Yuvraj Singh

Rahul Tewatia (Source: Cricbuzz)
Rahul Tewatia (Source: Cricbuzz)
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Rahul Tewatia Of Gujarat Titans Is Unconcerned With Price Tag Of INR 9 Crores

Rahul Tewatia, the all-rounder was bought for ₹9 crore in the Indian Premier League mega auction, conducted in February earlier this year. Among other high-profile signings for Gujarat Titans was all-rounder Rahul Tewatia, who was bought for INR 9 crore in the auction. However, Rahul Tewatia is not concerned with the price tag.

The 2022 edition of the Indian Premier League begins on March 26, with MS Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings taking on the Kolkata Knight Riders in the opening game of the tournament at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.

Rahul Tewatia
Rahul Tewatia [Image Credit: IPLT20]

Rahul Tewatia Wants To Fulfill Role Assigned By New Gujarat Titans Franchise

The upcoming edition of the IPL 2022 tournament sees an addition of two new franchises to the IPL roster; Lucknow Super Giants and Gujarat Titans. Both sides built their respective squads in the mega auction of the tournament, roping in star international and Indian players to their roster.

“My point of view is that, what is the point of taking pressure about these things? The team is showing belief in you and that is why they are ready to spend that kind of money on you. I don’t feel the pressure and it is just a case of trying to repay their faith. I just want to fulfill the role for which I was taken in the team and just work hard,” Tewatia said in a media interaction.

Hardik Pandya, Shubman Gill, Rashid Khan. (Photo: Twitter)
Hardik Pandya, Shubman Gill, Rashid Khan. (Photo: Twitter)

Gujarat Titans retained 3 players for a whopping 38 Crores; the most any franchise spent on retention on their top 3 players. Hardik Pandya and Rashid Khan were retained for INR 15 Crores each and Shubman Gill was retained for INR 8 Crores.

Apart from pacer Lockie Ferguson and spin all-rounder Rahul Tewatia, they also got pacer Mohammed Shami at a price of ₹6.25 Cr. They also got some good steals in form of Jason Roy (who opted out) (₹2 Cr) and Matthew Wade (₹2.4 Cr). They banked on quite a few all-rounders as the likes of Rahul Tewatia, Vijay Shankar, and Jayant Yadav.

Rahul Tewatia Feels The Role Of An All Rounder Is Important

Rahul Tewatia further said that he would need to shoulder a lot of responsibility when he comes out to bat during the upcoming Indian Premier League. Gujarat Titans start their IPL campaign against Lucknow Super Giants on March 28 at the Wankhede stadium.

“.. the role of an all-rounder is important and it is there in every team, the one who bat at 6-7-8 their role is very important, that they have less time and more opportunity to make an impact. It is an important role and we can put the team in a good position,” Tewatia said.

Gujarat Titans bagged Rahul Tewatia for a sum of Rs 9 crore. (Photo: BCCI)
Gujarat Titans bagged Rahul Tewatia for a sum of Rs 9 crore. (Photo: BCCI)

“If we bat first, we try to finish well and if we are chasing, we will try and see how we can get over the finish line, and we will prepare accordingly,” he elaborated.

Rahul Tewatia, whose favourite cricketer is former India swashbuckling all-rounder Yuvraj Singh; also said he was very keen to fulfill the “unfinished business” which was to win the coveted IPL Trophy.

Rahul Tewatia made his IPL debut in 2014, and since then has featured in a total of 48 matches, registered 521 runs. He has also scored a solitary half-century during his entire IPL career. Also, he has taken 32 wickets in the league.

Rahul Tewatia, who shot to IPL fame with a magical 31-ball 53 in a historic chase against Punjab in IPL 2020, has been sold for more than 20 times his base price of Rs 40 lakh at the mega IPL 2022 auction in Bengaluru. Gujarat Titans (GT) have signed Afghanistan’s Rahmanullah Gurbaz as a replacement for the England batter Jason Roy for the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022.

Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (Dinuka Liyanawatte/Reuters)
Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (Dinuka Liyanawatte/Reuters)
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Ajay Jadeja Feels Ajinkya Rahane And Cheteshwar Pujara’s Test Careers Are Over After Being Axed For Sri Lanka Tests

Ajay Jadeja thinks Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara’s Test careers are virtually over following their axing for the series against Sri Lanka at home. Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara were given a long rope in India’s Test side despite the two veterans going through a prolonged lean run in the last 2 years.

However, their underwhelming performances in the Test series against South Africa proved to be the final nail in the coffin. Both veteran players, who have been struggling for form in the last few seasons, were not picked in the squad for the two-match Test series against the Lankans. While announcing the decision, Chief Selector Chetan Sharma said that they can still make a comeback by playing well in domestic cricket.

Ajinkya Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara. Image Credits: Twitter
Ajinkya Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara. Image Credits: Twitter

Ajay Jadeja Doesn’t See Cheteshwar Pujara And Ajinkya Rahane Return

According to Ajay Jadeja, though, that seems next to impossible. Although Cheteshwar Pujara scored a fluent 83-ball 91 against Mumbai after being dropped from the two-match Test series against Sri Lanka. Ajinkya Rahane scored 129 and Sarfaraz Khan scored 275 as Mumbai scored 544/7 in the 1st innings. In reply, Cheteshwar Pujara failed to score in the 1st innings where Saurashtra scored only 220. Following on, Saurashtra managed 372/9.

Discussing the future of the two experienced batters, the former captain Ajay Jadeja said: “Both are single-format players, and when you leave them out of that one format, I don’t see them coming back. I hope I am wrong because these are stalwarts. They have played 80-90 Test matches. There is enough talent that is around. The next generation that has come has pushed them.”

Ajay Jadeja
Ajay Jadeja (Photo- Twitter)

If Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane do not play another Test, it will be the latest instance of senior players in Indian cricket not being able to leave on their own terms.

Debating the trend, wicketkeeper-batter Dinesh Karthik reflected: “It is a hard one. I don’t think in Indian cricket, over a period of time, many people have had the opportunity to say goodbye the way they wanted.

“It has always been a sad story.” That’s how it is going to be. There’s Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara for the moment. It will be somebody else later, and that’s how it’s always going to roll.”

In recent years, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Harbhajan Singh, Virender Sehwag and Zaheer Khan have been among the big names in Indian cricket who were dropped from the national squad before they announced their retirement.

Ajay Jadeja: Dropping Cheteshwar Pujara And Ajinkya Rahane After Losing One Series Is Unfair

While Ajay Jadeja doesn’t see a comeback in sight for the veteran Indian duo, he described the decision to drop Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara as unfair. According to the 51-year-old, the two experienced players were singled out for the loss in South Africa.

He elaborated in this regard: “It is sad. If it was done a year and a half ago, when India were still at the top and winning, I would have backed that decision. Dropping Rahane and Pujara after losing one series is unfair. Then you are singling out these two, and that’s not the way to build sides.”

Ajinkya Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ishant Sharma, and Wriddhiman Saha
Ajinkya Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ishant Sharma, and Wriddhiman Saha
BCCI had announced an 18-man squad for the two-match Test series against Sri Lanka. Ajinkya Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ishant Sharma and Wriddhiman Saha are the major names missing while KL Rahul and Washington Sundar miss out due to injury.
While Ajinkya Rahane scored 136 runs in three Tests at an average of 22.67 during the series in South Africa, Cheteshwar Pujara managed only 124 runs at an average of 20.67.
Sanjay Manjrekar | Sportzpics
Sanjay Manjrekar | Sportzpics

I Don’t Think The Price Tag Will Affect Ishan Kishan Too Much – Sanjay Manjrekar

Former India player Sanjay Manjrekar believes that the high price won’t make any impact on Ishan Kishan’s performance as he is high on confidence and the faith to buy him back would make him more secure in the team.

Notable that Ishan Kishan was bought by Mumbai Indians at a whopping price of 15.25 Cr as he became the second most expensive Indian player in the history of IPL auction. Manjrekar feels that Ishan Kishan is high in confidence and he won’t feel any added pressure with the price tag.

Sanjay Manjrekar

“Ishan Kishan is at peak of his powers”- Sanjay Manjrekar

“I don’t think the price tag will affect him too much because the team has shown great faith in him. I am sure it’s something they would have told him. When we talk bout huge price tags, bringing a lot of pressure, the player feels the pressure when the team is gambling on him. Someone like Nicholas Pooran (10.75 crores) can feel pressure,” Sanjay Manjrekar spoke to Star Sports.

“We saw how Yuvraj Singh, when he was sold for 14 crores, his own confidence went down. He was on the slide, Ishan Kishan is at the peak of the powers. He is at the same franchise, I don’t think the price tag is going to affect him. I don’t think Ishan Kishan will feel the pressure at all,” he added further.

Ishan Kishan
Ishan Kishan

Before the auction, Mumbai Indians retained 4 players in form of Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Suryakumar Yadav, and Kieron Pollard. Manjrekar feels that the franchise was desperate to get Ishan back at all costs since they couldn’t retain him with a restriction of only 4 players.

“Clearly what you can see is they retained four players. Rohit Sharma, Suryakumar Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah and Kieron Pollard. If they could retain 5, they would have retained Ishan Kishan. They were desperate to retain him but they couldn’t. But they were like, ‘Come what may, we will buy him back from the market,” Manjrekar said.

Ishan Kishan played 45 games for Mumbai Indians in 4 seasons as he scored 1133 runs with a strike rate of 138.50 which included 8 fifties. He played a key role in the 2020 season when they won their 5th IPL title.

Also read I Don’t See Anything Wrong – Rohit Sharma Laughs Off On Question On Virat Kohli’s Form

Harbhajan Singh, MS Dhoni Photo: © Reuters (Main Image)
Harbhajan Singh, MS Dhoni Photo: © Reuters (Main Image)
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I’ve No Complaints Against MS Dhoni, I Have Complaint To The BCCI: Harbhajan Singh

Harbhajan Singh, the former India spin legend opened up on the final stages of his international career and how the lack of support from the BCCI and ‘external factors’ pushed him out of the national reckoning despite the speed with which he was moving ahead as a bowler, following his retirement.

Not shy of taking names, Harbhajan Singh pointed out how MS Dhoni enjoyed unmatched support from the board unlike other players and how there’s a possibility of many villains should a biopic be made on his career someday.

Harbhajan Singh poses for a photograph ahead of a practice session © AFP
Harbhajan Singh poses for a photograph ahead of a practice session © AFP

Harbhajan Singh Has Been Good Friends With MS Dhoni

The remarks raised eyebrows and gave more credence to the rumours surrounding his alleged frosty relationship with MS Dhoni. However, in an exclusive conversation, Harbhajan Singh has dismissed any such notions and claims he in fact has been good friends with the legendary captain with which he won the 2007 T20 World Cup and 2011 ODI World Cup.

“Very nice. I am not married to him!” pat came Harbhajan’s reply when enquired about his rapport with Dhoni.

MS Dhoni (Image Credit: Twitter)
MS Dhoni (Image Credit: Twitter)

When pressed further on his recent comments on MS Dhoni, Harbhajan Singh said it’s not in his control how others interpret his quotes but did question the way things changed post-2012 – and not just for him but other star players of that era.

“See, everyone interprets a quote differently. I just wanted to convey that a lot of things could have been better post 2012. (Virender) Sehwag, me, Yuvraj (Singh), (Gautam) Gambhir could have retired playing for Indian team since all of them were active in IPL as well.

“It is ironical that the Champions of the 2011 team never played together again! Why? Only few of them played in 2015 World Cup, why?” he asked.

Harbhajan Singh said he doesn’t have any complaints against MS Dhoni and referred to the legendary wicketkeeper-batter as a “good friend”.

The 2011 World Cup-winning squad of India consisting of superstars like Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, MS Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh, and Zaheer Khan among others made India overwhelming favourites right from the start of the tournament. While contributions came from each individual, Yuvraj Singh had a stunning campaign in particular and swept the Man of the Tournament trophy for his 362 runs and 15 wickets.

Gautam Gambhir was one of the key architects of India’s historic win in the final with an unbeaten 97 off 122 balls. He set the stage for MS Dhoni to seal the victory with an iconic six in the penultimate over. MS Dhoni too played a crucial role in the final with his sublime 91 off 79 balls as he led from the front under pressure.

Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar, Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Munaf Patel, and S Sreesanth were the players who were part of the iconic final but never made it together in the XI for another game for India.

Harbhajan Singh Has No Complaints Against MS Dhoni But Has Complaints To The BCCI And Selectors Who Didn’t Do Justice To Their Roles

The 41-year-old does say that while he has no complaints against MS Dhoni, he does have a few questions for the BCCI and selectors of that time.

“No, not at all. I have no complaints against MS. In fact, he has been a good friend all these years. I have complaint to the BCCI, the sarkar (government) of that time. I call BCCI as sarkar! The selectors of that time didn’t do justice to their roles. They didn’t allow the team to be united,” he said.

Harbhajan Singh and MS Dhoni© AFP
Harbhajan Singh and MS Dhoni© AFP

“What was the point of bringing in new guys when the greats were still around and delivering? I once confronted the selectors on this and their reply was it wasn’t in their hands and then I asked why they are the selectors, then?” he added.

Harbhajan Singh has played a lot of cricket under MS Dhoni and was even a member of India’s two World Cup-winning squads – the 2007 T20 World Cup and the 2011 ODI World Cup. To be precise, Harbhajan Singh has played 31 Tests, 77 ODIs and 25 T20Is under MS Dhoni’s leadership. The off-spinner, however, slowly started to lose his spot to Ravichandran Ashwin post the 2011 World Cup.

Virat Kohli. Credit: Reuters Photo
Virat Kohli. Credit: Reuters Photo
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Virat Kohli Registers 14th ODI Duck; Goes Past Rahul Dravid And Rohit Sharma’s Tally

Virat Kohli was dismissed without scoring in the second ODI against and in South Africa at the Boland Park in Paarl on Friday. Former India captain Virat Kohli is not going through the best phases of his career.

The right-hander, who has already earned the status of a modern-day great from many experts, went past the likes of Rahul Dravid and Rohit Sharma in an unwanted list. Virat Kohli was dismissed for a fifth-ball duck.

 Virat Kohli fell for 0 for the 14th time in his ODI career on Friday (Reuters Photo)
Virat Kohli fell for 0 for the 14th time in his ODI career on Friday (Reuters Photo)

Virat Kohli Dismissed Without Scoring In 2nd ODI, Goes Past Rahul Dravid And Rohit Sharma’s Tally Of 13 Ducks In ODIs

Virat Kohli was dismissed without scoring in the second ODI against South Africa at the Boland Park in Paarl on Friday. This was the 14th duck in Virat Kohli’s ODI career. He went past Rahul Dravid, the current India head coach, and Rohit Sharma, the current India white-ball skipper. Both Rahul Dravid and Rohit Sharma have 13 ODI ducks to their names.

Rohit Sharma, Rahul Dravid
Rohit Sharma, Rahul Dravid. (Photo: BCCI)

Virat Kohli is currently joint fourth in the list of most ducks in 50-overs cricket by Indians along with Suresh Raina and Virender Sehwag. The top three in the list of most ducks registered by Indian batters batting between No.1 to 7 are Sachin Tendulkar (20), Yuvraj Singh (18), and Sourav Ganguly (16).

It was Virat Kohli’s 14th duck in One Day Internationals and Keshav Maharaj became the first spinner to dismiss Virat Kohli for a duck in the 50-over format. In the first ODI, Virat Kohli had achieved another milestone as became the Indian batsman with the most number of ODI runs away from home, surpassing Sachin Tendulkar.

MOST DUCKS FOR INDIA IN ODI CRICKET

  1. Sachin Tendulkar – 20 ducks
  2. Javagal Srinath – 19 ducks
  3. Anil Kumble – 18 ducks
  4. Yuvraj Singh – 18 ducks
  5. Harbhajan Singh – 17 ducks
  6. Sourav Ganguly – 16 ducks
  7. Zaheer Khan – 14 ducks
  8. Virat Kohli – 14 ducks
  9. Suresh Raina – 14 ducks
  10. Virender Sehwag – 14 ducks
  11. Rahul Dravid – 13 ducks
  12. Kapil Dev – 13 ducks

The 33-year-old, who stepped down as India’s Test captain and is playing the ongoing ODI series only as a batter after five years, was out for a five-ball duck when he tried to drive a Keshav Maharaj delivery but ended up providing a simple catch to the cover fielder.

Virat Kohli Also Equaled His Longest Streak Without An ODI Ton Since August 2019

Virat Kohli also equalled his longest streak (in terms of innings) without an ODI hundred. The second ODI marked the 17th straight occasion when he went without scoring a century. The last ODI hundred he scored was in West Indies in August 2019. The last time he went 17 innings without getting to three figures was between the 2011 World Cup in February to September of that same year.

Virat Kohli celebrates his last Test century during the second day of the second Test cricket match of a two-match series between India and Bangladesh at the Eden Gardens cricket stadium in Kolkata on November 23, 2019. (Photo by Dibyangshu SARKAR / AFP) /
Virat Kohli celebrates his last Test century (Photo by Dibyangshu SARKAR / AFP)

If Virat Kohli doesn’t score a hundred in the third and final ODI against South Africa, then it will be his longest streak without an ODI ton.

Virat Kohli’s lean patch is not only restricted to white-ball cricket. In fact, it is more prominent in Tests. The prolific right-hander is averaging well under 30 in the last couple of years and his last hundred came in November 2019 against Bangladesh, which incidentally was his last international century.

India lost the second ODI by 7 wickets to the Proteas, who have taken an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series. The third and final ODI will be played on Sunday, January 23 at the Newlands in Cape Town.

India batted first and put up 287 for 6 as Rishabh Pant top-scored with 85 while KL Rahul contributed 55. In response, South African openers Janneman Malan and Quinton de Kock added 132 for the opening wicket as the Proteas eased to victory by seven wickets. Janneman Malan was the home team’s top-scorer with 91 off 108 while his senior opening partner Quinton de Kock made 78 off 66 balls.

Brief Score: 2nd ODI: South Africa 288 for 3 (Malan 91, de Kock 78) beat India 287 for 6 (Rishabh Pant 85, KL Rahul 55, Shamsi 2-57) by seven wickets

Rohit Sharma, left, and Ravichandran Ashwin (Agencies)
Rohit Sharma, left, and Ravichandran Ashwin (Agencies)
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Dilip Vengsarkar Would Appoint Rohit Sharma Or Ravichandran Ashwin As A Stop Gap Test Skipper

Dilip Vengsarkar reckons anyone amongst Rohit Sharma and Ravichandran Ashwin should be India’s new Test skipper while the former captain and Indian batting legend Sunil Gavaskar alongside India’s 2011 World Cup hero Yuvraj Singh are batting for star wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant, who slammed a hundred in the final Test, to take over as the new Test captain.

Indian cricket is in the midst of a massive debate regarding who should be the next Test captain of India post-Virat Kohli vacating the post. At the moment, sources point towards Rohit Sharma — who is already India’s white-ball captain in Virat Kohli’s place — being the top favourite for the position. Rohit Sharma was appointed as the vice-captain of India’s Test side before the tour of South Africa before a hamstring injury ruled him out.

Dilip Vengsarkar file image | Sandeep Shetty / IPL/ SPORTZPICS
Dilip Vengsarkar file image | Sandeep Shetty / IPL/ SPORTZPICS

Dilip Vengsarkar Would Appoint Rohit Sharma Or Ravichandran Ashwin As A Stop Gap Skipper And Groom The Future Captain

Former India skipper Dilip Vengsarkar, though, recommends that, for now, anyone amongst Rohit Sharma or Ravichandran Ashwin should be the new skipper of India’s Test team, as Rishabh Pant and opener KL Rahul aren’t yet ready for the job.

“I would appoint Rohit or Ashwin as a stop-gap captain and groom the future captain. Right now, you need somebody with captaincy experience and an assured place in the Test side. Rohit and Ashwin have established themselves in Test cricket,” Dilip Vengsarkar said.

“Pant, Rahul, or Shreyas (Iyer) need another year before they’ll be ready for the job. Pant has proved his mettle but needs to work on his shot selection. Till then, either of them can be asked to captain India in the white-ball format, and be the vice-captain in Tests. Those ways, they’ll get to observe and learn how to lead the Indian team,” Dilip Vengsarkar added.

Ravichandran Ashwin, Rohit Sharma
Ravichandran Ashwin, Rohit Sharma

Back in 2007, Dilip Vengsarkar, who was then the chairman of the selection committee, and his panel had appointed then veteran leg-spinner Anil Kumble as the Test captain for the series against Pakistan, when everyone thought MS Dhoni would be appointed for the job.

“We wanted to give some more time to Dhoni before he took the Test captaincy. He was already the white-ball captain, and we wanted him to learn a few things by following Kumble closely. Kumble led India superbly in that period,” Dilip Vengsarkar recalled.

The 116-Test veteran blamed the previous selection committees over the years for the leadership crisis in Indian cricket following Virat Kohli’s exit as captain.

“It has been caused over the years by the selectors’ lack of vision in grooming a captain for the future. Like we groomed Dhoni, they just haven’t identified the right man to replace Kohli as a captain. I just couldn’t understand why Shikhar Dhawan was named as the captain of India’s tour of Sri Lanka last year,” Dilip Vengsarkar opined.

Virat Kohli’s decision to retire comes after India was defeated by South Africa in the Cape Town Test by 7 wickets. The tourists slumped from taking a 1-0 lead to lose the series 2-1. The 33-year-old led India in 68 games and won 40, becoming the country’s most successful Test captain in the process.

Milind Rege Mentions Rohit Sharma Is His Choice As Test Skipper And Is Critical Of KL Rahul’s Captaincy In the 2nd Test

KL Rahul led India in the second South Africa Test after Virat Kohli missed the match due to injury (upper back spasms). KL Rahul is also leading India in the three one-day matches in South Africa after Rohit Sharma failed to recover from an injury, missing both Test and ODI series.

“Rohit is my choice. He’s still got a lot of cricket in him. By virtue of being the best batsman in the team today, he’s a certainty in the side. He’s got the tactical skills for captaincy. He’s a good man-manager. He’s an experienced, cool, responsible guy. All this talk about giving captaincy to someone for a decade is nonsense,” said former Mumbai captain and chief selector Milind Rege.

Milind Rege too was critical of KL Rahul’s captaincy during the second Test against South Africa at Wanderers, which India lost.

“Captaining India is not easy. Rahul, I thought, was found wanting as a captain. His inexperience of captaining a team — leading an IPL team is completely different to captaining a side in a Test match — cost us dear. You could’ve waited before asking him to lead the team in a Test. A vice-captain doesn’t need to automatically become the captain,” Rege explained.

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

Rishabh Pant, though, has his backers.

“This is the perfect time to make him Test captain. He’s 24, and in fine form and could be a long-term option. Captaincy might also bring out the best in him,” said ex selector Sarandeep Singh.

Ajinkya Rahane has captained India in 6 Tests, remaining unbeaten with 4 wins and 2 draws. Ajinkya Rahane was last appointed as the captain of the Indian team for the first Test against New Zealand in November 2021, as Virat Kohli had been rested. But KL Rahul, who had replaced Ajinkya Rahane as India’s Test vice-captain, stood in for the Delhi-born Virat Kohli when he was injured for the 2nd Test against and in South Africa.

Virat Kohli, Image Source : AP IMAGE
Virat Kohli, Image Source : AP IMAGE
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Sachin Tendulkar Congratulates Virat Kohli On His Successful Stint As A Test Captain

Virat Kohli who stepped down as the Test captain was congratulated by legendary former Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar, an ex-skipper himself, and currently, the leading ODI and Test run-getter and the batsman who has scored most tons.

Virat Kohli on Saturday announced that he is stepping down as the captain of the Indian Test team. Last year, the 33-year-old had stepped down as the T20I captain and then he was removed as the ODI leader as the selectors wanted one captain for the white-ball format.

Virat Kohli and Sachin Tendulkar [Image Courtesy: Twitter]
Virat Kohli and Sachin Tendulkar [Image Courtesy: Twitter]

Sachin Tendulkar Congratulated Virat Kohli For His Successful Stint As Captain Praising Him For Giving 100%

Virat Kohli on Saturday stunned the cricking world with his sudden decision of relinquishing captaincy in Tests. His decision comes after Team India lost the 3-match Test series to South Africa 2-1. Back in 2014, he led India for the first time in the longest format of the game after which he took the team to newer heights in the next seven years. Yuvraj Singh and Mayank Agarwal took to social media site Twitter and praised him.

“Congratulations on a successful stint as a captain, @imVkohli. You always gave 100% for the team and you always will. Wishing you all the very best for the future,” tweeted Sachin Tendulkar.

Meanwhile, India batter Mayank Agarwal took to his Twitter and posted some pictures with Virat Kohli and wrote, “Congratulations @imVkohli on a fantastic term as captain. It was an absolute honour playing under your leadership. Someone who led by example. You have created a winning mentality in everyone. Your passion and dedication to the game are an inspiration. Thank you, Skips.”

Yuvraj Singh. (Photo by Marty Melville/Getty Images)
Yuvraj Singh. (Photo by Marty Melville/Getty Images)

Former India batter Yuvraj Singh also wrote, “It’s been a remarkable journey King Kohli @imVkohli! Very few have been able to achieve what you have. Gave his all and played like a true champion each time. May you grow from strength to strength! Onwards and upwards.”

Virat Kohli led in 68 Test matches out of which the team registered victory in 40 games. 17 of them ended in a draw and lost 11 face-offs. Virat Kohli won 40 matches, which is 13 more than MS Dhoni. Virat Kohli captained India in 25 series. He won 18, lost six, and drew one series. Under him, India won 16 away Tests – the most for India, ahead of Sourav Ganguly who had won 11.

Virat Kohli Resigns As Most Successful Indian Test Skipper

Virat Kohli holds the record for most Test appearances as India Test captain (68) and he also holds the record for most Test wins by an Indian captain (40). Only Graeme Smith, Ricky Ponting, and Steve Waugh have won more matches than Kohli as captain in Test cricket.

Announcing his decision on Twitter to leave Test captaincy, Kohli said: “It’s been 7 years of hard work, toil, and relentless perseverance every day to take the team in the right direction. I’ve done the job with absolute honesty and left nothing out there. Everything has to come to a halt at some stage and for me as Test Captain of India, it’s now.”

“There have been many ups and also some downs along the journey, but never has there been a lack of effort or lack of belief. I have always believed in giving my 120 percent in everything I do, and if I can’t do that, I know it’s not the right thing to do. I have absolute clarity in my heart and I cannot be dishonest to my team.”

Virat Kohli with MS Dhoni Aijaz Rahi / AP
Virat Kohli with MS Dhoni Aijaz Rahi / AP

“I want to thank the BCCI for giving me the opportunity to lead my country for such a long period of time and more importantly to all the teammates who bought into the vision I bad for the team from day one and never gave up in any situation. You guys have made this journey so memorable and beautiful.”

“To Ravi Bhai and the support group who were the engine behind this vehicle that moved us upwards in Test Cricket consistently, you all have played a massive role in bringing this vision to life. Lastly, a big thank you to MS Dhoni who believed in me as a Captain and found me to be an able individual who could take Indian Cricket forward,” he added.

Virat Kohli had first led the side in Test cricket in 2014 against Australia. His last game as captain was the Cape Town Test in South Africa, which India lost by seven wickets. Filling the shoes of MS Dhoni was not going to be easy, but Virat Kohli took leadership by storm, and quickly, he cemented himself as one of the best thinkers the country has seen in Test cricket.

The leadership also brought out the best in Virat Kohli and it saw the batter registering seven double-centuries in the longest format of the game. Virat Kohli also holds the record for scoring most Test centuries (20) as India captain.

Rishabh Pant
Rishabh Pant
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Ravi Shastri Reckons Rishabh Pant’s Unbeaten 100 Was Simply Magnificent And Entertaining

Ravi Shastri gave fans a glimpse of what it would have been like had he called Rishabh Pant’s century on Day 3 of the Cape Town Test against South Africa. No one electrifies the audience with his words like Ravi Shastri. As India’s head coach or as a commentator, every time Ravi Shastri is on the microphone, entertainment is guaranteed.

Both times India lifted the World Cup – in 2007 and 2011 – Ravi Shastri was on the microphone to make the occasion memorable. Ravi Shastri made Yuvraj Singh’s six sixes off Stuart Broad all the more epic.

Ravi Shastri. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Ravi Shastri. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Ravi Shastri: Rishabh Pant Ton Was Simply Magnificent And Entertaining

Although he may not have returned to the commentary box, not yet, Ravi Shastri gave fans a glimpse of what it would have been like had he called Rishabh Pant’s century on Day 3 of the Cape Town Test against South Africa. On Twitter, Ravi Shastri put out a congratulatory message for Rishabh Pant, which if read in one go, would remind fans of his glory days in the commentary box.

“Pant dazzles with a hundred of sheer daring brilliance and class. Simply magnificent young man. What an entertainer,” Shastri tweeted.

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

Ravi Shastri has been very vocal about Rishabh Pant and his batting heroics. When the India wicketkeeper had tested positive for Covid-19 back during the tour of England, upon rejoining the team, Ravi Shastri welcomed Rishabh Pant back with a garland. Following his exploits in Australia and at home against England last year, Ravi Shastri had spoken highly of the wicketkeeper batter.

“At 21, 22, or 23, I had similar success, so I can relate to as I scored hundreds overseas. What you can never take away is exuberance of youth. It’s only when the baggage comes of being a known quantity and that’s when life starts,” Shastri had told reporters.

“Rishabh Pant, he came in after IPL with a lot of baggage and that showed in his size and he had to lose that (weight) which he did. He worked his backside off. I can tell you that he has trained harder than anyone else, and results are not just for him to see but for world to see.”

Only eight days after being slammed for his shot against Lungi Ngidi in the Johannesburg Test, Rishabh Pant registered his fourth Test century in Cape Town.

Rishabh Pant Hits 4th Ton But India Manages Only 198 In The 2nd Innings

The 24-year-old batter scored an unbeaten 100 off 139 balls on Thursday (13 January). However, India was all out for only 198 in 67.3 overs as the remaining batters put up an insipid display. This would arguably go down as one of Rishabh Pant’s finest centuries given the conditions he scored these runs in.

After Rishabh Pant’s unbeaten 100, the next best score was Virat Kohli’s 29, which gives an idea of how tough batting was for the Indians. At Lunch on Day 4 of the third Test, South Africa is at 171/3 and they need 41 runs to beat India and claim a series win at the Newlands in Cape Town.

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

With an unbeaten 100-run knock, Rishabh Pant entered the record books among keeper-batters. The left-hander is the first Asian keeper-batsman to score a hundred in South Africa. He is also the first Indian keeper to score a ton in South Africa, England, and Australia.

South Africa vice-captain Temba Bavuma is unbeaten along with Rassie van der Dussen while for India, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah, and Mohammed Shami picked one wicket each.

Sachin Tendulkar
Sachin Tendulkar Photograph: Niklas Halle’n/AFP/Getty Images
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Sachin Tendulkar Won’t Be A Part Of Upcoming Legends League Cricket (LLC) Starting On January 20

Sachin Tendulkar, former legendary Indian batsman is not a part of the upcoming Legends League Cricket (LLC) as confirmed by SRT Sports Management Private Limited on Saturday. The LLC is a professional cricket league meant for retired players, and it has recently announced its Indian squad for the league.

A promotional video featuring actor Amitabh Bachchan shows that Sachin Tendulkar is also going to be a part of the league, which the official spokesperson of SRT Sports rejected.

Sachin Tendulkar. (Photo Source: Twitter
Sachin Tendulkar. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Sachin Tendulkar Won’t Play In Legends League Cricket 2022; He Led India Legends To Victory In The Inaugural Road Safety World Series

Starting January 20, the LLC will feature three star-packed teams which will lock horns with each other. Sachin Tendulkar has confirmed that he won’t be part of the upcoming legend’s league cricket which will kickstart on Jan 20 in Oman. Shortly after Sachin Tendulkar’s clarification, Amitabh Bachchan posted an apology for the previous tweet and posted a corrected promotional clip for the event.

Irfan Pathan. (Photo Source: AFP)
Irfan Pathan. (Photo Source: AFP)

“The news about @sachin_rt’s participation in ‘Legends League Cricket’ is not true. The organizers should refrain from misleading cricket fans and Mr. Amitabh Bachchan,” said the official spokesperson of SRT Sports Management Pvt. Ltd.

Sachin Tendulkar had led India Legends to victory at the inaugural Road Safety World Series 2020-21. India Legends beat Sri Lanka Legends in the final of the tournament to lift the inaugural title.

Yusuf Pathan, Subramaniam Badrinath, and Irfan Pathan also tested positive for COVID after playing in the tournament for India Legends besides Sachin Tendulkar who was the first person to test Covid positive. The Master Blaster led the eventual winner-India Legends and ended as the side’s leading run-getter with 233 runs.

India Maharajas Team To Consist Of Yuvraj Singh, Virender Sehwag, And Harbhajan Singh Among Others

The Indian team will be represented by the likes of Yuvraj Singh, Virender Sehwag, Harbhajan Singh, and the Pathan brothers — Irfan and Yusuf. The team will be called The India Maharajas which will see them compete against some other star players from other nations.

LLC had earlier announced the Asia team as ‘Asia Lions’ which comprises mostly former Pakistani and Sri Lankan players including Shoaib Akhtar, Shahid Afridi, Sanath Jayasuriya, Muttiah Muralitharan, Chaminda Vaas, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Azhar Mahmood, Upul Tharanga, Misbah-ul-Haq, Mohammed Hafeez,  Mohammed Yousuf, Umar Gul and Asghar Afghan.

Shoaib Akhtar, Sanath Jayasuriya (Image Source: Twitter)
Shoaib Akhtar, Sanath Jayasuriya (Image Source: Twitter)

Regarding the World Giants team, from South Africa, the trio of Jonty Rhodes, Herschelle Gibbs, and Morne Morkel is set to feature in the tournament, much to the excitement of all fans. Interestingly, the World Giants team will have two of the most explosive batsmen who have ever graced the game of cricket in form of Chris Gayle and Kevin Pietersen. While Brett Lee is set to lead the pace attack, the side will also have two world-class left-arm spinners – Monty Panesar and Daniel Vettori.

All the matches of the tournament will take place at Muscat’s Al Amerat Cricket Stadium. The venue had also hosted six games in the 2021 Men’s T20 World Cup. The tournament will take place from January 20 to January 29.

India Maharajas

Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh, Harbhajan Singh, Irfan Pathan, Yusuf Pathan, Subramaniam Badrinath, RP Singh, Pragyan Ojha, Naman Ojha, Manpreet Gony, Hemang Badani, Venugopal Rao, Munaf Patel, Sanjay Bangar, Nayan Mongia, and Amit Bhandari.

Asia Lions

Shoaib Akhtar, Shahid Afridi, Sanath Jayasuriya, Muttiah Muralitharan, Kamran Akmal, Chaminda Vaas, Romesh Kaluwitharana, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Azhar Mahmood, Upul Tharanga, Misbah-ul-Haq, Mohammed Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Mohammed Yousuf, and Umar Gul, Asghar Afghan.

World Giants

Jonty Rhodes, Chris Gayle, Herschelle Gibbs, Brett Lee, Morne Morkel, Monty Panesar, Kevin Pietersen, Daniel Vettori (few names yet to be revealed).

MS Dhoni (Image Credit: Twitter)
MS Dhoni (Image Credit: Twitter)
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Rahul Dravid Once Scolded MS Dhoni For Being Dismissed After Playing A Bad Shot Which Changed MS Dhoni: Virender Sehwag

Rahul Dravid, the new head coach had captained MS Dhoni for a brief period of time in international cricket. In 2006-07, Rahul Dravid had reportedly scolded MS Dhoni for playing a rash shot. According to Virender Sehwag, the incident changed the former keeper MS Dhoni, who remains the only skipper to win all 3 ICC titles-the T20I World Cup (2007), the ODI World cup (2011), and the Champions Trophy (2013).

From being a flamboyant wicket-keeper batsman who liked to play aggressive shots to becoming one of the finest finishers the game has ever produced, MS Dhoni went through a big transformation in his career. While it was the current BCCI President Sourav Ganguly who gave him his first break into the national team, according to Virender Sehwag, MS Dhoni’s big transformation happened under Rahul Dravid.

Rahul Dravid had reportedly scolded MS Dhoni in 2006-07 after the latter played an irresponsible shot  |  Photo Credit: BCCL
Rahul Dravid had reportedly scolded MS Dhoni in 2006-07 after the latter played an irresponsible shot  |  Photo Credit: BCCL

Rahul Dravid Once Scolded MS Dhoni For Being Dismissed After Playing A Bad Shot And The Incident Changed MS Dhoni: Virender Sehwag

MS Dhoni didn’t take long in becoming a household name in the Indian cricketing spectrum. After making his debut in 2005, he first became the Indian cricket team’s skipper in 2007 and lifted the inaugural T20I World Cup with some exciting youngsters and veterans playing under him.

With every passing year, however, the Jharkhand-born cricketer became more and more responsible as a batsman.  Speaking of the way MS Dhoni brought about a change in his batting, Virender Sehwag revealed that it was all down to an incident where the wicket-keeper batsman was scolded by Rahul Dravid for playing an irresponsible shot in 2006-07.

MS Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh PTI
MS Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh PTI

“He was given the finisher’s role under Rahul Dravid, who once scolded him for getting out after playing a bad shot. I think that incident changed him. So around 2006-07, he transformed and started taking responsibility of finishing matches,” Sehwag was quoted as saying.

Rahul Dravid is generally very calm and collected as a person. Both Rahul Dravid and MS Dhoni have immense respect for each other and they have often spoken about it in public forums as well.  Over the years, MS Dhoni has been at the centre of many match-winning finishes for the Indian team. More often than not, it was left-handed southpaw Yuvraj Singh who used to accompany him in those run chases.

“He (Dhoni) formed an unbelievable partnership with Yuvraj when we registered that record of 16 successive chases,” Sehwag added.

When MS Dhoni stepped aside as the captain from all formats, in early 2017, Virat Kohli stepped up and took over the reins from his senior cricketer. MS Dhoni, however, remained a vital cog of Virat Kohli-led India’s limited-overs side, having retired from Tests in late 2014, till he played his last match in the 2019 ODI World Cup and decided to hang up his boots the following year on Independence day.

Virender Sehwag Recollects Sourav Ganguly Demoted Himself In The Batting Order Sacrificing His Spot To Virender Sehwag And Then MS Dhoni

Virender Sehwag also lauded Sourav Ganguly for sacrificing his spot in the team for MS Dhoni. Sourav Ganguly had earlier done the same for Virender Sehwag by giving his opening spot to the Nawab of Najafgarh. On seeing MS Dhoni’s potential to deliver higher in the batting order, Sourav Ganguly further demoted himself in order to make way for the lad from Jharkhand.

“Those days (2005) we were experimenting with pinch-hitters. Dada (Ganguly) had planned that Dhoni would get 3-4 chances at No. 3. If it works then fine, otherwise they would try someone else. Very few captains do it. He first sacrificed his (opening) spot for me and then he gave his slot to Dhoni. If Dada had not done that, Dhoni might not have become such a big player,” Sehwag highlighted.

Virender Sehwag
Virender Sehwag (Image Credit: Twitter)

MS Dhoni did win hearts with a little gesture of his during Sourav Ganguly’s retirement game in 2008 when he voluntarily left the field, allowing the Prince of Kolkata to lead the Indian team for one last time during a Test match against Australia in Nagpur.

It was under Sourav Ganguly’s captaincy that MS Dhoni made his international debut in 2005. He has also been promoted up the batting order very early in his career where he played knocks like 183 against Sri Lanka and 148 against Pakistan.

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