Courtesy : Cricinfo.com

“Cricket is one of those reassuring sports where long-time fans could take enormous comfort and solace  in the fact that very little was likely to change “ – a RCB Fan’s raconteur. And the little change happened tonight as RCB scored its first win at M.A.C. stadium.

Another cliff-hanger and edge of the seat moment.  And an unexpected hero Harshal Patel claiming Firstever fifer in an IPL match  in Mumbai Indians (MI) innings set the tone for an enthralling finish at M.A. Chidambaram stadium, Chennai in the first match of the 2021 season tonight.

After being put into bat by Virat Kohli, Mumbai batsmen had an off- day today in a wretched pitch as except Chris Lynn, who was swinging his bat scored 49 runs.  All the bigwigs of MI failed with the bat including their skipper, Rohit Sharma.  And  they were restricted with 159 runs despite sloppy fielding by RCB players dropping catches at will and thanks to an inspiring  bowling spell by Harshal Patel. 

RCB  did start well scoring at the rate of 9 runs an over in the first 4 overs.  Then they started losing a couple of wickets before the new buy for RCB, Glenn Maxwell and Kohli brought cheers to RCB fans putting 52 runs in double quick time.  Glenn Maxwell’s penchant for switch hit paid off today also as he carted both spinners, Rahul Chahar and Krunal Pandya with mighty sixes.

Take a bow AB De Villiers for the excellent batting at the death overs almost ensured the win for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). Mr.360 was in his element as he clobbered 2  mighty heaves over the rope and 2 fours each of the bowling of the leggie, Rahul Chahar and Trent Boult . 

With19 runs off 12 balls, ABD took on the game’s best death overs specialist, Jasprit Bumrah, a beautiful cover drive in the arc between fielders racing to the boundary and a slice between point and third man  clearing the ropes.  And trying to keep strike in  the next over ABD called for a single, but the tall New Zealander Kyle Jamieson, ( who debuted for IPL) who was the striker reacted late and was ambling towards the danger end sacrificed his wicket.

And the onerous task of defending 7 runs in the final over, the young rookie left arm pacer Marco Jansen, debutant from South Africa, who already had two wickets in the same over, accepted the challenge.  And without any panic reaction Jansen bowled a tight line and ABD was RUN OUT  leaving  at “2 balls and 2 runs”  and Harshal Patel, the” Man of the Match “ hit the winning run as RCB dug-out heaved a sigh of relief.


Popcorn Cricket- IPL

Dime a dozen Support Staff

Millions of Fan base

Plethora of Sponsors

Strong social media connect

Best Players in the game

5 titles in their kitty

Brand value US $ 70.3 million

Owned by India’s richest Business Tycoon 

With these clamours at hand, the Mumbai Indians(MI) team is aiming to win a hat-trick of titles by winning the title this year.  

Royal Challengers of Bangalore, which is owned by  United Spirits formerly owned by the liquor baron, Vijay Mallya, who is now a fugitive in London .  RCB also having 3rd largest followers of the IPL teams boasts high profile Virat Kohli, AB de villiers.

 Mumbai Indians are taking on Royal Challengers of Bangalore(RCB) in the curtain raiser match tonight (9th April 2021) in M.A. Chidambaram stadium, CHENNAI in a bio-bubble environment sans spectators. 

Couch cricket with friends and family enjoying a pint of beer on Summer evenings In India watching IPLcricket on TV is a new spectacle viewing.

With all the IPL Franchisees wooing their fans with different innovative ideas to connect with them through various social media, it’s really exciting.

Though the IPL matches are being played with empty stands this year also, it hasn’t stopped official fan clubs  and supporter groups who act as 12th man  from planning their participation in the month-long tournament—everything from virtual watch parties on Zoom to WhatsApp groups for fans to express their opinions. Almost all the eight franchises have dedicated clubs and supporter groups that bring together millions of fans from across the world. 

The Fan Wall with LED giant Screen at the stadiums with fans interaction with TV commentators  was a fabulous experience as we have seen last year at the stadiums at Dubai & Abu Dhabi.

The official Broadcaster of the IPL, Star Sports Networks is planning to install 32-36 cameras for each match. The buggy camera, a drone camera and super slow motion and ultra motion camera will be part of this paraphernalia. It is also planning interactive sessions engaging the viewers with the TV commentators through social media feeds like FB, Twitter, Instagram. 

Like last year, this year also the TV Broadcaster announced features such as the “Fan Wall 2.0” and “Cheer@home2.0”—an audience engagement platform on Star/Disney+ Hotstar—fans will be able to experience in a stadium-like environment. The Cheer@home2.0 feature, for instance, will collect reaction data from fans to trigger custom chants at the stadiums for their teams and players. 

The broadcast integrates live and curated fan reactions, giving die-hard IPL fans from across the world a platform to support their heroes from the comfort of their homes.

Augmented reality (AR) graphics have provided a big, bold visual spectacle in the stadium and even brought back the fans in an unconventional and creative way.

Also, next-generation Virtual Studios built on Epic’s Unreal Engine have been deployed to give a unique environment to present the match coverage and high-level analysis.



As the curtains of IPL tournament opens in a couple of days ( opening  GAME on 9.4.21 at Chennai),  I look back on a globally viewed tournament here.


“The IPL has been designed to entice an entire new generation of sports fans into the grounds throughout the country. The dynamic Twenty20 format has been designed to attract a young fan base, which also includes women and children.”

“”Lalit Modi during the launch of the IPL in 2008

The Indian Premier League (IPL) is a premier league of T20 Cricket tournament played during April & May every year in India (Of course it was held in South Africa in 2009 & in UAE (partly) in 2014 due to General Elections in India during those years) with 8 teams representing different cities of India.  It is being conducted on Franchise model like Soccer league teams.

The league was founded by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in 2007, and is regarded as the brainchild of Lalit Modi, the founder and former commissioner of the league. IPL has an exclusive window in ICC Future Tours Programme.

The IPL is the most-attended cricket league in the world and in 2014 ranked sixth by average attendance among all sports leagues. In 2010, the IPL became the first sporting event in the world to be broadcast live on YouTube. The brand value of IPL in 2017 was US$5.3 billion, according to Duff & Phelps.According to BCCI, the 2015 IPL season contributed ₹11.5 billion (US$182 million) to the GDP of the Indian economy.


The Indian Cricket League (ICL) was founded in 2007, with funding provided by Zee Entertainment Enterprises. The ICL was not recognised by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) or the International Cricket Council (ICC) and the BCCI were not pleased with its committee members joining the ICL executive board. To prevent players from joining the ICL, the BCCI increased the prize money in their own domestic tournaments and also imposed lifetime bans on players joining the ICL, which was considered a rebel league by the Indian cricket board.


On 13 September 2007, the BCCI announced the launch of a franchise-based Twenty20 cricket competition called Indian Premier League whose first season was slated to start in April 2008, in a “high-profile ceremony” in New Delhi. BCCI vice-president Lalit Modi, said to be the mastermind behind the idea of IPL, spelled out the details of the tournament including its format, the prize money, franchise revenue system and squad composition rules. It was also revealed that the IPL would be run by a seven-man governing council composed of former India players and BCCI officials, and that the top two teams of the IPL would qualify for that year’s Champions League Twenty20. Modi also clarified that they had been working on the idea for two years and that IPL was not started as a “knee-jerk reaction” to the ICL

In order to decide the owners for the new league, an auction was held on 24 January 2008 with the total base prices of the franchises costing around $400 million.[14] At the end of the auction, the winning bidders were announced, as well as the cities the teams would be based in: Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kolkata, Mohali, and Mumbai.[14] In the end, the franchises were all sold for a total of $723.59 million.[16] The Indian Cricket League soon folded in 2008.

Prize money

The IPL 2021 Prize Money for the winners will be INR 10 crores, runners-up will be INR 6.25 crores and the two other teams that qualify to the playoffs stage will be INR 4.375 crores each.  The prize money in the inaugural edition for the Winner was 2008 was Rs.4.8 crores and Rs.2.4 Crores for the Runners-up whereas the 3rd Place and fourth place teams got Rs.1.2 crores each.



In a tense final at D.Y. Patil stadium, Mumbai, RR led by the spinning wizard, Shane Warne (Australia) lifted the inaugural title by BEATING CSK, led by Captain Cool, M.S. Dhoni by 3 wickets.


In another nail biting finish at Wanderers, Johannesburg, South Africa , the DC team captained by the Stumper Adam Gilchrist (Aussie) BEAT RCB by just 6 runs. The tournament was held in South Africa due to General Elections in India.

3. 2010-CHENNAI Chennai Superkings

The most consistent team in IPL in this season, CSK this time  lifted the trophy for the first time  led by Captain cool, MSD by defeating Mumbai Indians by 22 runs at D,Y, Patil stadium, Mumbai

4. 2011- CHENNAI Chennai Superkings

CSK continued its form where it left last year by beating RCB at MAC Stadium, Chennai in a full packed stadium by 58 runs thanks to a brilliant opening wicket partnership of 159 runs between Murali Vijay & Mike Hussey.


KKR under the leadership of Gautam Gambir continued its true form in this season by beating the two-times defending champions CSK in their own backyard at MAC Stadium while chasing a high score of 190 runs with little unknown Bisla, whose belligerent knock paved the way for KKR ramp home with the trophy by 5 wickets


MI under the young captain, Rohit Sharma for the first time lifted the eluding trophy by beating CSK this time by 23 runs at Eden Gardens, Kolkata, thanks to all-round performance by the caribbean K. Pollard

7. 2014 – KKR

KKR again lifted the trophy by beating a spirited KXIP unit led by G. Bailey ( Australia) by 3 wickets in spite of a brilliant century by the gloveman, W. Saha at M. Chinnasamy stadium, Bengaluru


Again MI defeated CSK in a tense final at Eden Gardens, Kolkata by a bigger margin of 41 runs. The CSK team folded like nine pins and but for Dhoni’s knock it would have been a worst defeat.


A well knit unit of SRH led by  David Warner (Australia) lifted the trophy after a consistent performance in this season posted a huge total in the finals of 208 runs and RCB equally fought brilliantly by falling short of just 8 runs thanks to a brilliant opening partnership of 114 runs by Gayle & Kohli but other batsmen just caved in.

10. 2017 – MUMBAI indians

A third time victory in a thriller by MI was a cause for celebration.  The new team Rising Pune Supergiants ( replaced CSK which was banned for 2 years) under the leadership of the young Aussie, Steve Smith fought brilliantly till the last ball.  MI pipped RPS in the post just by a solitary run. This was the closest victory in the finals.

  11. 2018 – Chennai Superkings

After a ban for 2 years, CSK won the title for the 3rd time thanks to a belligerent century by the Opener Shane Watson – unbeaten 117 runs in 57 balls with 11 fours and 8 sixes played at Wankhade stadium, Mumbai  defeating SRH in the Final to win the Final with 9 balls to spare.  SRH was led by Kane Williamson as the regular captain David Warner was banned for 1 year due to a ball tampering episode.

12.. 2019 – Mumbai Indians

 J. Bumrah delivered it at the crunch situation. “Jasprit Bumrah is  the best bowler in the world at this stage”, declared Sachin Tendulkar,the Mumbai Indians icon, after the paceman had returned 2 for 14 to star in their IPL win over Chennai Super Kings in the Final..His returns – not a boundary hit off his 24 balls, and 13 dot balls thrown in – were incredible all right, making him a straight pick for the Man of the Match award too. And Mumbai Indians again held their nerves in a tense final at Rajiv Gandhi stadium, Hyderabad by piping CSK at the post by just 1 run.  The game was in CSK’s kitty till the 2018 hero, Shane Watson batting with 80 was RUN OUT  with just 2 balls to go. The uncanny Lasith Malinga , who was very expensive in this match, bowled a slow yorker to Thakur, who was plumb in front of the wicket and it was all over.  And MI won the title again for the fourth time.


Due to sudden spurt of  pandemic Corona Virus in India, the entire 13th edition IPL tournament was shifted to U.A.E. and was played in Dubai & Abu Dhabi between September and November 2020.  And Mumbai Indians were the clear favourites to win the title and this time Delhi Capitals fought well till the Final.  And in the Final they were done in by the New Zeland Pace bowler, Trent Boult with his beautiful swing bowling restricted DC with just 156 runs in the 20 0vers with only their young Captain Shreyas Iyer stood tall and hit a magnificent unbeaten half century and flamboyant Rishab Pant hit a cameo half century.  And MI batsmen hit the target 0f 156 without much discomfort as their captain Rohit Sharma hit a fluent half century and Ishan Kishan finished off the game in style with 8 balls to spare.  CSK finished 2nd team from the bottom in the 7th place.

2021  – MI again favorites this time also with their players performing well in the recently held ODI & T-20 series with England team.  Of course some dark horse my bring in some surprise. This time the tournament is going to be held in India itself , of course in a bio-bubble environment without spectators at the stadium.



“KAMAAL KA SHOT “ ( Wonderful shot) rents the air as He lifts the delivery from Nuwan Kulasekara much to the chagrin of the  Srilankan players, into the sky.  And the whole world watching the sky rocketed shot  with unabated breath the route of the ball.  And the ensemble of VIPs including high profile Politicians, Bollywoodstars  and who’s who of the game  in the Wankhade Stadium went into delirium with the cries of “Dhoni, Dhoni “ as the ball cleared the boundary.  And the Man of the Moment, the Indian Captain M.S. Dhoni did it for India On this Day(2nd April 2011), a decade back.

And Ravi Shastri, the TV Commentator in  a dramatic voice “ Dhoniiii finishes off in style.  A magnificent strike into the crowd and India lift the World Cup after a gap of 28 years.  The party’s started in the dressing room.  And it’s an Indian Captain, who’s been absolutely magnificent, on the night of the Final” as M.S. Dhoni enchanted the crowd on the night as India romped home  with 6 wickets in hand and 10 balls to spare.

The grimace  Srilankan players watched with awe the ball in the air clearing the boundary and the Srilankan Captain Kumar Sangakkara sporting a wry smile admiring the shot by M.S. Dhoni.

And the Indian players and the Team India support staff from the dug-out sprinted across the ground and hugged both Dhoni and Yuvraj, the players in the middle.  M.S. Dhoni received the glittering World Cup gleefully, handed over the trophy to his players, who were posing with the trophy.  The rambunctious celebrations started by the players with the victory parade around the ground holding the trophy and waving the Indian tricolour flag , some players chairing Sachin Tendulkar on their shoulders.  India’s Master Blaster, the legend Sachin Tendulkar was doubly delighted as the World Cup was eluding him in the previous five World cup outings.

Later on, Dhoni explained why he bat ahead of Yuvraj : “  Muttiah Muralitharan the best off spinner in the world was the biggest threat for Indian batsmen especially against left handers and Yuvraj had his troubles with the legendary off-spinner in the past. Two left-handers ( Gautam Gambir the left hander  was already  batting) at the crease at the same time, in theory, could have played into Murali’s hands. Dhoni, on the other hand, is a right-hander and had often dealt effectively with the off-spinner in the past. Besides, Murali, from 2008 to 2010, played three seasons for the Dhoni-led IPL franchise Chennai Super Kings.”

. “I do remember very clearly when Dhoni walked down the stairs, I turned to Gary and said ‘Do you realise Dhoni is going there to fetch us the World Cup?’ I had absolute conviction that Dhoni would come back with the trophy.” Upton, Indian team Assistant Coach recalled today. 

What egged him to go after the Srilankan bowlers and step-up the run rate and Dhoni conceded “ The selection of Sreesanth instead of the off spinner Ravi Ashwin, batting ahead of Yuvi and Dhoni himself was short of runs in the tournament till the Final made him to contribute his optimum and take up the responsibility as these are all his decisions”.  

“ Golden day for the Indian cricket.  Most memorable day for me as well, because I was a commentator (For All India Radio, Mumbai) during the World Cup Final, the biggest match of the Century “  Dr. Gokul Singh Girase , AIR Commentator, who was recollecting the memory of that day today.

When Dhoni met the batting legend Sunil Gavaskar with the WC Trophy, Gavaskar told him that “he would die seeing the winning shot of the WC 2011 Final of FDhoni”.

Dhoni is still the GOAT Indian captain as he annexed this WC 2011 with his T20 WC in 2007 and so many laurels and accolades to Indian cricket. Like his predecessor WC winning captain Kapil Dev, Dhoni also played with his intuition rather than prior planning.


  1. At Sir Vivian Richards stadium, North Sound, Antigua (West Indies) the two Tests played in March/April 2021 have ended in a tame draw.  Both teams were happy to play for a draw.
  2. Pakistan tour to White ball cricket at South Africa started well as the Pakistan team winning the first ODI in a thriller at Supersport Park, Centurion on 2.4.21 in the last ball chasing a target of 274 scored the winning run in the ultimate ball.  
  3. Pakistan’s luck did not come in the second ODI played at The Wanderers, Johannesburg today (4.4.21) as chasing a mammoth score of 342, fell short of 17 runs in spite of heroic innings by Pakistan’s Opener Fakhar Zaman who almost carried the fight as a lone warrior  into the opponent’s camp till the last over. His 193 runs, the highest score in ODI in the chase ended in a dramatic finish as he failed to realise that the throw from the deep fielder was coming to his end and was short of the crease and was RUN OUT and with that dismissal.    



Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings have many sponsors and partners

The VIVO IPL 2021 is just around the corner with just 3 more weeks. The first match of the season is scheduled to start on April 9 in Chennai with a match between last season’s champions, Mumbai Indians, and Royal Challengers Bangalore.

The upcoming season is much-awaited by many cricket fans as it is finally coming home to India. Last season had to take place in the UAE because of the pandemic. This season will also have more matches compared to last year. IPL betting 2021 will surely be a blast for sports punters out there.

The auction for this season is over and done with and players are now getting ready to kick off the season. However, what’s noticeable is how just one more team is missing a title sponsorship and this is the Rajasthan Royals.

Title Sponsorship in the Indian Premier League

Title sponsorship has always been a huge opportunity for businesses to promote their products and services. Sports leagues and franchises all over the world would usually have a title sponsor because this is also a great way for them to earn money.

For the IPL, the title sponsorship fee mainly started when the company DLF was formed with 500 million Indian rupees between 2008 and 2012. In 2017, one of the biggest smartphone companies was able to snatch the title sponsorship of the league for five seasons. This means that VIVO is a partner of the BCCI for the IPL until 2022.

However, this partnership came to a halt last year. Before IPL 2020 started, the league announced that VIVO will not be that season’s title sponsor. Eventually, it was announced that Dream11 was able to take that season’s title contract.

As soon as the last season ended, many have already wondered whether Dream11 will be this season’s title sponsor. However, during the recent auction held in February, the BCCI happily announced that VIVO will now be continuing the contract. It also became clear that what happened last year was a mutual decision between the board and the smartphone company.

Aside from the league itself having a title sponsor, each team participating is also allowed to have their own and the Rajasthan Royals has quite a resume on sponsorships. Included on the list are Jio, Kei Wires and Cables, Studds, Colgate, Kingfisher, Dream11, BKT Tires, and Kotak.

Last year, this team had TV9 Bharat as the title sponsor. However, according to reports, it’s not likely that both will still have a partnership for this season as they just couldn’t meet each other’s commercial expectations.

Currently, the team is still in talks with various brands to finally seal a deal for title sponsorship. According to sources, they should be able to make an official announcement regarding this matter by next week.

Title Sponsorships of the Other IPL Franchises

Here’s a list of all the sponsors that each of the teams will have for this season.

Mumbai Indians

Principal Sponsors: Samsung and DHL Express.

Associate Sponsors: Marriott Bonvoy, Jio, and Astral Pipes.

Official Sponsors: Kingfisher Calenders, USHA, Dairy Milk, Colgate, William Lawson’s Music CDs, Dream11, BKT, MakeMyTrip, Kotak, Myntra, boat, Mai Dubai, Performax, ESA, DNA Networks, Radio City 91.1 FM, and Fever 104 FM.

Royal Challengers Bangalore

Title Sponsor: Muthoot Fincorp

Principal Sponsors: DP World, Myntra, JIO, Exide, and Nuvoco.

Associate Partners: Astral Pipes, MPL, MAX Life Insurance, and Lifebuoy.

Official Partners: Kingfisher, MakeMyTrip, MILO, Wrogn, EUME, boat, Mai Dubai, MediBuddy, DNA Networks, NVY, Royal Challengers Sports Drink, iB Cricket, Dark Fantasy, Dava India, ON – Optimum Nutrition, Swiggy Instamart, and Rainbow Milk.

Chennai Super Kings

Principal Sponsors: The Muthoot Group, India Cements, Gulf, British Empire, Clear Shampoo, Nippon Paint, and Jio.

Associate Sponsors: Equitas, Boost, BKT, Dream11, EUME, and Mai Dubai.

Digital Partners: Lupisafe, Fast&Up, FanPlay IoT, iB Cricket, and NOVA.

Radio Partners: Hello FM and Fever FM.

Merchandise Partners: Levista, The Souled Store, Sonata, NAC Jewellers, Muthoot Precious Metals Corporation, Nasher Miles, Cover It Up, Lilliputian Hub, boat, ASAP, SEVEN, and Kaadoo.

Sunrisers Hyderabad

Title Sponsor: JK Lakshmi Cement Ltd

Principal Sponsor: Ralco Tyres and Kent RO

Other Sponsors: Jio, Dream11, Colgate, Nerolac, Jai Raj Steel

Partner Sponsors: Kotak Bank, IB Cricket, Double Horse, Spektacom, and Fancode

Punjab Kings

Title Sponsor: Ebixcash

Principal Sponsors: JIO, Fena Detergent, Royal Stag Music Cds, Dream11, and boat.

Official Partners: Stylam, BKT, FanCode Shop, T10 Sports (Official Kit and Merchandise Partner), Colgate (Smile Partner), CocaCola (Uplifting Partner), and Kingfisher Premium (Good Times Partner)

Kolkata Knight Riders

Principal Sponsor: Mobile Premier League (MPL)

Official Sponsors: JIO, Lux Cozi, TV9 Bharatvarsh, Astral Pipes, Royal Stag Music Cds, Greenply, Colgate, and Medimix.

Official Partners: Kingfisher Calander, BKT, Mai Dubai, and iB Cricket.

Merchandise Partners: Boat, Cricfig, Fanhood, Gully, Suniti Industries Ltd., and The Souled Store.

Delhi Capitals

Principal Sponsors: JSW, APL APOLLO, EBIXCASH

Associate Sponsors: Cornitos, GMR, Wrogn, and Jio


Rajasthan Royals on Wednesday announced that it has signed Expo 2020 Dubai, a world expo to be hosted in the city, as principal sponsor for the upcoming 14th season of the Indian Premier League (IPL).

As part of the association, Expo 2020 Dubai will appear on the front of the Rajasthan Royals jersey, helping to spread the Expo 2020 message to millions of cricket fans all over the world.



Goosebumps !  A Hitchcock movie like suspense was over.  India survived the late night scare batting of  the  England’s rookie all rounder Sam Curran  in the One- day series decider at Pune and the wafer thin run margin of victory by India tells the story.  And the man of the moment was India’s rookie left arm pacer Natarajan aka “ Yorker Nattu” who delivered  it.  

The usual razzmatazz  at Indian cricket stadiums was missing as the match was held in a closed door atmosphere and in a bio-bubble environment.

And the role of the reverses was conspicuous in this match as England spinners, including the part-timer Livingston joining the party with Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali to prevail upon India’s top order batsmen and India including a fourth seamer, Natarajan over a spinner to dent the hopes of England’s fancy to win this match.

When the ball was tossed to him to bowl by the Captain Kohli, “Nattu” without any inhibition took up the gauntlet . His agenda was clear.  He had to defend 14 runs as the series and the Trophy were on the line.  

Natarajan’s rusticity is a great appeal and his “never-say-die” spirit carried the day  as India clinched the Cliffhanger piping England at the post and romped home by just 7 runs to outclass World’s the No.1 One day team,  in the high octane the third and  final One-dayer played today at M.C.A. Stadium, Pune to win the glittering trophy with 2-1 margin.  England’s ODI series win in India is still eluding them since 1984-85.

The selection of the fourth seamer Natarajan  in the decider proved to be a masterstroke of the Captain. Natarajan playing only his second one day internationals , who was wayward in the earlier spells of the match volunteered  to bowl the ultimate over and proved his credentials as the “death” bowler as he held the nerves conceding just 6 runs  using his special weapon of armoury “Yorkers” ,  leaving the forlorn England team and its supporters  a heartburn.

The Indian dug-out at the stadium erupted in unison for the rambunctious  celebrations and the Indians fans glued to the idiot box cried in ecstasy in the nail-biting finish. 

Earlier in the day India put into bat in a belter pitch, took a cue out of England’s batting style as the Indian openers went hammer and tongs at England’s bowling and they put on  century partnership.  And there was a mini collapse in India’s camp as the top order caved in to the guiles of England’s spinners. The ship was steadied when the flamboyant Pant and the all rounder Hardik Pandya belted all the bowlers with 4 maximums and 5 boundaries each and a cameo by Thakur to set a formidable 329 runs. 

There was high drama as the see-saw battle of the match between two titans for supremacy in the white ball cricket unfolded along the expected lines as this Indian team led by the aggressive captain  came back from behind situations albeit with a narrow victory.  

In this decider match India’s uncanny and niggardly in giving runs, the suave bowler Bhuvneshkumar dented early hopes of England’s merry-making runs by castling the over-ambitious Jason Roy with a perfect in-swinger in the first over itself  and trapped the Hero of the last match, the enterprising Jonny Bairstow who was plumb in front of the wicket.

And Ben Stokes who was not as convincing as  in the last match played a pull shot off Natrajan’s short ball only to be held in by  the deep fine leg  fielder , the “Gabbar” Dhawan, who gleefully accepted the dolly and celebrated it with his customary “thigh lap” . So, the trio of England batsmen who were the demi-gods in the previous match have gone early today.

The resurrection of England’s innings bolstered by Malan and Livingstone didn’t last long and they were losing wickets in clusters.  Their partnership was broken by the new find pace bowler all rounder, Shardul Thakur who lured Livingstone with a full toss and he hit it straight to the bowler.  And Thakur also claimed the stand-in Captain Jos Buttler with a leg cutter who shuffled across without getting into the line of the ball and was plumb in front of the wicket.  And suddenly the panic has set in England’s camp.

Then came the defining knock by Sam Curran. Sam Curran played THOR in the mad run chase. The phlegmatic Pom’s all rounder played the life of his innings with the willow  with his career best 95 * of 83 balls though he couldn’t close the finish line. He took a cue and played a la Dhoni, his IPL Captain.  He batted very deep and took the game till the last ball. In fact he mentioned it early that the IPL experience with CSK team helped him to hone the skill to play in the sub-continent environments.  

And England scored a moral victory as the tail wagged valiantly and fought till the end to match India’s 329 runs to lose the match only by a whisker (7 runs)  with the surprising hero in Sam Curran  and held their head in high.


IND-ENG 1ST  ODI REVIEW  ( 23.3.21)

Courtesy :  Cricketcountry.com


Prasidh Krishna: “I didn’t start well. They went hard, but we took wickets in a cluster. I just wanted to hit good areas, I thought after the third over I can’t bowl full and hit the good lengths. I want to be called a hit-the-deck bowler, I’m better at it. I will go back, work on my lengths, and come back. I hope I can do it for the team for a long time.”

“Prasidh seals victory for India on Debut “ 

The debutant Prasidh Krishna, pace bowler grabbed the headlines with his impressive bowling as India closed in the victory in the 43rd ( 42.1) over today in the first ODI played at Pune ,bringing cheers to the team and indian fans all over the world.  And it was a “mixed” day for India as the two Debutants and experienced campaigners continued their relentless winning “mantra” in the ODI game also. 

Kohli’s magic with the toss went for a toss again as Morgan called it right and asked India to bat in perfect batting conditions.

India started the run making sedately as the openers Rohit and the Shikar Dhawan were grafting the runs.  The pair put up 64 runs in 15 overs before Rohit edged an outgoing delivery to Keeper.  And the skipper Kohli joined Shikar and they were merry with the bat. Dhawan  hit a six in the mid wicket region off Rashid and completed  his half century .  And  against England spinners Rashid & Moeen Ali  they were playing hot and cold as runs were flowing in  trickles.  Kohli helped himself with a half century( his 61st in ODI).  And when trying to force the run rate, he holed out to the deep square leg fielder.  Dhawan cut loose against England’s mainstay bowler Mark Wood, who again proved to be expensive. 

The early dismissal of Shreyas Iyer and the ‘GABBAR” Dhawan’s  magnificent knock of 98 runs whose penchant for  a pull off Stokes  ended in a dolly to Morgan at mid-wicket..  run rate of the team dipped as K.L. Rahul took some time to settle. 

 With the debutant left handed Krunal Pandya joining Rahul, suddenly the run rate surged as Rahul found his form  and both of them went after every bowler.   Rahul greeted Mark Wood with a humongous maximum. Their 50 runs partnership came in 31 balls and 100 runs in just 56 balls.  And the roller coaster batting of the Indian innings set up 317 runs with  the unbroken 6trh wicket partnership between Rahul & Krunal fetched 112 runs.   The unbeaten 62 by Rahul’s (  4×4 and 4x 6) and Krunal ‘s 58 runs  ( 7x 4 and 2 x 6) was the cornerstone for a healthy total.

 And Krunal hit  the fastest 50  for a debutant off just 26 balls.

The ginormous score of India seemed  to be a mincemeat as the English openers dovetailed and a flurry of boundaries were ubiquitous .  Both the openers went hammer and tongs and  their relentless attack was bewildering.  Jonny Bairstow was full of elements  and he was very severe against the rookie bowler, the debutant Prasidh.  Prasidh Krishna got a pasting  from Bairstow who hit him for a mouth watering 22 runs in his 3rd over including 2 sixes and two fours. As he couldn’t  find rhythm he was  held back from the firing line.  

Bhuvi only got some respite from the carnage as he maintained a tight leash.  The first 50 runs came from 40 balls.  And when another debutant the left arm spinner Krunal Pandya was introduced Jason Roy went after him clobbering two fours and one six.  Even Shardul Thakur was not spared as Bairstow flicked him for a six towards square leg boundary and a straight four. 

The runs were flowing in torrent and the carnage continued till the debutant Prasidh returning for the second spell  from Hill End, he immediately got  rid of  Jason Roy, who again got out in 40s, was brilliantly caught at point by the substitute fielder Suryakumar yadav after they put up a very healthy 135 runs in just 89 balls.  This put a brake on the run riot as Prasidh and Kuldeep conceded miserly runs.  In fact Prasidh got rid of a tentative Stokes at short cover for just 1 run.  It was a wicket maiden and a very good come back by Prasidh. 

 Though the asking rate was just under 6 runs an over, the England batsmen were panicking.  Thakur was canny in luring Bairstow, the mainstay for England with a slower ball and who was committed to that stroke holded out to the deep midwicket fielder for a well made 94 runs.  And in his next over Thakur’s double strike in the 25th over scalping the England Captain Morgan’s top edge to wicket keeper and trapping Jos Buttler on his pads was shell-shock to the England team.  Between 25 and 30 overs they scored just 16 runs and lost 3 wickets. They were losing wickets in the heap.  Bhuvi in his own inimitable style got rid of the wagging tails like Sam Curran and Adil Rashid and when Prasidh finally got rid of Tom Curran holing out at long on  and the game was over in the 43 over.  India romped home by 66 runs.

And the debutant Prasidh Krishna finished with 4 wickets conceding 54 runs made a record for himself as the first debutant claiming 4 wickets .

Shikar Dhawan for his blistering 98  runs ( 11x 4 & 2 x 6)  got the MOM award


  1. Newzealand won the first 2 ODIs played at Dunedin & Christchurch (newzealand) on 19/3/2021 & 23/3/2021 respectively against Bangladesh.  

 First ODI  – Bangladesh – 131.  NZL – 132/2 ( 21.2 Overs) – NZL won by 8 wkts

 2nd ODI – BG = 271/6. NZL – 275/5 ( 48.2 ) MOM : Tom Latham – 110* runs

  1. Afghanistan Vs Zimbabwe 2nd & 3rd T20I played at Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi (U.A.E.) on 19/3/21 and 20/3/21.

2nd T20I – AFG- 193/5.  ZIM- 148 .  Afghanistan won by 45 runs

3rd T20I –  AFG – 183/7  ZIM- 136/5  Afghanistan won by 47 runs



Courtesy : Sportstar

https://twitter.com/i/status/1373330981181001729 ( india’s celebration)

“ He starts like a Corolla and finishes like a Ferrari “ – Dinesh Karthik on Kohli’s batting.

Indian team’s think tank  two decisions paid off well today.  Kohli to open and including a sixth bowler, T. Natarajan was laudable. 

“Your best batsman should bat the most number of overs in limited-overs cricket. So it was very important for Virat Kohli to bat at the top of the order,” Gavaskar.

“joie de vivre “  King Kohli’s knock today( 20.3.21)  was both enchanting and reprising. His batting was a behemoth influence in the latter part of the T20 series.  Today his batting evolved around “ a wait and see” game as initially he played a second fiddle role  in the early stages of the game.

Morgan believed in his team’s batting depth and again asked India to bat first after winning the toss. 

And “ the Hitman”  Rohit straight away started attacking his two mainline bowlers viz., Archer and Mark Wood.  And he also didn’t spare the lone spinner Adil Rashid.  He lifted Rashid’s 2nd over straight six after surviving a LBW appeal.

Rohit wasted no time in attacking Mark Wood hitting 2 straight boundaries including a 150 km delivery.  Kohli who opened  for the first time since 2018 in a T20 matchI played a sheet anchor role just watching Rohit taking charge on the bowlers with his occasional boundaries.

The 6th over bowled by Mark Wood proved very expensive as both Kohli who hit a “Nataraja” shot over fine leg and the glee on his eye told all that and Rohit also pulled his short ball for a six.  Within Powerplay,India scored its highest 60 runs in this series without losing a wicket.  It was  not music to the ears of the England team.

And the run rioting of Rohit continued despite the bowling changes and no respite for the change bowlers.  Jordan, Sam Curran and Ben Stokes all bore the brunt of this rampage as the run rate hiking to 10 plus.  Rohit was chancing his arms as the balls were either falling short of the fielders or dropped including Wood’s valiant attempt to catch his miscued shot behind the keeper.  Rohit completed his half century in 30 balls.   Rohit was severe on Stokes lifting him for a straight six and four in the 9th over but Stokes had the last laugh. As Rohit in an ambitious drive off Stokes played on and bowled for 64 runs off just 32 balls with five sixes and 4 fours .

And another Mumbaikar SKY continued the run riot.  As in the very first over he faced, “SKY  hit it to sky “ as his two  mighty heaves off Rashid landed in the Long-on and Cover boundaries. It was a monstrous effort.   And there was a brief lull off Stokes over as India could manage only just 4 runs only in the 11th over. 

 But the 12th over of Jordan saw raining boundaries as Kohit one boundary and Suryakumar  Yadav hit him 3 consecutive boundaries including a yorker delivery between point and third man. In the next over Kohli lifted a Stokes delivery to long on.

The brilliant athletic effort of Jordon in the deep saw the exit of Yadav.  SKY lifted a Rasid delivery to long-on.  Jordan fielding in long-on position  sprinted like Usain Bolt and  caught the ball brilliantly and in running motion he relayed the ball in the air to Jason Roy before touching the boundary rope.

All rounder Hardik joined Kohli and rampaging continued unabated as Hardik Pandya swirled his bat getting boundaries at his will.  And the England captain was at his wits end.

Now It was Kohli’s turn to turn the heat on Pom’s bowlers as he hit 2 consecutive boundaries over deep square leg off Woods.  And this pair of Kohli & Hardik put 50 runs off just 28 balls. 

 And pounding continued in the penultimate over of  the hapless Jordan.  Hardik hit back to back sixes over backward square leg and midwicket and Kohli cleared the boundary between point and thirdman. 

And Kohli remained unbeaten with 80 runs studded with seven fours and two sixes off 52 balls.

 Hardik’s cameo knock of 39 of just 17 balls clearing boundaries four times and two mighty heaves over the ropes. And this unbroken 3rd wicket pair added 81 runs off just 44 balls and set up a big total of 224 runs.

Bhuvi started in style in his very first over bowling Jason Roy neck and crop with a beautiful in-swinger.

The Indian bowlers had a taste of batting prowess of  Dawid Malan, World’s No.1 T20 batsman and the effervescent Jos Buttler started the run feast.  Malan whose credentials was on the line cut loose against all indian bowlers.  He first hoicked Hardick’s delivery over the ropes of  square leg boundary and boundaries through midwicket and backward square leg.   Buttler took on the offie Washington Sunder, and hit him for 2 boundaries through Cover and long-on and he was immediately removed from the firing line.  

Natarajan, who was chosen in place of K.L. Rahul, playing his first game in India, conceded just 7 runs in his first over and Thakur giving away just 5 runs put brakes on the run slaughtering. But it was only a brief while as in the very next over of Rahul Chahar, Buttler effortlessly lifting him two mighty sixes. Their  insane run amassing continued with fours and sixes.

The 2nd wicket pair added 129 runs in just 72 runs and looked threatening to take away the game from India before  Kohli brought on the “Go to man” Bhuvi in the 13th over and who immediately lured Buttler with a beautiful inswinger and Buttler hit it straight to the throat of Hardik Pandya at long-off.  Bhuvi conceded just 3 runs in that over.

It was the turning point of the game as the asking run rate was mounting around 13 runs per over.

Shardul Thakur, whose intelligence leg cutter saw Bairstow holing out to sweeper cover fielder and also the prize wicket of Dawid Malan .  His knuckle ball saw Malan’s stumps re-arranged.  A fine knock of 68 runs came to an end.

England Captain caved in to the guiles of Hardik who hoodwinked with a short ball and was well held on long-on.   And the game was slipping out of England as Stokes edged Natarajan’s wide off side delivery and in the same over Archer was Runout.

Though Sam curran hit some lusty strokes in the last over of the game, it was too late as India won by 36 runs and also the series by 3-2 and lifted the PAYTM Trophy.  There were rambunctious celebrations by the players holding the trophy.  



Courtesy: Sportstar

The contest was over today at Motera stadium, Ahmedabad  as Jos Buttler’s sublime batting overshadowed Kohli’s pyrotechnics as the tourists romped home with 8 wickets and 10 balls to spare. 

England Captain Eoin Morgan should be a happy person today  as he matched his compatriot Test Captain Joe Root in that they both brought wins for their team in their 100th match in White ball and Red ball games respectively. 

“It nearly brought me to tears to be honest,” Morgan After his team won the 3rd T20I at the post-match presentation.

Morgan’s  comments of “Ayers Rock” look like the pitch on the eve of the match  proved to be misplaced and He himself was surprised to see the bounce and carry it offered to his bowlers, who exploited the chinks in the armoury of Indian batting as the Indian team crumbled to the pace trio of Mark Wood, Jofra Archer and Chris Jordan.  

Mark Wood, recovering from a bruised ankle ( who missed the 2nd match) who clocked between 140-150 kph dented India’s hope of a big score. His searing delivery rearranged a tentative  K.L. Rahul’s woodwork in his first over. The Punjab King’s Captain horrendous batting once again exposed his stumps to a pacy inducker and was bowled through the gates.  Rahul’s score in this series reads like binary numbers 1,0,0.  Indian captain and the batting coach Vikram Rathore  are on the same page about Rahul’s batting abilities concurring that he’s just one match away to find his form and his lean trot will be over soon and  asserted that he will continue to open with Rohit in the coming matches.

Rohit Sharma, the prolific scorer, who was “rested “ for 2 matches was all at sea against Jofra Archer, who was menacingly teasing him with his swing movements.  His reprieve of two caught and bowled chances off both Archer & Mark Wood didn’t prove costly as his premeditated leg side pull shot found the short fine leg fielder pouching the catch and he scored just 15 runs in his brief skittish stay.  The diminutive sensation of the last match Ishan Kishan was done in by a bouncer from Chris Jordan, whose  top edge shot landed in the glouse of the wicket keeper Buttler who ran 10 yards to take the catch.  It was 24/3 in the Power play succinctly explains the precarious situation of the team.

Pant joined his captain and a good partnership was brewing between them and nearly 50 runs were added before a hara-kiri was committed by Pant who ran for the non-existent 3rd run and was short of the crease by a yard.  Then Shreyas Iyer perished to a slash shot to a short ball from Wood and was held in the deep.  With all these hullabulla of falling wickets, Kohli found his mojo and  flourished with a flurry of strokes. 

Hardik Pandya joined his captain and they added 70 runs in 27 balls and it was the highest partnership of the indian innings and Kohli was unconquered with 77 runs of 8 fours and 4 sixes. Kohli took on every bowler including Mark Wood , who was the pick of the bowler and swatted him for 17 runs in the 18th over.

England started sedative  and the in-form Jason Roy went early to Chahal and Buttler and Malan added 58 runs before Malan was brilliantly stumped by Pant off Sundar.  In the meantime Chahal got stick from Buttler who clobbered him all along the ground with sweeps, heaves, drives.  Then Buttler turned his swirling attack on Thakur with pulls and drives.  He made up his poor form in this series with this brilliant knock.  He and Jonny Bairstow showed no mercy to any bowler.  Bairstow finished the game in style with back-to-back boundaries off Thakur  and England won the game by 8 wickets and 10 balls to spare and took lead in the series with 2-1.

Jos Buttler was named the Man of the Match for his quickfire 83* with 5 fours and 4 sixes.


Courtesy : Sportstar

The Cacophony of 1,00,000 spectators on a Sunday evening  in the Narendra Modi stadium did the trick and India won the 2nd T20 handsomely.

Ouch! Kohli did  a’ la’ Dhoni a flourish of a six into the long leg of the stadium  to seal a win in the 2nd T20I at Motera stadium yesterday night at Ahmedabad. The “Zombies Kick” worked again in the T20 series also after suffering the loss in the first T20I. 

Kohli led the chase holding one end and others prospered at the other end.  The horrendous batting form of K.L. Rahul continued today in the first over itself.  Then the other opener, the debutant, announced his arrival in the international arena hitting  a boundary off his legs in his very first ball off Jofra Archer and stole the show on a Sunday evening in the full capacity stadium. 

The young , diminutive debutant from Dhoni’s state Jharkhand did it today for India in the 2nd T20I at Motera stadium, Ahmedabad against England in the ongoing 5 match series. Ishan Kishan showed the glimpses of the Srilankan “ Matara Marauder”  Sanath Jayasuriya, who once played for the same franchise, Mumbai Indians. He didn’t show any nervousness as a debutant.   He had a wide range of strokes.  When the ball was pitched up he hit it to straight boundary , short balls were pulled and the sweep shot.  He treated all England bowlers with equanimity and no mercy at all.  His defining moment came when he smoked a straight six off Tom Curran.  He also hoisted back to back  2 sixes off Adil Rashid’s spinning deliveries.  He celebrated his first half century and he perished trying a reverse sweep of Rashid. His star studded half century included 5 fours and 4 sixes of just 32 balls.  In the company of his captain he added 93 runs in just 54 balls for the 2nd wicket, which ultimately turned out to be  the winning factor.

‘It’s not easy when you come here and play your first game. Mumbai Indians have taught me a lot. I’ve been there with so many senior players and they have given me very good advice. I don’t know if I’ll get this feeling again but I was feeling like ‘Finally I’m here.’ “  Ishan Kishan, debutant and MOM today,  at the presentation ceremony.

Pant’s cameo knock continued after a day’s off.  As his wont, he clobbered 2 sixes and 2 fours in his brief stay before holing out in deep cover.  Kohli remained unbeaten with 73 runs with 5 fours and 3 sixes and completed 3000 runs in T20 games.

Earlier after winning the toss, Kohli chose to field first.  In the very first over of the game  Bhuvanesh Kumar got rid of England’s wicket keeper Jos Buttler by wrapping him on the pads.  Dawid Malan and Jason Roy digged in quite some time and added 63 runs and this was the highest partnership for England  and afterwards the wickets were tumbled at regular intervals and Indian bowlers did well to restrict England to 164 with the last 5 years yielded just 34 runs and Washington Sundar, the offie, was the pick of the bowler scalping 2 wkts for 29 runs.

India romped home with 7 wickets in hand and 13 balls to spare to take the 5 match  series with 1-1  and with another 3 matches to go at the same venue next week.


  1. At Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi on the 5th day (13.3.21) Afghanistan chased 108 runs with 6 wickets to spare in the Second Test against Zimbabwe at their adopted Home ground (Abu Dhabi) and won the test and the 2 test series squared with 1-1. Zimbabwe won the first test at the same venue.

Brief scores : Afghanistan – 1st Innings = 545/4 decl ( Hashmatullah – 200 *; Asghar Afghan- 164 * )

Zimbabwe- 1st Inn- 287 ( Sikander Raza – 85; Rashid Khan 4/138)

Zimbabwe- Following on 2nd Inn- 365 (Sean Williams 151*; Rashid Khan 7/137)

Afg- 2nd Inn- 108/4 . Afghanistan won by 6 wickets

2. At Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, North Sound , St. Antigua, West Indies. West Indies won the 3rd ODI on 14.3.21 by 5 wickets against Srilanka and the series by 3-0.

3. At Bharat Ratna Shri A.B. Vajpayee Ekna Cricket Stadium, Lucknow (U.P.) in the ongoing 5 match ODI series between Indian Women and South African women, the S.A. team led the series with 3-1 and the 5th ODI to be played on 16.3.21.