Rahul Tripathi | Sportzwiki

Rahul Tripathi

Head coach Brendon McCullum says KKR will make couple of changes in Mumbai (Image Courtesy: KKR Twitter)
Head coach Brendon McCullum with skipper Eoin Morgan (Image Courtesy: KKR Twitter)
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Brendon McCullum Admits His Style Of Coaching Or Leadership For KKR During IPL 2021 Was Perhaps “Wild”

Brendon McCullum, Kolkata Knight Riders head coach, has said that his coaching style during the IPL this year, initially in India and later in UAE, was “a little wild”.

After struggling in the first leg of the tournament in India, KKR made a remarkable turnaround when the event was moved to the UAE, reaching the finals to play eventual champions Chennai Super Kings, where they lost.

Kolkata Knight Riders
Kolkata Knight Riders (Image Credit: Twitter)

Brendon McCullum’s Style Of Coaching Or Leadership Was Perhaps Wild

KKR ended the season as runners-up, which was impressive, because they had won just two of their seven games in the India leg of the tournament. Eventually, CSK was the better team on the day as KKR fell short of their third IPL title.
Brendon McCullum
Brendon McCullum BCCI

Brendon McCullum played in the IPL as a player from 2008 to 2018. Brendon McCullum featured in 109 matches in the IPL and amassed 2881 runs with a strike rate of 131.61. In the opening season, Brendon McCullum’s 158 not out for the Kolkata Knight Riders is still engraved in every IPL fan.

“My style of leadership or coaching was perhaps a little wild,” Brendon McCullum said.

Shubman Gill amassed 478 runs in 17 games, while Nitish Rana amassed 383 runs and Rahul Tripathi managed 397 runs, while the likes of Eoin Morgan (133 runs) and Dinesh Karthik (223 runs) failed to deliver with the bat. Pacer Lockie Ferguson picked 13 scalps, spinners Sunil Narine picked 16, and Varun Chakravarthy picked 18 scalps- the highest by a KKR bowler. Indian pacers Shivam Mavi and Prasidh Krishna were also among the wickets.

Brendon McCullum: KKR Rocked In The Second Half Of IPL 2021

The former New Zealand captain, though, was pleased to see the comeback KKR made in the league.

“It takes a little while to really dig down and thankfully we were able to do it in the second half of the tournament and we got a bit more intent into batting and then we were able to play a bit more of an aggressive form of cricket. Thankfully it translated to results and we got on a bit of a roll.”

Venkatesh Iyer scored his maiden IPL fifty in the game vs MI.© Instagram
Venkatesh Iyer scored his maiden IPL fifty in the game vs MI.© Instagram

KKR had just two wins out of seven matches at the end of the first leg and was placed seventh. But, in the second half of the tournament in the UAE, they won five out of their remaining league matches to make the playoffs, and then, the finals.

“We rocked in the second half of the tournament, we were kind of dead and buried (after starting with two wins and five losses). We were under a fair amount of pressure with two wins from seven games and seventh on the table out of eight. The expectations on us were pretty low,” said McCullum, who won the IPL 2012 title with KKR as a player.
Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) head coach Brendon McCullum was full of praise for the impact that opener Venkatesh Iyer and the rest of the Indian top-order batsmen (Rahul Tripathi, Shubman Gill, and Nitish Rana) had in the second half of the 2021 Indian Premier League (IPL).
In opening the innings with Shubman Gill, Venkatesh Iyer scored 370 runs in 10 innings and even put in handy shifts with the ball, taking three wickets in the season. In just 10 IPL 2021 games, all at UAE, the opener Venkatesh Iyer has 370 runs beside his name, averaging 41.11 with as many as 4 fifties. It was his debut IPL season, where he also picked 3 scalps averaging 23 with the ball.
Venkatesh Iyer scored his maiden IPL fifty in the game vs MI.© Instagram
Venkatesh Iyer scored his maiden IPL fifty in the game vs MI.© Instagram
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Covid-19 Induced Break Came At The Right Time For Venkatesh Iyer: Brendon McCullum

Brendon McCullum hailed the impact Venkatesh Iyer, and the rest of his Indian players had in the UAE, allowing the team to bounce back from a dismal position after the first half of the season and reach the final.

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) head coach Brendon McCullum was full of praise for the impact that opener Venkatesh Iyer and the rest of the Indian top-order batsmen (Rahul Tripathi, Shubman Gill, and Nitish Rana) had in the second half of the 2021 Indian Premier League (IPL). As a result, KKR went from having just two wins in seven matches to reach the final in the UAE leg of the season.

Brendon McCullum
Brendon McCullum BCCI

Brendon McCullum: Venkatesh Iyer Has Been An Incredible Story

In opening the innings with Shubman Gill, Venkatesh Iyer scored 370 runs in 10 innings and even put in handy shifts with the ball, taking three wickets in the season. In just 10 IPL 2021 games, all at UAE, the opener Venkatesh Iyer has 370 runs beside his name, averaging 41.11 with as many as 4 fifties. It was his debut IPL season, where he also picked 3 scalps averaging 23 with the ball.

“Venkatesh Iyer has been an incredible story. He was actually going to play in the next game after what turned out to be our last game in India but the break came at the right time there in a funny way. It gave him the opportunity to get a couple of months of cricket under his belt,” Brendon McCullum told the media after KKR’s 27-run defeat to Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the final on Friday.

“Then it was just a matter of bringing the game that he owns. The ‘Venkatesh Iyer Game Plan’ which is an aggressive intent. He is a big presence, a tall man, plays the game with a kind of a cavalier streak. It is so important to hold on to that because he might be challenged to change his methods,” said Brendon McCullum.

Venkatesh Iyer scored a half century in the final.
Venkatesh Iyer scored a half-century in the final. (Courtesy of BCCI)
“He might not be the most consistent with his flamboyance but I hope he remains the Venkatesh Iyer we have seen so far. He has got a big future in this game and he is a very intelligent man. I thank him for all his efforts he was a big catalyst for our turnaround this season,” said Brendon McCullum.

Shubman Gill amassed 478 runs in 17 games, while Nitish Rana amassed 383 runs and Rahul Tripathi managed 397 runs, while the likes of Eoin Morgan (133 runs) and Dinesh Karthik (223 runs) failed to deliver with the bat.

Brendon McCullum: Break Came At The Right Time

Brendon McCullum said that the Covid-19 induced break in the season came at the right time for KKR as they could regroup from the dismal start they had to the season. But, unfortunately, the likes of KKR spinner Varun Chakravarthy and pacer Sandeep Warrier and SRH’s Wriddhiman Saha and DC’s Amit Mishra were contracted with the Covid-19 virus, which eventually led to the postponement of IPL 2021 in India and the remainder of the league was moved to UAE.

The virus had wreaked havoc in India at that time, claiming thousands of lives. Prasidh Krishna, who has been picked as a standby player for England tour, became the fourth Kolkata Knight Riders player to test positive for Covid-19. KKR wicketkeeper-batsman Tim Seifert was reported to have tested positive for Covid-19 earlier.

“The break came at a right time for us, it is difficult to keep your composure when the results are going against you. We had just two wins in seven games so the break came at a good time. We had some conversations in those months with some guys to smooth out some rough edges,” said Brendon McCullum.

Kolkata Knight Riders
Kolkata Knight Riders (Image Credit: Twitter)

“Always felt that our intent needed to increase to put pressure back on the opposition. I can’t speak highly enough about our top four Indian batters what they achieved during the second half of the tournament. It takes guts to play the way they did and courage to trust the way that we were asking them to play. They were absolutely fantastic and a massive reason we had such a huge chance at winning this competition,” Brendon McCullum said.

In IPL 2021 final, CSK opener Faf du Plessis led the charge, making 86 as he anchored half-century stands for each of the three wickets that fell during the course of Super Kings’ 192. Robin Uthappa and Moeen Ali played their parts with the bat before Shardul Thakur ended Venkatesh Iyer’s innings – and a dangerous opening stand – to cut Knight Riders’ middle-order open and consign them to their first defeat in an IPL final.

Chennai Super Kings 192 for 3 (du Plessis 86, Moeen 37*, Narine 2-26) beat Kolkata Knight Riders 165 for 9 (Gill 51, Iyer 50, Thakur 3-38, Hazlewood 2-29) by 27 runs

File photo of Anrich Nortje. | BCCI / Sportzpics
File photo of Anrich Nortje. | BCCI / Sportzpics
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Anrich Nortje Expressed Disappointment To Not Win An Elusive IPL 2021 Title For Delhi Capitals

Anrich Nortje, Delhi Capitals pacer said he was “proud” to be a part of the set-up but expressed “disappointed” on not being able to clinch the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 trophy.

Delhi Capitals’ IPL 2021 campaign ended with a hurtful defeat as Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) got over the line courtesy of Rahul Tripathi’s six-off Ravichandran Ashwin in the final over.

Delhi Capitals
Delhi Capitals (Image Credit: Twitter)

Anrich Nortje Feels Proud Of Delhi Capitals Achievement And Disappointed To Not Win Elusive IPL 2021 Title

Anrich Nortje shared pictures from his IPL 2021 campaign and thanked fans who supported Delhi Capitals.

“In sport and in life, things move so rapidly. Can’t believe how time went by with this amazing bunch. Proud of what we achieved and disappointed that we couldn’t get the trophy. Thank you to everyone involved, especially the fans for sticking with us,” Anrich Nortje tweeted.

Anrich Nortje
Anrich Nortje (Image Credit: Twitter)

Delhi Capitals brought in Anrich Nortje as a replacement for Chris Woakes ahead of IPL 2020 and the South African speedster, in his maiden IPL season, delivered the goods for Delhi Capitals, scalping as many as 22 wickets in 16 games. The right-arm pacer proved his worth yet again in IPL 2021 by picking 12 scalps for Delhi Capitals in 8 games averaging a mere 15.58.

Shimron Hetmyer Thanks Delhi Capitals For Giving Him Opportunity To Represent The Franchise

West Indies star batter Shimron Hetmyer thanked Delhi Capitals for giving him the opportunity to represent the side in the IPL 2021. Shimron Hetmyer managed to score 242 runs in 14 IPL 2021 games averaging a decent 34.57 at an excellent strike rate of 168.05- the best of the season.

“Thanks to @DelhiCapitals for supporting me and giving me the opportunity to represent you guys really enjoyed it,” Hetmyer tweeted.

Shimron Hetmyer (Photo: BCCI/IPL/ANI)
Shimron Hetmyer (Photo: BCCI/IPL/ANI)

After the defeat, Delhi Capitals (DC) head coach Ricky Ponting said he would like to retain each and every player on his team for the IPL 2022.

“I would like to keep everyone, to be honest. We have got this terrific group of people at the Delhi Capitals. The playing staff and the coaches have done an amazing job for the last couple of seasons and I think our performances so to speak for themselves,” said Ponting during the post-match press conference.

Ricky Ponting also said Delhi Capitals failed to utilize the powerplay and were eight to 10 runs short of the good first six overs score in the game. Needing 136 runs to win, KKR was off to a brisk start, courtesy of Shubman Gill and Venkatesh Iyer. The pair cashed in on all the scoring opportunities but DC though managed to get Venkatesh Iyer out when he and Shubman Gill were inching closer to a hundred-run stand.

While Nitish Rana and Shubman Gill added 27 runs together, DC continued to put in a fight and scalped three wickets, conceding just three runs as KKR moved from 123/1 to 126/4 at the end of the 18th over – an over where Kagiso Rabada conceded just a run and picked up a wicket. Anrich Nortje then had the better of Eoin Morgan in the penultimate over as DC pushed KKR to score 7 runs in the final over.

Ravichandran Ashwin then scalped two wickets, dismissing Shakib Al Hasan and Sunil Narine – in the first four balls of the last over. However, with 6 runs to get from the last 2 balls, Rahul Tripathi creamed a maximum to help KKR seal a place in the final.

Brief Scores: Kolkata Knight Riders 136/7 (Venkatesh Iyer 55, Shubman Gill 46; Kagiso Rabada 2/23) beat Delhi Capitals 135/5 (Shikhar Dhawan 36, Shreyas Iyer 30*; Varun Chakravarthy 2/26) by 3 wickets. 

File image of former India captain Sunil Gavaskar | AFP
File image of former India captain Sunil Gavaskar | AFP
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Rishabh Pant Could Have Stepped In And Defused The Situation In The KKR-DC Match In IPL 2021: Sunil Gavaskar

Sunil Gavaskar said that Delhi Capitals captain Rishabh Pant could have stepped or refused to take the contentious run when a row erupted between his teammate Ravichandran Ashwin and Kolkata Knight Riders skipper Eoin Morgan in an IPL 2021 match.

While most of the debate in the row between Ravichandran Ashwin and Eoin Morgan during the Indian Premier League (IPL) match was around who of the two was right or wrong, former India captain and batting great Sunil Gavaskar said that Delhi Capitals skipper and Ravichandran Ashwin’s teammate Rishabh Pant could have defused the situation.

Rishabh Pant
Rishabh Pant (Image Credit: Twitter)

Ravichandran Ashwin Ran An Extra Run Which Resulted In An Exchange Of Words With Tim Southee And Eoin Morgan

The row erupted after Ravichandran Ashwin ran an extra run when the ball hit Rishabh Pant after a throw. It was Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) fast bowler Tim Southee who exchanged words with Ravichandran Ashwin first and then KKR skipper Eoin Morgan.

Ravichandran Ashwin then celebrated animatedly when he dismissed Eoin Morgan during the KKR innings. KKR wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik later explained that Eoin Morgan had taken exception to Ravichandran Ashwin taking the extra run.

Ravichandran Ashwin and Eoin Morgan had a heated exchange during KKR vs DC match.© IPL
Ravichandran Ashwin and Eoin Morgan had a heated exchange during KKR vs DC match.© IPL

Delhi Capitals’ Ravichandran Ashwin took to Twitter to observe that he didn’t realize the ball had deflected off Rishabh Pant’s body when the duo pinched the extra run via an overthrow, which in turn upset Kolkata Knight Riders’ fielders in the 41st game of the IPL 2021. Ravichandran Ashwin also said he had the right to take the extra run even if he knew it had ricocheted off a batter’s body.

Sunil Gavaskar: Rishabh Pant Could Have Stepped In And Defused The Situation

After Ravichandran Ashwin’s dismissal, KKR bowler Tim Southee and skipper Eoin Morgan got involved in a heated argument with the Indian spinner over the extra run taken. While Ravichandran Ashwin ended up with the last laugh by scalping Eoin Morgan for a duck, it was KKR who won the contest by 3 wickets with 10 balls to spare and delayed DC’s qualification for the playoffs.

“What nobody asked is, why did Pant run? He was the one who was struck by the ball and if at all anybody should have known that the tradition is not to take the run after the ball is deflected, then it was the Delhi skipper. Maybe, in the heat of the battle and the anxiety to add runs to the team’s total, he took that extra run,” Sunil Gavaskar wrote in his column for Mid-Day.

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

“But why blame Ashwin? He may not have even seen the ball hitting his skipper as he would be intent on getting to his end and may have only seen the ball that was away from a fielder and so responded for the extra run.

“Pant could have stepped in and defused the situation, but in the intensity of the battle and especially in the hot and humid desert atmosphere, it is extremely tough to keep a cool head, so he may have not realised what had happened,” explained Sunil Gavaskar.

In the 19th over of the Delhi Capitals innings, Ravichandran Ashwin and Rishabh Pant ran an overthrow after Rahul Tripathi’s shy from point had taken a ricochet off Rishabh Pant at the non-striker’s end. However, an argument broke out in the next over once Tim Southee had dismissed Ravichandran Ashwin.

Eoin Morgan quickly joined in, giving a mouthful to the spinner while Dinesh Karthik rushed in to play peacemaker. Ravichandran Ashwin later said that he hadn’t seen the ball striking Rishabh Pant but he would have taken that run even if he had.

While several former cricketers backed Ravichandran Ashwin as he was within the rules to take the extra run, some slammed the Delhi Capitals spinner for his action. Now, batting legend Sunil Gavaskar has shared his views on the incident and said it is unfair to blame Ravichandran Ashwin.

Jason Gillespie, former Australia fast bowler has hit back at compatriot Shane Warne over the dispute between Ravichandran Ashwin and Eoin Morgan in IPL 2021. (Source- Twitter)
Jason Gillespie, former Australia fast bowler has hit back at compatriot Shane Warne over the dispute between Ravichandran Ashwin and Eoin Morgan in IPL 2021. (Source- Twitter)
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Jason Gillespie Reacts To Shane Warne’s Comments On Ravichandran Ashwin-Eoin Morgan Spat In IPL 2021

Jason Gillespie, the former Australian pacer, has hit back at his former teammate Shane Warne for the latter’s comment on the Ravichandran Ashwin-Eoin Morgan saga.

Ravichandran Ashwin, playing for Delhi Capitals, was involved in an ugly altercation with Kolkata Knight Riders captain Eoin Morgan during a recent game after the former claimed a single after the ball had ricocheted off non -striker skipper Rishabh Pant.

Ravichandran Ashwin and Eoin Morgan had a heated exchange during KKR vs DC match.© IPL
Ravichandran Ashwin and Eoin Morgan had a heated exchange during KKR vs DC match.© IPL

Jason Gillespie Not In Favour Of Blaming Cricketer Playing Within The Cricket Laws

Shane Warne took to Twitter after the incident, offering full support to KKR skipper Eoin Morgan for ‘nailing’ Ravichandran Ashwin, terming the off-spinner’s act ‘disgraceful’.

Shane Warne wrote: “The world shouldn’t be divided on this topic and Ashwin. It’s pretty simple – it’s disgraceful & should never happen. Why does Ashwin have to be that guy again, I think @Eoin16 had every right to nail him !!!!”

Shane Warne - Getty Images
Shane Warne – Getty Images

Replying to Shane Warne’s comment, his former Australian teammate Jason Gillespie proceeded to copy the first few lines of the leg-spinner’s tweet before adding a line of his own. The former Australian player asserted that players have every right to choose how they wish to play as long as they don’t contradict any prescribed rules.

Jason Gillespie wrote: “The world shouldn’t be divided on this topic and Ashwin. It’s pretty simple- it’s disgraceful & should never happen. Why do we blame the player that plays within the laws of the game? I believe players have every right to play within the laws of the game as set out by the MCC.”

Following the incident, Ravichandran Ashwin wrote a detailed thread on Twitter. There he clarified that he didn’t know that the ball had ricocheted off Rishabh Pant’s arm. He also asserted that he would have still gone for the run had he known it (ricocheting off Rishabh Pant’s arm). That’s because it’s not illegal as per the laws of the game.

Jason Gillespie: Everyone Should Focus On The MCC Prescribed Laws

Ravichandran Ashwin also called out his critics for seeking a moral high ground. He asserted that every player has the right to decide how they want to go about their business. Meanwhile, this is not the first time Jason Gillespie has spoken about the saga and the debate around the illusionary ‘spirit of cricket’.

Jason Gillespie on Friday wrote on Twitter that the definition of “spirit of cricket” differs from country to country or even state to state. He also said that it’s better for players and everyone associated with the game to focus on the MCC’s prescribed laws.

Jason Gillespie managed to play an unbeaten knock of 201 against Bangladesh in Chattogram.
Jason Gillespie managed to play an unbeaten knock of 201 against Bangladesh in Chattogram. (File Photo | AFP).

Jason Gillespie wrote: ”The ‘spirit of cricket’, and what constitutes this, differs from country to country, and in some cases, between states/counties/provinces/islands. The laws of the game are in place. Stick to them, and the grey areas within our game are removed.”

Ravichandran Ashwin had the last laugh in his battle against Eoin Morgan, dismissing the left-hander for a second-ball duck. KKR, though, ended up winning the game by three wickets on the night. Ravichandran Ashwin called his Delhi Capitals (DC) skipper Rishabh Pant for an extra run after a throw ricocheted, having hit the latter during an IPL 2021 clash against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in Sharjah.

After Ravichandran Ashwin’s dismissal, KKR bowler Tim Southee and skipper Eoin Morgan got involved in a heated argument with the Indian spinner over the extra run taken. While Ravichandran Ashwin ended up with the last laugh by scalping Eoin Morgan for a duck, KKR won the contest by three wickets with ten balls to spare and delayed DC’s qualification for the playoffs.

In the 19th over of the Delhi Capitals innings, Ravichandran Ashwin and Rishabh Pant ran an overthrow after Rahul Tripathi’s shy from point had taken a ricochet off Rishabh Pant at the non-striker’s end. However, an argument broke out in the next over once Tim Southee had dismissed Ravichandran Ashwin. Eoin Morgan quickly joined in, giving a mouthful to the spinner while Dinesh Karthik rushed in to play peacemaker.

KL Rahul
KL Rahul (Image Credit: Twitter)
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KL Rahul’s Disallowed Catch By 3rd Umpire A Shocking Decision: Gautam Gambhir

KL Rahul anchored the chase for his team, scoring 67 off 55 as PBKS chased down the 166-run target with three balls to spare. However, things could have been different if KL Rahul had been given out in the penultimate over of the chase, but the third umpire made a huge call, deciding that KKR’s Rahul Tripathi had not taken the catch cleanly.

Punjab Kings remained in contention to qualify for the playoffs thanks to a five-wicket win over Kolkata Knight Riders in Dubai on Friday. The victory helped PBKS go level on 10 points with KKR and Mumbai Indians, who have a game in hand over both the teams.

Rahul Tripathi's catch was disallowed by the third umpire.© BCCI/IPL
Rahul Tripathi’s catch was disallowed by the third umpire.© BCCI/IPL

KL Rahul’s Disallowed Catch Was A Shocker: Gautam Gambhir

KL Rahul pulled a shortish Shivam Mavi delivery with Rahul Tripathi running in from the deep and diving forward to take a brilliant catch, or that’s what many thought. But the third umpire thought otherwise. Former cricketers Gautam Gambhir and Graeme Swann, speaking on Star Sports’ post-match show, tore into the third umpire. Ex-KKR captain Gautam Gambhir termed the decision a “shocker”.

“That was a shocker. This can end someone’s campaign. It was clearly out. He shouldn’t have even seen the replay more than once. Even without the slow-mo, it looked out. Things could have changed. We have seen Punjab panic in the last over. These sorts of shockers cannot happen, especially at the level of IPL. It could be very unfair not only to the player but to the entire franchise,” said Gambhir.

Gautam Gambhir AFP
Gautam Gambhir AFP

But the result could have been different had the third umpire deemed Rahul Tripathi’s catch as legal which would have seen the back of Rahul with Punjab needing 11 from 9 balls. The controversial moment occurred in the 19th over when KL Rahul hooked a short delivery from Shivam Mavi towards the mid-wicket boundary. Rahul Tripathi, who was stationed on the boundary line by Eoin Morgan, ran in to take the catch while diving forward.

Graeme Swann Witnessed One Of The Worst Bit Of 3rd Umpire’s Decision

Former England spinner Graeme Swann, didn’t mince his words either, calling the decision one of the “worst” third umpiring calls he had seen.

“I have just witnessed one of the worst bits of third umpiring in my life. That is blatantly out. Running in and taken a brilliant catch. That is superb. It’s out in full motion,” said Swann.

KL Rahul
KL Rahul (Image Credit: Twitter)
“That shouldn’t have been looked into anyway but they have looked at it, there is none of that silly soft signal anymore. The third umpire has somehow not got the cricketing knowledge to know that’s out. He’s looked at it from four or five angles that we saw up close and it never looked not out at any point. And yet he gave him not out. It’s terrible umpiring. That was just a joke.”

While KL Rahul was dismissed on the second ball of the final over, PBKS’ Shahrukh Khan kept his cool to get the team over the line. Eventually, Shah Rukh Khan, who scored an unbeaten nine-ball 22, smashed a six on the third delivery in the final over to seal a much-needed win for his team.

Venkatesh Iyer and Rahul Tripatih during their 88-run partnership, Image: BCCI
Venkatesh Iyer and Rahul Tripatih during their 88-run partnership, Image: BCCI
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Sanjay Manjrekar Credits Venkatesh Iyer And Rahul Tripathi For The Resurgence Of KKR In IPL 2021 UAE Leg

Sanjay Manjrekar credited the batting duo of Venkatesh Iyer and Rahul Tripathi for the resurgence of the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the second phase of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 in UAE. The attacking starts that they have provided at the top of the order have helped the side put up decent totals on the board.

KKR won just two out of their first seven matches in the first leg. They started the second leg in whirlwind fashion, however, winning their first two matches comprehensively. They then went down to the table-toppers Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in a closely fought contest in the third match, which was decided in the last ball.

Sanjay Manjrekar | Sportzpics
Sanjay Manjrekar | Sportzpics.

The free-flowing batting of openers Venkatesh Iyer and Rahul Tripathi has helped reduce KKR’s dependence on the senior batsmen in the side, reckons Sanjay Manjrekar.

“Kolkata, it’s been quite a story in this Indian T20 league. The resurgence of Kolkata in the second half. It’s really on the back of two players. One cost them (INR) 20 lakhs, the other (INR) 60 lakhs. I am talking about Venkatesh Iyer and Rahul Tripathi. These guys have set to light the whole platform for Kolkata to the extent that they have not had to rely so much on the likes of Shubman Gill, Nitish Rana, or Morgan,” Sanjay Manjrekar said on Instagram.

Sanjay Manjrekar lauded the bowling unit of KKR, especially the spin duo of Varun Chakravarthy and Sunil Narine.

“Bowling is looking really formidable. Both spinners, Varun Chakravarthy and Sunil Narine, showing class in the last couple of games. Lockie Ferguson, good death bowler. If Russell is fit, he bowls in the death as well. And they will be hoping that he is fit.”

Sanjay Manjrekar shared his concerns about pacer Prasidh Krishna’s bowling at the death overs. The expensive penultimate over against CSK cost his side the match on Sunday (September 26). Sanjay Manjrekar felt KKR could use their spinners more at the death.

“Maybe Kolkata could look to use Prasidh Krishna in the first 16-17 overs. And if he doesn’t bowl his full quota of four overs, maybe they could not use him at the death and have Varun Chakravarthy and Sunil Narine to bowl at the death, because these are bowlers capable of bowling in the death. A lot of power hitters aren’t so good at death when it comes to hitting the spin.”

Prasidh Krishna has been expensive as his economy rate is above 9. Right from his debut IPL season in 2018, he has leaked more than 9 runs per over every time. His IPL career average is also above 35, so he may be rested for the next few games and the likes of Shivam Mavi, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, and Sandeep Warrier may be tried out.

Sanjay Manjrekar: Delhi Capitals Is A Formidable Side And The Best Team In IPL 2021

Sanjay Manjrekar reckons Delhi Capitals (DC) is the best side in the IPL based on their current form. He pointed out that their bench strength allows the Delhi Capitals to be at their best even when a regular player misses out on a game citing the example when Marcus Stoinis wasn’t fit, DC played only 3 instead of 4 overseas players and yet won.

“Delhi is a formidable side. As of today or in current form, it is the best team in this T20 league. When you call a big team, that is a team that doesn’t have any major weaknesses. In the last game, when Stoinis wasn’t fit, they played Lalit Yadav and it didn’t affect their performance. When they miss a player, it doesn’t affect their team drastically,” Sanjay Manjrekar added.

The only weakness the Delhi Capitals have, according to the commentator Sanjay Manjrekar, would be their dependence on two finger spinners. He wants Rishabh Pant to play wrist-spinner Amit Mishra to change that up.

“If at all there is a little weakness, maybe two finger spinners is a gamble. If you get a flat pitch and a power-hitting batting unit in the opposition, that can be a bit of a risk. So maybe Amit Mishra could get some games on occasion, because, every time he has played for Delhi, he has made quite a mark,” Sanjay Manjrekar signed off.

Leg-spinner Amit Mishra remains a vital cog in the Delhi Capitals’ machinery. The wily leg-spinner, who has the most hat-tricks in the tournament, has 166 IPL wickets against his name. While the injury cut short his IPL 2020 journey, the veteran spinner picked six wickets in 4 games averaging 18.16 before contracting the virus, which eventually led to the postponement of IPL 2021 in India.

DC are placed second in the pecking order with eight wins and 16 points from 10 outings, while two-time winners KKR find themselves in the fourth position with four wins and six defeats.

Predicted Playing 11s

KKR Predicted 11:  Shubman Gill, Venkatesh Iyer, Rahul Tripathi, Nitish Rana, Eoin Morgan (c), Dinesh Karthik (wk), Andre Russell/ Shakib Al Hasan, Sunil Narine, Lockie Ferguson, Varun Chakravarthy, Prasidh Krishna/ Shivam Mavi

DC Predicted 11:  Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (c/wk), Shimron Hetmyer, Marcus Stoinis/Lalit Yadav, R Ashwin/ Amit Mishra, Axar Patel, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Avesh Khan

KKR captain Eoin Morgan Twitter/@KKRiders
KKR captain Eoin Morgan- Twitter/@KKRiders
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Gautam Gambhir Lashes Out At KKR Skipper Eoin Morgan After He Received Code From Analyst In IPL 2021 UAE Leg

Gautam Gambhir played a pivotal role as KKR won two titles under his leadership in 2012 and 2014 and performed like a different unit altogether. However, after Gautam Gambhir quit the Kolkata Knight Riders franchise and took retirement from all formats, things haven’t gone so well for the Knights.

This year too, the franchise had a forgettable start to their campaign. With just 2 wins from 7 matches, KKR was staring at a possible eviction from the IPL 14 playoffs’ race as they were placed 7th. However, when the tournament moved to UAE for its second leg after bio bubble braches led to the Indian leg’s postponement, the Knights had a change in fortune.

Gautam Gambhir has led KKR to two IPL titles
Gautam Gambhir has led KKR to two IPL title

Gautam Gambhir Not Happy With Eoin Morgan’s Tactics

KKR registered two back-to-back dominating victories and announced that they were not out from the playoff race yet. But amidst all these ups and downs, the centre of attention is an intriguing tactic used by the franchise. During the matches at UAE, KKR skipper Eoin Morgan was seen receiving code from analyst Nathan Leamon. Now, their former skipper Gautam Gambhir has reacted sharply to this method.

Gautam Gambhir, who is also part of the commentary panel of IPL 14, lashed out at the tactic and said that he would have quit the captaincy if such methods were used during his tenure as KKR skipper. The former Indian southpaw was replying to a question by fellow commentator Aakash Chopra where he asked reaction to the move.

Eoin Morgan
Eoin Morgan (Image Credit: Twitter)

Eoin Morgan was appointed KKR captain last year replacing Dinesh Karthik midseason for the leadership role. KKR also roped England team analyst Nathan Leamon earlier this year to strengthen their support staff time. Although the partnership of Eoin Morgan and Nathan Leamon has delivered great results for the England team in international white-ball cricket, the duo failed to replicate the same performance for KKR this year.

Rahul Tripathi’s Knock In Vain As CSK Wins In The Last Ball Thriller

On Sunday, KKR clashed with MS Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings and scored 171/6 batting first. In response, CSK was able to chase down the target on the last ball of their innings. For KKR, Rahul Tripathi, and Nitish Rana scored 45 and 37 respectively as KKR posted 171/6 in the allotted twenty overs. Eoin Morgan’s side was struggling at one stage but Dinesh Karthik’s cameo of 26 runs of 11 balls helped KKR go past the 170-run mark.

Kolkata Knight Riders player Rahul Tripathi
Kolkata Knight Riders player Rahul Tripathi. Credit: PTI File Photo

With 24 required from ten balls, Ravindra Jadeja smashed Prasidh Krishna for 20 runs in four balls. Needing 34 runs to win from 21 balls with seven wickets in hand, Chennai Super Kings looked like they may have thrown away a simple chase as Moeen Ali, Suresh Raina, and MS Dhoni all fell within the space of six balls.

But Ravindra Jadeja crushed Kolkata Knight Riders’ victory hopes in the space of a devastating four-ball sequence in the 19th over as Chennai Super Kings eventually got over the line on the final ball in a dramatic two-wicket win on Sunday afternoon in Abu Dhabi.

Chennai Super Kings (Image Credit: Twitter)
Chennai Super Kings (Image Credit: Twitter)
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Opponents Needs To Play Their Best Game For 40 Overs To Beat In Form CSK: Virender Sehwag

Virender Sehwag said opponents would need to play their best game for the whole of 40 overs to beat MS Dhoni’s team, as he heaped massive praise on the CSK’s clever heist over KKR.

Chennai Super Kings on Sunday pulled off an emphatic 2-wicket win against Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 match no. 38 in Abu Dhabi. MS Dhoni and his boys came out with flying colours as they successfully completed a stiff chase of 172 runs.

Virender Sehwag Reuters Photo
Virender Sehwag Reuters Photo

Ravindra Jadeja Scored A Brisk 22 Runs Off Only 8 Balls Helping CSK Chase 172

Despite a solid start by the opening duo of Ruturaj Gaikwad and Faf du Plessis, CSK found it was hard to stop the regular fall of wickets. All-rounder Ravindra Jadeja played catalytic innings of 22 runs in 8 balls towards the end, before falling prey to Sunil Narine, on the fifth ball of the final over. With 1 required off 1 ball, Deepak Chahar gave the finishing touch.

Ruturaj Gaikwad was the top scorer for the Chennai Super Kings with 43 off 30 balls while his opening partner Faf du Plessis scored 40 off 28 balls.

Ravindra Jadeja With MS Dhoni CSK Twitter Handle
Ravindra Jadeja With MS Dhoni CSK Twitter Handle

Ravindra Jadeja single-handedly took the game away from a confident Kolkata Knight Riders in their Indian Premier League encounter at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium on Sunday as he scored 22 runs off the penultimate 19th over as Prasidh Krishna looked on haplessly.

With 24 required from ten balls, Ravindra Jadeja smashed Prasidh Krishna for 20 runs in four balls. Needing 34 runs to win from 21 balls with seven wickets in hand, Chennai Super Kings looked like they may have thrown away a simple chase as Moeen Ali, Suresh Raina, and MS Dhoni all fell within the space of six balls.

But Ravindra Jadeja crushed Kolkata Knight Riders’ victory hopes in the space of a devastating four-ball sequence in the 19th over as Chennai Super Kings eventually got over the line on the final ball in a dramatic two-wicket win on Sunday afternoon in Abu Dhabi.

Virender Sehwag: CSK Is Unbeatable When They Play Well

This win once again brought CSK skipper MS Dhoni under the limelight for his exemplary leadership. Heaping massive praise on the CSK’s clever heist over KKR, former India opener Virender Sehwag said opponents would need to play their best game for the whole of 40 overs to beat in-form MS Dhoni’s team.

“They made a statement right after arriving in the UAE as they won third game on the trot. It’s a known fact that if CSK is unbeatable when they play well. However, bowling has been their weak link. Like we saw today. They could have restricted KKR to 150-160 odd runs but, they conceded 171,”said Virender Sehwag.

Nitish Rana , AFP
Nitish Rana, AFP

“If they bat first and score 160-170 runs then may find it difficult to defend the total because they don’t have any variety in their bowling, neither the have any mystery spinner. So, that’s what I feel, the problem is. Otherwise, they have so much depth in their batting. Shardul comes in at no. 9 or 10. If you promote him up in the order, he will definitely score like a proper batter, like he did in England,” Virender Sehwag told Cricbuzz.

“The biggest challenge remains when they would bat first. It has to be seen how they play then. Everyone knows CSK is much better and you can’t have an easy win against them. You have to toil hard for the entire game. Like we say, when you face Australia, you need to play good cricket for the entire 40 overs. The same thing goes while playing against CSK,” Virender Sehwag added.

Virender Sehwag praised Chennai’s victory after a difficult last year in UAE when the franchise couldn’t reach the playoffs for the first time in IPL history. Earlier, for KKR, Rahul Tripathi and Nitish Rana scored 45 and 37 respectively as KKR posted 171/6 in the allotted twenty overs. Eoin Morgan’s side was struggling at one stage but Dinesh Karthik’s cameo of 26 runs of 11 balls helped KKR go past the 170-run mark.

Chennai Super Kings is now back on top of the IPL table with 16 points, ahead of Delhi Capitals on net run rate. The franchise next square off against out-of-the-race Sunrisers Hyderabad on Thursday in Sharjah.

Chennai Super Kings 172 for 8 (du Plessis 43, Gaikwad 40, Narine 3-41) beat Kolkata Knight Riders 171 for 6 (Tripathi 45, Rana 37, Thakur 2-20, Hazlewood 2-40) by two wickets

Ruturaj Gaikwad
Ruturaj Gaikwad (Image Credit: Twitter)
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Ruturaj Gaikwad Was Very Nervous To Watch The Last Ball But His Side CSK Clinch Thriller

Ruturaj Gaikwad, Chennai Super Kings (CSK) opening batsman has revealed that he was very nervous while watching the last ball of the Indian Premier League (IPL) game against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR).

Ravindra Jadeja single-handedly took the game away from a confident Kolkata Knight Riders in their Indian Premier League encounter at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium on Sunday as he scored 22 runs off the penultimate 19th over as Prasidh Krishna looked on haplessly. The two-wicket win saw CSK return to the top of the table.

Ruturaj Gaikwad
Ruturaj Gaikwad (Image Credit: Twitter)

Ruturaj Gaikwad Was Very Nervous To Watch The Last Ball But CSK Managed To Win By 2 Wickets

Chennai Super Kings defeated a confident Kolkata Knight Riders, who won their last 2 games against RCB and MI, by 2 wickets to win a thrilling encounter in Abu Dhabi on Sunday. With 4 runs required off the last over, CSK lost two crucial wickets in the final over. However, pacer all-rounder Deepak Chahar scored the winning runs. It turned out to be a close contest but CSK scraped through in an unlikely win.

“I was hiding behind one of our members, was very nervous to watch the last ball. When you are chasing a big total, the opening stand is crucial. We managed to do it today. Would have been better if one of us batted till the 13th over.

“The game wouldn’t have come this closer. He (Dhoni) is very cool. everyone sitting in the dugout is used to the pressure in their international careers too,” Ruturaj Gaikwad told host broadcaster Star Sports after the game ended.

Ravindra Jadeja
Ravindra Jadeja (Image Credit: Twitter)

With 24 required from ten balls, Ravindra Jadeja smashed Prasidh Krishna for 20 runs in four balls. Needing 34 runs to win from 21 balls with seven wickets in hand, Chennai Super Kings looked like they may have thrown away a simple chase as Moeen Ali, Suresh Raina, and MS Dhoni all fell within the space of six balls.

But Chennai Super Kings had another all-rounder in playing XI in the form of Ravindra Jadeja, who crushed Kolkata Knight Riders’ victory hopes in the space of a devastating four-ball sequence in the 19th over as Chennai Super Kings eventually got over the line on the final ball in a dramatic two-wicket win on Sunday afternoon in Abu Dhabi.

Ruturaj Gaikwad Didn’t Want To See The Last Ball For Batting Again In The Nervous Super Over In Case Scores Were Tied

Ruturaj Gaikwad was the top scorer for the Chennai Super Kings with 43 off 30 balls. Faf du Plessis scored 40 off 28 while Ravindra Jadeja contributed with an 8-ball 22. Faf du Plessis-394 runs and Ruturaj Gaikwad-362 runs to occupy the 3rd and 4th spot in leading run-getters in the ongoing IPL 2021 as the opening duo continued their dominance over KKR.

“So I think they are really cool and back themselves to cross the line, The last ball (didn’t want to see), because if there was a Super Over. maybe I could have batted and all the nervousness could have kicked in. Obviously, after every win, we do have celebrations. And when we lose the atmosphere is quite chilled out and normal as well. When we win we celebrate a lot,” he added.

Faf du Plessis and Ruturaj Gaikwad (Image Credit: Twitter)
Faf du Plessis and Ruturaj Gaikwad (Image Credit: Twitter)

Earlier, Rahul Tripathi and Nitish Rana scored 45 and 37 respectively as KKR posted 171/6 in the allotted twenty overs. Eoin Morgan’s side was struggling at one stage but Dinesh Karthik’s cameo of 26 runs of 11 balls helped KKR go past the 170-run mark. CSK will next lock horns with SunRisers Hyderabad on Thursday in the IPL. Chennai Super Kings is now back on top of the IPL table with 16 points, ahead of Delhi Capitals on net run rate.

Chennai Super Kings 172 for 8 (du Plessis 43, Gaikwad 40, Narine 3-41) beat Kolkata Knight Riders 171 for 6 (Tripathi 45, Rana 37, Thakur 2-20, Hazlewood 2-40) by two wickets

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