Rishabh Pant to fly to England this week: Reports

Harshit Anand Updated: 12 June, 2019, 2:10 PM IST

Rishabh Pant will be travelling to England as cover/standby for the injured Shikhar Dhawan and will join the team soon. He has not been named as a replacement for Dhawan yet. As per TOI, Dhawan has to prove his fitness in a week, if he fails to do so then Pant will be named as his replacement.

“Rishabh is just being called here in advance as standby so that he can acclimatize. If Dhawan can’t continue, we’ll seek an official go-ahead from ICC for replacement and he (Rishabh) can immediately join the team,” sources told Times of India.

“The scans have confirmed a hairline fracture. Doctors have given a tentative healing period. But the healing process is individual-specific and you can’t tell overnight if he’s going to be fine in 10 days or 15 days or more. But what you can certainly do is wait for a week and take a more assertive call.

“Look at it this way: Dhawan misses the matches against New Zealand and Pakistan but stays with the team. We get a fair idea of how he’s recovering. If all’s well, then we have a fully fit Dhawan towards the business end of the tournament and that’s great. If not, we can always have the replacement ready. We’ve got to be careful with how we choose our cards,” the sources explained. “This is obviously a huge, unfortunate blow. But then, we’ve got to live with it,” the source further said.

Dhawan has a fractured thumb. He had made a brilliant ton against Australia and his injury has come at a very bad time for the Men in Blue. In his absence, KL Rahul is likely to open alongside Rohit Sharma.

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IPL 2020 Game 9 Review: 3 factors that cost KXIP the match against RR

Renin Wilben Albert Updated: 28 September, 2020, 12:39 AM IST

Rajasthan Royals pulled off an incredible chase, the highest ever in the IPL, in match number nine of the 2020 edition at the historic Sharjah cricket stadium on what turned out to be a Super Sunday. In a second consecutive game at the venue that saw both teams scoring 200 or more, Rajasthan seemed dead and buried at one point. However, some incredible hitting from Sanju Samson and Rahul Tewatia, in particular, towards the end saw them knock off the 84 runs needed to win in the last five overs.

Earlier, Kings XI Punjab posted a massive 223 for 2 on the board, built around Mayank Agarwal’s splendid 106 from 50 balls, and his 183-run stand with skipper KL Rahul, who contributed 69 from 54. They seemed headed to register their second win of the tournament when they were hit by the Tewatia-Samson storm. As Punjab try to recover from the shock, we analyse three reasons KXIP ended up on the losing side.

1.KXIP taking it too easy

As mentioned earlier, with five overs left in the game, KXIP were well in command of the contest. In hindsight of what transpired, one wonders if Punjab got a bit complacent. Although Glenn Maxwell had conceded only eight in his first two overs, the decision to give him a third proved catastrophic. His part-time off-break was too easy for Samson to handle, who smashed him for three sixes in an over. The target was still way out of RR’s reach, but Samson’s blast gave them hope.

The horrific 18th over bowled by Sheldon Cottrell was really what completely swung the match in RR’s favour. With an improbable 51 needed off 18, Cottrell allowed Tewatia to swing his bat around, bowling some very friendly deliveries. By the time Cottrell could gather himself, he had been smacked for five sixes, four of them in a row. Cottrell sprayed the ball all over and was meted out with the harshest of punishment. For an international bowler to be treated with such disdain was a matter of disbelief.

Tewatia’s brutal assault gave RR the confidence to go after the experienced Mohammed Shami as well, and Jofra Archer’s consecutive sixes in the penultimate over well and truly put Rajasthan on top.

2.Allowing Smith and Samson to tee off

KXIP would have been high on confidence after posting a massive 223 for 2 on the board. However, they still needed to start well with the ball. That wasn’t to be the case though as Steve Smith and Samson ensured Rajasthan actually kept up with the required run rate in the first 10 overs. Both Samson and Smith were allowed to flex their arms as Cottrell, Shami, Jimmy Neesham and the young Ravi Bishnoi kept conceding boundaries at regular intervals. Although Smith was dismissed for 50 off only 27 balls, against the run of play at the end of the 9th over, the scoreboard read 100 for 2, which meant the chase was very much on.

3.Punjab not posting 250

This must sound a bit harsh, but in the wake of what transpired, KXIP, perhaps, missed out on a few crucial runs towards the end of their innings. At the end of 12 overs, Punjab had raced to 138 without losing a wicket. They could have gone after every ball from that point. However, despite there being two set batsmen at the crease, the 16th over bowled by Ankit Rajpoot went for only six runs. This was followed by Agarwal’s dismissal in the next over bowled by Tom Curran, which went for only seven. The 18th over bowled by Rajpoot saw the dismissal of Rahul and only nine runs. These three death overs proved game-changing in the end equation.

IPL 2020: RR vs KXIP triggers a meme fest on Twitter

Vedant Yadav Updated: 28 September, 2020, 12:21 AM IST

As expected, Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab took part in a high scoring game at Sharjah, as both teams struggled with the ball, in what was a fairly batting-friendly pitch.

KXIP were put on to bat by RR, who would have rued over their decision if their batting line-up had failed.

Mayank Agarwal smashed his maiden IPL ton and was equally complimented by skipper KL Rahul, who had smashed the ton in KXIP's win over RCB on Thursday.

Their giant 183-run stand for the opening wicket helped KXIP put on a huge total of 223/3.

In their reply, RR were even more ruthless as they chased down the target with 3 balls to spare, despite losing more wickets than their opponents.

Despite losing Jos Buttler quite early into their run chase, skipper Steve Smith, Sanju Samson and surprisingly, Rahul Tewatia, rose to the occasion and saved the day for RR.

Following on from his 74 against CSK in RR's opening match, Samson put on another match-winning knock, scoring 85 from 42 deliveries. Smith did well for his 50 but it was Tewatia, who helped RR cross the finishing line.

He smashed 7 sixes, including 5 from Sheldon Cottrell's over.

After the match, Twitter had its meltdown as fans shared hilarious memes on teh micro-blogging site. Let's take a look at some of these reactions:

Ratings of KXIP and RR players based on their performance in the ninth match

Renin Wilben Albert Updated: 27 September, 2020, 11:51 PM IST

Rajasthan Royals pulled off the highest successful chase in IPL history in the most sensational fashion. Needing 84 runs to win from the last five overs, they eventually cruised home with three balls to spare courtesy some unbelievable power hitting. Cricket Today analyses the performance of players from both sides.

Rajasthan Royals

Rahul Tewatia (9/10)

Was surprisingly promoted in the batting order. Went from 17 off 23 to 53 from 31 in what was an incredible turnaround, hitting five sixes in a Sheldon Cottrell over. Made up for conceding 19 in his only over.

Sanju Samson (8/10)

Carried on from where he left off in the previous game. Featured in a brutal partnership with skipper Steve Smith to keep Rajasthan in the hunt in the big chase. Made an incredible 85 from only 42 balls.

Steve Smith (7/10)

Hit a brilliant 50 off only 27 balls by taking the attack into the opposition camp. But, was dismissed when the team needed him to carry on in the massive chase.

Jofra Archer (6/10)

Got off to a poor start, being hit for three consecutive fours by KL Rahul. Did not recover, and was hammered for 46 in his four, including 18 in the 20th. But, hit two crucial sixes in the penultimate over bowled by Mohammed Shami.

Tom Curran (5/10)

Tried a lot of variations, but most did not work. Got the breakthrough for Rajasthan, if we can call it so, dismissing Mayank Agarwal for 106 in the 17th over. Couldn’t stop the flow of runs though finishing with 1 for 44. Hit the winning boundary.

Ankit Rajpoot (4/10)

Struggled against the attacking opening duo of KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal. Gave away 24 runs in his first two overs. Came back reasonably well to dismiss KL Rahul and finish with 1 for 39.

Shreyas Gopal (3/10)

Usually effective, the leggie was caught in the midst of a brutal assault by Mayank Agarwal. Conceded as many as 44 in his four overs.

Jaydev Unadkat (3/10)

Never looked like taking a wicket. Just seemed to be going through the motions. Finished with figures of 3 for 30.

Robin Uthappa (2/10)

Was dismissed for 9 in a tense chase.

Jos Buttler (1/10)

Made just 4 in his first game of the season before being brilliantly caught by Sarfaraz Khan at square leg off Sheldon Cottrell.

Riyan Parag (0/10)

Fell without scoring to Murugan Ashwin.

Kings XI Punjab

Mayank Agarwal (9/10)

Played a sensational innings, completely toying with the RR attack. Be it pace or spin, nothing could trouble him. Spanked 10 fours and as many as seven sixes in his knock of 106 that came off only 50 balls.

Lokesh Rahul (8/10)

Played the perfect foil to Mayank Agarwal in a spectacular opening stand of 183. Scored 69 from 54 before perishing in an effort to clear the field.

Nicholas Pooran (7/10)

Ensured KXIP finished on a high with a blazing cameo of 25 from 8 balls with three sixes, including two off Jofra Archer in the 20th over.

Ravi Bishnoi (6/10)

Was put under pressure by some good batting from Steve Smith and Sanju Samson. Managed to finish with decent figures of 0 for 34.

James Neesham (5/10)

Went for 40 in his four, but got the big wicket of Steve Smith with a smart leg cutter that the RR captain could only hit as far as deep cover.

Murugan Ashwin (4/10)

Dismissed Riyan Parag with the match out of Punjab’s grasp.

Glenn Maxwell (3/10)

Made an unbeaten 13 from 9 balls with a couple of boundaries. With the ball, having conceded only eight in his first two was slammed for 21 in his third by Sanju Samson, which began RR’s turnaround.

Mohammed Shami (3/10)

Got the massive wicket of Sanju Samson in his second spell with a bouncer that Samson could only glove behind the wickets. But conceded three sixes in the 19th over with the game on the line.

Sheldon Cottrell (1/10)

Dismissed the dangerous Jos Buttler cheaply, but was taken for five sixes in the 18th over by the unpredictable Rahul Tewatia, which completely swung the match RR’s way.

Karun Nair: No rating (did not bat)

Sarfaraz Khan: No rating (did not bat)

RCB vs MI, Match 10: 5 must-pick players for Dream11 Fantasy

Vedant Yadav Updated: 27 September, 2020, 11:46 PM IST

It's the battle of the big guns as Virat Kohli squares off against his Team India deputy, Rohit Sharma, in of the most awaited clashes of the IPL 2020.

Virat-led RCB will take on Rohit-led MI at the Dubai International Stadium, with both teams experiencing similar starts to their season, as far as the points table's concerned.

Both teams have an equally balanced squad with players of the highest calibre and can turn the game on its head.

Here are the 5 must-pick players for your Dream11 Fantasy team:

1. Rohit Sharma

When you're name is Rohit Sharma, you just don't need an introduction. Rohit, who is popularly known as the Hitman, is one of the most feared batsmen around the globe. An excellent timer off the ball, Rohit returned to form last time out as he targeted the KKR bowlers with sheer ease and inspired MI's first win of the season.

2. Virat Kohli

Virat Kohli hasn't had the best of starts to the IPL campaign as he has failed with the bat in the both of RCB's games, so far. As a result, he has been under the radar but one cannot ignore the qualities that he posses as a batsman. Virat is probably the most decisive player when he's in his full swing.

AB de Villiers

AB de Villiers, just like Virat, didn't have the best of the outings last time out, despite his impressive half-century in RCB opening game of the season against SRH. Traditionally, De Villiers has done well against Mumbai and he'll b hoping to continue that form against the record champions.

The veteran South African batsman, however, has looked sharp so far and would want to go big, this time around.

4. Rahul Chahar

After enjoying a breakthrough season with MI last season, Rahul Chahar has started IPL 2020 with a couple of economical performances. The youngster has bagged three-wicket, so far, in the tournament and did well against RCB, last season.

Spinners are expected to get a lot of help from the Dubai track and Chahar will look to exploit the conditions and hopefully get those valuable points for the fantasy faithful.

5. Trent Boult

It's been so far, so good in IPL 2020 for Trent Boult, who hasn't kept a foot wrong in the tournament. He has been difficult to bat against and has chipped in with economical figures in both the games and has also bagged a pair of wickets in both the outings.

With those inswingers, Boult is expected to cause a lot of problems to the right-handers. He makes a sensible choice for the Dream11 fantasy team.

Surprised he isn't playing for India across formats: Shane Warne praises Sanju Samson

Vedant Yadav Updated: 27 September, 2020, 10:49 PM IST

Rajasthan Royals emerged victorious in their opening game of the season against Chennai Super Kings, with Sanju Samson running rings around the bowlers.

The inaugural IPL winners were put on to bat first before Samson and skipper Steve Smith anchored a massive 216 run total in Sharjah.

In reply CSK could only manage 200/6 and lost the game by 16 runs. While RR had several contributors in the match, Sanju Samson stood out from the rest with his 32-ball 74, which included 9 huge sixes.

The 25-year-old targeted CSK spinners, right from the get-go, timing his shots to perfection and utilised the conditions to anchor RR's mammoth total.

Former RR captain and brand ambassador of the franchise, Shane Warne, lauded Samson by saying: "Sanju Samson, what a player he is. I've said for a long time and I think he (Samson) is probably one of the most exciting players I have seen for a long time. I am surprised that he isn't featuring for India".

"He is that good and he is an absolute champion. He's got all the shots, quality, and class. So, hopefully, he has a consistent year and helps Rajasthan Royals lift the IPL trophy and I hope to see in him Indian colours in all three forms of cricket," Warne said during Warne an Instagram live session hosted by the Rajasthan Royals.

Despite his consistent display in IPL and domestic cricket, Samson has barely featured for Team India.