Curious Fans Chant ‘Ben Stokes’ at CSK Practice Game: Audience Engagement Builds for CSK’s Future with Englishman
During CSK’s practice game in Chennai, a large gathering of MS Dhoni-intoxicated fans swarmed the arena, cheering for their ‘Thala’ and crowding outside a glass-paneled gym room to cheer as he pulled down weight on a power rack. However, after 25 minutes of cheering for Dhoni, the fans started to chant ‘Ben Stokes’, which swelled around the arena like an aural wave. This was an endorsement from the Yellove faithful about CSK’s future direction, pointing towards England’s charismatic Ben Stokes. The team’s social media handles have already started billing Stokes as the ‘Chosen one’ with hit numbers from Tamil movies playing in the backdrop. Songs of Rajnikanth, which were usually reserved for Dhoni, were found in posts for Stokes. The team has had star-studded overseas players in the past, including the likes of Dwayne Bravo, Matthew Hayden, Mike Hussey, and Brendon McCullum, but none have had the sort of reception that Stokes has managed to pull off so far.
The Dilemma of Sanju Samson: Discrimination and Uncertain Future in Team India
Cricket’s immense popularity in India has countless aspiring youth dreaming of representing the nation. However, only a select few achieve their dreams, while others face challenges and partiality, often limiting their progress.
Sanju Samson, hailing from Kerala, is one such cricketer who has garnered a devoted fan base. Yet, despite his outstanding performances in domestic cricket, the selectors have been reluctant to provide him with consistent opportunities. This has led to speculation that Samson might consider leaving Team India due to the perceived discrimination and bias he faces.
At 28 years old, Sanju Samson possesses immense talent and a unique batting style that has captivated fans worldwide. Even former Indian batting legend Sunil Gavaskar has expressed his admiration for Samson’s batting prowess on multiple platforms, including during commentary.
Samson made his first-class debut in 2011 and his T20 debut for the Indian team in 2015. However, it took him six years to debut in ODIs, finally earning his chance in 2021. Throughout his international career spanning eight years, Samson has played only 11 ODIs and 17 T20 matches.
Impressively, Samson holds the highest batting average in ODIs for Team India, amassing 330 runs in 11 matches at an average of 66. However, his T20 performances have been hindered by irregular opportunities and batting in different positions, resulting in a modest average of 20.06 in the format.
Samson’s last selection was for the Sri Lanka series, but an unfortunate injury sustained while fielding ruled him out for the entire tournament. Since then, he has not found a place in the team. Notably, Samson leads the Rajasthan Royals in the IPL, where he has excelled as a captain, leading the team to the finals in 2022.
Reports suggest that Sanju Samson received an offer from the Ireland Cricket Board to play for Ireland, promising him consistent opportunities. However, it is said that Samson declined the offer, expressing his commitment to representing his own country. Nevertheless, if the current situation persists, and the selectors continue to overlook him, Samson may be compelled to consider alternative options.
Sanju Samson’s future remains uncertain as he grapples with discrimination and seeks opportunities to showcase his talent on the international stage.
Rohit Sharma’s Struggles Continue as India Stumble in World Test Championship Final
The World Test Championship final between India and Australia commenced on June 7 at the Oval ground in England, with Indian captain Rohit Sharma winning the toss and electing to bowl first. However, this decision did not yield the desired outcome as Australia posted a formidable total of 469 runs.
In response, Team India faced a shaky start, losing both openers Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill after a brief flurry of boundaries. Currently, the team is struggling and at risk of following on. It is speculated that a different player in place of Rohit Sharma could have potentially altered the outcome of the match.
Team India’s precarious situation persists in the World Test Championship final against Australia, with the team losing five wickets for just 151 runs. The partnership of Ajinkya Rahane and KS Bharat currently holds the key for India. The top order, especially the first four batsmen, failed to deliver, with captain Rohit Sharma shouldering significant responsibility. Unfortunately, Rohit Sharma’s poor form continued, as he fell lbw to an inside delivery from Pat Cummins after contributing just 15 runs. This extends his recent period of inconsistent performance, even in IPL 2023, where he struggled to make an impact in several matches.
Rohit Sharma’s failure once again highlights the potential impact of including Yashasvi Jaiswal, who was named as a standby player, in the playing XI. Yashasvi Jaiswal showcased exceptional form in IPL 2023, scoring 625 runs and even registering the fastest fifty in IPL history. His aggressive style of play and left-handed batting could have alleviated the pressure on Team India to score runs in the final.
Yashasvi Jaiswal has also displayed his talent in domestic cricket, making his first-class debut in 2019. With an impressive record of 1,845 runs in 15 matches at an average of 80.21, including nine centuries and two half-centuries, Jaiswal has emerged as a promising batsman. His highest score of 265 runs further solidifies his credentials.
Had Yashasvi Jaiswal been included in the playing XI for the World Test Championship final, Team India would have benefited from the presence of a left-handed batsman. With his aggressive approach, Jaiswal could have relieved some pressure on the team and potentially altered the dynamics of the match.
Fans Question BCCI Secretary Jai Shah’s Role in Sarfaraz Khan’s Exclusion from Team India
The omission of Sarfaraz Khan from the Indian cricket team despite his exceptional performances in domestic cricket has left fans questioning the role of BCCI Secretary Jai Shah. Sarfaraz Khan has consistently showcased his talent in domestic cricket, but his aspirations of representing Team India remain unfulfilled.
Sarfaraz Khan’s remarkable record in domestic cricket speaks volumes about his capabilities. With 37 first-class matches under his belt, he boasts an impressive average of 79 in 54 innings, accumulating 3505 runs. Notably, Sarfaraz Khan has registered 13 centuries and 9 half-centuries in this format, including a remarkable triple century. Despite such outstanding performances, the talented cricketer has yet to receive a chance to don the national colors.
The lack of opportunities for Sarfaraz Khan has triggered a wave of questioning among fans, particularly directed at the BCCI. Speculations arise, with some fans suggesting that Jai Shah’s influence as the BCCI Secretary might be a hindrance to Sarfaraz Khan’s selection. It is believed that as long as Jai Shah holds his position, Sarfaraz Khan’s chances of making it into the national team will remain uncertain.
Turning the focus to Sarfaraz Khan’s performance in the Indian Premier League (IPL), the cricketer has been a consistent participant since 2015, representing multiple teams. His IPL journey comprises 50 matches, during which he has scored 585 runs at an average of 22, with one half-century to his credit.
As fans continue to express their disappointment and question the selection criteria, the spotlight remains on Sarfaraz Khan’s potential inclusion in Team India and the role Jai Shah plays in shaping the team’s composition.
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