Aakash Chopra Surprised At CSK’s Turnaround In IPL 2021

Aakash Chopra has expressed surprise at the Chennai Super Kings‘ (CSK) massive turnaround in IPL 2021. CSK was the first team to get knocked out of the race for a playoff berth in IPL 2020 and eventually finished seventh in the standings. But the MS Dhoni-led outfit staged a grand comeback in IPL 2021 and was placed second in the points table when the tournament was suspended. Aakash Chopra Points Out Vast Difference Between IPL 2020 And IPL 2021 And Can’t Believe CSK’s Transformation In a video shared on his YouTube channel, Aakash Chopra pointed out that CSK was an invigorated

Aakash Chopra Surprised At CSK’s Turnaround In IPL 2021

Aakash Chopra has expressed surprise at the Chennai Super Kings‘ (CSK) massive turnaround in IPL 2021. CSK was the first team to get knocked out of the race for a playoff berth in IPL 2020 and eventually finished seventh in the standings. But the MS Dhoni-led outfit staged a grand comeback in IPL 2021 and was placed second in the points table when the tournament was suspended.

Aakash Chopra. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Aakash Chopra Points Out Vast Difference Between IPL 2020 And IPL 2021 And Can’t Believe CSK’s Transformation

In a video shared on his YouTube channel, Aakash Chopra pointed out that CSK was an invigorated lot in IPL 2021. The cricketer-turned-commentator acknowledged that he did not believe the franchise would be able to stage such a turnaround within a year.

“There was a vast difference between IPL 2020 and IPL 2021. CSK played like a Dad’s Army in 2020 and everyone got the superpowers as soon as 2021 came. The kings had become the Super Kings. Such a transformation can happen in six months, I and a lot of my friends had not thought so. But this team showed that,” said Aakash Chopra.

Moeen Ali (Photo Credit : CSK Twitter Handle)
Moeen Ali (Photo Credit: CSK Twitter Handle)

The inclusion of Moeen Ali and the stability in their batting order played a massive role in CSK’s revival in IPL 2021. As both Suresh Raina and Ambati Rayudu hadn’t played any competitive cricket before the IPL 2021, MS Dhoni went with Moeen Ali at No.3. The move paid off well as the English all-rounder amassed 206 runs at an average of 34.33 and a strike rate of 157.25.

Aakash Chopra Picked CSK’s Big Six Hitting Prowess As A Reason Behind Their Turnaround In IPL 2021 From IPL 2020

Aakash Chopra picked CSK’s improved big-hitting prowess as one of the primary reasons behind their turnaround this season.

“The first thing that has changed for CSK is their six-hitting ability. If we talk about 2020, it is not that they played only in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, they played in Sharjah as well but were not hitting the sixes,” Aakash Chopra added.

The former Indian batsman admitted he did not believe CSK would make the playoffs in IPL 2021 due to a lack of six-hitting ability in their line-up.

“When the first encounters were in the small Wankhede ground and after that they went to Delhi, it was in our mind that Chennai will be stuck because who will hit the sixes. I thought this team will not qualify because of this reason,” Aakash Chopra further maintained.

Faf Du Plessis
Faf Du Plessis (Image Credit: Twitter)

Aakash Chopra signed off by sharing some numbers to substantiate his point.

“If you talk about 2020, CSK was second-last in terms of the number of sixes. They hit a total of 75 sixes and were taking 22 balls to hit a six while the Mumbai Indians were hitting a six every 13.2 balls and hit 137 in total. This year they have played only seven encounters, and have hit 62 sixes, with a six every 13.1 balls,” concluded Aakash Chopra.

Ambati Rayudu and Faf du Plessis, with 13 sixes each, have cleared the ropes on most occasions for CSK in IPL 2021. They are closely followed by Moeen Ali, who has hit 12 maximums thus far.

This is in sharp contrast to IPL 2020 where the 14 sixes hit by Faf Du Plessis, the most by a CSK batsman, came in almost double the matches. CSK hit the most sixes(62) this season before IPL 2021 was suspended midway due to rising Covid-19 cases in India.

Faf du Plessis continued from where he left in the UAE in 2020 scoring 320 runs in 7 matches at a strike rate of 145.45 including 4 fifties.

The platform laid by him and opener Ruturaj Gaikwad (196 runs at a strike rate of 128.94) eased the pressure on the middle order and went a long way enabling CSK to put up massive totals. -136 runs, Ravindra Jadeja-131 runs, Suresh Raina-123 runs also were among runs.

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Chris Silverwood Won’t Be With England Team For ODI Series Vs Sri Lanka And Pakistan

Chris Silverwood, England coach won’t be with the team for the ODI series against Sri Lanka and Pakistan. He has decided to take a break as part of England’s rotation policy. In Chris Silverwood’s absence, England’s assistant coaches Paul Collingwood and Graham Thorpe will take charge of one ODI series each. After the two-Test series against New Zealand early next month, England will host Sri Lanka and Pakistan in limited-overs contests before taking on India in a five-match Test series. Chris Silverwood Will Be Passing The Reins On For The ODI Series Speaking to the media, Chris Silverwood explained that it was important for everyone to

Chris Silverwood Won’t Be With England Team For ODI Series Vs Sri Lanka And Pakistan

Chris Silverwood, England coach won’t be with the team for the ODI series against Sri Lanka and Pakistan. He has decided to take a break as part of England’s rotation policy. In Chris Silverwood’s absence, England’s assistant coaches Paul Collingwood and Graham Thorpe will take charge of one ODI series each.

After the two-Test series against New Zealand early next month, England will host Sri Lanka and Pakistan in limited-overs contests before taking on India in a five-match Test series.

England coaches Chris Silverwood (c) with Graham Thorpe (batting coach) and Paul Collingwood (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Chris Silverwood Will Be Passing The Reins On For The ODI Series

Speaking to the media, Chris Silverwood explained that it was important for everyone to keep themselves as fresh as possible, given the current scenario.

He elaborated: “It’s not fair on the players if I am operating at less than 100 percent and it is not fair on myself either. I won’t be providing the level of service that I need. You saw during the winter what we tried to do that with our players to the best of our ability. It’s equally as important we do that with the staff. It’s important we look after each other.”

Chris Silverwood, however, will be available for all of England’s Tests and T20Is as two T20 World Cups are scheduled for back-to-back years. The England coach admitted that while it is not easy, it is important for him to “switch off” at times.

Chris SIlverwood with Jofra Archer | Reuters/Andrew Boyers
Chris Silverwood with Jofra Archer | Reuters/Andrew Boyers

“I’m not going to deny it: it’s not easy for me to switch off. I am wholly on-board with what we are doing. I am very embedded in it now. I do find it hard to switch off but I’ll do my best. I’ll be passing the reins on for the ODI series. Thorpey will do one and Colly will do the other and I’ll use it as my break to refresh and get ready for what is ahead of us. My missus has already booked us a little getaway up in Norfolk somewhere. I’ve got to do that otherwise I won’t switch off,” Silverwood added.

Chris Silverwood will confirm the squad for the two Tests against New Zealand, the first of which begins at Lord’s on June 2, on Tuesday (May 18).  The likes of uncapped Sussex fast-bowler Ollie Robinson and Gloucestershire wicket-keeper batsman James Bracey are likely to be included.

Essex batsman Dan Lawrence is also set to be picked while Ben Foakes may continue to wear the gloves. Jofra Archer seems to be winning his fitness battle after being ruled out of the recently suspended IPL 2021 to manage an elbow injury. Playing for Sussex against Kent, he took 2-29 from 13 overs, including the wicket of his England teammate Zak Crawley, on the first day.

Chris Silverwood Backs Experienced Paul Collingwood And Graham Thorpe To Do Well In His Absence

Even as he briefly steps away, Chris Silverwood is confident that England assistant coaches Paul Collingwood and Graham Thorpe, with their wealth of experience in international cricket, will do well in his absence.

“I said right from the start I was going to step back at times and promote them forward to give them leadership opportunities. This is a great opportunity for us to do that. I think it will be a great experience for them.

“I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t trust them 100 percent. If you look at the wealth of experience that the two of them have, it’s a massive bonus for me to have them next to me wherever we go. They have had success all round the world. As players, they played a lot more international cricket than me. They’re a huge asset to us,” Chris Silverwood said.

Paul Collingwood
Paul Collingwood Photograph: Gareth Copley/PA Photograph: Gareth Copley/PA

England is currently gearing up to face New Zealand in a two-match Test series, which will begin at Lord’s on June 2.

Chris Silverwood will make first use of his new responsibilities for selection early next week as he names the England squad for the opening Test match assignment of the summer against New Zealand. Last month,  was sacked and the position of National Selector made redundant as Ashley Giles, the ECB’s director of men’s cricket, gave responsibility for choosing all of England’s senior men’s teams to head coach Chris Silverwood.

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