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Wasim Jaffer

Punjab Kings (Image Credit: Twitter)
Punjab Kings (Image Credit: Twitter)

Wasim Jaffer Relieved To See Punjab Kings Winning After Yet Another Tense Finish Against KKR In IPL 2021

Wasim Jaffer, Punjab Kings batting coach was relieved as his side pulled off a tense win against the Kolkata Knight Riders on Friday in Dubai. Wasim Jaffer opened up on the victory in a video uploaded by Punjab Kings’ official Twitter handle.

Punjab Kings were facing a potential loss from a winning position once again as the middle-order crumbled after a strong start. Things remained tense even as Punjab Kings needed only five runs off the final over. But Shahrukh Khan smashed a six off the third ball to gun down 166 with five wickets to spare.

Wasim Jaffer Source : KXIP Website
Wasim Jaffer Source: KXIP Website

Wasim Jaffer Happy To See Punjab Kings Winning After Yet Another Tense Finish

Wasim Jaffer was pleased with PBKS’ efforts after they prevailed over the Kolkata Knight Riders. However, he admitted that Punjab Kings has made a habit of giving nervous moments.

“It was very tense as usual. We never make it easy for ourselves, so similar, but glad we came out on the right side of the game. So, very happy we pulled this one off.”

KL Rahul
KL Rahul (Image Credit: Twitter)

KL Rahul and his opening partner Mayank Agarwal set the platform for the run-chase with a 70-run stand. KL Rahul earned the man of the match award as he scored 67 off 55 deliveries. His run-tally rose to 489 in IPL 2021, earning him the orange cap. KL Rahul is the highest run-scorer in IPL 2021 so far amassing 489 runs in 11 matches averaging 54.33 with 5 fifties. He was the highest run-scorer in IPL 2020 too with 670 runs in 14 appearances averaging 55.83 with 1 ton and 5 fifties.

Wasim Jaffer: Shahrukh Khan Is An Exciting Talent

Wasim Jaffer also hailed middle-order batsman Shahrukh Khan for his invaluable cameo of 22 from nine balls that proved to be the vital difference in the end. The 43-year old was glad to see his hard work rewarded and hopes the franchise wins their last two matches.

“He is an exciting talent and he performed against Shahrukh’s team, which is a very unique thing. But I’m happy for him. He worked really hard coming into this game. But really happy that we went over the line finally, so hopefully fingers crossed for the next two games.”

Shahrukh Khan
Shahrukh Khan (Image Credit: Twitter)

Shahrukh Khan was one of the brightest young stars in the first half of IPL 2021. He contributed with vital cameos lower down the order for the team. In all, he scored 107 runs in 8 matches at an average of 21.40. He now has 129 runs from 9 matches in his debut IPL season averaging 25.8. Shahrukh Khan was part of the victorious Tamil Nadu team which won the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2021.

With five victories, the Punjab Kings surged to the fifth position in the points table. They still have an outside chance of reaching the playoffs but need to win handsomely against Chennai Super Kings and Royal Challengers Bangalore. PBKS though will not have the services of dashing batsman Chris Gayle who has decided to leave the IPL’s bio-secure environment due to bio-bubble fatigue.

Brief Scores: Punjab Kings 168/5 (KL Rahul 67, Mayank Agarwal 40; Varun Chakravarthy 2/24) beat Kolkata Knight Riders 165/7 (Venkatesh Iyer 67, Rahul Tripathi 34; Arshdeep Singh 3/32) by 5 wickets.

Ajinkya Rahane
Ajinkya Rahane

Wasim Jaffer: Ajinkya Rahane Has Been A Disappointment In Ongoing 5 Match England Series

Wasim Jaffer has analyzed the performances and future prospects of three key Indian batters in England – Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, and Cheteshwar Pujara.

The former opener said Ajinkya Rahane has simply been a ‘disappointment’ in this series, with his tally of just 95 runs after three Tests.

Wasim Jaffer (Credits: Twitter)
Wasim Jaffer (Credits: Twitter)

Wasim Jaffer: Ajinkya Rahane Has Been A Disappointment And Needs To Fire If Selected In The Next 2 Tests

Wasim Jaffer argued that the vice-captain needs to rectify his tendency to get out softly while also scoring some runs in the next two Tests if he gets a chance.

Wasim Jaffer said in a video on his YouTube channel: “Ajinkya Rahane has been a disappointment. You know, he’s been getting out through soft dismissals, mostly caught behind. A player of his quality shouldn’t do that because the batting lineup depends a lot on him. He needs to fire if he gets another Test. On away tours, he’s been a very consistent player, he’s put up huge scores in Australia, England and South Africa. He needs to fire because the nets two Tests are very, very vital.”

Ajinkya Rahane. (Photo Source: Getty Images)
Ajinkya Rahane. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

Although the chances of Ajinkya Rahane getting dropped at the Oval are slim at the moment, if India decides to go ahead with this option, Hanuma Vihari is most likely to replace him. Hanuma Vihari is more experienced than any other batters on the bench and also provides the team an extra part-time bowling option.

Team India succumbed to defeat by an innings and 76 runs on Day 4 at Headingley against England. While Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli notched up half-centuries in the second innings, Ajinkya Rahane failed to come up with a decent score yet again.

Cheteshwar Pujara Should Bat In The Same Way In Near Future: Wasim Jaffer

Wasim Jaffer lauded the contributions of Rohit Sharma and Cheteshwar Pujara in the last Test. He remarked that Cheteshwar Pujara should look to bat in a similar sanguine way in the future as well.

“Rohit batted really well. He looked set to score a hundred but unfortunately, he got out due to the umpire’s call. Pujara batted magnificently. He got out on 91 on the morning of the 4th day but he batted really well till then. He looked in a very positive mindset,” said Wasim Jaffer.

“Perhaps he should always bat in that way only because when he’s just defending, he puts pressure on himself and his partner as there isn’t much strike rotation too. I liked the way he batted here and I want him to continue because he’s got the shots,” added Wasim Jaffer.

Cheteshwar Pujara Picture Credit- Twitter.
Cheteshwar Pujara Picture Credit- Twitter.

The fourth and penultimate Test will kickstart at 3:30 PM IST at the Oval. The pitch is expected to be bouncy and seam-friendly at the start and then progressively favor spin as the game goes on.

Ravichandran Ashwin’s county stint before this tour will add to his experience when he bowls against the England batters, especially the left-handers. Shardul Thakur’s bowling had taken the hosts by surprise in Nottingham. He may return to the line-up in place of Ishant Sharma and help the team getting some runs as well on a flat Oval deck.

India predicted XI:  Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant (wk), R Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammed Siraj, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah

Jos Buttler will miss the 4th Test due to the birth of his child. England may also bring in 2 changes by fielding fit-again Mark Wood and Chris Woakes besides including Ollie Pope.

England predicted XI: Rory Burns, Haseeb Hameed, Dawid Malan, Joe Root (c), Jonny Bairstow, Ollie Pope, Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Sam Curran/Mark Wood, Ollie Robinson, James Anderson

Virat Kohli, Image Source : AP IMAGE
Virat Kohli, Image Source : AP IMAGE

Wasim Jaffer: Virat Kohli’s Defending Deliveries On The 6th Or The 7th Stump

Wasim Jaffer has advised the India skipper to rethink the pattern of his dismissals as he is critical of Virat Kohli’s performance in the ongoing Test series against England.

Expected to steer India’s challenge with the bat in the 5-match Test series against England, Virat Kohli has been a shadow of himself on the tour. While many experts and fans have called for the India skipper to alter his technique a little, there are others who have advised him to not be as aggressive.

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli[photo: Twitter]

Wasim Jaffer: Virat Kohli’s Defending Deliveries On The 6th Or The 7th Stump

Former India cricketer, Wasim Jaffer, feels Virat Kohli needs to re-evaluate the pattern of his dismissals as he is defending deliveries even at the 6th and 7th stump. The discipline that Virat Kohli had shown in 2018, Wasim Jaffer feels has not been put on display in the current tour.

“Virat got a half-century but we expect a lot more because he’s a quality player, a class player. He probably needs to rethink the pattern of his dismissals in this series, he’s defending deliveries on the 6th or 7th stump,” said Wasim Jaffer.

“The batting discipline he showed in 2018 is missing in this series. He needs to fire in these remaining Tests because his contribution is very, very important for this Indian team,” Wasim Jaffer said in the video.

Wasim Jaffer (Credits: Twitter)
Wasim Jaffer (Credits: Twitter)

With just a single half-century on the tour, Virat Kohli has been struggling to assert his dominance in the series. In the latest ICC Rankings, the 32-year-old even dropped out of the top 5 for the first time in five years. The 55 runs he scored in his last knock is his only half-century of the series to date. Across formats, the India skipper hasn’t scored a century since November 2019.

Virat Kohli Was Dismissed Every Time With The Ball Taking An Outside Edge Before Going To The Keeper

While Virat Kohli was aiming to have another 2018-like tour of England, the current series has been closer to the outing he had in 2014. Speaking of his dismal show in 2014, Virat Kohli himself had told former England skipper Nasser Hussain in 2016-17 that he was expecting the deliveries to come in too much. Worried about the ball hitting the stumps, Virat Kohli kept pushing at balls he should ideally have left.

Stuart Broad celebrates dismissing Virat Kohli during the 2014 series. Pic: Getty Images
Stuart Broad celebrates dismissing Virat Kohli during the 2014 series. Pic: Getty Images

Even this series has been quite similar, with all 5 of Virat Kohli’s dismissals coming with the ball taking an outside edge before going into the hands of the wicket-keeper of the slip fielders. The experts have advised Virat Kohli against chasing the deliveries outside the off-stump as much as he has on the tour.  It remains to be seen what changes Virat Kohli will bring to his approach, if any, in the last two Tests.

Virat Kohli hasn’t had the best time with the bat in India’s ongoing tour of England. In three Tests, the skipper has only scored 124 runs at an average of 24.80, which is much lower than the bar he’s set at the biggest stage.

In the 2014 England tour, the Indian skipper had a horrific series where he ended up scoring only 134 runs from four Tests. He averaged only 13, with scores of 1, 8, 25, 0, 39, 28, 0, 7, 6, and 20. Virat Kohli had contrasting tours of England in 2014 and 2018. In 2014, he managed only 134 runs in five Tests at a poor average of 13.40. Four years later, he hammered 593 runs in the five-match Test series. Virat Kohli averaged 59.30 with two hundred in the 2018 England tour.

Wasim Jaffer (Credits: Twitter)
Wasim Jaffer (Credits: Twitter)

Wasim Jaffer Praises Indian Test Team For Consistent Performances

Wasim Jaffer firstly tipped his hat to the Indian side as they have been putting in such performances “for a while now” pointing out to wins against Australia and England where they won the series despite losing the first Test by a huge margin.

If there is anything the second-Test defeat reinforced about England, it is that their batting line-up is heavily dependent on skipper Joe Root. The right-hander has already smashed five centuries this season and is the only England batsman who has looked comfortable in the first two Tests against India. Wasim Jaffer has opined that if this doesn’t change, England will likely “go down”.

Wasim Jaffer(Satish Bate / Hindustan Times)
Wasim Jaffer(Satish Bate / Hindustan Times)

Wasim Jaffer: Indian Test Team Should Be Credited As They Have Been Performing Well Recently Both Against Australia And England

While speaking in a video on his YouTube channel, Wasim Jaffer firstly credited the Indian side as they didn’t give up despite losing the first Test in Australia tour and against England at home. He added that even at home against England earlier this year, India bounced back from a tough position to win the series 3-1.

“Hats off to this Indian side because they have been doing this for a while now. It was the same during the Australian tour, they had their backs against the wall, not in one but many Test matches and they proved that they don’t give up. They played exactly like this even in India against England after being one-nil down to win the series 3-1. They have been outstanding,” explained Jaffer.

Brisbane Test: India beat Australia by 3 wickets at Gabba to win series 2-1, retain Border-Gavaskar Trophy Image Source : AP IMAGE
Brisbane Test: India beat Australia by 3 wickets at Gabba to win series 2-1, retain Border-Gavaskar Trophy Image Source: AP IMAGE

Being 1-0 down, losing the services of regular skipper Virat Kohli due to his paternity leave, having lost several key players like Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Hanuma Vihari, Ravichandran Ashwin, KL Rahul, and Ravindra Jadeja due to injuries at various stages of 4 match Test series, a second-string Ajinkya Rahane-led India staged a comeback as they won their second straight Test series on Australian soil.

In the next Test series against England in India, England won the first Test by 227 runs only to lose the next 3 Tests by 317 runs, 10 wickets, and an innings and 25 runs. Ravichandran Ashwin picked 32 scalps and debutant Axar Patel picked 27 scalps. Joe Root amassed 368 runs while Rohit Sharma managed 345 runs.

Wasim Jaffer: England Are Heavily Dependent On Joe Root

Talking about England, Wasim Jaffer warned the hosts that if they don’t sort out their batting, they will “go down” and that India may go on to win their first Test series on English soil this decade.

“England will have to recover really quickly now and sort out their batting more than the bowling. They rely heavily on Joe Root and someone else needs to step up and do so quickly otherwise they look like they’ll go down. India haven’t won a Test series [in England] for a while but it looks very likely that this Indian team is going to dominate the next Test and probably even further in this series,” commented Jaffer.

Joe Root
Joe Root Photograph: Sri Lanka Cricket

Joe Root has amassed 1277 runs playing 10 Tests in 2021, averaging 57.21, and has hit 5 tons. He scored 228 and 186 against Sri Lanka and hit 218 in the 1st Test against and in India while scoring 109 and an unbeaten 180 in the first two successive Tests when India toured England. The third of the five Tests between India and England will begin on August 25 at Headingly, Leeds.

Former Indian opener Wasim Jaffer has asserted that England’s line-up is over-reliant on skipper Joe Root and needs to fix their batting woes in order to survive in the series and feels India is favourites to win the series. Day 5 of a dramatic Lord’s Test saw India bundle the hosts out for 120 to claim a 1-0 lead in the 5-match Test series. It was a brilliant bowling display on show, and the English batsmen couldn’t survive the onslaught.

Shikhar Dhawan
Shikhar Dhawan (Getty Images)(HT_PRINT)

Shikhar Dhawan Is A Contender For 2021 T20I And 2023 ODI World Cups: Wasim Jaffer

Wasim Jaffer believes Team India shouldn’t look past Shikhar Dhawan as an opening option for the upcoming T20 and ODI World Cups just yet. The former batsman feels although Shikhar Dhawan’s contributions to Indian cricket have been brilliant, the southpaw has been overshadowed by the ‘outstanding’ batsmen skipper Virat Kohli and opener Rohit Sharma.

Wasim Jaffer’s comments come against the backdrop of the first India-Sri Lanka ODI which was won by the visitors. Shikhar Dhawan, India’s captain for the game and series, crossed 10,000 runs as an opener across all formats and became the 10th Indian batsman – and second fastest – to surpass 6,000 runs in ODI cricket.

Wasim Jaffer. (TOI Photo)
Wasim Jaffer. (TOI Photo)

Wasim Jaffer: Shikhar Dhawan Shouldn’t Be Ruled Out Either In 50-over ODIs or T20 Internationals

Lauding the 35-year-old veteran, Wasim Jaffer said in a video on his YouTube channel that Shikhar Dhawan, who is in the shadow of Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, should be credited for his performance in white-ball cricket.

“The way the Indian team has come up the ranks in white-ball cricket in the past few years, a lot of credit goes to Shikhar Dhawan as well, even though sometimes his contributions remain in the shadow of Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma who are obviously outstanding players.

“But I think we shouldn’t underestimate Shikhar Dhawan and I see him, at least for a year or two, a contender to play in this T20 World Cup and also the 2023 50-over World Cup.”

Shikhar Dhawan
Shikhar Dhawan (Image Credit: Twitter)

Wasim Jaffer added that despite there being a host of contenders for the opening spot for the upcoming T20 World Cup, Shikhar Dhawan’s towering IPL performances in the last two years have made him a frontrunner.

“You can’t rule out Shikhar Dhawan for the upcoming T20 World Cup. The way he has performed in the IPL in the past two years… even though we know Rohit Sharma is a surety to open, KL Rahul is a candidate, Virat Kohli said he wants to open, Prithvi Shaw is also coming up as a future contender, there are a lot of options. But Shikhar Dhawan shouldn’t be ruled out either in 50-over or T20 internationals.”

Playing for the Delhi Capitals (DC), Shikhar Dhawan was the second-highest scorer in IPL 2020 with 618 runs at an average of 44.14. He followed it up with a chart-topping 380 runs at 54.29 in the first half of IPL 2021.

Shikhar Dhawan Has More Hundreds Than Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir & Yuvraj Singh, So His Experience Counts: Wasim Jaffer

Wasim Jaffer further highlighted that Shikhar Dhawan’s records – including his 17 ODI hundreds which are more than some greats of Indian cricket – speak for themselves. He said Shikhar Dhawan’s experience at ICC events could also come in handy in the coming years.

“He has 17 hundreds in ODIs. And a surprising stat is that he has more ODI hundreds than Virender Sehwag (15), Gautam Gambhir (11) and even Yuvraj Singh (14)… comparisons aren’t a very good thing to do but the numbers speak for themselves.

“In 140-plus games he has scored over 6400 runs and experience matters a lot. When you got to an ICC event, play at a neutral venue, experience counts.”

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

Shikhar Dhawan will be in action during India’s second ODI against Sri Lanka. The 35-year-old veteran has scored 2,315 runs in 34 Test matches, 6,063 runs in 143 ODI games, and has amassed 1,673 runs 65 T20I. Sunil Gavaskar, Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, and Rohit Sharma are the other four Indians to score more than 10,000 runs as an opener in international cricket.

During his match-winning knock of unbeaten 86, Shikhar Dhawan also became the 10th Indian batsman to score 6,000 runs in the 50-over format. Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid, MS Dhoni, Mohammed Azharuddin, Rohit Sharma, Yuvraj Singh, and Virender Sehwag are the nine batsmen who have scored more than 6,000 runs in the ODI format.

Salman Butt. Image-Twitter
Salman Butt. Image-Twitter

Michael Vaughan Hasn’t A Single ODI Ton And Knack Of Saying Debatable Things: Salman Butt

Salman Butt, who played 33 Tests, 78 ODI, and 24 T20Is for Pakistan and is believed to have sharp analytical skills, explained that Virat Kohli is the best because he has the record to be called the best.

Salman Butt, the former Pakistan batsman has responded to Michael Vaughan’s comparison between Virat Kohli and Kane Williamson, calling the former England captain’s analysis ‘irrelevant’ and that he has a habit of saying things that trigger some sort of controversy.

Virat Kohli congratulates Kane Williamson
New Zealand’s captain Kane Williamson (L) hugs India’s captain Virat Kohli after New Zealand’s win (Photo by Marty MELVILLE / AFP) (Photo by MARTY MELVILLE/AFP via Getty Images)

Salman Butt: Virat Kohli Dominated The Batting Rankings For Outstanding Performances And There Isn’t A Need To Draw Comparisons

In an interview with Spark Sport, Michael Vaughan said that Kane Williamson is on par with Virat Kohli as the world’s top batsman but due to his popularity, people are forced to say that the India captain is in fact the world’s best. Michael Vaughan’s comments sent waves across social media, with former India batsman Wasim Jaffer taking a funny dig at the ex-England captain.

“Kohli belongs to a county that has a huge population. Obviously, he would have a bigger fanbase. On top of that, his performance is better too. Virat has 70 international tons at the moment, no other batsman from this era has that many. And he has, for a long period, dominated the batting rankings because his performances have been outstanding. So I don’t understand what and where is the need to draw comparisons,” Butt said on his YouTube channel.

Michael Vaughan
Michael Vaughan. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Salman Butt is a Pakistani cricket commentator, cricketer, and former captain who played for Pakistan national cricket team between 2003 and 2010, before getting banned for five years for his involvement in the infamous 2010 spot-fixing scandal. 

Salman Butt: Michael Vaughan Was A Brilliant Skipper For England But He Never Scored A Single ODI Ton

Salman Butt took a jibe at the former England batsman, saying how although he was a good captain, Michael Vaughan’s batting, especially in ODIs wasn’t too special. Michael Vaughan had scored 18 Test tons playing 82 Tests averaging around 41, while in 86 ODIs his average is a mere 27.15 with no tons and only 16 fifties.

The former left-handed batsman weighed in on Kiwi skipper Kane Williamson’s greatness but said his figures are always pale in comparison to what Virat Kohli the batsman has achieved and that the kind of consistency with which the India captain has scored runs, hasn’t been duplicated by another player of this era.

“And who has compared the two? Michael Vaughan. He was a brilliant captain for England, but the beauty at which he used to bat, his output wasn’t on par. He was a good Test batsman but Vaughan never scored a single century in ODIs. Now, as an opener, if you haven’t scored a century, it’s not worth discussion. It’s just that he has a knack of saying things that stir up a debate. Besides, people have a lot of time to stretch a topic,” Butt added.

“Williamson is great. He’s a top-class batsman and the best in the world. There is no doubt. Williamson may take the points in terms of captaincy, but he (Vaughan) hasn’t discussed captaincy. In terms of players, there is a huge cap. Kohli’s stats and performance and the way he has won India matches, especially chasing, it’s outstanding. Since the time both are playing, no one has been as consistent as Kohli. What Vaughan has said is irrelevant.”

Salman Butt on Virat Kohli-Kane Williamson comparison.(File)
Salman Butt on Virat Kohli-Kane Williamson comparison. (File)

Virat Kohli and Kane Williamson will come head to head in the much-anticipated World Test Championship final on June 18 in Southampton.

Virat Kohli has aggregated 7,490 runs from 91 Tests at a remarkable average of 52.37. The impressive tally includes 27 tons, the joint-highest in the format among active cricketers, with Steve Smith. Virat Kohli also owns a record seven double-tons in Tests. His highest score of 254* came against South Africa in 2019. Kane Williamson has scored 7,115 runs from 83 Tests with the best score of 251. In fact, Kane Williamson has a better Test average than Virat Kohli (54.31). He owns 24 tons and four double-centuries.

BCCI (File Photo| PTI)
BCCI (File Photo| PTI)

Indian Coaches And Cricketers Get Exposure Like None Else In The World, Says Rahul Dravid

BCCI’s National Cricket Academy (NCA) is going to recruit two coaches in the batting and bowling department with emphasis on hybrid tutoring and refined cricketing education on Wednesday. Former India captain Rahul Dravid, the director at NCA, is overseeing the recruitment process, and BCCI president, and his long-time teammate, Sourav Ganguly is assisting in backing him with the formalities.

To that extent, the BCCI is in the middle of hiring coaching staff at the NCA once again after it had last decided, in October 2020, not to renew the ongoing contracts of coaches who were engaged by the academy two years ago Despite the raging pandemic, the batting legend, in his role as the head of the National Cricket Academy (NCA), is striving hard, along with his staff, to provide continued online support to India’s cricketing ecosystem.
Rahul Dravid
Rahul Dravid

BCCI Conducted Level-2 Coaching Courses For Former International And First-Class Cricketers

Just before the second wave of Covid, Rahul Dravid got the NCA cracking with a first-of-its-kind initiative – conducting two Fast Track Level-2 coaching courses for former international and First-Class cricketers, who have played more than 75 games. Amongst those taking part were former India players Wasim Jaffer, Ramesh Powar, and current national selector Debashish Mohanty among others.

Former India cricketers Lakshmipathy Balaji and Hrishikesh Kanitkar were part of the BCCI-NCA coaching session. - FILE PHOTO/C.V. SUBRAHMANYAM
Former India cricketers Lakshmipathy Balaji and Hrishikesh Kanitkar were part of the BCCI-NCA coaching session. – FILE PHOTO/C.V. SUBRAHMANYAM

Earlier in March, BCCI in India’s National Cricket Academy (NCA) conducted two Fast Track Level 2 Courses for international and first-class cricketers, who have played over 75 first-class games, in a first-of-its-kind initiative. Some of the attendees included the likes of Hrishikesh Kanitkar, Abhinav Mukund, Sarandeep Singh, Debashish Mohanty, Vinay Kumar, Lakshmipathy Balaji, and Robin Uthappa.

The courses were conducted in a Hybrid Model keeping in mind the ongoing pandemic situation. Phase 1 of the course was delivered online over four days, followed by Phase 2, which was conducted at the NCA across four more days. A wide array of topics was covered, including Skill Acquisition, Applied Biomechanics in Pace Bowling, Spin Bowling, Batting, WicketKeeping, Building Social and Personal Competence, and Video Analysis.

Rahul Dravid on exposure:

In an exclusive interview, Rahul Dravid shed light on what purpose these courses according to BCCI guidelines serve to India’s cricket coaching community.

“In terms of technical knowledge and understanding of the players, I feel that our coaches are some of the best in the world. When you couple that with the fact that the BCCI conducts over 2000 games a year at all levels, our coaches and cricketers get exposure like no one else in the world. It would be nice to see them get the recognition they deserve,” Rahul Dravid said on Indian coaches

“A lot of these coaches, because of the fact that they’re experienced and some of them have played international and First-Class cricket, are already in important coaching positions.  Let’s be honest, international players and players who’ve played a lot of cricket at the First-Class level have quite a few options,” Rahul Draavid explained regarding Level-2 course.

National Cricket Academy, Bengaluru is amongst the best cricket academies in India (Source: SportsWiki)
National Cricket Academy, Bengaluru is amongst the best cricket academies in India (Source: SportsWiki)

“This course was the first of the many courses that we’re now reviving. For some of the new states that have just started playing the Ranji Trophy, the BCCI has already conducted a few Level-1 courses. Even during the lockdown, one of the major things we were able to do was conduct the Level-1 courses in a hybrid (online and onsite) format.

During the lockdown, we completed the online version of the Level-1 course for 10-11 state associations. In terms of Level-2, because we haven’t done the course for seven years, we’ve a backlog of close to 150-160 coaches,” on Level-1 and Level-2 course.

“In a country like India, the more the number of qualified and good coaches we have, the better it is. If you consider the fact that there’s 38 state teams and 7 teams per state, that means that there is a requirement of 266 coaches.

Let’s assume each team has a head coach and assistant coach then that means that 532 coaches will be in the system. The responsibility of hiring and employing the coaches with the respective associations is the responsibility of the state units,” Rahul Dravid said on number of coaches.

When the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) – led by former CAG Vinod Rai – was running the BCCI, a detailed presentation was made to the Board on how the NCA’s coaching unit should function going forward. The COA decided to “junk” the presentation for reasons undisclosed and the BCCI, after members came to power back in 2019, have continued to ignore the same once again.

Punjab Kings captain KL Rahul during match vs RR on Monday (PTI Image)
Punjab Kings captain KL Rahul during match vs RR on Monday (PTI Image)

IPL 2021: Sanjay Manjrekar, Wasim Jaffer Happy With KL Rahul’s Aggressive Approach

KL Rahul answered his critics in style by batting fearlessly while hitting a 50-ball 91 in the opening match for Punjab Kings against Rajasthan Royals at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Monday. KL Rahul was criticized for not batting at a quicker pace last season.

KL Rahul was the top scorer and Orange Cap winner in Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 held at UAE with 670 runs in 14 matches but questions were raised for his below-par strike rate with Punjab Kings failing to get past the finish line on multiple occasions despite posting above-par totals.

KL Rahul
KL Rahul

KL Rahul Scores At A Strike Rate Of 182 Against Rajasthan Better Than IPL 2020’s Strike Rate Of 129.34

KL Rahul had scored a strike rate of 129.34 even as the likes of his teammates, Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle, and Nicholas Pooran scored at a quicker pace last season. He got as many as 6 fifty-plus scores(5 fifties and 1 ton) but his strike rate, especially in the powerplay, was under the scanner.

However, he made a statement as early as his first outing of IPL 2021. The Punjab Kings captain smashed 91 from just 50 balls as he helped his side post a mammoth total of 221 against Rajasthan Royals at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. Chris Gayle contributed with a 40 while Deepak Hooda hit a quickfire cameo of 64 off only 28 balls.

KL Rahul, Chris Gayle
KL Rahul, Chris Gayle

KL Rahul hit as many as 5 sixes and 7 boundaries as he finished his knock with a strike rate of 182.00. KL Rahul missed out on an opportunity to become only the 2nd India batsman to hit more than 2 IPL hundreds but he was going for the big shot even when batting in the 90s.

KL Rahul Praised By Sanjay Manjrekar While Wasim Jaffer Hopes He Will Play More Aggressively In IPL 2021

It required a brilliant fielding effort from RR’s Rahul Tewatia at the mid-wicket boundary to get rid of KL Rahul who tried to clear the fence in the final over of Punjab Kings’ innings.

Heaping praise on KL’s approach, former India batsman Sanjay Manjrekar said: “Loved the 91 but loved the strike rate even more! If K L Rahul bats at a strike rate of over 140, which he can easily, Punjab Kings will have a much better IPL than the last.”

Wasim Jaffer
Wasim Jaffer

Notably, Punjab Kings’ newly-appointed batting coach Wasim Jaffer had hinted before the start of the season that KL Rahul will bat more freely at the top of the order with compatriot Mayank Agarwal.

“KL batted a little timidly last season. He probably batted deeper because there was not much batting after No. 5, and Glenn Maxwell was not firing. He took that responsibility on himself to try and stay at the crease and get the job done. This time around, everyone will see an aggressive KL Rahul for sure,” Jaffer had told the Times of India.

For Rajasthan Royals, the star with the ball was young Chetan Sakariya who finished with figures of 3 for 31 when all their other bowlers (barring Riyan Parag) went for more than 10 runs an over.

Sanju Samson then looked to pull off an incredible come from behind victory but failed to hit a six off the last ball as Punjab won by only 4 runs. Sanju Samson who debuted as skipper scored 119 but was dismissed in the last ball.

Brief Scores: Punjab Kings 221/6 (KL Rahul 91, Deepak Hooda 64, Chetan Sakariya 3/31) beat Rajasthan Royals 217/7 (Sanju Samson 119, Riyan Parag 25, Arshdeep Singh 3/35) by 4 runs

Wasim Jaffer, Michael Vaughan BCCI Twitter
Wasim Jaffer, Michael Vaughan BCCI Twitter

He Trolled His Own Team: Wasim Jaffer On Michael Vaughan’s Tweet

Wasim Jaffer, former Indian cricketer took an indirect dig at ex-England skipper Michael Vaughan after his tweet about how the Mumbai Indians (MI) made an impact in the fourth T20I in Ahmedabad. Michael Vaughan has been pointing out how the Mumbai Indians players have made an impact for Team India throughout the T20I series against England.

Wasim Jaffer has seemingly responded to a tweet from Michael Vaughan whose cheeky comment that England lost to Mumbai Indians in the fourth T20I has gone viral on the social media platform. India bounced back for the second time in the ongoing five-match series to make it two-all with the decider remaining.

Michael Vaughan
Michael Vaughan. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Michael Vaughan Points Out Mumbai Indians Players Had An Impact In T20I Series As Wasim Jaffer Responds He Trolled His Own Team

India had 5 players from the Mumbai Indians squad namely Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya, Rohit Sharma, and Rahul Chahar in the 19 man squad in the T20I series against England.

Out of them, 4 players except for Ishan Kishan, who had a groin strain, took the field in the do-or-die 4th T20I. Rohit Sharma also captained the team for a few overs during England’s run chase in Virat Kohli’s absence.

Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, and Rohit Sharma even combined to take the wicket of England opener Jason Roy in the tense chase at the Narendra Modi Stadium which led Michael Vaughan to comment on how the Mumbai Indians outclassed the opponents.

Wasim Jaffer poses with the trophy Wasim Jaffer
Wasim Jaffer poses with the trophy Wasim Jaffer

Michael Vaughan has been regularly mentioning how the MI players have had an impact in the series and once even mentioned how the defending IPL champions have a better overall team than the Indian side after the 1st T20I.

Wasim Jaffer, although he didn’t take or tag anybody’s name in his tweet, responded by saying that when one says his team wasn’t defeated by a national team but by a franchise team, he not only trolls his opponents, he trolls his own team.

Wasim Jaffer wrote that by alluding that an international team lost to a franchise, former England captain Michael Vaughan is taking a dig at his own team.

Suryakumar Yadav Had An Impressive Debut Scoring 57 Off Only 31 Balls

India rode on superb knocks from debutant Suryakumar Yadav (57), Shreyas Iyer (37), and Rishabh Pant (30) to post a challenging 185 for 8, their highest total of the series, after being put in to bat.

The hosts then restricted England to 177 for 8 in 20 overs with Shardul Thakur grabbing 3 wickets conceding 42 runs while Hardik Pandya and Rahul Chahar took 2 each as India levelled the 5-match series 2-2. Hardik Pandya was economical too returning with figures of 2/16 while Rahul Chahar took 2/35 in his 2nd T20I game after the one against West Indies in August 2019.

Suryakumar Yadav poses in the India T20I jersey ahead of the series against England (BCCI)
Suryakumar Yadav poses in the India T20I jersey ahead of the series against England (BCCI)

Earlier, in the 2nd T20I, the 22-year-old Ishan Kishan made his debut in Ahmedabad and smashed 56 runs off 32 balls which was studded with 5 fours and 4 sixes. He became the second Indian batsman, after Ajinkya Rahane, to score a fifty on his T20I debut.

Suryakumar Yadav also made his debut in the same match but didn’t get a chance to bat. During India’s innings, a couple of umpiring calls created a bit of controversy. Suryakumar Yadav was sent back to the pavilion by Sam Curran. The right-handed batsman tried to play a ramp shot but Dawid Malan ended up taking the catch.

Replays indicated that the ball might have hit the ground when Dawid Malan was taking the catch, however, as the soft signal was out, the third umpire stayed with the on-field call citing “lack of conclusive evidence”.

The previous three matches were won by the team electing to the field but India managed to buck that trend after losing the toss. Both teams play the deciding 5th and final T20I at the same venue on Saturday before moving to Pune for a 3-match ODI series beginning on Tuesday.


Wasim Jaffer Resigns As Uttarakhand Coach Before Team Departs For Vijay Hazare Trophy

Wasim Jaffer was appointed to the position of Uttarakhand coach last March after he had announced his retirement from all forms of the sport. The Uttarakhand Cricket Association is yet to accept his resignation.

Former India opener Wasim Jaffer tendered his resignation as Uttarakhand coach days before the team was scheduled to depart for the Vijay Hazare Trophy, which begins on February 20. Karnataka is the defending champion after winning Vijay Hazare Trophy in 2019-20.

Wasim Jaffer Resigns As Uttarakhand Coach Before Team Departs For Vijay Hazare Trophy 1

Wasim Jaffer Wanted To Take Up A Coaching Role After Retirement

Wasim Jaffer was appointed to the position of Uttarakhand coach last March after he had announced his retirement from all forms of the game. The exact reasons for Wasim Jaffer’s sudden resignation are not known but officials in Uttarakhand confirmed that the domestic cricket legend had e-mailed his resignation. The association is yet to accept Wasim Jaffer’s resignation.

Wasim Jaffer Resigns As Uttarakhand Coach Before Team Departs For Vijay Hazare Trophy 2

Wasim Jaffer, who could not be reached for comment on Tuesday, had earlier said he was looking forward to his coaching career.

“After I retired I wanted to take up a coaching role. A few teams contacted me but I liked the way Uttarakhand expressed their vision. When I was playing for Vidarbha, I was also in a mentoring role. But to become a head coach will be a challenge as I have to look after all areas,” Jaffer had said after taking charge as Uttarakhand coach.

After he took over as coach, Wasim Jaffer included three players — Jay Bista, Iqbal Abdullah, and Samad Fallah — in his team. He also picked his own support staff. Uttarakhand, however, failed to come up with any decent performances, winning just one game out of the five in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.

Wasim Jaffer Didn’t Want A Long Term Role And Realized It Will Be A Challenge To Coach A Smaller Team Like Uttarakhand

He had also said he would coach just for one season since he did not want a long-term contract.

“I didn’t want a long term role as I want to check how things progress in the coaching role. Uttarakhand is a new team with long-term goals and I realize it will be a challenge to coach a smaller team. They have the potential to do well and the boys are keen to learn. At the moment, there is no clarity when the domestic season will start due to the pandemic,” Jaffer had said.

Wasim Jaffer Resigns As Uttarakhand Coach Before Team Departs For Vijay Hazare Trophy 3Wasim Jaffer is also a batting consultant with Bangladesh Cricket Academy. However, he hasn’t been able to travel to Dhaka because of the travel restrictions owing to the pandemic. He is also the batting coach of Kings XI Punjab in the IPL. Wasim Jaffer is a right-handed opening batsman and is currently the highest run-scorer in Ranji Trophy cricket, surpassing Amol Muzumdar.

In November 2018, he became the first batsman to score 11,000 runs in the competition. In January 2019 he became the most capped player in Ranji trophy history with the appearance of his 146th match surpassing Madhya Pradesh’s Devendra Bundela (145). He represented India in 31 Tests where his average was 34.1 with 5 tons and 2 ODIs.

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