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Wednesday,12-May-2021

National

Purple Cap: Harshal Patel remains highest wicket-taker

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Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) fast bowler Harshal Patel retained the Purple Cap with Delhi Capitals’ Avesh Khan and Mumbai Indians’ Rahul Chahar both ending up with a wicket less than him after their match in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Harshal holds the Purple Cap with nine wickets while Avesh is tied with Chahar with eight wickets. Avesh remains ahead of Chahar on the standings on the basis of his superior economy rate of 7.35 compared to the latter’s 7.37. Chahar’s team mate Trent Boult rounds off the top four with six wickets.

Fast bowler Avesh recorded figures of 2/15 in DC’s six-wicket win over defending champions Mumbai Indians on Tuesday. Chahar, meanwhile, took only wicket, albeit an important one in the form of DC’s top scorer on the night and current Orange Cap holder Shikhar Dhawan.

Amit Mishra got his first wicket of the season when he dismissed MI captain Rohit Sharma on Tuesday. He went on to take four wickets in the match, thus leading DC’s efforts in restricting MI to 137/9. DC chased down the total comfortably, with six wickets and five balls to spare.

National

Sometimes miss Dhoni’s guidance: Kuldeep Yadav

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Kuldeep Yadav

Spinner Kuldeep Yadav has admitted that he misses the guidance he used to get from MS Dhoni when the latter kept wickets. Kuldeep has seen his international appearances nosedive since the end of 2019, which was also the year that Dhoni played his last match for India.

“Sometimes I miss that guidance because he (Mahi) has great experience. He used to guide us behind the wicket, kept screaming. We miss his experience. Rishabh is there now, the more he plays, the more input he will give in the future. I always felt every bowler needs a partner who can respond from the other end,” Yadav told The Indian Express.

Yadav has played seven ODIs in 2020 and 2021, as compared to 23 in 2019 alone. Dhoni played his last game for India in their semi-final defeat to New Zealand in the 2019 World Cup on July 10 before eventually retiring from international cricket on August 15, 2020.

“When Mahibhai was there, I and (Yuzvendra) Chahal were playing. Ever since Mahi bhai left, Chahal and I haven’t played together. I played only a handful of games after Mahibhai left. I must have played ten-odd games. I had even taken a hat-trick. If you look at the performance as a whole, it will look pretty decent but if one breaks it up then my performance sometimes can look not up to the mark. One has to also look at the opposition we are playing against,” said Yadav.

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National

India should play both Jadeja and Ashwin in WTC final: Pragyan Ojha

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Pragyan-Ojha

Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin should both be playing in the World Test Championship (WTC) final against New Zealand for their prowess with the bat as much as their ability to take wickets, said Pragyan Ojha.

Ojha said that with India having no fast-bowling all-rounder in the squad, Jadeja in particular gives them an extra option in the batting order.

“They should play, both of them. Because both can bat, both have the experience of bowling on any track. The biggest plus point is Jadeja can bat up the order. The way he is performing. Mind you if you look at his domestic record, he’s got three triple hundreds.

I think he can bat long and Ashwin has got international hundreds also. I feel if there’s a little chance where you can play both the spinners, you should play. They have enough experience to win you games on any wicket,” Ojha told Sports Today.

“Overall, it’s a fantastic team. Even I was following Hanuma Vihari. Very thoughtful of him to go and play some county cricket. You know you get acclimatised to the conditions. That’s very important,” he added.

Jadeja will be making his comeback to the Test team after being sidelined in the second Test against Australia due to a finger injury. The injury forced him to miss the four-Test series at home against England but he hit the ground running for Chennai Super Kings in the 2021 Indian Premier League.

Ashwin, on the other hand, has experienced a resurgence with the bat in recent matches, helping India to a draw in the third Test against Australia by fending off 128 balls and finishing unbeaten on 39. He then scored 106 against England in the second Test in Chennai in February.

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Shikhar Dhawan could lead India in Sri Lanka white-ball series

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Opener Shikhar Dhawan could lead an India side for the limited-overs tour of Sri Lanka in July as the Indian cricket board looks to form a white-ball squad in the absence of top players who will be busy in England for Test matches at the time.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Prithvi Shaw, Hardik Pandya and Ishan Kishan could be in the white-ball squad that is likely to play three One-day Internationals and three T20 Internationals at a single venue in the island nation from July 13.

While plans for the tour have not been thrashed out yet and there has been no official announcement, it is natural that some of the players who have performed in limited overs cricket for India and in the IPL recently will be picked.

Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav, who both did well for Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020, and also in the white-ball series against England at home, could be in the squad.

Among youngsters who have burst onto the scene through IPL, spinner Rahul Chahar and left-arm pace bowler Chetan Sakariya could find a place in the Indian team. Rahul’s cousin Deepak Chahar could also make the cut.

Sakariya impressed for Rajasthan Royals in the IPL edition this time, picking seven wickets in seven matches.

Royal Challengers Bangalore’s Karnataka opener Devdutt Padikkal is likely to be one of the three openers India will travel with besides Dhawan and Shaw.

While four of the five national selectors contacted by IANS haven’t responded yet to queries on the team, Dhawan looks to be the best bet to captain the India team in Sri Lanka due to his experience and also the fact that he has led his state side, Delhi, in domestic cricket, including Ranji Trophy.

The 35-year-old has played 34 Test matches, 142 ODIs and 65 T20 Internationals.

Dhawan was also the leading run-getter in the IPL 2021 edition, aggregating 380 runs in eight matches at an average of 54.38 for Delhi Capitals.

He and Shaw formed a solid opening pair for Delhi Capitals, who were on top of the points table before the tournament was postponed.

Dhawan was deputy to Rohit Sharma during the 2018 Nidahas Trophy that India won despite the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) resting key players.

Some of the youngsters who featured in the Nidahas Trophy T20 tournament are now an integral part of the Test side that is travelling to England.

Washington Sundar, Mohammed Siraj, Rishabh Pant, Axar Patel, KL Rahul and Shardul Thakur, who were part of the India T20 squad for Nidahas Trophy, are now part of the India Test side with Rohit.

A 20-member India side under Virat Kohli will be travelling to England soon for the World Test Championship final against New Zealand and a five-Test series against England.

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