Shekhar: “Why don’t rcb play Azharuddeen?” — I’d think he’s next in line. May have probably come in had the IPL continued in April-May. They perhaps feel a bit more experience ain’t a bad thing, which KS Bharat brings to the table. And by experience, I mean domestic cricket experience.
Thanks, Sreshth. Here’s me quoting our colleague Umar Farooq, who did this wonderful explainer on him during the PSL. “He was born in Singapore in 1996 – his family had been living there from the 1990s after Tim’s father Rod David, an engineer by profession, moved to the country from Australia. Rod went on to play cricket for Singapore in 1997. Tim was two when his family moved back to Perth, and his childhood was spent mainly in Australia. He grew up watching his father playing for the Claremont-Nedlands Cricket Club, and followed in his footsteps.” — Here’s the full piece for those keen.
6.05pm Ten minutes to the first ball. Very interesting changes made by RCB – they have effectively brought in all-out fast bowler and a hard-hitting death overs batter in place of a bowling allrounder and a middle-order batter. Here’s Shashank to tell you more about David.
Updates from the toss: CSK are unchanged. RCB bring in Navdeep Saini and debutant Tim David, in place of Sachin Baby and Kyle Jamieson.
Royal Challengers Bangalore XI: Virat Kohli, Debdutt Padikkal, Srikar Bharat, Glenn Maxwell, AB de Villiers, Tim David, Wanindur Hasaranga, Navdeep Saini, Harshal Patel, Mohammed Siraj, Yuzvendra Chahal
Chennai Super Kings XI Ruturaj Gaikwad, Faf du Plessis, Moeen Ali, Ambati Rayudu, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, Dwayne Bravo, Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar, Josh Hazlewood
Toss: CSK opt to bowl first.
Dhoni: “Small venue, few wet patches, and we have some dew last time we played here. No changes in the XI. Our last game was an incredible team effort with Rayudu injured. It was a special performance from the bat. Still it was not a par score, so the bowlers kept us in with wickets. Ruturaj has been incredible, he is someone who plays authentic cricket shots. Not flashy, and yet can play those aerial shots. He gives you that extra bit of confidence. And when people stand up when we need it, its a great suggestion of a player’s character.
Kohli: “Wicket looks nice and hard. Don’t think it will change too much. We would’ve probably bowled as well. Few extra runs would be nice. We looked at the positives after the last game. You have to start over right over again, and it’s probably good to get a knock early on. It was the right thing to happen to us at an early stage, wakes us up. Its an opportunity to play the cricket we want to play. Got in Saini for Sachin Baby. Jamieson is out Tim David is in.”
T20 Time Out Video Show with Carlos Brathwaite and Sanjay Manjrekar
5.55pm Toss in five minutes. First ball at 6.15pm local with no overs lost.
Akhil: “Has anyone realized this could be the last match where these two greats captain (play for that matter) against each other? Unless both teams qualify for qualifiers.”
Logan: “@Akhil: “Definitely not”.”
5.40pm We should’ve had the delayed toss now, but nope, we need to wait further. Next inspection at 5.55pm local.
Sudarshan: “Out of curiosity, why should a toss be delayed due to sandstorm. Why not do toss right now. Match doesn’t start until 30 mins later.” — To benefit the captains in making the most informed decision about playing conditions at the time of toss.
More time for Dhoni and Kohli to chat. If you were Kohli, what question would you ask “mentor” Dhoni about the XI for the T20 World Cup? Speaking of T20 World Cup, today is the 14th anniversary of Ravi Shastri’s booming commentary from Johannesburg where he called India “World TT champions” after Pakistan were defeated by five runs.
Joe: “If I were Kohli, I would ask if we should go with Varun Chakravarthy over Ravi Ashwin cuz Ashwin is outta form.”
Tushar: “If I would be Kohli, I would mostly ask Dhoni on how to avoid top order collapse in knockout matches of ICC tournaments? We need detailed plan and we really need it in T20 WC. This is all time best Indian team but its without any ICC Trophy.”
Paarth : “I guess Kohli could ask what to do if Hardik pulls out. Can Ashwin bat at 7 then? Do you sacrifice the wristspinners for batting depth?”
Prashanth: “Ashwin at 7 is 2 spots too high in T20. Jaddu at 7, Thakur or Chahar at 8. Ashwin at 9. 2 fast bowlers. Having batting depth is how the top order scores freely “
5.35pm Kohli and Dhoni are chatting in the middle. Dhoni’s doing most of the talking, and Kohli is listening. Very cordial scenes, smiles all around. Roy Keane would hate this. Javagal Srinath, match referee, and the umpires join in on the chat.
Noor: “Since the toss is delayed by 10 minutes, will the start of the match be delayed by 10 minutes too?” — No news yet. It should start on time, but we wouldn’t be surprised if it is eventually delayed. Situation at the ground is clearing up though.
5.30pm Toss delayed by 10 minutes due to a sandstorm. Sharjah and desert storms do go hand in hand, especially if you’re a fan of Indian cricket.
Have you played around with our newest tool Ask Cricinfo – where your T20 cricket queries are answered as soon as you type them in? Here’s one to get you started: who has hit the most sixes off spinners in IPL 2021? Take a guess, and then click here to see the answer. Bet you’ll be surprised.
Joe: “Gotta bring in Mohammed Azharudeen after watching his epic performance in the practice game. Can replace Sachin Baby. Also Give Bharat another go.”
5.20pm How do batters train for the demands of T20? Liam Livingstone, Fabian Allen, Kane Williamson, Faf du Plessis tell us on The Cricket Monthly.
Chris Taunton: “I’ve a feeling that Sourav isn’t a happy bunny right now after Australia’s women grabbed a win from the very last ball.” — What a cracking contest. A last-ball finish that very nearly went into overtime.
No new caps distributed in the RCB huddle – so no Tim David yet. Will they keep Hasaranga in this small ground or will they bring in Dan Christian? That’s the big question.
5.15pm What’s gone wrong for Yuzvendra Chahal? Our experts discuss.
Latest episode of #PoliteEnquiries featuring Ian Bishop: he answers all your questions from social media, including which IPL team has the best youngsters and his Orange Cap winner prediction!
4.50pm Can RCB lift themselves up after the 92 all out against an upbeat side that beat Mumbai Indians on Sunday? More in our match preview. And is it now or never for Suresh Raina? Ian Bishop and Deep Dasgupta dive into the big match points in this video segment.
Sourav: “Indian womens are breaking the winning streak of the UNBEATABLE aussies.” — Oh yes, Australia need 23 runs in 12 balls. Click here to follow.
4.40pm Hello, it’s second vs third in IPL 2021 today. Chennai Super Kings take on Royal Challengers Bangalore in the first Sharjah game of the season. It’s expected to be a run-fest, and both sides have the batters to maximise potential here. RCB have Kohli, Maxwell, Padikkal and de Villiers. CSK have a batting line-up that can hit sixes right till No. 11. Should be a cracking game. Sit back, relax, more on ESPNcricinfo’s build up with the toss scheduled in 50 minutes.