Rohit Sharma Age, Biography, career, stats, networth, Ranking & News

Rohit Sharma

Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya
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Saba Karim Doubts Whether Hardik Pandya Was Fit Before Being Selected In India’s 2021 T20I World Cup Squad

Saba Karim, the former Indian selector, and former wicketkeeper is confused by the niggle that all-rounder Hardik Pandya is said to be carrying. Saba Karim finds it difficult to understand how the Baroda all-rounder Hardik Pandya was selected in India’s 15 men T20 World Cup squad if he was unfit.

The rules laid down, according to Saba Karim, state that a player has to prove his fitness at the National Cricket Academy (NCA), and only then can they get selected for the Indian team. But if an injury or niggle takes place after their selection, then doubts arise whether the aforementioned player was fit when he was selected.

Saba Karim
Saba Karim (Source: Twitter)

Saba Karim Doubts Whether Hardik Pandya Was Fit Before Being Selected In India’s 2021 T20I World Cup Squad

Speaking on the YouTube channel “Khelneeti”, Saba Karim had to say about Hardik Pandya that the rule to prove fitness applies for everyone.

“He (Hardik) is a big player. But the question now is when he was selected for the Ind team, was he fully fit or not? If he was fit then it is justified. But if not, then when did this niggle happen? If he was carrying that injury then why was he selected? The general rule is – you have to prove your fitness and go to NCA and come back. This rule applies to everyone. So, the question is right but we don’t know what has exactly happened with Pandya.”

Hardik Pandya Image Source : GETTY
Hardik Pandya Image Source: GETTY

The younger Pandya brother largely failed to hit a big knock in the first leg of IPL 2021. In 7 matches, he scored 52 runs in 6 innings averaging a pathetic 8.66. The duo of Rohit Sharma and Hardik Pandya missed out on the match against CSK which was played in Dubai International Stadium on Sunday.

While Rohit Sharma returned in the second match against KKR, Hardik Pandya was absent as Shane Bond insists that the franchise is also looking at the needs of the Indian team when managing the workload of all-rounder Hardik Pandya. Hardik Pandya has not played both the games against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the ongoing UAE leg of IPL 2021.

Saba Karim Doesn’t Think Selectors Made A Mistake By Selecting Ishan Kishan

Players like Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav have not been able to score consistently in the IPL 2021 season so far. On being asked whether the Indian selectors made a mistake by naming them in the 15-man squad, Saba Karim said the fans need to be patient with such players.

“I don’t think the Indian selectors made a mistake my selecting Ishan Kishan. When he was scoring runs against England, we were saying his selection is right. So such a phase comes. We react too early and become judgemental. It is a huge challenge to be consistent in T20s. As cricket fans we need to stay patient with players like Ishan and Suryakumar,” Saba Karim concluded.

Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan - SPORTZPICS
Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan – SPORTZPICS

Saba Karim understands the difficulty of being consistent in the T20s and believes both Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan will come good sooner rather than later.

Ishan Kishan was the top run-getter for Mumbai Indians in the 2020 season, scoring 516 runs at an average of 57.33, and later went on to make his T20I and ODI debut where he scored the fifties. But in IPL 2021, he has only 98 runs to his name in 7 games averaging only 14 so far.

Suryakumar Yadav excelled in his role as an opener and scored over 500 runs in 2018, including four fifties. In IPL 2019, he amassed 424 runs to be MI’s second-highest run-getter. He outperformed himself in the 2020 season scoring 480 runs at a strike rate of 145 and went on to make his T20 International debut later for India. Suryakumar Yadav has so far 181 runs in 9 IPL games in IPL 2021 averaging a below-par 20.11.

Mumbai Indians
Mumbai Indians . Image Credits: Twitter
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Mumbai Indians Looking To Manage Workload Of Indian Players For T20I World Cup

Mumbai Indians franchise is looking to manage the workload of the players in the second leg of the Indian Premier League at UAE, but the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has no role in this and it is their individual call with an eye on the humid conditions in the UAE and the upcoming T20 World Cup.

A BCCI official said the board has not passed any directive to franchises on workload management and it is an individual call.

Mumbai Indians
Mumbai Indians (Image Credit: Twitter)

Mumbai Indians Hasn’t Passed Any Information To Any Team With Regards To Workload Management

Rahul Tripathi and Venkatesh Iyer smashed quick half-centuries as Kolkata Knight Riders defeated Mumbai Indians by seven wickets in their Indian Premier League (IPL) match at Abu Dhabi. Rahul Tripathi scored an unbeaten 74 off 42 balls and Venkatesh Iyer, playing his second IPL game, smashed 53 off 30 balls, as Kolkata raced to 159 for 3 in 15.1 overs, chasing down Mumbai Indians’ 155 for 6 quite comfortably.

It was the 2nd win for KKR in the UAE leg after they defeated RCB by 9 wickets while Mumbai Indians lost their 2nd consecutive game after their defeat by 20 runs to Chennai Super Kings in the UAE leg.

“We haven’t passed any information to any team with regards to workload management. If a player is rested, it has to be the call of the franchise and the player. Also, the franchises know how to take care of their players,” the official said.

Venkatesh Iyer made a quick-fire half century (53 off 30) against Mumbai Indians to follow up on his unbeaten 41 against RCB (Twitter/KKR)
Venkatesh Iyer made a quick-fire half-century (53 off 30) against Mumbai Indians to follow up on his unbeaten 41 against RCB (Twitter/KKR)

In fact, while three franchise officials confirmed that they are looking to rotate players keeping an eye on the humid weather conditions in the UAE, they were quick to point there has been no diktat from the BCCI on this.

“It is very hot and the humidity can sometimes get to even the fittest player in the team. So, we are looking to rotate some of the players with an eye on workload management. Players are always the priority and everyone is on the same page when it comes to this. But no, no diktat from the BCCI on this and honestly they also know it isn’t needed as franchises have always worked closely with the board in ensuring players are in top shape while playing the league,” one of the officials said.

Before entering this match, KKR had a dismal record against MI, registering just six wins in a total of 28 games, but Venkatesh Iyer and Rahul Tripathi helped the franchise turn around their fortunes.

Shane Bond: Hardik Padya Is Getting Closer To Playing

Shane Bond, Mumbai Indians bowling coach on Thursday night said the franchise is also looking at the needs of the Indian team when managing the workload of all-rounder Hardik Pandya. Hardik Pandya has not played both the games against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the ongoing UAE leg of IPL 2021.

“Hardik is training well. He trained today (Thursday) and he is getting closer to playing. We are balancing the needs of our team along with the needs of Team India as well. This franchise looks after its players. We are hopeful that Hardik will be back for the next match, he trained well on Thursday,” said Bond during the post-match virtual press conference after the game against KKR.

Shane Bond (BCCI.TV)
Shane Bond (BCCI.TV)

But Shane Bond too was quick to clarify that there is no directive from the BCCI board on this front.

“It is not a hard directive, you have a duty towards the players. You have to look after them, like anything you have to balance everything and you have to balance what the player wants. One thing our franchise does is look after our players. There is no point in rushing him back, you do not want him to get injured and miss rest of the tournament when we have a chance to win it,” he added.

In fact, MI just like the other franchises had been known to keep Team India’s interest in mind over the years and it is no different this time either.

Hitman Rohit Sharma is very cautiously managing his workload for Mumbai Indians in the UAE leg of IPL 2021 with several big-ticket tournaments lined up for Team India in the near future. For the unversed, next month’s T20 World Cup will be held in the UAE whereas the following edition will take place in late 2022.

Moreover, the ODI World Cup is also scheduled to take place in the second half of 2023. Rohit Sharma, at 34, isn’t willing to take any chances of missing out from any of the marquee events, hence, he is keeping ‘India above MI’.

Brief Scores: Mumbai Indians 155/6 (Quinton de Kock 55, Rohit Sharma 33; Lockie Ferguson 2-27) vs KKR 159/3 (Rahul Tripathi 74*, Venkatesh Iyer 53, Jasprit Bumrah 3-43).

Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma (Image Credit: Twitter)
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Rohit Sharma’s Quest Is To Win The 2023 World Cup

Rohit Sharma’s three double-hundreds in One-day cricket make him one of the most prominent limited-overs batsmen ever. Five IPL titles for Mumbai Indians make him one of T20’s finest captains. The limited-overs cricket alone has given him more than he could have ever wished for.

The white-ball sorcerer now understands, more than anything else, that red-ball Test magic alone instils cricketing glory.  He knows that despite being the highest scorer at the 50-over 2019 World Cup with 648 runs and five centuries, the Indian team will be remembered for losing to New Zealand in the semifinals.

Rohit Sharma and Mumbai Indians created history as they won the IPL title for the fifth time, with Rohit winning it for the sixth time. , BCCI/IPL Twitter handle
Rohit Sharma and Mumbai Indians created history as they won the IPL title for the fifth time, with Rohit winning it for the sixth time. , BCCI/IPL Twitter handle

Rohit Sharma’s Quest To Win 2023 World Cup Driving Him

A World Cup win, a Test match hundred, earning an opposition’s respect are the few things that count. Rohit Sharma will want to make the most between the present and October 2023 – when India hosts the 50-over World Cup. It’ll be 12 years to the 2011 ODI World Cup which was won by India where the lost opportunity of not making it to the squad pains him no end.

The opener has been working on a blueprint for quite a while now and there’s a larger plan to ensure India comes ahead of everything else over the next 24 months. Rohit Sharma rested in the first game between Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings (CSK) on Sunday but it wasn’t a last-minute call because of any niggle.

He will time and again keep taking these short breaks when required and it’s part of that larger plan. Rohit Sharma though will play MI’s second game versus the Knight Riders on Thursday because it’s the tournament’s business end and he should make it count.

Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Instagram
Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Instagram

Kieron Pollard captained the Mumbai Indians side in the absence of their regular skipper Rohit Sharma, who was given additional time off after returning from the England tour where he was on duty with the Indian team in their Test series against England. The duo of Rohit Sharma and Hardik Pandya missed out on the match against CSK which was played in Dubai International Stadium on Sunday.

Rohit Sharma Will Play Next Game Against KKR Confirms Coach Mahela Jayawardene

Mahela Jayawardene, Mumbai Indians head coach, after suffering a 20-run defeat against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021, said regular skipper Rohit Sharma will be available for the next game, which will be against Kolkata Knight Riders, who beat RCB in the 2nd game in the IPL 2021 UAE leg.

Mumbai Indians coach Mahela Jayawardene (Photo| Mumbai Indians website)
Mumbai Indians coach Mahela Jayawardene (Photo| Mumbai Indians website)

Rohit Sharma, the MI regular skipper will be on the top of his confidence after his recent success against England in the Test series, where he smacked his first overseas century. In the 1st leg, Rohit Sharma was the team’s highest run-getter with 250 runs in 7 innings averaging 35.71.

He had scored 5480 runs in 207 IPL matches averaging 31.49 with 1 ton and 40 fifties. Rohit Sharma led the Mumbai Indians to a successful campaign in the 2020 season, which was their second consecutive title.

MS Dhoni (BCCI/IPL)
MS Dhoni (BCCI/IPL)
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MS Dhoni’s Captaincy Was Spot On In IPL 2021 UAE Leg’s 1st Match: Virender Sehwag

Virender Sehwag, former Indian opener lauded MS Dhoni’s presence of mind and the on-field decision that turned the game upside down on Sunday in Dubai.

Chennai Super Kings skipper MS Dhoni’s on-field tactics against defending champions Mumbai Indians in the IPL 2021 match no. 30 in Dubai was simply remarkable. A Rohit Sharma-less MI began the UAE leg’s opening game in a phenomenal fashion, reducing Chennai to 24/4 inside the Powerplay’s 6 overs. But soon the fortunes turned in CSK’s way with opener Ruturaj Gaikwad firing all cylinders.

Virender Sehwag
Virender Sehwag (Image Credit: Twitter)

Virender Sehwag: MS Dhoni’s Captaincy Was Spot On

After Ruturaj Gaikwad’s unbeaten superb knock (88 not out off 58 balls), which helped Chennai to set a 157-run target, MS Dhoni rotated his bowlers in such a way that MI ultimately succumbed to a 20-run defeat. MS Dhoni & Co earned the valuable 2 points to gain the first position on the points table.

Virender Sehwag lauded veteran MS Dhoni’s presence of mind and the on-field decision that turned the game upside down. The former cricketer said the CSK captain has the sharpest brain among all in the ongoing tournament.

“MS Dhoni’s captaincy was spot on, no doubt about that. He doesn’t plan before the game. He observes the things on the field and takes calls accordingly. He watches the opposition batsmen and deploys a bowling attacks according to that. He anticipates in such a way that if a batter is comfortable against pace, he brings in a spinner and vice-versa,” Sehwag said.

Ruturaj Gaikwad
Ruturaj Gaikwad (Image Credit: Twitter)

“The best example was when he set the field for Dwayne Bravo. Four fielders were inside the circle to stop singles and generate the possibilities of a wicket. And that’s how they got rid of Ishan Kishan. Indeed, he’s a good captain but, his bowlers bowl according to the field setup. If anybody has the sharpest brain in this league, it’s MS Dhoni,” he added.

CSK recovered from 24 for 4 to post a creditable 156 for 6 mainly due to Ruturaj Gaikwad’s unbeaten 88 and then defended the total by restricting the defending champions to 136 for 8 in 20 overs to grab the top spot on the points table with 6 wins from 8 games.

Virender Sehwag: The Turning Point Ws Bringing In Josh Hazlewood Against Kieron Pollard

Virender Sehwag further spoke about the dismissal of stand-in MI captain Kieron Pollard, calling it the turning point of the game.

“For me the turning point was bringing in Josh Hazlewood against Kieron Pollard. Because he knew, if he gets a spinner to bowl, Pollard won’t spare the bowler. So, I think, the game changed from there,” Sehwag concluded.

Kieron Pollard
Kieron Pollard (Image Credit: Twitter)

The 42-year-old commentator former batsman Virender Sehwag further mentioned the tactical astuteness shown by MS Dhoni when he brought on the pacers against the danger man in form Kieron Pollard who was the stand-in skipper. The burly West Indian has been a thorn in CSK’s side but he was nipped out early when Josh Hazlewood struck him on the pads for an easy LBW.

Kieron Pollard had turned out to be one of the game-changers for the Mumbai Indians as he smacked 87 off 34 balls against the same opponent- Chennai Super Kings in India in the first half of IPL 2021. He hit eight sixes and six fours in the knock and made sure that his team got over the line in a tough chase of 219 runs.

But in the return match, Kieron Pollard could manage only 15 off 14 balls, while MI’s top scorer Saurabh Tiwary’s unbeaten knock of 50 off 40 balls went in vain.

Rohit Sharma and Mumbai Indians created history as they won the IPL title for the fifth time, with Rohit winning it for the sixth time. , BCCI/IPL Twitter handle
Rohit Sharma and Mumbai Indians created history as they won the IPL title for the fifth time, with Rohit winning it for the sixth time. , BCCI/IPL Twitter handle
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Rohit Sharma Should Be Fine To Play The Next IPL 2021 Game Vs KKR: Mahela Jayawardene:

Mahela Jayawardene, Mumbai Indians head coach, after suffering a 20-run defeat against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021, said regular skipper Rohit Sharma will be available for the next game, which will be against 7th placed Kolkata Knight Riders.

The duo of Rohit Sharma and Hardik Pandya missed out on the match against CSK which was played in Dubai International Stadium on Sunday.

Mumbai Indians coach Mahela Jayawardene (Photo| Mumbai Indians website)
Mumbai Indians coach Mahela Jayawardene (Photo| Mumbai Indians website)

Mahela Jayawardene: Rohit Sharma Should Be Fine To Play The Next Game While Hardik Pandya Had A Niggle In Training Which Isn’t Serious

Kieron Pollard captained the Mumbai Indians side in the absence of their regular skipper Rohit Sharma, who was given additional time off after returning from the England tour where he was on duty with the Indian team in their Test series against England.

“Rohit was batting and doing his running after coming back from the UK; we felt he needed extra few days, so he should be fine to play the next game. Hardik was training, had a niggle, so (just) precaution and giving him extra days, nothing serious,” said Mahela Jayawardene during a virtual post-match conference.

Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma (Image Credit: Twitter)

 

For CSK, Dwayne Bravo scalped three wickets and Deepak Chahar took two to restrict MI to 136/8. Saurabh Tiwary was the top scorer for Mumbai Indians with his knock of 50 runs. With this win, Chennai Super Kings went to the top of the points table while Mumbai is now in danger of falling outside the top four.

“Well, I think the pitch was not doing much, to be honest, in the second innings, the wicket was pretty good. The odd one sat up a little bit. I agree we probably gave a couple of soft dismissals, we probably needed someone to take responsibility and bat through the innings, which we did not do. That was the difference with CSK with Ruturaj Gaikwad doing that for them,” said Mahela Jayawardene.

Chennai Super Kings won the match by 20 runs despite looking at one stage to be losing the match before Ruturaj Gaikwad came to their rescue.

Mahela Jayawardene: Mumbai Indians Disappointed With How They Handled The Situation Despite Reducing CSK To 24/4

Ruturaj Gaikwad scored 88 to bail CSK out of trouble batting first. The MS Dhoni-led outfit posted 156/6 in the allotted twenty overs after being 24 for four inside the powerplay. CSK was 24/4 at one stage and Ambati Rayudu was retired hard but the momentum was shifted after opener Ruturaj Gaikwad scored an unbeaten 88 off 58 balls which included 9 fours and 4 sixes.

Ravindra Jadeja and Dwayne Bravo scored 26 and 23 before being dismissed while Faf du Plessis, Moeen Ali, Suresh Raina, and MS Dhoni couldn’t contribute even 5 runs each.

“Even though they (CSK) lost wickets, there was a set batsman (Gaikwad) who went till the end. We are disappointed with how we handled the situation,” the MI coach Mahela Jayawardene added.

Ruturaj Gaikwad
Ruturaj Gaikwad (Image Credit: Twitter)

Talking about Mumbai Indians’ batting, Mahela Jayawardene said: “We struggled in Chennai in the first half as we did not get used to the conditions. Here also, you know, it was not the easiest wicket, but probably needed some application. I put it down to game awareness and taking responsibility. The application out there is something we need to work on.”

Batting first in Dubai, Chennai was 24 for 4 at the end of the powerplay, with Ambati Rayudu additionally having retired hurt. But Ruturaj Gaikwad struck an unbeaten 88 off 58 balls, laced with nine fours and four sixes, to lift Super Kings to 156 for 6.

With Ravindra Jadeja (26 off 33), Ruturaj Gaikwad added 81 off 64 balls for the fifth wicket. That set the platform for some late-overs hitting, which Ruturaj Gaikwad and Dwayne Bravo (23 off 8) did with aplomb, Super Kings taking 58 off the last four overs. Mumbai Indians will next lock horns against Kolkata Knight Riders on Thursday.

Chennai Super Kings 156 for 6 (Gaikwad 88*, Jadeja 26, Milne 2-21) beat Mumbai Indians 136 for 8 (Tiwary 50*, Bravo 3-25, D Chahar 2-19) by 20 runs

Virender Sehwag
Virender Sehwag (Image Credit: Twitter)
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Virender Sehwag Rates Mumbai Indians As Favourites To Win IPL 2021 In UAE

Virender Sehwag picked the favourite franchise to win IPL 2021. The 14th edition of the Indian Premier League is being played in two parts due to the Covid-19 outbreak and bio bubble breaches in the middle of the season in May earlier this year. After 29 matches, BCCI was forced to postpone the tournament and shifted out of India and bring it to the UAE.

After a four-month-long gap, the remaining matches of IPL 2021 are slated to begin from Sunday with defending champions Mumbai Indians (MI) taking on Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in Dubai. While MS Dhoni-led CSK has won three titles, Rohit Sharma-led MI has won the most — five trophies so far.
Chennai Super Kings vs Mumbai Indians ©BCCI/IPL
Chennai Super Kings vs Mumbai Indians ©BCCI/IPL

Virender Sehwag Pucks Mumbai And Delhi As Contenders To Win IPL 2021

Before that, Virender Sehwag picked the two franchises- Mumbai Indians and Delhi Capitals – the finalists of the last year – as the favourites to win the IPL.

“Since the second half has been shifted to Dubai and Abu Dhabi, I think Delhi and Mumbai will again be favourites and the five-time champions are slightly ahead,” Sehwag told PTI.

Delhi Capitals
Delhi Capitals (Image Credit: Twitter)

Rohit Sharma-led Mumbai Indians are currently at No.4 in the points table with 8 points from 7 matches. Delhi Capitals, on the other hand, is at the top of the table with 12 points in 8 games. Additionally, the second leg of IPL 2021 will also be a momentous occasion as the marquee tournament will welcome the fans back to the stadiums after the previous season.

Despite CSK’s consistent run under MS Dhoni, Mumbai is ahead in the overall head-to-head battle. Both sides have faced each other in 32 IPL matches with MI winning 19 times and losing 13 times so far.

Virender Sehwag: Chennai And Bangalore Might Face Problems In Slow Pitches In UAE

Virender Sehwag, who is ready to put his money on the five-time champions Mumbai Indians if he had to pick one team, reckons that pitches in UAE will be slower and thus Chennai and Bengaluru might face some problems. During the first leg of IPL 2021, MI has defeated CSK in a high-scoring match, where the defending champions Mumbai chased down the target of 219 and won the match by six wickets.

“Chennai’s average score in India was 201 during the first phase but I think when it comes to UAE tracks, they would be lacking a bit in batting firepower. If I have to pick one team, that will be Mumbai.”

Virender Sehwag Reuters Photo
Virender Sehwag Reuters Photo

He said that for Chennai, after such a long gap, it might take “some more matches” to settle down and get into the “groove”. Virender Sehwag believes that with ICC giving a window to change teams till October 10, there could still be room for some good performers, who have missed the bus.

“100%. We have around seven matches minimum left for the teams. That means you still have a platform to perform and those who are on the fringes could still impress the Indian selectors who would be watching the tournament closely. “

“Since ICC allows a window to change teams, I will not be surprised if there are some changes in the original squad,” the Nawab of Najafgarh said.

Virender Sehwag, who himself was one of the most explosive batsmen of his era, picked four young Indian cricketers he would look forward to watching in IPL. The 42-year-old named flamboyant Mumbai Indians batsman Ishan Kishan was his first choice amongst the four followed by the likes of Devdutt Padikkal, KL Rahul and Sanju Samson.

Virender Sehwag also made some bold claims and said unpicked players doing well in IPL 2021 might be drafted in the T20 World Cup as ICC allows a window to make changes into the squad. Virender Sehwag, who has worked with the Punjab Kings team (Kings XI Punjab then) as a mentor, said if Devdutt Padikkal can perform well for the RCB in these remaining 7-8 matches then he can be drafted into the Indian T20 World Cup squad.

India cricket team. Photo: @BCCI
India cricket team. Photo: @BCCI
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ICC T20 World Cup 2021: India Squad, Schedule, Date, Time, And Venue

ICC T20 World Cup 2021 will start from 17th October immediately after the conclusion of IPL’s UAE leg. Cricket experts and fans got filled with excitement after the International Cricket Council (ICC) announced the schedule for the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup 2021 to be staged in the UAE.

Notably, the marquee tournament is scheduled to begin on 17th October and the finals of the event will take place on 14th November in United Arab Emirates (UAE). Meanwhile, Team India will be entering the tournament as one of the favourites to win the Cup having won it only once previously in the inaugural 2007 edition.

ICC T20 World Cup 2021:- Representational image of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup trophy | AFP / Jewel Samad
ICC T20 World Cup 2021:- Representational image of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup trophy | AFP / Jewel Samad

ICC T20 World Cup 2021: India Squad, Schedule, Date, Time, And Venue

ICC T20 World Cup 2021: India Placed In Group B Alongside Pakistan, New Zealand, And Afghanistan

India is placed in the Group B of the tournament alongside arch-rivals Pakistan, nemesis New Zealand, and rising team Afghanistan. Virat Kohli will be leading India in the marquee event and they will be starting their campaign with the high-profile battle against arch-rivals Pakistan.

Pakistan has always struggled against India in the World Cups. Whether it is T20 World Cup or 50-over World Cup, India has remained victorious in all the games. Meanwhile, after facing arch-rivals, India will lock horns with New Zealand, and so far New Zealand has been the dominant side in the ICC events against India. New Zealand defeated India in the 2007 T20 World Cup, 2016 T20 World Cup, 2019 ODI World Cup, and 2021 WTC final.

India and Pakistan rarely play against each other but have a heated rivalry. (Photo by Tharaka Basnayaka/NurPhoto via Getty Images) NURPHOTO VIA GETTY IMAGES
India and Pakistan rarely play against each other but have a heated rivalry. (Photo by Tharaka Basnayaka/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Meanwhile, Team India is one of the strongest sides in the upcoming T20 World Cup event. As they have covered each and every aspect of the team. From top-order batters to middle-order batters and from batting all-rounders to bowling all-rounders India has figured everything out.

The strong bench strength that India has is one of the biggest positives for India heading into the tournament. Also with the UAE leg of the Indian Premier League ( IPL) 2021 taking place just before the World Cup, the big names like Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, and Jasprit Bumrah are expected to take a good form in their bag. Meanwhile, legendary Indian captain MS Dhoni will be the mentor of the Indian team, he will provide much-needed experience to the team in the T20 World Cup 2021.

So far, India has won one T20 World Cup trophy, back in the inaugural edition of the World Cup in 2007 under MS Dhoni. Also, they were runner-ups in 2014, Moreover, they reached in semi-finals of the 2016 World Cup.

ICC T20 World Cup 2021: India’s Squad

Virat Kohli (Capt), Rohit Sharma (vc), KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ishan Kishan (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Rahul Chahar, Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel, Varun Chakravarthy, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohd Shami.

Standby players: Shreyas Iyer, Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar.

Coming back to the squad, in a surprise move, Ravichandran Ashwin has been included in the team which will begin its campaign in the showpiece event against arch-rivals Pakistan. He had last played a T20I against West Indies in July 2017. Veteran former skipper MS Dhoni will be the mentor of the team. The likes of Krunal Pandya, Shikhar Dhawan, Kuldeep Yadav, and Yuzvendra Chahal didn’t find a place in the squad.

Ravichandran Ashwin of India. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)
Ravichandran Ashwin of India. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

ICC T20 World Cup 2021: India’s Complete Schedule

24th October 2021: India vs Pakistan, 7:30 PM, Dubai

31st October 2021 India vs New Zealand, 7:30 PM, Dubai

3rd November 2021 India vs Afghanistan, 7:30 PM, Abu Dhabi

5th November 2021 India vs B1, 7:30 PM, Dubai

8th November 2021 India vs A2, 7:30 PM Dubai

Mumbai Indians
Mumbai Indians (Image Credit: Twitter)
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IPL 2021: CSK vs MI – 3 Players Of Mumbai Indians Who Can Be The Man Of The Match

Mumbai Indians will have their task cut out against the formidable CSK side in the first fixture after the resumption of IPL 2021 and it will be a belter of a game. Mumbai has gone 1-0 up in the battle against CSK this year in the first half of IPL 2021 and the rivalry is expected to heat up the fans in the ground.

Rohit Sharma-led defending champions Mumbai Indians hold the 4th spot currently in IPL 2021 points table with 8 points. Chennai Super Kings hold the 2nd spot with 10 points. The Rohit Sharma-led side has already won five titles under their belt and the defending champions will be up against the three-time champions Chennai Super Kings. This will be one of the most interesting battles in IPL and here are 3 MI Players Who Can Be The Man Of The Match.

Rohit Sharma and Mumbai Indians created history as they won the IPL title for the fifth time, with Rohit winning it for the sixth time. , BCCI/IPL Twitter handle
Rohit Sharma and Mumbai Indians created history as they won the IPL title for the fifth time, with Rohit Sharma winning it for the sixth time.  BCCI/IPL Twitter handle

IPL 2021: CSK vs MI- 3 MI Players Who Can Be The Man Of The Match

Kieron Pollard

Mumbai Indians' Kieron Pollard after playing a match-winning knock against Chennai Super Kings in their IPL 2021 match. Sportzpics for IPL
Mumbai Indians’ Kieron Pollard after playing a match-winning knock against Chennai Super Kings in their IPL 2021 match.
Sportzpics for IPL

Kieron Pollard turned out to be one of the game-changers for the Mumbai Indians in the first phase of the IPL and he smacked 87 off 34 balls against the same opponent- Chennai Super Kings in India in the first half of IPL 2021. He hit eight sixes and six fours in the knock and made sure that his team got over the line in a tough chase of 219 runs.

Mumbai Indians will be happy that they have the services of the West Indies captain who is one of the fearsome strikers of the cricket ball. Kieron Pollard will be keen to get his best all-round game against CSK especially and he has been in good form in the recently concluded CPL 2021.

In the first leg of IPL 2021, the West Indies all-rounder scored 168 runs in 7 matches at an average of 56 and strike rate of 171+. Kieron Pollard formed a critical part of the victorious MI squad in the 2020 season, smashing the ball at a strike rate of 191. He is loved by the Mumbai fans and big Trinidadian will look to set things straight again in the 14th season.

Quinton de Kock

Quinton de Kock of Mumbai Indians plays a shot. (BCCI/IPL)
Quinton De Kock of Mumbai Indians plays a shot. (BCCI/IPL)

The South African wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock likes the ball coming onto the bat and he scored loads of runs in the UAE in the previous edition. He struggled to find his form in the spinning wickets in India in the first half of IPL 2021 but seemed to get better when the wickets changed. The left-hander will be one of the challenges for the CSK bowlers as well.

Quinton de Kock scored 155 runs in the first phase of the IPL 2021 at an average of 31 and he excelled at times but he will need to convert his starts into a big score this time and this will be the right scenario for him to show his skills.

The Proteas batsman has been a spectacular batting form, which was visible during the recent Sri Lanka vs South Africa T20I series. Quinton De Kock had a terrific 2020 season, scoring 503 runs including four half-centuries at the top in UAE, and will look to perform in a similar fashion in the UAE leg.

Jasprit Bumrah

Jasprit Bumrah
Jasprit Bumrah (Image Credit: Twitter)

Jasprit Bumrah is one of the best bowlers in recent times in the world at the moment and he showed his class in the recently concluded red-ball Test series against England. He finished as the highest wicket-taker for India in the four Tests and picked up 18 wickets. In his prime form, Jasprit Bumrah has been one of the match-winners for the Mumbai Indians and has bowled splendidly in the India leg of IPL 2021 as well.

The right-arm quick was superb in the previous edition IPL 2020 in UAE too by being the 2nd highest wicket-taker and he enjoyed the conditions really well. He used the pace of the wickets to his advantage and executed the yorkers to perfection. He will be one of the candidates for the man of the match in the first game against CSK and he relishes the challenge against big teams.

In the first leg of IPL 2021, the right-arm pacer with an unorthodox action scalped 6 wickets in 7 matches at an average of 32 and an economy of 7.11. In the previous season in IPL 2020, he picked 27 scalps in 15 games averaging an awesome 14.96, and was 2nd highest wicket-taker.

Mumbai Indians
Mumbai Indians (Image Credit: Twitter)
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IPL 2021: CSK vs MI – MI’s Predicted XI For The 1st Match

IPL 2021 UAE leg will see Mumbai Indians will take on Chennai Super Kings in the opening game. The much-awaited encounter will take place on September 19 at Dubai International Stadium. Rohit Sharma-led defending champions Mumbai Indians hold the 4th spot currently in IPL 2021 points table with 8 points. Chennai Super Kings hold the 2nd spot with 10 points.

During MI vs CSK’s first encounter in IPL 2021, Mumbai Indians defeated Chennai Super Kings by 4 wickets. With Kieron Pollard’s spectacular unbeaten 87-run-knock, MI chased down the mammoth target of 219 runs in the match. The team will seek to defeat CSK once again in the UAE leg. Ahead of the high octane match, let’s take a look at Mumbai Indians’ playing XI for the first match against Chennai Super Kings in IPL 2021’s UAE leg.

Chennai Super Kings vs Mumbai Indians ©BCCI/IPL
Chennai Super Kings vs Mumbai Indians ©BCCI/IPL

IPL 2021: CSK vs MI- MI’s Predicted XI For The 1st Match

Rohit Sharma

Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma (Image Credit: Twitter)

Rohit Sharma will lead Mumbai Indians in the first match of IPL 2021. The MI skipper will be on the top of his confidence after his recent success against England in the Test series, where he smacked his first overseas century. In the 1st leg, Rohit Sharma was the team’s highest run-getter with 250 runs in 7 innings averaging 35.71.

He had scored 5480 runs in 207 IPL matches averaging 31.49 with 1 ton and 40 fifties. Rohit Sharma led the Mumbai Indians to a successful campaign in the 2020 season, which was their second consecutive title.

Quinton de Kock

Quinton de Kock of Mumbai Indians plays a shot. (BCCI/IPL)
Quinton de Kock of Mumbai Indians plays a shot. (BCCI/IPL)

For the wicket-keeper’s role, Mumbai Indians will go with South African batsman Quinton de Kock. The Proteas batsman has been a spectacular batting form, which was visible during the recent Sri Lanka vs South Africa T20I series. In the first leg of IPL 2021, the left-handed batsman scored 155 runs in 6 matches at an average of 31. He also smacked one unbeaten half-century.

Quinton de Kock had a terrific 2020 season, scoring 503 runs including four half-centuries at the top. The left-hander also has a great understanding with his opening partner, Rohit Sharma, and his explosive hitting makes things easier for the MI skipper at the other end. His form and performance will be vital to MI’s fortune.

Suryakumar Yadav

Suryakumar Yadav
Suryakumar Yadav (Image Credit: Twitter)

Sunryakumar Yadav will be a great batsman for MI at the middle-order in the opening game. Yadav showed a magnificent batting performance during the Sri Lanka tour earlier in July. During the first leg, the right-handed batsman scored 173 runs in 7 innings at an average of 24.71. He also held a strike rate of 144+.

Asked to open the batting, Suryakumar Yadav excelled in his role and scored over 500 runs in 2018, including four fifties. In IPL 2019, he amassed 424 runs to be MI’s second-highest run-getter. He outperformed himself in the 2020 season scoring 480 runs at a strike rate of 145 and went on to make his T20 International debut later for India.

Ishan Kishan

Ishan Kishan. Photo Credit: (Twitter)
Ishan Kishan. Photo Credit: (Twitter)

Mumbai Indians might keep Quinton de Kock as the wicketkeeper in IPL 2021 opener against CSK. However, Ishan Kishan might also make it into the playing XI as a batsman. During the ODI series against Sri Lanka in July, Ishan Kishan smacked half-century on his ODI debut. In the first leg, he scored 73 runs in 5 matches averaging a below-par 14.6, and will certainly try to make amends in the UAE leg.

Bought for a whopping INR 5.5 crore, Ishan Kishan, who played 14 games in 2018, played seven in 2019, scoring just 101 runs with an average of 16.83. Ishan Kishan was the top run-getter for Mumbai Indians in the 2020 season, scoring 516 runs at an average of 57.33, and later went on to make his International T20 debut where he scored a fearless fifty.

Hardik Pandya

Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya[photo: Twitter]
Hardik Pandya is another confirmed player for Mumbai Indians in the opening game of the IPL 2021 UAE leg. The younger Pandya largely failed to hit a big knock in the first leg. In 7 matches, he scored 52 runs in 6 innings averaging a pathetic 8.66. However, he is toiling hard in training and all set for a good performance in the UAE leg.

In the 12th edition of IPL 2019, he scored 400 runs and picked up 14 wickets, proving his versatility. After missing out on a lot of action owing to a back injury, Hardik Pandya made a phenomenal comeback in the 2020 season, playing the finisher role for the team and hammering the ball in the slog overs at a strike rate of 178.

Kieron Pollard

Mumbai Indians' Kieron Pollard after playing a match-winning knock against Chennai Super Kings in their IPL 2021 match. Sportzpics for IPL
Mumbai Indians’ Kieron Pollard after playing a match-winning knock against Chennai Super Kings in their IPL 2021 match.
Sportzpics for IPL

Kieron Pollard is another player who will be part of Mumbai Indians in the opening game of IPL 2021 against Chennai Super Kings. In the first leg, the West Indies all-rounder scored 168 runs in 7 matches at an average of 56 and strike rate of 171+. He also smacked a match-winning knock of 87 runs against CSK in the earlier encounter.

Kieron Pollard formed a critical part of the victorious MI squad in the 2020 season, smashing the ball at a strike rate of 191. He is loved by the Mumbai fans and big Trinidadian will look to set things straight again in the 14th season. After not bowling in 2018 and 2019, he picked 7 scalps in the last two editions.

Krunal Pandya

Krunal Pandya
Krunal Pandya. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)

Krunal Pandya is another player who might make it to MI’s playing XI in the opening game. In the first leg, the left-handed batsman scored 100 runs in 7 innings at an average of 16.66. He also picked 3 wickets. On spin-friendly UAE grounds, Krunal Pandya might emerge as a crucial bowler for Mumbai Indians.

He hit the winning runs in the 2020 season that gave MI their fifth title. An important member of the side, Krunal Pandya will once again be required of playing the dual role of picking wickets with his left-arm spin and providing a boost to the middle order.

Rahul Chahar

Rahul Chahar's rapid rise in the Indian Premier League (IPL). | Photo Credit: Instagram
Rahul Chahar’s rapid rise in the Indian Premier League (IPL). | Photo Credit: Instagram

Rahul Chahar will be part of Mumbai Indians in IPL 2021 opener against CSK. In the first leg, Rahul Chahar gave a magnificent bowling show, picking 11 wickets in 7 matches at an outstanding average of 18.36 and an economy of 7.21. He is the 4th highest wicket-taker in the tournament currently.

Mumbai Indians showed confidence in this skilful leg spinner and gave him 13 of the 16 matches they played in 2019. There is no dearth of talent in him and he surely proved that in the 2020 season scalping 15 wickets in as many matches, not letting the batsmen get away with his clever googlies.

Trent Boult

Trent Boult. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)
Trent Boult. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

Trent Boult will be one of the pacers for MI in the opening game of the IPL 2021 UAE leg. The New Zealander bowled brilliantly in the first leg, picking 8 wickets in 7 games at an average of 27.87. He owns an economy rate of 8.46 so far and picked a three-wicket haul in one match.

Trent Boult was truly sensational in the 13th edition of IPL 2020, sharing the new ball with Jasprit Bumrah. He picked up 25 scalps in only 15 appearances averaging only 18.28 and was the third-highest wicket-taker in IPL 2020.

Jasprit Bumrah

Jasprit Bumrah
Jasprit Bumrah (Image Credit: Twitter)

After his successful bowling show against England in the Test series, Jasprit Bumrah would be quite confident for IPL 2021 UAE leg. He is another player who will definitely play for MI in the opening game. In the first leg, the right-arm pacer scalped 6 wickets in 7 matches at an average of 32 and an economy of 7.11. In the previous season in IPL 2020, he picked 27 scalps in 15 games averaging an awesome 14.96, and was 2nd highest wicket-taker.

Marco Jansen

Marco Jansen
Marco Jansen. Image-BCCI

For the third pacer, Mumbai Indians might induct Marco Jansen into the playing XI. The uncapped Proteas player played 2 games in the first leg, picking 2 wickets at an economy of 7.50. He picked 2 wickets in one match but remained wicketless in the other. His bowling average in his debut IPL season was 22.5 before IPL 2021 got postponed for bio bubble breaches.

Other Options:-

Nathan Coulter Nile

Nathan Coulter-Nile
Nathan Coulter-Nile

The right-arm pacer picked five wickets in the seven games he played for the Mumbai Indians in the 2020 season. MI bought him again in the 2021 auctions for INR 5 cr. He remained wicketless in IPL 2021 playing only 1 game.

Jayant Yadav

Jayant Yadav Photo Credit - IPL
Jayant Yadav Photo Credit – IPL

Photo Credit – IPL

Although he featured in only 2 games in the 2020 season, the spinner Jayant Yadav made it count by getting an early breakthrough with the ball for MI in the finals of the 13th edition. Although he has only played 14 IPL games, 31-year-old Jayant Yadav is a senior in the domestic circuit and has represented India in four Tests and one ODI.  He has picked 7 scalps in 17 IPL games averaging 53 but with a decent economy of 6.74. He picked 1 scalp in IPL 2021.

Mumbai Indians Predicted XI:-

Rohit Sharma (c), Quinton de Kock (wk), Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Nathan Coulter-Nile/Jayant Yadav/ Marco Jansen, Rahul Chahar, Jasprit Bumrah, Trent Boult

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VVS Laxman Hopes ICC Will Award The Series 2-1 In Favour Of India As He Refused To Blame IPL 2021 For Manchester Test Cancellation

VVS Laxman, the former Indian batsman expressed his disappointment at the abrupt end of the Test series between India and England but refused to blame the Indian Premier League (IPL) for the cancellation of the 5th Test at Old Trafford in Manchester.

While the Covid-19 scare is certainly one of the factors affecting the cancellation of the Manchester Test with India’s assistant physio Yogesh Parmar testing positive for the virus, there could be more factors that led to the calling off of the Manchester Test.

VVS Laxman. (File Photo: IANS)
VVS Laxman. (File Photo: IANS)

VVS Laxman Says It’s Unfair To Play The Blame Game And Hopes ICC Will Award The Series 2-1 In Favour Of India

Some reports claim that Indian players, despite testing negative on the eve of the match, were reluctant to take the field, while some others are blaming the IPL, believing that players prioritized the IPL since the tournament was to resume from September 19, a few days after the conclusion of the 5th Test.

In his column, VVS Laxman wrote, “It was an abrupt, somewhat disappointing end to what had been a cracking series but given the circumstances in which the final Test at Old Trafford was cancelled, it’s unfair to point fingers or play the blame game.”

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

The fifth and deciding Test was dramatically cancelled on Friday just over two hours before the scheduled start because of Covid-19 concerns in the Indian camp. The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said fears over the coronavirus, related to an outbreak among backroom staff, had left India unable to field a team at Old Trafford.

“To take the field in that mental state is far from ideal. So is the potential risk of endangering others on the park, be it your teammates, the officials or the opponents. Against that backdrop, I think the cancellation of the Test was the right call, though I feel deeply for the fans who had invested so much time, money and emotion in the contest. I hope the ICC sees the situation for what it is and awards the series 2-1 to India, particularly with the BCCI having offered to play a Test during their white ball tour of England next year,” VVS Laxman added.

India was 2-1 up in the five-match contest after a 157-run win in the fourth Test at the Oval and was bidding to complete a notable double just months after winning a series in Australia. India cancelled their final training session and mandatory pre-match press conference on Thursday after reports that a physiotherapist who had been in close contact with the players had tested positive for Covid.

“What this episode reiterates is that we must not let our guard down. If that means having to stay in bubbles, even if the host country doesn’t demand it, so be it. It might be tough on players, agreed, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. I understand bubble fatigue can become a factor, but there can’t be any compromise on safety,” VVS Laxman opined.

Cancellation would give India a 2-1 series victory, and a forfeiture led to a 2-2 draw. Currently, India has pocketed 26 WTC points from the series while England has 14 out of the available 48 points.

VVS Laxman: Biggest Takeaway From India Was The Quality And Belief Of Their Pace Attack

In the fourth Test at the Oval, where 50 years earlier India won their first Test on English soil, Rohit Sharma scored his first overseas Test century and Shardul Thakur starred with both bat and ball. Jasprit Bumrah’s devastating spell of reverse swing — 2-6 in six overs — was key to England losing their last eight wickets for 69 runs.

“It might be stating the obvious, but the biggest takeaway for the visitors was the quality and belief of their pace attack. The fast bowlers are the reason India are winning Tests and series overseas with regularity, and once again, they stood up and asked to be counted,” VVS Laxman observed.

Virat Kohli backs Ajinkya Rahane Image Source : GETTY IMAGE
Virat Kohli backs Ajinkya Rahane Image Source: GETTY IMAGE

The Indian team management preferred the left-spinner all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja over off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin in the Test matches in England.

“If there is one thing the attack can get better at, it is in staying patient and stringing maidens together when the pitch flattens out like it did on Day Three at Lord’s and Day Two in Leeds. I know I have been insistent on R Ashwin’s inclusion in these columns; that being said, Ravindra Jadeja was more than effective throughout the series, especially on the final day at The Oval, both in a containing and wicket-taking role,” VVS Laxman wrote.

Rohit Sharma’s 127 was the cornerstone of India’s second innings at Oval in the 4th Test. It was the opener’s eighth hundred in 43 Tests but first outside of India in 24 matches at this level.

“India’s largest plus was the unearthing of a fabulous opening pair. Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul are not just skilled but also experienced. They brought those traits into play to make handsome, significant runs. They trusted their game plans and backed their defense; I would go so far as to say that they are the best opening pair in Test cricket currently, shading Tom Latham and Devon Conway,” VVS Laxman added.

Ajinkya Rahane, who led India to a series victory in Australia earlier this year when regular captain Virat Kohli was on paternity leave, has now gone 20 innings without a Test hundred.

“The one obvious concern India must address is the inability of the experienced middle-order to capitalize on the great starts. Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli showed signs of returning to form, but Ajinkya Rahane and Rishabh Pant were out of touch. A few technical issues have crept into the middle-order batting, and with more challenging assignments in store, it’s imperative that those are ironed out at the earliest,” VVS Laxman signed off.

Ajinkya Rahane has batted in seven innings and has managed to score only 109 runs at a pathetic average of 15.57. He was dismissed for an eight-ball duck in the second innings of the Oval Test. Earlier in the first innings, he scored just 14 off 47 deliveries.

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