team india

‘It’s morale booster’: Shardul on receiving praise from Sachin Tendulkar

        

Johannesburg [South Africa]: Indian bowling all-rounder Shardul Thakur expressed his happiness after he being praised by cricketing legend Sachin Tendulkar.

Shardul Thakur picked seven wickets as South Africa was bundled out for 229 in the first innings of the second Test on Tuesday.
Taking to Twitter, Tendulkar wrote, “Congratulations to @imShard on picking up 7 wickets with his steady bowling and variations. Good support by the others.”

On being asked by bowling coach Paras Mhambrey about how he felt after reading the tweet, Shardul said that the praises from Sachin are always a ‘morale booster’ for him.

“It’s my pleasure that the God himself has tweeted about me. Being a Mumbaikar, I have played a few games with him. He has always supported me as a youngster and it’s always good to hear from him, it is a morale booster,” Shardul told Paras Mhambrey.

Apart from Sachin, former India batter VVS Laxman also congratulated Shardul for his ‘lion-hearted display’.

“Lion-hearted display by Shardul Thakur. Best figures by an Indian against South Africa, thoroughly deserved his seven wickets for persistence and intelligence. Has single-handedly brought India back into the second Test. Over to the batters now. #SAvIND,” tweeted Laxman.

Former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan also wrote, “Fantastic from shardul.Impressive bowling with an older ball!”

At Stumps on Day Two, India’s scorecard reads 85/2 with Pujara (35) and Rahane (11) on the crease. Just like Day One, 11 wickets fell on the second day as Shardul Thakur dominated the proceedings on Tuesday.

India in the second innings got off to a bad start as stand-in skipper KL Rahul was dismissed in the seventh over. India’s problem further increased when Mayank Agarwal offered no shot and was given LBW out in the 12th over.

Pujara (35*) and Rahane (11) then made sure that India doesn’t suffer any more hiccups as the visitors ended the day at 85/2 with a lead of 58 runs.

Honoured to be donning Team India jersey, says Priyank Panchal

New Delhi [India]: Batter Priyank Panchal, who replaced injured Indian opener Rohit Sharma for the South Africa Test, said he was honoured to be donning the jersey of Team India.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Monday confirmed that Rohit has been ruled out of the three-match Test series against South Africa due to a hamstring issue. Priyank Panchal was then named as a replacement of Rohit in the Test squad for the South Africa tour.
“Thank you everyone for all your good wishes. Honoured to be donning the team India jersey. Thank you for showing faith in me @BCCI. Looking forward to the series!” tweeted Priyank Panchal.
Rohit, who was recently appointed as the vice-captain of the squad, sustained a left hamstring injury during his training session in Mumbai on Sunday.
India’s squad for South Africa Tests: Virat Kohli (Captain), Priyank Panchal, KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Shreyas Iyer, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wk), Wriddhiman Saha (wk), R Ashwin, Jayant Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Mohd. Shami, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Siraj.

‘Ind vs NZ: Rohit & Dravid bond well’

Jaipur (Rajasthan) [India]: Former India skipper Sunil Gavaskar feels head coach Rahul Dravid and T20I captain Rohit Sharma will get along well because their “temperaments” are quite similar.

India and New Zealand will be squaring off in a three-match T20I series, beginning Wednesday in Jaipur. This is the first assignment in charge for head coach Dravid and full-time T20I skipper Rohit.
“If you look at both of their temperaments, they are quite similar. Rohit is of a quiet nature just like Rahul Dravid. So I think their bond will be quite good because both of them will understand each other well,” said Gavaskar on the Star Sports show Follow The Blues.

“When he used to play we used to think that till Rahul Dravid is at the crease, the Indian batting is safe and strong. This is the reason why I believe that the new responsibility of head coach that falls upon him, he will be able to handle it in a similar way,” he added.

Former India opener Gautam Gambhir is “sure” that Dravid will become a very successful coach as he brings a lot of “assurance” with his arrival in the dressing room.

“He was a very successful player then he became a very successful captain and I’m sure he is going to become a very successful coach as well. With him in that dressing room, I think he brings a lot of assurance, he’s played more than 100 Test matches,” said Gambhir.

“He’s captained the side, his work ethics were unbelievable, really hard working. So, I think he brings a lot on the table,” he added. (ANI)

Dravid-Laxman Partnership

Dubai [UAE] : Former India skipper Sourav Ganguly has always spoken about the need to have former cricketers in the system to help the game grow. And as BCCI President he worked towards getting Rahul Dravid to agree to become the head coach of the Indian team and is now keen to have VVS Laxman take up the role of National Cricket Academy (NCA) head.
Speaking to ANI, sources in the know have said not just the BCCI chief, but even secretary Jay Shah and other senior officials want Laxman to take up the NCA role as the BCCI has in the last few years seen the NCA head work closely with the Team India head coach. “Sourav and Jay both would love to have Laxman take up the NCA role. But yes, the final call obviously lies with the former India cricketer as he has a young family also. He is undoubtedly a front runner for the role and not to forget how he has been known to share a special bond with now coach Dravid. It will be the perfect combination to have those two work together towards taking Indian cricket forward. Nothing like having former cricketers coming on board to help produce the next generation of stars,” the BCCI source said.
With Dravid set to take over as head coach from the upcoming New Zealand series, it will be interesting to see if Laxman does agree to join hands with him and rekindle the partnership that saw India win many a Test matches.
Commenting on his appointment as head coach, Dravid has already mentioned how he is looking forward to build on the base that has been created by current coach Ravi Shastri.
“It is an absolute honour to be appointed as the new head coach of the Indian cricket team and I am really looking forward to this role. Under Shastri, the team has done very well, and I hope to work with the team to take this forward. Having worked closely with most of the boys either at NCA, U19 and India A setup, I know they have the passion and desire to improve every day. There are some marquee multi-team events in the next two years, and I look forward to working with the players and the support staff to achieve our potential,” he said.
India opener Rohit Sharma and R Ashwin have also gone ahead and spoken highly about Dravid and said they are looking forward to working with the former India skipper.

T20 WC: Interesting to see what happens in NZ-Afghanistan match : Kohli

Dubai [UAE] : India skipper Virat Kohli said the side is “striving” to replicate the dominating performances again in the ongoing T20 World Cup.
Mohammed Shami and Ravindra Jadeja starred with the ball before KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma firing knocks helped India defeat Scotland by eight wickets in the Group 2 match of Super 12 stage here at Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Friday. “A dominating performance, something that we were striving to do again. Now it will be interesting to see what happens on 7th (November). Don’t want to say a lot about today’s performance, we know what we can do,” said Kohli after the win.
“Also tells you how important the toss can be at this venue. We wanted to get them under 110-120 max, that was the mindset we went in with. The bowlers were excellent, and then KL and Rohit did really well,” he added.
India needed to chase 86 runs in 7.1 overs to better their net-run rate from Afghanistan but the Kohli-led side did the needful in 6.3 overs.
“We spoke about the 8-10 over bracket before the start, didn’t want to really go too hard because if you lose wickets, then an extra 20 balls could cost. We thought that if they play naturally, runs will come quickly,” said Kohli.
Chasing 86, India got off to a firing start as the openers registered the fastest team fifty of the ongoing tournament.
The Indian skipper pointed out that the players were playing with great intensity in warm-up games.
“If you look at our practice games, we have been actually batting like this only. Just a couple of aberrations happened, where we just couldn’t got those two successive good overs,” said Kohli.
“Teams bowled well too, and created pressure on us. But we were just two overs of good batting. Jadeja bowled really well, also Shami was quite good. My family is here – that is enough (birthday) celebration for me,” he signed off.
With this win, India moved to the third spot with four points in Group 2.

T20 WC: India beat Scotland by 8 wickets

Dubai [UAE]: Mohammed Shami and Ravindra Jadeja starred with the ball before KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma firing knocks helped India defeat Scotland by eight wickets in the Group 2 match of Super 12 stage of the ongoing ICC men’s T20 World Cup here at Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Friday.
India needed to chase 86 runs in 7.1 overs to better their net-run rate from Afghanistan but the Virat Kohli-led side did the needful in 6.3 overs. With this win, India moved to the third spot with four points in Group 2.
Chasing 86, India got off to a firing start as the openers registered the fastest team fifty of the ongoing tournament.
Rahul and Rohit kept smashing boundaries as India raced to 70 in the five overs. However, Bradley Wheal removed Rohit on 30 but India kept inching closer to a thumping win.
In the end, India chased down the target in just 6.3 overs, minutes after losing the wicket of Rahul.
Earlier, put into bat first, Scotland got off to a bad start as they lost two wickets inside the powerplay. The side never really recovered as India starred with the bowl as Scotland were restricted to 85/10 in the Group 2 match.
Mohammed Shami and Ravindra Jadeja were the picks of the bowlers as they scalped three wickets each for India.
For Scotland, George Munsey and Michael Leask played the innings of 24 and 21 as no batter of their side crossed the 30-run mark.
Brief Scores: Scotland 85/10 (George Munsey 24; Mohammed Shami 3-15, Ravindra Jadeja 3-15) vs India 89/2 (KL Rahul 50, Rohit Sharma 30; Mark Watt 1-20).

Cricket fraternity wishes ‘run machine’ Virat Kohli on his 33rd birthday

New Delhi [India] : The Cricket fraternity showered heartfelt birthday wishes on Indian skipper Virat Kohli as the run machine-turned 33 today.
From legendary Indian cricketers like VVS Laxman, Virender Sehwag to the teammates of Delhi-born batter, everyone took to their Twitter handles to share wishes for Kohli on his special day. Since, making his debut in 2008, Kohli has played 254 ODIs, 96 Tests, and 92 T20Is for the national side. He has several records in all the formats and is the only batter to have a 50-plus average in all three formats of the game at the same time.
“A very happy birthday to @imVkohli.Wishing you love, success and great health in the times to come. #HappyBirthdayViratKohli,” VVS Laxman wrote.
“Tough times don’t last long, tough people do. A once in a generation player , wishing @imVkohli a very happy birthday and a great year ahead. #HappyBirthdayViratKohli,” Virender Sehwag tweeted.
“Happy Birthday @imVkohli. Wishing you good health and happiness for the coming year!” India’s Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane tweeted.
“Not everyone is as lucky as me to be blessed with a elder brother like you. Thank you so much for coming into my life and standing by my side through thick and thin. I hope you get all that you truly deserve. Happy Birthday king @imVkohli,” Mohammed Siraj wrote while posting a compilation video.
With 70 international centuries, Kohli is third on the list only behind Sachin Tendulkar (100) and Ricky Ponting (71). The Indian captain has 23159, which is the seventh most in the list of all-time highest run-scorers in international cricket.
“Here’s wishing the KING, the LEADER, the INSPIRATION, Virat Kohli, a very very Happy Birthday!” Kohli’s IPL side Royal Challengers Bangalore tweeted.
“Wishing a very happy birthday to @imVkohli, have a great day and year ahead #MajorThrowback #HappyBirthdayViratKohli,” Wasim Jaffer tweeted while sharing an old photo with Indian captain.
“As his name suggests, he’s meant for big things in life! Wishing a very happy birthday to @imVkohli. Best wishes always…have a great game tonight!” Dinesh Karthik tweeted.
“23,159 intl. runs & going strong Most Test wins as Indian captain 2011 World Cup & 2013 Champions Trophy-winner Wishing @imVkohli- #TeamIndia captain & one of the best modern-day batsmen – a very happy birthday. Let’s relive his fine ton in pink-ball Test,” BCCI tweeted.
“Happy birthday Virat. Good luck for today’s game. @imVkohli,” Umesh Yadav tweeted.
The 33-year-old is also the leading run-scorer in men’s T20 internationals with his 3225 runs in 92 matches.
The Delhi-born batter is the most successful Indian skipper in Test cricket when it comes to number of wins. Under his 65-match stint as captain, India have won 38 matches with remarkable Test series victories in foreign soils as well. 

‘Your core is made of honesty’: Anushka Sharma’s heartwarming birthday wish for husband Virat Kohli

Dubai [UAE]: It’s Indian skipper Virat Kohli’s 33rd birthday today, and his wife Anushka Sharma is all hearts for him.
Taking to Instagram, Anushka penned a heartfelt post for Virat, saying his “core is made of honesty.” “No filter needed , for this photo and the way you lead your life . Your core is made of honesty and guts of steel . Courage that pales doubt into oblivion . I know no one who can pick themselves up from a dark place like you can . You grow better in every way because you hold on to nothing in you as permanent and are fearless,” she wrote.
Anushka also thanked Virat for making her life “brighter”.
“I know we are not ones to talk to each other through social media like this but sometimes I just want to scream and tell the world what an amazing man you are. Fortunate are those who really truly know you. Thank you for making everything brighter and more beautiful,” she added.
Alongside the loved-up post, Anushka posted an adorable picture, in which she can be seen hugging Virat. The image seems to be captured during their Diwali celebrations in the UAE.

For the unversed, Virat and Anushka tied the knot in a private ceremony in Italy on December 11, 2017. The two are also doting parents to their 9-months-old daughter Vamika. 

Really envy Virat Kohli’s energy level on and off field, says Ashwin

Dubai [UAE] : Ravichandran Ashwin said Virat Kohli plays with “his heart on his sleeve” and the latter’s energy as a team leader is also contagious.
“With respect to having dealt with him as a leader in the red-ball format. All I can say is he plays with his heart on his sleeve. Sometimes, when I watch Virat lead the side, I feel like how does he manage to bring so much energy. I really envy Virat energy level on the field and off it,” Ravichandran Ashwin said in a video posted by Star Sports on Twitter. “And I think that the energy he infuses on the field really absorbs on people. One thing is you can stand up tall and I can say at the top of my voice is the kind of culture he has brought in the team.”
It’s a well-known fact that Virat Kohli is among the best when it comes to captaincy especially in Test cricket. And one of the many things which have helped him in achieving this feat is his ever-contagious energy on and off the field.


Talking about the numbers, Kohli is the most successful Indian skipper in Test cricket. Under his 65-match stint as captain, India have won 38 matches with remarkable Test series victories in foreign soils as well. Only Steve Waugh (41 wins), Ricky Ponting (48 wins) and Graeme Smith (53 wins) have more Test wins as skipper now.
“In terms of making each of us realise, how each one’s fitness parameter is so important. I can never aspire to be a Virat Kohli on the field, gym or whatever it is but I can be the best version of myself which is something he has made everyone realise in the team,” Ashwin added.
Since, making his debut in 2008, Kohli has played 254 ODIs, 96 Tests, and 92 T20Is for the national side. He has several records in all the formats and is the only batter to have a 50-plus average in all three formats of the game at the same time.

T20 WC: India thrash Afghanistan by 66 runs

Abu Dhabi [UAE] : Power-packed batting display from Indian openers was followed by spirited bowling performance as Men in Blue thrashed Afghanistan by 66 runs in the Group 2 match of the Super 12 stage of the ongoing ICC men’s T20 World Cup here at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium on Wednesday.
Men in Blue lit up Abu Dhabi with a stunning display of power-hitting to post 210/2 as Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul played innings of 74 and 69, respectively. And in reply, Afghanistan never looked like chasing it down, finishing on 144/7, still 66 runs short. Mohammad Shami scalped three wickets while Ravichandran Ashwin took two. Jasprit Bumrah and Ravindra Jadeja returned with apiece for India.
Chasing 211, Afghanistan were 47/2 after the powerplay as they stared down the barrel of a heavy defeat. Indian bowlers clawed further deep as Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Gulbadin Naib were removed before halfway point of their chase.
Ravichandran Ashwin struck again as he clean bowled Najibullah Zadran in the 11th over. With runs in scarcity, Mohammad Nabi and Raashid Khan feel were sent back to the dressing room by Mohammad Shami in the penultimate over of the match. In the end, Afghanistan fell short 66 runs short of the target.
Earlier, put in to bat first, a selection reshuffle saw Rohit Sharma moving back up to opener alongside KL Rahul, and the pair more than justified the move with a brilliant century stand. After that Hardik Pandya and Rishabh Pant finished the innings in style by scoring 35* and 27* respectively.
Brief score: India 210/2 (Rohit Sharma 74, KL Rahul 69; Karim Janat 1-7, Gulbadin Naib 1-39) vs Afghanistan 144/7 (Karim Janat 42*, Mohammad Nabi 35; Mohammad Shami 3-32, Ravichandran Ashwin 2-14).

T20 WC: Return of Ashwin is the biggest positive, says Virat Kohli

Abu Dhabi [UAE] : Indian captain Virat Kohli said that return of Ravichandran Ashwin in the side was a huge positive as the team gained control in the middle overs against Afghanistan on Wednesday.
A power-packed batting display from Indian openers was followed by a spirited bowling performance as Men in Blue thrashed Afghanistan by 66 runs in the Group 2 match of the Super 12 stage of the ongoing ICC men’s T20 World Cup at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium. Veteran Indian spinner Ashwin scalped the wickets of Gulbadin Naib and Najibullah Zadran and gave just 14 runs in his entire spell.
“Much better wicket to be fair. We spoke about the fact that in the other games, if we just had two overs of free-flowing batting, then that sends a message to the opposition that we are going to put you under the pump. When we do that, we know how we can play. Sometimes, you do fall to pressure and have to accept that. T20 cricket is a very instinctive game, in batting, bowling and decision-making. We do make decisions on the go,” said Virat Kohli in the post-match presentation.
Men in Blue lit up Abu Dhabi with a stunning display of power-hitting to post 210/2 as Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul played innings of 74 and 69, respectively. And in reply, Afghanistan never looked like chasing it down, finishing on 144/7, still 66 runs short.
“Top three is mostly settled unless situations like today when the openers batted all the way through and the power-hitters were ready. We don’t always decide early to go hard, but we do back ourselves and when we do get going, we know what we can do.”
“Well, yes that is the plan (to keep playing this way) but as I said, sometimes you just give in to the pressure. The other teams bowled really well to us. Yes, it (net run rate) was to be honest. We are always positive, and so were thinking about it,” the Indian skipper explained.
Mohammad Shami scalped three wickets while Ravichandran Ashwin took two. Jasprit Bumrah and Ravindra Jadeja returned with apiece for India.
“The return of Ash (is the biggest positive), we saw him doing well in the IPL and when he does this, we get control in the middle overs. That’s what I’m most pleased about (today),” he added.
India will next clash with Scotland on Friday while Afghanistan will square off New Zealand on Sunday.

T20 WC: Team India need to keep mental fatigue aside and think positively

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India] : Former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan has said that the Virat Kohli-led side needs to keep mental fatigue aside and think positively heading into the crucial game against Afghanistan.
It will be a change in venue for India after playing both their opening games at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium as they will play Afghanistan at the Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi. “Look, the Indian team has been touring non-stop, first WTC, then the England tour – which was a long tour – then the whole IPL, and now coming into the World Cup is not easy for anyone. But, most of the teams are in the same boat as well. So, you need to keep that aside and just keep thinking positively, because I think, in the two years of the pandemic a lot of people lost their jobs as well. So, you need to think from the perspective, that you are definitely working but you are representing your country as well, that’s the biggest pride moment for anyone,” said Pathan on Star Sports’ show ‘Game Plan’.
“So you need to think like that. I know it’s not easy. We are all human. We think in a certain way, and we all get homesick. In the series which is coming up after the World Cup, there will be a rotation policy for sure because you don’t want to keep playing all the time, as you are human and not a machine at the end of the day. I want them to keep focusing on the games and make sure whatever game you are playing, remember you are representing the country, and that’s the biggest pride one can have,” he added.
In the previous game against New Zealand, India had brought in Ishan Kishan as an opener and Rohit came out to bat at number three with Virat dropping to number four.
“First of all, get the batting combination right, get the proper guys at the proper position like Rohit Sharma batting up the order and then once he gets set then it’s a different thing. With the Abu Dhabi pitch, you get more turns but the good thing is the pitch has more pace as well which means it will come nicely onto the bat and this is what the Indian team needs to be aware of. They don’t need to worry about what happened in Dubai, they don’t need to be worried about what’s happening in Sharjah as far the pitch is concerned where the ball doesn’t come onto the bat,” said Pathan.
“It’s a good cricketing pitch, so you need to enjoy that bounce, and I think guys like Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and Virat Kohli will cherish this and they will enjoy, and if they just believe in their own timing spend a bit more time and get the opening sorted then they don’t need to worry about the quality spinners that we were talking about, they can face any spinner any fast bowler but they just need to spend more time,” he added.
Having faced the wrath of the fans as well for below-par performances so far, it will also be about pride for Virat Kohli’s men as they play under his leadership in the T20 format for the last time in this tournament. (

DCW notice to Police demanding action over rape threats to Virat Kohli’s daughter

New Delhi [India] : The Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) on Tuesday issued a notice to Delhi Police regarding the online threats of rape to the nine-month-old daughter of Indian cricketer Virat Kohli and Bollywood actor Anushka Sharma.
In the notice issued to the Deputy Commissioner of Delhi Police Cyber Crime Branch, the DCW has demanded that immediate action be taken against the online troll. Taking suo moto cognisance of the threats, DCW stated, “It has been reported that online threats are being given to rape the nine months old girl child of Virat Kohli since the team’s defeat in the recent India Pakistan cricket match.”
“It is learnt that he is being also attacked since he spoke against the incessant trolling of his teammate Md Shami who was targeted for his religion by online trolls,” it added.
In its notice, DCW sought a copy of the FIR registered in the matter, the details of the accused identified and arrested and details of the action taken by the police in case the accused has not been arrested yet.
The notice has been undersigned by DCW chairperson Swati Maliwal who has sought the aforesaid information latest by November 8.
Notably, Indian cricketer Mohammad Shami was subjected to online abuse after India suffered defeat against arch-rival Pakistan on October 24 in the ongoing ICC Men’s T20 World Cup. As soon as the match ended, fans on Instagram and Twitter made derogatory statements against Shami.
Reacting to this trolling, Virat Kohli on Saturday lashed out at “spineless” people and said that making fun of people has become a source of entertainment for some, which is actually a disappointment. (

Time is running out, Team India needs to perform miracles: Irfan Pathan

New Delhi [India] : Former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan said that the time is running out for the Virat Kohli-led side in the ongoing ICC Men’s T20 World Cup and the team now needs to perform miracles in order to reach the semi-finals.
Pathan’s comment came after India suffered an eight-wicket loss against New Zealand on Sunday at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium in the Super 12 stage. “Well done NZ you were too good. And for team India, they need to get together and perform miracles. Time is running out. #indvsnz,” tweeted Pathan.
Trent Boult and Ish Sodhi starred with the ball before Daryl Mitchell smashed 49 off 35 to help New Zealand defeat India by eight wickets in the ongoing T20 World Cup.
India was restricted to 110/7 in the allotted twenty overs against New Zealand. No batter was able to stay at the crease for long, and what followed was a lacklustre performance.
For the all-important clash, India made two changes — Shardul Thakur and Ishan Kishan came in for Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Suryakumar Yadav. Rohit Sharma came into bat at number three, while Ishan came out to open alongside KL Rahul, but this move backfired as Ishan did not manage to leave a mark with the bat.
Kohli and boys will next take on Afghanistan on Wednesday at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.

Attacking someone on religion is pathetic, our brotherhood remains intact: Kohli supports Shami

Dubai [UAE] : Indian skipper Virat Kohli on Saturday lashed out at “spineless” people and said that making fun of people has become a source of entertainment for some, which is actually a disappointment.
Pacer Mohammad Shami was subjected to online abuse after India suffered defeat against arch-rival Pakistan on Sunday in the ongoing ICC Men’s T20 World Cup. As soon as the match ended, fans on Instagram and Twitter passed derogatory statements on Shami. “I will say a pathetic thing that a human being can do (attacking on someone’s religion). Every one has right to voice their opinions and what they feel about a certain situation. And I personally never ever thought of discriminating against someone over their religion. It is very sacred and personal thing for every human being,” Virat Kohli said in the pre-match press conference.
“People take out their frustration and have no understanding about what we do in the field. They have no understanding that someone like Mohammad Shami has won India ‘n’ number of matches. He is our primary bowler with Jasprit Bumrah when it comes to making an impact in the game. If people can overlook that and his passion for the country, I honestly don’t want to waste any minute of my life on them. Our brotherhood cannot be shaken,” he further said.
“Well, there is a good reason that we are playing on the field and not some spineless people on social media that have no courage to speak to any individuals in person and hide behind the identities and go after the people through social media. Making fun of people and has become a source of entertainment in today’s world which has become so unfortunate and so sad to see because this is literally the lowest level of human potential that one can operate at and this is how I look at these people,” Kohli added.
“We as individuals understand what we want to do on-field and strength of character and mental toughness we have and precisely what we are doing what we doing on-field and none of these people is even in the vicinity to even imagine doing something like that. They don’t have the courage or strength to do that and that is how I see things. And all this drama that has been created outside is purely based on people’s frustration, their lack of self-confidence, their lack of compassion and hence they find it so amusing to go after people.”
“We as a group understand how we need to stick together, how we need to back individuals, how we need to focus on our strengths. People on the outside portray it that India can’t afford to lose the game, that’s none of our business because we play sport and we know how sports work. So what people think outside is no value whatsoever in our group,” he explained.
India and New Zealand will lock horns against each other in the Super 12 stages of the World Cup on Sunday at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium. Both sides will enter the contest after suffering a loss against Pakistan.
“Not one game is more important than other, every game of cricket is important and so will be the case in the next game,” Kohli said.

T20 WC: Need to be motivated to counter Boult, says Kohli

India skipper Virat Kohli on Saturday said that the batting lineup needs to be motivated to counter Trent Boult’s pace and swing in the T20 World Cup game against New Zealand.
India and New Zealand will lock horns against each other in the Super 12 stages of the World Cup on Sunday at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium. Both sides will enter the contest after suffering a loss against Pakistan. “We obviously will come up against some quality bowlers in this competition and the intensity which this tournament operates at is very different. So we know that we have played against these individuals, it is not something out of the ordinary that is going to come our way. It all depends on how we take the field mentally and how we counter it if Trent says he wants to replicate what Shaheen did against us then he is motivated to do so and we need to be motivated to put pressure on him and counter that,” said Kohli while replying to an ANI query during a virtual pre-match press conference.
“That is how the game goes, we understand what we need to do. Not thinking about other scenarios is the key to batting in pressure situations,” he added.
Talking about the form of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kohli said: “I do not want to single out any individual. As a bowling group, we failed to take wickets and we understand that can happen in the sport. It is not a guarantee that every time you take the field, you would not be able to pick a wicket. These are the same guys who have done the job for us, we understand where it went wrong against Pakistan.”
“We were outplayed and you need to accept that as a professional cricket team, without any excuses and we will give no excuses going ahead. I am going to single out any individual, we lost as a team,” he added.
The Men in Blue skipper also admitted that the toss is becoming a big factor in the ongoing World Cup.
“Yeah, it will continue to be a big factor and that is the nature of the tournament. You can look at the situation in two ways, you can bank too much on the toss and you can challenge yourselves as a team that even if you lose the toss, you are good enough to bowl or bat at any situation. Two-three overs can change the course of the game, for us, our only focus is how those eleven individuals are placed mentally,” said Kohli.
“It has been a long break for us, we have waited a long time and we are just itching to go out on the park,” he added.
Talking about the dependency on Jasprit Bumrah, Kohli said: “Jasprit is the best all format bowler in the world, precisely the reason why there is so much expectation from him. He takes a lot of pride on that, we are not bothered about how much expectation he takes, on the outside it does not matter. All the bowlers were are confident are good enough to take wickets,” said Kohli.

T20 WC: Hope to mirror what Shaheen did the other night against India, says Boult

Dubai [UAE] : New Zealand pacer Trent Boult on Saturday said that he is looking forward to replicating what Shaheen Shah Afridi did against India with his left-arm pace.
India and New Zealand will lock horns against each other in the Super 12 stages of the World Cup on Sunday at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium. Both sides will enter the contest after suffering a loss against Pakistan. Shaheen Shah Afridi wreaked havoc against India as he dismissed Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul at the top before returning to dismiss skipper Virat Kohli. Boult would be looking to replicate the same against India as the left-arm pace has traditionally caused troubles for the Indian top-order.
“I suppose it depends on when I get the ball, I am not sure what the plan is with what overs certain bowlers are bowling. The way Shaheen bowled against India was amazing, but yeah India has quality batters, early wickets are the focus for us but we need to be nice and accurate of where we are trying to put the ball. Hopefully, it swings around a little bit and I can mirror what Shaheen did the other night,” said Boult while replying to an ANI query during a virtual pre-match press conference.


“Boys are pretty upbeat, excited about the chance of taking on India tomorrow night. Not the best start for us against Pakistan who obviously played some pretty good cricket. Boys are excited and we are looking forward to the challenge that India brings,” said the left-arm pacer.
“Whatever we do first, we need to do it well. India brings a lot of challenges, they are a quality side. But with the ball, we just need to be clear in our options on how to shut these people down and obviously give them a bigger chase as possible if we bat first. We look forward to taking it on,” he added.
Giving a fitness update on Martin Guptill, Boult said: “He is pretty good, he trained fully yesterday. He is definitely a big piece of the puzzle for us at the top of the innings. He is good to go.”
Most of the games this World Cup have been won by the team chasing and dew has consistently played a big role.
“It is a good question and it is hard to understand how much dew is going to come in tomorrow. From the one game we have experienced, there was not much of it. You just have to take your time to have a grip on the ball and you need to try to be accurate. It is going to be an exciting game and hopefully, some good cricket is played,” said Boult.

T20 WC: India need wicket taking spinners, says Manjrekar

Dubai [UAE] : While the Indian bowling attack has been on a roll across formats in the last couple of seasons, the performance in the opening game against Pakistan in the T20 World Cup in Dubai on Sunday left a lot to be desired. Pakistan won by 10 wickets and that showed how the Indian bowling lacked bite to create an impact on the slowish Dubai pitch.
The Pakistan bowlers showed great adaptation skills as they picked seven Indian wickets. But for India, not just the pacers, even the spinners failed to rise to the challenge. The spin bowling duo of Varun Chakravarthy and Ravindra Jadeja bowled their complete quota of overs but failed to pick a wicket. While Varun was slightly expensive and finished with figures of 0/33 from his four, Jadeja managed figures of 0/28 off his four. This after the two were preferred over R Ashwin for the big game. If the loss to Pakistan wasn’t bad enough, Pakistan going on to beat New Zealand has made Sunday’s game against the Kiwis a must-win encounter for Virat Kohli and boys.
The question is whether the Indian team management would look to fall back on its most experienced spinner in R Ashwin. While he last played an international T20 against the West Indies in 2017, Ashwin has been an integral part of the Delhi Capitals squad in the last two seasons and has enough idea about the wickets on offer in Dubai as the last two seasons saw a complete season being played in UAE in 2020 and half the season being played here in 2021.
Former India batsman Sanjay Manjrekar feels Virat Kohli needs spinners who can give him breakthroughs and just containing the batsmen won’t work. “India needs wicket taking spinners. Any spinner who bowls to get wickets and not obsess over the economy is my guy,” he told ANI.
In fact, Yuzvendra Chahal could have been the perfect answer to the pointer thrown forward by Manjrekar, but sadly he missed the bus for the T20 World Cup as the selectors believed Varun, Jadeja, Ashwin and Rahul Chahar are better options.
Interestingly, skipper Virat Kohli had mentioned during the pre-tournament captain’s call that Ashwin has what Manjrekar is looking for going into the big game against New Zealand.
“You have seen in the IPL over the last two years that he has bowled the difficult overs against the biggest hitters. He has not been shy to put the ball in the right areas, Ashwin has believed in his skillset. And we felt the way he was bowling with variations, he is a guy who has played a lot of international cricket.
“So, hence Ashwin has been rewarded for reviving his white-ball skills altogether. He was a regular feature for us back in the day but he fell off, finger spinners with accuracy have come back into the game. So we also need to evolve as a team,” Kohli had said.
It will be interesting to see if Ashwin is indeed back for his first game in almost four years in the international T20 arena come Sunday. He did have a long session at the nets on Wednesday as he first bowled and then had a hit as well. But assuming on the basis of training sessions isn’t something one should do when it comes to Indian cricket.

‘Back to the grind’: Shami gears up for New Zealand clash in T20 WC

Dubai [UA] : India pacer Mohammed Shami is leaving no stone unturned for the team’s upcoming match against New Zealand in the ongoing T20 World Cup.
Shami along with fellow teammates spent a “productive” time in the training session on Thursday. The Indian pacer shared a picture in which he can be seen sharing his experience with Jaspirt Bumrah and the net bowlers.
“Back to the grind. Had a productive training session and loved talking to our young talented cricketers. Looking forward to our next game against NZ,” Shami tweeted.
Shami was subjected to online abuse after India suffered defeat against arch-rival Pakistan on Sunday. As soon as the match ended, fans on Instagram and Twitter passed derogatory statements on Shami.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and cricketers Sachin Tendulkar, Irfan Pathan, Yuzvendra Chahal, and all-rounder Yusuf Pathan came out in support of Shami following the online abuse.
India will next square off against New Zealand on Sunday.

T20 WC: Scan done, Hardik is fit to go for New Zealand game

In what comes as good news for Team India ahead of the next game against New Zealand in the ICC T20 World Cup, all-rounder Hardik Pandya is fit for the match after hurting his shoulder in the opening encounter against Pakistan on Sunday.

Dubai [UAE] : All-rounder is already feeling better. “There is no issue and he is already feeling good. It was just a precautionary scan and the team management didn’t wish to take a chance as yesterday was only the first game of the tournament,” the source said. Hardik had been taken for scans after he received a blow on his shoulder during the game against Pakistan.
“Hardik Pandya was hit on his right shoulder while batting. He has now gone for scans,” the BCCI’s media team had informed.
Rizwan (79*) and Babar (68*) didn’t give any chance to India bowlers to come on top as the two batsmen dominated the proceedings. Pakistan chased down the target of 152 without losing a wicket as India looked clueless in their opening match.
This was the first time that India lost a T20I by ten wickets. Coincidentally, this was also the first time that Pakistan won a T20I by ten wickets.
India will next square off against New Zealand on Sunday, October 31 while Pakistan will take on New Zealand on Tuesday.

Shami subject to online abuse after India’s loss

India pacer Mohammed Shami is being subjected to online abuse after the Men in Blue suffered a defeat against arch-rival Pakistan in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup.

New Delhi [India] : As soon as India was defeated was Pakistan on Sunday, fans took to Instagram and Twitter to pass derogatory statements on Mohammed Shami. Pakistan defeated India by ten wickets and none of the Men in Blue bowlers were able to leave an impact as Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan took the bowling to the cleaners.
Indian skipper Virat Kohli also saw some unruly fan behaviour and the trolls have also not been kind to him, as he is also being criticised for his captaincy during the game.
Mohammad Rizwan and skipper Babar Azam put on a remarkable show on Sunday as Pakistan thrashed India by 10 wickets at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.
Rizwan (79*) and Babar (68*) didn’t give any chance to India bowlers to come on top as the two batsmen dominated the proceedings. Pakistan chased down the target of 152 without losing a wicket as India looked clueless in their opening match.
“We didn’t execute properly. Credit where it’s due and Pakistan outplayed us today. They started brilliantly with the ball, and 3 wickets for 20 runs was not a good start. We needed wickets early but with the bat, they gave us absolutely no chances,” Kohli told host broadcaster Star Sports after the game ended.
“It played slow in the first half and hitting through the line was not that easy as it was in the second half, after 10 overs. We needed those 15-20 extra runs and for that, we needed a good start but Pakistan’s bowling didn’t allow us to get those extra runs,” he added.
This is the first time that India has lost a T20I by ten wickets. Coincidentally, this is also the first time that Pakistan has won a T20I by ten wickets.
India will next square off against New Zealand on Sunday, October 31 while Pakistan will take on New Zealand on Tuesday, October 26.

T20 WC: Omar Abdullah slams Indian team for not taking stand for Mohammed Shami

Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and Jammu Kashmir National Conference (JKNC) leader Omar Abdullah on Monday slammed team India for not standing up for their teammate Mohammed Shami, who was abused and trolled on social media after India suffered a defeat against Pakistan in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup.
“Mohammed Shami was one of 11 players who lost last night, he was not the only player on the field. Team India your BLM knee taking counts for nothing if you cannot stand up for your teammate who is being horribly abused and trolled on social media,” Abdullah tweeted. India pacer Mohammed Shami is being subjected to online abuse after the Men in Blue suffered a defeat against arch-rival Pakistan in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup.
As soon as India was defeated by Pakistan on Sunday, fans took to Instagram and Twitter to pass derogatory statements on Mohammed Shami.
Ahead of the start of the high-octane clash against Pakistan in the Super 12s stage of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, the Virat Kohli-led side took a knee to showcase solidarity with the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement.
The Indian players took the knee in solidarity with the BLM movement. On the other hand, Pakistan stood with their hands on their hearts.
Pakistan thrashed India by 10 wickets at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.

Don’t get over excited after beating India, focus remains to win T20 WC: Babar Azam to his team

Dubai [UAE : Pakistan skipper Babar Azam does not want his team to get over-excited just because they managed to defeat India in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup as their prime focus remains to win the entire tournament and take the trophy home.
Mohammad Rizwan and skipper Babar Azam put on a remarkable show on Sunday as Pakistan thrashed India by 10 wickets at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium. “Look guys, this win was not a result of any individual performance. We gave a complete team performance and we do not have to let go of this. This is just a start, enjoy it, but do not get over-excited after beating India. We need to look ahead and our focus is to win the T20 World Cup. We will never be relaxed, just look to give your 100 per cent. Do not get over-excited,” said Azam while addressing the Pakistan cricket team, in a video shared by the official Twitter handle of the Pakistan Cricket Board.
“We have a habit of being inconsistent, but please do not do this. We have to change this and it will hopefully. Well done boys for the win against India,” he added.
Rizwan (79*) and Babar (68*) didn’t give any chance to India bowlers to come on top as the two batsmen dominated the proceedings. Pakistan chased down the target of 152 without losing a wicket as India looked clueless in their opening match.
This is the first time that India has lost a T20I by ten wickets. Coincidentally, this is also the first time that Pakistan has won a T20I by ten wickets. Shaheen Afridi was adjudged as Player of the Game after a three-wicket haul.
India will next square off against New Zealand on Sunday, October 31 while Pakistan will take on New Zealand on Tuesday, October 26.

‘India will come out with flying colors’

Former England skipper Michael Vaughan feels Pakistan can beat any team when they are playing in UAE but backed India to come out with flying colours in the upcoming match of the ongoing T20 World Cup.

Dubai [UAE] : The heavyweight Group 2 contest is the first T20 meeting between these two rivals since the last time this showpiece event was played in 2016 and no teams have won more T20Is in the intervening period than India and Pakistan. India and Pakistan will square off against each other on Sunday evening and Vaughan also said the Virat Kohli-led side will be too strong for the Green Army.
“India should be too strong for Pakistan today. But this Pakistan team in these conditions could beat anyone .. Hearing 1 Billion will be watching globally. India to win. #India vs Pakistan #T20WorldCup,” Vaughan tweeted.
Pakistan is yet to get a one-up over India in World Cups as the head-to-head has been completely dominated by the Men in Blue.
Kohli is entering his last tournament in charge in the shortest format and will be tasked with ensuring his players shut out the noise amid the pressure and expectation on Sunday.
The stakes are at an all-time high with Kohli and Co. looking to continue their dominance against Pakistan in ICC World Cups. Both sides have a strong lineup and it will be about keeping calm and rising to the occasion when they set foot on the pitch on Sunday.

‘India always won, but the one who plays better today will win’

Former Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Secretary Sanjay Jagdale on Sunday said that India has been winning matches in the past but that has become history and the one who plays better today will win, adding that history doesn’t matter, circumstances change, players and grounds change so past record does not matter.

Indore (Madhya Pradesh) : Former Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Secretary Sanjay Jagdale on Sunday said that India has been winning matches in the past but that has become history and the one who plays better today will win, adding that history doesn’t matter, circumstances change, players and grounds change so past record does not matter.
Jagdale said, “I worry the most about Hardik Pandya in Team India because if he is not bowling then he will put the team in a big backward search. Pakistan’s strength is fast bowling, Afridi and Hasan Ali are their main bowlers. Batting depends on Babar-e-Azam because he is the best batsman in the world.” Regarding the ground, Jagdale said, “Our players have been playing in rhythm, but Pakistan did not get as much practice as they wanted. They have a lot of idea of the conditions because if international cricket is not done in Pakistan, then they come and play their matches in UAE.”
“The strength of the Pakistan team is fast bowling, still, I understand Afridi and Hasan Ali are their main bowlers. Their batting is dependent on Babar-e-Azam. I think Babar-e-Azam is also one of the best batsmen in the world… Great batsman I am personally his fan…
T20 is a game of extreme uncertainty. In 2 balls the direction of the match changes. Whoever seizes the opportunity will win,” he said.

T20 WC : Looking at Hardik bowling at least two overs at a certain stage in tournament, says Kohli

India skipper Virat Kohli on Saturday said that all-rounder Hardik Pandya will be able to bowl two overs for the side in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup at some stage, but his ability with the bat is priceless and there is no substitute for that.

Dubai [UAE] : The most anticipated encounter of the Super 12 stage will be played on Sunday between arch-rivals India and Pakistan. It will be after two years that these two teams will battle it out on the cricket field, after having last played in the ICC Men’s 50-over World Cup in 2019. “Well, I honestly feel that Hardik Pandya presently with his physical condition is getting better in terms of being prepared to bowl at least two overs for us at a certain stage in this tournament and we strongly believe we can make the most of the opportunity we have at our hand till the time he starts bowling. We have considered a couple of other options to chip in with overs so we are not bothered about that all,” said Kohli during a virtual pre-match press conference.
“What he brings at number six for us is something that you cannot create overnight. Hence, I was always in favour of backing him as a batter in Australia purely and we saw what he did in the T20I series and how he can take the game away from the opposition. We understand the value he brings to the team as a number six batter and it is important to have such players who can play impact innings. For us, that is way more valuable than forcing him to do something that he cannot at the moment, he is motivated and he is keen to start giving us a couple of overs to us,” he added.
While replying to an ANI query about the Indian bowling attack, Kohli said: “We try and go into any game with absolute preparation and proper understanding of what we need to do as a team. As long as we do that, we are confident of playing against any team at any point. So now for me to say that we have great bowlers and we did not have great bowlers before, we have won every time we have played against him in the T20 World Cup. If it was just a case of our bowling being weak, then we should not have won those games.”
“I do not think on those lines, for me what matters is that how individuals are playing at that time. Looking at the IPL finals, the quality of pitches is going to be far better in this T20 World Cup. This being an ICC tournament, we know the standard of the pitches has to be maintained which is consistent across all venues. The wicket in the IPL final was very good and I think the dew factor is becoming prominent, which is also going to help the pitches to stay better. Sharjah more or less will stay true to its true nature which is slow and low. I do not see any high-scoring games there, wickets I feel are better now,” he added.
Talking about his decision to leave T20I captaincy after this World Cup, the Indian skipper said: “I have already explained myself, I do not think I need to harp it on anymore. Our focus is to play well as a team in this tournament and do what we need to do. People are trying to dig something which does not exist, I am not someone who will give importance to that. I have explained myself honestly, if people think there is more to it, then certainly it is not the case.”
Pakistan has never won even a single match against India in the history of World Cups (50-over and 20-over).
“It is crucial to have clarity of thought. I think in today’s cricket, one ball can change the momentum in the shortest format. We have played in the IPL so it will help us in executing our plans more confidently, staying precise is important and one needs to back their plans,” said Kohli.
Talking about the challenges of bio-bubbles, Kohli said: “We have talked about this, the good thing is that we have played a tournament like the IPL where you have seven other teams, there is a new challenge every day. You stay involved in the game. In the World Cup, we have the motivation of playing a multi-national tournament. These things give you new challenges.”
“I understand that cricket was not played for a long time because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but to cover it up if you lose players, then I do not think it will help world cricket. If you see four-five people laughing, then you cannot think that everyone is on the same page about bio-bubbles, you need to give players a respite, it is important,” he added.

T20 WC: Rohit Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah to be X factor for India, believes Agarkar

Former cricketer Ajit Agarkar stated that Rohit Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah could be team India’s X factor in the ongoing ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021.

Dubai [UAE] : The Sunday evening will see the Dubai International Stadium house one of the most historic and mouth-watering clashes in cricketing history as team India will start their campaign in the T20 World Cup by locking horns with arch-nemesis Pakistan in the Super 12 stage. Speaking on the Star Sports show ‘Class of 2007’, former Team India batter Ajit Agarkar shared his thoughts on who will be Team India’s X factor in the ongoing ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021. He said: “Rohit Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah. I think Rohit could be the key, opening the innings and Bumrah with what he does.”
Former Team India all-rounder Irfan Pathan also spoke about Virat Kohli’s men in the 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. In 2007, there was no social media, but now there is social media, so there are a lot of conversations around performances and memes. I think the boys know that there are a lot of expectations from them and they know how to handle it,” he added.
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. 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.
The India vs Pakistan fixture in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 will be live on Star Sports Network and Disney+ Hotstar VIP on October 24th at 7:30 PM.
The stakes in the India-Pakistan fixture are at an all-time high with Kohli and company looking to continue their dominance against Pakistan. Both sides have a strong lineup and on the day of the major clash, time will tell which side will emerge triumphantly.

In-swingers can trouble Rohit, must make Kohli earn first 10-15 runs, says Mushtaq

He was known as one of the best leg-spinners in the business during his playing days and while Mushtaq Ahmed has turned to coaching after retirement, he knows what it takes to be a part of India-Pakistan games in the World Cup. Having played against India in the 1992 and 1996 World Cup, the Deccan Gladiators head coach believes it will be all about temperament when the two teams clash in the T20 World Cup on Sunday.

Dubai [UAE]: Mushtaq said more than talent, it will be the temperament of players that will be tested when the arch-rivals clash at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium. “What is important in the World Cup is temperament and the team which has the belief will have a better chance. Stats are in favour of India but if the Pakistan players keep this in mind and play, the chances will go down. The balance with Shoaib and Hafeez coming back will give them a lot of confidence as these pitches need experienced players. India obviously is one of the best teams but this game is about temperament,” he said.
Having picked five wickets in two World Cup encounters against India (3 in 1992 and 2 in 1996), Mushtaq did rise to the challenge against quality Indian batsmen. And the player turned coach feels strategising will be important when it comes to attacking two of India’s best batsmen in Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma.
“Rohit takes his time and is smart and I feel an inswing bowler can be effective against him at the beginning of his innings. It creates a bit of a problem for him. Also, bouncers can work on slow wickets as he is a compulsive puller so that can work if you set the field well.
“For Kohli, I believe you have to play with the field setting. It is white-ball cricket so you won’t have much swing. But the key will be to make him earn the first 10-15 runs by keeping the fielding tight. In that case, he will try to hit over the fielders and that can create chances,” he explained.
While Rohit and Kohli are conventional cricketers, someone like a Rishabh Pant can change the complexion of a game with his unorthodox style. But Mushtaq wants the Pakistan bowlers to play with the field when bowling to Pant.
“Looking into the stats, whoever is more successful against Pant, such bowlers should be handed the ball against him. With players like Pant, you need to play with the field more than the bowlers. If you are tactically smart with the field settings, you can change his approach. Of course, he is very aggressive and dangerous, but you must plan well against such players,” he pointed.
While the Indian team looks solid on paper, the absence of leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal has raised quite a few eyebrows and Mushtaq feels the team could end up missing his services, especially after his brilliant show in the recently concluded IPL in UAE.
“Chahal has been bowling beautifully for India for the last couple of years so they will definitely miss his experience. But I think maybe they have considered his form or the conditions and made the call, I don’t know. A mature wrist spinner is always handy and I feel they will miss him during the course of the tournament,” the Deccan Gladiators coach signed off. (

T20 World Cup: Team India look to use Varun Chakravarthy as trump card for crunch games

It is no secret that two cricketers who have been the focus of the Indian medical staff are Varun Chakravarthy and Hardik Pandya. While Varun’s knees are a cause of concern, the medical team has also been looking to get Hardik bowling ready. And it looks like the team management is looking to use Varun judiciously.

Dubai [UAE] : Sources in the know of developments said the team management in consultation with the medical team has decided it is best to keep Varun as fresh as possible and use him in crunch games. “He is undoubtedly a match-winner in this format and the leadership group knows what four overs can mean in a big tournament like the T20 World Cup. The medical team has been working closely with him and Varun will be used judiciously. He is a trump card and Virat Kohli and the leadership group is looking to use him just like that,” the source said.
Asked if that means he could be kept away from a game if the stakes aren’t high, the source said: “Yes, that is exactly what the idea is. While the team is looking to have his services as much as possible, it is also clear that his knees aren’t a 100 per cent. So, he will be used as per the demands of the tournament. If it is a must-win or big game, you will see him out there weaving his magic with the ball. If the team is well placed and you can afford to give his knees a bit of a rest, the team might do that. But yes, MS Dhoni and Ravi Shastri will be right there to guide Kohli and Rohit Sharma in such a scenario.”
India will open its T20 World Cup campaign against Pakistan on October 24 in Dubai. While India won both its warm-up games –the Men in Blue defeated England by seven wickets while the side registered an eight-wicket triumph over Australia — Pakistan batting consultant Matthew Hayden on Thursday said that the T20 World Cup clash between arch-rivals India and Pakistan will be a ‘dogfight’, and one team would not run away with the game.

T20 WC: India-Pak clash will be ‘dogfight’, one side won’t run away with game, says Hayden

Pakistan batting consultant Matthew Hayden on Thursday said that the T20 World Cup clash between arch-rivals India and Pakistan will be a ‘dogfight’, and one team would not run away with the game.

Dubai [UAE] : India will open its T20 World Cup campaign against Pakistan on October 24 in Dubai. “One side is not going to run away with the game here. It’s a dogfight. The conditions and margins for error will be very little. And so, good leadership will be the key. Babar commands that presence and commands that role. In the batting sense as well, he is the premium player. He will be targeted,” said Hayden during a virtual press conference on Thursday.
“He will be the person who every player would want to put in his pockets. There will be pressure on him both as a captain and as a batsman. But I sense that the way he will go about with it will be spot on,” he added.
Talking about the rivalry between India and Pakistan, Hayden said: “Nothing that I have ever seen through the various elements of our game ever matches the rivalry of India and Pakistan. There is an obvious pressure much like the pressure that’s there when you play against England for Australia. But the pressure is only as much as you allow it to be. Your preparation is there, your experience is there, your opportunity now becomes a history-making opportunity.”
“We can present all the stats, do all our homework and research, but nothing can replace all the stuff that we all dream about, or coach about and commentate on which will be the game itself. I can sense that the players are waiting for that opportunity. I can sense that there is a sense of calm about that. It’s now the opportunity of playing the game,” he added.
Ahead of the T20 World Cup, Hayden was appointed as Pakistan’s batting consultant while former Proteas pacer Vernon Philander was roped in as bowling consultant.
“I would have never thought in my wildest dream that I would be sitting inside the Pakistan dressing room,” said Hayden.
India won its both warm-up games ahead of the T20 World Cup. The Men in Blue defeated England by seven wickets while the side registered an eight-wicket triumph over Australia.

Warm-up games suggest India ‘hot favourites’ to win T20 World Cup, says Vaughan

Former England skipper Michael Vaughan feels India are “hot favourites” to win the ongoing T20 World Cup considering their performances in the warm-up games.

Dubai [UAE], : Ravichandran Ashwin, KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma were the standout performers as India defeated Australia by eight wickets in the warm-up match on Wednesday. India had defeated England in their first warm-up game on Monday on the back of Rahul and Ishan Kishan’s sensational performances.
Vaughan’s remarks came hours after India defeated Australia to clinch both their warm-up matches.
“The way India are playing the warm up games suggests they may be now Hot favourites to Win the #T20WorldCup !!” Vaughan tweeted.
India will now face Pakistan in their opening game of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 at the Dubai International Stadium on October 24.
India, champions in the inaugural edition played in South Africa in 2007 and finalists in 2014, will also have Afghanistan, New Zealand, and two qualifiers from Round 1 to contend with in Group 2.
Meanwhile, Group 1 comprises England, Australia, South Africa, the West Indies, and two qualifiers from Round 1

T20 WC: India defeat Australia in warm-up, Ashwin, Rahul and Rohit standout performers

Ravichandran Ashwin, KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma were the standout performers as India defeated Australia by eight wickets in the warm-up match of the ongoing ICC Men’s T20 World Cup here at the ICC Academy Ground on Wednesday.

Dubai [UAE] : hile Ashwin took two wickets, Rahul and Rohit played knocks of 39 and 60 respectively as India chased down the target of 153 quite comfortably. Suryakumar Yadav also chipped in with an innings of 38 runs. Chasing 153, India got off to a steady start as openers KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma put together 42 runs inside the first six overs. Both batters stitched together an opening stand of 68 runs and it finally ended in the 10th over as Ashton Agar had Rahul (39) caught at the hands of David Warner.
Rohit and Suryakumar Yadav did not let the asking rate creep up, and the duo kept on registering boundaries at regular intervals, keeping India ahead. Both batters ensured that India does not suffer from more hiccups, and with the side 26-run away from the target, Rohit decided to retire hurt after playing a knock of 60.
In the end, India registered a comfortable victory with Suryakumar (38) and Hardik Pandya (14) remaining unbeaten at the crease.
Earlier, Steve Smith and Marcus Stoinis played knocks of 57 and 41 respectively as Australia posted a total of 152/5. Opting to bat first, Australia got off to the worst start possible as David Warner (1), Aaron Finch (8) and Mitchell Marsh (0) lost their wickets cheaply. Ravichandran Ashwin dismissed Warner and Marsh while Ravindra Jadeja sent Finch back to the pavilion, reducing Australia to 11/3 in the fourth over.
Glenn Maxwell and Steve Smith then got together at the crease and the duo revived the innings for Australia. Both batters put on 61 runs for the fourth wicket, but as soon as Australia started gaining an upper hand, Rahul Chahar dismissed Maxwell (37) in the 12th over, reducing Australia to 72/4.
Marcus Stoinis then joined Smith in the middle and the duo accelerated the innings for Australia. Smith went on to bring up his half-century in the 17th over of the innings. In the final two overs, 21 more runs were scored and as a result, Australia posted a total of more than the 150-run mark.
Brief Scores: Australia 152/5 (Steve Smith 57, Marcus Stoinis 41; Ravichandran Ashwin 2-8) vs India 153/2 (Rohit Sharma 60, KL Rahul 39; Ashton Agar 1-14).

‘Have never seen you in this jersey’: Ashwin’s daughter as he flaunts India T20 WC outfit

India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin on Sunday shared a picture of himself donning the T20 World Cup jersey.

Dubai [UAE] : The spinner also said that his daughter ended up telling him that she has never seen Ashwin in this particular jersey of Team India. “When your daughter says ‘I have never seen you in this jersey appa’ can’t leave her out of the picture. Can you ? @prithinarayanan,” Ashwin posted on Instagram.
India skipper Virat Kohli on Saturday had said that Ashwin was included in the team’s T20 World Cup squad as the off-spinner has managed to revive his white-ball game.
India will open its campaign in the upcoming T20 World Cup against Pakistan on October 24 at the Dubai International Stadium. Ashwin had last played a T20I for the Men in Blue in 2017, but the selectors named him in the squad looking at his experience and performance in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
“Yes, definitely. The one thing Ashwin has improved on is his bowling with courage. You have seen in the IPL over the last two years that he has bowled the difficult overs against the biggest hitters. He has not been shy to put the ball in the right areas, Ashwin has believed in his skillset. And we felt the way he was bowling with variations, he is a guy who has played a lot of international cricket,” said Kohli during a Captain’s Call organised by the International Cricket Council (ICC) ahead of the upcoming Men’s T20 World Cup.
“So, hence Ashwin has been rewarded for reviving his white-ball skills altogether. He was a regular feature for us back in the day but he fell off, finger spinners with accuracy have come back into the game. So we also need to evolve as a team,” he added. 

T20 WC: Mentor Dhoni joins Team India

Former India skipper MS Dhoni has joined the Men in Blue as Virat Kohli and boys began their preparation for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup on Sunday.

Dubai [UAE] : The official Twitter handle of BCCI shared photos of Dhoni bonding with Team India and captioned the post as: “Extending a very warm welcome to the KING. @msdhoni is back with #TeamIndia and in a new role.” India will begin its T20 World Cup campaign on October 24 against Pakistan. Before that, the side will play two warm-up matches against England and Australia on October 18 and 20.
India skipper Virat Kohli on Saturday had said that having MS Dhoni as the mentor for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup will hold his side in good stead.
“Massive experience. He is quite excited about getting back in this environment. He has always been a mentor for all of us, when we were starting our careers at the time he played and now he has the same opportunity to continue the same again. Especially for the younger guys who are in early stages of their career, just experience that he has gained over the years and having conversations with him about the game,” said Kohli during a Captain’s Call organised by the International Cricket Council (ICC) ahead of the upcoming Men’s T20 World Cup.
“Such practical inputs and such intricate details of where the game is going and where we can improve. He makes a difference when he is in a leadership role in any team, absolutely delighted to have him in this environment. He will certainly boost the morale of the team further,” he added.

T20 WC: Team India needs to win for Kohli, says Suresh Raina

Former Indian cricketer Suresh Raina said that it is really ‘important’ for the Indian team to win the T20 World Cup 2021, as it will be probably the last tournament of Virat Kohli as the skipper.

Dubai [UAE] : Earlier, Kohli announced that he will step down as Team India’s T20I captain after the T20 World Cup 2021. “It will probably be his (Virat Kohli) last time at this tournament as captain, so it’s very important for him to make everyone believe we can do it and for us to get behind him,” said the former Indian batter Suresh Raina in an International Cricket Council (ICC) column.
“All of our players have just played the Indian Premier League in the UAE and they have played themselves into top form with eight or nine games in this environment,” he added.
Raina said that team India is one of the ‘favourites’ to win the tournament, as they have an edge over all the teams because of the IPL.
“The conditions in UAE are very similar to what we play India and also in Pakistan. It’s a good opportunity for the Asian teams to come and play their natural game,” he said.
“We need to remember there are lots of other good teams in the tournament. Pakistan, Australia and England also look very good, and anything can happen in T20 cricket,” he added.
Raina further said that the top batting order of India is a key reason for the ‘success’ of the team.
“The key to success for India’s batting lies in the top three. Rohit Sharma is a gun player – he has a brilliant record at ICC events in the past and had a great IPL. We need Rohit, KL Rahul and Virat to bat through to 15 overs and lay the platform. They can set the momentum for the India team by doing this,” said Raina.
Raina also called the Indian spinner Varun Chakravarthy the ‘main guy’ for the bowling attack.
“Varun Chakravarthy the main guy in the India bowling attack. He has shown he can exploit the pace of the pitches. Varun has only played three T20Is but I’m not concerned by any lack of experience. There is plenty of experience in this team, particularly in the seam attack,” he said.
“Bhuvneshwar Kumar in particular leads the way when it comes to experience and knowledge of how to deal with the big games. The inclusion of Shardul Thakur can also give extra strength to the fast bowlers that Virat has at his disposal,” he added.
India will be facing their arch-rivals Pakistan for their first clash in the T20 World Cup 2021 on October 24.

BCCI invites application for coaching staff of Indian men’s team

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Sunday invited applications for the positions of head coach, batting coach, bowling coach, fielding coach with senior Indian men’s cricket team.

Mumbai (Maharashtra ) [India] : The apex body of cricket in India has also invited applications for the post of Head Sports Science/Medicine with the National Cricket Academy (NCA). “The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) invites applications for the positions of Head Coach, Batting Coach, Bowling Coach, Fielding Coach with Team India (Senior Men) and Head Sports Science/Medicine with National Cricket Academy (NCA),” the BCCI said in a statement.
According to the statement, applications for the position of head coach (Team India -Senior Men) should be submitted by 5 pm on October 26, 2021, at headcoach@bcci.tv.
While the applications for the position of batting coach, bowling coach and fielding coach should be submitted by 5 pm on November 03, 2021, at battingcoach@bcci.tv, bowlingcoach@bcci.tv and at fieldingcoach@bcci.tv respectively.
Also, applications for the position of Head Sports Science and Medicine with NCA should be submitted by 5 pm on November 03, 2021, at sportsscienceandmedicine@bcci.tv
BCCI said the successful candidate will need to demonstrate that they can create a winning culture and world-leading teams in all forms of the game.

Hardik’s primary role in T20 WC will be to finish games with the bat: Team India sources

With the Indian team management assessing all-rounder Hardik Pandya’s back over the last couple of days, it has been decided that he will primarily be a finisher going into the T20 World Cup in UAE.

New Delhi [India], October 14 : Hardik is still not a 100 per cent when it comes to bowling, but his experience when it comes to absorbing pressure and finishing games with the bat cannot be overlooked going into a showpiece event. “He is not a 100 per cent when it comes to bowling so it will be a finisher’s role for Hardik in this World Cup. We will keep assessing him as we progress, but at present, the team will look at him as a batsman who comes in and looks to play the finisher’s role just like MS Dhoni did over the years,” the source pointed.
Asked if the bowling part is a complete no, the source said: “With someone like Hardik, you know the level of dedication and effort is always 100 per cent. So, we will keep working on his bowling.”
The All-India Senior Selection Committee after a discussion with the team management on Wednesday added Shardul Thakur to the main squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup. All-rounder Axar Patel, who was part of the 15-member squad will now be on the list of standby players.
India will open its T20 World Cup campaign against Pakistan on October 24 in Dubai. After the upcoming T20 World Cup, Virat Kohli will be stepping down as the side’s captain in the shortest format.
India’s squad for ICC T20 World Cup: Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma (vice-captain), KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Rahul Chahar, Ravichandran Ashwin, Shardul Thakur, Varun Chakravarthy, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammad Shami.
Stand-by players: Shreyas Iyer, Deepak Chahar, Axar Patel.
The following cricketers will join the team bubble in Dubai and assist Team India in their preparations: Avesh Khan, Umran Malik, Harshal Patel, Lukman Meriwala, Venkatesh Iyer, Karn Sharma, Shahbaz Ahmed, and K. Gowtham.

T20 World Cup: Brett Lee backs India to reach final

Former Australia fast bowler Brett Lee has backed India to reach the finals of ICC T20 World Cup 2021.

Melbourne [Australia], October 14 : The legendary pacer, however, wants Australia to win the World Cup and considers that it is the best chance for the Aaron Finch-led side to clinch the coveted trophy. “I’ve backed KL Rahul to get the most runs in the competition. I think KL Rahul coming off a great IPL, he’s the pillar that the guys can build around him because it takes the pressure off Kohli if Rahul is scoring runs. It allows Kohli to just play his natural game,” Foxsports.com.au quoted Lee as saying.
“And obviously with Kohli and the captaincy, it’s probably his last crack at it so he’ll want to go out on a high. India would definitely be one of top picks and could definitely win this thing.
“I’m very patriotic, I want Australia to win and I think they can, but India definitely will be in the final and I think Australia has their best chance,” he added.
India will face Pakistan in their opening game of the T20 World Cup 2021 at the Dubai International Stadium on October 24.
India, champions in the inaugural edition played in South Africa in 2007 and finalists in 2014, will also have Afghanistan, New Zealand, and two qualifiers from Round 1 to contend with in Group 2.
The ICC T20 World Cup in UAE and Oman will get underway from October 17, with the final to be played in Dubai on November 14. (

Shardul Thakur replaces Axar Patel in India’s T20 World Cup squad

All-rounder Axar Patel, who was part of the 15-member squad will now be on the list of standby players.

The All-India Senior Selection Committee after a discussion with the team management has added Shardul Thakur to the main squad ahead of the T20 World Cup. 

All-rounder Axar Patel, who was part of the 15-member squad will now be on the list of standby players. Shardul, currently a part of the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) contingent, has taken 18 wickets in 15 matches of the ongoing IPL edition. “The selectors felt that they were one pacer short and also with Hardik Pandya not bowling, they needed an all-rounder in the main squad,” a source close to the selection committee told .

“Axar remains in stand by and if Ravindra Jadeja gets injured, he will again be back in the main team. Till Jaddu plays, Axar won’t be required.”

In the warm-up fixtures of the T20 showpiece, India will take on England on October 18 in Dubai and then square off with Australia on October 20 at the same venue. India are scheduled to start their T20 World Cup campaign against arch-rivals Pakistan on October 24. 

SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH) pace sensation Umran Malik and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) bowling spearhead Harshal Patel will also assist India’s preparations in Dubai. Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) opener Venkatesh Iyer will also be a part of the Virat Kohali-led unit.


India’s squad for ICC T20 World Cup: Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma (vice-captain), KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Rahul Chahar, Ravichandran Ashwin, Shardul Thakur, Varun Chakravarthy, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvaneshawar kumar , Mohammad Shami

Stand-by players: Shreyas Iyer, Deepak Chahar, Axar Patel

The following cricketers will also join the Indian team bubble in Dubai: Avesh Khan, Umran Malik, Harshal Patel, Lukman Meriwala, Venkatesh Iyer, Karn Sharma, Shahbaz Ahmed and K. Gowtham.

Team India’s new jersey best way to celebrate fans’ excitement for T20 World Cup : Ganguly

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Sourav Ganguly on Wednesday said the best way to celebrate fans’ excitement and energy is through the jersey for the Indian men’s team launched ahead of the T20 World Cup.

New Delhi [India], October 13 : BCCI along with MPL Sports, the official kit sponsor of the Indian Men’s, Women’s, and Under-19 Cricket Team unveiled the official jersey of the Indian team for 2021 on Wednesday. The cheers of the billion-plus fans of the team at home and abroad have provided inspiration for the jersey that the players will don at the upcoming T20 World Cup.
This is the first time in the history of Indian cricket that fans have been memorialised on a jersey. It carries their chants and cheers from iconic past matches, transformed into unique soundwave patterns. As much as the shirt, aptly called the “Billion Cheers Jersey,” honours their unwavering support, it also serves as a beacon of inspiration and encouragement for Team India to give their best on the field. The jersey comes in shades of Prussian blue and royal blue offering a bold and distinct look befitting champions.


Sourav Ganguly, President of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), said, “The Indian cricket team enjoys support not just in India but around the world, and there’s no better way to celebrate their excitement and energy than through this jersey. This will undoubtedly provide the team with the much-needed enthusiastic support in their quest to emerge as the T20 champions of the world. We are also pleased to see that MPL Sports continues to deliver merchandise that is widely affordable and accessible.”
Jay Shah, Secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), stated, “We are excited to unveil the official jersey today and make it available for supporters ahead of the T20 games in partnership with MPL Sports. The story behind the jersey is the story of every Indian cricket fan. We are sure that wearing this will be a matter of great pride for both the team and supporters alike.”
Virat Kohli, Captain of the Indian National Cricket Team, said the design of the jersey is quite striking.
“We have immense respect for our fans and this makes the official jersey even more special. The design is quite striking and distinct from the ones we have sported in the past while also delivering on comfort and performance to enable us to give our best. All of us are thrilled to don the new colours, show our game and make our billion-plus fans proud,” he said.

T20 WC: Hardik and boys to enter Team India hotel today

New Delhi [India]: The Mumbai Indians boys led by Rohit Sharma will enter the Indian team hotel in Dubai on Tuesday. And as expected, all eyes will be on all-rounder Hardik Pandya as the team management would look to assess his progress with the team’s opening T20 World Cup game against arch-rivals Pakistan two weeks away.

Speaking to ANI, sources in the team management confirmed the MI boys will be moving into Th8 Palm on Tuesday. “Rohit and boys are coming in today. It would obviously be in focus how Hardik is progressing and that is no rocket science. But he should be good to go for the showpiece event,” the source said.
Asked if Hardik could actually go in as a finisher, the source said: “Well, that call obviously needs to be taken by the team management and with MS Dhoni coming in as mentor, you do know the best call will be taken. But yes, you must realise the lack of big-match experience in the Indian middle-order, especially when it comes to handling high-voltage clashes like India-Pakistan.”

Interestingly, Hardik has done well against Pakistan not just in the 2017 Champions Trophy, but also in the 2019 World Cup in England. While he finished with an outstanding 76 off 43 balls in the final of the Champions Trophy against Pakistan, he scored a quickfire 26 off 19 balls and then picked two wickets with the ball in the World Cup game.

Sources in the team believe even though his bowling is a worry at the moment, he is the X-factor who can turn big games with the bat as well. “You are born with it. And Hardik is undoubtedly an X-factor, be it with the ball as we saw against Bangladesh in the last T20 World Cup, or with the bat as we have seen a number of times. You want such players in big-ticket events because they can win you games out of nowhere. If you ask me, he will be in the team and the physio will try and make him work his way to the bowling crease,” the source pointed.

The T20 World Cup will begin with the Round 1 Group B encounter between hosts Oman and Papua New Guinea on October 17, with Scotland and Bangladesh, the other teams in Group B, clashing in the evening match. Ireland, Netherlands, Sri Lanka, and Namibia — making up Group A — will be in action in Abu Dhabi the next day, with Round 1 matches running till October 22.

The top two teams in each group will proceed to the Super 12 stage of the tournament, beginning on October 23. The first semi-final will be held in Abu Dhabi on November 10. The second semi-final will be hosted by Dubai on November 11. Both semi-finals have reserve days. The marquee clash of the tournament will take place in Dubai on November 14, Sunday, with Monday acting as the reserve day for the final. (ANI)

Now you have a bigger role: Tendulkar to Surya

Mumbai Indians mentor Sachin Tendulkar has wished good luck to batter Suryakumar Yadav, saying that he has a bigger role to look forward to in the upcoming T20 World Cup.

Abu Dhabi [UAE], October 9 : Suryakumar Yadav played a knock of 82 against SunRisers Hyderabad at the Zayed Cricket Stadium on Friday. Mumbai Indians’ management chose him as the Dressing Room Man of the Match. Mumbai Indians’ official Twitter handle posted a video in which Tendulkar says to Surya: “All the best for the T20 World Cup. Now you have a bigger role.”
Suryakumar Yadav has already said that he is looking forward to the upcoming T20 World Cup and his process and routine will remain the same like it was for the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021.
Defending champions Mumbai Indians on Friday finished the IPL 2021 at fifth position. The side ended their IPL 2021 campaign with a 42-run win over Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) but failed to qualify for the playoffs.
“I am good, I am good (on how he is doing after being hit by a short ball). At the end of the day, the show must go on and you got to keep smiling whatever happens. We had nothing to lose,” Suryakumar told host broadcaster Star Sports after the game against SRH.
“We had a target, we just kept running behind it. The pitch was good. Happy to be on the winning side. It is a big tournament (T20 World Cup). We don’t change anything. The process, routine all remain the same. Really looking forward to it,” he added.
Mumbai Indians had scored 235 in 20 overs against SRH on the back of blistering performances from Ishan Kishan (84) and Suryakumar Yadav (82).
The T20 World Cup will kickstart on October 17 and India will lock horns against arch-rival Pakistan on October 24 in Dubai.

Hardik might be redy to bowl by next week

Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma has said that all-rounder Hardik Pandya might be able to start bowling by next week and the physios are regularly working with him.

Dubai [UAE], October 9 : Mumbai Indians on Friday finished the IPL 2021 at fifth position. The side ended their IPL 2021 campaign with a 42-run win over Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) but failed to qualify for the playoffs. In the second phase of the tournament, Hardik did not bowl a single ball and he struggled even with the bat in hand. “Yeah, look in terms of his bowling, he has not bowled yet. The physios, trainers and medical team are working on his bowling. As of now, all I know is he has not bowled a single ball yet but we wanted to take it one game at a game and see where it stands. He did not bowl against SRH as well but you know, he is getting better day by day. He might be able to bowl by the next week, who knows? The doctors and physios will be able to give an update on that,” Rohit said during a virtual post-match press conference.
“As far his batting is concerned, yes he will be disappointed but we know the quality of him. He is a quality player, there is no doubt about that. Personally, he would not be happy with his batting, but the team and I have faith in his abilities. He is getting every time he goes out to the field. Players like him are just one innings away from coming back to their natural way. If I have to put everything together, I am confident about his ability and I am sure he will be a huge asset,” he added.
Mumbai Indians had scored 235 in 20 overs against SRH on the back of blistering performances from Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav.
“We just did not play as a team and collectively as a group, we did not come together and that was the main reason behind us not qualifying for the playoffs. When you want to win games and tournaments, you need to put in a collective performance. We do not tend to rely on one or two individuals at any given stage, we always believe in everyone chipping in. That did not happen this year and it was disappointing,” said Rohit.
“It is a different squad here and it will be a different squad at the T20 World Cup. What we do here is different from what we do there. There is a lot of mixed understanding of the two teams, all the six or seven guys we have over here, would have liked to had a good run but it did not happen. You saw a couple of fine performances against SRH from Suryakumar and Ishan. When you talk about the T20 World Cup, there will be a couple of practice games, guys can get back into their rhythm and see what we can do over there,” he added.

T20 World Cup : Eyes on mentor Dhoni as Team India look to solve Hardik-Varun puzzle

New Delhi [India], October 9 (ANI): While Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan’s form in Mumbai Indians’ match against SunRisers Hyderabad in the IPL on Friday would have given the Indian team management much joy ahead of the T20 World Cup, all-rounder Hardik Pandya’s inability to bowl and spinner Varun Chakaravarthy’s fitness is still a major worry. And looks like mentor MS Dhoni will once again be skipper Virat Kohli’s go-to man when it comes to deciding on the duo’s fate.
while Varun’s fitness isn’t a huge concern — as he will only need to bowl four overs and can be used judiciously — Hardik’s position becomes crucial to team composition and it will once again need Dhoni to sit down with Kohli, Rohit Sharma and head coach Ravi Shastri to take a call on the road ahead. “See, Dhoni in his initial years as skipper had to face the situation that Kohli might face when it comes to the fitness of Varun. You need to find options when the player in question is a match-winner and there is no doubt that Varun’s four overs can turn matches. Dhoni’s input will certainly be crucial in this situation and his past experience should help.
“But the bigger concern is Hardik as he is an altogether different player when he can bat and bowl. Imagine having two match-winning all-rounders in the form of Hardik and Ravindra Jadeja. But the same Hardik becomes slightly less effective if he can’t bowl and the team composition needs a rethink in that case,” the source said.
Asked if Hardik will be considered only as a batsman when it comes to the playing XI, the source said this is an area that will see the likes of Dhoni, Kohli, Rohit and Shastri getting together and taking the call.
“Does he have the ability to win you games as a finisher? Yes, he does. But would you play him purely as a finisher or a lower-order batsman? This is where the role of a mentor like MSD becomes all the more crucial. He has seen Hardik grow as a cricketer and his input will be important as the middle-order would need the experience of someone like Hardik who has played in showpiece events.
“If you look at the current middle-order, you have an in-form Surya and Ishan, but they haven’t played in showpiece events and the pressure that a World Cup can bring is unthinkable unless you are out in the middle,” the source explained.
Asked about the exact issue facing Hardik, the source said: “You have to understand that there are certain muscles and tissues that he has used in his body while bowling over the last decade or even more. Now, with the surgery and the slight tweak in action, his muscles and tissues might be taking more time to adapt to the new process. It is something that can happen to any sportsperson.
“The input of the Indian physio will also be crucial now that Hardik enters the Indian team bubble. So far, he was being monitored by the MI physio. It is a different thing to watch videos and see someone live. I believe the physio’s input could play a key role in Hardik’s case.”

Team India’s Strength, Conditioning coach Nick Webb to step down

Nick Webb on Thursday announced on social media that he would not seek a contract extension as Team India’s strength and conditioning coach after the upcoming T20 World Cup. He has said the World Cup will be his last assignment as he now wants to spend some more time with his family.

New Delhi [India], October 7 : Taking to Instagram, Webb wrote: “For the past 2 + years I have had the privilege and honour of representing India and @indiancricketteam, We have achieved and grown a lot as a team during this time. As a team we created history, we won matches and we lost matches. But how we continually responded and adapted in the face of many challenges along with everyone’s willingness to compete every single day are things that make this team special. “In saying this, I have recently informed the BCCI that I will not be seeking an extension of my contract following the @t20worldcup. This has not been an easy decision but ultimately I must put my family first. The current COVID restrictions for New Zealand citizens wanting to enter NZ is the primary reason. While these restrictions may ease in the future, the uncertainty of this happening moving forward along with potential 5-8 month stints at a time away from my family has made it unsustainable for me past the T20 World Cup.”
Further talking about his decision, Webb said: “I am not sure what the future holds for me at the moment but I remain excited. One thing I’m certain of is that I will be doing everything I can to guide our @indiancricketteam men to the big dance at the T20 World Cup. We are #inittowinit. Thanks for all of your support, I appreciate all of you.”
The Indian selection committee led by MSK Prasad had chosen Nick Webb as Team India’s Strength and Conditioning Coach in 2019. The T20 World Cup will begin from October 17 and India will lock horns against arch-rivals Pakistan in their first match on October 24 in Dubai.

Gavaskar questions Suryakumar and Ishan’s shot selection

Mumbai Indians batsmen Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan have failed to rise to the challenge in the second leg of the 14th edition of the Indian Premier League in the UAE. Not only has their form hurt MI, but also questions have been raised on whether they deserve to be a part of India’s T20 World Cup squad for the showpiece event.

New Delhi [India], October 5 : Speaking on Star Sports show Cricket Connected, legend Sunil Gavaskar said: “I think it looks to me like, Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan have just relaxed a little bit after getting the India cap. They might not have, but some of the shots they are playing — it looks like they are trying to play these big shots just because they are India players. “Sometimes what happens is, you gotta give yourself a little bit of time, and you gotta get your shot selection right. And I think that is where they have missed this time around, where their shot selection has not been exactly correct, and that’s why they’ve got out cheaply.”
Throwing light on all-rounder Hardik Pandya not bowling in the IPL, the former India skipper said it is a big blow not just for the franchise, but also for the national team.
“Hardik Pandya, not bowling is a big blow, not just for Mumbai Indians, but for India as well, because he was taken in the team as an all-rounder. And if you are in the team, batting at No.6 or No.7, and you’re not able to bowl, then it makes it difficult for the captain. He doesn’t get the flexibility and option, that is so required for somebody batting at No.6 or 7 like an all-rounder.”
The Indian national selectors on September 8 picked the squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup to be hosted by the BCCI in UAE and Oman. In a surprise move, R Ashwin was included in the team which will begin its campaign in the showpiece event against arch-rivals Pakistan. Ashwin had last played a T20I against West Indies in July 2017. Yuzvendra Chahal missed out while MS Dhoni will be the mentor of the team.
Interestingly, RCB spinner Chahal has had a brilliant outing in UAE and has been one of the top bowlers in the second leg of the IPL.

India held all aces, they earned right to put us under pressure: Aus coach Matthew Mott

After the pink-ball Test against India ended in a draw, Australia women’s cricket team coach Matthew Mott praised Mithali Raj-led side for maintaining pressure throughout the game.

Queensland [Australia], October 4 : Australia and India settled for a draw as the time ran out on the final day in Carrara on Sunday. Both teams earned two points each meaning Australia leading the multi-format series with 6 points heading into the three T20Is, while India is on 4. “We knew India would be a great challenge for us, and we thought we’d hit happy times winning the toss and the wicket had a tinge of green. We had a very good pace attack, but we probably just missed our mark in the first hour and they got away to a really good start. From there on we just felt like we were clawing back a little bit,” ESPNcricinfo quoted Mott as saying.
“I thought India played really well. Mandhana’s innings was exceptional. But we were behind for the rest of the match and they held all the aces, they earned the right to put us under pressure. And we never really got back in the game,” he added.

Aus coach Matthew Mott


Talking about Smriti Mandhana’s 127-run knock in the first innings, Mott said: “Think our catching was a bit of an issue, obviously had upwards of eight chances in the first inning so the bowlers created the opportunities but unfortunately we weren’t good enough to capitalise so left to rue that. But I was really proud of the way we hung in there we kept our standards right the end.”
“Batting-wise, we were under the pump but we showed a bit of fight, making sure we got past that follow-on because that could have made it really interesting. Ellyse Perry again showed her skill and determination to get us over the line there… and it’s something the rest of the group could probably learn a little bit from. We don’t get exposed to that too often but I’m sure the batting group will reflect on what worked for her in this Test and why she was able to keep out more good balls. We probably played at a few we didn’t have to, but the pressure that India built up led us that way as well,” he added.
Chasing 272 runs in the final session of the final day, Australia negotiated a draw despite losing two early wickets. India held command in the majority of the Test but that wasn’t enough to force a result as rain on the first two days significantly reduced the number of overs bowled. Smriti Mandhana with her maiden Test ton was awarded the Player of the Match.

Incredible experience representing India in pink-ball Test, says Smriti Mandhana

India opening batter Smriti Mandhana on Monday said that it was an incredible experience for her to represent the country in the pink-ball Test against Australia.

Queensland [Australia], October 4 : “An incredible experience representing India in the Pink Ball Test. Brilliant performance by the entire team. Extremely proud and grateful for the love and support. What a match this has been,” tweeted Mandhana. Australia and India settled for a draw as the time ran out on the final day in Carrara on Sunday. Both teams earned two points each, meaning Australia leads the multi-format series with 6 points heading into the three T20Is, while India is on 4.
Chasing 272 runs in the final session of the final day, Australia negotiated a draw despite losing two early wickets. India held command in the majority of the Test but that wasn’t enough to force a result as rain on the first two days significantly reduced the number of overs bowled.
Smriti Mandhana with her maiden Test ton was awarded the Player of the Match.
After the Test ended in a draw, Australia women’s cricket team coach Matthew Mott praised the Mithali Raj-led side for maintaining pressure throughout the game.
“We knew India would be a great challenge for us, and we thought we’d hit happy times winning the toss and the wicket had a tinge of green. We had a very good pace attack, but we probably just missed our mark in the first hour and they got away to a really good start. From there on we just felt like we were clawing back a little bit,” ESPNcricinfo quoted Mott as saying.
“I thought India played really well. Mandhana’s innings was exceptional. But we were behind for the rest of the match and they held all the aces, they earned the right to put us under pressure. And we never really got back in the game,” he added.

IPL 2021: Will bowl soon, efforts are on, says Hardik Pandya

Ahead of the Indian Premier League (IPL) match against Delhi Capitals, Mumbai Indians all-rounder Hardik Pandya gave a positive update on his return to the bowling crease, saying he would do it soon.

Sharjah [UAE], October 2 : “Runs are important and especially when your team wins. It was important for my personal confidence but to score for the team was important. We have to assess the wicket and adapt on the given time. The plans have to be simple and win over obstacles ball-by-ball. There’s no option, but one thing is that these situations bring out the best in you. We realise it is a do-or-die game, but we are just focusing on the controllabes,” Hardik told host broadcaster Star Sports before the game against DC. Commenting on hitting the bowling crease, he said: “Aayega jaldi. Koshish poori hai (I will bowl soon. Efforts are on).”
Mumbai Indians (MI) head coach Mahela Jayawardene on Friday had said Hardik might struggle with the bat if he pushes too hard to bowl in the ongoing IPL.
Notably, ever since Hardik underwent back surgery, he has not been bowling regularly.
“Because he hasn’t bowled since Sri Lanka, I think what we are trying to do is what’s best for Hardik going forward. We are talking to Indian management, and make sure sooner he feels comfortable, we get him into his bowling programme and prepare him,” said Jayawardene in a pre-match press conference on Friday. “(If Hardik can bowl in IPL) We have to look on a daily basis and evaluate and see how he progresses.”
Delhi Capitals had last suffered a loss against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) while Mumbai Indians registered a win over Punjab Kings in their respective previous games. Rishabh Pant-led Delhi Capitals is at the second spot in the points table while Mumbai Indians is in sixth place.

On this day in 2007: Yuvraj smashed 6 sixes in an over in T20 WC

It was on this day, 14 years ago, when former India all-rounder Yuvraj Singh scripted history in the shortest format as he smashed six sixes in an over against England in the first-ever T20I World Cup in 2007.

New Delhi [India], September 19 : The flamboyant batsman amassed 6 sixes in Stuart Broad’s over and scored his fifty of just 12 balls, which is still the fastest in the T20 format. In that match between India and England, the Men in Blue had won the toss and opted to bat first. Yuvraj came out to bat when Robin Uthappa’s wicket fell and he provided the late flourish allowing India to post 218 runs on the board. India went on to win the match against England by 18 runs.
It was in the 19th over of India’s innings, when Yuvraj took Broad to the cleaners, hitting him for 6 sixes and taking India’s total over the 200-run mark.
The Men in Blue were able to win the inaugural ICC T20 World Cup in 2007 and Yuvraj was a vital player for the team in the tournament.
The 38-year-old was also phenomenal in India’s World Cup triumph in 2011 as he became the first all-rounder to score over 300 runs and scalp 15 wickets in a single World Cup.
The feat included four Man of the Match awards and Man of the Tournament for 362 runs and 15 wickets.
In 2019, Yuvraj had announced his retirement from all forms of cricket. With a career spanning over 304 ODIs, 58 T20Is, and 40 Tests, Yuvraj cemented his place as a player who could win matches for his side either through his electric fielding, fierce batting, or smart bowling.

Nod from Anil Kumble can see him return as Team India coach after T20 WC

With Ravi Shastri’s tenure as India coach ending with the upcoming T20 World Cup in UAE and Oman, talks have started in the BCCI corridor on the road ahead. And as fate would have it, former coach Anil Kumble looks like he could be back in the hot seat.

New Delhi [India], September 18 : Speaking to ANI, sources in the know of developments said while it is no secret that Kumble did a good job in his first stint, it will also depend on the former skipper agreeing to come on board a second time before such a move sees the light of the day. “While the process will once again be a transparent one, it is no secret that Kumble did a good job with the team. What led to the differences four years back doesn’t concern anyone now as everyone has moved ahead. While he would definitely be a good option, it needs to be seen whether he himself agrees to come on board a second time. So his nod would also matter. But yes, he is definitely someone who can take the team forward,” the source said.


Current head coach Shastri’s tenure is set to expire after the upcoming T20 World Cup and it is unlikely that the board will give him an extension. It is also not known whether Shastri himself wants to continue as the head coach or not.
It was the Cricket Advisory Committee — comprising of Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman — which had appointed Kumble as the coach after Shastri’s first tenure as head coach.
Kumble had coached the Indian team with succees. But in 2017, it all went downhill despite him having a good record as the coach of the Virat Kohli-led side. There were reports that players expressed their reservations about Kumble’s style of coaching and eventually, Kumble stepped down from his post and Shastri took over.
Kumble is currently involved with the Punjab Kings franchise in the Indian Premier League. Earlier this week, Virat Kohli announced that he would step down as India’s T20I skipper after the upcoming World Cup to focus more on his batting. However, he will continue to lead in ODIs and Tests.

There was no such pressure on Kohli, it’s all about workload: Madan Lal

New Delhi [India], September 17 : Former India all-rounder Madan Lal on Friday said India skipper Virat Kohli was not under pressure to step down from T20I captaincy and appreciated his decision. While speaking on Virat Kohli quitting T20I captaincy, he said: “There was no such pressure on him and I appreciate his decision. Today cricketers are playing all three formats of the game and Kohli is also captain of Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and seeing the workload he is currently at the peak of his career which is good for himself and the team.”
When asked about Sachin Tendulkar quitting the captaincy under pressure, Madan Lal said, “Kohli has not quit the captaincy as he has built a team and taken Indian team to number one Test ranking team so it’s not about quitting. It’s all about workload and there is pressure on everyone and you have to deal with that.”
Talking about ODI and Test match captaincy, Lal said there should be no changes in both formats.
Talking about Rohit Sharma leading the T20 side, he said till now Rohit has done captaincy for Mumbai Indians and has done well in other matches. “We are lucky we have another captain coming in and we are grooming them and captain also learns from grooming and Kohli has not left T20 and Rohit will benefit from the output Kohli gives him.”
Madan Lal feels at present Rohit Sharma is the right candidate for T20 captaincy and the next skipper could be KL Rahul. On Rahul being made T20 captain, Lal was against it and said Rohit is already there and there should be no overlap and it will spoil the team and Rahul can be made vice-captain.

Players were devastated when they came to know Parmar had tested positive : Sourav Ganguly

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) President Sourav Ganguly has revealed Indian players were “dead scared” when they came to know that physio Yogesh Parmar had contracted COVID-19 ahead of the fifth Test against England.

New Delhi [India], September 13 : The fifth Test match between England and India was cancelled in Manchester on Friday. The BCCI and ECB held several rounds of discussion to find a way to play the Test match, however, the outbreak of COVID-19 in the Indian team contingent forced the decision of calling off the game. “The players refused to play but you can’t blame them. Physio Yogesh Parmar was such a close contact of the players. Being the only one available after Nitin Patel isolated himself, he mixed freely with the players and even performed their Covid-19 tests,” Ganguly said in an interaction with the Kolkata-based Telegraph as reported by ESPNcricinfo.
“He also used to give them a massage, he was part of their everyday lives. The players were devastated when they came to know that he had tested positive for Covid-19.
“They feared they must have contracted the disease and were dead scared. It’s not easy staying in a bubble. Of course, you have to respect their feelings,” he added.
The BCCI has offered to ECB a rescheduling of the cancelled fifth Test match which was scheduled to be played at Manchester from Friday.
The BCCI President said the rescheduled game will be a one-off Test when India and England next lock horns in a bilateral series.
“The Old Trafford Test has been cancelled. They (ECB) have incurred a lot of losses and it’s not going to be easy on [them],” said Ganguly.
“Let things settle down a bit, then we can discuss and decide. Whenever it’s held next year, it should be a one-off match since it cannot be a continuation of the series anymore,” he added.

Virat Kohli will remain Captain

BCCI treasurer Arun Dhumal on Monday rubbished reports suggesting that Team India captain Virat Kohli is likely to step down as skipper of the limited-overs format after the ICC T20 World Cup.

BCCI treasurer Arun Dhumal on Monday rubbished reports suggesting that Team India captain Virat kohali is likely to step down as skipper of the limited-overs format after the ICC T20 World Cup.

There are reports doing the rounds that Kohli might lose his white-ball captaincy and Rohit Sharma could be asked to lead the limited-overs side if the team fails to win the ICC T20 World Cup to be held in the UAE and Oman in October-November this year.

However, Dhumal rubbished such claims. “This is all rubbish. Nothing (as) such is happening. This is all what you guys (media) are talking about. BCCI has not met or discussed anything on this issue (split captaincy),” Dhumal told “Virat will remain as the captain (of all formats).”

Earlier, it was reported that Kohli has been very successful in Test cricket, but the onus of leading the side in limited-overs cricket could fall on Sharma because of the former’s failure to guide the side to victory in ICC events despite having some of the best bowlers and batters in the game.

Sources had said the BCCI top brass has been discussing the issue since India’s loss to New Zealand in the World Test Championship final in England, where they were reportedly unhappy with the Indian skipper’s team selection. Kohli had played two spinners in seamer-friendly and overcast conditions during the WTC final.

But Dhumal said, “no such meeting took place.”

Manchester Test cancellation all about money and IPL, says Vaughan

Former England captain Michael Vaughan has said the Manchester Test between India and England was cancelled because players were petrified of catching covid and missing the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Manchester [UK], September 11 : The fifth and final Test between India and England was cancelled on Friday after the visitors’ assistant physio tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday. “Let’s be honest, this is all about money and the IPL. The Test has been cancelled because players were petrified of catching covid and missing the IPL,” Vaughan wrote in his column for The Telegraph.
“In a week or so we will be watching the IPL and the players will be running around smiling and happy. But they should have trusted the PCR tests. We know a lot about this virus now. We know how to manage and handle it better. Players are double vaccinated and biosecurity can be raised very quickly,” he added.
Vaughan also said that he finds it hard to believe that India found it tough to find 11 players for the final Test against England.
“The game of cricket needed this Test match. The series was brilliantly poised. It just does not sit comfortably that a Test match can be cancelled 90 minutes before the toss. It is completely disrespectful towards the paying public,” said Vaughan.
England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) CEO Tom Harrison said that it was frustrating to see the fifth Test between England and India being cancelled and the board tried its best to avoid this outcome.
“A huge amount has happened over the last 24 hours, and from one cricket lover to another, I want to say how sorry I am for all the inconvenience caused by the cancellation of this Test match. We were all looking forward to what promised to be the culmination of this brilliant Test Series, and I’m so disappointed at not being able to get the match played,” said ECB chief Harrison in an official statement.
“I have heard many stories today of people who planned for months or saved hard during this pandemic to have a special day out with friends and family. To not see that happen is hard to take. Today’s news will have been so frustrating, especially given the short notice. Please know that we worked through the night to find solutions and avoid this outcome,” he added.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has offered to ECB a rescheduling of the cancelled 5th Test match which was scheduled to be played at Manchester from Friday. The BCCI and ECB held several rounds of discussion to find a way to play the Test match, however, the outbreak of COVID-19 in the Indian team contingent forced the decision of calling off the game.

Fifth Test between England and India in Manchester called off

The fifth and final Test between India and England has been cancelled due to a “further increase in the number of COVID cases” inside the Indian camp.

Manchester [UK], September 10 : “Following ongoing conversations with the BCCI, the ECB can confirm that the fifth LV= Insurance Test between England and India Men due to start today at Emirates Old Trafford, will be cancelled,” ECB said in a statement. “Due to fears of a further increase in the number of COVID cases inside the camp, India are regrettably unable to field a team.
“We send our sincere apologies to fans and partners for this news, which we know will cause immense disappointment and inconvenience to many,” the statement added.
Ahead of the fifth and final Test against England, physio Yogesh Parmar tested positive for COVID-19 in Manchester. This had led to Team India’s training session for Thursday afternoon being cancelled.
However, there were no COVID-19 related worries in the England camp and Jos Buttler had said everything is fine and the hosts were looking forward to the game.
“We don’t know too much about it at the moment. It would be naive to speculate on what’s going on. At the moment we’re fully expecting the game to go ahead and we’re preparing that way so fingers crossed the game will go ahead. Things are fine in our camp and we are looking forward to the game,” said Buttler in a virtual press conference on Thursday.
This came after India head coach Ravi Shastri, bowling coach Bharat Arun and fielding coach R Sridhar returned positive results to their RT-PCR tests during the fourth Test. They are currently undergoing isolation and can come out only after returning two negative results.
On Sunday, just half an hour before the start of play on Day 4 of the fourth Test, the BCCI said its medical team had isolated Shastri, Bharat Arun, Sridhar, and physio Nitin Patel as a precautionary measure after Shastri’s lateral flow test returned positive on Saturday evening.
The remaining members of the Team India contingent had undergone two Lateral Flow Tests — one on Saturday night and another on Sunday morning. The members upon returning negative COVID reports were allowed to proceed for Day 4 of the fourth Test at The Oval against England. (

Eng vs Ind, 5th Test: No play today, says Dinesh Karthik

Just hours before the start of the opening day of the fifth Test between England and India, Kolkata Knight Riders wicket-keeper Dinesh Karthik took to social media to inform play has been called off for the opening day.

Manchester [UK], September 10 : The fate of the fifth Test between India and England hangs in balance despite all visiting players returning negative COVID-19 results. Karthik in a series of tweets also asked the “bigger question” that whether the game will happen at all.
“Looks like there won’t be any play today guys,” Karthik tweeted.
“The bigger question is, will the match happen at all ???? And what does the scoreline for the series look like if not,” he further asked in a tweet.
“NO PLAY TODAY ok Tata bye bye,” Karthik added.
Ahead of the fifth and final Test against England, physio Yogesh Parmar tested positive for COVID-19 in Manchester. This had led to Team India’s training session for Thursday afternoon being cancelled.
However, there are no COVID-19 related worries in the England camp and Jos Buttler said everything is fine and the hosts are looking forward to the game.
“We don’t know too much about it at the moment. It would be naive to speculate on what’s going on. At the moment we’re fully expecting the game to go ahead and we’re preparing that way so fingers crossed the game will go ahead. Things are fine in our camp and we are looking forward to the game,” said Buttler in a virtual press conference on Thursday.
It all started after India head coach Ravi Shastri, bowling coach Bharat Arun and fielding coach R Sridhar returned positive results to their RT-PCR tests during the fourth Test. They are currently undergoing isolation and can come out only after returning two negative results. (ANI)

BCCI receives conflict of interest complaint against Dhoni after naming him mentor for T20 WC squad

New Delhi [India], September 9 ): The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has received a complaint of conflict of interest against MS Dhoni after the Indian board appointed him mentor for the upcoming T20 World Cup on Wednesday. Former MPCA member Sanjeev Gupta has written to the BCCI Apex Council levelling conflict of interest allegations against Dhoni.
Speaking to ANI, a BCCI official confirmed the development and said there was no logic behind the complaint as the team had already been selected and Dhoni will only be guiding the players. Moreover, the T20 World Cup is happening after the IPL and one isn’t even sure if Dhoni will play for Chennai Super Kings next season. “It is well known now that these frivolous complaints have become a tool for proxy attacks ever since the new rules and regulations came into force. The World Cup is happening post the IPL. At that point all players would be free agents since there would be a reshuffle of players with a big auction coming up with the entry of the new teams. One isn’t even sure if MS would continue at the CSK then.
“Moreover, the team has been selected, a mentor has no say in selection and is only going to be guiding the players in the squad. Essentially he is a senior player who isn’t actually playing. Going by the perverse logic of the frivolous complaint, the Indian captain Virat Kohli should not even participate in the IPL no?” the official enquired.
Another BCCI official said it was reaching a stage where no former Indian cricketer would be able to serve the country. “Let me assure you, if this is allowed to continue, this will prove to be the last nail in the coffin of Indian cricket,” the official said.
BCCI President Sourav Ganguly had thanked former skipper Dhoni for accepting the role of mentoring the Indian team for the upcoming T20 World Cup in UAE and Oman. “MS Dhoni’s addition to the side is a way to use his experience for the T20 World Cup. I also thank Dhoni for accepting BCCI’s offer to help the team for this tournament,” Ganguly told BCCI.TV.
BCCI Secretary Jay Shah on Wednesday said he spoke with former skipper Dhoni on being the mentor for the upcoming T20 World Cup and the current team management is on the same page about the decision. “As far as MS Dhoni is concerned, I spoke to him when I was in Dubai so he was okay with the decision and he agreed to be the team mentor for T20 World Cup only. I discussed this particular issue with my colleagues also, they are all on the same page,” Shah said during the virtual press conference.
“I spoke to captain and vice-captain as well as head coach Ravi Shastri, they all are on the same page so that is why we reached a conclusion,” he added.

Eng vs Ind, 5th Test: Kohli and boys eye history as focus remains on Rahane’s selection

Manchester [UK], September 9 : Having registered an emphatic 157-run win in the fourth Test against England, Virat Kohli and boys would now have their eyes firmly set on winning the final Test at Manchester to complete a comprehensive 3-1 series win over the Three Lions.
Heading into the final Test, it is safe to say that the visitors are firm favourites and England is left to do with all the heavy lifting in terms of picking the best possible 11. India’s batting which has been under fire throughout the series, showed signs of revival in the second innings of the Oval Test and everyone chipped in with handy contributions except vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane. So on the eve of the Test, it is debatable whether the team management will take the call of dropping the vice-captain for such a crucial game. It is not like this has not happened in the past as Rahane was dropped in 2018 for the first and second Test against South Africa. However, batting coach Vikram Rathour had suggested that team management is not concerned with Rahane’s form as of yet.
If Rahane is indeed dropped, the most likely person to take his place is Suryakumar Yadav. However, the right-handed batsman has not played a Test yet so it needs to be seen whether team management wants to go with Suryakumar in place of Rahane for such a crucial match. Hanuma Vihari too is a possible replacement.
The bowling department has been on fire for the visitors and the Oval Test showed that even if the conditions are not assisting much, Indian seamers can rattle the opposition with reverse swing. However, Jasprit Bumrah has played all four Tests so far and looking at the hectic schedule ahead (IPL, T20 World Cup), one needs to look at whether he can be rested for the final Test to give him some respite and cooling off period.
Mohammed Shami was rested for the fourth Test so if Bumrah is indeed rested for the final match, then Shami is the most likely to take his place. Ravichandran Ashwin has not played a single Test this series and now it looks highly unlikely that he would get a chance at Manchester, looking at how Ravindra Jadeja bowled in the second innings of the Oval Test.
Talking about hosts England, Jos Buttler will be donning the wicketkeeping-gloves, and hence only one of Ollie Pope and Jonny Bairstow will feature in the playing XI. England also has a headache of whether to play both James Anderson and Ollie Robinson looking at their workload.
Mark Wood is fit for the fifth and final Test, and hence it needs to be seen whether England want to go for someone who can rattle the opposition through pace and bounce.

Eng vs Ind: Visitors know how to fight back, all credit to them, says Silverwood

London [UK], September 7 : England head coach Chris Silverwood has said that credit needs to be given to Virat Kohli-led Team India as they know how to fight back from difficult situations.
Silverwood’s remarks came after India registered a 157-run win over England in the fourth Test at the Kennington Oval to gain a 2-1 lead in the ongoing five-match series. India was bowled out for 191 in the first innings, but still, the visitors managed to register a thrilling win. “If we’re being truthful, I would like to have gone further past them at that point, that’s going to be the opportunity to really put pressure on the Indians. We failed to do that so it’s something we’ll reflect on in the dressing room and talk about amongst ourselves,” Silverwood told Sky Sports, as reported by ESPNcricinfo.
“It would have been great to go maybe 190 past them and really pile the pressure on, but again credit to the Indians, they know how to fight back,” he added.
Indian bowlers delivered big time on the last day of the fourth Test on Monday as the genius of mercurial Jasprit Bumrah, and all-round performance by Shardul Thakur in the match helped visitors defeat England. This is also India’s first win in Oval in 50 years.
With the conditions good enough for batting, England openers got the hosts off to a decent start, with both scoring fifties, however, Shardul came into the attack and got rid of Burns in his first over of day 5.
Shardul, who was part of the Indian quartet in scoring more than 50 runs in the second innings, also dazzled with the ball as he sent back Joe Root to the pavilion later.
Hosts were still in the game until just after lunch on Day 5 when Jasprit Bumrah produced a glorious spell to give India a real shot at victory.

COVID-19 : Ravi Shastri, Bharat Arun and Sridhar return positive RT-PCR test results

New Delhi [India], September 6 : India head coach Ravi Shastri, bowling coach Bharat Arun and fielding coach R Sridhar have all returned positive results to their RT-PCR tests for COVID-19. They will all undergo isolation and can come out only after returning two negative results. They will miss the Manchester Test which is set to be played from September 10 to 14.
Speaking to ANI, sources in the know of developments confirmed that the trio has returned positive results to their RT-PCR tests. “Unfortunately, their RT-PCR test results are positive and they will all need to undergo isolation and can come out only after returning two negative results,” the source said. Just half an hour before the start of play on Day 4, the BCCI said its medical team had isolated Shastri, Bharat Arun, Sridhar, and physio Nitin Patel as a precautionary measure after Shastri’s lateral flow test returned positive on Saturday evening.
The remaining members of the Team India contingent underwent two Lateral Flow Tests — one on Saturday night and another on Sunday morning. The members upon returning negative COVID reports were allowed to proceed for Day 4 of the ongoing fourth Test at The Oval against England.
“Of course, we are missing Ravi bhai massively. Ravi bhai, Bharat Arun, and R Sridhar have been an extremely important part of this setup, they have done well in the past five-six years and they have played a major role in the team doing well. This is what it is, they are not here. In the morning, it was a bit of a distraction, we had a word and we decided we need to focus on the cricket. We are here for this series, and I think the boys did well to not get distracted. There was a potential we could have been distracted, the credit needs to go to the boys for the way they handled themselves,” said Rathour during a virtual press conference on Sunday.
“Ravi bhai felt ill on Saturday night around 8 PM. He was having a little bit of discomfort yesterday, the medical team decided to go for a lateral flow test and it came out positive and that is when we all found that he is positive. The close contacts were identified and isolated so we will wait for the medical team to tell us when they can join back,” he added.

ENG vs IND: We are the team that everyone wants to beat, says Virat Kohli

India captain Virat Kohli says his relationship with head coach Ravi Shastri is based on mutual respect and trust, something that has helped them make this team the one that everyone wants to beat.

London, England, September 2 : India captain Virat Kohali says his relationship with head coach Ravi Shastri is based on mutual respect and trust, something that has helped them make this team the one that “everyone wants to beat”.

On the eve of the fourth Test against England at the Oval on Thursday, Kohli was joined by his teammates at the Taj hotel here for the launch ceremony of a new exclusive members’ club ‘The Chambers’.

“Our working relationship, and off the field as well, has been built on mutual respect and trust, on a vision that has been shared, which has been focussed in one direction which is to take Indian cricket higher and in a better place than we found it,” said Kohli. “That was always our aim and I think, along with the brilliance of the whole team, the talent that we have been blessed with, we have been able to achieve that.

“We stand as the team that everyone wants to beat anywhere we play in the world and that for us is a matter of immense pride.”

The event was marked with a special ‘Rendezvous Series’ around the UK launch of Shastri’s debut as an author with ‘Stargazing: The Players In My Life’.

“It’s his first book and I hope he writes a few more because he has a lot more to share,” said Kohli.

During an interaction around his new book, Shastri was asked about the ongoing series, which stands at 1-1 right now, and he promised things are set to get “spicier” in the last two games.

“When you have a captain on the same page, it becomes pretty easy and most of my boys are on a similar page,” said Shastri. “The idea was to take the game forward and play to win. We’re not here to fill in the numbers, we’re here to play cricket that is positive and play to win.

“It’s been one spicy series, that’s the way it should be, and I just think it’ll be spicier over the next couple of weeks,” he said.

Eng vs Ind, 4th Test: Spotlight on Ashwin as visitors look to regain momentum

London [UK], September 1 : With the five-match Test series between India and England poised perfectly at 1-1, the focus heading into the fourth game remains on whether ace spinner Ravichandran Ashwin will finally be given a chance in the playing XI or not.
The fourth Test will be played at the Oval, and traditionally the ground has offered assistance to the spinners so if the management wants to unleash the off-spinner, this would be the perfect opportunity. Few eyes rolled when Ashwin was not given a chance in the Headingley Test after being excluded in the first two Tests, but now it could be hard to explain the premier off-spinner’s exclusion if he once again fails to make the cut.
Moving forward, if Ashwin does get the go-ahead, it would be interesting to see who goes out of the line-up. Ishant Sharma clearly looked out of sorts in the third Test as he was running in gingerly but skipper Virat Kohli suggested that there was no injury issue with the veteran pacer.
All-rounder Ravindra Jadeja had also undergone scans on his knee at the end of the third Test against England. It was seen more as a precautionary check after he hurt his knee while fielding in the match. It is not known whether the all-rounder will play at the Oval, and if not, Shardul can make a comeback into the lineup.
It is unlikely that the management would go in with extra batsmen as skipper Kohli has already said that he does not believe in the concept of playing an extra batsman. Coming to the batting, KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma have looked like the two best batsmen in the lineup and the real issue has been the middle-order.
Cheteshwar Pujara might have scored 91 in the second innings of the Headingley Test, but he needs to be consistent and hit a purple patch. The same can be said about skipper Kohli, who has gone 51 innings without a ton in international cricket. James Anderson and Ollie Robinson have had the better of the Indian skipper outside off and it needs to be seen whether Kohli looks to leave anything outside the off-stump just like Sachin Tendulkar had refused to play the cover drive back in Sydney against Australia in 2003.
Ajinkya Rahane is under the spotlight and he needs to score runs consistently. Being a vice-captain, the inconsistency is there for everyone to see, and being a senior pro, the right-handed batsman needs to rise to the occasion. Rishabh Pant has also not stayed true to his talent as he has looked to just attack in every situation. The left-hander needs to realise his potential and play according to the situation.
Coming to hosts, Joe Root has already amassed more than 500 runs in the series and if he continues to pile on the runs, India would definitely be left on the back foot. Good signs for England were that openers Haseeb Hameed and Rory Burns also got 50+ scores in the Headingley Test.
England would be without Jos Buttler in the fourth Test and Jonny Bairstow would don the wicketkeeping gloves. James Anderson is already turning back time to display a vintage style of bowling and it is safe to say, the next match of the five-Test series lies on a knife’s edge.
Squads: England: Joe Root (capt), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jonathan Bairstow, Sam Billings, Rory Burns, Sam Curran, Haseeb Hameed, Dan Lawrence, Dawid Malan, Craig Overton, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.
India: Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Jasprit Bumrah, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, Axar Patel, Wriddhiman Saha, Umesh Yadav, Hanuma Vihari, Abhimanyu Easwaran. 

Start of India women’s tour of Australia delayed by two days, all matches to be staged in Queensland

India women’s upcoming tour of Australia will now be staged in Queensland and the opening match of the series is set to be delayed by two days — from September 19 to 21.

New Delhi [India], August 29 : The upcoming tour of Australia will comprise three ODIs, one day-night Test match, and three T20Is. According to a report in ESPNcricinfo, the opening ODI was originally slated for Sydney Oval but will now be played in Mackay due to the COVID-19 enforced restrictions.
As per the report, the lockdowns around Australia have resulted in the change of schedules and everything is pending for the final green light from the Queensland state government upon India women’s team arrival.
The women’s team will depart for Australia from Bengaluru on Sunday and then the entire squad will spend two weeks under mandatory quarantine.
Talking about the team’s preparation for the Test, head coach Ramesh Powar on Saturday said: “I think we need to understand we are going to play ODIs first. World Cup [in February-March next year] is a very important tournament for us and we’re focusing on that. If you see only the one-off Test, we can’t go in with a mindset of preparing for that.”
“I think it is about taking the one-day confidence into Test. In the last series, the way we came back, without our stars getting their rhythm, I’m confident that we don’t have to prepare separately for the pink-ball Test. We back our players in the format, and they are good enough to react to the situation,” he added.
Earlier on Tuesday, the All-India Senior Women’s Selection Committee picked the squads for India Women’s upcoming tour. Sneh Rana who gave spirited performances against England in the multi-format series earlier this year has found a place in all three squads.

Run-machine Kohli goes past 50 innings without registering ton in international cricket

Virat Kohli might be seen as one of the best batsmen to ever grace the game, but the India skipper has now gone past 50 innings in international cricket without scoring a hundred.

Headingley [UK], August 25 : Kohli’s last hundred came way back in 2019 during the day-night Test against Bangladesh and ever since then, he has not gone past the three-figure mark across all formats. In the ongoing Headingley Test against England, on the final delivery of the 11th over, Kohli went for a checked cover-drive, but he only managed to get a thick outside edge and Buttler held on to a simple catch.
So far in the series against England, Kohli has batted in four innings, managing to score just 69 runs with his best score coming in the first innings of the Lord’s Test wherein he registered 42 runs.
Kohli’s dismissals in the ongoing series have become a huge reason to worry as he is being dismissed in the same manner, knicking the ball outside off and handing catches to either the wicketkeeper or slip-cordon.
England pacers James Anderson, Ollie Robinson, Sam Curran, and Craig Overton hunted in a pack as India was bundled out for 78 in the first innings in the second session of the opening day of the ongoing third Test here at Headingley, Leeds on Wednesday. Anderson and Overton scalped three wickets each while Ollie Robinson and Sam Curran took two wickets each.
Resuming at 56/4 after lunch, India once again got off to a bad start as Rishabh Pant (2) failed to get going and he was sent back to the pavilion by Ollie Robinson. This brought Ravindra Jadeja to the middle. The short ball once again led to the downfall of Rohit Sharma (19) and India were left staring down the barrel at 67/6.
Mohammed Shami (0), Ravindra Jadeja (4), Jasprit Bumrah (0), and Mohammed Siraj (3) failed to get going and India was bundled out for 78 inside 41 overs.
Earlier, James Anderson had made the ball talk as he dismissed KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli in the first session of the opening day. Ollie Robinson also struck in the opening session as he removed Ajinkya Rahane (18) on the cusp of lunch break and the visitors were left reeling. At lunch interval, India’s score was 56/4 with Rohit (15*) unbeaten at the crease.

3rd Test | James Anderson and Co demolish India for 78, England 120 for no loss

Anderson (8-5-6-3) then did what he does best — messed with the minds of the top-order batsmen in a sharp eight-over morning spell getting three wickets and then passing on the baton to the younger lot which didn’t disappoint him.

After bundling out India for 78, openers Rory Burns and Haseeb Hameed ensured that England took the honours on the opening day of the ongoing third Test here at Headingley, Leeds on Wednesday.
At stumps, England’s score reads 120/0 and the hosts have extended their lead to 42 runs. For the Three Lions, Burns (52*) and Hameed (58*) are currently unbeaten at the crease. After bundling out India for 78, England openers Rory Burns and Haseeb Hameed ensured that their side gets off to a solid start. The duo saw out the first 20 overs and managed to score 48 runs.
Both the batsmen managed to see off the final session and England concluded the opening day with all ten wickets intact, extending the lead to 36.
Earlier, England pacers James Anderson, Ollie Robinson, Sam Curran, and Craig Overton hunted in a pack as India was bundled out for 78 in the first innings. Anderson and Overton scalped three wickets each while Ollie Robinson and Sam Curran took two wickets each.
Resuming at 56/4 after lunch, India once again got off to a bad start as Rishabh Pant (2) failed to get going and he was sent back to the pavilion by Ollie Robinson. This brought Ravindra Jadeja to the middle. The short ball once again led to the downfall of Rohit Sharma (19) and India were left staring down the barrel at 67/6. Mohammed Shami (0), Ravindra Jadeja (4), Jasprit Bumrah (0), and Mohammed Siraj (3) failed to get going and India was bundled out for 78 inside 41 overs.
Earlier, James Anderson had made the ball talk as he dismissed KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli in the first session of the opening day. Ollie Robinson also struck in the opening session as he removed Ajinkya Rahane (18) on the cusp of lunch break and the visitors were left reeling. At lunch interval, India’s score was 56/4 with Rohit (15*) unbeaten at the crease.
Virat Kohli-led India had won the toss and opted to bat first against England in the third Test. India named an unchanged line-up. On the other hand, England made two changes, as the hosts brought in Dawid Malan and Craig Overton in place of Dom Sibley and Mark Wood.
Brief Scores: India 78 all out (Rohit Sharma 19, Ajinkya Rahane 18, James Anderson 3-6); England 120/0 (Haseeb Hameed 58*, Rory Burns 52*, Jasprit Bumrah 0-19).

Eng vs Ind: Mark Wood ruled out of 3rd Test

Headingley [UK], August 23 : The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Monday confirmed that pacer Mark Wood has been ruled out of the upcoming third Test against India.
“Wood has been ruled out with a jarred right shoulder,” the ECB said in an official statement. Wood sustained the injury on the fourth day of the second Test at Lord’s and will not be fit to play at Emerald Headingley starting on Wednesday.
He will remain with the squad in Leeds and will continue his rehab with the England medical team.
The 31-year-old will be assessed at the end of this Test match.
The first Test had ended in a draw but India staged an incredible comeback to take the second game. India and England provided an intense spectacle on day five of the second Test as players from both sides engaged in verbals and in the end, it was Kohli’s team that emerged triumphant in an engaging match.
After the win in the third Test, India opening batsman KL Rahul said that if the opposition chooses to engage in verbals with his side, then they very well know how to give it back.
Last week, England men’s head coach Chris Silverwood named a 15-player squad for the third Test. Yorkshire batsman Dawid Malan returned to the Test squad for the first time in three years.
Lancashire seamer Saqib Mahmood has also been included. He has yet to make his Test debut but will be aiming to add to his England credentials, having already been capped by the senior side in ODIs and IT20s.

Eng vs Ind : Visitors sweat in out at Headingley ahead of the third Test

Leeds [UK], August 23 : Virat Kohli-led Indian side has begun training for the upcoming third Test against England here at Headingley Stadium.
The visitors arrived here on Sunday for the third Test. The third Test between the two sides will get underway from Wednesday. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Sunday shared pictures from Team India’s training sessions.
“Turning the heat on at Headingley,” BCCI tweeted.


The first Test had ended in a draw but India staged an incredible comeback to take the second game.
India and England provided an intense spectacle on day five of the second Test as players from both sides engaged in verbals and in the end, it was Kohli’s team who emerged triumphant in an engaging match.
After the win in the third Test, India opening batsman KL Rahul said that if the opposition chooses to engage in verbals with his side, then they very well know how to give it back.
Last week, England men’s head coach Chris Silverwood has named a 15-player squad for the third Test.
Yorkshire batsman Dawid Malan returned to the Test squad for the first time in three years. Lancashire seamer Saqib Mahmood has also been included.
He has yet to make his Test debut but will be aiming to add to his England credentials, having already been capped by the senior side in ODIs and IT20s.

ENG vs IND: Kohli is right man at the right time to lead India, says Nasser Hussain

Former England captain Nasser Hussain said that Indian skipper Virat Kohali is the right man at the right time to lead a formidable Indian team. He also said that Kohli represents the idea of a modern-day India which wont be pushed around.

London , England, August 23 : “Virat Kohli is the right man at the right time to lead this formidable India side. His players, in particular the bowlers, want an aggressive captain. They want Kohli stirring things up, as he did so effectively in that brilliant second Test at Lord’s,” wrote Hussain in his column for Daily Mail.”What Kohli in particular represents is modern-day India, the one that won’t be pushed around. Even though umpires might like to remind him occasionally that he doesn’t run the game. This India are not a side who will be bullied, as perhaps previous generations have been. They wouldn’t allow themselves to be bullied by Aussie players or crowds – when Tim Paine said ‘Wait until we get you to the Gabba’, it just spurred them on,” added Hussain.

He believes that Kohli is setting the tone with his aggression for India to win the Test series. India haven’t won a Test series in England since winning 1-0 under Rahul Dravid’s captaincy in 2007.

“Jasprit Bumrah has always seemed to me a quiet and reserved character off the field, but look at the way he attacked and went after Jimmy Anderson on that third evening. We saw India winning that way in Australia when Kohli went home to be at the birth of his first child after the first Test. They won then with Ajinkya Rahen in charge but it was Kohli who set the tone for that famous series victory and he’s doing it again now.”

Hussain reflected on how Kohli’s aggression works. “Kohli’s aggression is aimed at winding up the opposition and he gets under the skin of every team he plays against. I’m sure most don’t particularly like playing against him and English supporters won’t particularly like him but he won’t care a jot about that.”

India is leading the five-match Test series against England 1-0. The third Test between the two teams begins at Headingley, Leeds on Wednesday.

Eng vs Ind: Ashwin reveals he was in contention to play Lord’s Test

London [UK], August 20 : Seasoned off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has revealed he was in contention to play in the second Test between India and England at the Lord’s Cricket Ground till a sudden spell of rain before the toss changed the team composition.
Having missed the opening Test, many anticipated that Ashwin might get a chance in the second game after Shardul Thakur was ruled out due to injury. “The funny thing was, before the match, they were like, ‘There’s a heatwave. You please be ready mate. You might play.’ Upon coming to breakfast in the morning, rains started lashing out,” said Ashwin in his YouTube show, ‘Kutti Story’.
“I asked, ‘Won’t you tell about heatwave after it came? Why gave me hope only for it to end in disappointment,” he added in a jovial manner.
The first Test had ended in a draw but India staged an incredible comeback to take the second game.
The third Test between the two sides will get underway from August 25. The England Test squad will report to its Leeds base on Sunday. England men’s head coach Chris Silverwood has named a 15-player squad for the third Test.
Yorkshire batsman Dawid Malan returned to the Test squad for the first time in three years. Lancashire seamer Saqib Mahmood has also been included. He has yet to make his Test debut but will be aiming to add to his England credentials, having already been capped by the senior side in ODIs and IT20s.

ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021: India to open campaign against Pakistan

fixtures revealed, India, part of Group 2 in Super 12, will open their campaign against Pakistan on October 24

New, Delhi, India, August 17 : The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Tuesday announced the fixtures for the Men’s T20 World Cup 2021, which will get underway in UAE and Oman from 17 October. The final will be played in Dubai on November 14.

The groups for the World T20 were already announced earlier. Eight teams will vie for a spot in the Super 12. Ireland, Netherlands and Namibia, and Sri Lanka will form Group A while Group B consists of Oman, PNG, Scotland, and Bangladesh. The top two teams from each group will move to the next round. 

The Super 12 again comprises of two groups. West Indies, England, Australia, and South Africa will form Group 1 while Group 2 comprises India and Pakistan, New Zealand and Afghanistan. 

The tournament will begin with a Round 1 Group B match between hosts Oman and Papua New Guinea on October 17 and will be followed by Scotland and Bangladesh, another Group B tie. Group A ties will begin in Abu Dhabi the next day. 

The second round of the tournament – the Super 12 stage – will get underway in Abu Dhabi from October 23 onwards with Australia opening their campaign against South Africa as part of a Group 1 tie. which will be followed by an evening clash between England and West Indies in Dubai. 

Ashes rivals England and Australia will battle it out in their group-stage tie on October 30 with the Group 1 tie ending on November 6 with matches between Australia and West Indies in Abu Dhabi, and England and South Africa in Sharjah.

Group 2 will begin with the high-octane clash between India and Pakistan in Dubai on 24 October. Pakistan will then take on New Zealand in Sharjah on October 26. Afghanistan will begin their journey against the winner of Group B from the opening round on October 25. Group 2 ties will end with India taking on the second-placed side from Group A. 

The semifinal matches will take place in Abu Dhabi on November 10 and in Dubai on November 11, with both having reserve days. 

The final will take place in Dubai on November 14 with with the following day acting as the reserve day for the summit clash.

Eng vs Ind: To win at Lord’s is something very special, says Shastri

London [UK], August 17 : India head coach Ravi Shastri on Tuesday said that winning a match at Lord’s Cricket Ground is very special.
Shastri’s comments came as Virat Kohli-led India registered a famous 151-run over England in the second Test of the five-match series on Monday. “To win at @HomeOfCricket as a player and coach is something very special. Thanks a ton guys for making it happen. Enjoy the moment #TeamIndia,” tweeted Shastri.
Talking about the win, India opener Rohit Sharma tweeted: “Every single one of us wanted this win, you could see it, you could feel it and watching it play out was incredible.”


At the start of Day 5, England looked like the favourites to win the match. But Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami showed class with the bat, and then an epic bowling performance sealed the deal for the visitors.
England battled hard, but their top order failures led to their downfall with the team being steamrolled for just 120 in the second innings, handing visitors a win by 151 runs.

Eng vs Ind: To not being able to see off Day 5 very frustrating, says Root after Lord’s defeat

London [UK], August 17 : England Test skipper Joe Root has admitted that not being able to see off the final day of the Lord’s Test against India was very frustrating.
England collapsed on the final day of the second Test to hand India a memorable 151-run win and with this, the visitors have gained a 1-0 lead in the five-match series. “Unfortunately we couldn’t quite manage to see out today which is very frustrating. But there’s still a lot of cricket to be played in the series. We went from a very strong position where we looked like we would win the game to losing. More than anything, just got a few things wrong. That partnership, they did pretty well,” said Root during the post-match presentation.
“But lots of things I’d do differently if given an opportunity. His attitude (Wood), the way he goes about things.. Mo’s come back well. There are things we can take from this game. We’re used to playing five-match series. Important not to panic and stay calm. So good to have the crowds back to sporting arenas in general,” he added.
At the start of Day 5, England looked like the favourites to win the match. But Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami showed class with the bat, and then an epic bowling performance sealed the deal for the visitors.
England battled hard, but their top order failures led to their downfall with the team being steamrolled for just 120 in the second innings, handing visitors a win by 151 runs.

Eng vs Ind, 2nd Test: Rahul, Rohit and Virat fall as hosts gain upper hand (Lunch, Day 4)

London [UK], August 15 : England pacer Mark Wood dismissed India opening batters Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul while Sam Curran sent Virat Kohli back to the pavilion as the visitors were put on the back foot in the opening session of Day 4 of the ongoing second Test here at the Lord’s Cricket Ground on Sunday.
At lunch break on Day 4, India’s score read 56/3 with Cheteshwar Pujara (3*) and Ajinkya Rahane (1*) currently unbeaten at the crease. The visitors have extended their lead to 29 runs. Indian openers KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma put on 18 runs for the first wicket, but the partnership was finally broken in the 10th over as Mark Wood sent Rahul (5) back to the pavilion. Rohit Sharma (21) might have dispatched Mark Wood for a six while playing a pull shot, but the same led to his dismissal in the very same over and India was reduced to 27/2.
Kohli and Pujara got together at the crease and the duo kept moving the scoreboard slowly and steadily. Both batsmen put on 28 runs for the third wicket, but the stand came to an end in the 24th over as Sam Curran sent Kohli (20) back to the pavilion. In the end, Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane ensured India does not lose more wickets.
Earlier, Mohammed Siraj led India’s charge to bundle out England for 391 in the first innings of the second Test. Skipper Joe Root was left stranded on 180* as James Anderson was dismissed on the final ball of day three.
Brief Scores: India 364 and 56/3 (Rohit Sharma 21, Virat Kohli 20, Mark Wood 2-16); England 391.

75th Independence Day: Team India hoist flag ahead of Day 4 of Lord’s Test

London [UK], August 15 : Before the start of Day 4 of the ongoing Lord’s Test against England, Team India hoisted the tri-colour as the country celebrates its 75th Independence Day.
The official Twitter handle of BCCI shared a photo in which Kohli and Co can be seen hoisting the national flag and then singing the national anthem. “On the occasion of India’s Independence Day, #TeamIndia members came together to hoist the flag,” tweeted BCCI.
Mohammed Siraj led India’s charge to bundle out England for 391 in the first innings of the second Test. Skipper Joe Root was left stranded on 180* as James Anderson was dismissed on the final ball of day three.
England lead by 27 runs and when India takes on the field on Sunday, the visitors will look to score as many runs as possible in the second innings.
Earlier, on the occasion of 75th Independence Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi hoisted the National Flag and delivered the customary Address to the nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort in New Delhi.
The Prime Minister had launched ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ from Sabarmati Ashrama, Ahmedabad in Gujarat in March 2021 to celebrate 75 years of India’s Independence. The celebrations will continue till August 15, 2023.

Eng vs Ind: Pujara, Rahane can make a comeback, they are playing in tough conditions, says Rahul

London [UK], August 14 : India opening batsman KL Rahul has come out in support of Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane who are going through a lean patch in the ongoing Test series against England.
While Pujara scored 9 runs, Rahane got out after scoring one in the first innings of the second Test against England. “Pujara and Ajinkya are fabulous players and have done the job for India many times we were in trouble. They are world-class and I’m sure they are hungry to go out and score some runs,” Rahul said in a virtual press conference after the end of the second day’s play.
“They are experienced players so they know how to come out of a couple of innings they haven’t scored runs,” said Rahul.
“You have also to realise they are playing in tough conditions. In English conditions batting is always going to be challenging, you are going to get good balls. You can’t go out there and score runs in every innings, but if you get a start you make it count,” he added.
Rahul hit a classy ton on Thursday but England pacer Ollie Robinson removed the Indian opener on the second ball of the second day on Friday.
Rahul on Thursday received a rousing welcome when he walked back to the dressing room at the Lord’s Cricket Ground after scoring a brilliant century on the opening day.
“Every time to walk out to pitch playing for your country you want to do well and give the team a good start opening the batting,” said Rahul.
“It was special once I step out of the ground and like you said once you see your name on your honours board, you feel a sense of achievement, feel a sense of pride,” he further said.
“Every Test 100 is very very special, especially after coming back to Test squad. If at Lord’s it becomes a lot more special,” he added.
Talking about playing in the longest format of the game, Rahul said, “Challenges are there in every format and we as players know what are the challenges and what we need to do to deal with them. But sometimes you perform, sometimes not because when you go in the middle the pressure is slightly different. The situation of the game is slightly different.”
“Yes, one-day cricket is different because after 2 or 3 overs the ball stops swinging, even in green top it will swing for 5-10 overs but it’s completely different in Test cricket,” he said.
“It’s all about being disciplined and waiting for the loose balls and just trying to be as patient as you can and keep discipline in shot selection,” he added.
England skipper Joe Root is batting steadily on 48* as hosts went to stumps at 119/3.
Earlier in the day, India were bowled out for 364 after the visitors scored 88 runs and lost seven wickets on Friday.

Eng vs Ind: You have not played Ashwin and this pitch is getting slower, says Aakash Chopra

New Delhi [India], August 14 : Former India batsman Aakash Chopra feels veteran off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin’s absence in the second Test against England will hurt the the visitors as the pitch at the Lord’s Cricket Ground is slowing down.
Ashwin wasn’t included in the squad for the second Test after missing the opening game of the series. Moreover, England didn’t allow the Indian tail to wag as the visitors folded up for 364 in the first innings. The former cricketer reckons since the wicket is getting slower, Ashwin would have been a key for India on the final two days of the second Test.
“Let’s be fair, let’s be honest, the tail was too long. Shami, Siraj, Bumrah, Ishant — I mean you don’t expect a lot of runs. So it has come back to bite you because none of the four fast bowlers you played bat,” said Aakash on his YouTube channel.
“You have not played Ravichandran Ashwin and this pitch is getting slower. The edges are also not carrying and that’s another thing that is going to be a regular feature of this Test match that the pitch is getting slower and slightly lower. You need spin on the fourth and fifth day, it is almost certain,” he added.
Meanwhile, opening batsman KL Rahul has come out in support of Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane who are going through a lean patch in the ongoing Test series.
While Pujara scored 9 runs, Rahane got out after scoring one in the first innings of the second Test against England. “Pujara and Ajinkya are fabulous players and have done the job for India many times when we were in trouble. They are world-class and I’m sure they are hungry to go out and score some runs,” Rahul said in a virtual press conference after the end of the second day’s play.
“They are experienced players so they know how to come out of a couple of innings they haven’t scored runs. You also have to realise they are playing in tough conditions. In English conditions batting is always going to be challenging, you are going to get good balls. You can’t go out there and score runs in every innings, but if you get a start you make it count,” he added.

Eng vs Ind, 2nd Test: Siraj delivers, as England score reads 119/3 on Day 2

London [UK], August 13 : Joe Root unbeaten 48 and Roy Burns gutsy 49-knock helped England to claw their way back against India on the second day of the 2nd Test here at Lord’s Cricket Ground on Friday.
At stumps, England’s score read 119/3 as they trail by 245 runs with Joe Root(48*) and Jonny Bairstow(6*) currently unbeaten at the crease after 45 overs. Resuming the final session, Mohammed Siraj provided a dream start for the Indian team in his first over after Tea as he took two successive wickets of Dom Sibley and Haseeb Hameed. In a replay of his Trent Bridge dismissal, Sibley flicked a length ball on the pads in the air to the waiting short midwicket. Then, on the next delivery which was full and straight from Siraj, the England number three – Haseeb – simply missed as the ball clattered into his stumps for the golden duck.
England captain Joe Root then took matters into his hands and with opener Burns, he started rebuilding for the hosts. Root then soon went past Graham Gooch’s 8,900 runs as the 2nd highest run-scorer for England in Tests just behind legendary Alastair Cook.
Indian pacers bowled a tight line and length, but Burns and Root were up to the task as England went past the 100 run mark after 38th over of their innings.
In the additional last half hour of the play in the day, it was Mohammad Shami who speared one into the pads of Burns from around the wicket to give India a crucial breakthrough in the game. England opener walked to the pavilion for 49 off 136. Bairstow and Root then made sure to walk England into day three without losing any further wickets.
At Tea, England’s score read 23/0 after 14 overs with Rory Burns(11*) and Dom Sibley(11*) unbeaten on the crease. The second session witnessed the English bowlers wrapping up the wagging Indian tail in a quick manner for the score of 364 as India lost eight wickets for just 97 runs.
Brief Scores: England 119/3 (Rory Burns 49, Joe Root 48*; Mohammed Siraj 2-34, Mohammed Shami 1-22); India 364 (KL Rahul 129, Rohit Sharma 83; James Anderson 5-62) vs England.

Eng vs Ind, 2nd Test: Root puts visitors into bat, Ishant replaces injured Shardul

London [UK], August 12 : Joe Root-led England won the toss and opted to bowl against India in the second Test of the five-match series here at the Lord’s Cricket Ground on Thursday.
Having won the toss, England captain Joe Root said: “Going to bowl. Obviously a tinge of green but it’s more the overhead conditions. Got three changes: Hameed for Crawley, Wood for Broad, Ali for Lawrence. Do think it will spin at some point, it generally does here. Ali an experienced campaigner, offers us runs and wickets. Anderson went through all of the hurdles you have to jump when you think there could be something wrong. No issues there.” India skipper Virat Kohli said: “Same, we would’ve bowled first as well. But not too bad batting first as well, good opportunity to put a score. Ishant replaces Shardul, that’s the only change.”
India made one change to the line-up as the side brought in Ishant Sharma in place of the injured Shardul Thakur. On the other hand, England made three changes, and the hosts brought in Haseeb Hameed, Moeen Ali and Mark Wood in place of Zak Crawley, Dan Lawrence, and Stuart Broad.
On Wednesday, England pacer Stuart Broad was ruled out of the Test series against India after sustaining a tear to his right calf.
The first Test between India and England ended in a draw after rain played spoilsport on the final day of the Test. The visitors looked set for victory, needing 157 runs to win on the final day, with nine wickets in hand, but the weather gods had something else in mind.
India playing XI: Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant, Ishant Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Siraj, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah.
England playing XI: Dominic Sibley, Rory Burns, Haseeb Hameed, Joe Root (c), Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler, Moeen Ali, Sam Curran, James Anderson, Ollie Robinson, Mark Wood.

Have changed nothing majorly in my skills, just back myself: Ravindra Jadeja

New Delhi [India], August 11 : The Indian team had a great outing in the opening Test of the ongoing five-match Test series against England. While rain played spoilsport and the game ended in a draw, the Indian team holds the edge going into the second Test at Lord’s. And all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja believes the team has the balance to win the series this time.
Speaking to ANI, Jadeja not only threw light on the current team wearing a balanced look, but also revealed how his idea to approach every situation positively before a game has helped him succeed at the top level. The all-rounder also spoke about how skipper Virat Kohli’s mindset has helped create a positive environment in the team. “Yes, as we have been in the UK since the last two months, it’s been a good preparation time for us. Especially in the English condition, people get ready and prepared for the Test series. So, we had enough time before this series.
“I think the last time we played, we were a bit unlucky (2018). But, we have a very good balanced team, and an all-rounder team. We have good fast-bowlers, spinners and good batsmen. Plus, everyone is young in the team, so I think we have a good chance this time to win this series in England,” he said.
Talking about good batting, Jadeja himself put on a great show with the bat as his 56-run knock helped the team take an important first-innings lead. While rain did spoil India’s chances, it showed the depth in the line-up.
Asked about the areas he has worked on to become a multi-format player from being a limited-overs specialist, to begin with, he said: “I have changed nothing majorly in my skills. Generally, I look to believe in myself. Nowadays when I get a chance to bat or bowl, I believe in myself and look to give everything I have. That’s the difference between the past and now. Before the game, I just focus on my skill, what I can do better and what I can improve more, whether it’s batting, bowling or fielding. I look to just improve game by game. I don’t change too much before the game. I just back myself and believe in myself.”
Jadeja recently became the brand ambassador of the Marwadi University. Asked about the reason behind him coming on board, the cricketer said: “It seemed a very natural fit to be honest. What connected us was our roots being Saurashtra-based and the humble beginnings. It is highly commendable that Marwadi University has raised up to my expectations as well as to the community at large. I personally feel the institution has great state-of-the-art infrastructure and some of the best practices in higher education.
“Also, they have dedicated facilities and coaches for sports which helps in the engagement of a young mind. This was something that interested me a lot. The philosophy of the management resonates in the learning environment promoting value-based education, social responsibilities, and a good citizen.”
Any conversation with Jadeja is incomplete without talking about his U-19 teammate and current skipper Kohli. Having seen the run machine grow as a cricketer, Jadeja feels not only has Kohli matured, his eagerness to win games and play positive cricket has rubbed off on the team and created a healthy atmosphere.
“Yes, I have been playing with him since under-19. He has matured now and is always positive. He always looks to win the game no matter with which team we are playing, whether we are playing a big game or just a normal series. He is always dominant, so, he creates a good environment within the team, and that is the plus point of his captaincy and he always looks to beaggressive on the field,” he said.
Jadeja also believes the IPL will be the perfect preparation ground for the T20 World Cup as they are being played in the UAE.
“Yes, the IPL comes right after the England Test series so it’s good preparation before the World Cup. Plus, we are playing both IPL and World Cup in UAE, and I think the same venue helps us a lot. That will be good preparation before the World Cup,” he signed off

Eng vs Ind, 2nd Test: Time for Indian batsmen to make it count as visitors look to shine at Lord’s

New Delhi [India], August 11 : The first Test between India and England might have ended in a draw after rain played spoilsport on the final day of the match, but it is fair to say that the visitors hold the upper hand going into the second match of the series, beginning on Thursday at the Lord’s Cricket Ground.
The Virat Kohli-led side needed 157 runs to win on the final day, with nine wickets in hand, but rain played spoilsport and as a result, the series stands level at 0-0. In the first Test, India went in with four-seamers (Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Mohammed Shami, Shardul Thakur) and one spinner (Ravindra Jadeja). However, a few eyebrows were raised when Ashwin did not feature in the playing XI even when he had played a county game before the first Test. While the bowling attack rose to the challenge and didn’t let the English batsmen settle down, the same cannot be said of the batting unit. India’s batting performance in the first innings of the opening game left a lot to be desired. Openers Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul stitched a 97-run stand, but the visitors failed to capitalise as Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, and Ajinkya Rahane disappointed with the bat.
Comeback man Rahul and Jadeja were the bright spots with the bat in hand, and it would be interesting to see whether the rest of the batting line-up comes forward and makes it count at the Lord’s.
It will also be interesting to see how the battle between India skipper Virat Kohli and England’s pace spearhead James Anderson plays out. It was 1-0 to Anderson in the first Test as he dismissed Kohli for a golden duck. But one can expect Kohli to come back hard as the battle between the two has over the years managed to grab headlines and it is one of the most exciting spectacles in the longest format. A quality performance at the Home of Cricket is definitely something that the India skipper would be aiming for.
Talking about England, the hosts have a few problems of their own as the batting order still does not give much confidence and it is only Joe Root who continues to perform day in and day out. The rest of the batting order continues to struggle and in Ben Stokes’ absence, it is the need of the hour that the likes of Jos Buttler and Zak Crawley rise to the occasion.
James Anderson and Ollie Robinson were the standout performers with the ball in hand for the hosts in the first Test, and it is likely that England once again plays Anderson and not give him rest, looking at the veteran’s form. Moeen Ali has been added to the squad for the second Test, and it would be interesting to see whether England play him as a spin-bowling all-rounder.
Squad: England: Rory Burns, Dominic Sibley, Zak Crawley, Joe Root (c), Jonny Bairstow, Daniel Lawrence, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Ollie Robinson, Stuart Broad, James Anderson, Mark Wood, Craig Overton, Jack Leach, Dominic Bess, Ollie Pope, Haseeb Hameed, Moeen Ali.
India: Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Jasprit Bumrah, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, Axar Patel, Wriddhiman Saha, Umesh Yadav, Hanuma Vihari, Abhimanyu Easwaran.

Eng vs Ind: Have to respect challenging conditions and keep scoreboard moving, says Rohit Sharma

India openers Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul are both known to play attacking cricket. But on Thursday it was all about focus as the two put on a brilliant show for the opening wicket on the second day of the first Test against England. While Rohit did get out against the run of play with the score on 97, he has said one needs to be ready to play shots.

Nottingham [UK], August 6 : “Not really, like you said it is my shot so I have to play my shots. As you saw in the first hour of play, we did not get any loose balls and you know their bowlers were really disciplined so you have to take your chances. When the ball is there to be hit, you have to punish it. However, if you get out close to break or close of play, you do feel disappointed but you have to be ready to play your shots as well. Their bowlers are really disciplined, you hardly get anything. “You have to put the loose balls away and that is what I and KL discussed. While doing that, if you get out, you do feel disappointed. There is a very thin line between getting out to a shot like that, if the same ball was slightly away from the fielder, it could have been different. You have to stay positive, if I see the ball in my area, then I have to play my shots,” said Rohit while replying to an ANI query during a virtual press conference.
Asked if the loss of wickets after his dismissal is a point of concern, the batsman answered in the negative. “No, it is not a concern. I think if you look at how they got out, it was to good balls. I just feel you have to play to the conditions. I think we played well according to the conditions to start with.
“But obviously, there will be times when bowlers will come back and you have to respond to that. We were not able to respond but those things can happen in a place like this where we know overcast conditions matter. I do not think any concern is there, they just got out to good balls,” he pointed.
Getting the first innings lead is always crucial and that is the target that the Indian players wish to achieve before looking ahead.
“Yes, if we look at 183, the whole idea for us is to get to that total first. If you get ahead, then you can really put pressure on the opposition. We have to make sure we get to their total and we get ahead as much as we can to put pressure on their batting lineup,” he explained.
Rohit always looks at ease when he is playing well, but the opener said it is not as easy as it might look from the outside.
“Trust me, when you are batting in the middle, I do not feel that I have time. It’s odd that people outside feel that I have a lot of time. I have to be ready each and every time I play the ball. Some bowlers and conditions will suit your batting and some will not, and that is the challenge of Test cricket.
“I personally do not feel that I have a lot of time while playing against bowlers. You have to be ready, bowlers are trying to hit your pads all the time. I felt good as I spent time on the wicket, the biggest aim for me is to spend a lot of time on the wicket, you have to play shots if you want to score runs.
“In the first hour, England bowlers bowled good line and length so hitting shots was not easy. You do not get enough loose balls and the conditions are challenging, so if you think you can play shots, then you should. When conditions are challenging, you have to respect that also, and that I did initially. But to keep the scoreboard moving you have to play shots. I am just disappointed that I got dismissed at the wrong time and if I had not been dismissed, then maybe we would not have lost four wickets,” he said.

ENG vs IND, 1st Test: Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah script England’s collapse as India take Day 1 honours

Jasprit Bumrah picked up four wickets for 46 runs, Mohammed Shami had 3/28, while Shardul Thakur bagged 2/41 as England collapsed for just 183.

Nottingham, England, August 4 : Indian pacers breathed fire in helpful conditions to dismiss a vulnerable England batting line-up for 183 and put their team in a strong position on day one of the first Test here on Wednesday.

Jasprit Bumrah (4/46), who was not at his best during the World Test Championship final against New Zealand, was back in his element and ran through the opposition alongside his new-ball partner Mohammad Shami (3/28).

In fact, all the pacers including Mohammad Siraj (1/48) and Shardul Thakur (2/41) made the ball talk throughout the England innings lasting 65.4 overs, vindicating the team management’s decision to go for a four-pronged pace attack while leaving out premier spinner R Ashwin from the playing XI.

Ravindra Jadeja was picked as the sole spinner in the XI ahead of Ashwin, raising a few eyebrows.

In response, K L Rahul, playing his first Test in two years, and Rohit Sharma , took India to 21 for no loss at stumps, surviving 13 testing overs from England fast bowlers.

For a packed crowd at Trent Bridge, it was a treat to watch the Indian pacers display their supreme skills. Shami moved the ball both ways, Bumrah bowled his fast swinging yorkers, Thakur flaunted his natural outswinger and Siraj used the scrambled seam to perfection.

India bowled brilliantly but their job was made easier by the English batsmen, who looked under prepared for red ball cricket after coming fresh from white ball games in The Hundred.

Skipper Joe Root (64) was the only batsman who looked comfortable in the middle and Jonny Bairstow to a certain extent, as the duo shared a 72-run stand.

England, who were 138 for four at tea, lost their last six wickets for 45 runs and if it was not for Sam Curran’s unbeaten 27 towards the end, they would have struggled to cross 180.

Shami, who had removed Bairtsow at the stroke of tea, struck four balls after the break by having Daniel Lawrence caught down the leg side, a soft dismissal.

Struggling to get off the mark, Jos Butter attempted a loose drive off Bumrah on his 18th ball only to edge it back to Rishabh Pant.

Thakur got the prized wicket of Root with a beautiful delivery that swung away slightly from the middle and leg stump to crash the England skipper’s pads, trapping him in front. He had Ollie Robinson caught at mid-on three balls later.

Eng vs Ind: Don’t care whether I dismiss Kohli or not, says Anderson

Nottingham [UK], August 3 : Ahead of the Test series against India, England pacer James Anderson on Tuesday said that he does not care whether he dismisses Virat Kohli or not as long as someone else is managing to take his wicket in the series.
India and England will be locking horns in five Tests, with the first starting on Wednesday. This series marks the start of the second World Test Championship (WTC) cycle. When India toured England in 2014, Anderson proved to be Kohli’s nemesis, however, the tables turned around in 2018 as the Indian skipper got the better of England seamer. “I’m definitely excited to play against him again. You always want to challenge yourself against the best in the world and he’s certainly that. We know how big a player he is for them both as a batsman and as captain, he has a huge influence on that team. So we know he’s a big wicket and to be honest I don’t care if I get him out. As long as somebody gets him out that’s the main thing. He’s an important wicket,” said Anderson during a virtual press conference on Tuesday.
“But I think challenging yourself against the best in the world is really exciting and their top six is riddled with talent. It’s going to be a big challenge for us seam bowlers,” he added.
When Virat Kohli was asked during a press conference on how he will tackle Anderson, the Indian skipper replied: “I’ll just bat.”
The first Test will be played at Trent Bridge and Anderson has enjoyed bowling at this particular ground. At the Bridge, the seamer has taken 64 wickets at an average of 19.62 with seven five-wicket hauls.
“I do like playing here. I feel at home here. It is such a friendly place to play. The stewards and staff are incredibly friendly. It’s just somewhere I feel really comfortable,” said Anderson.
“In years gone by, swing has played a big part here. It’s a ground where you look up [at overhead conditions] not down at the pitch. If there’s cloud cover or if it’s humid, it’s generally a good place to bowl. If there’s a bit of grass on the wicket it will carry to the keeper and slips,” he added.
India had last won a Test series in England in 2007 under the leadership of Rahul Dravid and after that, the Men in Blue have struggled to get past the Three Lions on their own backyard

Leave Cheteshwar Pujara alone, it’s for individuals to figure drawbacks in their game: Virat Kohli

The captain said that players at this level are aware of their responsibilities and undue criticism doesn’t bother them, least of all Pujara.

London : India captain Virat Kohali wants critics of Cheteswar Pujara’s batting to leave him alone as he strongly believes that it is up to individuals to figure out the “drawbacks” in their game.

Pujara is India’s second-highest Test run-getter in the current team after skipper Kohli with 6000 plus runs (6267) in 86 matches but has often been accused of playing an ultra-defensive game which increases pressure on batsmen who follow.

Asked about Pujara baiters, Kohli did come to his dependable No 3’s defence albeit with a rider.

“It’s been going on for a while and I honestly feel a player of his calibre and experience should be left alone and it should be absolutely with the individual to figure out what are the drawbacks in his game,” Kohli said on the eve of the first Test against England starting Wednesday.

The captain said that players at this level are aware of their responsibilities and undue criticism doesn’t bother them, least of all Pujara.

“Similarly with me or any other player in this team, we are very aware of the things we need to do for the benefit of the team. I can from outside say criticism is unnecessary but I know for a fact that Pujara doesn’t care and criticism is as relevant as you want it to be.

“People can say what they want to say on the outside and those are just words at the end of the day. If you feel they mean no value to you, you just carry on, walking on your path.”

While he predictably didn’t divulge the playing XI and whetherKL Rahul or Hanuma Vihari will open the innings, he did say that Shardul Thakur has the potential to become an all-rounder across formats.

“Yes, he can definitely be created (into an all-rounder). He already is a multi-dimensional cricketer and it’s all about him getting more and more confidence… someone like him brings a lot of balance to the Test team or for that matter any format of the game.

“Hardik has done that so far in the past and he is getting back on track to bowling regularly. These kind of cricketers help the team in massive massive way and Shardul is a huge prospect for us.

“Someone who will be very important not just this series but moving forward as well,” the skipper said of the Mumbai seamer, who picked up seven wickets and a half-century in the Brisbane Test against Australia earlier this year.

Compared to 2018, when the team lost 1-4 due to a couple of bad sessions, the skipper feels that they are “much better prepared” this time around with two months in England helping them to acclimatise with changes in the weather pattern.

“The players, who were inexperienced in 2018 are now more experienced. Yes, there will be failures but we will have enough players to raise their hands up and be counted in pressure situations.”

The key learning from the last series is understanding the art of damage control.

“Understanding how to control damage when things are not going your way. Test cricket is all about going through situations and then capitalising when things turn your way.

“It is because you won’t have all sessions going your way so when things do not favour you as a team, that’s an area we want to keep improving. The Test matches where we have done that, we have ended up winning.

“It all boils down to execution in those difficult moments.”

One question that certainly didn’t amuse him was how he would tackle the wily old James Anderson.

Asked if he has any special plans for Anderson and also on bettering his personal record of the 2018 series, the answer was a terse “No”. 

Honestly feel there is not enough motivation for people towards Test cricket, says Kohli

Nottingham [UK], August 3 (ANI): India skipper Virat Kohli feels there is not enough motivation for all the players in Test cricket, and this is the big reason why every team is not able to compete in the longest format these days. India and England will be locking horns in five Tests, with the first starting on Wednesday. This series marks the start of the second World Test Championship (WTC) cycle.
“Test cricket would have been in trouble three years back as well, but I think it’s the players that keep Test cricket alive. To be honest, if we did not have the mindset to play Test cricket and be so passionate for it, then it would have taken a huge hit or that would have given a huge blow to Test cricket all over the world. I can assure you that,” said Kohli in an interview with Dinesh Karthik for Sky Sports. “WTC is a very positive move, it is a step in the right direction, there is everything at stake in every Test match you play and I think it all depends what the players want from Test cricket. If people watching on television feel like I do not want to miss a ball, that is eventually what is going to keep Test cricket alive,” he added.
When Karthik asked why there are not enough teams really competing in the longest format, Kohli said: “Firstly, you need to be honest with yourself. You know Test cricket is tough, even when you are one of the top teams in the world, you can go into a space where you do not want it. At certain stages, you can feel like do I want to do this over five days? Are you ready to go out there on day three when stakes are against you? Are you strong enough to do that.”
“Firstly, looking yourself at the mirror and asking do you want to play Test and if the answer is yes then just go out there and be relentless. I honestly feel there is not enough motivation for people towards Test cricket, something I have observed. That is why invariably you see, teams giving up in Test cricket,” he added.
In the first WTC cycle, New Zealand defeated India in the finals to win the Test mace. India had last won a Test series in England in 2007 under the leadership of Rahul Dravid and after that, the Men in Blue have struggled to get past the Three Lions on their own backyard. (ANI)

No time for disappointment: Skipper Manpreet and Sreejesh shift focus to bronze medal match

India will face the losing team from the other semifinal, between Australia and Germany, in the bronze medal play-off match on Thursday.

Tokyo, Japan, August 3 : The 2-5 loss to Belgium in the Olympic semifinals on Tuesday is disappointing but Indian men’s hockey team captain Manpreet Singh and star custodian P R Sreejesh said the side has no time to dwell on the heartbreak as it has to refocus for the bronze medal play-off on Thursday.

The eight-time winners of Olympic gold, the last of which came way back in 1980, fell short against world champions Belgium, losing 2-5 in the semifinals here on Tuesday.

“It is really hard for me right now because we came with a winning mindset, but unfortunately we didn’t win the match. Now we need to focus on our next bronze-medal match and we need to work and we need to get the medal,” Manpreet said after the loss.

“It’s a great honor for us to reach the semifinal after a long time, but now I think we need to focus because the next match is going to be really important for us. At least we should win a bronze medal for the nation,” he added.

The skipper said having toiled hard for the last five years to reach this level, India deserved a better result on Tuesday.

“It’s always been hard work and togetherness. This team has been together for the last four or five years. We have worked really hard to be reaching this level. We deserve better, and unfortunately, we couldn’t get it today.”

Sreejesh agreed with his skipper and said the loss against Belgium is a thing of the past now and the team needs to focus on returning home with a medal from here.

“Disappointed, but you don’t have time to worry about that. You need to forget about that and think about the future. Now we still have a chance to win a medal and that’s more important for us than crying at this time,” he said.

“It’s more important for us to think about the future, watch the match, think about where we lost, where we committed the mistakes, rectify that, and move on,” added.

Senior India defender Rupinder Pal Singh too feels that all is not lost in the ongoing Games for them. “Of course it’s heartbreaking for us, reaching the semifinal after 41 years and we were here to win a gold medal. That was our aim, but we lost today. The great thing is we have a chance to finish third in the next game so we will focus on that,” he said.

Rupinder believes a medal from Tokyo will be big for the sport back in the country. “If we win that, it’s going to be for us only. Of course there are a lot of people behind this and supporting us. But we are going to win for us first and then (everyone else). That’s a great motivation, too,” the tall drag-flicker said.

Rupinder credited the team’s self-belief for its success in Tokyo. “That’s the hard work behind it and the belief. That’s the most important thing behind (us) reaching here. I feel like the younger guys are working really hard for us and we are converting good chances. We need to work hard for the next game.”

Manpreet and Sreejesh, meanwhile, were also in awe of the women team’s feat in the ongoing Games and wished the side luck for the maiden semifinal appearance against Argentina on Wednesday.

“They played an amazing game against Australia. We wish them the best of luck for their semifinal (against) Argentina. I hope they win,” Manpreet said.

Sreejesh added: “That’s a great wake-up. The first three matches they lost, but the girls fought really well and won the last three matches, which was so crucial for them.

“Yesterday’s match, upsetting Australia, that was a tough call and I think the girls are tough enough to win a medal in this tournament.”

Sreejesh praised Belgium’s Alexander Hendrickx, who made all the difference by scoring a hat-trick to take the Red Lions into the Olympic semifinals for the second consecutive time.

“He (Hendrickx) always scores at the right time. That gives the team more confidence. I think the second goal was a bit my mistake, but still, the way he flicks the ball it is always a bit tough for a goalkeeper,” he said.

India will face the losing team from the other semifinal, between Australia and Germany, in the bronze medal play-off match on Thursday.

1983 World Cup hero Yashpal Sharma passes away

Former Indian cricketer and 1983 World Cup winner Yashpal Sharma has died of heart attack on Tuesday.

New Delhi: Former Indian cricketer and 1983 World Cup hero Yashpal Sharma passed away on Tuesday after suffering a massive cardiac arrest here. He was 66. Sharma is survived by his wife, two daughters and a son.
He played a pivotal role in India’s World Cup triumph in 1983 by scoring 240 runs at an average of 34.28 including a match-winning 60 against England in the semi-finals at the Old Trafford.
The former Punjab cricketer made his debut in 1979 against England and was regarded as a gifted middle-order batsman.
In a career spanning from 1979 to 1983, Sharma played 37 Tests, scoring 1606 runs, and 42 ODIs in which he scored 883.
He also served as a national selector for a couple of years.

Legendary former Indian captain GANGULY turns 49

Former Indian captain and BCCI President Sourav Ganguly is celebrating his 49th birthday today

Former Indian captain and BCCI President Sourav Ganguly is celebrating his 49th birthday on Thursday. Affectionately knows as ‘Dada’ among the admirers of the sport, Ganguly is regarded as one of India’s greatest captains. 

He led India in 146 ODIs, winning 76. In Tests, he led India to 21 victories in 49 games, with 15 draws. Under his captaincy, India famously ended Australia’s incredible 16-Test winning streak during the home series in 2001, beating the side 2-1.

A year later, he led the side to a memorable win in the NatWest series. Ganguly famously took off his shirt and waved it in celebration inside the Lord’s balcony after the win in the final against England. In 2003, India reached the final of the World Cup under Ganguly’s captaincy, but faced a defeat to Australia.

Many players who made their debuts under Ganguly went on to become legends in Indian cricket. Yuvraj Singh, Harbhajan Singh, Virender Sehwag, and MS DHONI are some of the players who were given their first international game by Sourav Ganguly.

A left-handed batsman, Ganguly made his international debut against West Indies in 1992 in an ODI. Four years later, he made his Test debut against England in Lord’s and famously scored a century in the game. 

Popularly known as the ‘God of off-side’ during his playing career, Ganguly represented India in 311 ODIs, scoring 11,363 runs. He is currently the third-highest run-scorer for the country in ODIs, and eighth-highest overall.

The pair of Sourav Ganguly and Sachin Tendulkar holds the record for the most number of runs by an opening duo in ODIs (6,609 runs). Ganguly has 22 centuries and 72 half-centuries to his name.

In Test matches, Sourav Ganguly averaged 42.17 in 113 matches, scoring 7,212 runs.

In early 2006, Ganguly lost his place in the side following a highly publicized spat with then-coach Greg Chappell. However, he made a comeback later in the same year after his replacements failed to cement their place in the side. 

In 2007, Ganguly was part of the team which competed in the ODI World Cup. Even as India’s campaign shockingly ended in the group stage, Ganguly ended as the side’s highest scorer. In the same year, he produced impressive performances on the tour to England.

Ganguly retired from all the formats of cricket in 2008. In his final Test, he scored 85 in the first innings against Australia, and was also at the receiving end of a fantastic gesture from then-captain MS Dhoni, who asked him to lead the side for the final few overs of the match.

After many commentary stints post-retirement, Ganguly entered cricket administration and became the president of the Cricket Association of Bengal in 2015. He served the board for four years before becoming the president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in October 2019.

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