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MSK Prasad. (Photo Source: Twitter)
MSK Prasad. (Photo Source: Twitter)

MSK Prasad Opens Up On Arguments With Ravi Shastri And Virat Kohli During His Tenure As Chief Selector Till 2019 World Cup

MSK Prasad, whose stint as the BCCI chief selector came to an end after the 2019 World Cup, often faced questions regarding him being overshadowed by India captain Virat Kohli and coach Ravi Shastri.

For a large part of his tenure as chief selector of the Indian cricket team, MSK Prasad brought several new prominent youngsters to Indian cricket – including the likes of all-rounder Hardik Pandya and dashing keeper Rishabh Pant, both of whom have proven to be match-winners for the team.

MSK Prasad
MSK Prasad (Getty Images)

MSK Prasad Asked If There Was A Perception That He Was Too Humble In Front Of Ravi Shastri And Virat Kohli

In a recent interaction, MSK Prasad was once again asked about the perception that he was “too humble” in front of Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri.

“There was a perception that you were too humble in front of someone like Ravi Shastri and Virat Kohli. People can’t imagine how you could win arguments against such aggressive professionals?” MSK Prasad was asked in an interaction on cricket.com.

Ravi Shastri and Virat Kohli
Ravi Shastri and Virat Kohli. PTI Photo by Shashank Parade (PTI11_21_2014_000176B)

In response, the former India wicketkeeper-batsman revealed that he often engaged in arguments with both Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri, but added that all of them are professionals and understand the role they needed to play for the benefit of the team.

“You ask them what kind of arguments we had. Sometimes, we didn’t want to see each other (after meetings) but the beauty of them is that the next morning when we would meet, they would recognize and acknowledge that there is (merit in the) point we made,” MSK Prasad revealed.

“I am a management student and know how to manage. People want me to blame someone publicly? Why should I do that because it is my family? I may like or dislike decisions even at home in my family but can I come out and say something publicly?” MSK Prasad added.

The 46-year-old was often criticized for his decisions as he was not an experienced campaigner on the international circuit. The wicketkeeper-batsman’s 23 international appearances included six Tests and 17 ODIs with a solitary half-century.

MSK Prasad: Just Because Indian Team Management Didn’t Have Differences Publicly Doesn’t Mean Succumbing To The Duo Of Virat Kohli And Ravi Shastri

India’s former chief selector MSK Prasad in a recent interaction revealed that he used to have arguments with skipper Virat Kohli and head coach Ravi Shastri. MSK Prasad has often been criticized for the decisions he took during his tenure which includes picking Vijay Shankar over Ambati Rayudu in World Cup 2019 squad to Yuvraj Singh’s ouster after Champions Trophy 2017.

File image of Yuvraj Singh | Oli Scarff/AFP
File image of Yuvraj Singh | Oli Scarff/AFP

During MSK Prasad’s tenure, many young talents including Hardik Pandya and Rishabh Pant joined the competition in the senior team. Even, Jasprit Bumrah got the chance in the Test team following which he enjoyed success with the red-ball too.

“Virat and Ravi will tell you about that (how we used to have heated debates). Just because we didn’t have differences publicly doesn’t mean that we were succumbing to them. Who knows how we have convinced them on so many issues,” he signed off.

MSK Prasad did not reveal the details of the arguments but said that in the end, the two sides acknowledged the points each other made.

One very disturbing trend in his tenure was the lack of predictability in his selection pattern. There were haphazard chopping and changing of the squad, across formats, amid a few allegations that players were not informed of the reason behind their exclusions.

The first in his tenure was Karun Nair, the man who notched up 303 runs against England at home before he lost his spot in the Indian Test team and did not get a recall despite decent knocks in domestic cricket. Limited-overs cricket too witnessed the same in the buildup to India’s World Cup 2019 preparations.

Ambati Rayudu was constantly backed as India’s No.4 batsman for the tournament. And after a stretch of only 14 innings, Ambati Rayudu incurred a failure, against Australia at home, and he was eventually dropped from the ODI team. Vijay Shankar, who had only made his debut a few months back in January 2019, found his name on the World Cup list.

Yuvraj Singh. (Photo by Marty Melville/Getty Images)
Yuvraj Singh. (Photo by Marty Melville/Getty Images)

New Zealand Will Have An Edge As Lack Of Test Cricket Can Hurt India: Yuvraj Singh

Yuvraj Singh, a former Indian all-rounder who played only 40 Tests for the country and amassed 1,900 runs, feels it will be Kane Williamson & Co. who will have an edge in the English conditions.

The whole of the cricketing fraternity is eagerly awaiting the ICC World Test Championship final (WTC). Virat Kohli-led Team India and Kane Williamson’s New Zealand, the top-two ranked Test sides respectively, will square off against each other in the summit clash with an aim to win the first-ever WTC.

Yuvraj Singh | Oli Scarff/AFP
Yuvraj Singh | Oli Scarff/AFP

Yuvraj Singh Feels 3 Tests Will Be Ideal And New Zealand Will Have An Edge

Ahead of the marquee encounter — which is to be held at The Rose Bowl, Southampton from June 18-22 — many former cricketers, experts, and pundits of the cricket fraternity have already opined on which side will have an edge over the other.

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

Yuvraj Singh also agreed with the likes of Indian team head coach Ravi Shastri and Ravichandran Ashwin that the WTC final should ideally be a best of three affairs.

In a conversation with Sports Tak, Yuvraj Singh said, “I feel in a situation like this, there should be a best of 3 Tests, because if you lose the first one then you can come back in the next two. India will have a slight disadvantage because New Zealand are already playing Test cricket in England.”

Yuvraj Singh further opined, “There are 8-10 practice sessions (for Team India) but there’s no substitute for match-practice. It will be an even contest but New Zealand will have an edge. I do believe India is very strong because lately, we have been winning outside the country. I think our batting is stronger, in bowling they are at par.

Prior to the team’s departure for the United Kingdom, Shastri and captain Kohli had addressed the media where the former had said, “Ideally, in the long run, if they want to pursue with the Test championship, a best-of-three final would be ideal — a three-match final as the culmination of two and a half years of cricket around the globe. Best of three would have been ideal,” he maintained.

New Zealand Drew With England In The 1st Test

England 275 (Burns 132, Southee 6-43) and 170 for 3 (Sibley 60*, Wagner 2-27) drew with New Zealand 378 (Conway 200, Nicholls 61, Robinson 4-75) and 169 for 6 decl. (Latham 36, Robinson 3-26)
Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja Photo Credit: AP
Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja Photo Credit: AP

India Should Play Both Ravindra Jadeja And Ravichandran Ashwin In WTC Final: Maninder Singh

Maninder Singh, former India cricketer believes Virat Kohli and the team management should use the most potent spin-bowling combination in world cricket to their advantage and play both Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin together in the WTC final starting on June 18 in Southampton.

Two sides possessing just the perfect combination of swing, seam, youth, and experience to make that ball talk. Ideally, there could not have been a better setting for the seamers vs batsmen battle in the World Test Championship final in England with the Dukes’ ball. But India, unlike their opponents New Zealand, has the ability to test the batsmen not only with pace but also with spin.

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

Maninder Singh  Would Have Played Both Ravichandran Ashwin And Ravindra Jadeja If He Was In The Team Management

The Ageas Bowl – one of England’s modern Test venues – has shown little signs of being drastically different compared to the other grounds in the country. In other words, swing bowlers have dominated the proceedings here, picking 137 of the 176 wickets in the 6 Tests.

Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja’s record at the venue doesn’t ooze much confidence either. In his only Test in 2014, Ravindra Jadeja picked up 5 wickets while Ravichandran Ashwin in his lone attempt here in 2018, could manage only 3. But in both of those Tests, the opposition finger spinner Moeen Ali, picked up a total of 17 wickets, scripting India’s downfall not once but twice.

Maninder Singh gave no hints to suggest his fondness for Moeen Ali’s off-spin either but he sure does know a thing or two about the importance of spin-bowling in England. A bright spot in India’s 1986 tour to England, the former left-arm spinner said the Indian finger spinners can play a decisive role in the WTC final.

“If I was in the team management, I would play both Ashwin and Jadeja. They can be a huge factor,” Maninder Singh told Hindustan Times in an exclusive chat.

Maninder Singh during his playing days (Image Credit: Sport360)
Maninder Singh during his playing days (Image Credit: Sport360)

“There is going to be wear and tear anywhere as the Test match progresses. I keep talking to my friends there (in England) and they say it has become hot, these summer temperatures will soar. So if it is going to be the way it is then moisture won’t be that be effective. The pitch will dry out and spinners will start getting purchase and both are spinners are of good quality,” he added.

India has not preferred playing Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja together in an overseas Test. In England, they have done it only once in 2014 at Manchester without much success. But this time, things might be different.

Maninder Singh: Virat Kohli And Ravi Shastri Have To Motivate Spinners

Maninder Singh said India has the luxury of going with their most balanced bowling attack of two spinners and three pacers because of Ravindra Jadeja’s current form with the bat and Rishabh Pant’s match-winning abilities at No.6.

“Jadeja’s recent form with the bat has been exceptional. He has worked on his batting a lot. He gives you an extra option of having another bowler. The confidence of scoring runs has rubbed off on his bowling.”

Ravichandran Ashwin, who has a picked up 14 wickets in his 6 Tests in England, is a different bowler now, feels Maninder Singh. The left-arm spin bowler who played 35 Tests for India in the 1980s and early 90s, said Ravichandran Ashwin proved that in his last tour to Australia with an attitude to go for wickets.

“Ashwin is a class act. Ashwin has improved a lot and he can now get you wickets on any track, which was not the case when he first started touring overseas. He never used to give you the feeling that he was going for wickets. He didn’t have the belief. But now, with the experience he is a different bowler,” he said.

Ravi Shastri and Virat Kohli
Ravi Shastri and Virat Kohli-PTI Photo by Shashank Parade (PTI11_21_2014_000176B)

Captain Virat Kohli and head coach Ravi Shastri will have an important role to play in using both spinners as wicket-taking options rather than just a support for the trio of Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, and Ishant Sharma.

“We’ve seen how Ashwin bowls on Indian pitches. He has got to have that approach. When he bowls his aim should always be to get wickets. I have never had any doubt in my mind that he will give you wickets even on foreign soils.

“It depends on the team management. On Kohli and Shastri… How they keep motivating him. They’ve got to tell him ‘you are going to get wickets for us.’ Ravi Shastri has been brilliant in managing the players so far. He’ll have to go the extra mile if they want to win this WTC title.

“At this level cricketers hardly need advice. It’s that slight push. That believe that you are going to wickets even on foreign soil has to be there,” Maninder said.

When asked about the choice of seamers that India should field in the WTC final, Maninder Singh picked
Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, and Ishant Sharma.

Mohammed Siraj and Ravi Shastri
Mohammed Siraj and Ravi Shastri

You Will Get 5 Wickets As Your Father’s Blessings Will Be With You: Mohammed Siraj Recalls Conversation With Ravi Shastri

Mohammed Siraj ended up as the highest wicket-taker for India in the Australia tour with 13 wickets in the Border- Gavaskar Trophy 2020/21. India’s tour of Australia in 2020/21 was a memorable one for cricket fans.

Team India managed to defeat Australia 2-1 in the four-match Test series despite missing players like Virat Kohli, Ravindra Jadeja, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Ravichandran Ashwin, Umesh Yadav, Hanuma Vihari, and KL Rahul during different parts of the contest. Several young players including Mohammed Siraj stepped up to the mark and performed exceptionally for India.

Mohammed Siraj
Mohammed Siraj


Mohammed Siraj Recalled Virat Kohli Showed Faith In His Ability While Ravi Shastri Told Him To Play And Pick 5 Wickets As His Father’s Blessings Will Be With Him

The 25-year-old pacer made his debut in the second Test in Melbourne and immediately made his mark in international cricket. Eventually, he ended up as the highest wicket-taker for India with 13 wickets in the Border- Gavaskar Trophy 2020/21. What makes his performance even more praise-worthy was that Mohammed Siraj had lost his father when he was touring Australia for series.

However, he decided to stay back to fulfill his father’s wish of playing for India. Mohammed Siraj recently revealed what India’s head coach Ravi Shastri had said when he heard of his father’s passing.

“Virat Bhai is always there. When I couldn’t perform well in the IPL two years back, he showed faith in my ability. He retained me in RCB and I am grateful for this,” said Siraj.

“When I lost my father during the Australia tour, both Ravi sir and bowling coach Bharat Arun sir were so supportive. Ravi sir came to me and told me- You play the test match. You will get 5 wickets as your father’s blessings will be with you. After Match Ravi Sir reminded telling me that I will be getting five wickets. I became very confident after my coaches encouraged me in such a way,” Siraj told ABP news.

Ravi Shastri and Virat Kohli
Ravi Shastri and Virat Kohli. PTI Photo by Shashank Parade (PTI11_21_2014_000176B)

Mohammed Siraj also claimed a five-wicket haul in the second innings of the historic Gabba Test. Now, he will look to play a part in India’s quest for a World Test Championship title.

Mohammed Siraj Debuted In The Melbourne Test Alongside Shubman Gill

Both Shubman Gill and Mohammed Siraj were making their Test debuts in an India side that had been thrashed inside three days in the Adelaide opener. Playing alongside top international players in the Indian Premier League has developed a fearlessness in opener Shubman Gill and quick Mohammed Siraj, said India coach Ravi Shastri after the duo excelled in the second Test against Australia.

Shubman Gill (Express photo: Jasbir Malhi)
Shubman Gill (Express photo: Jasbir Malhi)

Replacing an out-of-form Prithvi Shaw, Shubman Gill produced fluent knocks of 45 and 35 not out in the low-scoring contest at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Right-arm quick Mohammed Siraj, coming in for injured seamer Mohammed Shami, bowled with relentless hostility to claim five wickets.

In the 3rd Test, with 97 overs to survive on the last day and eight wickets in hand, India scraped through under immense pressure led by the partnership between Hanuma Vihari and Ravichandran Ashwin that lasted 42.4 overs for 62 runs, to keep the series level on 1-1.

Even though Rishabh Pant and Cheteshwar Pujara had set up India’s fight early in the day with a century stand that even gave the team a chance of a win initially, the highest praise will be kept for Hanuma Vihari and Ravichandran Ashwin for the character they showed. An under-pressure Hanuma Vihari had already hurt his hamstring, and Ravichandran Ashwin was welcomed by a barrage of short balls that dented his body.

In the 4th Test, Shubman Gill’s 91, Rishabh Pant’s 89*, and Cheteshwar Pujara’s 56 handed Australia their first defeat at Gabba in 32 years as India won consecutive Test series in Australia by a 2-1 margin.

Monty Panesar
Monty Panesar

Monty Panesar Feels Both India And New Zealand Have A Chance To Win WTC Final

Monty Panesar feels both India and New Zealand stand a good chance of winning the WTC final. The excitement to ICC World Test Championship final (WTC) has hit sky-high with former cricketers and experts choosing their favourites among India and New Zealand.

While some feel India is slight favourites, others feel the Kiwis stand a good chance due to their pace bowling attack. England spinner Monty Panesar has a rather interesting take on the battle.

Monty Panesar Twitter
Monty Panesar Twitter

Monty Panesar: Ravi Shastri Has Installed Self Belief In Indian Team

Known for his straight comments off the field, cricketer-turned commenter Monty Panesar has lavished praise on Team India’s head coach Ravi Shastri who, he feels, has played a big part in taking India to the finals of WTC. The former England spinner also stated that although Virat Kohli is the leader on the field, it is charismatic Ravi Shastri needs to be lauded for instilling a ruthless mentality within the team.

“It is Ravi Shastri who has built a self-belief in this Indian cricket team. What they achieved in Australia after the infamous ’36’ in Adelaide is quite a miracle. They won the series even though their charismatic captain Virat Kohli didn’t play the rest of the series, and India kept losing players to injury,” Panesar added, As reported in NDTV Sports.

Director cricket Ravi Shastri and skipper Virat Kohli
Director cricket Ravi Shastri and skipper Virat Kohli PTI Photo by Shashank Parade

Monty Panesar also stated that India’s historic triumph Down Under earlier this year, was due to the 59-year-old’s handling of the team when regular skipper Virat Kohli left midway through the series for personal reasons. Monty Panesar also believes that Ravi Shastri has managed his young troops well by being a father figure and a motivator.

“It was Shastri who got the job done for India against Australia that too in their backyard”, said the former cricketer.

Cheteshwar Pujara and Hanuma Vihari don’t get many chances in IPL which is a T20 tournament for they are Test specialists. Players like Washington Sundar, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Siraj, Shubman Gill, and T Natarajan played in the Test series after their excellent and consistent performances in IPL.

Pacer Mohammed Siraj excelled in IPL 2020 in limited opportunities by picking 11 wickets in 9 games averaging 21.45. He picked 6 scalps in 7 games in IPL 2021. He was a surprise inclusion in the Test squad but he justified selectors’ faith as he emerged as the 3rd highest wicket-taker with 13 scalps in 3 Tests averaging 29.54 and he even spearheaded Test bowling attack in 4th Test.

Opener Shubman Gill plays for Kolkata Knight Riders since debuting in 2018 and has scored 1071 runs in 48 matches averaging 30.6. He scored 440 runs in 14 IPL games in 2020 and 132 runs in 7 games in IPL 2021. He scored 259 runs in 3 Tests averaging 51.8 debuting against Australia at Melbourne.

Several Indian players were out with injury especially during the 4th Test but the bench showed their strength by delivering their best helping India breach Gabba fortress after 32 years and win the second successive series in Australia.

Monty Panesar Feels Both Teams Stand A Good Chance To Win The WTC Final

India now will battle out against New Zealand in the finale of the WTC which is set to begin on June 18 at Southampton. The former England spinner stated that both teams have a chance to win the title.

“If there will be an overcast condition then Kane Williamson-led New Zealand will have an upper edge, but at the same time the Ageas Bowl has a great drainage system, and if weather permits and the game went on to Day four or five, India would have a great chance to win the championship”, he said.

Kane Williamson in action during the first Test vs West Indies. (AP)
Kane Williamson in action during the first Test vs West Indies. (AP)

Kane Williamson has scored 7,115 runs from 83 Tests with the best score of 251. In fact, Kane Williamson has a better Test average than Indian counterpart skipper Virat Kohli (54.31). He owns 24 tons and four double-centuries.

Virat Kohli, Image Source : AP IMAGE
Virat Kohli, Image Source : AP IMAGE

Virat Kohli Shouldn’t Be Over Aggressive: Kapil Dev

Virat Kohli embarks upon his third tour of England, so he would be no stranger to the conditions there, but former India World Cup-winning captain Kapil Dev has interesting advice for the current skipper, which will help him excel.

Virat Kohli has been on two tours of England since he made his Test debut for India. In the first tour in 2014, he was all over the place, scoring just 134 runs from 10 innings, statistically the India captain’s worst in a three-Test series or more. However, four years later, Virat Kohli turned it around in style, scoring a mammoth 593 runs from five Tests, including two centuries and three fifties.

Virat Kohli

Virat Kohli Expected By Kapil Dev To Excel In England Tour

Three years later, as Virat Kohli will look to lead from the front in his third tour of England, former India World Cup-winning captain Kapil Dev has advised the current skipper not to be over-aggressive, which will help him excel.

“I expect him to excel. Can you really shackle him? He is a natural when it comes to adapting but I would caution him to not be over-aggressive. He will have to measure it session by session. He’ll be better off waiting for his moments of dominance,” Kapil told Mid-Day in an interview.

Virat Kohli and Kapil Dev.(AP)
Virat Kohli and Kapil Dev.(AP)

“He will get his runs with a bit of patience. Trying too hard and too early doesn’t work in England where you need to watch the movement of the ball. If you play seam and swing well, show patience, you will succeed in England.”

India is set to travel to the UK for a long tour. They first face New Zealand in the final of the World Test Championship in Southampton starting June 18 before proceeding to play hosts England in a five-Test series starting August 4. India has faced defeats in their last three Test tours of England.

Kapil Dev: India Played Exceptionally Well In 1986 Tour

They last won a Test series in the UK in 2007, whereas prior to it, they had triumphed in England way back in 1986, when Kapil Dev was the captain. Under Kapil Dev, India won the series 2-0, and recalling the historic series, the former India all-rounder explained what the current team should keep in mind while playing in England.

“We played exceptionally good cricket. I want this team to remember that England in England is tough. They are a very good team when playing at home but then, it will also depend on how the Indian bowlers adapt to the conditions and pitches. The swing will be very rewarding and here I feel England is one step ahead of India,” explained Kapil Dev.

India captain Kapil Dev (left) and wicket keeper Kiran More congratulate Chetan Sharma after he dismissed Allan Lamb during the first Test at Lord’s in 1986. Photo: Popperfoto
India captain Kapil Dev (left) and wicket-keeper Kiran More congratulate Chetan Sharma after he dismissed Allan Lamb during the first Test at Lord’s in 1986. Photo: Popperfoto

India beat England 2–0 in the Test series and won the ODI Texaco Trophy that by virtue of a faster run-rate despite England having squared the series after losing the first game. India’s Dilip Vengsarkar scored a total of 360 runs in the Test series and was named player of the series alongside England’s Mike Gatting(293 runs).

In the ODI series, England’s David Gower (81 runs) was named player of the series alongside India’s Ravi Shastri. India’s Mohammed Azharuddin also scored 90 runs. The significance of the tour was considerable for Indian cricket too. India had won only four out of 52 Tests since the start of the decade. Moreover, under Kapil Dev’s leadership, the side had not won any of its 20 Test matches.

India could have gone on to win 3-0 in Birmingham but they failed to push the initiative on the final day. However, the match will be remembered for the wicket-taking abilities of Chetan Sharma. To this day, he remains the only Indian to have taken 10 wickets in a Test in England. Chetan Sharma finished with 16 scalps.

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

Rahul Dravid To Coach Team India During Limited-Overs Series For Sri Lanka Tour

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.

Rahul Dravid
Rahul Dravid- Photo K. MURALI KUMAR

Rahul Dravid Will Coach Indian Limited Overs Team For Sri Lanka Tour

Speaking to ANI, a BCCI official in the know of developments confirmed that the NCA head would be leading the team as the trio of Ravi Shastri, Bharat Arun, and Vikram Rathour will be in England with the Test team.

“The Team India coaching staff will be in the UK and it is best that the young team is guided by Rahul Dravid as he has already worked with almost all of India ‘A’ boys. The comfort the youngsters share with him will be an added advantage,” the official said.

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

Before taking over as the head of NCA in 2019, Rahul Dravid had worked closely with the current crop of youngsters in the Indian team at the U-19 level as well as in the India ‘A’ team. In fact, Rahul Dravid is seen to have played an integral role in building solid bench strength for the Indian national team over the last couple of years — having taken charge of the U-19 and ‘A’ team in 2015.

India Team For Sri Lanka Tour Consisting Of 3 ODIs And 3 T20Is Expected To Be Selected At End Of May

The Indian team for the Sri Lanka series is expected to be selected at the end of the month and they will have to undergo quarantine in the Island Nation before playing the three ODI and three T20I games. The three ODIs will be played on July 13, 16, 19 and the T20Is are expected to be played from July 22-27.

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

While the young Indian players look to fight it out with Sri Lanka in the limited-overs series, the Virat Kohli-led side will be in England waiting for the start of the five-match Test series against the English team from August 4. The Test series will take place after India battles it out with New Zealand in the final of the World Test Championship in Southampton from June 18 to 22.

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, Chetan Sakariya might get rewarded for a good show in the IPL 2021.

Squad Contenders To Choose From Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Shreyas Iyer (subject to fitness), Devdutt Paddikal, N Jagadeesan, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Manish Pandey, Sanju Samson (wk), Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Rahul Tewatia, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Navdeep Saini, Kartik Tyagi, Ravi Bishnoi, Deepak Chahar, T Natarajan, Rahul Chahar, Chetan Sakariya, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Khaleel Ahmed, Jaydev Unadkat, Harshal Patel

Ravi Shastri Image Source : AP
Ravi Shastri Image Source : AP

Ravi Shastri Elated As India Retain No. 1 Spot In ICC Team Rankings After Annual Update

Ravi Shastri, India’s head coach has praised his boys for showing grit and determination to finish as the top-ranked Test team after ICC released the team rankings on Thursday.

The ICC World Test Championship (WTC) finalists India and New Zealand finished as the top two teams respectively in the ICC Men’s Test team rankings after the annual update carried out on Thursday.

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

Ravi Shastri Elated To See India Crowned No. 1 In Test Rankings Yet Again Showing Resolve And Focus And Playing Tough Cricket In Tough Times

Virat Kohli’s men are closely followed by their World Test Championship final opponents, Kane Williamson’s New Zealand, with a rating of 120. The Kiwis have garnered 2166 points from 18 Tests. India heads the table after gaining one rating point for an aggregate of 121, having accumulated 2914 points from 24 matches.

Taking to Twitter, Ravi Shastri wrote: This (India flag) team has shown steely resolve & unwavering focus to be crowned No. 1. It is something the boys have earned fair & square. Rules changed midway but #TeamIndia overcame every hurdle along the way. My boys played tough cricket in tough times. Super proud of this bunch.”

Virat Kohli congratulates Kane Williamson
New Zealand’s captain Kane Williamson (L) hugs India’s captain Virat Kohli after New Zealand’s win (Photo by MARTY MELVILLE/AFP via Getty Images)

The International Cricket Council (ICC) decided to change the criteria for qualifying for the final in 2020. A percentage system was introduced. But India still ended as the No.1 team in the World Test Championship points table. Under the leadership of Virat Kohli and the under the watchful eyes of head coach Ravi Shastri, Team India has performed consistently well in the longest format of the game.

Ravi Shastri, the head coach of India’s men’s cricket team, applauded the “steely resolve and unwavering focus” shown by his side that saw them lead the Test rankings for the fifth consecutive year.

England Overtook Australia While South Africa Ranked 7th- Their Lowest In Test Ranking History

India gained one rating point for an aggregate of 121 and New Zealand was only one point behind after gaining two points in Thursday’s update, which eliminated results from 2017-18. India’s 2-1 win over Australia and 3-1 win over England over the past year and New Zealand’s 2-0 series win over the West Indies and Pakistan helped them keep ahead of the pack.

The latest update rates all matches played since May 2020 at 100% and those of the previous two years at 50%. It saw England (109) overtake Australia (108) to the third position as England’s 4-0 defeat to Australia in 2017-18 was dropped from the rankings.

Pakistan (94) gained three points but remained in the fifth position while the West Indies (84), who beat Bangladesh 2-0 and drew 0-0 with Sri Lanka in series played this year, moved from eighth to sixth, their best position since 2013.

India head the table with a rating of 121 having accumulated 2914 points from 24 matches. (BCCI)
India heads the table with a rating of 121 having accumulated 2914 points from 24 matches. (BCCI)

South Africa (80) was in the seventh position, equaling their lowest in Test ranking history, while Sri Lanka (78) was next on the list.

Bangladesh(46) lost five points but remained in the ninth position while Zimbabwe gained eight points(35) but was still nine points behind Bangladesh. India and New Zealand will square off in the inaugural World Test Championship final at Southampton’s Ageas Bowl from June 18 to 22.

India had won the Test series against Australia despite missing key players due to injuries. At home, they overcame England by winning Tests 3-1. On both occasions, the team lost the 1st Test.

Rahul Dravid
Rahul Dravid - K. MURALI KUMAR

Rahul Dravid May Coach India’s White-Ball Specialist Cricketers In Sri Lanka Tour Of 3 ODIs, 3 T20Is

Rahul Dravid may be asked by BCCI to be the coach for Indian cricketers on the limited-overs tour of Sri Lanka in July as Ravi Shastri is accompanying the players in England.

The rescheduling of fixtures amid the Covid-19 pandemic and quarantine regulations have forced the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to get more creative in terms of squad selection. After BCCI president Sourav Ganguly revealed that a completely different squad will be picked for the limited-overs series against Sri Lanka, it has been learned that Rahul Dravid could be handed the responsibility to accompany that team as the head coach.

Rahul Dravid may coach Indian team on Sri Lanka tour Photo Credit: PTI
Rahul Dravid may coach the Indian team on the Sri Lanka tour Photo Credit: PTI

Rahul Dravid May Coach Limited Overs White Ball Team For 3 ODIs And 3 T20Is

In what would be a first, the BCCI is all set to pick a completely different squad for the tour of Sri Lanka, featuring 3 ODIs and 3 T20Is, while Virat Kohli-led India will be in England preparing for the red-ball series.

The likes of Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, all of whom are also central to India’s limited-overs setup, will not be a part of the team in Sri Lanka. Along with them, head coach Ravi Shastri, bowling coach Bharat Arun as well as batting coach Vikram Rathour will also not be able to assist the players on the tour of Sri Lanka.

Ravi Shastri Image Source : AP
Ravi Shastri Image Source : AP

In such a case, the idea of having Rahul Dravid don the head coach’s hat has been floated. A report in Cricbuzz confirmed that the idea is being mulled upon and there is a good possibility that he will accompany the players to Sri Lanka along with some of his support staff from the National Cricket Academy (NCA).

Rahul Dravid, the last Indian captain to win a Test series in England (in 2007), predicts the upcoming five-Test series between the two teams will end in a 3-2 win for India. The series, scheduled for August-September, will be a “tough” contest overall and a “great series to watch”, according to Rahul Dravid.

India’s Squad For WTC Final Consisted Of Only 20 Players Keeping Sri Lanka Limited Overs Series In Mind

For the tour of England, it was reported that the BCCI is likely to pick a jumbo 30-man squad but the board only named 20 players for the assignment that will including the World Test Championship final and 5 Tests against England. The decision was probably taken keeping the Sri Lanka series in mind that will see a host of other players traveling to the island nation.

Hardik Pandya Image Source : GETTY
Hardik Pandya Image Source : GETTY Images.

Among the players available for the Lanka tour, the names of Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Navdeep Saini, Khaleel Ahmed, Yuzvendra Chahal, and Kuldeep Yadav have emerged.

The BCCI is still in the process of finalizing the details of the tour and pick the squad. While there’s no denying that there are plenty of white-ball specialists in the Indian team who are more than capable of putting a good challenge in Sri Lanka, it remains to be seen how the management formulates this unique setup. The ODIs will probably take place in 13th, 16th and 19th July and T20Is will be probably in 22nd, 24th and 27th July.

Probable Squad: Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Devdutt Padikkal, Suryakumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, Sanju Samson, Ishan Kishan (wk), Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Rahul Chahar, T Natarajan, Chetan Sakariya, Rahul Tewatia, Yuzvendra Chahal, Deepak Chahar, Varun Chakravarthy

Also In Contention: Navdeep Saini, Khaleel Ahmed, Jaydev Unadkat, Kuldeep Yadav, Manish Pandey, Avesh Khan, Harshal Patel, Ravi Bishnoi

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

Having A Season Of A Lifetime In Toughest Of Times: Ravi Shastri Congratulates India For Defeating 2 Best Teams; England And Australia

Ravi Shastri, India head coach was a relieved man as India won the 3rd ODI by a whisker by only 7 runs to clinch the ODI series against England in Pune. The run chase became tense at one point in time when Sam Curran was at the crease with England needing 14 from the final over.

India had won the T20I and Test series against Australia after losing the ODI series despite missing key players due to injuries. At home, they overcame England by winning all three series- Tests (3-1), T20Is (3-2), and ODIs (2-1).

Ravi Shastri Image Source : AP
Ravi Shastri Image Source: AP

Ravi Shastri Congratulates India For Defeating Australia And England In Succession

Ravi Shastri was seen pacing up and down in the dugout when the match got close but the hosts held their nerves and delivered the results. Ravi Shastri, head coach of the Indian national men’s cricket team, was effusive in his praise for the Indian team for having what he termed “a season of a lifetime”, during which it notched up five consecutive series victories against the word’s top two teams in the difficult COVID era.

Team India celebrates with the ODI series trophy after beating England 2-1.(Twitter (Ravi Shastri))
Team India celebrates with the ODI series trophy after beating England 2-1. (Twitter (Ravi Shastri))

“Congratulations Guys for holding up and having a season of a lifetime in toughest of times across all formats and hemispheres against 2 of the best teams in the world. Take a bow,” Ravi Shastri tweeted.


Between Indian Premier League (IPL) seasons 2020 and 2021, Team India took part in two tours against two of the best teams in the world. They toured Australia for 4 Tests, 3 ODIs, and 3 T20s and hosted England for 4 Tests, 3 ODIs, and 5 T20s. Between November 27, 2020, and March 28, 2021, India played six series across formats and won five of them.

India went down 0-1 and 1-2 in the T20I series but fought back to take it 3-2 and make a statement in the T20 World Cup year before beating the reigning world champions 2-1 in the ODI series. Put in to bat, India was all out for 329 in 48.2 overs with Shikhar Dhawan (67), Rishabh Pant (78), and Hardik Pandya (64) hitting half-centuries.

Sam Curran Kept England In The Hunt Scoring A Career-Best Unbeaten 95 But India Wins By 7 Runs In A Nervous Thriller

Sam Curran (95 not out off 83 balls) single-handedly kept England in the hunt as he joined forces with number 10 Mark Wood (14) for a 60-run stand for the ninth wicket but in the end, could not score 14 runs needed in the final over. England ended at 322 for 9 in 50 overs. India dropped at least four catches, including that of Sam Curran, at crucial junctures as they were kept frustrated till the end.

Sam Curran scored an unbeaten 95 in the series finale vs India on Sunday (Reuters Image)
Sam Curran scored an unbeaten 95 in the series finale vs India on Sunday (Reuters Image)

Sam Curran kept England in the game by scoring an unbeaten 95 batting at No. 8 off 83 balls including 9 fours and 3 sixes. Sam Curran’s valiant knock went in vain as the young all-rounder finished with 95 not out with England falling agonizingly short of the winning total by 7 runs. All-rounder Sam Curran waged a lone battle in the end but it was not enough as India restricted England to 322 in 50 overs.

The hosts were dismissed for 329 after being asked to bat with Shikhar Dhawan, Rishabh Pant, and Hardik Pandya scoring half-centuries. The target did not appear too imposing for England, who chased down 337 with 39 deliveries remaining in the previous match, but Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s early breakthroughs put the hosts on top.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar picked up 3-42 in the 3rd ODI while Shardul Thakur finished with 4-67. Shardul Thakur who was the highest wicket-taker in the T20I series with 8 scalps, picked up 7 wickets in ODIs becoming the highest wicket-taker in 50 overs format too. Shardul Thakur, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, and Prasidh Krishna picked 19 wickets between them in the ODI series.

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