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Sunday,20-September-2020

National

Ashwin says: RCB batsmen were smart to knock it around

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Despite a quality effort from Chris Gayle, Kings XI Punjab failed to take home two points against Royal Challengers Bangalore in their Indian Premier League encounter at the I.S. Bindra Stadium in Mohali and skipper R. Ashwin said that the RCB batsmen deserved credit.

Speaking after the match, Ashwin also cleared as to why Sarfraz Khan was chosen to bowl the final over with RCB still needing six runs. “There was only 6 runs to go and the ball was sliding on nicely. I thought the the best way against AB (de Villiers) and (Marcus) Stoinis was to try and go with a leggie, not that Sam (Curran) can’t defend.

“We tried with wrist spinners and even I came to bowl, but they were smart enough to knock around and not take any chances. We let ourselves down in the field. We dropped catches and let a lot of balls go through us. The dew helped the wicket on. It was really dry in the first half. It gets better to bat in the second half,” he said.

At one point, RCB needed 38 off 3 overs and yet the KXIP bowlers failed to restrict ABD and Stoinis. Ashwin said that it was just one of those days when the bowlers didn’t produce the desired results and it was time to move forward and win some games.

“I had to back my best bowlers to do the job, didn’t quite work out today. It’s (crowd) the best I have seen in Mohali. Hope they come out in large numbers. We play one here and go off to Delhi. We need to string some wins. It’s not a bad time to get some momentum back,” he said.

National

Kings XI Punjab choose to bowl first against Delhi Capitals

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Kings XI Punjab chose to bowl first against Delhi Capitals at the Dubai International Stadium on Sunday.

Both sides are playing their first matches of the Indian Premier League (IPL) season.

Veteran West Indies batsman Chris Gayle won’t be playing for KXIP and captain KL Rahul said that they have gone for Glenn Maxwell, Nicholas Pooran, Sheldon Cottrell and Chris Jordan as their overseas players.

Meanwhile, DC captain Shreyas Iyer said that Shimron Hetmyer, Kagiso Rabada, Marcus Stoinis and Anrich Nortje are the overseas players included in their playing XI.

Delhi Capitals: Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer (captain), Rishabh Pant (wicketkeeper), Shimron Hetmyer, Marcus Stoinis, Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohit Sharma, Anrich Nortje, Kagiso Rabada

Kings XI Punjab: KL Rahul(captain, wicketkeeper), Mayank Agarwal, Karun Nair, Sarfaraz Khan, Glenn Maxwell, Nicholas Pooran, Krishnappa Gowtham, Chris Jordan, Sheldon Cottrell, Ravi Bishnoi, Mohammed Shami

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National

Staying indoors was difficult but gave time to strategise: KL Rahul

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KL-Rahul

Kings XI Punjab skipper KL Rahul chose to bowl first after winning the toss against Delhi Capitals on Sunday and said that he doesn’t really know what to expect from the pitch at the Dubai International Stadium.

“Fresh wicket, don’t really know what to expect. I’m confident and so is the entire team, great opportunity to go out and play some cricket,” said Rahul after the toss on Star Sports.

“Staying indoors was difficult, but it also gave us time to think about our strategy, Maxwell, Pooran, Jordan and Cottrell are our four overseas players.”

Delhi Capitals captain Shreyas Iyer said that they would have bowled first as well.

“I have learnt to take some responsibility, with the likes of (Ricky) Ponting and (Sourav) Ganguly, it makes my task a bit easier. Looking forward to a great season. We have plenty of options and it was difficult settling for the best XI,” he said.

Both sides are playing their first match of the season. Earlier, Chennai Super Kings beat Mumbai Indians by five wickets in the season opener on Saturday.

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CSK have edge in spin dept, Mumbai in batting

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Rohit-Sharma

Two of the most successful teams in the Indian Premier League (IPL) history — Mumbai Indians (MI) and Chennai Super Kings (CSK) — will be up against each other in the opening match of the 13th edition here at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium on Saturday.

Despite the high-octane clash featuring the two top teams that have a huge fan following, this match as well as the others will be played in empty stadiums due to Covid-19 pandemic. Both the Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led Chennai side and Rohit Sharma captained Mumbai Indian are surely going to miss the crowd support this time around.

CSK recently suffered two major jolts as Suresh Raina and HarbhajanSingh opted out of the tournament citing personal reasons. It will be interesting to see how a charismatic leader like Dhoni, known for calmly handling all types of tense situations, overcomes their absence.

However, who replaces Raina will be known only when matches begin. With Ruturaj Gaikwad also being ruled out of the campaign opener, Kedhar Jadhav may be asked to bat at No. 3. CSK have the option of opening with Faf du Plessis and Watson. But juggling the foreign players and including then in the XI is also something the team management will have to look at. A maximum of four foreigners can be part of a playing XI, and Watson and Dwayne Bravo could be among the automatic starters.

In the bowling department, either Lungi Ngidi or Josh Hazlewood could make the cut. CSK is expected to rely on South African Imran Tahir while Mitchell Santner of New Zealand so far spin is concerned.

Harbhajan and Ravindra Jadeja could have formed a lethal spin attack. However, with Harbhajan missing, Tahir’s experience will become priceless. In such a situation, du Plessis could to miss the tournament opener, as the South African could find a berth in the XI if Dhoni opts to go with leg-spinner Piyush Chawla.

The middle-order batting will once again rely on Bravo and the skipper Dhoni himself as both of them are capable of rotating the strike, accelerating the run-rate, and even changing the outcome of the game.

In the pace department, Shardul Thakur and Deepak Chahar will lead the charge. If situation demands, Chahar can be handy with the bat. It will be seen on the match day how the Chennai team management utilises Ngidi and Hazlewood.

On the other hand, three-time champions Mumbai Indians have strengthened their batting after signing swashbuckling Aussie batter Chris Lynn. Mumbai could pose a major threat to their opponents as Rohit has confirmed that he would open the innings with Quinton de Kock. The duo had accumulated a massive 565 runs from 15 games together last year. While Rohit gathered 405, the South African stumper amassed a massive 529 runs and if the duo repeat the show, the Chennai bowlers would experience a tough time in their campaign opener.

The other opening options, possibly in an emergency, are former Australia all-rounder Shane Watson and Ambati Rayudu. In the middle-order, Mumbai enjoys many options with the likes of experienced Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya and his brother Krunal. Sherfane Rutherford and Saurabh Tiwary are the other options for Mumbai.

Looking at the pitches in the UAE and their expected behavior, low and slow that will help spinners more, CSK hold an edge over Mumbai as they have Bravo in their ranks, who has the ability to utilise such conditions while Watson’s experience could also come handy. Also, with Jadeja, Santner, and Piyush in their side, Chennai have more spin options than their opponents.

Overall, the two sides have met 30 times in the history of the IPL, with Mumbai winning 18 matches and CSK the rest.

Teams:

Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma (captain), Sherfane Rutherford, Suryakumar Yadav, Anmolpreet Singh, Chris Lynn, Saurabh Tiwary, Ishan Kishan, Quinton de Kock (wicket-keeper), Aditya Tare, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Anukul Roy, Dhawal Kulkarni, Jaspreet Bumrah, Rahul Chahar, Trent Boult, Mohsin Khan, Prince Balwant Rai Singh, Digvijay Deshmukh, Jayant Yadav, Nathan Coulter-Nile, James Pattinson

Chennai Super Kings: MS Dhoni (captain/wicket-keeper), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Narayan Jagadeesan (wicket-keeper), KM Asif , Ravindra Jadeja, M Vijay, Josh Hazlewood, Kedar Jadhav, Harbhajan Singh, Karn Sharma, Piyush Chawla, Ambati Rayudu, Suresh Raina, Imran Tahir , Deepak Chahar, Faf du Plessis, Shardul Thakur, Mitchell Santner, Dwayne Bravo, Lungi Ngidi, Sam Curran, Monu Kumar, Shane Watson, Sai Kishore

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