Hanuma Vihari heaps praise on Ravi Shastri for his batting performance

Harshit Anand Updated: 4 September, 2019, 4:08 PM IST

HIGHLIGHTS

Hanuma Vihari earned plaudits for his brilliant display in the two-match Test series against West Indies. He was highest run-getter in the series, which also marked the commencement of India's contention in World Test Championship. The right-hander was even adjudged Man-of-the-Match for his maiden century and a fifty in the second Test at Jamaica, which India won comfortably to whitewash West Indies.

Vihari was impressive against Australia as well but he didn't get a big score. So, the series against the West Indies was always going to be important for his career and he latched on to the opportunity in style as well. Vihari has credited India's head coach, Ravi Shastri for his improved batting.

"He (Shastri) was talking about flexing my knees a little bit, I was a little upright in the first innings, so flexing my knees meant I could move my foot both on front and back foot," said Vihari in conversation with fielding coach R Sridhar, which was posted by the BCCI on its website.

"It worked out very well and a lot of credit should go to him," he added.

"I relish batting under pressure because that is the challenge you have to accept as a batsman and these situations brings the best out of me," said the Andhra batsman.

He added, “I feel I try to focus on what the situation is, and have a certain game plan and I was fortunate enough to have good partnerships with Jinx (Ajinkya Rahane). He batted beautifully as well.”

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News Cricket

Gambhir goes missing after ‘Jalebi’ episode in Indore, missing posters surface in Delhi

Staff Writer Updated: 17 November, 2019, 6:51 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

It seems rivals and media have decided to teach Gautam Gambhir a lesson for skipping a crucial meeting of pollution control board in Delhi. The missing posters of the former cricketer and current Member of Parliament from East Delhi constituency surfaced at ITO on Sunday.

"Lost. Have you seen this person? He was last seen eating jalebis in Indore. The entire Delhi is looking for him," the message read.

He was in Indore on the day of Parliamentary Standing Committee of Urban Development meeting which was cancelled after no show of MPs and bureaucrats.

Gambhir was part of the commentary panel for the first Test between India and Bangladesh and was seen relishing Jalebis with VVS Laxman and Jatin Sapru.

He was lambasted for his careless attitude and the ruling Aam Aadmi Party was furious with his absence.

However, he went for damage control and even issued a statement.

"They will judge me by my work and not by the propaganda and false narrative spread by the minions of the 'honest CM' of Delhi," he had said.

His party members refused to comment on his whereabouts.

News Cricket

Mr. Nice of world cricket Virat wins hearts with heartwarming gesture towards his special fan

Staff Writer Updated: 17 November, 2019, 6:48 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Virat Kohli and Co won the first Test match against Bangladesh in Indore. The home team crushed the visitors by an innings and 130 runs. While Virat and his players were praised for their clinical display in Whites, the gesture of India's skipper off the field touched many hearts. A video has gone viral where he can be seen talking to a special fan after the match. The physically challenged fan was waiting to see Indian cricketers and it was Virat's gesture that made her day. He went to meet her and even gave an autograph.

Earlier, Bangladesh, which was dismissed for 150 in its first innings, was bowled out after tea for 213 in its second.

Mushfiqur Rahim top-scored with a gritty 64 before he fell to off-spinner Ashwin.

India declared on its overnight score of 493-6 and Bangladesh was quickly in trouble as it slumped to 72-5 before Mushfiqur and wicketkeeper Liton Das staged a mini recovery by sharing a stand of 63 for the sixth wicket.

Das hit six fours in a lively 39-ball 35 before Ashwin removed him with a sharp return catch.

Mushfiqur then put on 59 for the seventh wicket with Mehedi Hasan but their partnership was broken when Hasan was bowled by paceman Umesh Yadav for 38.

Bangladesh’s last hope disappeared when Mushfiqur was caught by Cheteshwar Pujara off Ashwin.

Fourteen of the 20 Bangladesh wickets to fall in the match were taking by quick bowlers.

News Cricket

Pink ball Test is going to be a landmark event for Indian cricket – Virat Kohli

Staff Writer Updated: 17 November, 2019, 6:45 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Mohammed Shami and Ravi Ashwin led the way as India crushed Bangladesh by an innings and 130 runs on the third day of the first test on Saturday.

Paceman Shami took 4-31 while Ashwin picked up 3-42.

“It was a really clinical performance,” India captain Virat Kohli said after his team chalked up a sixth consecutive Test win.

“Our fast bowlers are on top of their game. It looks a different pitch when they are bowling. It’s a dream bowling combination for any skipper.”

India now tops the world test championship standings with 300 points from six matches.

The second and final game in the series against Bangladesh will be in Kolkata starting on November 22 and will be a first day-night test for both sides, with a pink ball rather than a red one being used.

“The pink ball does a lot more early on,” said Kohli. “The pink ball test is going to be exciting. It is going to be a landmark event for Indian test cricket.”

News Cricket

Steve Smith apologies to Australian teammates for showing dissent towards umpires

Staff Writer Updated: 17 November, 2019, 6:41 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Pattinson's offense is the second in a week involving a member of the Australia test squad. Former captain Steve Smith was fined 25 percent of his match fee for showing dissent towards umpires during a Sheffield Shield match between New South Wales and Western Australia played last week.

Smith said Sunday he had apologized to his Australian teammates over the incident.

"Sometimes your emotions can get the better of you out on the field," Smith said. "We're playing a game, everyone is trying to do their best and sometimes that happens.

"I came in yesterday and apologized to the group for getting a code of conduct.

"I don't think there was a great deal in it but I've copped it and I have to look at when I get out and the way I sort of conduct myself. I know a lot of kids watch me play and watch all of us play and the way we conduct ourselves when we get out as well as when we're batting."

Paine said the Australian team held a "values meeting" Saturday night to discuss issues of on-field behavior.

"Both of those guys (Smith and Pattinson) apologized last night," Paine said. "They know that they fell a bit short of what we set ourselves as a test team.

"They're disappointed with that but we are going to keep on top of it and maintain the level that we've set so far in the last couple of years."

News Cricket

James Pattinson banned from 1st Test against Pakistan for abusing rival player

Staff Writer Updated: 17 November, 2019, 6:38 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Fast bowler James Pattinson will miss the first test against Pakistan from Thursday after choosing not to contest a charge of breaching Cricket Australia's code of conduct during a domestic Sheffield Shield match.

Pattinson faced a Level 2 charge of using obscene or abusive language over an incident in a four-day match last week between Victoria and Queensland at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

News Corp. reported Pattinson abused Queensland batsman Cameron Gannon on the second day of the match but immediately apologized to the player and match officials.

The code of conduct bans the use of "language or gesture(s) that is seriously obscene, seriously offensive or of a seriously insulting nature to another player or player support personnel or any other third person during a match."

"I made a mistake in the heat of the moment," Pattinson said. "Straight away I realized I was in the wrong and I apologized immediately, both to the opponent and to the umpires.

"I have done the wrong thing and accept the penalty.

"I'm gutted to miss a test match but the standards are there for a reason and the fault is mine."

In deciding not to contest the charge, Pattinson effectively pleaded guilty and faced a ban of one test match or two Sheffield Shield matches. He decided to serve the suspension in the upcoming test match at Brisbane in which he was competing with Mitchell Starc for a place in the Australia team.

Pattinson faced two Level 1 charges in March which resulted in a warning and a fine of 100 percent of his match fee. Under the code of conduct three offences within an 18 month period can result in a one-year ban.

Australia captain Tim Paine indicated earlier Sunday he did not expect Pattinson to be cleared in any judicial hearing.

"I don't think he is going to be there," Paine said. "It's unfortunate, doesn't sit with our values and he knows and understands that.

"Missing a test match potentially is a hard thing to deal with but he'll learn from it and come back from it.

"James understands he's let himself down, let the group down and we expect him to bounce back."

News Cricket

Tim Paine blasts Ben Stokes, says English players are using Warner's name to sell their books

Staff Writer Updated: 17 November, 2019, 6:35 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Australian Test skipper feels English players are using David Warner's name to sell their books. He was furious with Ben Stokes' claims that David Warner's constant sledging during the Headingley Test in Ashes 2019 inspired him to play the best innings of his career, which led England to a thrilling win against Australia.

"I was obviously standing next to David the whole time and you are allowed to talk on the cricket field. But by no means was he abusing him or sledging him. It just seems to be a common trend in England that they like to use Davey's name to spike book sales. So good luck to them," Paine was quoted as saying in an interview.

The English all-rounder, in his recently published book, has mentioned about David Warner's episode. Chasing 359 runs to win in their second innings, England were 286/9 at one stage but Stokes' brilliant display took England to a stunning win.

"I had extra personal motivation due to some things that were said to me out on the field on the evening of day three when I was trying to get through to stumps. A few of the Aussies were being quite chirpy, but in particular, David Warner seemed to have his heart set on disrupting me," Stokes wrote in his book, revealing how Warner had a part to play in his heroics.

"He just wouldn't shut up for most of my time out there. I could accept it from just about any other opponent. Truly. Not from him, though. The changed man he was adamant he'd become, the one that hardly said boo to a goose and even went as far as claiming he had been re-nicknamed 'Humble' by his Australia teammates, had disappeared. Maybe his lack of form in his new guise had persuaded him that he needed to get the bull back," he added.

News Cricket

Steyn bows down in front of Shami’s clinical bowling, says Indian pacer is the best bowler in world cricket

Staff Writer Updated: 17 November, 2019, 6:33 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Mohammed Shami and Ravi Ashwin led the way as India crushed Bangladesh by an innings and 130 runs on the third day of the first test. Paceman Shami took 4-31. Dale Steyn, who is one of the best fast bowlers in international cricket, has heaped praise on the Indian pacer for his clinical bowling in Test cricket. He rated Shami as the best bowler based on his current performance in Whites. He was asked to name the best bowler currently by one of his fans and he took Shami's name.

Former India skipper Sunil Gavaskar has compared Shami to a leopard, which is renowned for his hunting skills.

"When he is running in. When the spider cam actually takes it, it is such a sight. It is almost like a leopard going for a kill," Gavaskar said.

"His seam position and wrist position is so good. The last-minute little flick of one finger to get the ball away and the last-minute flick of the index finger to get the ball in. Amazing. This is a skill that he has practiced," Gavaskar said off Shami's skill to swing the ball both the way.

News Cricket

'Sir, you sound like a pressure cooker' - Bumrah brutally trolls Hardik over his latest tweet

Staff Writer Updated: 16 November, 2019, 3:54 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Hardik Pandya's road to recovery is in full swing at the moment. After undergoing the knife, the Indian all-rounder is trying his best to comeback at the earliest. He has been posting videos of himself doing different exercises to recover. Hardik was seen doing the Pilates exercise with his trainer in one of the videos uploaded by the Indian star cricketer.

In the video, he is also seen making a sound while going through the rigorous workout, which invited a fun loving reaction from his India and Mumbai Indians teammate, Jasprit Bumrah.

“Pilates to help me with my recovery.. Doing everything I can and more to get out there stronger and better than before. Thank you for all your encouraging wishes #TrustTheProcess,” Hardik tweeted.

Bumrah made fun of his sound and tweeted, “Sir you sound like a pressure cooker”

News Cricket

MS Dhoni to return for West Indies series? BCCI gives update

Staff Writer Updated: 16 November, 2019, 3:39 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

MS Dhoni has started practicing in Ranchi with an eye on the upcoming T20 series. However, he won't be able to play in the T20 internationals against the Windies. The Men in Blue will take on West Indies in the next T20I assignment. After drubbing in their own backyard, the visitors will play three T20Is and as many as ODIs in December. Since India will be engaged in shorter formats, many believed that time is right for Dhoni to stage a comeback in the squad.

The 38-year-old wicket-keeper batsman was a part of practice session at the JSCA Stadium in Ranchi on Thursday.

One of the BCCI officials has given an update on MS Dhoni’s possible comeback. "He is not available for the West Indies series," a BCCI official told PTI on Friday.

MS Dhoni has not played cricket since Team India's exit from the World Cup in England and Wales. There were reports that MS Dhoni might don the hat of a commentator for the upcoming first day-night Test between India and Bangladesh at the Eden Gardens, but he is unlikely to turn up for the match keeping his central contract in mind.

News Cricket

Next time I want triple Test ton from you – Virat Kohli to Mayank Agarwal

Tarun Singh Updated: 16 November, 2019, 3:27 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Mayank Agarwal who smashed his career-best 243 laced with 28 fours and eight sixes in the ongoing Test against Bangladesh, is enjoying being under the limelight.

Even the ‘Run-Machine’ captain Kohli was mesmerized by the Indian opener Mayank Agarwal who completed his double ton on the second day of the Test.

Mayank was interviewed by Virat Kohli after the end of the first day’s play. During their interaction, Virat Kohli urged the Indian opener to go for triple tons from now onwards as he has hit enough double tons in Whites.

Agarwal said that he always try to go for big knocks.

"In terms of mindset, the fear of failure and letting go of it helped me change a lot. After that I got hungry for runs. There have been times where I haven't gotten runs. Every time I get set, I try to make it a point to convert into a big score," Agarwal said.

"Put the team in the driver's seat from where we cannot lose becomes key. Knowing that you are batting well and you have got 100, it's on you to take the team ahead," Agarwal added.

With the power of Agarwal’s heroics, India have taken firm control over ‘Bangla Tigers’ in the ongoing Test and are heading towards comfortable win. Agarwal had also scored a double ton in his first-ever Test at home against the visitors South Africa.

After just eight Test matches, Agarwal has become the owner of three centuries out of which two are double tons.

News Cricket

Mayank Agarwal loves playing PUBG after hitting double tons in Test cricket

Staff Writer Updated: 16 November, 2019, 2:51 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Mayank Agarwal scored a career-best 243 as India finished the second day of the first test against Bangladesh at 493-6.

Agarwal scored his second double hundred in four tests and beat his previous best of 215, set six weeks ago against South Africa.

This was also Agarwal’s third test hundred, a milestone he crossed before tea on Friday. He scored 190 runs for the fourth wicket with Ajinkya Rahane (86).

“Every time I get set, I make it a point to convert it to a big score,” Agarwal said. “Letting go of fear of failure has helped shape my mindset.

“We (with Rahane) wanted to build a small partnership and then put pressure on Bangladesh by batting for a longer time. I got full value for my shots on this wicket.”

India scored 407-5 in the second day’s play. It was their third-highest aggregate in a day of test cricket after 443-1 and 417-2, both against Sri Lanka.

Agarwal’s innings included 28 fours and eight sixes.

At the other end, Bangladesh was able to get Rahane to fall to Abu Jayed, caught at deep point. Jayed finished the day with 4-108.

Agarwal then continued on to his double hundred off 303 deliveries while India crossed 400 in the 105th over.

Agarwal and Ravindra Jadeja added 123 runs for the fifth wicket. Jadeja stroked his way to a 14th test half-century off 72 balls.

Bangladesh finally got rid of the double-centurion, caught off Mehidy Hasan (1-125). India also lost Wriddhiman Saha (12) shortly after.

After the end of the day's play, Mayank came to interact with media.

On a day like this, what do you do in the evenings in the hotel? Do you go watch the highlights of your innings? Or do you like watching a movie? Or a web series show? What do you do? What does Mayank do?,” the reporter asked him. The Indian opener stunned the reporter with his hilarious response.

“Mayank plays PUBG,” he said.

News Cricket

I raised my voice but I was told that match fixers will play for Pakistan - Mohammad Hafeez

Staff Writer Updated: 16 November, 2019, 2:34 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Pakistan cricketer Mohammad Hafeez has made sensational claims about match fixing in Pakistan. According to him, he had to play with corrupt players in order to safeguard his own career. Speaking to Shoaib Akhtar, the veteran stated that he tried to complain about wrongdoings but was told to keep quiet.

“Those players are like my brothers and I do pray for them but what they did, I was against that,” Hafeez said on Akhtar’s YouTube channel. “I raised my voice but I was told that they will play for Pakistan and if you wish to play as well, then you decide (what you want to do) and I was like really?”

“So I went home and took the advice as I did not want to spend giving away my positive energy for Pakistan. I continued along with all those players although that was wrong.

I still say that it is wrong and it will never be fruitful for Pakistan. Bringing back any such player will never be fruitful for Pakistan,” he added.

Earlier, Shoaib Akhtar had also spoken about the issue.

“I was always of the belief that I can never cheat Pakistan, no match-fixing. I was surrounded by match-fixers,” he had said.

“I was playing against 22 people (sic)— 11 theirs and 10 ours. Who knows who was the match-fixer. There was so much match fixing. (Mohammad) Asif told me which all matches they had fixed and how they did it.”

“I tried to make Amir and Asif understand. What a waste of talent. When I heard about this, I was so upset that I punched the wall. Pakistan’s two top bowlers, smart, intelligent and the two perfect fast bowlers were wasted. They sold themselves for a little money,” he added.

Feature Cricket

5 Players who can fetch big bucks in IPL auction

Harshit Anand Updated: 16 November, 2019, 2:22 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Now that we are done with the trading window, and releasing and retaining of players, the focus shifts towards the auction of IPL 2020, which is highly anticipated in the cricketing circle. The auction is all set to take place in Kolkata for the first time and December 19 is going to be a big day for all the franchises of the cash-rich league. The IPL auction is also a very exciting time for players, as it is their moment to become millionaires in a blink of an eye. Today, we take a look at 5 Players who might get big bucks in IPL auction:

Mitchell Starc

Premier Australian fast bowlers have a tendency to skip IPL, so that they can maintain their fitness for international cricket. But, it is likely to change this time around with focus of players and teams shifting to shortest format as next big ICC event is set to be T20 World Cup, that will take place next year. After having missed last four seasons of IPL, Mitchell Starc is likely to appear in IPL 2020. He is a gun white-ball bowler. Starc has left-arm angle, hostile pace and ability to execute impeccable Yorkers in death overs. The highest wicket-taker in 2019 World Cup is likely to get an expensive bid in the IPL auction.

Tom Banton

Hard-hitting English batsman, Tom Banton is hyped as the next big thing in English cricket. The Buckinghamshire-born batsman shot to fame with his exploits in the T20 Blast this year. The right-hander blasted 549 runs at an average of 42.23 with a strike-rate of 161.47. He also won the PCA Young Player of the Year award this year and went on to make his debut in the New Zealand T20I series, where he impressed everyone with his audacious strokeplay. The Somerset star has drawn comparisons with maverick Kevin Pietersen, and the way he plays his bold range of shots that includes reverse-slaps and scoops, he is a born T20 superstar, all set to turn into a millionaire, cometh the IPL auction.

Chris Morris

South African all-rounder, Chris Morris was released by Delhi Capitals, which surprised many given what he brings to the plate. A power hitter and someone, who is more than handy with the ball in hand, his type of players are high on demand in every team's list. Morris has an average of 27.21 and a strike-rate of 157.62 in IPL after playing 61 games, which is very decent. Add to that, he has taken 69 wickets with an economy of 7.98. Morris failed to impress in last season with the bat and perhaps, that is why he has been released. But that doesn't change the fact that he is a very good all-round option, who will be on priority list of quite a few times.

Pat Cummins

Pat Cummins is one of the leading fast bowlers in world cricket across formats. Having taken nine wickets in seven T20Is, with an economy of 6.61, Cummins has been the highest wicket-taker for Australia in T20I, this year. With T20 World Cup coming up in 2020, Cummins is likely to participate in 2020 IPL to fine-tune his skills in world's best T20 league. Cummins is a complete fast bowling package and has a big reputation in international cricket. The right-arm paceman can spearhead any bowling attack. Moreover, he can also hit big shots, and is a gun fielder, which increases his value manifolds.

Eoin Morgan/

The English limited-overs skipper, Eoin Morgan has been in brilliant form of late. His stocks both as captain and middle-order batsman has been on a rise. He led England to their maiden World Cup win, earlier this year. After featuring in nine T20 internationals in 2019, the southpaw is averaging 44.67 and has scintillating strike-rate of 172.90, which is his best in any calendar year. Morgan played a big hand in England's recent T20I series triumph over New Zealand as well. He has the right experience, temperament and game to succeed for any team, when it comes to middle-order batting.

News Cricket

Mohammed Shami is the best red-ball fast bowler in the world cricket – Gautam Gambhir

Staff Writer Updated: 16 November, 2019, 2:19 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Mohammed Shami has come a long way since his controversial episode with wife, Hasin Jahan. The Indian pacer, who was dropped from the team after failing fitness test, is now one of the best fast bowlers in Test cricket. He has done wonders in home conditions, which was considered unimaginable for a fast bowler.

The 29-year old made South Africa dance on his tunes in the three-match Test series, and Shami’s performance in the ongoing first Test match against Bangladesh, has further strengthened the belief that he is the best red-ball fast bowler in the world cricket.

Gautam Gambhir, the former India skipper, has praised Shami for the way he has bowled in Indian conditions.

"Every ball that he bowls, there is something happening. There is this expectation that he is going to get a wicket off every ball. Not many fast bowlers in Indian conditions have that skill. Every time against any opposition, Obviously you can talk that Bangladesh is not that good an opposition. But look at what he did against South Africa. Look at what he did in Vizag in those conditions which were absolutely flat. We don't give enough credit to the Indian fast bowlers. We always talk about foreign fast bowlers. But for me, this is a pure exhibition of manners," Gambhir said.

News Cricket

Mohammed Shami is almost like a leopard going for a kill – Sunil Gavaskar

Staff Writer Updated: 16 November, 2019, 2:16 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

The Indian fast bowlers were at their devastating best on Day 3 of the Test match against Bangladesh. They had removed four Bangladeshi batters at the stroke of lunch. Mohammed Shami, who is a second-innings specialist, once again showed his class, picking up two wickets in the first session.

After Umesh Yadav and Ishant Sharma's early burst, Shami took two in quick succession. He removed skipper Mominul Haque and Mohammad Mithun to leave the visitors in trouble.

Sunil Gavaskar was mighty impressed with Mohammed Shami and went on to compare him with leopard.

"When he is running in. When the spider cam actually takes it, it is such a sight. It is almost like a leopard going for a kill," Gavaskar said.

"His seam position and wrist position is so good. The last-minute little flick of one finger to get the ball away and the last-minute flick of the index finger to get the ball in. Amazing. This is a skill that he has practiced," he added.

The 29-year-old has been in a phenomenal form this season and has taken 67 wickets across all formats for India.