Shubman Gill replaces KL Rahul for Tests against SA

Shubman Gill replaces KL Rahul for Tests against SA

Staff Writer Updated: 12 September, 2019, 4:45 PM IST


India have announced their Test squad for three-match Test series against South Africa. Shubman Gill has replaced opener KL Rahul and Umesh Yadav has also not found a place in India's squad. Barring that, there is no change in the team that traveled to West Indies for two Tests.

The likes of Priyank Panchal and Abhimanyu Easwaran, who were also said to be in the fray for selection have been overlooked. Recently, Shubman Gill had made 90 runs against South Africa A and before that he had become the youngest double centurion for India in first-class cricket against West Indies A. Rohit Sharma might well get a shot in the Test team as an opener this time around.

India’s squad for 3 Tests: Virat Kohli (Capt), Mayank Agarwal, Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (vc), Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wk),Wriddhiman Saha (wk), R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Shubman Gill

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News Cricket

‘Manchester is Red’: Gambhir lauds Manchester United for their win over Manchester City at Etihad

Staff Writer Updated: 8 December, 2019, 10:47 AM IST


Former Indian player and the Member of Parliament, Gautam Gambhir praised Manchester United for their win over Manchester City at the Etihad. He took to Twitter to express his feeling for his favourite football club. 'Manchester is Red', he wrote. United defeated their arch rivals City 2-1 in the thrilling match at the fortress of opposite team.

The champions were torn apart by the visitors in the first half, conceding goals in a six-minute span from Marcus Rashford’s penalty after being bundled over by Bernardo Silva and Anthony Martial’s strike which followed a slick exchange of passes with Daniel James.

Although Nicolas Otamendi’s header reduced the deficit in the 85th, City couldn’t prevent United from claiming only a second away win of the season.

That means United is still in a scrap just to make the Champions League places, five points from fourth-place Chelsea.

It left City with as many losses — four — as last season. And Pep Guardiola’s side fell 14 points behind Liverpool, which is 11 points ahead of Leicester.

News Cricket

Pakistan recalls batsman Fawad Alam after 10 years

AP Updated: 8 December, 2019, 10:46 AM IST


Pakistan has recalled 34-year-old middle-order batsman Fawad Alam for the first time in 10 years for the test series against Sri Lanka.

Chief selector and head coach Misbah-ul-Haq said Saturday that the left-handed batsman was selected because of his recent prolific scoring in domestic cricket. The series, which is part of ICC’s World Test Championship, starts at Rawalpindi next Wednesday. Karachi will host the second test from Dec. 19-23.

Alam last played a test match against New Zealand at Dunedin in 2009, eight months after a terrorist attack on the Sri Lanka team bus at Lahore that shut the doors of international cricket on Pakistan. Alam scored a century in his debut test against Sri Lanka in July 2009 and has scored over 12,222 runs in a 16-year first class career at a healthy average of 56.84.

Alam is one of the two changes Pakistan selectors have made from the 16-man squad that lost the two-test matches against Australia.

Alam has replaced Iftikhar Ahmed while leftarm fast bowler Usman Shinwari comes in in place of young fast bowler Mohammad Musa. Misbah said Musa will remain with the test squad and will continue working with bowling coach Waqar Younis.

“Our thinking is that we need consistency in the team and that’s the reason we didn’t make a lot of changes for the series against Sri Lanka,” Misbah said. “There should be continuity so that players get confidence. We made changes where we feel it’s necessary.”

Misbah was given three responsibilities — chief selector, head coach and batting coach —when the Pakistan Cricket Board removed head coach Mickey Arthur and batting coach Grant Flower after the World Cup while chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq stepped down.

“The perspective is that it’s a one-man show,” Misbah said. “I think there should be a clarity on this, there are six selectors who closely watch players in domestic cricket and also do work with the players on their technique. They know all the minus and plus of these players very well and my prime job is the head coach.”

Azhar Ali (captain), Abid Ali, Asad Shafiq, Babar Azam, Fawad Alam, Haris Sohail, Imam-ul-Haq, Imran Khan, Kashif Bhatti, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Rizwan, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Afridi, Shan Masood, Yasir Shah, Usman Shinwari.

News Cricket

Match abandoned at MCG due to dangerous pitch

AP Updated: 8 December, 2019, 10:44 AM IST


A domestic first-class Sheffield Shield match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground between Victoria and Western Australia was abandoned Sunday after attempts by ground staff to make the pitch playable were unsuccessful.

Play was called off midway through the second session Saturday because of fears for the players' safety. Western Australian batsmen Shaun Marsh and Marcus Stoinis both required concussion tests after being hit by deliveries from Victorian fast bowler Peter Siddle that moved up unexpectedly, but both players were cleared.

Officials said too much moisture in the drop-in wicket led to divots, which hardened under the sun, creating uneven bounce and danger for the batsmen.

The wicket is not the same one which will be used at the MCG for the Boxing Day test beginning Dec. 26 between Australia and New Zealand.

News Cricket

King Kohli thanks Big Boss Viv Richards for his congratulatory message

Garima Kotroo Updated: 7 December, 2019, 10:26 PM IST


After playing sensational knock of unbeaten 94 runs off 50 balls against West Indies, Virat Kohli was widely praised. In the enthralling opener of ongoing three-match T20I series against Kieron Pollard’s team, India won the match by six wickets.

Kohli played his career-best T20I knock against Windies in Hyderabad. His flabbergasting innings had six fours and the same number of sixes.

Sir Vivian Richards lauded Virat’s stellar performance. Virat Kohli was quick to reply and wrote, “Thanks big BOSS. Coming from you means a lot”.

Both India and West Indies will play the second encounter of the ongoing series on December 8 at Greenfield International Stadium in Trivandrum.

News Cricket

King Kohli’s ‘notebook’ celebration invites hilarious meme fest on social media

Garima Kotroo Updated: 7 December, 2019, 8:59 PM IST


One more cricket match, one more historic win and one more spectacular show of Virat Kohli. The Indian skipper rewrote the record books after scoring unbeaten 94 runs off just 50 balls against West Indies in the first T20I match of the ongoing series.

Apart from his mesmerizing innings in the T20I opener, King Kohli dominated the headlines for his ‘notebook’ celebration. He performed the unique celebration after hitting a six on one of the Kesrick Williams’ deliveries in 16th over.

His celebration led to a meme fest on social media.

The Indian skipper reveled the reason behind his celebration.

"No, it is not the CPL. It happened to me in Jamaica when he got me out so I thought I would tick a few in the notebook as well but all good, smiles out there, in the end, that's what you want to see, good competitive cricket but at the end of the day we shake hands, that's what cricket is all about, play hard but at the end have respect for your opponents," Kohli said at the post-match ceremony.

News Cricket

‘Kohli hai to kuch bhi possible hai’: Harbhajan Singh hails Virat Kohli’s masterclass in Hyderabad

Tarun Singh Updated: 7 December, 2019, 3:44 PM IST


Virat Kohli hammered the Windies bowlers to chase a mammoth target of 208 and single-handedly took away the match from the rivals in the 1st T20I in Hyderabad.

Kohli’s majestic innings of (94* off 50) laced with six fours and as many maximums prompted Harbhajan Singh to realize that ‘King Kohli’s masterclass can make the impossible possible.

After India’s emphatic 6-wicket victory over West Indies with eight balls to spare, Harbhajan Singh applauded Kohli and performance of other players.

The ‘Turbanator’ also praised KL Rahul who contributed with much needed 62 runs after Rohit Sharma departed early on just 8 runs.

He also praised Rishabh Pant for his cameo of 18 runs in 9 balls against the Caribbean bowlers.

Harbhajan Tweeted, “Kohli hai tho kuch bi possible hai what a chase @imVkohli well done captain. superb inn from @klrahul11 too and lil cameo from @RishabhPant17 great win @BCCI”

Earlier, India were in a bit trouble, when the visitors posted a mammoth total of 207 runs.

However, Kohli’s career-best 94* took India to an emphatic win.

With Kohli’s heroics, India are now 1-0 up in the ongoing three-match T20I series against Kieron Pollard-led West Indies.

News Cricket

'Everybody likes me when I score runs', says KL Rahul after first T20I against Windies

Garima Kotroo Updated: 7 December, 2019, 3:43 PM IST


Although Indian skipper Virat Kohli stole the show against West Indies in the first T20I encounter at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, explosive opener KL Rahul also put his best efforts to drive the hosts to the brilliant six-wicket win.

The 27-year-old right-handed batsman gave a head-start to Men in Blue as he notched up important 62 runs off just 40 balls after ‘Hitman’ Rohit Sharma failed to score for the home team. Sharma lost his crucial wicket to Khary Pierre in the fourth over after scoring just 8 runs off 10 balls.

Rahul also touched down the benchmark of 1000 runs in T20I format and became the third fastest batsman to achieve this feat in just 29 innings.

In the absence of Shikhar Dhawan, the Karnataka based batsman was asked to fill the big void and he successfully justified his role by playing some excellent shots against Kieron Pollard-led team.

Being an Indian opener, Rahul feels that his job is to set the foundation for his team so that the other players can easily achieve the target in the end .

Speaking to the press after the memorable win of India over Windies, Rahul said, “Everybody likes me when I score runs, that's how it goes. I don't plan my innings according to the strike rate. If I get set, I can chase it down, I know that. My role is to set the foundation and we have others to do their job later, the finishing job”.

Feature Cricket

4 things that make Virat Kohli the best chaser in white-ball cricket  

Harshit Anand Updated: 7 December, 2019, 3:12 PM IST


With an average of 96.55 in successful ODI run-chases and 120.90 in successful T20I chases, Virat Kohli is the king of chases in limited-overs cricket. His numbers are awe-inspiring. The Indian skipper has made a habit of winning games consistently when it comes to hunting down totals.


He is an absolute master and genius in such scenarios. He shone through for the Men in Blue in the first T20I against West Indies in Hyderabad. Kohli's unbeaten 50-ball-94 helped India chase down 208 runs, their highest-ever in the format. Today, we will take a look at 4 things that make Virat Kohli the best chaser in white-ball cricket.




You don't earn reputation in anything by doing it just on a few occasions. You have to keep repeating the same feat numerous times to establish yourself as master in anything. And Kohli has proven that there is no better master in the art of run-chasing than him. The right-hander has helped India win games in chases consistently. The unbeatable hunger and passion with which he plays drive him to such consistency. Because only those attributes can keep pushing you towards excellence over and again. We might get bored of seeing him winning the games for India in chases given how often he does it, but he won't as he had once said that consistency is boring but he would keep pushing himself towards it.


Machine-esque Calculation


Unlike batting first, in chases, you have a fixed target in mind. The moment you start drifting, the required run-rate starts climbing. A great presence of mind and discipline is required in chases. You have to blunt out the most potent bowlers of the opposition, know when the weakling will come on and target in alignment to the target. Kohli does all of it smoothly. He is one-step ahead of the opposition and very well knows how to execute his game plan. The star batter will hit boundaries when he wants, will keep sprinting between the 22 yards in middle-overs, play out the biggest threats with solid planning and he just functions like a ruthless calculator.


Acceleration Power


Unlike the older times, in modern-day cricket, you can't survive without accelerating rapidly as a chaser since there are bigger totals to chase. And Kohli does that very well. He is not someone known for hitting too many aerial/lofted strokes but when the situation arrives, he can decimate even the best of bowlers in the business in his own imitable way. He doesn't muscle the ball rather times it effortlessly. Once he gains momentum in his knock, the acceleration that his innings goes through is simply phenomenal.


Take the example of his 94* against Windies in the first T20I. The no.1 Test and ODI batsman in the world had made just 44 runs off his first 34 deliveries at a strike-rate of 129.41. But suddenly, he changed gears akin to some power-hitter and blasted the next 50 runs in just 16 deliveries at a remarkable strike-rate of 312.50. His ability to cut loose successfully makes him a top-notch chaser.


Ability to handle pressure


A player like Virat Kohli revels under pressure. He is a world-class batsman and champion players like him want to be in the thick of things when the going gets tough. Kohli loves the spotlight and wants to shine under it. The 31 years old is the man for big occasions. Chasing might be daunting for some, but Kohli craves such situations as it keeps him going.


In the first T20I against Windies, there was a war of words going on between Kohli and West Indies players, India were chasing 208 runs, he wasn't middling the ball in the first half of his innings but all these didn't deter him. In fact, it pumped him up to bring out his best game on display and helped India cross the line with ease. King Kohli is born to handle pressure.

News Cricket

Glenn McGrath pens down a heartwarming note for his daughter who graduated high school

Staff Writer Updated: 7 December, 2019, 2:42 PM IST


Glenn McGrath was one of the best fast bowlers of his time. He still holds numerous records in Test cricket and one-day internationals. The former pacer is spending quality time with his family since he bid adieu to his beloved sport. The proud father congratulated his daughter, Holly, who graduated High School. The veteran took to Twitter to pen down a heartwarming message for Holly.

“So proud of my daughter Holly for graduating High School. Her dedication, organisational skills & work ethic has been amazing, plus she’s a beautiful person, inside & out. Chase your dreams, continue to work hard & enjoy life. Congrats Doll xx #proudfather,” he wrote.

Meanwhile, he has limited his presence as far as cricket related activities are concerned. The 49-year old former star takes care of McGrath Foundation, which he had started with his late wife Jane. She passed away after a long battle with breast cancer.

The foundation raises money to fund McGrath Breast Care Nurses in communities right across Australia and increase breast awareness in young women.

News Cricket

Kitni baar main tereko bola Virat ko mat chedh: Amitabh Bachchan mocks Kesrick Williams

Staff Writer Updated: 7 December, 2019, 2:32 PM IST


Virat Kohli played one of the best innings of his T20I career in the first match against the Windies. The Indian skipper scored an unbeaten 94 runs which led India to a comfortable win by six wickets.

The 31-year old was slow in the first phase of his knock but picked the pace at the right time. He was particularly severe against Kesrick Williamson, who had once mocked Virat after dismissing him in 2017.

Men in Blue blasted him for 23 runs in the 16th over of the Indian innings. Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan took to twitter to mock the rival bowler.

He recreated a famous dialogue from his blockbuster movie Amar Akbar Anthony, and wrote, “यार कितनी बार बोला मई तेरे को .. की Virat को मत छेड़ , मत छेड़ , मत छेड़ … पन सुनताइच किधर है तुम … अभी पर्ची लिख के दे दिया ना हाथ में !!!!देख देख .. WI का चेहरा देख; कितना मारा उसको, कितना मारा.”

Virat spoke about his notebook celebration after the match. The captain revealed that he was taking revenge from the West Indies bowler, who had celebrated in the same fashion after dismissing him in one of the T20I matches.

News Cricket

If you are nice to people and respect others, people will respect you back - Azharuddin

Garima Kotroo Updated: 7 December, 2019, 2:28 PM IST


While Virat Kohli and team were celebrating their incredible win over the Windies, former Indian skipper, Mohammed Azharuddin was cherishing the inauguration of newly-refurbished North Stand named after him at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium.

Azhar has face many ups-downs in his great career, but after being appointed as the President of Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA), it seems like all his struggles has paid off .

From being banned by cricket authorities for his alleged involvement in match -fixing scandal in 2000 to taking over as the chief of HCA, Azhar has come a long way.

However, the veteran feels that he always commanded respect in his career, but now when he has a position, he can make a difference easily.

"It's not that I have not been respected. I have always commanded respect. If you are nice to people and respect others, people will respect you back. But in every walk of life, you need a position to work. If you don't have a position, you can't work. You can't put things in the perspective”.

The new Mohammed Azharuddin stand was inaugurated by the legendary cricketer VVS Laxman in the presence of former Indian off-spinner Noel David, Venkatpathy Raju and pacer Mohammed Siraj.

News Cricket

Love the dialogue Sir: Virat reacts to Amitabh Bachchan's tweet on notebook celebration

Staff Writer Updated: 7 December, 2019, 2:26 PM IST


Virat Kohli took his revenge from Kesrick Williams in the first T20I at Hyderabad as he took the pacer for a lot of runs in the 16th over of the Indian innings. After hitting him for a six, Virat Kohli's notebook celebration caught everyone's attention. Virat's style was applauded by legendary Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan, who used one of the famous dialogues from his blockbuster movie Amar Akbar Anthony.

Virat Kohli, who is a big time follower of Bollywood actor, took to twitter to express his love for the veteran star.

Speaking at the post-match ceremony, Virat revealed the reason behind his celebration.

"It's not the CPL (about Williams's celebration), it happened to me in Jamaica when he got me out. So I thought I'll tick a few in the notebook as well, but all good. There were a few words, but smiles at the end. That's what you want to see. Good competitive cricket but in the end shake hands and give a hi-fi. That's what cricket is all about. Play it hard but have respect for opponents."

News Cricket

I just concentrate on doing the job instead of hitting the ball in the air - Virat Kohli

AP Updated: 7 December, 2019, 1:23 PM IST


Virat Kohli smacked 94 not out off 50 balls for India to beat the West Indies by six wickets in the first Twenty20 on Friday.

Kohli’s highest T20 score anchored India's chase of the 208-run target with eight balls to spare. The skipper hit six fours and another six sixes as his 35-ball half-century led India to 209-4 in 18.4 overs.

It was the highest T20 total chased down by India, going past the 207 versus Sri Lanka in Mohali in 2009.

India’s chase faltered initially when Rohit Sharma was caught early on 8. After 10 overs, India as well placed at 89-1.

KL Rahul, in for the injured Shikhar Dhawan, combined with Kohli for 100. Rahul’s half-century came off 37 balls. After he was dismissed in the 14th over for 62 off 40 balls, Kohli took center stage.

Kohli added a quickfire 48 runs off 17 balls with Rishabh Pant, who made 18 off 9.

Kesrick Williams conceded 23 runs in the 16th over and went 0-60. It was the turning point in India’s chase as Kohli took 54 runs off the last 19 deliveries he faced.

“I didn’t want to put pressure on Rahul but I couldn’t get going properly," Kohli said. “I don’t have to change much (in my batting) across formats. I just concentrate on doing the job instead of hitting (the ball) in the air. I played according to the situation in the second half (of my innings).”

It was the 23rd time he made fifty-plus in T20 cricket, the most by any batsman.

News Cricket

Two hundred and eight is enough to defend any day - Kieron Pollard

AP Updated: 7 December, 2019, 1:20 PM IST


The West Indies scored 207-5 after it was sent in to bat. Shimron Hetmyer (56) scored his maiden T20 half-century.

After losing Lendl Simmons cheaply, Evin Lewis, with 40 off 17 balls, and Brandon King , with 31 off 23, gave the visitors an aggressive start. They put on 51 runs for the second wicket.

Ravindra Jadeja (1-30) was India’s best bowler, and got King stumped in the 11th over.

Hetmyer struck four sixes and two fours as he scored a first T20 half-century off 35 deliveries.

Late blitzes by Kieron Pollard, 37 off 19 balls, and Jason Holder, 24 not out off nine, lifted West Indies past 200 easily.

“Two hundred and eight (is enough to defend) any day," Pollard said. “Where we lost the game was the extras and our bowling. Our execution was poor.”

The second T20 of three is on Sunday in Thiruvananthapuram.

News Cricket

Pakistan pride is hurt with defeats in Australia, says Azhar

AP Updated: 7 December, 2019, 1:19 PM IST


Pakistan test captain Azhar Ali wants to quickly forget the two losses to Australia and prepare for next week’s home test series against Sri Lanka.

Pakistan couldn’t win a single international match in Australia, losing the Twenty20 series 2-0 and then the test matches, which were part of World Test Championship, in Brisbane and Adelaide by large margins inside four days.

“It was a disappointing series (against Australia)," Azhar said Friday. "We are a pride cricketing nation and definitely our pride has been hurt with two innings defeat in Australia.”

Pakistan arrived from Australia early Friday and has only four more days before it takes on Sri Lanka in the first test in Rawalpindi.

It will be the first test in Pakistan in more than 10 years since the Sri Lanka cricket team bus came under a terrorist attack in Lahore. Eight people were killed during the ambush and several Sri Lankan players were also injured.

“It’s a memorable occasion for all of us because all (Pakistan) players will be playing their first test match in Pakistan,” said Azhar, who has played 75 test matches since making his debut in 2010 against Australia at Lord’s.

Pakistan had to choose neutral venues to play its home matches. The bulk of the international matches were organized in the United Arab Emirates.

Sri Lanka has chosen a full strength side to play two test matches with allrounder Angelo Matthews and batsman Dinesh Chandimal among those who earlier refused to travel to Pakistan three months ago for a limited-overs series because of security concerns.

“Sri Lanka is bringing their full strength side and we have to play very good cricket to beat them,” Azhar said. “We will try our best … whatever time we have in between, we freshen up our minds, look forward to play good cricket and get back on track, which is very important for us.”

Azhar replaced Sarfaraz Ahmed as test captain before the series against Australia but the right-handed batsman had been going through a run of poor form for a year since making 134 against New Zealand in Abu Dhabi in December 2018.

He scored only 59 runs in three test matches against South Africa this year and in four test innings against Australia he could make only 62 runs.

And Azhar knows very well that without scoring runs, it might get difficult for him to retain his place in the test team when Pakistan takes on Bangladesh in a two-test series in January.

“It’s not that the ball is not coming onto my bat or when I am at the crease my footwork is not working,” he said. “I know I need runs. Whether it’s captain or any other player, nobody can play without giving performance. I realize I do have to score and I am working hard. I am feeling good in the nets, unfortunately runs are not coming, but I know when runs do come it will be in bulk.”

Pakistan also struggled to get wickets against Australia in the absence of the retired Mohammad Amir and Wahab Riaz, who has sought an indefinite break from red ball cricket.

Although young fast bowlers Naseem Shah and Mohammad Musa made their debuts in Brisbane and Adelaide, respectively, they couldn’t trouble Australia batsmen David Warner and Marnus Labuchagne, who both scored big in the series.

“Bowling attack was young and couldn’t perform, but still the world is talking about them today. They have pace and with little bit more experience they will be a great future for Pakistan,” Azhar said. “We couldn’t take wickets with new ball. It’s very important to take wickets with new ball in Australia and we also couldn’t control the run-rate.”

Pakistan will announce the test squad for the series against Sri Lanka on Saturday and Azhar said he had a lengthy discussion with chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq, who is also the team’s head coach and batting coach.

“We have consulted about the team composition," Azhar said. "I can’t disclose it, Misbah bhai (brother) will announce the team and give you reasons for selection (tomorrow). I can’t tell you more than that.”