International cricket, especially Test cricket, is underway in full swing at the moment with a number of stars performing in the ongoing World Test Championship. India, England, Australia, Sri Lanka and New Zealand have won a Test each so far while the Windies are yet to get on the board.
A number of individual performances helped their respective teams deliver and those included Ben Stokes, Steve Smith, Jofra Archer and Ajinkya Rahane. And former India Test opener Aakash Chopra has found a similarity between them. All these individuals play for Rajasthan Royals (RR) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and Chopra felt they could make the franchise the champions in IPL 2020.
Stokes have made the Ashes a special one for him so far with two hundreds and a fifty. His knock of 135 not out in the third Test at Leeds was particularly special as it single-handedly took England to a memorable victory by one wicket despite them getting bowled out for 67 in the first innings. It was his second successive ton after the 115 not out at Lord’s.
Former Australia captain Steve Smith has also been sensational in all the three knocks he has played in the series so far. While he slammed 140s in both innings of his comeback Test after a year-long ban, he also hit a 92 in the second Test though he did not bat in the second innings after getting hit by Jofra Archer.
Stokes, Smith, Rahane, Jofra, Gowtham….Rajasthan Royals for the trophy next #IPL? ☺️
— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) August 25, 2019
Speedster Jofra Archer too has made the headlines in his debut Test series by claiming 13 scalps in two games so far. He took 6 for 45 in the third match at Leeds that helped his side win a thriller eventually. India Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane also made a strong comeback to international cricket after getting snubbed for the World Cup.
The Mumbai batsman led from the front to script 81 and 102 in the first Test against the Windies in Antigua to help his team turn around and win the game by a massive 318-run margin. It was the first Test hundred by Rahane after over two years. He has been leading the RR since they returned to the IPL after a two-year suspension but was replaced by Smith midway into the tournament this year after the team struggled under his leadership.
Krishnappa Gowtham is also in great touch
Aakash Chopra also mentioned the name of the all-rounder Krishnappa Gowtham in his list of in-form players. The Karnataka player is in great touch in the ongoing Karnataka Premier League as he has scored 182 runs and taken 12 wickets in his previous two matches in the competition. In the match against Shivamogga Lions, Gowtham slammed 134 in 56 balls and then took 8 for 15 to give his side a 70-run win.
Gowtham had a poor run in the 2019 IPL but could choose the next edition to make a grand comeback. The RR had won the inaugural edition of the IPL in 2008 under the captaincy of Shane Warne but haven’t made it to the final ever since.
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