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Sunil Narine

T20I World Cup trophy. (Photo Source: Twitter)
T20I World Cup trophy. (Photo Source: Twitter)

ICC T20 World Cup 2021: Best XI Of World Beaters Who Missed Out On Squad Selection

ICC T20 World Cup 2021: Best XI Of World Beaters Who Missed Out On Squad Selection. The ICC T20 World Cup 2021 is scheduled to begin on October 17, a few days after the conclusion of IPL 2021, and the final clash of the tournament will take place on November 14 in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Originally, T20 World Cup 2021 was scheduled to commence in India but was shifted to UAE and OMAN besides IPL 2021 due to the Covid-19 scare in the country.

There have been a total of 8 teams that have made entry into the T20 World Cup 2021 through direct qualifications apart from the few teams battling out in the qualifying stage including Sri Lanka and Bangladesh who could not qualify directly for the Super 12 stage of the ICC T20 World Cup 2021 in the UAE and Oman.

In the already qualified teams, Group 1 consists of England, Australia, West Indies, and South Africa. On the other hand Group, 2 consists of India, Pakistan, New Zealand, and Afghanistan. All the teams have announced their squads for the T20 World Cup 2021. However, there have been several big names that have been left out from the 15-member squad and their absence from the main squad was a big shocker for cricket fans.

T20I World Cup 2021
T20I World Cup 2021

ICC T20 World Cup 2021: Best XI Of World Beaters Who Missed Out On Squad Selection

Alex Hales

Alex Hales
Alex Hales [Image Credit: Getty]
So far Alex Hales has managed to score 1644 runs in T20Is at a strike rate of 136.65 and 8733 runs in T20 cricket at a strike rate of 145.93. Alex Hales has got highly impressive numbers in T20I as well as T20 cricket and he bats with a massive strike rate as well.

Alex Hales was axed from England’s (eventual winners) 50-over World Cup squad in 2019 for failing a second test for use of recreational drugs. He recently enjoyed an excellent BBL campaign and continues to hold the record for the highest T20I score by an England player – 116 not out against Sri Lanka in the 2014 World T20.

The 31-year-old Alex Hales made his international debut in August 2011 through the T20I cricket. He has played 11 Tests, 70 ODIs, and 60 T20Is for England.

Shikhar Dhawan

Shikhar Dhawan
Shikhar Dhawan (Getty Images)

Shikhar Dhawan missed out on the T20 World Cup 2021 squad as it shocked cricket fans as many thought that the BCCI selection committee would add him to the squad based on his healthy amount of experience and his red hot form in the IPL.

in T20Is Shikhar Dhawan has scored 1759 runs at an average and strike rate of 27.92 and 126.36. Notably, Shikhar Dhawan has been scoring 450 and above runs in IPL since 2016 and there is no doubt if Shikhar Dhawan would have been on the team for T20I World Cup 2021, he would have performed amazingly well. He was really unfortunate to miss out on selection.

Shikhar Dhawan was the captain recently of the Indian team that toured Sri Lanka, playing all 6 matches on the tour. He registered scores of 86*, 29, 13 in the 3 ODIs and 46, 40, 0 in the 3 T20Is. Delhi Capitals’ batsman Shikhar Dhawan is currently the highest run-getter in the IPL 2021 season with 380 runs in 8 matches averaging 54.28 with 3 fifties. He was 2nd among leading run-scorers in IPL 2020 too with 618 runs in 16 matches averaging 44.14 with 2 tons and 4 fifties.

Faf Du Plessis

Faf du Plessis. (Twitter)
Faf du Plessis. (Twitter)

Almost every T20 World Cup 2021 squad prediction of South Africa contained the name of Faf Du Plessis. However when the squad was announced fans were left upset and shocked not to see his name in T20I World Cup 2021 squad. Notably, Faf Du Plessis on February announced his retirement from Test cricket to focus on his T20 career. Also, he is in red hot form in the ongoing Caribbean Premier League.

Faf Du Plessis has already smashed a century in the league. But he may miss a few initial IPL games in UAE for an injury he picked up in the Caribbean Premier League. The opener didn’t play any part in this season’s inaugural edition of English cricket’s new Hundred competition because of the lingering effects of a concussion suffered during the Pakistan Super League.

Faf Du Plessis was in tremendous form for CSK this season in India and scored 320 runs in 7 matches at a strike rate of 145.45 before the event got postponed due to a bio-bubble breach. He was the 3rd highest run-getter after Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul.

Ben Stokes

Ben Stokes (Image Credit: Twitter)
Ben Stokes (Image Credit: Twitter)

Ben Stokes broke his hand taking a catch for Rajasthan Royals in the IPL 2021 and a repeat X-ray and CT scan revealed that he has a fracture of his left index finger. He missed the 2 Tests against New Zealand while his last Test came against India in March 2021.

England was forced to pick an entirely new squad of players and support staff for the ODI series against Pakistan after seven members of the party originally selected tested positive for the virus. Ben Stokes returned to the squad to captain the side. After the Covid-19 outbreak, England named a new 18 member squad captained by Ben Stokes and consisting of 9 uncapped players and still won 3-0.

Ben Stokes withdrew from the Test series against India, IPL 2021, and T20I World Cup 2021 as he has decided to ‘prioritize his mental wellbeing’.  Ben Stokes’ heroics in the final of World Cup 2019 where he scored 84 runs, helping England win their maiden 50-over World Cup title, are still fresh in every English fan’s memory. England won by boundary count after scores were tied in 50 overs and Super Over.

AB de Villiers

AB de Villiers
AB de Villiers. Image Credits: Twitter

Having initially retired from international cricket in 2018, AB de Villiers decided in May of this year that he wasn’t going to return for the T20 World Cup 2021 citing concerns about coming in ahead of players who had long been in the system.

AB de Villiers has played 114 Tests scoring 8765 runs averaging 50.66 and 228 ODIs scoring 9577 runs averaging 53.5. He also featured in 78 T20Is where he averaged a modest 26.12. In 176 IPL matches, he has 5056 runs averaging 40.77 and is 6th among the leading run-scorers in IPL history.

Chris Morris

Chris Morris
Chris Morris (Image Credit: Twitter)

The most expensive player in IPL auction history will be absent from the T20I World Cup 2021. Chris Morris hasn’t played for South Africa for two years. Chris Morris had last represented the country as a replacement for injured Anrich Nortje in the Cricket World Cup 2019 two years back and the 33-year-old hasn’t been in any contention for a spot despite veterans like Dale Steyn have retired.

Chris Morris has played in 42 One day internationals,23 T20s, and 4 tests in the South African colors taking 48, 34, and 12 wickets respectively.

Sunil Narine

Sunil Narine (Photo Credit: Twitter/ Sunil Narine)
Sunil Narine (Photo Credit: Twitter/ Sunil Narine)

Sunil Narine has been a regular in T20 franchises across the world, however, has not played for the West Indies since 2019. In February he was approached by selectors in relation to being called up to the squad for T20I World Cup 2021 and told them that he wasn’t ready to return to international cricket.

In-form batsman Sherfane Rutherford and spinner Sunil Narine were among a few players not eligible for selection to the World Cup squad after failing fitness standards. Sunil Narine, once the top-ranked spinner in the world, has recently shown versatility at the top of the order as a pinch-hitter and could have been a weapon for the team at the tournament.

Jofra Archer

Jofra Archer / AFP via Getty Images
Jofra Archer / AFP via Getty Images

Jofra Archer’s stress fracture has ruled him out of all cricket for the remainder of 2021. Already a 50-over World Cup winner, Jofra Archer’s pace and lower order hitting make him one of the most sought-after T20 players in the world.

Jofra Archer last played international cricket during the tour of India in March this year. He featured in all five T20Is before being ruled out of the one-day series. Jofra Archer was ruled out of the entire 2021 season following a recurrence of the stress fracture in his elbow. Apart from the ongoing Test series against India, Jofra Archer will also miss The Ashes and the T20I World Cup 2021.

Imran Tahir

Imran Tahir retired from ODIs after the World Cup in England last year. (Reuters Photo)
Imran Tahir retired from ODIs after the World Cup in England last year. (Reuters Photo)

Despite being one of the leading spinners on the T20 circuit, Imran Tahir has been left out of South Africa’s squad for T20 World Cup 2021. Imran Tahir has also said in the press that he hasn’t been contacted by South Africa’s selectors since being told he was in their plans for the competition last year. In March 2019, he announced that he would quit ODI cricket following the 2019 Cricket World Cup.

Imran Tahir was one of the three big omissions alongside Faf du Plessis and Chris Morris from South Africa’s squad for the T20 World Cup to be held in Oman and the UAE from October 17 to November 14. He is South Africa’s second-highest wicket-taker in T20Is with 61 wickets at an economy rate of 6.56. Imran Tahir last featured in a T20I for South Africa in March 2019.

Yuzvendra Chahal And Kuldeep Yadav

Yuzvendra Chahal & Kuldeep Yadav. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Yuzvendra Chahal & Kuldeep Yadav. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Yuzvendra Chahal’s exclusion from the squad was a big surprise. In the IPL and in international cricket, Yuzvendra Chahal was Virat Kohli’s, go-to man. Virat Kohli decided to stick with the leg spinner when the team management decided to bring an end to the ‘Kul-Cha’ partnership.

Rahul Chahar’s rise in recent times might also have played a role in the more experienced spinner not being picked in the XI. The Mumbai Indians leggie had a brilliant first half of the IPL in India picking up 11 wickets from his first seven games.

The UAE conditions for T20 World Cup 2021 will be helpful for him bagging a few more wickets as well. Along with Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav was also not selected in India’s T20 World Cup squad. The mystery spinner’s confidence is really down in recent times. Despite being with the side in the last two to three years, Kuldeep Yadav has not played consistent cricket.


Ian Chappell
Ian Chappell

Ian Chappell Reckons T20 Format Is Enough To Take cricket Into Olympics And Not The 100

Ian Chappell, former Australia captain reckons that the T20 format is enough to take the sport into the Olympics and the newest addition ‘The Hundred’ was not really needed.

The Hundred is an England and Wales Cricket Board’s (ECB) brainchild, and it is featuring eight teams taking on each other. The first match in the competition was played between the women’s teams of Oval Invincibles and Manchester Originals on July 21. The Hundred is a 100-ball cricket competition that is seeing (both men and women) featuring in the tournament.

At what point does cricket become less of a game and more of an entertainment? Getty Images
At what point does cricket become less of a game and more of an entertainment? Getty Images

Ian Chappell: T20 Enough For Participating In The Olympics And A Further Reduction-The 100 Wasn’t Necessary

Trent Rockets is leading the Men’s points table with 6 points by winning all 3 games while Northern Superchargers is leading Women’s points tally with 7 points in 4 games(3 wins and 1 no-result).

“Apart from reducing the number of balls to obtain a terrestrial television deal, the reasoning behind the Hundred could well be that it improves the chances of cricket fulfilling the Olympic dream. This is often cited as a way to spread the game’s popularity to a wider audience. Surely the T20 format could achieve that same outcome without yet another reduction,” Ian Chappell wrote in his column for ESPNcricinfo.

“Cricket is a team game ideally played by 11 members aside. Performance satisfaction is a big reason why youngsters fall in love with the game. Administrators would do well to remember that before they rush into devising shorter forms of the game. The more the length of an innings is reduced, the greater chance that there will be players “just making up the numbers”. Even those players crave occasional performance satisfaction,” Ian Chappell added.

Further talking about the new format, Ian Chappell said: “Throughout my playing career I believed there were two possible solutions to a problem: a simple one and a complicated one. I also believed that to the benefit of Australia, England would regularly choose the complicated solution. They’ve done it again.”

File image of Ian Chappell.(Hindustan Times)
File image of Ian Chappell. (Hindustan Times)

“To overcome the perceived problem of public not fully conversant with cricket, they’ve concocted another form of the game – The Hundred. That’s right, they’ve reduced by a mere 20 balls a format that was extremely popular with players and the public,” Ian Chappell added.

The England and Wales Cricket Board’s (ECB) The Hundred tournament is currently going on with much fanfare. The unique format sees both the team face 100 balls each with new sets of rules for the players.

Joe Root, Ben Stokes, Rashid Khan Are Some Of The Prominent Names Participating In The 100

Players like Joe Root, Ben Stokes, Rashid Khan, Quinton de Kock, Faf du Plessis, Sunil Narine, Eoin Morgan, Moeen Ali, and Jonny Bairstow are taking part in the tournament. Women’s cricket matches are also taking place simultaneously in the Hundred with five Indian players featuring across women’s teams – Harmanpreet Kaur, Smriti Mandhana, Shafali Verma, Deepti Sharma, and Jemimah Rodrigues.

The Hundred
The Hundred

Probably in her worst batting phase before coming into the tournament, Jemimah Rodrigues dazzled on her Hundred debut with an unbeaten 92 off 43 balls studded with a whopping 17 fours and a six. She pulled Northern Superchargers out of deep trouble from 19 for 4 and took them to a stunning six-wicket win with 15 balls remaining.

Jemimah Rodrigues continued her form in the next game with another fifty – 60 off 41 with ten fours – against Trent Rockets that posted a match-winning 149 for her team.

Ravichandran Ashwin of India. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)
Ravichandran Ashwin of India. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Ravichandran Ashwin Should Be Considered In T20I WC If He Has A Good IPL 2021: Laxman Sivaramakrishnan

Laxman Sivaramakrishnan, former Indian leg-spinner believes veteran off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin still has a lot to offer in white-ball cricket. Ravichandran Ashwin has not represented India in white-ball cricket since 2017, but he has proved to be more than a handful in the IPL.

Laxman Sivaramakrishnan feels Ravichandran Ashwin’s experience will be very handy for the Indian team in the T20 World Cup, especially if the opposition chooses to field left-handers.

Laxman Sivaramakrishnan
Laxman Sivaramakrishnan. (File)

Laxman Sivaramakrishnan: If Opposition Has Many Left-Handers, Off Spinner Ravichandran Ashwin Should Be Considered If He Has A Good IPL 2021

Speaking at a press conference arranged by Sony, the 55-year-old explained how Ravichandran Ashwin could be an asset to the Indian white-ball team. With the forthcoming T20 World Cup to be played in the UAE, the second phase of IPL 2021 (also at the UAE) could be crucial for Ravichandran Ashwin.

Delhi Capitals player Ravichandran Ashwin. (Photo | IPL)
Delhi Capitals player Ravichandran Ashwin. (Photo | IPL)

“Yes, he (Ravichandran Ashwin) is one of the outstanding bowlers we’ve had in the last few years. His experience will definitely help. He bowls very well to left handers. He’s not a slouch on the field, he can field reasonably well and is a safe catcher.

“He has worked hard on his fielding and fitness. He should be considered in my opinion. If there are a lot of left handers in the opposition, you want your best off-spinner to be bowling to them. If Ashwin has a good IPL in the UAE, he should be considered.”

Ravichandran Ashwin has last featured in an ODI and T20I in 2017 in June-July against West Indies. He has 150 ODI scalps in 111 ODIs.  Ravichandran Ashwin’s last international ODI game was on 30 June 2017 in the 3rd ODI at North Sound against the West Indies.

He conceded 29 runs in his 10 overs, taking three wickets in a match that India won by 93 runs, and has not played for India in ODIs since. He has played 46 T20Is and taken 52 scalps, the last of which came in August 2016. He has picked only 1 scalp playing 5 matches in IPL 2021 so far before pulling out due to the Second Wave of Covid-19 and to support his family during the testing times.

Laxman Sivaramakrishnan: Kuldeep Yadav Has To Work Harder Both Technically And Mentally And Can Comeback To T20 World Cup If He Has A Good IPL 2021

Laxman Sivaramakrishnan feels Kuldeep Yadav has lost confidence in his bowling and will need a lot of support from the team management. The left-arm wrist-spinner has struggled to consistently feature for India in the last few years.

However, the Sri Lanka tour could be a golden opportunity for him to make a strong comeback and make his case for the T20 World Cup stronger. Laxman Sivaramakrishnan feels Kuldeep Yadav will need to work harder if he wants to make it to the showpiece event.

“Work needs to be done on Kuldeep, both technically and mentally. He is still very young, a rare kind of a bowler. He can come back and be very useful for India. It doesn’t help if your IPL team drops you. That’s where you build your confidence. If he works hard and has a good IPL, he can have a good chance of a comeback.”

Kuldeep Yadav. [Photo: Twitter]
Kuldeep Yadav. [Photo: Twitter]
Compared to the 2018 season – where he played 16 matches for KKR, Kuldeep Yadav featured in just 9 games for the franchise in 2019 followed by 5 matches in IPL 2020. Kuldeep Yadav didn’t feature in a single game in the first half of the IPL 2021 and is all but certain to sit out the T20 World Cup. Hence, the upcoming tour of Sri Lanka, which will feature most of India’s fringe players, will be critical for him to try and win back his place in India’s first XI.

With spinners like Sunil Narine, Shakib Al Hasan, Harbhajan Singh, Pawan Negi, and Varun Chakravarthy in the ranks of KKR, it remains to be seen whether the 26-year-old Chinaman spinner Kuldeep Yadav will get enough chances in IPL 2021 to prove his doubters wrong.

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

Kolkata Knight Riders CEO Venky Mysore Hints Eoin Morgan And Brendon McCullum Could Face Sanctions

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) CEO Venky Mysore has said the IPL franchise has zero tolerance towards any kind of discrimination meaning their captain Eoin Morgan and coach Brendon McCullum could each face sanctions for historic tweets mocking Indian accent.

During an exchange on social media in 2018, Kolkata Knight Riders and England limited-overs skipper Eoin Morgan and England batter Jos Buttler used ‘Sir’ to mock Indian fans. The duo was then joined by former New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum, who is the head coach of Kolkata Knight Riders.

Eoin Morgan and Brendon McCullum
Eoin Morgan and Brendon McCullum. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Kolkata Knight Riders CEO Venky Mysore: KKR Has Zero Tolerance For Any Sort Of Discrimination

The conversation has come to the limelight again with England debutant Ollie Robinson being suspended pending investigation for his historic tweets deemed as sexist and racist.

“We don’t know enough about it to comment at this time. Let’s wait for the process to be completed to get all the facts before we jump to any conclusions. Just to reiterate, the Knight Riders organization has zero-tolerance for any sort of discrimination,” KKR CEO Venky Mysore told Cricbuzz.

Kolkata Knight Riders CEO Venky Mysore
Kolkata Knight Riders CEO Venky Mysore (AFP Photo)

Although some of those tweets have been deleted, the screenshots of the comments are doing rounds of social media. Speaking on the matter, KKR CEO Venky Mysore said that the franchise would wait to learn about the conclusion.

However, he also made it crystal clear that the Shah Rukh Khan-owned side has zero-tolerance for any type of discrimination.  Despite a star-studded squad, the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) have had a torrid first half of the IPL 2021, losing 5 out 7 matches, and languishing at the 7th place on the points table, just a couple of points above Sunrisers Hyderabad.

Captain Eoin Morgan and coach Brendon McCullum have been criticized for some of the tactics in the field and with the batting order. Kolkata Knight Riders will be in concerning jeopardy if some of their overseas players opt out of the remainder of the IPL 2021, which is set to resume in September in the UAE.

Shakib Al Hasan, Eoin Morgan, Ben Cutting, Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Pat Cummins may miss the UAE leg.

ECB Reiterated Stance Against Discrimination Of Any Sort

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has reiterated its stance against discrimination of any sort and said it will discuss how to proceed further on such instances of past comments in an appropriate manner.

“There is no place for discrimination in our sport, and we are committed to taking relevant and appropriate action where required. Given the concerns which have been raised are clearly now broader than a single case, the ECB will discuss how we deal with issues over historical social media material in a timely and appropriate manner.”

Ollie Robinson has apologized for offensive tweets posted as a teenager PA Images via Getty Images
Ollie Robinson has apologized for offensive tweets posted as a teenager PA Images via Getty Images

ECB will consider each case on an individual basis. A report suggested that Jos Buttler and Eoin Morgan can face the repercussions from ECB if they come out guilty of insulting the Indian fans.

“Each case will be considered on an individual basis, looking at all the facts. We will assess cases with the ECB before making further statements,” the spokesperson said.

The paceman led England’s attack with 4-75 in the first innings at Lord’s and followed up with 3-26 in the second while in between making a useful 42 with the bat. But Ollie Robinson found himself making an unreserved apology after stumps on Wednesday, his first day in Test cricket, for tweets that included comments suggesting Muslim people were linked to terrorism and derogatory remarks about women and people of Asian heritage.

Ollie Robinson will miss next week’s second Test against New Zealand at Edgbaston after being suspended from all international cricket pending an investigation into racist and sexist Twitter messages, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced Sunday.

Ravichandran Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)

Ramiz Raja Terms Ravichandran Ashwin As A “One-off Genius”

Ramiz Raja has termed Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin a “one-off genius” and observed that a bowler like him does not come very often.

Ravichandran Ashwin has scalped 409 wickets in the 78 Tests he has played for India, at an excellent average of 24.69. The lanky off-spinner is also the second-fastest to take 400 wickets in the longest format of the game, with the 77 Tests he took to achieve the milestone behind only the 72 taken by Muttiah Muralitharan.

Ravichandran Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Ramiz Raja: Ravichandran Ashwin Is An Amazing Off-spinner

During a discussion on India News about the potent Indian bowling attack for the World Test Championship (WTC) final, Ramiz Raja spoke in glowing terms about Ravichandran Ashwin.

“Ashwin is an amazing off-spinner. He has the floater, he spins the ball, delivers the ball from different angles and is intelligent. A one-off genius like him comes very rarely. So you should value him a lot,” said Raja.

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

On being asked about Pakistan having not produced quality off-spinners after the likes of Saqlain Mushtaq and Saeed Ajmal, the cricketer-turned-commentator highlighted that the ban on the ‘Doosra’ has made such bowlers ineffective.

“The two individuals you talked about, they had based their greatness on the Doosra. Since the time the Doosra has been sidelined, the spinners have to show themselves like Ashwin,” observed Raja.

The likes of Saeed Ajmal, Shane Shillingford, Sunil Narine, and Sachithra Senanayake have faced bans in the past due to excessive bends in their bowling arms. Even Mohammad Hafeez has been stopped from bowling on multiple occasions due to an illegal bowling action.

Ramiz Raja Feels Ravichandran Ashwin Can Break Muttiah Muralitharan’s Record Of Most Test Scalps

Ramiz Raja replied in the affirmative when asked if off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin can break Muttiah Muralitharan’s record of the most Test wickets. Ravichandran Ashwin still needs almost 400 wickets to breach Muttiah Muralitharan’s record.

“The pace at which he has been taking wickets, I feel he can break the record as well if he remains fit. His greatness is that he adjusts his bowling according to the different conditions,” said Ramiz Raja.

Ramiz Raja Image courtesy of: ARY Sports
Ramiz Raja Image courtesy of ARY Sports

The former Pakistan player signed off by stating that Ravichandran Ashwin has proved that an off-spinner can be an attacking bowler even without employing the ‘Doosra’ as a variation.

“It is very difficult to be an attacking off-spinner when you do not have the Doosra. The art of off-spin changed from defensive to attacking because of the Doosra. Ashwin has so many varieties, even without the Doosra he tests the technique of the batsmen with different angles.

“He is mentally strong, has been doing captaincy, has the idea when to attack and when to be defensive. It is difficult to bowl with the fielders up and he is very accurate,” concluded Ramiz Raja.

Ravichandran Ashwin has just crossed the halfway mark of Muttiah Muralitharan‘s tally of 800 Test wickets. It will require a herculean effort from the 34-year-old to break the Sri Lankan spinner’s record considering his age. Ravichandran Ashwin is the fastest Indian bowler (also in some records the joint-fastest in the world) to reach the 400-wicket mark in Test cricket in terms of the number of innings.

In 2016, he became the third Indian to win the ICC Cricketer of the Year award. He is currently the highest-ranked spinner in Test cricket and the highest-ranked Test bowler for India on the ICC Player Rankings. He is ranked 2nd Test bowler with 850 rating points.  Among all-rounders in Test, he is ranked 4th currently with 353 rating points.

Kuldeep Yadav
Kuldeep Yadav Photo Credit: AP

Kuldeep Yadav Opens Up About 1st Test Scalp, Recent Form, His Axe In IPL 2021 And 100 ODI Wickets

Kuldeep Yadav has the credit of clinching the fastest 100 ODI wickets (in terms of innings) for India as a spinner. Hailing from Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh, Kuldeep Yadav has surely made a case for himself in his brief career so far.

The game of cricket has always struck the chord of fans’ hearts owing to its enthralling variations and Kuldeep Yadav added more to it. Being the first Chinaman in the Indian mix, not only he brought variety to the table but also ruled record charts with his sheer finesse.

Kuldeep Yadav of India. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)
Kuldeep Yadav of India. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

Kuldeep Yadav Cherishes First Test Wicket And Feels Should Play More Games

Having marked his debut across formats in 2017, he became the second Indian and third spinner (overall) to clinch fifer in all the formats of the game. The saga of his masterclass doesn’t cease here as on January 17, 2020, during the second ODI against Australia, the 26-year-old became the fastest spinner (in terms of innings) for India to clock 100 ODI wickets.

Talking in the present context, the Indian spinner seems to have hit a little rough patch in his career where he has been warming the bench to grab his rightful chance. The exceptional bench strength of India and the correct team combination have denied many cricketers their share of chances including Kuldeep Yadav.

“It is always a special feeling to get the debut cap and when you take your first wicket. It was a very special moment for me and I was happy. If you watch the ball, it was a flipper and I set him with a flighted one and I knew there was a chance for an lbw or caught behind but it went straight to Ajinkya Rahane. Yes, it was a great moment for me,” on first Test wicket of David Warner

“Team combination matters a lot and I personally feel Jadeja brings a lot of depth in the batting. He scores both with bat and ball. So, it is always tough to choose between him and us,” on  Yuzvendra Chahal’s statement that Ravindra Jadeja’s comeback to all formats resulted in Kul-Cha not getting enough chances together in XI.

“I just think I should be playing more games because when you don’t do that, you tend to lack both rhythm and confidence.Yes, the last two years were difficult and very different for me. However, some games didn’t go in my favour but you always need to work hard and keep the momentum going, your time will probably come, ‘ on reassessing past 2 years performance.

“Team management has been very supportive in these times. Virat and Ravi Bhai also keep talking to me regularly and tell me the things needed in the match. Bharat Arun has also been supportive alongside management,”on support

“I feel everyone is good when they are in form so there is no particular batter.David Warner’s wicket remains my most memorable one, my first Test wicket,” on cherishing 1st Test scalp.

Yuzvendra Chahal & Kuldeep Yadav. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Yuzvendra Chahal & Kuldeep Yadav. (Photo Source: Twitter)

“These things will happen and come into your life often as a youngster and you need to face this challenge. Just keep working hard as you don’t know when the next opportunity arrives and when the team needs you, you have to put your hand up. You need to remain very positive and try not to complain about things,” on dealing with insecurity and depression.

“You always want to play cricket, whether it’s international or domestic. As long as I am getting opportunities to play games, I will be very happy,” on playing domestic cricket to gain confidence.

“I have got a fine gym at home, so I am working on my fitness and doing some shadow bowling. I am really looking forward to the Lanka series and I will be fully prepared before the tour,” on working hard for Lanka tour.

However, the Chinaman would be sure and adamant enough to cement his place with the national team in near future. Kuldeep Yadav also didn’t feature in a single game in the first half of the IPL 2021 and is all but certain to sit out the T20 World Cup. Hence, the upcoming tour of Sri Lanka, which will feature most of India’s fringe players, will be critical for him to try and win back his place in India’s first XI.

Kuldeep Yadav Shocked Not To Get Any Games For KKR In IPL 2021

With spinners like Sunil Narine, Shakib Al Hasan, Harbhajan Singh, Pawan Negi, and Varun Chakravarthy in the ranks of KKR, it remains to be seen whether the 26-year-old Chinaman spinner Kuldeep Yadav will get enough chances in IPL 2021 to prove his doubters wrong.

“It’s hard to say that I mean. Sometimes you feel you are ready to play but management doesn’t feel so. They think someone is better than you and they also think about the combination. These things happen in franchise cricket a lot. I thought I was ready to play in Chennai in IPL 2021 but it didn’t happen and it was shocking,” on KKR benching him.

Kuldeep Yadav With Dinesh Karthik-KKR. (Photo: IANS)
Kuldeep Yadav With Dinesh Karthik-KKR. (Photo: IANS)

“The crowd from Kanpur and Lucknow is really excited to see more games at Ekana. Once the COVID-19 crisis is over, we may get a lot of games here. Also, T20 World Cup will be played in India so we might see some games at Ekana,” on hometown Lucknow’s Ekana getting games.

” I always think of breaking or creating records whenever I am on the field and looking forward to my another 100 soon,” on being fastest spinner to clock 100 ODI scalps.

He played only 14 games in the last two seasons for KKR and his average was above 70 in both editions which is extremely poor by standards unlike his average in IPL 2016-2018 which was less than 30. In ODIs, he averaged 17.78 with the ball in 2018 picking as many as 45 wickets in 19 games but has picked only 6 scalps in 7 ODIs in 2020-21. In T20Is his average is an extraordinary 13.77 but he has got limited opportunities.

Ravichandran Ashwin last played a T20I match way back in 2017 against West Indies in Kingston. In the last 10 T20Is that he has played, Yuzvendra Chahal has taken 9 wickets. On the other hand, Kuldeep Yadav played 9 T20Is in 2018 and featured in just 4 T20Is in the last two years (2 T20Is in 2019 and 2 T20Is in 2020).
Pat Cummins. (BCCL/IPL)
Pat Cummins. (BCCL/IPL)

Pat Cummins Recalls 1st Game Played In India During Champions League T20 2011

Pat Cummins has established himself as one of the best bowlers in the world in the last few years. But it was only after a lengthy fight against injuries that he could establish himself in the Aussie team.

In a recent interview, Pat Cummins recalled his first game in India which took place during the Champions League T20. Then 18-year-old Pat Cummins was playing for New South Wales and was stunned to see the Indian crowds going wild.

New South Wales Blues bowler Patrick Cummins (right) celebrates a wicket during the Champions League Twenty20 first semi-final between Royal Challengers Bangalore and New South Wales Blues..
New South Wales Blues bowler Patrick Cummins. Photo Credit: BCCI.

Pat Cummins Recalled Crowd Went Crazy While Playing For New South Wales In 2011 Champions League In India

The 2011 Champions League Twenty20 was the third edition of the Champions League Twenty20, an international Twenty20 cricket tournament. It was held in India from 19 September to 9 October 2011. The defending champions were the Chennai Super Kings.

The Mumbai Indians emerged as the winners of the tournament, defeating the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the final. David Warner from the New South Wales Blues won the Golden Bat Award, while Ravi Rampaul was awarded the Golden Wicket Award and Lasith Malinga was declared the Player of the Tournament.

“The first time I landed in India was in 2011 to play the Champions League. I was playing for New South Wales and had just turned 18. That was the first time I had traveled overseas for cricket and growing up you hear all the stories of playing cricket in India and I just absolutely loved it,” Cummins said in the latest vlog uploaded on his Youtube channel.

Ravi Rampaul Associated Press
Ravi Rampaul-Associated Press. Photo Credit: IPL

“We played against some superstars, I think Sachin Tendulkar was playing in that tournament. As an 18-year-old coming here and hearing the crowd go crazy I couldn’t believe it.

“In the warm-up, David Warner and Shane Watson, who were on our side whenever they ran to the boundary, the crowd will just go crazy. It’s so different from Australia. We were here for three or four and I couldn’t get enough of it,” he further added.

David Warner of New South Wales scored 328 runs in 5 games and was followed by Chris Gayle-Virat Kohli duo of RCB. Apart from the trio, Jacques Kallis of KKR also scored more than 200 runs. Ravi Rampaul of Trinidad and Tobago picked 12 scalps while teammate Sunil Narine and Mumbai Indians’ Lasith Malinga took 10 scalps each.

New South Wales had players like David Warner, Steve Smith, Moises Henriques, Shane Watson, Simon Katich, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Hauritz, Josh Hazlewood, Philip Hughes apart from Pat Cummins.

Pat Cummins Enjoys Batting And Loves To Swing The Bat

Meanwhile, now Pat Cummins has become a mainstay not only in the Aussie team but his IPL franchise KKR, as well. During IPL 2021, he did decently well, and also played a crucial knock with the bat, smashing 66 from 34 balls.

“I do (enjoy batting), yeah, sure. Especially when you’re batting kind of like seven or eight you’ve got a small window normally to make an impact so you’re going to try to work on being able to hit from ball one.

“I spend a lot of time being a boring Test batter, I can’t score runs. So I quite enjoy coming out here and swinging the bat. Sometimes it comes off, sometimes it doesn’t,” he signed off.

Pat Cummins
Pat Cummins (File Photo)

He has picked 164 scalps in 34 Tests and 111 ODI wickets in 69 ODIs. He also has 37 scalps in 30 T20Is. He is currently the No. 1 Test bowler. Pat Cummins’ KKR teammates Prasidh Krishna, Varun Chakravarthy, Sandeep Warrier, and Tim Seifert had tested positive for Covid-19 leading to the indefinite postponement of IPL 2020.

Pat Cummins was the most expensive buy in the 2020 IPL Auction after being bagged by KKR for a whopping 15.50 crores. It was back to purple and gold for pacer Pat Cummins who picked 12 wickets in 14 games that included a 4-wicket haul in the 2020 IPL season. He bowled well in IPL 2021 picking 9 scalps in 7 games averaging 26.33 besides scoring 93 runs averaging 31.

Kieron Pollard
Kieron Pollard(Getty Images)

Kieron Pollard Reckons Shimron Hetmyer Can Take West Indies Cricket Forward

Kieron Pollard, West Indies limited-overs skipper wants to see star batsman Shimron Hetmyer dominate across all formats in international cricket. However, Kieron Pollard feels the southpaw has to work harder to gain the confidence of the selectors.

Shimron Hetmyer has not consistently featured in the last year due to injury concerns and he even opted out of the Bangladesh tour earlier this year. Since making his debut in 2017, the 24-year-old has played only 16 Tests, 45 ODIs, and 27 T20Is for the West Indies.

Shimron Hetmyer and Kieron Pollard (Credit: BCCI)
Shimron Hetmyer and Kieron Pollard (Credit: BCCI)

Kieron Pollard: Shimron Hetmyer Can Take West Indies Cricket Forward And Should Be Playing All 3 Formats

During an interaction on the Line & Length TV Show on Sportsmax, Kieron Pollard stated that Shimron Hetmyer is the player who will take West Indies cricket forward.

“We love Hetty. He is a young, talented cricketer. He is a guy who we know, deep in our hearts, can take West Indies cricket forward from a generational point of view with his skill and what he can achieve on a cricket field,” said Kieron Pollard.

“He knows the truth and he knows what it is. We would love Hetty to be playing all three formats, but as the saying goes, ‘You can only take the horse to the water, but you can’t force him to drink.’ With that being said, I will leave it right there and for the individual to get things together,” said Kieron Pollard.

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

Speaking about Shimron Hetmyer’s performances across the different formats of the game, Kieron Pollard said: “He has a fantastic record in ODI cricket. We saw what he can do in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and it’s just for him to take what’s in front of him. The world is at his feet.”

Over the last year, Shimron Hetmyer has managed only 100 runs from five innings in T20Is and 14 runs in two ODIs. The southpaw last played a Test match in November 2019. He could not make it into the West Indies squad for the recent home series against Sri Lanka after failing to clear the mandatory fitness test.

He last featured in an ODI match in January 2020. Shimron Hetmyer scored 84 runs in 6 matches for Delhi Capitals (DC) in now-postponed IPL 2021.

Kieron Pollard: West Indies Have To Plan Properly In Order To Conquer South Africa

Kieron Pollard warned that the West Indies will have to be at their best to beat a very talented South African side. The Men in Maroon play South Africa in a five-match T20I series starting June 26.

“We have to plan properly in order to conquer. I’m not looking too much into the names (of the opposition) because as I said before these guys are talented in their own right as they would have not been selected for their national teams (otherwise),” said Kieron Pollard.

West Indies all-rounder Andre Russell (Reuters Image)
West Indies all-rounder Andre Russell (Reuters Image)

The Cricket West Indies selection panel on Tuesday had announced a provisional 18-man squad for the three back-to-back five-match T20I series against South Africa, Australia, and Pakistan. Andre Russell has returned to the T20I squad for the first time since March 2020.

Sheldon Cottrell, Shimron Hetmyer, Andre Russell, Oshane Thomas, and Hayden Walsh Jr. return alongside the majority of the squad who featured in the 2-1 T20I Series victory against Sri Lanka in March. Kieron Pollard, who led the team to the ODI and T20I series win against Sri Lanka, will continue to captain the team. Nicholas Pooran will play the role of Kieron Pollard’s deputy. It has been learned that Suni Narine is still not ready to return to international cricket.

West Indies T20I squad: Kieron Pollard (capt), Nicholas Pooran (wk), Fabian Allen, Dwayne Bravo, Sheldon Cottrell, Fidel Edwards, Andre Fletcher, Chris Gayle, Shimron Hetmyer, Jason Holder, Akeal Hosein, Evin Lewis, Obed McCoy, Andre Russell, Lendl Simmons, Oshane Thomas, Hayden Walsh Jnr

Andre Russell (Photo: BCCI)
Andre Russell (Photo: BCCI)

IPL 2021: Andre Russell Will Come To Bat After About 12 Overs, Says Brendon McCullum

Andre Russell’s batting position for his IPL franchise Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) has been debated for the past few seasons. After yet another KKR loss, coach Brendon McCullum shed more light on the team’s strategy regarding the Jamaican’s batting position.

On Thursday, against the Delhi Capitals (DC), Andre Russell walked out to bat at No.6 – a position popularly believed to be too low for someone who is the side’s trump card. Coming in during the 11th over, he smashed a 27-ball 45 not out to help KKR post 154. However, the total wasn’t enough to prevent a defeat.

Andre Russell. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)
Andre Russell. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

Andre Russell Couldn’t Play With The Same Freedom But Powered KKR To A Competitive Score: Brendon McCullum

With wickets falling at the other end, the West Indian all-rounder couldn’t express himself as freely as he usually does. With a strike rate of 180 in his IPL career, Andre Russell tops the list of the best strike rates in the tournament’s history. So while Brendon McCullum believes that the 33-year-old is best utilized after 12 overs, he wants the other batters to provide him with a platform.

Speaking on why KKR management thinks Andre Russell’s position should be strategic, McCullum told the press: “I had a conversation with Andre Russell at the start of the season. We looked at a lot of stats and numbers.

“Ideally, with the right platform, beyond 12 overs is what we agreed on. There are times when he has to come in earlier, like today. That allowed him to settle down slightly better, but he couldn’t play with the same freedom because we had fallen into a sort of a hole. But then he powered us to a competitive score.”

Brendon McCullum
Brendon McCullum BCCI

Skipper Eoin Morgan was ineffective, and the gamble of promoting Sunil Narine didn’t pay off either. Sunil Narine has managed to score a mere 10 runs in 4 matches while skipper Eoin Morgan has managed only 92 runs in 7 games with a highest of 47 as KKR’s middle order has failed repeatedly this season.

Brendon McCullum: It’s Up To The Other Guys To Provide Andre Russell With A Platform

Brendon McCullum cited the example of KKR’s clash against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in Mumbai last week, where KKR was 31 for five in the sixth over, chasing 221, and Andre Russell kept them in the game with a 22-ball 54 not out. KKR was eventually bowled out for 202 to lose by 18 runs.

KKR was reeling at 31/5 but a late assault from Andre Russell, Dinesh Karthik, and Pat Cummins helped the 2-time champions get close to CSK’s total of 220 runs. Dinesh Karthik hit 40 from 24 while PatCummins hit 6 sixes and 4 boundaries for his 34-ball 66 not out before running out of partners.

McCullum said: “Against Chennai Super Kings at Mumbai, the game was so far beyond us by the time he walked in. He had to take the game on, and he has the ability. Ideally, it’s 12 overs onwards when he can do the damage with the least amount of risks.

“So it’s really up to the other guys to provide him with a better platform rather than ask too much from him. He was good tonight and in the last few games. So, looking at the few positives from this loss, his form is certainly one.”

Dinesh Karthik and Andre Russell | IANS
Dinesh Karthik and Andre Russell | IANS

With 163 runs at 27.16 and a strike rate of 155.23, Andre Russell has had a fluctuating season this year and has often struggled for support. KKR is in the fifth spot in the points table with only two wins from their seven matches. They will have to win at least five of their remaining seven games to stand a chance of qualification to the playoffs.

KKR has batsmen – Karun Nair, Gurkeerat Singh, Ben Cutting, Sheldon Jackson, and Tim Seifert – warming the bench as the side-eye changes in the games to follow.

Brendon McCullum
Brendon McCullum BCCI

Prithvi Shaw’s Innings A Template Of How KKR Wants To Play, Says Brendon McCullum

Brendon McCullum, KKR’s head coach is not impressed with the way the campaign has gone for the Knights in the ongoing 14th edition of the IPL after suffering a seven-wicket defeat at the hands of Delhi Capitals on Thursday which sees Kolkata Knight Riders sitting at the fifth spot in the points table with just two wins after seven games.

Both Brendon McCullum and skipper Eoin Morgan are associated with playing an aggressive brand of cricket. But the KKR hasn’t managed to do that and Brendon McCullum says it has been nothing short of disappointing at how the team has played so far, including the loss to DC.

KKR coach Brendon McCullum (left) and captain Eoin Morgan at training. (Twitter)
KKR coach Brendon McCullum (left) and captain Eoin Morgan at training. (Twitter)

Brendon Mccullum: Prithvi Shaw’s Innings Was A Template Of How KKR Wants To Play With An Aggressive Approach

Prithvi Shaw scored the fastest fifty of Indian Premier League 2021 on Thursday during the chase of 155 against Kolkata Knight Riders as due to his 41-ball 82, Delhi Capitals pulled off a comprehensive 7-wicket win to grab second place on the points table.

“I am glad you asked me this. It is very disappointing, as a player you are asked to be given freedom, confidence, and loyalty when it comes to selection. To go out there and take the game on, and be aggressive to try and make things happen for your team.

“That’s the style of play that myself and captain Eoin Morgan have asked of our players. But unfortunately, we are not getting it in abundance that we need and what we saw from Prithvi Shaw tonight was a perfect template of how we want to play,” he said while replying to an ANI query in the post-match virtual press conference.

Prithvi Shaw smashed six fours in the first over Delhi Capitals' innings against the Kolkata Knight Riders | Photo: BCCI / IPL
Prithvi Shaw smashed six fours in the first over Delhi Capitals’ innings against the Kolkata Knight Riders | Photo: BCCI / IPL

But Brendon McCullum is clear that if the boys cannot get their act right, he will have to sit with the senior team management and take calls that will see KKR return to winning ways.

“You cannot hit every ball for four or six, you can have the intent to do so. Unfortunately tonight we did not play as many shots, and that has become a theme and there’s a saying that I followed throughout my career — if you cannot change the man, change the man. We need to make some changes and try and bring some fresh personnel who can try to take the game on a bit more,” he pointed.

KKR has maintained their 5th spot in the points table after this defeat. However, with just 2 wins from half of their league games, their chances of qualifying for the playoffs are looking bleak. KKR has batsmen – Karun Nair, Gurkeerat Singh, Ben Cutting, Sheldon Jackson, and Tim Seifert – warming the bench as the side-eye changes in the games to follow.

Brendon McCullum: Batting Order On Paper Is Really Good But Hasn’t Yet Delivered

While the KKR batting line-up looks to have the firepower it needs, the runs on the board have left a lot to be desired and Brendon McCullum feels that the batsmen at the top need to take the initiative when the ball is new as the surface is slow.

“The batting order on paper is really good, but it just hasn’t delivered. You only look at the best games of the guys when you are putting batting order together, unfortunately, we haven’t been able to go on with it to post a suitable score. Andre Russell did well to take us to that score, but on a slow surface like that, you need to maximize the new ball in the fielding restrictions.”

Andre Russell. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)
Andre Russell. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

“In T20 cricket, you got to part the old school mentality of scoring a boundary and then taking a one, you have to try and put pressure on opposition teams, if you score boundary, you need to look for another one. It is very difficult if you are not looking for that boundaries. I have asked to be more aggressive and we continue to not do that, we have to make some changes for sure,” Brendon McCullum said. 

On the Ahmedabad pitch that seemed like a batting paradise, KKR batsmen only collected 154 runs in their 20 overs. A lion’s share of these came through the late flourish by Andre Russell (45 off 27). The top-3 of Nitish Rana, Shubman Gill, and Rahul Tripathi got off to a good start but failed to step on the gas for the umpteenth time in the tournament. Skipper Eoin Morgan was ineffective, and the gamble of promoting Sunil Narine didn’t pay off either.

Sunil Narine has managed to score 10 runs in 4 matches while Eoin Morgan has managed 92 runs in 7 games with a highest of 47 as KKR’s middle order has failed repeatedly this season.

Brief Scores: Delhi Capitals: 156/3 (Prithvi Shaw 82, Shikhar Dhawan 46; Pat Cummins 3/24 ) beat Kolkata Knight Riders: 154/6 (Andre Russell 45*, Shubman Gill 43; Lalit Yadav 2/13) by 7 wickets.

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