IPL 2024: Dhoni’s continuing charisma, Parag’s magic and the mystery of missing Parthiv Shaw


Chennai Super Kings' MS Dhoni tries to run out Gujarat Titans' David Miller in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024, at MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Tuesday (ANI)

The Baroda-born cricketer is set to captain Mumbai Indians (MI), replacing their five-time Indian Premier League (IPL) trophy-winning skipper Rohit Sharma in the 2024 season of the cash-rich league

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Australian batter Steve Smith on Thursday showered praise on former Chennai Super Kings (CSK) skipper MS Dhoni saying there’s no one in India who is better than the 42-year-old. Speaking on Star Sports, Smith said no one read a cricket match like MS Dhoni. The Aussie batter added that it was ‘tremendous’ to share field with the former India skipper.

“There’s no one better in India to have behind the stumps than MS Dhoni. The way he understands the game and the angles of the game is second to none. So look, he was a tremendous person to play with. I really enjoyed his company on and off the field,” Smith said.

Smith also called Dhoni a ‘chilled’ guy. The Aussie revealed that the 42-year-old helped him a lot with cricket.

“He’s such a chilled guy, obviously extremely busy with loads of things outside the game, but extremely chilled down to earth and a wonderful person. There were many occasions where MS was fantastic. You know, I really enjoyed playing with him. I enjoyed leading him as well. He certainly helped me out,” he added.

Ahead of the season opener of IPL 2024 against Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB) at Chepauk Stadium, the Chennai-based franchise announced that Ruturaj Gaikwad would take over the responsibilities from the 42-year-old.

The announcement marked the end of Dhoni’s long reign at the helm of CSK, during which he led Chennai to five IPL crowns.

CSK had a great start to the IPL 2024 season as they clinched two consecutive wins in their opening games after beating Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB) and Gujarat Titans (GT).

The Chennai-based franchise are currently standing at the top of the IPL 2024 standings with four points by their name.

“Was in bed for last three days”: Riyan Parag

Rajasthan Royals all-rounder Riyan Parag, who led the home side to a 12-run victory over the Delhi Capitals, said that he felt sick prior to the game and had to take painkillers before taking the field.

RR continued the trend of the home team emerging victorious as they clinched a 12-run win over Delhi Capitals at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium.

Put to bat first, Rajasthan were struggling at 36/3 after 7.2 overs, however, Parag came out to bat and turned around the tempo as he hammered an unbeaten 45-ball 84, helping his side post 185/5 against the Delhi Capitals in Thursday’s match.

“I have worked very hard, the last 3 days I was in bed, I was on painkillers, I just got up today and I’m very happy,” Parag said in a presentation.

The all-rounder had a fantastic start to the IPL 2024 and is benefiting from a defined role in Rajasthan’s lineup, batting at number four.

He went on to credit his domestic form for his impressive start to IPL 2024.

“I know what my opinion is about myself. That does not change regardless of whether I get a zero or not. That’s a lot to do with the type of season as well, I had a great domestic season and that helps. Someone in the top four has to play the 20 overs, the wicket was keeping low and stopping, in the first game Sanju bhayya did it,” he added.

This marked the ninth consecutive win in nine games for the home team.

The Australian duo of Mitchell Marsh (23) and David Warner (49) got off to a brisk start as DC amassed 30 runs in 2.1 overs while chasing 186. For Rajasthan, Nandre Burger breached Marsh’s defence to claim the first wicket, and Rick Bhui fell in the same over for a two-ball duck.

Rajasthan Royals’ Riyan Parag plays a shot during the match against Delhi Capitals in the Indian Premier League 2024, at Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur on Thursday (ANI)

Skipper Rishabh Pant and Warner strung a 67-run stand to keep DC on track of the chase. Warner fell for 49 and Pant departed moments late.

Moody amused on DC not picking Prithvi Shaw

Former Australian cricketer Tom Moody stated that wicketkeeper-batter Prithvi Shaw’s omission from the Delhi Capitals’ (DC) playing XI “doesn’t make sense” and suggested that DC should select 24-year-old batter for their upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 matches.

Moody pointed out that, while Shaw has been unimpressive in recent seasons, selecting him over Bhui is a more plausible option given his international cricket experience.

“It doesn’t make sense due to the fact that you’ve got an Indian international player (Prithvi Shaw) in the dugout. Yes, he hasn’t performed in the IPL like we had all hoped he would, but you can’t score runs from the dugout,” speaking to ESPNcricinfo Moody stated.

Shaw was benched for Delhi’s first two games this season. Ricky Bhui, a domestic cricket star, has not capitalised on his opportunities, scoring 3 and 0 against the Punjab Kings (PBKS) and Rajasthan Royals (RR), respectively.

Wasim Jaffer expressed surprise that Delhi did not play Shaw despite keeping him for the IPL 2024 mini-auction. In response to the swashbuckling opener’s omission from DC’s opening two encounters, Jaffer said, “Now that they have held onto him and not let him go into the auction, I’m surprised they’re not playing him. He’s played for Mumbai for most of the season, so you’d imagine that he’s fit. I’m surprised. Punishing him and then losing the games is not the way to go forward.”

Shaw came under fire for a spate of subpar performances in the IPL 2023. He finished with 106 runs from eight innings, an average of 13.25.

Ricky Bhui was caught behind for a duck in Thursday’s match against Rajasthan. Nandre Burger struck out the right-handed batter with a crisp bouncer.

Moody commented on the dismissal, stating that it highlighted the disparity between domestic cricket and the IPL.

“That’s exactly what you’d like to see a genuine quick bowler to do. And to do it to a top-order player is even more alarming. What it does also is highlight the jump between Ranji Trophy runs to international cricket and IPL,” he added.

Rishabh Pant-led side will be desperate to open their account in IPL 2024 when they take on reigning champions Chennai Super Kings (CSK) on Sunday.

How Abhishek Nayar changed Dinesh Karthik

Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB) assistant coach Malolan Rangarajan opened up about the role of Abhishek Nayar in transforming Dinesh Karthik as a player. The veteran wicketkeeper batter once again played an influential knock against the Punjab Kings, which helped RCB clinch their maiden IPL 2024 win with a 4-wicket victory.

Karthik’s late surge kept the scoreboard ticking and eventually got the team across the finish line. However, the 38-year-old’s transformation came after a lot of hardwork.

In the RCB’s latest video on Bold Diaries, Rangarajan shed light on the very first block of difference created by DK.

“He was one of the first ones, maybe in India or maybe even in Chennai, to start hiring their own coaches, a little bit like tennis. He had already done it, he had already gone through a couple of coaches. He was at that point in his career where he needed somebody to mentor him, like a holistic person who would take care of him and fortunately he found that person in Abhishek Nayar,” Rangarajan said.

“People like us, (Shanker) Basu, myself, Abhinav (Mukund), we’re too close to him. So he needed someone from a different point of view who could come and push him in a very very different direction which at that point was required for DK because he had made a number of comebacks and tried a hell lot of things to make a comeback. He needed somebody else with a different wand. Fortunately for him it has been Nayar and he stuck with Nayar” he added.

Karhtik played an unbeaten knock of 28 runs from just 10 balls which was laced with three fours and two sixes in his innings.

With his knock, he established himself as one of the most-deadly strikers in the final overs. The Chennai-born player became the second-highest run-getter in the death overs (17-20 overs). He has scored 372 runs at a strike rate of 203.27 and is just behind Rajasthan Royals (RR) batter Shimron Hetmyer who has scored 383 runs at a strike rate of 197.42.

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