Simon Doull | Sportzwiki

Simon Doull

Ravichandran Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Simon Doull Lashes Out At The Critics Of India’s Premier Spinner Ravichandran Ashwin

Simon Doull, former New Zealand pacer lauded India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin and slammed his critics. It is not easy to be senior India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin. Despite climbing to third in the list of most wickets for Tests in India and winning his country innumerable matches, Ravichandran Ashwin continues to be criticized and comparisons continue to be made.

Reacting to constant discussions surrounding him, former New Zealand pacer Simon Doull has lashed out at his critics. The cricketer-turned-broadcaster Simon Doull, while chatting with Indian cricketer Dinesh Karthik, asked why the cricket fraternity can’t just celebrate a guy who is a great bowler. Simon Doull also spoke about why the discussion on his record at home is an unfair metric to judge him.

Simon Doull
Simon Doull. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Simon Doull Lashes Out At Critics For Talking About Ravichandran Ashwin’s Domination At Home Conditions Only

Ravichandran Ashwin once again showcased his class as the star off-spinner broke an array of records during India’s record 372-run win over New Zealand in the second Test at the Wankhede Stadium.

“Lot of people talk about Ashwin and how dominant he is at home. But there are so many bowlers around the world who have been in that exact place. Yes, his record away isn’t as good but so is the case with so many other bowlers as well. People try and find defects in numbers that suit their narrative. Why can’t we just celebrate a guy who is a great bowler?” said Simon Doull. 

Ravichandran Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)

“We have all had bowlers who have dominated at home. If you look at seam bowlers in New Zealand, they have dominated at home but haven’t been as good away. It is just part and parcel of the game we play,” elaborated Simon Doull. 

Meanwhile, Ravichandran Ashwin continues to make merry in the ongoing series. On Day 3, he had picked up three wickets to help India restrict the Kiwis to 140/5 at stumps after setting them a mammoth target of 540.

Ravichandran Ashwin removed Henry Nicholls to bowl out New Zealand for 167 in their 2nd innings and finished with 4/34 as India wrapped up a series win on the 4th day. With Henry Nicholls’s dismissal, Ravichandran Ashwin became only the second Indian bowler to take 300 Test wickets in home conditions, after Anil Kumble. He also became the second-fastest bowler after Sri Lanka legend Muttiah Muralitharan to take 300 Test wickets at home.

Ravichandran Ashwin Took 50 Wickets Or More Most Times 4 Going Past Harbhajan Singh And Anil Kumble’s Records

With his second wicket of the innings where he dismissed Will Young on 20, Ravichandran Ashwin reached a historic Indian milestone.  The off-spinner went past stalwarts Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh in taking 50 wickets in a calendar year for the most number of times (4).

Ravichandran Ashwin and Harbhajan Singh
Ravichandran Ashwin and Harbhajan Singh PTI Photo by Shailendra Bhojak (PTI9_25_2015_000078A)

Ravichandran Ashwin took 62 wickets in 2015, 72 wickets in 2016, and 56 wickets in 2016. Both, Harbhajan Singh and Anil Kumble took 50+ wickets in three different years each. Ravichandran Ashwin has taken 52 wickets so far.

It is the fourth calendar year where Ravichandran Ashwin has bagged 50-plus Test wickets after 2015, 2016, and 2017. Only Shane Warne (eight), Muttiah Muralitharan (six), and Glenn McGrath (five) had 50-plus Test wickets in more calendar years than Ravichandran Ashwin, who now has the most wickets-66 by a bowler in Test matches played between India and New Zealand.

Most instances by Indian bowlers picking 50+ wickets in a calendar year:

Ravichandran Ashwin (4) – 2015, 2016, 2017, 2021

Harbhajan Singh (3) – 2001, 2002, 2008

Anil Kumble (3) – 1999, 2004, 2006

Kapil Dev (2) – 1979, 1983

Shreyas Iyer at the Green Park Stadium Photo: BCCI
Shreyas Iyer at the Green Park Stadium Photo: BCCI

Shreyas Iyer, Debut Test Centurion May Have To Make Way For Rested Virat Kohli In The 2nd Test: VVS Laxman

Shreyas Iyer, on his debut, scored a century for India against the defending World Test Champions New Zealand, batting at No.5, when both the senior batters were sent back to the dug-out.

There shouldn’t be a shred of doubt, but Shreyas Iyer was never among the first XI preferences, hadn’t it been for KL Rahul’s injury. But, he made the most of the opportunity count. Hence, whether he retains his spot for the second Test next week when captain Virat Kohli returns to the team.

Shreyas Iyer plays a defensive shot during the day one of their first Test against New Zealand in Kanpur.(AP)
Shreyas Iyer plays a defensive shot during day one of their first Test against New Zealand in Kanpur. (AP)

Shreyas Iyer May Have To Make Way For Rested Virat Kohli In The 2nd Test: VVS Laxman

Former Indian cricketer VVS Laxman answered it, recalling the Karun Nair incident, admitting it to be an unwritten rule in this Indian side. Back in 2016, during a home series against England, Karun Nair had scored a phenomenal 303 but was rested for the next game to make way to Ajinkya Rahane, who had missed out that Test match.

VVS Laxman, in conversation with Star Sports during the lunch break on day 2 of the first Test in Kanpur, said that Shreyas Iyer will have to make way for Virat Kohli, who was not part of the Indian squad for the first Test, although he added that the youngster’s century will add pressure on struggling Ajinkya Rahane.

“Yes very very interesting but there is an unwritten rule in this Indian team which we had seen even when Karun Nair got a triple hundred and Ajinkya Rahane came back and unfortunately Nair had to miss out and Rahane got back to his original position. So that’s exactly what’s going to happen.”

VVS Laxman (Image Credit: Twitter)
VVS Laxman (Image Credit: Twitter)

“Iyer played because Kohli was not available for this Test match. But having said that there will be a lot of pressure on Ajinkya Rahane. The last couple of years hasn’t been great and he hasn’t been performing to his potential and the caliber he has got. But in the next game, Iyer will have to make way for Virat Kohli,” he said.

Shreyas Iyer scored 105 before being dismissed by Tim Southee. His runs came off 171 balls after smashing 2 sixes and 13 boundaries. Among those to score a century on Test debut for India are the likes of Mohammad Azharuddin, Sourav Ganguly, Virender Sehwag, Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, and Prithvi Shaw.

Simon Doull Agreed With VVS Laxman And Doesn’t Think India Will Leave Either  Cheteshwar Pujatra Or Ajinkya Rahane

Former New Zealand cricketer Simon Doull too agreed with the veteran Indian saying that the management is now aware of his capabilities, although he still needs to work on a few things.

Simon Doull
Simon Doull. (Photo Source: Twitter)

“I agree with VVS. You get an opportunity when someone misses out or is unavailable but they are still the incumbent. Your time will come and they have got options if they wanted to leave Pujara out and bat Shubman at No.3 if they want Rahane to lead. But don’t see that happening at this point in time. They know Iyer can play Test cricket and his capabilities. There are a couple of things to work on,” he added. 

Shreyas Iyer has featured in 22 ODIs and 32 T20Is and averaged 42.78 and 27.61 in the two formats respectively before making his Test debut, 4 years after his limited-overs debut in 2017. The second Test begins on December 3 at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.

Ajinkya Rahane has had a horror run with the bat over the last year, which has seen his average dip to under 40. In fact, he averages a mere 20.35 in 12 Tests in 2021, his lowest average in a year since debuting in 2013. Cheteshwar Pujara has done slightly better at 30.85 from the same number of games in 2021 but had a horrid time in 2020, averaging only 20.38 in 4 Tests.

Dinesh Karthik file image. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)
Dinesh Karthik file image. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)

Dinesh Karthik Praised Outgoing Coaching Staff For Valuable Contributions

Dinesh Karthik, wicket-keeper batsman, praised outgoing head coach Ravi Shastri and the rest of the coaching staff for their contributions during their tenure with the Indian team. The T20 World Cup 2021 marked their last assignment as they chose not to re-apply for the posts.

Rahul Dravid has been formally announced by the BCCI as the next head coach, with the rest of the appointments to be declared soon.

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

Dinesh Karthik Wishes People To Remember This Set Of Coaching Staff For Contributions In Winning Many Bilateral Series

Dinesh Karthik noted that the glaring absence of ICC silverware should not be the first thing that is associated with the trio. He explained how each member of the coaching staff brought something to the table and improved the quality and depth of the team.

“We always talk about how Shastri was not able to deliver a ICC title but we should also speak about how many bilateral series we won under him, it was second to none. I wish people remember this set of coaching staff for all the things they achieved in terms of batting, bowling and fielding, ” said Dinesh Karthik.

Dinesh Karthik Photo: © Reuters (Main Image)
Dinesh Karthik Photo: © Reuters (Main Image)

He talked about the improvement in the fielding and bowling department.

“R Sridhar has been fabulous in that department, the level of fielding has gone upto a couple of notches. Going abroad, picking up 20 wickets consistently, so B Arun has done a fabulous job over a period of time. Credit to Shastri, for pulling up the team when the chips were down,” Dinesh Karthik elaborated.

Ravi Shastri, the outgoing India coach, hoped India would make a strong comeback under Rahul Dravid in the next ICC T20 World Cup 2022 in October. However, India failed to reach the semifinals of the ICC T20 World Cup 2021 after suffering defeats against Pakistan and New Zealand in the Super 12 matches.

Simon Doull: Ravi Shastri’s Combinational With Virat Kohli Has Been Exceptional

Simon Doull was also all praise for the way head coach Ravi Shastri and others transformed the Indian side into a force to be reckoned with. He noted how the combination of skipper Virat Kohli and coach Ravi Shastri took Indian cricket forward.

“Shastri’s legacy will be the bilateral series and the depth that has been created. His combination with Virat has been exceptional. This tournament should not be what should be used to judge the coaches. Shastri has left the Indian team in an incredibly strong position.”

Simon Doull
Simon Doull. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Rahul Dravid will have two captains to manage, with Virat Kohli having stepped down from his role as the T20 skipper. Dinesh Karthik feels that Rohit Sharma and Rahul Dravid will click right away. He is eager to see how Virat Kohli forges a dynamic with Rahul Dravid, given their contrasting personalities.

Dinesh Karthik added: “Rohit and Rahul know each other well, they will be in constant touch during this whole process. It will be interesting to see the Kohli-Dravid dynamic. Very different personalities, they have not worked too much together as well. Maybe a season with RCB together”

It is to be noted that Virat Kohli reportedly did not share a good rapport with Anil Kumble, which eventually led to his exit as the coach of the team. The dynamic between a coach and the captain is pivotal to the team’s success.

Ravi Shastri achieved back-to-back Test series wins in Australia in his tenure, but an ICC trophy eluded him and skipper Virat Kohli. Ravi Shastri also heaped praise on outgoing bowling coach Bharat Arun and fielding coach R Sridhar, whose tenures too ended with the team’s World Cup campaign.

Rahul Dravid’s first assignment will be the home series against New Zealand, starting on November 17, for which BCCI is likely to announce a new T20I captain as the 2021 T20I World Cup was Virat Kohli’s last as India’s shortest format leader.


India Doesn’t Quite Play The Fearless Brand Of Cricket They Are Capable Of Playing In The ICC Events: Nasser Hussain

Nasser Hussain, former England skipper reckons India doesn’t play fearless cricket in ICC events, something which they are extremely capable of being a hugely talented side. India will make an early exit from the T20 World Cup 2021 following their last Super 12 encounter against Namibia on Monday.

New Zealand and Pakistan, the two sides India lost against, have qualified for the semi-finals from Group 2. former England skipper Nasser Hussain opened up on pre-tournament favourites India’s early exit from the ongoing T20 World Cup 2021, saying the Virat Kohli-led side is full of talented cricketers but they fail to demonstrate the fearless brand of cricket in ICC events.

Nasser Hussain. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)
Nasser Hussain. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

Nasser Hussain: India Don’t Quite Play The Fearless Brand Of Cricket In ICC Events

Their latest failure means India’s hunt for an ICC crown, which they last won in 2013, continues. According to Nasser Hussain, there is a mental aspect to their game, which is letting them down in multi-nation events. Notably, India failed to reach the semi-final of the ongoing ICC T20 World Cup in the UAE after New Zealand beat Afghanistan by eight wickets in Abu Dhabi to join Pakistan in the knockouts.

Speaking to, Nasser Hussain elaborated: “You have got to go out and express yourself. They (India) have got so much talent. That may be the only thing that’s holding India back in ICC events. They don’t quite play the fearless brand of cricket that they deserve to because they are so talented.”

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

India got off to a horror start in the T20 World Cup 2021, going down to Pakistan by 10 wickets. Praising Pakistan, Nasser Hussain admitted that the defeat was a massive setback for India.

Nasser Hussain commented: “I had them as favorites. They had been playing IPL here, are a star-studded side. They got a setback in that first game. The way Shaheen Afridi bowled in the powerplay, those two deliveries that Rohit and Rahul got would have got a lot of great cricketers out.”

“That’s sometimes the problem with the Indian side. They are so good at the top, some of the middle-order don’t get much of a hit and suddenly you need a Plan B and that was found wanting.”

The former England captain also opined that India erred with their selection and the decision to split their opening pair for the New Zealand game.

He elaborated: “I see India as a very talented side but sometimes selection wise… Hardik Pandya just playing as a batter alters the balance of the side. Against New Zealand, the idea to split Rohit and Rahul was not a good one.”

India managed only 110 for 7 batting first against New Zealand. They lost the game by eight wickets, which pretty much sealed their fate in the T20 World Cup 2021. The make-shift opening pair of KL Rahul and Ishan Kishan managed to add only 11 runs, with Ishan Kishan scoring four off eight balls. New Zealand chased down the score in just 14.3 overs, handing India a massive defeat.

The Indian batsmen Ishan Kishan (4 off 8 balls), Rohit Sharma (14 off 14 balls), KL Rahul (18 off 16), Virat Kohli (9 off 17), Rishabh Pant (12 off 19) failed when it mattered most against New Zealand, losing the second successive match after the one against Pakistan where Rohit Sharma (0) and KL Rahul (3) failed as openers.

Simon Doull: India Wasn’t At Their Best From The Start

According to former New Zealand pacer Simon Doull, India paid the price for not being at their best from the start of the T20 World Cup 2021.

Expressing surprise at India’s failure to adapt despite the players being in the UAE for the last month or so (for IPL 2021), Simon Doull said: “India had to be at their best from the start and they weren’t. Having been in these conditions for the last month and a half, you might have thought they’d adapted better.”

Simon Doull
Simon Doull. (Photo Source: Twitter)

“But you can’t take away anything from Pakistan. They were brilliant. India slipped and then New Zealand were outstanding. If you are below your best against top-quality sides you’ll get found out and they were.”

India registered comprehensive wins against Afghanistan and Scotland. However, New Zealand’s triumph over Afghanistan on Sunday ended their slim semi-final qualification hopes.

India cruised to a second consecutive win in the T20 World Cup 2021 as they thumped Scotland by eight wickets in a Group 2 game in Dubai on Friday, chasing 86 run target inside 6.3 overs. India’s batting finally clicked against Afghanistan as they racked up the tournament’s highest total of 210-2 and restricted their opponents to 144-7.

Shoaib Malik, Mohammed Hafeez
Shoaib Malik, Mohammed Hafeez Photo: AFP

Simon Doull: Pakistan Cannot Play Mohammed Hafeez And Shoaib Malik On The Same Team As They Are An 80 Year Old Running Around In 2 Bodies

Simon Doull has asked Pakistan to avoid playing veterans Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Hafeez together in the playing XI against India, calling them an “80-year-old running around in two bodies”.

Simon Doull’s remarks came on a chat show. While picking his preferred XI for Pakistan for the entertaining clash, the former New Zealand pacer said he’ll choose Mohammed Hafeez and Haider Ali in the middle order instead. He suggested that Mohammed Hafeez, 41, and Shoaib Malik, 39, playing together will be detrimental to the team.

Simon Doull
Simon Doull. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Simon Doull: Pakistan Cannot Play 2 Forty Year Olds Mohammed Hafeez And Shoaib Malik On The Same Team Against India

Veteran batsman Shoaib Malik was included in Pakistan’s Twenty20 World Cup squad, replacing top-order batsman Sohaib Maqsood, who was ruled out due to a back problem. Shoaib Malik had captained Pakistan in the inaugural event in 2007 and was a member of the side that won the tournament in 2009. After missing the West Indies event in 2010, he featured in the next 3 T20I World cup tournaments- 2012, 2014, and 2016 tournaments.

Shoaib Malik’s last T20I was in September 2020, and his last ODI was in June 2019. He played 35 Tests, 287 ODIs, and 116 T20Is, amassing over 10,000 runs in all three formats combined, averaging above 30 in each. Shoaib Malik became the first Pakistani batsman to score 10,000 runs in Twenty20 cricket in October 2020.

Simon Doull said: “Babar and Mohammad Rizwan at the top; Fakhar Zaman at three; Hafeez and Haider Ali. I don’t think they can play Hafeez and Shoaib Malik together. You don’t need an 80-year-old running around in two people. That can’t happen. I just I don’t think they can play two 40-year-olds on the same team so I will go with Hafeez and Haidar Ali. [Then] Asif Ali, Imad Wasim definitely then Shadab, Hasan Ali, Haris Rauf and Shaheen Shah Afridi.”

Despite his age, Mohammad Hafeez has kept his Pakistan career on track on the backs of consistent performances in the middle order. Overall, he has played 113 T20Is, scoring 2429 runs at a strike rate of just under 121. Shoaib Malik, meanwhile, hasn’t been a part of the national team for the better part of the last two years. He has played 116 T20Is, scoring 2335 runs at a strike rate of 124.

Mohammad Hafeez Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Mohammad Hafeez Image courtesy of ESPNcricinfo

Both spin-bowling all-rounders weren’t part of the preliminary Pakistani squad for the T20 World Cup 2021, with the selectors going with younger batters. They were only added to the team recently, apparently because of the pair’s performances in the National T20 Cup.

The sluggish pitches in the UAE also played a part in the decision, with the selectors finding value in their experience in PSL. Sohaib Malik did well in PSL 2021 amassing 354 runs in 13 games averaging 35.4 at a strike rate of nearly 150 with 2 fifties. Mohammed Hafeez scored 271 runs averaging 33.87 at a strike rate of 138.26 in PSL 2021.

Simon Doull: Shoaib Malik Was Really Bad In The CPL

Explaining his assessment of the duo, Simon Doull said he watched both of them during the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) 2021 and that Shoaib Malik was “really bad”. Shoaib Malik just managed 67 runs in 11 CPL games averaging a pathetic 7.44 at an extremely poor strike rate of 59.82.

The commentator said the duo struggles to get going early on in their innings, but Mohammed Hafeez gets an edge over Shoaib Malik just because he could still contribute with the ball.

Simon Doull said: “I watched them both in the CPL and, I mean, I have got to say Shoaib Malik was really bad. Really bad. Eyes were gone, [he was] really struggling. I know he had one really good innings in the [National T20 cup] but I just watched him enough in the CPL to think I just couldn’t have the two of them in the same team. They both struggle to get going early on so they have to make that choice. And because Hafeez can bowl a bit still, that’s why I would go with him.”

Shoaib Malik, AFP
Shoaib Malik, AFP

The T20 World Cup 2021 match between India and Pakistan will begin at 7:30 PM IST in Dubai.

Pakistan’s 12-member squad against India: Babar Azam (captain), Mohammad Rizwan, Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Asif Ali, Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan (vice-captain), Hasan Ali, Haider Ali, Haris Rauf, and Shaheen Shah Afridi.

Dinesh Karthik file image. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)
Dinesh Karthik file image. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)

Dinesh Karthik And Sunil Gavaskar Only Indians In Commentary Panel For WTC Final: Reports

Dinesh Karthik, India, and KKR wicket-keeper and batting legend Sunil Gavaskar are reportedly the only Indians ready to join the on-ground panel for the summit clash as the International Cricket Council (ICC) is scrambling for commentators for the much-anticipated World Test Championship (WTC) Final.

The Indian duo will be accompanied by New Zealand’s Simon Doull and two neutral commentators in England’s Mike Atherton and Nasser Hussain.

File image of former India captain Sunil Gavaskar | AFP
File image of former India captain Sunil Gavaskar | AFP

Dinesh Karthik Was In India’s Test Team The Last Time India Toured England

A report in Cricbuzz claims that many commentators from India and New Zealand have refused to commentate on the WTC final. The stringent protocols, which mandate a 10-day quarantine for all overseas professionals for a 5-day stint, have apparently dissuaded them from the opportunity.

Wriddhiman Saha and Rishabh Pant | Source: Twitter
Wriddhiman Saha and Rishabh Pant | Source: Twitter

Other names, including Ian Smith, who famously held forth in the 2019 World Cup Final, are also in talks, albeit without any confirmation. Although Dinesh Karthik was in India’s Test side the last time they toured the UK, he has lost his place to Rishabh Pant and Wriddhiman Saha.

The KKR and Indian keeper has played 26 Tests, 94 ODIs, and 32 T20Is and his last appearance came in World Cup 2019’s Semi-Final against New Zealand. The Indian selectors have snubbed India’s experienced wicket-keeper batsman after he scored just 14 runs in 2 innings at the ICC ODI World Cup tournament in July.

Dinesh Karthik Set To Be The Only Indian Commentator In The Hundred

In another example of his rise in the commentary arena, Dinesh Karthik is also set to be the only Indian voice in The Hundred. The former KKR captain was chosen by broadcaster Sky Sports for the inaugural 100-ball competition and will join Kevin Pietersen, Stuart Broad, and David Lloyd, among others on the panel.

The WTC Final will begin on June 18 followed by The Hundred (July 22 – August 21) and a 5-Test series between India and England (August 4 – September 14).

Former KKR skipper Dinesh Karthik (Photo | PTI)
Former KKR skipper Dinesh Karthik (Photo | PTI)

Dinesh Karthik’s availability as a commentator for the WTC final might also mean that he will not play a part in the upcoming tour of Sri Lanka. The tour, which will run parallel to Virat Kohli‘s boys’ trip to England, will see the participation of most of India’s fringe players and white-ball specialists.

Dinesh Karthik was last seen in action in the IPL 2021, where he scored 123 runs across 7 innings at an average of 30.75. He has featured in 203 IPL games and amassed 3946 runs averaging 26.13 with 19 fifties.

Dinesh Karthik is one of the most experienced wicketkeeper-batsman in the scheme of things. He led KKR to playoffs in 2018 and his side finished fifth in the points table in 2019. Post the Nidahas Trophy in Sri Lanka in 2018, the keeper has upped the ante in terms of his finishing skills in the shortest version.


Simon Doull Questions David Warner’s Sacking As The Latter Was Even Dropped From Playing XI

Simon Doull has questioned David Warner’s out-of-the-blue sacking of Sunrisers Hyderabad’s (SRH) captaincy on Saturday. Simon Doull speculated that the Aussie had a fall out with the team’s management and his recent comments on Manish Pandey became the final spark in the rift.

SRH announced early on Saturday that Kane Williamson will take over the saddle from David Warner. Experts initially speculated that the decision was rooted in the team’s last-place standing in the points table after almost half of the IPL 2021 season.

Kane Williamson SPORTZPICS/Instagram
Kane Williamson SPORTZPICS/Instagram

Simon Doull: David Warner Paid The Price For Publicly Criticizing SRH Management For Dropping Manish Pandey

However, there is another opinion doing the rounds that David Warner’s statement after the match against Delhi Capitals, where he labeled the ‘selectors’ call to drop Manish Pandey ‘harsh’, could also be the source of his captaincy axe. Speaking to Cricbuzz, Simon Doull’s opinion tilted towards the latter. He believes David Warner wasn’t in favor of dropping Manish Pandey and that the Aussie opener ‘paid the price’ for bringing the matter out in public.

“I think there must have been a falling out somewhere along the lines and not with the team, there has to be a falling out with the coaching structure. After what he said in that game about leaving Manish Pandey out, it was not his decision at all, he didn’t want to do it clearly. And basically, you passed the buck, you blamed it on someone else and I think he has paid the price for that,” said Simon Doull.

Simon Doull and David Warner
Simon Doull and David Warner. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The former New Zealand all-rounder also took SRH’s changing coaching dynamic by observing that the relationship between head coach Trevor Bayliss and director of cricket Tom Moody is an unusual one.

“That dynamic… you sack a coach, Tom Moody, you employ Trevor Bayliss and then you bring Tom Moody back to oversee your cricket. I don’t know how that relationship can possibly work. And I wonder whether one [win] in 5 (6) is the direct result of that relationship not working… And the press release suggests that he [David Warner] won’t even play now that’s even more strange!” Doull added.

Simon Doull: David Warner Was A Tactically Superb Skipper

On Kane Williamson’s elevation to the helm, Simon Doull remarked that he never considered David Warner as tactically shrewd as Williamson. He argued that David Warner was always more of a ‘leader’ than a captain.

“It’s a funny one for me. I never thought David Warner was a tactically superb captain. David Warner was a leader. He was a guy who would be first across the line out there, take the fight to any team, score runs and leads from the front – [something like] ‘follow me and we will be okay.’ And what you saw with David Warner in most years was he would field at long-on and long-off and Kane Williamson would be standing there [near the bowlers]. And Kane would be exchanging advice, talking about the tactics with him. So, David Warner, as a captain, I don’t think was great but he’s an absolute leader,” concluded Doull.

The cloud of uncertainty will perhaps clear out when SRH goes head-to-head against the Rajasthan Royals on Sunday, May 2. A day after stripping David Warner of the captaincy role, Sunrisers Hyderabad dropped the opener from the team to play against Rajasthan Royals on Sunday as they seek to revive their Indian Premier League (IPL) campaign under Kane Williamson.

Rajasthan Royals wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler in action in IPL 2019. - AFP
Rajasthan Royals wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler in action in IPL 2019. – AFP

The franchise is languishing at the bottom of the points table after just one win in their first six matches. Hyderabad brought in Afghan all-rounder Mohammad Nabi instead as the fourth overseas player in the playing XI, which also includes Englishman Jonny Bairstow and Afghan spinner Rashid Khan.

In the match, Jos Buttler scored 124- the highest score so far in IPL 2021 and his maiden IPL ton. Rajasthan Royals scored 220/3 in the stipulated 20 overs. Sanju Samson scored 48. Jos Buttler’s innings included 11 fours and 8 sixes and came off only 64 balls.

Rajasthan Royals' Sanju Samson in action during IPL 2020 | Sportzpics for BCCI
Rajasthan Royals' Sanju Samson in action during IPL 2020 | Sportzpics for BCCI

IPL 2021: Sanju Samson Will Hit That 10 Yards Further To Win Next Games, Says Kumar Sangakkara

Sanju Samson’s decision to deny Chris Morris a single on the penultimate ball of the match has triggered a huge debate. Kumar Sangakkara, however, feels Sanju Samson was right in making that call.

Rajasthan Royals surprised many as they produced a scintillating effort while chasing the stiff target of 222 runs against Punjab Kings in their first match in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 campaign.

Sanju Samson With Kumar Sangakkara (RR Photo)
Sanju Samson With Kumar Sangakkara (RR Photo)

Sanju Samson Took It Upon Himself To Finish The Game And Fell Just A Few Yards Short: Kumar Sangakkara

The match was a thriller as both teams scored in excess of 200 and PBKS won as the match was decided on the last ball. However, the match did produce a debatable incident when Sanju Samson, needing 5 runs from 2 balls, denied his non-striking partner Chris Morris a single on the penultimate ball of the match. The Royals’ Director of Cricket, Kumar Sangakkara, has reacted to the controversy.

Chris Morris had not looked in the finest of touches with the bat till then but had only faced 4 deliveries, scoring 2 runs. The South African all-rounder remains the costliest player to have been purchased in the auction (INR 16.5 crore) but his first match in the RR shirt hadn’t gone as per plan yet.

Rajasthan Royals cricketers including Sanju Samson (centre) and all-rounder Chris Morris (left) during the team's 2021 season jersey launch.
Rajasthan Royals cricketers. Photo Credit: Twitter.

Facing Arshdeep Singh, Sanju Samson hit the ball towards the extra-cover region but the shot only guaranteed a single. Chris Morris ran towards him was but sent back after crossing the halfway line.

The Proteas cricketer didn’t look pleased and there were a few confused faces in the Rajasthan camps dressing room too. Kumar Sangakkara, however, felt that his decision was right even though it didn’t produce the desired result.

“I think Sanju backed himself to get the job done and he nearly did,” Sangakkara said at the post-match press conference.

“He was five or six yards short of hitting the last ball for a six and sometimes when you know you’re hitting the ball well and you’re in form and you believe that you can do it, you’ve got to take that responsibility. And it was really encouraging to see Sanju do that.”

“We can always talk about a missed single here or there but the crucial thing for me is the players’ belief in attitude and commitment and they know what their strengths are. And Sanju took it upon himself to finish that game and he just fell a few yards short. That happens, but the next time I’ll believe he’ll hit it that 10 yards further to win us the game,” he added.

Former Sri Lanka great Kumar Sangakkara added that Sanju Samson was 5-6 yards short of hitting the last ball over the boundary but was instead caught by Deepak Hooda between the deep cover and deep extra cover. Kumar Sangakkara said that Sanju Samson will finish the job in the next game by hitting the ball 10 yards further than the boundary rope.

Simon Doull And Sunil Gavaskar Reacts In Commentary After Sanju Samson Denies Chris Morris A Single Run

There was a small debate in the commentary box during the match too. Former New Zealand cricketer Simon Doull couldn’t understand why Sanju Samson had denied Chris Morris a single while Indian cricket icon Sunil Gavaskar felt that Chris Morris hadn’t done enough for Sanju Samson to have confidence in him.

“My goodness. My goodness. He’s turned the run down, Sanju Samson,” Doull said in commentary. I don’t believe what I’ve just seen, because at least Morris can hit a four for the win,” said Doull.

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

Gavaskar responded saying: “He can but so far he hasn’t. His strike rate at the moment is just 50. He’s just managed two singles (from four balls).”

Fans and experts can continue debating over the incident but there’s practically no way of knowing what would’ve happened if Chris Morris had completed that single. It would be interesting to see what Sanju Samson does if a similar situation arrives again soon.

Brief Scores: Punjab Kings 221/6 (KL Rahul 91, Deepak Hooda 64, Chetan Sakariya 3/31) beat Rajasthan Royals 217/7 (Sanju Samson 119, Riyan Parag 25, Arshdeep Singh 3/35) by 4 runs

Dale Steyn
Dale Steyn

Cricket Gets Forgotten In IPL Unlike PSL: Dale Steyn

Dale Steyn, former South African pacer feels that Pakistan Super League  (PSL) is more rewarding than the cash-rich Indian Premier League (IPL) which is the major reason behind his decision to opt-out from the league in 2021.

Back in January, Dale Steyn, who has represented several teams including Royal Challengers Bangalore in IPL in the past, had taken to Twitter to announce that he has withdrawn from the 14th season of the cash-rich IPL but he will continue to play in other franchise-based leagues around the world.

Dale Steyn was left seething after Simon Doull's mid-life-crisis comment
Dale Steyn. (Image credit Twitter)

Dale Steyn: Cricket Is Of Importance In Pakistan Super League Unlike Indian Premier League Where Cricket Gets Forgotten

Dale Steyn is currently in Pakistan to represent the Safaraz Ahmed-led Quetta Gladiators in the latest edition of the Pakistan Super League. The legendary Test pacer recently gave an exclusive interview to Cricket Pakistan where he spoke about his decision to withdraw from the forthcoming IPL.

According to Dale Steyn, the talks doing the rounds in the IPL are all about the money that a particular player went for in the auction, and with the presence of so many superstars and bloated squads, the actual cricket sometimes takes the backseat.

Dale Steyn for RCB
Dale Steyn for RCB (Photo Source: Twitter)

Dale Steyn reckoned that the same doesn’t happen when the matter comes to PSL or Lanka Premier League and that is the reason why he decided to opt-out from the lucrative league and instead focus on bringing good vibes to tournaments that are worth playing for.

“I wanted some time off. I found that playing in these other leagues was slightly more rewarding as a player. I think when you go to IPL, there are such big squads and so many big names and so much emphasis on maybe the amount of money players earn and everything like that, so sometimes, somewhere down the line, cricket gets forgotten,” said Steyn to Cricket Pakistan.

“When you come to like a PSL or the Sri Lankan Premier League, for that matter, there is an importance on the cricket. I have only been here for a couple of days and I have had people in and out of my room, just wanting to know about where I have played and how I went about it.”

“Whereas, when I go to something like the IPL that gets forgotten and the main topic is how much money did you go for in this IPL? That’s just me being brutally honest. I wanted to stay away from that and really put more emphasis on playing and bringing good vibes to good cricket teams and tournaments I feel are worth it,” he added.

Dale Steyn featured for the Virat Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore in IPL 2020 where he was forced to warm the bench for most parts of the season due to his horrendous form. In 3 games, the former Proteas cricketer managed just one wicket at an average of 133 and an economy rate of 11.40, and a strike rate of 70.

Dale Steyn’s association with Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) dates back to 2008. He had started his IPL career with the Bangalore outfit but later moved on to represent three other franchises namely Deccan Chargers, Sunrisers Hyderabad, and Gujarat Lions. He returned to RCB in 2019.

However, across the last two seasons 2019 and 2020, he failed to make an impact with the ball as he had suffered an injury during IPL 2019 and was totally out of form in IPL 2020 which had also resulted in him getting dropped from the team.

Dale Steyn Also Comes Down Hard On Commentator Simon Doull

South African legend Dale Steyn has come down hard on Simon Doull after the New Zealand commentator was heard saying that the 37-year-old is having a mid-life crisis. This happened during a PSL match between Peshawar Zalmi and Quetta Gladiators. Dale Steyn, who has been sporting long hair in the ongoing tournament in Pakistan, took to Twitter to convey his anger at being targeted for his appearance.

Simon Doull
Simon Doull. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Widely regarded as one of the best bowlers of his generation, the 37-year-old Dale Steyn finished his Test career as the highest wicket-taker for South Africa with 439 wickets from 93 Tests. He picked 196 wickets from 125 ODIs and 64 scalps from 47 T20Is.

However, his bowling in the shortest format while playing for different leagues around the world hasn’t been up to the mark lately. Playing for the Quetta Gladiators in PSL 2021, he gave away 21 runs in the penultimate over as Peshawar Zalmi skipper Wahab Riaz and Sherfane Rutherford smashed him for 3 sixes.

Quetta Gladiators, who needed to defend 27 off 12 balls, ultimately lost the game after failing to defend the 199-run target. Dale Steyn finished with disappointing figures of 2/44 and will be hoping to repay the faith put in him by his franchise in the forthcoming matches.

Simon Doull, Team India Squad, 2019 World Cup
Simon Doull picks 15-man India's squad for the 2019 World Cup. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

IPL 2020: Shubman Gill Could Be Leading An IPL Side In Two Years – Simon Doull

Former New Zealand cricketer Siman Doull has lauded Shubman Gill for his match-winning knock against SRH — and has predicted that Gill could soon be a captain in IPL.  On Saturday evening, SRH won the toss and opted to bat first against KKR at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi. SRH had a slow start to the game and they lost their openers quickly. The Hyderabad based side could only add up a meagre score of 142 runs.

A stellar and steady knock of 70 runs from 62 balls by Shubman Gill and an important partnership by Eoin Morgan who made 42 runs off 29 balls, cruised KKR easily past the target. KKR now have one win and one loss to their name in the IPL 2020.

Scott Styris, Shubman Gill, IPL 2020
Shubman Gill. Image Credit: BCCI/IPL.

Simon Doull  impressed by Shubman Gill’s knock against SRH

Cricketer-turned-commentator Doull said Gill’s 70 against SRH was a perfect score for him to get started in the tournament. He also pointed out the presence of Eoin Morgan on the other end was a perfect combination for them to achieve the target.

“It was a perfect score for Shubman to get into this tournament. He didn’t score much in the first match. He needed a score to get started and when you are chasing only 143, you could play your natural game. It will hold him in good stead moving forward. In the match against SRH, he timed the innings superbly. He needed to be there and show the maturity that he can bat through and win for his team,” Doull told Cricbuzz.

Simon Doull
Simon Doull (Image Source: Google)

“I think Eoin Morgan had the best ally on the other end in Shubman. So, the experience and calm nature of Morgan was supported well by the youthful exuberance of Shubman. He kept his head in place and I think it was a very very fine innings.” he added.

Shubman Gill could be leading an IPL side in two years: Simon Doull

Doull feels the company of Dinesh Karthik, Eoin Morgan and Brendon McCullum will have a good impact on Gill and he will get to learn a lot around them. He opined that he won’t be surprised to see 21-year-old Gill captaining an IPL side in the next two years.

“I won’t be surprised if we see him leading an IPL side two years down the line at the ripe age of 22-23. I think he should spend a lot of time with Dinesh Karthik and Eoin Morgan and pick their brains. He also has Brendon McCullum, one of the most innovative captains in the last 7-9 years. I think he can learn a lot if he is around these guys,” Doull observed.

Shubhman Gill, KKR
Shubman Gill and Eoin Morgan (Image Credit: IPL)

Kolkata Knight Riders will next face Rajasthan Royals on September 30th at the Dubai International Stadium.


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