Sehwag Backs Pandya as Mumbai Indians Captain, Raises Concerns Over Performance

Sehwag Backs Pandya as Mumbai Indians Captain, Raises Concerns Over Performance

Virender Sehwag Raises Concerns Over Hardik Pandya’s Captaincy at Mumbai Indians

Former Indian cricketer Virender Sehwag has expressed concerns over the performance of Mumbai Indians under the leadership of Hardik Pandya. Despite backing Pandya as captain, Sehwag highlighted the pressure he faces and the team’s struggles.

Sehwag believes that Pandya’s expectations may be weighing him down, leading to a decline in his performance. He also pointed out that Mumbai Indians have faced similar challenges in the past, even under the captaincy of Rohit Sharma.

“I don’t think he is under pressure. It could be the pressure of his own expectations,” Sehwag said. “But Mumbai Indians were in this situation last year as well, and even before that, where Rohit Sharma didn’t score runs as a captain. And Rohit Sharma ne as a captain jitaya bhi nahi 2-3 saal se (even Rohit Sharma did not win it as a captain in last 2-3 years).”

Under Pandya’s captaincy, Mumbai Indians have suffered five defeats in eight matches, including a recent loss to the Rajasthan Royals. Pandya’s own performance has been lackluster, with only 151 runs scored and four wickets taken in the tournament so far.

Sehwag emphasized that Mumbai Indians are aware of their past struggles and should not panic. However, he also acknowledged that Pandya’s expectations and the team’s poor performance could be a cause for concern.

“Mumbai Indians know that they have been in this situation before. If he is expecting a lot and he is not getting wickets, not scoring runs, and the team is losing under his captaincy, then that’s wrong,” Sehwag added.

Despite the criticism, Sehwag remains supportive of Pandya as captain. He believes that Pandya has the potential to lead Mumbai Indians to success, but he needs to find a way to manage his expectations and improve his performance.

IPL 2024: Finch Raises Concerns Over Jaiswal, Pandya, and India's Pace Bowling

IPL 2024: Finch Raises Concerns Over Jaiswal, Pandya, and India’s Pace Bowling

The Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 has reached its halfway point, and a clear divide has emerged between the top-performing teams and the struggling ones. Rajasthan Royals, SunRisers Hyderabad, and Kolkata Knight Riders have established themselves as the frontrunners, while Delhi Capitals, Punjab Kings, and Royal Challengers Bengaluru find themselves at the bottom of the standings.

With the T20 World Cup 2024 just around the corner, the IPL holds immense significance as it serves as a platform for players to showcase their form and earn a spot in the Indian squad. However, former Australian batter Aaron Finch has expressed concerns about the poor form of three key Indian players: Yashasvi Jaiswal, Hardik Pandya, and Jasprit Bumrah.

Finch, who led Australia to the T20 World Cup title in 2021, believes that Jaiswal and Pandya have been underperforming throughout the IPL so far. “There is a bit of pressure building on both of them,” Finch said. “They will want to be in great form to get picked and then contribute to India having a real crack at trying to win another T20 World Cup.”

Jaiswal, who scored a century against Mumbai Indians on Monday, has averaged 32.14 in eight games. Pandya, on the other hand, has struggled with both bat and ball, averaging 25.25 with the bat and taking only four wickets in seven matches.

Finch also raised concerns about India’s pace bowling, particularly the form of Jasprit Bumrah. “I think spin could get them out of trouble,” Finch said. “I think the form of Kuldeep Yadav will be crucial. Arshdeep Singh is a quality bowler, but he is not in his best form at the moment.”

Despite these concerns, Finch believes that India has enough time to address these issues before the T20 World Cup. “We have seven weeks from the tournament,” Finch said. “That’s potentially 10 more games for the guys to find form.”

Chamari Athapaththu Soars to No. 1 in ICC ODI Batting Rankings

Chamari Athapaththu Soars to No. 1 in ICC ODI Batting Rankings

Chamari Athapaththu’s record-breaking performance in Sri Lanka’s thrilling ODI victory over South Africa has propelled her to the summit of the ICC’s batting rankings for women’s ODIs. Athapaththu’s unbeaten 195 in just 139 balls shattered several records, including the highest individual score in a successful ODI chase.

Chasing South Africa’s formidable total of 301 for 5, anchored by Laura Wolvaardt’s magnificent 184 not out, Sri Lanka chased down the target in a mere 44.3 overs. Athapaththu’s knock was a masterclass in power-hitting, as she smashed 22 fours and 5 sixes.

Her innings not only secured a remarkable victory for Sri Lanka but also earned her a career-high rating of 773 on the ICC table. This achievement marks a significant milestone for Athapaththu, who has consistently been among the top performers in women’s cricket.

Athapaththu’s rise to the top has been accompanied by the impressive performances of other batters. Wolvaardt, who had entered the top five in the previous rankings update, has moved up two more spots to third place. Hayley Matthews has also made significant strides, jumping seven spots to reach No. 11 after her match-winning knocks against Pakistan.

Among bowlers, Pakistan’s Sadia Iqbal has made a notable ascent, moving up six places to enter the top 20. Her impressive returns of 2 for 38 and 1 for 36 against West Indies have earned her recognition as one of the most promising young spinners in the game.

The ICC rankings reflect the dynamic nature of women’s cricket, with players from various nations showcasing their exceptional skills. Athapaththu’s achievement is a testament to her unwavering determination and the growing strength of Sri Lanka’s women’s cricket team.

Dhoni's Unseen Anger: Raina Recalls CSK Legend's Outburst After IPL 2014 Loss

Dhoni’s Unseen Anger: Raina Recalls CSK Legend’s Outburst After IPL 2014 Loss

Suresh Raina Recounts Dhoni’s Uncharacteristic Anger After CSK’s IPL 2014 Qualifier 2 Loss

Former Chennai Super Kings (CSK) all-rounder Suresh Raina has shed light on an untold incident involving legendary wicketkeeper-batter MS Dhoni after CSK’s heartbreaking loss to Kings XI Punjab (now Punjab Kings) in Qualifier 2 of IPL 2014.

Raina, who was a key member of the CSK team at the time, recalled that he had never witnessed Dhoni as furious as he was after that match. He revealed that Dhoni vented his frustration by throwing his pads and helmet in the dressing room.

“I have never seen Dhoni that angry. He vented it out after that match. He was like ‘we don’t score runs, we don’t do this, that’. He threw his pads and helmet in the dressing room. He was irritated that we lost a match that we should have won. He was angry because we lost a match that we shouldn’t have. Otherwise, we would have won the IPL that year as well,” Raina said during a discussion on Lallantop.

Recalling the match, Punjab had posted a mammoth 226/6 after Dhoni invited them to bat in Qualifier 2. Virender Sehwag led the charge with a 122-run knock off 58 balls while David Miller smashed 38 off just 19 balls.

In reply, Raina smashed 87 off just 25 balls to give CSK a brisk start. However, CSK lost the match by 24 runs with Dhoni unbeaten on 42 off 31 balls. Dhoni was later criticized for his slow knock.

Raina also recalled his own knock in the match, saying that he felt like no one could stop him that night.

“I felt like a man possessed. The previous day, I had a dream that I would do something special. I was seeing the ball like a football. But, I was run out. The ball hitting the bat gave me a very different sound. I was feeling like no one could stop me,” he added.

Meanwhile, Raina retired from all forms of the game after the IPL 2021 season and has been actively involved in commentary since then.

Mohammad Rizwan Hailed as “Bradman of T20 Cricket” by Shaheen Afridi

Shaheen Afridi Hails Mohammad Rizwan as the “Bradman of T20 Cricket”

Pakistan’s star fast bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi has heaped praise on batter Mohammad Rizwan, calling him the “Bradman of T20 cricket” after he crossed the remarkable milestone of 3000 T20I runs.

Rizwan achieved this feat during the third T20I match against New Zealand, where he scored 22 off 21 deliveries before an unfortunate hamstring injury cut short his innings. Afridi’s heartfelt tribute to Rizwan on social media underscored the batsman’s transformative influence on the sport and his ability to silence doubters.

“Cheers to Muhammad Rizwan – the Bradman of T20 cricket and Pakistan’s SuperMan for hitting 3,000 T20I runs! Your impact has transformed the game and silenced the skeptics. Keep soaring, champion! You’re an inspiration to many,” Afridi’s post read.

Rizwan’s milestone not only marked a significant personal achievement but also saw him surpassing Indian cricketing stalwart Virat Kohli in reaching 3000 T20I runs. Rizwan achieved this feat in 92 matches and 79 innings, outpacing Kohli’s record of 87 matches and 81 innings.

Since his T20I debut against Bangladesh in 2015, Rizwan has been a linchpin in Pakistan’s batting lineup, featuring in 93 matches and 80 innings. With a strike rate of 127.42, he has amassed a total of 3048 runs, cementing his status as one of Pakistan’s premier batters in the shortest format of the game.

Rizwan’s success is a testament to his hard work, dedication, and unwavering belief in his abilities. Despite facing criticism and skepticism early in his career, he has proven his mettle time and again, becoming one of the most consistent and reliable batters in T20 cricket.

His ability to adapt to different conditions and situations, coupled with his exceptional shot-making skills, has made him a formidable force in the shortest format of the game. Rizwan’s contributions have been instrumental in Pakistan’s recent success in T20 cricket, including their triumph in the 2022 Asia Cup.

As Rizwan continues to scale new heights, he is sure to inspire a generation of young cricketers and leave an indelible mark on the sport. His achievements serve as a reminder that with hard work and determination, anything is possible.

RCB's Gamble on Chahal: A Strategic Move with Mixed Outcomes

RCB’s Gamble on Chahal: A Strategic Move with Mixed Outcomes

RCB’s Decision to Release Chahal: A Strategic Gamble with Mixed Results

Former Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB) director of cricket, Mike Hesson, has shed light on the franchise’s decision to release leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal ahead of the IPL 2022 season auction. Chahal, who recently achieved the historic milestone of 200 IPL wickets, was a key member of RCB for eight seasons.

Hesson explained that the decision to not retain Chahal was primarily driven by financial considerations. By retaining only three players, RCB gained an additional four crore rupees to spend in the auction, which they hoped to use to acquire both Chahal and pacer Harshal Patel.

However, RCB’s plans were disrupted when Chahal’s name emerged late in the auction, coinciding with their pursuit of Sri Lankan spin all-rounder Wanindu Hasaranga. RCB prioritized Hasaranga, who was available earlier in the auction, and inadvertently missed out on Chahal.

“Yuzi (Chahal) is one I will be frustrated with until I have finished my career and probably beyond. He is an outstanding bowler,” Hesson admitted.

Chahal’s departure from RCB has been a mixed bag for both the player and the franchise. Chahal has continued to excel with the Rajasthan Royals, claiming 61 wickets in 39 matches. RCB, on the other hand, have struggled to find a consistent replacement for Chahal, with their spin attack often proving to be a weak link.

Despite the strategic rationale behind Chahal’s release, Hesson acknowledged that it was a difficult decision to make. “It’s a tough one because you’re losing a quality player,” he said. “But at the end of the day, you have to make decisions that you think are best for the team.”

Shaheen Afridi's Controversial Comparison of Rizwan to Bradman Sparks Debate

Shaheen Afridi’s Controversial Comparison of Rizwan to Bradman Sparks Debate

Pakistan’s star pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi sparked controversy on social media after labeling teammate Mohammad Rizwan as the “Don Bradman of T20 cricket.” The comment came after Rizwan reached the milestone of 3000 runs in T20 international cricket, becoming the fastest player to achieve the feat in just 79 innings.

Afridi’s tweet, which read, “Cheers to Muhammad Rizwan – the Bradman of T20 cricket and Pakistan’s SuperMan for hitting 3,000 T20I runs! Your impact has transformed the game and silenced the skeptics. Keep soaring, champion! You’re an inspiration to many,” drew criticism from fans who questioned the comparison to the legendary Australian batsman.

Bradman, widely regarded as the greatest batsman of all time, dominated Test cricket with an astonishing batting average of 99.94. His dominance in the longer format of the game stands in stark contrast to Rizwan’s achievements in T20 cricket, a shorter and more explosive format.

Fans took to Twitter to express their disapproval of Afridi’s comparison. “Is this a sarcastic post, or do you really mean it?” asked one user. Another commented, “Bradman hit a total of 6 sixes in his entire career and he played test matches only. Rizwan is definitely the Bradman of T20.”

Despite the controversy, Rizwan’s achievement remains a significant milestone in his career. He has established himself as one of the most consistent and prolific batters in T20 cricket, with an impressive average of over 50 and a strike rate of over 130.

While Pakistan celebrated Rizwan’s achievement, they suffered a disappointing defeat in the third T20I against New Zealand. The Kiwis secured a comfortable 7-wicket victory, leaving Pakistan with a 1-2 deficit in the series.

Pakistan captain Babar Azam expressed his disappointment with the team’s performance, saying, “We were 10 runs short unfortunately. I think Shadab recovered well and built a good partnership. I think 180-190 was a par score according to me. We tried to play according to the situation.”

Pakistan will look to bounce back in the fourth T20I on April 24th as they aim to level the series and avoid a series defeat.

Irfan Pathan's Top 3 Picks for India's T20 World Cup Squad

Irfan Pathan’s Top 3 Picks for India’s T20 World Cup Squad

With the T20 World Cup fast approaching, former Indian pacer Irfan Pathan has shared his top three picks for the Indian squad. Pathan believes these players will have a significant impact on India’s campaign.

1. Rohit Sharma

Rohit Sharma, the current Indian captain, is in excellent form and has been leading the team effectively. His experience and ability to score runs consistently make him a crucial asset for India.

2. Yashasvi Jaiswal

Despite his young age, Yashasvi Jaiswal has impressed Pathan with his performances for Team India and in the IPL. His ability to score runs quickly and consistently makes him a valuable addition to the squad.

3. Virat Kohli

Virat Kohli, despite recent criticism, remains a world-class batsman. His strike rate in T20Is is 138+, better than Chris Gayle, and his IPL strike rate this season is 150. His experience and ability to perform under pressure make him indispensable for India.

Pathan’s selections have sparked discussions among fans and experts. Some agree with his choices, while others believe there are other players who deserve to be included. However, Pathan’s insights provide valuable perspectives on the strengths and weaknesses of the Indian team.

The T20 World Cup will be held from June 2 to 29 in the USA and West Indies. India will be looking to defend their title and will face stiff competition from other top teams. Pathan’s top three picks will be key to India’s success in the tournament.

CSK Showcase Big-Hitting Prowess Ahead of LSG Clash

CSK Showcase Big-Hitting Prowess Ahead of LSG Clash

Chennai Super Kings Gear Up for Crucial Clash with Lucknow Super Giants

Ahead of their highly anticipated encounter with the Lucknow Super Giants, the Chennai Super Kings have unveiled a glimpse of their preparations on social media. A video posted on the official CSK handle showcases the iconic Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Sameer Rizvi showcasing their formidable hitting abilities in the nets.

Dhoni, known for his legendary six-hitting prowess, was seen unleashing powerful strokes, reminiscent of his trademark style. The video serves as a reminder of the Thala’s ability to turn the game around single-handedly.

In their previous encounter, despite Dhoni’s heroics with the bat, LSG emerged victorious over CSK. Dhoni’s innings of 28 off just nine balls showcased his ability to inspire his team. CSK will look to use that inspiration as an impetus to secure a positive result in this crucial match.

With both sides tied at eight points in the league standings, a win in this encounter becomes imperative for their playoff aspirations. CSK, known for their formidable record at home, will be eager to redeem themselves after their recent loss to LSG.

The last match witnessed stellar performances from LSG’s KL Rahul and Quinton de Kock, whose record-breaking opening partnership led their team to victory against the five-time IPL winners. CSK will need to find a way to counter their formidable batting lineup.

The match promises to be a thrilling contest between two evenly matched teams. CSK will look to rely on their experience and home advantage, while LSG will aim to continue their impressive form. The outcome of this match could have a significant impact on the playoff race.

West Indies 'A' Squad Announced for Nepal T20 Tour

West Indies ‘A’ Squad Announced for Nepal T20 Tour

Cricket West Indies has announced a formidable 15-member ‘A’ squad for their upcoming tour of Nepal, featuring a host of experienced T20 specialists. The tour, scheduled for later this month, marks the first time a West Indian side will visit Nepal and serves as a crucial preparation phase for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024.

Led by Roston Chase, the squad boasts a wealth of talent, including Fabian Allen, Johnson Charles, Mark Deyal, Andre Fletcher, Obed McCoy, and Hayden Walsh. Chase, initially known as a Test specialist, has made significant strides in T20 cricket since his debut in 2021.

Desmond Haynes, West Indies’ lead selector, emphasized the importance of the tour for players not involved in the Indian Premier League (IPL). “It provides an invaluable opportunity to get our players back on the park playing competitive T20 cricket,” he said. “It also allows us to expose emerging prospects.”

The World Cup, to be co-hosted by the USA and West Indies in June, will feature Nepal among the 20 participating teams. West Indies white-ball coach Daren Sammy believes the Nepal tour will be crucial in refining the World Cup squad. “It offers us a chance to define roles and personnel more clearly,” he said.

Nine West Indians are currently participating in the IPL, including Andre Russell, Kyle Mayers, Nicholas Pooran, and Rovman Powell. Their performances in the IPL will be closely monitored as West Indies seeks to gauge the depth of its T20 team.

The West Indies ‘A’ squad will be coached by Floyd Reifer, assisted by Rayon Griffith. The tour will consist of five T20 matches, providing ample opportunities for the players to showcase their skills and prepare for the upcoming World Cup.

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