Sandeep Warrier | Sportzwiki

Sandeep Warrier

Michael Hussey has now been cleared to return to Australia on a commercial flight via Doha BCCI/IPL
Michael Hussey has now been cleared to return to Australia on a commercial flight via Doha BCCI/IPL
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Michael Hussey Opens Up On Battling With Covid-19 During IPL 2021 India Leg

Michael Hussey recounted his horrific battle with COVID-19 during the 2021 Indian Premier League. Michael Hussey had tested positive for the virus during the India leg of IPL 2021. The 2021 Indian Premier League (IPL) season was a unique edition as it was played in two halves in two different countries.

While the first leg took place in India during the summer, the second half took place in September-October in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Unfortunately, it was a COVID-19 outbreak across the league in May, which forced the tournament to be suspended and completed in the UAE later in the year. Out of the people to test positive, one was Chennai Super Kings‘ (CSK) batting coach Michael Hussey.

Michael Hussey opened up on his CoVId-19 experience during IPL 2021
Michael Hussey opened up on his Covid-19 experience during IPL 2021  |  Photo Credit: IANS

Michael Hussey Felt Uneasy Flying To Covid-19 Hit India And After Getting Affected Was Isolated, Worried and Feeling Progressively Worse

Michael Hussey has opened up on his ordeal with the disease and described his experience of sitting in a body bag to be shifted from Delhi to Chennai in an air ambulance. The CSK coach also claimed he had doubts over coming to India from ‘the safest place in the world.’

In a column, Hussey wrote, “I felt uneasy when the time came to leave Perth earlier this year to coach with the Chennai Super Kings at the Indian Premier League.‘Why am I leaving one of the safest places in the world?”

“But I love my job and I had made a commitment to coach at the IPL. So, despite my nervousness, I flew to India and embarked on the mandatory seven-day quarantine which was a prerequisite for entering the IPL bubble,” he added. 

Michael Hussey was recuperating in Chennai after testing positive for Covid-19 (File Photo - TOI)
Michael Hussey was recuperating in Chennai after testing positive for Covid-19 (File Photo – TOI)

Michael Hussey spoke about his experience after being one of the support staff testing positive for COVID-19 and his isolation at the time. He described how his symptoms continued to get progressively worse in the beginning.

“I was locked in my room immediately. No one could come in, and I obviously couldn’t leave. Food was left outside my door like in quarantine. I was isolated, a bit worried and feeling progressively worse,” said Hussey. 

He further said, “My symptoms: I had a bad fever to the point where I was changing my shirt four or five times a night from sweating out. I had a relentless dry, barking cough. And I was really tired. I would try and sit at my desk to do some work, but quickly feel the need for a lie-down. I would wake up from what felt like a quick nap to realise three or so hours had passed.”

Michael Hussey, Chennai Super Kings (CSK) batting coach, believes that travelling from Mumbai to Delhi during the course of the IPL 2021 first Indian leg exposed all those involved to greater risk.

Michael Hussey and CSK bowling coach Laxmipathy Balaji, both of whom were detected with COVID-19, were brought to Chennai from Delhi in an air ambulance.

Michael Hussey Realized He Was Probably In The Worst Place To Get Covid-19

Michael Hussey claimed that the worsening COVID-19 situation in Delhi became a source of worry for doctors and led to his decision to be taken to Chennai in an air ambulance.

He wrote “The doctor with the team was concerned. He realised I was probably in the worst place in the world to get Covid at that time. Delhi was recording hundreds of thousands of known new cases a day, there were very few hospital beds and many, many more people lining up outside the hospitals in need of them.”

“If things turned bad, the doctor wasn’t sure if I could get the medical assistance I would need. They decided the best thing to do was to fly me back to Chennai, the team’s home base,” added Hussey. 

File photos of Delhi Capitals' Amit Mishra (left) with SRH's Wriddhiman Saha. Image Source : IPLT20.COM
File photos of Delhi Capitals’ Amit Mishra (left) with SRH’s Wriddhiman Saha. Image Source: IPLT20.COM

Michael Hussey further described that he had to sit in a fully zipped body-bad to take the flight to Chennai.

“All I could do was trust them. Once we got to the airport, I was wheeled straight onto the plane on a stretcher inside the body bag. The air ambulance flight to Chennai took about three and a half hours. Then it was back into an ambulance and straight to a quarantine hotel,” said the CSK assistant coach. 

Michael Hussey concluded by saying he felt ‘lucky’ after seeing the suffering of so many people around the country.

“All that said, I was incredibly lucky. There were so many people in worse situations than me. I had an employer that went out of its way to look after me at a time of crisis for the country. As confronting as it was to be sick and stranded, having people on the ground with your best interests at heart was very comforting,” said the Australian. 

Michael Hussey returned to the CSK camp for the UAE leg of IPL 2021 and oversaw the team’s fourth title victory as they defeated Kolkata Knight Riders in the final.

KKR spinner Varun Chakravarthy and pacer Sandeep Warrier returned with positive results. Then, however, the governing bodies were forced to take the massive step as two more players – SRH’s Wriddhiman Saha and DC’s Amit Mishra were infected by the virus.

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

Gautam Gambhir. Photo Credit: Getty Images.
Gautam Gambhir. Photo Credit: Getty Images.
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My Heart Says KKR Should Win But At The Same Time, I Want A New Winner: Gautam Gambhir

Gautam Gambhir has revealed that he wants either the Delhi Capitals (DC) or the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) to lift the IPL 2021 trophy. The former KKR captain led his franchise to their two IPL wins in 2012 and 2014.

The former opener’s remarks came during an interaction during ESPNcricinfo’s show ‘Runorder’.

Gautam Gambhir AFP
Gautam Gambhir AFP

Gautam Gambhir Wants KKR To Win, But Heart Wants A New Winner

Gautam Gambhir, who led Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) to their two IPL titles in 2012 and 2014, started by saying that his heart still lies with his former team. However, he added that a new winner like Delhi Capitals or Royal Challengers Bangalore would be better for the competition.

Delhi Capitals vs Royal Challengers Bangalore
Delhi Capitals vs Royal Challengers Bangalore File Photo

Gautam Gambhir said: “I want KKR to win. My heart says KKR should win but at the same time, I want a new winner. So the new winner has to be either Delhi or RCB. I want a new winner and it’s good for the league, the competition and it’s good for everyone.”

Among the four teams that have reached the playoffs this year, only the Chennai Super Kings (thrice) and KKR (twice) have won an IPL title before. DC made their best-ever finish by reaching the finals in IPL 2020, and RCB has been runners-up thrice without clinching the trophy. RCB has played three finals in the IPL but lost all of them (in 2009 to the Deccan Chargers, 2011 to the Chennai Super Kings, and 2016 to Sunrisers Hyderabad).

Gautam Gambhir: KKR’s Bowling Lineup Can Defend 150-160 At Sharjah

When asked whether KKR has it in them to go all the way this season, Gautam Gambhir replied in the affirmative. He explained that playing in Sharjah for the Eliminator and possibly also the second Qualifier gives KKR an advantage as it will suit their spinners and batting lineup.

Gautam Gambhir concluded by saying: “Yes, because they are playing in Sharjah. They’ll play their first [playoffs game] at Sharjah and if they end up beating RCB, they’ll play their next game in Sharjah as well and that’d probably suit their attack. They have got Shakib, Narine and Varun Chakravarthy and they have got their Indian batting that suits that surface. If they can probably get to 150-160, they’ve got the bowling lineup with Lockie Ferguson who’s got pace to defend that total.”

Kolkata Knight Riders
Kolkata Knight Riders. Image Credits: Twitter

KKR will clash with RCB in the Eliminator on Monday. If the Eoin Morgan-led team wins, they will then meet the loser of the first Qualifier between CSK and DC on Wednesday.

Full of youngsters and potential throughout their ranks, the franchise went into the 2021 mini-auction with a specific plan – adding experience to the squad. Their new acquisitions in the likes of Bangladeshi all-rounder Shakib Al-Hasan and youngster Venkatesh Iyer did well when their chance finally came in IPL 2021 UAE leg.

Their persistence with the Caribbean duo of Andre Russell and Sunil Narine over the years has borne fruits for the franchise as the two have been at the end of numerous match-winning performances for the purple brigade. Kiwi speedster Lockie Ferguson continued to terrorize opposition batters with his ruthless pace and menace. At the same time, all-rounder Shakib Al-Hasan is capable of winning matches both with the bat and the ball.

Moreover, the Knight Riders have a young fast-bowling contingent, with the likes of Prasidh Krishna, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Shivam Mavi, and Sandeep Warrier all in the mix and vying to play suiting KKR’s bowling combination.

Yuvraj Singh celebrates after guiding India to victory against Australia in the quarter-finals of the 2011 ODI World Cup | AFP / Manan Vatsyayana
Yuvraj Singh celebrates after guiding India to victory against Australia in the quarter-finals of the 2011 ODI World Cup | AFP / Manan Vatsyayana
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There’s A Lot Of Yuvraj Singh’s Flair In Venkatesh Iyer’s Batting After His Impressive Knocks In IPL 2021 vs RCB, MI: Parthiv Patel

Parthiv Patel lavished praise on Kolkata Knight Riders’ youngster Venkatesh Iyer after the latter’s impressive showing with the willow in the UAE leg of IPL 2021.

Kolkata Knight Riders opening batsman Venkatesh Iyer grabbed eyeballs with his fine knocks against Royal Challengers Bangalore and Mumbai Indians in the ongoing UAE leg of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021.

There's A Lot Of Yuvraj Singh's Flair In Venkatesh Iyer's Batting After His Impressive Knocks In IPL 2021 vs RCB, MI: Parthiv Patel 1
Venkatesh Iyer has impressed for KKR in the UAE leg of the IPL 2021 so far.© BCCI/IPL

Parthiv Patel: There’s A Lot Of Yuvraj Singh In Venkatesh Iyer’s Batting

Venkatesh Iyer remained unbeaten on 41 against RCB in a 9 wicket win and brought up his maiden IPL half-century against defending champions Mumbai Indians in the next game. Impressed with the left-hander’s batting prowess, former India wicketkeeper-batsman Parthiv Patel said Venkatesh Iyer’s flair reminds him of Yuvraj Singh.

“There is a lot of Yuvraj Singh in his (Venkatesh Iyer) batting. He has a bit of flow into him. I mean, sure, you don’t compare him to Yuvraj Singh but here you talk about the bat flow, the shots, the drive… standing upright. The backfoot drive which he played I thought was the shot of the day,” Parthiv Patel said on the pre-match show for the official broadcasters Star Sports.

Parthiv Patel, whose father had passed away on 26th September played 25 Tests, 38 One Day Internationals (ODIs), and 2 T20Is for Team India. Parthiv Patel has scored 934 runs in Tests while he has 736 runs to his name in ODIs. In T20Is, he scored 36 runs. After retiring from cricket, Parthiv Patel is currently playing the role of a commentator. He is currently doing commentary in IPL 2021.

File photo of Parthiv Patel with Mumbai Indians | Sandeep Shetty – Sportzpics – IPL
File photo of Parthiv Patel with Mumbai Indians | Sandeep Shetty – Sportzpics – IPL

On Sunday, Venkatesh Iyer scored 18 runs against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) as KKR suffered their first defeat in the UAE leg of IPL 2021. Venkatesh Iyer’s contribution at the top of the order has given the likes of skipper Eoin Morgan, Andre Russell and Dinesh Karthik to come in and play big shots from the word go. Despite going down against CSK in a last-ball thriller on Sunday, KKR are still placed fourth on the IPL 2021 points table.

KKR Named Tim Southee In Place Of Injured Andre Russell And Sandeep Warrier In Place Of Expensive Prasidh Krishna Against Delhi Capitals

The Kolkata-based franchise will be up against Rishabh Pant’s Delhi Capitals in Sharjah on Tuesday. While KKR will look to get back to winning ways, Delhi Capitals will be aiming to continue their unbeaten run in the UAE.

Tim Southee is the third-highest wicket-taker in T20I cricket, with 99 strikes in 83 games Associated Press
Tim Southee is the third-highest wicket-taker in T20I cricket, with 99 strikes in 83 games Associated Press

Kolkata Knight Riders skipper Eoin Morgan won the toss and elected to bowl first in their Indian Premier League match against Delhi Capitals. KKR made a couple of changes from the previous game with injured all-rounder Andre Russell and out-of-form pacer Prasidh Krishna making way for Kiwi quick Tim Southee and fast bowler Sandeep Warrier. For the Delhi Capitals, the injured Prithvi Shaw made way for Australian Steve Smith in the playing XI.

In 40 IPL games, Tim Southee has picked 28 wickets at an economy rate of 8.47. He came as a replacement player for Pat Cummins who picked 9 scalps in 7 games averaging 26.33 besides scoring 93 runs averaging 31 in the first half of IPL 2021 in India.

Playing XI – Delhi Capitals

Shikhar Dhawan, Steven Smith, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (c/wk), Shimron Hetmyer, Lalit Yadav, Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Avesh Khan

Playing XI – Kolkata Knight Riders

Shubman Gill, Venkatesh Iyer, Rahul Tripathi, Eoin Morgan (c), Nitish Rana, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Sunil Narine, Lockie Ferguson, Tim Southee, Varun Chakaravarthy, Sandeep Warrier

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

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

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

Sanjay Manjrekar | Sportzpics
Sanjay Manjrekar | Sportzpics.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Predicted Playing 11s

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

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

Brendon McCullum
Brendon McCullum BCCI
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KKR Was Being Paralyzed By Fear Due To COVID-19 Cases: Brendon McCullum

Brendon McCullum, Kolkata Knight Riders head coach says they were “paralyzed a little bit by fear” when coronavirus struck the first half of the IPL in India. It was KKR’s mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy and seamer Sandeep Warrier, who first tested positive for COVID-19 in May in the middle of the league, which was eventually postponed due to more Covid-19 cases due to bio bubble breaches.

The Purple and Gold brigade led by England white-ball skipper Eoin Morgan had an underwhelming first half. They are languishing at the seventh spot but Brendon McCullum is hopeful for a strong showing when action resumes from September 19 in the UAE.

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

Brendon McCullum: There Were Sometimes Throughout IPL 2021 When KKR Was Being Paralyzed By Fear Due To Covid-19 Cases In The Camp

The spike of positive cases in the bio-bubble had already resulted in the postponement of two IPL games earlier. The KKR vs RCB clash was rescheduled after spinner Varun Chakravarthy and pacer Sandeep Warrier returned with positive results.

Later, the CSK vs RR fixture was also rescheduled after a couple of fresh cases were reported from the CSK camp. However, the governing bodies were forced to take the massive step as two more players – SRH’s Wriddhiman Saha and DC’s Amit Mishra were infected by the virus.

File photos of Delhi Capitals' Amit Mishra (left) with SRH's Wriddhiman Saha. Image Source : IPLT20.COM
File photos of Delhi Capitals’ Amit Mishra (left) with SRH’s Wriddhiman Saha. Image Source: IPLT20.COM

“In regards to the tournament which is upcoming (second half of the IPL phase), we can end it right. We can take the game on and we’re in a situation where we need things to go our way,” Brendon McCullum was quoted as saying by the KKR website.

“We need to hit the ground running, challenge one another privately, support one another publicly and try and get the best out of one another in the next 4-5 weeks. Who knows where we can go with this. There were sometimes throughout the season when I just felt we were being paralyzed a little bit by fear,” Brendon McCullum added.

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

Brendon McCullum: KKR Will Just Go Out There And Try And Enjoy The Game

The 39-year-old former New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum, who started his IPL journey as a player with KKR, is hopeful the team will be able to get rid of the angst that had been built in the first phase of the league.

“I wasn’t able to free the guys up enough to understand that and that’s sort of a challenge for me. But it is also a good challenge for the guys as well that they need to push the envelope of their own thinking as well.”

“Hopefully we will be able to strip away a bit of the angst which had built up in the first part of the season, just go out there and try and enjoy ourselves. That’s the ambition that I have got for the franchise and hence why I am unapologetic and unrelenting in my belief that we need to play a braver style of play,” Brendon McCullum said.

Head coach Brendon McCullum says KKR will make couple of changes in Mumbai (Image Courtesy: KKR Twitter)
Head coach Brendon McCullum with skipper Eoin Morgan (Image Courtesy: KKR Twitter)

Talking about his coaching style, McCullum said, “When we left India (after IPL was called off due to Covid), I think everyone understood me as a coach on how I want our team to play. I am unapologetic about that as well because my job is to try and build something at KKR that is going to last far longer than I am going to last for the franchise,” McCullum added.

KKR-led by Eoin Morgan will open their second-phase campaign against Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore on September 20 in Abu Dhabi. KKR have to lock horns with Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), Delhi Capitals (DC), Punjab Kings (PBKS), Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), Rajasthan Royals (RR), Mumbai Indians (MI), and Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the remaining 7 matches.

Standing at the 7th position, the team needs a victory in five matches to ensure a top-four spot. The likes of Tim Seifert, Shakib Al Hasan, Sheldon Jackson, Vaibhav Arora, Karun Nair, Harbhajan Singh, Ben Cutting, Venkatesh Iyer, Pawan Negi hasn’t played many games for KKR this season and may get opportunities in the UAE leg.

Wanindu Hasaranga
Wanindu Hasaranga
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Wanindu Hasaranga’s Recent Exploits See RCB Approaching BCCI To Replace Adam Zampa With Him In IPL 2021

Wanindu Hasaranga, Sri Lankan all-rounder leg spinner has impressed everyone with his bowling variations in the recently concluded limited-overs series against India. He played a major role in Sri Lanka’s comeback to clinch the T20I series 2-1.

Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 is set to return from 19 September 2021. Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) has approached BCCI with a request to replace their spinner Adam Zampa with the Sri Lankan leg spinner Wanindu Hasaranga. The Sri Lankan spinner was awarded the Player of the Series award, for his seven wickets in the series.

IPL 2021: Adam Zampa trains for RCB during the ongoing season.© BCCI/IPL
IPL 2021: Adam Zampa trains for RCB during the ongoing season.© BCCI/IPL

Wanindu Hasaranga Had A Successful Series Against England And India, As RCB Approached BCCI With A Request To Consider Him As A Replacement For Adam Zampa

Wanindu Hasaranga was also the best player for Sri Lanka on their tour of England. He was their highest run-scorer in the ODI series, with 100 runs in three matches. After his splendid performances lately, Wanindu Hasaranga’s stocks in world cricket have certainly risen. The Sri Lankan bowler performed exceedingly well in the recently concluded India vs Sri Lanka series – that must have acted as a catalyst for RCB to consider him ahead of the Australian leggie.

Wanindu Hasaranga Celebrates A Wicket in 1st T20I @SLC
Wanindu Hasaranga Celebrates A Wicket in 1st T20I @SLC

Royal Challengers Bangalore’s star players Adam Zampa and Kane Richardson flew back to Australia citing “personal reasons”. Later, Adam Zampa spoke with the Australian press about how the IPL bio-bubble was not as secure. On the other hand, SL’s Wanindu Hasaranga was on top of his bowling performance. He picked up 7 wickets in the three T20Is becoming hosts Sri Lanka’s top bowler.

Indian batsmen struggled against him in Colombo where the conditions were a bit like India. Pitches did not have pace and spinner Wanindu Hasaranga took full advantage of it. Only time can tell if he becomes a top IPL player for the future.

Adam Zampa And Kane Richardson Flew Back Midway Citing Personal Reasons And Insecure Bio Bubbles

The IPL 2021 was canceled after few players were found to be Covid-19 positive inside the bio-bubble. The remaining Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 will be held in Sharjah, Abu Dhabi, and Dubai from September 19, right after the end of the England vs India 5-match Test series. There are 31 remaining matches in the IPL 2021. It will be the first time that the IPL will be held in UAE for two consecutive years.

In April 2021, Australian leg-spinner Adam Zampa said he decided to quit the IPL midway as it was the “most vulnerable” bio-secure bubble he has been a part of and the tournament should have been held in UAE, like last year. Adam Zampa and Kane Richardson, who were part of the Royal Challengers Bangalore squad, flew back home later, having pulled out citing personal reasons.

(File) Muttiah Muralitharan
(File) Muttiah Muralitharan

Later IPL 2021 was postponed in early May 2021 after a bio bubble breach which saw KKR’s Varun Chakravarthy, Sandeep Warrier, DC’s Amit Mishra, and SRH’s Wriddhiman Saha testing positive. Former Sri Lankan cricketer and legendary off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan was confident of Wanindu Hasaranga’s chances of playing in the Indian Premier League.

Rahul Dravid Photo Credit: PTI
Rahul Dravid Photo Credit: PTI
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Rahul Dravid Says He Hasn’t Really Thought Of Continuing The Role Of Head Coach Further After Losing T20I Series

Rahul Dravid has given a much-awaited reply to questions about him taking up a full-time role as Team India’s head coach. Rahul Dravid said that although he has enjoyed the experience of leading the young team in Sri Lanka, he hasn’t thought about continuing it further.

Although he has successfully managed India’s under-19 and ‘A’ teams in the past, this tour was Rahul Dravid’s first assignment as a head coach of a senior international team. Given his reputed image among the cricket fraternity, it was naturally – and optimistically – seen as a stepping stone towards a full-time role.

Rahul Dravid
Rahul Dravid – K. MURALI KUMAR

Rahul Dravid Hasn’t Really Thought Of Continuing The Role Of Head Coach Further

However, the batting legend remained non-commital and simply pointed at a lot of challenges in the role.

“I have enjoyed this experience. I have not really thought of anything far ahead. To be honest with you, I am happy doing what I am doing. For me, I have not given it any other thought except this tour and getting through this tour and enjoying the experience. I love working with these guys, it’s pretty great. And no, I haven’t given it any thought really. You know, there are a lot of challenges doing a full-time role so I really don’t know,” Dravid said on Friday.

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

Rahul Dravid has been touted as a potential head coach ever since his retirement in 2012. However, pundits and former cricketers close to him have often suggested that the 48-year-old is reluctant to put up with the immense travel and trips away from home that comes with the job.

Even as Rahul Dravid is with one national team for the upcoming ODI and T20I series in Lanka, Ravi Shastri is currently gearing up with Virat Kohli-led India for the five-match Test series against England.  Under Ravi Shastri, India had reasonable success across formats but hasn’t ended their 8-year-long ICC-title drought.

Hence, it is believed that Rahul Dravid will be the ideal replacement, who guided India U-19 to the World Cup triumph in early 2018. After his international retirement, Rahul Dravid served as the head coach of the U-19 and India Aside from 2016-2019 before taking over his current role as the head of the National Cricket Academy (NCA).

Rahul Dravid’s First Coaching Assignment Was A Moderate Success With India Winning The ODI Series And Losing The T20I Series

The T20I series, which concluded with a 2-1 Sri Lankan win on Thursday, had also started on a positive note with a 38-run victory. However, Krunal Pandya testing positive for COVID-19 and isolation for his eight close contacts derailed the run and allowed Sri Lanka to clinch the next two games.

Prithvi Shaw, Suryakumar Yadav, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Ishan Kishan, Yuzvendra Chahal, K Gowtham, and Deepak Chahar are the eight players identified as close contacts of Krunal Pandya, who tested positive for Covid-19. Although all eight tested negative for the virus, they were ruled out of the T20I series against Sri Lanka.

Shikhar Dhawan
Shikhar Dhawan (Getty Images)(HT_PRINT)

India named 4 T20I debutants in Nitish Rana, Devdutt Padikkal, Ruturaj Gaikwad, and Chetan Sakariya for the 2nd T20I match. Put into bat, India was restricted to a modest 132 for 5 with skipper Shikhar Dhawan top-scoring with 40. The hosts then chased down the target with four wickets in hand and two balls to spare.

In the 3rd T20I, Shikhar Dhawan’s decision to win the toss and opt to bat in the series decider against Sri Lanka backfired as the visitors could manage a meagre 81/8 in the allotted 20 overs. Spinner Wanindu Hasaranga was the wrecker in chief with four wickets haul while Dasun Shanaka took a couple of wickets.

Shikhar Dhawan departed for a duck while the likes of IPL stars Ruturaj Gaikwad, Devdutt Padikkal, Sanju Samson, and Nitish Rana were disappointed. Kuldeep Yadav helped India get past their lowest total. India’s lowest total in T20Is is 74 which came against Australia in 2008. In the match, Sandeep Warrier received his maiden T20 cap for India.

Navdeep Saini holds his arm in pain as Shikhar Dhawan attends to him, during the second Sri Lanka-India T20I on Wednesday. - AP
Navdeep Saini holds his arm in pain as Shikhar Dhawan attends to him, during the second Sri Lanka-India T20I on Wednesday. - AP
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India In A Selection Dilemma With Injured Navdeep Saini Adding To The Concerns After Covid-19 Outbreak Results In Isolation Of Players

India was having a good time but it seems the tide has now changed for the Men in Blue. The Shikhar Dhawan-led side, which is already missing key eight players due to Covid-19’s stringent protocol, will now miss another fast bowler in Navdeep Saini who had sustained a shoulder injury which may mean that he won’t be available for the third and final T20I against Sri Lanka tonight.

The incident took place during Sri Lanka’s chase last night at Colombo. Navdeep Saini was fielding at extra cover when he tried to catch a ball hit by Chamika Karunaratne. Although Navdeep Saini leapt into the air, he couldn’t reach the ball. Later, he landed on his shoulder and winced in pain.

Navdeep Saini. (TOI Photo)
Navdeep Saini. (TOI Photo)

India In A Selection Dilemma With 9 Players Isolated Due To Krunal Pandya’s Covid While Navdeep Saini Is Injured

Things are getting pretty bad for Team India which is now running out of players, to say the least. Earlier Krunal Pandya was diagnosed with Covid-19 which also saw a number of players getting isolated. With Navdeep Saini now getting injured, it needs to be seen how management pulls together a playing eleven.

Navdeep Saini has impressed in T20Is where his bowling average is 18.07 as he had 13 scalps in 11 T20Is. But his ODI and Test averages(80 and 43 respectively) are not up to expectations.

Shikhar Dhawan
Shikhar Dhawan (Getty Images)(HT_PRINT)

Navdeep Saini did not bowl a single over in the game and was taken off the field in the penultimate over of the Sri Lanka innings when he injured his shoulder while fielding at extra cover. With eight of its players in isolation following all-rounder Krunal Pandya’s positive COVID-19 test, the depleted Indian team lost by four wickets.

Put into bat, India was restricted to 132 for 5, with skipper Shikhar Dhawan top-scoring with a 40. The host then chased the target with four wickets in hand and two balls to spare, with Dhananjaya de Silva hitting a match-winning unbeaten 40.

Sandeep Warrier And Ishan Porel Likely To Replace Navdeep Saini

A depleted Covid-19-hit India without several key batsmen defended resolutely but ultimately the target they set wasn’t enough with Sri Lanka who comfortably chased down 133 in 19.4 overs to level the three-match series at one-all with one game remaining. Batting first, India struggled for momentum with Sri Lanka bowlers doing well to keep them quiet, keeping them to a modest 132/5 in the second T20I at the R Premadasa Stadium on Wednesday.

Ishan Porel in action during the U-19 WC Getty
Ishan Porel in action during the U-19 WC Getty

India’s cricket board (BCCI) said that the eight players in question had tested negative on Wednesday afternoon, but were being asked to isolate as a precaution.  Playing with only five frontline batsmen and put in to bat, India struggled to get going, with the Sri Lanka spinners taking advantage of a slow wicket that was offering ample turn.

All four net bowlers — Ishan Porel, Sandeep Warrier, Simarjeet Singh, and R Sai Kishore — have been included in the main team with nine players unavailable. Chances are that Sandeep Warrier will be the first-choice pacer to replace the Delhi cricketer; while Ishan Porel is also in the fray. The Bengal speedster was part of India’s under-19 world cup winning squad back in 2018.

IPL Trophy. (BCCI/IPL Photo)
IPL Trophy. (BCCI/IPL Photo)
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IPL 2021 Will Resume With A Clash Between CSK And MI On September 19 In Dubai

Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 season, which was suspended earlier this year because of the Covid-19 second wave and bio bubble breach, will resume with a clash between the 3 times IPL winners Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and defending champions Mumbai Indians (MI) on September 19, sources have confirmed. The first match of the remainder of the season will be played in Dubai.

The 31 remaining matches of IPL 2021 will be played at three venues — Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Sharjah — with Dubai set to host the final on October 15. While Dubai will host the first qualifier on October 10, the eliminator and second qualifier will be played in Sharjah on October 11 and 13 respectively.

Skippers of Chennai Super Kings (CSK) MS Dhoni and Mumbai Indians (MI) Rohit Sharma. Credit: PTI Photo
Skippers of Chennai Super Kings (CSK) MS Dhoni and Mumbai Indians (MI) Rohit Sharma. Credit: PTI Photo

Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 Season To Resume With CSK-MI Match

Earlier this year, BCCI had been forced to postpone the IPL 2021 after multiple players and support staff tested positive for Covid-19.

After the season was halted, the BCCI had in a press release stated, “The Indian Premier League Governing Council (IPL GC) and Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in an emergency meeting have unanimously decided to postpone IPL 2021 season, with immediate effect.”

“The BCCI does not want to compromise on the safety of the players, support staff, and the other participants involved in organizing the IPL. This decision was taken keeping the safety, health, and well-being of all the stakeholders in mind.”

Reports had emerged earlier that the BCCI stands to lose over Rs 2,000 crore of the broadcast and sponsorship money following the midway postponement of the IPL 2021 season. The decision that the pending matches would be played in the UAE had been taken earlier at a Special General Meeting (SGM) of the BCCI.

After the meeting, the BCCI in a press release said: “The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Saturday announced to complete the remaining matches of VIVO Indian Premier League 2021 season in the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E) considering the monsoon season in India in the months of September-October this year.”

Wriddhiman Saha (Picture Credit: BCCI/IPL)
Wriddhiman Saha (Picture Credit: BCCI/IPL)

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Saturday announced to complete the remaining matches of the IPL 2021 season in U.A.E considering the monsoon season in India in the months of September-October this year. But, the availability of foreign players remains a big headache for the Cricket Board.

The BCCI had to postpone the 14th edition of the lucrative tournament as the deadly second outbreak of the COVID-19 breached through the bubble. The likes of Varun Chakravarthy, Sandeep Warrier, Amit Mishra, Wriddhiman Saha, Lakshmipathy Balaji, Tim Seifert, and Michael Hussey tested positive for COVID-19.

Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Eoin Morgan, Trent Boult, And Kane Williamson May Remain Unavailable For IPL 2021 Phase 2 In The UAE

This is because a number of international players are likely to remain unavailable due to international commitments. Rajasthan Royals openers Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes are unlikely to be available for the remainder of IPL 2021. Jos Buttler had scored 254 runs in the first 7 matches, including a century.

Mumbai Indians could miss the services of New Zealand pace spearhead Trent Boult. Since Eoin Morgan is the captain of the KKR team, his absence could lead to big trouble for his franchise. CSK’s new recruit Moeen Ali who was phenomenal for the MS Dhoni’s squad may also miss the remainder of IPL.

Eoin Morgan
Eoin Morgan (Image Credit: Twitter)

SRH team management could be in a fix after removing David Warner from the captaincy role. Their newly-appointed skipper Kane Williamson might also be unavailable for IPL 2021 Phase 2.

Most Australian players, including all-rounders Glenn Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis, are likely to participate in the second phase of IPL 2021 when the tournament resumes in UAE. As for Pat Cummins, who had made himself unavailable for the T20 league well in advance, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) would have to do without the services of their most expensive player for the remaining games of the season.

Royal Challengers Bangalore all-rounder Washington Sundar is likely to be ruled out of the second phase of Indian Premier League 2021. As expected, Steve Smith is all set to miss out on the 2nd phase of IPL 2021 in UAE. One of the world’s most prolific batsmen will not be available to Delhi Capitals for the 2nd leg of IPL

TNPL
TNPL. (Source: Twitter)
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TNPL 2021 Will Begin On July 19 And All Matches Will Be Played At Chennai

TNPL 2021, which will be the fifth season of the Tamil Nadu Premier League T20 tournament will start from July 19 onwards as the state government has given the event its clearance.

All the matches in the eight-team league in TNPL 2021, including the final, will be played at the MA Chidambaram Stadium. The 2020 edition of the TNPL was not held owing to the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown.

TNPL to begin from July 19, all matches in Chennai
TNPL to begin from July 19, all matches to be played Chennai. | Photo – TNPL |

TNPL 2021 Will Begin On July 19 And All Matches Will Be In Chennai

The fifth season of the Tamil Nadu Premier League T20 tournament will begin on July 19 as the state government has given the event its clearance. All the matches in the eight-team league, including the final, will be played at the MA Chidambaram Stadium at Chennai, Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) secretary R S Ramasaamy said.

“The Tamil Nadu government formally approved holding the TNPL 2021 tournament on July 1 subject to no spectators and strict Covid protocols. After discussions with all the stakeholders, it was decided to start the 2021 edition of TNPL from July 19 to August 15,” Ramasaamy was quoted as saying in a release on Wednesday.

FILE PHOTO: Chepauk Super Gillies celebrates after winning the Tamil Nadu Premier League at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on August 15, 2019. - THE HINDU
FILE PHOTO: Chepauk Super Gillies celebrates after winning the Tamil Nadu Premier League at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on August 15, 2019. – THE HINDU

The teams are currently in quarantine at a city hotel and will begin practice on July 9, the TNCA secretary said.

“The teams are starting their practice on July 9 at Chepauk after extensive testing, quarantine and following strict bubble rules. The BCCI Anti-corruption team will be in place for the tournament for education and monitoring,” Ramasaamy added.

Unlike the Test series between India and England where a partial crowd was allowed, there won’t be any spectators in the TNPL 2021 due to the increased Covid-19 pandemic situation in the state. All 8 teams will have to adhere to the tight covid protocols. Chepauk Super Gillies won the last TNPL edition in 2019.

Chepauk Super Gillies, captained by Kaushik Gandhi are the defending champions having won the title in 2019 as the tournament was not staged last year due to the pandemic.

Ravichandran Ashwin Will Miss While All Rounder Vijay Shankar Will Be Seen In Action In TNPL 2021

Some of Tamil Nadu’s leading players — Ravichandran Ashwin, MS Washington Sundar, R Sai Kishore, Varun Chakravarthy, and Sandeep Warrier — would not be available for the tournament as they are busy with national commitments. Experienced keeper-batsman veteran Dinesh Karthik is away in the UK on commentary duties and is also likely to miss the event.

Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL)
Chepauk Super Gillies. Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL). Image Credits: Twitter

India all-rounder Vijay Shankar is among the notable names who will be seen in action. TNPL 2020 was not held owing to the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic crisis which resulted in the lockdown.

The T20 league features eight teams — defending champions Chepauk Super Gillies, Dindigul Dragons, LYCA Kovai Kings, Salem Spartans, iDream Tiruppur Tamizhans, Ruby Trichy Warriors, Nellai Royal Kings, and Siechem Madurai Panthers.

All 32 matches, including the final, will be played at MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. There will be seven doubleheaders in the league phase, which will be held without a break. The matches will be broadcast by Star India on its various channels including Star Sports Tamil.

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