test series

‘Most challenging bowling I have ever come across’: Petersen on Indian attack

Paarl [South Africa] (ANI): South African batter Keegan Petersen has said that the Indian bowling attack was the most challenging he has ever come across in his cricket career so far.
The right-hander was the top run-scorer in the three-match Test series, scoring 276 runs at an average of 46.00. He was the only player to score more than three half-centuries, recording scores of 72, 82, and 62. South Africa came from behind to win the Test series 2-1 and this may very well revive cricket in the country. “It hasn’t completely sunk in yet,” he said. “I still can’t explain how it feels completely despite it being two days already. Myself, my family and everyone close to us are still trying to get over it somehow. It was a challenging series against one of the best bowling attacks in the world,” the official website of Cricket South Africa (CSA) quoted Petersen as saying.
“It was by far the most challenging bowling I have come across in my career, whether it’s been in first-class cricket or any form of cricket. It hasn’t been an easy introduction for me to international cricket, but I honestly wouldn’t have it any other way. My journey’s unique and it’s my story to tell as well,” he added.
The 28-year-old was named Player of the Series after his outstanding exploits with the bat against India.
“Whether I bat in the first couple of overs or whether I bat after 50 overs, I’m just grateful to have the opportunity to be there, playing amongst a group of guys who are also trying to start something new in South African cricket. We are also trying to tell a new story as a team together as well,” said Petersen.
“Deano as our captain, he’s going to, he has and he is going to achieve great things as well as a captain. He’s a brilliant leader and we wouldn’t want anyone else to lead us. The achievement for us as a squad, we know the chips were down and the odds were against us especially after the first game where we were beaten. It wasn’t a good scenario, but we had a couple of strong chats after the game looking at ways to bounce back,” he added.
Further talking about the series win, Petersen said: “It’s just our personalities and character as South Africans, even though we’re the underdogs, we always come back fighting. That’s just how we are and we showed that during this series. Hopefully, it carries on for years to come,” he added.
South Africa and India will now lock horns in three-match ODI series, beginning Wednesday in Paarl. (Image source: Instagram)

South Africa beat India by 7 wickets in 3rd Test, clinch series 2-1

Cape Town [South Africa] (ANI): South Africa on Friday defeated India in the third and final Test to clinch the three-match series 2-1 here at Newlands in Cape Town on Friday.
India had won the first Test by 113 runs but South Africa registered wins in the second and third Test to clinch the series. Needing 41 runs to win after the Lunch on Day 4, Rassie van der Dussen and Temba Bavuma took South Africa over the line with ease on Friday. As a result, India failed to win their maiden Test series on South African soil after losing the third match by seven wickets.
In the first session on Day four, South Africa scored 70 runs and lost a wicket ensuring they maintained control over the match against India.
South Africa were at 171/3 after Lunch with Rassie van der Dussen and Temba Bavuma unbeaten at 22 and 12 runs respectively.
Resuming their second innings, South Africa got off to a cautious start as Petersen and van der Dussen stitched a 54-run stand for the third wicket.
Shardul Thakur removed Petersen in the first session but van der Dussen and Temba Bavuma dug in to keep South Africa on top.
On Thursday, Elgar and Keegan held their ground as South Africa gained full control against India on Day 3.
Brief Scores: India 223 and 198; South Africa 210 and 212/3 (Keegan Petersen 82, Dean Elgar 41*; Shardul Thakur 1-22). (Image source: Instagram)

SA vs Ind: Virat brings different dynamic to game, says Dean Elgar

Cape Town [South Africa] (ANI): South Africa skipper Dean Elgar on Monday termed India captain Virat Kohli as a ‘world class player’ who brings a different dynamic to the game.
India and South Africa will lock horns in the third and final Test, beginning Tuesday at Cape Town. ”Virat brings a different dynamic to the game. I don’t think I missed him. But I think potentially his team missed him, no doubt just from a captaincy point of view and maybe from a strategy point of view. He is a world class player and very experienced within their squad,” said Dean Elgar during a virtual press conference.
“His name speaks for itself and it’s one of the more respected cricketers around so I wouldn’t say I missed him… But it doesn’t matter who are playing against. We as a team, we need to focus on us,” he added.
Talking about the fitness of the players, the skipper said that the players are in good shape and there will not be any major change in the Playing XI in the final Test.
”I don’t think there’s any hiccups with regards to fitness of players, obviously, there’s always niggles when you play in a series, especially Test cricket pushes your body to the limit. And I mean if you’re not a little bit sore, and if you’re not a little bit bruised, then the bowlers feet are not sore then obviously they’re not working hard enough,” said the Proteas skipper.
“With regards to the team, with everyone fit, I don’t see making too many hussle changes and trying to be as stable as we can. I think competing in a big day series we need to be stable as much as possible with our Playing XI,” he added.
Elgar further praised pacer Kagiso Rabada, who will be playing his 50th Test match on Tuesday.
”Playing 50 Tests for your country is massive. When he started he was extremely raw and he had express pace and I think he’s come of age in that period of time. He’s influenced our group in such a big way on and off the field,” said Elgar.
The Test series between South Africa and India stands level at 1-1 and there is everything to play for in the series decider. (Image source: Instagram)

Markram, Elgar make steady start as South Africa need 206 to win 2nd Test

Johannesburg [South Africa]: South Africa need 206 runs to win the second Test against India with seven sessions left in the match here at The Wanderers in Johannesburg.
South Africa folded India for 266 in the second innings and have now got off to a string start with 34/0 at Tea on Wednesday. South Africa started the chase cautiously as Aiden Markram and skipper Dean Elgar survived a tricky phase before Tea on Day Three on Wednesday.
In the second session, India added 78 runs after lunch to set South Africa a target of 240. Hanuma Vihari remained unbeaten at 40 while Shardul Thakur played a knock of 28 runs in 24 balls.
For South Africa, Rabada, Lungi Ngidi and Marco Jansen all picked three wickets to bundle India out for 266.
In the first session, South Africa fought back with four wickets late on Wednesday morning.
Resuming Day Three, Pujara and Rahane added 70 more runs to the overnight tally before Kagiso Rabada got the breakthrough for South Africa.
Rabada got Rahane out caught behind for 58 before trapping Pujara in front of the stumps. The right-handed bowler didn’t stop here and went onto dismiss Rishabh Pant as India lost the third wicket on Wednesday.
Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane had steadied the ship for India with their respective fifties but Rabada removed both batters to lead South Africa’s fight back on Wednesday morning.
Brief Scores: India 202/10 and 266/10 (Cheteshwar Pujara 53, Rahane 58; Kagiso Rabada 3-54) vs South Africa 229/10 and 34/0 (Aiden Markram 24*, Dean Elgar 10*).

SA Vs Ind, 2nd Test: Shardul Thakur’s maiden five-wicket haul keeps the match in balance (Tea, Day-2)

Johannesburg [South Africa]: Shardul Thakur clinched his first ever five-wicket haul in Test matches as the hosts scored 191 for 7 at Tea on day-2 of the second Test match here at the Wanderers in Johannesburg.
Resuming the post lunch session at 102 for 4 the Proteas desperately needed another partnership with the fall of three quick wickets in the previous session and Temba Bavuma alongwith Kyle Verreynne did exactly that. The duo of Bavuma and Verreynne scored runs at a decent pace to take South Africa’s total beyond 150-run mark and also struck a half-century partnership. Bavuma was more aggressive of the two batters.
Shardul Thakur once again came and broke the partnership dismissing Kyle Verreynne leg before wicket for 21. This was his fourth wicket of the innings ending the 60-run partnership.
Temba Bavuma did not mellow down after the fall of Verreynne’s wicket and kept on punishing the bad deliveries coming his way. Bavuma in one over went on to hit a boundary and a six to Ravichandran Ashwin.
Bavuma notched up his half-century and was looking dangerous but Thakur once again gave India the breakthrough. Bavuma tried to play a pull shot of a back of a length delivery of Shardul Thakur inside edging the ball to wicket-keeper Rishabh Pant. Pant took a brilliant catch and it was his third catch of the match while Shardul Thakur clinched his maiden five-wicket haul in Test cricket.
In the next over Mohammed Shami got wicket of Kagiso Rabada caught in mid on by Mohammed Siraj for a duck. Keshav Maharaj and Marco Jansen ensured that the hosts did not lose any more wickets before tea as South Africa scored 191 for 7 till Tea.
Earlier in the day South Africa started at 35 for 1 with captain Dean Elgar and Keegan Petersen starting steadily to take team’s total beyond the 50-run mark. Petersen was more aggressive of the two as Elgar kept one end tight.
The duo of Elgar and Petersen reached half-century partnership for the second wicket as pacers Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj failed to take a wicket in the early hours. With pacers failing to take wicket captain KL Rahul introduced Ravichandran Ashwin and he too failed to give India the breakthrough.
Shardul Thakur was then introduced into the attack and he finally gave India the breakthrough as dismissing Captain Elgar for 28 caught behind by wicket-keeper Rishabh Pant. Keegan Petersen did not get too bothered by losing his partner as he notched up his half-century.
Petersen kept on capitalizing on the scoring opportunities taking his team’s total to triple figure mark. Shami and Pant appealed for a caught behind for Rassie van der Dussen and the umpire gave him out but the decision was turned down by DRS.
Shardul gave India their second breakthrough of the day as he got the prized scalp of Keegan Petersen caught in the slips by Mayank Agarwal of a thick edge for 62. Thakur was not going to stop there as he dismissed van der Dussen for just 1 caught behind by keeper Pant.
Brief Scores: SA 191/7 (Keegan Petersen 62, Temba Bavuma 51, Keshav Maharaj 11; Shardul Thakur 5/43) vs India 202/10 (KL Rahul 50, Ravichandran Ashwin 46; Marco Jansen 4/31)

‘New year, same motivation’: Kohli sweats it out in training ahead of 2nd Test

Johannesburg [South Africa]: Indian Test skipper Virat Kohli is making sure that he leaves no stone unturned in preparing for the second Test against South Africa.
Team India will lock horns with South Africa in the second Test from Monday in Johannesburg. Ahead of the game, Kohli hit the training ground with “same motivation” on Sunday to gear up for the second Test.
“New year, same motivation,” Kohli tweeted the pictures from training sessions.
Meanwhile, Team India head coach Rahul Dravid has backed skipper Kohli to have some “big runs” in the upcoming Tests against South Africa.
Kohli ended the year 2021 without scoring a century in international cricket as he departed for 18 in the second innings of the first Test against South Africa last week.
In 2020 also Kohli had failed to reach the triple-figure mark. The Indian skipper had last scored a ton in the day-night Test against Bangladesh at Eden Gardens in 2019.
“In keeping the morale high (in South Africa) it has not been difficult as it has been led the skipper himself. Virat Kohli has been phenomenal over the last 20 days, the way he has trained he has practiced,” said Dravid on the eve of the second Test against South Africa.
The former Indian skipper said there are phases in cricketers’ careers when they are not able to replicate their past performance but added that it is just a matter of time for India’s middle order before they come good.
“There are a variety of factors that happens. There are phases in your career where you probably are batting well but big scores are not coming. And it happens with everyone, but the good point is that they seem to be batting really well so they are getting the starts,” said Dravid.
“They know how to convert it’s not that these guys don’t know how to score big runs. So it’s just a matter of time, I am really hoping we will see some really good performance in coming days,” he added.

Need everyone’s contribution to win against South Africa, not just Virat or Pujara’s, says Dravid

Centurion [South Africa]: Indian men’s cricket team head coach Rahul Dravid on Saturday said that every player’s contribution to the team will be needed to win the Test series against South Africa.
The Indian team will lock horns against South Africa in the ‘Boxing Day Test match as the three-match Test series kick starts in Centurion. “One of the things that we talk with the group about is that these kinds of series are won by great teamwork, where everyone needs to play their part. You can’t just rely on Kohli or Pujara or one-two person,” said Rahul Dravid during a virtual press conference today.
“If you want to be successful, then you need contributions from everyone. Hopefully, let’s see everything comes together and we get to see some amazing performances,” he added.
Regarding the team’s Playing XI, Dravid said that he doesn’t want to reveal his side to the opposition before the main day.
“In terms of our Playing XI, I think we are very clear within our group of what kind of team it is going to be leading into the Boxing Day Test match but from the batting perspective, I would like to see what the opposition is scoring and what their team is and what they are playing. We don’t see the need to inform our opposition about our Playing XI and we will be doing that tomorrow morning at the toss,” said Rahul Dravid.
The Test series between India and South Africa will form part of the new cycle of the ICC World Test Championship. The updated schedule is as follows: First Test will take place from December 26-30 at the SuperSport Park, Centurion; Second Test will take place from January 3-7, 2022, at the Wanderers, Johannesburg; Third Test will take place from January 11-15, 2022, at the Newlands, Cape Town.

Williamson ruled out of New Zealand team for B’desh Tests, Latham to lead

Wellington [New Zealand]: New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson has been ruled out of the Test series against Bangladesh starting at Bay Oval on New Year’s Day.
In the absence of Williamson, batter Tom Latham will be leading the BlackCaps in the series. Following an impressive start to his Test career in England, Devon Conway returns to the squad. He suffered a hand injury in the ICC T20 World Cup semi-final against England in November.
There’s no space for a specialist spinner in the 13-man squad, meaning left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel misses out despite his heroics in India, with Rachin Ravindra and Daryl Mitchell covering the spin and seam all-rounder spots, respectively.
“It’s great to be back home and at venues, we know well, and where we’ve had success in recent times,” said New Zealand coach Gary Stead as per an official release.
“It’s obviously disappointing not to have Kane available for this series but, as we noted in India, he is undergoing a sustained period of rest followed by rehabilitation, strengthening, and gradual batting load. We have every confidence in Tom leading the side – he’s done an excellent job in the past when called upon,” he added.
New Zealand Test squad: Tom Latham (c), Tom Blundell, Trent Boult, Devon Conway, Matt Henry, Kyle Jamieson, Daryl Mitchell, Henry Nicholls, Rachin Ravindra, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, Will Young.

India, England to conclude Test series next year

London [UK]: The fifth match of the Test Series between India and England’s men’s teams has been rescheduled and will now take place in July 2022.
The match, which was supposed to take place last month at Emirates Old Trafford, was called off when India were unable to field a team due to fears of a further increase in the number of COVID-19 cases inside the camp. With India leading the series 2-1, the concluding fifth match will now take place from July 1, 2022, at Edgbaston, following an agreement between the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
Last month, Indian physio Yogesh Parmar had contracted COVID-19 ahead of the fifth Test against England.
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.

Team India thrilled after ‘memorable’ Oval victory against England

London [UK]: Indian cricket team players are elated after the team’s emphatic 157-run win over England in the fourth Test here at the Kennington Oval on Monday. This was also India’s first win in Oval in 50 years.
Indian bowlers delivered big time on the last day of the fourth Test at the Oval on Monday as the genius of mercurial Jasprit Bumrah, and all-around performance by Shardul Thakur in the match helped visitors in defeating England. Virat Kohli lead team have now gained a 2-1 lead in the five-match series after losing the third Test at Headingley. “Tough situations build strong people. Onto the next one. #TeamIndia,” Indian captain Virat Kohli tweeted.
“A victory for the ages! Well done, boys #teamindia #mshami11,” Mohammed Shami tweeted.
“This victory feels sweeter The aggression. The confidence. The intent,” wrote Surya Kumar Yadav.
“We needed to respond, and the only way we were going to do it was as a team. We will enjoy this moment and look to finish things on the best note in the 5th,” Rishabh Pant tweeted.
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 Thakur who was part of the Indian quartet in scoring more than 50 runs in the second innings, again dazzled as he sent back Joe Root to the pavilion. 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.
“Proud to be part of another memorable victory! Incredible fight and belief shown by the entire team. Onwards and upwards! #InItTogether #AlwaysBelieve #IndVsEng,” wrote Cheteshwar Pujara.
“As “spectators” of Test Cricket, just stop worrying about team selection and other nonsense and start appreciating the competition, passion, skill and patriotism unfolding in front of your eyes. You’re missing a good game!” tweeted AB de Villiers.

“Well played India, well Captained @imVkohli and amazing skill and guts from a few individuals. Also well played @root66 & England! Great ad for our beautiful game! Excited for the finale,” added AB de Villiers.
India now leads the series 2-1 and will go to Manchester full of confidence.

Have to keep Virat quiet if we want to win this series, says Root

London [UK]: England skipper Joe Root on Tuesday said his side would be required to keep India skipper Virat Kohli quiet in the next two Tests if they want to win the five-match series.
The five-match series stands level at 1-1, and now the fourth Test would be played at the Oval, London, beginning this Thursday. Kohli has so far gotten just one fifty-plus score in the ongoing series and James Anderson has managed to dismiss him twice. “The credit needs to go to our bowling attack, Virat is a world-class player hence the credit needs to be given to the bowling group. We have been able to keep him quiet, it is an extremely good effort from our bowling group and it is something we have to continue if we have to win this series. We have found ways to get him out, he is a fine player and has done tremendous things in Test cricket, we will have to look at ways to get the best players out,” said Root during a virtual press conference on Tuesday.
“Absolutely, world-class side like India led by Virat Kohli, I expect nothing less than a response. We would be naive to think otherwise, it is important that we do not get to deluded. We have gotten to the level playing field, we have to work harder now. If we find ourselves ahead of the game at any stage, we have to consolidate,” he added.
With the score reading 215/2 at the start of the fourth morning, India would have hoped to continue the remarkable comeback they had started scripting on the third day of the third Test at Leeds on Friday. But it wasn’t to be as the England bowlers came out all guns blazing and wrapped the game up in the opening session itself on Saturday to register an innings and 76-run win.
“I think it was a brilliant performance, nice template for us to work with really. The challenge is to replicate it and go one better. From a bowling perspective, I think we were flawless, we hit the right lengths early on and we managed to do it for long periods of time. With bat in hand, Headingley was our best outing till now and hopefully, we can go on,” said Root.
“I think more than anything, we are very pleased with how we have sort of grown into this series. We have worked extremely hard to make the series 1-1, now is where the hard work really starts. We will look to go again and keep getting better,” he added.
Jos Buttler would miss the fourth Test due to the birth of his child, hence Jonny Bairstow would don the wicketkeeping-gloves.
“Jonny Bairstow, we all know what he is capable of with the gloves. He has done it for a long period in his international career, he has never let anyone down. His record is very good as a keeper, he is really looking forward to the challenge. Jos Buttler has been our number one keeper for a long period now and I think he has made the right decision to be at the birth of his child. We hope everything goes well and I hope he enjoys the moment,” said Root.
“You are always learning, I always look to learn and grow as a captain. But as a team, one thing we took away from the Lord’s Test was that we have to be the best version of ourselves and we do things our way. We do not get sucked into playing someone else’s game and we go about things in our manner. We did that in Headingley and it is important we implement that in the series,” he added.
Talking about his own form and batting, Root said: “My decision making probably, till now, it has been really good. I have managed the innings really well through the course of this series and this will be the challenge at the Oval to start again.”

Eng vs India: Buttler to miss Oval Test against India, Woakes in contention

Headingley [UK], August 29 : England wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler will miss the upcoming Oval Test against India, head coach Chris Silverwood confirmed on Sunday.
“We would like to wish Jos and his family all the very best for the impending birth of their second child. Unfortunately, he will miss this Test, and we’ll then see if he returns for the final Test at Emirates Old Trafford,” ESPNcricinfo quoted Silverwood as saying. “Jonny Bairstow will take over wicketkeeping duties, which he is relishing. As we all know, he has the skills to seamlessly take over from Jos and the ability to score crucial runs in the middle-order if called upon. Sam Billings, who was in the Test squad for the New Zealand series earlier this summer, returns as reserve keeper. He understands how we want to approach our cricket and is a popular member of the group. He will fit in well with the rest of the group,” he added.
Silverwood also said that Chris Woakes is in contention to play the upcoming fourth Test against India, with the series evenly poised at 1-1.
“It is very pleasing that we have Chris Woakes returning to the Test squad. He has bowled well over the past week with Warwickshire without any real concerns with his heel injury. He is an asset we have been missing both with the ball and his ability to score runs in the middle order. We are looking forward to seeing him prepare at The Oval as we go into back-to-back Tests,” said Silverwood.
“Mark Wood is making excellent recovery from his jarred right shoulder. He bowled in the middle on the last day at Headingley with our bowling coach Jon Lewis and was starting to get through his spells pain-free,” Silverwood added. “For the first time in this series, it is pleasing to have several options with our bowling stocks as we approach the latter stages of the series,” he added.
With the score reading 215/2 at the start of the fourth morning, India would have hoped to continue the remarkable comeback they had started scripting on the third day of the third Test at Leeds on Friday.
But it wasn’t to be as the England bowlers came out all guns blazing and wrapped the game up in the opening session itself on Saturday to register an innings and 76-run win.

Stuart Broad ruled out of Test series against India with calf injury

London, Aug 11: Veteran England fast bowler Stuart Broad has been ruled out of the Test series against India after suffering a tear in his right calf, England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said on Wednesday.

The pacer suffered the injury during training on Tuesday at Lord’s ahead of the second Test.

“Broad underwent an MRI scan in London on Wednesday lunchtime, which revealed a tear,” the ECB said in a statement.

Saqib Mahmood,24, has been added to the squad as cover. He is uncapped at Test level but he was named man of the series during the recent white-ball series against Pakistan, for picking nine wickets in three ODI games at an average of 13.66.

The pacer has played 22 first-class games and has picked up 65 wickets at an average of 26.30 with one five-wicket to his name.

Eng vs Ind: Stuart Broad ruled out of entire Test series after tear in right calf

London [UK]: England’s fast bowler Stuart Broad has been ruled out of the entire Test series against India, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) confirmed on Wednesday.

Seamer has sustained a tear to his right calf. He underwent an MRI scan in London on Wednesday lunchtime, which revealed a tear. Broad sustained the injury during the warm-up on Tuesday afternoon at Lord’s. “England have called up Lancashire seamer Saqib Mahmood as cover,” the statement by ECB read.

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.
The second Test will take place on Lords from Thursday.

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