“Ricky ensures that every player feels valued and respected in equal measure. Irrespective of whether you are playing or not, he gives regular feedback to each person and makes them feel like an important part of the team,” Harshal said during an Instagram live session with DC’s official handle.
The right-arm seamer also believes that this provides much-needed stability to the squad. “In IPL, there are frequent changes in the team with new faces coming in each season. The support staff does a great job in creating consistency within the squad by ensuring that every new and old player believes in the ethos of the team. Once everybody is on the same page and each player understands their role, it becomes easier to gel and perform better as a team.”
As uncertainty looms over this year’s Indian Premier League season, the 29-year old remains confident of Delhi Capitals’ prospects. “The IPL will return when the time is right, and when it does, Delhi Capitals’ will be the team to beat.”
Reflecting on the strong squad, Patel says, “Our biggest challenge will be choosing just 11 players from the hugely talented and competitive pool of cricketers we have. Once we strike the correct balance and find the winning combination, we could go far.”
In the meantime, the pacer is staying focused on maintaining his fitness during the nation-wide lockdown. “I am determined to not let my training suffer in this period. Luckily, I have some expertise in strength and conditioning, so I am using the limited equipment I have at home to stick to a strict fitness regime which involves 5-6 days of workout in a week. The key is to mix up your workouts to avoid monotony,” said Harshal, who could only play two matches for DC in the 2019 season due to injury.
Anil Kumble imprint in KXIP win: Two leg-spinners in XI
Kings XI Punjab’s landslide win over the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) on Thursday had the Kumble imprint all over it. A former world-class leg-spinner, Anil Kumble, the head coach, picked two leggies in the XI — Murugan Ashwin and Ravi Bishnoi – and they did not disappoint as they equally shared six of the 10 RCB wickets to fall.
Ashwin bagged 2/13 in three overs and Bisnoi 3/23 in four overs as the RCB, seeking their first IPL title, capitulated and collapsed for 109 in 17 overs while chasing 206. For that matter, K.L. Rahul’s KXIP are also in search of their maiden IPL crown.
The choice of two leg-spinner is believed to be the brainchild of Kumble. This decision came after the reverse KXIP suffered against Delhi Capitals in their opening game that went into the Super Over decider after the scores were tied. In that game, the second spinner in the XI was an off-spinner, Krishnappa Gowtham, who conceded 39 runs in four overs and failed to take a wicket.
It’s a myth that leg-spinners are not fit to T20 cricket. Amit Mishra, for example, has bagged three hat-tricks in the IPL and has been a pretty successful bowler for the Delhi (97 wickets in 92 matches), Deccan Chargers (32 in 28), and SunRisers Hyderabad (28 in 27).
Interestingly, Kumble and captain Rahul come from the same city, Bangalore, speak the same mother tongue, Kannada, and this familiarity and bonding has clearly helped the team. Actually, the members of the Punjab team speak four languages for communication – English, Hindi, Kannada, and Punjabi – and that could have also contributed its bit.
I am not being sexist or blaming Anushka: Sunil Gavaskar
My comments on Anushka Sharma, Bollywood actor and wife of Royal Challengers Bangalore and India captain Virat Kohli, has been misinterpreted, former India captain and commentator Sunil Gavaskar clarified on Friday.
Gavaskar faced the ire on social media for a remark he made on Anushka helping Kohli with his practice during the lockdown, with the actress herself demanding an explanation from the legendary former India captain in a post on her social media handle.
“As you hear from the commentary, Aakash [Chopra] and I were doing commentary for an Hindi channel. And Aakash was talking abot the fact that there has been very little chance for proper practice for everybody. That has actually shown in the rustiness of some of the players in their first matches,” Gavaskar told India Today.
“Rohit [Sharma] didn’t strike the ball well in his first match, MSD [Mahendra Singh Dhoni] didn’t strike the ball well, Virat [Kohli] also didn’t strike the ball. Most of the batsmen have because of the lack of practice,” he said.
Gavaskar further explained. “That was the point that was being made. Virat also had no practice and the only practice that they had when they were seen them playing in their building compund and Anushka was bowling to him. That’s what I said,” he said.
“She was bowling to him, that’s all. Where am I blaming her? Where am I being sexist in this? I am just stating what was seen in the video which was maybe recorded by somebody in the neighbouring buildings and then put up. That’s the only thing I am doing.”
Gavaskar said that the point he was trying to make was that there was “no practice for anybody, including Virat in the lockdown”.
“I am not being sexist. If somebody, has interpreted it, what can I do?” he said. “I would like to say it again: Where am I blaming her? I am not blaming her. I am only saying that the video said that she was bowling to Virat. Virat has played only that bowling during the lockdown period. It’s a tennis ball, a fun game that people have to pass time [with] during the lockdown. That’s all. Where am I blaming her for Virat’s failures?”
CSK win toss and elect to bowl against DC, Mishra replaces Ravichandran Ashwin
Chennai Super Kings on Friday elected to bowl after winning the toss ahead of their match against Delhi Capitals at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium. DC captain Shreyas Iyer confirmed that spinner Ravichandran Ashwin is out for the next “two-three matches” after dislocating his shoulder in their dramatic opening game against Kings XI Punjab.
CSK captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said that Lungi Ngidi makes way for Josh Hazlewood and DC skipper Shreyas Iyer said that Amit Mishra replaces Ashwin in the team. Avesh Khan will also be playing for the Delhi-based side, replacing Mohit Sharma.
Delhi Capitals (Playing XI): Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan, Shimron Hetmyer, Shreyas Iyer (captain), Rishabh Pant(wicketkeeper), Marcus Stoinis, Axar Patel, Kagiso Rabada, Amit Mishra, Anrich Nortje, Avesh Khan
Chennai Super Kings (Playing XI): Murali Vijay, Shane Watson, Faf du Plessis, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni (wicketkeeper,captain), Sam Curran, Ravindra Jadeja, Josh Hazlewood, Deepak Chahar, Piyush Chawla
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