Kapil Dev and Tunbridge Wells - Indissolubly Linked

Partab Ramchand Updated: 18 June, 2020, 1:51 PM IST

There are so many famous international venues associated with some of Indian cricket’s greatest moments – Lord’s, The Oval, Port of Spain, Melbourne. But one relatively little known venue is associated with one of the most famous feats in Indian cricket history. Or more precisely Kapil Dev and Tunbridge Wells – the two are indissolubly linked.

It is a quaint little town in Kent but before June 18, 1983, Tunbridge Wells and its picturesque little ground was hardly known to an Indian cricket fan. Today anyone associated with cricket in India – and indeed perhaps all over the world – is familiar with it thanks to Kapil Dev. Now 37 years later and after over 4200 ODIs his 175 not out off 138 deliveries is one of the famous knocks in cricket history.

By itself its hugeness – it was the highest score in ODIs at the time – would make it truly memorable. But what has heightened the greatness of the innings was the context of the game and the manner it transformed a faltering World Cup campaign into a triumphant one. India had entered the World Cup as 66 to one outsider. In two previous editions they had notched up just one victory, over East Africa, in 1975 and four years later suffered the ignominy of going down to Sri Lanka then an ICC associate member. However, they had started the third edition on a positive note with a sensational win over holders West Indies and then a pretty straightforward victory over Zimbabwe who had earlier shocked Australia. But then the campaign stumbled as they lost to Australia and West Indies in successive matches. And on the morning of June 18, the campaign seemed to have slid to a halt when they were 17 for five in the return game against Zimbabwe.

Kapil who had entered at nine for four now took complete charge. He took some time to settle down and then commenced a thrilling counter-attack. India were 78 for seven, then 140 for eight. With Syed Kirmani for company Kapil just sailed into the attack and when 60 overs were complete India were 266 for eight. Kapil after hitting the first hundred by an Indian in ODIs did pretty much what he liked with the bowling to finish with his record score which included 16 fours and six sixes. Despite being demoralized by Kapil’s hitting Zimbabwe fought all the way and went down by just 31 runs putting the Indian captain’s knock into proper perspective.

Kapil’s inspiring knock was just the tonic the Indian team needed. Two days later they defeated Australia by 118 runs to book a place in the knockouts. In the semifinals in a major upset they got the better of in-form England by six wickets and on June 25 in a stunning result, they shocked West Indies by 43 runs to notch up the greatest moment in Indian cricket history – a moment that had its genesis at Tunbridge Wells a week before.

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AUS v IND: India's Predicted Playing XI for ODIs

Vedant Yadav Updated: 29 October, 2020, 11:22 AM IST

India will tour Australia to play three ODIs, as many T20Is, followed by a four-match Test series after the conclusion of the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) season in UAE.

Cricket Australia (CA) on Wednesday announced the full schedule after getting clearances from the respective state governments amidst the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. The tour will kick-off with a three-match ODI series starting from November 27.

The first two ODIs will be played at the iconic Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) on November 27 and 29, respectively. The series will conclude with a trip to the capital, Canberra, as the Manuka Oval will host the final One Day International on December 2.

Here's how Virat Kohli and his men are expected to line-up for the ODI series.

Openers: Shikhar Dhawan & Mayank Agarwal

Veteran batsman Shikhar Dhawan is expected to return to the playing XI after missing out during the New Zealand tour earlier this year. Mayank Agarwal, owing to his brilliant form in the ongoing IPL 2020, is expected to partner Shikhar in the absence of veteran stalwart, Rohit Sharma, who is out injured.

Middle-Order: KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, & Shreyas Iyer

After being named vice-captain, following Rohit Sharma's surprise exclusion from the team, KL Rahul will lead the middle-order along with his master and skipper, Virat Kohli, who once again will be the topic of discussion throughout the two-month-long tour. Shreyas Iyer, who is currently marshaling his troops at the helm of the Delhi Capitals, will provide much-needed depth to the middle-order.

All-Rounders: Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja

Hardik Pandya, back after a 6-month sabbatical amidst a back injury, has been firing on all cylinders in the ongoing edition of the IPL in UAE. Though he is still not cleared to bowl, Pandya, who is plying his trade for Mumbai Indians, continues to impress with the bat.

Meanwhile, Jadeja is known as more of a bowling all-rounder, has time in time showcased that he can bat like any other batting all-rounder, including Hardik. Jadeja will also aim to contribute with the ball, especially when it comes to bagging those crucial wickets in the middle.

Bowlers: Navdeep Saini, Mohammad Shami, Yuzvendra Chahal, & Jasprit Bumrah

Though still quite young, Jasprit Bumrah will be eager to lead the pace department along with the experience and exuberance of Mohammad Shami and Navdeep Saini, respectively. The spinners department, on the other hand, will be led by Yuzvendra Chahal.

India's ODI squad for Australia Tour: Virat Kohli (Capt), Shikhar Dhawan, Shubman Gill, KL Rahul (vc & wk), Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Mayank Agarwal, Ravindra Jadeja, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohd. Shami, Navdeep Saini, Shardul Thakur

IPL 2020 Game 48 Review: 3 mistakes that cost RCB the match against MI

Renin Wilben Albert Updated: 29 October, 2020, 12:55 AM IST

Defending champions Mumbai Indians all but secured their play-offs berth with a professional five-wicket triumph over Royal Challengers Bangalore in match number 48 of IPL 2020 at Abu Dhabi on Wednesday. Batting first after losing the toss, RCB only managed 164 for 6 on the board despite a good start from their openers. It proved to be far from enough as Mumbai chased down the target with five balls to spare. With RCB’s inconsistency coming to the fore again, we take a look at three mistakes that cost them the match against Mumbai.

1. Kohli, de Villiers’ twin failures

Despite losing the toss, RCB would have been pleased with their progress with the bat for most of the first part. The new opening pair of Devdutt Padikkal and Josh Philippe stood up to the renowned Mumbai pace attack and actually put them to the sword. The pair had added 71 in 7.5 overs when the partnership was broken courtesy Rahul Chahar, who had Philippe stumped for 33 from 24. The youngster was looking good for a lot more when his promising innings was cut short. He had done a fine job on his comeback to the team though as RCB had been struggling with their opening partnership.

The platform was set for Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers to take over. However, the RCB skipper once again fell to the short ball, trying to take on Jasprit Bumrah, but only managing to top edge one straight up in the air to present a simple catch. With Kohli back in the pavilion for 9 from 14, RCB’s hopes rested on de Villiers. But, the prolific South African batsman also perished, hitting an awkward full toss from Kieron Pollard straight to deep square leg, having scored 15 from 12. Star players like Kohli and de Villiers are bound to have their off-days. However, both of them failing simultaneously was too big a setback for RCB, and that too in the high-stakes match.

2. Lower-order meltdown for RCB

With Kohli and de Villiers perishing cheaply, it was a good opportunity for some of the other names in the batting department to come good. However, they failed to grab their chances. Shivam Dube struggled to make just 2 from six balls at a time when boundaries were the order of the day. He tried to go after a quick bouncer from Bumrah but was only successful in handing a sitter to deep midwicket. Coming into bat with three overs to go, the big-hitting Chris Morris had enough time to make a significant impression. But, he lasted just two balls, hitting a boundary off the first, and presenting a catch to a third man very next ball. Morris’ wicket was a massive one, as it cost RCB a good 10-15 runs. The constant departure of wickets saw Bangalore stumble from 95 for 1 to 164 for 6, opener Padikkal playing a lone hand with 74 from 45.

3. Pacers putting no pressure on Mumbai batsmen

To be in with a chance, RCB bowlers needed to strike quickly. The pace bowling duo of Morris and Dale Steyn though just could not build any sort of pressure on the Mumbai batsmen. Mohammed Siraj and Yuzvendra Chahal did combine to pick a few crucial scalps, but the pressure was released every time Morris and Steyn came on to bowl, as they just couldn’t get their line and length right. Steyn, in particular, was disappointing with figures of 0 for 43 in his four overs. Defending a target of 165 needed RCB to produce a complete bowling effort. They failed to do so and had to pay the price.

IPL 2020: 10 Hilarious memes from MI v RCB game

Vedant Yadav Updated: 29 October, 2020, 12:02 AM IST

Mumbai Indians locked horns against the ravishing Royal Challengers Bangalore in the 48th match of the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) season at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.

Ahead of the game, RCB made three alterations from the team which lost out to CSK on Sunday. Josh Phillippe, Dale Steyn, and Shivam Dube came in at the expense of Aaron Finch, injured Navdeep Saini, and Moeen Ali while MI remained unchanged from their defeat to Rajasthan Royals.

RCB were asked to bat first by stand-in MI skipper Kieron Pollard, as Rohit Sharma continues to recover from his injury. Josh Philippe (33 from 24) and Devdutt Padikkal (74 from 45) gave a brilliant start to RCB.

The pair added 71 runs for the first wicket before Rahul Chahal dismissed the Australian youngster. Philippe's dismissal triggered a MI comeback, which was led by Jasprit Bumrah. RCB, at one point of their innings, lost four wickets in the space of seven runs before MI eventually restricted them to 164/6.

Chasing a target of 165, Suryakumar Yadav (79 from 43) stood his ground to take the defending champions, MI, one step closer to the IPL 2020 playoffs. With this 5-wicket success over RCB, MI currently occupies the top spot with 16 points.

Here are 10 hilarious memes from the MI vs RCB game:

IPL 2020: Gautam Gambhir lauds CSK's equation with MS Dhoni

Vedant Yadav Updated: 28 October, 2020, 11:19 PM IST

Former Kolkata Knight Riders captain Gautam Gambhir lavished praise on the equation between Chennai Super Kings owners and MS Dhoni, calling it a 'fabulous relationship'.

Gambhir said Dhoni's relationship with CSK should be a blueprint for other teams to treat their successful captains. He further stated that he won't be surprised if Dhoni remains at the helm with a relatively new squad next season.

CSK have struggled this season as they failed to reach the knockout stages of the tournament for the first time in its history. Their problem has been the absence of key players -- Suresh Raina, Harbhajan Singh -- coupled with their relatively aging squad.

"I keep saying that why CSK is CSK is because of the relationship between the owners and the Dhoni. They have given all the freedom to MS, and he has received all the mutual respect from the owners as well," Gambhir told ESPNCricinfo.

"What he has done for the franchise and how the franchise actually deals with MS and treats him is a fabulous relationship. So I'd not be surprised if they continue with MS and he plays till the time he wants to play. And then next season he still continues to be the captain and have a much different squad than what he has this time around."

Recently, CSK CEO Kasi Viswanathan said MS Dhoni might be with CSK till IPL 2022, despite their torrid outing in the ongoing season. Gambhir added that their relationship is adamant from the fact that they're continuing to back Dhoni, who has been under a lot of pressure this season

"MS has won them three trophies, couple of Champions Leagues, so he has made them one of the top successful sides in the IPL after Mumbai Indians," Gambhir said.

"So CSK saying they are going to continue with MS - it's just the relationship, it's just the mutual respect. That's why MS has been so loyal to CSK. That's why MS has given everything: heart and soul, his sweat, sleepless nights - I'm sure he must have had sleepless nights while he has continued to lead CSK."

IPL 2020: Trevor Bayliss reveals the reason behind Jonny Bairstow's omission from playing XI

Vedant Yadav Updated: 28 October, 2020, 10:27 PM IST

England batsman Jonny Bairstow has been plying his trade for Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in the ongoing edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in UAE. Bairstow, so far, has looked good with the bat, scoring 345 runs in 11 outings.

However, in SRH's last game against the Delhi Capitals, Bairstow didn't feature in the playing XI, but SRH won the game by 88 runs. It was their must-win outing to keep their playoffs hope alive.

SRH’s head coach Trevor Bayliss and captain David Warner have cleared that Bairstow was a part of their tactics. Wriddhiman Saha, who replaced Bairstow at the top of the order, played a match-winning knock of 87 off 45 and shared a 107-run partnership with Warner to help the team post a massive 219 on the board.

After the match, Bayliss cleared his stand by saying that they wanted to play an all-rounder in Jason Holder in the middle and Kane Williamson has also been batting well. That's why they had to drop Bairstow.

“Look, we wanted to play the all-rounder in the middle just to give us some more bowling. It gives it another option with five bowlers plus Vijay Shankar. From Jonny’s point of view, that meant one of the top-three batters had to miss out.

“Kane [Williamson] has been batting very well for us when available, and obviously the other overseas is the captain [David Warner] so, Jonny was the odd one out on this occasion. But look, with the way Jonny plays, I’m sure he will play a lot more,” Bayliss told Metro News.

SRH skipper David Warner highlighted that it was a tough decision to leave out Bairstow, but they needed to make the alteration, as they've to win all of their games to qualify for the playoffs.

“It was a very tough call, especially with Jonny playing as well as he has. We felt picking Kane would work out,” Warner signed off.