Kolkata Knight Riders. (Photo: Twitter/@KKRiders)
Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) chief mentor David Hussey on Sunday hoped England’s World Cup winning captain Eoin Morgan will be a great ally to the franchise’s skipper Dinesh Karthik and his calm demeanour can help the team win matches in the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL).
KKR will take on defending champions Mumbai Indians in Abu Dhabi on September 23 as per IPL fixture which was released on Sunday.
The 13th edition of the cash-rich league is taking place in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as it had to be moved from India due to Covid-19 pandemic.
“He is a World Cup winning captain. He has captained England for a long time. Classy player. He will be a great ally for Dinesh Karthik,” former Australia and KKR batsman Hussey said during virtual media interaction from Abu Dhabi.
“Maybe fielding in the ring and talking to the bowlers while our captain’s behind the stumps, keeping wickets. He is also a very cool calm and collected person so… he will be very handy in the middle order controlling things with our captain as well.
“So I do expect them to have a really good relationship on and off the field. He is going to go a long way in having a cool head and winning many games for KKR during a very tight tournament,” said Hussey who has played over 300 T20 matches across franchise and international cricket and was part of the KKR team from 2008 to 2010 as a player.
Morgan has been in the form of his life since leading England to the ODI World Cup win last year on home turf.
The dashing southpaw was snapped up by KKR for Rs 5.25 crore at the IPL auction here last year.
Hussey also praised England opener Tom Banton who was also roped in by KKR, saying he is probably a better version of Kevin Pietersen.
“What a player. He takes the game on. He is probably the new or better version of Kevin Pietersen I believe. He is going to be a great pickup by KKR.”
Asked if big-hitting Andre Russell could be seen batting up the order, something which the West Indian desired last season, Hussey said: “Why not? If it benefits the team and helps us win games, why not. He comes in at No 3 and bats 60 balls he might actually make a double hundred! So anything can happen with him. He is probably the heartbeat of the team. We have some well balanced players and anyone can bat anywhere.”
Throwing light on his role as the mentor of the side coached by former New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum, Hussey said he would help players get ‘role clarity’.
“It is about getting around the group and making them feel relaxed. My job is to support the captain and coaches.
“The players are in phenomenal touch. I am amazed that these boys can come out of not hitting a cricket ball and just hit the ground running.
“My style is more individual. See how people are going and form a role clarity for each player. Also make them feel at ease and at home.”
PKL 8: Patna Pirates beat Puneri Paltan 38-26
Raider Sachin scored 10 points as three-time champions Patna Pirates defeated Puneri Paltan 38-26 in Match 17 of Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) Season 8 at The Sheraton Grand, Whitefield, on Tuesday. Sachin scored a Super 10 (10 points) and was ably supported by Patna’s defensive trio of Sunil (4 points), Mohammadreza Chiyaneh (3 points), and Sajin C (3 points). The lack of a quality raider despite promising performances from youngsters will be a cause of concern for the Puneri Paltan who succumbed to their second loss in three matches.
All eyes were once again on Pune’s Rahul Chaudhari but the showman, despite starting the match, was substituted for young Mohit Goyat by coach Anup Kumar in the first half. The trio of raiders including Aslam Inamdar and Pankaj Mohite caused problems for the Patna defence while at the other end Prashant Kumar Rai and Sachin were equally effective.
Patna were facing the risk of an all-out with six minutes left to half-time, but their defender Sajin C completed a Super Tackle to turn the momentum. The three-time champions got lucky later when Monu Goyat entered the lobby without contact, in a do-or-die raid only to be followed by three Pune defenders who had been deceived by his actions. The first half ended 14-14 with Pune having just two men on the mat.
Pune coach Anup Kumar clearly expected from his set of raiders and brought in Shubham Shelke for Pankaj Mohite in the second half. But Patna kept fighting back, thanks to the largely confident tackles from the likes of Mohammadreza Chiyaneh and Sajin. With 10 minutes remaining, Patna had a four-point lead and that was extended a’ Pune’s plan to play on the Do-or-Die raid backfired. Sachin scored two points in the crucial raid for Patna to inspire another ALL OUT in the 13th minute and open a 10-point lead.
Patna maintained the momentum and though Sunil and Vishal Bharadwaj picked up yellow cards in the final minutes as the match became intense the three-time champions ensured there was no late comeback by Pune and clinched an important win.
PKL 8: Bengal Warriors beat Gujarat Giants
Bengal Warriors defeated Gujarat Giants 31-28 on Day 3 of the Pro Kabaddi League Season 8 held at The Sheraton Grand, Whitefield, here on Friday. This was Bengal Warriors’ second win in as many matches while Gujarat Gaints have one win and one loss. The Warriors have 10 points the same as Dabang Delhi but are placed second on a lower points-difference while Gujarat have six points.
Bengal Warriors started well and established a slender lead (16-11) against Gujarat Giants at half-time. They maintained their advantage despite the valiant efforts of the Gujarat Giants, managed to register a narrow victory.
Maninder Singh was the top scorer for Bengal Warriors with eight points while Esmaeil Nabibakhsh contributed four points.
Bengal Warriors won 18 raid points as against 19 by Gujarat Giants. But it was in defence that they scored, claiming 10 points as against eight by their rivals. They bagged two all-outs as against none by the Giants.
Rakesh Narwal was the top scorer for Gujarat Giants with 12 points while Rakesh Sungroya contributed four points.
Rishabh Pant appointed as Uttarakhand’s brand ambassador
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami on Sunday announced that Indian wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant has been appointed as the brand ambassador of the state.
Taking to Twitter, the Chief Minister said that Pant will encourage the youngsters to take up sports.
“One of the best cricket players of India, the idol of youth and son of Uttarakhand, Rishabh Pant has been appointed as “State Brand Ambassador” by our government with the aim of encouraging the youth of the state towards sports and public health,” tweeted Dhami in Hindi, along with the video.
In the video, CM Dhami can be seen interacting with Rishabh and asking about his well-being.
The attacking batter also thanked the Chief Minister for the opportunity, saying that he will try his best to motivate people towards fitness.
“Thank you @pushkardhami sir for giving me the opportunity to be the Brand Ambassador of promoting Sports and General Health among the people of Uttarakhand. I’ll do my best to spread this message and feeling happy that you are taking these steps towards a fitter India,” tweeted Pant.
“Coming from a small town of Roorkee, I am confident that the people here have the ability to make the country proud in various fields of life,” he added.
The 24-year Pant, who was rested for the New Zealand Tests, is currently in Johannesburg, South Africa as the Indian Team is all set to face Proteas in the three-match Test series, starting December 26.
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