India opener Rohit Sharma turned a new leaf in his career when Mahendra Singh Dhoni asked him to open the innings for India. There was no looking back for the run-machine since. But he isnt the only one who has benefited from being pushed to the top of the order. Rajasthan Royals opener Jos Buttler turned from an impressive batsman to a match-winner when RR decided to make him open last season in the Indian Premier League.
Speaking to IANS, the Englishman said that it is indeed true that his career has gone from strength to strength after he was made to open the innings for Rajasthan in the last edition of the cash-rich league. From being a quality bat, he went on to become a destructive player who can now change the course of the match with bat in hand.
“It has been an incredible year personally. I think last year when I started with the Royals, I was doing okay, but I wasn’t quite feeling like I was showing exactly what I was capable of and a change to the top of the order coincided with a great run of form and from there I was very lucky to be involved with England in Test match cricket and had a really enjoyable summer. Have been riding that wave ever since and looking to make it continue and last as long as possible,” he smiled.
While he has been in top form, this IPL will be remembered for KXIP skipper R. Ashwin ‘Mankading’ him in their opening game. From a position of strength, Royals lost the game. While many believed that his sudden and uncharacteristic dismissal changed the course of the game, Buttler begs to differ.
“I am not sure it changed the course because we were still confident that we would go over the line. I just feel we were in a good position and couldn’t finish the game from there. I think the guys actually handled everything really well and didn’t seem to get too distracted by it. Unfortunately we just didn’t quite play well enough in the end to win the game. It is always frustrating when you don’t finish the games, but you have to learn from that,” he pointed.
Asked to comment on what makes his journey with the Royals special, Buttler said: “I have really enjoyed the environment at Rajasthan. There is a nice relaxed atmosphere round the group and it is a great franchise to be a part of. This is my fourth IPL and I am taking the experiences from the first two with Mumbai Indians and a more successful season last year with the runs I scored (for RR) and I keep looking back at them to know what works for me and how to keep getting the best out of myself. Have enjoyed the role at the top of the order,” he said.
RR brand ambassador Shane Warne feels that Buttler is a champion cricketer and the wicket-keeper feels that it has been quite an experience to interact with someone like the legendary leg-spinner.
“It was an amazing experience to get to know Warne. Obviously one of the best players to have played the game and I loved listening to him and talk about the game and how he sees things. He got the best out of people last season as mentor and I think that rubbed off on me as well. It was a privilege to get to know him. This is one of the fantastic things about the IPL that you get to be coached by some of the best in the world,” he acknowledged.
After the highly successful season in 2018, there were questions if Buttler could continue the form into the 12th edition and to be fair to the Englishman, he has done it in style. “It is never easy, but I think I have understood my game a lot more in the last couple of years and know how to get the best out of myself more consistently and just look to do that. I don’t try to think too much about last season or emulate that. I take it one game at a time and adapt to conditions and keep trusting my play,” he said.
Online Rummy: Kerala High Court notice to Virat Kohli
The Kerala High Court on Wednesday issued a notice to Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli, actors Thammanna and Aju Vargheese on a petition seeking ban on online rummy after victims alleged brand ambassadors play a significant role in getting youth addicted.
Kohli, Thamanna and Varghese are brand ambassadors of online rummy and hence the notice.
The high court has also issued notices to the state government and called for its response on the same.
The petitioner had complained to the high court that several people have lost their lives in the country after losing huge amounts of money by playing the online game and that it should be banned.
Vineeth, 27, had committed suicide at Kuttichal in Thiruvananthapuram a fortnight ago. He had lost Rs 21 lakh.
Sajesh, 32, who had lost a huge amount playing online rummy told IANS: “The intervention of the honourable High court is welcome as I know that several people have lost huge amount of money playing this online game and I myself have lost more than Rs 6 lakh.
“The brand ambassador’s indeed play a big role in attracting the gullible youth in playing this game which soon turns into an addiction. I had to seek professional medical help to come out of this addiction and the court must ban this game in India.”
IPL 2021 player auction on February 18 in Chennai
The player auction ahead of the 2021 Indian Premier League (IPL) edition will take place on February 18 in Chennai.
IPL confirmed the news on their official Twitter handle: “IPL 2021 Player Auction on 18th February. Venue: Chennai.”
As many as 139 players have been retained by the eight IPL franchises whereas 57 players have been released from their existing squads. Sunrisers Hyderabad have retained the most number of players — 22 — while Royal Challengers Bangalore have only 12 players in the squad.
Kings XI Punjab will enter the auction with the biggest possible purse of Rs 53.20 crore, followed by RCB (Rs 35.90 crore). Kolkata Knight Riders and SRH have the least amount of purse remaining – Rs 10.75 crore.
Rajasthan Royals, who have appointed Sanju Samson as they captain after releasing Steve Smith, will look to fill their three overseas slot sand have a purse remaining of Rs 34.85 crore.
Chennai Super Kings have Rs 22.90 crore, Delhi Capitals Rs 12.90 crore and Mumbai Indians Rs 15.35 crore in their purse.
The 2020 IPL edition was held in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in a bio-secure environment from September 19 to November 10 due to Covid-19 pandemic.
Mumbai Indians had defeated Delhi Capitals in the summit clash in Dubai to win the title for a record fifth time.
Sourav Ganguly hospitalised again with chest pain
Indian cricket board president Sourav Ganguly was on Wednesday rushed to Apollo Hospital here after he complained uneasiness and chest pain the previous night.
The former India captain was admitted to the hospital under the supervision of state-run SSKM Hospital’s cardiology department head Saroj Mondal, sources said.
Ganguly, 48, had suffered a blackout while working out at his personal gym on January 2 and was taken to Kolkata’s Woodlands Hospital. He underwent angioplasty and other related tests there and was discharged from the hospital on January 7.
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