Ricciardo mulling move from Red Bull to other F1 team

AP Updated: 27 June, 2018, 5:46 PM IST

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Daniel Ricciardo wants to decide between staying at Red Bull or joining another Formula One team
  • F1 is working its way toward its three-week break in August
  • Red Bull announced recently it would be ending its 12-year partnership with engine-maker Renault and switching to Honda motors

Daniel Ricciardo says over the next six weeks he wants to decide between staying at Red Bull or joining another Formula One team for next year.

Ricciardo said at the French Grand Prix, "It would be nice to go on the summer break knowing what I am doing."

F1 is working its way toward its three-week break in August with speculation mounting that Mercedes, Ferrari, and McLaren are interested in luring Ricciardo away from Red Bull for 2019.

"I will be honest, everyone is talking about Mercedes and Ferrari as potential places for me to go, and I am aware that there will be interest from other teams," he said.

The Australian driver has won seven races in his four-plus seasons with Red Bull. He is fourth in the standings behind leader Sebastian Vettel heading into the race at the Paul Ricard Circuit near Marseille.

Ricciardo's stock has risen in recent months after his victories in Shanghai and Monaco. His Monaco win was particularly impressive because Ricciardo had to deploy some masterful defensive driving to protect his lead after losing an estimated 25 percent of his engine power.

Ricciardo said he had not directly spoken to rivals Ferrari and Mercedes, but he hedged when asked if his manager had.

"People talk, have coffees, I will leave that one open-ended," he said with a laugh.

Ricciardo called the decision on whether to go or stay with Red Bull the biggest choice of his career following his decision to leave his native Australia and continue his racing career in Europe over a decade ago.

"For sure the priority is to get a car to win the world title because I really believe I can," he said. "I am slightly careful because it is easy to think the grass is greener and maybe it is, but I also have it pretty good where I am.

"People do like a change but just to make change for the sake of making a change is not enough for me. I need to find some substance behind it to jump ship."

Red Bull announced recently it would be ending its 12-year partnership with engine-maker Renault and switching to Honda motors for next year.

Ricciardo was hesitant to endorse or criticize the change, saying he was going to "try to keep putting the pieces together if it is a good move."

But with the question of the engine manufacturer out of the way, Ricciardo said Red Bull would likely be looking to resolve its drivers' lineup for next year.

"I haven't been pushed yet, but I would say that there will be some movement in the next week," he said. "Whether that is something that gets put down on paper (or not), for sure the discussions will start to ramp up in the next few days."

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Feature Cricket

Bumrah v Cummins v Rabada in Tests- A Statistical comparison

Harshit Anand Updated: 30 November, 2019, 4:50 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

If you are crazy about fast bowling, there won't be a better time to exist than now. We are blessed to witness the Masterclass of some of the best pacers in the world at the moment. In fact, in the last one year, out of top 15 wicket-takers in Tests, only two are spinners. R Ashwin, who is ranked 10th, is the only spinner to find a place in ICC Men's Test bowling rankings, which is completely dominated by fast bowlers.

Team India have a brilliant bowling attack which boasts of names like Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav and Ishant Sharma. Australia have the likes of Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, and Josh Hazlewood. England are not far behind with the likes of Stuart Broad and James Anderson, and who can forget the wonderful Kiwi trio of Trent Boult, Tim Southee, and Neil Wagner. Windies also have the likes of Kemar Roach, Jason Holder and Shannon Gabriel. South Africa also possess tremendous pace bowling led by Kagiso Rabada and Vernon Philander. There is a great pool of fast bowlers in Test cricket, which is counted among the best that we have ever had in the sport.

Of all the fast bowlers, there are three pacers, namely Kagiso Rabada, Jasprit Bumrah and Pat Cummins, who stand out the most. They are counted as the three most exciting fast bowlers at present. They are in their mid-20s, leading the bowling attack of their respective sides and have it in them to succeed in all formats of the game and leave behind an everlasting legacy on the game. Today, we will evaluate how their numbers stack up against each other.

Overall record

South Africa's gun fast bowler, Kagiso Rabada is the youngest of the trio at 24 years. But he has played most number of Tests. After appearing in 40 Tests, the Johannesburg-born bowler has scalped 183 wickets at a brilliant average of 22.5 and he strikes almost every 40 balls, which is simply phenomenal. For bowlers to have taken 150 or more wickets in Tests, he has the best strike-rate of all-time, which shows his top-notch quality.

Australia's Pat Cummins has played 26 Tests picking up 128 wickets at a better average than Rabada- 21.62, but higher strike-rate at 46.2. When it comes to Jasprit Bumrah, he has left behind a colossal impact despite playing in 12 Tests.

The Ahmedabad-born giant has been magnificent in red-ball cricket. Bumrah has taken 62 wickets at an average of 19.24, which is better than both Cummins and Rabada and he strikes every 43 balls, which is in the middle of the aforementioned pacers' strike-rate.

Home and Away record

There isn't much difference between Pat Cummins' home and away record, which is quite rare. Cummins has 56 home wickets at 21.32 with a strike-rate of 46.80 while the pacer has claimed 72 wickets outside Australia at an average of 21.86 with a strike-rate of 45.89.

In comparison, we see stark difference in Rabada's home and away records. In 21 home Tests, Rabada has 127 wickets at an average of 19.13 with a strike-rate of 32.70, which is some domination. But outside South Africa, the right-arm fast bowler has 56 wickets in 17 Tests at an average of 30.16 and strike-rate of 57.45.

Cummins has played in four different countries in comparison to Rabada's appearance in five away nations. Notably, Australia have been producing flat tracks mostly, in the last few years while in South Africa, the pitches are much more seam friendly. When it comes to Asian conditions as well, Cummins trumps Rabada. After featuring in eight Asian Tests, Rabada has taken 17 wickets at 34.52 while Cummins has 14 wickets in four Tests at 29.71.

It is interesting to note that 25-year old, Jasprit Bumrah has not played even a single Test at home. Taking wickets in India for fast bowlers is considered to be one of the most difficult jobs in the world. But it has been remarkable how exceptionally he has adapted to helpful foreign conditions.

The unorthodox pacer had remarkable tours of South Africa, England, Australia and the West Indies. Fast bowlers, who are not used to bowling in helpful conditions generally commit a lot of errors but Bumrah has bowled like a seasoned pace bowler. He was critical in India's historic Test series win in Australia.

Current form

Pat Cummins is world's no.1 ranked Test bowler, followed by Kagiso Rabada at no.2. But Cummins is the numero-uno by a country mile as he has 907 rating points in comparison to Rabada's 839. Bumrah is ranked fifth in ICC's Test bowling rankings.

In last one year, Cummins is the leading wicket-taker with 62 wickets in 12 Tests at 19.29. Rabada hasn't done as well as Cummins and has 32 wickets in eight Tests at 26.21. But India's Jasprit Bumrah has done wonders with 34 wickets in six Tests at an average of 14.02.

Final Verdict

This sensational pace trio of Cummins, Rabada and Bumrah is simply amazing. But, if we have to pick one, it has to be Pat Cummins, given how well he has performed irrespective of the conditions. Rabada has untouchable numbers at home but he has to catch up with his displays away from home. As far as Bumrah is concerned, he has the potential to better both Cummins and Rabada but for that, he will need to prove himself on Asian wickets.

*STATS UPDATED TILL 29 NOVEMBER 2019

News Cricket

I have a lot of admiration for Ravindra Jadeja - Rangana Herath

Tarun Singh Updated: 30 November, 2019, 4:37 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Former Sri Lankan left-arm off-spinner Rangana Herath expressed his special admiration for Ravindra Jadeja during a coaching stint in Mumbai.

The 41-years-old Herath retired from cricket last year and the 433 wicket-taker in 93 Tests is already in demand to coach England Lions.

Herath is in Mumbai for a short coaching stint organized by the Global Cricket Academy.

During a break from the coaching session, Herath highlighted the qualities of Indian spinner Ravindra Jadeja.

Herath thinks that Jadeja and South Africa’s Keshav Maharaj are the assets for their team and performing well.

“Keshav Maharaj [of South Africa] and Ravindra Jadeja are doing well as left-arm spinners at the moment. They are important for their teams. It depends on the combination. When you are playing in the sub-continent, he might get a chance. But when you are playing outside India, it is not easy to bring that combination of two spinners.”

Herath applauded Jadeja batting and fielding and went on to say that Jadeja is one of the fittest guys in the Indian team.

When asked, what more should Jadeja do to be an automatic choice in the playing XI?

Herath replied, “It depends on the combination. When you are playing in the sub-continent, he might get a chance. But when you are playing outside India, it is not easy to bring that combination [of two spinners]. At some stage, maybe [Ravichandran] Ashwin is playing or Kuldeep Yadav is bowling. It depends on the situation and conditions. If you consider his batting and fielding, he is one of the fittest guys in the team. I have a lot of admiration for Jadeja.”

Ravindra Jadeja recently became the fastest left-arm bowler to scalp 200 wickets in Tests.

Feature Cricket

India’s Test under Floodlights reveals Australia’s ‘Pain’e

Sreelata S Yellamrazu Updated: 30 November, 2019, 4:30 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

In the end, the actual proceedings of the first ever day and night Test on Indian soil may have seemed underwhelming on the field. However, it did manage to stroke a few stinging reminders as Australia’s Test captain, Tim Paine, inadvertently pointed out recently.

India won their first overseas tour down under in seven decades earlier this year. At the turn of the year, India were bent on not squandering the opportunity of capitalizing on a rather weak Australian batting line up. Virat Kohli, having led the Test team de facto in 2014, pushed them to history with a phenomenal series win.

While that was humiliation enough for Paine and his team, there was more angst within Cricket Australia over India turning down the opportunity to participate in the day and night Test in Adelaide. Since the inception of the day and night Test cricket in 2015, Australia have kept at least one Test as part of their summer itinerary, carved out exclusively for the Test cricket under lights. One of their money spinners, Australia would stand to have made a lot of money from India’s participation.

However, India were wary of playing their first Test under lights and that too in foreign conditions such as Australia. With the hosts under pressure for a change, India were not going to squander a golden opportunity by taking on a huge risk and gamble and promptly turned down the request. Besides, Australia do enjoy a five out of five wins as far as Test cricket under floodlights at home go. Why would India hand such a huge impetus on a silver platter?

But Australia’s grouse should really be with the International Cricket Council (ICC) policy mandating the mutual consent for a day Test to be turned into a day and night format. Australia’s negotiations in the board room may need looking up. Instead Paine attempted to be smart when he took a dig at the first international batsman to score a Test century in the day and night Test cricket format.

Virat Kohli, who scored his twenty-seventh Test century in the match against Bangladesh at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata, became the target of Australia’s Test captain when pressed if Australia would want India to play a day and night Test on their tour down under next year now that India had a sampling for the affair under floodlights.

Paine mockingly stated that it would depend on Kohli’s mood and whether India were feeling generous. It was an obvious dig at India for turning down Australia’s request. Stung by the ball tampering scandal and hampered in the absence of Steve Smith and David Warner, Paine has not had an easy time of it as the captain of a beleaguered Australian team. That series loss is still obviously rankling. That and the fact, that India had outplayed Australia in the board room and on the field.

All things considered, while Australia would like to hold onto that grouse a little longer, knowing that they had been handed a strategic ploy for all and sundry to see, it is hard to see Australia not playing similar tactics had the shoe been on the other foot.

Milestones Cricket

3 famous instances of an overseas spinner claiming 10 wickets in a Test in India

Renin Wilben Albert Updated: 30 November, 2019, 4:22 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

West Indies off-spinner Rahkeem Cornwall recently became the first spinner from his country to pick up a 10-wicket match haul in a Test in India. Cornwall achieved the feat during the one-off Test against Afghanistan in Lucknow. After picking up 7 for 75 in the first innings, Cornwall added another 3 for 46 in the second to complete his 10-wicket match haul.

With his feat, Cornwall became the first overseas spinner in two years to pick up 10 wickets in a Test in India. Australia's Steve O'Keefe was the last one to do so, in February 2017. Even Indian spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja last picked up 10 wickets in a Test against England in December 2016. In the wake of Cornwall’s achievement, here’s a look at three famous instances of overseas spinners claiming 10 wickets in a Test in India.

1. Richie Benaud

The legendary Aussie all-rounder Richie Benaud claimed 6 for 52 and 5 for 53 during the third Test of a three-match series played in November 1956 in Kolkata. After Australia were rolled over for 177 courtesy Ghulam Ahmed’s 7 for 49, Benaud hit back for Australia claiming six wickets. He got the big scalps of Nari Contractor, skipper Polly Umrigar, Vijay Manjrekar and Vinoo Mankad as India stumbled to 136 all out. After Australia declared their second innings at 189 for 9, India were set 231 to win the Test. Benaud, however, again tormented India with a five-for. He once more got the better of Umrigar, Manjrekar and Mankad as India folded up for 136 again, to hand Australia victory by 94 runs. Benaud finished with memorable match figures of 11 for 105 as the Aussies clinched the three-Test series 2-0.

2. Greg Matthews

Aussie off-spinner Greg Matthews picked up arguably the most famous ten-wicket haul in a Test in India. After all, it came in the legendary Tied Test at Madras (now Chennai) in September 1986. Australia batted first and posted a mammoth 574 for 7 declared courtesy Dean Jones’ famed double hundred, and centuries from David Boon and skipper Allan Border. Matthews then bowled his heart out in toiling heat to finish with commendable figures of 5 for 103. The off-spinner dismissed Sunil Gavaskar (8), Kris Srikkanth (53) and Ravi Shastri (62) to set India back. It needed a whirlwind hundred from skipper Kapil Dev to lift India to 397. Kapil (119) eventually became Matthews’ fifth victim of the innings.

Australia’s second innings declaration at 170 for 5 left India a target of 348. Thanks to Gavaskar’s 90, India got off to a great start in the chase. In fact, at one stage, they were cruising at 3 for 251. However, Matthews and left-arm spinner Ray Bright combined to take all ten Indian wickets as the Test ended in an incredible tie. While Bright (5 for 94) got the big scalps of Gavaskar and Azhar (42), Matthews (5 for 146) sent back Srikkanth (39), Mohinder Amarnath (51) as well as Kapil (1). Above all, he was the man to trap Maninder Singh lbw and leave Shastri stranded on 48 India were all out for 347. Matthews’ match figures read 10 for 249.

3. Monty Panesar

England left-arm spinner Monty Panesar could not fulfil his potential. However, on the 2012 tour of India he bamboozled a team considered best players of spin. Panesar picked up match figures of 11 for 210 at Mumbai in the second Test of a four-match series held in November 2012. India batted first and, despite Cheteshwar Pujara’s 135, were restricted to 327. Panesar got the better of Virender Sehwag (30), Sachin Tendulkar (8), Virat Kohli (19), and skipper MS Dhoni (29). He also had Ravichandran Ashwin lbw for 68 to finish with 5 for 129.

England responded with Kevin Pietersen smashing 186 and skipper Alastair Cook 122 to post an impressive 413. India were still in the game. However, Panesar soon ran through what was a strong line up on paper, to leaving India crumbling and embarrassed. Sehwag, Tendulkar, Dhoni and Ashwin again fell to Ashwin’s guile as the hosts tottered to 142 all out and lost the Test by 10 wickets. Panesar second-innings figures were even better -- 6 for 81. An inspired England went on to win the series 2-1.

Feature Cricket

It has been an eventful tenure for MSK Prasad

Partab Ramchand Updated: 30 November, 2019, 4:20 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

His tenure ends shortly and it is inevitable that MSK Prasad’s term as selection committee chairman should be an eventful one. The positives far outweigh the negatives and he can look back with satisfaction at a job well done. Yes, selectors face only criticism and hardly get any praise. They have been called a bunch of jokers and worse and the present selection committee too had their share of jibes particularly since they collectively had limited international careers. But overall taking a balanced and dispassionate view the fact remains that Prasad leaves the scene with Indian cricket in the pink of health and if a lot of the credit should go to the players the selectors deserve their share too in giving many youngsters the big break at the right time.

This is the point that Prasad has been driving home in the interviews he has given lately. The legacy of his selection committee he says is the ammunition the team has across formats so that it can stay at the top. He is of the view that the bench strength the committee has built will last six to seven years with the result that the Indian team will continue to prosper in international cricket. Right now it is No 1 in Tests and No 2 in ODIs but Prasad is confident that India will call the shots in T-20 internationals too starting with the World Cup to be held in Australia next year.

According to the 44-year-old former Indian stumper who played six Tests and 17 ODIs when he took over he wanted to build a team that could win in all formats and across the world. He pointed out that the Indian team came up with a great show in winning a Test series in Australia for the first time. It is true that the results in South Africa and England didn’t go in India’s favour but as Prasad is quick to add ``the way we fought it could have been anyone’s game.’’ He emphasized that the committee has helped build a winning culture and ``today no team be it England, New Zealand, Australia or South Africa will prepare seaming tracks when we visit. We have been able to scare the world with our pace bowling unit.’’ He is of the view that ``we now have a complete team, we have amazing talent in all departments of the game and we have all bases covered.’’

On making a few incorrect decisions Prasad pointed out that selection was all about forecasting. ``At times you might be right but on occasion you may go wrong as well. As selectors our job is to pick the best possible squad that can give you the best results.’’ Indeed Prasad’s selection committee has been lauded for defining a concrete path to India selection through domestic, age-group and A teams cricket. ``We have looked at the requirements of the senior team and groomed players based on that. Prithvi Shaw, Shubman Gill and Mayank Agarwal are a few examples,’’ he said.

Terming criticism as an ``occupational hazard’’ Prasad is of the view that as long as you are honest about what you are doing and your intentions are right you don’t need to worry about criticism. In the ultimate analysis the Indian team is enjoying an unprecedented run of success and that should be the bottom line in judging this selection committee’s work.

News Cricket

Pakistan paceman Hasan Ali to miss Test series vs Sri Lanka

AP Updated: 30 November, 2019, 4:19 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Pakistan fast bowler Hasan Ali has been ruled out of the test series against Sri Lanka next month because of broken ribs.

Scans revealed cortical rib fractures that required up to six weeks to heal, the Pakistan Cricket Board said on Friday.

Hasan was cleared last week of a back injury that took seven weeks to heal, and played in the last two rounds of Pakistan’s premier four-day tournament, the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy.

But just before the start of the match last Friday, Hasan complained about pain in his left side. Scans revealed fractures of the “ninth rib on the right side and eighth and ninth ribs on the left side.”

Hasan last played an international in June against archrival India during the Cricket World Cup in England.

Pakistan is due to host Sri Lanka for a two-test series from Dec. 11. Rawalpindi stages the first test from Dec. 11 followed by the second test at Karachi from Dec. 19.

Sri Lanka will be the first team to play test matches in Pakistan in more than a decade since the team suffered a deadly ambush by gunmen in Lahore in 2009.

News Cricket

Amy Finch hilariously trolls hubby Aaron Finch on twitter

Staff Writer Updated: 30 November, 2019, 3:53 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Aaron Finch is currently away from cricket as his national team is busy in Test cricket, and the limited-overs skipper is not a part of the Test squad. He recently took to Twitter to interact with his fans. The fans asked him a lot of questions ranging from his career to hardships. But one of the questions came from his wife Amy Finch, which caught everyone's attention. He was hilariously trolled by her, leaving fans in splits. She mocked him for not washing clothes at home.

The Aussie skipper chose ignore her question, which left fans disappointed. “What are the chances of you putting the washing away?,” wrote Amy.

When he was asked to name the toughest bowler he faced during his international career so far, he came up with the names of Muttiah Muralitharan and Saeed Ajmal.

Aaron Finch has led Australia in a pretty decent way and is expected to play an important role in the upcoming edition of the T20 World Cup in 2020.

News Cricket

Sourav Ganguly to bring back Sachin and Laxman to CAC

Tarun Singh Updated: 30 November, 2019, 3:50 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Former India cricketer Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman are expected to return to the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC).

Sachin and Laxman had to resign from their posts in July this year from (CAC) following ‘conflict of interest’ allegations against them.

Sourav Ganguly was the third member of the CAC who also had resigned with Laxman and Sachin in July this year due to the same allegations from BCCI ethics officer DK Jain.

But things are changing in Indian cricket after Dada has become the boss of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

According to a top official of Sourav Ganguly-led BCCI, Laxman and Sachin are expected to resume their roles in CAC for a second tenure after their resignations from their posts.

“Sachin and Laxman are likely to be brought back. Since Sourav (Ganguly) is the BCCI President, he obviously cannot be there,” a BCCI source said.

Sourav Ganguly will hold BCCI’s 88th Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Sunday at the BCCI headquarters in Mumbai.

And the Apex Council meeting will be held on Saturday to take decisions on the selection committee.

“The Committee will be formed at Apex Council meeting tomorrow. CAC will take a call on selection committee also.”

It is believed that Ganguly may bring changes to ‘one person one post’ rule of BCCI so that the best people can be hired by the board without an issue of ‘conflict of interest’.

News Cricket

Ricky Ponting turns photographer for a fan

Staff Writer Updated: 30 November, 2019, 3:48 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Ricky Ponting was highly successful during his international career. He still holds a lot of records and is taken seriously in cricket related matters. The former Aussie skipper had to become a photographer for one of the cricket fanatics. Ahead of the first day's play between Australia and Pakistan in Adelaide, a fan asked Ricky Ponting to click his picture with Australian sports presenter Melanie McLaughlin. Channel Seven's official account posted the pictures of Ponting clicking a photo of Melanie with the fan. She also re-tweeted the post with a cheeky caption: "This version of events is... mostly... accurate..."

He is one of the commentators of Channel Seven for the ongoing two-Test series between Australia and Pakistan. The home team is way ahead of Pakistan in the ongoing second Test match.

David Warner reached a career-high 335 and shared partnerships of 361 with Marnus Labuschagne.

In two innings back on home soil, Warner has scored 154 in Australia’s innings victory in the first test and was unbeaten after facing 418 balls at the Adelaide Oval.

Australia has dominated the day-night match since winning the toss and electing to bat despite overcast conditions on Friday and rain on the forecast.

News Cricket

MS Dhoni’s future cannot be revealed on public platform - Sourav Ganguly

Tarun Singh Updated: 30 November, 2019, 3:46 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

MS Dhoni, the former India skipper, recently said that he can disclose his plans about comeback to international cricket only after January 2020.

But the BCCI president Ganguly said that there is ‘absolute clarity’ in the team management on the future of MS Dhoni, and they will reveal it at the right time.

"No no, there is clarity, but certain things cannot be said on public platform. There is absolute clarity on MS Dhoni and you'll find out in time.

"There's transparency between the Board, MS and the selectors. When you deal with such champions -- MS Dhoni is an unbelievable athlete for India -- certain things have to be kept within the closed doors. It's very transparent and everybody knows where they stand,” he said.

Sourav Ganguly had also backed MS Dhoni after becoming the BCCI boss by saying, “You know champions don't finish quickly”.

MS Dhoni has not featured in any cricket match since India's semifinal exit from the World Cup in England.

Since then, Dhoni has not revealed anything regarding his comeback to international cricket.

A source close to MS Dhoni had said that Dhoni will decide his future in international cricket after the Indian Premier League (IPL) next year.

The 38-year-old MS Dhoni will lead Chennai Super Kings in the (IPL), where he will be eyeing for the fourth title with the franchise.

News Cricket

'Asay nahi hota bhai': Shoaib blasts Pak bowlers for their below-par display against Australia

Staff Writer Updated: 30 November, 2019, 3:43 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

David Warner surpassed one of the great Donald Bradman’s records at the Adelaide Oval with a boundary to bring up his 300 against Pakistan, then whacked a six off Mohammad Abbas to break the record for the biggest innings in a day-night cricket test.

Warner’s 37th boundary of the innings took him past Bradman’s 299 not out against South Africa in 1931-32 as the highest test score at the Adelaide Oval, which for a long time was Bradman’s home ground.

To add insult to injury for the visitors, Warner surpassed Pakistan captain Azhar Ali’s record for the biggest innings in a day-night test. He equaled Azhar’s 302, then hit his first six of the innings to move to 308.

Australia declared its innings at 589-3 with David Warner unbeaten on 335.

Pakistan bowlers were taken to the cleaners by David Warner and other batsmen. Former Pakistan player Shoaib Akhtar blasted visiting bowlers for their poor show in the ongoing second Test match at the Adelaide Oval.

He took to his Twitter handle to mock the bowlers. “Clueless how to take wickets on these tracks. Waiting for Australia to declare or just gift the wickets. Asay nahi hota bhai.”

News Cricket

Hyderabad rape case: Gautam Gambhir and VVS Laxman urge for severe punishment

Tarun Singh Updated: 30 November, 2019, 3:40 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

The whole country is boiling with anger and has demanded death penalty for the rapists, after back to back horrific and shameful crimes against women.

Former India cricketers Gautam Gambhir and VVS Laxman took to Twitter to express their anguish against the gang-rape and murder of a veterinary doctor Priyanka Reddy in Hyderabad.

Gautam Gambhir was in anger at the shameful crime against Priyanka and tweeted a sarcastic picture of a girl sitting with a dog. The picture reads “Hey doc can you check with God who the real animals are anyways!!! He wrote, “Shameful!!! #rapeofveterinarian #womensafety #Nirbhaya”

On the other hand, Laxman also expressed his anguish and tweeted, “ How can someone commit such a barbaric and heinous crime. Speechless and shocked to know about the incident. Deep condolences to the family of #priyanakareddy It’s time the Govt takes stringent action and punish the guilty.”

According to sources, four prime suspects have been arrested by the police, Mohammed Pasha, a lorry driver who belongs to Mahabubnagar, a cleaner, and two other persons.

News Cricket

Warner’s triple century sets records in day-night Test

AP Updated: 30 November, 2019, 3:39 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

David Warner produced the biggest innings ever in the day-night test cricket format and surpassed some of Don Bradman’s records before finishing unbeaten on 335 when Australia captain Tim Paine declared at 589-3 on day two against Pakistan.

Pakistan openers Shan Masood and Imam-ul-Haq (2) both got the better of decision referrals in the first two overs before Mitch Starc got the breakthrough, getting a tick edge off ul-Haq’s bat that carried at waist-height to Warner in the gully.

At the end of the middle session, Pakistan was 3-1, with Masood on one and skipper Azhar Ali yet to get off the mark from his first three balls.

The first five sessions have been painful for Pakistan, with Shaheen Afridi’s three wickets the only highlights.

Along the way, Azhar’s record of 302 for a day-night test was lost to Warner, who whacked a six to move to 308 to underscore his dominance.

Warner, who missed the last southern summer while serving a 12-month ban and entered the series against Pakistan after a poor Ashes in England, beat Bradman’s record of 299 — set against South Africa in 1931-32 — for the highest test score at the Adelaide Oval.

Then he just kept going, and finally was called back into the pavilion with the 10th-highest score ever in a test match — Brian Lara’s 400 not out remains the record.

Warner had one reprieve at the Gabba, when he was caught on 56 off a no-ball from 16-year-old Naseem Shah. He had another reprieve on Saturday, this time on 226 and against another test rookie, when he edged 19-year-old Muhammad Musa to the slips but stayed at the crease because the young paceman had over-stepped.

“At the moment I’m getting a little bit of luck ... (but) I’ve been very disciplined my last two innings,” Warner said as he walked off the field at the end of the second session on day two. “At the moment, we’re in a good position.”

Warner’s innings lasted 418 balls and contained 39 fours and one six and, combined with his 154 in the first test against Pakistan last week, has no doubt cemented his place in the Australian team.

That came into question when he scored 95 runs in 10 innings in the Ashes in August and September, getting one half-century, making three ducks and failing to get out of single figures every other time except once — when he was out for 11.

Smith’s return to the runs ensured he became the fastest batsmen to pass 7,000 career runs in test cricket.

Smith was the highest scorer in the Ashes but was out for four in the series-opener against Pakistan at the Gabba, where Australia won by an innings and five runs.

He was more circumspect in Adelaide and more deliberate each time he set up on strike before first interval, ensuring he reached the milestone in his 126th innings and beating a record set by England’s Walter Hammond in 1946.

But he played an extravagant Twenty20-style attempted slog off Shaheen and got an inside edge to wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan.

That gave Shaheen his second wicket of the day after bowling Labuschagne with the new ball.

Shaheen returned figures of 3-88 from 30 overs, but the other bowlers were expensive. Leg-spinner Yasir Shah returned 0-197, test rookie Muhammad Musa went wicketless for 114 and veteran seamer Mohammad Abbas had figures of 0-100.

Opinion Cricket

Is David Warner on par with Virat Kohli and Steve Smith?

Harshit Anand Updated: 30 November, 2019, 3:37 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

On 31st birth anniversary of his late teammate, Phillip Hughes, David Warner paid him a special tribute by scoring a record-breaking triple century at the Adelaide Oval. It will always be a special cricketing memory for Warner since he was also quite close to his former opening partner.

Warner, who threatened to break the world record of Brian Lara's highest individual score, could only be stopped by declaration made by Australian skipper Tim Paine. But not before he made an unbeaten 335 that included 39 fours and a six. What's more special is the fact that he scored his runs at a rapid strike-rate of 80.14.

From starting out as a T20 specialist, who hadn't even played a single first-class game at the time of his international debut, to getting a guard of honour from his teammates for scoring a triple-century in Test cricket, this pocket-dynamo has come a long way in what has been an illustrious yet controversial cricket career. Warner surpassed Don Bradman and Mark Taylor's highest score of 334* to become the second highest run-scorer for his country in a Test innings, second only to Matthew Hayden's 380.

In 149 Test innings, David Warner has scored 6,947 runs at an average of 48.58 with 23 Test centuries, which is magnificent. Warner's ability to score runs quickly and decimate bowling attacks leaves opponents in tatters. If he gets going, he has far more impact than Virat Kohli and Steve Smith. His Test strike-rate of 73.61 is much better than both Smith and Virat's scoring rate.

Warner also has a Test triple-century to his credit, unlike Smith and Kohli. Among currently active batsmen, Warner has the third highest-tally of Test centuries only behind Virat Kohli (27) and Steve Smith (26). But does that put him at par with Smith or Kohli? For that, we will need to dig deeper.

Home record

Among currently active cricketers, no one has scored more Test runs than David Warner at home. Warner has blasted 4,187 runs in 69 home innings at an average of 66.46 with a brilliant strike-rate of 77.17. The New South Wales-born batsman has hammered as many as 17 centuries, which is more than that of Kohli and Smith at home.

Virat Kohli has 3,558 runs in 60 innings at 68.42 with 13 tons while Smith has amassed 3,130 runs in 52 innings at 74.52 with 13 centuries in their respective countries. We can conclude that all three have been simply exceptional in home conditions.

Away record

A batsman's real test lies outside his home territory where he has to play on different pitches, unfamiliar conditions and with no real crowd support. When it comes to away record, Smith and Kohli leave Warner far behind in comparison.

Smith is the best among the trio in terms of away statistics. Smith averages 57.10 for his 3,883 runs with 13 centuries. Indian skipper Kohli has 3,644 runs at an average of 46.12 with 14 centuries. Aussie opener, David Warner's average falls down from 66.46 to 34.50 away from home, which is nowhere near the standards of world's no.1 and no.2 ranked Test batsmen, Smith and Kohli.

The southpaw has made 2,760 runs in 80 innings with six centuries, which is far too less from a top-tier Test batsman. As dominant as Warner has been at home, he has failed to score consistently outside Australia, which doesn't reflect too well on him.

Verdict

Both Steve Smith and Virat Kohli are playing Test cricket on a different level. The former Aussie skipper averages 63.75 while Kohli is averaging nearly 55. Both have a fairly balanced home and away records unlike David Warner, who pales when we compare him with the top two in Test cricket. He has a lot of catching up to do before he comes on par with Smith and Kohli.

** ALL STATS UPDATED TILL 30TH NOVEMBER 2019

News Cricket

West Indies concentrating hard to adapt to Indian pitches to challenge ‘Men in Blue’- Rutherford

Tarun Singh Updated: 30 November, 2019, 3:36 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Ahead of the three-match Twenty20 series against India, West Indies all-rounder, Sherfane Rutherford said that his team has been focusing hard to adapt to the Indian pitches to give India a tough challenge.

India and West Indies will lock horns in the T20I series starting from December 6 in Hyderabad.

The 21-year-old Rutherford said, “I am happy to get the opportunity. Preparation have been coming along well, we had a lot of time to train and to get some work done. So over the past few days we have been putting in some hard work and are looking forward to give our best against India.”

“Most of the Indian pitches are good wickets to bat on. We have been working on adapting to the pitches so we can improve our game. I don’t think players are thinking too much about the World Cup or IPL, it’s just about performance and everything else will follow from there.”

The West Indies team has spent the last whole month in Lucknow playing against Afghanistan in all three formats of the game.

The West Indies team who is lacking experience is working hard with some quality preparations to compete with ‘Men in Blue’.

Rutherford also cleared that they want to perform well against India first, and they are not thinking about the T20 World Cup in Australia next year.

"T20 World Cup is a while from now but every series we look to take something out of it. We look to give our best and take it one step at a time."