Fanboy moment for Virat Kohli as he interviews his idol Viv Richards ahead of first Test

Staff Writer Updated: 22 August, 2019, 12:44 PM IST

HIGHLIGHTS

Virat Kohli, the Indian skipper, has time and again shower praise on Vivian Richards, who is considered as one of the best batsmen in the history of cricket. He recently got an opportunity to interview legendary cricketer.

He introduced the Caribbean star as the greatest inspiration to all the batsmen. Virat Kohli also asked about Viv's habit of playing fast bowlers without wearing a helmet.

"Whenever I have seen videos of you walking out, you're in a hat, no helmets back then. Even when there were, after a point you chose not to."

"I know the pitches were not as prepared or as covered back then. What was it like? What went through your head walking out knowing that you don't have a lot of protection. There is no restriction on bouncers and then you go out and dominate like that."

"What did you feel from the time you left the changing room till you got to the pitch. What was the mindset?" Kohli asked.

"I believed I am the man," said Richards. "It may sound arrogant but I always felt that I was involved in a game that I knew. I would back myself every time."

"You have to back yourself to get hurt, to take the knocks. But the helmet -- I tried, I am not going to lie and tell you. But, it felt a little uncomfortable. So I felt my cap, my maroon cap which was given to me. I felt so proud with that."

"My mindset was that if I am good enough to be here, if I get hurt it's God's will. I will survive," the 67-year-old replied.

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News Cricket

Only Virat Kohli and Co have the tools to beat Australia in Australia - Michael Vaughan

Garima Kotroo Updated: 3 December, 2019, 10:27 AM IST

HIGHLIGHT

The powerful Aussies are currently head over heels after winning the two-match Test series against Pakistan with a 2-0 scoreline. The Kangaroos whitewashed the visitors in a Test series Down Under and it seems defeating this Australian cricket team in Australia is a hard nut to crack for opponents.

The former England captain Michael Vaughan also believes that the current Australian unit is very strong at home and the only team which can beat them in Australia is Virat Kohli-led India.

While expressing himself after the blockbuster show of Australia against Pakistan in the two-match Test series, Vaughan said "this Australian Team in these conditions are going to take some beating. Only India have the tools to do so at this stage”.

However, Azhar Ali-led visitors tried their best to turn around the waves in their favour but hosts didn’t give them any chance to come back in the game. Nathan Lyon picked up a five-wicket haul against Pakistan to lead Australia to another comfortable win.

As a result, Australia won by an innings and 48 runs in the second Test of the recently concluded series. With this comfortable win, Aussies also extended their unbeaten run to 6 in pink-ball Test matches.

News Tennis

Roger Federer’s face to be minted on Swiss coin

AP Updated: 3 December, 2019, 10:26 AM IST

HIGHLIGHT

The Swiss government says it will produce a 20 franc silver coin with Roger Federer’s image on it.

The government says it’s the first time it has dedicated a commemorative coin to a living person.

A 50 franc gold coin with Federer’s image on it will be minted next year.

The government says the 20-time Grand Slam champion is “probably Switzerland's most successful individual sportsman, he is also the perfect ambassador for Switzerland.”

The “heads” side of the coin shows Federer playing a one-handed backhand.

The government says a limited edition of up to 95,000 Federer coins can be ordered, costing 30 Swiss francs. They will be dispatched in January.

The 50 franc coin will have a different design.

News Football

Lionel Messi beats Cristiano Ronaldo, wins sixth Ballon d’Or

AP Updated: 3 December, 2019, 10:25 AM IST

HIGHLIGHT

After becoming the first six-time winner of the Ballon d’Or, Lionel Messi said he’s far from finished.

“I hope to continue for a long time,” Messi said on Monday in Paris from behind a row of the trophies which honor the world’s best soccer player.

“I realize that I am very lucky, even if, one day, retirement will come. It will be difficult. But I still have a lot of good years ahead of me. Time goes by very quickly, so I want to enjoy football and my family.”

While the 32-year-old Messi won his sixth Ballon d’Or, United States captain Megan Rapinoe won her first.

“I can’t believe I’m the one winning in this field, it’s been an incredible year,” Rapinoe said in a recorded video message during the ceremony at the lavish Theatre du Chatelet.

Messi has received the Ballon d’Or previously in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2015.

Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk was second in the polling this year, followed by Cristiano Ronaldo, who shared the record of five Ballon d’Ors with Messi until Monday.

Messi’s and Ronaldo’s 10-year grip on the award organized by France Football magazine was ended last year by Luka Modric.

But Messi was back on top of his game over the past 12 months. He scored 36 times last season en route to a 10th Spanish Liga title, and was the Champions League top scorer. His goals in the Liga also made him the top scorer in Europe’s biggest leagues, earning him the Golden Shoe award.

“A few years ago, I received my first Ballon d’Or here in Paris,” Messi said. “I was 22 years old. It was something unthinkable at the time. Today is my sixth Ballon d’Or. As my wife used to say, you should never stop dreaming but always work to improve and continue to enjoy yourself.”

The Argentine has not showed any sign of slowing down since the start of the new European season, marking his 700th game for Barcelona last week with a goal and two assists in beating Borussia Dortmund 3-1. So far this year, Messi has 41 goals in 44 games.

Messi also won his sixth FIFA award in September, edging Van Dijk, who missed the chance to become the first defender to top the France Football poll since Italy’s World Cup-winning captain, Fabio Cannavaro, in 2006.

Van Dijk clinched the 2019 Champions League crown with the Reds after obliterating Messi’s Barcelona in the semifinals.

News Football

Ronaldo crowned Italian league player of the year

AP Updated: 3 December, 2019, 10:23 AM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Cristiano Ronaldo was named the Italian league’s player of the year following his debut season at Juventus.

Ronaldo was at the Gran Gala del Calcio in Milan to collect his prize, instead of attending the Ballon d’Or ceremony in Paris where he was third in the voting for best player in the world.

The Juventus forward turned up about an hour before the main award was announced, arriving more than two hours after the other guests, and waited outside in the car until the moment came for him to go on stage to pick up the prize for his place in the team of the season.

“It’s an honor to hold this award,” Ronaldo said in Italian. “I thank my Juventus teammates.

“I’m very happy to play in Italy, it’s a very difficult league. Thanks to everyone for having voted for me. I want to do as well this year, too.”

For the first time at the Italian ceremony there were also awards for female players. Roma and Italy forward Manuela Giugliano won the top prize.

All the awards are voted for by a mix of footballers, coaches, referees and journalists.

Ronaldo signed for Juventus from Real Madrid in July 2018 and helped the Bianconeri to their eighth successive Serie A title.

The 34-year-old Ronaldo scored 28 goals in all competitions for Juventus, including 21 in the league.

Gian Piero Gasperini won the award for best coach after leading Atalanta to third place and a Champions League berth.

Atalanta was the team of the season, ahead of Juventus and Italian Cup winner Lazio.

“This award I share with the whole club, all the players, the whole of Bergamo because we did something really amazing, all of us together,” Gasperini said.

News Cricket

Australia announce squad for New Zealand Test series

AP Updated: 3 December, 2019, 10:22 AM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Opening batsman Cameron Bancroft was cut as Australia trimmed its squad from 14 to 13 players for the upcoming three-test series against New Zealand.

Bancroft remains on standby for the first test, which starts at Perth on Dec. 12, as Australia otherwise has retained the players who completed a 2-0 series sweep of Pakistan.

"We are backing the current batting lineup to continue their form across the next three tests. They’re functioning quite well, so we don’t see it necessary to have a batsman as cover in the squad," selector Trevor Hohns said. "While not a part of this squad, Cameron Bancroft remains one of the standby players.

"Similarly, depending on conditions, we reserve the right to add a player to the squad at any time during the series."

Joe Burns was recalled to partner David Warner at the top of the order for the Pakistan series and scored 97 in a 222-run opening stand for Australia in the first test at the Gabba, setting up a victory by an innings and five runs.

Warner scored 154 in the first test and an unbeaten 335 — the second-highest score by an Australian batsman — in day-night test in Adelaide which finished on Monday with Australia again claiming an innings victory.

While Burns missed out in Adelaide, No. 3 Marnus Labuschagne added another century to the career-high 185 he posted at the Gabba.

With Steve Smith batting at No. 4, Australia’s top order is settled for the first time in two seasons, leaving little room for Bancroft.

Australia’s bowling attack is likely to remain unchanged, with pace bowlers Mitchell Starc (14 wickets), Josh Hazlewood (10) and Pat Cummins (8) dominating the wickets in the Pakistan series, and off-spinner Nathan Lyon picking up a five-wicket haul on the last day in Adelaide to wrap up the test and the series.

That leaves James Pattinson and Michael Nesser available as backup for the day-night test in Perth, with the latter released from the squad to play this weekend for his home state of Queensland in the domestic Sheffield Shield competition to maintain match fitness.

The second and third tests are at Melbourne from Dec. 26 and Sydney from Jan. 3.

New Zealand has named the same 15-man squad currently involved in its two-test series against England.

Australia squad: Tim Paine (captain), Pat Cummins, David Warner, Joe Burns, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Matthew Wade, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Michael Neser, James Pattinson.

News Cricket

It was a shame about losing sessions – Joe Root

AP Updated: 3 December, 2019, 10:20 AM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Root must have known at the start of the day that his team's chances of achieving a win to tie the series was slight at best. New Zealand were already 96-2, just six runs behind, and the real threat of rain that hung over the day meant time wasn't on his side.

England needed early wickets and a vital break through literally slipped through its hands when Joe Denly dropped Williamson from the bowling of Jofra Archer when the New Zealand captain was 64 and the score was 154, a lead of 53.

Williamson ballooned a catch to Denly at short mid-wicket, probably the easiest chance he will ever receive, and the fieldsman had two grabs at the ball before putting it down.

As Taylor and Williamson ground on relentlessly through the lunch break and as storm clouds crept up on Seddon Park, Root saw his team's chances dissolve.

"It was a shame about the rain today," Root said. "It was a shame about losing sessions earlier in the match. We felt if we didn't lose those the pitch might deteriorate slightly quicker and might have done a little more for us coming into this last day."

Root had done everything in his power to give his team a winning chance. His 226 in England's only innings, his third double-century in tests and his first as captain, lifted his team, along with Rory Burns' 101 and Ollie Pope's 75, to 476 in reply to New Zealand's 375.

With New Zealand 28-2 in its second innings late on the fourth day, Root must have felt some confidence in England's chances.

But Williamson and Taylor stood in his way and proved an impassable roadblock.

England now heads to South Africa for a challenging four-test series. With its performance in Hamilton England’s confidence will be higher than after its first test defeat which came hard on the heels of Ashes defeat at home.

"I think we've learned a lot as a group," Root said. "We learned about people in these conditions, how they go about different situations, how they react to it and what their characters are.

"There's been a lot of information and we need to take that forward, carry the lessons we learned here into South Africa."

New Zealand also will take some confidence into its impending three-test series against Australia, though it meets an Australian team in exceptional form after its recent 2-0 series win over Pakistan.

The New Zealanders have no warm-up games before their first test against Australia, a day-night match at Perth, starting Dec. 12 and have to overcome the fact that none of its current 15-strong squad has played a test in Perth, Melbourne or Sydney.

News Cricket

It was a great fighting effort over the last couple of weeks – Kane Williamson

AP Updated: 3 December, 2019, 10:19 AM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Kane Williamson posted his 21st test century and Ross Taylor his 19th in a record partnership which ensured New Zealand drew the second cricket test against England and secured a 1-0 win in the two-match series.

New Zealand's most successful test batting stymied the tourists attack until shortly after lunch Tuesday when rain began to fall and washed out the last two sessions.

By that stage Williamson, who was 104 not out, and Taylor, 105 not out, likely had already done enough to save the match. Their unbroken 213-run partnership — New Zealand's best for the third wicket against England — had steered the home team to 241-2, a lead of 140 after it had started its second innings 101 runs behind England.

Both reached their centuries in the short passage of play — about 17 minutes — between lunch and the rain.

Williamson brought up his from 230 balls in just over five hours and with 11 boundaries.

Taylor did so, more spectacularly, with a six off the bowling of England captain Joe Root, from 184 balls, in 274 minutes with 11 fours and two sixes. At 83 he became, in his 96th test, only the second New Zealander after Stephen Fleming (7,172) to surpass 7,000 runs in tests.

"It was a great fighting effort over the last couple of weeks," Williamson said. "We know what a great unit the England side is and to lose both tosses and show that fight that we demand of ourselves as a unit was really pleasing."

News Cricket

Dhoni’s leadership makes a difference for CSK - Sanjay Manjrekar

Garima Kotroo Updated: 2 December, 2019, 5:37 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

One of the most popular franchises of Indian Premier League, Chennai Super Kings remained consistent with its spectacular performances every year in the biggest cricket carnival, and the reason behind their incredible success is the man himself Mahendra Singh Dhoni. There is no doubt in saying that the phenomenal leadership quality of MS Dhoni took the yellow squad to next level in IPL.

The cricketer-turned-commentator Sanjay Manjrekar has also claimed that Dhoni’s leadership is the biggest asset for Chennai Super Kings, and if he could replicate his last season’s batting style in the next edition also, then it would add one more success to their account.

While praising Dhoni’s efforts for CSK in IPL seasons so far Manjrekar said, "Dhoni loves to take these chances with ageing players, his leadership eventually makes a difference”. MS Dhoni-led team has won the lustrous trophy of IPL thrice in 2010, 2011 and 2018. In the next year’s edition also, the kings are looking forward to repeat the history one more time. However, they will be challenged by the defending champions Mumbai Indians who will fight for their fifth IPL title next year.

The much-awaited auction ceremony for the 13th edition of IPL is scheduled to be held on December 19 in Kolkata. All the participating teams have already retained their best players for the upcoming season.

News Cricket

To win two games by an innings is an exceptional effort – David Warner

AP Updated: 2 December, 2019, 3:52 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Nathan Lyon had never taken a five-wicket haul against Pakistan. The veteran off-spinner hadn’t taken a wicket in the day-night test until the fourth day.

Then they tumbled. He took two wickets in the first session Monday and three in the second before Australia finished off a victory by an innings and 48 runs under lights to complete a two-test series sweep with more than a day to spare.

The 32-year-old Lyon (5-69) now has 50 test wickets at the Adelaide Oval, where he’d worked as a curator before making the national team, his 16th five-wicket haul in tests and his first against Pakistan.

The pace trio of Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood did most of the damage in the first test, which Australia won by an innings and five runs, and in Pakistan’s first innings in Adelaide before the follow-on was enforced.

Pakistan resumed at 39-3 on day four and took the total to 123 before Lyon came into his own on familiar turf with five consecutive wickets. Hazlewood picked up the penultimate wicket soon after the dinner break and Cummins finished off the match when he threw down the stumps at the non-striker’s end to run out Mohammad Abbas.

Opener David Warner’s triple century set Australia on course for another big win, following his 154 in the first test. Marnus Labuschagne also produced back-to-back centuries as the Australian batsmen dominated an inexperienced Pakistan attack.

"To win by an innings, two games in a row, is an exceptional effort,” Warner said during a presentation for the player of the series award.

News Cricket

Warner’s knock one of the best innings ever by an Aussie batsman – Tim Paine

AP Updated: 2 December, 2019, 3:51 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Australia captain Tim Paine said his team played “fantastic cricket” and praised Warner’s contribution as one of the best innings ever by an Australian batsman, particularly given the unpredictable nature of the pink ball under lights.

“It’s right up there,” Paine said. “I think we all witnessed something really special.” Warner’s 335 was the second-highest test score by an Australian — behind Matt Hayden’s 380 against Zimbabwe in 2003 — and in the top 10 of all time.

Warner had a torrid series in the Ashes, when he averaged just 9.5 in five tests and his position at the top of the Australian order came into scrutiny. Lyon’s returns had been down, despite him creating opportunities, until his burst of wickets late against Pakistan.

Lyon dismissed Shaheen Afridi to complete a five-wicket haul with the last delivery before the main interval Monday as Pakistan slumped to 229-8. The visitors added only 10 further runs after the break.

Azhar Ali’s lineup was 39-3 overnight after being forced to follow-on on day three, when they were bowled out for 302 to surrender a 287-run first-innings lead after Starc took six wickets.

Shan Masood scored 68 in a determined, 127-ball stand that ended when he advanced to Lyon and mis-judged a drive to mid-off, where Starc took a simple catch to end a 103-run fourth-wicket stand and make the score 123-4.

Asad Shafiq grafted his way to 57 from 112 balls before he was caught at leg-slip by Warner, trying to work a Lyon delivery square, as Pakistan slipped to 154-5.

Pakistan have been on the back foot since Australia won the toss, batted and declared at 589-3.

News Cricket

We were beaten in all three departments but we take some positives – Azhar Ali

AP Updated: 2 December, 2019, 3:50 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Pakistan have been on the back foot since Australia won the toss, batted and declared at 589-3.

The dominance continued with the ball, although with Lyon taking over from the quicks as the main threat. He bowled with subtle variety and just missing edges while getting regular wickets and conceding few runs with the old ball.

The sixth-wicket pair offered some stubborn defense before Lyon had Iftikhar Ahmed (27) caught by Labuschagne at short leg.

He trapped Yasir Shah (13) lbw in front with a ball that skidded and sped on and went to the dinner break midway through his 25th over when Shaheen was caught at mid-off by Hazlewood.

“They played wonderful cricket, especially David Warner for this match,” Pakistan captain Azhar Ali said. “We were beaten in all three departments (but) we take some positives.

“It’s very hard over here with a young bowling attack. We came here with a lot of expectations. It didn’t go well this time around, but I’m positive for the future. The bowlers and (I) have learned a lot from this.”

Pakistan will return home to host its first test series in a decade on home soil, against Sri Lanka. Australia will take on New Zealand in a three-test series starting next week in Perth.

News Cricket

David Warner’s wife quotes Mahatma Gandhi to praise hubby’s triple-hundred vs Pakistan

Tarun Singh Updated: 2 December, 2019, 3:36 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Going against all odds, Australian batsman David Warner struck a magnificent triple century in the second Test against Pakistan. His career-best 335* was laced with 39 boundaries and one hit over the fence and it also broke multiple batting records.

But the news headlines were made when David Warner’s wife Candice quoted Mahatma Gandhi on Twitter while praising her husband’s gritty triple century.

Warner’s wife Candice Tweeted a picture of Warner and wrote a quote by Mahatma Gandhi, “Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from a indomitable will. (Mahatma Gandhi). It’s not important what other people believe about you. It’s only important what you believe about yourself.”

Many Twitter users were amazed to see the Australian Candice following Mahatma Gandhi, who is revered as the ‘Father of the Nation’ in India.

Warner’s unbeaten 335 became the highest score by any batsman against Pakistan in Tests. Before, India’s former explosive batsman Virender Sehwag was leading the chart with 309 in Multan in 2004.

David Warner has returned to form with a brilliant performance after a ban of one year from cricket, for his involvement in the ball-tampering plot in South Africa.

With David Warner’s knock of huge 335*, Australia cruised to an innings and 48 runs victory over the visitors Pakistan in the second Test and also registered a 2-0 clean sweep.

News Cricket

Virat treated himself with a chicken burger after scoring 235 runs against England in 2016

Garima Kotroo Updated: 2 December, 2019, 3:34 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Being on the top of the world cricket is not that easy as it looks like. It takes a lot of efforts and sacrifices to become the number one and the Indian skipper Virat Kohli has already set an example for others to follow. The swashbuckling top-order batsman Kohli has recently revealed that he celebrated his impressive Test innings against England back in 2016 with a chicken burger with just a single bun.

Even after getting the permission of his fitness trainer Shanker Basu to eat anything he wanted, Kohli chose to have a chicken burger with only single piece of bread and not two. Though he then treated himself with a big plate of fries and a chocolate shake but that too benefited his body.

During that enthralling Test encounter in Mumbai, Kohli thoroughly focused on his regular diet and didn’t touch anything. At last, he wrapped up the show with monumental 235 runs against England. In that nail-biting Test event, captain Kohli was highly supported by Murali Vijay and Jayant Yadav.

When on one side, Vijay amassed 136 runs against destructive English pacers, Yadav on the other, finished with 104 runs under his belt. In this way, India scripted an emphatic win over England by an innings and 36 runs in the second Test match of the series in 2016.

News Cricket

Star Indian pacer Ishant faces leg-pulling the most among all the bowlers – Virat Kohli

Garima Kotroo Updated: 2 December, 2019, 3:20 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

The senior-most pacer of the current Indian Test cricket squad, Ishant Sharma has gained immense popularity in the world cricket for his fierce bowling style in the longest format, but he still gets trap in the funny leg-pulling moments. Indian skipper Virat Kohli recently revealed that the brilliant speedster Sharma gets his legs being pulled around the most among all the bowlers in the dressing room. He opened up on the amazing team spirit among the Indian pacers during the cricketing assignments and stated that they always get along well.

As the world-class pacer of Men in Blue, Jasprit Bumrah was out of action in the important Test series against South Africa and Bangladesh, the other stalwarts of home team like Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav filled his boots.

With his remarkable bowling performance on the home ground, Sharma alongside Shami and Yadav turned the tables against Bangladesh. The powerful trio scalped a total of 33 wickets in the two-match Test series against Bangladesh to keep India invincible in the World Test Championship

The 31-year-old fast bowler Ishant Sharma was awarded the Player of the Series in the lop-sided encounter against Bangladesh as he took 12 wickets in the series. While his fellow teammates Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Shami picked up 12 and 9 wickets respectively.

News Cricket

Indian cricketer was approached by a bookie during Syed Mushtaq Ali – Sourav Ganguly

Tarun Singh Updated: 2 December, 2019, 3:19 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

The never-ending match-fixing scandals have tainted the gentleman’s game thoroughly.

Sourav Ganguly, after the BCCI’s Annual General Meeting, revealed that a bookie had approached a player during the recently concluded Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament.

“Even in the Syed Mushtaq, I was told that one of the players was approached but I don’t know the exact name. But there was an approach made and he reported it.”

The BCCI president Ganguly said that a player being approached by a bookie is not a problem as it is unstoppable. How the player responds after being approached by the bookie, is the important aspect, he feels.

"That is not a problem and is not wrong. The wrong thing is what you do after getting approached. The states have brought it to our notice. We will deal with it. At the moment, two leagues where this betting and fixing happened, one is on hold, KPL, and Chennai has suspended two franchises," Ganguly said.

Earlier, two top domestic players - CM Gautam and Abrar Kazi were arrested by the police for alleged involvement in the Karnataka Premier League (KPL) match-fixing.

Among the many arrests made by the police, an international bookie, Sayyam was also taken in custody for KPL match-fixing scandal.

The BCCI president Ganguly feels that the board will have to be strict against such match-fixing scandals by strengthening the board’s Anti-Corruption Unit.

“We have to get anti-corruption system right, try and put the best anti-corruption, try and make it even stronger and assess it. If it doesn't work or doesn't stop, we will have to think of something else."