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"He has credentials to get where Dhoni reached...": Kumble praises Dhruv Jurel

India's spin legend Anil Kumble said that young wicketkeeper-batsman Dhruv Jurel has the potential to achieve the level of success that MS Dhoni achieved in his career. Dhruv Jurel showcased stupendous knocks in the fourth test against England. In the first innings, he smashed 90 runs and in the second essay he played an unbeaten knock of 39 runs which helped the side to secure a win. Replacing KS Bharat, Jurel donned India's test jersey for the first time in the third test against England in Rajkot. Also Read: Mumbai Indians, a cricketing tour de force "Oh yes, there's Rishabh Pant. We don't know of course when he comes, comes back whenever that happens. Sooner hopefully for Rishabh. But otherwise, yes, he certainly has all the credentials to get to where MS (Dhoni) reached in his career. He's not just shown the temperament of his technique to defence but even when he's attacking. Even in that first innings, he was very assured, he went after and then hit those big sixes," Kumble said on Jio Cinema. The 53-year-old further stated that Jurel has been exceptional so far especially against the speedsters. He also said that Jurel will get better as he plays more matches. "He's been exceptional, especially of the faster bowlers...He's only going to improve. This is only his second Test and I'm sure as he starts playing more and more he'll only get better. And it only augers well for India. And to have him in a squad is exceptional. Yeah, I mean it's not been easy for KS Bharat," the former India head coach added. In the ongoing series, England lost their third consecutive match in the series, unable to capitalise on their early 1-0 advantage following a narrow victory in Hyderabad. The visitors had their chances, notably in Rajkot and Ranchi, but India came back strong on both occasions to win. India will lock horns with England in the fifth and final Test match of the series from March 7 at Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium in Dharamshala. (With ANI Inputs)

01 March,2024 12:26 PM IST | New Delhi | ANI
Harmanpreet Kaur (R) celebrates with teammates after the dismissal of Delhi Capitals' Arundhati Reddy. Pic/AFP

Mid-Day Premium Mumbai Indians, a cricketing tour de force

A smiling Harmanpreet Kaur sat down for the press conference with head coach Charlotte Edwards and bowling coach Jhulan Goswami, a week before WPL kicked off in Bengaluru.  After the usual instructions from the Mumbai Indians (MI) media in-charge, the floor was opened to questions. As expected, the first question was about the season opener, a cracker as it turned out to be. Kaur was asked whether the MI team management was keen on an experimental approach to its batting line-up this year. The 34-year-old promptly and decisively inclined her head in dissent as Goswami looked on. Also Read: English ‘baz’bowled’ “Last year, we kept things simple and we’ll look to do the same this year as well,” she said. “All the players have clarity about their roles. We don’t put pressure on ourselves that we have to win the title at any cost. I know, everyone’s eyes will be on us since we did well last year. When you set a benchmark, there are bound to be expectations. But all we can do as players is give our best. We will try to enjoy the game, there will be different venues and other teams could get more support than us. For us, it’s about staying in the present.”  Having lifted the inaugural WPL title last year, Kaur’s Mumbai find themselves ensnared in the inescapable web of expectations. The burden of expectations is an intangible opponent, shadowing every stroke, every delivery, and every moment on the 22 yards. But their legacy is such.  The journey of this franchise transcends the conventional boundaries of triumph, evolving into a cricketing dynasty that has left an indelible mark on the global T20 landscape. At the helm of their dominance lies a confluence of visionary leadership, meticulous planning, and an astute understanding of the game's dynamics. Their success is not merely measured in the trophies adorned in their cabinet but in the strategic blueprints meticulously executed, the emergence of talents nurtured under their wings, and the sheer aura of invincibility they exude so often. Also Read: Ranchi turns its back on India! The MI unit, under the stewardship of astute leaders and cricketing visionaries, has transformed the IPL and now WPL into their own canvas, painting strokes of brilliance season after season. Their dominance is not ephemeral, it is a sustained symphony of success that reverberates through the T20 leagues, encapsulating the essence of what it means to be a cricketing powerhouse.  Their captaincy mantle, often adorned by cricketing stalwarts, brings with it a sense of tactical acumen and the ability to inspire. Mumbai has been fortunate to have leaders who not only lead by example but also possess the shrewdness to navigate the complex terrains of T20s. The on-field decisions, whether in bowling changes, field placements, or tactical nuances, reflect a leadership ethos that has become synonymous with MI's success.  The dominance exhibited by Kaur’s MI last year wasn't confined to star-studded line-ups and strategic brilliance, it extended to the player development apparatus. The franchise has since 2022 been a nurturing ground for emerging talents, providing a platform for youngsters to showcase their skills at the grandest stage.  The MI scouting system, akin to a well-oiled machine, identifies and hones raw talent, seamlessly integrating them into the larger framework of success. Hence, Kaur’s insistence on labelling WPL as a harbinger for a coveted call-up to the Indian squad is taken so seriously within MI circles.  “If they do well here, it means they’re ready for international cricket,” she said. “It shows that you’ve played at a good level and can handle pressure. If we see some good performances in the WPL, we could give them a chance at the World Cup. I’m sure all the players will be itching to do well.”  Their dominance is further underscored by their ability to adapt to varied conditions, most of which one witnessed last year. The WPL, with its dynamic schedule and diverse venues, demands versatility.  MI, true to its legacy, has showcased an ability to thrive in different environments. Whether it's the bouncy tracks of Bengaluru, the slow turners elsewhere, or the exigencies of away matches, the team exhibits a chameleon-like adaptability that adds another layer to their dominance. Is another WPL title on the cards? asked a reporter, ahead of her showdown with India deputy Smriti Mandhana. Kaur didn’t say a word, only donned a gentle smile that spoke volumes without much need for verbal articulation.

01 March,2024 11:30 AM IST | Mumbai | Srijanee Majumdar
Australia's Cameron Green celebrates 100 runs during day one of the 1st International cricket Test match between New Zealand and Australia at the Basin Reserve in Wellington. Pic/AFP

AUS vs NZ 1st Test: Green's century helps OZ post 279 on Day 1

Cameron Green slammed only his second Test century Thursday to steer Australia to 279-9 at stumps on the opening day of the first Test in Wellington. Also Read: TN on Sulu track The visitors were tottering on 89-4 after being put into bat at the Basin Reserve before Green dug in for a rescue mission with the help of Mitchell Marsh, who made 40. Green, 24,  brought up three figures with his 16th four in the final over to end unbeaten on 103 with Josh Hazlewood yet to score. “Obviously it feels really good, mainly with where we were as a team,” Green said.  This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/ reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

01 March,2024 07:15 AM IST | Wellington | AFP
Tamil Nadu coach Sulakshan Kulkarni during a practice session at MCA-BKC ground yesterday. Pic/Shadab Khan; (right) Ajinkya Rahane

TN on Sulu track

Familiarity breeds contempt, they say. In this case, familiarity opens up a good opportunity to get one-up in style. Former Mumbai Ranji Trophy-winning coach Sulakshan Kulkarni (known as Sulu in Mumbai cricket circles) will be in the opposite camp as Tamil Nadu head coach for Saturday’s Ranji Trophy semi-final clash with Mumbai. Kulkarni, 57, was busy charting strategies during TN’s practice session on Thursday.  He has also coached the other two semi-finalists—Madhya Pradesh and Vidarbha. Also Read: Was Iyer's World Cup show ignored before terminating central contract? ‘They have vast experience’ Kulkarni admitted that Ajinkya Rahane & Co have the upper hand in this crucial game. “Mumbai know very well how to win big games like semi-finals and finals. They have vast experience of winning the Ranji Trophy. Being 41-time champions, they have a legacy and with Test players like Ajinkya, Shreyas Iyer, Prithvi Shaw and Shardul Thakur, they have the advantage in the semi-final against us,” Kulkarni told mid-day after a practice session on Thursday.  That said, TN have done well to get here. Sai Kishore’s team outclassed defending champions Saurashtra by an innings and 33 runs in the quarter-final at Coimbatore. TN has momentum “We have momentum going for us, have played good cricket. With due respect to our opponents, I reckon this will be a good contest, a close match. Playing against a quality team like Mumbai will be a motivating factor for our players,” Kulkarni remarked.   TN will be boosted by the return of India‘s off-spinning all-rounder Washington Sundar, who was released from India’s Test squad.  Two-time champions TN will be boosted by fit-again promising opener Sai Sudharsan.  “TN are not that big a team yet and they need to prove themselves. Mumbai can never be taken lightly. In fact, Mumbai may take us TN lightly,” Kulkarni added. ‘Wankhede or CCI should’ve been hosts’ TN coach Sulakshan Kulkarni wished that the semi-final against Mumbai was played at the Wankhede Stadium instead of MCA-BKC. “Such a big match should be played at a stadium that provides an opportunity for spectators to enjoy the semi-final. They should have had this match either at Wankhede Stadium or Cricket Club of India’s Brabourne Stadium. Many youngsters can get inspired watching the game at a stadium,” Kulkarni opined. It is believed that Wankhede is getting ready to host IPL games.

01 March,2024 07:12 AM IST | Mumbai | Subodh Mayure
Shreyas Iyer. Pic/Getty Images

Was Iyer's World Cup show ignored before terminating central contract?

The BCCI has sent out a strong message by leaving out Shreyas Iyer and Ishan Kishan from the central contracts. The duo’s offence is not known; only presumed at best. Else, how does one explain the words in BCCI’s Wednesday press release on contracts: “Please note that Shreyas Iyer and Ishan Kishan were not considered for the annual contracts in this round of recommendations.” Two World Cup squad members missing out on a contract when the rest of their teammates have clinched annual pay packets is no trivial matter. The retainer amounts, though undisclosed, cannot be loose change. Also Read: IND vs ENG 5th Test: Rahul misses, Bumrah back in squad, confirms BCCI The punishment meted out to Iyer and Kishan seems too harsh. A team comprises players of all sorts of temperament —hot heads, cool dudes, moderately temperamental et al and there will be untoward incidents which team bosses have to deal with.   The contracts system involves the selectors too and it could well be that Iyer and Kishan have erred on the domestic cricket front too. And yes, Iyer and Kishan haven’t been seen parading their skills on the domestic scene often. If their reasons for this aren’t convincing then punishment is justified but not to the point of depriving them of contracts. It’s hard to comprehend why the contracts-deciding personalities didn’t consider Iyer’s contribution to India’s cause in last year’s ODI World Cup. Sure, he failed in the final against Australia, but his previous two innings produced impressive centuries, including one in a semi-final against New Zealand. After the Ahmedabad final, Iyer played one game in the three-match series against South Africa, in which he scored 52. Kishan played two World Cup games which included a 47 against Afghanistan. Let’s talk domestic cricket, which could be at the heart of the situation Iyer and Kishan find themselves in. While the BCCI is right in mandating participation which, among others reasons, will help state teams to field stronger outfits, the question needs to be asked as to why are crucial rounds of the Ranji Trophy and the annual Irani Cup fixture invariably be held when star players are not available? Why can’t the international calendar be tweaked a bit to make our national championships more meaty and meaningful? Kishan’s Jharkhand haven’t made the Ranji Trophy semi-finals, but Iyer’s Mumbai have. And he knows what he can produce with that broad blade. No better way to ease the pain than decorating the scorebook with performances.

01 March,2024 07:10 AM IST | Mumbai | Clayton Murzello
KL Rahul and Jasprit Bumrah

IND vs ENG 5th Test: Rahul misses, Bumrah back in squad, confirms BCCI

Senior India batter KL Rahul will not feature in the fifth and final Test against England in Dharamsala owing to an injury, while pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah will return to the team, the BCCI said on Thursday. Rahul, who continues to feel sore in his right quadriceps, has travelled to London to get an expert opinion on his injury. Also Read: Mumbai Universities settle for bronze in inter-varsity squash The wicketkeeper-batter became unavailable after the series-opener in Hyderabad in January and as per the BCCI, he was 90 per cent fit before the third Test in Rajkot earlier this month. “Mr KL Rahul, whose participation in the final IDFC First Bank Test was subject to fitness, has been ruled out of the fifth and final Test in Dharamsala. The BCCI medical team is closely monitoring him and coordinating with specialists in London for further management of his issue,” the Board said in a release. Meanwhile Bumrah, who was released from the squad for the fourth Test in Ranchi in line with the team’s workload management policy, will link up with the squad in Dharamsala for the final Test, beginning March 7. India have already taken an unassailable 3-1 lead, following the victory in the fourth Test in Ranchi. This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/ reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

01 March,2024 07:05 AM IST | New Delhi | PTI
Smriti Mandhana faced 28 balls in the Power Play segment and hammered 45 runs as the home team reached an impressive 52 for no loss after six overs (Pic: @RCBTweets/X)

Skipper Mandhana's heroics in vain as Delhi outshine RCB by 25 runs

Delhi Capitals braved a sensational battering from Smriti Mandhana to hand a fighting Royal Challengers Bangalore a 25-run defeat in their WPL 2024 match on Thursday. Mandhana fused power and grace to score 74 (43b, 10x4, 3x6) but other batters did not quite make it big as Royal Challengers, who were without indisposed star all-rounder Elysse Perry, ended up at 169 for nine. The Capitals made a challenging 194 for five as Shafali Varma mustered a 31-ball 50 after they were asked to bat first. But that total was under severe threat when Mandhana tore into the DC attack with panache. They went off the blocks in an energetic fashion as Mandhana took it upon herself the task of leading her side's reply. She started with two fours off pacer Marizanne Kaap (2/38) and the left-hander only stepped up on the aggression from that point. Mandhana faced 28 balls in the Power Play segment and hammered 45 runs as the home team reached an impressive 52 for no loss after six overs. Sophie Devine just had to watch all the fun from her end as Mandhana reached her first-ever WPL fifty in just 32 balls when she took a quick two off off-spinner Minnu Mani. Also Read: Wriddhiman Saha says nothing can be done 'forcefully' after Iyer-Ishan snub Devine too had her own moments like when she moussed two successive sixes off Minnu, one each over long-on and mid-wicket. But the Kiwi batter soon fell to pacer Arundhati Reddy as her top-edged pull ended in the hands of Jess Jonassen. However, Mandhana continued her aggressive ways and smoked Kapp over mid-wicket for a six. But the veteran South African had the last laugh as she uprooted the off-stump with a slower delivery that beat Mandhana's tentative swish. Richa Ghosh gave RCB a glimmer of hope, biffing Arundhati for two consecutive pulled sixes but fell to the guile of Kapp, whose climbing delivery curtailed the wicketkeeper-batter's stay. Thereafter the task only grew steeper for RCB as left-arm spinner Jess Jonassen (3/21) produced an excellent spell. RCB lost six wickets for 18 runs at that stage. Earlier, Verma (50, 3x4, 4x6) and Alice Capsey (46, 33b, 4x4, 2x6) added 82 runs for the second wicket as the Capitals recovered from the early loss of skipper Meg Lanning. Kapp (32, 16b, 2x4, 3x6) and Jess Jonassen (36 not out, 16b, 4x4, 2x6) also played blinders towards the end to give a fillip to the Capitals as they added 58 runs for the fifth wicket in a little over four overs. Verma, who was dropped on two by Shreyanka Patil off pacer Renuka Singh, and Capsey went about their task shifting seamlessly through the gears. Verma gave a lot of steam to DC innings when she smashed left-arm spinner Sophie Molineux for a four and six off successive balls. Capsey was more innovative in her shot selection, often bringing out reverse sweeps and scoops behind the stumper. Verma reached her second fifty of this WPL with a six off off-spinner Shreyanka over mid-wicket. But she fell in the very next ball, pulling Shreyanka straight into the hands of Georgia Wareham at mid-wicket. De Klerk soon delivered a wonderful slow yorker to castle Capsey and Jemimah Rodrigues returned without contributing a single run as the Capitals slipped into a mini-slump. However, Kapp and Jonassen took the RCB bowlers to the cleaners between 14th and 18th overs to ensure that DC would finish strong. (With agency inputs)

29 February,2024 11:05 PM IST | Bengaluru | mid-day online correspondent
Wriddhiman Saha, Shreyas Iyer & Ishan Kishan (Pic: PTI/AFP)

Wriddhiman Saha says nothing can be done 'forcefully' after Iyer-Ishan snub

Veteran India wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha on Thursday said nothing can be done 'forcefully' if a cricketer does not want to play domestic cricket, while adding that it is the base and every player should value it enough to prosper. Saha's reaction came after Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer were on Wednesday excluded from BCCI contracts, with the board saying in a statement that the two cricketers 'were not considered for the annual contracts in this round of recommendations'. "That is BCCI's decision and personal decision of concerned players. Forcefully, you can't do anything," the stumper said about Kishan and Iyer's axe from BCCI contracts. These two players were part of the Indian side until very recently, having also featured in the 50-overs World Cup last year. While Kishan was last part of the Test squad during India's Tour of South Africa in December, Iyer played the first two Tests of the ongoing series against England. Saha said a cricketer should treat every match with equal importance citing his own example. "Whenever I am fit I play, even I played club matches, office matches as well. I always treat a match as a match. All matches are equal for me. If every player thinks on those lines, they will only prosper in their career and it will be better for Indian cricket as well," he said. "I feel the importance of domestic cricket is always there because if I talk about Sarfaraz Khan, he had scored plenty of runs in the last 4-5 years. Definitely, he has delivered." Also Read: 'Come back stronger': Shastri on Iyer-Kishan's exclusion from BCCI contracts Saha, meanwhile, termed the young wicketkeeper-batter Dhruv Jurel's batting as 'outstanding'. Jurel scored a gritty 46 on Test debut in the third Test and followed it up with scores of 90 and 39 in the fourth Test at Ranchi, earning himself the player of the match award. "I have never seen him (Jurel) in domestic cricket, even in Test matches I have seen in him highlights. But his batting is outstanding, he won the last Test for the team," he said. Saha also feels the future of Indian cricket is bright because of its bench strength while once again underlining the importance of domestic circuit. "It is always good to see that your reserve bench is ready, whenever somebody is getting chance," he said. "Over that, some players are getting opportunity but don't want to play, which they shouldn't. Whenever you get a chance to play, you should play whether it is red ball or white ball," said Saha, who played 40 Tests and scoreed 1,353 runs while affecting 104 dismissals (92 catches and 12 stumpings). (With agency inputs)

29 February,2024 10:28 PM IST | Kolkata | mid-day online correspondent
Shreyas Iyer, Ishan Kishan (Pic: AFP)

'Come back stronger': Shastri on Iyer-Kishan's exclusion from BCCI contracts

Former India head coach Ravi Shastri has called upon Shreyas Iyer and Ishan Kishan, who were excluded from the BCCI contracts on Wednesday, to dig deep within themselves and come up stronger, saying 'comebacks define the spirit' in the game of cricket. Earlier, batter Iyer was not part of Ranji Trophy quarterfinal, held on February 23, due to "back spasms". He represents Mumbai in Ranji Trophy. Wicketkeeper-batter Kishan skipped Ranji Trophy matches recently. He was in the Indian squad for the South Africa Test series last year but pulled out due to "personal reasons". He last played a T20I for India in November last year sitting out Ranji matches featuring Jharkhand. "In the game of cricket, comebacks define the spirit. Chin-up, @ShreyasIyer15 and @ishankishan51! Dig deep, face challenges, and come back even stronger. Your past achievements speak volumes, and I have no doubt you'll conquer once again," Shastri said in a post on X. In the game of cricket, comebacks define the spirit. Chin-up, @ShreyasIyer15 and @ishankishan51! Dig deep, face challenges, and come back even stronger. Your past achievements speak volumes, and I have no doubt you'll conquer once again. — Ravi Shastri (@RaviShastriOfc) February 28, 2024 In last year's central contracts, Iyer was in Grade B while Kishan was in Grade C. Also Read: KL's fitness begs a question! Kishan played for India was in the T20I format against Australia in Guwahati in November, following that he did not make to the first eleven. The 25-year-old was in the T20I squad in South Africa in December 2023 but did not take part in any of the three games. Iyer was dropped from the India squad for the last three Tests after playing the first two Test of the five-match series against England. He managed to score just 35 runs in the matches played at Hyderabad and Vizag. Meanwhile, the elite bracket, Grade A+, remains the same for the year with captain Rohit Sharma, veteran batter Virat Kohli, pacer Jasprit Bumrah and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja as the top earners. Veteran spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, speedster Mohammed Shami, and Pandya retained their Grade A contracts, while KL Rahul, Mohammed Siraj, and Shubman Gill moved up from Grade B last year. The top-ranked T20I hitter, Suryakumar Yadav is in Grade B along with Yashasvi Jaiswal, who has received his maiden BCCI central contract. (With agency inputs)

29 February,2024 07:15 PM IST | Mumbai | mid-day online correspondent
Sourav Ganguly, Rishabh Pant (Pic: File Pic)

IPL 2024 | "Rishabh Pant's return is a boost for Delhi Capitals": Sourav Ganguly

Former India captain and Delhi Capitals' director Sourav Ganguly feels Rishabh Pant's inclusion in the team ahead of the IPL 2024 is a "huge boost." India's wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant missed the 2023 edition of IPL due to a horrific car accident on December 30, 2022. The 51-year-old stated that he is extremely happy that Pant is back in the squad for the IPL 2024. "It's a huge boost for Delhi Capitals because Indian players are gold in the IPL. Obviously, he has not played much cricket and I hope he gets back to rhythm very quickly. It's been a while he is away from competitive cricket, almost 17-18 months. He has worked very hard to make a comeback. He is confident and wants to play for Delhi Capitals and India. I am extremely happy he is back and hope he gets through the season," Ganguly told Revsportz. Also Read: Cristiano Ronaldo suspended for one match over alleged offensive gesture in Saudi league game Sourav Ganguly also mentioned that Pant is looking very confident about playing in the IPL 2024 which is good news for Delhi and Team India. "I met him (Rishabh) in Bangalore recently for the inaugural game of WPL. He was there. He is getting ready and hopefully will play in IPL 2024. He looked very confident about playing in the IPL 2024 which begins from March 22. And that's seriously good news for us in Delhi and India," the former left-hand batter added. Representing Delhi Capitals since 2016, the left-hander has scored 2,838 runs in 98 matches with an average of 34.61 and a strike rate of over 147. Pant also has a century and 15 half-centuries registered to his name. The IPL 2024 will kick start from March 22. The defending champions Chennai Super Kings is set to playing the opening clash against Royal Challengers Banglore at the MA Chidambaram Stadium. The schedule until April 7 has been announced as of now, with the remainder to be declared later because of the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, the dates for which are yet to be announced. Delhi Capitals will be playing their home fixtures at Vizag on March 31 and April 3 against CSK and Kolkata Knight Riders, respectively. Delhi's Arun Jaitley Stadium will not be available to host the matches just days after hosting the Women's Premier League final on March 17. DC's other fixtures till April 7 include a March 28 match against the Rajasthan Royals at Jaipur and against the Mumbai Indians in Mumbai on April 7. (With ANI Inputs)

29 February,2024 05:48 PM IST | Mumbai | mid-day online correspondent
Kirti Azad (Pic: File Pic)

"Even Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli should play domestic cricket when free"

Part of the 1983 World Cup-winning team Kirti Azad on Thursday agreed with the Board of Control for Cricket in India's decision to make cricketers play the Ranji Trophy. He stated that it's a good move and the rule should be applicable to every India team player, including Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli. Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer were excluded from BCCI's central contracts as they ignored the board's orders to play Ranji Trophy. Also Read: IND vs ENG 5th Test: KL ruled out, Bumrah returns for the final clash "It (directive) is a very good move. Everybody should be playing Ranji Trophy cricket, but currently the emphasis is on the IPL. It is good, it is entertaining but the real cricket is the (five) days' cricket. Playing in domestic cricket is good, it keeps you in touch. "But whenever you are free, even if you're a Rohit Sharma or a Virat Kohli, you should go back and play domestic cricket for the state. That (state) gave you the opportunity to be a player, get selected and then play for the country. He felt that penalising just Ishan and Iyer wasn't right. "Just to penalise the two is not correct, I think everybody should be penalised. Everybody should be seen with the same mirror," Azad told PTI Video. Azad declined to comment on whether this was the potential end of the road for Ishan and Iyer after their names were excluded from the list of centrally-contracted players. Also Read: Irfan Pathan questions BCCI on Iyer, Kishan's central contracts termination "My question is, are they playing enough domestic cricket? They are playing T20 cricket, nowadays and every other state has a T20 cricket league. Back in the days when we were starting our careers, players like Bishan Singh Bedi, Madan Lal, Surinder Amarnath, Mohinder Amarnath, Chetan Chauhan, Sunil Gavaskar, Sandeep Patil, Karsan Ghavri played alongside youngsters like me and Ravi Shastri. "All these senior Test team players would play for their sides, would play for the pride of their state which seems missing in the youngsters nowadays," he added. Azad also questioned why Indian players have issues playing domestic cricket whereas England players play county cricket when not serving in their national team. "Look at county cricket; there are 20-plus counties and there are numerous three-day and four-day games along with T20 cricket, but every player is involved there. If a player is left out of the Test squad, then he returns to play for his county. "So why can't we have our players playing those domestic matches, that's the big question," he added. He praised players like Dhruv Jurel and Sarfaraz Khan for finding the balance between T20 cricket for their IPL teams and playing Ranji Trophy. "There are players like Jurel, Sarfaraz who do play T20 cricket but, at the end of the day, are also representing their states in the Ranji trophy. The bowlers also get into the rhythm of bowling longer spells when they regularly play domestic cricket. It (Ranji) is not a form of slam-bang and thank you," he said. (With PTI Inputs)

29 February,2024 04:25 PM IST | Mumbai | mid-day online correspondent
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