Shikhar Dhawan Age, Biography, career, stats, networth, Ranking & News

Shikhar Dhawan

Rishabh Pant. - SANDEEP SAXENA
Rishabh Pant. - SANDEEP SAXENA
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Delhi Capitals Skipper Rishabh Pant Has Become A Little Predictable: Salman Butt

Salman Butt, former Pakistan captain feels the India team’s dashing wicketkeeper-batter Rishabh Pant has become a bit predictable with his moves at the crease. Salman Butt pointed out that opponents have realized it’s only a matter of time before Rishabh Pant dances down the track during his innings.

Rishabh Pant had a poor Test series in England, where his footwork against the moving ball was exposed. Even in the second half of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021, he did not look in a great rhythm. Although he scored a decent number of runs while leading Delhi Capitals (DC), he wasn’t his usual aggressive self.

Controversial Pakistan batsman Salman Butt
Controversial Pakistan batsman Salman Butt (File Photo | AFP)

Salman Butt: Rishabh Pant Has Become A Little Predictable

In an interaction on his YouTube channel, Salman Butt was asked if Rishabh Pant could be a force for India at the T20 World Cup 2021. The former cricketer Salman Butt stated that the southpaw needed to build on his talent.

Explaining what, he felt, the 24-year-old was doing wrong, Salman Butt opined: “He is very moody. Out of nowhere, he steps down and tries to hit out. And, he does this so frequently that other teams have started anticipating his moves. I think Rishabh Pant has become a little predictable. He will need to bat with a more mature mindset. He is so talented and has such a high range of strokes. But teams are aware that he will charge down the track either first ball or after 2-3 deliveries. So he needs to work on that.”

Rishabh Pant
Rishabh Pant (Image Credit: Twitter)

Rishabh Pant ended IPL 2021 with 419 runs in 16 matches at a strike rate of 128.52 with three half-centuries. Rishabh Pant-led DC topped the points table after the completion of the IPL 2021 league stage. However, they failed to make the final, going down to Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in Qualifier 1 and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in Qualifier 2.

Rishabh Pant: Delhi Capitals Alway give 100%

Reacting after DC’s ouster from IPL 2021, new skipper Rishabh Pant tweeted that IPL 2021 ended in heartbreak for the franchise but lauded the team and described them as exceptional warriors. Rishabh Pant has 1 hundred and 15 IPL fifties to his name.

He wrote: “It ended in heartbreak last night, but I could not be more proud of leading this team of exceptional warriors. We battled hard through the season, and while we may have fallen short on some days, we always gave 100 per cent.”

Shreyas Iyer of Delhi Capitals in action during an IPL match for Delhi ©BCCI
Shreyas Iyer of Delhi Capitals in action during an IPL match for Delhi ©BCCI

Rishabh Pant was named DC captain after Shreyas Iyer was ruled out due to a shoulder injury ahead of the first half of IPL 2021. The Delhi management retained Rishabh Pant as skipper even after Shreyas Iyer was fit for the second half of the tournament in the UAE.

Among Delhi Capitals’ performers, Indian pacer Avesh Khan was in scintillating form. He was the team’s leading wicket-taker this season, with 24 wickets in 16 games. The South African pace duo of Kagiso Rabada(15) and Anrich Norje (12) have combined to pick 27 wickets. Axar Patel has been excellent with his spinning deliveries and has picked 15 wickets.

Shikhar Dhawan was the team’s highest run-getter with 587 runs in 16 games, while Prithvi Shaw managed 479 in 15 games. Steve Smith(152 runs) and Shreyas Iyer (175 runs) played 8 matches each. The failures for Delhi Capitals were Ishant Sharma (1 scalp in 3 outings) and Ravichandran Ashwin (7 wickets in 13 games).

Rishabh Pant(419 runs) led from the front. Marcus Stoinis couldn’t deliver the success of the previous edition of IPL 2020. He played 10 IPL 2021 games, managing only 89 runs and picking 2 scalps. Amit Mishra, despite picking 6 scalps in 4 games, wasn’t given many chances to play. Shimron Hetmyer had the best strike rate of the season- a whopping 168.05.

Rishabh Pant Photo: BCCI
Rishabh Pant Photo: BCCI
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Michael Vaughan Thinks Rishabh Pant Will Continue To Captain Delhi After Success In IPL 2021

Michael Vaughan said that the Delhi Capitals might have some tough decisions to make ahead of IPL 2022.

The mega auctions will take place ahead of the 2022 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), and former England skipper Michael Vaughan has opened up on the players that the Delhi Capitals (DC) will retain ahead of the auctions.

Michael Vaughan (Image Credit: Twitter)
Michael Vaughan (Image Credit: Twitter)

Michael Vaughan Thinks Rishabh Pant Will Continue To Captain Delhi

Michael Vaughan feels that Delhi Capitals will continue with Rishabh Pant as their skipper, as the 23-year-old has led the Delhi side to the playoffs stage in IPL 2021. Michael Vaughan also added that maybe Delhi Capitals’ Head Coach Ricky Ponting feels that Rishabh Pant has got something in him, and the wicket-keeper batsman will continue as the captain for the next few years.

“I think Rishabh Pant will carry on (as captain). I don’t see why you wouldn’t carry on with Pant. He has led the team to the semifinal. Ricky Ponting probably feels that Rishabh Pant has got something in him and Pant could be the captain for a few years,” said Michael Vaughan in a chat with Cricbuzz.

Ricky Ponting is looking forward to working with Rishabh Pant. [Source: The SportsRush]
Ricky Ponting is looking forward to working with Rishabh Pant. [Source: The SportsRush]
The bowling looks like the team’s most potent weapon. Indian pacer Avesh Khan was in scintillating form. He was the team’s leading wicket-taker this season, with 24 wickets in 16 games. The South African pace duo of Kagiso Rabada(15) and Anrich Norje (12) have combined to pick 27 wickets. Axar Patel has been excellent with his spinning deliveries and has picked 15 wickets.

Shikhar Dhawan was the team’s highest run-getter with 587 runs in 16 games, while Prithvi Shaw managed 479 in 15 games. Steve Smith(152 runs) and Shreyas Iyer (175 runs) played 8 matches each. The failures were Ishant Sharma (1 scalp in 3 outings) and Ravichandran Ashwin (7 wickets in 13 games).

Rishabh Pant(419 runs) led from the front. Marcus Stoinis couldn’t deliver the success of the previous edition. He played 10 IPL 2021 games, managing only 89 runs and picking 2 scalps. Amit Mishra, despite picking 6 scalps in 4 games, wasn’t given many chances to play.

Michael Vaughan: Delhi Has The Best Squad In Terms Of Depth

Michael Vaughan added that the Delhi Capitals, who lost the Qualifier-2 to a spirited KKR, might have some tough decisions to make ahead of IPL 2022. The 46-year-old former England batsman opined that the Delhi squad is good, and around six or seven players can be in contention for retention ahead of the mega auctions. Michael Vaughan concluded by stating that the Delhi Capitals have the best squad in terms of depth.

Delhi Capitals
Delhi Capitals (Image Credit: Twitter)

“So Rishabh is captaining again. Delhi is going to have some really tough decisions to make. You can argue that six or seven players should be retained, and how they get down to three, they could look to Ricky Ponting and Co for that. There will be a few players available for whom the franchises will be licking their lips. I think Delhi has the best squad in terms of depth,” concluded Michael Vaughan.

The Delhi Capitals have never won the IPL. In the 2021 edition of the IPL, the Rishabh Pant led side was knocked out of the tournament in Qualifier 2. Under Shreyas Iyer, Delhi lost to Mumbai in the finals of IPL 2020.

Delhi Capitals
Delhi Capitals (Image Credit: Twitter)
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Delhi Capitals Showed Panic In Qualifier 1 Against CSK: Brad Hogg

Brad Hogg opined that the Delhi Capitals (DC) showed signs of panic going into Qualifier 1 against the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in Dubai. Brad Hogg felt the change in the team combination was a huge call for the playoff stages and could have been prompted by panic.

The Delhi Capitals went into the match with six specialist bowling options and five batters in the line-up. However, they ended up promoting all-rounder Axar Patel to no.4 in a bid to lengthen their batting line-up. Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant, Shimron Hetmyer were the specialist batsmen, while Tom Curran, Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, and Avesh Khan were bowlers.

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.

Brad Hogg: Delhi Capitals Panicked Going In With 6 Frontline Bowlers Rather Than The Extra Batsmen

Brad Hogg stated that the decision not to include the extra batsman in the side was a “big change-up”. The Delhi Capitals had failed to defend a target of 165 runs in the last league match against the Royal Challengers Bangalore in a last-over thriller earlier this week.

The result of the match might have had a bearing on the Delhi Capitals going in with an extra bowler against the Super Kings. However, the Chennai Super Kings outfit proved to be the better side on the night, edging past the table-toppers with two balls to spare.

“Delhi Capitals going in with 6 front line bowlers rather than the extra specialist batter was a big change up for the finals. Signs of panic,” Hogg wrote on Twitter.

Prithvi Shaw
Prithvi Shaw (Image Credit: Twitter)

Delhi Capitals was four-down just past the halfway stage but had a lot to thank Prithvi Shaw for his 60 off 34 had ensured they weren’t behind the rate.

That allowed skipper Rishabh Pant and Shimron Hetmyer – the Delhi Capitals’ last specialist batting pair – to play risk-free cricket as they tried to stretch the innings as deep as possible. Their 83-run stand for the fifth wicket came off 50 balls and gave Delhi Capitals a bigger total than had seemed possible after Prithvi Shaw’s departure.

Brad Hogg: Josh Hazlewood’s Spell Against Shreyas Iyer The Turning Point In Qualifier 1 Between CSK And DC

Brad Hogg felt that the mini-battle between Shreyas Iyer and Josh Hazlewood at the start of the first innings was the turning point in Qualifier 1. Brad Hogg reckons Josh Hazlewood’s spell against Shreyas Iyer was the turning point. Delhi Capitals began with a flier, scoring 32 runs without losing a wicket in the first three overs. Then, Shreyas Iyer came into the middle, replacing Shikhar Dhawan, who fell to Josh Hazlewood in the fourth over.

Australian pacer Josh Hazlewood. Credit: iplt20.com/Ron Gaunt/Sportzpics for BCCI
Australian pacer Josh Hazlewood. Credit: iplt20.com/Ron Gaunt/Sportzpics for BCCI

The right-hander only managed a single run of the first 7 balls he played on the night. After that, Shreyas Iyer faced six balls from the Aussie pacer without scoring a run and top-edged the seventh delivery-his 8th, holing out to cover point. Brad Hogg pointed out that dot balls in the powerplay are crucial on the UAE tracks.

Ruturaj Gaikwad and Robin Uthappa put on 110 for the second wicket. MS Dhoni rolled back the clock with a finishing act as Chennai Super Kings qualified for their ninth IPL final, beating league-stage toppers Delhi Capitals in Qualifier 1.

“Iyer v Hazlewood was the turning point in the match. & balls no run in a PP is crucial in the UAE,” Hogg tweeted.

Delhi Capitals have one more shot at booking a place in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 final. They will face the winners of the Eliminator in Qualifier 2 on October 13 at Sharjah.

Chennai Super Kings 173 for 6 (Gaikwad 70, Uthappa 63*, T Curran 3-29) beat Delhi Capitals 172 for 5 (Shaw 60, Pant 51*, Hazlewood 2-29) by four wickets

Delhi Capitals head coach Ricky Ponting (Photo | IPL Twitter)
Delhi Capitals head coach Ricky Ponting (Photo | IPL Twitter)
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Loss Against RCB Gives Delhi Capitals A Chance To Reflect And Win Qualifier 1 In IPL 2021: Ricky Ponting

Ricky Ponting, Delhi Capitals coach, feels the last defeat to Royal Challengers Bangalore in their previous league game of the ongoing IPL has given his team a “chance to reflect” ahead of the playoffs.

Having suffered a dramatic seven-wicket loss against RCB here on Friday, Delhi Capitals will look to bounce back with a win in Qualifier to make a direct entry into the final of the lucrative event for the second successive time in a row when they take on Chennai Super Kings in Qualifier 1 at the same venue on Sunday.

Ricky Ponting. Photo Credit: Getty Images.
Ricky Ponting. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Ricky Ponting: It Was Disappointing To Lose The Game, But It Will Give DC A Chance To Reflect And Improve Upon In The 1st Qualifier

What was essentially a dead rubber looked like slipping away from Royal Challengers Bangalore’s grasps at 55 for 3 halfway into a chase of 165 against top-ranked Delhi Capitals. But then two catches slipped through the hands of Shreyas Iyer and Ravichandran Ashwin, and Glenn Maxwell made the most of their lives to set the scene for a blockbuster finish from KS Bharat.

“It was a disappointing way for the game to end, and for us to lose the way we did, but I am not unhappy about it at all. I actually think, it’s a really good thing because it will give the boys a chance to reflect and think about how we can improve for Sunday’s game,” said Ricky Ponting.

“It’s a short turnaround, so you have to forget about things and start focusing on the next game,” said Ricky Ponting.

KS Bharat and Glenn Maxwell starred with the bat as Royal Challengers Bangalore sealed a seven-wicket win over Delhi Capitals in a last-ball thriller.
KS Bharat and Glenn Maxwell starred with the bat as Royal Challengers Bangalore sealed a seven-wicket win over Delhi Capitals in a last-ball thriller.

He also termed the loss a “step forward”. He reckoned that despite losing, the team played better compared to the last couple of matches they won in the league stage.

“A lot to like about the game, even though we have lost. I think it’s a step forward. If you look at the last game (against Chennai Super Kings), it wasn’t a great performance, the Mumbai game wasn’t a great performance either, but we still managed to win those games. If you look at it, we probably have played better tonight than the games we have won, so that’s certainly the way I look at it. It’s not about end results, it’s about the performances we were putting on the board,” said Ricky Ponting.

Needing 165 runs to win, RCB rode on KS Bharat’s 78* off 52 and Glenn Maxwell’s 33-ball 51* and sealed a seven-wicket win in the final league-stage encounter.

Ricky Ponting: Prithvi Shaw And Shikhar Dhawan Looked In Great Touch, And Delhi Is Confident To Win In Qualifier 1 Against CSK

The Australian batting great is optimistic heading into the playoffs.

“Prithvi played his best game tonight, Shikhar probably looked his best in the tournament, so there’s a lot to like about this group. As I said earlier, we have played good cricket, the challenge now for us over the next week is to play great cricket, and I think that’s just around the corner for us.”

Ricky Ponting been working with Prithvi Shaw for the past two seasons in the Delhi Capitals camp Courtesy: BCCI
Ricky Ponting has been working with Prithvi Shaw for the past two seasons in the Delhi Capitals camp Courtesy: BCCI.

On the top of the points table, Delhi Capitals, who finished the IPL 2021 league stage, have beaten Chennai Super Kings in their league matches.

Speaking about their Qualifiers 1 match against MS Dhoni’s men, Ricky Ponting said, “I think we should be very confident. We have beaten them twice in the league games, but as you know, the playoff games are completely different, and our tournament really starts now.”

Earlier, unchanged RCB elected to bowl against DC, who also retained the same playing XI which took the field in the last game. DC made a solid start, courtesy of the opening pair of Shikhar Dhawan and Prithvi Shaw, whose fireworks helped DC post 55 runs on the board in the powerplay. The duo then added 33 runs in the next four overs and took DC to 88/0 at the halfway stage of their innings.

However, RCB broke the partnership as Harshal Patel dismissed Shikhar Dhawan for 43 in the 11th over. Yuzvendra Chahal got Prithvi Shaw out for 48. Shreyas Iyer and Shimron Hetmyer then helped DC cross the 140-run mark before the right-hander got out for 18 off Mohammed Siraj in the 18th over. Shimron Hetmyer, meanwhile, scored a brisk 29 off 22 balls as DC posted 164/5 on the board.

Brief Scores: Royal Challengers Bangalore 166/3 (KS Bharat 78*, Glenn Maxwell 51*; Anrich Nortje 2/24) beat Delhi Capitals 164/5 (Prithvi Shaw 48, Shikhar Dhawan 43; Mohammed Siraj 2/25) by 7 wickets. 

Delhi Capitals
Delhi Capitals (Image Credit: Twitter)
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Delhi Capitals Bowling Coach James Hopes Wants Team To Be Focussed And Take One Game At A Time

Under the captaincy of Shreyas Iyer, Delhi Capitals had a big opportunity to clinch their maiden IPL title last year. Their hopes were dashed at the last hurdle when they suffered a five-wicket defeat at the hands of the Rohit Sharma-led Mumbai Indians in the IPL 2020 final last season.

Delhi Capitals’ bowling coach, former Australian cricketer James Hopes wants Rishabh Pant’s men to be focussed this time and wants them to take it one game at a time. DC is currently on top of the points table after beating CSK on Monday.

Delhi Capitals
Delhi Capitals (Image Credit: Twitter)

Delhi Capitals Bowling Coach James Hopes Wants Team To Be Focussed And Take One Game At A Time

Delhi Capitals, who have already qualified for the play-offs, are dominating the table with 20 points in 13 matches. With one match to go for them in the league stage, they have managed 10 wins and lost on just three occasions in their IPL 2021 campaign so far. James Hopes spoke ahead of the match vs CSK on Monday, which DC eventually won by 3 wickets, with 2 balls remaining.

“We hope we can go all the way, but we are trying to keep the guys really focussed. They need to take it one game at a time. We need to keep building towards the finals,” Hopes said while responding to a question.

James Hopes Image Source: Google
James Hopes Image Source: Google

Delhi Capitals bowlers put out an impressive show before Shimron Hetmyer led his side to a thrilling 3-wicket win over Chennai Super Kings in IPL 2021 match at Dubai International Stadium. Delhi, led by a solid Shikhar Dhawan knock, and a cameo from Shimron Hetmyer, successfully chased down 137 in 19.4 overs.

This was also DC’s 4th straight win over CSK in the IPL. Chasing 137, Delhi Capitals got over the line in the last over with two balls to spare. With this win, Delhi now leapfrogged Chennai to the top of the points table.

James Hopes: Current Skipper Rishabh Pant And Former Skipper Shreyas Iyer Complement Each Other Exceptionally Well

Rishabh Pant was appointed captain at the beginning of the 2021 season due to Shreyas Iyer’s shoulder injury, which kept him on the sidelines, and the wicket-keeper batsman managed to lead the team, really well. However, when Shreyas Iyer returned to the side for phase 2 in the UAE, the DC management asked Rishabh Pant to continue as skipper for the rest of the season.

On being asked about the difference in captaincy styles of Pant and Iyer, Hopes said: “They both (Iyer and Pant) plan very well. They’re both calm. They don’t overreact or underreact to the situation. And the thing we’ve seen in the games is that they feed off each other really well when they bat together, their styles complement each other exceptionally well.”

Rishabh Pant and Shreyas Iyer
Rishabh Pant and Shreyas Iyer (Image Credit: Twitter)

“Not much has changed, to be honest, it’s like all systems go, like, a few years ago when we made the move to Shreyas (as captain). It was a long-term plan to get this team into this position and just because Shreyas is not captaining at the moment it doesn’t mean that he is not a very senior player in this team. Rishabh has captained the team beautifully and we expect him to continue to do so,” Hopes, who played 84 ODIs and 12 T20Is for Australia between 2005 and 2010, further said.

Shreyas Iyer was supposed to lead Delhi Capitals in IPL 2021 season before a shoulder injury ruled him out for the entire campaign. Rishabh Pant was then named the team’s skipper in his absence.  But, despite Shreyas Iyer being fit to feature in the UAE leg of the season, Rishabh Pant retained the captaincy baton.

Shreyas Iyer was fully respectful of the decision made by the DC team management. In fact, the 26-year-old lauded Rishabh Pant for the manner in which he has led the team.

Harshal Patel
Harshal Patel (Image Credit: Twitter)
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Harsha Bhogle Feels Adding Purple Cap Holder Harshal Patel To The 15-Man India Squad Might Not Be A Bad Idea

Harsha Bhogle thinks the addition of pacer Harshal Patel to the 15 men India roster for the T20I World Cup can be a good idea, since the BCCI can alter India’s 15-man squad for the T20 World Cup 2021 till October 10,

The UAE leg of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 season has given fans and experts many topics to debate. From the selection of certain underperforming players like Hardik Pandya and Rahul Chahar in India’s T20I World Cup squad to the non-selection of some superstars like Yuzvendra Chahal and Shikhar Dhawan, plenty of names have been in discussion.

Harsha Bhogle. Getty Images
Harsha Bhogle. Getty Images

Harsha Bhogle Feels Adding Purple Cap Holder Harshal Patel To The 15 Men India Team Roster Might Not Be A Bad Idea

With the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) eligible to make changes in the squad till October 10, a few names top the charts if, at all, the changes are made. Arguably the one that is leading the list is that of Royal Challengers Bangalore pacer Harshal Patel.

Even former BCCI selection committee chief, MSK Prasad, asserted that the team is a pacer short, going into the T20 World Cup 2021. However, with Harshal Patel already showing how effective he can be on the UAE pitches, Harsha Bhogle feels adding the right-arm pacer to the 15-man roster might not be a bad idea.

“If the pitches at the #ICCT20WorldCup2021 are going to be similar to these, picking Harshal Patel might not be a bad idea. (Changes allowed till October 10!),”Harsha Bhogle tweeted.

“A horses-for-courses practical selection. What do you guys think?”,Harsha Bhogle tweeted.

https://twitter.com/bhogleharsha/status/1445777495014264835?s=20

Harshal Patel, as a matter of fact, is the purple cap holder in the IPL 2021 season with 29 scalps to his name already. With a 3-wicket-haul against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) on Wednesday, Harshal Patel also broke Jasprit Bumrah’s record of taking the most wickets in a single IPL season for an Indian. Harsha Bhogle feels Harshal Patel’s addition to India’s squad can bolster the team, especially since the T20 WC is being held in UAE.

Harshal Patel Don’t Have Any Regret For Not Being In India’s T20I World Cup Squad

The 30-year-old pacer isn’t just a quality bowler but can also bat lower down the order, giving his team another incentive. Harshal Patel had recently also claimed a hat-trick for RCB, picking wickets on three successive deliveries against Mumbai Indians. After the match, the Gujarat-born cricketer was also asked about his Indian ambitions.

To which, he said: “I don’t have any regret anytime, the decisions I have taken in life have been taken as per my best ability at that time. And when it comes to selection, that is completely out of my hand.”

Harshal Patel
Harshal Patel (Image Credit: Twitter)

“There is the only goal for me, whichever team I play, be it a club or IPL team, or when I will play for the country or when I play for Haryana, I try to put a positive impact in the game from whichever situation with ball or bat.”

With Hardik Pandya yet to resume his role as an all-rounder, it does seem like India needs another bowling option at the T20 World Cup. However, considering Harshal Patel can prove to be handy with the bat too, there’s no denying that the uncapped cricketer fits the bill on various fronts for Team India.

Harshal Patel is the leading wicket-taker in IPL 2021 so far, with as many as 29 scalps in 13 matches averaging an impressive 14. This is his best tally since debuting in IPL 2012. The current Purple Cap holder pacer picked a hat-trick and returned with a four-wicket haul, conceding just 17 runs from his 3.1 over spell against Rohit Sharma-led Mumbai Indians.

Harshal Patel overcame the mark set by Jasprit Bumrah of 27 wickets in the 2020 season. He achieved this feat in the match against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) at Abu Dhabi. The 30-year-old speedster bagged the wickets of SRH captain Kane Williamson, Wriddhiman Saha, and Jason Holder.

Sourav Ganguly reveals T20 world Cup trophy | Image Credit: Twitter
Sourav Ganguly reveals T20 world Cup trophy | Image Credit: Twitter
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India Will Take On England And Australia In Two Warm-up Games Before T20I World Cup Kicks Off

India is scheduled to take on England and Australia in two warm-up matches ahead of the start of the ICC T20 World Cup 2021. Even as the 14th edition of the IPL 2021 is closing in on its climax, the UAE is also gearing up to host the much-awaited T20 World Cup a few days after IPL concludes.

The qualifying round will see eight teams including Sri Lanka and Bangladesh fighting it out from October 17 to 22. The top eight teams are already qualified for the Super 12 round and those sides, during this period will get into the groove with warm-up matches.

India cricket team. Photo: @BCCI
India cricket team. Photo: @BCCI

India Will Face England And Australia In Warm-Up Matches

The schedule for the warm-up games has been announced and the matches will be played only on two days, October 18 and 20 with four matches taking place on each day at different venues. Every side will get to play two matches each in the lead up to the Super 12 round starting from October 23.

Team India, led by Virat Kohli, will face England and Australia in their warm-up matches which is good for the team given the strength of both sides. However, before facing their arch-rivals in the Super 12 round, Pakistan will be challenged by the defending champions West Indies and South Africa.

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli (BCCI)

Australia will also face New Zealand in their other warm-up encounter while repeating the World Cup 2019 final in England’s other warm-up. In total, 8 matches will be played across two days with Dubai and Abu Dhabi hosting them. As of now, it is confirmed that Star Sports will telecast India’s warm-up matches apart from the main tournament from October 17.

Indian Players Participating In IPL Will Be Busy As T20I World Cup Will Immediately Follow The League

The Super 12 round, meanwhile, will commence with the game between Australia and South Africa while on the same day, the finalists of the 2016 T20 World Cup, England, and West Indies will lock horns. The magnitude of matches being played in the UAE is huge, and one will hope for the pitches to last till the end of the mega event.

India and Pakistan
India and Pakistan (Photo by Tharaka Basnayaka/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

All of the Indian players selected for the T20 World Cup 2021 are presently busy with their respective franchises in the IPL 2021. The T20 league will conclude on October 15 while the Men in Blue are scheduled to open their campaign in the T20 World Cup against Pakistan on October 24.

With the warm-up matches scheduled for October 18 and 20, the Indian cricketers bound for the T20 World Cup are set to remain busy even after the conclusion of the T20 league. The Indian team of 15 players for the T20 World Cup 2021 featured Ravichandran Ashwin, the off-spinner, who returned to the white-ball side after 2017. Among the notable omissions were Shikhar Dhawan, and the wrist spinning duo of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav.

Here’s the schedule of the warm-up matches

October 18, Monday – Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi

Match 1 – Afghanistan vs South Africa – 3:30 PM IST

Match 2 – New Zealand vs Australia -7:30 PM IST

October 18, Monday – Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai

Match 3 – Pakistan vs West Indies – 3:30 PM IST

Match 4 – India vs England – 7:30 PM IST

October 20, Wednesday – Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi

Match 5 – England vs New Zealand – 3:30 PM IST

Match 6 – South Africa vs Pakistan – 7:30 PM IST

October 20, Wednesday – Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai

Match 7 – India vs Australia – 3:30 PM IST

Match 8 – Afghanistan vs West Indies – 7:30 PM IST

MS Dhoni (BCCI/IPL)
MS Dhoni (BCCI/IPL)
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MS Dhoni Who Scored 18 Of 27 Wasn’t The Only One Who Struggled: Stephen Fleming

Stephen Fleming, Chennai Super Kings coach said that MS Dhoni’s slow innings on Monday against the Delhi Capitals was due to the conditions that were in offer in which batters from both teams struggled to score freely.

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) captain MS Dhoni’s extraordinarily slow innings on Monday against the Delhi Capitals (DC) in the 2021 Indian Premier League (IPL) can be attributed to the difficult conditions that were on offer at the Dubai International Stadium, according to head coach Stephen Fleming.

MS Dhoni struck at 66.6, playing 10 dot balls and failed to hit a single six or four.
MS Dhoni struck at 66.6, playing 10 dot balls and failed to hit a single six or four. (Courtesy of BCCI)

Stephen Fleming: MS Dhoni Wasn’t The Only One Who Struggled

MS Dhoni managed to score just 18 runs from 27 balls, which is his slowest innings in the history of IPL (minimum 25 balls faced), as CSK ended up with only 136 runs for the loss of five wickets on the scoreboard batting first, which didn’t prove decisive in the end.
MS Dhoni struck at 66.6, playing 10 dot balls. He failed to hit a single six or a boundary in a knock that once again highlighted his lack of match practice. Stephen Fleming pointed out the fact that even eventual winners DC could only chase down the total with three wickets and two balls to spare.

“Well, he (Dhoni) wasn’t the only one who struggled,” Fleming said in the post-match press conference. “It was a difficult day for strokeplay. When 137 (136) is almost enough, I think it was a tough wicket to score big on in terms of the big shots. So both teams struggled with that towards the end of the innings. Sometimes you set your sights too high, [want] too many, and probably we were only 10-15 runs short of having a match-winning score,” said Stephen Fleming.

Stephen Fleming and MS Dhoni (Photo Source: Twitter)
Stephen Fleming and MS Dhoni (Photo Source: Twitter)
“So, the difficulty at the moment is to assess what the conditions are in all three different grounds and, batting first, getting a score that is par or just above. It was no lack of intent, it was just we had to stabilize after a couple of mistakes and then we were reasonably well-placed for 150. The other thing was their attack bowled very well in the last five overs. They were very smart, so it was tough going,” said the former New Zealand captain.

This was CSK’s second consecutive defeat after they lost to Rajasthan Royals by seven wickets.

Stephen Fleming Would Rather Have Two Defeats In The League Stage Than In The Playoffs

The loss on Monday cost them the top spot on the league table but both DC and CSK had qualified for the playoffs. Stephen Fleming said he would rather have the defeats in the league games rather than in the next stage of the tournament including eliminators.

“I’d rather have two defeats now than in the two semi-finals, if I ever had a wish list. Today was good, today was scrappy and I think there were a lot of mistakes on both sides. Sometimes, when you’ve qualified, I know there are one or two (things) that we were trying hard for… and things do change a little bit,” Stephen Fleming said.

Shimron Hetmyer (Photo: BCCI/IPL/ANI)
Shimron Hetmyer (Photo: BCCI/IPL/ANI)

“We try to work very hard on keeping the intensity. We’re on the back of three games in five days and a bit of travel, so there were probably clumsy mistakes from us, which was the most disappointing aspect, but in terms of the competition one of the key things is rebounding. Second, on the table [with] a chance to get to the top two is still a positive position, but we need to just maintain our intensity or get the flow and rhythm that we had before these two games,” said Stephen Fleming.

The things went right down to the wire, but Delhi Capitals (DC) managed to hold their nerve and beat Chennai Super Kings (CSK) by three wickets in the Match 50 of the IPL 2021 in Dubai on Monday. Shimron Hetmyer played a fine knock of 28* under pressure as DC, with their 10th win of the season, moved to the top of the points table.

CSK, who were put in to bat, made three changes to their team as Deepak Chahar, Dwayne Bravo and Robin Uthappa replaced KM Asif, Sam Curran, and Suresh Raina in the team. DC, on the other hand, brought in debutant Ripal Patel in place of Steve Smith.

Shikhar Dhawan had anchored the chase for much of the innings, but when he fell for 39 in a double-wicket over from Shardul Thakur, the Capitals were staring at defeat at 99 for 6 with two new batters in the middle. Shimron Hetmyer then took charge as he struck Dwayne Bravo for two fours in his first over.

He then smacked Josh Hazlewood for a crucial six, and finally watched from the non-striker’s end as Kagiso Rabada flicked one fine for four to seal a three-wicket win in the final over.

Brief Scores: Delhi Capitals 139/7 (Shikhar Dhawan 39, Shimron Hetmyer 28*; Shardul Thakur 2/13) beat Chennai Super Kings 136/5 (Ambati Rayudu 55*, Robin Uthappa 19; Axar Patel 2/18) by 3 wickets. 

Sunrisers Hyderabad, IPL 2021
Bhuvneshwar Kumar[photo: Twitter]
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Aakash Chopra Concerned About Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s Form In IPL 2021

Aakash Chopra has expressed grave concern over Indian pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s indifferent form for the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in IPL 2021. He added that the swing bowler is unlikely to make Team India’s starting XI at the upcoming T20 World Cup if he continues in the same vein.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar conceded 34 runs in his four-over spell and failed to pick up a wicket in SRH’s loss to the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in last night’s Indian Premier League encounter. He conceded 13 runs in the penultimate over when the MS Dhoni-led side required 16 to win off the last two overs.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar has not looked effective in the UAE leg of IPL 2021 [P/C: iplt20.com]
Bhuvneshwar Kumar has not looked effective in the UAE leg of IPL 2021 [P/C: iplt20.com]

Aakash Chopra Concerned About Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s Insipid Bowling

While reviewing the SRH-CSK encounter in a video shared on his YouTube channel, Aakash Chopra highlighted that Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s insipid bowling will be a matter of huge concern for Team India.

“I am getting a little concerned about Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s form. If the World Cup were to start tomorrow, you would not play Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the XI because the form is just not there,” said Aakash Chopra.

Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The former India cricketer added that Bhuvneshwar Kumar has slipped down the pecking order of Indian seamers.

“He is struggling a lot and we have only three fast bowlers in the Indian team – Shami, Bumrah and Bhuvi. Bhuvi was my second choice with Bumrah but at this moment, he is no longer second but has become the third.”

The Indian selectors will be watching Bhuvneshwar Kumar closely during SRH’s remaining three matches in IPL 2021. They could even consider replacing the 31-year-old pacer with either Shardul Thakur or Deepak Chahar, who are currently in the reserves named for the T20 World Cup. SRH is out of the IPL 2021 playoff race and will likely make changes that give some of the players much-needed rest.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar has a massive haul of 141 wickets in 130 IPL games averaging 25.12, which is much better than IPL 2021 bowling average- a below-par 58.

Aakash Chopra: Bhuvneshwar Kumar Isn’t The Same Bowler At This Moment, But Hopefully He Will Bounce Back

Aakash Chopra signed off by stating that Bhuvneshwar Kumar is far from his best and needs to raise his game.

“He is not the same bowler at this point in time. There is a lot of class, they say form is temporary and class is permanent and he will bounce back. Let’s hope that he bounces back but at this point in time, he is looking a patch on who he was and it is a sad story.”

Bhuvneshwar Kumar (Image Credit: Twitter)
Bhuvneshwar Kumar (Image Credit: Twitter)

Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s form is really concerning. He really needs to take his game a notch higher. Going by the current form of players, the Indian team has really slim chance of winning the T20I World Cup.

Besides, the likes of Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya, and Rahul Chahar are not in great form to speak of in IPL 2021 at UAE. While the squad discards like Yuzvendra Chahal and Shikhar Dhawan are playing well, it will be seen whether India changes the team within the October 10 deadline.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar has been laid low with multiple injuries lately, has consistently bowled in the 120-130 kph range and has not got the ball to move much either. He has also struggled to nail the yorkers at the death, which has compounded his misery. As a result, he has picked up only five scalps in IPL 2021 from 9 games averaging a disappointing 58 and leaking runs at more than 8 per over.

Sunrisers Hyderabad, IPL 2021
David Warner[photo: Twitter]
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Aakash Chopra Feels That David Warner Won’t Be Seen In SRH Colours Anymore After Axe In IPL 2021

Aakash Chopra believes David Warner will no longer be seen plying his trade for the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in the Indian Premier League. Out of form, David Warner was replaced by Jason Roy in the Sunrisers Hyderabad, playing XI for yesterday’s IPL 2021 encounter against the Rajasthan Royals (RR). While the Australian opener was not even at the ground, Jason Roy went on to play a match-winning knock of 60 crucial runs.

David Warner
David Warner (Image Credit: Twitter)

Aakash Chopra Feels One Won’t See David Warner In SRH Colour Anymore

While reflecting on Sunrisers Hyderabad’s 2nd win in IPL 2021 in a video shared on his YouTube channel, Aakash Chopra opined that David Warner has already played his last match for the Orange Army.

RR made three changes to their team as Jaydev Unadkat, Evin Lewis and Chris Morris replaced injured Kartik Tyagi, David Miller and Tabraiz Shamsi. SRH, on the other hand, made four changes as Jason Roy made his SRH debut, while Priyam Garg, Abhishek Sharma and Siddarth Kaul came into the team in place of David Warner, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav and an injured Khaleel Ahmed.

“They made wholesale changes. SRH played Jason Roy, Abhishek Sharma, Priyam Garg. Khaleel was not there, so Siddharth Kaul was also given an opportunity and the luck changed. They dropped Warner as well. I feel that’s it for Warner, we will not see Warner in Sunrisers Hyderabad colors anymore, that game is over,” said Aakash Chopra.

Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The cricketer-turned-commentator lauded Abhishek Sharma for his all-round performance for the Sunrisers Hyderabad in yesterday’s encounter against RR.

“The Sunrisers Hyderabad’s sun has eventually risen. They made Rajasthan bite the dust. The other thing we came to know from this match is that Abhishek Sharma is a serious talent. He should be given more opportunities,” said Aakash Chopra.

Abhishek Sharma’s unbeaten 21 off 16 deliveries took the Sunrisers Hyderabad home in the company of Kane Williamson. He bowled a tidy over and was good in the field as well.

Aakash Chopra Said Bhuvneshwar Kumar Isn’t At His 100% Yet But Bowled Better

David Warner’s replacement Jason Roy provided the spark for their chase of the Rajasthan Royals’ total of 164 with a 42-ball 60. Captain Kane Williamson saw the team through with an unbeaten 51 off 41 balls. Speaking about the Sunrisers Hyderabad bowling effort, Aakash Chopra highlighted that pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar is still not at his best.

“Bhuvi bowled well, bowled better than he has. Is he at his 100 percent yet, I don’t think so. Kaul bowled well, Rashid got hit a little but took a wicket, he always does that,” said Aakash Chopra.

Jason Roy lands with a bang, takes SRH to win over RR(PTI)
Jason Roy lands with a bang, takes SRH to win over RR(PTI)

While speaking in glowing terms about Jason Roy’s exploits at the top of the order, the 44-year-old also had a word of praise for Kane Williamson and Wriddhiman Saha.

“Roy oh boy, he batted amazingly well. He made you forget that you had Bairstow and Warner also. Kane Williamson was there till the end. Wriddhiman Saha also played the big shots at the start,” said Aakash Chopra.

Although the Sunrisers Hyderabad have won just two of their first ten encounters, they are still in contention for a playoff berth. They could still make the knockout stages if they go on a winning spree and many other results go in their favour.

Rajasthan Royals’ captain Sanju Samson saw another of his exemplary efforts go in vain. His blazing 57-ball 82 had helped RR a competitive total of 164/5. During the course of the innings, he leapfrogged Delhi Capitals opener Shikhar Dhawan to become the highest run-getter of this IPL with an aggregate of 433 runs, three runs ahead of the left-hander. Having scored an unbeaten 70 in the last game versus Delhi Capitals, the RR captain averages 54.12, but a lack of support from his line-up has hurt his side.

Brief Scores: Sunrisers Hyderabad 167/3 (Jason Roy 60, Kane Williamson 51*; Mahipal Lomror 1/22) beat Rajasthan Royals 164/6 (Sanju Samson 82, Yashasvi Jaiswal 36; Siddarth Kaul 2/36) by 7 wickets.

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