thereby accumulating 4 points.

Chris Morris Picked 4 Scalps To Restrict KKR To A Paltry 133/9

Earlier, a spirited bowling performance helped Rajasthan Royals restrict KKR to 133/9 in the allotted twenty overs. For the Sanju Samson-led side, Chris Morris scalped four wickets. For KKR, Rahul Tripathi and Dinesh Karthik played knocks of 36 and 25 respectively.

Chris Morris (Pic Source: Twitter)
Chris Morris (Pic Source: Twitter)

Rajasthan Royals has now moved to sixth place in the points table with 4 points from 5 games. The side will next take on Mumbai Indians on Thursday at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi.

Earlier, Rajasthan Royals was dealt with another blow after news came in that Jofra Archer who was the Most Valuable Player Of The Tournament in IPL 2020 will miss the entire IPL 2021 which is a cause of concern for the franchise. Rajasthan Royals finished last season at the bottom of the table with 12 points from their 14 matches.

The news comes in addition to the fact that the franchise is missing their X factor, all-rounder Ben Stokes who suffered a hand fracture and was ruled out after playing only 1 match. Liam Livingstone has also headed home for bubble fatigue, but Rajasthan won despite missing the England trio.

Chris Morris, the most expensive player in IPL’s history has so far scored 48 vital runs and taken 9 scalps averaging 24 and 18 respectively with the bat and ball. Chris Morris was sold to Rajasthan Royals for a whopping sum of INR 16.25 Cr & became the most expensive player bought in the IPL Auction history.

Royal Challengers Bangalore. Image Credits: Twitter
Royal Challengers Bangalore. Image Credits: Twitter
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RCB Stands For Real Challengers Of Bangalore After Registering 4th Win: Sunil Gavaskar

Sunil Gavaskar, former Indian skipper turned commentator said that RCB this year stands for ‘Real Challengers of Bangalore’ after Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) thrashed Rajasthan Royals (RR) by 10 wickets on Thursday to register their 4th consecutive victory in as many matches. The 71-year-old also praised RCB skipper Virat Kohli and his opening partner centurion Devdutt Padikkal for their ‘sublime’ performances.

Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar looked mighty impressed after Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) thrashed Rajasthan Royals (RR) by 10 wickets in match 16 of IPL 2021 in Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium on Thursday.

Devdutt Padikkal embracing the applause from teammates after his maiden IPL hundred. (PC: IPL)
Devdutt Padikkal embracing the applause from teammates after his maiden IPL hundred. (PC: IPL)

Devdutt Padikkal’s 101* And Virat Kohli’s 72* Ensure 10 Wicket Victory For RCB Against RR

The Virat Kohli-led side dismantled Rajasthan top-order after putting them to bat first with impressive performances from Mohammed Siraj and Harshal Patel. However, a 23-ball 40 from Rahul Tewatia and Shivam Dube’s 46 helped them post 177/9 in their allotted 20 overs quota. Rajasthan must have planned to put up a fight after gaining momentum towards the end of the first half but what unfurled next left their captain Sanju Samson perplexed in the middle.

Virat Kohli and Devdutt Padikkal stitched the highest ever (181) opening partnership for RCB and displayed a wide range of shots during their 16.3 overs stay. Runs in abundance were scored on both sides of the wickets en route to the 178-run chase. 32-year-old and arguably the world’s best batsman Virat Kohli had to take the backseat in front of a 20-year-old free-slowing Devdutt Padikkal. He showed immense power while showcasing the general elegance of a left-hand batsman.

Devdutt Padikkal , RCB Twitter handle
Devdutt Padikkal , RCB Twitter handle

Devdutt Padikkal, who had tested positive for Covid-19 ahead of the tournament, completed his fifty in 27 balls and reached the three-figure mark in 51 balls. All kinds of shots were on display from RCB in their first game of the season in the Maharashtra capital. Virat Kohli constructed his innings smartly and matched Devdutt Padikkal’s pace towards the climax of the run-chase. The swashbuckling right-hander completed his 40th IPL fifty with a single before scoring a boundary towards deep fine leg to become the first player to score 6,000 runs in IPL.

Sunil Gavaskar: RCB Stands For Real Challengers Of Bangalore

A delighted Sunil Gavaskar has stated that RCB in IPL 14 stands for ‘Real Challengers of Bangalore’, pointing out towards the team’s chances of winning their first-ever IPL trophy this season. Further the 71-year-old praised the opening duo for smashing fours and sixes even on good deliveries from the Rajasthan bowlers.

Sunil Gavaskar, the first player in the history of Test cricket to score 10,000 runs, expressed his awe for power, elegance, and placement of the two RCB batsmen.

“I mean look at that, then right-hand left-hand combination. They just made lives difficult for Rajasthan Royals bowlers. To start with Padikkal was the one to take the initiative and allowed Virat Kohli just to settle down and after they were really looking to match each other’s stroke. It was delightful to watch as there was power, there was elegance, there was precise placement.”

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

“Some deliveries were not bad but these guys were smashing them for boundaries and sixes. It was an unreal sublime performance. And you know what, this time around when you look at that RCB, it stands for ‘Real Challengers of Bangalore’. All these years they have been okay but this time around they are real challengers of Bangalore,” Sunil Gavaskar told Star Sports.

Unbeaten RCB reclaimed the top spot in the 8-team points table after winning their 4th match on the trot. Notably, RCB, before this edition, had never managed to win their first three matches of a season. The arrival of Glenn Maxwell has given more solidity to the RCB batting line-up, while the bowling unit has managed to deliver in crunch situations. The team will next face Chennai Super Kings (CSK) on Sunday.

File image of former Sri Lanka cricketer Kumar Sangakkara | Reuters / Dinuka Liyanawatte
File image of former Sri Lanka cricketer Kumar Sangakkara | Reuters / Dinuka Liyanawatte
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IPL 2021: Kumar Sangakkara Praises Devdutt Padikkal For His Exceptional Innings Of 101*

Kumar Sangakkara, Rajasthan Royals (RR)’s director of cricket has praised Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) opener Devdutt Padikkal for his stupendous unbeaten century on Thursday.

Devdutt Padikkal smashed an unbeaten 101 off only 52 balls as RCB demolished RR by ten wickets in an IPL 2021 game in Mumbai.

Kumar Sangakkara Image: Rajasthan Royals
Kumar Sangakkara Image: Rajasthan Royals

Kumar Sangakkara : Devdutt Padikkal Batted Really Well

Since his comeback from Covid-19, Devdutt Padikkal has scored 137 runs at an average of 68.50, including the 52-ball ton against the Rajasthan Royals on Thursday. This knock helped RCB to a flawless 10-wicket win.

Asked about his take on Devdutt Padikkal’s innings, Kumar Sangakkara said at a virtual press conference: “It was an exceptional innings (from Devdutt Padikkal). He batted really well. Played the shots that he knew he could play.

“He anticipated some of the deliveries that were going to be bowled, with the field set. I thought he showed a lot of maturity to bat through. Of course, he was batting with Virat (Kohli). So there was a lot of conversation out there. Lot of talk about what to do and how to do it. It was very impressive.”

Speaking about his own team, Kumar Sangakkara said he was impressed with the way Shivam Dube batted. The all-rounder top-scored for RR in the match, with 46 off 32.

Shivam Dube (BCCI/ IPL Photo)
Shivam Dube (BCCI/ IPL Photo)

Praising Dube, Kumar Sangakkara said:”I thought Shivam (Dube) batted really well. He showed a lot of intensity and awareness. One of the things that he matches up well against is spin, and that is his real strength.

“Today, he showed that he has the ability to try and dominate the slow bowlers. He batted smartly. He got out a bit ahead of time, but the lower order fought really well (after a top-order collapse). But we have got to learn and improve. Games can slip by quickly.”

Kumar Sangakkara had played 134 Tests and 404 ODIs during an illustrious career. In the match, RR’s Shivam Dube’s 46 off 32 sowed the seeds of resistance, and Rahul Tewatia took over from there. His unorthodox strokeplay – scoops over fine leg, lashes over third man – obvious power and sheer determination produced 40 runs in 23 balls and took the Royals to a respectable 177 for 9.

Devdutt Padikkal Was Keen To Contribute To RCB’s Win

Before the start of IPL 2021, Devdutt Padikkal had tested COVID-19 positive. However, he soon tested negative and was allowed to join the team. The youngster, though, had to miss RCB’s first match against Mumbai Indians (MI).

Reflecting on the gamut of emotions that he has been through in recent days, Devdutt Padikkal said: “It’s been special. I could only await my turn. When I was down with COVID, all I was thinking of was to come here and play the first match. I couldn’t do that but was keen to contribute to the team’s win.”

Devdutt Padikkal , RCB Twitter handle
Devdutt Padikkal , RCB Twitter handle

On the wicket in Mumbai, Devdutt Padikkal added: “The ball was coming on really well, and we got a good start. When you get into a partnership like that (with Virat Kohli), it helps, as runs come from both ends.”

Devdutt Padikkal’s unbeaten 181-run stand with skipper Virat Kohli is the highest opening partnership for the Bangalore franchise. Moreover, their chase of RR’s total of 178 is the third-highest total chased in the tournament without losing a wicket.
Devdutt Padikkal (Screengrab: Iplt20)
Devdutt Padikkal (Screengrab: Iplt20)
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Devdutt Padikkal Shall Play For India Sooner Rather Than Later: Sunil Gavaskar

Devdutt Padikkal scored 101 runs and helped RCB chase down RR’s target in just 16.3 overs with ten wickets in hand in an IPL 2021 match. It was an impressive display from the left-hander as he smashed 6 sixes and 11 fours during his entertaining 52-ball unbeaten knock.

Royal Challengers Bangalore mauled Rajasthan Royals on Thursday to win their fourth straight game of Indian Premier League 2021. RCB restricted RR to a total of 177 runs after an impressive performance from Indian seamers Mohammed Siraj and Harshal Patel. But the real star of the show was Devdutt Padikkal, who slammed his maiden IPL ton and 2nd IPL 2021 ton after RR’s Sanju Samson against RR at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.

Devdutt Padikkal , RCB Twitter handle
Devdutt Padikkal , RCB Twitter handle

Devdutt Padikkal Won’t Surprise Sunil Gavaskar If He Is Selected For India

Former India skipper and legendary batsman Sunil Gavaskar was also impressed with Devdutt Padikkal’s display on Thursday as he said that the 20-year-old could play for Team India sooner rather than later.

“Won’t be surprised if he plays for India in any of the formats because he has got the class and the ability to do that. He is a heavy scorer in first-class cricket and Ranji Trophy as well gets big hundreds. In 50-overs cricket, he gets lots of runs and hundreds.

“Here, in the T20 domestic tournaments, he got lots of runs. So, I won’t be surprised if he is there sooner rather than later,” Gavaskar said on Star Sports.

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

“Karnataka has always produced a terrific line of batsmen. Gundappa Vishwanath, Rahul Dravid… then KL Rahul. And if KL Rahul, you know, some of the stars need to believe in themselves a little bit more. Sometimes you get the feeling that he doesn’t believe in himself.

“He is such a talented player And there is Mayank Agarwal, there is Karun Nair who got a triple hundred, he also needs to get his act together. It’s a terrific batting line-up Karnataka have,” Sunil Gavaskar added.

Prior to the start of this edition of the IPL, Devdutt Padikkal tested positive for Covid-19 and he missed RCB’s opening game against Mumbai Indians. The 20-year-old who plays for Karnataka in domestic cricket signed off IPL 2020 as RCB’s highest run-getter and 8th highest run-getter with 473 runs in 15 IPL matches at an average of 31.53 in his debut season.

Devdutt Padikkal Is Another Karnataka Batsman Who Have Delighted Indian Cricket Fans: Sunil Gavaskar

He scored 218 runs at an average of 43.60 in six matches for Karnataka in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy and continued with his sublime touch in the Vijay Hazare Trophy amassing 737 runs in 7 matches at an astonishing average of 147.40. His onslaught in the Vijay Hazare Trophy included four back-to-back centuries.

Rajasthan Royals was never in the game during the chase. Royal Challengers Bangalore openers Devdutt Padikkal (101 runs from 52 balls) and Virat Kohli (72 runs off 47) helped the team register a dominant 10-wicket victory tonight with 21 balls remaining.

RCB openers Virat Kohli and Devdutt Padikkal put on a 150-run partnership against RR in Mumbai on Thursday. - BCCI/IPL
RCB openers Virat Kohli and Devdutt Padikkal put on a 150+ run partnership against RR in Mumbai on Thursday. – BCCI/IPL

“And Devdutt Padikkal is another one in that long line of batsmen who have delighted the Indian cricket lovers.”

Taking nothing away from the duo, RR bowlers did struggle hard with their line and lengths. Chetan Sakariya was the only one who had an economy rate of less than nine. RCB goes back to the top of the IPL 2021 standing and is the only undefeated team remaining in the tournament.

RR, who were put in to bat, made one change – Shreyas Gopal replaced Jaydev Unadkat in the playing XI. RCB pacer Mohammed Siraj found an early breakthrough after he disturbed the timber to dismiss Jos Buttler.

RR then lost the wickets of Manan Vohra and David Miller in the next two overs and was in early trouble. RR was back on the track with 81/4 after 11 overs. The Shivam Dube-Riyan Parag pair completed a fifty-run partnership. Rahul Tewatia came to the crease with an aggressive mindset but his 40 and Shivam Dube’s 46 went in vain.

Brief Scores: Royal Challengers Bangalore 181/0 (Devdutt Padikkal 101*, Virat Kohli 72*) beat Rajasthan Royals 177/9 (Shivam Dube 46, Rahul Tewatia 40; Mohammed Siraj 3/27) by 10 wickets.

Sanju Samson, Rahul Tewatia Image Source : IPLT20.COM
Sanju Samson, Rahul Tewatia Image Source : IPLT20.COM
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Kumar Sangakkara Hopeful That Sanju Samson And Rahul Tewatia Will Set IPL 2021 On Fire

Kumar Sangakkara, Rajasthan Royals’ Director of Cricket, said that both Sanju Samson and Rahul Tewatia have the capability of setting the stage on fire as the duo has great talent.

Rajasthan Royals’ Director of Cricket Kumar Sangakkara heaped rich praise on captain Sanju Samson and all-rounder Rahul Tewatia, saying both Rajasthan Royals players have the capability of setting the stage on fire as the duo has great talent.

Kumar Sangakkara
File image of former Sri Lanka cricketer Kumar Sangakkara | Reuters / Dinuka Liyanawatte

Kumar Sangakkara: Both Sanju Samson And Rahul Tewatia Are Outstanding Performers

Rajasthan Royals will open their IPL 2021 campaign against Punjab Kings in their fourth match of the IPL 2021 on Monday at the Wankhede Stadium. Earlier this year, the Rajasthan Royals let go of Steve Smith and appointed Sanju Samson as the skipper of their side with Kumar Sangakkara been roped in as Director of Cricket.

“The pressure is always there, you can try and forget about it. But the reality is I think Sanju and all the players will always tell you that the expectation and pressure are always there.

“There are various coping mechanisms and little techniques you used to deal with them to let you focus at the moment. It is really important to have that grand ambition of playing regular international cricket,” Kumar Sangakkara said during a virtual press conference on Sunday.

“Both Sanju and Rahul are capable of not just being regulars, but great and outstanding performers on the international stage. They have an amazing ability, great cricketing sense, and both of them over the years have really progressed.

“Sanju has been a young batting superstar in the Indian scene for a long time, but the real key is to understand that there is a process to achieve that ambition and to take it to match by match. Each innings you play in the IPL, the focus should be on that. It is important that both Samson and Rahul have the trust of the team,” Kumar Sangakkara added.

Sanju Samson is RR's new captain, Steve Smith released
File photo of Sanju Samson | Deepak Malik/SPORTZPICS

Rajasthan Royals finished last season at the bottom of the table with 12 points from their 14 matches. But at IPL 2021 auction, Rajasthan Royals went big, spending Rs 24.20 crore on buying players. South Africa all-rounder Chris Morris was snapped up by the franchise at Rs 16.25 crore, becoming the most expensive player in the history of IPL.

Rahul Tewatia was undoubtedly impressive lower down the order and punched well above his weight, as he finished IPL 2020 as the only Indian player with 10+ wickets and 250+ runs. Sanju Samson amassed 375 runs averaging 28.84 with 3 fifties.

Kumar Sangakkara: ECB Had Confirmed Jofra Archer Will Miss Initial Part Of IPL 2021 Due To Injury

Kumar Sangakkara has played 134 Tests and 404 ODIs during an illustrious career. Jofra Archer was the Most Valuable Player Of The Tournament but will miss the initial 4-5 games for RR. Jofra Archer was ruled out of England’s one-day series against India and will also miss at least the start of the Indian Premier League due to his ongoing elbow injury.

“We have a lot of match-winners, not just English specific. With Sanju Samson, Rahul Tewatia, and our fast bowlers, and the key is to have different players who can do something special on the day. Everyone is looking forward to starting the tournament.

“Earlier this year, England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) management confirmed that pacer Jofra Archer would be missing the initial part of IPL 2021 due to an injury. The pacer recently underwent surgery and is currently going through his rehab,” Kumar Sangakkara further added.

Kumar Sangakkara Hopeful That Sanju Samson And Rahul Tewatia Will Set IPL 2021 On Fire 1
Jofra Archer and Steven Smith (Image Credit: Twitter)

Steve Smith was released by the Rajasthan Royals franchise ahead of the IPL 2021 auction. Steve Smith who took charge from Ajinkya Rahane in the middle of the season in 2019 failed to live up to his expectations scoring 311 runs averaging only 25.91 with 3 fifties in IPL 2020. Sanju Samson was named as the new captain of Rajasthan Royals.

Punjab Kings: KL Rahul (c & wk), Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle, Nicholas Pooran, Shahrukh Khan, Deepak Hooda, Chris Jordan, Jhye Richardson, Mohammed Shami, Ravi Bishnoi, Arshdeep Singh

Rajasthan Royals: Yashasvi Jaiswal, Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes, Sanju Samson, Riyan Parag, Shivam Dube, Rahul Tewatia, Chris Morris, Shreyas Gopal, Andrew Tye, Kartik Tyagi

Rajasthan Royals
Rajasthan Royals
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Aakash Chopra Predicts Rajasthan Royals Won’t Qualify In IPL 2021

Aakash Chopra said he won’t be surprised if Rajasthan Royals fail to make the playoffs. Former Indian batsman turned commentator Aakash Chopra remarked that for Sanju Samson’s Rajasthan Royals to qualify for the IPL 2021 playoffs, a lot of things will need to go in their favor.

The RR unit, which has been bolstered by the arrival of Chris Morris, the most expensive player in the history of the IPL, finished last in IPL 2020 in the UAE. They last made the playoffs in 2018, eventually finishing fourth.

Aakash Chopra. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Aakash Chopra. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Aakash Chopra: Rajasthan Royals Will Qualify For The Playoffs Only If A Lot Of Things Go In Their Favour And If They Don’t It Won’t Spring Surprise

In a video shared on his YouTube channel, cricketer-turned-commentator opined should inaugural champions RR fail to make the playoffs in IPL 2021, it won’t come as a surprise.

“It seems to be a mid-table team. They will qualify for the playoffs if a lot of things go in their favor. If they don’t qualify, it should neither be a surprise for you nor will I be surprised because there are gaps that need plugging,” said Aakash Chopra.

Rajasthan Royals batsmen Ben Stokes and Sanju Samson
Rajasthan Royals batsmen Ben Stokes and Sanju Samson Photograph: BCCI/IPL

Not a single Rajasthan batsman performed consistently through the IPL 2020 season. Sanju Samson started strong but he failed to sustain his form. Ben Stokes missed nearly half the season but showed what he’s capable of with a superb century against Mumbai Indians as an opener. However, consistency eluded him.

A lot was expected of Jos Buttler but he too had an underwhelming season, both at the top of the order and in the middle. Rahul Tewatia was undoubtedly impressive lower down the order and punched well above his weight, as he finished IPL 2020 as the only Indian player with 10+ wickets and 250+ runs.

Aakash Chopra Predicts Jos Buttler Will Be RR’s Leading Run Scorer And Sanju Samson Will Hit Most Sixes

Along with making predictions about their result, Aakash Chopra also spoke about their key players who are likely to top the charts for the Rajasthan outfit. Wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler, he believes, will finish the tournament as the side’s highest run-getter, while big-hitting skipper Sanju Samson will hit the maximum number of sixes.

“Jos Buttler will be the highest run-getter for the Rajasthan Royals this season. He will hopefully play as an opener and will continuously open. Sanju Samson will hit the most number of sixes. He has the six-hitting ability. The first five matches are in Mumbai and then four in Delhi, the first nine matches are on small grounds. In such a scenario, Sanju Samson will put the bowlers on ransom,” added Aakash Chopra.

Rajasthan Royals batsman Jos Buttler in action
Rajasthan Royals batsman Jos Buttler in action | Sportzpics for BCCI / Pankaj Nangia

He also made a bold prediction saying England all-rounder Ben Stokes will be expensive in the annual tournament.

“Ben Stokes could be their most expensive bowler. There are huge chances of that. One thing is he bowls very less and whenever he bowls I have seen him getting hit a lot,” concluded Chopra.

Chris Morris, the most expensive player in IPL history, is another vital player for RR. With England pacer Jofra Archer’s availability for IPL 2021 still uncertain, Chris Morris could have to bowl at the death. RR will play their first IPL 2021 game against the Punjab Kings in Mumbai on April 12.

Rajasthan Royals finished last season at the bottom of the table with 12 points from their 14 matches. At the auction, Rajasthan Royals went big, spending Rs 24.20 crore on buying players.

RR spent Rs 4.4 crore on Shivam Dube while Chetan Sakariya (Rs 1.2 crore), Mustafizur Rahman (Rs 1 crore), Liam Livingstone (Rs 75 lakh), KC Cariappa (Rs 20 lakh), Kuldip Yadav (Rs 20 lakh), Akash Singh (Rs20 lakh) will also feature for the team this season apart from Chris Morris (Rs. 16.25 Crore)

Probable Rajasthan Royals XI: Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler (wk), Sanju Samson (c), Riyan Parag, Rahul Tewatia, Shivam Dube, Chris Morris, Shreyas Gopal, Mustafizur Rahman/Jofra Archer/ Andrew Tye, Kartik Tyagi, Jaydev Unadkat

Rajasthan Royals
Rajasthan Royals
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Aakash Chopra Picks Rajasthan Royals’ Ideal Playing XI For IPL 2021

Aakash Chopra has picked the Rajasthan Royals’ ideal playing XI for IPL 2021. He made his selections in a video shared on his YouTube channel.

The Rajasthan Royals had released last year’s skipper Steve Smith and appointed Sanju Samson as their new captain. They will hope to turn things around in IPL 2021 after finishing the bottom of the points table last season.

Aakash Chopra. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Aakash Chopra. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Akash Chopra Wants To Keep Chris Morris At No. 7 After Picking An All Indian Middle Order

With Rajasthan Royals likely to open with the England duo of Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes, Aakash Chopra went with an all-Indian middle order.

“They have said they will open with Buttler and Stokes. So what can we do? Sanju Samson at three, Riyan Parag at four, Tewatia at five, Dube at six,” said Aakash Chopra.

Rahul Tewatia
Rahul Tewatia [Photo-Twitter]
While highlighting the Rajasthan Royals do not seem to have a formidable middle order, the former India cricketer picked Chris Morris to play the finisher’s role apart from being one of their primary bowlers.

“You might feel it’s not the best four, five and six, I also feel the same. At No.7 you keep Chris Morris,” added Aakash Chopra.

The Rajasthan Royals are replete with all-rounders but do not have much experience in their Indian batting department. They might have to include the in-form big-hitting Protea batsman David Miller at some stage if their middle-order fails to deliver.

Not a single Rajasthan batsman performed consistently through the IPL 2020 season. Sanju Samson started strong but he failed to sustain his form. Ben Stokes missed nearly half the season but showed what he’s capable of with a superb century against Mumbai Indians as an opener. However, consistency eluded him.

A lot was expected of Jos Buttler but he too had an underwhelming season, both at the top of the order and in the middle. Rahul Tewatia was undoubtedly impressive lower down the order and punched well above his weight, as he finished IPL 2020 as the only Indian player with 10+ wickets and 250+ runs.

Aakash Chopra Reckons To Play Both Mustafzur Rahman And Jofra Archer When He Is Available

Aakash Chopra reckons the Rajasthan Royals will have to field Bangladesh pacer, Mustafizur Rahman, in their playing XI until Jofra Archer becomes available. The Rajasthan Royals will miss the services of England pacer Jofra Archer at least in the initial stages of the tournament.

“Then you can play four bowlers in which you will have Shreyas Gopal, Jaydev Unadkat, Kartik Tyagi and with Jofra not being there, you can play Mustafizur and Jofra when he comes back,” said Chopra.

After Jofra Archer, Rajasthan Royals (RR) will miss the services of Bangladeshi pacer Mustafizur Rahman for the first two matches in the IPL 2021 as when he reaches India on April 5, he will have to spend a mandatory seven-day quarantine, ruling him out of the first match against Punjab Kings on April 12.

Jofra Archer and Steve Smith
Jofra Archer and Steve Smith (Image Credit: Twitter)

The former KKR player concluded by stating the Rajasthan Royals would have to necessarily play two overseas pacers, considering the lack of depth in their Indian bowling department.

“In my opinion, they should definitely play two overseas fast bowlers if this team has to go ahead in this IPL,” signed off Aakash Chopra.

The Rajasthan Royals also have the option of playing Andrew Tye as an overseas pacer if Mustafizur Rahman fails to deliver the goods. But much like their batting, the lack of experience is evident even in their Indian bowling contingent. Sanju Samson is expected to do the bulk of the scoring for the Rajasthan Royals this season.

Chris Morris, the most expensive player in IPL history, is another vital player for RR. With England pacer Jofra Archer’s availability for IPL 2021 still uncertain, Chris Morris could have to bowl at the death. Chris Morris was bought by the Rajasthan Royals for a whopping ₹16.25 crore at the IPL 2021 Auction, with the South African expected to be the side’s frontline pacer this season.

Probable Rajasthan Royals XI: Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler (wk), Sanju Samson (c), Riyan Parag, Rahul Tewatia, Shivam Dube, Chris Morris, Shreyas Gopal, Mustafizur Rahman/Jofra Archer/ Andrew Tye, Kartik Tyagi, Jaydev Unadkat

Rajasthan Royals' Sanju Samson in action during IPL 2020 | Sportzpics for BCCI
Rajasthan Royals' Sanju Samson in action during IPL 2020 | Sportzpics for BCCI
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Rajasthan Royals Is One Of The Best Teams On Paper In IPL 2021, Says Sanju Samson

Sanju Samson seems to be in a confident mood ahead of IPL 2021. The young skipper feels the Rajasthan Royals have one of the best IPL squads on paper.

Sanju Samson will be leading his franchise the Rajasthan Royals for the first time in IPL 2021. Although the Kerala batsman has captained at the domestic level, it will be the first instance of him leading an IPL franchise.

Sanju Samson Deepak Malik/SPORTZPICS
Sanju Samson Deepak Malik/SPORTZPICS

Sanju Samson Expects Rajasthan Royals To Play Fearless Cricket

The 26-year-old spoke to the Hindustan Times days before the start of IPL 2021, shedding light on his vision for the road ahead for Rajasthan Royals.

“I don’t think we did too much wrong in the last season. If you look at our XI on paper, we’re one of the best. So, I would like to tell everyone that we are a great bunch of players and we just need to play some good cricket. If we are in the right mindset as a team, I believe good things are ahead of us,” said Samson.

Rahul Tewatia
Rahul Tewatia [Photo-Twitter]

Sanju Samson wants Rajasthan Royals who have the likes of big hitters Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, and Rahul Tewatia in their ranks, to play a fearless brand of cricket in IPL 2021.

“This format demands a lot of fearless cricket, be it in batting, bowling or fielding. It’s all about speed, power and expressing yourself. That’s what I expect from my team,” added Samson.

Not a single Rajasthan batsman performed consistently through the IPL 2020 season. Sanju Samson started strong but he failed to sustain his form. Ben Stokes missed nearly half the season but showed what he’s capable of with a superb century against Mumbai Indians as an opener. However, consistency eluded him.

A lot was expected of Jos Buttler but he too had an underwhelming season, both at the top of the order and in the middle. Rahul Tewatia was undoubtedly impressive lower down the order and punched well above his weight, finishing the season as the only Indian player with 10+ wickets and 250+ runs.

On the bowling front, the 25-year-old Jofra Archer was lethal throughout, dismissing the best batsmen in the league and giving nothing away in his spells. Shreyas Gopal was far from his best and the likes of Jaydev Unadkat and Ankit Rajpoot were taken to cleaners by batsmen at will. Young Kartik Tyagi showed sparks but was a tad expensive.

Sanju Samson Won’t Like To Put Chris Morris Under Too Much Pressure

Sanju Samson is expected to do the bulk of the scoring for the Rajasthan Royals this season. Chris Morris, the most expensive player in IPL history, is another vital player for RR. With England pacer Jofra Archer’s availability for IPL 2021 still uncertain, Chris Morris could have to bowl at the death.

But Sanju Samson was quick not to put too much pressure on the South African all-rounder, claiming each RR player has a definite role to play.

“I would not like to put him (Morris) under too much pressure or tell him that he’s the biggest member of this team. Everyone has a big role to play; even someone bowling one over might have a crucial role,” said Samson.

Chris Morris Becomes the Most Expensive Player in IPL Auction History as Rajasthan Royals Get Him For Rs 16.25 Crore
Chris Morris Becomes the Most Expensive Player in IPL Auction History as Rajasthan Royals Get Him For Rs 16.25 Crore(© IANS)

Chris Morris was bought by the Rajasthan Royals for a whopping ₹16.25 crore at the IPL 2021 Auction, with the South African expected to be the side’s frontline pacer this season. He picked up 11 wickets at a stunning economy of 6.63 last season for RCB, and Sanju Samson is looking forward to working with the pacer in IPL 2021.

“But we’re excited to have Morris back. He’s a very happy-go-lucky person, someone who likes to keep the atmosphere light. But when he enters the ground, he is a completely different person—competitive and eager to win matches. It’s great to have an individual like that in the team,” concluded Samson.

Sanju Samson scored 375 runs averaging 28.84 in IPL 2020 with 3 fifties. He has amassed 2584 runs in 107 IPL games averaging 27.78. He played for Rajasthan Royals from 2013 except in 2016-2017 when RR was banned.

RR will play their first IPL 2021 game against the Punjab Kings in Mumbai on April 12.

Probable Rajasthan Royals XI: Yasahasvi Jaiswal, Jos Buttler (wk), Sanju Samson (c), Ben Stokes, Shivam Dube, Rahul Tewatia, Chris Morris, Shreyas Gopal, Mustafizur Rahman, Kartik Tyagi, Jaydev Unadkat

Virender Sehwag
Virender Sehwag
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Players Should Be Selected On Basis Of Their Skills: Virender Sehwag

Virender Sehwag believes skills, not Yo-Yo tests should be the major criteria for selection in the Indian team. Yo-Yo test has become a mandatory selection criterion in the Indian team over the last few years. Several prominent names in the past have not managed to clear the test and were thus dropped from the team.

File image of Virender Sehwag and Virat Kohli
File image of Virender Sehwag and Virat Kohli | Sportzpics for BCCI / Prashant Bhoot

Virender Sehwag: Skill Is Important  And Players Should Be Given A Chance On Skills Not Yo-Yo Tests

Recently, the likes of spinner Varun Chakravarthy and spin all-rounder Rahul Tewatia among others failed the test ahead of the recently-concluded T20I series between India and England. While Rahul Tewatia did manage to clear it in the second attempt, Varun Chakravarthy did not. The duo didn’t play a single T20I of the 5 match series and Varun  Chakravarthy was replaced by Rahul Chahar.

Sharing his views on the mandatory fitness test, Virender Sehwag said skills not yo-yo tests should be preferred when it comes to selection in the Indian team.

Rahul Tewatia of Rajasthan Royals bats against Kings XI Punjab
Rahul Tewatia of Rajasthan Royals bats against Kings XI Punjab | Deepak Malik / Sportzpics for BCCI

While Indian captain Virat Kohli has on several occasions in the past, stressed the importance of the fitness test, Virender Sehwag disagrees and feels fitness is something that can be improved over time.

“Skill is important, today if you are playing a fit team but don’t have the skills, then you would ultimately end up losing. Play them based on their skills, slowly you can improve their fitness over time but if is yo-yo criteria is applied straight away, then the talks are different. If a player can field and bowl 10 overs, that should be enough, we shouldn’t be concerned about the other things,” Sehwag told Cricbuzz.

Virender Sehwag was responding to a query from a fan who had asked if all-rounder Hardik Pandya was unfit to bowl why did he play in the T20I series and why Varun Chakravarthy, who was fit to bowl but did not get a chance.

“Wasn’t fitness the no.1 criteria?” – the user asked.

Virat Kohli is one of the fittest cricketers on the international sporting circuit. He has over 20,000 international runs and is next to the likes of Sachin Tendulkar and Ricky Ponting as he has 70 international centuries.

Virender Sehwag: If The Criteria Existed Earlier, Sourav Ganguly And VVS Laxman May Not Have Cleared It

Virender Sehwag said if the yo-yo test existed in his playing days, the likes of former skipper Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman might not have been able to clear it. He revealed that Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman rarely used to get the desired mark of 12.5 in the fitness test that was conducted back in the day. Talking about Hardik Pandya, he stated that the all-rounder had no fitness issues but did not bowl due to his workload management.

“I want to tell you one thing, here we are talking about yo-yo Test, Hardik Pandya doesn’t have issues with running, he has issues with workload because of his bowling. However, Ashwin and (Varun) Chakravarthy, on the other hand, haven’t cleared the yo-yo Test, that’s why they aren’t here.

“But I won’t agree with all of this, if these criteria existed before, Tendulkar, Laxman and Ganguly wouldn’t have passed it. During my time, we had such a test, where they always fell short of the 12.5 mark,” Virender Sehwag said.

 

VVS Laxman and Sourav Ganguly
VVS Laxman and Sourav Ganguly | Dibyangshu SARKAR / AFP

Under Virat Kohli’s tenure as skipper, BCCI has increased its fitness levels by incorporating yo-yo tests and 2 km fitness tests as Indian cricketers have to work hard to increase their chances of qualifying for a berth in the squad.

The yo-yo test level for the cricketers has been raised to 17:1. BCCI has also incorporated a new fitness parameter to run, a two-kilometre time trial, which is now a global fitness standard employed by international cricket teams.

It is understood that players have the choice to pick either of the two tests-the yo-yo test or the time trial, but the BCCI has made it mandatory to clear one of the two fitness tests. Fast bowlers have to run two kilometres in 8 minutes 15 seconds, the rest in 8 minutes 30 seconds.

Jofra Archer made his Test debut at Lord’s against Australia last year. (Source: Reuters)
Jofra Archer made his Test debut at Lord’s against Australia last year. (Source: Reuters)
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England Set To Make A Call On Jofra Archer Playing IPL 2021

England is set to make a call on Jofra Archer’s participation in the upcoming Indian Premier League this week following surgery on the finger injury he suffered when accidentally smashing a fish tank at his home in January.

Jofra Archer, 25, was due to undergo a procedure on Monday to examine whether any glass remains inside his right middle finger. It follows some minor irritation in the digit after playing in England’s recent T20 series in India.

England's Jofra Archer | Source: Twitter
Jofra Archer | Source: Twitter

England’s Jofra Archer Suffered An Injury As A Result Of Fish Tank Being Dropped While Attempting To Clean It In January As He Feels Minor Irritation

The irritation was the result of a fish tank being dropped in a bath while he was attempting to clean it and though the cut healed before arriving on the India tour, the need to rest his longstanding elbow issue made this week the ideal time to double-check.

Jofra Archer
Jofra Archer Getty Images

The second cortisone injection to Jofra Archer’s elbow in the last few days makes this problem the more concerning of the two, not least with England hoping to prime the fast bowler for both the T20 World Cup and Ashes campaigns this year.

Jofra Archer was ruled out of England’s one-day series against India and will also miss at least the start of the Indian Premier League due to his ongoing elbow injury.

He has completed five Twenty20 appearances for England in the space of nine days, bowling his maximum allocation of 20 overs, but has been managing a painful right elbow throughout. He missed two of the four Tests against India as a result of the same issue and was sent back home for further assessment.

Jofra Archer Is Scheduled To Miss At Least Start Of IPL 2021

Jofra Archer is currently scheduled to miss the start of the IPL but England is expected to decide in the coming days whether he can feature in the back end of the tournament, or tell Rajasthan Royals they need to source a replacement.

Rajasthan Royals finished last season at the bottom of the table with 12 points from their 14 matches but Jofra Archer was the Most Valuable Player Of The Tournament.

If so Jofra Archer would forgo his £800,000 deal with Rajasthan Royals this year, although a number of players on the larger contracts ensure their earnings against injury. England’s stand-in ODI skipper Jos Buttler confirmed that he would be joining the Rajasthan Royals squad on Monday 29th March for the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021.

Rahul Tewatia in action against KXIP | IPL 2020 / Sportzpics / BCCI
Rahul Tewatia in action against KXIP | IPL 2020 / Sportzpics / BCCI

Rajasthan Royals will begin their Indian Premier League 2021 season against rebranded Punjab Kings in a repeat of one of the most memorable matches from 2020 when Rahul Tewatia stole the show in Sharjah. RR finished eighth in the table in IPL 2020 and will be led by Sanju Samson in the upcoming edition.

At the auction, Rajasthan Royals went big, spending Rs 24.20 crore on buying players. South Africa all-rounder Chris Morris was snapped up by the franchise at Rs 16.25 crore, becoming the most expensive player in the history of the league.

They spent Rs 4.4 crore on Shivam Dube while Chetan Sakariya (Rs 1.2 crore), Mustafizur Rahman (Rs 1 crore), Liam Livingstone (Rs 75 lakh), KC Cariappa (Rs 20 lakh), Kuldip Yadav (Rs 20 lakh), Akash Singh (Rs20 lakh) will also feature for the team this season.

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