MS Dhoni: The elder statesman of Indian cricket

MS Dhoni: The elder statesman of Indian cricket

Partab Ramchand Updated: 8 July, 2019, 12:22 PM IST

HIGHLIGHTS

He celebrated his 38th birthday on Sunday, he is clearly in the twilight of his long and illustrious career and of late he has copped a lot of criticism for not being the great finisher he once was. It is only a matter of time before he announces his retirement from international cricket and when he does MS Dhoni can look back and say ``I did it my way.’’

And his way was generally the winning way. Under his captaincy India won the T-20 World Cup, the Fifty50 World Cup, the Champions Trophy besides rising to the No 1 Test ranking for the first time. There were numerous comparatively lesser triumphs along the way. As a wicket keeper batsman he does not compare unfavorably with the greatest of them all Adam Gilchrist and that is the highest praise that can be conferred on him. In Tests, in the shorter versions of the game and for Chennai Super Kings in the IPL his record stands testimony to his status as a living legend.

Sure there were setbacks on the way most ignominiously the seven straight defeats India had to endure under his captaincy in the Tests in England and Australia in 2011-12 and the defeat at home to England in 2012. But the 4-0 rout of Australia a few months later balances the books. Yes there were times when his batting and keeping were not upto his lofty standards but then this is bound to happen in a career that has lasted nearly 15 years involving 90 Tests, 349 ODIs and 98 T-120 internationals. With age he has admittedly lost some of the powers that made him the great finisher and yet in the ongoing World Cup he has a thoroughly acceptable strike rate of 93.30. Dhoni readily advising his teammates is a common sight as he is now the elder statesman of Indian cricket and fittingly he received a tribute from the ICC who posted a video celebrating his achievements and applauding him for ``changing the face of Indian cricket.’’

But more than his performances on the field the enduring image of Dhoni will always be that of being able to maintain his calm and composure whatever the situation. In a day and age when gestures on the field range from the obscene to the outrageous, when behavior has touched an all-time low, when visits to the match referees room is commonplace for players Dhoni is a throwback to an era when cricketers behaved with absolute decorum and kept their emotions under control. He has maintained it both as player and captain and because of this has earned the respect of his teammates and opponents alike. Public memory is notoriously short and those criticizing him today forgetting his tremendous achievements over the years will no doubt miss him the most the day he decides to ride off into the sunset.

Get Daily Updates From CricToday

Subscribe and get the latest Sports News delivered to your inbox.

Email is required. Invalid email address.
News Cricket

"Hindustan ko akhir Dhoni ka replacement mil gaya"- Shoaib names this player as Next MSD

Abhishek Singh Updated: 21 January, 2020, 3:39 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar has said that India have found a suitable replacement for MS Dhoni in the form of Manish Pandey. "Hindustan ko akhir Dhoni ka replacement mil gaya," Akhtar said on his YouTube channel after India's enthralling comeback victory over Australia in three-match ODI series. "India has finally got Dhoni's replacement. They have found a good fit in Manish Pandey. Shreyas Iyer too looks a complete player and these add depth to India's batting," he said.

Dhoni has not played for India since the 2019 World Cup semi-final loss to New Zealand. He recently was not included in the BCCI central contract list for October 2019-September 2020 period.

"These players have played a lot in the IPL, they know how to handle pressure, they do not care about big names and hence, end up playing important innings," Akhtar said about Iyer and Pandey.

In the recently concluded series, Pandey didn't get a chance to contribute much with the willow in hand, as the top-order comprising of Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, and Shikhar Dhawan, got the job done for India in the last two matches.

Manish Pandey grabbed the limelight for his spectacular fielding skills in the series. In the Rajkot ODI, Pandey took a brilliant one-handed catch to dismiss David Warner.

Team India’s next assignment is in New Zealand and they have already left for the Kiwi nation, where both the teams will be contesting in five T20Is, three ODIs, and two Test matches.

News Cricket

MS Dhoni visits Ranchi’s Deori temple ahead of IPL 2020

Garima Kotroo Updated: 21 January, 2020, 3:34 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Former Indian skipper MS Dhoni failed to get going for Team India in 2019 and hasn’t turned up for the team since the last edition of the World Cup in England and Wales. He is ready to make amends in the upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League. The veteran will lead the Chennai Super Kings in the new season of the league.

He recently paid a visit to Deori temple in his town to seek the blessings of the goddess Durga ahead of the next IPL season. The official fan page of Dhoni even shared the pictures of his latest temple visit on Twitter.

On the action front, Dhoni has resumed his training with the state team at the JSCA Stadium in Ranchi after getting dropped from BCCI central contract for the 2019-20 season. In his absence, young wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant was given the responsibility to fill the void. However, Pant’s has failed to meet the expectations.

Dhoni’s future in international cricket has remained a topic of discussion for quite some time. While the rumors about his possible retirement are doing the rounds on social media platforms, Dhoni and the Indian team management have continued to stay tight-lipped.

Opinion Cricket

Why Rohit and Kohli are the best pair in terms of partnerships in ODIs?

CT Contributor Updated: 21 January, 2020, 3:31 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

India's two batting stalwarts Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli have bossed the 50-over format over the last decade. The two senior batsmen are top-notch players and are in sync with everything the format demands. With 43 and 29 tons respectively, the two players have taken the game to another level. In the recently-concluded ODI series against Australia at home, Kohli dazzled in the second and third ODI to hand India quality wins. Rohit wasn't far behind as he set up India's platform with a knock of 44 in the second match and then scored his 29th career ODI hundred in Bengaluru in the series decider.

What stood out in the match was the century-plus stand the two batsmen shared. In pursuit of 287, Rohit slammed an astounding 119-run knock. He clobbered 8 fours and six sixes. Meanwhile, skipper Kohli scored a superb 89-run knock. The highlight of both these knocks were a champion partnership between the two batsmen for the second wicket. They shared a 137-run partnership to take control of the chase. When you look at these two players, they have stitched 4,878 runs as a pair in 80 ODI games at an average of 65.04. Notably, the average is the best among the top 15 pairs in ODI cricket in terms of partnership runs.

Their average of 60-plus is way better than the rest of the pairs and that itself is a testament to the domination these two enjoy. In total, they have 18 hundred-plus stands and 15 half-century partnerships as well. Their 18 century-plus stands is the second-best in ODI cricket after the number of 26 achieved by former legends Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly.

What sets Kohli and Rohit is their understanding in terms of running between the wickets. They are also helped by the fact of key understanding of each other's games. One takes the initiative to launch an attack, the other plays the second fiddle and rotates the strike. Their vision is the biggest plus in this partnership and that makes these two stand out from the rest of the crowd. Going ahead, they will be highly influential in ODIs for Team India.

News Cricket

Shikhar Dhawan ruled out of New Zealand tour

Staff Writer Updated: 21 January, 2020, 1:18 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

India opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan has been ruled out of the upcoming five-match T20I series against New Zealand with a shoulder injury, according to a report from ESPNCricinfo. The governing body of Indian cricket is yet to announce a replacement for Dhawan.

India are scheduled to play the first T20I of the five-match series against New Zealand on January 24. Mayank Agarwal, Suryakumar Yadav and Prithvi Shaw, who are already in New Zealand, are the top contenders to replace Dhawan.

The left-hand batsman was in good form against Australia and his latest injury setback is expected to keep him out for some duration of time.

He didn’t come out to bat in the final ODI against Australia in Bangalore. KL Rahul was asked to open the innings with Rohit Sharma. However, he failed to get going. Rohit and Virat then stitched a match-saving partnership and ensured India ended on a winning note in the last game.

News Cricket

Rohit’s cut shot against Mitchell Starc reminds Shoaib of his beating at the hands of Sachin

Garima Kotroo Updated: 21 January, 2020, 1:04 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Indian opener Rohit Sharma played a big role in his side’s most recent win against Australia in the final ODI at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium. The 32-year-old right-handed batsman scored 119 runs off 128 deliveries against the visitors and his record-breaking innings was laced with eight boundaries and six sixes. The likes of Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, and Adam Zampa were seen clueless against Hitman in the thrilling series-decider.

Sharma left everyone in awe with his amazing shots in Bangalore. Even the former Pakistani speedster Shoaib Akhtar came forward to praise his batting style. Akhtar stated that Rohit’s cut shot against the talented pacer Mitchell Starc reminded him of the legendary batsman Sachin Tendulkar. The Master Blaster played the same iconic stroke against the ‘Rawalpindi Express’ in the World Cup 2003.

Taking to his YouTube channel, Shoaib Akhtar said, “When Rohit is on the song then he doesn’t care whether the ball is good or bad because he has so much of time, he has so much of elegance when he plays the shots. It (batting) comes very easy and naturally to him. You saw his ruthlessness today. Usne maar maar k bharta nikal dia. He hit Mitchell Starc, he went after Cummins. The cut shot that he hit reminded me of Tendulkar’s six.”

Feature Cricket

England Give SA the Blues

Sreelata S Yellamrazu Updated: 21 January, 2020, 1:01 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

The rout was complete. What continued in the gloom of the shadow of rain at St. Georges Park in Port Elizabeth ended that way for South Africa – in dismay. As England retained the Basil D’Oliviera Cup, they, also, reminded that they are a young team in the making.

The performances of Ollie Pope – a century and record six catches for the match and Dom Bess, who picked up four wickets in addition to the fifer in the first innings, not to mention skipper Joe Root who buried the South Africa on the fourth day with his wicket-taking, must greatly hearten England.

After the Ashes saw a see-saw battle that went Australia’s way in terms of retaining the urn, there have been questions asked about England’s ability to cope with the five day Test match in the same way they had approached the challenge of the ICC Cricket World Cup which they won in 2019 after four years of deliberate preparation.

Although South Africa have been a beleaguered lot, plagued by on-field lackadaisical performances and off-field jousts of governance, England needed a win under their belt to get their confidence in the right direction. Although South Africa fought tooth and nail to stay in the game as long as they could in the previous Tests the only real resistance that came briefly in the second innings following on in this Test was from the skipper, Faf du Plessis, before Keshav Maharaj and Dane Paterson put up a 99 run resistance for the final wicket, which fell short by ten runs of overcoming a history set in 1929. It did manage to prolong proceedings on the fifth day almost up to lunch.

For South Africa, it was a desultory result following a dreary performance all round. There was simply no foothold for the hosts in the third Test after taking it to England rather enterprising with the change of guard at the top with the likes of Graeme Smith and Mark Boucher working behind the scenes in the first two Tests.

Although it was widely considered that there were no magic wands, South Africa had shown more bite than they had in nearly a year. To that end, this Test was anti-climactic to their efforts, and the surrender of the Test series 2-1 going into the final Test would have once again brought the gloom back into perspective. That they will have to bench Kagiso Rabada would have only made the Wanderers Test a little more stacked against them right from the outset. With not much time between the start of the fourth Test, it will be intriguing to see if South Africa can find another gear and regain some intensity and whether England can sustain the momentum and push for an outstanding series result.

News Cricket

Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni most searched cricketers in the world

Abhishek Singh Updated: 21 January, 2020, 12:59 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

In an interesting study by a global data collector and analyzer SEMrush, it has been revealed that current Indian skipper Virat Kohli and former Indian captain MS Dhoni were the most searched cricketers around the world from December 2015 till December 2019.

The study tracked the number of times cricketers and cricket teams were searched for globally. While Virat Kohli topped the list, MS Dhoni, Rohit Sharma, Sachin Tendulkar, Hardik Pandya, and Yuvraj Singh were ranked second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth in the study, respectively. While Kohli was searched 17.6 lakh times each month, others in the top six were searched at an average of 9.59, 7.33, 4.51, 3.68, and 3.48 lakh times each month, respectively.

Dhoni remains one of the most popular cricketers around the world, in spite of him not featuring regularly for the national side. Speculations regarding his future in international cricket continue to be part of major debates in the cricket fraternity. Seven Indian cricketers feature in the top ten list of most searched cricketers with the other three being Steve Smith, AB de Villiers and Chris Gayle.

England cricket team toppled India with an average of 3.51 lakh searches every month compared to the latter's average 3.09 lakh to become the most searched cricket team in the world. While West Indies took the third spot, it was closely followed by Pakistan and Australia in the top 5.

Afghanistan, Ireland and Zimbabwe were searched at an average of merely fifteen thousand, seven thousand, and five thousand times each month, respectively.

Feature Cricket

Rabada has no one to blame but himself

Partab Ramchand Updated: 21 January, 2020, 12:37 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Kagiso Rabada is one of the leading fast bowlers in the world. Even with a surfeit of outstanding pacemen these days he stands out as one who is a skillful exponent of the art and craft of his trade, troubling the best of batsmen with his pace and accuracy, making them bob and weave their way out of the thunderbolts he sends down almost routinely and forcing them to make desperate shots which lead to their dismissal. A tally of 197 wickets from 43 Tests at just under 23 apiece allied to an economy rate of 3.38 and a strike rate of a little over 40 are figures that establish his qualities as a fast bowler par excellence.

Unfortunately Rabada is also a bowler who is habitually on a short fuse. This has led to unseemly gestures on the field and frequent visits to the match referee’s room. His latest misdemeanor has led to a one-match suspension which will see him miss South Africa’s fourth and final Test against England at Johannesburg a game the home team must win to draw level in the series with England having taken a 2-1 lead with the innings victory at Port Elizabeth.

The 24-year-old clearly invited trouble with his over-exuberant celebration after bowling England captain Joe Root with a terrific delivery on the first day of the just-concluded third Test. Taking such a prized scalp prompted Rabada to rush down the wicket, drop to his haunches and let out a piercing yell right under the nose of his victim.

These are days when players are frequently guilty of unseemly words or gestures either through going overboard with celebrations or in the heat of the moment. Fortunately, there are rules which have been set to curb such scenes that the game can do without and his latest indiscretion saw Rabada docked with a demerit point and consequently a suspension which comes about as a result of accumulated demerit points it being his fourth in the last 24 months.

The really sad aspect of this unseemly episode is that Rabada seems to have the backing his team management. Coach Mark Boucher has been quoted as saying that he saw ``nothing wrong’’ in his celebration in theory disagreeing with match referee Andy Pycroft’s decision. Bowling coach Charl Langeveldt was even more approving with Rabada’s behavior dismissing it as ``Kagiso is always looking for a scrap’’.

Off the field Rabada is reputedly a thoughtful and enquiring individual. On the field, it is a different story. He himself has spoken about his ``natural aggression and competitiveness’’ that has always been there but admits that the really high intensity and emotion just happen impulsively. ``The aggression is something that is natural in me. It makes me a better bowler’’ says Rabada. It will make him an even better bowler if he could keep his emotions somewhat under control and within the rules that govern on-field. behavior.

Feature Cricket

India vs New Zealand T20Is stats preview: Dominant Kiwis hold the upper hand

Renin Wilben Albert Updated: 21 January, 2020, 12:31 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Team India will kick off their long tour of New Zealand with the first game of the five-match T20I series at Eden Park in Auckland on January 24. India will go into the tour on a high, having gotten the better of Australia at home 2-1 in a three-match ODI series. The T20Is in New Zealand will be a completely different challenge though. As India and the Kiwis get set for the face-off, we take a look at all the important numbers from India vs New Zealand T20Is.

Head-to-Head record

India and New Zealand have faced each other in 11 T20Is to date, and the Kiwis have a clear upper hand. While New Zealand have won eight matches, India have been successful in only three. The Kiwis have a win percentage of 72.72 as against India’s 27.27.

Highest totals

New Zealand’s 219 for 6 at Wellington on February 6, 2019, is the highest team total in India-New Zealand T20Is. The Kiwis won the match by 80 runs. For India, the highest team score is 208 for 6 at Hamilton on February 10, 2019. India, however, went down in the match as they were chasing 213 for victory.

Lowest totals

India’s 79 in 18.1 overs at Nagpur on March 15, 2016, is the lowest team total in India-New Zealand T20Is. The performance came during the World T20 at home as India lost the contest by 47 runs, chasing 127. Incidentally, New Zealand’s 126 for 7 in the same match is their lowest-ever total.

Most runs

Former New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum has scored the most runs in India-New Zealand T20Is. In four games, McCullum scored 261 runs at an average of 130.50 and a strike rate of 137.36. For India, the record is in the name of MS Dhoni. In 11 matches, he posted 223 runs at an average of 37.16 and a strike rate of 111.50.

Highest individual scores

Colin Munro’s 109 not out from 58 balls is the highest individual score in India-New Zealand T20Is. Munro smashed seven fours and as many sixes in the knock at Rajkot on November 4, 2017. This is the only hundred registered so far in India vs New Zealand T20Is. Thanks to Munro’s heroics, New Zealand posted 196 for 2 on the board and won the contest by 40 runs.

For India, the record for the highest individual score is jointly held by Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma. Incidentally, both of them made the 80s in the same match, at Delhi on November 1, 2017. Dhawan’s 80 came off 52 balls and Rohit’s off 55. India posted 202 for 3 batting first and won the match by 53 runs.

Most fifties

McCullum holds the record for having posted the most fifties in India-New Zealand T20Is. In four matches, he notched up three fifties with a highest score of 91. For India, Virat Kohli has scored the most half-centuries -- two in five matches with a best of 70.

Most sixes

Munro has hit the most sixes in India-New Zealand T20Is. He has smashed 17 in seven games. For India, Rohit’s nine from as many games is the best.

Most wickets

New Zealand leg-spinner Ish Sodhi has claimed the most number of wickets in India vs New Zealand T20Is. In seven matches, he has 11 scalps to his name at an average of 16.18 and a strike rate of 12.5. His best of 3 for 18 came in the 2016 World T20 encounter at Nagpur as India were bundled out for 79. For India, Irfan Pathan and Bhuvneshwar Kumar have picked up five scalps each from four and six matches respectively.

Best bowling figures

Mitchell Santner’s 4 for 21 in the 2016 World T20 contest against India are the best bowling figures in India-Kiwi clashes. For India, Krunal Pandya claimed 3 for 28 in Auckland on February 8, 2019.

Feature Cricket

New Zealand vs India, T20 Series: 5 Kiwi players India should fear

Abhishek Singh Updated: 21 January, 2020, 12:28 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

The Indian team is all set and ready for the New Zealand tour. The team for the five-match T20 series beginning 24th of January has already been announced. Last time when India toured New Zealand, it was again a series, where the Kiwis continued their dominance over Men in Blue in the shortest format of the game. Overall New Zealand lead (8-3) over India in the T20Is. In the last series, New Zealand outsmarted Indian 2-1. It was an amazing series for the debutante wicketkeeper-batsman, Tim Seifert, who has again been selected in the 14 man Kiwi squad for the series against the blue tigers. Apart from Tim Seifert, there are many other players who would play a defining role in the upcoming series.

Martin Guptill

Martin Guptill has been that cog in the New Zealand cricket’s wheel who has kept the ship sailing through all continents and against all kinds of troubled waters. Off late, Guptill has scored match winnings knock-in New Zealand’s domestic T20 championship. In 10 innings the Auckland opener amassed 403 runs with an impeccable average of 44.77 and a prolific strike rate of over 142. Before the Super Smash, Guptill was a key force behind a terrific 5 match T20 series against the nemesis England which the Blackcaps eventually lost 2-3, in the Super Over. In that series against the Three Lions, the Kiwi batsman scored 153 runs with an average of 30 and a blistering strike rate of 177.91. Despite all these numbers, there is one number, which would make Indian fans happy and that number is 15. Yes, Martin Guptill averages only 15 against India in T20Is with the highest score being 45 and the strike rate is also a minimal 101.8. However, Guptill’s current form can cause serious damage to India’s aspirations of winning the series.

Kane Williamson

The Kiwi captain is bruising from the humiliating series defeat against Australia. Although that was a Test series, it has hampered the reputation of New Zealand as a powerful cricketing nation. Williamson would be raring to go against his next opponents albeit in a shorter format, just to salvage some pride and show to the world, why New Zealand are considered a dangerous side on home soil. The last time Williamson featured in a T20 at the international level was against the Men in Blue. He doesn't have those scary T20 numbers behind him. With 1505 runs in 55 innings at a more than a decent average of 31.35, the Kiwi captain always chips in for the team. He has a mediocre strike rate of 121.76, but just the presence of him on the crease makes all the difference.

Hamish Bennett

With 17 wickets in 10 matches of the Super Smash, Hamish Bennett has barged through the gates into the New Zealand squad. One of the chief architects of the Wellington team, which won the domestic T20 league, Bennett could well turn out to be the surprise package against India. He has not played any T20I but could have dream debut against a side that would be coming on the Kiwi shores to better their records. He alongside Tim Southee can complement each other to give Indian batsmen the unwanted headache.

Colin Munro

Having not been picked in the IPL, Colin Munro would be looking to showcase his class to the franchises, especially against India. Munro has a prolific T20I career, where he has scored more than 1500 runs at an average of 30.92 and a stupendous strike rate of 160.04. He is one of the only three batsmen to have scored three or more centuries in T20Is. Against India, he becomes even more dangerous scoring at an average of 41.33 and a strike rate of 165.33. It is the pair of the two Auckland players, Munro and Guptill that the Indian team would have to vary of.

Colin de Grandhomme

Based on statistics, de Grandhomme does not seem to be a player who can harm the interests of any team. With just 479 runs in 31 innings at a lowly average of 19.95 and only 10 wickets from 33 matches, one could not rate him as a match-winner. But in 20-20, all that matters is a span of 4-6 overs and de Grandhomme is tailor-made to deliver in those instances. He scores briskly and takes wickets at important junctures of the game. Not only that, he is one of the best fielders as well. As an all-rounder, he could turn out to be the game-changer for the Kiwi team and a party pooper for team India.

Apart from these five, Mitchell Santner deserves a special mention as he too has been in a great form and would demand a great deal of attention and respect from Team India. With 11 wickets in the last series against England and being a more than useful batsman, Santner could just well be the most deadly strikers of them all.

Feature Cricket

3 openers for whom Prithvi Shaw’s red-hot form could prove to be a major threat

Garima Kotroo Updated: 21 January, 2020, 12:25 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

It is not that easy to make a strong comeback in the cricket fraternity after facing a doping-ban. However, Prithvi Shaw, who has the fire in him to mark his name on the map of world cricket, made it possible with his flabbergasting innings. After serving an eight-month ban by the BCCI, Shaw joined back the Mumbai squad for Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2019 where he scored 240 runs for his state-team. He continued his great batting form in the ongoing Ranji Trophy as he slammed his maiden double hundred against Baroda.

Shaw is currently making the headlines for his exceptional knock of 150 runs off 100 balls in the second practice game of India A against New Zealand XI. With this remarkable innings, Shaw has certainly forced his way into the selectors’ minds and could secure his place in the Indian team as an opener with his red-hot form. His form could prove problematic for three Indian players.

Shubman Gill

The young and dynamic player of the Indian cricket team, Shubman Gill has gained immense popularity among fans in his short career stint. He was asked to lead India A in the warm-up matches against New Zealand XI. The 20-year-old right-handed batsman shot to fame with his brilliant performance in the Under-19 World Cup in 2018. He was the leading run-scorer for India in the tournament, with 372 runs under his belt. As far as international cricket is concerned, Gill didn’t get enough chances to showcase his talent. He played his first ODI for India in January 2019 and managed to score nine runs against New Zealand at the Seddon Park, Hamilton. With Prithvi Shaw performing exceptionally for his team, the first casualty could be Gill.

Shikhar Dhawan

Believe it or not, but this is the fact that Shikhar Dhawan, who was among runs for the Men in Blue in the recently-concluded ODI series against Australia, could be replaced by the young opener Prithvi Shaw in future due to inconsistency in the international matches. There is no doubt in saying that Dhawan is one of the best opening batsmen in Team India but his constant injuries could end-up his role as an opener for the Virat Kohli-led team. Apart from his injuries, Dhawan’s age is another factor which will act against the 34-year-old southpaw and can open the door for Prithvi Shaw to showcase his caliber in the world cricket.

KL Rahul

This might be a quite surprising name in the list as the star Indian batsman KL Rahul has successfully carved a niche for himself with his excellent show in the three-match ODI series against Australia. The 27-year-old cricketer proved his brilliance not only with the bat but with the gloves also. When Dhawan got injured in the series-decider against Aussies, Rahul was given the responsibility to fill his boots. However, he failed to score well for the hosts as he went back to pavilion after amassing 19. With the inception of Shaw, Rahul’s hopes of becoming the first-choice opener for India might be put on hold once again. The right-handed batsman has already lost his place in the Test squad.

News Cricket

Sakshi reveals Dhoni’s massive bike collection to the world

Abhishek Singh Updated: 21 January, 2020, 12:22 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

MS Dhoni’s wife Sakshi, shared pictures and videos of her husband’s bike collection on Instagram captioning it as, “Even bikes have a view.” Sakshi has tagged the picture with a location as “Dhoni Farm House Ring Road”. She then shared the video of the bike collection.

The two are quite active on social media, drawing the attention of millions. As soon as Sakshi posted the video, it was shared by many fans. MS Dhoni, as known to all, is a great lover of automobiles and he keeps sharing his vast collection of cars and bikes on social media.

The 38-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman is reportedly the owner of several high-end vehicles including Ferrari 599 GTO, Hummer H2, the GMC Sierra when it comes to four-wheelers.

As far as two-wheeler is concerned, Mahi has some great range of bikes which include Kawasaki Ninja H2, Confederate Hellcat, BSA, Suzuki Hayabusa, and a Norton Vintage among others.

The former Indian captain has been on a sabbatical from cricket ever since India were knocked out of the 2019 World Cup. Recently, he was dropped from the BCCI’s list of centrally contracted players.

News Cricket

Sachin Tendulkar and Courtney Walsh to coach Australian teams in the bushfire relief match

Abhishek Singh Updated: 21 January, 2020, 12:20 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Cricket legends Sachin Tendulkar and Courtney Walsh will coach the Aussie teams in the Bushfire Cricket Bash on February 8. It is going to be a charity match to raise funds for victims of Australia's bushfires.

The bushfire relief match will take place ahead of the Big Bash final with the venue to be confirmed on January 31. Before that double-header, the Australia and India women's teams will play their tri-series match in Melbourne, a situation can develop where the city hosts the trio of matches if the Melbourne Stars secure the BBL final at the MCG.

The former Test captains are the latest players joining Aussie greats Adam Gilchrist, Brett Lee, Michael Clarke and Shane Watson. India's Tendulkar and Windies fast bowler Walsh will coach teams skippered by Ricky Ponting and Shane Warne respectively. Steve Waugh and Australian coach Justin Langer will also have non-playing roles.

"We are absolutely honored to be welcoming Sachin and Courtney back to Australia where they both enjoyed a lot of success as players, and we can't wait to have them involved," said Cricket Australia chief Kevin Roberts.

Earlier, tennis superstar Serena Williams gave her US$43,000 WTA Auckland Classic winners' cheque to a bushfire relief fund, while an exhibition match featuring Roger Federer and other top players in Melbourne raised money ahead of this week's Australian Open.

The Bushfire Cricket Bash is one of a range of initiatives the sport has undertaken to raise funds for those impacted by the devastating bushfires around the country over the last few months.

News Cricket

Ishant twists ankle before the announcement of Test squad, doubtful for New Zealand series

Abhishek Singh Updated: 21 January, 2020, 12:19 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

The senior paceman of the Indian team, Ishant Sharma has twisted his ankle and has been rested for the rest of Delhi’s Ranji Trophy encounter against defending champions Vidarbha, at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in New Delhi. If Sharma’s ankle injury gets serious, his availability for the tour of New Zealand might become doubtful, causing a serious dent to Indian’s chances.

“Ishant has twisted his ankle and it has swelled. It's looking pretty bad at the moment. We will not risk him again in this match," a senior Delhi team management member told PTI.

"If it's pure swelling, he will be fit in some days. He needs to go to NCA obviously and get his rehab done along with RTP (Return To Play) certificate," the team member added.

It was a short delivery, which rival skipper Faiz Fazal tried to pull only to see it hit his pads, prompting an optimistic Ishant to vociferously appeal on the follow-through before slipping suddenly.

Ishant looked in real pain as he hobbled off the ground with the help of support staff. His condition needed immediate medical attention.

The veteran of 96 Tests is expected to be in the Test squad for the New Zealand tour. But in case the injury turns out to be serious, he will be going to the National Cricket Academy (NCA) for rehabilitation.

India are scheduled to play two Tests in New Zealand, from February 21-25 and February 29 to March 4, respectively.

News Cricket

Virender Sehwag wants India to persist with KL Rahul at No. 5 slot

Garima Kotroo Updated: 21 January, 2020, 12:17 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Former Indian cricketer Virender Sehwag believes that KL Rahul, who came to bat at different positions in the recently-concluded ODI series against Australia, should play at number five in the limited-overs setup for the Virat Kohli-led side. Rahul lived up to the expectations of his teammates in the Mumbai ODI as he scored important 80 runs against Aaron Finch’s team.

Sehwag claimed that players used to get adequate chances to showcase their talent in the era of great batsman MS Dhoni, unlike the current scenario. He feels that the current Indian team management will change the slot of KL Rahul if he fails to perform at No. 5 a few times.

"If KL Rahul fails four times batting at No.5, the current Indian team management will look to change his slot. However, the same wasn't the case with Dhoni, who knew how important it is to back players at such positions, having himself gone through the hard grind.”

Sehwag also added that the management should give plenty of time to the players and back them in the hard times. If the selectors don’t give them time to learn and adapt to new things, they won’t be able to become big players.

"If you don't give players time, how else will they learn and become big players. I myself batted in the middle-order before opening and made a lot of mistakes, which even resulted in the team's losses. But you don't become a big player sitting outside on the bench. Players need time.”