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4 players Kolkata Knight Riders might target in the upcoming auction

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4 players Kolkata Knight Riders might target in the upcoming
  • KKR have seven spots left for IPL 2021.

  • The upcoming auction is set to take place in Chennai on February 18.

From the past few seasons, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) have struggled to perform consistently. On the previous two occasions, KKR missed out to qualify for the playoffs after finishing at the fifth spot in both the 2019 and 2020 seasons.

Ahead of the Indian Premier League (IPL) auction 2021, KKR, who changed their leadership in the middle of the IPL 2020 from Dinesh Karthik to Eoin Morgan, have released five players. Tom Banton and Chris Green have been released among the overseas players’ category, while Maniraman Siddharth, Nikhil Naik, Siddhesh Lad have been let go as Indian players.

The two-time champions have retained a 17-member squad, including star players like Morgan, Karthik, Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, and Lockie Ferguson. They now have seven spots left in the squad with one place for an overseas player and six for Indians.

Let’s have a look at four players that KKR might target for IPL 2021:

1.) Alex Hales

(Image Source: Twitter)

Shubman Gill is the sure-shot opening batsman for KKR, but they need another quality stroke maker who could either open the innings with Gill or could come at number three. And Alex Hales can be a very good option.

The England cricketer has recently shown supreme form with the willow. He has performed remarkably well for Sydney Thunder in the 2020-21 edition of the Big Bash League (BBL) in Australia. The right-handed-batsman has amassed 543 runs from 15 matches at a phenomenal strike-rate of 161.60.

Hales has also smashed three half-centuries and a hundred in the T20 league. Considering his current form, the English cricketer could be a worthy buy for KKR in the upcoming auctions.

2.) Sandeep Lamichhane

(Image Source: Twitter)

Since KKR have only one overseas spot left for IPL 2021, they might target a specialist spinner for the fourteenth edition, if not going for a top-order batsman. KKR have Narine and Varun Chakravarthy in the squad, but they both are finger spinners. The Eoin Morgan-led side might target a wrist spinner, and Sandeep Lamichhane could fill in that spot.

Lamichhane has been released by Delhi Capitals (DC) ahead of the bidding process. The leg-spinner has tremendous experience in the shortest format. The right-armer has picked up 121 wickets in 93 T20 games at an impressive strike-rate of 16.

If KKR picks Lamichhane, they can rotate him with Narine and form an outstanding bowling combination with Varun.

3.) Shivam Dube

(Image Source: Twitter)

Shivam Dube was released from Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) squad due to his poor form in the previous season of the cash-rich league. Dube appeared in 11 matches where he picked up only four wickets and scored 129 runs at an average of 18.42.

However, Dube can be a worthy pick for KKR considering the fact that IPL 2021 will take place in India. Despite having Andre Russell in the previous season, KKR have missed a batsman who could contribute with some quick runs down the order and Dube can fill that gap.

4.) Piyush Chawla

(Image Source: Twitter)

Piyush Chawla is another quality spinner that can be a valuable option for KKR. He has played for the Knight Riders in the past and has done wonders for them. When it comes to IPL 2020, Chawla played 7 games for Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and could only earn six wickets.

Ahead of the upcoming auctions, Chawla was released by CSK. Overall, the leggie has played 164 matches and bagged 156 wickets with 4/17 being his best. Chawla is the third-highest wicket-taker in the history of IPL.

IPL 2021: 4 players Kolkata Knight Riders might target in the upcoming auction

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EngVsPak- England defeated Pakistan by three wickets

Pakistan has struggled with their batting, putting up scores of 141 and 195 as they were outplayed in the first two ODIs.

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EngVsPak

James Vince scored a hundred and Lewis Gregory contributed 77 as England defeated Pakistan by three wickets to complete a clean sweep of the three-match ODI series.

Vince raced to 102 off 95 deliveries and Gregory struck his 77 of 69 balls as hosts England, chasing Pakistan’s challenging score of 331 for seven wickets, reached 332 for seven with two overs to spare.

Opener Phil Salt scored 37 while skipper Ben Stokes added 32 as England held their nerves to register a comfortable win in third and final ODI.

Earlier, skipper Babar Azam struck a career-best 158 (139-ball) and helped Pakistan’s batting finally came good in this series.

Opener Imam-ul-Haq scored 56 and Mohammad Rizwan 74 as Pakistan posted 331 for nine wickets in their allotted 50 overs.

Playing against a makeshift England squad, after the originally selected player went into isolation after three players tested positive for COVID-19, Pakistan has struggled with their batting, putting up scores of 141 and 195 as they were outplayed in the first two ODIs.

Babar came in after Fakhar Zaman was out early for 6, caught by Zak Crawley off Saqib Mahmood. He raised 92 runs for the third wicket with opener Imam-ul-Haq and then put together a partnership of 179 with Rizwan.
However, they suffered a collapse soon after Rizwan was out, caught by wicketkeeper Simpson off seamer Brydon Carse, with the score 292/3. Only one of the remaining seven batsman managed to reach double digits.

But Babar kept blasting runs from the other end and was the eighth batsman out with the score 328 in the 50th over.

He struck 14 boundaries and four sixes during his innings.
Carse was the best England bowler on display as he claimed five wickets for 61 in his 10 overs.

Brief scores: Pakistan 331/9 in 50 overs (Imam-ul-Haq 56, Babar Azam 158, M Rizwan 74; Brydon Carse 5/61).

England 332/7 in 48 overs (Phil Salt 37, James Vince 102, Ben Stokes 32, Lewis Gregory 77; Haris Rauf 4/65).

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Corona hit – India-Lanka ODI matches were postponed for four days

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Corona hit - India-Lanka ODI matches were postponed for four days

India’s tour of Sri Lanka has hit a roadblock after two Covid-19 positive cases in the home team’s camp delayed the start of the ODI series by at least four days, and canceled due to more cases. The possibility has been left open. Sri Lankan batting coach Grant Flower and the team’s performance analyst Shirantha Niroshna have both tested positive and the entire team that arrived from England this week has been put in isolation.

Though both the boards have not made any official statement yet, it seems that all the six matches will be played within a period of 10-11 days if there is no scope for any more positive cases. There are also concerns that the series could be called off if more positive cases emerge in the Sri Lankan camp. This means that the Indian team, which has already spent 12 days in Sri Lanka, will have to return home without playing a single match.

The tentative dates for the ODIs have been set as July 17, 19 and 21. The report states that the T20 Internationals will be played on July 24, 25 and 27. However, neither Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) nor the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has given any confirmation regarding the dates.

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Indonesia lacks oxygen, seeks help as virus cases rise

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Indonesia lacks oxygen, seeks help as virus cases rise

Just two months ago, Indonesia came forward to India’s aid with thousands of tanks of oxygen. Today, the Southeast Asian country is running out of oxygen as it grapples with a devastating wave of coronavirus cases and the government is seeking emergency supplies from other countries, including Singapore and China.

Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, the government minister in charge of Indonesia’s pandemic response, said a shipment of more than 1,000 oxygen cylinders, concentrators, ventilators and other health equipment arrived from Singapore on Friday, followed by another 1,000 ventilators from Australia.

In addition, Pandjaitan said, Indonesia plans to purchase 36,000 tons of oxygen and 10,000 concentrators — equipment that generates oxygen — from neighboring Singapore. He said he was in contact with China and other possible oxygen sources. The US and the United Arab Emirates have also offered help.

Overall, Indonesia, the world’s fourth most populous country, has reported more than 2.4 million infections and 63,760 deaths from COVID-19. Those figures are widely believed to be a huge undercount due to low testing and poor tracing measures. On Thursday, Indonesia reported nearly 39,000 confirmed cases, its biggest single-day jump.

Indonesia’s hospitals have been flooded, with increasing numbers of sick people in isolation at home or waiting to receive emergency care. In Indonesia’s most populous island, Java, hospitals began setting up temporary intensive care units in mid-June. Many patients are waiting for several days to get admitted. Oxygen tanks rolled on the sidewalks for the lucky few, while others were told they’d have to find their own.

The city’s deputy mayor Yaya Mulyana said emergency rooms at a public hospital in Bandung city were closed earlier this week amid panic buying over rising infections in the West Java provincial capital.

“The panicked people bought oxygen tanks, though they didn’t need them yet,” said Muliana. “This has exhausted the supply of oxygen.”

At a hospital in Yogyakarta in central Java, 63 COVID-19 patients died in one day – 33 of them during its central liquid oxygen supply, although the hospital switched to using oxygen cylinders was, spokesman Banu Harmawan said.

When a brutal outbreak ravaged the country, Indonesia donated 3,400 oxygen cylinders and concentrators to India. As its own cases rose, Jakarta scrapped plans to send another 2,000 oxygen concentrators to India in late June. The daily requirement of oxygen has reached 1,928 tonnes per day. According to government data, the total available production capacity of the country is 2,262 tonnes per day.

“I asked for 100% oxygen first for medical purposes, which means all industrial allocation should be shifted to medical,” said Panjaitan, a minister in the government. “We are racing against time, we have to act fast.”

Noting the rapid spread of the highly contagious delta variant, he warned that Indonesia could face a worst-case scenario with 50,000 cases a day. The next two weeks will be crucial, he said.

The industry ministry responded by issuing a decree that all oxygen supplies be sent to hospitals packed with coronavirus patients and asked industry players to cooperate.

Oxygen is used to make many products including textiles, plastics and vehicles. Oil refineries, chemical makers and steel makers also use it. But industry leaders are clamoring to support government efforts to maximize supplies for hospitals.

The government has redirected oxygen supplies from industrial plants at Morowali in Central Sulawesi, Balikpapan on the island of Borneo, and Belawan and Batam on the island of Sumatra, Pandjaitan said. Small oxygen industries have also been directed to produce pharmaceutical oxygen.

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