Tom Curran

Rajasthan Royals
Rajasthan Royals.
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Aakash Chopra Urges Rajasthan Royals To Not Spend Unnecessary Amount On Inexperienced Players In IPL 2022 Auction

Aakash Chopra, the former Indian cricketer has advised the Rajasthan Royals not to spend a lot of money on inexperienced players in the upcoming auction of the Indian Premier League (IPL 2022).

The cricketer-turned-commentator made these remarks while speaking on his YouTube channel. Rajasthan Royals had a pretty bad outing in the 2020 edition of IPL. With six wins and eight losses, they finished the season at the bottom in the points table. They fared slightly better in IPL 2021 with a 7th place finish with 10 points.

Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Aakash Chopra: Rajasthan Royals Have Erred In Spending Money On Inexperienced Cricketers In IPL

Aakash Chopra emphasized how the franchise has often spent huge sums of money in the past to rope in unproven campaigners. He believes that they should change their strategy this time around.

Aakash Chopra said: “Rajasthan Royals have erred in spending money on inexperienced players in the past. They also have a tendency to pick a lot of England players in their side. If they are going to spend as much money as the other franchises, then they must go after big names.”

Sanju Samson, Jos Buttler, Instagram
Sanju Samson, Jos Buttler, Instagram

The Rajasthan Royals have retained three players ahead of the IPL 2022 auction. Sanju Samson (INR 14 crores), Jos Buttler (INR 10 crores) and Yashavi Jaiswal (INR 4 crores) were announced as their three picks for the forthcoming season of the cash-rich league. One of the biggest surprises, somewhat shocks, of the entire IPL 2022 Retention process was the exclusion of pacer Jofra Archer and all-rounder Ben Stokes from the list of players retained.

Aakash Chopra: Rajasthan Royals’ Retentions Were Spot On

Aakash Chopra added that the Rajasthan-based franchise has done a fine job with their retentions. This is why he feels that they do not need to target players like Shreyas Iyer or Ishan Kishan in the auction.

Aakash Chopra said: “Their retentions are spot on. This will be one franchise that will not go after Shreyas Iyer or Ishan Kishan because there is no need for those players in their side.”

Rajasthan Royals
Rajasthan Royals (Image Credit: Twitter)

The Rajasthan Royals are left with a purse of INR 62 crores. The IPL 2022 auction is set to be held in Bengaluru on February 12 and 13. A total of 590 cricketers are set to go under the hammer in the two-day event.

The likes of Steve Smith, Ankit Rajpoot, Oshane Thomas, Varun Aaron, Tom Curran, Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer, Riyan Parag, Shreyas Gopal, Rahul Tewatia, Andrew Tye, Jaydev Unadkat, David Miller and Robin Uthappa were released by Rajasthan Royals before IPL 2021 and IPL 2022.

Kevin Pietersen
Kevin Pietersen. Image Credits: Twitter
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It’s Stupid To Blame IPL For Ashes 0-4 Drubbing: Kevin Pietersen

Kevin Pietersen -the ex-England skipper has said that it’s “stupid” to blame the Indian Premier League for England’s embarrassing Ashes 0-4 loss to Australia in the recently-concluded 5 Test match series.

Former England captain David Gower was “annoyed” after England’s meek surrender resulting in another Ashes defeat and said current skipper Joe Root had players who were “unavailable” because of the IPL.

David Gower © Getty Images
David Gower © Getty Images

Kevin Pietersen: One Can’t Blame IPL For Test Cricket Demise In England

Kevin Pietersen, an Ashes winner in 2005, 2009, 2010-11, and 2013, laughed at the remark.

“It is stupid. You can’t blame the IPL for the demise of Test cricket in England. It’s the system, it’s the county cricket system, which is poor,” Kevin Pietersen, who is representing World Giants in the Legends League Cricket, said during an interaction on Thursday.

Kevin Pietersen file image | Faheem Hussain - Sportzpics
Kevin Pietersen file image | Faheem Hussain – Sportzpics

“It’s crazy to blame the Indian Premier League because if you have a look at the Test team, there’s only maybe (Ben) Stokes (Jonny) Bairstow and (Jos) Buttler who play the IPL. Hardly any of the Test team players play the IPL… So how can you blame the IPL?”

Off-the-field, the English cricketers were also mired in a controversy after a report claimed that there was a “drinking culture” in the team with the players and coaches drinking late into the night before police broke up the session.

Kevin Pietersen said there was no harm in it as the players are affected by the bio-bubble restrictions. England faced an embarrassing 0-4 defeat in the recently-concluded Ashes series, drawing criticism for their uninspired performances throughout the five Tests Down Under.

Moeen Ali And Jos Buttler Were England Cricketers Retained By CSK And RR In IPL 2022 Respectively

A total of 27 players were retained in the retention list for IPL 2022 by the eight existing teams. Ace players like Rohit Sharma, MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli, and Kane Williamson have been retained by their respective teams ahead of the mega auction in 2022.

Eoin Morgan , Sam Curran, Jos Buttler
Eoin Morgan, Sam Curran, Jos Buttler

England players like all-rounder Moeen Ali and wicketkeeper-batter Jos Buttler were retained by CSK and RR respectively for IPL 2022. England’s 2019 World cup winning skipper Eoin Morgan, who led Kolkata Knight Riders to IPL 2021 final, was released by the franchise.

Sam Curran picked nine wickets for CSK before he was ruled out of the tournament owing to a lower back injury. Sam Curran was pipped by his compatriot Moeen Ali in CSK’s all-rounder spot in the retention list.

Ahead of the second leg of IPL 2021, Jonny Bairstow (SRH), Dawid Malan (PBKS), and Chris Woakes (DC) had pulled out of the tournament due to personal reasons. All three players were released by their respective franchises.

Star England all-rounder Ben Stokes and pace bowler Jofra Archer also were released by the franchise after they couldn’t participate in the entire IPL 2021 season due to various injuries. Punjab Kings duo of pacer Chris Jordan and spinner Adil Rashid along with Delhi Capitals pace bowlers Chris Woakes and Tom Curran are the other released players from England.

England, PTI
England, PTI
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England’s Pathetic Performance In Ashes May See ECB Barring Them From Playing IPL 2022

England has produced a pathetic performance in the ongoing 2021-22 Ashes series against Australia. The Joe Root-led side has already surrendered the series and is currently 0-3 down after 4 Tests concluded.

The below-par performances of the England cricketers in Ashes have now put their participation in the upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in jeopardy. It has been learned that the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is planning to conduct a full review into England’s defeat Down Under.

England(AP Photo/Tsering Topgyal)
England(AP Photo/Tsering Topgyal)

England May Ban Test Cricketers From Participating In IPL 2022 After Ashes 2021/22 Defeat: Report

According to a report, director of cricket Ashley Giles would be preparing a report which will include a number of recommendations to improve the Test team’s fortunes. Baring English cricketers from taking part in the IPL would be one of the ideas.

The Indian T20 league usually lasts two months, however, this year it’s set to get longer with the introduction of two new teams namely Ahmedabad and Lucknow. The IPL 2022 is set to clash with the initial phase of England’s Test summer as the knockout stages are likely to overlap with their first Test against New Zealand in June.

Rajasthan Royals batsman Jos Buttler in action | Sportzpics for BCCI / Pankaj Nangia
Rajasthan Royals batsman Jos Buttler in action | Sportzpics for BCCI / Pankaj Nangia

The IPL 2022 players auction is scheduled to take place in February in which a lot of England players are expected to take part. So far, only Jos Buttler and Moeen Ali have been retained by their respective franchises. It has also been learned that the players participating in the IPL will be asked to cut short their time in India so that they can feature in some domestic games to prepare for the New Zealand Tests.

Michael Atherton Criticized England Cricketers For Emphasizing IPL Over International Fixtures

On the other hand, former England players have time and again criticized current players for emphasizing IPL over international fixtures. Michael Atherton, former England captain, stressed the fact that the cricketers should not miss national duties for the cash-rich T20 league.

“The leading multi-format players are paid seven-figure sums, but, incredibly, the ECB washes its hands of them for two months of the year during the Indian Premier League,” Atherton wrote in his column.

Michael Atherton Image Source : GETTY IMAGES
Michael Atherton Image Source: GETTY IMAGES

“The players should be told that, while the ECB will be accommodating of the request to play in IPL, a 12-month contract is exactly that, and the granting of a no-objection certificate to play in IPL and other franchised competitions is contingent on it being in the best interests of the England team,” he added.

Also, from 2022, the Indian Premier League is set to become grander, as the Indian T20 League will be a 10-team affair. This means that there would be more matches, and the tournament might extend into June. Chennai Super Kings (CSK) has decided to retain the services of all-rounder Moeen Ali, while the Rajasthan Royals (RR) have retained Jos Buttler.

The Chennai Super Kings (CSK) emerged as the champions of the 2021 edition of the IPL, and won the IPL title for the 4th time, beating the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) side in the summit clash of the tournament. A total of 27 players were retained in the retention list by the eight existing teams. Ace players like Rohit Sharma, MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli, and Kane Williamson have been retained by their respective teams ahead of the mega auction in 2022.

Eoin Morgan, who led Kolkata Knight Riders to IPL 2021 final, was released by the franchise. Ahead of the second leg of IPL 2021, Jonny Bairstow (SRH), Dawid Malan (PBKS), and Chris Woakes (DC) had pulled out of the tournament due to personal reasons.

All three players were released by their respective franchises. Ben Stokes and pacer Jofra Archer also were released by the franchise after they couldn’t participate in the entire season due to various injuries. Punjab Kings duo of Chris Jordan and Adil Rashid along with Delhi Capitals pacer Tom Curran are the other released players from England.

List of England players to be available for IPL 2022 auction: Adil Rashid, Ben Stokes, Chris Jordan, Chris Woakes, Dawid Malan, Eoin Morgan, Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Liam Livingstone, Sam Billings, Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Jofra Archer (doubtful).

Ashes Urn Photo: cricket.com.au
Ashes Urn Photo: cricket.com.au
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Australia Working To Be Flexible And Practical To Ensure Ashes 2021/22 Go Ahead: Greg Hunt

Greg Hunt, the Australian health minister, said that their government is working to be “flexible and practical” to ensure the Ashes 2021/22 can go ahead. Still, the fate of the series ultimately lies in the hands of the touring party.

Australia has been “flexible and practical” to ensure that the England men’s cricket team will tour the country for the Ashes, but the fate of the series lies in the hands of the touring party, health minister Greg Hunt said on Tuesday.

Minister for health Greg Hunt
Minister for Health Greg Hunt. Photograph: Mick Tsikas/AAP

Greg Hunt: Ashes 2021/22 Happening Lies In The Hands Of England, But Australia Are Working To Be Flexible And Practical

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said in a statement that it will decide this week whether the proposed arrangements in Australia are sufficient for the Ashes 2021/22 tour to go ahead. Greg Hunt said Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and sports minister Richard Colbeck had been working day and night with their British counterparts to ensure the series, which starts on December 8 in Brisbane, happens.

“Ultimately, it’s always in the hands of the touring party, but we’ve been working to be flexible and practical,” Greg Hunt told Sky News Australia on Tuesday.

England and Wales Cricket Board
England and Wales Cricket Board

“On the one hand, make sure that we have safety arrangements for Australia. On the other hand, to be practical and flexible to give that touring party every chance of coming here and to have the Ashes played this summer,” said Greg Hunt.

England captain Joe Root and other players have expressed doubts about the tour due to “bubble fatigue” and concerns their families will not be able to travel with them due to Australia’s strict COVID-19 protocols. As reported by local media, the five-Test series pours about 200 million AUD into Cricket Australia (CA) coffers through broadcast, sponsorship, and ticketing.

Australia’s health minister Greg Hunt said that the government is doing everything to ensure that England’s team can come and play the Ashes in December this year.

Cricket Australia Negotiating With England and Wales Cricket Board Over The Past 6 Months To Ensure Health And Wellbeing Of Both Squads

CA has been negotiating with authorities and the ECB over travel conditions and whether players’ families can visit during the Christmas and New Year periods.

“We have had regular and positive discussions with the ECB over the past six months on providing conditions which will allow players from both teams to perform at their best during the Ashes summer,” CA said in a statement.

“The health and wellbeing of both squads while ensuring the tour proceeds in a safe manner is a priority and we especially thank our government partners for all their support in this regard.”

Australia has strict limits on international arrivals and charges people thousands of dollars to isolate in designated quarantine hotels for a mandatory 14 days, regardless of their COVID-19 vaccination status. ECB said on Monday that its decision later this week could hinge on whether it can select a squad “befitting a series of this significance”.

“Later this week the ECB Board will meet to decide whether the conditions in place are sufficient for the Tour to go ahead and enable the selection of a squad befitting a series of this significance,” it said.

Sam Curran for CSK (Photo: Twitter/@IPL)
Sam Curran for CSK (Photo: Twitter/@IPL)

England and Wales Cricket Board warned the forthcoming Ashes 2021/22 will only go ahead if ECB can pick a squad “befitting a series of this significance”. The future of the Ashes tour will be settled by the end of this week.

The players and the England and Wales Cricket Board met over the weekend with representatives of Cricket Australia to discuss Covid-19  arrangements for the tour.  The players have been given the rest of the week to decide their availability, with doubts still existing over the strict quarantine rules for families and the strictness of the bubble once the team leaves quarantine.

England’s multi-format players, such as Jos Buttler, Jonny Bairstow, Mark Wood, Sam Curran, and Chris Woakes, wouldn’t be willing to spend up about four months away from their families as they will fly to Australia straight from the UAE, where the T20 World Cup will be held.
Moeen Ali, Sam Curran,  Tom Curran, George Garton, Eoin Morgan, Chris Jordan, Adil Rashid, Liam Livingstone, Sam Billings, and Jason Roy are the England players participating in the UAE leg of IPL 2021.
India vs England (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
India vs England (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
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India’s Refusal To Play 5th Test Strained Relationships, One Cricketer May Pull Out Of IPL 2021

India’s refusal to feature in the 5th and final Test against England at Manchester due to fears of Covid-19 has strained relationships between the two teams. While many in the English cricket fraternity are criticising Virat Kohli-led Indian management, some cricketers are reportedly even looking to pull out from the UAE leg of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021.

At least one of the England players, a part of the Test series against India, is looking to pull out from IPL 2021 after Team India’s unwillingness to feature in the 5th Test led to its cancellation.

Indian test team
Indian test team[photo: Twitter]

Indian Cricket Team’s Refusal To Play 5th Test Strained Relationships

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) have had a healthy relationship with each other. However, after Team India’s 11th-hour withdrawal from the Old Trafford match, many English cricketers are said to be left unamused.

Some members of the England team claim that they had even spotted the Indian players roaming around in Manchester on Thursday even though they were supposed to remain inside their hotel rooms due to the Covid-19 scenario in the camp.

BCCI, ECB Logo
BCCI, ECB Logo

The cancellation of the Test is said to cost the ECB and others involved in organizing the match several millions of pounds. What has infuriated the hosts most is the fact that the match could’ve been deferred by a day or two if the resumption of IPL 2021 on September 19 wasn’t at stake.

At Least One Among Five Cricketers Of Test Squad Participating In The UAE Leg Of IPL 2021 May Pull Out

While the BCCI is busy planning its players’ departure from the UK to UAE, 5 England Test players are also supposed to participate in the extravagant T20 league. At least one of those five players — Jonny Bairstow, Sam Curran, Moeen Ali, Dawid Malan, and Chris Woakes — is said to be thinking of pulling out from IPL 2021 because of the 5th Test’s cancellation.

The aforementioned five England players are supposed to travel to UAE with the Indian contingent and serve 6 days of quarantine upon their arrival.

Sam Curran for CSK (Photo: Twitter/@IPL)
Sam Curran for CSK (Photo: Twitter/@IPL)

At 6 PM on Thursday, the England cricket team was reportedly informed of the Indian team’s availability for the match since all of them had tested negative for Covid-19.

Later, however, they were informed of the players’ unwillingness to go ahead with the match amid the risk of catching the virus. Most of the English players even travelled to the ground to collect their kits while the spectators had also started to show up.

List & Status of England Cricketers in IPL 2021:

  • Jos Buttler (Rajasthan Royals) 4.4 Crore – Has pulled out of IPL already citing birth of his child.
  • Jofra Archer (Rajasthan Royals) – 7.2 Crore, Has pulled out due to injury
  • Ben Stokes (Rajasthan Royals) – 12.5 Cr, pulled out citing mental health issues
  • Liam Livingstone (Rajasthan Royals) – 0.75 Cr – Injured & doubtful
  • Eoin Morgan (KKR – 5.25 Cr), Sam Curran (CSK – 5.5 Cr), Moeen Ali (CSK – 7 Crore), Jonny Bairstow (SRH – 2.2 Crore), Tom Curran (DC – 5.5 Cr), Sam Billings (DC – 2 Crore), Chris Woakes (DC – 1.5 Cr), Chris Jordan (PBKS – 3 Crore), Dawid Malan (PBKS – 1.5 Cr), Jason Roy (SRH – 2 Cr),
Virat Kohli, KL Rahul | Photo Credit: AP
Virat Kohli, KL Rahul | Photo Credit: AP
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Virat Kohli Retains 5th Position While KL Rahul Advances To 6th Place In T20I Rankings

Virat Kohli, the present Indian skipper retained his fifth position while wicketkeeper-batsman KL Rahul gained one spot to be in sixth place in the latest ICC T20I rankings.

With 762 points, Virat Kohli is behind England’s David Malan (888 points), Australia white-ball skipper Aaron Finch (830), Pakistan captain Babar Azam (828), and New Zealand opener Devon Conway (774). Virat Kohli was the only Indian featuring in both ODI and T20I rankings for batsmen despite India not playing much white-ball cricket since March this year but it had little impact on the rankings of their stars.

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli (BCCI)

Virat Kohli Retains 5th Position While KL Rahul Is 6th In T20I Rankings While England’s Chris Woakes Attains Career-Best 3rd Position Among ODI Bowlers

KL Rahul, who has acquired 743 points, and Australian all-rounder dashing middle-order batsman Glenn Maxwell have climbed a rung each to be placed sixth and seventh respectively in T20I batsmen rankings. KL Rahul and Virat Kohli are the only two Indians to feature in the top-10 among batsmen. No Indian features in the top-10 among bowlers and all-rounders in the latest T20I rankings announced by ICC.

In the ODI rankings, Virat Kohli and vice-captain Rohit Sharma remained in the top five, occupying the second and third spots respectively, behind Pakistan skipper Babar Azam. Indian pace spearhead Japrit Bumrah, the lone bowler from the country in the top 10, dropped a spot to the sixth place, while Ravindra Jadeja remained in the ninth position in the all-rounders’ list.

KL Rahul
KL Rahul-Reuters.

England all-rounder Chris Woakes reached a career-best third position among bowlers after a fine show against Sri Lanka in the three-match ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League series. Chris Woakes, who grabbed six wickets in two matches, including a haul of four for 18 in the first ODI, has advanced four slots in the list led by New Zealand’s Trent Boult with Bangladesh’s Mehidy Hasan Miraz in second place.

Chris Woakes’ previous best was the fourth position he attained in September last year. He is also up one place to third among all-rounders after overtaking his team-mate, Ben Stokes who will lead the 18 men revised squad against Pakistan after a Covid-19 outbreak in the team.

David Willey, Tom Curran, Joe Root, And Eoin Morgan Of England Advance In ODI Rankings After Defeating Sri Lanka 2-0

Other England fast bowlers David Willey and Tom Curran, too, have gained positions in the latest men’s weekly rankings update. David Willey has moved up 13 places to 37th position after a ‘Player of the Series’ performance picking up nine wickets that included a haul of four for 64 in the second match, while Tom Curran’s four wickets in two matches saw him advance 20 places to 68th position.

England’s 2-0 series win, which helped them to the top of the CWC Super League Standings also saw Test captain Joe Root moving up two places to 13th position with a series-topping aggregate of 147 runs and white-ball skipper Eoin Morgan inching up from 26th to 25th.

For Sri Lanka, captain Kusal Perera is up to one place to 41st after scoring 82 runs in the series, while Dhananjaya de Silva has gained 10 slots to reach 74th position. In the men’s T20I rankings, South Africa’s Quinton de Kock has advanced nine places to 13th after aggregating 255 runs in their five-match series against the West Indies.

Joe Root's unbeaten run of 68* and 79* in the series sees him jump to 13th place.
Joe Root’s unbeaten run of 68* and 79* in the series sees him jump to 13th place.

Aiden Markram is up 23 places to 19th position while George Linde (up 30 places to 43rd) and Lungi Ngidi (up 25 places to 56th) are among the bowlers to gain after their 3-2 win. For the West Indies, Evin Lewis is up to one place to ninth position after finishing with 178 runs. Nicholas Pooran has gained 20 places to reach 87th position while Shimron Hetmyer is up 15 places to 99th.

All-rounder Dwayne Bravo has moved from 95th to 44th among bowlers after finishing with 10 wickets in the series while Obed McKoy has moved up 65 places to 53rd with nine wickets.

KKR captain Eoin Morgan Twitter/@KKRiders
KKR captain Eoin Morgan- Twitter/@KKRiders
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Eoin Morgan Heads To The Maldives After IPL 2021 Was Postponed

Eoin Morgan, Kolkata Knight Riders skipper has headed to the Maldives as the foreign players who were part of the 14th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) started exiting India after the tournament was postponed.

England and Kolkata Knight Riders captain, Eoin Morgan, has headed to the Maldives alongside pacer Pat Cummins, all-rounder Ben Cutting and mentor David Hussey.

Eoin Morgan
Eoin Morgan (Image Credit: Twitter)

Eoin Morgan Heads To Maldives After IPL 2021 Was Indefinitely Postponed

The 14th season of the Indian Premier League was suspended for an indefinite period by the BCCI earlier this week due to multiple covid cases across four different franchises, including Kolkata Knight Riders. With the IPL getting suspended, overseas players have started leaving the country.

The official Twitter account of KKR posted the update about Eoin Morgan’s departure that read:

Taking to Twitter, KKR wrote: “#KKR Overseas Players & Support Staff Travel Update: Goodbye to the Skipper, Mentor, Carnage Cummins and our ace all-rounder as they safely exit the Indian border into the Maldives. Wishing you legends safe transit home & see you soon! @DavidHussey29 #IPL2021 #StaySafe.”

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

Earlier on Wednesday, Danny Reuben — head of team communication for the England cricket team – had confirmed that 8 players were back in the UK and the remaining three players were set to leave India in the next 48 hours.

“I can confirm that 8 of the 11 England players in India managed to get on a flight to Heathrow last night and have landed this morning. They will now quarantine in government-approved hotels. The remaining three — Jordan, Malan, Morgan — should leave India within the next 48 hours,” he had told India.

An Irish-born Englishman with a reputation for inventive and audacious stroke-play, Eoin Morgan has proved to be one of the most innovative players in international cricket. Eoin Morgan is a natural finisher. He has spent most of his IPL career with KKR but represented the Sunrisers Hyderabad in 2015 and 2016 and played for Kings XI Punjab (now Punjab Kings) in 2017.

The 2019 World Cup-winning captain made a return to the Kolkata Knight Riders in 2020 after being one of the top buys for KKR in the 2020 IPL Auction. He also took over captaincy duties from Dinesh Karthik mid-season in 2020 and under him, KKR is placed 7th with 2 wins and 5 losses (4 points). Eoin Morgan failed with the bat amassing 92 runs in 7 games averaging a dismal 15.33 at a below-par strike rate of 112.19.

Eoin Morgan Is In the Maldives With The Australian Contingent

Jonny Bairstow (SunRisers Hyderabad), Jos Buttler (Rajasthan Royals), Sam Curran (Chennai Super Kings), Tom Curran (Delhi Capitals), Sam Billings (Delhi Capitals), Chris Woakes (Delhi Capitals), Moeen Ali (Chennai Super Kings) and Jason Roy (SunRisers Hyderabad) were the eight players who arrived in the UK on Wednesday, reported Sky Sports.

Moeen Ali (Photo Credit : CSK Twitter Handle)
Moeen Ali (Photo Credit: CSK Twitter Handle)

The Australian contingent is also currently in the Maldives as they look to follow the protocols of the Australian government to get a clearance to return home.

While postponing the league on Tuesday, BCCI Secretary Jay Shah said the Indian board didn’t wish to compromise on the safety of those involved in the league.

“The BCCI and the IPL GC have unanimously decided to postpone the 2021 season till further notice. We don’t wish to compromise the safety of the players, the people involved, the employees, the groundsmen, the match officials, every single person involved,” Jay Shah had said.

The IPL 2021 season had to be suspended after 29 games in the campaign. Indian Premier League Governing Council chairman, Brijesh Patel, has confirmed that the BCCI is looking at pre and post-T20 World Cup windows to organize the remaining IPL 2021 games. When asked about the plans in store for the league to return, Brijesh Patel said that the remaining 31 games of IPL 2021 are likely to either be held before this year’s T20 World Cup or after it.

File photo of Anrich Nortje. | BCCI / Sportzpics
File photo of Anrich Nortje. | BCCI / Sportzpics
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None Can Underestimate Any Franchise In IPL 2021: Anrich Nortje

Anrich Nortje, Delhi Capitals pacer believes one cannot underestimate any of the franchises in the IPL. The South African added that every team is capable of producing a match-winning performance ahead of his side’s upcoming encounter against the Punjab Kings.

Anrich Nortje missed his side’s first two games of the season, but he should be available for tonight’s encounter against the Punjab outfit.

Anrich Nortje
Anrich Nortje © Instagram

Anrich Nortje: None Has Got A Bad Team And Every Side Is Competitive

Speaking about his next opponents, the 27-year-old said the Delhi Capitals could not afford to take any team lightly in the competition.

“There’s no team that’s got a bad team, so every side is really competitive, and it can come off for anyone on any day. We are definitely not going to underestimate anyone, and hopefully, we can bring our A-game (against Punjab Kings).” the South African bowler said in a chat with DC’s social media team.

Delhi Capitals
Delhi Capitals. Image Credits: Twitter

Speaking about his quarantine experience, Anrich Nortje was relieved that it finally came to an end. The fast bowler could have been available for DC’s second game of IPL season.

However, Anrich Nortje had initially tested positive for COVID-19. Later, it was discovered that the test gave a false positive report, and the bowler was finally allowed to join DC’s training camp.

“Ten days in the room was quite a lot for me. It was nice to get out, run around and bowl a bit. I really enjoyed it, and hopefully, I can build it up from here on,” said Nortje.

Anrich Nortje, the bowler of the fastest ball in IPL history, is back in the Capitals’ team bubble after a Covid-19 scare. Anrich Nortje had landed in Mumbai on April 6, and had to spend extended time in quarantine after a positive test, but has subsequently tested negative thrice.

Anrich Nortje: Delhi Have A Great Combination Of Players Besides Lot Of Options In Bowling Lineup

Anrich Nortje was asked about the makeup of DC’s squad for this IPL season and the South African suggested that the bowling line-up was one of DC’s key strengths.

“We are unfortunately missing Shreyas (Iyer), but we definitely have a great combination of players. We have got a great bowling line-up as well. It’s just about picking the right team on the right wicket and conditions.

“We definitely have a lot of options in our bowling line-up, which is really nice to have and hopefully, we can make the best of the conditions and the different players that we have got.” Nortje said.

Sam and Tom Curran
Sam and Tom Curran during the first innings of CSK vs DC clash | Photo: BCCI / IPL

DC has used Chris Woakes and Tom Curran as their two overseas bowling options in their first two games. While Chris Woakes has done well with the new ball, getting early breakthroughs, Tom Curran has been expensive, conceding runs at an economy of 9.55 and 10 in the opening two games. Hence, Anrich Nortje could replace Tom Curran for DC’s next match against the Punjab Kings today.

The South African duo of Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje is key pacers of Delhi Capitals and were mighty impressive as they picked up 52 wickets between them in the UAE in 2020. Kagiso Rabada picked most scalps as he was a purple cap holder with 30 scalps.

The Capitals have also roped in Shams Mulani as a temporary replacement for Axar Patel, a like-for-like left-arm-spinning allrounder, and brought in Aniruddha Joshi for the injured Shreyas Iyer. It remains to be seen whether either of them can be fitted into the XIs.

Delhi Capitals: 1 Prithvi Shaw, 2 Shikhar Dhawan, 3 Ajinkya Rahane, 4 Rishabh Pant (capt, wk), 5 Marcus Stoinis, 6 Shimron Hetmyer, 7 Lalit Yadav, 8 R Ashwin, 9 Kagiso Rabada, 10 Avesh Khan, 11 Anrich Nortje

Punjab Kings: 1 Mayank Agarwal, 2 KL Rahul (capt, wk), 3 Chris Gayle, 4 Deepak Hooda, 5 Nicholas Pooran, 6 Shahrukh Khan, 7 Jhye Richardson, 8 M Ashwin, 9 Mohammed Shami, 10 Riley Meredith, 11 Arshdeep Singh

Jaydev Unadkat hopes IPL 2020 will go ahead this year | IANS
Jaydev Unadkat hopes IPL 2020 will go ahead this year | IANS
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IPL 2021: Jaydev Unadkat Used Variations Extremely Well, Says Irfan Pathan

Irfan Pathan, former India left-arm fast bowler praised Jaydev Unadkat while speaking on ESPNCricinfo and explained the things he did right in the match.

Rajasthan Royals pacer Jaydev Unadkat starred for Rajasthan Royals (RR) with the ball in their second game of the Indian Premier League 2021 season against Delhi Capitals on Thursday. The left-arm pacer was playing his first game of the season, having missed RR’s opening match against Punjab Kings on Monday.

Irfan Pathan (AFP Photo)
Irfan Pathan (AFP Photo)

Irfan Pathan: Jaydev Unadkat Used His Variations Really Well And Picking Early Wickets Gave Him Lot Of Confidence

Jaydev Unadkat topped DC’s top order, dismissing Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, and Ajinkya Rahane. In his four overs, Jaydev Unadkat registered figures of 15/3 in the match, thus helping RR restrict Delhi to 147/8 in 20 overs. Speaking on ESPNCricinfo, former India left-arm fast bowler Irfan Pathan praised Jaydev Unadkat and explained the things he did right in the match.

“Brilliant, brilliant by this left-armer. Especially what happened at the auctions. I always believe players don’t ask for big money. If he is getting it, it’s good for him. Look, when any bowler does well, it makes me really happy,” Irfan Pathan said.

Jaydev Unadkat , PTI
Jaydev Unadkat, PTI

“Especially the way he bowled today. He used his variations really well, he was trying to hit the ball really, really hard, when he was trying to hit in the middle of the pitch. All the variations were working for him,” Irfan Pathan added.

“When you get early wickets, it gives you a lot of confidence, and there is no looking afterward. This spell of his bowling will give him a lot of confidence going forward in IPL. It will be really good for Rajasthan Royals,” Irfan Pathan concluded.

Jaydev Unadkat now has the best bowling average of 5 among bowlers who bowled during IPL 2021 and also the best economy rate of 3.75. Jaydev Unadkat has picked 84 scalps in 80 IPL matches averaging 28.98. While Rajasthan Royals had released him after the IPL 2019, they bought him back at the auction and retained him for the IPL 2021.

The 2017 IPL season was one of the best for Jaydev Unadkat, who claimed 24 wickets from 12 matches for the defunct Rising Pune Supergiant. With 11 wickets in 15 games in IPL 2018, he was probably bogged down by the expectation of a high salary he received at the IPL Player Auction 2018.

However, after being released initially, RR bought him back for INR 8.4 crore at the auction prior to the 2019 season, showing faith in his ability.

Jaydev Unadkat was bought back by Rajasthan Royals before IPL 2019 for INR 8.40 crore, hence a profit of INR 3.1 crores. Jaydev Unadkat was the costliest Indian in IPL 2018 when he was sold to Rajasthan for Rs 11.50 crore, but after sub-par performances in the league, he was not retained.

David Miller And Chris Morris’ Late Assault Give Rajasthan Surprising First Victory

Back in the team, left-handed batsman David Miller produced a 62-run knock and it was followed by Chris Morris’ cameo of 36 runs off just 18 balls as Royals defeated Delhi Capitals at the Wankhede Stadium.

David Miller's (62 off 43) and Chris Morris' cameo (36 off 18) lifted Rajasthan Royals to a last-over win over Delhi Capitals on Thursday. - BCCI/IPL
David Miller’s (62 off 43) and Chris Morris’ cameo (36 off 18) lifted Rajasthan Royals to a last-over win over Delhi Capitals on Thursday. – BCCI/IPL

RR required 27 off the last 2 over. The 19th over then swung the momentum in RR’s favour as Chris Morris clubbed two sixes off Kagiso Rabada to bring down the target to 12 runs off the final over. DC opted to give Tom Curran the responsibility to defend those 12 runs. But Chris Morris, as calm as ever, hit two sixes off the England pacer and got RR over the line.

Brief Scores:  Rajasthan Royals 150/7 (David Miller 62, Chris Morris 36*; Avesh Khan 3/32) beat Delhi Capitals 147/8 (Rishabh Pant 51, Tom Curran 21; Jaydev Unadkat 3/15) by 3 wickets. 

Rishabh Pant Photo: BCCI
Rishabh Pant Photo: BCCI
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IPL 2021: Ajay Jadeja Reckons Rishabh Pant Should Have Given Frontline Bowlers Of Delhi Capitals Some More Overs

Ajay Jadeja feels that Delhi Capitals skipper Rishabh Pant’s ‘defensive’ move to bowl Marcus Stoinis in the 13th over enabled the Rajasthan Royals to win the IPL 2021 clash on Thursday.

Batting first, DC scored 147-8 in their 20 overs. In response, RR lost five wickets for just 42 runs on board. But David Miller (62 off 43) and Chris Morris (36* off 18) had other plans as the duo enabled Rajasthan to revive the chase and clinch the game by three wickets with two balls remaining.

Ajay Jadeja
Ajay Jadeja (Photo- Twitter)

Ajay Jadeja Criticizes Rishabh Pant Who Switched To Defensive Style From Attacking As Move To Bowl With Marcus Stoinis In The 13th Over Backfired

The Rajasthan Royals changed gears in the 13th over, with Marcus Stoinis conceding 15 runs. Tom Curran then went for 12 in the next. Even after David Miller’s dismissal in the 15th over, a well-set Chris Morris managed to take the game away from the grasp of the Delhi Capitals.

Speaking to Cricbuzz after the match, Ajay Jadeja stated it wasn’t the right move on Rishabh Pant‘s part to hand the ball to Marcus Stoinis in the 13th over. The former India batsman suggested the DC skipper should have looked to wrap up the game by bowling his best bowlers at that stage. The last 2 overs saw 29 runs while the 13th over, 14th over and 16th over saw 12-15 runs which cost DC the match.

David Miller’s (62 off 43) and Chris Morris’ cameo (36 off 18) lifted Rajasthan Royals to a last-over win over Delhi Capitals on Thursday. – BCCI/IPL
David Miller’s (62 off 43) and Chris Morris’ cameo (36 off 18) lifted Rajasthan Royals to a last-over win over Delhi Capitals on Thursday. – BCCI/IPL

“That over [13th, by Marcus Stoinis] kickstarted the chase for Rajasthan Royals. Before it, the scoreboard read 55-5. [Kagiso] Rabada, Avesh Khan, Chris Woakes and R Ashwin, all main bowlers had bowled their 3 overs. When they were bowling, the game was different. I believe you should have bowled your main bowlers some more.”

“The game began to tilt in that over. Unlike CSK, Rajasthan Royals can score quick runs in the end. It’s a game, someone will falter. The mistake was that he [Rishabh Pant] switched to defensive style from attacking and what was done and dusted, he let it revive again,” said Ajay Jadeja.

Chris Morris, the most expensive buy-in IPL 2021 showed his class as he hit his compatriot Kagiso Rabada for 15 runs in the penultimate over and followed it up with two sixes against Tom Curran in the last over to help RR seal the deal. The South African all-rounder’s cameo handed the Rajasthan Royals their first win in IPL 2021 after a loss by 4 runs to Punjab Kings in their opening encounter.

Ajay Jadeja Criticized Rishabh Pant’s Decision To Hold Back Ravichandran Ashwin’s 4th Over

Ajay Jadeja also criticized keeper and new DC skipper Rishabh Pant’s decision to hold back off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin’s final over. Although the experienced off-spinner remained wicketless in his three overs, he was DC’s most economical bowler (4.7).

Ajay Jadeja explained that Rishabh Pant should have bowled his best bowlers in the first 16 overs to take the game completely away from the RR.

Ravichandran Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin (Image Credit: Twitter)

“It’s not weird (preserving one over of Ashwin) but it’s a big error. You allowed them to come back into the game. There wasn’t much spin but the batsmen weren’t looking to dominate either. I believe if you bowl your main bowlers in the first 16 overs then you have the best chance.”

“It was a small total and, you know, batsmen don’t find it a lot more difficult to chase in the final few overs here in Mumbai. You want to use Tom Curran and Marcus Stoinis for a total of four overs.

If you had bowled them in the death, they could have got some 70 runs to defend. You allowed them to come back into the game by bowling Stoinis and Tom Curran in the middle overs,” concluded Ajay Jadeja.

Rishabh Pant’s Delhi Daredevils will be looking to return to winning ways when they take on Punjab Kings on Sunday. For Rajasthan, Jaydev Unadkat won the Man of the Match award for returning with figures of 3/15 in 4 overs.

Brief Scores:  Rajasthan Royals 150/7 (David Miller 62, Chris Morris 36*; Avesh Khan 3/32) beat Delhi Capitals 147/8 (Rishabh Pant 51, Tom Curran 21; Jaydev Unadkat 3/15) by 3 wickets. 

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