The Bharat Army is now helping India fight out its toughest battle yet, on a different field. It has pitched in with two separate fundraisers to help India, which is in the midst of a massive oxygen crisis due to the ghastly impact of the second wave of Covid-19.
It has collaborated with the British Asian Trust (BAT) to raise funds for oxygen concentrators, which will be supplied to small towns and villages in the country, it has also taken part in the 'BAPS Cycle to Save Lives' fundraiser in the UK. Although the situation is difficult in India, let's all come together and stay at home! The Bharat Army is with you...
Unfortunately, the IPL 2021 has been suspended but we had a tied match, Super Over, nerve-janglers, high-scoring run-fests, Ambati Rayudu's onslaught, Kieron Pollard's knock for the ages, Prithvi Shaw's whirlwind display, Jos Buttler's swashbuckling maiden T20 ton, Pant's rare struggles in finishing off the game, David Warner's sacking as captain in the third week of IPL 2021!
Here's a look at the top-5 moments from the third week of IPL 2021:
First-ever Super Over in IPL 2021-- DC vs SRH
After 19 matches, we finally got out first Super Over of the season when Delhi Capitals locked horns with SunRisers Hyderabad in Chennai last Sunday.
And for most parts of the game, it didn't look like that it will pan out that way as SunRisers Hyderabad, despite yet another classy knock by Kane Williamson, looked well behind during their run-chase of 160.
It looked like Delhi Capitals will romp home to another win but Jagadeesh Suchith's brisk cameo in which he stroked a six off Avesh Khan in the penultimate over before following it up with another one-off Kagiso Rabada before Kane Williamson had stroked a boundary in the final over propelled SRH to even terms after the completion of 40 overs.
However, it was Delhi Capitals who had the last laugh in the Super Over as Axar Patel restricted David Warner and Kane Williamson to just 8 runs, which the 2020 runners-up peeled off thanks to an audacious reverse-sweep by Rishabh Pant off Rashid Khan.
Rishabh Pant fails to seal the deal against RCB
Rishabh Pant was down on his haunches in absolute agony as he carved Mohammed Siraj off the final delivery of the match for a four.
It's not often that Pant stays unbeaten till the end and his team still end up on the losing end. The fixture against RCB last week was one of those rare days when Rishabh Pant failed to convert his start into a match-winning knock.
It was an innings full of struggle for Rishabh Pant as he battled for his timing and placement. And, it was only because of Shimron Hetmyer's whirlwind unbeaten knock of 53 off 25 balls that Delhi Capitals managed to be in the game till the last over.
But Hetmyer faced just one delivery in the last over, which Mohammed Siraj, with his wide yorkers bowled really well to deny Pant and Delhi Capitals the victory.
Prithvi Shaw smashes six fours in an over against Shivam Mavi
Prithvi Shaw has been a man on a mission ever since he got dropped from the Indian Test team last winter.
The diminutive right-handed opener has been in breathtaking form since then and has consistently provided Delhi Capitals with brilliant starts in the powerplay.
But, none of those starts match up to what Prithvi Shaw did against Kolkata Knight Riders during their run-chase of 155.
The pocket-sized dynamo, en-route to a whirlwind 42-ball 81, smoked his former U-19 teammate, Shivam Mavi, for six consecutive fours in the first over of the innings to become only the second batsman after Ajinkya Rahane to achieve such a feat in IPL cricket.
Shaw cut, pulled, cover-drove, dabbed, flicked with absolute disdain to achieve the feat and as Shikhar Dhawan revealed in the post-match interview, the Mumbai cricket's onslaught made it easy for him and his fellow batters to chase the target down without breaking a sweat.
Harpreet Brar's day out against Royal Challengers Bangalore
Virat Kohli. Glenn Maxwell. AB de Villiers.
What's common between them apart from them being three of the greatest white-ball batsman of the modern era and members of the Royal Challengers Bangalore?
Well! The trio are the first three IPL victims of the young left-arm orthodox from Punjab, Harpreet Brar
Brar had a night to remember against the Royal Challengers Bangalore last week as he dismissed Virat Kohli as his maiden IPL wicket before he went ahead and knock over Glenn Maxwell and AB de Villiers to turn the game decisively in the favor of Punjab Kings.
It all happened during the third over that Brar bowled in which he dismissed Virat, who failed to read the length of the ball and ended up getting knocked over following an aimless dance down the track.
The left-armer then proceeded to bamboozle Glenn Maxwell on the very next delivery as the ball landed on the middle before it turned at the last moment and hit the top of off-stump.
Brar (3/19) sealed the deal by claiming AB de Villiers in the very next over to pave way for his maiden 'Player of the Match' award in a 34-run-win for PBKS.
By the time the week ended, Brar added another high-profile victim to his tally as he knocked over the high-flying Prithvi Shaw in the last match.
Kieron Pollard's blitz trumps Ambati Rayudu's onslaught
Kieron Pollard loves playing against the Chennai Super Kings. And, he thrives even more when faced with a tough situation.
And, that is exactly what he did in his latest meeting against CSK as he unleashed a breathtaking display of brutal and yet extremely calculative power-hitting as he powered the Mumbai Indians to their first-ever successful 200+ run-chase and the second-highest run-chase in IPL history.
Pollard had already made a mark in the game when he claimed Faf du Plessis and Suresh Raina in one over to peg CSK back after a whirlwind start thanks to Moeen Ali and Faf du Plessis' 100+ partnership for the second wicket.
However, a brutal onslaught by Ambati Rayudu during which he smoked a barely believable 27-ball 72* pegged Mumbai Indians back as the Super Kings posted 219 in 20 overs.
MI got off to a brilliant start in the powerplay but a flurry of wickets in the middle-overs put them under real pressure and by the time Kieron Pollard walked out in the middle, the asking rate had soared past 15.
But, Pollard, courtesy calculative power hitting and a bit of luck (Faf du Plessis dropped a sitter in the 19th over) just teed into Chennai Super Kings bowlers- especially Shardul Thakur and Lungi Ngidi- to peel off a brutal 34-ball 87* to help the five-time champions maintain their dominance over the former champions.
Bharat Army Player of the week- Prithvi Shaw
53 (39) vs SRH, 21 (18) vs RCB, 82 (41) vs KKR, 39 (22) vs PBKS.
There were many brilliant performances last week but if I have to choose one player, who made a telling impact to his sides' fortunes, it's got to be Prithvi Shaw.
Shaw, who had endured a pretty ordinary 2020 in both IPL as well as for India, has been in breathtaking touch this season and we saw the best of him this past week.
Shaw started off the week by smashing a whirlwind 39-ball 53 against SunRisers Hyderabad, a game that Delhi Capitals eventually won in the Super Over.
He was adjudged the 'Player of the Match' and while he missed out (21 off 18 balls) against RCB, he made amends for it against KKR by smashing a rapid 41-ball 82 during which he became just the second batsman after Ajinkya Rahane to smash six fours in an over.
Shaw was once again adjudged the 'Player of the Match' and he ended the week with yet another impactful performance against Punjab Kings as he peeled off a rapid 22-ball 39.
Prithvi Shaw has been the most impactful batsman in the powerplay in IPL 2021 this far. In 8 innings, the young opener has smashed 223 runs at an average of 74.33 and a strike rate of 199.12.
Bharat Army Match of the week- Chennai Super Kings vs Mumbai Indians
Result: MI won by 4 wickets
There is a reason why Chennai Super Kings vs Mumbai Indians is hailed as the El Classico of IPL. And, boy-o-boy, didn't both sides lived to the billing to produce an encounter for the ages this past week?
On what was an absolute road masquerading as pitch in Delhi, the batsmen from both sides put on an epic display of power-hitting as bowlers from sides, including Jasprit Bumrah, who registered his worst-ever IPL figures (1/56 in 4 overs) were taken to the cleaners.
Moeen Ali enthralled thus with his flamboyant stroke play, Faf du Plessis did the same with his innovativeness before Ambati Rayudu took center stage to peel off a whirlwind unbeaten 27-ball 72 to propel CSK to their highest total against MI- 4/218.
But just as one thought that Chennai Super Kings were finally going to break their losing streak against Mumbai Indians, Kieron Pollard (87* off 34 balls) pulled off an innings for the ages to help his team chase down their first-ever 200+ total and the second-biggest total in IPL history.
With Mumbai needing in excess of 14 runs per over in the last eight overs, Pollard unleashed a brutal assault on CSK's bowlers and while he did have the rub of the green going in his favor- he was dropped by Faf du Plessis in the 19th over- one cannot take anything away from the fact that it was an amazing inning by the West Indian, one that deserved to end on the winning side.