WTC Final | Sportzwiki

WTC Final

Representational image of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup trophy | AFP / Jewel Samad
Representational image of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup trophy | AFP / Jewel Samad
/

New Zealand Squad, Schedule, Date, Time, And Venue For 2021 T20I World Cup

New Zealand led by Kane Williamson will be a team to watch out for. The Kane Williamson-led New Zealand always enters the big ICC events with the tag of the underdog and does something stunning to earn praise from the cricket fans and experts. They have been consistently performing well for the last few years in limited-overs cricket.

The seventh edition of the ICC T20 World Cup 2021 is all set to begin on October 17 and the final of the tournament will take place on November 14. Notably, the tournament was shifted to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and OMAN due to the Covid-19 scare in India. However, BCCI still holds hosting rights.

Bangladesh vs New Zealand
Bangladesh vs New Zealand. Image Credits: Twitter

New Zealand Reached The 2015 And 2019 ODI World Cup Finals And Was Crowned WTC 2021 Winners

New Zealand reached the finals of the 50-over World Cup in 2015 and 2019. Also in the longest form of the game, they have been performing exceptionally well. Recently, they participated in the finals of ICC World Test Championship (WTC) 2021 against Virat Kohli-led India and they won the match to be crowned the inaugural champions. New Zealand is placed in Group B of the tournament, alongside India, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.

Notably, Team New Zealand won four back-to-back T20 international series heading into the T20I series against Bangladesh. However, they had a terrible run in the 5-match T20I series against the Bangla Tigers. In the first match, they got bowled out on 60 and lost the game by 7 wickets. Meanwhile, in the 2nd T20I, they lost the game by 4 runs. Overall they faced a T20I series loss against Bangladesh by 3-2.

New Zealand's Kane Williamson celebrates with the trophy and teammates after winning the final of the ICC World Test Championship. Photograph: John Sibley/Reuters
New Zealand’s Kane Williamson celebrates with the trophy and teammates after winning the final of the ICC World Test Championship. Photograph: John Sibley/Reuters

So far the Blackcaps haven’t won the ICC T20 World Cup trophy. However, looking at the team’s recent performance there is no doubt that they have full potential to win the T20 World Cup 2021. Also, new faces like Devon Conway and Kyle Jamieson are expected to play a huge role for Kiwis in the T20 World Cup 2021. Meanwhile, veterans like Kane Williamson, Tim Southee, Trent Boult, and Martin Guptill will provide much-needed experience to the side.

New Zealand’s complete squad for ICC T20 World Cup 2021:

T20 World Cup New Zealand Image Credit: ICC Twitter
T20 World Cup New Zealand Image Credit: ICC Twitter

Kane Williamson (c), Todd Astle, Trent Boult, Mark Chapman, Devon Conway, Lockie Ferguson, Martin Guptill, Kyle Jamieson, Daryl Mitchell, Jimmy Neesham, Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner, Tim Seifert (wk), Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Adam Milne (injury cover).

Like England, New Zealand also does not have a good track record of the ICC T20 or ODI World Cups. Apart from the ICC Champions Trophy and inaugural WTC 2019-21, they have never won an ICC event. That is why the team is considered one of the unluckiest teams of the ICC cricket world cup history.

The group features an all-star bowling group – Ish Sodhi, Mitchell Santner, and Tim Southee alongside the likes of Trent Boult, Lockie Ferguson, Kyle Jamieson, and Todd Astle. Seamer Adam Milne has been selected as the 16th man and will join the team for the tournament but can only be called upon to replace a player in the squad in the event of an injury.

New Zealand’s complete schedule for ICC T20 World Cup 2021

Tuesday, October 26, 2021: vs Pakistan, at Sharjah Cricket Stadium, in Sharjah. (7:30 PM IST)

Sunday, October 31, 2021: vs India, at Dubai International Cricket Stadium, in Dubai. (7:30 PM IST)

Wednesday, November 3, 2021: vs Qualifier (B1), at Dubai International Cricket Stadium, in Dubai. (3:30 PM IST)

Friday, November 5, 2021: vs Qualifier (A2), at Sharjah Cricket Stadium, in Sharjah. (3:30 PM IST)

Sunday, November 7, 2021: vs Afghanistan, at Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi. (3:30 PM IST)

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

Arun Dhumal Rubbished Reports In Media About Virat Kohli’s Stepping Down In ODIs, T20Is

Arun Dhumal, BCCI treasurer on Monday rubbished reports suggesting that Team India captain Virat Kohli is likely to step down as skipper of the limited-overs format after the conclusion of the forthcoming ICC T20 World Cup.

There are reports doing the rounds that Virat Kohli might lose his white-ball captaincy and Rohit Sharma could be asked to lead the limited-overs side if the team fails to win the ICC T20 World Cup to be held in the UAE and Oman in October-November this year.

Arun Dhumal
Arun Dhumal, Treasurer of BCCI Photo by: Arjun Singh / Sportzpics for BCCI

Arun Dhumal Terms Reports In Media About Virat Kohli’s Stepping Down As Rubbish

However, Arun Dhumal rubbished such claims. Virat Kohli (32), who currently leads the team across all formats and is India’s most successful captain ever, is learned to have taken the call to share leadership responsibilities with Rohit Sharma (34), according to the BCCI sources.

“This is all rubbish. Nothing (as) such is happening. This is all that you guys (media) are talking about. BCCI has not met or discussed anything on this issue (split captaincy),” Arun Dhumal told IANS. “Virat will remain as the captain (of all formats).”

Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma
Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma- Twitter

Earlier, it was reported that Virat Kohli has been very successful in Test cricket, but the onus of leading the side in limited-overs cricket could fall on Rohit Sharma because of the former’s failure to guide the side to victory in ICC events despite having some of the best bowlers and batters in the game.

Earlier, it was said that the reason for Virat Kohli purportedly stepping down as captain is very simple. Virat Kohli feels that his batting across formats needs more time and greater impetus as India is looking to play two World Cups in 2022 and 2023.

Arun Dhumal Rubbishes Claims That BCCI Top Brass Are Unhappy In WTC Final Loss

Sources had said the BCCI top brass has been discussing the issue since India’s loss to New Zealand in the World Test Championship final in England, where they were reportedly unhappy with the Indian skipper’s team selection. Virat Kohli had played two spinners in seamer-friendly and overcast conditions during the WTC final.

But Arun Dhumal said, “no such meeting took place.” “Virat will remain as the captain (of all formats),” he added.

New Zealand's Kane Williamson celebrates with the trophy and teammates after winning the final of the ICC World Test Championship. Photograph: John Sibley/Reuters
New Zealand’s Kane Williamson celebrates with the trophy and teammates after winning the final of the ICC World Test Championship. Photograph: John Sibley/Reuters

For a while now there have been reports suggesting that BCCI could explore the option of split captaincy between Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli after the T20 World Cup 2021. However, BCCI Treasurer Arun Dhumal confirmed that Virat Kohli will remain the captain for all formats.

One of India’s most successful captains, Virat Kohli led India in 95 ODIs, and with 65 wins and 27 defeats. In 45 T20Is so far where he has been the captain, India has won 27 times while losing 14 times. Meanwhile, Rohit Sharma, 34, has led India 10 times in ODIs and led them to victories on eight occasions. In T20Is, he has captained them 19 times of which they have won 15 and lost four.

Rohit Sharma is in the form of his life across formats and enjoys the status of a senior member of the squad. His T20 captaincy records are second to none, having won five IPL titles for the Mumbai Indians apart from Asia Cup and Nidhas Trophy 2018 wins in Virat Kohli’s absence. Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, and India team management have had meetings in the past few months over the change of guard, at least in white-ball cricket.

Controversial Pakistan batsman Salman Butt
Controversial Pakistan batsman Salman Butt (File Photo | AFP)
/

Salman Butt Feels It’s Not The Proper Time To Rake Up The Captaincy Debate Between Virat Kohli And Rohit Sharma

Salman Butt said with a successful Test series in England and a crucial T20 World Cup looming, this is not the time to rake up the captaincy debate.

Following reports that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) was unhappy with some of Virat Kohli’s decisions during the World Test Championship (WTC) final, former Pakistan captain Salman Butt said that the Indian skipper is being made a target of a “dirty game”.

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

Salman Butt Feels It’s Not The Proper Time To Discuss Captaincy

Salman Butt was responding to a recent news report that also claimed that Virat Kohli could be asked to make way for Rohit Sharma as captain if India fails to perform well in the ICC World T20 competition. The former Pakistan captain further said with a successful Test series in England and a crucial T20 World Cup looming, this is not the time to rake up the captaincy debate.

“Do you see the timing of this news? I don’t have a problem with what the board thinks, it’s about their own evaluation of who can take their cricket forward… but is this the time to discuss these things? Now there’s talk of Virat Kohli’s captaincy being on the danger line,” Butt said in a video on his YouTube channel.

Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma
Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma- Twitter

“He’s (Virat) recently played a series in England, led his team really well, he was being criticized for his team selections but he’s constantly backing his team and in turn, the team is responding to him and playing good cricket… the team is at the top in every format and the World Cup is right up front, so such news surfacing in the media is nothing but a dirty game.”

One of India’s most successful captains, Virat Kohli led India in 95 ODIs, and with 65 wins and 27 defeats. In 45 T20Is so far where he has been the captain, India has won 27 times while losing 14 times.

Salman Butt: Virat Kohli Has Done A Lot Of Good As Captain In Indian Cricket

Asked about comparing the white-ball trophies won by Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, Salman Butt said the latter is a very good captain but the former, too, has a decent win percentage across formats.

“I have said this before, Rohit Sharma is a very good captain, very successful, but this is not the time to talk about these things… Trophies matter, I agree but see the percentage of the games he has won and how successful he has been around the world. I think this is not the time and the guy has done a lot of good to Indian cricket. This news resurfacing is nothing but bad intent which shouldn’t happen.”

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

Rohit Sharma has also inspired the team in Virat Kohli’s absence to memorable triumphs in Asia Cup 2018 and Nidahas Trophy 2018, besides leading Mumbai Indians to an unprecedented five IPL titles. Rohit Sharma, 34, has led India 10 times in ODIs and led them to victories on eight occasions. In T20Is, he has captained them 19 times of which they have won 15 and lost four.

Rohit Sharma has proven his mettle as the most successful captain in the Indian Premier League. The hitman Rohit Sharma has led the Mumbai Indians (MI) to victory in the seasons 2013, 2015, 2017, 2019, and 2020.

One of the biggest criticisms of Virat Kohli’s captaincy is his failure to land a major ICC trophy since taking over the charge of the team. Recently, in June, India lost in the final of the World Test Championship against New Zealand in Southampton. India’s all-format captain Virat Kohli will soon quit ODI and T20 captaincy.

Virat Kohli will quit as India’s white-ball captain right after the T20 World Cup and IPL’s most successful skipper Rohit Sharma will take over the mantle. However, on Monday, BCCI treasurer Arun Dhumal rubbished the reports.

India cricket team. Photo: @BCCI
India cricket team. Photo: @BCCI
/

India Will Return To England Next Summer To Play 3 ODIs And 3 T20Is

India will return to England next summer to play six white-ball games, the ECB confirmed on Wednesday (September 8). While announcing the schedule for their 2022 home summer, the ECB also confirmed that they will be hosting New Zealand and South Africa too apart from India.

Even though England hosted New Zealand for a couple of Tests earlier this year (New Zealand won 1-0) in June before the World Test Championship final, they will host them again for three Tests this time to kickstart their summer. This series involving the hosts and the defending World Test champions will come under the 2021-23 World Test Championship cycle.

New Zealand's Kane Williamson celebrates with the trophy and teammates after winning the final of the ICC World Test Championship. Photograph: John Sibley/Reuters
New Zealand’s Kane Williamson celebrates with the trophy and teammates after winning the final of the ICC World Test Championship. Photograph: John Sibley/Reuters

India Will Return To England To Play 3 T20Is And 3 ODIs In July 2022

Following the conclusion of the three Tests, England will play 12 limited-overs games in the month of July. The T20I series against India kicks off on July 1 at Old Trafford in Manchester following which the teams move to Edgbaston and Southampton for the next two games. The T20I series will be followed by a three-match ODI series that concludes at Lord’s on July 14.

India will play three T20Is and as many ODIs next English summer.
India will play three T20Is and as many ODIs next English summer. © Getty

Joe Root’s Test side begins their series against New Zealand at Lord’s on June 2 before heading to Trent Bridge (June 10-14) and Headingley (June 23-27). A white-ball series against India follows in July, with three T20s taking place before three ODIs from July 1 to 14. England then welcomes South Africa for the biggest series of the summer, featuring three ODIs, three T20Is, and concluding with three Tests.

England Will Also Play New Zealand In 3 Tests Starting June And A Full Fledged All Format Against South Africa From July-August

England will then host South Africa for a full series from July 19 that will see the visitors play three ODIs, three T20Is, and three Tests. England’s home summer will conclude with the final Test against South Africa scheduled to begin on September 8 at The Oval. The Test series will carry more significance since the teams will be vying for vital WTC points. The ECB also confirmed that the T20 Blast Finals Day will be staged at Edgbaston on July 16.

ECB chief executive Tom Harrison Getty Images
ECB chief executive Tom Harrison Getty Images

“It has been a scintillating summer of cricket and so good to see crowds backpacking out venues later this summer,” ECB Chief Executive Officer, Tom Harrison, said. “For next summer, I am pleased to be able to confirm three high-quality men’s international touring teams for 2022, starting with a three-Test LV= Insurance Series against World Test Champions New Zealand.”

Tom Harrison is the chief executive officer of the England and Wales Cricket Board. He confirmed the home schedule for the men’s team for 2022. Tom Harrison also confirmed that discussions are in progress regarding England Women’s home schedule as well as the 2022 domestic season.

“We also look forward to India returning for two white-ball series before we host South Africa for what promises to be hard-fought series across three formats”

Lord’s will host the first Test (17-21 August) against South Africa before the series moves to Edgbaston (August 25-29) and The Oval (September 8-12).

England’s 2022 home summer schedule

vs New Zealand

Match Date Venue
1st Test June 2-6 Lord’s, London
2nd Test June 10-14 Trent Bridge, Nottingham
3rd Test June 23-27 Headingley, Leeds

vs India

Match Date Venue
1st T20I July 1 Old Trafford, Manchester
2nd T20I July 3 Trent Bridge, Nottingham
3rd T20I July 6 Ageas Bowl, Southampton
1st ODI July 9 Edgbaston, Birmingham
2nd ODI July 12 The Oval, London
3rd ODI July 14 Lord’s, London

vs South Africa

Match Date Venue
1st ODI July 19 Riverside, Chester-le-Street
2nd ODI July 22 OldTrafford, Manchester
3rd ODI July 24 Headingley, Leeds
1st T20I July 27 Bristol
2nd T20I July 28 Sophia Gardens, Cardiff
3rd T20I July 31 Ageas Bowl, Southampton
1st Test August 17-21 Lord’s, London
2nd Test August 25-29 Edgbaston, Birmingham
3rd Test September 8-12 The Oval, London
Rohit Sharma scored his maiden overseas Test hundred on Day 3 at The Oval. Pic: Getty Images
Rohit Sharma scored his maiden overseas Test hundred on Day 3 at The Oval. Pic: Getty Images
/

Rohit Sharma Admits Opening In Test Was A Risk But It Was His Last Chance To Prove Himself

Rohit Sharma on Saturday admitted that deciding to open in Test matches back in 2019 was one of the biggest decisions he took as a cricketer because he knew that it was going to be his “last chance” in red-ball cricket.

Rohit Sharma on Saturday scored a near chanceless 127, his first overseas hundred that put India in a good position against England in the fourth Test.

Rohit Sharma celebrates his century during the fourth Test against England. (Twitter/BCCI)
Rohit Sharma celebrates his century during the fourth Test against England. (Twitter/BCCI)

Rohit Sharma: Batting As An Opener Was The Last Chance And The Biggest Risk That He Took

Asked if giving the green light to the team management about batting at the top of the order was the biggest risk that he took, the elegant Mumbaikar nodded in approval.

“You could say so in the hindsight,” Rohit said at the end of the third day’s play.

“In the back of my mind, I knew this was my last chance as well trying another position in the batting order,” he said after scoring his eighth Test hundred and fifth as an opener.

“When the offer came to me, I was very much aware of it as there were talks within the management about opening the innings at some stage. Mentally, I was ready to take up the challenge and see how I can do well up the order,” he said.

Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma. Image Credits: Twitter

He was aware that there won’t be too many chances as his stint as a middle-order batter didn’t go exactly well.

“I know I batted in middle order and things didn’t go as per the way I wanted it to and I knew this was my last opportunity to try out and you know management is thinking whatever I want to try,” he stated.

However, sport is about taking chances that come one’s way.

“When you are playing the sport, you always have to take those chances and you always have to take those risks and so you could say I was ready for it and didn’t come to me as a surprise.You can say it would have been my last opportunity if I wouldn’t have succeeded. Anything could have happened,” said Rohit, who was very straight forward in his admission.

His first outing as a Test match opener was against South Africa at home and he smashed a century in both innings of the match and followed it with a double century as well. He has scored 1462 runs as an opener averaging 58.48 with as many as 5 tons. While his average at home is 79.52, his overseas average has improved slightly and is 31.3.

Rohit Sharma Don’t Mind Looking Ugly At Times As Long As He Gets The Job Done For The Team

Rohit Sharma did say that the team management had told him that he will get a long rope.

“That (about it being his last opportunity) was my feeling. I don’t know about others because the team management told me that I will have a long run. But I wanted to think in a way that this is it. I have to make good use of the opportunity and for that I have to do whatever it takes,” he said.

Virat Kohli with Rohit Sharma
Virat Kohli with Rohit Sharma IMAGE: AFP

For Rohit Sharma, it is all about ticking the small boxes in pursuit of the bigger picture.

“I don’t mind looking ugly at times as long as I can get the job done for the team. That is very crucial.”

Rohit Sharma’s last Test appearance against England in their ground came back in 2014 as he wasn’t part of the Test squad which toured the country in 2018. Rohit Sharma scored 34 runs in the only Test he played on the 2014 tour. In the World Test Championship final, he got starts and scored 34 and 30.

In the ongoing series, he has amassed 368 runs averaging 52.57. Rohit Sharma has also recently overtaken captain Virat Kohli to become the top-ranked Test batter from India.

Gautam Gambhir feels New Zealand's excellent record against India in ICC events does not matter
Gautam Gambhir feels New Zealand's excellent record against India in ICC events does not matter
/

India And New Zealand Match In 2021 T20I World Cup Will Be Evenly Poised: Gautam Gambhir

Gautam Gambhir believes the India-New Zealand clash at the upcoming T20 World Cup is an evenly-matched contest. Team India will play New Zealand in their second match of the T20 World Cup, scheduled to be played on October 31 in Dubai.

The Virat Kohli-led side will go into the match after opening their campaign against arch-rivals Pakistan.

Gautam Gambhir AFP
Gautam Gambhir AFP

Gautam Gambhir: India And New Zealand Match In 2021 T20I World Cup Will Be Evenly Poised

During a discussion on the Star Sports show Game Plan, Gautam Gambhir pointed out that the success the Kiwis have enjoyed in previous ICC tournaments against India is immaterial.

“Absolutely 50-50. When you go to such a big tournament, the records are only for the media and the fans. The records do not matter for the players at all and they do not think about them as well.”

India will have a one-week break after playing against Pakistan, and will next take on the New Zealand side on 31st October 2021 once again in Dubai. The Indian side will play their third match of the tournament on 3rd November 2021, against the Afghanistan side.

India will play their 4th match of the tournament against the first placed qualifier team from Group B on 5th November 2021 at Dubai. And, their final Group fixture will be played on 8th November 2021, against the second-placed qualifying team from Group A in Dubai.

Indian Cricket Team
Indian Cricket Team. Image Credits: Twitter

The former Indian opener added that an individual player might be concerned about his record against an opposition cricketer, but teams are not bothered about such stats.

“Yes, you can think about your individual record. If a player is struggling against a particular bowler, that can be on his mind. But Pakistan having never won against India and India having never won against New Zealand, that never matters.”

India has not defeated New Zealand in an ICC event since the 2003 ODI World Cup. The Kiwis were also the only team they lost to during their title-winning run at the 2007 T20 World Cup.

Gautam Gambhir: India Can Definitely Defeat New Zealand For Having Firepower

Gautam Gambhir believes Team India can certainly put it across the Kane Williamson-led side, considering the all-around depth of their squad.  Gautam Gambhir highlighted that Team India has plenty of star players in their lineup.

“India can definitely defeat New Zealand, you have the firepower. You have Jasprit Bumrah, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul – when you have batsmen and bowlers like these, it will not be easy for New Zealand.”

New Zealand's Kane Williamson celebrates with the trophy and teammates after winning the final of the ICC World Test Championship. Photograph: John Sibley/Reuters
New Zealand’s Kane Williamson celebrates with the trophy and teammates after winning the final of the ICC World Test Championship. Photograph: John Sibley/Reuters

On the flip side, Gautam Gambhir warned that the Kiwis cannot be taken lightly either as they have a well-balanced side too.

“We cannot say New Zealand are the underdogs because they are a very very well-balanced side. They have Trent Boult and Lockie Ferguson, and they have the firepower in the batting. So, you will have to play good cricket.”

Team India’s run at the last two ICC events has come to an end at the hands of New Zealand namely at the 2019 World Cup semi-final and the inaugural World Test Championship. They will hope to buck the trend and put it across the ICC World Test champions this time around.

New Zealand knocked out India in the 2019 ODI World Cup, defeating the Virat Kohli-led side in the semifinal. India travelled to New Zealand in February 2020, where they lost the ODI series and the Test series to the Kane Williamson-led team. The recent World Test Championship final defeat against NZ further showcased India’s inability to beat the Kiwis in ICC tournaments.

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

Virat Kohli Has Matured Since Being Appointed As Skipper And Is Always Positive, Says Ravindra Jadeja

India cricket team captain Virat Kohli may have not been in the best form with the bat, he is definitely appearing to be in good form with his captaincy skills. While there were a few doubters who questioned his captaincy after the World Test Championship final loss against New Zealand, Virat Kohli was excellent with his calls in the first Test against England, which ended in a draw.

Ravindra Jadeja
Ravindra Jadeja / AFP PHOTO / ISHARA S. KODIKARA

Ravindra Jadeja: Virat Kohli Has Matured Now And Is Always Positive

Despite a stuttering batting display in the first innings in Nottingham, Virat Kohli’s smart decisions when fielding helped India to enter the final day as the favourites, only for the rain to spoil the party.

Now, as the two teams prepare for the 2nd Test set to begin from Thursday at Lord’s, India allrounder Ravindra Jadeja, who was also a part of the Virat Kohli-led U-19 team that had won the U-19 World Cup in 2008, said that the right-hand batsman has grown as a captain over the years.

“Yes, I have been playing with him since under-19. He has matured now and is always positive. He always looks to win the game no matter with which team we are playing, whether we are playing a big game or just a normal series,” Jadeja told news agency ANI.

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

“He is always dominant, so, he creates a good environment within the team, and that is the plus point of his captaincy and he always looks to be aggressive on the field,” he added.

Some feel that Virat Kohli, India’s most successful Test captain with 36 wins, should step down and allow the concept of split captaincy to embrace Indian cricket, while most continue to back the Indian captain to continue as its leader across all three formats given the contribution he has made to the team since his appointment.

Under Virat Kohli, India has come close thrice to lift an ICC Trophy – the Champions Trophy in 2017, the 2019 World Cup, and most recently, the WTC final – but have stumbled at the final hurdle.

Ravindra Jadeja: IPL 2021 Being In The Same Venue As T20I World Cup Will Be A Good Preparation Before The Marquee World Cup

Meanwhile, Ravindra Jadeja also opened up on the upcoming re-start of IPL following the England Tests, and he said that it will be helpful in preparing the team for the T20 World Cup.

“Yes, the IPL comes right after the England Test series so it’s good preparation before the World Cup. Plus, we are playing both IPL and World Cup in UAE, and I think the same venue helps us a lot. That will be good preparation before the World Cup,” he signed off.

Ravindra Jadeja
Ravindra Jadeja (Image Credit: Twitter)

Ravindra Jadeja has scored 131 runs and picked 6 wickets in 7 games for Chennai Super Kings, before the suspension of the league. His strike rate while batting was also above 160.

World Test Championship, India
Indian test team[photo: Twitter]
/

BCCI Looking To Create A System To Avoid Any Confusion Among Management And Players

BCCI has swung into action following the alleged “communication gap” between the team management, selectors, and the board itself over team building and future planning. BCCI top brass has got down to talking to players and selectors in preparation for a two-year “blueprint” to resolve such issues.

The development comes in the wake of India’s loss in the inaugural World Test Championship (WTC) final against New Zealand in June and captain Virat Kohli comments on the need to prepare for a “transition”, particularly in the Test format.

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

BCCI Looking To Create A System To Avoid Confusion Among Management And Players And Hearing Concerns Without Much Delay

One common problem that has been identified is that the lack of clarity in building a team for a big tournament. There have been multiple instances when players have complained of a “lack of communication” from either the team management or the selection committee over the past three years. As far as communication is concerned, the board has opened a channel directly with the players and team management to avoid any confusion

Sourav Ganguly. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Sourav Ganguly. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The BCCI top brass has been working on life beyond the T20 World Cup to be staged in October- November. Chief selector Chetan Sharma has been having rounds of meetings with BCCI president Sourav Ganguly. According to sources, the meetings were based more on preparing the blueprint. The present selection committee’s performance will be up for review after they complete a year in December.

“There were issues pertaining to communication and messages getting lost in translation. So the board top brass is looking to create a system so that the team management and players can have their concerns heard by the top management without much delay,” a top BCCI official said.

Meanwhile, the Indian team is all set to lock horns with England in the 2nd Test match at Lord’s. The first Test ended in a draw after Day 5 was washed out due to rain; when India needed 157 more runs to win with 9 wickets in hand. The Test series consists of 5 matches and the final encounter will begin on September 10.

Ravi Shastri Led Management Also Requested For An Additional Player But The Selectors Denied The Request

BCCI has stepped in to clear the air and stop an alleged “communication gap” between the team management and the selection committee.

There have been disagreements and rifts between the two parties over the course of the past few months, and Jay Shah and Sourav Ganguly have stepped in to nip out any issues in the bud. To gauge concerns, the BCCI themselves have opened a channel of communication with the Virat Kohli and Co. and the Ravi Shastri-led team management to ensure smooth sailing during the ongoing India-England series.

Prithvi Shaw was dropped from the Test squad earlier in the year. | Photo Credit: PTI
Prithvi Shaw was dropped from the Test squad earlier in the year. | Photo Credit: PTI

Things got frosty again following Shubman Gill’s injury after the WTC final, which led to the team management in England asking for two openers (Prithvi Shaw and Devdutt Padikkal) as replacements.

BCCI and selectors had first decided against sending any replacements but eventually, Prithvi Shaw and Suryakumar Yadav were sent as covers. The duo is still in quarantine and will only be available from the third Test onwards.

The Ravi Shastri-led team management also requested for an additional player with Jayant Yadav and Devdutt Padikkal as options, but the selectors denied the request.

The two Mumbai batsmen were sent to the UK despite India having lost Washington Sundar and Avesh Khan to injury. Things could worsen for Virat Kohli and Co. with Shardul Thakur also nursing an injury.

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

Everything India Prepared Post WTC Final Fell In Place: KL Rahul

KL Rahul believes India started its five-match series against England on a fine note in Nottingham even as the first Test ended in a draw on Sunday as the 5th day’s play was washed out due to incessant rainfall.

Opener KL Rahul opened up on the takeaways from the opening Test against England, saying the Indian team’s preparation stints since the World Test Championship final in June has eventually paid off. The opening Test between India and England ended in a dull draw after rain washed out what had promised to be a humdinger of a final day on Sunday.

KL Rahul. (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
KL Rahul. (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

KL Rahul Said India Maintained Intensity Throughout The 1st Test And Felt Despite The Draw, India Had A Great Start

Virat Kohli-led India needed 157 more runs, in pursuit of 209, whereas Joe Root-led England also had a chance to win, requiring 9 more wickets. The second Test starts on August 12 (Thursday) at Lord’s.

“The way we went about our batting as well was pretty good. On a challenging pitch with the weather conditions forcing us to go in and out, it’s not easy to get our focus back but we held ourselves well,” Rahul said at the post-match press conference.

Joe Root
Joe Root Photograph: Sri Lanka Cricket

KL Rahul added that India maintained its intensity throughout the game to keep the host on the back-foot.

“I think the energy was great on the field and everything that we’ve prepared for over the last month and a half fell in place nicely. It’s a great start for the series for us and hopefully, we’ll keep improving,” Rahul said.

Joe Root, the MOM in the 1st Test, had failed to reach half-century in his last five Tests. But he scored 64 in the first innings and then came up with a masterful 109 helping England put up a much-improved batting show in their 2nd innings. He became the first to surpass the 1,000-mark this calendar year. He now has 1,064 Test runs in 2021.

KL Rahul Defends Jasprit Bumrah Saying He Has Been A Match Winner For India

Jasprit Bumrah has been a proven performer and teammate KL Rahul fails to understand why his nine-wicket match haul against England in the drawn opening Test is being perceived as a “comeback” for the Indian speedster. Asked how he feels about Jasprit Bumrah coming back to form, KL Rahul expressed his surprise at the question.

“Sir, I don’t know why you are saying that (Jasprit) Bumrah has made a comeback. Every time, in every game, in every condition he has proved himself and he is our number one bowler. Wherever he has played, he has been a match-winner for us. We are happy that he has done once again, what he does best,” Rahul said.

Jasprit Bumrah (Photo by PETER PARKS / AFP)
Jasprit Bumrah (Photo by PETER PARKS / AFP)

Having already spoken about his batting two days back, KL Rahul lauded the pace unit’s 20-wicket effort which was the major takeaway according to him.

“The way we bowled in the first innings and the discipline that we showed after losing the toss and bowling first (was a takeaway). It felt like the team which won the toss had an advantage and we bowled with a lot of discipline. How Shami and Bumrah started and how Shardul and Siraj continued, how all of them worked together and bowled in the right channels,” the soft-spoken opener explained.

There are times when pacers do get carried away in English conditions but what KL Rahul found impressive was how the Indian quartet remained in control.

“Sometimes the bowlers can get carried away when a lot is happening off the pitch and it says a lot about our bowling unit. There is a lot of experience in our bowling and they understand what exactly is expected of each one of them. Our pace bowling attack is the main reason why we qualified for the WTC finals.”

He also spoke about the batting unit doing well in challenging conditions with multiple rain breaks.

“It was a challenging pitch and weather conditions being as it was, going in and going out wasn’t easy for us to get our focus back. So it was great to see that we held our focus and in the field, I think our energy was great. Everything that we prepared for one and half months (post-WTC final) fell in place and hopefully we can keep getting better,” he was visibly satisfied.

On a personal front, KL Rahul said that he was happy playing Test cricket after more than two years as it is frustrating to sit out at times.

“From the last 2-3 series (away vs Australia and vs England in India), I have been sitting outside. The team was doing really well and I was very happy to be part of the team and seeing how we were beating teams in India and then Australia. So it was great to be part of it, but also very frustrating that opportunities weren’t coming. I kept waiting for my opportunity, so I am very happy that it came to England,” said Rahul, who prefers middle-order in traditional format.

Jasprit Bumrah ended the five-match Test series opener with an impressive performance, returning with a nine-wicket haul, including a five-wicket haul in England’s second essay.

India's Jasprit Bumrah fields during the third day of first test cricket match between England and India, at Trent Bridge in Nottingham, England, Friday, Aug. 6, 2021. AP Photo/Rui Vieira
India's Jasprit Bumrah fields during the third day of first test cricket match between England and India, at Trent Bridge in Nottingham, England, Friday, Aug. 6, 2021. AP Photo/Rui Vieira
/

KL Rahul Defends Jasprit Bumrah Saying He Has Been A Match Winner For India

KL Rahul came in defence of pacer Jasprit Bumrah after a reporter, at the post-match press conference, felt that the Indian pacer finally returned back to form. Indian opener KL Rahul was taken aback by a reporter’s question, at the post-match press conference, regarding Jasprit Bumrah’s form.

After the first Test between India and England, at Trent Bridge, Nottingham ended in a draw — with no play being possible on Day 5 due to rain — KL Rahul attended India’s post-match press meet and was puzzled when a reporter opined that Jasprit Bumrah finally came back to form.

KL Rahul. (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
KL Rahul. (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

KL Rahul Defends Jasprit Bumrah Saying He Has Been A Match Winner For India

Jasprit Bumrah ended the five-match Test series opener with an impressive performance, returning with a nine-wicket haul, including a five-wicket haul in England’s second essay.

The 27-year-old had not been at his usual best in the inaugural WTC final (returning wicketless), between India and New Zealand, and ended the first leg of IPL 2021 with sub-par performance, as per his standards, claiming 6 wickets in 7 games at 32. In addition, Jasprit Bumrah ended his ODI run in 2020 with only 3 wickets.

Jasprit Bumrah (Photo by PETER PARKS / AFP)
Jasprit Bumrah (Photo by PETER PARKS / AFP)

However, KL Rahul came in defense of India’s premier pacer and told at the press conference, “Sir, I don’t know why you are saying that (Jasprit) Bumrah has made a comeback. Every time, in every game, in every condition he has proved himself and he is our number one bowler. We are happy that he is doing what he is (has) been doing since he started playing Test cricket. Wherever he has played, he has been a match-winner for us. We are happy that he has done once again, what he does best.”

While Jasprit Bumrah has done decently, in patches, since 2020, he looked at his very best after a long time during the just-concluded first Test between India and England at Trent Bridge, Nottingham. He troubled the English batters with his extra pace, got the ball to move around, and bowled the right lengths to help India dismiss England twice in the series opener.

Rain Denies India Or England Victory

Virat Kohli-led India however, couldn’t go 1-0 up as Day 5 of the series opener got washed out. India needed 157 more runs, in pursuit of 209, whereas Joe Root-led England also had a chance to win, requiring 9 more wickets. The second Test starts on August 12 (Thursday) at Lord’s.

Joe Root
Joe Root Photograph: Sri Lanka Cricket

On Day 4, England skipper Joe Root led from the front with a superb counter-attacking hundred but Jasprit Bumrah’s five-wicket haul on the fourth day made India favourites to chase down the tricky target. It was Joe Root’s 21st Test hundred — a masterful 109 off 172 balls, that saw England put up a much-improved batting show, scoring 303 in 85.5 overs.

In the time left during the penultimate hour, India scored 52 for one with Stuart Broad dismissing KL Rahul (26 off 38 balls) with a beauty. Rohit Sharma and Cheteshwar Pujara were unbeaten on 12 each. However, persistent rain dashed all hopes of a result on Sunday.  India posted 278 runs in the first innings in response to England’s 183, taking a lead of 95 runs.

The visitors got off to a cautious start in the 2nd essay but eventually lost KL Rahul as Stuart Broad bowled an absolute peach of a delivery to dismiss the Indian batsman. KL Rahul had top-scored for India in the 1st innings, scoring 84.

1 2 3 21