Suresh Raina | Sportzwiki

Suresh Raina

File image of S Sreesanth Image Source: Getty Images.
File image of S Sreesanth Image Source: Getty Images.
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S Sreesanth Named In Kerala’s Preliminary Squad For Ranji Trophy 2021/22, To Return To Red-Ball Cricket After 9 Years

S Sreesanth is set for another comeback in domestic cricket after being named in Kerala’s preliminary squad for Ranji Trophy 2021/22. S Sreesanth hasn’t played a red-ball fixture since the 2013 Irani Cup.

Nearly 9 years after his previous red-ball appearance, S Sreesanth looks set to make another comeback to the format as he has been included in Kerala’s preliminary Ranji Trophy squad for the 2021/22 season. S Sreesanth didn’t play any of the white-ball fixtures for Kerala this season. But he now looks set for a mega comeback.

S Sreesanth has already made it clear that he intends to resume at least his domestic career.© Instagram
S Sreesanth has already made it clear that he intends to resume at least his domestic career.© Instagram

S Sreesanth Excited Like U19 Boy After Being Picked In Kerala’s Squad For Ranji Trophy, His Previous Red Ball Match Came During Irani Cup 2013

Reacting to his inclusion in the squad, S Sreesanth said that he is as excited as he was when got the red ball for the first time as a U-19 boy. S Sreesanth had made his first-class debut in the 2002/03 season and made his Test debut against England in 2006. Speaking via video, the 38-year-old thanked fans for their support and stated that it was great to “be back in the whites again”.

“Hi! Good afternoon and thank you very much for the love and support. Its great to be back in the whites again, bowling red ball, that too for my state where it all started”, he said.

“I’m really excited just like the U19 boy who got the red ball for the first time”, he concluded.

S Sreesanth has played 53 ODIs for India.© Facebook
S Sreesanth has played 53 ODIs for India.© Facebook

S Sreesanth’s previous red-ball appearance came in the high-profile final of the Irani Cup 2013. He was part of the Harbhajan Singh-led Rest of India squad, which included the likes of Shikhar Dhawan, Murali Vijay, Ambati Rayudu, Suresh Raina among others.

They were up against Abhishek Nayar-led Mumbai. The Mumbai squad included the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Shardul Thakur to name a few. Should S Sreesanth make it to the final XI, he will return to 4-day cricket for the first time in 9 years.

After his ban was lifted, S Sreesanth returned to competitive cricket in the 50 over and 20 over domestic trophies. S Sreesanth took 4 scalps in 5 games in Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 2020/21 and picked 13 scalps, including a 4 wicket and a 5 wicket haul in 6 games in Vijay Hazare Trophy 2020/21 on his return to domestic cricket.

S Sreesanth made his international debut in 2005, in an ODI against Sri Lanka in Nagpur. He became part of Indian cricketing folklore when he took the catch of Pakistan’s Misbah-ul-Haq to seal the Indian team’s victory in the inaugural 2007 T20I World Cup final. He was also part of the playing XI that lifted the 2011 50-over World Cup four years later.

Sachin Baby Named Kerala’s Skipper Which Includes Sanju Samson And Jalaj Saxena

The right-arm pacer has 211 wickets in 73 first-class matches he has played so far. In 27 Tests, he has dismissed 87 batsmen. S Sreesanth’s previous Test appearance for Team India came back in 2011 against England.

Sachin Baby has been named as the captain of the Kerala cricket team for the upcoming tournament. He will be assisted by Vishnu Vinod, who will also don the gloves. Sanju Samson will have much responsibility to score runs. The Kerala squad also includes Jalaj Saxena and Basil Thampi.

Sanju Samson
Sanju Samson (Image Credit: Twitter)

Kerala kick off its campaign against Vidarbha on January 13. They will next face Bengal, Rajasthan, Tripura, and Haryana. Kerela will be playing their fixtures in Bengaluru.

In the longer version, his finest moment came when he claimed eight wickets in India’s maiden Test win in South Africa – Johannesburg 2006. S Sreesanth ended his international career with 27 Tests, 53 ODIs, and 10 T20Is, claiming a total of 169 scalps. He picked up 87, 75, and seven wickets respectively.

MS Dhoni (BCCI/IPL)
MS Dhoni (BCCI/IPL)
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MS Dhoni Has Helped My Career Personally, We Both Have A Great Legacy At CSK: Dwayne Bravo

Dwayne Bravo said that MS Dhoni personally played a big role in helping his career, and both of them have a great legacy at the Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Chennai Super Kings (CSK).

In an interaction, the former West Indies all-rounder Dwayne Bravo opened up on his admiration for CSK skipper and Indian ex-skipper MS Dhoni, the legacy at IPL franchise CSK and his upcoming fashion label ‘Djb47’.

MS Dhoni with Dwayne Bravo (Photo/ Dwayne Bravo Instagram)
MS Dhoni with Dwayne Bravo (Photo/ Dwayne Bravo Instagram)

Dwayne Bravo Will Be 100% In The IPL 2022 Mega Auction

CSK retained Ravindra Jadeja, MS Dhoni, Ruturaj Gaikwad, and Moeen Ali ahead of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022. Dwayne Bravo also confirmed that he would be entering the mega auction.

“I am not retained by the CSK, but I will be in the auction, I will be 100 percent in the auction. I do not know which team I will end up with. I will end up where I am destined to be. I do not know whether I will be picked up by CSK or not, I can be picked up by any other team as I am in the auction,” said Bravo.

Dwayne Bravo receives a guard of honour on his farewell appearance for West Indies, Australia vs West Indies, Men's T20 World Cup 2021, Super 12s, Abu Dhabi, November 6, 2021© ICC via Getty
Dwayne Bravo receives a guard of honour on his farewell appearance for West Indies, Australia vs West Indies, Men’s T20 World Cup 2021, Super 12s, Abu Dhabi, November 6, 2021© ICC via Getty

“We all know that MS Dhoni and I call each other brothers from another mother. We have developed a strong friendship. He is a global ambassador of the game and he has helped my career personally. We both have a great legacy at CSK and we have helped in turning that franchise into one of the most dominant franchises and that will be there in the history books. We have a strong friendship and that is more important than anything else,” he added.

The likes of Dwayne Bravo, Faf Du Plessis, Sam Curran, Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar, and Suresh Raina were released by CSK. The 38-year-old all-rounder recently announced his retirement from international cricket at the 2021 T20I World Cup.

Dwayne Bravo had a below-par tournament in the United Arab Emirates, scoring 16 runs in four group games and picking up only two wickets. West Indies could only beat Bangladesh and lost to England, South Africa, Sri Lanka, and Australia in group games.

Dwayne Bravo, 38, played his swansong game as West Indies exited the T20 World Cup following an eight-wicket defeat against Australia. Dwayne Bravo played in the 91 T20Is for the West Indies since making his debut against New Zealand at Auckland in 2006.

Dwayne Bravo came out of retirement in 2019 to help West Indies defend their T20 title, but it could not happen as they could manage to win only one of their five Super 12 games. Dwayne Bravo was part of the West Indies teams that won the T20 World Cup in 2012 and 2016. He also featured in 40 Tests and 164 ODIs in a career that spanned nearly 18 years.

Dwayne Bravo: T10 Might Be The Way To Go At The Olympics

Dwayne Bravo also said that T10 perhaps might be the format that can help cricket become an Olympic sport.

“That is every cricketer’s dream to see the sport in the Olympics. T10 might be the way to go there, no one knows but everyone is hoping for it. Hopefully, sooner rather than later, cricket will become an Olympic sport.”

Dwayne Bravo. (AFP)
Dwayne Bravo. (AFP)/ AFP PHOTO / PUNIT PARANJPE

Dwayne Bravo is now gearing up for his maiden innings as a fashion entrepreneur with the launch of his clothing line. DJ Bravo, as he is popularly known after his hit single ‘Champion’ launched Djb47 in partnership with Singapore-based 3 Big Dogs Pte Ltd.

“In life, there is nothing too late. This is one part of my business venture. My biggest fanbase is in India, what I am doing is for my fans. India has done so much for me, so I think it is fair and right that I launch my first store in India,” said Bravo.

“There is a long-term plan, but I also need to take it slow. People have started to go outdoors, the plan is to open stores in UAE, Caribbean, the US, Australia. These are the long-term goals.

“My fanbase is spread across the globe, we have all the designs. Definitely, we have something in line for him (Dhoni). We want to do something for MS, the brand would want to give a tribute to him. The fans can also have access to it, but we want to focus on my brand, but we would want to do something for him,” he added.

Dwayne Bravo managed 47 runs and picked 14 scalps averaging 18.78 in 11 IPL 2021 matches. Chennai Super Kings bounced back in IPL 2021 by winning IPL for the 4th time after a disappointing last season in IPL 2020 where they finished 7th and couldn’t qualify for the playoffs for the first time in IPL history.

David Warner (Image Credit: Twitter)
David Warner (Image Credit: Twitter)
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David Warner Expecting To Be A Part Of The IPL 2022 Mega Auction

David Warner is the top run-scorer in the IPL history so far among the foreign players. The left-hander has notched 5449 runs from 150 matches at an average of 41.59 and a strike rate of 139.96. However, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, and Suresh Raina are leading the charts in the list of all-time leading run-scorers in the IPL.

In fact, the Australia opener has gotten the most half-centuries in the IPL, as many as 50. After playing a few seasons for the Delhi Daredevils, now Delhi Capitals, he went on to ply his trade for the Sunrisers Hyderabad. David Warner tasted a chunk of his IPL success for the Orange Army and won the Orange Cap quite a few times. In 2016, he also captained them to their maiden IPL title, beating Virat Kohli’s RCB.

David Warner
David Warner (Image Credit: Twitter)

David Warner Had A Poor IPL 2021 For Which He Was Stripped Of Captaincy And Lost His Place In The Sunrisers Hyderabad Team

Former Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) captain David Warner was released by the franchise despite his stellar campaign in the T20I World Cup 2021, where he bagged the Player of the Tournament award for 289 runs in seven matches for Australia. IPL 2021 has been the Australian’s worst season ever with just 195 runs in 8 games, with two fifties, averaging 24.38, and striking at 107.73.

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

However, 2021 turned out to be a season equivalent to a nightmare for him. Neither could he shine as a skipper, nor could he weave magic with the bat in hand. In the first leg of the IPL in India, David Warner lost captaincy after which Kane Williamson was appointed as their skipper.

Thereafter, David Warner also lost his place from the eleven after which Jason Roy was included. Jason Roy played 5 IPL games for SRH in IPL 2021 and scored 150 runs averaging 30. SRH had a woeful campaign in IPL 2021, winning only three matches and finishing at the bottom of the points table.

David Warner Thanked SRH Franchise And Is Expecting To Be A Part Of The IPL 2022 Mega Auction

Despite being a stalwart for them, the Sunrisers Hyderabad didn’t retain David Warner, quite expectedly. In the meantime, David Warner also opened up on his future in the cash-rich tournament. One of the fans, recently, asked him about his plans regarding the T20 league.

Warner bro what’s up about IPL,” the fan wrote.

The veteran Australian opener reverted and said that he’s expecting to be a part of the mega auction.

“Auction I guess,” Warner replied.

Kane Williamson SPORTZPICS/Instagram
Kane Williamson SPORTZPICS/Instagram

Earlier, SRH posted a message, bidding farewell to their players. David Warner didn’t miss out on dropping in his words on the social media platform.

“Thanks to all of you for your support over the years, up and downs, my family and I can’t stress enough how much we appreciated the love and passion you showed towards us and the team. Candice and I truly wish all the fans the very best for the future and hope whoever you wish to support the best. Love the Warner’s,” Warner said while responding to a post by SRH.

Last week, SRH retained Kane Williamson, Abdul Samad, and Umran Malik ahead of the IPL 2022 mega auction. SRH paid Rs 14 crores to New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson followed by Rs 4 crores each to uncapped Jammu and Kashmir talents Abdul Samad and Umran Malik. Meanwhile, David Warner, Jonny Bairstow, and Bhuvneshwar Kumar were also released along with Rashid Khan.

Moeen Ali (Photo Credit : CSK Twitter Handle)
Moeen Ali (Photo Credit : CSK Twitter Handle)
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Chennai Super Kings Retains Moeen Ali For INR 8 Crore As He Agreed To Stay With CSK Irrespective Of Retention Amount

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

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

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

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

All 8 existing franchises announced their list of retained players on November 30 ahead of the mega auction for IPL 2022. Chennai Super Kings retained Ravindra Jadeja, MS Dhoni, Moeen Ali, and Ruturaj Gaikwad in that order. Ravindra Jadeja has been retained for Rs 16 crore, while MS Dhoni took home Rs 12 crore. Moeen Ali was retained for Rs 8 crore, while Ruturaj Gaikwad bagged Rs 6 crore.

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

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

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

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

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

MS Dhoni Also Took A Pay Cut

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

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

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

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

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

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

The likes of Dwayne Bravo, Faf Du Plessis, Sam Curran, Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar, and Suresh Raina were released by CSK. MS Dhoni scored exactly 200 runs in IPL 2020, averaging a below-par 25 while managing only 114 runs in IPL 2021 in 16 games averaging a dismal 16.28.

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.

File image of former India captain Sunil Gavaskar | AFP
File image of former India captain Sunil Gavaskar | AFP
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Sunil Gavaskar Reasons Slow Batting In Powerplay Overs And Poor Fielding Behind India’s Early Exit

Sunil Gavaskar, the former Indian skipper, has listed out a couple of reasons which he feels led to India’s lacklustre performance at the ICC tournaments as India’s hopes of qualifying for the semi-finals of the T20 World Cup dashed following New Zealand’s win over Afghanistan on Sunday.

The first factor which Sunil Gavaskar feels was detrimental to India’s campaign is the approach of their batsmen inside the Powerplay(first 6 overs), which the former batsman believes has been an issue not only in this tournament but lingered on since the previous few ICC events.
Sunil Gavaskar. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Sunil Gavaskar. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Sunil Gavaskar: India Hasn’t Taken Advantage Of Powerplay- The First 6 Overs

Sunil Gavaskar is not in favour of a complete overhaul of the team but insists batting needs to be more proactive and energetic inside the first six overs (Powerplay) as the failure to do that has often choked India’s scoring rate whenever they play a team with good bowlers.

“Making too many changes in a team isn’t right, because it’s not like India lost all its matches. In two matches, the batters could not deliver what was expected of them and that is the reason that India is in such a state right now. The approach needs to change,” Sunil Gavaskar said.

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

“The fact that in the first 6 overs, there are only 2 fielders outside the 30-yard-circle, India hasn’t taken advantage of it for the last few ICC tournaments. Which is why, whenever India is up against a strong team, one that has good bowlers… India cannot score. So that needs to change.”

Indian openers Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul made the fastest team fifty in the 2021 ICC men’s T20 World Cup on Friday (November 5). The feat was achieved against Scotland in the Group 2 match of the Super 12 stage at Dubai International Cricket Stadium.  Chasing 86, India surpassed the 50-run mark in four overs. After an all-around performance, India won the much-needed game by eight wickets. Virat Kohli-led Indian side chased it in 6.3 overs.

India faced a batting collapse against the Kiwis and could only muster 110 runs. The make-shift opening pair managed to add only 11 runs, with Ishan Kishan scoring four off eight balls. New Zealand chased down the score in just 14.3 overs, handing India a massive defeat. After failing miserably in the first two matches, the Indian batting finally fired in the tournament, posting a 200-plus total against Afghanistan.

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

Sunil Gavaskar: India Should Have Phenomenal Fielders Unlike Current Team Where Except 3-4 Outstanding Fielders One Can’t Depend On Rest

As pointed out by Sunil Gavaskar, the second reason he feels has hampered India’s campaign is their fielding. Although the current cricket team is probably the fittest the country has ever seen, not all cricketers are phenomenal on the field, and that is one area Sunil Gavaskar believes India needs to get better at if they are to put up better performances in the time to come.

“The second and most importantly, they should have players who are phenomenal in fielding. The way New Zealand fielded, saved runs, took catches… it stood out. Even if the attack is ordinary, the pitch is placid, good fielding can make a lot of difference. If you look at the Indian team, except 3-4 outstanding fielders, you can’t depend on the rest to save runs or dive at the boundary,” added Gavaskar.

Virat Kohli and Ravindra Jadeja Image Source : GETTY
Virat Kohli and Ravindra Jadeja Image Source: GETTY

Ravindra Jadeja is probably the best fielder right now in the world of cricket. He is blessed with a rocket arm that no batsman dares to challenge along, and which always seems to throw the ball directly at the stumps.

Moreover, he has the safest pair of hands in the Indian cricket team. Along with his accurate bowling and useful contributions lower down the order, he is slowly establishing himself as one of the most reliable Indian cricketers.

Virat Kohli is known best for his batting skills, but as we are talking about best fielders, he must join the list. Virat Kohli is captain of the Indian cricket team and is known for his arguable and aggressive nature on the field. The athletic Virat Kohli is one of the best fielders on the Indian cricket team, and the efforts he shows on the field are just amazing to watch.

However, with the retirement of Yuvraj Singh, Mohammed Kaif, and Suresh Raina, there are not many agile fielders that the Indian team would be proud of at the moment.

Jos Buttler smashed his maiden T20I ton | Photo: Rajasthan Royals
Jos Buttler smashed his maiden T20I ton | Photo: Rajasthan Royals
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Ben Stokes Terms Jos Buttler As Best In The World After His Unbeaten 101 Innings Against Sri Lanka

Ben Stokes, England’s all-rounder, labeled keeper opener Jos Buttler as “best in the world” following the right-handed batter’s century against Sri Lanka in the ongoing ICC Men’s T20 World Cup.

Jos Buttler smashed his maiden ton before England displayed an all-around performance to defeat Sri Lanka by 26 runs in the Super 12 match of the T20 World Cup at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Monday.

Ben Stokes Image Source : GETTY IMAGES
Ben Stokes Image Source: GETTY IMAGES

Ben Stokes Tweet Jos Buttler Is The Best Batsman In The World

England scored 163 in 20 overs and then restricted Sri Lanka to 137 to register their fourth win in four games in the tournament. Sri Lanka needed 34 from the final three overs to win the match, but the Lankan Lions lost their last five wickets for eight runs. England has now won all its four matches in the Super 12 stage, and they are all but set to qualify for the semi-finals.

Ben Stokes had decided not to participate in the England-India Test series, the second half of IPL 2021 at UAE, and the T20I World Cup to prioritize his mental well-being over cricket. He, however, would return for Ashes. Unfortunately, Ben Stokes broke his hand, taking a catch for Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League 2021, and a repeat X-ray and CT scan revealed that he has a fracture of his left index finger.

Ben Stokes’ teammate, Rajasthan Royals opener Jos Buttler, wasn’t at his usual best before he came to his own with a scintillating 124 versus Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), just a few days before BCCI suspended IPL 2021 due to Covid-19 threat. Jos Buttler didn’t play the second leg of IPL 2021 held a UAE.

“Best in the world @josbuttler,” tweeted Ben Stokes on Monday.

https://twitter.com/benstokes38/status/1455199358924824576?s=20

 Jos Buttler joins elite list with maiden T20 World Cup hundred (AP Photo)
Jos Buttler joins the elite list with maiden T20 World Cup hundred (AP Photo)

Jos Buttler put on a fine show of T20 batting on Monday in Sharjah as he struck his maiden T20I hundred. The England batter became the first to get to the 3-figure mark in the T20 World Cup 2021 as he hammered 101 not out in just 67 balls on a tough pitch against Sri Lanka in their Super 12 match.

Jos Buttler became the first England men’s team batter to hit a hundred in all 3 formats of international cricket. He also became the second England men’s team batsman after Alex Hales hit a hundred in a T20I World Cup. Jos Buttler also joined an elite list of batters who have scored hundreds in the showpiece T20 event.

Jos Buttler joined the likes of Chris Gayle (2), Ahmed Shehzad, Alex Hales, Mahela Jayawardene, Brendon McCullum, Suresh Raina, and Tamim Iqbal after the stunning knock on Monday.

Jos Buttler Felt Staying Patient Was The Key When England Lost Early Wickets

England might have managed to defeat Sri Lanka in the ongoing ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, but wicketkeeper-batter Jos Buttler admitted that his side England was under pressure in the second innings, and he hailed the bowling attack in ensuring the Three Lions walk away with another victory.

.”I think staying patient was the key (when England lost early wickets), but I managed to get a partnership with Morgan. I found it really tough early on in the innings. There was a point when we were thinking to get to the 120-run mark, but then we got going and got 160-plus. I use the same bat, even in the nets. It feels good,” said Buttler after the game ended.

Eoin Morgan | Photo: England Cricket
Eoin Morgan | Photo: England Cricket

England was reeling at 47/3 at the end of the 10th over, but a 100-plus stand between Jos Buttler and Eoin Morgan helped the 50-over World Champions post an above-par total of 163/4 in 20 overs.

Pakistan AFP / Lindsey Parnaby
Pakistan AFP / Lindsey Parnaby
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Pakistan Always Played Their Hearts Out Against India: Suresh Raina

Suresh Raina, former Indian cricketer, stated that Pakistan always played their ‘hearts out’ against the men in blue on the pitch as both sides gear up for another high-voltage clash in ICC Men’s T20 World Cup. The Sunday evening will see the Dubai International Stadium house one of the most sought and mouth-watering fixtures in cricketing history as India locks horns with arch-nemesis Pakistan in the Super 12 stage of the T20 World Cup.

The two teams had met at the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup for the first time in the group stages in 2007 when India won in a bowl-out. India won the 2007 T20I World Cup by beating Pakistan in the final while Pakistan won the next T20I World Cup in 2009.

India and Pakistan rarely play against each other but have a heated rivalry. (Photo by Tharaka Basnayaka/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
India and Pakistan rarely play against each other but have a heated rivalry. (Photo by Tharaka Basnayaka/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Suresh Raina: Pakistan Always Played Their Hearts Out

Ahead of the high octane clash, Suresh Raina shared his experience from the much-important match on 24th October, Sunday. Pakistan has never beaten India at a World Cup but most recently, beat the Indian team in the final of the Champions Trophy in 2017. Both India (2007) and Pakistan (2009) are former champions in the World T20 and have played plenty of cricket in UAE thanks to IPL and PSL.

“My experience in matches against Pakistan was that they always played their hearts out,” wrote Suresh Raina in his column for the International Cricket Council (ICC) on Saturday.

File image of Suresh Raina.(AP)
File image of Suresh Raina. (AP)

“When India and Pakistan play, it’s always exciting and good for fans to watch. Many millions of people tune in and expect to be entertained – they are never disappointed. That was true from the start at the T20 World Cup and then they met in the final of the first tournament, with India winning by five runs, ” wrote Suresh Raina.

“I was involved in the games in 2014 and 2016. If you ask me, as a player, it was always a high-pressure game. In the build-up, everyone is just telling you how big it is. You need to make sure you calm your nerves, focus on the process and play 40 overs of good cricket. It’s easier said than done, but it’s the only way to try to win that game,” Suresh Raina added.

India-Pakistan faced each other last in the 2019 ODI World Cup round-robin stage, where the former won by 89 runs (DLS method). Their last T20 World Cup face-off resulted in India’s 6-wicket win over Men in Green in Kolkata in the 2016 edition. However, due to the unfortunate political situation, the two teams haven’t played a bilateral series since 2012-13. Pakistan and India’s last bilateral ties at either of the two neighbouring countries were 2 T20Is and 3 ODIs in India way back in 2012.

Suresh Raina: Both Babar Azam And Virat Kohli Are Excellent Leaders, And Will Look To Lead Respective Teas From The Front

After almost two years, Virat Kohli-led India will face-off against Babar Azam-led Pakistan to rekindle the age-old rivalry. Pakistan is yet to win a single game over their arch-rivals in World Cups as the Men in Blue have heavily dominated the head-to-head.

However, both teams have entered the tournament with a fresh perspective, filled to the brim with enormous young talents like India’s Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Varun Chakravarthy and Pakistan’s Shaheen Shah Afridi and the hunger and eagerness to prove themselves on the biggest stage.

“This year, it will be exciting as both Virat Kohli and Babar Azam are excellent leaders, and knowing how important the game is, there will be so much passion on show from both teams. You know that the captains will set the example on that front, and that passion filters through to the rest of the team. Babar is one of the leading T20I batters in the world. Like Virat Kohli, he is proof that good batting and good captaincy go hand in hand,” Suresh Raina pointed.

India and Pakistan skipper Virat Kohli and Babar Azam(Getty Images)
India and Pakistan skipper Virat Kohli and Babar Azam(Getty Images)

The stakes are at an all-time high, with Virat Kohli and Co. looking to continue their dominance against Pakistan in this clash. Both sides have a strong lineup in both batting and bowling departments, and on the day of this significant fixture, only time will tell which side will emerge triumphantly. India has a 12-0 win-loss record in World Cups against Pakistan in World Cups-T20I, ODI.

Ruturaj Gaikwad
Ruturaj Gaikwad (Image Credit: Twitter)
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Ravindra Jadeja And Ruturaj Gaikwad To Be Retained By CSK For IPL 2022: Reports

Chennai Super Kings, the IPL 2021 winning team, lined up for the customary photo-op in Dubai on Friday. Not only the players and support staff, the families of all the players, including the reserves, were called up as Chennai Super Kings celebrated at the end of a long journey or just the beginning considering IPL 2022 mega auctions may see the team composition changing drastically.

Chennai Super Kings Captain MS Dhoni said after their win over KKR in the IPL 2021 final, they would look to build a core that would last them for the next 10 years. So the team may seem to forego their ‘old is gold’ theory and build a side around youth. But that’s not the case as Chennai Super Kings may retain experienced cricketers ahead of IPL 2022 auctions and target others who did well for them.

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

Chennai Super Kings’ Ravindra Jadeja And Ruturaj Gaikwad Will Be Retained For IPL 2022, MS Dhoni Is The Third Option While Several Senior Pros Will Be Targeted At Auctions:  Source

One understands that in the numerous discussions that MS Dhoni had with his team about the next auctions during the course of the IPL, it was decided that Chennai Super Kings would try to retain some of their seniors – even if it is from the auctions — who have performed so brilliantly for a decade. Hence, orange Cap holder Ruturaj Gaikwad and spinner Ravindra Jadeja are almost certain to be retained.

“Ravindra Jadeja and Ruturaj Gaikwad are the two players who will be retained, come what may…Dhoni is seriously looking at the retention rules and if it is three players, he could be the third. But players like Ambati Rayudu, Faf du Plessis, or even the 38-year-old Dwayne Bravo will be targeted by CSK, along with the likes of Shardul Thakur and Deepak Chahar,” a source close to the developments told TOI.

Ravindra Jadeja With MS Dhoni CSK Twitter Handle
Ravindra Jadeja With MS Dhoni CSK Twitter Handle

MS Dhoni, himself, had left it ambiguous at the prize distribution ceremony, saying he “hadn’t left yet” when the host spoke about his legacy. Among others, while 37-year-old Faf du Plessis played a number of crucial match-winning knocks, including the final on Friday, while the likes of Moeen Ali, Dwayne Bravo, and Ambati Rayudu played crucial hands along the course of the tournament.

In the IPL 2021, the likes of CSK openers Ruturaj Gaikwad (635 runs) and Faf du Plessis (633 runs) finished as leading run-getters in IPL 2021. Moeen Ali (357 runs), Ambati Rayudu (257 runs) also delivered in crunch situations. Dwayne Bravo (14), Deepak Chahar(14), Ravindra Jadeja (13), Josh Hazlewood(11), and Shardul Thakur(21) were amongst the wickets.

MS Dhoni Said That If It Was Not CSK, Many Reserve Players Couldh’ve Walked Into The Franchise

When CSK was returning to the IPL fold in 2018 after a two-year ban for alleged match-fixing, MS Dhoni went against popular opinion and decided to bank on seniors who had “been there, done that”. As a result, in the next 4 years including 2018, CSK won twice(2018, 2021) and came close to winning another, losing by 1 run in 2019 to MI.

“We don’t get too deep into analytics and numbers, we go with gut feel and developing relationships with players. It’s old school but it works for us,” coach Stephen Fleming said.

While sticking with experience was the cornerstone of CSK’s success, the feeling of family within the group also played its part. Robin Uthappa, who played the last four matches, mentioned that the management takes care of the players, even those who are not necessarily part of the playing XI, right through the year.

Suresh Raina
Suresh Raina (Image Credit: Twitter)

MS Dhoni, too, in his vote of thanks to the team after the match, spoke about the importance of the players who were not in the playing XI.

“Dhoni said that had it been any other franchise, there are quite a few players in the CSK reserves who would have walked into the XI,” a source said.

The only superstar whose Chennai Super Kings career might be over is Suresh Raina. The left-handed batsman’s form has taken a nose-dive, and his fitness, too, has been a cause of concern. However, with two new teams coming up in IPL 2022, it may not be a surprise if the left-hander finally lands in one of those, provided he wants to keep on playing.

In IPL 2021 final, put in to bat, Chennai Super Kings amassed 192-3 with opener Faf du Plessis anchoring their innings with 86 off 59 balls. Ruturaj Gaikwad made 32, while Robin Uthappa (31) and Moeen Ali (37 not out) chipped in with useful cameos. Kolkata, led by Eoin Morgan, got off to a flying start with a 91-run stand between openers Shubman Gill and Venkatesh Iyer before the middle order failed again as KKR finished on 165-9.

Chennai Super Kings
Chennai Super Kings. Image Credits: Twitter
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CSK’s Win In 2018 Was Very Emotional And Lot Of Hard Work Was Behind IPL 2021 Win: Stephen Fleming

CSK-Chennai Super Kings redeemed itself after a dismal performance last year to clinch the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 title but head coach Stephen Fleming still rates the IPL 2018 final win as special and termed it “very emotional”. CSK had now 4 IPL titles besides its name coming in 2010, 2011, 2018, and 2021.

CSK, also known as ‘Dad’s Army’, lifted their fourth IPL title on Friday after defeating Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the final by 27 runs. Stephen Fleming said he is very proud to have won the IPL 2021 final since many pundits had written off CSK due to the absence of young blood in the side.

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

CSK’s Win In 2018 Was Very Emotional: Stephen Fleming

The likes of Shane Watson (555 runs), Ambati Rayudu (602 runs), Suresh Raina (440 runs), MS Dhoni (455 runs) were unstoppable as CSK won the IPL 2018 after a gap of 7 years. Dwayne Bravo (14 scalps), Shardul Thakur (16 scalps), Lungi Ngidi and Ravindra Jadeja (11 scalps each), and Harbhajan Singh (7 scalps ) did well with the ball in IPL 2018.

“It’s very hard to rate them, they (IPL wins) all are specials as they are results of our hard work. I think the one coming back in 2018 was very emotional but there is a lot of hard work in this one too,” Fleming said during the post-match press conference.

Shane Watson, Dwayne Bravo, CSK, Image Source: The Cricket Times
Shane Watson, Dwayne Bravo, CSK, Image Source: The Cricket Times

“If you look back when we were called Dad’s Army in the first year (2018), I think a lot of people had no hope from us to maintain the competitiveness during this cycle.There is a satisfaction around and a lot of pride over what players have achieved. There was a challenge with the aging side and I am very proud of what CSK have done and how they have played,” he added.

The likes of Imran Tahir(42 years), MS Dhoni (40 years), Dwayne Bravo(38 years), Faf du Plessis (37 years), Ambati Rayudu (36 years), Robin Uthappa (35 years), Suresh Raina, and Moeen Ali (34 years) are in their fag end of careers and some of them have even quit international cricket.
The four-time champions’ 2020 campaign was disastrous as they could not reach the playoffs for the first time in IPL history. They finished seventh in the rankings and MS Dhoni’s captaincy reign came under question.

CSK’s Head Coach Stephen Fleming Don’t Know Whether It Was An End Of An Era

For IPL 2022, two new teams are set to come in, and it needs to be seen how many players a franchise is allowed to retain before the mega auction. Stephen Fleming knows it will be difficult to retain most CSK players and he is looking forward to seeing how things pan out ahead of the IPL 2022.

“We don’t know (on being asked if this was an end of an era). But we know that whenever we get to the end of the cycle we know that we cannot get some players back,” said Fleming.

Stephen Fleming Image Source : IPLT20.COM
Stephen Fleming Image Source: IPLT20.COM

“CSK always had a system where we maintain players and keep them with you for a long period of time and get the best out of them. It will be interesting to see how things pan out in the next few months. Most teams will have a change in them and we will be one of them,” he added. 

In the IPL 2021, the likes of CSK openers Ruturaj Gaikwad (635 runs) and Faf du Plessis (633 runs) stood apart from the rest of CSK’s batsmen and delivered when it was needed. They finished as leading run-getters in IPL 2021. Moeen Ali (357 runs), Ambati Rayudu (257 runs) also delivered in crunch situations. Dwayne Bravo (14), Deepak Chahar(14), Ravindra Jadeja(13), Josh Hazlewood(11), and Shardul Thakur(21) were amongst the wickets.

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