Sunil Narine | Sportzwiki

Sunil Narine

Hardik Pandya, Shubman Gill, Rashid Khan. (Photo: Twitter)
Hardik Pandya, Shubman Gill, Rashid Khan. (Photo: Twitter)
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Hardik Pandya, Rashid Khan And Shubman Gill Set To Be Part Of Ahmedabad Franchise In IPL 2022

Hardik Pandya, Rashid Khan, and Shubman Gill are set to be a part of the Ahmedabad franchise for the upcoming IPL 2022 season.
The Ahmedabad franchise, which was bought last October by CVC Capital Partners (Irelia Company Pte Ltd), has also finalized its coaching staff – they will be led by former India fast bowler Ashish Nehra, and former South Africa batter and head coach Gary Kirsten.
Former England batter Vikram Solanki, who is currently Surrey’s head coach, will be the team director. This is the second IPL franchise where the trio will work together: the previous instance was at Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Hardik Pandya Image: PTI
Hardik Pandya Image: PTI

Hardik Pandya And Rashid Khan All Set To Play Together For Ahmedabad Franchise

Ahmedabad and Lucknow, the two new franchises participating in the IPL 2022, are yet to disclose the players they have bought but the deadline for doing so is fast approaching- January 22.  Both teams were given the same purse – INR 90 crore – the same as the existing eight franchises.
However, unlike the other teams, which could retain four players, the two new ones can buy a maximum of three players with the overseas slot limited to one. It has been learned that Ahmedabad has decided to pay both Hardik Pandya and Rashid Khan the same amount – INR 15 crore.
It is also learned that Hardik Pandya is likely to take charge as Ahmedabad captain, a first experience for the allrounder in the IPL. The third player – Shubman Gill – will be paid INR 7 crore. This means the franchise will go into the auction in February with a purse of INR 53 crore.
Hardik Pandya’s rise, since he was bought as an uncapped player for a mere INR 10 lakh in 2015, has been exponential. By 2018, he had established himself as the best allrounder in India and Mumbai duly retained him as their second pick at the auction that year, paying INR 11 crore.
This is the first time Hardik Pandya and Rashid Khan will play for the same team in the IPL, having previously represented Mumbai Indians and Sunrisers Hyderabad respectively. Hardik Pandya is a four-time title-winner. However, Hardik Pandya struggled with fitness issues over the last two IPLs and did not bowl at all in this period. His batting, too, hasn’t been as effective as before.
Rashid Khan. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)
Rashid Khan. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)
That forced Mumbai to look in a different direction as they retained the in-form Suryakumar Yadav, who has proven he can bat and accelerate at any position. Hardik Pandya is currently focussing on regaining complete fitness and has not been part of any of the Indian white-ball squads since the 2021 T20I World Cup.
As for Rashid Khan, the Afghanistan legspinner became a big talking point immediately after Sunrisers Hyderabad decided to retain Kane Williamson, who will be full-time captain from IPL 2022, along with the uncapped Jammu & Kashmir pairing of Abdul Samad and Umran Malik.
In 2017, Sunrisers Hyderabad bought Rashid Khan for INR 4 crore and, a year later, they retained him for INR 9 crore. Remarkably, Rashid Khan featured in all 76 matches played by Sunrisers Hyderabad since his debut, picking up 93 wickets at an economy rate of 6.33. Only Jasprit Bumrah has taken more wickets (104) than Rashid Khan in the last five IPL seasons.
Sunrisers Hyderabad wanted to keep Rashid Khan, so they told him that he would be their second pick behind Kane Williamson. The talks got derailed thereafter, which freed Rashid Khan to weigh up his options, including going into the IPL 2022 mega auction.

Shubman Gill Also Set To Be A Part Of Ahmedabad Franchise In IPL 2022

For Shubman Gill, this will be his second team in the IPL having been picked by Kolkata Knight Riders in the 2018 auction for INR 1.8 crore. The 22-year old, who has already played 10 Tests and three ODIs, has been earmarked as one of the brightest young talents of this decade, and at one point was even looked upon as a future leader by the Kolkata Knight Riders.
Shubman Gill (Image Credit: Twitter)
Shubman Gill (Image Credit: Twitter)
However, the Kolkata Knight Riders had several other options when it came to the retention and Shubman Gill had to be left out. Shubman Gill was a member of the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and he was let go by the franchise as the franchise retained Varun Chakravarthy, Venkatesh Iyer, Sunil Narine, and Andre Russell instead.
Ahmedabad’s third choice Ishan Kishan didn’t work out and they zeroed in on Shubman Gill, who could also be seen as a potential captaincy candidate.

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Venkatesh Iyer scored his maiden IPL fifty in the game vs MI.© Instagram
Venkatesh Iyer scored his maiden IPL fifty in the game vs MI.© Instagram
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Looking Forward To Play In Eden Gardens: Venkatesh Iyer Grateful To KKR For Retaining Him For IPL 2022

Venkatesh Iyer was one of the 4 players that the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) chose to retain ahead of the IPL auctions. Venkatesh Iyer will be paid a colossal sum of INR 8 Crore by the Kolkata franchise for the 2022 edition of the tournament.

IPL franchise Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) has retained Sunil Narine, Andre Russell, Venkatesh Iyer, and Varun Chakravarthy for IPL 2022. KKR ended as runners-up to CSK in IPL 2021 after losing the final by 27 runs. However, the franchise does not seem keen on retaining its leadership group of Eoin Morgan and Dinesh Karthik.

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

Venkatesh Iyer Is Extremely Grateful To Kolkata Knight Riders Management For Retaining Him For IPL 2022

The dashing left-hander has revealed that he is happy to have been retained by the KKR franchise. Adding that the KKR side gave him his major break in his career, the 26-year-old said that he is grateful to the management for having faith in him.

“I am really happy to be back, KKR is the franchise that gave me my big break and introduced me to the world of cricket. I am extremely grateful to KKR management for putting their faith in me,” said Venkatesh according to an official release from the KKR franchise.

Venkatesh Iyer scored 4 off 2 balls during a short stay at the crease on debut. (Getty)
Venkatesh Iyer scored 4 off 2 balls during a short stay at the crease on debut. (Getty)

Venkatesh Iyer’s IPL salary has shot up 40 times. In the 2021 auction, Knight Riders bought the allrounder for his base price of INR 20 lakh. On Tuesday, Venkatesh Iyer, who made his India debut in November, was retained by Knight Riders for INR 8 crore. The all-rounder played all 3 T20Is at home against 2021 T20I WC runners up New Zealand and scored 36 runs and picked a solitary scalp,

Venkatesh Iyer Feels At Home Being A Part Of KKR And Is Looking Forward To Play Before Eden Gardens Crowd

Venkatesh Iyer also said that he feels at home when he is playing for the KKR outfit, and added that the Kolkata franchise had played a pivotal role in helping him make his debut for the Indian side as well. Venkatesh Iyer concluded by stating that he is looking forward to playing in front of the crowd at The Eden Gardens in Kolkata.

Venkatesh Iyer
Venkatesh Iyer. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

“I feel at home being a part of KKR, the franchise has played a very vital role in me adorning the blues. I am looking forward to playing at Eden gardens, it’s always special to be there and to play in front of a packed crowd,” concluded Venkatesh.

Venkatesh Iyer was in rollicking form in the 2021 edition of the IPL’s UAE leg and gave blazing starts for the KKR side at the top of the order. He played 10 matches in the tournament and plundered 370 runs at an average of 41.11, and a strike rate of close to 130.

IPL Trophy. (BCCI/IPL Photo)
IPL Trophy. (BCCI/IPL Photo)
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IPL 2022: Lucknow And Ahmedabad To Sign 3 Players Before Mega Auction

IPL 2022 is set to witness the introduction of two new teams, Lucknow and Ahmedabad, who will now look to sign three players before the auction. The much-awaited list of retained players was unveiled on November 30 (Tuesday) ahead of the mega auction of the IPL 2022. The existing eight teams had to make some tough decisions and leave out some of their key players to abide by the rules in place.

All the released players from the existing eight teams now have a chance to play for Lucknow and Ahmedabad in the IPL 2022. However, the two franchises won’t be able to pick more than three players before IPL 2022 mega auctions. They can only sign a maximum of two Indian players and one foreign player.

IPL Trophy
IPL Trophy (Image Credit: Twitter)

IPL 2022 Will Witness Lucknow And Ahmedabad To Sign 3 Players Before Auctions

The BCCI had set a price slab for the existing eight teams to retain their players. In a similar way, the two new teams featuring in IPL 2022 will have only Rs 33 crore to spend from their 90 crore purse to sign three players. The break up for the same is – Rs 15 crore, Rs 11 crore, and Rs 7 crore for the first, second, and third player respectively.

“If a player is negotiating with a new franchise, he can do it according to the purse allocation. If someone is in line to become the captain of a new team, then obviously he will be joining for Rs 15 crore,” said a CEO of one of the franchises.

Suresh Raina
Suresh Raina (Image Credit: Twitter)

Ahmedabad would be really interested in gaining the services of Hardik and Krunal Pandya, who Mumbai Indians have not retained, so is Ishan Kishan. Suresh Raina, another IPL stalwart, has been released from his franchise, Chennai Super Kings. Shreyas Iyer, who led Delhi Capitals to the 2020 IPL final, has also parted ways with the franchise, who decided to continue with Rishabh Pant as the captain.

KL Rahul To Be Assigned Skipper For Lucknow In IPL 2022: Reports

Reports have already suggested that KL Rahul will be playing for Lucknow next season, with the negotiations starting long back. However, Punjab Kings head coach Anil Kumble confirmed that the opening batter decided to go into the auction and hence the franchise had to release him. Something similar might happen with Rashid Khan, who opted to leave Sunrisers Hyderabad and could end up playing for one of the two new teams.

KL Rahul
KL Rahul (Image Credit: Twitter)

The deadline for the new teams to sign three players is December 25, and then the mega auction is expected to happen. The date for the mega auction isn’t officially announced yet, but it could happen in January 2022.

Many of the big-ticket players, including MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, and Glenn Maxwell, were retained. But the list of players released and going back into the auction pool is a long one.

Likes of Rashid Khan, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Shikhar Dhawan, Ravichandran Ashwin, Hardik Pandya, Ishan Kishan, Shubman Gill, Yuzvendra Chahal, and Deepak Chahar were released by their respective franchises.

KL Rahul
KL Rahul (Image Credit: Twitter)
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KL Rahul Could Be Made Skipper Of New Lucknow Franchise And Rashid Khan May Be Included But The Duo Can Be Banned For 1 Year

KL Rahul has been in ominous form with the bat, especially in the T20 format. Now, with KL Rahul parting ways with Punjab Kings, as per a report, new franchise Lucknow is set to lap him up. Reports claim Lucknow has offered him Rs 20 Cr. If that happens, he would become the most expensive player in the history of the league.

Even otherwise, KL Rahul at Rs 17 Cr (2018-2021) is still the most expensive player. If Lucknow ropes him in, then he could very well be made the captain of the side. Thus far, KL Rahul has played 94 matches in IPL and has amassed 3273 runs at an average of over 41.

KL Rahul
KL Rahul (Image Credit: Twitter)

KL Rahul Could Be Made Skipper Of New Lucknow Franchise Which Reportedly Has Offered INR 20 Crores Making Him The Most Expensive Player In IPL History

In the 2021 IPL, KL Rahul smashed 626 runs in 13 matches and was the third-highest run-getter in IPL 2021, but unfortunately, failed to inspire the side to a title. KL Rahul has been the best opener in IPL since 2018 and scored 659, 593, 670, and 626 runs in the past four seasons, respectively.

The Lucknow franchise has zeroed in on KL Rahul to be their next captain, and negotiations are learnt to be on with the opening batsman. If it goes ahead, the development will leave seven franchises – including SRH, if they want an Indian to replace Kane Williamson as captain and the new Ahmedabad franchise – looking for a new skipper. The BCCI will come out with its new media-rights tender after the mega-auction gets over.

Rashid Khan
Rashid Khan. Image Credits: Twitter

Some reports also suggest that the new franchise is in talks with Rashid Khan. Lucknow is interested in getting the services of the Afghan star. Rashid Khan is apparently not happy with Hyderabad’s offer. He wants to be the first-choice at the Retention, but the franchise reckons Kane Williamson is the one for that.

The existing eight franchises of the Indian Premier League (IPL) have reached the deadline to submit their respective lists for player retention. The BCCI will make the names of retained players public on Tuesday afternoon and pave the way for the two new teams to start signing players ahead of the mega-auction.

The retention rules are as follows: A franchise can retain a maximum of a) three Indians and one overseas player; b) two Indians and two overseas players.

It has been learnt that RPSG owned Lucknow based new IPL franchise is willing to offer INR 20 Crores salary to KL Rahul to leave PBKS while Rashid Khan will be getting INR 16 Crores for his services in the coming season.

Chennai Super Kings Have Retained MS Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, Ruturaj Gaikwad and Moeen Ali, While Mumbai Indians Have Retained Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishan Kishan and Kieron Pollard

Bearing these set of rules in mind, IPL 2021 defending champions Chennai Super Kings (CSK) have retained MS Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, Ruturaj Gaikwad and Moeen Ali.

Five-time champions Mumbai Indians are holding back captain Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishan Kishan and Kieron Pollard. However, it is learnt that MI have, until the last moment, been deliberating over all-rounder Hardik Pandya who played as a specialist batter in the last 2 IPLs but whether the Baroda cricketer will be fit to bowl or not starting next season remains the key.

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

Here are the details from the remaining franchises:

Delhi Capitals: Rishabh Pant, Prithvi Shaw, Axar Patel, Anrich Nortje. The franchise has decided to let go of former skipper Shreyas Iyer and their leading batsman Shikhar Dhawan.

Kolkata Knight Riders: Sunil Narine, Venkatesh Iyer, Varun Chakravarthy and Andre Russell. Late until Monday evening, there was no confirmation if Shubhman Gill would remain part of the Knight Riders’ plans.

Royal Challengers Bangalore: Virat Kohli, Mohammed Siraj and Glenn Maxwell. The franchise wanted to retain Yuzuvendra Chahal, but it is learnt that both sides couldn’t reach an understanding.

Sunrisers Hyderabad: The beleaguered franchise may just retain New Zealand captain Kane Williamson. Afghanistan leg spinner Rashid Khan is learnt to be negotiating with one of the new franchises.

Punjab Kings: Mayank Agarwal and two uncapped players Ravi Bishnoi and Arshdeep Singh, are what Punjab is looking to retain.

Rajasthan Royals: Sanju Samson, Jos Butler and Yashasvi Jaiswal.

This list of retention is based on sources in the IPL, but final confirmation of the same can only be expected on Tuesday. Once the BCCI ratifies these retentions, the two new franchises – Lucknow and Ahmedabad – will be asked to identify players – a maximum of three Indians and one overseas player or two Indians and two overseas players – by mid-December and the remaining players will go into the mega-auction being planned either towards the end of December or January first week.

Last mega auction

This will be the last mega-auction that the IPL intends to hold and most stakeholders in the league, including the majority of franchises, are in line with the proposal.

“We genuinely hope this is the last mega-auction because the trend has clearly gone past its sell-by date. This, in turn, will also put pressure on franchisees to pick well at this mega-auction because they’ll be building their future teams around these set of players,” said sources privy to developments.

Amidst all the retention process going on with the eight Indian Premier League (IPL) franchises, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) could hand-over one year ban to Indian star batsman KL Rahul and Afghanistan spinner Rashid Khan for breaching the IPL code of conduct.

A verbal complaint has been raised by Punjab Kings (PBKS) and Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) against Lucknow based new IPL franchise for ‘pursuing & poaching’ Rashid Khan and KL Rahul to leave their respective franchise in the coming season.

MS Dhoni (BCCI/IPL)
MS Dhoni (BCCI/IPL)
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Chennai Super Kings Likely To Retain MS Dhoni For Next 3 IPL Seasons As Franchises Decide On Player Retentions For IPL 2022

Chennai Super Kings are likely to retain their longstanding captain MS Dhoni for the next three Indian Premier League seasons. Apart from MS Dhoni, the franchise Chennai Super Kings is set to retain all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, and opener Ruturaj Gaikwad-the top run-getter in IPL 2021, who played crucial roles as Chennai Super Kings won the 2021 IPL title.

As per BCCI rules, each team is allowed to retain a maximum of four players. Chennai Super Kings is also in talks with England all-rounder Moeen Ali to come on board. As BCCI secretary Jay Shah had stated that the next season of IPL 2022 will be played in India, CSK feels Moeen Ali could be a handy player on the slow, turning Chennai wicket.

Chennai Super Kings' Ravindra Jadeja With MS Dhoni CSK Twitter Handle
Chennai Super Kings’ Ravindra Jadeja With MS Dhoni CSK Twitter Handle

Chennai Super Kings Likely To Retain MS Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, Ruturaj Gaikwad And Moeen Ali Or Sam Curran

If Moeen Ali doesn’t agree to stay, Chennai Super Kings will have left-arm medium-pacer Sam Curran as their fourth retained player. The franchises have to submit their lists of retained players by November 30 and the IPL 2022 will have its mega auction next month.

Chennai Super Kings retaining MS Dhoni wouldn’t come as a surprise, especially with the brand value he brings to the team. At a recent Chennai Super Kings event, MS Dhoni had confirmed that his last T20 game will be in Chennai, putting his IPL retirement speculations to bed.

“I have always planned my cricket. My last ODI in India was in Ranchi. Hopefully, my last T20 will be in Chennai. Whether it’s next year or in five years’ time, I don’t know,” Dhoni had said.

Ishan Kishan and Rishabh Pant | BCCI/IPL
Ishan Kishan and Rishabh Pant | BCCI/IPL

Chennai Super Kings are also likely not to retain Suresh Raina for the first time. The former India batsman has been out of touch and didn’t play crucial knockout IPL games. Meanwhile, Delhi Capitals are set to retain wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant, all-rounder Axar Patel, Prithvi Shaw and pacer Anrich Nortje. Shreyas Iyer was released since he wanted to lead Delhi Capitals, but the franchise was keen to have Rishabh Pant as their leader going ahead.

However, most franchises will be following the tactic of not retaining four players as this could lead to stress on their purse during the auction. It is understood that Mumbai Indians will retain Rohit Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah. While negotiations with their West Indies all-rounder Kieron Pollard are still on, the franchise wants to buy Suryakumar Yadav from the auction pool and chances of Ishan Kishan being retained are also bright.

KL Rahul Has Parted Ways With Punjab Kings And Will Likely Lead Lucknow Franchise

Two new teams Sanjiv Goenka’s RPSG group and CVC Capitals (though they haven’t been given the green signal yet from the board), have begun approaching a few top Indian players. India opener KL Rahul is likely to lead Sanjeev Goenka’s new Lucknow team. KL Rahul, who was signed by PBKS for Rs 11 crore at the IPL 2018 auction, will reportedly spearhead the new Lucknow franchise in the IPL 2022.

It is learnt KL Rahul has parted ways with Punjab Kings and has accepted Sanjeev Goenka’s offer. It is also learnt that Suryakumar Yadav was approached by the new franchise, but the batsman hasn’t responded yet.

KL Rahul
KL Rahul (Image Credit: Twitter)

Meanwhile, Kolkata Knight Riders are likely to retain their two all-rounders, Sunil Narine and Andre Russell, while they want to keep Varun Chakravarty too. However, it is learnt that KKR is still deciding on whether to retain Shubman Gill or Venkatesh Iyer.

Meanwhile, Aakash Chopra opined that RCB will retain Virat Kohli, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammed Siraj, and Devdutt Padikkal. However, he excluded pacer Harshal Patel, who was the Purple Cap winner in IPL 2021 and inconsistent big-hitting batsman Glenn Maxwell.

Players Likely To Be Retained:

CSK: MS Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, Moeen Ali/ Sam Curran , Ruturaj Gaikwad

KKR: Sunil Narine, Andre Russell, Shubman Gill/Venkatesh Iyer, Varun Chakravarthy

RCB: Virat Kohli, Glenn Maxwell, Yuzvendra Chahal

DC: Rishabh Pant, Prithvi Shaw, Anrich Nortje, Avesh Khan/Axar Patel

RR: Ben Stokes, Sanju Samson, Jos Buttler

SRH: Rashid Khan, Jonny Bairstow/Kane Williamson

MI: Rohit Sharma, Ishan Kishan, Jasprit Bumrah, Kieron Pollard

PBKS: KL Rahul (if he agrees to stay), Mayank Agarwal, Ravi Bishnoi

MS Dhoni (BCCI/IPL)
MS Dhoni (BCCI/IPL)
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Harbhajan Singh Picks MS Dhoni To Lead His All-Time T20 XI

Harbhajan Singh, a veteran Indian spinner, has picked MS Dhoni as his all-time T20 XI skipper. The now 40-year-old MS Dhoni started his T20I career, guiding Team India to glory in the inaugural edition of the T20 World Cup in South Africa in 2007, a year before IPL started. Thereafter, he helped his IPL franchise Chennai Super Kings win the Indian Premier League four times and the Champions League T20 a couple of times as well.

As his openers, Harbhajan Singh picked India’s Rohit Sharma and West Indies’ Chris Gayle. Then, for the No.3 slot, the Turbanator went for England’s Jos Buttler. He said that Jos Buttler is reliable and has the ability to dictate terms after getting set.

Harbhajan Singh. (Twitter/KKRiders)
Harbhajan Singh. (Twitter/KKRiders)

Harbhajan Singh: Jos Buttler Is A Reliable Batsman

Jos Buttler has scored in excess of 250 every time since making his IPL debut in 2016. While he had to leave IPL 2019 midway to join the England team for the World Cup 2019 preparations, he made an impact during his eight-game stint, scoring 311 runs, following his 548-run season in IPL 2018.

The right-hander scored 328 runs in the IPL 2020 and 254 runs in 7 games in the India leg of IPL 2021 that included a ton-his career-best 124 before opting out of the UAE leg IPL 2021.

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

“He is a very reliable batsman and someone who can control the game once he gets set,” Harbhajan was quoted as saying.

At No.4, Harbhajan Singh picked Shane Watson, who retired from all forms of cricket in November 2020. Back in 2016, after the World T20 in India, Shane Watson bid adieu to international cricket. However, Harbhajan Singh said that Shane Watson had the potential to put in all-around performances and help his team win matches.

“Being an all-rounder, he has won many matches through his batting ability and has won games with the ball as well,” he stated.

In IPL 2020, held entirely in UAE, Shane Watson scored 299 runs from 11 matches averaging 29.9 at a strike rate of 121.05. CSK finished their campaign in seventh place with 12 points from 14 matches, and it was the first time they couldn’t reach the playoffs.

Harbhajan Singh: Kieron Pollard Can Be Moved Up And Down The Batting Order As Per Demands Of The Situation

Harbhajan Singh went for South Africa’s AB de Villiers, India’s MS Dhoni, West Indies’ Dwayne Bravo, and Kieron Pollard at No. 5, 6, 7, and 8 respectively. However, the veteran said that Kieron Pollard could also be slotted up the order if the situation demands so.

“The batting order can be altered and Pollard could be moved up and down the order depending on the needs of the side. Any T20 team is incomplete without Pollard,” Harbhajan added.

Kieron Pollard(Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)
Kieron Pollard(Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)

He also picked the wily Sunil Narine, who has plied his trade in numerous T20 leagues around the world. Next, Harbhajan Singh went for Lasith Malinga and Jasprit Bumrah as his two specialist fast bowlers. Lasith Malinga is the leading wicket-taker in the history of the IPL, having racked up 170 wickets at an economy rate of 7.14. Jasprit Bumrah, on the other hand, is the Indian pace spearhead across formats.

Indian skipper Virat Kohli and Pakistani batter Babar Azam, who doesn’t feature in IPL, were not picked by Harbhajan Singh in his all-time T20I playing XI. Another surprise exclusion is Afghanistan’s Rashid Khan, who has the best economic rate in IPL. Also, missing was the 2011 ODI World cup and 2007 T20I World cup hero Yuvraj Singh, who hit 6 maximums in an over against England’s Stuart Broad in the 2007 T20I World Cup.

Harbhajan Singh’s T20 XI 

Rohit Sharma, Chris Gayle, Jos Buttler, Shane Watson, AB de Villiers, MS Dhoni (c &wk), Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard, Sunil Narine, Lasith Malinga, Jasprit Bumrah

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)
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Brendon McCullum Admits His Style Of Coaching Or Leadership For KKR During IPL 2021 Was Perhaps “Wild”

Brendon McCullum, Kolkata Knight Riders head coach, has said that his coaching style during the IPL this year, initially in India and later in UAE, was “a little wild”.

After struggling in the first leg of the tournament in India, KKR made a remarkable turnaround when the event was moved to the UAE, reaching the finals to play eventual champions Chennai Super Kings, where they lost.

Kolkata Knight Riders
Kolkata Knight Riders (Image Credit: Twitter)

Brendon McCullum’s Style Of Coaching Or Leadership Was Perhaps Wild

KKR ended the season as runners-up, which was impressive, because they had won just two of their seven games in the India leg of the tournament. Eventually, CSK was the better team on the day as KKR fell short of their third IPL title.
Brendon McCullum
Brendon McCullum BCCI

Brendon McCullum played in the IPL as a player from 2008 to 2018. Brendon McCullum featured in 109 matches in the IPL and amassed 2881 runs with a strike rate of 131.61. In the opening season, Brendon McCullum’s 158 not out for the Kolkata Knight Riders is still engraved in every IPL fan.

“My style of leadership or coaching was perhaps a little wild,” Brendon McCullum said.

Shubman Gill amassed 478 runs in 17 games, while Nitish Rana amassed 383 runs and Rahul Tripathi managed 397 runs, while the likes of Eoin Morgan (133 runs) and Dinesh Karthik (223 runs) failed to deliver with the bat. Pacer Lockie Ferguson picked 13 scalps, spinners Sunil Narine picked 16, and Varun Chakravarthy picked 18 scalps- the highest by a KKR bowler. Indian pacers Shivam Mavi and Prasidh Krishna were also among the wickets.

Brendon McCullum: KKR Rocked In The Second Half Of IPL 2021

The former New Zealand captain, though, was pleased to see the comeback KKR made in the league.

“It takes a little while to really dig down and thankfully we were able to do it in the second half of the tournament and we got a bit more intent into batting and then we were able to play a bit more of an aggressive form of cricket. Thankfully it translated to results and we got on a bit of a roll.”

Venkatesh Iyer scored his maiden IPL fifty in the game vs MI.© Instagram
Venkatesh Iyer scored his maiden IPL fifty in the game vs MI.© Instagram

KKR had just two wins out of seven matches at the end of the first leg and was placed seventh. But, in the second half of the tournament in the UAE, they won five out of their remaining league matches to make the playoffs, and then, the finals.

“We rocked in the second half of the tournament, we were kind of dead and buried (after starting with two wins and five losses). We were under a fair amount of pressure with two wins from seven games and seventh on the table out of eight. The expectations on us were pretty low,” said McCullum, who won the IPL 2012 title with KKR as a player.
Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) head coach Brendon McCullum was full of praise for the impact that opener Venkatesh Iyer and the rest of the Indian top-order batsmen (Rahul Tripathi, Shubman Gill, and Nitish Rana) had in the second half of the 2021 Indian Premier League (IPL).
In opening the innings with Shubman Gill, Venkatesh Iyer scored 370 runs in 10 innings and even put in handy shifts with the ball, taking three wickets in the season. In just 10 IPL 2021 games, all at UAE, the opener Venkatesh Iyer has 370 runs beside his name, averaging 41.11 with as many as 4 fifties. It was his debut IPL season, where he also picked 3 scalps averaging 23 with the ball.
Chakravarthy and the rest of the Indian bowlers could not take a single wicket against Pakistan on Sunday. (Reuters Photo)
Chakravarthy and the rest of the Indian bowlers could not take a single wicket against Pakistan on Sunday. (Reuters Photo)
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T20 World Cup 2021: The Way Varun Chakravarthy Started Is Praiseworthy: Ashish Nehra

Ashish Nehra picked spinner Varun Chakravarthy when he was asked to identify one bowler who impressed playing for India against Pakistan despite them not getting any wickets.

It wasn’t the greatest day for the Indian bowlers as Pakistan romped to a 10-wicket win in the teams’ 2021 T20 World Cup Super 12 clash. After restricting India to a below-par 151/7, Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan hit unbeaten half-centuries en route to a thumping victory over their rivals.

Ashish Nehra (Source: File)
Ashish Nehra (Source: File)

Ashish Nehra On Varun Chakravarthy:

Playing his first World Cup match for the Men In Blue, Varun Chakravarthy showed some spark, but the Indian bowler went wicket-less and leaked 33 runs in the low-scoring contest. Varun Chakravarthy was named in the Indian playing XI at the expense of veteran spinner Ravichandran Ashwin.
Varun Chakravarthy first came into the limelight when he picked up 17 wickets, including a devastating spell of 5-20 against the Delhi Capitals in IPL 2020. In IPL 2021, appearing even more unplayable, he took 18 wickets in 17 games averaging 24.88, at an economy rate of 6.58.
His magnificent spin partnership with Sunil Narine was a major reason why the Kolkata Knight Riders reached the final. He picked 2 scalps in 4 T20Is, 3 matches of which came in the Sri Lanka tour.

Ashish Nehra said: “Yes, Pakistan won by 10 wickets, but I would pick one bowler, and this is the effect of the IPL, and that is Varun Chakravarthy. Playing his first game against Pakistan, in the World Cup, it’s not easy. But the way he started is praiseworthy. “

“The few deliveries that he got hit for sixes were some great strokes by the batters. But the bowling that we saw from him in the IPL and against Sri Lanka, he is just taking that forward,” said Ashish Nehra.

Varun Chakravarthy
Varun Chakravarthy. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

Varun Chakravarthy started his spell brilliantly, giving away just two runs in his first over, which came in the Powerplay. However, he was taken for runs later in the match and ended up giving away 33 runs in his four overs. Ashish Nehra said that he did well to bowl with discipline and wasn’t affected by the pressure of the occasion.

“Sometimes you are playing against Pakistan, it is a World Cup match, so you can come under pressure and stray with your bowling, but that did not happen at all. The rest of the bowlers are experienced internationals. So I would say Varun Chakravarthy was a big plus for India, and going forward, when there isn’t too much dew, he can be India’s X-factor,” Ashish Nehra said.

Varun Chakravarthy was KKR’s highest wicket-taker with 18 scalps in IPL 2021. Still, against Pakistan, openers Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan were able to pick him quickly, with both players hitting sixes in his final over.

Virender Sehwag Felt That As An X Factor Mystery Spinner Varun Chakravarthy Has To Take Wickets Even If He’s Expensive

However, former Indian opener Virender Sehwag disagreed with Ashish Nehra. Virender Sehwag felt that, as an X-factor bowler, Varun Chakravarthy needs to be taking wickets, even if he goes for more runs.

“The expectations I had from Varun Chakravarthy, he didn’t bowl at that level. Because as an X-factor, he has to take wickets. I don’t mind if he is expensive. Even if he gave 40 runs but took two wickets, that is more important. You become an X-factor bowler if you take wickets. Because even if you keep bowling economical spells, if you don’t take wickets, it will be difficult to beat the opposition,” Sehwag said.

Virender Sehwag
Virender Sehwag (Image Credit: Twitter)

Shaheen Shah Afridi stunned India with his three-wicket haul that saw him remove both openers in his first two overs. India never quite recovered from that double-blow, with Virat Kohli’s 57-run rescue act helping them set a target of 152 for Pakistan to chase.

Pakistan captain Babar Azam and opening partner Mohammad Rizwan then put on a batting masterclass as they chased down the target with little hassle. Mohammad Rizwan scored 79, and Babar Azam hit 68 as Pakistan won with more than two overs to spare.

Kolkata Knight Riders
Kolkata Knight Riders (Image Credit: Twitter)
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KKR’s Positive Intent On And Off The Field Reason For Reaching IPL 2021 Final: Venkatesh Iyer

After an underwhelming first half where KKR lost as many as five out of their seven games, the 2-time IPL champions won seven of their nine matches in the second leg in the UAE to reach the final. The two-time champions will take on Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the summit clash in Dubai after their three-wicket win over Delhi Capitals in the second qualifier on Wednesday.

“The brand of cricket that the KKR is playing and by KKR I just don’t mean the cricketers who are playing out there but the entire management. The way we are thinking, the way we are going about the things that are the real turnaround for us,” Iyer told KKR chief mentor David Hussey in a video posted on IPL’s website.
Shubman Gill (Image Credit: Twitter)
Shubman Gill (Image Credit: Twitter)
“The intent we are showing not just on the field but off the field is what brought us here,” he added.
Chasing a modest target of 136, Venkatesh Iyer smashed a 41-ball 55 and, alongside Shubman Gill (46), set up KKR’s win over DC.

 Venkatesh Iyer Will Try To Give His Best In The IPL 2021 Final

Such has been the resurgent ride in UAE that Kolkata Knight Riders moved from seventh to fourth place in the points table and now find themselves in contention for the IPL trophy. Their opening pair of Venkatesh Iyer and Shubman Gill have been impressive. Likewise, the bowlers have been efficient, with Lockie Ferguson, Shivam Mavi, Varun Chakravarthy, and Sunil Narine doing the job with utmost precision.

“I wasn’t chasing 136, I just went out there to bat. I just wanted to play the first six overs and see what the situation is. That brought the best,” he said.
Eoin Morgan, Dinesh Karthik
Eoin Morgan, Dinesh Karthik. Photo – IPL |
Asked about the final against CSK on Friday in Dubai, he said: “I am not going to treat it as a final or big game. I will just play my game and give my best and that is what the entire team is going to do.”

Kolkata Knight Riders have won two out of two in the IPL finals. On the other hand, Chennai Super Kings have reached the finals nine times, emerging victorious in three of them. However, the form with the bat of their senior players Eoin Morgan and Dinesh Karthik is a major cause of concern. Dinesh Karthik is averaging only 23.77, while Eoin Morgan’s average is an abysmal 11.72.

Virat Kohli, RCB
Virat Kohli, RCB
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IPL 2021: Virat Kohli Is Unfortunate To Not Finish On A High, Says Sunil Gavaskar

Sunil Gavaskar said Virat Kohli has been able to bring great value to RCB’s brand image despite not winning an IPL title with the Bangalore-based franchise. But, unfortunately, Virat Kohli’s captaincy reign came to a disappointing end on Monday.

Legendary India cricketer Sunil Gavaskar empathized with Virat Kohli after the Royal Challengers Bangalore captain ended his reign as the skipper of the franchise without being able to win a title. As a result, RCB lost an opportunity yet again to win an elusive IPL title as they were ousted in the Eliminator of IPL 2021 by Kolkata Knight Riders in Sharjah.

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

Sunil Gavaskar: Virat Kohli Finishing Without An IPL Title Is Disappointing But Everyone Don’t Have The Fortune To Finish On A High

Virat Kohli took over as RCB’s full-time captain in 2013 and led them in 140 matches, winning 66 and losing as many as 70. However, despite scoring plenty during his reign as captain, Virat Kohli was not able to win silverware for RCB. Virat Kohli took RCB to the playoffs four times, including the last two seasons, but they have faltered at the big stages.

Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli in action against Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2021. (IPL)
Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli in action against Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2021. (IPL)

Speaking to Star Sports on Monday, Sunil Gavaskar conceded that it is disappointing to see Virat Kohli finish without a title but that there is no doubt about his valuable contribution to the team.

“It certainly is (disappointing). Everybody wants to finish on a high. Individually, you want to finish on a high. But these things don’t always happen according to what you wish or your fans wish. Look at what happened to Sir Don Bradman.

“Just 4 runs are needed (for 100 average), he gets out for zero in his last innings. Look at what happened to Sachin Tendulkar. He would have wanted to finish with a hundred (in his last Test) but he got 79 in his 200th Test match,” Sunil Gavaskar said.

“The script is not always written that way. Not everybody has this great fortune of going on a high,” Sunil Gavaskar said.

The batting great added that Virat Kohli had added brand value to RCB that only very few other cricketers have been able to do for their respective franchises. Virat Kohli has scored 4674 runs at an average of 43.27 as captain with an impressive strike rate of 134.11.

With 38 fifties and 5 hundred to his name, Virat Kohli has had a pretty good run with the bat for RCB as captain since taking over the reins from Daniel Vettori. Virat Kohli is the highest run-scorer in IPL history, with 6283 runs in 207 matches averaging 37.39 with 5 tons and 42 fifties.

Sunil Gavaskar: Virat Kohli Was Committed To RCB

Virat Kohli’s RCB posted just 138/7 in 20 overs against KKR in the eliminator as they were humbled by Sunil Narine, who took 4 wickets, including that of the captain, AB de Villiers, and Glenn Maxwell. Riding on Harshal Patel and Yuzvendra Chahal’s heroics, RCB took the match to the final over, but it was not enough for them.

“But can one ever dispute what he has done for RCB? He has done magnificently. There was one year where he got 973 runs in T20s in the IPL. Fell short of 27 runs for 1000 runs.”

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli (Image Credit: Twitter)
“That’s such a rarity. Look at what he has done for RCB. He has given RCB a kind of profile, a kind of brand recognition that very few cricketers have given to their franchise. Therefore, yes, it is sad to see him not winning. But the fact he is committed to RCB till he plays just tells you his commitment to RCB,” Gavaskar said.
In 2016, Virat Kohli had a dream run as a batsman, hitting a record-setting 973 runs, including 4 hundred. Despite the heroic effort, RCB lost to Sunrisers Hyderabad in the final. In 2016, he sat atop on the top run-scorers list, thereby donning the Orange Cap at the end of the ninth edition of the league.
In the eliminator against KKR, Virat Kohli top-scored for RCB with 39 runs off 33 balls. He finished off IPL 2021 with 405 runs in 15 IPL 2021 games averaging 28.92 at a strike rate below 120.

Kolkata Knight Riders 139 for 6 (Gill 29, Narine 26, Iyer 26, Chahal 2-16, Harshal 2-19, Siraj 2-19) beat Royal Challengers Bangalore 138 for 7 (Kohli 39, Narine 4-21, Ferguson 2-30) by four wickets

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