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Watch | Best catch of IPL 2021 by Fabien Allen
Batting great Sunil Gavaskar expressed shock at the exclusion of destructive West Indies opener Chris Gayle from Punjab Kings playing XI for the clash against Rajasthan Royals on Tuesday. Punjab Kings skipper KL Rahul won the toss and elected to bowl first against Rajasthan Royals as he also named his four overseas players of the match where Gayle was left out.
Punjab decided to play with Aiden Markram, Nicholas Pooran, Adil Rashid and Fabian Allen for the crucial clash. “I am astonished that Chris Gayle is not playing. The fact remains, on your birthday, you need one of the stellar players of the T20 format. He has dominated every single T20 league and you drop him for this game on his birthday makes zero sense,” Gavaskar told Star Sports.
Apart from Gavaskar, former England captain Kevin Pietersen also lashed out at Punjab Kings for Gayle’s absence. “I think he will be disappointed more than us. We can talk about it. There will be some questions asked. I don’t understand why you would leave Chris Gayle out on his birthday. I explained how much emotion he has and how excited he was.
“He was sporting a big smile. If there was one game you were going to play him, it was today. I can’t understand the thinking at all,” Pietersen said. The Universe Boss turned 42 on Tuesday and many expected to him play for Punjab in their first match of IPL 2021 resumption but the team chose in-form Makram over him.
After opting to bowl first, Rahul said: It’s a no brainer, a fresh wicket with grass on. We don’t know how it will play and I prefer chasing. I was just telling a few people in the dressing room that it just felt like yesterday that we were playing IPL 2020. We have a lot that we’ve learnt from last year. We are all professionals and we have tried hard in the heat to prefer ourselves. Pooran, Markram, Rashid and Allen are our overseas players. Unfortunately, Chris Gayle misses out and Aiden has been in good form coming into our setup from Sri Lanka.”
West Indian all-rounder Fabian Allen was fortunate enough to find bids at the IPL 2021 auction, having played enough cricket recently. Fabian Allen has played a handful of limited overs games for the West Indies and showed promise; however, is far from a finished product. The Jamaican boasts of a strike rate of 159.21 in 32 T20Is, implicating that he could be an impactful player on his day. Nevertheless, he could not do so in the 2020 edition of the Caribbean Premier League.
He took a stunning catch in tonight's game vs RR
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What a stunner from Fabien Allen, a marvelous catch to dismiss Liam Livingstone. He controlled himself really well there and didn't drop the ball.
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IPL 2021: [Watch] "Dekho Ro aa gaya!" - Mumbai Indians share video of Rohit Sharma's first net session after quarantine
Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma finished his quarantine today and assembled with the rest of the squad in Abu Dhabi. He straightaway began training in the nets as MI will face CSK in just three days. Rohit will participate in intense practice sessions with his teammates in the coming days to get acquainted with the T20 format ahead of the second half of IPL 2021.
The Mumbai Indians were excited to welcome their skipper into the mix and updated fans of the development by sharing a video on their official Instagram handle. In it, fans can see Rohit entering the Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium in his training gear to have his first net session since landing in Abu Dhabi. The Mumbai franchise shared the following post on Instagram and captioned it:
Rohit Sharma was the standout batter for India during the recent Test series against England. During that series, he played defensively and displayed different facets of his game to prove his credentials as a quality Test opener. Now he needs to get back into aggressive mode for the IPL. It will be interesting to witness his transformation from a sedate traditional Test opener to a swashbuckling T20 opening batter in the coming weeks.
"There's a need for improvement in Rohit Sharma's batting in IPL" - Saba Karim
Former Indian player Saba Karim observed that Rohit Sharma had failed to carry his form from international cricket into the IPL over the past few years. He feels that Rohit Sharma needs to improve in this aspect as his primary role in the team is as a batter. "There's a need for improvement in his batting. He's the captain and the Mumbai Indians are winning trophies under him, that's a different thing. They have a lot of match-winners so his performances don't get much attention.
"His most important role in the team is as a batsman... This is a peculiar case. Every time he goes to the IPL he's in brilliant form in international cricket but fails to convert it during the tournament," Saba Karim said in an interview on YouTube channel Khelneeti.
Rohit Sharma has started training with Mumbai Indians (MI) squad after completing his mandatory quarantine in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Rohit received a warm reception from his team and a video of the much-awaited reunion was shared on Twitter. “Lots of hugs, hello and fist bump from skipper Ro to our squad,” the five-time Indian Premier League (IPL) champions wrote in the caption. The clip opens to 'Hitman' entering the hotel's lobby. The first person Rohit meets is MI head coach Mahela Jayawardene. Later, he seen chatting with Hardik Pandya, Trent Boult and Arjun Tendulkar. Rohit Sharma was accompanied by ace Indian seamer Japrit Bumrah as both of them were in isolation following their arrival in the UAE from England.
After meeting his teammates, Rohit made his way to a training session. The video concludes with Rohit joining the MI squad in the gaming room after practice. We can also spot his wife Ritika Sajdeh and their daughter Samaira Sharma. Rohit Sharma-led Mumbai Indians will be up against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in a high-octane match on September 19, Sunday. The game will commence at 7:30 pm.
Rohit will lead MI from Sunday onwards with IPL returning after over a four-month hiatus when they take on Chennai Super Kings for the second time this season. Currently, the five-time champions are at the fourth spot in the points table with four wins and three defeats in three matches. They are behind table-toppers Delhi Capitals, second-placed Chennai Super Kings and Royal Challengers Bangalore who are currently third. They had a mixed start to their campaign in India as they hope to become the first ever team in IPL history to complete a hat-trick of title wins.
Rohit recently completed his mandatory quarantine and is back to training for the first match of the UAE leg. The 34-year-old will also be looking forward to make some runs and hopefully reach 400 sixes as well.