Tag Archives: Ajit Agarkar

2007 WC winning star share views on upcoming Ind-Pak clash

The evening of October 24 will see the Dubai International Stadium house one of the most historic and mouth-watering clashes in cricketing history as the Virat Kohli-led Team India will lock horns with arch-nemesis Pakistan in the Super 12 stage of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 on Sunday.

After almost a two-year hiatus, Virat Kohli and Co. face-off against Babar Azam-led Pakistan in this highly anticipated encounter which will also be the Indian skipper’s swansong with the captaincy tag. Pakistan is yet to get a one-up over their rivals in World Cups as the head-to-head has been heavily dominated by the Men in Blue.

However, both teams have entered the tournament with a fresh perspective, filled to the brim with enormous young talent and the hunger and eagerness to prove themselves on the biggest stage of them all.

Virat will be eyeing a huge victory over their rivals to establish their foothold, which will also set the precedent and momentum in the marquee tournament. The mentorship of MS Dhoni will help in resonating a positive mindset and confidence amongst the Indian team.

Exceptional performances topped by victories in the two warm-up games against England and Australia have been massive boosts for young talents like Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant and Rahul Chahar, who have showcased their talent and skill ahead of the opener. The opening pair of KL Rahul and ‘Hitman’ Rohit Sharma have shown their prowess and never cease to impress.

Jasprith Bumrah’s magic with the white ball will be looking to shut down the dangerous early efforts of Babar Azam with the bat.

Speaking exclusively on Star Sports show ‘Class of 2007’, former Team India all-rounder Irfan Pathan spoke about Virat Kohli’s men in the upcoming ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021.

“I think nobody expected anything from the 2007 team, but there are a lot of expectations from the current World Cup squad. The new team has expectations and experience. When we entered the 2007 T20 World Cup, we hardly had the experience of playing in T20 format. But now, things are different, people play IPL, they play a lot of T20 games and there are a lot of conversations around T20 format,” Pathan expressed.

“In 2007, there was no social media, but now there is social media, so there are lot of conversations around performances and memes. I think the boys know that there are lot of expectations from them and they know how to handle it,” he added.

Speaking exclusively on Star Sports show ‘Class of 2007’, veteran Team India wicketkeeper batsman Dinesh Karthik spoke about the Indian squad for the upcoming ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021, “I completely agree with what Irfan said. It’s completely different in terms of handling pressure, but one thing is very different today to what it was in 2007 is the fact that they have plenty of IPL experience and they have played in high pressure games and they have played in matches which are – when it comes to pressure, it’s second to none.”

Meanwhile, Gautam Gambhir, Harbhajan Singh, Dinesh Karthik, RP Singh, Ajit Agarkar aslo shared their thoughts on who will be Team India’s X factor in the upcoming T20 World Cup.

Gautam Gambhir: “Jasprit Bumrah!”

Harbhajan Singh: “I think if I have to choose one, I will Rohit Sharma. I think he’s going to be the key!”

Dinesh Karthik: “I will put my money on Hardik Pandya and Varun Chakravarthy. I think these two can make the difference in T20 World Cup.”

Ajit Agarkar: “Rohit Sharma & Jasprit Bumrah. I think Rohit could be the key, opening the innings and Bumrah with what he does.”

RP Singh: “Jasprit Bumrah!”

Irfan Pathan: “I think Jasprit Bumrah and his opposite end. I think the two bowlers who will bowl in the last overs are crucial.”

Record-breaker and captain of the Pakistan team, Babar Azam is the perfect example of ‘letting the bat do the talking’. His 50 off 41 balls against the West Indies in the warm-up game is a warning sign for India because once the 27-year-old gets going with the bat, he transforms into a beast, who is very difficult to contain.

Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Hafeez bring a comforting amount of experience to the Pakistani side, their previous meetings with India in past world cups will be a definite advantage for the team. Shaheen Afridi, a 21-year-old prospect proven in the Pakistan Super League, has dished out top performances in both warm-up games by picking up a total of 4 wickets. Hasan Ali looks to be the standout pacer for the Men in Green.

The lanky pacer excels at a slower wicket in the UAE, his variations and lengths will be a tough task for the Indian batters to manage against.

Kohli will continue to play with same intensity: Agarkar

Former India pacer Ajit Agarkar has reckoned that Virat Kohli will continue to play with the same energy and enthusiasm despite deciding to step down from Team India’s T20 captaincy and the IPL 2021 season.

“I think one of the things we’ve seen throughout his career, even when he wasn’t the captain and when he played under MS Dhoni quite a bit, the energy and the passion still seemed the same. I can’t imagine it changing just because he’s not the captain and just being one of the guys,” Agarkar said on Star Sports after RCB’s nine-wicket loss to KKR on Monday night.

Kohli recently decided to step down as India’s T20 skipper after the ICC T20 World Cup in Dubai and Oman in October-November and also said he was relinquishing his RCB captaincy after the 2021 IPL season.

Former India wicketkeeper-batsman Parthiv Patel said Kolhi must be feeling relieved after relinquishing the RCB captaincy given the workload coupled with prolonged stays in bio-bubbles.

“I think he looked more emotional than happy. I think when you’re playing for one franchise for so many years, you get that emotional connect which was there in RCB. I think RCB actually invested in Virat Kohli’s talent in 2008 and then showed a lot of trust in him as well because if you look at his and RCB’s journey, it has been a rollercoaster one.

“But yeah, he might be relieved because see moving around from one bubble to another can take a load on you and he has spoken about the workload and intensity, which he plays with. I think every practice session, every match session or gym session, he does it with full intensity and that’s something I’m sure he must’ve thought about.”

Recently after announcing to quit the Team India captaincy in the shortest format of the game, Kohli has also decided to step down from his role as captain of Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) after the completion of VIVO Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021.

Kohli, one of the most decorated players of the franchise, will continue to be part of the RCB squad.

Announcing the move, Kohli said in a statement: “It has been a great and an inspiring journey, captaining a talented bunch of players in the RCB squad. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the RCB management, coaches, support staff, players, and the entire RCB family, who have been instrumental in the growth of the franchise over the years. It wasn’t an easy decision but one that has been well thought of and in the best interest of this wonderful franchise.”

“The RCB family remains close to my heart as we continue to strive to achieve excellence. As I have mentioned previously in many occasions, I will only play for RCB until my retirement from the game of cricket,” he added.

ShareChat launches new features for cricket fans

In a sports-loving country like India where cricket is the undisputed king, ShareChat has launched a new feature to integrate scoreboard and ball-to-ball commentary for the upcoming cricket tournaments in eight Indian languages.

Leveraging its audio chatroom feature, the platform is also organising chatroom sessions with key players like Virender Sehwag, Ravichandran Ashwin, Gautam Gambhir, Shikhar Dhawan, Ajit Agarkar and Akash Chopra for a wholesome social cricket experience. The 180 million strong ShareChat community will get a chance to engage and discuss matches, performances and other key moments from one of the most loved and ongoing cricket events with their favorite players.

ShareChat being India’s largest Indic language social media platform, these features will be available in eight different languages (Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Hindi, Bangla, Marathi, Punjabi, and Malayalam). The new feature will engage people across India to witness a remarkable experience like never before, enabling them to communicate and share their thoughts freely in real-time.

In addition to that, cricket fans will also be engaging through their team Chatrooms with other fans during live matches, haring their passion, rooting for their favourite teams, and getting into the fun side of cricket.

Shashank Shekhar, Sr. Director – Content Strategy and Operations, ShareChat commented on this integration, “Cricket has always been the heart of India and it is one of the most popular sports connecting over a billion Indian fans, cutting across regions, languages and cultures. We at ShareChat always aim to entertain our users with innovative associations and engrossing social experiences. Further, ShareChat Audio Chatroom has been increasingly getting popular and emerged as the biggest engagement feature for our user and creator community. As we will also have cricket experts to engage with our community on match updates and analysis, we are looking forward to creating completely new social experiences for sporting events.”

ShareChat Audio Chatroom has become a key feature of the platform. It snowballed to become India’s largest live audio product, with over 2 billion minutes being streamed monthly, with a 16+ million MAU. In recent weeks there have been several chat rooms that have drawn large audiences including engagement with Akshay Kumar, Bhuvan Bam, and famous poets and singers.

Apart from these, ShareChat is also looking at taking its Chatroom sessions to the next level, making it one of the biggest sources of engagement among users.

IPL 2021: Leading RCB has helped Kohli in his int career, feels Agarkar

Former India pacer Ajit Agarkar has reckoned that leading a high-profile franchise like the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the cash-rich Indian Premier League (IPL) has helped Virat Kohli in his international career as well.

Notably, Kohli has been leading RCB since 2013 however, he is yet to lay his hands on the coveted trophy.

Speaking in Star Sports’ show ‘Cricket Connected’, Agarkar said that IPL’s impact on Kohli’s career has been ‘massive’.

“Massive! We saw how quick his progress in international cricket has been. So, when you do well there, you are already confident, but then, to be captain of a franchise with such a big fan base, and be as consistent as he is, it certainly helped. You’re under pressure every day when you go out to play for RCB. Playing for India is just as big or bigger, but you still are under pressure day in and day out,” Agarkar said in the show.

“When you keep getting runs, you know your psyche is just built and you are at ease with your game and he has done that. I think being captain and getting runs certainly has helped him in his international career as well. I’m sure he’d say that IPL has had a huge say on his career as overall as it has panned out,” he added.

At present. RCB is placed second in the IPL points table with six points from three games as the Kohli-led side has won all of their games this season.

RCB will next face the Sanju Samson-led Rajasthan Royals (RR) at the Wankhede Stadium on Thursday evening.

IPL 2021: Agarkar reckons the T20 tournament has strengthened India’s bench strength

Former India pacer Ajit Agarkar believes that Indian Premier League (IPL) has strengthened India’s bench strength and also the cricketing standard of the national team has increased with the onset of the cash-rich league.

Significantly, an an injury-ravaged Team India’s bench strength came up with stunning performences during the Australia tour recently as the newcomers and youngsters helped the visitors beat the hosts at their own backyard.

“Oh, incredible! I don’t think there’s anything that’s made the difference; we don’t want to compare things but since the IPL has come in, I’ve been a part of the IPL — people you’ve played against, you share the dressing room with them, you can see the new guys that come in the team almost look ready,” Agarkar expressed on Star Sports’ show ‘Select Dugout’.

“Everyone that comes in and the quality has increased, playing day-in-day-out with world-class players, sharing the dressing room with them. It has been massive! You could see the results, a couple of series wins in Australia in this time — half the team wasn’t there in the previous series; six or seven players missing due to injury,” he added.

Meanwhile, speaking on Suresh Raina’s, who had made a stunning comeback in the tournament after scoring a fifty in the side’s first game against Delhi Capitals in the IPL 2021,  Agarkar felt that the reason for Chennai Super Kings’s poor show last year was due to the absence of the southpaw.

“We saw their struggle when he wasn’t there last season; he has been prolific for the 13 seasons of IPL. The one thing he brings in is a lot of experience. It’s such a high-pressure tournament and you need the experience as you go deeper in the tournament -plus, his runs. They (CSK) will be hoping that he still has the form that was there before,” he opined.