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Wriddhiman Saha

Brendon McCullum
Brendon McCullum BCCI
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KKR Was Being Paralyzed By Fear Due To COVID-19 Cases: Brendon McCullum

Brendon McCullum, Kolkata Knight Riders head coach says they were “paralyzed a little bit by fear” when coronavirus struck the first half of the IPL in India. It was KKR’s mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy and seamer Sandeep Warrier, who first tested positive for COVID-19 in May in the middle of the league, which was eventually postponed due to more Covid-19 cases due to bio bubble breaches.

The Purple and Gold brigade led by England white-ball skipper Eoin Morgan had an underwhelming first half. They are languishing at the seventh spot but Brendon McCullum is hopeful for a strong showing when action resumes from September 19 in the UAE.

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

Brendon McCullum: There Were Sometimes Throughout IPL 2021 When KKR Was Being Paralyzed By Fear Due To Covid-19 Cases In The Camp

The spike of positive cases in the bio-bubble had already resulted in the postponement of two IPL games earlier. The KKR vs RCB clash was rescheduled after spinner Varun Chakravarthy and pacer Sandeep Warrier returned with positive results.

Later, the CSK vs RR fixture was also rescheduled after a couple of fresh cases were reported from the CSK camp. However, the governing bodies were forced to take the massive step as two more players – SRH’s Wriddhiman Saha and DC’s Amit Mishra were infected by the virus.

File photos of Delhi Capitals' Amit Mishra (left) with SRH's Wriddhiman Saha. Image Source : IPLT20.COM
File photos of Delhi Capitals’ Amit Mishra (left) with SRH’s Wriddhiman Saha. Image Source: IPLT20.COM

“In regards to the tournament which is upcoming (second half of the IPL phase), we can end it right. We can take the game on and we’re in a situation where we need things to go our way,” Brendon McCullum was quoted as saying by the KKR website.

“We need to hit the ground running, challenge one another privately, support one another publicly and try and get the best out of one another in the next 4-5 weeks. Who knows where we can go with this. There were sometimes throughout the season when I just felt we were being paralyzed a little bit by fear,” Brendon McCullum added.

The virus had wreaked havoc in India at that time, claiming thousands of lives. Prasidh Krishna, who has been picked as a standby player for England tour, became the fourth Kolkata Knight Riders player to test positive for Covid-19. KKR wicketkeeper-batsman Tim Seifert was reported to have tested positive for Covid-19.

Brendon McCullum: KKR Will Just Go Out There And Try And Enjoy The Game

The 39-year-old former New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum, who started his IPL journey as a player with KKR, is hopeful the team will be able to get rid of the angst that had been built in the first phase of the league.

“I wasn’t able to free the guys up enough to understand that and that’s sort of a challenge for me. But it is also a good challenge for the guys as well that they need to push the envelope of their own thinking as well.”

“Hopefully we will be able to strip away a bit of the angst which had built up in the first part of the season, just go out there and try and enjoy ourselves. That’s the ambition that I have got for the franchise and hence why I am unapologetic and unrelenting in my belief that we need to play a braver style of play,” Brendon McCullum said.

Head coach Brendon McCullum says KKR will make couple of changes in Mumbai (Image Courtesy: KKR Twitter)
Head coach Brendon McCullum with skipper Eoin Morgan (Image Courtesy: KKR Twitter)

Talking about his coaching style, McCullum said, “When we left India (after IPL was called off due to Covid), I think everyone understood me as a coach on how I want our team to play. I am unapologetic about that as well because my job is to try and build something at KKR that is going to last far longer than I am going to last for the franchise,” McCullum added.

KKR-led by Eoin Morgan will open their second-phase campaign against Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore on September 20 in Abu Dhabi. KKR have to lock horns with Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), Delhi Capitals (DC), Punjab Kings (PBKS), Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), Rajasthan Royals (RR), Mumbai Indians (MI), and Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the remaining 7 matches.

Standing at the 7th position, the team needs a victory in five matches to ensure a top-four spot. The likes of Tim Seifert, Shakib Al Hasan, Sheldon Jackson, Vaibhav Arora, Karun Nair, Harbhajan Singh, Ben Cutting, Venkatesh Iyer, Pawan Negi hasn’t played many games for KKR this season and may get opportunities in the UAE leg.

World Test Championship, India
Virat Kohli[photo: Twitter]
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Salman Butt Doesn’t Think Virat Kohli Will Make Too Many Changes For The 4th Test At Oval

Salman Butt, former Pakistan batter reckons captain Virat Kohli will not make a lot of changes to the Indian team for The Oval Test, which starts on September 2.

Team India lost the Headingley Test without putting up much of a fight, going down by an innings and 76 runs. With the win, England squared the five-match series 1-1.

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

Salman Butt Doesn’t Think India Skipper Virat Kohli Will Make Too Many Changes For The 4th Test At Oval

Speaking on his YouTube channel, Salman Butt stated that India is likely to retain more or less the same team for the next Test.

The former Pakistan skipper said: “After hearing Virat Kohli’s press conference, I don’t think he will be making too many changes for The Oval Test. He was not speaking about individual performances and instead said that everyone in the think-tank is concerned with how the team is performing, whether winning or losing. Kohli did not single out any particular player, which is good.”

“He said that the team will reflect on the improvements that are needed once the series is over. So he did not speak about any chopping and changing in the team,” Salman Butt said.

Virat Kohli and Ravichandran Ashwin in action. (BCCI)
Virat Kohli and Ravichandran Ashwin in action. (BCCI)

Salman Butt went on to add that veteran off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin might come in for the next match.

“Any Asian side coming to England takes time to settle down. So he must be keen on carrying on with the same players. I think at least Ashwin will play this game. As for the batting, I don’t think he is going to make any changes. Remember, Kohli also said that he doesn’t believe in playing the extra batter in Test matches. According to him, if five-six cannot do the job, you cannot expect a seventh to do a lot,” said Salman Butt.

India triumphed in the Lord’s by 151 runs but failed to maintain the momentum at Headingley. They were all out for 78 batting first and were staring down the barrel from that point onwards.

Nasser Hussain Critical Of Virat Kohli For Playing At The Balls He Could Be Leaving

Nasser Hussain, a former England captain feels that Virat Kohli has been extremely tentative against the moving ball. According to Nasser Hussain, considering the quality of England’s pacers, life is not going to get any easier for the Indian captain. Virat Kohli has been dismissed caught behind in all five innings of the series so far.

“Kohli has played at balls he could be leaving, he seems to have that slight technical issue I highlighted in these pages with the positioning of his back foot and he is not picking up the line of Anderson and Robinson.

“Kohli is not sure whether to play or leave and whether to set himself for the inswinger or not. He doesn’t know what to do. It’s high class bowling and it’s not going to get any easier for him, ” wrote Nasser Husain in his column.

Nasser Hussain. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)
Nasser Hussain. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

Virat Kohli has scored only 124 runs in three Tests so far at an average of 24.80. In comparison, his opposite number, Joe Root, is the leading run-scorer in the series, having amassed 507 runs with three hundred at an average of 126.75.

Inzamam-ul-Haq JEWEL SAMAD / AFP
Inzamam-ul-Haq JEWEL SAMAD / AFP
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Inzamam-ul-Haq Credits “Exceptional” England Bowlers For Win In Favoured Batting Conditions

Inzamam-ul-Haq, the former Pakistan captain has hailed England’s pace bowling attack for their exceptional effort on Day 4 of the Headingley Test against India. Inzamam-ul-Haq stated that though conditions favoured batting, England’s bowlers made the ball talk.

Resuming on the overnight 3rd-day score of 215 for 2, India crumbled to 278 all out inside the first session on Saturday to hand England victory by an innings and 76 runs. Ollie Robinson was the star performer for England with a five-for while Craig Overton ended with three scalps.

Inzamam-ul-Haq | AFP
Inzamam-ul-Haq | AFP

Inzamam-ul-Haq Credits Exceptional England’s Bowlers Including James Anderson Who Didn’t Leak Free Runs

Speaking on his YouTube channel, Inzamam-ul-Haq praised England’s fast bowlers for unsettling India’s batting.

“Full credit to England’s bowlers, they were exceptional at Headingley. Despite conditions being suitable for batting on Day 4, England’s pacers were top-class. Their line and length was on the mark and they were rewarded for their consistency. James Anderson may not have picked many wickets but he did not give away any free runs,” said Inzamam-ul-Haq.

“He kept the Indian batters under pressure throughout and never allowed them to settle. All the England bowler bowled really well. There was plenty of pressure on them in the previous two Tests but they handled it in a commendable manner,” said Inzamam-ul-Haq.

Craig Overton, Ollie Robinson and James Anderson @PA Photos/ Getty Images
Craig Overton, Ollie Robinson and James Anderson @PA Photos/ Getty Images

The former Pakistan batter added that the result of the last two Tests could have a lot to do with how the pace bowlers of the two sides perform.

“Team India’s bowlers too have been fiery and aggressive in the three Tests. India did not play well in the third Test but were impressive in the first two. England came back superbly at Headingley. Looking ahead in this series, both sides have very good fast bowlers. So we can expect great competition going ahead,” Inzamam-ul-Haq said.

England, yet again, produced a brilliant spell of fast bowling to dismantle the Indian batting line-up, taking eight wickets in the first session on Day 4 to bowl out the visitors for 278 in the second innings and win the 3rd Test by an innings and 76 runs. The emphatic win at Headingley in Leeds helped the hosts level the five-match series at 1-1.

Joe Root Lauded England Bowlers After Headingley Triumph

England captain Joe Root hailed the team’s bowlers after the hosts outshone India by an innings and 76 runs at Headingley. With the win, England also squared the five-match series 1-1.

Speaking at the post-match presentation ceremony, Root said: “It was fantastic, clinical performance, the two big lads were exceptional, built pressure early on. Three maidens this morning, and we felt we were in a good place to take wickets. When chances came we took them.”

England Test skipper Joe Root backs James Anderson , Twitter
England Test skipper Joe Root backs James Anderson, Twitter

While Ollie Robinson and Craig Overton starred in the second innings, it was James Anderson who set it up for England with three massive scalps on Day 1. Joe Root said the 39-year-old veteran is undoubtfully the Greatest Of All Time in Tests and one can learn from his.

“What he does, why he’s the GOAT of Tests. He sets a wonderful tone for the bowling group. At his age, to be as fit as he is, it’s wonderful for the others to learn from.”

The fourth Test of the India-England series begins at The Oval on September 2. Virat Kohli hinted at resting players, opining that it’s a sensible and logical thing to do.

Virat Kohli didn’t name players who need rest and the fans will have to wait till the toss time to know India’s playing XI. As far as changes are concerned, Ajinkya Rahane’s struggles in the 3rd Test could open the gates for either Hanuma Vihari or Suryakumar Yadav. Ravichandran Ashwin, who was in consideration to play the Lord’s Test, could also walk into playing XI if the conditions favour spinners.

Wriddhiman Saha, who has played 38 Tests scoring 1251 runs at an average of 29.09, could now be drafted back because he is technically more correct with the bat and can leave balls and occupy the crease – something that is needed to succeed in England.

Rishabh Pant. (Photo Source: BCCI)
Rishabh Pant. (Photo Source: BCCI)
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Rishabh Pant Is Looking The Big Concern To Me: Aakash Chopra

Aakash Chopra believes Rishabh Pant’s indifferent form and the manner in which he has approached his innings is a huge concern for Team India.

Rishabh Pant has scored just 87 runs at an underwhelming average of 17.4 in the three Tests against England so far. He has also repeatedly fallen prey to length deliveries angled across him.

Rishabh Pant. File | Photo Credit: AFP
Rishabh Pant. File | Photo Credit: AFP

Aakash Chopra: Keeper Rishabh Pant Is Looking The Biggest Concern In India’s Batting Lineup

While reflecting on the problem areas for Team India in a video shared on his YouTube channel, Aakash Chopra named Rishabh Pant as the biggest worrying factor.

“Rishabh Pant is looking the big concern to me. The way he is batting, you are playing five bowlers because you know you have Rishabh Pant, who is a fabulous batsman, and that is why you are not playing Wriddhiman Saha.”

Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The former India opener added that Rishabh Pant’s approach to his innings is also an area of concern.

Aakash Chopra elaborated: “But if he doesn’t score runs, it will be a problem. There will be a problem with his way of playing. Your team is stuck, and you are stepping out and playing. My way or the highway works, but I think that is an area of concern.”

Rishabh Pant has tended to dance down the wicket to counter the swing the England bowlers have generated. But that has not yielded many dividends, as he has mostly wafted at deliveries outside the off-stump and getting caught behind the wickets.

Aakash Chopra feels the lack of runs from Rishabh Pant’s willow might see Ravindra Jadeja walk ahead of him in the batting order. He observed in this regard spin all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja has looked more comfortable at the crease than Rishabh Pant.

“In the next match, India might start thinking to promote Jadeja and demote Rishabh because the five-bowler theory looks good to hear, but it means Pant after Ajinkya, then Jadeja and four proper bowlers. It’s not a great thing.”

Ravindra Jadeja Photo Credit: (Sky Sports)
Ravindra Jadeja Photo Credit: (Sky Sports)

The reputed commentator also observed how pacer Ollie Robinson has had the wood on Rishabh Pant so far.

“You expect from him, and you only throw stones at a tree that bears fruit. You look towards an X-factor and ask him to score runs. Rishabh Pant will have to really change his tack very quickly. He is a class player, but till now, his number is in Ollie Robinson’s pocket.”

Four of Rishabh Pant’s five dismissals in the series have come against Ollie Robinson. The dashing wicketkeeper-batsman fell to Mark Wood in the first innings of the Lord’s Test, which India won.

Earlier in late 2020 and early 2021, Rishabh Pant continued his love affair with Australia on India’s last tour. With the team battling multiple adversities and injuries, he scored 97 runs off 118 balls in the third Test and an unbeaten 89 in the fourth Test in Brisbane and was adjudged Man of the match, as India won the match and series.

Rishabh Pant was picked in the playing XI again ahead of Wriddhiman Saha for the home Test series against England. In the four Tests, he scored 270 runs at an average of 54.00, including one century and two fifties. He batted at a strike rate of 84.11 in the four-match series, which India won comprehensively 3-1.

The contenders for a place in the Playing 11 for the 4th Test are Suryakumar Yadav, Prithvi Shaw, Mayank Agarwal, Wriddhiman Saha, Ravichandran Ashwin, and Hanuma Vihari. The likes of Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj have played all three Test matches and maybe rested or rotated. The other one who could sit out is Ishant Sharma. Umesh Yadav, Shardul Thakur, and Prasidh Krishna may replace them.

Rishabh Pant. File | Photo Credit: AFP
Rishabh Pant. File | Photo Credit: AFP
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Saba Karim Impressed With Rishabh Pant’s Wicket-keeping In The 1st Test

Saba Karim, the former Indian wicketkeeper was impressed with Rishabh Pant’s wicketkeeping in the first Test against England. Keeping wickets in England is never easy as the ball moves a lot sometimes after it passes the pitch.

However, Rishabh Pant not only collected the ball well but also took some stunning catches. Saba Karim is of the opinion that Rishabh Pant was better with his glovework than England keeper Jos Buttler.

Saba Karim
Saba Karim (Source: Twitter)

Saba Karim: Rishabh Pant’s Keeping Was Brilliant In The 1st Test

Speaking on the YouTube show ‘Khelneeti’, Saba Karim explained how Rishabh Pant’s improved wicketkeeping skills are a huge positive for India. Saba Karim asserted that the conditions were challenging for a wicketkeeper as in England the ball continues to moves even after passing the batsman with the late swing. Despite that Rishabh Pant managed to make no notable mistake. He took 7 catches in the match giving brilliant support to the pacers.

“Rishabh Pant was brilliant with his wicketkeeping. I noticed that the way the ball was wobbling after crossing the wicket, it wasn’t easy. But his keeping was better than that of Jos Buttler. Buttler has played so many times in his home conditions, but Rishabh Pant was brilliant behind the stumps by taking so many catches.”

Rishabh Pant
Rishabh Pant | Twitter

Rishabh Pant continued his love affair with Australia on India’s last tour in 2020-21. With the team battling multiple adversities and injuries, he scored 97 runs off 118 balls in the third Test and an unbeaten 89 in the fourth Test in Brisbane and was adjudged Man of the match, as India won the match and series. Rishabh Pant scored 274 runs in 3 Tests in Australia averaging 68.5.

Rishabh Pant was picked in the playing XI again ahead of Wriddhiman Saha for the home Test series against England. In the four Tests, he scored 270 runs at an average of 54.00, including one century and two fifties. He batted at a strike rate of 84.11 in the four-match series, which India won comprehensively 3-1.

Saba Karim: It’s A Privilege To See Veteran England Pacer James Anderson Bowling In The Twilight Of His Career

Saba Karim was also in awe of England’s legendary pacer James Anderson. The 39-year-old is approaching the twilight of his career but looked his threatening best in the first Test against India. He also crossed Anil Kumble’s tally of 619 Test wickets to become the third-highest wicket-taker of all time in Tests.

James Anderson
James Anderson (AP Photo/Andy Brownbill)

“It is a privilege for us to see James Anderson playing at this stage of his career. The way he works hard and prepares for every series, every batsman is tremendous. His mindset and the way he sets up batsmen is something to watch for all youngsters,” Saba Karim concluded.

Rishabh Pant’s favourite tour is obviously the Australian tour for he has amassed a staggering 624 runs in only 7 games averaging 62.4 with 1 hundred -his career-best of unbeaten 159 and 2 fifties which came in 2018-19. In the recent 2020-21 tour- he scored 97 which helped India draw the 3rd Sydney Test and then 89* which helped India to win the Brisbane Test and claim their second successive series win Down Under.

James Anderson’s four for 54 against India in the 1st innings took him third in the all-time list of Test wicket-takers with 621 scalps. After the first Test ended in a stalemate, the two teams will now go head to head in the second game at Lord’s from Thursday (August 12).

Rishabh Pant. (Photo Source: BCCI)
Rishabh Pant. (Photo Source: BCCI)
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We Just Have To Accept That Rishabh Pant Is A Fantastic Player, Says James Anderson

James Anderson, England pacer once again showed that age is just a number as he dismantled the Indian middle-order in a stellar second session on Day Two of the first Test between India and England.

The veteran fast bowler turned the game on its head as he dismissed Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli in back-to-back deliveries, allowing England to crawl back into this Test match. The play was called off on a rain-marred day at the TrentBridge, with India in a spot of bother at 125-4.

James Anderson celebrates reaching the 600-wicket mark.(Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
James Anderson celebrates reaching the 600-wicket mark. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

James Anderson: England Got A Taste Of Rishabh Pant’s Plans On Day 2 Itself As He Used His Feet On The 3rd Ball He Faced

Opener KL Rahul marked his return to the side with a classy half-century and will want to convert this knock into a big one. He will be joined at the crease by overnight keeper-batsman Rishabh Pant, who has already given some nightmares to James Anderson in the past.

The fascinating battle between the youthful exuberance of Rishabh Pant against the experience of James Anderson will certainly be one to keep an eye on. There’s a buzz about this match-up and it could be a pivotal one in deciding the outcome of the match.

Rishabh Pant. File | Photo Credit: AFP
Rishabh Pant. File | Photo Credit: AFP

James Anderson commented about Rishabh Pant’s aggressive intent at the end of Day Two that he will think outside the box and might play the odd shot.

“We’ve got a taste of what he was planning to do. He used his feet on the third ball he faced today. We know the way he’s going to play. He’s aggressive, he’ll think outside the box. He might play the odd shot that’s out of the ordinary and we just have to accept that he’s a fantastic player, fantastic talent.”

There’s always a buzz and a sense of excitement when Rishabh Pant is at the crease. That anticipation only grows ten-fold when he’s facing a living legend in James Anderson.

James Anderson: England Bowlers Hope Rishabh Pant Nicks One

A lot will be hinging on Rishabh Pant and KL Rahul on Friday as the duo will try to wipe out England’s lead and ensure India takes a significant lead in the test. On being asked about plans for someone like Rishabh Pant, James Anderson said England bowlers will hope he nicks one ball and there is no specific planning to dismiss him.

“So, all we have got to do is concentrate on our areas as much as we can, keep bowling our best ball even when he’s doing different things to try and put us off. We’ve just got to hope he nicks one and that’s all we can do because, as I said, he’s a great player. We have nothing specific planned for him. If he keeps charging me then I’ll bowl my best ball, that’s all we can do.”

KL Rahul | Photo Credit: PTI
KL Rahul | Photo Credit: PTI

A cracking first session of play is on the cards for Day Three as long as the rain stays away.

Rishabh Pant continued his love affair with Australia on India’s last tour in 2020-21. With the team battling multiple adversities and injuries, he scored 97 runs off 118 balls in the third Test and an unbeaten 89 in the fourth Test in Brisbane and was adjudged Man of the match, as India won the match and series.

Rishabh Pant was picked in the playing XI again ahead of Wriddhiman Saha for the home Test series against England. In the four Tests, he scored 270 runs at an average of 54.00, including one century and two fifties. He batted at a strike rate of 84.11 in the four-match series, which India won comprehensively 3-1.

Rishabh Pant
Rishabh Pant
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Rishabh Pant Revealed Names Of 4 Teammates He Turns For Advice

Rishabh Pant, the India swashbuckling wicketkeeper-batsman has been in tremendous form in recent Test matches, as his scores in Australia Tests Down Under and later the home series against England is a testament to it.

The upcoming five-Test series between India and England will mark a full circle for Rishabh Pant, for it was three years ago during India’s 2018 tour of the UK that he made his Test debut for India. Sure, Rishabh Pant had played a few T20I games prior to it, but the England Tests is where Rishabh Pant’s stocks really rose. Apart from hitting a six off only the second ball in Test cricket, Rishabh Pant peeled off a century playing only his third Test.

Rishabh Pant. File | Photo Credit: AFP
Rishabh Pant. File | Photo Credit: AFP

Rishabh Pant Reveals Name Of 4 Cricketers Teammates He Turns For Advice

This time around though, he will head into the forthcoming Test series with a reputation. The India wicketkeeper-batsman has been in tremendous form in Test matches. Rishabh Pant is an automatic pick even in the limited-overs formats as well, but Test matches are where the youngster has really excelled.

While talking about his journey in international cricket so far, Rishabh Pant, while speaking to BCCI.tv, revealed the names of four people to who he turns for advice.

Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma
Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma Twitter

“All the seniors and coaching staff, like, I talk to Rohit bhai a lot. Talking about the game, previous matches, what we could have done, what we could not have done. In the future, if a similar situation happens, what are the possible outcomes, what more can we add). Virat bhaiya is there to help me out with the technical stuff, especially about playing in England, standing a bit forward or back,” Rishabh Pant said.

In batting, the two names he took were that of the India captain Virat Kohli and vice-captain Rohit Sharma, and with a series as crucial as the one that is lined up ahead of him, the wicketkeeper-batsman revealed how his two senior teammates are there to help him out.

Rishabh Pant Also Speaks A Lot To Ravi Shastri And Ravichandran Ashwin

The other two individuals Rishabh Pant mentioned were coach Ravi Shastri and off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin and for very different reasons.

“Ravi bhai (head coach Ravi Shastri) is also there, I speak to him a lot because he has played enough cricket all over the world, he has the idea,” Pant added.

“Ash bhai (Ravichandran Ashwin), he always has an idea about what the batsman could do. So, when he bowls, as a batsman I can ask him what he’s thinking. So, as a player, I just want to learn from each and every person.”

Ravi Shastri And Rabvichandran Ashwin Photo-Social Media
Ravi Shastri And Ravichandran Ashwin Photo credit: Social Media

Rishabh Pant continued his love affair with Australia on India’s last tour in 2020-21. With the team battling multiple adversities and injuries, he scored 97 runs off 118 balls in the third Test and an unbeaten 89 in the fourth Test in Brisbane and was adjudged Man of the match, as India won the match and series.

Rishabh Pant was picked in the playing XI again ahead of Wriddhiman Saha for the home Test series against England. In the four Tests, he scored 270 runs at an average of 54.00, including one century and two fifties. He batted at a strike rate of 84.11 in the four-match series, which India won comprehensively 3-1.

Rishabh Pant. File | Photo Credit: AFP
Rishabh Pant. File | Photo Credit: AFP
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Rishabh Pant Has Evolved More Over The Last 12-18 Months And Getting Desired Results

Rishabh Pant will be playing Tests in England for the second time in his career. Rishabh Pant has turned into a superstar of Indian cricket over the last 12-18 months thanks to his heroics on the Australia tour where India won with a depleted squad.

The wicketkeeper-batsman played key knocks especially in the last two Test matches at Sydney and Brisbane to bring glory to the country and is now gearing up to play in the upcoming five-match Test series against England.

The 23-year-old made his Test debut on the last England tour and he ended up scoring his maiden century in the format later in the series as well. Rishabh Pant has come a long way in the format since then amassing 1403 runs in 21 Tests at a brilliant average of 43.84 with three tons and six fifties.

Rishabh Pant. (Photo Source: BCCI)
Rishabh Pant. (Photo Source: BCCI)

Rishabh Pant Thinks It’s Been An Amazing Journey For Him As A Test Cricketer

Rishabh Pant is in England since June as he also played the marquee World Test Championship against New Zealand and also contracted COVID during his free time away from the game. However, he is perfectly fine now and is set to play the opening Test starting from August 4. Ahead of the series opener, BCCI posted a few clips of his training while interviewing him where the left-hander reflected on his journey at the international level so far.

“I think it’s been an amazing journey because there have been a lot of ups and downs. But it has been a good learning for me. As a cricketer you evolve, learning from your mistakes, improve yourselves, come back to the ground and perform well,” he said.

Wriddhiman Saha and Rishabh Pant | Source: Twitter
Wriddhiman Saha and Rishabh Pant | Source: Twitter

Rishabh Pant, who had not stayed in the team hotel during the 20-day break period, tested positive on July 8. He was asymptomatic and was in isolation. Rishabh Pant fully recovered after completing a 10-day quarantine and a string of negative Covid-19 tests.

The southpaw’s form with the bat has been one of the major reasons behind India reaching the WTC final. The wicketkeeper-batsman has amassed 662 runs in 11 Tests at an average of 41.37 in the WTC cycle.

Rishabh Pant Thinks He Has Evolved More And Getting The Desired Results

Rishabh Pant was just 20 years old when he played his first Test and it was a dream come true for him wearing the whites for the country. But the journey was not easy for the youngster as he was out of form for quite some time in international cricket. Speaking about the same Rishabh Pant stated that he was evolved as a cricketer over the last 12 months or so and felt that one should trust the process and the results will come.

“I think as a cricketer, I have evolved more what I have been doing in last one year or so. You keep doing your processes right but sometimes you don’t get the result. But you have to trust your process and keep doing the same thing again and again. I have been getting the results now so that’s the happy part,” Pant further added.

India's Rishabh Pant.(AP)
India’s Rishabh Pant. (AP)

Rishabh Pant continued his love affair with Australia on India’s last tour in 2020-21. With the team battling multiple adversities and injuries, he scored 97 runs off 118 balls in the third Test and an unbeaten 89 in the fourth Test in Brisbane and was adjudged Man of the match, as India won the match and series.

Rishabh Pant was picked in the playing XI again ahead of Wriddhiman Saha for the home Test series against England. In the four Tests, he scored 270 runs at an average of 54.00, including one century and two fifties. He batted at a strike rate of 84.11 in the four-match series, which India won comprehensively 3-1.

Wanindu Hasaranga
Wanindu Hasaranga
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Wanindu Hasaranga’s Recent Exploits See RCB Approaching BCCI To Replace Adam Zampa With Him In IPL 2021

Wanindu Hasaranga, Sri Lankan all-rounder leg spinner has impressed everyone with his bowling variations in the recently concluded limited-overs series against India. He played a major role in Sri Lanka’s comeback to clinch the T20I series 2-1.

Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 is set to return from 19 September 2021. Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) has approached BCCI with a request to replace their spinner Adam Zampa with the Sri Lankan leg spinner Wanindu Hasaranga. The Sri Lankan spinner was awarded the Player of the Series award, for his seven wickets in the series.

IPL 2021: Adam Zampa trains for RCB during the ongoing season.© BCCI/IPL
IPL 2021: Adam Zampa trains for RCB during the ongoing season.© BCCI/IPL

Wanindu Hasaranga Had A Successful Series Against England And India, As RCB Approached BCCI With A Request To Consider Him As A Replacement For Adam Zampa

Wanindu Hasaranga was also the best player for Sri Lanka on their tour of England. He was their highest run-scorer in the ODI series, with 100 runs in three matches. After his splendid performances lately, Wanindu Hasaranga’s stocks in world cricket have certainly risen. The Sri Lankan bowler performed exceedingly well in the recently concluded India vs Sri Lanka series – that must have acted as a catalyst for RCB to consider him ahead of the Australian leggie.

Wanindu Hasaranga Celebrates A Wicket in 1st T20I @SLC
Wanindu Hasaranga Celebrates A Wicket in 1st T20I @SLC

Royal Challengers Bangalore’s star players Adam Zampa and Kane Richardson flew back to Australia citing “personal reasons”. Later, Adam Zampa spoke with the Australian press about how the IPL bio-bubble was not as secure. On the other hand, SL’s Wanindu Hasaranga was on top of his bowling performance. He picked up 7 wickets in the three T20Is becoming hosts Sri Lanka’s top bowler.

Indian batsmen struggled against him in Colombo where the conditions were a bit like India. Pitches did not have pace and spinner Wanindu Hasaranga took full advantage of it. Only time can tell if he becomes a top IPL player for the future.

Adam Zampa And Kane Richardson Flew Back Midway Citing Personal Reasons And Insecure Bio Bubbles

The IPL 2021 was canceled after few players were found to be Covid-19 positive inside the bio-bubble. The remaining Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 will be held in Sharjah, Abu Dhabi, and Dubai from September 19, right after the end of the England vs India 5-match Test series. There are 31 remaining matches in the IPL 2021. It will be the first time that the IPL will be held in UAE for two consecutive years.

In April 2021, Australian leg-spinner Adam Zampa said he decided to quit the IPL midway as it was the “most vulnerable” bio-secure bubble he has been a part of and the tournament should have been held in UAE, like last year. Adam Zampa and Kane Richardson, who were part of the Royal Challengers Bangalore squad, flew back home later, having pulled out citing personal reasons.

(File) Muttiah Muralitharan
(File) Muttiah Muralitharan

Later IPL 2021 was postponed in early May 2021 after a bio bubble breach which saw KKR’s Varun Chakravarthy, Sandeep Warrier, DC’s Amit Mishra, and SRH’s Wriddhiman Saha testing positive. Former Sri Lankan cricketer and legendary off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan was confident of Wanindu Hasaranga’s chances of playing in the Indian Premier League.

Washington Sundar
India debutant Washington Sundar celebrates his half century during day three of the 4th Test Match in the series between Australia and India at The Gabba on January 17, 2021 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Albert Perez - CA/Cricket Australia via Getty Images)
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Washington Sundar, Shubman Gill, Avesh Khan Ruled Out Of 5-Match England Test Series

Washington Sundar, Shubman Gill, and Avesh Khan have been ruled out from the ongoing tour after suffering injuries. The Test series is due to start on August 4. While Shubman Gill was ruled out due to shin splints suffered during the World Test Championship final against New Zealand, Avesh Khan dislocated a thumb during the warm-up game against County XI while Washington Sundar aggravated his finger injury.

Washington Sundar, the all-rounder had taken an injection on his right-hand bowling finger. However, his recovery will take longer than expected and he is not bowling-fit. He is ruled out for the remainder of the tour.

Washington Sundar, Avesh Khan & Shubman Gill | Getty
Washington Sundar, Avesh Khan & Shubman Gill | Getty

Washington Sundar, Avesh Khan, And Shubman Gill Is Ruled Out Of England Tour

Fast bowler Avesh Khan suffered a blow to his left thumb on Day 1 of the warm-up game between Select County XI and India. He was taken for an X-Ray and the result confirmed a fracture. A specialist was consulted for further management of his injury. He is ruled out of India’s Tour of England.

Shubman Gill Photo Credit: (BCCI)
Shubman Gill Photo Credit: (BCCI)

Opening batsman Shubman Gill sustained a developing stress reaction on his left lower leg (shin) during the World Test Championship final which was won by New Zealand. This was confirmed via an MRI scan. He is ruled out of the tour and has returned back to India.

Rishabh Pant Recovered From Covid-19 While Prithvi Shaw And Suryakumar Yadav Has Been Named As Replacements

Wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant has recovered from COVID-19 with two negative RT-PCR tests. He has begun his preparations for the upcoming Test series after clearance from the BCCI Medical Team. Bowling coach Bharat Arun, Wriddhiman Saha, and Abhimanyu Easwaran have completed their self-isolation in London and have now joined Team India in Durham.

The All-India Senior Selection Committee has named Prithvi Shaw and Suryakumar Yadav as replacements.

Wriddhiman Saha and Rishabh Pant | Source: Twitter
Wriddhiman Saha and Rishabh Pant | Source: Twitter

It is understood that Prithvi Shaw’s form has impressed the team management and Mayank Agarwal’s current rhythm isn’t the greatest. However, with quarantine rules in place, it is not clear if Suryakumar Yadav and Prithvi Shaw can make it in time for the first Test after completing their hard quarantine.

It could not be confirmed when Prithvi Shaw and Suryakumar Yadav will link up with the squad in England – a BCCI statement on Monday didn’t provide details either – or if they would be available for the final two matches of the T20I series in Sri Lanka which ends on July 29.
While Shubman Gill and Washington Sundar were part of the 20-member India squad announced in May for the World Test Championship final and the England series, Avesh Khan was part of the four standbys. All three players have sustained injuries serious enough to be ruled out of the five-Test series starting on August 4.

India’s squad: Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (Captain), Ajinkya Rahane (vice-captain), Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), R. Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Mohd. Shami, Md. Siraj, Shardul Thakur, Umesh Yadav, KL Rahul, Wriddhiman Saha (wicket-keeper), Abhimanyu Easwaran, Prithvi Shaw, Suryakumar Yadav

Standby players: Prasidh Krishna, Arzan Nagwaswalla

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