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Bhuvneshwar Kumar (AP Photo)
Bhuvneshwar Kumar (AP Photo)
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It Will Be Beneficial For The Team If The 6 Uncapped Players Carry The Confidence Of IPL In The Sri Lanka Series, Says Bhuvneshwar Kumar

Bhuvneshwar Kumar, tour vice-captain says it is not the case as the entire lot of six uncapped players in the squad make it seem that India has come with an inexperienced group for the white-ball series against Sri Lanka has the requisite confidence thanks to IPL.

With major stars like skipper Virat Kohli and his limited-overs deputy Rohit Sharma in England for an upcoming Test series, the Indian team for series against Sri Lanka is being led by opener Shikhar Dhawan and features half a dozen uncapped players.

Shikhar Dhawan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar Image-AP
Shikhar Dhawan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar Image-AP

Bhuvneshwar Kumar: It Will Be Beneficial For The Team If The 6 Uncapped Players Carry The Confidence Of IPL In The Sri Lanka Series

Many of the youngsters impressed in the suspended Indian Premier League 2021 and have been rewarded with their maiden India call-up. They include opening batsman Devdutt Padikkal, pacer Chetan Sakaria, middle-order batsman Nitish Rana, all-rounder Krishnappa Gowtham, opener Ruturaj Gaikwad, and spinner Varun Chakravarthy.

“We have good players and they have experience of IPL, they are young but they have experience of IPL, playing T20 for so many years and they have done well for their teams,” Bhuvneshwar Kumar said on the Star Sport show ‘Follow the Blues.’

Varun Chakravarthy (File Photo)
Varun Chakravarthy (File Photo)

“So, it will be beneficial for the team that they will carry the confidence of IPL and they are young and talented, there is a good mix with the experienced players and this will be a good tour. Young players who have come for their first tour and came after doing well in IPL so if they do well here then it will be great for their confidence,” Bhuvneshwar Kumar added.

Nitish Rana, Devdutt Padikkal, Rituraj Gaikwad, Krishnappa Gautam, Varun Chakravarthy, and Chetan Sakariya have never played for Team India before.  Out of these six, Varun Chakravarthy is the only player who has been selected in Team India before, but due to fitness issues, he could not play for Team India.

Krishnappa Gowtham, Devdutt Padikkal, Ruturaj Gaekwad have impressed with their performances in the last two IPL seasons, while Nitish Rana has been in great form over the years. Chetan Sakariya’s name is a bit surprising but the 23-year-old has impressed a lot with his bowling in IPL 2021.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s Focus Was To Make A Comeback By Playing Domestic Cricket Before The England Series

The senior pacer had suffered a thigh muscle injury during last year’s IPL which ruled him out of the league as well as the tour of Australia. The bowler made a return to the national squad after a long injury lay-off in the limited-overs home series against England in March. He said playing domestic cricket helped him stay motivated.

“When I was almost recovered, domestic cricket was going on as well. So my focus was to get fit and make a comeback and then I started the preparation for the match,” he said.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Sunrisers Hyderabad, IPL 2021
Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Sunrisers Hyderabad, IPL 2021[photo: Twitter]

“Before the England series, I played domestic cricket, so that it helps me get the required match practice. One shouldn’t take things lightly while playing domestic cricket and that kept me motivated to play for India and to stay fit,” he added.

The India-Sri Lanka series, which was originally slated, to begin with, the three ODIs on July 13, had to be rescheduled after the home team’s batting coach Grant Flower and data analyst G T Niroshan tested positive for the dreaded virus on their return from the UK tour. The engagement, which comprises three ODIs and as many T20 Internationals, will now start from July 18.

Sanjay Manjrekar | Sportzpics
Sanjay Manjrekar | Sportzpics
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Sanjay Manjrekar Picks 3 Indian Players To Watch Out For In The Limited-Overs Series Against Sri Lanka

Sanjay Manjrekar has picked three Indian players to watch for during the limited-overs series against Sri Lanka. He shared these names on the Sportskeeda show Sanjay Se Sawal.

Team India will play six limited-overs matches, starting with the first ODI on July 13, during their tour of Sri Lanka. The Shikhar Dhawan-led Indian side is mainly comprised of white-ball specialists and players who intend to make a mark on the international stage.

Sanjay Manjrekar (Main Image) Photo: © Instagram
Sanjay Manjrekar (Main Image) Photo: © Instagram

Sanjay Manjrekar: Suryakumar Yadav Looks A Perfect Fit For The Middle Order

Suryakumar Yadav was the first player picked by Sanjay Manjrekar who looks a perfect fit for India’s middle order problems that was one of the big reasons for India’s exit in the last ODI World Cup 2019.

“One is Suryakumar Yadav. You know India had a middle-order problem in white-ball cricket. It became a big reason for India’s loss at the 2019 World Cup. Suryakumar Yadav looks a perfect fit for the middle order, to play at No.3 or No.4.”

Suryakumar Yadav
Suryakumar Yadav (BCCI)

The cricketer-turned-commentator highlighted that the swashbuckling batsman will have to continue displaying the same form he has shown in the IPL and the T20I series against England.

Sanjay Manjrekar explained:”So we will have to see his form because his international debut was very good but there is so much competition that he will have to continuously give performances like that. The class we are seeing in his batting over the last two-three years in white-ball cricket, in the IPL, the expectation is that he will carry that form to Indian cricket.”

Suryakumar Yadav had made a sensational international debut in the T20Is against England. He will hope to continue in the same vein and cement a spot in the Indian squad for the T20 World Cup slated later this year.

Sanjay Manjrekar: Chetan Sakariya Will Bring Some Variation Being A Left Arm Seamer While Varun Chakravarthy Can Pick Wickets In The Middle Overs

Sanjay Manjrekar reckons Chetan Sakariya’s left-arm angle can lend much-needed variety to the Indian attack.

“The second player whose performance I am looking forward to, I hope he gets a chance as well, is Chetan Sakariya. I was just amazed that such a new guy who has hardly played any senior cricket, the way he bowled in the IPL. He is a left-arm seamer, so will also bring some variation in the Indian attack.”

The 55-year-old pointed out that the youngster who debuted and impressed in IPL 2021 showed the ability to bowl at all stages of a T20 innings during the IPL.

Sanjay Manjrekar elaborated: “The success he enjoyed in the IPL, it was not that he was bowling just the middle overs, sometimes your economy rate looks very good by bowling the easy overs, he bowled all the tough overs and despite that a very good economy rate and a good strike rate. Seeing all that, it seems that he has different skills to survive in each of the stages of an innings.”

Varun Chakravarthy (File Photo)
Varun Chakravarthy (File Photo)

Sanjay Manjrekar’s third and final pick was Varun Chakravarthy who picked 17 wickets in the 2020 IPL season at an average of 20.94 and 7 scalps in as many games in IPL 2021.

“The third player is Varun Chakravarthy. It is probably time now to see more spinners, for quite a few years Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal have flown the Indian tricolor, so it will be good to have more options.”

The 37-Test veteran reasoned that the Kolkata Knight Riders spinner can bring in the mystery element, much like Sunil Narine used to do in the past.

Sanjay Manjrekar added: “Rahul Chahar is a proper leg-spinner but Varun Chakravarthy has that specialty that was there in Sunil Narine earlier, when his bowling action was not suspect. His temperament is very good, he is mild-natured and bowls a straight line. So if a batsman tries to take a risk against him, he has the ability to get him bowled or leg-before. He is a spinner who can get wickets for India in the middle overs.”

Varun Chakravarthy is yet to make his India debut after being sidelined by injuries and fitness issues in the past. The Sri Lanka series presents him with a great opportunity to impress the selectors before they pick the Indian squad for the T20 World Cup.

TNPL
TNPL. (Source: Twitter)
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TNPL 2021 Will Begin On July 19 And All Matches Will Be Played At Chennai

TNPL 2021, which will be the fifth season of the Tamil Nadu Premier League T20 tournament will start from July 19 onwards as the state government has given the event its clearance.

All the matches in the eight-team league in TNPL 2021, including the final, will be played at the MA Chidambaram Stadium. The 2020 edition of the TNPL was not held owing to the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown.

TNPL to begin from July 19, all matches in Chennai
TNPL to begin from July 19, all matches to be played Chennai. | Photo – TNPL |

TNPL 2021 Will Begin On July 19 And All Matches Will Be In Chennai

The fifth season of the Tamil Nadu Premier League T20 tournament will begin on July 19 as the state government has given the event its clearance. All the matches in the eight-team league, including the final, will be played at the MA Chidambaram Stadium at Chennai, Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) secretary R S Ramasaamy said.

“The Tamil Nadu government formally approved holding the TNPL 2021 tournament on July 1 subject to no spectators and strict Covid protocols. After discussions with all the stakeholders, it was decided to start the 2021 edition of TNPL from July 19 to August 15,” Ramasaamy was quoted as saying in a release on Wednesday.

FILE PHOTO: Chepauk Super Gillies celebrates after winning the Tamil Nadu Premier League at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on August 15, 2019. - THE HINDU
FILE PHOTO: Chepauk Super Gillies celebrates after winning the Tamil Nadu Premier League at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on August 15, 2019. – THE HINDU

The teams are currently in quarantine at a city hotel and will begin practice on July 9, the TNCA secretary said.

“The teams are starting their practice on July 9 at Chepauk after extensive testing, quarantine and following strict bubble rules. The BCCI Anti-corruption team will be in place for the tournament for education and monitoring,” Ramasaamy added.

Unlike the Test series between India and England where a partial crowd was allowed, there won’t be any spectators in the TNPL 2021 due to the increased Covid-19 pandemic situation in the state. All 8 teams will have to adhere to the tight covid protocols. Chepauk Super Gillies won the last TNPL edition in 2019.

Chepauk Super Gillies, captained by Kaushik Gandhi are the defending champions having won the title in 2019 as the tournament was not staged last year due to the pandemic.

Ravichandran Ashwin Will Miss While All Rounder Vijay Shankar Will Be Seen In Action In TNPL 2021

Some of Tamil Nadu’s leading players — Ravichandran Ashwin, MS Washington Sundar, R Sai Kishore, Varun Chakravarthy, and Sandeep Warrier — would not be available for the tournament as they are busy with national commitments. Experienced keeper-batsman veteran Dinesh Karthik is away in the UK on commentary duties and is also likely to miss the event.

Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL)
Chepauk Super Gillies. Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL). Image Credits: Twitter

India all-rounder Vijay Shankar is among the notable names who will be seen in action. TNPL 2020 was not held owing to the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic crisis which resulted in the lockdown.

The T20 league features eight teams — defending champions Chepauk Super Gillies, Dindigul Dragons, LYCA Kovai Kings, Salem Spartans, iDream Tiruppur Tamizhans, Ruby Trichy Warriors, Nellai Royal Kings, and Siechem Madurai Panthers.

All 32 matches, including the final, will be played at MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. There will be seven doubleheaders in the league phase, which will be held without a break. The matches will be broadcast by Star India on its various channels including Star Sports Tamil.

Reetinder Singh Sodhi. Photo Credit: Getty Images.
Reetinder Singh Sodhi. Photo Credit: Getty Images.
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Arjuna Ranatunga’s Statement Will Not Bother Rahul Dravid And Shikhar Dhawan, Says Reetinder Singh Sodhi

Reetinder Singh Sodhi said that that coach Rahul Dravid and captain Shikhar Dhawan will not be concerned by former Sri Lanka skipper Arjuna Ranatunga’s statement and that they will remain focused on beating the Lankans.

Sri Lanka legend Arjuna Ranatunga took the cricketing fraternity by storm when he stated that the second-string Indian team touring is an insult to Sri Lanka cricket. He received heavy backlash from his colleagues, including the cricketing board of the country. The latest to address Arjuna Ranatunga’s comments is former India cricketer Reetinder Singh Sodhi.

Rahul Dravid and Shikhar Dhawan will not be concerned by Ranatunga's statement, says former Indian cricketer(HT Collage)
Rahul Dravid and Shikhar Dhawan will not be concerned by Ranatunga’s statement, says former Indian cricketer(HT Collage)

Reetinder Singh Sodhi: Rahul Dravid And Shikhar Dhawan Won’t Be Concerned With Arjuna Ranatunga’s Statement

Reetinder Singh Sodhi said that that coach Rahul Dravid and captain Shikhar Dhawan will not be concerned by the former 1996 World Cup-winning skipper’s statement and that they will remain focused on beating the Lankans.

While speaking during a discussion, Reetinder Singh Sodhi observed that the Indian management will simply ignore the former Sri Lanka skipper’s comments, who may have to admit his mistake and eat his words up when India wins.

“I feel Rahul Dravid and Shikhar Dhawan will not bother about this statement. They will just concentrate on their cricket and beat Sri Lanka hands down. After that when the statement is run, it will be very interesting. Arjuna Ranatunga will have to eat his own words.”

Shikhar Dhawan Image Source : AP
Shikhar Dhawan Image Source: AP

India has sent a team of white-ball specialists for the three ODIs and as many T20Is to Sri Lanka. Even though the likes of Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah, and Ravindra Jadeja, among others, are busy preparing in England for the forthcoming five-match series, the Shikhar Dhawan-led squad has a mix of experience and youth.

Shikhar Dhawan who was the leading run-scorer in IPL 2021 before it was postponed with 380 runs from 8 games averaging 54.28 will captain the 20 members Indian side. Bhuvneshwar Kumar will be the vice-captain of the team during the tour of Sri Lanka.

Devdutt Padikkal (473 runs in IPL 2020 and 195 runs in IPL 2021) and Ruturaj Gaikwad (204 runs in IPL 2020 and 196 runs in IPL 2021), Prithvi Shaw (308 runs in IPL 2021 and 8277 runs in Vijay Hazare Trophy), and Nitish Rana (300 runs in every edition since IPL 2017 and 201 runs in 7 games in IPL 2021) have been rewarded for their performances in IPL and domestic circuit.

Reetinder Singh Sodhi: Only 6 Cricketers Can Debut, Others Have Represented & Some Even Played In All 3 Formats Which Bears Testimony Of How Good Team Is

Adding further, Reetinder Singh Sodhi pointed that one should never take their opponent lightly.

“It is said you should never take your opposition lightly. The sort of statements that have been made, there is no need for that, they do not make sense. What we have done in Australia when our main players were injured, these boys were the top performers there,” said former all-rounder Sodhi.

Reetinder Singh Sodhi
Reetinder Singh Sodhi (Image Credit: Twitter)

He concluded his point by reminding Ranatunga about India’s bench strength, saying: “Only six guys can make their debut. All the remaining players have worn the Indian jersey and some of them have played in all three formats. I think this is testimony to the fact how good this team is.”

The first game of the tour begins with the first ODI on Tuesday, July 13. The other two ODIs will take place on 16 and 18 July while the T20Is will take place on 21, 23, and 25 July.

The Premadasa Stadium in Colombo will host all six games. Devdutt Padikkal, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Nitish Rana, K Gowtham, and Chetan Sakariya got maiden India call-ups while spinner Varun Chakravarthy is also yet to debut after missing the earlier two tours despite being selected owing to an injury.

Ruturaj Gaikwad
Ruturaj Gaikwad (Image Credit: Twitter)
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Ruturaj Gaikwad Wasn’t Expecting A Call-up To The Indian Side At The Age Of 24

Ruturaj Gaikwad had some fine mentors right from the time he picked up a cricket bat. From his childhood coaches at the Vengsarkar academy to supportive teammates, the 24-year-old batsman had the right people around him, guiding and telling him the correct things to fine-tune his performance.

For many youngsters, working with ‘mentor’ Rahul Dravid and a couple of IPL seasons under MS Dhoni’s captaincy remains only a dream, unlike Ruturaj Gaikwad who had the privilege of sharing the dressing room with two of the most celebrated cricketing minds. He wasn’t expecting an India call-up at 24 but the youngster has been showing that he is ready for the big leap.

Ruturaj Gaikwad (CSK)
Ruturaj Gaikwad (CSK)
(Image Credit: Twitter)

Ruturaj Gaikwad Didn’t Expect Call-up In Indian Side Despite Consistent Performances In The Domestic Circuit

Two years after making his India A debut, CSK batsman Ruturaj Gaikwad has got his maiden India call-up. The Maharashtra batsman is one of the six uncapped players(Chetan Sakariya, Devdutt Padikkal, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Nitish Rana, K Gowtham, and Varun Chakravarthy) who have been picked in the 20-man squad for the limited-overs series in the island nation in July.

Ruturaj Gaikwad scored plenty of runs in the domestic circuit and on A tours before that breakthrough IPL season in 2020. He scored 677 runs at an average of 112.83 in a productive summer with India A after beginning his stint without scoring in 2019. Runs in domestic List A cricket has been a constant for the Maharashtra batsman.

Ruturaj Gaikwad acknowledged the importance of grinding it through at the domestic level but he pinpoints out that the IPL experience is extremely valuable, considering the intensity and the quality of cricket on display.

“Obviously, the IPL gives a different perspective to be able to play such high-pressure games. In domestic cricket, you will get 1 or 2 bowlers against whom you can cash in but in IPL, the standard of bowling and batting is always high.

“You’ll always have 5 good bowling options, even the 6th one might be a good option. So you really need to have a good plan and good approach for tackling them. So playing there, it helps,” he said.

He recalled the conversations he had with MS Dhoni over the last few years while playing for Chennai Super Kings. He has known him from before his CSK days. His Ranji Trophy debut came against Jharkhand in 2016 wherein MS Dhoni was the mentor in the opposition camp. MS Dhoni, in fact, signed on his plaster after the youngster fractured his finger during the game.

Ruturaj Gaikwad Performed Well In IPL 2020 After Recovering From Covid-19 And IPL 2021

Ruturaj Gaikwad recovered from Covid-19 in the UAE before he made his IPL debut for CSK. After a shaky start to his CSK stint, the youngster turned it around with 3 successive fifties, showcasing he can be the next big thing for the franchise. He followed it up with some fine performances earlier this year before IPL 2021 was suspended in May.

Shedding light on a ‘simple and short’ advice from MS Dhoni that helped him reverse his fortunes last year, Ruturaj said: “He said ‘you have already been through a lot due to Covid-19. As a captain, I am not expecting too much from you.

“We have given you the opportunity not to show who you are at this point but to play for CSK, a great franchise, and enjoy your time’ because you’ll never know what will happen next.”

“‘Make sure you enjoy the opportunities. If you’re putting pressure on yourself, you are adding it to yourself. We, as management, aren’t expecting anything, we just want you to go out there and enjoy for now and gain experience. I think it helped me a lot, it helped me relax a little bit and made me feel calmer.”

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

Ruturaj Gaikwad said he did not have the opportunity to discuss his senior team call-up dreams with MS Dhoni but recalled a couple of times wherein the legendary former captain had told him to keep dreaming about donning the India shirt.

“Not really we discussed (India hopes) but one or two times he has mentioned that I have the potential and I have the capacity,” Ruturaj said.

“He said ‘you don’t have to think about one particular tournament or one particular season. You have to think of playing for India, you have ample time. You have to keep thinking about it and how you are going to reach there and how you can sustain there’.”

As expected, Ruturaj Gaikwad partnered with Faf du Plessis in the new IPL 2021 season but the opener got scores of 5, 5, and 10 as he struggled to get going before scoring 64, 33, 75, and 4 in the next 4 games. Ruturaj Gaikwad, who amassed 204 runs at 51 in IPL 2020, has amassed 196 runs in 7 games after scoring 20 runs in the first 3 matches.

He fared similarly in IPL 2020 held at UAE where he smashed a hat-trick of half-centuries in the last three games to amass 204 runs averaging 51 in 6 games after scoring just 5 runs in the first 3 outings.

Shikhar Dhawan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar Image-AP
Shikhar Dhawan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar Image-AP
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Shikhar Dhawan To Lead, Bhuvneshwar Kumar His Deputy As India Announce 20-member Limited-Overs Squad For Sri Lanka Tour

Shikhar Dhawan will captain the young Indian side in the 3-match ODI series and the 3-match T20I series against Sri Lanka scheduled in the month of July.

The All-India Senior Selection Committee picked the Indian squad for the 3-match ODI series and the 3-match T20I series against Sri Lanka scheduled in the month of July. All matches will be played at the R Premadasa International Cricket Stadium, Colombo. They have picked 20 players in the squad with five net bowlers.

Shikhar Dhawan Image Source : AP
Shikhar Dhawan Image Source: AP

Shikhar Dhawan To Lead, Bhuvneshwar Kumar To Be His Deputy In Sri Lanka Tour

Shikhar Dhawan will captain the 20 members Indian side. Shikhar Dhawan was the leading run-scorer in IPL 2021 before it was postponed with 380 runs from 8 games averaging 54.28. Shikhar Dhawan was the 2nd highest run-getter in IPL 2020 too with 618 runs in 17 games. Bhuvneshwar Kumar will be the vice-captain of the team during the tour of Sri Lanka.

Prithvi Shaw has earned a call-up into the white-ball squad following his excellent form in IPL 2021 (308 runs) and Vijay Hazare Trophy (827 runs).

Opening batsmen Devdutt Padikkal and Ruturaj Gaikwad have also been named to the squad for the first time. Devdutt Padikkal (473 runs in IPL 2020 and 195 runs in IPL 2021) and Ruturaj Gaikwad (204 runs in IPL 2020 and 196 runs in IPL 2021) have been consistent since they debuted in IPL 2020 at UAE.

Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan - SPORTZPICS
Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan – SPORTZPICS

Suryakumar Yadav, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Nitish Rana have also found a place for themselves in the squad. Ishan Kishan and Sanju Samson are the two wicket keepers who have been included in the squad. Nitish Rana had scored above 300 runs in every edition since IPL 2017 and managed 201 runs in 7 games in IPL 2021.

Chetan Sakariya Included For First Time In 20 Man Squad

Varun Chakravarthy, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Rahul Chahar, K Gowtham have been chosen as the spinners while the young speedster, Chetan Sakariya who impressed everyone in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 where he picked 7 wickets in as many games for Rajasthan Royals has also earned a place in the squad.

Chetan Sakariya Photo Credit: (IPL)
Chetan Sakariya Photo Credit: (IPL)

Devdutt Padikkal, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Nitish Rana, K Gowtham and Chetan Sakariya got maiden India call-ups. Yuzvendra Chahal will lead the spin department and will have support from the likes of Kuldeep Yadav, Krunal Pandya, and Varun Chakravarthy. Bhuvneshwar Kumar will spearhead the pace attack with support from the likes of Deepak Chahar, Navdeep Saini, and Chetan Sakariya.

The schedule for the three-match ODI series and three-match T20I series between India and Sri Lanka was confirmed earlier this week. The three ODIs will be played on July 13, 16, and 18. While the T20I series will commence on July 21, and the next two matches will be played on July 23 and 25.

None of India’s players who are a part of the travelling group for the World Test Championship final and the England Test series will be part of the Sri Lanka series. Former India skipper and current National Cricket Academy (NCA) head Rahul Dravid is set to coach the Indian limited-overs team that will play the six-game series against Sri Lanka in July.

India’s squad: Shikhar Dhawan (Captain), Prithvi Shaw, Devdutt Padikkal, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Suryakumar Yadav, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Nitish Rana, Ishan Kishan (Wicket-keeper), Sanju Samson (Wicket-keeper), Yuzvendra Chahal, Rahul Chahar, K Gowtham, Krunal Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, Varun Chakravarthy, Bhuvneshwar Kumar (Vice-captain), Deepak Chahar, Navdeep Saini, Chetan Sakariya

Net Bowlers: Ishan Porel, Sandeep Warrier, Arshdeep Singh, Sai Kishore, Simarjeet Singh

Yuzvendra Chahal
Yuzvendra Chahal. Image Credits: Twitter
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Yuzvendra Chahal Picks CSK As The Franchise He Would Like To Play For If Not RCB

Yuzvendra Chahal picked Chennai Super Kings as the franchise he would like to play for in IPL if not Royal Challengers Bangalore.

The leg spinner has played for 2 franchises — MI and RCB — in IPL so far. He has been with RCB since 2014. The spinner picked CSK as the franchise he would like to play for if not RCB.

RCB leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal in action during IPL 2020 | Saikat Das / Sportzpics for BCCI
RCB leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal in action during IPL 2020 | Saikat Das / Sportzpics for BCCI

Yuzvendra Chahal Picked CSK As The Franchise He Would Play For If Not RCB

The past few months might not have seen Yuzvendra Chahal perform at his absolute best but the leg-spinner still remains a potent weapon both for the Indian cricket team and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in white-ball cricket. He was recently asked which franchise he would like to play for if not RCB.

After starting his career with Mumbai Indians in IPL back in 2011, Yuzvendra Chahal had to wait till 2013 to make his debut for the franchise. He only played one game in the 2013 season before being dropped into the players’ pool at the next auction. He was then picked up by RCB ahead of the 2014 auction and the 30-year-old has since been a mainstay in the team.

Yuzvendra Chahal Mumbai Indians
Yuzvendra Chahal Mumbai Indians. (Photo Source: Twitter)

When asked about a franchise he sees himself playing for if not RCB in a Q&A with Crictracker, Yuzvendra Chahal picked the name of 3 times IPL winner Chennai Super Kings. Considering the sort of environment CSK has for spinners, it isn’t much of a surprise that Yuzvendra Chahal picked the MS Dhoni-led side.

Over the years, the spinner has been one of the finest performers for RCB in the IPL. He has played 13 or more games for the Virat Kohli-led franchise every single season since joining them 8 years ago in 2014. In his IPL career so far, he has played a total of 106 matches, taking 125 wickets at an average of 23.30. He also has a decent economy rate of 7.70.

Yuzvendra Chahal Bagged Only 4 Scalps In 7 Games In IPL 2021

The IPL 2021 that was cut short due to the Covid-19 outbreak within the league, had seen Yuzvendra Chahal bag just 4 wickets in 7 matches averaging 47.5 and an economy rate of 8.26. The veteran spinner hasn’t looked at his best this year and the situation has also put his participation in the forthcoming T20 World Cup under question.

Rahul Chahar
Rahul Chahar. Image Credits: Twitter

The emergence of some of the other spinners like Varun Chakravarthy, Rahul Chahar, and Ravi Bishnoi has increased the competition for him. He, however, still has the Sri Lanka tour as well as the remainder of the IPL 2021 campaign to rediscover his form and submit a strong case for the T20 World Cup selection.

From having made his debut for RCB in 2014 to earning a national call-up in 2016 and taking 100 wickets in the IPL, Yuzvendra Chahal has had an impressive career so far. In his young international career thus far, the 30-year old has bagged 92 and 62 wickets in 54 ODIs and 48 T20Is respectively.

Yuzvendra Chahal will get a chance to show his credentials when India takes on Sri Lanka in July. He is expected to be part of the Indian squad which will play three T20Is and three ODIs against the Lankans.

Pat Cummins. (BCCL/IPL)
Pat Cummins. (BCCL/IPL)
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Pat Cummins Will Be Unavailable For The Remainder Of IPL 2021 At UAE

Pat Cummins who has established himself as one of the best bowlers in the world in the last few years, will not be available for the remainder of IPL 2021 to be staged in UAE without giving any reason behind the move.

Pat Cummins was the most expensive buy in the 2020 IPL Auction after being bagged by KKR for a whopping 15.50 crores.

Pat Cummins
Pat Cummins[photo: Twitter]

Pat Cummins Picked 9 Scalps In 7 Games Besides Scoring 91 Runs In IPL 2021

It was back to purple and gold for pacer Pat Cummins who picked 12 wickets in 14 games that included a 4-wicket haul in the 2020 IPL season. He bowled well in IPL 2021 picking 9 scalps in 7 games averaging 26.33 besides scoring 93 runs averaging 31. Pat Cummins’ KKR teammates Prasidh Krishna, Varun Chakravarthy, Sandeep Warrier, and Tim Seifert had tested positive for Covid-19 leading to the indefinite postponement of IPL 2020.

Varun Chakravarthy (File Photo)
Varun Chakravarthy (File Photo)

The resumption of the Indian Premier League (IPL)was given yet another blow after reports emerged that Australian pacer Pat Cummins would not be heading to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to take part in the remaining matches for the Kolkata Knight Riders(KKR).

Pat Cummins And David Warmer Could Be Rested From West Indies Tour Due To Family Reasons

According to a report in Sydney Morning Herald, Pat Cummins had already made it clear that he would not be taking part in the remaining matches of the IPL. However, no reason was given behind his decision.

“David Warner and Pat Cummins could be rested from the West Indies tour because of family reasons – others could follow after a draining year in several bubbles – and Cummins, despite a multimillion-dollar IPL contract, has already said he will not return to the T20 tournament this season,” stated the report.

SRH handed over the captaincy reins to Kane Williamson after suffering defeats in five of their six matches under David Warner’s leadership. However, the move did not yield immediate dividends as the Orange Army was handed a 55-run drubbing by the Rajasthan Royals. With Jonny Bairstow and Kane Williamson in good form, SRH did not have any other option but to leave David Warner out of their playing XI.

David Warner
David Warner (Image Credit: Twitter)

The suspended 14th edition of the IPL is likely to be played in UAE in the September 15 to October 15 window with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) looking at a 25-day window for the cash-rich league. The BCCI on Saturday announced it will complete the remaining matches of the IPL 2021 season in the UAE.

The decision has come after Ashley Giles, managing director of the England men’s team, had said that the ECB is not planning to change their schedule for the IPL. The remaining matches of the IPL would most likely be played between September 15 and October 15 window. Australia will tour West Indies for 5 T20Is and 3 ODIs in July, followed by a five-match T20I series against Bangladesh away in August.

While Australia does not have any bilateral commitments in the September-October window, Cricket Australia faces a tough call to decide whether it should leave players ahead of the ICC T20 World Cup. After England made its players unavailable for IPL 2021 Phase 2 and New Zealand playing bilateral series, Australian players could also be unavailable with KKR’s Pat Cummins all but certain to not return for the UAE leg.

The Dubai International Stadium. - BCCI/IPL
The Dubai International Stadium. - BCCI/IPL
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BCCI During Its SGM Formally Decides The Unfinished Part Of IPL 2021 Will Be At UAE

BCCI during its Special General Meeting, formally decided that the unfinished part of the Indian Premier League 2021 will be held in the United Arab Emirates.

The move to stage the IPL in the UAE was largely expected. As reported earlier, the BCCI has already had an informal agreement with the Emirates Cricket Board. The remainder of IPL 2021 has been moved to the UAE and BCCI has earmarked a window in September and October this year to conduct the matches.

BCCI Image-Twitter/ BCCI
BCCI Image-Twitter/ BCCI

BCCI Formally Decides To Stage The Remainder Of IPL 2021 In UAE

The formal decision was taken on Saturday (May 29) to move the remainder of IPL 2021 to the UAE – in view of the bad weather (monsoon) in India around September-October, when it wants to host the remaining 31 IPL games.

The biggest obstacle to host the tournament will be the non-availability of overseas players, and the Indian board has decided that the franchises will be told to take replacements, both from India and overseas, to refurbish their line-ups. England and Wales Cricket Board has already stated that it won’t release its players for the unfinished part of IPL while Cricket Australia is yet to come out with its position on the matter. A meeting with the IPL franchises will happen at some stage.

IPL Trophy.
IPL Trophy. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

The spike of positive cases in the bio-bubble had already resulted in the postponement of two IPL games. Varun Chakravarthy, Sandeep Warrier (both KKR), Laxmipathy Balaji, Michael Hussey (both CSK coaches), Amit Mishra (Delhi), and Wriddiman Saha (Hyderabad) tested positive during IPL 2021 prompting organizers to indefinitely postpone IPL after 29 matches were held.

Later KKR’s Tim Seifert and Prasidh Krishna also tasted positive but all of them have hence recovered. Last year, the BCCI hosted the entire edition of the cash-rich tournament successfully in the Middle East, across three venues – Sharjah, Abu Dhabi, and Dubai.

BCCI Seekd Time Till 1st Week Of July From ICC For Decision To Stage T20I World Cup In India

The board also decided to seek time till the first week of July from the International Cricket Council for a decision on staging the T20 World Cup in India. The ICC has slated its meeting on June 1 to decide on the matter, but the world body may have to defer the decision on moving the October 18-November 15 tournament out of India in view of the BCCI’s request. The BCCI thinks that it will explore all possibilities to host it in India itself.

During the meeting, it was also decided that the BCCI will pursue talks with the government over tax concession for the upcoming T20I World Cup, and it was calculated that the BCCI will have a liability of INR 900 crores if it failed to get the exemption. Considering the financial liability and the constantly evolving grieve Covid-19 situation in the country, the BCCI will take a call on staging the T20 World Cup. For the time being, it would tell the ICC to grant another month’s time.

Sourav Ganguly- Twitter
Sourav Ganguly- Twitter

Meanwhile, the issue regarding payments to domestic players, who were supposed to be compensated after several tournaments were not hosted, and was not discussed in the SGM. One of the associations even raised this issue for discussion but was turned down by Sourav Ganguly and Rajeev Shukla, stating that it was not a part of the agenda.

The meeting was also a huge assertion for Mohammed Azharuddin, who was allowed to attend it ahead of Shivlal Yadav, who in turn was nominated in a faction-ridden Annual General Meeting of the Hyderabad Cricket Association. The meeting, held virtually, decided to allow Mohammed Azharuddin after the legal department of the BCCI concluded that the claim of the former India captain is genuine.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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