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Monday,25-October-2021

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IPL 2021: All-round Kolkata deliver crushing win over Rajasthan

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 Strong performances with the bat and ball helped Kolkata Knight Riders deliver a crushing 86-run win over Rajasthan Royals in Match 54 of IPL 2021 here on Thursday. After scoring 171/4 in 20 overs, Kolkata applied pressure right from the start which resulted in Rajasthan crashing to 86 all out in 16.1 overs.

With this win, Kolkata have almost confirmed the last remaining spot for the playoffs. Apart from delivering the knockout punch to Rajasthan, Punjab Kings have been officially ousted from the tournament while Mumbai Indians’ chances are now left hanging by a very slim thread. There was nothing royal about Rajasthan, who fell like ninepins in their last league match of the tournament.

They were reduced to 17/4 in power-play as Kolkata effectively broke the back of the chase. Shakib Al Hasan struck on the third ball of the innings as Yashasvi Jaiswal went for a reverse sweep but missed it and was bowled. In the next over, Sanju Samson clipped Shivam Mavi’s first ball to mid-wicket. Lockie Ferguson’s double strike in the fourth over left Rajasthan in deep shambles.

Liam Livingstone top-edged a pull off a short ball to deep square leg. Two balls later, Anuj Rawat was beaten for pace and trapped plumb in front of the stumps. Glenn Phillips and Shivam Dube struck a six each off Sunil Narine. But in the next over, Phillips was hurried for pace and bowled by a straight delivery from Mavi. Three balls later, Mavi went past Dube’s attempted flick to hit the stumps. From there, it was a free fall for Rajasthan.

Rahul Tewatia’s three boundaries off Mavi in the tenth over helped Rajasthan avoid the ignominy of lowest-ever total in the IPL. The all-rounder continued to wage the lone battle, hitting boundaries against Chakravarthy, Ferguson and Narine despite running out of partners from the other end. Mavi put an end to Rajasthan’s misery as Tewatia bottom edged to his stumps, giving the right-arm pacer his fourth wicket of the match.

Earlier, Kolkata started slow but ended up registering the highest score at Sharjah in the tournament, thanks to Shubman Gill stylish 56. Kolkata had a sedate start with 34/0 in power-play, including four boundaries. Post that, Venkatesh Iyer hit Jaydev Unadkat for a four through short third man followed by sixes down the ground and over long-on.

Tewatia broke the 79-run opening stand in the 11th over as Iyer missed a straight delivery and was bowled through his legs. Nitish Rana welcomed Phillips with a four and six in the next over. But Phillips had the last laugh on the fifth ball as Rana was caught off the toe-end at long-off.

Rahul Tripathi tore into Dube, taking back-to-back boundaries in the 14th over. Amidst all this, Gill held one end while finding boundaries in between. Gill brought up his fifty with a boundary off Chetan Sakariya in the 15th over, his second of the season. Gill whipped Chris Morris for a boundary in the next over.

But a wide later, Gill mistimed a loft to cover, giving Morris his first wicket of the UAE leg. Sakariya returned in the 18th over to disturb a sweeping Tripathi’s stumps. Dinesh Karthik and Eoin Morgan landed some lusty blows in the last few overs to take Kolkata to a total which was more than enough to seal their fifth win in the UAE leg of the tournament.

Brief scores: Kolkata Knight Riders 171/4 in 20 overs (Shubman Gill 56, Venkatesh Iyer 38, Rahul Tewatia 1/11, Glenn Phillips 1/17) beat Rajasthan Royals 85 all out in 16.1 overs (Rahul Tewatia, 44, Shivam Dube 18, Shivam Mavi 4/21, Lockie Ferguson 3/18) by 86 runs.

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BCCI wants Dravid to be India’s chief coach; sources say Rahul’s ‘agreed but…!’

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Rahul-Dravid

 Former Indian cricketer Rahul Dravid has agreed to coach the national side after the ICC T20 World Cup but there are a couple of issues which he wants to be sorted out before joining, said a BCCI official.

Earlier, there were reports that Dravid would be the interim coach for the upcoming home series against New Zealand.

However, the BCCI official has now confirmed that “Rahul has agreed to coach the Indian team till 2023 World Cup”.

The official told IANS that BCCI chief Sourav Ganguly and secretary Jay Shah had a meeting with Dravid on the side-lines of the IPL final on Friday evening and they managed to convince him.

“There are a couple of issues which Dravid wants to settle with the BCCI and hopefully that will be done,” he added.

Asked what are the “issues”, the official said, “Like, Dravid wants to have new support staff… changing the entire old one. And a couple of other things. I am sure everything will be sorted out. Because BCCI wants Dravid to lead the charge.”

It is learnt that former Mumbai pacer Paras Mhambrey may take over from Bharat Arun as the bowling coach.

Sources further said that Dravid had suggested Australian Tom Moody’s name for the coach’s job, but the Board didn’t show too much interest.

The 48-year-old Dravid has been in charge of the India A and U-19 set-up for the past six years. He currently heads the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru.

“He will resign from there and take over the charge (of Team India),” sources added.

Dravid had recently coached a second-string Indian team to a tour of Sri Lanka even as the national senior team was playing concurrently in England.

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Dhoni is still non-committal on playing IPL next season

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MS-Dhoni

 Chennai Super Kings skipper MS Dhoni did not commit to playing another season in the Indian Premier League (IPL) for the team from Tamil Nadu though he did say that he was not done with the World’s richest T20 tournament.

Though Dhoni maintained that whether he continues to play or not depends on the decisions the BCCI takes regarding player retention when two more teams join the league next year, the 40-year-old said he has not left any legacy behind as of yet.

“Still I haven’t left behind….” he signed off during the prize distribution ceremony after CSK beat Kolkata Knight Riders by 27 runs to lift their fourth IPL title.

“Again I’ve said it before, it depends on BCCI. With two new teams coming in. We have to decide what is good for CSK. It’s not about me being there in top-three or four. It’s about making a strong core to ensure the franchise doesn’t suffer. The core group, we have to have a hard look to see who can contribute for the next 10 years,” said Dhoni on Friday.

CSK set up a big target and then defended it successfully, keeping their nerves even when Kolkata Knight Riders openers Shubman Gill and Venkatesh Iyer and given KKR a great start by putting on 91 runs for the first wicket. There was no panic in CSK ranks and the players went about performing their roles as things just fell in place.

Dhoni said they don’t plan or strategise too much before the game and the net sessions are more of one-on-one sessions.

“Frankly no chats, we don’t talk a lot [meetings]. It’s more one-on-one, our practice sessions are meeting sessions. The moment you get into a team room, it brings about different pressure. Our practice sessions hav” been good,” Dhoni said, adding that the chat sessions don’t last more than 29 minutes as that’s the attention span for a normal person.

About his team’s performance, Dhoni said that they shuffled players around after the first half and that paid for them. “Coming to CSK, we shuffled players. We had match winners coming game after game and doing really well. Every final is special, if you look at stats, we may say we’re the most consistent team to lose the final too. I feel it’s important to come back strong, especially in the knockouts,” Dhoni added.

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IPL 2021: Extremely grateful, feels amazing to be part of CSK, says Uthappa

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Chennai Super Kings. (Photo: Twitter/@ChennaiIPL)

After Chennai Super Kings (CSK) won their fourth IPL trophy, star batsman Robin Uthappa on Friday said that he is extremely grateful and it feels amazing to be part of MS Dhoni-led side, especially how last year went for them.

CSK beat Kolkata Knight Riders by 27 runs in the IPL 2021 final and lifted their fourth IPL title. CSK had earlier won three IPL titles in 2010, 2011, and 2018.

“Extremely grateful, it feels amazing to be part of this side, especially how last year went for us. It was a very lean season for us last year and so it was important for us to come back and play as well as we could and be really grateful that we have been able to,” said Robin Uthappa after the win.

“I just want to come in and contribute to the team’s success,” he added.

Talking about the environment in the CSK group, the stylish batsman said that there is a lot of clarity.

“They create a very secure environment within the group and there’s a lot of clarity and communication within the support staff and the players and that really helps in building a secure group,” said Uthappa, who performed well with the bat for CSK in the last two matches.

“I believe it’s your players who are not playing in the eleven that really create the atmosphere within the group and they make sure that they look after the players who are not playing in the eleven and I think that’s one of the biggest takeaways of our success in IPL,” he added.

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