India Vs England Series Review T20I & ODI 2021: India’s Young Brigade Strikes Once Again

India Vs England Series Review T20I & ODI 2021: India’s Young Brigade Strikes Once Again

India Vs England Series Review. The most anticipated limited overs series of the year—#1 England vs #2 India.

Did the series live up to the hype? Not quite. Except the Sam Curran game, none of the games went down to the wire, but there were plenty of talking points regardless:

  • 40 is the new 50 feat Jason Roy
  • Debutants Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Liam Livingstone, & Prasidh Krishna storm the international arena
  • Shardul Thakur is the new Liam Plunkett
  • The power game of Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler, & Ben Stokes is second to none
  • Umpiring – Nitin Menon’s brilliance & soft signals’ ignorance

Here are the series stats, video highlights, winners & losers, and emerging players. Read till the end for World T20I Squad Predictions and some Dinesh Karthik content.

Also Read: India Vs England Test Series Review

Stats, Scorecards & Video Highlights – India Vs England

T20I Series: India Win 3-2

  1. England won by 8 wickets *Jofra Archer
  2. India won by 7 wickets *Ishan Kishan
  3. England won by 8 wickets *Jos Buttler
  4. India won by 8 runs *Suryakumar Yadav
  5. India won by 36 runs *Bhuvneshwar Kumar

* Player of Match

T20I Series Stats

Player of SeriesIndia
Virat Kohli
Most RunsVirat Kohli – 231 runs
(best of 80*, 50s -3, 147.13 SR)
Jos Buttler – 172 runs
(best of 83*, 50s -2, 147.00 SR)
Most WicketsShardul Thakur – 8 wickets
(best of 3/42, 9.69 economy)
Jofra Archer – 7 wickets
(best of 4/33, 7.75 economy)
India Vs England Series 2021 – T20I Stats

ODI Series: India Win 2-1

  1. India won by 66 runs *Shikhar Dhawan
  2. England won by 6 wickets *Jonny Bairstow
  3. India won by 7 runs *Sam Curran

* Player of Match

ODI Series Stats

Player of SeriesIndiaEngland
Jonny Bairstow
Most RunsKL Rahul – 177 runs
(best of 108, 100-1, 50-1, 88.50 average, 101.14 SR)
Jonny Bairstow – 219 runs
(best of 124, 100-1, 50s-1, 73.00 average, 120.32 SR)
Most WicketsShardul Thakur – 7 wickets
(best of 4/67, 22.57 average, 6.72 economy)
Mark Wood – 5 wickets
(best of 3/34, 21.80 average, 6.41 economy)
India Vs England Series 2021 – ODI Stats

The Highlights


  • The highest wicket-taker across both the ODIs & T20Is from both sides, Shardul Thakur has been a revelation over the last few months. After his match-winning contribution at the Gabba, he has contributed in almost every match, either as a power hitter down the order or with important wickets. Only fitting that Ajit Agarkar (with 288 wickets on his name) was on-commentary during some of Thakur’s spells.
  • India’s young brigade—Ishan Kishan began with a solid 56, Suryakumar Yadav 57 (with one-legged six for first shot), and Krunal Pandya scored India’s fastest debutant 50. The lanky Prasidh Krishna was my pick of the lot. Expensive in his first spells but came back with figures of 4/54 & 2/58. Great spirit! Add Shreyas Iyer’s stable performances, Shikhar Dhawan’s return to form in the ODIs, & Virat Kohli’s consistency, this Indian line up looks really solid. Even without Kohli’s elusive 71st ton.
  • The old Bhuvneshwar Kumar is back. Bhuvi’s economy of 4.65 in a high scoring series & KL Rahul’s 62* & 108 in the ODIs (after 0,0,1, 14 in the T20Is) hold well for India. Maybe KL in the middle order is the way to go with Kohli-Rohit opening in the T20Is.
  • Middle overs bowling is a concern for India. Since the break of Kuldeep-Chahal, neither have been convincing. Time for Kuldeep to go back to first class cricket or a county cricket stint. R Ashwin limited overs comeback?

Also Read: Top 75 Players in India, India’s Depth: A Blessing or a Curse?


  • Jonny Bairstow & Jason Roy were the reason behind England’s rise & 2019 WC victory, but both had questions over the place over the last few months.
    • Bairstow, the Test batsman, had scores of 0,0, 28 & 0.
    • Bairstow, the limited overs batsman, is something else. First full over – 2 sixes to Chahal. Regained confidence in the T20I and came to the fore in the ODIs with 94 & 124. Except for the ill-timed shot in the first ODI, good signs for England
    • Roy’s the new Root: 49, 46, 9, 40, 0, 46, 55, & 14. After a poor 2020, finally good to have the old Roy back, but needs to convert more often.
  • Mark Wood was my player of the series based on his commitment. The highest wicket taker for England in the ODIs, he bowled his heart out. In the last ODI, he was visibly under the weather but kept bowling at 141+ kph. To add the cherry to the cake, he stayed in the game in that 60 (61) partnership with Sam Curran.
  • Let us talk about the player who was not here (and no, I am not talking about Alex Hales, whose window for return may have opened). Liam Plunkett has been sorely missed since he was dumped post World Cup victory. Tom Curran & Chris Jordan have been expensive across both the formats, and Adil Rashid has only been successful in his new Powerplay position. England can definitely chase 350+, but without Plunkett, they are consistently giving away that many runs.

Also Read: Top 50 Players in England, Why the World Needs Sam Curran?

Squad Predictions – World T20 World Cup

Here is my World T20 XI for India as of now:

India Squad

  1. Virat Kohli*, 2. Rohit Sharma/Ishan Kishan, 3. Suryakumar Yadav/Shreyas Iyer, 4. KL Rahul, 5. Rishabh Pant (WK), 6. Hardik Pandya, 7. Ravindra Jadeja, 8. Washington Sundar, 9. Shardul Thakur, 10. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 11. Jasprit Bumrah/ T Natarajan

Squad: 12. Rahul Chahar/ Yuzvendra Chahal, 13. Shreyas Iyer, 14. Mohammad Shami, 15. Deepak Chahar, 16. Krunal Pandya/ Axar Patel

Wildcards: Navdeep Saini/Mohammad Siraj/ Prasidh Krishna, Sanju Samson, Rahul Tewatia/ Varun Chakravarthy, Manish Pandey/Shikhar Dhawan, Dinesh Karthik

England Squad

  1. Jason Roy, 2. Jos Buttler (WK), 3. Dawid Malan, 4. Jonny Bairstow, 5. Eoin Morgan*, 6. Ben Stokes, 7. Sam Curran, 8. Moeen Ali, 9. Jofra Archer, 10. Adil Rashid, 11. Mark Wood

Squad: 12. Sam Billings, 13. Liam Livingstone, 14. Tom Curran/Chris Jordan/Saqib Mahmood/Reece Topley, 15. Joe Root/Joe Denly

Wildcards: Chris Woakes, Alex Hales, Tom Banton, James Vince, Liam Dawson, Matt Parkinson, Lewis Gregory, Liam Plunkett

Moments of the Series

  • Sam Curran‘s 95* in the final game was the highlight of the series. The make things happen guy had not done much of note for the entire series, but showed his worth in the final ODI dismissing the dangerous Rishabh Pant and displaying his finishing game.

Oh and by the way, my tweet right before the Pant wicket. All he needed was this tweet. You’re welcome Sam Curran fans.

The Awards: Emerging Players & Surprise Package

  • People’s Choice Award: Dinesh Karthik’s analysis & shirts on Sky Sports
  • The Umpiring Award: Nitin Menon’s umpiring received wide social media praise.
  • The Umpiring Anti-Award: Soft-signal (we know it is bad when this rule is dropped from the IPL). This rule received strong criticism after Suryakumar Yadav’s catch by Dawid Malan was deemed out on soft signal (although camera angles were inconclusive).
India England
Emerging PlayersKohli-Rohit T20I opening

Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Prasidh Krishna
Liam Livingstone
Surprise Package‘Intent’Sam Curran, the finisher
Broken Cricket DreamShreyas Iyer, Kuldeep YadavEoin Morgan (injured), Tom Curran & Chris Jordan’s economy rate
India Vs England Series 2021 – Awards

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Where Do They Go From Here?

The two of the most anticipated major tournaments of recent times coming up—and no, I am not talking about the 2020 & 2021 Men’s World T20 World Cup.

I am talking about IPL 2021 & The Hundred. Jofra Archer will miss the IPL to have surgery & recover from injury on his right hand.

New Zealand tour England for two Tests in June followed by India Vs New Zealand for the World Test Championship final. Oh and if you did not have enough of watching these two teams, India tour England for 5 Tests in August-September.

Copyright (2021: 3/29/2021)– @Nitesh Mathur, aka Nit-X –

Image Courtesy: Virat KohliNAPARAZZI, CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Afghanistan Vs Zimbabwe 2021 Series Review: Sean Williams, Rashid Khan Come To the Party

Afghanistan Vs Zimbabwe 2021 Series Review: Sean Williams, Rashid Khan Come To the Party

Afghanistan Vs Zimbabwe Series Review.

Some series are more hyped than others. That is the way of life. Amidst the India Vs England ‘marquee’ series, there was a much better spectacle of cricket in the UAE.

This series had everything—an overseas Test victory for Zimbabwe, first Test double century for Afghanistan by Hasmatullah Shahidi, Sean Williams’ 2 tons, follow-on fightback from Williams-Tiripano, Zimbabwe’s Blessing (Muzarabani), Rashid Khan’s toil of the century, and other heroes in Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Ibrahim Zadran, Mohammad Nabi, Najibullah Zadran, Asghar Afghan, Ryan Burl, Ibrahim Zadran, Amir Hamza, and lot more.

Here is my series review—Results, video highlights stats, major moments, T20I World Cup squad predictions, awards, and much more!

Also Read: Ireland Vs Afghanistan Series Review

Results, Scorecards, & Video Highlights – Afghanistan Vs Zimbabwe

Test Series:

  1. Zimbabwe won by 10 wickets*Sean Williams
  2. Afghanistan won by 6 wickets*Hashmatullah Shahidi

* Player of Match

Series Stats

Player of SeriesAfghanistanZimbabwe
Sean Williams
Most Runs Hashmatullah Shahidi – 215 runs
(best of 200*, 100s – 1, average 107.50)
Sean Williams – 264 runs
(best of 151*, 100s – 2, average 132.00)
Most WicketsRashid Khan – 11 wickets
(best inn – 7/137, best match – 11/275, 99.2 overs bowled, average 25.00)
Blessing Muzarabani – 8 wickets
(best inn – 4/48, best match 6/62, 55.1 overs bowled, average 18.62)
Afghanistan Vs Zimbabwe 2021 Test Series Stats

T20I Series:

  1. Afghanistan won by 48 runs*Rahmanullah Gurbaz
  2. Afghanistan won by 45 runs*Mohammad Nabi
  3. Afghanistan won by 47 runs*Najibullah Zadran

* Player of Match

Series Stats

Player of SeriesAfghanistan
Karim Janat
Most RunsRahmanullah Gurbaz – 114 runs
(best of 87, 154.05 SR)
Ryan Burl – 81 runs
(best of 40, 122.72 SR)
Most WicketsRashid Khan – 6 wickets
(best of 3/28, 7.60 economy)
Blessing Muzarabani – 6 wickets
(best of 2/38, 10.25 economy)
Afghanistan Vs Zimbabwe 2021 T20I Series Stats

The Highlights


  • Rashid Khan only played one Test match. In that one Test, he bowled more than anyone in the entire series. In fact, it was the most overs bowled in the 21st century in a single test. Digest that. He bowled 36.3 overs in the first innings & 62.5 overs in the follow on, taking 11 wickets overall. The fact that he left the PSL, missed the first Test with an injury, and played the rest of the series with full commitment is just something else. Also, he is only 22. Afghanistan needs to find more bowling partners to save Rashid from burnout.
  • Rahmanullah Gurbaz for me was the find of the series. 87 with 7 sixes in his player of the match debut performance. Not a bad start I would say.
  • With Gurbaz, Mohamamad Nabi, Asghar Afghan, & Najibullah Zadran all playing crucial roles in the T20I series, Karim Janat flew under the radar. Consistent all-round performances with 26 & 2/14, 53 & 1/27, and 21 & 2/34 got him the player of the series award.
  • A word on Hashmatullah Shahidi & Asghar Afghan. First double hundred by an Afghan batsman, 164 for Asghar, and a 307-run brilliant partnership. Afghanistan is improving, slowly but steadily. Good signs for world cricket.


  • With Brendon Taylor & Craig Ervine missing out due to illness, captain Sean Williams shouldered the responsibility with 105 in the 2-day Test victory & 151* in a follow-on. He was just a class apart. When Taylor & Ervine return, I am hoping for some progress for this Zimbabwean team (and possibly a 2023 WC qualification?)
  • Blessing Muzarabani was among the wickets in both the Test and ODI series. 4/48 & 2/14 in that first Test followed by 2 wickets each in the last Test and the T20Is. Slightly expensive in the T20Is, but will get better with time.
  • There was a time after the 2003 World Cup that Zimbabwe’s fast bowling stocks depleted. The bowling unit of Muzarabani, Victor Nyauchi, and Donald Tiripano bundled Afghanistan for 131 & 135 in the UAE. Gives me some hope.
  • The 187 run-partnership between Williams & Tiripano for the 8th wicket in the follow-on (highest for Zimbabwe at that spot) was very special. At the 20th anniversary of Dravid-Laxman’s partnership at the Eden Gardens, this would have been the perfect tribute. Unfortunately, Tiripano got out for 95 and Afghanistan chased the score with only a brief stutter. Brilliant Test match regardless.

The Awards

We like to spice things up with our own awards for the series. Here they are:

Afghanistan Zimbabwe
Emerging PlayerRahmanullah Gurbaz, Amir Hamza (6/75), Ibrahim Zadran (31 & 76, 72 & 29)Blessing Muzarabani
Surprise PackageKarim Janat Ryan Burl
Broken Cricket DreamAbdul Malik, Munir Ahmad, Abdul Wasi (Debutants)Brendon Taylor, Craig Ervine (miss out during illness)
Afghanistan Vs Zimbabwe 2021 Series Awards

Who would have been your Emerging Player? Surprise Player? Broken Cricket Dream? Let us know below WITH COMMENTS! Also please share and subscribe below!

T20I World Cup Watch

We are doing a World T20 Watch from now till the T20I world cup next year. Here is our predicted T20 XI line up and a 16-men squad as of now based on this series. Several ifs and buts at this point, but it will get clearer along the journey.

Since the T20 World Cup is scheduled in India, several spin options are considered.

Afghanistan 2021 World T20 Squad – Prediction

  1. Rahmanullah Gurbaz (WK), 2. Usman Ghani, 3. Karim Janat, 4. Najibullah Zadran, 5. Mohammad Nabi, 6. Asghar Afghan*, 7. Rashid Khan, 8. Mujeeb Ur Rahman, 9. Amir Hamza/Zahir Khan, 10. Naveen Ul-Haq, 11. Fareed Ahmad

Squad: 12. Qais Ahmed, 13. Gulbadin Naib/Hamid Hassan, 14. Wafadar Momand/Dawlat Zadran, 15. Hazratullah Zazai

Wildcards: Mohammad Shahzad/Afsar Zazai (WK), Samiullah Shenwari, Shapoor Zadran, Karim Sadiq, Noor Ali Zadran, Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Fazalhaq Farooqi, Ibrahim Zadran, Sharafuddin Ashraf, Azmatullah Omarzai, Waqar Salamkheil


Zimbabwe 2021 World T20 Squad – Prediction

  1. Tinashe Kamunhukamwe, 2. Brendon Taylor (WK), 3. Sean Williams*, Sikandar Raza, 5. Ryan Burl, 6. Craig Ervine, 7. Regis Chakabva, 8. Wesley Madhevere, 9. Donald Tiripano, 10. Blessing Muzarabani, 11. Richard Ngarava/Victor Nyauchi

Squad: 12. Richmond Mutumbami (WK), 13. Taisai Musakanda, 14. Brandon Mavuta, 15. Kevin Kasuza

Wildcards: Wellington Masakadza, Prince Masvaure, Milton Shumba

Where Do They Go From Here?

Zimbabwe is bound to tour Ireland in August for 3 ODIs (after Ireland tour Netherlands in June for 3 ODIs) . Important ODI Super League points up for grabs.

In the meantime, the Afghanistan trio of Rashid Khan-Mohammad Nabi-Mujeeb Ur Rahman will be headed to Sunrisers Hyderabad camp for the Indian Premier League.

What did you think about the Afghanistan Vs Zimbabwe 2021 series? What are your World T20 line ups? COMMENT BELOW, and let us know what you think!

Image Courtesy: Image by Makalu from Pixabay

India Vs South Africa Women 2021 Series Review: Lizelle Lee, Punam Raut, & Lack of WIPL The Talking Points

India Vs South Africa Women 2021 Series Review: Lizelle Lee, Punam Raut, & Lack of WIPL The Talking Points

India Vs South Africa Women Series Review.

After a year of no cricket, women’s cricket finally restarted in India. Although the series ended with 4-1 and 2-1 to South Africa, there were positives for both teams.

Lizelle Lee’s blew India away with a whirlwind series, Shabnim Ismail continued to show why she is one of the leading fast bowlers in the world, and Anneke Bosch made full use of her opportunities.

While it seems that Women’s IPL is not going to become a reality anytime soon, India had positives as well.

India added another feather to Mithali Raj’s & Jhulan Goswami’s record breaking careers, witnessed Punam Raut’s second coming & return of Mansi Joshi, and saw the rise of youngsters in Shafali Verma, Harleen Deol, Monica Patel, & Radha. The experienced trio of Smriti Mandhana, Harmanpreet Deol, & Deepti Sharma chipped in as well, but lower order power hitting & Jemimah Rodrigues’ ODI form remains a concern.

For Video Highlights/Scorecards, commentary on Women’s IPL, & emerging players, keep on reading ahead.

Also Read: Nobody Cares About Women’s Cricket, India Vs South Africa Women Preview

Stats, Scorecards & Video Highlights – India Vs South Africa

ODI Series: South Africa Women Win 4-1

  1. South Africa Women won by 8 wickets*Shabnim Ismail
  2. India Women won by 9 wickets*Jhulan Gosami
  3. South Africa Women won by 6 runs (D/L method)*Lizelle Lee
  4. South Africa Women won by 7 wickets*Mignon du Preez
  5. South Africa Women won by 5 wickets*Anneke Bosch

* Player of Match

ODI Series Stats

Player of SeriesIndiaSouth Africa
Lizelle Lee
Most RunsPunam Raut – 263 runs
(best of 104*, 100s-1, 50s-2, 87.66 average, 71.66 SR)
Lizelle Lee – 288 runs
(best 132*, 100s-1, 50s-2, 144.00 average, 86.22 SR)
Most WicketsJhulan Goswami – 8 wickets
(best of 4/42, 17.12 average, 3.51 economy)
Shabnim Ismail – 7 wickets
(best of 3/13, 20.25 average, 3.56 economy)
India Vs South Africa Women 2021 ODI Series Stats

T20I Series: South Africa Women Win 2-1

  1. South Africa Women won by 8 wickets*Anneke Bosch
  2. South Africa Women won by 6 wickets*Laura Wolvaardt
  3. India Women won by 9 wickets*Rajeshwari Gayakwad

* Player of Match

T20I Series Stats

Player of SeriesIndia
Shafali Verma
South Africa
Most RunsShafali Verma – 130 runs
(best of 60, 156.62 SR)
Sune Luus – 91 runs
(best of 43, 95.78 SR)
Most WicketsRajeshwari Gayakwad – 4 wickets
(best of 3/9, 4.75 economy)
Shabnim Ismail – 4 wickets
(best of 3/14, 8.20 economy)
India Vs South Africa Women 2021 T20I Series Stats

The Highlights


  • Punam Raut was revelation in this series with scores of 10, 62*, 77, 104*, & 10. Debuting 12 years ago with 72 ODIs & an average in the 30s, she was already a known name in the line up. Before this series, Smriti Mandhana, Mithali Raj, Harmanpreet Kaur, & Jhulan Goswami were sure starters for the Indian Women’s ODI team. Add Punam Raut to that list after this breakthrough series. Could be a long term #3 option.
  • Mithali Raj & Jhulan Goswami once again displayed their worth in this ODI team. Although she had no centuries to her name this series, Mithali Raj consistently steadied the ship with scores of 50, 36, 45, and 79*. In the process, she became the first Indian women and second overall to cross 10,000 runs across formats. Legend. The other stalwart, Jhulan Goswami, came to the party as well with a match winning 4/42 in the second ODI.
  • Shafali Verma gave India the much-needed blazing starts in the T20I hitting 8 sixes altogether, with the 60*(30) in the 3rd T20I the best of the lot. Now the #1 ranked T20I batter. Time for ODI debut?

South Africa

  • If there was one player that was the difference between the two sides, it was Lizelle Lee and the top order. Usually one match winning knock in a series is a great achievement, but Lizelle came up with 83*, 132*, 69, & 70 across formats. Brilliant. When Lee did not perform, either the others in the top order Laura Wolvaardt (80 & 53) and Lara Goodall (59) came to the fore or South Africa women lost.
  • The Proteas found a new winner in Anneke Bosch with two player of the match performances. With Mignon Du Preez & Sune Luus chipping in and van Niekerk on an injury break, South Africa might be a dark horse for the next World Cup.
  • Shabnim Ismail & the fast bowling unit were impressive yet again. Although Ismail was the only one with the wickets, Khaka & Kapp kept the runs in the check, limiting India to 177, 248, 266, and 188.

Also Read: Impact of India’s 2017 Final Loss on the Lack of Women’s IPL, What Can Ellyse Perry Not Do?

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The Awards: Emerging Players & Surprise Package

India South Africa
Emerging PlayerShafali Verma, Harleen DeolAnneke Bosch
Surprise PackagePunam RautHow Did They Lose 2 Games?
Broken Cricket DreamNo Women’s IPL yet again & Jemimah Rodrigues’ ODI formVan Niekerk’s Out of Action – Missing out on a wonderful overseas series win
India Vs South Africa Women 2021 Series Awards

Where Do They Go From Here?

At this point, except the upcoming Australia vs New Zealand Women series coming up, there are no upcoming international fixtures till ODI World Cup in March 2022. The only professional cricket seems to be The Hundred in the UK this summer. Promises to be a game changer for Women’s cricket.

Another setback has happened with reports of no IPL in 2021 (with suggestions that this was done due to the ‘lack of depth’ and result of the South Africa series).

If the result of this series indeed had a direct impact on the WIPL decision, then let us reflect back. Were India really that bad this series? Not really. They actually improved over the course of the series. 177, 160/1 (won), 248 (lost only by D/L), and 266. In the final T20I, chased 113 with 9 wickets and 9 overs in hand. If not for Lizelle Lee’s brilliance, the score line would have been much closer.

Also if the national cricket board does not give the team a chance for an entire year after the team reached the final of a World T20, then it is not the players’ fault. It is the administration’s lack of urgency, vision, & communication.

Thoughts on Women’s Indian Premier League

It was nice to see widespread awareness and support in Twitter countering the arguments made against Women’s IPL. Here was a list of the top women professional cricketers in India that went viral.

If not now, when? Mithali Raj & Jhulan Goswami are on the verge of retirements, and it would be a shame if they are not part of the first iteration of this imaginary tournament. Here are my thoughts on the positives that Indian cricket can gain from the WIPL:

  1. Foster fanbases & transfer experience to the next generation of Indian players
  2. Intermingling of domestic Indian players with international stars and coaches, which has clearly been a feature of the
  3. Financial Growth, which can be reinvested to grow the women’s game in India and improve the standard of women’s domestic cricket in the long run.
  4. Cultural and financial awareness through the WIPL in the form of TV and social media can help make women’s sports a potential career in India
  5. Bring talented youngsters in the mix
  6. Narrowing down the gap between Australia-England-New Zealand and the rest of the countries in women’s cricket. This will also give an opportunity to Associate nations like the rising Thailand team.

Sure maybe 8 teams with 30 players each may be two far, but just 4 games in the Women’s T20 Challenge is a disgrace. Start with 4-6 teams and grow it little by little each year.

This is the time. Better late than never.

Copyright (2021: 3/27/2021)– @Nitesh Mathur, aka Nit-X –

Image Courtesy: Bahnfrend, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Indian Cricket’s Abundance of Talent: A Blessing or a Curse?

Indian Cricket’s Abundance of Talent: A Blessing or a Curse?

All that glitters is gold, at least for this Indian cricket team.

36 All out? Bruised bodies? Losing the first match of a series? No matter the obstacle, this team has risen to the challenge. Grit, fearlessness, and resilience all on display in the Australia & England series.

One of the hallmarks of this success has been India’s marvelous bench strength. Yet, too much of anything is bad. Michael Atherton sums it up perfectly“Depths of talent can be both a blessing and a curse.”

The Blessing

Ishan Kishan hits a 50 on debut. Suryakumar Yadav pulls his first ball for a one-legged six and scores a 50 as well. Rahul Chahar impresses. Prasidh Krishna picks 4 wickets on ODI debut. Krunal Pandya caps it off with the fastest debutant half century.

Sundar, Gill, Thakur, Natarajan, and Siraj all came to the party in Australia. The list goes on and on.

It seems that for every Ravindra Jadeja, there is an Axar Patel & Krunal Pandya. In fact, India has a production line of 75 players & can even field four teams at the same time. They are reaping rewards of systems created by the IPL, India U-19, & India A (courtesy Rahul Dravid).

The Curse

Recent successes cannot hide the cracks beneath the surface.

The selection mismanagement (or ‘rejection’ as Ajay Jadeja calls it) of Ambati Rayudu, Vijay Shankar, Manish Pandey, Kuldeep Yadav, Shivam Dube, & Sanju Samson is well known. Dropping players after a couple of games & constant experimentation instills a lack of confidence, instability, & insecurity within the team. India needs to make sure they do not repeat this mistake with the likes of KL Rahul & Shreyas Iyer.

Because if similar management continues, India’s upcoming T20 World Cup campaign will be in jeopardy.

Paradigm Shift

There is no dearth of talent in Indian cricket, but how it is utilized is key.

Gone are the days where teams carry players across formats for an entire decade. Except for the occasional Kohlis, Rabadas, & Williamsons, we will not see the all-format player again.

India is amidst an experimentation phase where any newcomer fits into the team environment & performs. In order to sustain this way of playing, a paradigm shift is required not only among the selectors & captain but also in the thought process of each player that is selected on the particular day.

Is flexibility the new stability? Only time will tell, but remember—some change is good, but too much change can create chaos.

Copyright (2021: 3/25/2021)– @Nitesh Mathur, aka Nit-X – bcd@brokokencricketdreams.comteam

Image Courtesy: lensbug.chandru, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons, John M. Hawkins quote.

Australia Vs New Zealand 2021 Series Review: Guptill, Finch Shine In Competitive Series

Australia Vs New Zealand 2021 Series Review: Guptill, Finch Shine In Competitive Series

Australia Vs New Zealand 2021 Series Review. This series was competitive with a 3-2 result, although every match was more-or-less one-sided.

Several memorable moments though with the return of Martin Guptill’s sweet timing, Conway’s run of form, Jamieson’s rude awaking after IPL auction glory, Finch & Maxwell’s show, Ashton Agar & Ish Sodhi’s magic, & finally the spin experiment of Chapman-Phillips (wicketkeeper).

Positives for both sides with this series. New Zealand have solidified their batting order, while Australia had the chance to experiment with Big Bash performers since the South Africa-Australia series was controversially cancelled (Hence, no Smith, Warner, Cummins for this series).

Here is my series review—Results, stats, highlights, T20I World Cup squad predictions, awards, and much more!

Results – Australia Vs New Zealand

T20I Series: New Zealand Win 3 – 2

  1. New Zealand win by 53 runs *Devon Conway
  2. New Zealand win by 4 runs*Martin Guptill
  3. Australia win by 64 runs*Ashton Agar
  4. Australia win by 50 runs*Aaron Finch
  5. New Zealand win by 7 wickets*Martin Guptill

* Player of Match

Series Stats

Player of SeriesNew Zealand
Ish Sodhi
Most RunsMartin Guptill – 218 runs
(best of 97, 2-50s, 59.12 SR)
Aaron Finch – 197 runs
(best of 79*, 2-50s, SR 134.01)
Most WicketsIsh Sodhi – 13 wickets
(best of 4/28, 12.07 average, 8.26 economy)
Ashton Agar – 8 wickets
(best of 6/30, 14.62 average, 6.88 economy)
Australia Vs New Zealand 2021 T20I Series Stats

The Highlights

New Zealand

  • Martin Guptill was on the verge of being dropped. In the first T20I, even Brendon McCullum on commentary suggested this is a huge series for Guptill (only for the commentator’s curse to take place—Guptill dismissed for duck). What followed was a magnificent 97 which made him the leading six hitter in all of T20I cricket. He followed it up with 43 & 71 later in the series. Watch out—this version of Guptill could be even more dangerous.
  • Devon Conway continues to rise through the ranks. Hit a 99* in the first T20I. An average of 52.28 at 145.23 with 3 50s in his first 11 matches. He is here to stay and may even receive an ODI cap soon.
  • Ish Sodhi has never completely realized his potential. Even with leg spinners dominating international cricket for the last decade, he was always in and out of the side. A Player of the Series performance & upcoming World T20I in India should guarantee his spot in the XI.


  • IPL discard Aaron Finch showed why is the best T20I batsman in the world. After NZ led 2-0 in the 5 match series, knocks of 69, 79*, and 36 displayed his tough character.
  • Australia have a balanced squad with 2 spinning allrounders, Glenn Maxwell & Ashton Agar. Both came to the party in the 3rd T20I. Maxwell, a revelation in international cricket over the past 12 months, scored an impactful 70 (31), while Agar broke the New Zealand chase with a spell of 6/30.
  • Josh Philippe was the find of the series for me. Although he had already made a name for himself in the Big Bash, he finally shone at the international level providing quick starts of 45 (34) & 43 (27). Pressure on Matthew Wade when David Warner returns? (although he did score a decent 44 (29)).

The Awards

We like to spice things up with our own awards for the series. Here they are:

Watch Out For

  • Finn Allen. Just 21 years of age, he averages 48.81 with 183.27 strike rate in domestic T20. With 6 fifties in 13 innings & a best of 92*, there are talks of him being fast-tracked for the Kiwis. With Guptill solidifying his spot & Seifert-Conway-Phillips all but certain, Allen’s prospects may have closed the door for Ross Taylor’s T20I return.
New ZealandAustralia
Emerging PlayerFinn Allen (Not in the series)Josh Philippe
Surprise PackageMartin Guptill’s comeback Ashton Agar
Broken Cricket DreamKyle Jamieson
(15 overs, 175 runs, 1 wicket at 11.66 economy rate)
End of Matthew Wade?
Australia Vs New Zealand 2021 Series Awards

Who would have been your Emerging Player? Surprise Player? Broken Cricket Dream? Let us know below WITH COMMENTS! Also please share and subscribe below!

T20I World Cup Watch

We are doing a World T20 Watch from now till the T20I world cup next year. Here is our predicted T20 XI line up and a 16-men squad as of now based on this series. Several ifs and buts at this point, but it will get clearer along the journey.

Since the T20 World Cup is scheduled in India, several spin options are considered.

New Zealand 2021 World T20 Squad – Prediction

Finn Allen is slowly rising through the domestic ranks. He was picked as an injury backup for RCB, although he has not made his international debut yet.

  1. Martin Guptill, 2. Tim Seifert (WK), 3. Kane Williamson*, 4. Glenn Phillips, 5. Devon Conway, 6. Jimmy Neesham, 7. Mitchell Santner, 8. Tim Southee, 9. Trent Boult, 10. Lockie Ferguson, 11. Ish Sodhi

Squad: 12. Colin de Grandhomme, 13. Finn Allen/Ross Taylor/Mark Chapman, 14. Kyle Jamieson/Hamish Bennett, 15. Blair Tickner/Jacob Duffy, 156 Doug Bracewell/Scott Kuggeleijn/Adam Milne


Australia 2021 World T20 Squad – Prediction

I will put Steve Smith on the bench and start with Philippe. Several options for Australia, but time running out to settle their squad.

  1. David Warner, 2. Aaron Finch*, 3. Josh Philippe (WK), 4. Glenn Maxwell, 5. Marcus Stoinis, 6. Ashton Agar, 7. Mitchell Marsh, 8. Pat Cummins, 9. Daniel Sams/Jason Behrendoff/Mitchell Starc, 10. Josh Hazlewood/James Pattinson, 11. Adam Zampa

Squad: 12. Steve Smith, 13. Matthew Wade (WK)/ Alex Carey (WK), 14. Jhye Richardson/Riley Meredith/Sean Abbott, 15. Kane Richardon/Andrew Tye, 16. Cameron Green/Moises Henriques

Wildcards: Marnus Labuschagne, Ben McDermott (WK), D’Arcy Short, Andrew Tye, Tanveer Sangha, Ashton Turner, Nathan Lyon

Where Do They Go From Here?

New Zealand travel to Bangladesh for 3 T20Is and 3 ODIs, starting March 19th. Several of the players will stay for IPL 2021. Finally, in July the Test squad will travel to England for 2 Test matches as well as the (not) much awaited WTC final.

Australia meanwhile are done for now till the World T20 later this year (unless fixtures are added). They won the ODI series against India 2-1, but went on to lose the T20I series 1-2, Test series 1-3, & this series 2-3. Also had the controversial South Africa series cancelled. Time for some much needed rest.

What did you think about the Australia Vs New Zealand 2021 series? What are your World T20 line ups? COMMENT BELOW, and let us know what you think!

Image Courtesy: Martin Guptill – YellowMonkey/Blnguyen, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons