KKR vs DC: 3 takeaways from the twenty-sixth encounter

KKR vs DC: 3 takeaways from the twenty-sixth encounter

Delhi Capitals (DC) registered a convincing win by 7 wickets over Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) at Eden Gardens, Kolkata on Friday, April 12. 

Delhi Capitals won the toss and elected to field first. Both the teams have changed their playing XI; while Keemo Paul came in place of Lamichhane in Delhi, Lockie Ferguson, Joe Denly and Carlos Brathwaite replaced Narine, Gurney, and Lynn in Kolkata’s playing XI.

Asked to bat, Kolkata was hoping for a flying start but debutant Joe Denly went for a golden duck. Both Shubman Gill and Robin Uthappa tried their best score freely and managed to put up 41 within the powerplay. However, Rishabh Pant’s brilliance sent Uthappa in the dugout. Gill scored his second IPL fifty off 34 balls but other failed to capitalize apart from Russell; who scored 45 off 21 before his dismissal. Kolkata ended up scoring 178 on board after 20 overs.

Chasing the total, both Shikhar Dhawan and Prithvi Shaw started brilliantly. However, that didn’t stay long as Prithvi Shaw fell for 14 while in-form Shreyas Iyer also got out for 6 within the powerplay, putting up 57 runs. Later a 105-run partnership between Shikhar Dhawan and Rishabh Pant helped them to win the game comfortably.

Here are the three talking points of the game:

A slow start of Kolkata

With Sunil Narine and Chris Lynn’s absence, Kolkata Knight Riders opened their inning with a new opening pair. In-form Shubman Gill opened the game alongside new player Joe Denly. However, Denly went for a duck off the very first ball by Ishant Sharma. His pitched up delivery got an inside edge and uprooted the stump. 

Then, Robin Uthappa and Shubman Gill tried to steady the ship. Their rather defensive play cost Kolkata to put up more runs on board on the green surface. Uthappa took 30 balls to score 28. They both added 63 runs before Uthappa’s dismissal. Moreover, the situation didn’t change at all as they managed to score 122 after 15 overs until Andre Russell took the charge on his hand. His quickfire 21-ball 45, including three boundaries and four sixes, powered Kolkata to 178.

Also Read: The Fantasy Guide for MI vs RR

Russell was dismissed off the second delivery of the 19th over and Kolkata managed to score only 17 runs in the end which proved vital as well. Had he not dismissed at that time, Kolkata might have scored nearly 190 after 20 overs.

Failed to take wickets

Kolkata was defending 179 runs which were a decent competitive total. Chasing the target, Delhi lost their inform-opener Prithvi Shaw and captain Shreyas Iyer within the powerplay. But Shikhar Dhawan and Rishabh Pant built a steady partnership which Kolkata failed to break before 17.1 overs. No bowlers were able to restrict them. If they would able to dismiss them, the result could have been different.

Shikhar Dhawan and Rishabh Pant’s 105-run partnership

Delhi opener Shikhar Dhawan was not in a good form in the last couple of games. However, he started pretty well in yesterday’s match along with the other opener Prithvi Shaw. But Shaw couldn’t perform well as he fell for 14 and later their captain Shreyas Iyer also followed him.

Then, the pressure fell upon Shikhar Dhawan and Rishabh Pant. They tried to resurrect the innings but didn’t let the run rate slow down. Dhawan scored his 34th half-century off 32 balls. When they got set, it became difficult for the bowlers to get past them. They both added 105 runs in their chase before Pant got dismissed for 46 off 31, including 4 boundaries and 2 sixes.

However, Dhawan kept on smashing and remained unbeaten at 97 off 63 balls which included 11 fours and 2 sixes. His heroics took Delhi Capitals over the line with 7 balls to spare.

IPL 2019: Reasons why Delhi Capitals can win the title this year

The twelfth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is going to start from March 23. The tournament has got immense appreciation all over the world. Since its beginning in 2008, the IPL has tried to be the bridge between the domestic circuit and international games. 

However, the tournament has the ability to attract the people and topmost players from all the countries, take part in the league. After having started well in the first two seasons of the IPL, the Delhi Daredevils which is renamed now Delhi Capitals’ journey in the IPL has many ups and downs. They haven’t won the title so far. 

Meanwhile, there are many sides like of Chennai Super Kings, Mumbai Indians, Sunrisers Hyderabad who can win the title this year. But Delhi Capitals has a balanced team this year who will be guided by the former Australia player Ricky Ponting and they can pose a big hurdle for the other teams.

However, these could be the reasons for Delhi Capitals’ win IPL 2019:

Stable opening pair

Image Source – Times Now

The left-hand opener of India, Shikhar Dhawan has returned to the team after eleven long years. He is the sixth highest run-getter in IPL history who had a great outing for Sunrises Hyderabad last year where he scored 497 runs at an average of 38.23.

On the other hand, it is Prithvi Shaw, the under-19 world cup winning captain and the new batting sensation of India. Shaw has already made his debut for the country in Tests against West Indies where he scored 237 runs in three innings at an average of 118.5.

Delhi had many openers, from Jason Roy, Mayank Agarwal, Quinton De Kock to Gautam Gambhir but they were not able to contribute much. Because of that, Delhi suffered a lot – be it run chasing or putting up scores on board.

This year, Shikhar Dhawan’s inclusion will provide extra strength to the batting line up. However, it is expected that he and Prithvi Shaw will play crucial roles in their side’s victory.

Long batting line up

Image Source – IPLT20.com

Along with Shikhar Dhawan and Prithvi Shaw, Delhi has a strong batting line this year. Under-19 World Cup winning team’s opener Manjot Kalra, India’s wicketkeeper-batter Rishabh Pant, Shreyas Iyer, Colin Munro are there to strengthen the middle-order. 

Shreyas Iyer amassed 411 runs in 14 matches while Rishabh Pant smashed 684 runs in 14 matches in the last season. Both of them have been in great form and they will try to continue their form this year as well. Apart from them, they have Chris Morris also; who is a wonderful all-rounder. His inclusion not only helps them in batting but in bowling as well.

Sufficient death bowlers

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It says that T20 is a batsman’s game but if you want to win then you must have experienced death over bowlers in your team. Like the other teams, Delhi too has a strong bowling unit also. They have some renowned bowlers from all over the world, like Kagiso Rabada, Trent Boult, Chris Morris, Sandeep Lamichhane, and Amit Mishra etc.

All of the above bowlers are able to take wickets in the crucial time as well as they have the ability to stop the run-flow. Now, only time can tell whether Delhi can win the title with these aggressive batsmen and experienced bowlers or will IPL 2019 be just another season for them.

Also Read: Top 3 contenders of IPL 2019

Turner helps Australia chase down record target

Turner helps Australia chase down record target

If the cricketing realm was still unsure of Ashton Turner’s skills as an international player, it was brought to the fore in the perfect manner during the fourth ODI between Australia and India. 

In a match where two players smashed tons and yet another two managed nineties, it was Turner’s decisive knock that was the most crucial as the Kangaroos chased down their highest target to win the game by 4 wickets. Turner ended with 84 off only 43 deliveries, an innings that was laced with five fours and six sixes.

Replacing the injured Marcus Stoinis, Turner walked in to bat after Australia were in a spot of bother. Despite Peter Hadscomb’s ton and Usman Khawaja’s 91, the pressure of chasing 359 was always going to be immense, but Turner ensured it was light work with some insane hitting. He attacked all of India’s frontline bowlers, sent the ball all across the stadium and helped his team draw level in the series.

The visitors had however gotten off to a poor start when Bhuvneshwar Kumar got the wicket of Aaron Finch in the very first over. Shaun Marsh was then sent back in quick succession by Jasprit Bumrah and Australia were reeling at 12 for 2. However, Handscomb and Khawaja got together to steady the ship.

The pair took their time by dealing in singles and twos and only hitting the bad balls to the ropes. However, the arrival of the fifth bowlers Kedar Jadhav and Vijay Shankar allowed the batters to get set and the duo soon started coming into their own. Handscomb, in particular, was too harsh on Jadhav as he smashed him for 19 runs in the 33rd over, which helped him move into the 90s.

However, Khawaja was soon dismissed as Bumrah hit him with a wonderful bouncer. In arrived Glenn Maxwell, who hit two fours in the first five deliveries he faced. Handscomb at the other end brought up his first ODI hundred and with Maxi in fine form too, Australia would have fancied their chances.

However, soon, Maxwell was trapped LBW in front to hamper their progress but in walked in Turner, who was to pitch in with possible career-defining innings. Playing only his second game, the player kept his nerves and his calm to ensure a memorable win for the side.

The batter used his height to great advantage to nullify the threat of the spinners and brought his power to the fore when the pacers came in. Bhuvi was hit for 20 runs off his eight over as Australia needed only 42 to win off the last 30 deliveries. After being given a reprieve by Rishabh Pant when he was on 38, Turner was offered another chance when both Jadhav and Shikhar Dhawan dropped him in the 47th over. It summed up the story of the match.

Also Read: Smith and Warner to play IPL

Earlier, after winning the toss and surprisingly batting, India got off to a fine start as both their openers came back to form. While Rohit Sharma was out for 95, Dhawan struck his 16th ODI ton that helped India post 358 for 9. Dhawan got into rhythm early, regularly hitting fours and finding gaps. He managed to strike at run a ball from the very start, which allowed Rohit to settle down and get a feel of the track.

The openers were in attacking mode after the early jitters, with the Delhi player attacking the bowlers and Rohit slowly coming into his own.

Even after his dismissal, the duo of KL Rahul and Dhawan ensured there was no drop in momentum, and their efforts helped India post a mammoth target. However, Turner’s carnage meant that the hosts were unable to get across the line.

Brief scores: India 358/9 in 50 overs (Shikhar Dhawan 143, Rohit Sharma 95; Pat Cummins 5-70) lost to Australia 359/6 in 47.5 overs (Peter Handscomb 117, Usman Khawaja 91, Ashton Turner 84*; Jasprit Bumrah 3-63) by four wickets.

Predicted XI and possible change for the second T20I

Predicted XI and possible change for the second T20I

Team India will be looking to mark a comeback into the three-match T20I series after a disastrous loss in the first game against New Zealand. The Rohit Sharma-led team were outplayed and had succumbed to a massive 80-run loss at Wellington. The team, however, is unlikely to make glaring changes for the upcoming match with only Shubman Gill expected to make his T20I debut. 

Here we look at the predicted XI for the second match at Auckland.

Rohit Sharma

Image Source – Rediffmail

The Indian skipper will be eager to provide a good start to the team. He has failed to get going in the last three international innings, having recorded only single-digit scores. The opener is a dangerous prospect at the top and Team India will rely on him once again.

Shikhar Dhawan

Image Source – Shikhar Dhawan

The left-hander has been getting starts but has not been able to convert them into match-winning scores. With Kohli being rested for the series, the responsibility is on the Indian openers to give them a sedate start at the top.

Shubman Gill

Image Source – cricbuzz.com

Though Vijay Shankar did play a good hand in the last T20I, in all probability he will be dropped for Gill, as the latter is a regular batter. The Punjab star was not able to impress in his maiden ODI outings but has enough firepower to score a big knock. The star is certainly in predicted XI for the second T20I.

Also Read: Players to watch out in the series

Rishabh Pant

Image Source – Times Now

The keeper, coming back into the team after not being selected for the ODIs, scored four from ten in the last game. However, he showed his potential in the IPL last year and Pant will be eager to replicate his form and seal a spot in the World Cup squad.

MS Dhoni

Image Source – India Today

Dhoni is in a good nick of form of late and managed to put his hand up in the last T20I as well. He managed to score 39 off 31 deliveries, striking five fours and a six in his stay at the crease.

Dinesh Karthik

Image Source – India Today

The third keeper in the team had shown good form in the series in Australia but has not been able to carry forward his run into the ODIs or T20Is against the Kiwis. He has the responsibility of finishing off the innings, something that he had done with ease for KKR last year.

Krunal Pandya

Image Source – Times Now

Pandya was average in the first game of the series, scoring 20 and finishing with 1 for 37 in his quota of overs. The left-arm spinner has shown off his magic for Mumbai Indians in the IPL, of which Rohit is the leader.

Hardik Pandya

Image Source – CricTracker.com

After being suspended due to off-field activities, Hardik was recalled for the last two ODIs against New Zealand and made a roaring comeback. However, he was woeful in the last game, conceding the maximum number of runs with the ball and managing just 4 runs. He will be an important member of the World Cup team and Hardik will be eager to correct his flaws.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar

Image Source – Sportskeeda

Bhuvi conceded runs at more than 11.5rpo in the first game and will be looking to bowl more economically. The Kiwi openers Tim Seifert and Colin Munro will be looking to attack him again, and he, in turn, will hope to send them back early.

Yuzvendra Chahal

Image Source – NDTV Sports

In the absence of Kuldeep, Chahal donned the main spinner’s hat in the last game, but he went for 35 runs in his four overs. The leg-spinner will hope to correct his mistakes and pick up more scalps.

Khaleel Ahmed

Image Source – dnaindia.com

The pacer has received a lot of chances in international cricket but has failed to latch on them. Khaleel has the habit of conceding many runs upfront and has not picked up many wickets either. The Indian camp however has backed him and the seamer will hope to repay the trust.

India’s predicted XI for first T20I against NZ

After a 4-1 win over New Zealand in the five-match ODI series, the Indian Team will be eager to wrap up the T20I series as well, with the first game being held on Wednesday at Wellington. Rohit Sharma will be leading the team in the absence of Virat Kohli, and here’s looking at the predicted XI of the Indian side.

Rohit Sharma

Rohit Sharma to lead as Virat Kohli will be rested for the last two ODIs
Image Source: @BCCI

In the absence of Kohli, Rohit will be leading the team. After helping India win the second and third ODIs, the player had a quiet in the last two games and will be eager to latch on to his opportunities on a small ground.

Shikhar Dhawan

Image Credit – NDTV.com

Dhawan was among the runs in the first two games of the ODI series but floundered from the third game. His early collapse in the fourth ODI triggered a collapse for the Indian batting unit and the left-hander will be eager to get back his scoring form.

Also Read: Fastest openers to reach 5000 ODI runs

Shubman Gill

Vijay Shankar, Shubman Gill replaces Pandya and Rahul in the India squad
Shubman Gill in action. ©ICC

Gill made his debut in the fourth ODI of the series but he had hardly anything to write home about as the side were reduced to only 92 runs. The Punjab star contributed only nine runs and could score another seven in the next ODI. Gill has been given a lot of backing from Kohli and he will be eager to leave the country with a string of good scores under his belt.

Rishabh Pant

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Pant was one of the best performers in the Test series that faced Australia but was not a part of the ODI sides that met Australia or New Zealand. In the lead up to the World Cup, Pant has a chance to cement his place in the squad with a good performance here.

MS Dhoni

MS Dhoni set to break Tendulkar's record, Kohli to overtake Dravid
Image Source – India Today

Dhoni enjoyed good outings in Australia and New Zealand, before getting injured. He was the Player of the Series against the Kangaroos and played a winning hand against the Kiwis as well. He was sharp behind the stumps as well, and his run out to dismiss James Neesham is still being spoken about.

Kedar Jadhav

Image Source – India Today

Jadhav has been effective with both bat and ball in the tours to Australia and New Zealand. He is dependable with the willow and is more than handy with the ball as well, with his off-spinners bamboozling the rivals repeatedly. He might be in direct competition with Krunal Pandya for a spot in the XI, but in all probability, Jadhav will hold on to his place.

Hardik Pandya

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Image Credit: BCCI

After being suspended for a few games due to off-field activities, Pandya scripted a decent comeback into the ODI team, with all-round contributions. Pandya was the hero with both bat and ball, and even earned a lot of praise from Kohli who said that Pandya improved the balance of the side.

Kuldeep Yadav

Image Source – India.com

Yadav once again had a successful ODI tour and grabbed four-wicket hauls in the first two games of the series. Though he was not among the wickets in the next two games and then sat out in the last ODI, Kuldeep is a match-winner and indispensable.

Yuzvendra Chahal

Image Source – DNA India

Chahal finished with nine wickets in the ODI series and will be keen to carry on his form in the T20Is as well.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar

Image Source – firstpost.com

In the absence of Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammad Shami, Bhuvi will be leading the Indian bowling attack. The seamer had an off-colour ODI series and will be eager to step up ahead of the World Cup.

Khaleel Ahmed

Khaleel Ahmed’s rapid rise in Indian cricket
Image Source – DNA India

Ahmed played only one ODI against New Zealand, which was when India were bowled out for 92 and hence he had nothing to bowl at. He went for 19 runs in his three overs and will hope for a change in fortunes.

Fastest Openers to reach 5,000 ODI Runs

Fastest Openers to 5,000 ODI Runs

Openers are crucial for the success of any cricketing team. Their job is to build a strong foundation for their team and navigate the early threats of the new ball.

Having a trustworthy opener a team can bank on at any given situation is surely a valuable asset, but only a few teams have been lucky to have such trustworthy openers. Here’s taking a look at some of the most iconic openers, who efficiently guided their team to victories and were the fastest to complete 5,000 ODI runs as an opener.

Hashim Amla

Even though the South African started his career very late, he did not lose time to catch up to his peers, scoring 5000 runs in a magnificent 100 innings, making him the fastest cricketer to reach the coveted number.

Way back in 2010, Amla was considered unsuitable for the ODIs, but the perceptions changed when the Proteas toured West Indies in 2010. It not only earned him a permanent spot in the line-up but has also helped him gain confidence and win many memorable games for his team.

Rohit Sharma

The other opener from India joined the list after his scintillating 111 that came against Pakistan in the 2018 Asia Cup in September last year. He is the fastest Indian opener to reach the milestone of 5,000 ODI runs, taking only 102 innings to reach the feat.

The Mumbaikar is the only batter in the world to have notched up three double centuries in ODIs. He, along with Dhawan, are the backbones for India in the format, with the runs they accumulate at the top acting as a cushion for the middle-order.

Shikhar Dhawan

India’s premier opener Shikhar Dhawan became the second-fastest Indian opener and the joint-fastest left-handed batter to achieve the feat of 5,000 runs in the first ODI against New Zealand. He needed only 118 innings to reach the mark, which came en route his unbeaten knock of 75 at Napier. After an iffy start to 2015, where he managed just 55 runs in 3 matches against Australia, Dhawan showed off his worth with an invaluable knock, during which he made history.

Sachin Tendulkar

The cricketing Master is the fourth fastest opener to complete this milestone, reaching 5000 runs in 119 innings, which is just one of the many records that he made in his illustrated career. As a 16-year old, he was in the news from his first match against Pakistan, where he faced the likes of Waqar Younis and Wasim Akram with ease and continued his onslaught for the next 24 years.

Tillakaratne Dilshan

The Sri Lankan stalwart took 121 games to reach the mark, and he is the only one in the fastest openers to get to 5,000 runs from his country. After Sanath Jayasuriya retired, he was the only trusted opener, who never hesitated to counter-attack or play his now-famous Dilscoops. His ability to hit big from the beginning surely helped his team on more occasions than one.

New Zealand v India 1st ODI: Five talking points

New Zealand v India 1st ODI: Five talking points


India entered the first ODI against New Zealand as favorites and the result was just a reestablishment of the fact. The world No. 2 aced the New Zealand exam as they clinched a comfortable 8-wicket win against the hosts. India’s newest and overall fastest entry into the 100-wicket club, Mohammad Shami was adjudged the Man of the Match. India now lead the five-match ODI by a 1-0 margin.

Shami’s accuracy with the new ball

India’s highest wicket-taker in the 2015 World Cup, Mohammad Shami is back in form right before the World Cup 2019. With the early wicket of Martin Guptill he entered into the 100 wicket club in ODIs, becoming the fastest Indian(56 matches) to do so. In his 2nd over, he dismissed New Zealand’s second opener, Colin Munro, as well.

Kuldeep-Chahal exploit New Zealand’s middle-order woes

The Indian spin duo successfully exposed New Zealand’s weak middle-order during Napier ODI. Kuldeep took the key wicket of Kane Williamson who scored 64 runs in New Zealand’s total of 157. Chahal took care of Ross Taylor and Tom Latham, who are otherwise considered to be good players of spin.

Milestones reached

Shikhar Dhawan scored an unbeaten 75 yesterday in the 1st ODI. Shami’s 3 for 19 fetched him the Man of the Match award. While Dhawan reached the milestone of 5000 ODI runs, Mohammad Shami became the fastest Indian to reach 100 ODI wickets. The previous best was Irfan Pathan’s record of 59 matches. Shami thus broke a 15-year-old record.

Sun stopped play

Sun-strike at the McLean Park on Wednesday. Photo: AFP

New Zealand were bowled out by the end of 38 overs. The chase had started off almost immediately before Dinner. After coming back from the Dinner break, Rohit Sharma was dismissed by Doug Bracewell. In the same over, Shikhar Dhawan complained about the sunlight falling directly into his eyes causing irritation. The umpires suspended play stating it was unsafe for the players. Apparently, it’s a common case at the McLean Park where such incidents have happened before.


How Dhoni orchestrated Boult’s wicket

Kuldeep Yadav eased his way through the New Zealand tail. The hosts were 9 wickets down and Boult was on strike when MS Dhoni ideated a way to get Boult.

“He will defend eyes closed, you can go round the wicket and bowl the other one,”

called MS Dhoni. Kuldeep bowling round the wicket bowled a googly as Trent Boult sought the gloomiest defense. The ball moved away from him and caught an outside edge off Boult’s bat. Kuldeep’s reaction to this was amusing.

India vs New Zealand: Kuldeep, Shami, Dhawan set the stage for a comfortable win

India vs New Zealand: Kuldeep, Shami, Dhawan set the stage comfortable win

Kuldeep Yadav’s four-for 39, Mohammed Shami’s three-wicket haul and Shikhar Dhawan’s 103-ball 75 guided India to a convincing 8-wicket win. 

India started their five-match ODI campaign with a wonderful win against New Zealand at McLean Park, Napier. New Zealand elected to bat first after winning the toss. But they didn’t get the start which they are accustomed to. Mohammed Shami handed over the first breakthrough to India by removing Martin Guptill for 5 in the second over and completed his 100 ODI wickets. He became the fastest Indian to reach 100 ODI scalps. Guptil’s dismissal brought New Zealand captain Kane Williamson on the crease.

Shami bowled Colin Munro in his second over and Ross Taylor joined his captain in the fourth over. Both started to steady the ship, added 34 runs for the fourth wicket. Taylor walked into bat with six consecutive half-centuries but failed to continue that form. Chahal picked up Taylor in a return catch in the 15th over for 24.

Chahal once again struck in the 19th over when Tom Latham fell for 11. Henry Nicholls too got out while trying to hit over midwicket in Kedar Jadhav’s delivery, and New Zealand reduced to 107 for 5 soon. After Shami and Chahal handed over the early breakthroughs, Kuldeep Yadav did the rest. His four-wicket haul bundled New Zealand within a below per score of 158 within 38 overs. Williamson stood strong and top-scored 64 off 81.

In reply, India got off to a slow but steady start. Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan added 41 runs in 9 overs before the break. After coming back from the break, Doug Bracewell successfully broke the partnership by taking Rohit Sharma; who gave an easy catch to Guptill at slip after scoring 11 off 24.

Rohit’s dismissal brought captain Virat Kohli on the field. But before the match could progress when the eleventh over started, the umpires decided to stop the play as the sun was straight to the eye-line of the batsman; which could be dangerous. The match was started after 30 minutes but lost one over and the target was revised to 156 from 49 overs.

Kohli and Dhawan picked up the pace where they left, started hitting all over the ground and rotating the strikes whenever needed. Shikhar Dhawan became the second fastest Indian to score 5000 ODI runs, as well as brought up his 26th ODI fifty.

However, Kohli finally got dismissed for 45 off 59 in the 29th over after adding 91 runs with Dhawan. Kohli tried to hook a ball of Lockie Ferguson but ended up giving the catch to Tom Latham behind the stumps. Dhawan played till the end, scored a 103-ball 75. He along with Rayadu did the rest of the job and helped India to claim an easy 8-wicket win with 15.1 overs to spare.


New Zealand 157 (Kane Williamson 64; Kuldeep Yadav 4-59) lost to India 156/2 (Shikhar Dhawan 75*) by 8 wickets by DLS method.

Shubman Gill, Vijay Shankar replaces Pandya and Rahul in the India squad

Vijay Shankar, Shubman Gill replaces Pandya and Rahul in the India squad

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced Vijay Shankar and Shubman Gill as the replacements of suspended Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul. 

Tamil Nadu all-rounder Vijay Shankar has been named in place of suspended Hardik Pandya while uncapped Punjab opener Shubman Gill will replace KL Rahul in India squad for ongoing ODI series against Australia and the limited-over series in New Zealand thereafter.

Pandya and Rahul both were part of the squad for the ongoing series against Australia but they were sent back to India due to BCCI’s objection over the comments they made on a chat show on TV, named Koffee with Karan. Shubman Gill will be joining the squad for the upcoming New Zealand tour; which will start from January 23 and comprises of five ODIs and three T20Is; whereas Vijay Shankar will join the team prior to the second ODI against Australia.

“Initially, the selectors had picked Mayank Agarwal for K L Rahul and Vijay Shankar for Pandya but it has been learnt that Agarwal is nursing a niggle.” a source close to the selection committee told.“That is why the team management has asked for only one replacement in Australia and that is Shankar. And Gill is being rewarded for his good show in Ranji Trophy and A-tours,” The Person further added.

19-year-old Shubman Gill is the new-found hero of the Indian cricketing circle. He is the second player from India’s 2018 U-19 squad to have been selected in the senior side and the first into the limited-overs game. Last year his U-19 captain Prithvi Shaw made his Test debut against Windies; where he scored a century in his debut match.

Also Read: Everything you should know about KL Rahul and Pandya

Gill was named the ‘Player of the Tournament’ during India’s successful U-19 World Cup campaign in 2018; where he scored 372 runs in 6 matches, including three half-centuries and a century against Pakistan in the semi-final. After that, he made it to the India A team. His form with the bat helped him to bag an IPL contract for the first time when Kolkata Knight Riders picked him for the last season.

He amassed 728 runs in the ongoing Ranji Trophy season for Punjab with an average of 104 with four half-centuries and two centuries which includes his career-best 268 so far.

On the other hand, Vijay Shankar has already made his debut for India in the shortest format of the game and played 5 T20Is so far in Nidahas Trophy and waiting for his ODI debut. The 27-year-old is a middle-order batsman and a medium pacer from Tamil Nadu who can be the backup pace bowling allrounder for India.

The second ODI between India and Australia will be on January 15 while the final ODI is scheduled to be played on January 18. Then the team will fly to New Zealand for five ODIs and three T20Is, starting from January 23.

Updated squad for Australia ODIs:

Virat Kohli (C), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Ambati Rayudu, Dinesh Karthik, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Ravindra Jadeja, Vijay Shankar, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Siraj, K Khaleel Ahmed, Mohammed Shami

ODI Squad for New Zealand Series:

Virat Kohli (C), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Shubman Gill, Ambati Rayudu, Dinesh Karthik, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Ravindra Jadeja, Vijay Shankar, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Siraj, K Khaleel Ahmed, Mohammed Shami

T20I Squad New Zealand Series:

Virat Kohli (C), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Shubman Gill, Rishabh Pant, Dinesh Karthik, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni, Vijay Shankar, Krunal Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Siddarth Kaul, K Khaleel Ahmed

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Asia Cup 2018: The Indian team won't be travelling to Abu Dhabi

After the T20I and Test series, India will lock horns with Australia for the 3-match ODI series. While T20I series went on 1-1, India won the Test series by 2-1 and now they are looking forward to winning the ODI series as well. Like India, Australia too will want to win the series before the World Cup 2019.

The three-match ODI series starting on 12th January will play an important role for both the teams before the mega event. Here are the five reasons why India should win the ODI series.

Strong batting line-up:

Image Source – Times Now

India’s batting line up has been around Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, and captain Virat Kohli for quite some time now. They have been in a good form and will play the pivotal roles for the team to score big as well as to chase them. Along with them, the middle order comprised of Ambati Rayudu, Kedar Jadhav, and Dinesh Karthik; who also have been among runs which will be crucial for India.

Ambati Rayudu is one of the most underrated players in India. He will be very crucial at number 4 in the batting line up. Veteran MS Dhoni and all-rounder Hardik Pandya too will use their experiences for winning causes where they will try to up the scoring rate when needed. As they had visited Australia before, their experience could help them in the batting as well.

Also Read: All the records made in the Test Series

Presence of Mahendra Singh Dhoni

Image Source – Spiceup Academy

One of the biggest reasons of India’s series win could be the presence of the former skipper, Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Though his performance in ODIs in 2018 was not up to the mark as he managed to score only 275 runs in 13 innings. But one of the best finishers in ODI, Dhoni, is irreplaceable behind the stumps, as well as his knowledge about the game, will help India to prepare the strategy against Australia.

In 2018, he had 27 dismissals, including 17 catches and 10 stumpings. Moreover, he is the cricketer who can change the fate of the game single-handedly.

Power packed bowling line-up

Image Source – Cricket Australia

Along with a solid batting line-up, India have a power-packed bowling attack as well. Though the star bowler Jaspreet Bumrah has been rested for the ODI series, Mohammed Siraj has replaced him. Along with Siraj, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Khaleel Ahmed, Mohammed Shami’s pace attack with spin troika Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal and Ravindra Jadeja are capable of taking wickets at regular intervals.

With the left-arm fast bowling, 21-year-old Khaleel Ahmed has been pretty impressive since his debut in the Asia Cup, last year. So far, he has played 6 ODIs and picked up 11 wickets with an average of 24. He could be the third seamer, India is looking for.

The absence of Steve Smith and David Warner and relatively unknown pace bowling attack

Image Source – The New Daily

Australia’s two most experienced players, Smith and Warner are currently serving the international ban after they both getting involved in the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa last year. Their absence will be helpful for India to win the series as they both have the ability to turn tables at any time.

While in the Test series, India faced the experienced bowlers like Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins but they will face a relatively new pace attack in the ODI series. This time India will face the two pacers Jhye Richardson and Jason Behrendorff whom India have hardly faced in the limited-overs. Also, Peter Siddle will return in the ODI squad nearly after nine years. India will be beneficial with this new bowling line-up.