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Sanju Samson
Sanju Samson (Image Credit: Twitter)

IPL 2022: Sanju Samson Retained, KL Rahul Set To Leave Punjab Kings, MS Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, Ruturaj Gaikwad To Be Retained By CSK

Sanju Samson is the first player Rajasthan Royals have retained for IPL 2022. The 27-year old will continue as captain after agreeing to an INR 14 crore per season contract this week. Sanju Samson, it is learned, was first on the list of players Rajasthan Royals wanted to keep before the retention window for IPL 2022 closes on November 30.
The frontrunners for the remaining three slots (in no particular order) are – wicketkeeper-batter Jos Buttler, fast bowler Jofra Archer, allrounder Liam Livingstone – and uncapped opener Yashasvi Jaiswal.
IPL 2022: Sanju Samson, Jos Buttler, Instagram
Sanju Samson, Jos Buttler, Instagram

IPL 2022: Sanju Samson Retained By Rajasthan Royals; Chennai Super Kings May Retain MS Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, and Ruturaj Gaikwad; KL Rahul Set To Leave Punjab Kings

Sanju Samson joined Rajasthan Royals in 2018 for INR 8 crore. Sanju Samson was elevated to the captaincy last season and though he couldn’t take the team into the playoffs he still finished IPL 2021 with 484 runs at a strike rate of 137.  Ben Stokes (INR 12.5 crore), Jofra Archer (INR 7.2 crore), and Jos Buttler (INR 4.4 crore) also cost the Rajasthan Royals big money but they’ve been big-impact players. Jofra Archer even won Player of the Tournament in 2020 but had to sit this year out due to injury.

Even as the first deadline for the retentions is approaching, the franchises are in talks with players in a bid to get their preferred personnel. BCCI authorities have also been apprised of this. The eight existing IPL teams have November 30 to decide their retentions and already speculations are rife as to who is being retained or discarded.

KL Rahul
KL Rahul (Image Credit: Twitter)

Rishabh Pant is set to stay on as captain of the Delhi Capitals while KL Rahul is all set to leave Punjab Kings and one of the new franchises, most likely Lucknow, could rope him in.

Hardik Pandya and Krunal Pandya may be approached by the new Ahmedabad franchise if they don’t figure in the Mumbai Indians’ retention list. Shreyas Iyer, it is learned, will prefer to be in the auction pool rather than being retained while Shikhar Dhawan, too, is one of the players hotly pursued by the two new teams.

The other big retention talk is that some players are unwilling to stay with a few franchises and the management also is not exactly fretting over it. The franchises would rather go in with a full purse and buy afresh. Others, depending on the number of their retentions, will have fewer funds.

Besides MS Dhoni, Chennai Super Kings is likely to retain Ravindra Jadeja and Ruturaj Gaikwad. One of Moeen Ali, Sam Curran, and Faf du Plessis will be their choice for the foreign player retention, with the franchise confirming that skipper MS Dhoni will have the final say on that matter. A top CSK official said that the franchise will try hard to buy back the players in the auction they fail to retain.

Mumbai Indians Pondering To Retain Kieron Pollard While Royal Challengers Bangalore Yet To Decide Their Skipper; Sunrisers Hyderabad Is Negotiating With Spinner Rashid Khan  To Retain Him

Mumbai Indians could retain Jasprit Bumrah, Ishan Kishan apart from Rohit Sharma but the internal debate for the five-time champions is on Kieron Pollard who is being seen as retention material. MI is unlikely to let him go.

Apart from Rishabh Pant, Prithvi Shaw, Axar Patel, and Anrich Nortje or Kagiso Rabada are said to be on the Delhi Capitals retention list. The big debate in their camp is around pacer Avesh Khan, who has done well in IPL 2021. Having still not played for India, he could come for just Rs 4 crore, the price tag for an uncapped player.

Besides, Virat Kohli, the others in the retention list of Royal Challengers Bangalore could be opener Devdutt Paddikal, spinner Yuzvendra Chahal or pacer Mohammed Siraj, besides big-hitting all-rounder Glenn Maxwell. The point to ponder for them is who will be their skipper. With KL Rahul unlikely to be available in the auction, they need a quality player to step into the shoes of Virat Kohli, who has given up captaincy.

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

Sunrisers Hyderabad could end up with only one retention in Kane Williamson, who is set to continue as their captain as well. The second retention could be spinner Rashid Khan, who has the best economy rate in IPL history but it is understood that a hard bargain is ongoing between the two parties.

Negotiations are also underway between Rashid Khan and Sunrisers Hyderabad. The Afghanistan leggie, one of the best T20 bowlers in the world, wants to be retained as the No. 1 player in IPL 2022 and the franchise may want to give that privilege to Kane Williamson, one of the most revered captains in world cricket. For the record, the difference between the two positions is Rs 4 crore (more than half a million dollars).

Punjab Kings may retain a couple of uncapped players like Ravi Bishnoi and Arshdeep Singh for IPL 2022. Shahrukh Khan, who recently smashed a last-ball six in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 final, is also on that radar too.

The frontline choices of Kolkata Knight Riders for IPL 2022 seem to be Varun Chakravarthy and Sunil Narine, whom the franchise has taken much care of. The likes of Shubman Gill and big-hitting Andre Russell follow while IPL 2021 UAE leg sensation Venkatesh Iyer is a dark horse to be retained.

For existing teams, the deadline for retentions for IPL 2022 is until November 30. For the two new teams, the timeline to pick their players is from December 1-25. The 8 existing teams will first get the opportunity to retain a maximum of four players – not more than three Indians and not more than two foreigners.

Thereafter, the two new teams will be able to pick a maximum of three players – not more than two Indians and not more than one foreignerbefore the mega auctions. Rs. 90 Crores is what the 10 teams have but deductions will apply based on the number of retentions.

In case of 4 retentions, Rs 42 crore will be cut from the funds, Rs 33 crore in case of 3 retentions, Rs 24 crore if there are 2 retentions, and only Rs 14 crore if a team keeps only one player. However, if a franchisee pays any player(s) more than the suggested slab (they are permitted to), then the difference is deductible from the franchise’s purse.

KL Rahul Image Source : GETTY IMAGES
KL Rahul Image Source : GETTY IMAGES

KL Rahul Frontrunner To Lead In New Zealand T20Is Series At Home, Fans May Return

KL Rahul could don the captain’s hat as keeping in mind the players’ fatigue due to the bio- bubble life, some senior players will be rested for the T20I series against New Zealand. The performance of the Indian cricket team in the T20 World Cup has been anything but satisfactory so far.

A source in the know confirmed that KL Rahul is the front runner for the job.

KL Rahul
KL Rahul-Reuters.

KL Rahul May Be Assigned Captaincy For NZ Limited Over Series As Seniors Need A Breather From Bio Bubble

KL Rahul won the orange cap scoring 670 runs at an average of 55.83 in IPL 2020, and followed it up by scoring 626 runs averaging 62.6 in 13 IPL 2021 games. KL Rahul finished as 3rd highest run-getter behind CSK’s openers Ruturaj Gaikwad and Faf du Plessis in IPL 2021.

“The seniors would need a breather and it is no secret that KL Rahul is an integral part of the team’s T20 structure. He is almost certain to lead,” the source said.

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

Interestingly, fans will return to the stadium for the series, but with an eye on the COVID-19 protocols. The tour will begin on November 17 with a T20 series – Jaipur will host the first game, followed by Ranchi and Kolkata. The two-match Test series will be played in Kanpur and Kolkata between November 25 and December 7.

“Yes, we will have fans coming in, but it won’t be full capacity. We will work closely with the local authorities and plan the way forward,” a BCCI official said.

Having lost both the matches against Pakistan and New Zealand in the tournament so far, the chances of Virat Kohli and co qualifying for the semis are very slim. Considering the number of matches the Indian players have been playing since the World Test Championship final, senior players like Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma will be rested for the New Zealand T20Is.

Jasprit Bumrah: Sometimes One Need A Break From Bio Bubble Fatigue

Coming back to resting seniors for the T20I series, Jasprit Bumrah did throw light on the fatigue factor after the loss against the Kiwis on Sunday.

“Sometimes you need a break. You miss your family sometimes. You’ve been on the road for six months. So all of that sometimes play on the back of your mind. But when you’re on the field, you don’t think of all those things. You don’t control a lot of things, how the scheduling goes on or what tournament is played when.”

India's Jasprit Bumrah in action during the 2019 ICC World Cup | AFP / Dibyangshu Sarkar
India’s Jasprit Bumrah in action during the 2019 ICC World Cup | AFP / Dibyangshu Sarkar

“So obviously staying in a bubble and staying away from your family for such a long period of time does play a role on the player’s mind as well. But they also tried their best to make us feel comfortable.

“But this is the time which we’re living in right now. It’s a difficult time. There’s a pandemic going on. So we try to adapt. But sometimes bubble fatigue, mental fatigue also creeps in, that you’re doing the same thing again and again and again. So it is the way it is, and you can’t control a lot of it here,” he said.

Prithvi Shaw, Devdutt Padikkal, Ruturaj Gaikwad, and Mayank Agarwal are some of the main contenders to open alongside KL Rahul in the series. At the same time, Yuzvendra Chahal and Shikhar Dhawan, both of whom were not selected in the T20 World Cup squad, are likely to be named as well.

After an impressive run in the IPL 2021, Avesh Khan, Mohammed Siraj, Arshdeep Singh, Chetan Sakariya, and Harshal Patel are also on the reckoning as pacers, while Ravi Bishnoi could also make a way in the spin column.

IND vs NZ: New Zealand will play a T20I series and then follow it up with two Test matches. The T20Is will be played on November 17 in Jaipur, November 19 in Ranchi, and November 21 in Kolkata. The two Tests will be played in Kanpur (November 25-29) and Mumbai (December 3-7).

Ness Wadia. (TOI Photo)
Ness Wadia. (TOI Photo)

Ness Wadia Thinks Each New Team In IPL 2022 Would Go For 3,000 To 3,500 Crores

Ness Wadia, Punjab Kings co-owner, expects each of two new teams in the IPL – set to be announced by the BCCI on October 25 after a team auction – to be sold for not less than 3,000 to 3,500 cr.

Punjab Kings co-owner Ness Wadia feels Rs 2000 crore base price for two new IPL teams is a conservative number that should go up by 50 to 100 per cent during bidding.

Punjab Kings co-owner Ness Wadia. - PTI
Punjab Kings co-owner Ness Wadia. – PTI

Ness Wadia Thinks Each New Team Would Go For A Minimum Of 3000-3500 Crores

Punjab Kings, who are almost out of playoffs contention this season, are again expected to build a squad from scratch, having failed in their pursuit of success repeatedly, as they are one of the teams yet to win an IPL.

“The value of each of the new teams should be 50 to 75% more than the base price of Rs 2000 cr. I think each team would go for a minimum of 3,000 to 3,500 cr,” Ness Wadia said.

He welcomed the addition of the new teams to the current eight-team IPL.

“I’m excited about two new teams coming in because it will add a new dimension to the league. It will bring in a much wider base of viewership. I believe that it will add a lot of opportunity to not only several other cricketers but will bring in a lot of income to coaching staff and owners. More importantly, it will enhance the number of games in the IPL, so the fans will get a lot more cricket to watch,” said Ness Wadia.

IPL Trophy. (BCCI/IPL Photo)
IPL Trophy. (BCCI/IPL Photo)

The IPL player auction would be a mega auction as it will be interesting to see how many players each franchise would be allowed to retain, now that there would be two new teams in the mix.

“It should be fair and equitable, especially to the two new teams coming in. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens from that perspective,” he said.

While several teams will try to retain their top players, there will still be players who’ll be hot property in the auction.

“We don’t know what the retention or right to match will be. We’ll see (things) based on that. I think there are several players which teams will be gunning for,” said Ness Wadia.

He hailed the BCCI’s decision to schedule two IPL matches at the same time on the final day of the league phase so that no team has an extra advantage in terms of knowing what to do in their last league match.

“I think the BCCI’s objective has always been to have a balanced and equitable standing and positioning for each of the teams. It’s a good decision. I congratulate them for being so pro-active,” said Ness Wadia.

The KL Rahul-led side is sitting at the fifth position in the IPL 2021 points table with 10 points from 13 games, and their habit of losing games from winning positions will definitely come to haunt them. They have played a game extra, and Kolkata Knight Riders winning against Sunrisers Hyderabad has also made their chances bleak.

Ness Wadia Opens Up On Chris Gayle’s Decision To Leave PBKS Bio-Bubble, Nicholas Pooran’s Poor Form

Ness Wadia expressed sympathy for ‘Universe Boss’ West Indies veteran batsman Chris Gayle, who, citing bubble fatigue, decided to leave the Punjab Kings bio-bubble in UAE midway to take a break for the forthcoming T20I World Cup.

“We respect his decision and totally understand and sympathize with him. The bubble is a very difficult place and we’re grateful, thankful and respectful of all our players and we do know that they compromise a lot of their life by spending time in the bubble, and we salute each of our players for doing so,” said Ness Wadia.

He was disappointed by the poor form of West Indies’ batting gun Nicholas’ Pooran, who has managed to put together just 85 runs in 12 matches averaging 7.72.

“Pooran’s form has been disappointing. However, he’s a world-class player and I’m sure that he’ll bounce back, learn from his shortcomings in this IPL season, and do well for the West Indies and club. I’m sure that he’ll be an improved player, and will understand that his role is critical in the team. He’ll understand that he has the potential to do greater things. It’s just about optimizing his talent,” said Ness Wadia.

Chris Gayle, Nicholas Pooran (Picture Credit: BCCI/IPL)
Chris Gayle, Nicholas Pooran (Picture Credit: BCCI/IPL)

Skipper KL Rahul has evolved into an all-format leading player for India. His evolution is pleasing to the Punjab Kings’ co-owner. KL Rahul is the leading run-scorer in IPL 2020 (670 runs) and IPL 2021 so far (528 runs).

“KL’s evolution is definitely pleasing. Firstly from an India perspective. He’s a wonderful all-round player. I’m so happy for him and the Indian team. I’m sure that he’ll go from strength to strength,” he said.

Ness Wadia also opened up about the change in the franchise’s name from Kings XI Punjab to Punjab Kings.

“The board felt that it was important to change the name after playing with the same name for 14 years. We felt that I was a good change to bring in, so we did that,” Ness Wadia said.

Punjab Kings have lost a few games from winning positions. For example, in a league match against the Rajasthan Royals, they needed 15 off the final two overs, with eight wickets in hand. These kinds of close defeats snatched from certain victories have left the team’s co-owner disappointed.

“It’s a bit disappointing. We should’ve done better, and I’m sure that we will. I’m sure that the players are well aware of their responsibilities, required focus, and improvement in closing out of games. But there’s a lot of pressure, and one does understand that,” Ness Wadia said.

Youngsters pacer Arshdeep Singh and spinner Ravi Bishnoi have shown tremendous promise.

“I think that India has a wonderful bunch of players. If India were to play with two cricket teams, we’d still be in the top five in the world. That’s the kind of talent we have,” concluded Ness Wadia.

The only possible way for Punjab Kings will be to win their remaining game at first by a considerable margin as it will keep them in the race for the playoff spot. But it won’t be easy as their next fixture will be against Chennai Super Kings. They will also have to hope that Kolkata Knight Riders lose the game to RR by a huge margin.

Punjab Kings (Image Credit: Twitter)
Punjab Kings (Image Credit: Twitter)

Punjab Kings Signed Leg Spinner Adil Rashid As A Replacement Player For IPL 2021 UAE Leg

Punjab Kings have signed Adil Rashid as a replacement player for the UAE leg of IPL 2021. The 33-year-old England leg-spinner, the joint-highest wicket-taker at The Hundred, replaces Australian fast bowler Jhye Richardson, who along with compatriot Riley Meredith, has withdrawn from the second half of the tournament.

Adil Rashid is yet to feature in IPL.
Adil Rashid is yet to feature in IPL. © Getty

Punjab Kings Acquired Nathan Ellis And Adil Rashid As The Replacement Players

Punjab Kings management had already confirmed the signing of Nathan Ellis as one of the replacement players and the acquisition of Adil Rashid balances their quota of eight overseas players.

Nathan Ellis, the Australian pacer is having a dream year. He got to make his T20I debut against Bangladesh recently and made it memorable by picking a hat-trick. Apart from that, he was also named as a reserve player in the squad for the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup 2021. Now, the year 2021 has got even bigger for him as Punjab Kings has picked him for the UAE leg which is set to resume on September 19.

Adil Rashid, who hasn’t played in the IPL before, is currently ranked fourth in ICC’s list of T20I bowlers and has taken 232 wickets from 201 T20 matches at an economy of 7.43. He is one of three Englishmen in the Punjab Kings setup, alongside Dawid Malan and Chris Jordan. He will also be one of three leg-spinning options for KL Rahul alongside the Indian pair of Ravi Bishnoi and Murugan Ashwin.

Aussie pacer Nathan Ellis has signed for an IPL franchise for the 2021 season | Courtesy: @HurricanesBBL | Photo Credit: Twitter
Aussie pacer Nathan Ellis has signed for an IPL franchise for the 2021 season | Courtesy: @HurricanesBBL | Photo Credit: Twitter

Punjab Kings are placed sixth in the standings and will begin their UAE leg with a clash against Rajasthan Royals in Dubai on September 21.

Adil Rashid Will Join Punjab Kings Squad On September 8 In Dubai

It is understood that Adil Rashid will join the Punjab Kings on September 8 in Dubai and will be available for the entire second chunk of the tournament. The Punjab Kings will land in Dubai on August 29 and undergo the mandatory six-day hotel quarantine before starting their training.
Adil Rashid, who had a base price of INR 1.5 crore (US$ 200,000 approx.), went unsold in the IPL auction held earlier this year. A regular in England’s limited-overs set-up, he has picked up 65 wickets in 62 T20Is at an average of 24.29. In the series against Pakistan in July, Adil Rashid picked up six wickets in two T20Is at a cost of 65 runs in his eight overs.
Punjab Kings rope in Adil Rashid. (Image Credit: PBKS Twitter)
Punjab Kings’ rope in Adil Rashid. (Image Credit: PBKS Twitter)
At the time of this update, Adil Rashid is ranked fourth in the ICC table for T20I bowlers, behind South Africa’s Tabraiz Shamsi, who recently signed with the Rajasthan Royals, Sri Lanka’s Wanindu Hasaranga, now a Royal Challengers Bangalore replacement player, and Rashid Khan, the Afghanistan stalwart who has been a star for the Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Punjab Kings already have legspinners Murugan Ashwin and Ravi Bishnoi and finger spinning options in Jalaj Saxena, Saurabh Kumar, and Harpreet Brar, but Adil Rashid, apart from being much more experienced than the others, could be a smart pick in place of a quick because of the large grounds in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
Yuzvendra Chahal
Yuzvendra Chahal. Image Credits: Twitter

Yuzvendra Chahal Picks CSK As The Franchise He Would Like To Play For If Not RCB

Yuzvendra Chahal picked Chennai Super Kings as the franchise he would like to play for in IPL if not Royal Challengers Bangalore.

The leg spinner has played for 2 franchises — MI and RCB — in IPL so far. He has been with RCB since 2014. The spinner picked CSK as the franchise he would like to play for if not RCB.

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

Yuzvendra Chahal Picked CSK As The Franchise He Would Play For If Not RCB

The past few months might not have seen Yuzvendra Chahal perform at his absolute best but the leg-spinner still remains a potent weapon both for the Indian cricket team and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in white-ball cricket. He was recently asked which franchise he would like to play for if not RCB.

After starting his career with Mumbai Indians in IPL back in 2011, Yuzvendra Chahal had to wait till 2013 to make his debut for the franchise. He only played one game in the 2013 season before being dropped into the players’ pool at the next auction. He was then picked up by RCB ahead of the 2014 auction and the 30-year-old has since been a mainstay in the team.

Yuzvendra Chahal Mumbai Indians
Yuzvendra Chahal Mumbai Indians. (Photo Source: Twitter)

When asked about a franchise he sees himself playing for if not RCB in a Q&A with Crictracker, Yuzvendra Chahal picked the name of 3 times IPL winner Chennai Super Kings. Considering the sort of environment CSK has for spinners, it isn’t much of a surprise that Yuzvendra Chahal picked the MS Dhoni-led side.

Over the years, the spinner has been one of the finest performers for RCB in the IPL. He has played 13 or more games for the Virat Kohli-led franchise every single season since joining them 8 years ago in 2014. In his IPL career so far, he has played a total of 106 matches, taking 125 wickets at an average of 23.30. He also has a decent economy rate of 7.70.

Yuzvendra Chahal Bagged Only 4 Scalps In 7 Games In IPL 2021

The IPL 2021 that was cut short due to the Covid-19 outbreak within the league, had seen Yuzvendra Chahal bag just 4 wickets in 7 matches averaging 47.5 and an economy rate of 8.26. The veteran spinner hasn’t looked at his best this year and the situation has also put his participation in the forthcoming T20 World Cup under question.

Rahul Chahar
Rahul Chahar. Image Credits: Twitter

The emergence of some of the other spinners like Varun Chakravarthy, Rahul Chahar, and Ravi Bishnoi has increased the competition for him. He, however, still has the Sri Lanka tour as well as the remainder of the IPL 2021 campaign to rediscover his form and submit a strong case for the T20 World Cup selection.

From having made his debut for RCB in 2014 to earning a national call-up in 2016 and taking 100 wickets in the IPL, Yuzvendra Chahal has had an impressive career so far. In his young international career thus far, the 30-year old has bagged 92 and 62 wickets in 54 ODIs and 48 T20Is respectively.

Yuzvendra Chahal will get a chance to show his credentials when India takes on Sri Lanka in July. He is expected to be part of the Indian squad which will play three T20Is and three ODIs against the Lankans.

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

It’s An Amazing And Interesting Idea To Appoint Rahul Dravid As Coach, Says Inzamam-Ul-Haq

Inzamam-Ul-Haq, former Pakistan captain is excited at the prospect of seeing Rahul Dravid take charge of the team when India travels to Sri Lanka to play an ODI and T20I series in July. With head coach Ravi Shastri scheduled to be in England overseeing proceedings for the Indian Test team, Rahul Dravid, who is currently serving as the NCA chief is the likely candidate to travel with the squad as its coach.

Rahul Dravid has earlier served as coach of the India A and Under-19 team and delivered wonderful results with the Under-19 team winning the World Cup in 2018.

Inzamam-Ul-Haq talks about Rahul Dravid being India coach.(Getty Images)
Inzamam-Ul-Haq talks about Rahul Dravid being India coach.(Getty Images)

Inzamam-Ul-Haq: It’s An Amazing And Interesting Idea To Appoint Rahul Dravid As Limited Overs Coach For Sri Lanka Tour

Inzamam-Ul-Haq, who has been appreciative of Rahul Dravid and his role in the development of Indian cricket, feels the former India batsman taking charge could only mean good things for the squad that will travel to Sri Lanka. With Rahul Dravid at the helm, Inzamam-Ul-Haq expects an amazing and interesting experience for the Indian team.

“I had mentioned Rahul Dravid earlier as well… how he started producing players from the Under-19 group, who have gone on to play for the Indian team on a regular basis. And even now I ‘m hearing that the team which is going to Sri Lanka, Rahul Dravid could be its coach, he could look after it. I think that’s an amazing, interesting idea,” Inzamam said on his YouTube channel ‘The Match Winner’.

Rahul Dravid
Rahul Dravid- K. MURALI KUMAR

In the video, Inzamam-Ul-Haq pointed out how India has worked hard on improving their domestic structure, due to which they have reached a stage where they have at least 50 players ready to play for the national team.

Inzamam-Ul-Haq: If India Successfully Pulls Off Fielding Two Different International Teams At The Same Time, It Will Be A Benchmark For Other Teams

India will be the first team in this decade to field two separate teams near the same time in two different countries, which shows the exemplary bench strength it has. And if they are able to pull this off, the former Pakistan batsman feels it will set a benchmark for other cricket-playing nations to match.

“India are bringing a change in world cricket and I believe whichever nation strengthens its base, improves its First-Class structure, that country would be able to do what India are doing now – fielding two different international teams almost at the same time. If India are able to successfully pull it off, it will set a benchmark for the rest of the teams,” Inzamam said.

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

Rahul Dravid, former India skipper, and current National Cricket Academy (NCA) head will coach the Indian limited-overs team that will play a six-game series (3 T20Is, 3 ODIs) against Sri Lanka in July. This will be Rahul Dravid’s second stint with the Indian team after working with the Men in Blue as a batting consultant during the England tour in 2014.

While Shikhar Dhawan and Hardik Pandya look the only certainty for the Indian side, speculations are rife over who all are going to be included in the side. Young guns like Prithvi Shaw, Devdutt Padikkal, N Jagadeesan, Ravi Bishnoi, Ruturaj Gaikwad, and Chetan Sakariya might get rewarded for a good show in the IPL 2021.

Jalaj Saxena led Kerala to their first victory of the Ranji Trophy season. (Image: Facebook)
Jalaj Saxena led Kerala to their first victory of the Ranji Trophy season. (Image: Facebook)

Jalaj Saxena Taking IPL Contract As A Process To Do Better

Jalaj Saxena has been with IPL teams like Mumbai Indians, Royal Challengers Bangalore, and Delhi Daredevils in the past but is yet to play an IPL game.

The player auction for IPL 2021 saw plenty of players go for big bids. Jalaj Saxena, who is yet to debut in IPL despite in the squad for several teams went to Punjab Kings for his base price of Rs 30 lakh.

Jalaj Saxena says he has always done his part as far as communicating with the selectors is concerned.
Jalaj Saxena says he has always done his part as far as communicating with the selectors is concerned.(Photo: IANS)

Jalaj Saxena: It Would Have Been Great If Consistent Performances Took Me To Higher Levels

Jalaj Saxena has hardly been noticed by the selectors that matter the most despite scoring 6334 runs with 14 hundred having an average around 36 with the bat, 347 wickets at an average around 27 with the ball from 123 first-class matches, first for Madhya Pradesh and then for Kerala. Anyone with these numbers will be considered a premium all-rounder.

Well, he technically has been recognized by the BCCI as the best domestic all-rounder in 2014-15, 2015-16, and 2017-18, but the bigger rewards like getting selected to play for India haven’t come. He has hardly been given consistent stints with India A as well. At one stage in his career, Jalaj Saxena was even vocal about his disappointment.

“I have the self-satisfaction of doing well, but I would have had greater satisfaction if performances like these would have taken me to higher levels too. If I had got rewards with the awards, it would have felt better,” Jalaj Saxena told ESPNcricinfo in 2018.

“I still don’t think I’ve got many opportunities.”

Jalaj Saxena shared the dressing room with Sourav Ganguly during his stint with the Delhi Capitals in IPL 2019.
Jalaj Saxena shared the dressing room with Sourav Ganguly during his stint with the Delhi Capitals in IPL 2019.(Photo Courtesy: Facebook/Jalaj Saxena)

He would even tweet his achievements, hoping for the higher powers to notice. In the Vijay Hazare Trophy 2021, he picked up 8 wickets at an economy of just 3.74. In the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, T20 he got 10 wickets from 5 matches at an incredible economy of 6.26. The reward – an IPL contract – was very well deserved.

“I like to update myself every year, I try to keep learning new things,” he tells Cricketnext.

“I’ve been working on the carrom ball for a long. Not just that, there are many variations that I try to keep learning. That’s what I’ve been doing, these are the rewards, that I’m getting selected for IPL franchises again.”

“Honestly, I’m just taking it as a process to become a better player. Results are just an outcome of the process. I want to become a better bowler, a better player. For that, I need to update myself and learn new things.”

“ If you’re fit enough, if you’re performing and willing to learn new stuff, then age is just a number. When I started cricket as a career it was just because I loved it. Still, I love it, that’s the motivation. Every day, every season when I start preparation, I want to add new things and improve. Hopefully, I will play for the country as well.”

Jalaj Saxena, though, is a lot different now at 34 years of age, and much calmer. He hardly worries about ‘results’, doesn’t rue the lack of ‘rewards’. Instead, he’s still charged up as ever, stressing age is just a number. His only focus is on the process. He is still working on carrom balls and googlies, adding to his armoury.

Jalaj Saxena Is Happy And Excited To Be Back In IPL After Going Unsold Last Season

Jalaj Saxena’s transition – from a person wondering about rewards to one who is fully focused on the process – is the most striking difference in his journey over the last three years.

“I’ve been fortunate that I have people around me who always guide me. They’re always there when I felt negativity in my heart. I feel it’s again a process, you learn about that mentality and learn to be positive. This is the phase where I’m very positive and looking forward to new phases of my life.” he explains.

“My brother Jatin Saxena, we always have long chats about life and cricket. He has been a great motivator and a great friend who has always helped me in my cricketing journey.”

Jalaj Saxena With Md Kaif (Image: Facebook)
Jalaj Saxena With Md Kaif (Image: Facebook)

Jalaj Saxena is yet to play a game in IPL.

“We all know that IPL is a very good platform for everyone who wants to play for the country. You never know, one good season and you’re there. Very happy and excited, hopefully, I’ll get an opportunity, and hopefully, the Punjab team does well so that every player will get into the limelight. I’m very excited about it.”

“I feel I’m very fortunate to play under Anil Kumble (coach). Anil sir is a legend and if I talk about spin. he’s an institution. There will be so much to learn from him and I’m looking forward to it. Hope I learn many things.”

Jalaj Saxena was unsold last season, but the debut could happen this year considering the lack of Indian all-rounders in the Punjab Kings set up. He is not just looking forward to making his IPL debut but has his eyes on bigger things.

“We lifting the trophy and me contributing. That’s one thing I dream of. It’s a result-oriented thing, but if we can focus on the process the results will come.”

He may not get a game though at least in the initial matches. The presence of Deepak Hooda, Murugan Ashwin, and Ravi Bishnoi may hurt his chances.

PBKS Predicted XI: KL Rahul, Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal, Nicholas Pooran, Deepak Hooda, Moises Henriques, Shahrukh Khan/Mandeep Singh/Sarfaraz Khan, Murugan Ashwin, Ravi Bishnoi, Mohammed Shami, Jhye Richardson

Source: Google

Arshdeep Singh Praises Ravi Bishnoi As KXIP Defend 126

Arshdeep Singh, Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) pace bowler is happy with the team’s performance against SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH) and praised his teammate spinner Ravi Bishnoi for his “exceptional” performance.

KXIP secured a 12-run win over SRH in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL). KXIP only scored 126 runs before bowlers restricted SRH to only 114 runs.


Arshdeep Singh: Spinner Ravi Bishnoi Has Been Exceptional And Bowling Well Besides Being Economical

Pacer Arshdeep Singh himself took 3 wickets for 23 runs and pacer Chris Jordan took 3 wickets for 17 runs while spinner Ravi Bishnoi took one wicket during the match and gave away just 13 runs from his four overs as Punjab successfully defended 126 runs and won the match by 12 runs with SRH managing only 114.

Arshdeep Singh
Arshdeep Singh
Photo Credit: BCCI/IPL.

“Ravi has been really exceptional for us. He has been bowling really well. The main thing is that his overs are very economical. And when he gets a chance, he gives us a major breakthrough,” Arshdeep said during the post-match press conference.

Arshdeep Singh and Chris Jordan also delivered impressive performances as KXIP successfully defended their low total.

Arshdeep Singh: KXIP Taking Game By Game And Not Thinking About Playoffs

With this win, KXIP now has 10 points and is placed at the fifth spot in the points table with 5 wins. On the other hand, SRH is in sixth place with 8 points from 4 wins. Earlier in this season, KXIP lost 6 matches and won only one match and were languishing at the last or 8th position but bounced back and won 4 back-to-back matches.

When asked about the play-off spot, Arshdeep Singh said the team is taking one game at a time and not thinking about too far ahead.

“We are not looking that far and taking it game by game. After we won that Super Over, the belief has been great in the squad. We believe that we can do anything that is needed for the team. We just stuck to our plans and it paid off,” he said. 

Kings XI Punjab will face Kolkata Knight Riders next on 26th October while SunRisers Hyderabad will face 2nd placed Delhi Capitals on the next day (27th October).

KL Rahul, Chris Gayle
KL Rahul, Chris Gayle
Photo Credit: BCCI/IPL.

KXIP are bolstered by the return of big-hitter Chris Gayle as evident that after his inclusion, KXIP won all their 4 matches. This time around, however, the batsmen failed to contribute but the bowlers made up.

SunRisers Hyderabad was looking on course for a comfortable victory as they were cruising at 56 for no loss in the 7th over but lost three quick wickets before Manish Pandey and Vijay Shankar somewhat resurrected the innings but the last 7 wickets fell for only 14 runs as the lower middle order failed to contribute.

Chris Jordan won MOM for 3/17, and Mohammed Shami, who picked 1/34 in that game, is now the joint 2nd most wicket-taker in this season with 17 wickets in 11 matches at an average of 21.17.

Ravi Bishnoi
Ravi Bishnoi. Image Credit: Twitter.

IPL 2020: Ravi Bishnoi Wanted Another Chance To Bowl After Conceding 18 Runs In His First Over Against SunRisers Hyderabad

Ravi Bishnoi, Kings XI Punjab spinner who picked 3 wickets for 29 runs in 3 overs said after conceding 18 runs in his first over of the spell in the 8th over he was waiting for his second over so that he can scalp a wicket for the side. The same happened as he picked 2 wickets giving away only 1 run in the 16th over. The 18th over was also bowled by him where he conceded 10 runs and picked up 1 wicket.

Punjab skipper KL Rahul introduced Ravi Bishnoi in the eighth over against the already set SunRisers Hyderabad openers. Both David Warner and Jonny Bairstow smashed the youngster all around the ground and accumulated 18 runs off that over with the help of two sixes and a boundary.

Jonny Bairstow
Jonny Bairstow

Ravi Bishnoi Reintroduced In 16th Over As He Wanted To Pick Up A Wicket After His First Over Went For 18 Runs

The opening duo of Jonny Bairstow and David Warner went on to smash Punjab bowlers out of the park until Ravi Bishnoi was reintroduced in attack to bowl the 16th over.

In his second over, Ravi Bishnoi bagged David Warner on the first ball and then trapped Jonny Bairstow plumb before wicket two balls later while giving away just a single run. SRH skipper David Warner and wicket-keeper Jonny Bairstow stitched a 160-run stand for the first wicket, helping their side post a huge total of 201 runs on the board.

Ravi Bishnoi
Ravi Bishnoi. Image Credit: Twitter.

David Warner scored 52 off 40 balls while Jonny Bairstow smashed 97 runs in just 55 balls. Ravi Bishnoi returned with the figures of 3-29 in his three overs.

“After my first over went for 18 runs, my goal was thinking that whenever I get another chance to bowl, I will do well for the team and scalp a wicket,” Bishnoi said in a video posted by the franchise’s on their official Twitter handle.

The 20-year-old has bagged seven wickets in the tournament so far. He is one of the leading wicket-takers after the likes of Kagiso Rabada, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Shami, Rashid Khan, and Yuzvendra Chahal.

Ravi Bishnoi Supported In Bowling By Arshdeep Singh Who Played His 1st Match

Apart from Ravi Bishnoi, Arshdeep Singh was playing in his first match of the season also bagged two wickets in the match. Arshdeep Singh conceded 33 runs for his 2 wickets in 4 overs while Ravi Bishnoi bowled 1 over less than him.

“Today, I got a chance, it was good and I’m quite happy. I want to thank god, my parents who have been supporting me for a long time. When I came to bowl there was good partnership going so the plan was to keep it simple. The coaches said to back yourself and concentrate on your main strengths and I have executed the same. It was a good day in bowling, I managed to get wickets too,” Arshdeep said.

Chasing a massive target of 202, KXIP got off to a poor start as an opener in form Mayank Agarwal was run out in the second over of the innings. KXIP though were 105/3 in the 11th over but lost 7 wickets for only 27 runs. West Indian Nicholas Pooran was the only batsmen for KXIP who dominated SRH’s bowlers. He slammed 77 runs off only 37 balls, which included five fours and seven glorious sixes.

Arshdeep Singh
Arshdeep Singh. Photo Credit: BCCI/IPL.

Ravi Bishnoi said Nicholas Pooran’s innings was world-class and he was batting with perfection but fought a lone battle scoring 77 as apart from him, the other batsmen failed to score beyond 11.

“His batting was next level and world-class. We have all seen how well he hit the ball. He showed his power-hitting and it was great fun to watch him,” he said.

SRH bundled Punjab for a paltry 132 in 16.5 overs. For Hyderabad, spinner Rashid Khan bagged three wickets and was economical yet again while pacers T Natarajan and Khaleel Ahmed scalped two wickets each. Jonny Bairstow was awarded as Player of the Match for his blistering knock of 97.

KXIP are languishing at the bottom of the IPL 2020 points table with just two points from six matches and will play with Rajasthan Royals next on Sunday, October 11.

Ravi Bishnoi
Ravi Bishnoi. Image Credit: Twitter.

IPL 2020: Anil Kumble Taught Me To Keep Cool Head During Tough Situation – Ravi Bishnoi

Ravi Bishnoi, who is playing his IPL debut season for Kings XI Punjab (KXIP), mentioned that Anil Kumble’s advice before the match against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) helped him to give his best to guide his side to victory.

The leg spinner Ravi Bishnoi picked up three wickets and contributed to bundle out RCB for 109 while chasing the target of 206 runs. He picked the wickets of Washington Sundar, Aaron Finch and Umesh Yadav in his four-over quota. Bishnoi also bowled at the economy rate of 8.00.

Anil Kumble
Anil Kumble. Image Credit: IPL.

Anil Kumble taught me to keep a calm mind: Ravi Bishnoi

Bishnoi said that Anil Kumble, who also joined KXIP ahead of this season, taught him to have a calm and composed mind during crunch situations. He added that the former Indian cricketer also advised him to stick to his strength which worked for him.

“He taught me to keep a calm mind and handle situations during the match with a cool head,” said Bishnoi. “He also asked me to stick to my strength and not try too many things.”

It’s more about mental preparations: Ravi Bishnoi

Ravi Bishnoi
Ravi Bishnoi. Image credit: IPL.

Ravi Bishnoi attended the practice sessions with his team players ahead of the tournament. He stated that the training camp helped him to work on his strength but he believes that more than physical training it was about preparing mentally ahead of the tournament.

“We had a long camp before the IPL so the preparation was good. It’s more about mental preparations, skill levels are almost identical at this level,” said Bishnoi.

Talking about his game against RCB, he said that he kept himself mentally strong and focused on not bowling many loose deliveries.

“The one who is mentally stronger or more brave succeeds. My focus was on not giving away loose deliveries and allow them to attack me,” he said.

“We did not go out to bowl thinking we have a target over 200 to defend. Rather we thought we had to defend 180 and the intention was to get them out as soon as we can,” he added. 

Meanwhile, KXIP won their first match of the tournament against RCB after facing defeat against Delhi Capitals in their opener match.

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