IPL 2021: Rohit Sharma the run machine, Dhawan the destroyer and Pant-Iyer chemistry

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Rohit Sharma skipper of Mumbai Indians during the IPL match between the Kolkata Knight Riders and the Mumbai Indians, at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Thursday. (ANI)

As the action goes on in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, we bring you the best of glimpses from the field and off it 

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Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma on Thursday became the first-ever batter to register more than 1000 runs against one particular franchise in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Sharma registered more than 1000 runs against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and he achieved the feat in the ongoing game between the two franchises at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi. He brought up more than 1000 runs against KKR in the third over of Mumbai Indians’ innings which was bowled by spinner Varun Chakravarthy.

The right-handed batsman had missed MI’s game against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) on Sunday, but he returned to action against KKR. Eoin Morgan-led Kolkata Knight Riders won the toss and opted to field against Mumbai Indians in an IPL encounter. Mumbai Indians made one change as Rohit Sharma came back into the side.

MI captain Rohit Sharma said: “Feeling good. Looking forward to the game. Just one change – Anmol misses out. Not a lot to be honest. Certain basics of cricket that was missed, we need to do right. We have spoken about it and hopefully, we can execute.”

Mumbai Indians had lost their last game against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) while KKR had registered a win over Royal Challengers Bangalore in their last game.

Rohit-led Mumbai is at the fourth spot in the points table while KKR sits in the sixth position.

Shikhar Dhawan of Delhi Capitals plays a shot during the Vivo IPL match between the Sunrisers Hyderabad and the Delhi Capitals, at the Dubai International Stadium, in Dubai on Wednesday. (ANI)

Enjoying the Orange Cap: Shikhar Dhawan

Delhi Capitals batsman Shikhar Dhawan said he is enjoying being the leading run-scorer in the ongoing edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL). Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant played unbeaten knocks of 47 and 35 runs respectively as Delhi Capitals chased down the target of 135 with eight wickets in hand and 13 balls to spare against SunRisers Hyderabad on Wednesday. “I’m enjoying wearing the cap, I’m enjoying the way I’m timing the ball. Not very true, this surface, it stopped a bit, and we had to plan the game according to the wicket. So it was good to go out there and secure a win. I consciously made an effort to increase the tempo and strike-rate, because I wanted to be an impactful player for my side,” Dhawan told host broadcaster Star Sports after the game ended.

Dhawan has so far scored 422 runs from nine matches in the ongoing season. Even in the game against SRH, the left-hander managed to play a knock of 42 runs.

“It was just about the execution. Rabada and Nortje are our gun bowlers. Rabada always gets us the wicket. Nortje has great pace and his game has improved too, so they are troubling the batsmen. Absolutely enjoying being at the top of the table,” he added.

With this win, the franchise rose to the top spot in the IPL standings with 14 points.

In the match against SRH, Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje took five wickets between themselves as SunRisers was restricted to 134/9 in the allotted twenty overs. For Kane Williamson’s side, Abdul Samad top-scored with a knock of 28 runs. Delhi Capitals will next square off against Rajasthan Royals on Saturday.

Andre Russell of Kolkata Knight Riders takes a catch to dismiss Ishan Kishan of Mumbai Indians during the IPL match between the Kolkata Knight Riders and the Mumbai Indians, at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Thursday. (ANI)

Rutherford loses father, leaves bio-bubble

SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH) all-rounder has left the Indian Premier League (IPL) bio-bubble as his father away passed away and he has decided to spend time with his family back home.

“The #SRH family conveys its heartfelt condolences to Sherfane Rutherford and his family on the passing away of his father. Sherfane will be leaving the IPL bio-bubble to be with his family in this difficult hour,” tweeted the official handle of SunRisers Hyderabad. Rutherford was roped in by SRH as a replacement for England opening batsman Jonny Bairstow, who decided to pull out of the tournament due to personal reasons.

Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant played unbeaten knocks of 47 and 35 runs respectively as Delhi Capitals chased down the target of 135 with eight wickets in hand and 13 balls to spare. With this defeat, SunRisers continues to remain at the bottom spot in the points table.

Earlier, Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje took five wickets among themselves as SunRisers was restricted to 134/9 in the allotted twenty overs. For Kane Williamson’s side, Abdul Samad top-scored with a knock of 28 runs.

KKR now getting into McCullum’s style, says Morgan

After registering an emphatic seven-wicket win over Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 season, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) captain Eoin Morgan said that his side is finally playing a brand of cricket that is associated with head coach Brendon McCullum.

Rahul Tripathi and Venkatesh Iyer played knocks of 74 and 53 respectively as Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) defeated Mumbai Indians by seven wickets here at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium on Thursday. “It’s been a long time since we have played like this. Baz (Brendon McCullum) has taken over for almost two seasons, so the way we are playing is now getting into his style. To hold such a strong Mumbai team, and chase it down in the manner we did gives us confidence. We were trying to fit Iyer into the XI with a lot of talented guys, and it’s fantastic with the manner he has scored runs,” Morgan told host broadcaster Star Sports at the post-match presentation.

“We never put a number on him, on how many games he will get. In the practice games, he has gone out to play this way. Baz backs him to the hilt. Just a second game for him but played with full confidence,” he added.

With this win, KKR has risen to the fourth spot in the points table while Mumbai Indians has slipped to the sixth position. Before entering this match, KKR had a dismal record against MI, registering just six wins in a total of 28 games, but Iyer and Tripathi helped the franchise turn around their fortunes.

“Sunil Narine and Varun Chakravarthy are formidable bowlers. Sunil has been integral in winning KKR championships in the past. Varun is a fresh guy. The first two games in this second phase has been a great template for us to play. There’s only one way for us to go in the points table, and that’s up,” said Morgan.

Rashid Khan of Sunrisers Hyderabad celebrates the wicket of Shikhar Dhawan of Delhi Capitals during the Vivo IPL match between the Sunrisers Hyderabad and the Delhi Capitals, at the Dubai International Stadium, in Dubai on Wednesday. (ANI)

Great to have Pant and Shreyas back together: Ponting

After registering an emphatic eight-wicket win over SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH) in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 season, Delhi Capitals coach Ricky Ponting on Thursday said it is great to have Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant back playing together.

Shreyas and Pant played unbeaten knocks of 47 and 35 runs respectively as Delhi Capitals chased down the target of 135 with eight wickets in hand and 13 balls to spare. With this win, the franchise rose to the top spot in the IPL standings with 14 points. “Great to have these two back together. Strong team performance and happy to restart things with a win after our bowlers did a great job. @DelhiCapitals,” tweeted Ponting.

Earlier this year, Delhi had named Rishabh Pant as captain for the IPL 2021 season as Shreyas was ruled out of the first half of the tournament. The franchise retained Pant as captain even as Shreyas came back into the setup for the second half in the UAE.

“When I got the captaincy of Delhi Capitals, it benefitted me a lot as my temperament got better. But obviously, this is part of the decision making and I respect the franchise’s decision. Rishabh Pant is leading really well since the start of the season and I respect the decision to continue with him. I like soaking in the pressure and I like to perform when there are challenges. It is not like I am focusing a lot on my batting just because I am not the captain,” said Shreyas during a virtual press conference.

In the match against SRH, Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje took five wickets among themselves as SunRisers was restricted to 134/9 in the allotted twenty overs. For Kane Williamson’s side, Abdul Samad top-scored with a knock of 28 runs. Delhi Capitals will next square off against Rajasthan Royals on Saturday.

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