Full List of Matches and Venues for Chennai Super Kings

IPL 2021 Schedule: Full List of Matches and Venues for Chennai Super Kings

IPL 2021 schedule: Chennai Super Kings begin their IPL 2021 campaign with a match against Delhi Capitals in Mumbai on April 10. The IPL 2021 schedule was announced on Sunday.

Here’s the full schedule for CSK.

Ready ah… vaanga pa… summer coming! Block the #Yellove dates! #WhistlePodu #IPL2021 pic.twitter.com/k8RI1P6Q8o

— Chennai Super Kings (@ChennaiIPL) March 7, 2021

It is fair to say that Chennai Super Kings (CSK) did not have a good time of things in the 2020 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL). The three-time champions were outperformed for the most part and ended the season without making it to the knockout rounds – the first time they ever missed out on a spot in the top 4. Fans and experts alike had foreseen a need to rebuild and it seems like team management is also veering in that direction. Not only were younger players given chances in the latter stages of the tournament, they also released a number of players who had not been up to the mark. They also added several key players in this year’s auction.

IPL 2021 Schedule: Full Fixtures List, Timings, Venues

Here’s a look at who all they have picked up this year.

Players Bought at IPL 202I Auction

Total: 6 | K Gowtham, Moeen Ali, Cheteshwar Pujara, K Bhagath Verma, M. Harisankar Reddy, C.Hari Nishaanth.

Overseas: Moeen Ali

Budget Spent: Rs. 17.35 crore

Full squad: Faf du Plessis, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, N. Jagadeesan (wk), Robin Uthappa, MS Dhoni (c&wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Sam Curran, Dwayne Bravo, Karn Sharma, R. Sai Kishore, Mitchell Santner, Imran Tahir, Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur, Lungi Ngidi, Josh Hazlewood, KM Asif.

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Sharad Pawar Recalls How MS Dhoni Was Made India Captain in 2007

Sharad Pawar Recalls How MS Dhoni Was Made India Captain in 2007

Former Board of Control for Cricket in India president Sharad Pawar recalled how MS Dhoni was made captain in 2007, saying it was Sachin Tendulkar who recommended Dhoni for the role. Speaking at a program in Ranchi, Pawar said he had asked Tendulkar to take over from Rahul Dravid but the master batsman declined the offer.

“Among players to have contributed greatly to Indian Cricket is former captain MS Dhoni. During India’s tour to England, Rahul Dravid told me that captaincy was affecting his gameplay & he wanted to resign. I asked Sachin Tendulkar to take over, but he denied too,” Sharad Pawar said.

who’ll lead the country then? He recommended Dhoni’s name saying, “We’ve a player who can popularise Indian Cricket worldwide”. And then Dhoni was given the responsibility, whose leadership got Indian Cricket worldwide recognition.”</p></p><p><p>Under Dhoni, India had tremendous success across all formats. They reached the No. 1 ranking in ICC Test ratings and won the T20 World Cup in 2007 and the World Cup in 2011. Dhoni last played an international match in the World Cup 2019 semifinal against New Zealand.</p></p><p><p>Recently, Virat Kohli became the most successful Test captain for India at home going past Dhoni. By the time the series against England reached Ahmedabad, Kohli had led his team to a series leveling win in Chennai. Hence, he had led India to 21 Test wins and equaled Captain Cool’s numbers.</p></p><p><figure class=” article-mad=”” style=”text-align: center;”>

But with win in Ahmedabad, Kohli has now 22 wins under his belt and he now becomes the most successful Test captain for India at home.

Dhoni had captained India in 31 home Tests taking his team to victory in 21 of them. Kohli equaled the record in the second Test in Chennai but only in 28 Tests which means that the incumbent Indian skipper has a higher Win Percentage at home during his leadership. Dhoni had lost three home Tests as captain while Kohli has lost just two which means that the latter’s Win-Loss Percentage at 10.5 is also higher than Dhoni’s (7).

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Rishabh Pant Will Break MS Dhoni’s Records, Says Former India Wicketkeeper Kiran More

There’s Nothing Better Than Performing When Team Needs You Most, Says Pant

Though it may be unfair on the senior and well-established ’keeper Wriddhiman Saha, whom he has displaced from the Test XI even at home, Pant has given this Indian team the balance that they have been looking for. Pant’s remarkable batting on the second day of the fourth and final Test was just an example of why he is the preferred choice to keep wickets in the longer format ahead of Saha.

Rishabh Pant’s Measured Yet Thrilling Knock Was New Age Batting at Its Best

Former India wicketkeeper of repute, Kiran More was mightily impressed with Pant’s growth as a wicketkeeper, especially in this series. The just-concluded series was Pant’s only second home Test series in his 20-Test career so far, his first being the two-Test rubber against the West Indies in October 2018, which Saha missed after having a shoulder surgery earlier that year in England. Once Saha was back, it was the Bengal cricketer who kept wickets in India against South Africa and Bangladesh in late 2019. There became an unwritten rule that Saha would keep wickets in India and Pant, overseas.

Adam Gilchrist Has a Special Message for Rishabh Pant – Read Here

But More deferred. “I have always wondered why Pant was not played in India earlier. Pant did very well in England in his maiden appearance (15 catches in 3 Tests). He did very well in Australia in 2018-19 (20 catches in 4 Tests including 11 in a Test, the best ever by an Indian wicketkeeper). But, when they played in India, he was not allowed to keep wickets,” the 58-year-old More told News18.com in an exclusive chat from Baroda.

Rishabh Pant ‘More Than Ready’ to Fill in MS Dhoni Void, Says Rohit Sharma

“I wondered why a person who does well in England and Australia, and wins Tests for you and is a proven match-winner is not tried in India. Unless and until he plays on Indian turning tracks, he is not going to learn. This time, he got an opportunity to play. Once he plays on turning tracks, only then will he learn. He is only 23 years. If you don’t allow him to keep wickets in India and only play him abroad, his growth is only going to drop.”

Sourav Ganguly Lavishes Praise on Rishabh Pant, Says He Will Be An All-time Great

More, who appeared in 49 Tests and accounted for 130 dismissals including 110 catches and 20 stumpings from 1986 to 1993, felt that a wicketkeeper’s true quality comes while keeping on turning pitches. And, in his books, Pant is a clear winner.

In Pics-Pant Power Hits England in Full Might

He said: “I feel Pant has got the right opportunity and the wicketkeeper always comes into the picture on turning tracks. He will look good also. Even if he misses an odd ball, nobody will say anything wrong. All they will say is ‘the ball is turning’, ‘it’s staying low’, ‘ball is jumping’, and those sorts of excuses. Plus, usually in India, it is not going to be high-scoring matches. Even if he misses one, it is not going to matter. You are going to get a lot of catches, you will be the centre of attraction on those types of pitches. That’s what has happened to Pant as well. He has kept well.”

WATCH – Rishabh Pant Sledges Zak Crawley & England Batsman Gets Dismissed on Very Next Ball

Of course, Pant is not a complete wicketkeeper, yet. More, who has helped fine tune Pant’s wicketkeeping skills in the past, said: “Definitely, there is a lot of scope for improvement. There is a lot of work to be done. One should not just go only by the looks of his wicketkeeping. He will be fine. He has a few areas to work on. Hopefully I will get an opportunity to work on him in the future.”

More said that the test of a wicketkeeper was in how he keeps on turning tracks. He said: “I find it very challenging on turning tracks. I really enjoyed keeping on such pitches. If you are good enough, you can create catches and stumpings. If you don’t enjoy keeping on turning tracks, you won’t be able to keep wickets at all.”

Like it does for all-rounders, when success in one department rubs on to the other department as well, Pant is no different. More said Pant can do what the destructive wicketkeeper-batsman of yesteryear, Adam Gilchrist, did for Australia in the 2000s.

More said: “Pant’s confidence is growing in wicket-keeping. His batting is helping him gain confidence in ’keeping. He is scoring runs in every match. He is going to improve the more and more he plays in India.

“A lot of people had this question of who India will play – Pant or Saha. No doubt Saha is a great wicketkeeper, one of the best in world cricket. But, when you want the team balance, Pant gives you the best balance. Coming at No. 6, he is a capable batsman who can win Tests singlehandedly for you. What Adam Gilchrist did for Australia, this guy is going to do for the next 10 years. He is going to be there in all the formats. The team management will decide when to rest him.”

Pant began as one who used to throw his bat at almost everything and had the ‘hit out or get out’ policy. Often, he has thrown away his wicket after getting the starts. But, he has shown great maturity and played according to situations. Prior to his remarkable 101, he played responsibly, helping India save the Test in Sydney with 97 on the final day and a match-winning 89 not out in Brisbane in January this year.

More was surprised that Pant was not an automatic selection in limited overs for his batting. “I was surprised that he was not a part of the 2019 World Cup team initially. (Pant did make the squad as a replacement to the injured Shikhar Dhawan, who was ruled out after a thumb injury). I was surprised that he’s not part of the T20 team and was dropped from the ODI team in Australia. I was taken aback by the fact that a player of his calibre who can hit sixes at will is not part of the Indian team. When you get this sort of a player, you need to back him.”

Now being the automatic choice for Tests, Pant need not worry about competition with other Indian wicketkeepers including Saha. More, who was part of the Indian squad from 1983 as an understudy to the legendary Syed Kirmani on the tour of West Indies, said: “Pant is a character who does not care about other things. He is a fighter. He is very courageous. He trusts his own game, That’s what a cricketer should be. I don’t think he thinks about competing with Saha. He only thinks about winning matches for India and keeping wickets. When he is behind the wickets, he wants to do well all the time.”

More, who was also chairman of the national selection committee that picked a certain Mahendra Singh Dhoni in the Indian team in the 2000s, said that Pant can go on to emulate the Jharkhand and Indian legend.

“You learn every day. You learn by keeping on different pitches with varying soil types. You learn by keeping to the best spinners and pacers in the world that India have at the moment. You have to learn by observing. He will break MS Dhoni’s records. If you don’t learn, you will be found wanting. With experience, Pant will go a long way,” More said.

More, though, felt sorry for Saha, whose career seems to be at a standstill at 38 Tests and 103 dismissals including 11 stumpings. “I feel for Saha. But, it is a competitive world. He has not done bat at all, though. He is the best wicketkeeper.”

When you keep a gloveman of the calibre of Saha out of the Test 11, it also speaks about the strength of wicketkeepers in the country at the moment. More was pleased with the overall scenario of the wicketkeepers in the country.

He said: “It is very good. You have Ishan Kishan (included in the upcoming T20 series against England), Sanju Samson, KS Bharat (reserve wicketkeeper in Tests), Anuj Rawat of Delhi and Rajasthan Royals, Mumbai’s Aditya Tare has always done well in domestic cricket. There are a couple of under-19 wicketkeepers too. The wicket-keepers strength is very good. They need to be nurtured very well.”

The just-concluded Test series against England was reminiscent of the 1993 home series against the same opponents in which More kept to the spin trio of Anil Kumble, Venkatapathi Raju and Rajesh Chauhan.

He remembered that series fondly: “We did not lose any Test in that series. We won all the three Tests. The three young spinners Kumble, Raju and Chauhan did a lot of damage. There were pretty high scores in that series. India scored a lot of runs. The pitches were similar to what you expect in India – the ball was always turning on the third and fourth days. I remember we scored close to 600 (591) at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai with Vinod Kambli scoring a double century.

“In the current series, only the two major spinners in Ashwin and Axar Patel got wickets. Kuldeep Yadav and Washington Sundar also played a bit.”

More felt that Sundar, who has already scored three fifties and taken six wickets in four Tests, “has been the find of the year in Test cricket”.

He said: “Sundar can bowl and bat, be the back-up option for Ashwin. India can always go with two right-arm off-spinners including Sundar when the opposition has a lot of left-handers.”

More played alongside some of the legends of world cricket including Sunil Gavaskar, who marked his 50th year since his Test debut on Saturday. More had fond memories of sharing the dressing room with Gavaskar and was the India wicketkeeper in the Little Master’s final Test series in 1987 against Pakistan.

More fondly remembered his association with Gavaskar: “I saw one of the best innings in whatever cricket I have played with him. He scored a hundred in Guyana in 1983 after he was hit on his head by a Malcolm Marshall bouncer. He went on to score 147 not out. There was no restriction on bouncers. Also, I was witness to his masterful 96 in his final Test innings in Bengaluru. We played on a rank turner. It was a crazy pitch. He was hardly beaten in that innings. He was so constructive, his shot selection was unbelievable. You hardly get to see that sort of an innings.

“Gavaskar gave me the nickname Jockey in 1983 during the tour of the West Indies. I was weighing 48kgs in the West Indies and used to run in hop-stop fashion. I also shared a room with him in England in 1986. You get a wonderful experience playing with him,” More said, in awe of the great opener of the 1970s and 1980s.

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Rishabh Pant ‘More Than Ready’ to Fill in MS Dhoni Void, Says Rohit Sharma

India vs England: Rishabh Pant 'More Than Ready' to Fill in MS Dhoni Void, Says Rohit Sharma

Rishabh Pant’s attacking style of batting has the Indian team management’s mandate as long as he gets the “job done” more often than not and people should cut him some slack when there is an odd failure, feels senior batsman Rohit Sharma.

The young left-hander, who has often been criticised for his mode of dismissals, scored a fabulous hundred in the fourth Test to put India in the driver’s seat against England.

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“Pant has his own style of batting. Obviously there have been messages, as to how he needs to approach his innings. He seems to be batting in his own style which is great from our perspective as well, because he seems to be getting the job done, which is more important,” Rohit said at the post-match press conference.

Rohit could empathise a lot with Pant as he too has seen the flip side of being rated as a talent which comes with its own share of ruthless scrutiny.

Centurion Rishabh Pant and Impressive Washington Sundar Give India Healthy Lead

“You should have a mix of players in your squad. There would be a few guys who would play respectfully, then you need someone who will take those chances, be courageous, which is absolutely fine for team management as long as he gets the job done,” said the India white ball vice-captain.

Rohit urged one and all not to nitpick Pant’s occasional failures which come with the package.

“But there will be times when he will play his shots and he will get out and I don’t want anyone to get upset with that. Because he is someone, who will play an innings like that to get the team from a tough situation to suddenly within a span of one hour, the team starts looking different.”

For Rohit, it was Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s faith that turned him into the opener that he became in white ball cricket and now is realising his potential in the traditional format.

He feels that even Pant can play freely with the backing of the team management.

“People like Pant, you need to back their skills, back their ability and management understands that and he has been given the freedom as well which is very important from my perspective as I completely understand from a batsman’s point of view.

“When you have captain and coach backing you, how important a feeling is that to have as a player. Pant seems to have that now. He will give you knocks like this every now and then but I don’t want anyone to make opinions about how he got out playing bad shots.”

“At the end of the day, we need these (kind of) guys who can take those chances and bring the team at a position which no one was expecting.”

When the cliched question of whether Pant is ready to fill Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s shoes was asked, Rohit was way less diplomatic than some of his peers.

“He is more than ready I guess. He seems to be doing the job for us.”

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#DhoniDefinitelyYes Trends on Social Media Soon After Thala Lands in Chennai

IPL 2021: #DhoniDefinitelyYes Trends on Social Media Soon After Thala Lands in Chennai

As the 2021 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL 2021) is set to get underway some time in April and with the player auction having been done with in February, teams are now slowly but surely getting their preparations for the tournament underway. One of the sides that have started their training is Chennai Super Kings.

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On Wednesday, skipper of the side, MS Dhoni along with Ambati Rayudu, reached Chennai to begin their training. It is after a while that Dhoni will be seen in action, after IPL 2020, and CSK and Dhoni fans can’t keep calm. Such was the excitement, that within minutes of him landing at the airport, #DhoniDefinitelyYes started trending.

Here are some of the tweets from the fans:

But while the teams are gearing up for the tournament, there remains little clarity over the schedule of the tournament. Scheduling a tournament like IPL can be tough sometimes.

ALSO READ – India vs England: WATCH – Rishabh Pant Sledges Zak Crawley & England Batsman Gets Dismissed on Very Next Ball

A multi-million dollar tourney which comprises of several franchisees, it can’t get more complicated than this. Every franchise wants home games and since it will be happening in India, BCCI are in for some complications as preferring one city over another might not go down well with some VIPs.

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IPL 2021: MS Dhoni, Ambati Rayudu Arrive in Chennai for CSK’s Training Camp

IPL 2021: MS Dhoni, Ambati Rayudu Arrive in Chennai for CSK's Training Camp - See Pics

The 2021 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL 2021) is set to get underway some time in April and with the player auction having been done with in February, teams are now slowly but surely getting their preparations for the tournament underway. One of the sides that have started their training is Chennai Super Kings. The three-time champs had a forgettable time in the 2020 edition of the tournament as they failed to make the play-offs for the first time ever and their squad looked out of ideas at times. However, they have brought in a few fresh faces and will be raring to go again.

CSK skipper MS Dhoni and experienced batsman Ambati Rayudu were the first to arrive in Chennai for the training camp.

But while the teams are gearing up for the tournament, there remains little clarity over the schedule of the tournament. Scheduling a tournament like IPL can be tough sometimes.

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A multi-million dollar tourney which comprises of several franchisees, it can’t get more complicated than this. Every franchise wants home games and since it will be happening in India, BCCI are in for some complications as preferring one city over another might not go down well with some VIPs.

Even on Sunday, Telangana Minister KT Rama Rao had appealed to BCCI to host few games in Hyderabad while Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh was also ‘surprised’ to figure out that Mohali might not be hosting any of the IPL games.

However, BCCI has said that the IPL Governing Council is yet to come out with a final list of venues. The development comes on the back of the recent spike of Covid-19 cases in Mumbai which is one of the sure-shot venues. As of now, BCCI is adopting a wait and watch policy.

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“As if now it’s all speculation whether it’s Punjab or Hyderabad. We will soon have IPL GC in which we will decide what needs to be done and how the IPL needs to be conducted this year, as of now nothing has been decided yet. BCCI will seek assurances from state governments before allowing them to host the matches,” a source within the BCCI told ANI.

“Whether it can be held in a state while elections are taking place and when talking about Punjab, BCCI needs concrete assurance from authorities that no unwanted incident will take place when the matches happen there,” the source added.

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MS Dhoni Likely to Join CSK Camp in Chennai on March 11

Preparations for the upcoming season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) are in order for Chennai Super Kings (CSK). The franchise’s proposed preparatory camp for the 14th edition will kick start next week with a few domestic Indian players, including skipper MS Dhoni. There is no official word on the forthcoming season’s commencement date or the venues however, India is likely to host it from April onwards. Dhoni, who is likely to make his presence in the camp from Day 1 in Chennai, will try to plug-in the holes and plot a comeback for the three-time champions.

The Yellow Army will once again have Suresh Raina aka Chinna Thala donning the jersey in IPL 2021. Last year, he opted out from the campaign citing personal reasons. An official from the CSK camp told Inside Sport that the availability of players would not be an issue. The franchise is hopeful that the camp will begin successfully. Additionally, the official informed that the bio-bubble protocol will be followed in the same manner and no additional measures were necessary to be taken at the moment. The side has put stringent health and safety protocols in place for the camp. All the members of the contingent will follow mandatory testing.

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Mahendra Singh Dhoni Visits Dewri Temple Ahead of IPL 2021; Pics Here

Former Indian cricket team captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni recently paid a visit to Dewri Temple in Ranchi ahead of the 2021 Indian Premier League (IPL) season. Mahi will be heading the Chennai Super Kings for this edition as well. Photos from his temple visit have been going viral on the internet. As expected, his arrival at the temple drew a huge crowd of fans. In the pictures, the ace cricketer can be seen wearing a plain black round neck t-shirt which he has teamed up with military print pants.

Dhoni has been heading the Chennai Super Kings squad since the beginning of the IPL. Under his captainship the team has lifted the IPL trophy thrice, but during the last season in United Arab Emirates, they finished seventh. In the 13th IPL held across Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Sharjah, the team was unable to perform and only managed six wins from 14 matches. In fact, Mahi himself was only able to make 200 runs in 12 matches.

In this season, the team is expected to do better as they have now got some strong players like Moeen Ali, Cheteshwar Pujara, M Harisankar Reddy, K Bhagath Varma, Krishnappa Gowtham, and C Hari Nishaanth. As usual, eight teams including Royal Challengers Bangalore, Rajasthan Royals, Mumbai Indians, Delhi Capitals, Sunrisers Hyderabad, Punjab Kings, Kolkata Knight Riders and Chennai Super Kings will be competing for the IPL trophy.

Meanwhile, the Board of Cricket Control in India (BCCI) has started looking out for stadium options outside Maharashtra as the coronavirus cases in the state are on a rise. Latest reports suggest that the Board is on the lookout for options in cities including Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru, Ahmedabad and Hyderabad. Further, there are chances that the knockouts and the final of IPL 2021 will be held at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. It must be noted that the dates of the tournament have not been released till now.

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On This Day – February 27, 2011: India and England Play Out A Thrilling Tie In The 2011 World Cup

It was a big match between hosts India and England at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru in the 2011 World Cup. MS Dhoni won the toss and elected to bat first. Virender Sehwag gave India a fine start before being dismissed for 35 off 26 deliveries. It was the Sachin Tendulkar show thereafter. The Little Master put together 134 for the second-wicket with Gautam Gambhir during the course of which he registered his fifty off 66 deliveries.

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India crossed the 200-mark after 34 overs and shortly after Tendulkar brought up yet another hundred in ODI cricket off just 103 deliveries. He had accelerated after getting his half century. Tendulkar was finally dismissed for a magnificent 120 off just 115 deliveries including 10 fours and 5 sixes. Yuvraj Singh scored a quick fifty and Dhoni chipped in with a few to take India to a massive 338.

However, the shorter boundaries and the heavy atmosphere due to Bengaluru’s altitude meant that the chase was on. Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Strauss gave England a great start adding 68 before the first powerplay was over. Strauss was playing a captain’s knock and leading the visitor’s chase anchoring the innings. He put together a match-changing 170-run stand for the third wicket with Ian Bell and took England to a commanding position before Zaheer Khan’s double blows turned the match on its head in the 43rd over.

Khan saw the back of Bell and Strauss (158 off 145 balls) off successive deliveries and then dismissed Paul Collingwood in his next over. Matt Prior was sent packing by Harbhajan Singh and England had collapsed to 289 for 6 in the 46th over. It boiled down to 29 runs off the last 2 overs with just three wickets in hand. Dhoni took a big gamble in giving the penultimate over to the leg break bowler, Piyush Chawla. It did not work as he was smashed for two sixes – one each by Graeme Swann and Tim Bresnan before the latter was dismissed off the last ball of the over. But the damage had been done. Chawla was taken for 15 in the over.

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14 were needed off the final over bowled by Munaf Patel. After a couple and a single off the first two deliveries it seemed India had the match in their pockets. But there was more drama. Ajmal Shahzad blasted a half volley from Patel over the bowler’s head for a big maximum. The equation changed dramatically. 5 were needed off the last 3 deliveries. A bye and a couple meant that two were needed off the final ball of the match. Patel held his nerve and only allowed a single to mid-off to Swann. The match ended in a thrilling tie.

It was only the fourth tied match in a World Cup.

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Virat Kohli’s Team Wins & Registers New Records, But Test Cricket is The Loser

India vs England: ODI Series Could Be Shifted From Pune Due to Rise in Covid-19 Cases – Report

Of course, both teams playing out all five days would entail a draw, a result which neither the players nor the fans and spectators want to witness any longer. Though, some drawn matches are as interesting, if not more, as the ones that produce a result – flashback to the heroic Indian effort of saving the match and series at Sydney against Australia last month.

Notwithstanding a few exceptions like the Sydney heist, Test cricket no doubt needs to produce results. The results help keep up its popularity against the shorter formats of the game. Draws, on most occasions, are boring. They do not produce consistently engaging contests between the bat and ball.

But results such as the one at Ahmedabad leave cricket purists cringing. This is no contest between bat and ball, too, with four innings wrapped up inside two days – 30 wickets fell for 338 runs in 132 overs.

It’s easiest to blame the pitch for such results. But the bigger and underlying problem is the modern-day batsman. More adapt at playing quicker formats, batsmen do not apply themselves when faced with the several ever-changing variables.

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Batting in Test cricket isn’t just about being in form, timing the ball and clearing the boundary rope, it’s more to do with technique, temperament and above all grinding down the opposition. While no Indian or English batsmen can be faulted for their technique and temperament, as it’s unlikely a cricketer would play at the highest level without one or either, where they have failed is in application of these qualities.

Test cricket has changed and so has the way players bat – quick run-scoring is the new norm. The meteoric rise of Twenty20 (T20) cricket and sustained focus on One-Day Internationals (ODIs) has resulted in batsmen forgetting the art of tiring out the opposition before delivering the final blow. Now, it’s more about landing knockout punches from the beginning.

While the latter approach may work on flat pitches, which are tailor made for run-scoring feasts in ODIs and T20s that last for a few hours, in five-day Test cricket, the variables – pitch, weather, condition of ball – dictate how you approach the game.

Interestingly, India used the former approach during their historic Test series wins in Australia in 2018-2019 and earlier this year. Cheteshwar Pujara would tire out their bowlers Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc and Nathan Lyon when conditions were in their favour and Rishabh Pant or other batsmen would deliver the killer blows when the tide swung.

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Indian and English batsmen have failed to do that in the ongoing Test series. The pitches, of course, haven’t been comparable to the ones in Australia. They have turned square from the first over of the match. But then, that’s how Indian pitches have always been. The home team has traditionally relished batting on these pitches, while visitors have come prepared to counter the Indian spinners.

What’s changed this time is not the pitches, but the way batsmen are playing Test cricket. Batsmen trying to use the shorter-format approach in Tests may work for an innings, or two, but over a period of time, Test cricket, like life, will play the great leveller.

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