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Ruturaj Gaikwad

South Africa Cricket Team (Image Credit: Twitter)
South Africa Cricket Team (Image Credit: Twitter)
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Marco Jansen Receives His Maiden ODI Call-up As South Africa Name 17-Member Squad For 3 ODIs vs India

Marco Jansen, the South African pace all-rounder on Sunday received his maiden ODI call-up as South Africa named a 17-member squad for the three-ODI series against India beginning January 19.

The 21-year-old Marco Jansen, who had snapped five wickets in his maiden Test last week, was picked in the squad led by Temba Bavuma with Keshav Maharaj as his deputy in the white-ball series.

Marco Jansen (Gallo)
Marco Jansen (Gallo)

Marco Jansen Receives Maiden call Up For ODIs, Injured Anrich Nortje Left Out

Experienced pacer Anrich Nortje will miss the ODIs as well after being left out of the Tests due to a hip injury. Wayne Parnell, Sisanda Magala, and Zubayr Hamza also retained their spots in the squad which also includes former skipper Quinton de Kock, who retired from Test cricket following the loss in the first Test against India.

Marco Jansen had 4/55 in 13.3 overs to end with figures of 5/124 in his debut Test match which included the prized scalp of Virat Kohli. Marco Jansen played in two matches picking 2 scalps for Mumbai Indians in IPL 2021 before his debut for South Africa.

“This is a very exciting group and the Selection Panel and I are eager to see what they will produce,” CSA Convenor of Selectors, Victor Mpitsang said.

“For many of our players, it does not get bigger than playing against this powerhouse Indian team and this will be the biggest series of their young lives so far. We are looking forward to seeing what they bring to the table and wish Temba (Bavuma) and Mark (Boucher) all the best for the series.”

The left-arm seamer, Marco Jansen received his maiden call-up to the ODI squad, while seamer Anrich Nortje has been deemed unfit after not recovering from his hip injury. Dwaine Pretorius, who recently had a good outing in the T20 World Cup 2021 in the UAE, returned to the squad alongside all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo.

In the ongoing 2nd Test between the two teams, India is placed on 53/3 before lunch. KL Rahul is captaining the team in place of Virat Kohli who has upper back spasms.

KL Rahul To Be Skipper For India In The 3 ODIs Against South Africa

KL Rahul will lead India in the three One-day Internationals (ODIs) against South Africa while Jasprit Bumrah will be his deputy. Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin also made his way back to the ODI team after the 2017 Champions Trophy. Pacer Mohammed Shami has been rested.

Spin all-rounders Axar Patel and Ravindra Jadeja are still not fit and weren’t considered for selection. Also making a comeback was another spin bowling all-rounder Washington Sundar. Opening batsman veteran Shikhar Dhawan too was included and will fight for the opening slot beside the likes of Ruturaj Gaikwad, keeper Ishan Kishan, and skipper KL Rahul.

KL Rahul
KL Rahul-Reuters.

The first (January 19) and second ODIs (January 21) will be played at Boland Park, Paarl while the third and final match (January 23) will be held at Newlands, Cape Town. India on Saturday announced their 18-member squad for the ODI series with KL Rahul named as captain with Rohit Sharma yet to regain full fitness.

South Africa ODI Squad: Temba Bavuma (C), Keshav Maharaj (VC), Quinton de Kock, Zubayr Hamza, Marco Jansen, Janneman Malan, Sisanda Magala, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Lungi Ngidi, Wayne Parnell, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Rassie van der Dussen, Kyle Verreynne.

India ODI squad: KL Rahul (Capt), Shikhar Dhawan, Ruturaj Gaekwad, Virat Kohli, Surya Kumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, Venkatesh Iyer, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ishan Kishan (wk), Yuzvendra Chahal, Ravichandran Ashwin, Washington Sundar, Jasprit Bumrah (VC), Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Chahar, Prasidh Krishna, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Siraj.

Shikhar Dhawan (BCCI)
Shikhar Dhawan (BCCI)
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Shikhar Dhawan Could Have Been Treated Slightly Better In Tests, Say Aakash Chopra

Shikhar Dhawan last appeared in a Test match over three years ago in India’s tour of England in 2018. Former India Test opener Aakash Chopra believes Shikhar Dhawan could have had a longer run in Tests had he been treated better by the team management.

The out-of-favour opening batsman last appeared in a Test match over three years ago in India’s tour of England in 2018. Since then the left-handed batter has not been considered in the longer format of the game. He managed 162 runs at an underwhelming average of 20.25 in the four Tests he played against England in the 2018 tour.

Shikhar Dhawan playing Test (AFP)
Shikhar Dhawan playing Test (AFP)

Aakash Chopra Feels Shikhar Dhawan Could Have Been Treated Slightly Better

Shikhar Dhawan has so far played 34 Tests and scored 2,315 runs with seven centuries under his belt at an average of 40.61. Soon after the 2018 England tour, the left-handed southpaw was ditched for younger guys like KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, and Shubman Gill.

“Test career, in my opinion, was the England tour where, to be very honest, it was not right. He could have been treated slightly better. He was played in the first match, was not played in the second, played the third, and then they dropped him.” 

Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra. (Photo Source: Twitter)

“It just did not go right. He could have played continuous matches; they were changing repeatedly, and that does not go down well. Personally, that’s my issue,” said the former India cricketer.  

Shikhar Dhawan was not picked for the Lord’s Test after he was dismissed on 39 in both the innings at Edgbaston.  KL Rahul, who came to bat at No. 3 in the series opener then, was promoted to open with Murali Vijay at Lord’s and Cheteshwar Pujara was included in the playing XI.

Shikhar Dhawan Whose Form Deteriorated Was Handed A Lifeline After Being Included In 18 Member Squad For South Africa ODIs

Shikhar Dhawan last appeared in a limited-overs game for India in July, in the tour of Sri Lanka. Despite an impressive performance in the first leg of IPL 2021, a poor return in both the formats in the Sri Lanka tour saw him miss his place for the T20 World Cup.

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

His form deteriorated further in the second leg of the IPL 2021, in the UAE, and then in the recent Vijay Hazare Trophy as well where he scored just 56 runs in five innings at 11.20 which included a duck as well. Shikhar Dhawan though has been handed a lifeline with the selectors adding him to the 18-member squad for the South Africa series.

Shikhar Dhawan will have to play some substantial knocks against the Proteas to hold on to his spot as he will fight for the opening spot with KL Rahul, Ruturaj Gaikwad, and Ishan Kishan in the fray.

Shikhar Dhawan had a good outing in IPL 2021 scoring 587 runs in 16 games averaging 39.13 finishing as 4th highest run-scorer after Ruturaj Gaikwad, Faf du Plessis, and KL Rahul. In IPL 2020 too, he finished as second-highest run-scorer after KL Rahul with 618 runs in 17 games averaging 44.14.

Shikhar Dhawan averages a high 45.56 amassing 6105 runs in 145 ODIs with 17 tons. He averaged 56.33 and 64 in the last two ODI series against England at home and in Sri Lanka.

Full Squad For South Africa ODIs: KL Rahul (Capt), Shikhar Dhawan, Ruturaj Gaekwad, Virat Kohli, Surya Kumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, Venkatesh Iyer, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ishan Kishan (wk), Y Chahal, R Ashwin, W Sundar, J Bumrah (VC), Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Chahar, Prasidh Krishna, Shardul Thakur, Mohd. Siraj.

Ruturaj Gaikwad
Ruturaj Gaikwad (Image Credit: Twitter)
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Chetan Sharma Praised Ruturaj Gaikwad And Hopes He Does Wonders For India

Chetan Sharma, the chief selector has heaped praise on in-form opener Ruturaj Gaikwad, who has been selected for the upcoming ODIs against South Africa, saying that the Maharashtra batter would “do wonders” for the national Indian team.

The Indian team is scheduled to play three one-day internationals against South Africa on January 19, 21, and 23 at Paarl and Cape Town respectively.

Chetan Sharma, Chairman Of Selectors (Pic Source: Twitter)
Chetan Sharma, Chairman Of Selectors (Pic Source: Twitter)

Chetan Sharma: Ruturaj Gaikwad Has Got The Opportunity At The Right Time

The team for the ODIs against Proteas was picked on Friday by the Chetan Sharma-led selection panel.

“Look, absolutely (he has) got the opportunity at the right time. He was in the T20 team and also now he is in the ODI team, wherever his place can be made, selectors are thinking he will go and do wonders for the country,” Chetan Sharma said at the team selection press conference.

Ruturaj Gaikwad. (Photo: IPL)
Ruturaj Gaikwad. (Photo: IPL)

The 24-year-old Ruturaj Gaikwad, who hails from Pune, was the leading scorer in the 2021 Indian Premier League after he amassed a staggering 635 runs and played a key role in Chennai Super Kings winning the title. He was the Orange Cap winner for scoring the most runs in IPL 2021 ahead of teammate fellow opener Faf du Plessis.

Chetan Sharma: Ruturaj Gaikwad Was Rewarded For Doing Well

According to Chetan Sharma, Ruturaj Gaikwad was rewarded for his stellar performance. He has so far played 2 T20Is scorings 35 runs. Both matches came against and in Sri Lanka.

“We have selected him (Ruturaj). Now it is up to the (team) management to see when he can play in the XI, when he is required and how to go about the combination, these things we will coordinate. But, at present, he (Ruturaj) was in the T20 side also against New Zealand and he is in ODI now. He is doing well and he is rewarded for that,” added Sharma, himself a former India pacer.

KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma---Image: Twitter
KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma—Image: Twitter

After his IPL high, the opener continued his dazzling form in the Vijay Hazare Trophy too and was the leading scorer there, aggregating 603 runs from five matches with 168 as his highest score. Ruturaj Gaikwad hit his fourth hundred of the Vijay Hazare Trophy 2021/22 to equal the record of most centuries in a single season of India’s premier domestic 50-over competition.

KL Rahul has been named as captain for the ODI series as Rohit Sharma is ruled out owing to an injury. Fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah will be vice-captain for the series. Fast bowler Mohammed Shami has been rested while Axar Patel and Ravindra Jadeja remain unfit.

Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has roared back into the limited-overs format and has been picked in the ODI side for the first time since 2017. He last played for India in the format in June 2017 in West Indies but fell out of favour as the wrist spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav were preferred ahead of him.

Spin bowling all-rounder Washington Sundar has been recovering from a finger injury he sustained in July last year and since then he has not played international cricket. The year 2022 will see him restart with the ODI series against the Proteas.

Indian Team For ODIs Against South Africa: KL Rahul (C), Shikhar Dhawan, Ruturaj Gaekwad, Virat Kohli, Surya Kumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, Venkatesh Iyer, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ishan Kishan (wk), Y Chahal, R Ashwin, W Sundar, J Bumrah (VC), Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Chahar, Prasidh Krishna, Shardul Thakur, Mohd. Siraj

Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma. Image Credits: AFP
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BCCI Decides To Delay Selection Meeting To Name ODI Squad For South Africa To Know Rohit Sharma’s Availability

BCCI has decided to delay the selection committee meeting for the ODIs in South Africa till the end of this month to get a clear picture of new white-ball captain Rohit Sharma’s left-hamstring injury status.  Rohit Sharma has been doing his rehabilitation program at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) but it could still take some time for the Indian captain to regain full fitness.

In the India tour of South Africa 2021-22, after the Test series concludes, the teams will play a three-match One Day Internationals (ODI) series which will begin from January 19, 2022, at the Boland Park, Paarl. The second One Day International will be played at Boland Park, Paarl on January 21, 2022, and the third and final One Day International will be played on January 23, 2022, at the Newlands, Cape Town.

BCCI (File Photo| PTI)
BCCI (File Photo| PTI)

BCCI Decides To Delay Naming ODI Squad For South Africa ODI Series

Earlier, the BCCI selection meeting was supposed to be held just after Vijay Hazare Trophy but it has been pushed back only to ensure that Rohit Sharma gets a chance to pass the fitness test.

“The team selection meeting will happen after the first Test. It could be on December 30 or 31st but the BCCI is yet to take a final call. Rohit is pulling all stops to get fit but hamstring injuries are a bit different from other injuries.”

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

“It has been learnt that Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel are unavailable for selection. About Rohit, a call will be taken closer to the selection date,” a senior BCCI official said on conditions of anonymity.

Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel’s unavailability has opened the door for Ravichandran Ashwin to make an ODI comeback after four years. In T20I World Cup 2021, senior off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin had impressive figures of 2 for 14 on his white-ball comeback against Afghanistan, then 1/29 against Scotland, and 3/20 against Namibia.

Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has played 5 T20Is since his comeback in the limited-overs format after a gap of 4 years. He has picked 9 scalps at an average of 11.66 and an economy rate of 5.25, and a strike rate of 13.3.

KL Rahul Will Lead In Case Rohit Sharma Fails To Clear Fitness Test

In case new ODI skipper Rohit Sharma is not fit in time for the ODIs, KL Rahul will be leading India for the first time in a bilateral series.

“It could well happen that Rohit is not fit by the time of selection cut-off but then with the first ODI still three weeks away, he could get enough time to be with the team and regain full fitness closer to the date. In that case, he can be selected subject to fitness. These are things that chairman of selectors Chetan Sharma needs to check,” the BCCI official said.

KL Rahul And Rohit Sharma (Image Credit: Twitter)
KL Rahul And Rohit Sharma (Image Credit: Twitter)

As of now, Venkatesh Iyer and Ruturaj Gaikwad are the two youngsters who will be part of the ODI squad on the basis of their performance in the Vijay Hazare Trophy and IPL 2021. M Shahrukh Khan’s name, who has impressed one and all as a finisher during the Vijay Hazare Trophy, might come up for discussion.

Meanwhile, Virat Kohli was recently removed from white-ball captaincy and Rohit Sharma was appointed as the new captain of the Indian team in limited-overs cricket and he was also given the vice-captain’s role in Test cricket. However, he suffered a hamstring injury and was ruled out of the South Africa Test series and KL Rahul was named as the new Test vice-captain.

Senior opener Shikhar Dhawan who has lost his spot in T20I and Test side is expected to retain his place in the ODI team for the South Africa tour. The opening batsman KL Rahul was unbeaten on 122 when the play ended on Day 1 of the first Test at SuperSport Park in Centurion. His century took India to 272/3 in 90 overs.

No play was possible on the second day though as the incessant rain kept the ground under covers.

Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra. (Photo Source: Twitter)

“He Looked In A Different League Altogether”- Aakash Chopra Bats For Rutaraj Gaikwad’s Selection In ODIs

The former Test cricketer Aakash Chopra believes that Ruturaj Gaikwad is the frontrunner to make his ODI debut in South Africa as the latter has piled up big scores in Vijay Hazare Trophy 2021.

The Maharashtra opener scored 603 runs in 5 games which included 4 big hundreds. Notable that he was the Orange Cap winner in IPL 2021 season with 635 runs in 16 games. As Chopra was reflecting top performers of this domestic season, he stated that Ruturaj looked in a different league altogether as if he was scoring the runs for fun.

Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra. Image Credits: Twitter

“The first name, the name at the top is Ruturaj Gaikwad. I mean he has hit four centuries, at one point he had hit three hundred in three matches and no one was able to get him out. I saw some of his innings. It seemed like he was playing against kids.” Aakash Chopra spoke on his Youtube Channel.

Despite Ruturaj’s valiant effort Maharashtra failed to qualify for the next round

“He was only playing the sweep shots against the fast bowlers, who does that? Inside out fours against the spinners. Bowlers were bowling alright but Ruturaj actually looked in a different league altogether.” he added further.

Ruturaj Gaikwad
Ruturaj Gaikwad (Image Credit: Twitter)

Notable that these heroics from Ruturaj, Maharashtra failed to qualify for the next round in Vijay Hazare Trophy. In Group D, 3 teams- Kerala, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra finished with 8 points but Maharashtra lacked behind in net run rate.

The knockout round of the Vijay Hazare Trophy will start on Sunday.

Also Read: Aakash Chopra Picks Top 5 Test Bowlers Of 2021; Ravichandran Ashwin And Mohammed Siraj On The List

 

Ruturaj Gaikwad. (Photo: IPL)
Ruturaj Gaikwad. (Photo: IPL)
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Ruturaj Gaikwad’s Incredible Run In Vijay Hazare Trophy Not Enough As Maharashtra Finished 3rd Owing To Poor NRR

Ruturaj Gaikwad had a blazing run in the Vijay Hazare Trophy but his side Maharashtra was ultimately unlucky to bow out of the 50-over tournament.

Maharashtra won four out of five group league matches but finished third in the Elite Group D points table by virtue of a poor run rate. Ruturaj Gaikwad cited it as ‘harsh’ from his side’s perspective to not qualify for the knockouts.

Ruturaj Gaikwad
Ruturaj Gaikwad (Image Credit: Twitter)

Ruturaj Gaikwad Felt It Was Harsh On Maharashtra After The Team Couldn’t Qualify For Knockouts For Inferior Run Rate

Ruturaj Gaikwad performed exceedingly well in the 2021 IPL, with he being the recipient of the Orange Cap. He has carried their form into the ongoing Vijay Hazare Trophy and is making a strong case for his selection. Ruturaj Gaikwad was the orange cap winner in IPL 2021 by leading the run-scorer with 635 runs in 16 matches with a ton.

Ruturaj Gaikwad said: “I think it (not qualifying) was harsh on us. We won four out of five games. In some other groups, teams who have lost two games out of five (Himachal, Vidarbha, TN, Karnataka) have also made it to the next stage.”

Prithvi Shaw (Photo/ ICC Twitter)
Prithvi Shaw (Photo/ ICC Twitter)

Ruturaj Gaikwad, who led the team from the front, admitted they took the net run rate into consideration but their opponents played some good cricket to take the game deep.

“These things happen in cricket. The Kerala seventh wicket pair batted too well. We have to give credit to the opposition too. We tried our best to break the partnership. We were aware about the possibility of net run rate coming into the equation.

“Hence we chose to field first against Uttarakhand. But sadly, it was difficult to score runs quickly on that pitch. The wicket changed its behaviour a bit in the second half too. Sometimes you need a little bit of luck too which proved elusive for us.”

Ruturaj Gaikwad on the other hand had scored 3 consecutive tons- 136, an unbeaten 154, and 124 to emerge as the leading run-scorer in the ongoing Vijay Hazare Trophy. Chasing a tall 310 in a do-or-die Group D clash, the Maharashtra skipper Ruturaj Gaikwad led from the front with a blistering 168 from 132 balls.

The win however was not enough for Maharashtra, who were unlucky to be eliminated finishing third on net-run rate (+0.104) after they ended with 16 points with Kerala (+0.974) and Madhya Pradesh (+0.485).

Ruturaj Gaikwad earlier had scored a hattrick of centuries – 136, 154*, 124 – in the ongoing Vijay Hazare Trophy to conclude the season with 603 runs with an average of 150.75. He also joined the likes of Virat Kohli, Prithvi Shaw, and Devdutt Padikkal to hit four centuries in one Vijay Hazare Trophy season.

Ruturaj Gaikwad Focusing On His Process And Trying To Replicate Performances

Kerala and Madhya Pradesh finished with the same points as Maharashtra (15) but qualified by virtue of a good net run rate. The 24-year-old batsman has been in red hot form since the second phase of IPL 2021 when he guided Chennai Super Kings (CSK) to their fourth title.

When asked about the secret of his consistency, Ruturaj said: “No secret. I’m just focusing on my process and not thinking much, just trying to replicate the things again and again!”

Ruturaj Gaikwad scored an unbeaten 154, Chhattisgarh vs Maharashtra, Rajkot, Vijay Hazare Trophy, December 9, 2021
Ruturaj Gaikwad scored an unbeaten 154, Chhattisgarh vs Maharashtra, Rajkot, Vijay Hazare Trophy, December 9, 2021© Maharashtra Cricket Association

Ruturaj Gaikwad continued his good run in the Vijay Hazare Trophy, where he amassed 603 runs in five innings, including four centuries. The youngster is happy with the rich vein of form he has found and desires to continue in the same manner for the rest of the season.

“It feels amazing. But it would have been nice if we as a team, we would’ve gone through. Personally, it’s a good achievement and I’m proud of myself and my team,” Ruturaj concluded.

Ruturaj Gaikwad’s dream run with the bat has compelled the selectors to take notice. He will be one of the front-runners to be on the plane to South Africa when the selection panel meets to pick the ODI squad for the South Africa series comprising of 3 ODIs following 3 Tests.

Ruturaj Gaikwad has so far played 2 T20Is scoring 35 runs all coming in the 2021 Sri Lanka tour where India picked a second-string team in absence of senior Test specialists who were in England for the Test series against the hosts.

Chennai Super Kings decided to retain all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja(16 cr) and Moeen Ali ( 8 cr) along with captain MS Dhoni (12 cr) and opening batsman Ruturaj Gaikwad(6 cr) ahead of the mega-auctions for the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022.

Ruturaj Gaikwad, Venkatesh Iyer are expected to feature in India squad (Photo Source - Twitter)
Ruturaj Gaikwad, Venkatesh Iyer are expected to feature in India squad (Photo Source - Twitter)
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Saba Karim Hopeful To See Inclusion Of Venkatesh Iyer And Ruturaj Gaikwad In Indian ODI Side For South Africa

Saba Karim, the former India wicket-keeper batsman hopes to see the inclusion of all-rounder Venkatesh Iyer and opener Ruturaj Gaikwad in the Indian team. He believes the duo should be groomed and be provided exposure, keeping the 2023 ODI World Cup in mind.

Venkatesh Iyer and Ruturaj Gaikwad performed exceedingly well in the 2021 IPL, with the latter being the recipient of the Orange Cap. They have carried their form into the ongoing Vijay Hazare Trophy and are making a strong case for their selection with their performances.

File photo of former wicketkeeper Saba Karim. – The Hindu
File photo of former wicketkeeper Saba Karim. – The Hindu

Saba Karim Believes Venkatesh Iyer And Ruturaj Gaikwad Have Almost Entered 1st Team Squad For Limited Overs

Saba Karim notes that Venkatesh Iyer is an ideal replacement for Hardik Pandya while Ruturaj Gaikwad can compete for the opening spot.  Senior opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan is having a very poor run in the Vijay Hazare Trophy.

On the contrary the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) opener Ruturaj Gaikwad and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) all-rounder Venkatesh Iyer are in stellar form. Ruturaj Gaikwad has so far smashed three centuries in the domestic ODI – Vijay Hazare tournament and Venkatesh Iyer has registered two centuries in his name.

While Ruturaj Gaikwad was the orange cap winner in IPL 2021 by leading the run-scoring charts with 635 runs in 16 matches with a ton, Venkatesh Iyer played only the UAE leg in IPL 2021 and amassed 370 runs averaging 41.11 with 4 fifties in only 10 games.

“I believe that Venkatesh Iyer and Ruturaj Gaikwad have almost entered the first-team squad, and I’m talking about white-ball cricket. If we have to start the preparation for the 2023 World Cup, these two players should be part of the squad as soon as possible. They should be given as much exposure as possible,” Saba Karim said.

Ruturaj Gaikwad
Ruturaj Gaikwad (Image Credit: Twitter)

“Both these players provide a different spectrum for the team. Gaikwad can be the backup opener with Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul going strong. On the other hand, Iyer has performed really well while batting at No. 5 or No. 6 in the Vijay Hazare trophy. If we are looking at the replacement for Hardik Pandya, we have already found the player,” Saba Karim reasoned.

Ruturaj Gaikwad, who is leading Maharashtra in the Vijay Hazare trophy, has scored three centuries in a row. Venkatesh Iyer, playing in the middle order, has struck two tons in the tournament and has played a crucial role with the ball as well.

Ruturaj Gaikwad on the other hand had scored 3 consecutive tons- 136, an unbeaten 154, and 124 to emerge as the leading run-scorer in the ongoing Vijay Hazare Trophy. He scored 21 in the last match against Uttarakhand. Ruturaj Gaikwad had amassed 435 runs in 4 matches so far averaging 145 with 3 tons.

Saba Karim: Venkatesh Iyer Should Definitely Be A Part Of South Africa ODI Tour

The former selector backed Venkatesh Iyer to be in the ODI squad for the South Africa tour. The all-rounder has already garnered experience in national colours in the shortest format during the home series against New Zealand. India is lacking fast-bowling all-rounders at the moment with Hardik Pandya’s persistent injury concerns.

Venkatesh Iyer is the 2nd highest scorer with 348 runs averaging 87 in 4 games. Venkatesh Iyer followed scores of 112 and 71 in the Vijay Hazare Trophy this season with a dazzling 151. He has scores of 14, 112, 71, and 151 besides registering figures of 1/59, 3/55, 2/58, and 2/64 in the 4 matches so far.

“Rahul Dravid has seen these players for quite a while now. The way Dravid used to prepare as a player, he must be preparing in the same way as a coach. He must have thought about a core of 23-25 players in white-ball cricket circuit,” Saba Karim added.

Rohit Sharma, Venkatesh Iyer
Rohit Sharma, Venkatesh Iyer

“He must have started the preparation for the World Cups. Venkatesh Iyer should definitely be part of the South Africa tour. He must then be tracked be in the Ranji Trophy as well because I believe he is an all-format player. It is also time that Gaikwad be in contention for the Test squad,” Saba Karim explained

The ODI squad for the South Africa tour is expected to be announced soon. It will mark Rohit Sharma’s first assignment as India’s full-time ODI captain.

Shikhar Dhawan
Shikhar Dhawan (Getty Images)(HT_PRINT)
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Saba Karim Questions Need For Shikhar Dhawan’s Inclusion In India’s ODI Squad For South Africa Tour

Saba Karim, the former India wicket-keeper batter questioned the need for left-handed opener Shikhar Dhawan’s inclusion in the ODI squad for the South Africa tour. The left-handed opener has fallen behind in the pecking order with Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul being touted as openers across all formats.

With young openers like Ruturaj Gaikwad and Prithvi Shaw making their case in the domestic circuit, the 36-year-old has only limited opportunities up his sleeve. Saba Karim notes that management would already be having one eye on the 2023 World Cup.

Shikhar Dhawan and Prithvi Shaw of Delhi Capitals during match 2 of the Vivo Indian Premier League. (Photo | ANI)
Shikhar Dhawan and Prithvi Shaw of Delhi Capitals during match 2 of the Vivo Indian Premier League. (Photo | ANI)

Saba Karim Doesn’t See The Point Of Shikhar Dhawan’s Inclusion In 3 ODIs Against South Africa

Shikhar Dhawan had a good outing in IPL 2021 scoring 587 runs in 16 games averaging 39.13 finishing as 4th highest run-scorer after Ruturaj Gaikwad, Faf du Plessis, and KL Rahul. In IPL 2020 too, he finished as second-highest run-scorer after KL Rahul with 618 runs in 17 games averaging 44.14.

While speaking on the Khelneeti podcast on YouTube, Saba Karim said: “Even if Dhawan is there in the squad, will he be part of the playing XI? KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma have opened in Tests and T20s, so I think they will open in ODIs as well. So, if you are including Dhawan in the squad and not playing him, should he be in the team?”

File photo of former wicketkeeper Saba Karim. – The Hindu
File photo of former wicketkeeper Saba Karim. – The Hindu

“I don’t see the point of his inclusion, what is the need? The only thing possible is the left hand-right hand combination of Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan. It has been a formidable partnership as well.”

36-year-old Shikhar Dhawan was part of the last two ODI series that India has competed in. He had a set of decent outings against England at home before proceeding to lead a second-string side in Sri Lanka. Shikhar Dhawan averages a high 45.56 amassing 6105 runs in 145 ODIs with 17 tons.

He averaged 56.33 and 64 in the last two ODI series against England at home and in Sri Lanka recently but was left out of the 2021 T20I World Cup squad. In T20Is, he averages a modest 27.92 in 68 T20Is amassing 1759 runs.

Saba Karim: It Would Be Difficult For Shikhar Dhawan To Make A Comeback

Saba Karim admitted it would be tough for Shikhar Dhawan to break into this current unit despite his credentials and experience. He notes that being a left-hander is the only thing that works in his favour at the moment.

Saba Karim added: “It would be difficult for Shikhar Dhawan to come back into this side. I still think that he should be given one more opportunity because he is a big player with experience. Have to see what the selectors and the team management think. I don’t think Delhi will qualify for the knockouts, so Dhawan has to prove by scoring runs and he only has one more match to do so.”

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

Shikhar Dhawan has only been able to register 44 runs across 4 matches in the ongoing Vijay Hazare Trophy. He has one more fixture against Saurashtra to make his case ahead of the squad selection for the upcoming tour. Ruturaj Gaikwad on the other hand had scored 3 consecutive tons- 136, an unbeaten 154, and 124 to emerge as the leading run-scorer in the ongoing Vijay Hazare Trophy. He scored 21 in the last match against Uttarakhand.

Ruturaj Gaikwad had amassed 435 runs in 4 matches so far averaging 145 with 3 tons. Venkatesh Iyer is the 2nd highest scorer with 348 runs averaging 87 in 4 games. Venkatesh Iyer followed scores of 112 and 71 in the Vijay Hazare Trophy this season with a dazzling 151. Shikhar Dhawan averages only 11 in the ongoing Vijay Hazare Trophy 2021/22 in stark contrast.

MS Dhoni (BCCI/IPL)
MS Dhoni (BCCI/IPL)
//

MS Dhoni Has Helped My Career Personally, We Both Have A Great Legacy At CSK: Dwayne Bravo

Dwayne Bravo said that MS Dhoni personally played a big role in helping his career, and both of them have a great legacy at the Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Chennai Super Kings (CSK).

In an interaction, the former West Indies all-rounder Dwayne Bravo opened up on his admiration for CSK skipper and Indian ex-skipper MS Dhoni, the legacy at IPL franchise CSK and his upcoming fashion label ‘Djb47’.

MS Dhoni with Dwayne Bravo (Photo/ Dwayne Bravo Instagram)
MS Dhoni with Dwayne Bravo (Photo/ Dwayne Bravo Instagram)

Dwayne Bravo Will Be 100% In The IPL 2022 Mega Auction

CSK retained Ravindra Jadeja, MS Dhoni, Ruturaj Gaikwad, and Moeen Ali ahead of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022. Dwayne Bravo also confirmed that he would be entering the mega auction.

“I am not retained by the CSK, but I will be in the auction, I will be 100 percent in the auction. I do not know which team I will end up with. I will end up where I am destined to be. I do not know whether I will be picked up by CSK or not, I can be picked up by any other team as I am in the auction,” said Bravo.

Dwayne Bravo receives a guard of honour on his farewell appearance for West Indies, Australia vs West Indies, Men's T20 World Cup 2021, Super 12s, Abu Dhabi, November 6, 2021© ICC via Getty
Dwayne Bravo receives a guard of honour on his farewell appearance for West Indies, Australia vs West Indies, Men’s T20 World Cup 2021, Super 12s, Abu Dhabi, November 6, 2021© ICC via Getty

“We all know that MS Dhoni and I call each other brothers from another mother. We have developed a strong friendship. He is a global ambassador of the game and he has helped my career personally. We both have a great legacy at CSK and we have helped in turning that franchise into one of the most dominant franchises and that will be there in the history books. We have a strong friendship and that is more important than anything else,” he added.

The likes of Dwayne Bravo, Faf Du Plessis, Sam Curran, Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar, and Suresh Raina were released by CSK. The 38-year-old all-rounder recently announced his retirement from international cricket at the 2021 T20I World Cup.

Dwayne Bravo had a below-par tournament in the United Arab Emirates, scoring 16 runs in four group games and picking up only two wickets. West Indies could only beat Bangladesh and lost to England, South Africa, Sri Lanka, and Australia in group games.

Dwayne Bravo, 38, played his swansong game as West Indies exited the T20 World Cup following an eight-wicket defeat against Australia. Dwayne Bravo played in the 91 T20Is for the West Indies since making his debut against New Zealand at Auckland in 2006.

Dwayne Bravo came out of retirement in 2019 to help West Indies defend their T20 title, but it could not happen as they could manage to win only one of their five Super 12 games. Dwayne Bravo was part of the West Indies teams that won the T20 World Cup in 2012 and 2016. He also featured in 40 Tests and 164 ODIs in a career that spanned nearly 18 years.

Dwayne Bravo: T10 Might Be The Way To Go At The Olympics

Dwayne Bravo also said that T10 perhaps might be the format that can help cricket become an Olympic sport.

“That is every cricketer’s dream to see the sport in the Olympics. T10 might be the way to go there, no one knows but everyone is hoping for it. Hopefully, sooner rather than later, cricket will become an Olympic sport.”

Dwayne Bravo. (AFP)
Dwayne Bravo. (AFP)/ AFP PHOTO / PUNIT PARANJPE

Dwayne Bravo is now gearing up for his maiden innings as a fashion entrepreneur with the launch of his clothing line. DJ Bravo, as he is popularly known after his hit single ‘Champion’ launched Djb47 in partnership with Singapore-based 3 Big Dogs Pte Ltd.

“In life, there is nothing too late. This is one part of my business venture. My biggest fanbase is in India, what I am doing is for my fans. India has done so much for me, so I think it is fair and right that I launch my first store in India,” said Bravo.

“There is a long-term plan, but I also need to take it slow. People have started to go outdoors, the plan is to open stores in UAE, Caribbean, the US, Australia. These are the long-term goals.

“My fanbase is spread across the globe, we have all the designs. Definitely, we have something in line for him (Dhoni). We want to do something for MS, the brand would want to give a tribute to him. The fans can also have access to it, but we want to focus on my brand, but we would want to do something for him,” he added.

Dwayne Bravo managed 47 runs and picked 14 scalps averaging 18.78 in 11 IPL 2021 matches. Chennai Super Kings bounced back in IPL 2021 by winning IPL for the 4th time after a disappointing last season in IPL 2020 where they finished 7th and couldn’t qualify for the playoffs for the first time in IPL history.

MS Dhoni
MS Dhoni (Image Credit: Twitter)
//

Chennai Super Kings Is Controlled By MS Dhoni: CSK CEO

Chennai Super Kings on Tuesday retained the likes of MS Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, Ruturaj Gaikwad, and an overseas player in all-rounder Moeen Ali. Ahead of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022, the team will enter the mega auction for IPL 2022 and look to rebuild the squad to defend the title in the upcoming season.

There were several names missing from IPL 2021 winners and defending champions CSK’s list of retained players, and Faf du Plessis was one of them. The former South African captain had a wonderful season this year as he finished IPL 2021 as the second-highest run-scorer of the tournament, scoring 633 runs in 16 matches. He has been a consistent performer for his side, and his release was a bit surprising for many.

Chennai Super Kings (Image Credit: Twitter)
Chennai Super Kings (Image Credit: Twitter)

Chennai Super Kings Looking Forward To Bring Back Opener Faf Du Plessis In The IPL 2022 Mega Auctions: Kasi Viswanathan

However, CSK CEO Kasi Viswanathan has spoken about getting Faf Du Plessis back at the auctions.

In a video posted by the franchise on social media, he said, “We look forward to getting them back. For example, Faf has been a team man who has taken us to the finals of two important seasons. It will be our endeavor to go and try for him. But it’s not in our hands. We wish them all the very best wherever they are. We look forward to having a very good 2022.”

Faf du Plessis
Faf du Plessis (Image Credit: Twitter)

Faf Du Plessis accumulated 277 runs in the Caribbean Premier League, followed by smashing 633 for the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in a title-winning campaign in IPL 2021. However, it wasn’t good enough to get him a spot for the World T20I 2021. He was also a star in Chennai Super Kings’s miserable campaign in the UAE in IPL 2020, scoring 449 runs in 13 matches at a strike rate of 140.75 with 4 fifties.

MS Dhoni Has Remained The Mainstay For The Chennai Super Kings: CSK CEO Kasi Viswanathan

The Chennai Super Kings CEO further mentioned the importance of having MS Dhoni on the side. Kasi Viswanathan said MS Dhoni ‘controls the team’ and has remained the mainstay for the Super Kings.

“Thala has been the mainstay of CSK. He has been a captain who has delivered for us. He gets the best out of the team every time he plays. As far as we are concerned, Thala plays a major role because he controls the team, and the team is benefitted from his experience. Nobody can doubt his skills as a captain,” said Kasi Viswanathan.

MS Dhoni (BCCI/IPL)
MS Dhoni (BCCI/IPL)

He also spoke about the chances of having a full-capacity MA Chidambaram Stadium in the 15th edition of the tournament. All 8 existing franchises announced their list of retained players on November 30 ahead of the mega auction for IPL 2022.

“Chennai has been a very lucky ground for us, we had a good home advantage. That is because of the support we get from the CSK fans who throng to the stadium. I hope that this year, we get the entire MA Chidambaram Stadium for our use,” said the CSK CEO.

In that order, Chennai Super Kings retained Ravindra Jadeja, MS Dhoni, Moeen Ali, and Ruturaj Gaikwad. Ravindra Jadeja has been retained for Rs 16 crore, while MS Dhoni took home Rs 12 crore. Moeen Ali was retained for Rs 8 crore, while Ruturaj Gaikwad bagged Rs 6 crore. 40 years old MS Dhoni scored exactly 200 runs in IPL 2020, averaging a below-par 25 while managing only 114 runs in IPL 2021 in 16 games averaging a dismal 16.28.

The CSK skipper led the franchise to their fourth title in IPL 2021 and has not announced his retirement from IPL yet.  As per the conditions, the team management can either retain three Indian players and one overseas player or two Indian players and two overseas players. As BCCI allows 4 retentions to IPL teams in IPL 2022 mega auction thus, there’ll be no RTM card available.

The likes of Ambati Rayudu, Josh Hazlewood, Robin Uthappa, Imran Tahir, Deepak Chahar, Lungi Ngidi, Mitchell Santner, Narayan Jagadeesan, Cheteshwar Pujara, and Krishnappa Gowtham weren’t retained by CSK for IPL 2022.

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