Shardul Thakur | Sportzwiki

Shardul Thakur

Moeen Ali (Photo Credit : CSK Twitter Handle)
Moeen Ali (Photo Credit : CSK Twitter Handle)
///

Chennai Super Kings Retains Moeen Ali For INR 8 Crore As He Agreed To Stay With CSK Irrespective Of Retention Amount

Chennai Super Kings CEO Kasi Viswanathan revealed that Moeen Ali was keen on staying with the defending champions for IPL 2022, saying that the England all-rounder had told them that he was not even thinking about playing for any other franchise amid retention talks.

Chennai Super Kings retained Moeen Ali for INR 8 crore. The England all-rounder played a key role in helping MS Dhoni’s men win their 4th IPL trophy in the UAE earlier this year.

Moeen Ali was retained by Chennai Super Kings for Rs 8 crore (Courtesy of BCCI)
Moeen Ali was retained by Chennai Super Kings for Rs 8 crore (Courtesy of BCCI)

Chennai Super Kings Retains Moeen Ali Who Wanted To Play For CSK Irrespective Of Retention Amount

All 8 existing franchises announced their list of retained players on November 30 ahead of the mega auction for IPL 2022. Chennai Super Kings retained Ravindra Jadeja, MS Dhoni, Moeen Ali, and Ruturaj Gaikwad in that order. 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.

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

Notably, CSK had bought Moeen Ali for Rs 7 crore at the auction ahead of IPL 2021. The England star played a crucial role in helping CSK win their 4th title as he hit 357 runs and picked up 6 wickets in 15 matches.

“When we spoke to Moeen first, he said he has been overwhelmed with the offer which was made and he said he has not thought of any other franchise at all. That was his reaction immediately and he said ‘whether I am one, two, three or four (retention number), I don’t mind, I will be there. So was the case with Rutu (Ruturaj),” Kasi Viswanathan told CSK’s official website.

“We always had a feeling that he will be a very useful all-rounder for us especially when we play in India. We were able to get him only last year. So it is good that he came in and was able to perform under the captaincy of MS (Dhoni),” he added.

Moeen Ali was a key member of the CSK squad, which won another IPL title in 2021. The English all-rounder played several cameos for the Yellow Army at the top of the order and also chipped in with crucial breakthroughs every now and then. CSK had bought Moeen Ali for Rs 7 crore at the auction ahead of IPL 2021.

MS Dhoni Also Took A Pay Cut

MS Dhoni also took a pay cut after confirming that he would continue playing for CSK and wanted to have his farewell game in Chennai. It remains to be seen if MS Dhoni will play the whole of IPL 2022.

Stressing that Dhoni will continue to play an integral role for CSK, Viswanathan added: “As all of you know, Thala has been the mainstay of CSK. He has been a captain who has delivered for the franchise and he has got the best out of the team any time he has played.”

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

“As far as we are concerned, Thala plays a major role because he controls the team and the team has benefited by his experience, and nobody can doubt his skill as a captain.”

After failing to qualify for the playoffs for the first time in the tournament’s history in 2020, CSK made a brilliant comeback in 2021 – where they not only became the first team to qualify for the play-offs but also defeated Eoin Morgan-led Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) to clinch another IPL title.

MS Dhoni did not have a good run with the bat, but he remains to be one of the wisest skippers and continues to play an integral role for CSK. The defending champions Chennai Super Kings have retained Ravindra Jadeja (16 crores), MS Dhoni (12 crores), Moeen Ali (8 crores), and Ruturaj Gaikwad (6 crores). This leaves INR 48 Cr with the yellow brigade to spend in the IPL 2022 mega auctions.

The likes of Dwayne Bravo, Faf Du Plessis, Sam Curran, Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar, and Suresh Raina were released by CSK. 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.

Cricket South Africa Image Source: TWITTER/CSAOFFICIAL
Cricket South Africa Image Source: TWITTER/CSAOFFICIAL
/

Amid Omicron Scare BCCI Puts Team Selection For South Africa Tour On Hold – Reports

BCCI has put a hold on the selection meeting for the upcoming all-format tour of South Africa. It is learned that BCCI is awaiting clearance from the government before going ahead with the tour. South Africa has been identified as an ‘at-risk country’ after the emergence of the new Omicron variant of the Covid-19 virus.

The selection meeting was planned for just after the first Test against New Zealand in Kanpur. The players who have been rested for the ongoing home series against New Zealand were supposed to undergo a five-day quarantine before entering the bubble for South Africa on the night of December 8. The players have not been intimated yet about the exact itinerary.

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

BCCI Puts Team Selection Meeting For South Africa Tour On Hold

Players like Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Rishabh Pant, Mohammed Shami, KL Rahul, and Shardul Thakur are waiting for clear communication from BCCI about joining the bubble. After the end of the T20I series, they were informed they would have to be in quarantine in Mumbai by December 3.

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

Any bio-bubble is only as effective as those inside it make it. During the England tour this year, the bio-bubble was breached for which better discipline should be maintained this time around.  In September, there was a minor outbreak in the Indian camp when the team was touring England for a 5-match Test series. As a result, the fifth Test had to be cancelled and rescheduled for the next year.

The Indian cricket team is scheduled to play three Tests, three ODIs, and three T20Is in South Africa from December 17 to January 26. For now, CSA continues to build a strict bio-bubble for the tour and has proper protocols in place. India will play three ODIs in South Africa for the first time since their 5-1 series win in 2017-18.

Historically, India didn’t have a great record in bilateral series in that part of the world. However, they did qualify for the final when the World Cup was played in 2003.

South Africa Assured The Touring Indian Team Will Be Kept In The Best Of BioSecure Bubbles

The latest development comes on the day South Africa’s ministry of international relations and cooperation issued a statement thanking BCCI for letting the India ‘A’ team stay back to complete the series in Bloemfontein. In the statement, the ministry also assured that the Indian team will be kept in the best of bio-secure bubbles.

“South Africa will take all precautions necessary to ensure the health and safety of the Indian teams. A full bio-secure environment will be established around both the South African and Indian ‘A’ teams as well as the two national teams,” the statement read.

India's Tour Of South Africa : India is supposed to tour South Africa in December 2021 © Getty
India’s Tour Of South Africa: India is supposed to tour South Africa in December 2021 © Getty

However, BCCI isn’t committing anything yet.

“Cricket South Africa and their government are doing everything to ensure the tour goes on. But BCCI is awaiting a nod from the central government. Things will be clear in a couple of days. The players too need to be assured of the arrangements. The board doesn’t want a repeat of what happened in Manchester when an outbreak within the camp got the players traveling with their families jittery,” a top BCCI official said.

Former India batter VVS Laxman will do the formalities to join the NCA as cricket head only after the Test series against New Zealand. VVS Laxman is currently completing his broadcast commitments.

India, A tour of South Africa, will continue, the detection of a new Covid-19 variant in the country notwithstanding. The visiting team, currently based in Bloemfontein, has had a series of meetings with the Cricket South Africa (CSA) officials and the local medical team and has decided to complete the three-match series.

The Indian A team is presently in South Africa for three unofficial Tests. With one of the Tests being completed, the team is still in the country, and the unofficial Tests will continue. The ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifier in Zimbabwe was cancelled, and South Africa’s ODI series against the Netherlands has been postponed.

Shardul Thakur | Twitter
Shardul Thakur | Twitter
//

Shardul Thakur Added To Play Only 3rd India A-South Africa A Unofficial 4-Day Test In Bloemfontein

Shardul Thakur will play only the third India A vs South Africa A game in Bloemfontein. However, head coach Rahul Dravid wants every player to be match-ready with some games under their belt before they enter an international game.

India pacer Shardul Thakur has been asked to travel to South Africa to be part of the India A squad while batsman Suryakumar Yadav has been asked to stay with the Indian Test team, which will play two Tests against New Zealand at home.

Shardul Thakur Photo: AFP.
Shardul Thakur Photo: AFP.

Shardul Thakur Was Added To India A Squad As Rahul Dravid Wants Every Player To Be Match Ready

Shardul Thakur wasn’t part of the T20I or Test squads against New Zealand as the national selection committee had decided to give the Mumbai pacer a break after being away from home for six months at a stretch playing cricket.

Shardul Thakur will play only the 3rd India A vs South Africa A game in Bloemfontein. Rahul Dravid wants every player to be match-ready with some games under their belt before they enter an international game. If picked for the South Africa series next month, Shardul Thakur wouldn’t have had any games behind him, if not for the A match.

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

It was for the same reason that the Indian team sent Hanuma Vihari with India A side as the selection committee felt he might not have got any Tests against the Kiwis. They thought it would be better if he got a few games in India A series. Shardul Thakur played vital roles in Tests in Australia and later in England. It’s his batting that hogged the limelight when he slammed two half-centuries in the fourth Test against England.

Shardul Thakur has played only 4 Tests in his career so far after debuting in 2018 against West Indies, where he got injured after bowling only 10 balls. He managed 190 runs averaging 38, besides picking up 14 scalps averaging 22.71.

Shardul Thakur Is Coming Along Superbly, And Each Match There Is Tremendous Improvement In Both Batting And Bowling: Bharat Arun

The former bowling coach Bharat Arun had raved about the importance of Shardul Thakur.

“Shardul Thakur is coming along superbly. Just imagine the pressure and how well he has coped and grabbed them. Each match, I see tremendous improvement – bowling and batting. Knocks in Brisbane and Leeds were amazing, no?

“And he is a pretty intelligent bowler – a lovely outswinger at close to 140 kmphs and a well-directed bouncer. He is a good thinker, not afraid to speak his mind, fearless and you need players like him in a team environment,” Arun said.

The BCCI is likely to pick the squad for the South Africa tour after the first Test against New Zealand in Kanpur starting on Thursday.

Suryakumar Yadav
Suryakumar Yadav (BCCI)

Meanwhile, there is no official communication on why middle-order batsman Suryakumar Yadav was asked to stay with the Indian Test squad. The squad already includes Shreyas Iyer as a middle-order batsman, and chances of him making a Test debut are looking promising enough. It seems the selection committee and BCCI don’t want to take a chance with the players’ health, especially during COVID-19 times.

The BCCI doesn’t want to be in a situation where a player gets infected, and they don’t have a replacement in the squad. Suryakumar Yadav was sent as a backup player for the England tour, too, along with Prithvi Shaw, but they didn’t get to play a game.

In the ongoing 1st unofficial Test, South Africa A is batting first, and the score reads 98/2 in 27 overs, with Navdeep Saini and Arzan Nagwaswalla picking 1 wicket each. Priyank Panchal, Prithvi Shaw, Abhimanyu Easwaran, Rahul Chahar, Hanuma Vihari, Rahul Chahar, and Umran Malik are playing.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, Indian opener KL Rahul has been reportedly ruled out of the 1st Test against New Zealand.

Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli (Image Credit: Twitter)
Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli (Image Credit: Twitter)
//

National Selectors Are Torn Between Rohit Sharma And Ajinkya Rahane As Test Skipper For 1st Test Against New Zealand – Reports

National selectors are likely to rest a bunch of regular all-format players from the team for the two-Test series against New Zealand at home, keeping bubble fatigue and workload in mind.

India’s Test team for the series is likely to be officially out in a day or two, it is learned. Some premier fast bowlers, specifically Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, and Shardul Thakur, are expected to rest their tired legs.

In addition, Wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant, who has been a constant presence in the side across formats of late, is also expected to sit out of the New Zealand series to get a much-needed respite from the bio-bubble life.

Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma. Image Credits: Twitter

National Selectors Are Torn Between Rohit Sharma And Ajinkya Rahane As The Stand-In Test Skipper In Absence Of Virat Kohli Who Won’t Play 1st Test

A combination of a packed schedule and the unwillingness of top players to skip IPL, or even a part of it, have led to this situation which cannot be good for Indian cricket. Therefore, more careful planning is required if India nurses serious World Cup ambitions in future events.

Regular Test captain Virat Kohli, meanwhile, will be missing the first Test in Kanpur. Virat Kohli will assume charge from the second Test in Mumbai onwards before the team leaves for a full tour of South Africa in the second week of December. The national selectors, it is learned, are torn between Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane as the stand-in Test captain. Rohit Sharma has been recently appointed as Virat Kohli’s successor in the T20 format.

Virat Kohli with Rohit Sharma
Virat Kohli with Rohit Sharma IMAGE: AFP.

Ajinkya Rahane’s indifferent form and Rohit Sharma’s growing stature as a leader across formats have got the national selectors and new head coach Rahul Dravid thinking. However, the management firmly believes that Virat Kohli is the undisputed full-time Test captain.

It is understood that the national selectors are keen to persist, with Ajinkya Rahane and Wriddhiman Saha as the first-choice wicketkeeper. Andhra’s KS Bharat will be the second ‘keeper.

According to reports, recently-appointed Indian T20I captain Rohit Sharma is highly likely to become the Test team’s vice-captain. The middle-order duo of Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane are also under the scanner owing to their poor performances of late.

Ajinkya Rahane is set to lead India in the first of the two-Test series against New Zealand later this month. After the national selectors decided to give Virat Kohli rest in the first Test in Kanpur, it has been decided on Thursday that Rohit Sharma will also sit out of the entire Test series to manage his workload.

T Dilip Set To Be India’s New Fielding Coach

BCCI has offered a short break from bio-bubble life before the players assemble for the three-T20I series which starts against New Zealand on Nov 17 in Jaipur. The players who have been in UAE for the 2021 T20I World Cup and the ones who were playing the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament have all been allowed to go home to be with their families. So the players are getting a break of two or three days depending on when they exit the existing bubble.

There will be three-day quarantine. The move also comes with the tour of South Africa in mind. So some players, once in the Jaipur bubble, may have to stay in it for another three months.

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

BCCI will also announce new head coach Rahul Dravid’s support staff on Thursday. While incumbent batting coach Vikram Rathour and NCA bowling coach Paras Mhambrey are set to get the jobs, T Dilip will be the fielding coach.

T Dilip has been in the NCA system for a while and traveled with the Indian team to Sri Lanka in July. T Dilip’s competition was with Abhay Sharma, who has been a part of the India ‘A’ and U-19 teams.

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
/

Aakash Chopra Expressed Dismay At Virat Kohli Losing Tosses

The former cricketer-turned broadcaster, Aakash Chopra, has expressed his dismay at Indian captain Virat Kohli’s unlucky correspondence with tosses.

Speaking in a video on his YouTube channel on Friday, Aakash Chopra observed how Virat Kohli’s toss-winning percentage of just around 40 across formats is the worst in international cricket in the last five decades.

Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Aakash Chopra: Virat Kohli Has The Worst Record Of Winning Toss In The Last 50 Years Or So

He also spoke about how soon-to-be head coach Rahul Dravid still holds the best toss record in the world and how current team mentor MS Dhoni falls between Virat Kohli and Rahul Dravid.

Aakash Chopra said: “What about Kohli and tosses? If you see, he has captained India in 8 T20Is this year and won just one toss. If you look at his career, then in the win and loss toss percentage for players who have captained in more than 100 games (across formats), Kohli has the worst record in the last 50 years.

“He’s won the toss in about 40% of matches. And the best is Rahul Dravid’s. His was nearly 58-60%. Dhoni is also around 47-48. And Kohli is right around the bottom which means luck doesn’t support him.”

India's Virat Kohli. Credit: Reuters Photo
India’s Virat Kohli. Credit: Reuters Photo

Virat Kohli, who turns 33 today, has won the toss only once in his last 14 matches. His rotten luck with the coin has also hurt India in the T20 World Cup. On chase-favouring Dubai wickets, India had to bat first against both Pakistan and New Zealand, which resulted in heavy losses. India lost by 10 wickets against arch-rivals Pakistan and 8 wickets to the Kiwis.

The skipper lost the toss against Afghanistan, too, but it didn’t matter in the end as India went on to win by 66 runs. Virat Kohli has won only 18 tosses in T20Is out of 48 matches he captained at 37.5%. India needs to win their remaining two encounters against Scotland and Namibia and hope for other results to go their way to qualify for the knockout stages.

India will now hope Afghanistan upset New Zealand, following which they can hope to correct their own net run-rate in the last match of the Super 12s, against Namibia.

Aakash Chopra Suggests India Bring In Rahul Chahar Instead Of Shardul Thakur In The Scotland clash

Coming to tonight’s match against Scotland, Aakash Chopra suggested a change to the Indian playing XI. He argued that Shardul Thakur – who hasn’t picked up a wicket in the last two games – hasn’t looked ‘spicy’ enough, adding that considering Scotland’s spin weakness, leg-spinner Rahul Chahar would be a better choice.

Shardul Thakur conceded 31 runs in 3 overs against Afghanistan at an economic rate of 10.3, while against New Zealand conceded 17 runs in 1.3 overs. He went wicketless in both matches.

Aakash Chopra added: “I am seeing one change and why is that? Because Hardik has started bowling now and we have seen Scotland struggle against spin before. So play another spinner. In the two matches he has bowled, Shardul Thakur hasn’t looked spicy enough. I feel that you can take 2-3 overs from Hardik plus you have two fast bowlers and you can get three spinners… I am going with Rahul Chahar.”

Rahul Chahar celebrates a wicket © Ishara S.Kodikara/AFP/Getty Images
Rahul Chahar celebrates a wicket © Ishara S.Kodikara/AFP/Getty Images.

Rahul Chahar has played only 1 ODI and 5 T20Is and has picked 3 and 7 wickets, respectively. He averages an excellent 18 in ODIs and 19.57 in T20Is. The match between India and Scotland will kickstart at 7:30 PM IST in Dubai, with the toss at 7:00 PM IST.

Inzamam-ul-Haq | AFP
Inzamam-ul-Haq | AFP
/

Inzamam-ul-Haq Shocked By India’s Batting Show Against New Zealand

Inzamam-ul-Haq, the former Pakistan captain, expressed his surprise over India’s lacklustre performance against New Zealand yesterday (October 31). The Men In Blue’s misery against the Blackcaps in ICC events prolonged last night. Their chances of making it into the semifinals of the ongoing T20I World Cup took a serious hit with a heavy 8-wicket loss in Dubai.

Inzamam-ul-Haq claimed that the contest between India and New Zealand was one of the biggest ones in the tournament. However, he failed to understand how India stitched together such a poor performance right from the word go.

Inzamam-ul-Haq JEWEL SAMAD / AFP
Inzamam-ul-Haq JEWEL SAMAD / AFP

Inzamam-ul-Haq Shocked By The Demoralized Manner In Which India Played

The much-valued Indian batting lineup failed to accelerate the run rate and kept on losing regular wickets, managing only 110 in the stipulated 20 overs. India was never in the contest, with the new-look top-order in the absence of Suryakumar Yadav struggling in the powerplay and subsequent wickets falling at regular intervals.

New Zealand made easy work of the paltry 111 run target with more than 5 overs to spare as Daryl Mitchell’s 49 and Kane Williamson’s unbeaten 33 steered the Kiwis home.

While speaking on his YouTube channel, Inzamam said: “This match was the biggest one after India and Pakistan. Even bigger than Australia vs England. I’m shocked by the manner in which India played. They were absolutely demoralized. I could not understand how such a big team took so much pressure.”

 

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

While he played his first 2021 T20I World Cup match, Ishan Kishan opened the batting along with KL Rahul while Rohit Sharma dropped to No. 3, but that move didn’t work. Ishan Kishan scored just 4 runs from 8 balls, while Rohit Sharma made 14 from as many balls in India’s below-par total of 110 for 7 in 20 overs.

Ravindra Jadeja top-scored with 26 not out off 19 balls, while Hardik Pandya made 23 off 24 balls while the rest batsmen all failed to fire. The Indian top-order and experienced batsmen KL Rahul (18 off 16), Virat Kohli (9 off 17), Rishabh Pant (12 off 19) failed when it mattered most.

Inzamam-ul-Haq : NZ Spinners Are Not World Class

Inzamam-ul-Haq failed to understand how the Indians were not able to score more runs off the two Kiwi spinners. Mitchell Santner and Ish Sodhi ran a tight ship and claimed combined figures of 8-0-32-2. The leg-spinner was awarded man of the match for his display that included the wickets of Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli. The latter scored only 9 off 17 balls before losing his wicket to Ish Sodhi. Trent Boult also returned with figures of 3/20.

Inzamam-ul-Haq added: “These NZ spinners are good, but not world-class. The Indian batsmen were not even able to score singles off them. Kohli’s strength is playing spin and even he was not able to get a single.”

Ish Sodhi
Ish Sodhi. (Photo Source: Twitter)

India managed 110 for 7 in 20 overs, in which they didn’t effectively score runs in nine of those overs (54 dot balls). Worse, they were just able to hit a single boundary between overs 8 and 15 when two spinners, Ish Sodhi and Mitchell Santner, were in operation.

The Indian batsmen never got the scoreboard ticking. Boundaries and strike rotations were hard to come by in the middle overs, leaving India in a tough spot. India needs to win all of their remaining fixtures and hopes for a few other fixtures to go their way to secure a spot in the semifinals of the T20 World Cup 2021.

Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya
/

Hardik Pandya’s Bowling Dilemma Faced By Indian Team Management To Select Him As A Finisher Or As An All-Rounder In Playing 11

Hardik Pandya hasn’t bowled during the last two Indian Premier League (IPL) seasons in 2020 and 2021 due to a back injury that required major surgery. In between, he enjoyed a great white-ball tour of Australia and bowled well in all the five T20Is against England. He also bowled sporadically during India’s white-ball tour of Sri Lanka. As a result, the Indian team has decided to play him as a specialist batsman at No. 7.

But in the first game against Pakistan, batting behind Ravindra Jadeja, Hardik Pandya struggled to score 11 off eight balls and sustained a shoulder injury besides not bowling in the lost cause to Pakistan. But, in the latest twist to his tale, he seems to have regained fitness and bowled and batted at a practice session in Dubai on Wednesday on the NZ game eve.

Hardik Pandya Bowling
Hardik Pandya Bowling(Photo Source: Getty Images)

MS Dhoni vouched For Hardik Pandya’s Finishing Skills

Chief selector Chetan Sharma first picked him as an allrounder, stressing that Hardik Pandya would be required to bowl his four overs. Later, when he continued to not bowl in the IPL, captain Virat Kohli was dubbed as a No. 6 specialist. While Hardik Pandya was in terrific form in IPL 2020, this season, his form plummeted: Hardik Pandya was woefully out of touch, managing to score just 127 runs in 12 games averaging a mere 14.11.

“The truth is that the selectors wanted to send him back to India after he didn’t bowl in the IPL, but MS Dhoni (appointed Team India mentor) vouched for his finishing skills,” a source said.

Hardik Pandya AFP/Getty Images
Hardik Pandya AFP/Getty Images

If he pulls off a match-winning knock against New Zealand on Sunday in India’s second group game, Hardik Pandya, ‘the finisher’, will vindicate MS Dhoni’s faith in his abilities. A failure, though, will make a strong case for the likes of Shardul Thakur (in the main team), Deepak Chahar (in reserves), and KKR all-rounder Venkatesh Iyer to replace him. All three have emerged as decent all-around options.

Sandeep Patil: India Playing An Unfit Hardik Pandya

Two former India chief selectors had differing perspectives on the Hardik Pandya issue. Former India skipper and chief selector Dilip Vengsarkar felt that “all the decision-makers in this case, the captain, coach, physio and the selectors, would have assessed the situation regarding Hardik Pandya”. However, another former player and selector, Sandeep Patil, said he would have wanted the Chetan Sharma-led national selection committee to be more accountable on the issue.

“His selection in the XI is up to the captain and the coach, and only the BCCI will know about it. But basically, if a player is not fit, then it comes to the selectors. If he didn’t bowl in the entire IPL, the selectors should have taken a call. They should have asked for a fitness test before including him in the team for the World Cup,” Patil said.

“As per ICC rules, he could have been replaced if he was unfit. My question regarding Hardik is not only to the captain and the coach but to the selectors. The fitness aspect is handled by the selectors and the team physio. From my experience as a selector, the BCCI secretary hands over a list of players who are fit and available.”

Sandeep Patil
Sandeep Patil- IANS photo

“Someone has to be accountable. There’s no comment from (India coach) Ravi Shastri. How can you say he’s fit, if he became unfit during the match? I mean, this is the World Cup, not just any series or match,” Patil added.

“The guy hasn’t bowled a single ball in the IPL, and you suddenly expose him in the World Cup? And what are you playing him as? He was sent behind Jadeja. So there really is a big question mark around Pandya. “

“The whole mystery around his fitness has been going on for the last six months. You’re now saying that he has a shoulder injury. In the bargain, you aren’t giving a chance to a fit guy. You’re playing an unfit guy who isn’t useful to the team. Because of him, you’re neglecting other fit guys who have been performing well.”

“Is he so important that he will single-handedly win you a game for your team? In the earlier days, we’ve played half-fit guys, and we were lucky (that it worked) too. However, these days are gone. There’s so much focus on fitness. Over the last one year, Pandya hasn’t performed (well) as an allrounder. One year is a good period for those who matter to judge a player,” said Patil.

Former India pacer and current Mumbai chief selector Salil Ankola said, “If Pandya is not bowling, there’s no way he fits into the side. Anyone who knows even a little bit of cricket will pick Shardul over Pandya right now. How much does Shardul have to prove himself now? He’s proved himself whenever he’s been given an opportunity.”
“If you want an allrounder at No. 6, Shardul is your man. He will find a place on any side of the world right now. However, if you want a batter at that spot, Shreyas Iyer, who has, like Shardul, proved himself too, deserves a chance,” says Ankola.
The team management is unlikely to play all-rounder Hardik Pandya as a pure batsman if he doesn’t get fit enough to bowl at least a couple of over every game in the ongoing T20 World Cup 2021. The team management is keeping a close eye on Shardul Thakur, who replaced Axar Patel in the main squad ahead of the tournament. Shardul Thakur is tipped to be Hardik Pandya’s replacement if the latter fails to make the cut.
File image of former India captain Sunil Gavaskar | AFP
File image of former India captain Sunil Gavaskar | AFP
/

Sunil Gavaskar Recommends For Changes In India’s Playing XI Against New Zealand

Sunil Gavaskar has recommended replacements for all-rounder Hardik Pandya and pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar in Virat Kohli’s playing XI ahead of India’s upcoming T20 World Cup Super 12 fixture against New Zealand.

Team India faces New Zealand on Sunday and will be aiming to bag their first win of the campaign after having lost to Pakistan in their opening fixture.

Sunil Gavaskar. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Sunil Gavaskar. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Sunil Gavaskar: If Hardik Pandya Can’t Bowl, He Should Be Replaced By In Form Ishan Kishan

The legendary cricketer feels that if Hardik Pandya can’t bowl then, he should be replaced by Mumbai Indians (MI) teammate Ishan Kishan.

Speaking on Sports Tak, Gavaskar stated, “If Hardik Pandya is not bowling – due to that shoulder injury he sustained in the match against Pakistan – Ishan Kishan has been in brilliant form so I will surely consider him ahead of Pandya”.

Ishan Kishan (Image Credit: BCCI)
Ishan Kishan (Image Credit: BCCI)
The 23-year-old Ishan Kishan scored 84 off 32 balls and 50 not out off 25 balls at the top of the order in the final two games for Mumbai Indians, but it went in vain as the defending champions were knocked out of play-offs due to inferior net run-rate compared to Kolkata Knight Riders.
Against England in their first warm-up game, chasing a target of 189, India reached 192 for three in 19 overs. KL Rahul smashed 51 off 24 deliveries, and Ishan Kishan retired after playing a knock of 70 runs off 46 balls.

Sunil Gavaskar: Perhaps One Can think Of Shardul Thakur In Place Of Bhuvneshwar Kumar

Hardik Pandya didn’t bowl a single delivery against Pakistan but was recently seen bowling in the nets for India.

“And perhaps, you can think of Shardul Thakur in place of Bhuvneshwar Kumar. But otherwise, if you make too many changes, then you will show the opposition that you have panicked,” he further added.

Sunil Gavaskar also feels that if Team India makes a lot of changes against New Zealand, it could have a negative impact on the outfit.

“If you make changes, it will show that the team has panicked. There is no need to panic, because they have a good team. Yes, you’ve lost a match to a good team but that doesn’t mean that going forward, India won’t win the match or win the tournament. If you win the next four matches, you can make it to the semi-final and from there, possibly even the final. So, there is no need to make too many changes”, he stated.

Shardul Thakur | Twitter
Shardul Thakur | Twitter

Sunil Gavaskar also suggested that Shardul Thakur should be slotted into the playing XI instead of Bhuvneshwar Kumar. The SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH) pacer was in poor form against Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan, conceding 25 runs in three overs.

He also failed to register a dismissal as Pakistan won by ten wickets. On the other hand, pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar had a good outing against Australia (1/27) after a poor outing against England (0/54) in the two warm-up games.

Against Pakistan, Ravindra Jadeja (0/28 in 4 overs), Bhuvneshwar Kumar (0/25 in 3 overs), Mohammed Shami (0/43 in 3.5 overs), Varun Chakravarthy (0/33 in 4 overs), and Jasprit Bumrah (0/22 in 3 overs) tried their best but were unable to take any wickets and couldn’t prevent a Pakistan win. Pakistan reached the target of 152 in the penultimate delivery of the 18th over.

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

Sandeep Patil Hits Out At Selectors For Picking Hardik Pandya In The 2021 T20I World Cup Squad

Sandeep Patil, a former Indian cricketer, has hit out at the national selectors for picking Hardik Pandya in the T20 World Cup squad despite the latter being unsure of bowling in the tournament.

Hardik Pandya has been jostling with injury concerns for quite some time, due to which he has refrained from bowling. As a result, he came into the World Cup, having not bowled a single over for Mumbai Indians in the 2021 IPL.

Hardik Pandya Bowling(Photo Source: Getty Images)
Hardik Pandya Bowling(Photo Source: Getty Images)

Sandeep Patil: If Hardik Pandya Didn’t Bowl In IPL 2021, Selectors Should’ve Taken Call Asking For A Fitness Test

Footages of Hardik Pandya bowling on Wednesday in Dubai ahead of the 2nd game against the Kiwis did the rounds, but whether or not he bowls during match-time remains to be seen. Sandeep Patil said that the selectors should have conducted a fitness test before taking a call on Hardik Pandya’s selection in the national squad.

The team management is unlikely to play all-rounder Hardik Pandya as a pure batsman if he doesn’t get fit enough to bowl at least a couple of over every game in the ongoing T20 World Cup 2021. The team management is keeping a close eye on Shardul Thakur, who replaced Axar Patel in the main squad ahead of the tournament. Shardul Thakur is tipped to be Hardik Pandya’s replacement if the latter fails to make the cut.

“His selection in the XI is up to the captain and the coach, and only the BCCI will know about it. But basically, if a player is not fit, then it comes to the selectors. If he didn’t bowl in the entire IPL, the selectors should have taken a call,” Sandeep Patil said.

“They should have asked for a fitness test before including him in the team for the World Cup,” Sandeep Patil was quoted as saying.

Sandeep Patil
Sandeep Patil- IANS photo

“Someone has to be accountable. There’s no comment from (India coach) Ravi Shastri. Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane said that he’s fit. How can you say he’s fit if he became unfit during the match? I mean, this is the World Cup, not just any series or match,” Sandeep Patil added.

A source said that the selectors wanted to send Hardik Pandya back home, but MS Dhoni, Team India’s mentor for the World Cup, believed in his finishing skills.

Dilip Vengsarkar: All The Decision Makers Would Have Assessed Situation Regarding Hardik Pandya

Former Indian skipper and selector Dilip Vengsarkar reckoned that “all the decision-makers in this case, the captain, coach, physio and the selectors, would have assessed the situation regarding Hardik Pandya.”

Dilip Vengsarkar file image | Sandeep Shetty / IPL/ SPORTZPICS
Dilip Vengsarkar file image | Sandeep Shetty / IPL/ SPORTZPICS

In their first match against Pakistan in Dubai on October 24, India looked short of the 6th bowling option. However, the Men in Green won the game by 10 wickets after Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam stitched together a 150 plus run stand. India’s second game of the Super 12s is against New Zealand on Sunday, October 31 at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.

Hardik Pandya has been bothered by multiple injuries lately. The seam-bowling all-rounder did not bowl a single delivery for the Mumbai Indians (MI) during both legs of IPL 2021 and even missed a couple of games due to fitness issues. Moreover, Hardik Pandya failed to hit a big knock in the first leg of IPL 2021. In 12 IPL 2021 matches, he scored 127 runs averaging a pathetic 14.11.
Having made his international debut in 2016, Hardik Pandya has gone on to play 11 Tests, 63 ODIs, and 50 T20Is for India. He has played 50 T20Is and has averaged below 20 with the bat despite a strike rate of 145, amassing 495 runs. He has also taken 42 scalps averaging 26.45. As a finisher in the 2021 T20I World Cup, he would certainly look forward to amending his batting average and bowling a few overs, trying to pick crucial wickets.
Hardik Pandya AFP/Getty Images
Hardik Pandya AFP/Getty Images
/

Hardik Pandya Should Only Be In Playing 11 If He Can Bowl: Brad Hogg

Brad Hogg, the former Australia spinner, firmly believes that Hardik Pandya should only be in the playing XI if he can contribute with the ball. The all-rounder played as a pure batsman yesterday against Pakistan in the all-important clash(October 24) and was absent in the second innings after being hit in the shoulder.

Hardik Pandya scored 11 runs off eight deliveries towards the end of the first innings. He had earlier confirmed that he would not be able to bowl in the fixture against Pakistan. Hardik Pandya is currently working to make himself available as an all-rounder at some stage in the tournament.

Hardik Pandya undergoing precautionary scans (AFP)
Hardik Pandya undergoing precautionary scans (AFP)

Brad Hogg Feels India Is Making A Mistake Playing Hardik Pandya

Brad Hogg believes allrounders- offspinner Ravichandran Ashwin and pacer Shardul Thakur could be brought in to increase India’s batting and bowling depth simultaneously.

While speaking on his YouTube channel, Brad Hogg said: “I think it was a big mistake playing Hardik Pandya. The only other way I would have gone is Thakur in place of probably Shami and Ashwin for Pandya. In that case, you can have Jadeja batting in at 6, Thakur at 7, and Ashwin at 8. Pandya has got to be bowling if he wants to be in the playing XI. He has got a lot of talent, but he is just not a frontline batter.”

Brad Hogg was a part of two World Cup-winning Australian teams; 2003 and 2007 © Getty Images
Brad Hogg was a part of two World Cup-winning Australian teams; 2003 and 2007 © Getty Images.

India missed the services of a sixth bowler during their 10-wicket loss to Pakistan in their opening contest of the 2021 T20 World Cup. The opening pair of Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan comfortably negotiated with the Indian bowling unit and chased the 152-run target with two overs to spare.

While Pakistan batted, skipper and opener Babar Azam stroked his way to 68 while his opening partner, Mohammad Rizwan, smashed 79 as the Indian bowlers struggled to contain the two batters. Earlier, Virat Kohli’s half-century helped India recover from a disastrous start and post 151/7 against Pakistan in Sunday’s ICC T20 World Cup match. Besides Virat Kohli’s 49-ball 57, Rishabh Pant slammed 39 in 30 deliveries.

Brad Hogg: Rishabh Pant’s Dismissal By Shadab Khan Turning Point

With India losing three wickets (Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul snd Suryakumar Yadav) in the powerplay itself, Rishabh Pant had to employ a conservative approach while batting. The wicket-keeper batsman switched gears after settling down with Virat Kohli holding the other end. Brad Hogg noted how Shadab Khan’s variation got the better of Rishabh Pant.

“I reckon it (the turning point) was the matchup between Pant and the spinners in the middle overs. Shadab Khan came on and was nervous bowling to Pant. Bowled on the leg side initially then someone came and had a chat with him. He then bowled the wrong’un, Pant took him on and got the top edge,” Brad Hogg concluded.

Rishabh Pant, the dashing left-handed southpaw, played a handy knock of 39 off 30 deliveries and stitched a 53-run partnership with skipper Virat Kohli for the fourth wicket. He was dismissed while trying to slog-sweep Shadab Khan towards mid-wicket as he got a top edge that was safely pouched on by the bowler himself.

Shaheen Shah Afridi was adjudged as the player of the match as Pakistan registered their first win over India in World Cups. Both sides next face New Zealand, a set of fixtures that could arguably seal the fate of the group.

Brief scores: India: 151/7 in 20 overs (Virat Kohli 57, Rishabh Pant 39; Shaheen Shah Afridi 3/31) lost to Pakistan: 152 for no loss in 17.5 overs (Babar Azam 68 not out, Mohammad Rizwan 79 not out) by 10 wickets.

1 2 3 25