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IPL 2021 – Delhi Capitals




He is likely to be out of action for a few months, with surgery scheduled on his left shoulder

In a setback to both the player and the Delhi Capitals, Shreyas Iyer is set to miss the entire IPL 2021. ESPNcricinfo understands that Iyer, who is the Capitals captain, will undergo surgery to his left shoulder, which he partially dislocated on Monday while fielding during first ODI of the England series.

It is understood that Iyer is likely to be out of cricket for at least a few months, thus erasing any hopes the Capitals had of him returning during the second half of IPL 2021, which will be played in India between April 9 and May 30.

On Thursday, the BCCI had only confirmed Iyer had been ruled out of the ongoing three-match ODI series against England without releasing any details on the injury, as well as the surgery. It also wished Iyer “speedy recovery” as response to a tweet by the Indian batsman, who said he would be “back soon.”

Iyer picked the injury during the early part of the England’s chase in the first ODI. Posted at extra cover, Iyer fell awkwardly on his left shoulder while successfully intercepting a drive from Johnny Bairstow in the eighth over of the England innings. Immediately, Iyer was seen grimacing and rolling on the turf while holding his left shoulder. After brief medical attention, Iyer was rushed out for scans, which revealed he had “sublaxtion” (partially dislocated) in his shoulder.

It was the third time since IPL 2020 that Iyer had hurt the left shoulder, having also hurt it during the ODI series in Australia.

Indications that Iyer’s injury this time was serious, came via a tweet posted early on Thursday by Parth Jindal, the Capitals’ co-owner. Jindal said he was “devastated and gutted”, and wished Iyer “quick recovery” as India “needs you in the T20 World Cup.”

Iyer had been appointed captain of the Delhi Daredevils, as they were called then, during IPL 2018. The team had won only one of their first six matches that year, which made Gautam Gambhir, then the captain, step down. Iyer, who was then 23 years old, was identified as his successor, three years after the franchise had bought him as an uncapped player.

Iyer had pipped local boy Rishabh Pant to the leadership position. He soon built a close rapport with the Capitals’ head coach Ricky Ponting, as the team’s fortunes turned around with playoff qualifications in the last two seasons. In 2019, the Capitals lost in the Eliminator, and in IPL 2020, they reached the final, losing to Mumbai Indians. Iyer was the fourth-highest run-getter in IPL 2020.

Nagraj Gollapudi is news editor at ESPNcricinfo

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The Hundred offers something for bowlers and will keep captains alert | Cricket





Explainer: How to read the Hundred scorecard

Not sure if that was the intention, but the Hundred’s new playing conditions have a utility beyond the laughs. With the exception of a two-run penalty for a no-ball – which has been a feature of English domestic cricket – they are almost all geared to help the bowlers, the marginalised of the two participants in games of cricket. They will also make the fielding captain’s role more instrumental.

The advantage is admittedly not massive, and the batters will eventually catch up as they keep getting stronger and better, but anything is welcome in a format that keeps shrinking further and further for a bowler.

Shorter Powerplay
This should offset the no-ball penalty. Fifty-three no-balls were bowled in 60 matches in last year’s IPL. So let’s assume there is one no-ball bowled every match. Adding that extra run is not that big a punishment, but a shorter Powerplay is a huge incentive. The Powerplay in the Hundred is only 25% of the innings as against 30% in old-school T20 cricket. That’s one over fewer in a normal T20.

Tens = good for captains and bowlers
Imagine MS Dhoni being allowed to bowl Deepak Chahar’s quota out in the Powerplay (no disrespect to Chahar’s emergence as a decent death bowler too). Or if for a certain match, Rohit Sharma could keep all of Jasprit Bumrah’s deliveries for the death. They could if they were captaining in the Hundred.

The scope this gives bowlers and captains is immense. Imagine Dhoni walks in, and you have the option of bowling 10% of the innings from Sunil Narine without a break then and there. Dhoni strikes at slightly over 50 against Narine. And you don’t get away by playing a dot at the fifth ball; you are on strike for the start of the next five. The bowler, on the other hand, doesn’t have to nominate a “ten” at the start. So if a match-up gets away from him on the fifth ball, he can stop at five.

Analysis will come in as the database continues to build, but it breaks the templates that T20 cricket has fallen into and that can’t be bad.

Shorter “overs”
Fives, as the umpire calls in the Hundred. Batters say they try to hit the first ball of a new over big to put the bowler under the pressure, but you also hear so often how a bowler has failed to get out of an over. The longer an over is, the more a batter gets a chance to line the bowler up. Perhaps in Test cricket you want it to be longer to set a batter up, but mostly in T20s, you are trying to get out of it without significant damage. The fewer the balls to constitute a mandatory set, the easier for a defensive bowler to get out of it without late damage.

Of course batters will adjust and start treating the fifth ball as they do the sixth in other T20s, but it will take some time. Can’t be a bad thing.

Last ball of the penultimate over is not a free hit
A team is seven or eight down. A tailender is batting with a specialist batter. Seven balls to go, the tailender on strike, and you often hear commentators say this is basically a free hit. If you connect, great; if you don’t, at least the specialist batter is on strike for the last over.

Not in the Hundred. The end changes only every two sets of fives. So at the end of the 19th five, the tailender will have to actually take a single to turn the strike over. Or keep facing.

New batter always on strike
Oh, so what if they sky one up and cross? Nope. Unlike in all other cricket, if a batter is out caught, it doesn’t matter if the batters in the middle crossed over. The new batter will be on strike. It might not sound as much to you, but ask a bowler who has forced or coaxed a batter to hit to his deep fielder but doesn’t get the luxury of bowling a new batter next ball because they crossed while the ball was in the air.

One dampener
For wides, the umpires have been instructed to “apply a very strict and consistent interpretation of this Law”. The umpires hopefully will continue to use their discretion to allow wide yorkers, especially to batters who move around in the crease. Also it does defeat the purpose a little bit: the more the number of wides, the longer the match goes on.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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Steven Smith ‘building up nicely’ in cautious rehab from elbow injury | Cricket





Paine open to Smith missing T20 World Cup for Ashes

Steven Smith is making encouraging progress in his recovery from the elbow injury which ruled him out of the current Australia tours with the beginning of the domestic season a potential comeback target.

Smith was sidelined in the latter part of last season when the elbow problem flared up following the India series before returning briefly for New South Wales ahead of the IPL. While playing for Delhi Capitals he felt further pain and he was unavailable for the West Indies and Bangladesh trips.

He told earlier this month that the Ashes series was his priority and he would be willing to forego the T20 World Cup if it ensured he would be fit for that.

A cautious approach has been taken with his rehab but he is currently increasing the amount of batting he can do as part of New South Wales’ pre-season.

“He’s been building it up nicely,” Phil Jaques, the New South Wales head coach, told ESPNcricinfo. “He’s been very conscientious about his rehab and in terms of how long he bats it for, he’s building up his time which is great and his elbow is responding really well to it.

“We’ve taken a really slow approach with him to make sure we don’t have too many setbacks by pushing too hard but we are stepping things up gradually. He’s definitely moving in the right direction, he’s not going backwards. Hopefully he’ll be ready to go once the season kicks off.

“I don’t think he really got rid of it last time so it came back…hopefully if he gets the tolerance through the tendon that he needs to then he should be able to manage it.”

How much cricket Smith plays for New South Wales this season depends on a lot of factors. There is potentially a small window for those selected for the T20 World Cup to play a few Marsh Cup matches in mid-September, but if Smith is part of that trip he won’t have any first-class cricket ahead of the Test season starting due to the quarantine period on return. There is also the resumption of the IPL to consider.

However, if he doesn’t make the World Cup there are up to five Sheffield Shield games available before the Afghanistan Test at the end of November.

The Sheffield Shield is set to start on September 28 with a schedule mapped out which is hoped will give players time to rest and prepare between matches which should be particularly advantageous for the quick bowlers.

Steven Smith plays through the off side © Getty Images and Cricket Australia

“Last season, and there was no other way around it, there was certainly a big load for the quicks to turnaround really quickly,” Jaques said. “It allows us as coaching staff to prepare the players the best they can for each fixture which is what the Australian domestic summer has always built itself on, to be able to train and prepare for each game individually.”

Quite how the season eventually plays out remains uncertain amid Covid-19 and while there is confidence that hubs can be avoided Jaques believes players will again do what is needed despite the toll it can take. “As professionals we adapt where we need to and if that’s called upon again I think we’ll do it but if there’s ways around it we’ll look to explore that as well,” he said.

Towards the end of last season’s Sheffield Shield the decision was taken to revamp the New South Wales batting line-up after they had been bundled out for 32 by Tasmania. Lachlan Hearne, Matthew Gilkes and Baxter Holt were given a chance while faith was shown in Jason Sangha, who responded with a century against Queensland, and Jack Edwards who made a match-winning hundred in the Marsh Cup final.

“The ceiling is massive with those guys, they are super talented,” Jaques said. “They just need some experience and game time which they got some of last year. We are expecting them to go to another level this year and I’m sure that will come with experience. I was really happy with how they went, to be able to play a final will only put them in good stead. They are definitely the future and think we have a really good mix in the group.”

New South Wales will make a decision on their captaincy positions in the upcoming weeks. Last season Pat Cummins was given the role in the Marsh Cup while Peter Nevill led the Sheffield Shield side until he was absent at the end of the season for the birth of his child. Kurtis Patterson stood in for both formats.

“Whatever role Peter plays within our team he’s a leader, he’s a top guy, he’s someone the players look up to,” Jaques said. “Whoever is actually captaining they’ll be helped out by a lot of leaders.”

Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo

ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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Recent Match Report – Originals vs Invincibles 1st Match 2021




Kate Cross stars with three wickets for Originals, but victory is sealed with two balls to spare

Oval Invincibles 139 for 5 (van Niekerk 56*, Kapp 38, Cross 3-28) beat Manchester Originals 135 for 6 (Lee 42, Farrant 3-25) by five wickets

A fluent, unbeaten half-century from captain Dane van Niekerk saw Oval Invincibles recover from 12 for 3 to chase down 136 with two balls to spare on the opening night of the Hundred as English cricket ushered in its new 100-ball competition.
The standalone women’s match launched the competition in front of a 7,395 crowd in at The Oval, with Kate Cross, Manchester Originals’ captain, admitting “we don’t know what a good score is so we thought we’d go out and give it a go” as she opted to bat first.
The Originals’ total of 135 for 6 was held together by Lizelle Lee’s anchoring innings of 42 off 39 balls, with middle-order cameos from Harmanpreet Kaur and captain Cross injecting some life into the innings and dragging them up towards a defendable score.
Cross struck three times in her first seven balls in the run chase, as the Invincibles slipped to 12 for 3 and then 36 for 4 as their hopes quickly faded. But van Niekerk added 73 with Marizanne Kapp to keep them in the game, profiting from two dropped catches and cashing in when the Originals’ spinners dropped short.
Kapp fell for 38 to a sharp leg-side stumping by Ellie Threlkeld – though subsequent replays suggested she had taken the ball in front of the stumps – with 27 needed from 17 balls, but Villiers’ straight six off Sophie Ecclestone kept the rate in check, and van Niekerk flashed an edge for four past Threlkeld with the scores tied to seal the win.

Opening salvo

Kapp took the new ball for the Invincibles and emulated Sussex’s James Kirtley by starting a new format of the game with a wide, spraying one down the leg side to her compatriot Lee. But after an ignominious start, Kapp found both rhythm and nip, seaming the ball to beat Lee’s outside edge twice in her first set of five balls.

That was enough for van Niekerk to decide to leave her on for a second set of five balls, and the move was vindicated almost immediately, as the in-form Emma Lamb nicked her second ball through to Sarah Bryce. Umpire Tim Robinson was the only person in the ground to miss the noise as the ball passed the bat, and his not-out decision was quickly overturned via the DRS.

But with the powerplay shortened to 25 balls, the Originals decided to keep attacking. Lee dispatched Tash Farrant for consecutive boundaries to get herself up and running, before crunching Shabnim Ismail for four through point, while Georgie Boyce lashes consecutive fours off Kapp as the Invincibles conceded 31 runs in the final 15 balls of fielding restrictions.

Kaur, blimey

The Invincibles opted to use their spinners – van Niekerk and Mady Villiers – in initial 10-ball bursts from each end, and after Villiers had Boyce caught at extra cover, van Niekerk opted to keep her on for a second consecutive set of 10 balls from the Pavilion End. It proved to be a mistake: having conceded 13 from her first 15, Villiers was taken for four fours in five balls as Kaur evoked the spirit of Derby 2017 and found full flow.

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