IPL 2020 | Battle of survival on cards as resurgent KXIP face SRH

News Network
October 23, 2020

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Dubai, Oct 23: Their campaign back on track with a hat-trick of wins, Kings XI Punjab will take on another resurgent team -- Sunrisers Hyderabad -- here on Saturday in a must-win IPL game for the two well-matched sides.

Both KXIP and SRH are on the same pedestal, having garnered eight points apiece after 10 games, but the Hyderabad outfit is a rung ahead in the eight-team standings, on the fifth spot by virtue of a better net run rate.

And both the teams need to win their remaining four games to guarantee their place in the play-offs.

It has been a terrific turnaround, especially for KXIP after a slow start to the tournament.

After the initial hiccups, KXIP got its campaign back on track with three consecutive wins -- over mighty Delhi Capitals, Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore and the KL Rahul-led side would be hoping to carry the winning momentum forward to break into top four.

While KXIP's batting is in the safe hands of skipper Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle and Nicholas Pooran, the shaky form of Glenn Maxwell remains a concern.

It has been an erratic season for KXIP so far despite having the tournament's top two run-getters in openers Rahul (540) and Mayank Agarwal (398) in its ranks.

But the successful return of Gayle has been a welcome relief for KXIP as it reduced the burden on the shoulders of its star openers, especially allowing Rahul to play more freely.

Jimmy Neesham's inclusion has given some depth to KXIP's batting as well bowling unit led by the experienced Mohammed Shami.

SRH too finds itself in a similar position and needs to win its remaining four matches to seal a play-off berth.

The side managed to keep itself in the play-off hunt with a confidence-boosting eight-wicket win over Rajasthan Royals on Thursday night after three consecutive defeats.

And the David Warner-led side can't slip a bit from hereon if it wishes to stay alive in the tournament.

The positive for SRH is that despite Warner and Jonny Bairstow departing early in the 155-run chase against RR in their last match, young Manish Pandey (83) and Vijay Shankar (52) rose to the occasion and shared an unbeaten 140-run partnership to secure a comfortable win.

Jason Holder's inclusion has added firepower to SRH's bowling attack as the West Indian picked up three wickets for 33 runs against RR.

But it's high time that SRH's young guns -- Priyam Garg, Abdul Samad and T Natarajan -- own up some responsibility.

Teams:

Sunrisers Hyderabad: David Warner (C), Jonny Bairstow, Kane Williamson, Manish Pandey, Shreevats Goswami, Virat Singh, Priyam Garg, Wriddhiman Saha, Abdul Samad, Vijay Shankar, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Jason Holder, Abhishek Sharma, B Sandeep, Sanjay Yadav, Fabian Allen, Prithvi Raj Yarra, Khaleel Ahmed, Sandeep Sharma, Shahbaz Nadeem, Siddharth Kaul, Billy Stanlake, T Natarajan, Basil Thampi.

Kings XI Punjab: KL Rahul (C), Harpreet Brar, Ishan Porel, Mandeep Singh, James Neesham, Tajinder Singh, Chris Jordan, Karun Nair, Deepak Hooda, Ravi Bishnoi, Arshdeep Singh, Glenn Maxwell, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Sarfaraz Khan, Sheldon Cottrell, Mayank Agarwal, Mohammed Shami, Darshan Nalkande, Nicholas Pooran, Chris Gayle, Murugan Ashwin, Jagadeesha Suchith, Krishnappa Gowtham, Hardus Viljoen, Simran Singh.

The match starts at 7:30 pm.

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Agencies
November 26,2020

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Christchurch, Nov 26: Six members of the Pakistan touring squad have tested positive for coronavirus while in managed isolation in Christchurch, the New Zealand Cricket (NZC) said on Thursday.

The Pakistan cricket team had arrived in Christchurch on Tuesday for a month-long tour of New Zealand. The squad led by Pakistan's all-format captain Babar Azam was under a mandatory 14-day quarantine period as per COVID-19 protocol.

"NZC was made aware today that six members of the Pakistan touring squad, currently in managed isolation in Christchurch, have tested positive for COVID-19," NZC said in an official statement.

"Two of these six results have been deemed 'historical'; four have been confirmed as new," it added.

Now in line with the protocols governing the squad's entry into New Zealand, the six members of the squad will be moved to the quarantine arm of the managed isolation facility.

As a consequence, the Pakistan team's exemption to train while in managed isolation has been put on hold until investigations have been completed.

"Separately, NZC has also been made aware that some members of the Pakistan team had contravened protocols on the first day of managed isolation," the cricket board said.

Pakistan are slated to play three T20Is on December 18, 20, and 22, and the ICC World Test Championship fixtures will be held in Mount Maunganui and Christchurch on December 26-30 and January 3-7, respectively.

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News Network
November 25,2020

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Sydney, Nov 25: India wicket-keeper batsman KL Rahul on Wednesday said that nobody can that MS Dhoni has shown the way to all wicket-keepers as to how to do the role perfectly in different situations.

Rahul's remark comes as India gets ready to lock horns against Australia in three ODIs, three T20Is, and four Tests. The first ODI will be played on Friday, November 27 at the Sydney Cricket Ground. MS Dhoni had retired from international cricket in August this year.

The Virat Kohli-led side will be without the services of Rohit Sharma as the right-handed batsman is currently at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) to gain his full fitness. Rahul is also the vice-captain of India's white-ball team in the absence of Rohit.

"Look, obviously nobody can fill the place of MS Dhoni, he has shown the way to the wicket-keeper batsman on how to do the role perfectly, I think I will probably go and give the spinners the feedback regarding what length can be bowled on different wickets. Wicket-keepers have this responsibility, and I have done this job in one series in New Zealand, so hopefully, I can do the same going ahead," said Rahul during a virtual press conference on Thursday.

Rahul will be entering the white-ball series against Australia with good form behind him. The Kings XI Punjab skipper scored 670 runs in 14 matches in the recently concluded IPL and he also won the Orange Cap (most runs in a single edition of the IPL).

"I would not call my batting as power-hitting, it is not something that I am blessed with, I try to play the role I feel the team requires me to play at that moment, I have learnt to stay in the moment, that is something I have really worked on and as you grow older, you realise that you need to keep on getting better, I am blessed that I get to interact with the best players in the world, I am always looking to grow," said the 28-year-old.

In the next three years, India will be playing three World Cups and Rahul said that the team is currently not thinking too far ahead and the Virat Kohli-led side is looking to be present at the moment.

India will be hosting the T20 World Cup and 50-over World Cup in 2021 and 2023 respectively. While, Australia will be hosting the 20-over World Cup in 2022.

"Nothing has been told to me, we as a team are not thinking that far ahead, World Cups are important, that is the long vision for every team but I think for me, we are still taking it one game at a time, and if I keep putting consistent performances as a keeper and batsman, it gives us the choice of playing an extra batter or bowler. If I can keep in the coming three World Cups, I would love to do it for my country," said Rahul.

After the white-ball leg, both sides will shift their attention to the longest format of the game. The first Test between India and Australia will be a day-night contest, beginning from December 17 in Adelaide.

The four-match series will be a part of the World Test Championship (WTC). Australia are on top of the standing while India is at the second position after ICC altered the points system for WTC due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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News Network
November 26,2020

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Kochi, Nov 26: Former India pacer S Sreesanth will return to competitive cricket with a local T20 tournament organised by the Kerala Cricket Association, his first after completing seven-year ban on charges of match-fixing.

Sreesanth, who was banned by the BCCI over his alleged involvement in spot-fixing in the IPL, features in the list of players for the T20 event in Alappuzha. His ban ended in September this year.

He has been picked in the KCA Tigers team to be captained by state team skipper Sachin Baby in the tournament, a KCA official said.

According to the KCA, six teams--KCA Royals, KCA Tigers, KCA Tuskers, KCA Eagles, KCA Panthers and KCA Lions- - have been selected by a committee constituted for the inaugural KCA President's Cup T20 tournament. Besides, Sreesanth and Baby, prominent players like Basil Thampi, Rohan Prem, Midhun S, Asif KM and other senior state players will be featuring in different teams, KCA said.

"The teams are a mixture of youth and experience. The tournament is expected to produce keen contests and provide a platform for many aspiring cricketers to showcase their skills," a KCA press release stated. This will be Sreesanth's comeback on the cricket field after serving the ban, which ended in September this year. The 37-year old bowler had earlier said that he intends to resume at least his domestic career at the end of the ban and his home state Kerala has promised to consider him if he manages to prove his fitness.

KCA said it was waiting for the nod from the government authorities for conducting the tournament in Alappuzha from December 17, 2020, to January 3, 2021, adhering to Covid-19 protocols. Permission for the same has been requested to the government authorities, it said.

KCA said this inaugural T20 tournament will be an annual affair involving six teams selected by a committee constituted for this purpose. "There shall be no franchisees or owners. Each team consists of 14 players and 2 support staff. There will also be 4 players "on-call" for each team, if replacements are required," it said in a release. KCA said all players, support staff and concerned officials shall be brought under a bio-secure environment to minimise the risk of infection through external contact. "Strict adherence to Covid-19 safety protocols will be ensured.

"For this purpose before the commencement of the tournament, KCA will conduct on-line workshops for players/officials, to educate them on the SoPs and on-ground precautionary measures," it said.

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