Suresh Raina Backs Shubman Gill as Future India Captain

Suresh Raina Backs Shubman Gill as Future India Captain

Former Indian all-rounder Suresh Raina has expressed his belief that Shubman Gill has the potential to become the next captain of the Indian men’s cricket team. Raina’s endorsement comes amidst speculation about the future of current captain Rohit Sharma, who has recently stated his desire to lead India to victory in the T20 World Cup this year and the World Test Championship (WTC) next year.

Raina’s comments were made during a discussion on Lallantop, where he said, “I would say he will be the next Indian captain (after Rohit Sharma). Ban sakta hai vo.”

Gill’s appointment as captain of the Gujarat Titans (GT) for IPL 2024 has further fueled speculation about his leadership credentials. Despite GT’s recent struggles, Gill has impressed as a leader, guiding the team to three wins in their first seven matches.

The 23-year-old is also the leading run-scorer for GT this season, with 263 runs in seven matches at an average of 43.83. His performances have showcased his maturity and ability to handle pressure situations.

Gill’s leadership qualities were also evident during his time as captain of the India Under-19 team, which won the 2018 ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup. He has also captained the Punjab Kings (PBKS) in the IPL, albeit with limited success.

Raina’s endorsement of Gill as a potential future captain is significant, given his own experience as a leader in the Indian team. Raina captained India in limited-overs cricket on several occasions and is known for his aggressive and attacking style of play.

If Gill is indeed appointed as India’s next captain, he will have big shoes to fill. Rohit Sharma has been a successful leader, guiding India to victory in the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup and the 2023 ICC World Test Championship.

However, Gill’s talent, leadership qualities, and experience suggest that he has the potential to succeed Rohit Sharma and lead India to future glory.

Yashasvi Jaiswal's IPL Struggles Raise Concerns for T20 World Cup Selection

Yashasvi Jaiswal’s IPL Struggles Raise Concerns for T20 World Cup Selection

Yashasvi Jaiswal’s recent struggles in the Indian Premier League (IPL) have raised concerns about his place in India’s T20 World Cup squad. The left-handed opener, who was among the top run-getters in the previous IPL season, has managed only 122 runs in six matches this year.

Former India cricketer Aakash Chopra expressed his worry about Jaiswal’s form, stating that he is “trying to murder every ball” instead of playing with his natural timing. Chopra urged Rajasthan Royals’ director of cricket operations, Kumar Sangakkara, or India captain Rohit Sharma to intervene and provide guidance to the young batter.

“I am getting slightly worried about Yashasvi because Yashasvi didn’t used to play like this. He is trying to murder every ball. You are a very good player, and you are good because you believe in timing. You are not a wrestler and you are not Andre Russell. Your playing style is very different,” Chopra said.

Jaiswal’s poor form has opened the door for other young batters to stake their claim for a spot in the T20 World Cup squad. Ruturaj Gaikwad, Abhishek Sharma, and Riyan Parag have all impressed with their performances in the IPL.

With Virat Kohli also being considered as an opening option alongside Shubman Gill, Jaiswal’s continued struggles could result in him being dropped from the World Cup race.

Rohit Sharma Debunks Rumors of T20 World Cup Meeting

Rohit Sharma Debunks Rumors of T20 World Cup Meeting

India’s cricket fraternity has been abuzz with speculation regarding a purported meeting between captain Rohit Sharma, BCCI chairman of selectors Ajit Agarkar, and head coach Rahul Dravid to discuss India’s strategy for the upcoming T20 World Cup. However, Rohit Sharma has swiftly dismissed these claims as “fake” in an interview on the Club Prairie Fire podcast with Michael Vaughan and Adam Gilchrist.

“I haven’t met anyone,” Rohit clarified. “Ajit Agarkar is somewhere in Dubai playing golf and Rahul Dravid is actually watching his kids play in Bengaluru… We haven’t met, to be honest.”

Rohit emphasized the importance of relying on credible sources and cautioned against believing unverified reports. “In today’s day and age, unless you hear it from either myself or Rahul himself or Ajit himself or someone from BCCI coming and talking in front of the camera, everything is fake.”

Despite the denials, the speculation surrounding India’s T20 World Cup squad continues to intensify. One of the key talking points has been the potential inclusion of wicketkeeper-batter Rishabh Pant, whose remarkable comeback from a car accident in December 2022 has sparked discussions about his selection.

Pant has amassed 194 runs in six matches since his return, maintaining a strike rate of 157.72. Former England pacer Stuart Broad has been a vocal advocate for his inclusion in India’s T20 World Cup squad, citing a particular shot played by Pant against Kolkata Knight Riders as evidence of his exceptional talent.

With the BCCI set to unveil India’s T20 World Cup squad in the first week of May, every IPL fixture gains heightened significance as players vie for limited spots. The tournament serves as a critical platform for players to showcase their skills and stake their claim for a place in the national team, amidst a backdrop of intense scrutiny and speculation.

India's ICC Trophy Drought: Vaughan Questions Significance of Champions Trophy

India’s ICC Trophy Drought: Vaughan Questions Significance of Champions Trophy

India’s elusive quest for ICC glory has been a topic of much debate, with former England captain Michael Vaughan expressing his surprise at the team’s inability to convert their talent into trophies. Since their last ICC triumph in 2013, India has come close but ultimately fallen short in several major tournaments.

Vaughan, speaking on The Ranveer Show, questioned the significance of the ICC Champions Trophy, which India won in 2013. “That’s not a trophy really,” he said. “There is the World Cup and the World Test Championship now, India lost both the finals there.”

Despite the presence of exceptional captains and players, India has struggled to replicate their domestic dominance on the international stage. Vaughan praised the efforts of Rohit Sharma, Sourav Ganguly, Virat Kohli, and MS Dhoni, but emphasized that India should be winning more trophies.

“I feel India should be winning every 2-3 trophies that are available,” Vaughan said. “They have so much talent in this country.”

India’s recent performances have been a source of frustration for fans and pundits alike. They reached the final of the 2017 Champions Trophy, 2019 ODI World Cup, and 2023 ODI World Cup, but failed to secure victory. They also lost in the final of the inaugural World Test Championship.

Vaughan believes that India’s inability to win ICC titles is a combination of factors, including pressure, big-match temperament, and a lack of consistency. He urged the team to learn from their mistakes and strive for greater success in the future.

India Women's Cricket Team Announces Squad for Bangladesh T20I Series

India Women’s Cricket Team Announces Squad for Bangladesh T20I Series

India’s women’s cricket team has announced a 16-member squad for the upcoming five-match T20I series against Bangladesh, scheduled to commence on April 28. The squad features two notable inclusions in S Sajana and S Asha, who have earned their maiden India call-ups.

Sajana, a hard-hitting batter, emerged as one of Mumbai’s breakout stars in the recently concluded Women’s Premier League (WPL). Her ability to accelerate the innings in the latter stages was instrumental in Mumbai’s success. Asha, on the other hand, became the first Indian to claim a five-wicket haul in the WPL. She finished as the second-highest wicket-taker in the tournament, showcasing her impressive bowling skills.

The squad also includes the return of experienced all-rounder D Hemalatha and left-arm spinner Radha Yadav. Hemalatha last played a T20I in September 2022, while Yadav’s last appearance came at the T20 World Cup in South Africa last year.

The composition of the squad aligns with captain Harmanpreet Kaur’s stated goal of providing opportunities to top performers ahead of the T20 World Cup, scheduled for September-October in Bangladesh.

Jemimah Rodrigues, a key member of the Indian team, will miss the Bangladesh tour due to a back niggle. She is currently undergoing treatment at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru. The decision to rest Rodrigues is precautionary, considering the upcoming T20 World Cup.

The squad is predominantly spin-heavy, reflecting the expected conditions in Bangladesh. Deepti Sharma will lead the spin attack, supported by Shreyanka Patil, Saika Ishaque, Asha, and Radha Yadav. Renuka Singh Thakur and Titas Sadhu are the two frontline pacers, with Pooja Vastrakar and Amanjot Kaur providing seam-bowling options.

Richa Ghosh is expected to be the first-choice wicketkeeper, while Yastika Bhatia, who has impressed as a pure batter, is likely to serve as a backup.

India will be aiming to continue their dominance over Bangladesh in T20Is. In their previous encounter in July 2022, India won the series 2-1.

Rohit Sharma's Brilliance and Calm Leadership Guide India to Test Series Victory

Rohit Sharma’s Brilliance and Calm Leadership Guide India to Test Series Victory

Former England cricketer Nasser Hussain has praised India skipper Rohit Sharma for his exceptional performance in the recently concluded Test series against England. Hussain believes that Sharma’s calm and composed demeanor on the field belies his immense skill and brilliance as a batsman.

Sharma amassed 400 runs in the five-match series, including two centuries, at a strike rate of 64.21. Hussain noted that Sharma’s ability to adapt his captaincy style to suit the team’s needs was evident throughout the series.

“I think sometimes people confuse Rohit as a laidback cricketer who just lets the game drift,” Hussain said. “There is a lot of skill, thought, and brilliance about his batting. And I thought he had an excellent series as captain.”

Hussain cautioned against comparing Sharma’s captaincy style to that of his predecessor, Virat Kohli. “Don’t confuse (Rohit with Virat’s captaincy) because he has come off the back of Virat Kohli. In your face, aggressive captain. In the huddle at Lord’s, saying let’s unleash hell on the England batting lineup. Rohit is not quite the same sort of person. He has that fire burning within.”

Despite England’s early 1-0 lead in the series, India fought back to win four consecutive matches and seal a 4-1 victory. Hussain attributed India’s success to their ability to capitalize on England’s mistakes and their resilience in the face of adversity.

“England had their chances, notably in Rajkot and Ranchi, but India came back strong on both occasions to win,” Hussain said. “India showed great character and determination to come back from behind and win the series.”

Hussain concluded by highlighting the importance of Sharma’s leadership in India’s triumph. “Rohit has been a calming influence on the team,” he said. “He has created a positive and supportive environment, which has allowed the players to perform to their full potential.”

Ian Chappell Slams Ben Stokes' Captaincy After England's India Test Debacle

Ian Chappell Slams Ben Stokes’ Captaincy After England’s India Test Debacle

Legendary Australian cricketer Ian Chappell has launched a scathing attack on Ben Stokes’ captaincy following England’s 4-1 Test series defeat to India. Chappell believes that Stokes’ aggressive approach faltered at crucial moments, particularly in the fourth Test in Ranchi, which India won convincingly.

Chappell cited Stokes’ decision to open the bowling with part-timer Joe Root instead of experienced seamer Jimmy Anderson on the third evening of the Ranchi Test as a major error. India took full advantage, scoring 40 runs off just eight overs.

“Stokes missed a trick in Ranchi,” Chappell wrote in his column for ESPNCricinfo. “He then compounded his error by allowing too many easy singles on the final day by resorting to some cautious field placings. At a time when Stokes needed to be extremely brave as captain and hope he got lucky, he was abnormally conservative.”

Chappell believes that Stokes should take inspiration from Pakistan legend Javed Miandad, who was a master of leading teams in demanding chases.

“India probably would still have won but at least by going on the attack, Stokes would have given England their best chance of an upset victory,” Chappell said. “Stokes could improve his captaincy in demanding chases if he took the example of the leadership master in those situations – Pakistan’s Javed Miandad.”

Chappell also praised India captain Rohit Sharma for his astute leadership throughout the series.

“Rohit proceeded to take full advantage of the tentative field placings with a thoughtful innings and India’s solid opening partnership helped seal victory,” Chappell concluded.

England's 'Bazball' Approach Needs Adjustments After India Test Series Defeat

England’s ‘Bazball’ Approach Needs Adjustments After India Test Series Defeat

England’s ‘Bazball’ Approach Faces Scrutiny After India Test Series Defeat

England’s cricket coach Brendon McCullum has acknowledged the need for adjustments to the team’s aggressive ‘Bazball’ approach following their 4-1 Test series defeat against India.

McCullum admitted that the team’s high-risk strategy, which emphasizes attacking play and scoring runs quickly, requires refinement after being exposed by India’s skilled bowling attack. “Sometimes, you can get away with things,” McCullum said. “But when you’re exposed the way we have been in the back end of this series in particular, it does require some pretty deep thinking and some adjustment to make sure we’re staying true to what we believe in.”

The Indian team’s relentless pressure, led by spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel, forced England to adopt a more cautious approach as the series progressed. “If anything, we got more timid as the series went on, and that was because of the pressure that was applied to us by the Indian lineup,” McCullum noted.

The series loss marked the first setback for England under McCullum’s leadership, raising questions about the team’s one-dimensional approach. “There are some things where you can get a little bit of luck on your side and you paper over a couple of the cracks,” McCullum said. “When you are exposed in the way we have been here, you know that you have to get better in some areas.”

McCullum emphasized the importance of refining England’s approach to ensure they are better prepared for future challenges. “The next couple of months will be us working out that and making sure when we come to the summer we are a more refined version of what we are at the minute,” he said.

The series also highlighted the emergence of promising Indian youngsters, such as Yashasvi Jaiswal, Dhruv Jurel, and Sarfaraz Khan, who made significant contributions in the absence of key players like Virat Kohli and Mohammed Shami.

England’s “Bazball” Experiment Suffers Setback in India

England’s “Bazball” experiment suffered a resounding setback in the fifth Test against India in Dharamsala, as the hosts secured a comprehensive victory within three days. The defeat marked England’s first series loss under the leadership of Ben Stokes and head coach Brendon McCullum, who have championed an aggressive and attacking style of play.

Jonny Bairstow, who played his 100th Test for England in Dharamsala, was at the center of a viral moment during the match. As the crowd chanted “Bazball gets battered everywhere they go,” Bairstow was caught on camera responding with a wry smile and a few words of his own.

Bairstow’s reaction reflected the frustration of the England team, who were outplayed by India in all departments. The hosts dominated with both bat and ball, posting a mammoth first-innings total of 416 and then dismissing England for just 168. India enforced the follow-on and completed a crushing victory by an innings and 64 runs.

Despite the disappointing result, Stokes remained defiant in his post-match comments. He acknowledged India’s superiority but warned critics against writing off England. “I don’t give too much away as the series is going on, but I’m always man enough to say we got beaten by the better team,” Stokes said. “I have done a lot of India tours now. I am obviously disappointed with my performance for the team, but write this team off, write me off at your own peril.”

Stokes’s comments suggest that England will use this setback as motivation to improve. The team has shown glimpses of their potential under Stokes and McCullum, but they will need to find a way to sustain their aggressive approach while also being more disciplined.

The defeat in Dharamsala also raises questions about the long-term viability of “Bazball.” While the attacking style has brought some thrilling victories, it has also led to some heavy defeats. England will need to find a balance between aggression and pragmatism if they want to be successful in all conditions.

Shoaib Bashir's Resilience Earns Praise from England Spin Coach

Shoaib Bashir’s Resilience Earns Praise from England Spin Coach

England’s spin coach, Jeetan Patel, has hailed the resilience and skill of Shoaib Bashir after the young spinner overcame illness to claim four first-innings wickets in the fifth Test against India. Bashir’s performance, despite being under the weather, has earned him Patel’s admiration and a promise of continued support in his career progression.

Bashir, along with Ollie Robinson, had missed the final training session before the Test due to illness. However, he showed remarkable determination to bowl 44 overs in India’s first innings, adding to the 70 overs he bowled in the previous Test. Despite a cut on his spinning finger, Bashir remained relentless, nearly claiming a five-wicket haul.

Patel praised Bashir’s efforts, emphasizing the importance of perseverance and hard work. He also commended the entire England bowling attack for their resilience in taking seven wickets on the second day. “It’s a hell of an effort,” Patel said of Bashir’s role. “He’s put in a hell of a shift for us.”

Patel’s optimistic approach to adversity has been a hallmark of the Ben Stokes-Brendon McCullum era. Despite India’s lead, Patel believes England can still fight back. “We’re going to have tough days in Test cricket,” he said. “And today was one of them. If you put enough hard yards in, eventually the circle turns and it comes back on you.”

Patel’s mentorship of Bashir and other young spinners is crucial for England’s future. He plans to continue supporting them even after the current tour. “My work continues when they are not with England,” he said. “I am not the sort of bloke who is going to leave them in the lurch.”

Bashir’s meteoric rise from obscurity has raised questions about his future playing time. Patel acknowledged that Bashir and Hartley may face limited opportunities in the coming weeks, but he believes they have something to offer England. “They have something to offer England, but we want to keep pushing that and advancing their learning,” he said.

Patel’s praise for Bashir’s development highlights the young spinner’s potential. “The spin he can access, over spin, side spin … he’s got some overs to bowl yet, he’s going to have to keep learning,” Patel said. “But what he’s done in his three Tests here has certainly shown that.”

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