Sanju Samson | Sportzwiki

Sanju Samson

Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli in action against Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2021. (IPL)
Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli in action against Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2021. (IPL)
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Virat Kohli May Be Removed As RCB Skipper Mid-way Through UAE Leg Of IPL 2021

Virat Kohli could be removed as the captain of Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) mid-way through the ongoing UAE leg of the Indian Premier League (IPL), a former India cricketer has said. Virat Kohli earlier announced that he will step down as the captain of RCB after IPL 2021 concludes. Earlier this week, Virat Kohli had announced that he will relinquish his India T20I captaincy after the upcoming T20I World Cup to be staged in the UAE and Oman.

The reason for his axe as skipper seems to be quite evident after witnessing RCB’s meek surrender against the Kolkata Knight Riders in Abu Dhabi on Monday. RCB had made a humiliating return to IPL’s UAE leg when they were bundled out for just 92 by KKR in their first match of Phase-2. It was RCB’s sixth-lowest total in IPL, as they lost to the Eoin Morgan-led KKR by nine wickets.

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli (Image Credit: Twitter)

Virat Kohli May Be Sacked As RCB Skipper Midway In IPL 2021

After opting to bat by winning the toss against KKR, Virat Kohli (5 runs off 4 balls) fell prey to pacer Prasidh Krishna in just the second over of the match. The 32-year-old batsman was trapped plumb in front and a bad review call didn’t help his case either. Even the body language of Virat Kohli was not the same, as it used to be, throughout the match. He was actually emanating shades of a player who has just decided to step down as the captain of RCB after the conclusion of IPL 2021.

Prasidh Krishna trapped Virat Kohli LBW for just 5 runs | Photo: BCCI / IPL
Prasidh Krishna trapped Virat Kohli LBW for just 5 runs | Photo: BCCI / IPL

His call to step down before the start of the IPL 2021 UAE leg further was criticized by many including former cricketer Gautam Gambhir, who had questioned the timing of his decision. He reckoned if Virat Kohli had to do something like that, he could have done it after the IPL was over. Some cricketers even went on suggesting that the team looked “unsettled” by the untimely announcement. One former India cricketer, on condition of anonymity said that it seems that Virat Kohli might be removed “mid-way”.

“Look at the way he was playing against Kolkata Knight Riders. Just clueless! It seems he is struggling big time right now. There are chances that he could be removed mid-way through the season. “

“It has happened earlier also with other teams — like with Dinesh Karthik in KKR and David Warner in Sunrisers Hyderabad, among others. They were either removed or they stepped down mid-way. So it can happen in RCB as well… I have this feeling after watching yesterday’s match. One more bad game and you can see a change in RCB captaincy right away,” said the former cricketer.

Virat Kohli was appointed the skipper of RCB ahead of the 2013 IPL season as a successor to outgoing captain Daniel Vettori. Since then, the side has unsatisfactory won 62 of the 132 matches under him, to go with 66 losses and 4 no-results, and an IPL trophy has forever eluded him. Appointed ahead of the 2013 season as a successor to spinner Daniel Vettori, Virat Kohli will end up with nine seasons at the helm for RCB.

AB de Villiers, Yuzvendra Chahal, And Devdutt Padikkal Are Likely Candidates To Replace Virat Kohli As RCB Skipper

Senior player AB de Villiers will probably be the apt candidate to replace Virat Kohli. He is greatly respected within the team. But there are also chances that he might not accept the offer. Yuzvendra Chahal’s name is also doing the rounds on the basis of seniority in the team. Yuzvendra Chahal has also been the leading wicket-taker for RCB in the IPL, clinching 125 wickets in 106 games that he has played for the franchise so far.

Yuzvendra Chahal
Yuzvendra Chahal. Image Credits: Twitter

Youngster Devdutt Padikkal’s name has been coined as well, following the trend seen in recent times of appointing young captains such as Delhi’s Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant, and Rajasthan’s Sanju Samson. The Karnataka batsman Devdutt Padikkal has been among the leading run-scorers for RCB in the last couple of seasons and is considered one of the favourites of Virat Kohli.

Kartik Tyagi and Jasprit Bumrah. Credits: Twitter
Kartik Tyagi and Jasprit Bumrah. Credits: Twitter
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Kartik Tyagi Praised By Jasprit Bumrah For Bowling An Outstanding Final Over

Kartik Tyagi emerged as a hero for the Rajasthan Royals last night in their IPL 2021 fixture against the Punjab Kings. Rajasthan Royals skipper Sanju Samson was assigned the tough job of defending four runs in the last over against Nicholas Pooran and Aiden Markram to the youngster pacer.

Not many expected the RR pacer to guide his team to a win, but Kartik Tyagi stunned everyone with a fantastic final over. He bowled a dot ball to Aiden Markram to begin the over. The PBKS batsman took a single on the next ball.

Kartik Tyagi defended four runs off the final over to hand RR a 2-run win | Photo: BCCI / IPL
Kartik Tyagi defended four runs off the final over to hand RR a 2-run win | Photo: BCCI / IPL

Kartik Tyagi Praised By Jasprit Bumrah For Bowling An Outstanding Final Over

In the last over, well-set Nicholas Pooran handed a catch to Sanju Samson on the third ball while new batsman Deepak Hooda played a dot ball and lost his wicket on the penultimate delivery of the match. Caribbean star Fabian Allen had to score three runs off the last ball as he failed to connect the shot. RR miraculously won by two runs. Soon after the match, Mumbai Indians pacer Jasprit Bumrah posted a tweet, heaping praise on Kartik Tyagi.

Jasprit Bumrah
Jasprit Bumrah (Image Credit: Twitter)

“What an over, #KartikTyagi! To maintain a cool head under that kind of pressure and to get the job done, great stuff, very impressive! #PBKSvRR #IPL2021,” Jasprit Bumrah wrote.

https://twitter.com/tyagiktk/status/1440426120864677890?s=20

Kartik Tyagi bowled an outstanding final over that helped Rajasthan Royals pulled off a perfect heist against Punjab Kings in a 2-run win in match 32 of IPL 2021 here on Tuesday. The 20-year-old pacer came up with five dots, including two wickets, while defending three runs in the decisive over despite Punjab Kings having two set batsmen in the middle in Aiden Markram (26* runs off 20 balls) and Nicholas Pooran (32 off 22).

Kartik Tyagi won his first Man of the Match award in IPL last night

Kartik Tyagi came into the spotlight while playing for India U-19s in the ICC U-19 World Cup 2020. The right-arm pacer scalped 11 wickets in six matches for the Indian U-19 team in that tournament. Rajasthan Royals soon offered him an IPL contract, and Kartik made his IPL debut in 2020.

Kartik Tyagi speaks at a show after winning the match for Rajasthan Royals against Punjab Kings in Dubai on Tuesday night. Image Source : IPLT20.COM
Kartik Tyagi speaks at a show after winning the match for Rajasthan Royals against Punjab Kings in Dubai on Tuesday night. Image Source: IPLT20.COM

Almost a year after his first IPL game, the youngster bagged his first Man of the Match award in the IPL yesterday. RR fans will hope that Kartik Tyagi produces more such performances in the upcoming matches. Kartik Tyagi has 12 scalps in as many matches in IPL. He has picked up 3 scalps in 2 games in IPL 2021 averaging 20.33 with the ball this season.

Sanju Samson Deepak Malik/SPORTZPICS
Sanju Samson Deepak Malik/SPORTZPICS
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Sanju Samson Fined INR 12 Lakh For Maintaining Slow Over-Rate Against PBKS

Sanju Samson, Rajasthan Royals skipper has been fined for maintaining a slow over-rate during an Indian Premier League (IPL 2021) match against Punjab Kings on Tuesday (September 21). Sanju Samson was fined Rs 12 lakh for maintaining a slow over-rate in their opening IPL 2021 match in UAE leg against Punjab Kings.

After being sent in to bat by Punjab Kings captain KL Rahul, Rajasthan Royals got off to a flying start with openers Evin Lewis and Yashasvi Jaiswal going all guns blazing in the powerplay. Evin Lewis departed after scoring 36 while Yashasvi Jaiswal missed his half-century by a run. Mahipal Lomror made a handy contribution of 43 runs off just 17 deliveries to help Rajasthan post a total of 185 in their allotted 20 overs.

Sanju Samson
Sanju Samson (Image Credit: Twitter)

Sanju Samson Fined INR 12 Lakh For Slow Over Rate

The two sides were playing their first match after the resumption of the IPL on September 19. In a thrilling Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 match last night, Rajasthan Royals (RR) made an epic comeback, beating Punjab Kings (PBKS) by just two runs.

Punjab needed just four runs in the final over to win the game but was stopped from their march towards victory by RR bowler pacer Kartik Tyagi. Kartik Tyagi, the MOM, managed to take two crucial wickets and give away just one run in his final over spell.

“As it was his team’s first offence of the season under the IPL’s Code of Conduct relating to a minimum over-rate offences, Sanju Samson was fined Rs 12 lakh,” read an official statement.

Rajasthan Royals registered a thrilling two-run victory over Punjab Kings at the Dubai International Stadium. Chasing 186, Punjab Kings got off to an excellent start as openers KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal put on 120 runs for the opening wicket.

Kartik Tyagi defended four runs off the final over to hand RR a 2-run win | Photo: BCCI / IPL
Kartik Tyagi defended four runs off the final over to hand RR a 2-run win | Photo: BCCI / IPL

However, after this, Rajasthan was able to make a comeback and the side registered a thrilling victory. Kartik Tyagi returned with two wickets and he was adjudged as Man of the Match. With this win, Rajasthan Royals has moved to the fifth spot in the points table with 8 points from as many games.

Arshdeep Singh’s Five Wicket Haul In Vein As Royals Win

Earlier, Arshdeep Singh took a five-wicket haul for Punjab Kings as Rajasthan Royals was bundled out for 185. For the Sanju Samson-led side, Yashasvi Jaiswal and Mahipal Lamror scored 49 and 43 respectively. For Punjab, Mohammed Shami also scalped three wickets. Rajasthan Royals will next lock horns against Delhi Capitals on Saturday at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.

Arshdeep Singh (Photo| ANI)
Arshdeep Singh (Photo| ANI)

Punjab Kings cruised for the better part of their stiff chase of 186 runs, with opener Mayank Agarwal scoring 67 off 43 deliveries and skipper KL Rahul, 49 off 33 balls. All that changed when the next two batsmen, Nicholas Pooran (32 off 22) and Aiden Markram (26* off 20), failed to rotate the strike in the last two overs and let the team fall short by just two runs.

Rajasthan Royals 185 (Jaiswal 49, Lomror 43, Arshdeep 5-32, Shami 3-21) beat Punjab Kings 183 for 4 (Agarwal 67, Rahul 49, Tyagi 2-29, Tewatia 1-23)

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.

Ravichandran Ashwin of India. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)
Ravichandran Ashwin of India. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)
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Rohit Sharma ‘Backed’ Ravichandran Ashwin’s Selection In T20I World Cup Squad

Rohit Sharma, it is understood, has played a major part in the selection of the team for the T20 World Cup. The board and selectors had sought Rohit Sharma’s opinion before the selection meeting and he was insistent on bringing Ravichandran Ashwin back into the scheme of things.

Captain Virat Kohli too was on the same page when the idea was floated during the meeting. The 34-year-old Ravichandran Ashwin last played white-ball cricket for India in 2017 before being sidelined from one-day cricket following the Champions Trophy debacle.

Ravichandran Ashwin, Rohit Sharma
Ravichandran Ashwin, Rohit Sharma

Rohit Sharma Played A Role To Bring Back Ravichandran Ashwin

Ravindra Jadeja made a comeback into the Indian white-ball team under stand-in captain Rohit Sharma midway through the Asia Cup in UAE in 2018. Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin were deemed ineffective in white-ball cricket after India lost the Champions Trophy final to Pakistan in June 2017.

It has taken four and a half years for Ravichandran Ashwin to rejoin Ravindra Jadeja in the limited-overs setup. The off-spinner will also play in the UAE, at the 2021 T20I World Cup. This time too, it is Rohit Sharma who has had a role to play.

“It has been 480 days since I played, so I will always remember this,” Jadeja had announced after the match.

Washington Sundar
Washington Sundar

Virat Kohli had earlier suggested that doors would open for off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin only if Washington Sundar’s performances dipped drastically. Now that Washington Sundar has been ruled out of at least IPL 2021 with a finger injury, there was a slot up for grabs.

RCB will be without their allrounder Washington Sundar for the UAE leg of IPL 2021 after he failed to fully recover from a finger injury. Washington Sundar had sustained the injury in the UK last month which ruled him out of the ongoing Test series between India and England as well.

Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli both highlighted how Ravichandran Ashwin has been one of the toughest spinners to hit in the IPL over the last two years. The slow pitches in the UAE also played a major part in the decision.

Rohit Sharma’s Mumbai Indians Saw More Cricketers In 2021 T20I World Cup Squad Than Any Other Franchise

There’s a theory within the Indian cricket board (BCCI) that Rohit Sharma, who captains Mumbai Indians in the IPL, needs to be given a larger role when it comes to the leadership group in white-ball cricket. There seems to be a growing imprint of the Mumbai Indians brand of cricket in Team India, just like there was a Chennai Super Kings imprint a few years ago.

The selectors went in favour of Mumbai Indians players while deciding between two players for one spot. Ishan Kishan was up against the likes of Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw and Sanju Samson. Even Rahul Chahar won the battle of leg-spinners as the seasoned Yuzvendra Chahal fell behind.

Mumbai Indians
Mumbai Indians. Image Credits: Twitter

Ishan Kishan’s ability to float around the batting order and his wicketkeeping skills were highlighted by chief selector Chetan Sharma on Wednesday. What he didn’t mention is that these fresh faces from the Mumbai Indians stable are more used to winning the big moments that help a team prevail in a tournament.

After dominating IPL, Mumbai Indians have now started to dominate international cricket. As many as six players have made it to India’s T20 World Cup squad. Besides Rohit Sharma, Rahul Chahar, Hardik Pandya, Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, and Jasprit Bumrah have made it to the 15-man squad.

Sanju Samson (File photo)
Sanju Samson (File photo)
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Sanju Samson Backed By Rahul Dravid As It Wasn’t The Easiest Condition To Bat In The Last Two T20Is

Sanju Samson’s poor outings in the Indian jersey continued yet again as he struggled to capitalize on the opportunity in Sri Lanka.

In the absence of Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, and KL Rahul in the top-order, Sanju Samson was tipped to utilize the chance and make a case for himself ahead of the forthcoming 2021 ICC T20I World Cup.

Sanju Samson
Sanju Samson dives back to stop the ball from being hit on the wicket. (AP Photo)

Sanju Samson Backed By Rahul Dravid As It Wasn’t The Easiest Condition To Bat

Despite the poor showing, Team India wicket-keeper batsman Sanju Samson has got the backing of his head coach Rahul Dravid. Addressing the press at the end of the series, Rahul Dravid said that it wasn’t the easiest condition to bat and Team India would be disappointed with the lacklustre batting performance in the display, especially in the 3rd T20I.

“I think to be honest it is not the easiest condition to bat in. Obviously, he got a chance in the one-day game and got a very good start of 46 runs, but in the T20s he probably batted well in the first one, however the last one couple of wickets have been a bit challenging.”

Sanju Samson and Rahul Dravid
Sanju Samson and Rahul Dravid

“But I guess when we look back on the series we would be a little disappointed but having said that I think it is not only Sanju, I think a lot of these young guys are talented young kids and terrific players, and we need to be patient,” he added.

Sanju Samson got off to a good start in the third ODI but failed to convert the start to big innings when his team needed it the most. He scored 46 runs in the third ODI before managing only seven runs, including a duck in the last two T20Is. Sanju Samson, who has now failed in nine consecutive T20 matches since last year, was defended by the Indian coach. Sanju Samson’s scores in the recent T20I series against Sri Lanka do not paint a good picture.

For someone who was tipped to make an impact before the T20 World Cup, 34 runs in 3 matches (with two fours and a six) at a strike rate of 94.44 and an average of just 11.33, these numbers are a massive disappointment. Sanju Samson simply squandered yet another golden opportunity before the T20 World Cup in October as he struggled against the Sri Lankan attack.

Sanju Samson Has The Ability To Perform Well: Aakash Chopra

The Kerala-born cricketer has copped a lot of criticism for his shortcomings and his T20I career might be in danger of ending after this series. Ahead of the 3rd T20I, former India opener Aakash Chopra had also offered support to the under-fire wicket-keeper batsman to bounce back soon. Speaking on his YouTube channel, the cricketer-turned-commentator said that he is hopeful of Sanju Samson doing well.

“I am still hopeful of Sanju Samson doing well. I know he is not batting at the position that he is comfortable at. Sanju Samson has only played nine matches. You have expectations from those players who, you know, have the capability.”

Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra. (Photo Source: Twitter)

“Sanju Samson has that ability to perform. He is comparatively more experienced compared to the others, may be not at the international level but definitely in the IPL. He has been playing the IPL for a long time and is even the captain of a franchise (Rajasthan Royals). I have high hopes from him.”

So far, Sanju Samson has accumulated only 117 runs from 10 T20I matches with the highest score of 27, which is quite low considering the talent he possesses. So far in his career, Sanju Samson‘s T20I numbers are ordinary — 117 runs in 10 games at a strike rate of 110 despite being given opportunities to bat in the top four. In his last 10 T20I innings for India, his scores read- 19, 6, 8, 2, 23, 15, 10, 27, 7, 0.

Sanju Samson had a relatively poor IPL 2020 for Rajasthan Royals managing only 375 runs in 14 games averaging 28.84 but was going strong in IPL 2021 managing 277 runs in 7 games averaging 46.16 and scored a ton. He led from the front as captain as the team was placed 5th before IPL 2021 was suspended for bio-bubble breach.

Rahul Dravid
Rahul Dravid - K. MURALI KUMAR
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Indian Batsmen Have An Opportunity To Reflect That Not All Wickets Are Going To Be Flat: Rahul Dravid

Rahul Dravid believes that the new crop of Indian batsmen will learn with experience that “not all wickets will be flat” and they need to develop the art of scrapping it out on low-scoring tracks like the ones on offer during the last two T20Is against Sri Lanka.

India lost the three-match T20I series against Sri Lanka 1-2 on Thursday, playing without nine of their first-team players due to COVID-19 related isolation. Rookies Devdutt Padikkal, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Nitish Rana besides out of form Sanju Samson literally struggled against a quality spin bowling attack led by leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga accompanied by Akila Dhananjaya and Dhananjaya de Silva.

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

Rahul Dravid: Indian Batsmen Have An Opportunity To Reflect That Not All Wickets Are Going To Be Flat

Asked if he was disappointed in the manner the younger players were found wanting against Wanindu Hasaranga and company, Rahul Dravid replied in the negative.

“I am not disappointed as they are young. They are going to learn and get better only when they are exposed to these kind of conditions and quality of bowling. Sri Lankan team’s bowling attack is an international bowling attack,” Rahul Dravid said.

But the former India captain admitted that there is a lot to learn on how to play on challenging tracks, saying pitches in domestic cricket have become easier to bat as compared to his times.

“They would have liked to score a few more runs. They now have an opportunity to reflect that not all wickets are going to be flat. We need to find ways to scrap and score 130, 140 on these wickets,” Rahul Dravid observed.

“It’s really a good learning as they are all young players. This is a great opportunity to reflect on these performances and may be come up with some slightly better strategies. Let me be fair, we don’t get these kind of conditions very often in T20 cricket but when you do, I think, you have responsibility to play slightly better,” the head of NCA said.

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

Rahul Dravid said even his generation had their share of struggles but he feels during their times, they did play on tracks that offered turn and some were “under-prepared.”

“I think the wickets in domestic cricket may have got better. I don’t think the talent is missing it’s just that you need experience to figure out a few more stroke making options in these kinds of pitches,” Rahul Dravid opined.

The problem with the COVID-19 isolation was the fact that except skipper Shikhar Dhawan, there wasn’t a single experienced batsman available who would have nicely blended with the youngsters in this team.

“It needs time and experience and you need to blood young players with experienced players so that you have that cushion. Obviously, last couple of games, we didn’t have that cushion, most of guys other than Shikhar were young.”

Rahul Dravid didn’t want to take names of who all are T20 World Cup aspirants while praising the Indian spin quartet of Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Varun Chakravarthy, and Rahul Chahar.

“We have a really good crop of spinners who are coming through. Heartening to see how our four spinners performed.”

In the 3rd T20I, Sri Lanka chased down the 82-run target in the 15th over to win by 7 wickets and take the T20 series 2-1, having lost the ODIs 1-2. With India forced to play with only five specialist batsmen once again, the home side won again as they were led by the ever-impressive Wanindu Hasaranga (4-9) mixing up his leg-spins and googlies, as Sri Lanka sent India’s top-order batsmen packing, turning the powerplay (4-29) into a highly unproductive one.

Rahul Dravid Defends Sanju Samson Despite Poor Run In T20Is For The Pitch In The Last Couple Of Matches Wasn’t Easiest To Bat On

Sanju Samson, who has now failed in nine consecutive T20 matches since last year, was defended by the Indian coach. Sanju Samson’s scores in the T20I series against Sri Lanka do not paint a good picture.

For someone who was tipped to make an impact before the T20 World Cup, 34 runs in 3 matches (with two fours and a six) at a strike rate of 94.44 and an average of just 11.33, these numbers are a massive disappointment. Sanju Samson simply squandered yet another golden opportunity before the T20 World Cup in October as he struggled against the Sri Lankan attack.

“It was not the easiest pitch to bat on. In ODIs, he got a chance and scored 46. He was batting well in the first T20 but last couple of wickets (pitches) were challenging. I guess yeah, if you look back at the series, we will be a little disappointed. Having said that not only Sanju but a lot of young guys in this team are talented kids, and we need to patient with them.”

Sanju Samson
Sanju Samson dives back to stop the ball from being hit on the wicket. (AP Photo)

So far in his career, Sanju Samson‘s T20 numbers are ordinary — 117 runs in 10 games at a strike rate of 110 despite being given opportunities to bat in the top four. In his last 10 T20I innings for India, his scores read- 19, 6, 8, 2, 23, 15, 10, 27, 7, 0. Rahul Dravid was also impressed by the fact that the young team was able to live a cooped-up life in a bio-bubble for 45 days with only six matches to play.

“It’s credit to all boys in the manner they maintained their spirit and worked really hard, I can’t fault any of the boys for their effort,” Rahul Dravid said.

He praised skipper Shikhar Dhawan and his deputy Bhuvneshwar Kumar for maintaining a good team environment in difficult times.

“Shikhar, Bhuvi, the leadership group for the environment that they created and terrific energy that they created, I can’t fault them on their effort.”

However, he put things in perspective as to how playing cricket in these times of pandemic was a privilege when so many people around the world were suffering.

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.

Suryakumar Yadav plays a shot during the first one day international cricket match between Sri Lanka and India in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Sunday, July 18 (Photo | AP)
Suryakumar Yadav plays a shot during the first one day international cricket match between Sri Lanka and India in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Sunday, July 18 (Photo | AP)
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Prithvi Shaw Is A Showstopper – Suryakumar Yadav

Suryakumar Yadav has praised opening batsman, Prithvi Shaw, calling him a ‘showstopper’ and he even said that the right-handed young batsman has worked really hard on his fitness.

Avishka Fernando (76) and Bhanuka Rajapaksa (65) smashed their respective fifties to ensure Sri Lanka did not lose the final ODI despite a late wobble. However, despite this loss, India won the series 2-1 and Suryakumar Yadav was adjudged as Player of the Series.

Suryakumar Yadav
Suryakumar Yadav (BCCI)

Suryakumar Yadav Calls Prithvi Shaw Showstopper And Wants Him To Retain The Tag Adding He Has Worked Hard On His Fitness

After a memorable T20I debut, versus England early this year, Suryakumar Yadav has once again proved his potential in the ongoing India tour of Sri Lanka. In the three ODIs, he returned with scores of unbeaten 31, 53, and 40 to be adjudged the Player-of-the-Series for his consistency. Apart from Suryakumar Yadav, another player who made a mark in the three ODIs with the bat in hand was Prithvi Shaw.

“I only have one word for Prithvi Shaw, I call him showstopper. Whenever he bats, everyone’s eyes are on him. I want him to remain the same, he is batting really well and his attitude is pretty nice as well. He has worked really hard on his fitness and it is very good to see him doing so well,” said Suryakumar during a virtual post-match press conference.

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

The Indian opener Prithvi Shaw has made the most of his form, since being dropped following the first Test in the Australia tour, and was in blazing touch versus the Lankans. His 24-ball 43 in the series-opening ODI and a run-a-ball 49 in the third and final ODI were a treat to watch for all. While Prithvi Shaw didn’t get to score a hundred in the ODIs, he played some cracking shots to win everyone’s hearts till the time he was out in the middle.

Suryakumar Yadav Disappointed With Not Carrying On And Play Till The End In The 2nd And 3rd ODIs

Suryakumar Yadav has admitted that his fortunes have taken a turn for the good ever since he started representing Mumbai Indians (MI) in the IPL.

When asked about his performance and the road ahead for him, Suryakumar said: “Obviously, everyone dreams of playing for India. It has taken a lot of effort, grind, and patience to achieve this feat. It has been worth the wait and I am really happy about it. From here on, how I build on is in my hands. I am really excited about what lies ahead.”

“I am disappointed with not carrying on, I got a good start in the first game, and in the second game, it was a perfect opportunity to win a game for the team. I got out then and I was disappointed to not play till the end. In the third ODI, I was also not able to play till the end, but that is how we learn and move forward.”

“I have always been batting the same way like I am batting right now. When I came to Mumbai Indians in 2018, it started to change for me. I got to know my responsibilities and how I can take it one step ahead and that is when I started practicing more.”

“I am really happy with the way things are going. I have been a Mumbai boy, when you grow up there, the wickets you play on, are challenging. I will be doing the same thing and keep things simple and follow my routines. I just want to keep it simple,” he added.

When asked why Manish Pandey was persisted with, in the final ODI, Suryakumar Yadav said: “That was completely team management’s decision, I did not get involved in that. Manish Pandey has been batting really well as we saw in the practice games.

“We played intra-squad matches as well. In the last game, he was batting really well, but he got dismissed in an unfortunate way. This is not my call so I really do not know about it.”

In the three ODIs, Manish Pandey scored 26, 37, and 11 runs respectively. India was all out for 225, with Prithvi Shaw and Sanju Samson scoring 49 and 46 runs respectively and Sri Lanka chased down the target in the 39th over after the match was reduced to 47 overs per side due to rain.

Opting to bat first, India got off to a bad start as the side lost skipper Shikhar Dhawan in the third over. Prithvi Shaw then stitched a 74-run stand for the second wicket with Sanju Samson.

Sanju Samson (File photo)
Sanju Samson (File photo)

The opening batsman fell just one run short of what would have been his maiden ODI fifty in the 16th over. Sanju Samson also departed a few overs later after scoring 46 before rain halted the play. After the game resumed, India suffered a collapse as the visitors kept losing wickets at regular intervals and were finally folded for 225/10.

Hardik Pandya Bowling
Hardik Pandya Bowling
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Hardik Pandya Thinks India Can Pick Two More Teams And Win Any Competition In The World

Hardik Pandya said India can now field two more teams that can win any competition in the world. Hardik Pandya’s words came minutes after India handed debuts to five cricketers in the third and final ODI at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Friday.
India is simultaneously fielding two teams-one with Virat Kohli as captain in England for a five-match Test series against the hosts while Shikhar Dhawan is leading a limited-overs team comprising of youngsters in Sri Lanka.
Hardik Pandya Image Source : GETTY
Hardik Pandya Image Source: GETTY

Hardik Pandya Thinks India Can Pick Two More Teams And Win Any Competition In The World

After sealing the three-match series on Tuesday, five rookies – aggressive left-handed batsman Nitish Rana, leggie Rahul Chahar, left-arm pacer Chetan Sakariya, off-spinner Kishnappa Gowtham, and wicket-keeper Sanju Samson, made their ODI debuts. Rahul Chahar and Sanju Samson have already played T20 Internationals for India but got their ODI caps on Friday.

“The kind of talent which the Indian team possesses right now, I think we can pick two more teams and win any competition in the world,” Hardik told the host broadcaster.

 Krishnappa Gowtham, Nitish Rana, Rahul Chahar, Sanju Samson and Chetan Sakariya are making their ODI debuts for India (Courtesy of BCCI)
Krishnappa Gowtham, Nitish Rana, Rahul Chahar, Sanju Samson, and Chetan Sakariya are making their ODI debuts for India (Courtesy of BCCI)

The only time when India had five debutants in an ODI was against Australia in December 1980 at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground when spinner Dilip Doshi, Kirti Azad, Roger Binny, Mumbai stylish batsman Sandeep Patil and Tirumalai Srinivasan made their debuts. A left-handed batsman and wicket-keeper Ishan Kishan and Mumbai’s Suryakumar Yadav had made their ODI debut in the first game at the same venue.

Hardik Pandya Learns From Mistakes And Grow As A Cricketer And Human Being

Hardik Pandya’s fitness and bowling form have been in focus in this limited-overs series. The India all-rounder has not been at his best in the ODI series. He bowled 9 overs in the first two ODIs and was dismissed for a duck and 19 in the second and third ODI. He picked 2 wickets in the series. Speaking about his performance, the talented all-rounder said, he always tries to learn from his mistakes and grow both as a cricketer and also as an individual.

Hardik Pandya talks about the talent at disposal of Indian cricket. (BCCI)
Hardik Pandya talks about the talent at disposal of Indian cricket. (BCCI)

“I understand that in life you have to keep growing. As a cricketer and a person, you need to keep growing. My process is just growing as a human being. You tend to make mistakes, you fail, but I like to celebrate my failures. I like to celebrate my bad days, it is a part of the sport and it teaches you a lot of things. I like to remember it,” he added.

Rahul Chahar picked up three wickets in his final spell but Sri Lanka managed to secure a nervy three-wicket win over India in the 3rd ODI in Colombo on Friday.

Avishka Fernando scored his second consecutive half-century of the series, while Bhanuka Rajapaksa registered his maiden ODI fifty as Sri Lanka seized control of their chase of 227 runs. Their partnership accounted for 109 runs before pacer Chetan Sakariya broke the stand and picked up his maiden wicket.

Before that, Krishnappa Gowtham had dismissed Minod Bhanuka for his maiden ODI wicket. Debutant Chetan Sakariya picked up two wickets as he removed Bhanuka Rajapaksa and Dhananjaya de Silva.

Earlier, Sri Lanka bowled India out for 225 in the 3rd ODI as left-arm spinner Praveen Jayawickrama and Akila Dananjaya picked up three wickets each. After a 90-minute delay due to rain and wet outfield, play restarted in Colombo and the match was revised to a 47-overs-a-side contest.

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