Steve Smith scored 144 on his return to test cricket after a ban for ball-tampering as Australia recovered from 122-8 to 284 all out against England on the opening day of the Ashes series.
He surpassed India skipper and world number one Test batsman, Virat Kohli to become the second fastest player to score 24 tons in Test format. The right hand batsman took 118 innings to register 24 centuries. Virat Kohli had taken 123 innings to achieve the same.
The record for the fastest to 24 centuries is with former Aussie skipper Don Bradman who had completed the feat in just 66 innings.
Smith and Peter Siddle came to the rescue of Australia's first innings with an 88-run partnership for the ninth wicket at Edgbaston, and Smith then shared 74 runs with Nathan Lyon (12 not out) for the last wicket in an extraordinary turnaround.
Smith was finally bowled while trying to smash Stuart Broad. The former captain's brilliant 219-ball knock, which provided more than half his team's runs, included two sixes and 16 fours.
Smith earned his first test ton — and 24th test century overall in only 65 games — after a 12-month suspension for being involved in a ball-tampering scandal during the third test against South Africa in 2018.
The Indian skipper, who scored a well compiled hundred in the last Test match against Bangladesh, have surpassed Steve Smith in the latest ICC Rankings for Test Batsmen. Virat Kohli has 928 points and is ahead of the Aussie batsman by 5 points.
The former Aussie skipper had an ordinary series against visiting Pakistan and he failed to score even one fifty for the first time in his Test career.
Virat Kohli, who is the best batsman across formats, was dethroned by Steve Smith after his fabulous performance in the Ashes against England.
The star of Pakistani cricket team, Babar Azam was widely praised for his exceptional performance in the recently concluded Test series against Australia. However, despite his excellent show, Australia were able to defeat Pakistan.
While the visitors were lambasted for their below-par display Down Under, Babar Azam was lauded by the fans for his heroics. He was also compared with the likes of Virat Kohli and Steve Smith. But it seems like the Pakistani star doesn’t like being compared with the top two batsmen in the world.
While expressing his feelings on such comparisons, the 25-year-old talented player said, “I don’t think the comparison is valid at this stage. I haven’t played much, while the other players have played quite a lot”.
In the recently concluded Test series against Australia, Azam scored a total of 210 runs for visitors at an average of 52.50. While in the three-match T20I series, he amassed 115 runs for his team.
Pakistan will face Sri Lanka in a two-match Test series, which will start from December 11.
Ahead of the T20I series against India, West Indies skipper Kieron Pollard has warned India that they can surprise India with their talent in the match even after being considered as an underdog team against the hosts. India, led by Virat Kohli, will face West Indies in the opening match of the three-match T20I series on December 6.
Kieron Pollard, who is expecting his team to perform well against India said, “We are coming up against a harder opposition, we would be the underdogs and that’s fine but then again it is about going out there and executing and believing in your talent, once you do that anything is possible.”
“There are boxes which needs to be ticked off, when you do that, most times you end up on the right side of the result.”
The West Indies team has got some confidence back after beating Afghanistan in the recently concluded ODI series and Pollard said that they will work hard to be consistent.
“You must commend the guys on how they worked in a little period of time for the Afghanistan series. It was incredible and it augurs well for us as we go into the future,” he said.
The veteran batsman of the Australian cricket team, Steve Smith has given a savage reply to former skipper Ian Chappell after the latter accused him of undermining the current captain Tim Paine during the Test series against Pakistan.
In the recently concluded second Test of the two-match series between Australia and Pakistan, Smith was seen making field changes for his team which disappointed the legendary cricketer Chappell as he didn’t like his actions during the game.
However, the top-ranked Test batsman tried to defend his actions and said that his main focus was to ensure that Aussies did well in the game against green army as they couldn’t afford to lose at home. He also added, “Tim Paine is doing a terrific job, but I give him suggestions and things like that. I'm certainly not undermining him”.
On the match front, Smith failed to create his magic in the series against Pakistan as in the first Test he managed to score only four runs while in the second and the final encounter he bagged only 36 runs in his kitty. But this didn’t impact the home team much as they successfully whitewashed the green brigade. Explosive opener David Warner played exceptionally well for his side and became the standout performer after scoring 489 runs in two innings.
It has often been seen by the fans that many sports personalities from different fields praise each other on their glorious achievements, and something like this happened, when Indian off-spinner Kuldeep Yadav applauded football great Lionel Messi for his sixth Ballon d'Or award.
The 24-year-old left-arm spinner congratulated the star Argentine footballer on social media. He tweeted, “It's absolutely magical to watch you on the field. Congratulations on your sixth #BallonDor #LionelMessi”.
Everybody knows that Yadav is a world-class Indian tweaker but very few people know that he is a big football freak, and when he came to know about Messi’s great achievement in the Ballon d'Or Awards 2019, he just couldn’t stop himself from congratulating him.
The Barcelona star won his last Ballon d'Or award in 2015, and now after four years, he finally grabbed the title once again. Before 2015, the 32-year-old star footballer won the prestigious award in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012.
In the glitzy held event of the Ballon d'Or Awards 2019 at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris on Monday Messi was awarded for his remarkable efforts in the season 2018-19. He scored a total of 54 goals for Barcelona FC and Argentina after which the superstar forward successfully lifted one of the biggest football titles of the year.
New Zealand Cricket has lodged an official complaint with police over the alleged racial abuse of England fast bowler Jofra Archer by a spectator at the first test at Mount Maunganui last week.
Chief executive David White said New Zealand Cricket's investigation had failed to find the spectator involved, but it would hand over a dossier to authorities to help with a police investigation.
During its investigation NZC studied CCTV footage and audio, interviewed bystanders and obtained material on social media which had been made available to police, NZC said in a statement.
Archer, who is black, revealed the racial abuse in a tweet posted only hours after the first test ended at Bay Oval.
"A bit disturbing hearing racial insults today whilst battling to help save my team. The crowd was been amazing this week except for that one guy." Archer said the fan later contacted him on Instagram.
White said he believed NZC had gathered enough information to justify a complaint to police.
"What happened to Jofra was reprehensible and has led to a general up scaling of security around the area of racial abuse at all our international venues," he said. “Should the person responsible ever re-offend, we believe we have enough information to link him to the Bay Oval incident."
After India’s limited over vice-captain Rohit Sharma congratulated the newly-wed cricketer Manish Pandey on his wedding, Indian skipper Virat Kohli also came forward to wish the beautiful couple. He took to his Twitter account to give his blessings to the newly-married couple and posted a heart-warming message for them.
Here’s what Virat Kohli posted for his teammate Manish Pandey on his wedding with Ashrita Shetty in Mumbai:
The 30-year-old right-handed batsman, Manish Pandey tied the knot with Ashrita Shetty in a private family affair on Monday. Right after their rituals, the pictures of the lovely couple went viral on social media platforms.
Apart from Sharma and Kohli, many other cricket celebrities like Shikhar Dhawan, Dinesh Karthik, Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja also congratulated the Karnataka batsman for his new beginning.
Pandey made his promising debut for the Indian cricket team in 2015 in shorter formats. He has been a part of many match winning partnerships. In the domestic circuit also, the experienced cricketer has performed exceptionally well. The past few months have been like a dream for Pandey as he led his state team Karnataka to back-to-back prestigious titles. At first, he helped his team in winning the Vijay Hazare Trophy title in October and then led them to their second consecutive Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy title.
Under-19 World Cup is a big deal in cricket's landscape. It has a long and glorious history of giving a glimpse into the future superstars of the game. India will enter the Under-19 World Cup as defending champions, which will be played in South Africa in January-February 2020. In fact, India have won as many as four titles in the Under-19 Cricket World Cup. Recently, India's World Cup squad was announced. Today, we will take a look at 5 players from India's U-19 WC squad who can turn into stars.
From selling panipuris to becoming the youngest to score double century in the 50-over Vijay Hazare Trophy to getting selected to India's U-19 World Cup squad, Yashasvi Jaiswal is going to be one of the most exciting players to watch out for. Born in Suriya, Uttar Pradesh, Jaiswal has played for India’s Under-19 side besides representing Mumbai in the Ranji and Vijay Hazare Trophy respectively. In fact, the left-hander made his List-A debut on September 28, this year. The 17-year-old has scored 677 runs in nine List A matches at an average of 84.62, including three centuries and two half-centuries. He can strike the ball a long way and went on to smack as many as 25 sixes in six Vijay Hazare games.
Named as the skipper of the side, the successor to Kohli and Shaw, Priyam Garg is a right-handed batsman from Uttar Pradesh. Known for his stroke play, he can dominate bowling attacks and is already a regular part of his state side. Priyam has blasted 867 runs in 16 First-class innings at an average of 66.69. The Meerut-born batsman averages 41.46 for his 539 List A runs. He has also played 11 T20s averaging 28.37 with a strike-rate of 132.74. The 19-year-old recently impressed one and all with a 77-ball 74 in the Deodhar Trophy final with his side struggling on a slow pitch in Ranchi.
Atharva Ankolekar made it to the headlines when he guided India's U-19 team to triumph in Asia Cup final with his five-for against Bangladesh. India were in a spot of bother after they could merely manage 106 runs but Atharva spun a web, which helped India win the thrilling game by five runs. Son of a bus conductor, Atharva’s moment in the sun came in 2010, when he impressed Sachin Tendulkar in a training session in Mumbai. Tendulkar had gifted him a pair of autographed gloves then. The 19-year-old was part of India's recent U-19 series against Afghanistan U-19 side held in Lucknow. He will be one of the stars to watch out for in the upcoming U-19 World Cup.
Dhruv Chand Jurel
Dhruv Jurel has been announced as deputy to Priyam Garg for the 2020 U-19 World Cup that will take place in South Africa. Son of a Kargil war veteran, the 18-year-old gloveman hails from the city of Agra in Uttar Pradesh. Dhruv is yet to represent his state side in domestic cricket but has been part of India's U-19 side. Notably, the right-hand batsman led the runners-up India U-19 A team in a quadrangular series held in India in March, earlier this year besides leading India U-19 team in the Youth Asia Cup, few months back. Dhruv had also amassed 736 runs in 11 matches in the U-19 Cooch Behar Trophy at 61.33.
Akash Singh created ripples when at just 15 years, he took 10 wickets in a T20 game that too without conceding a single run. Hailing from Bharatpur, Rajasthan, the left-arm medium-pacer had achieved the remarkable feat during Late Bhawer Singh T20 tournament. Akash had made a key contribution in final of India's victorious U-19 Asia Cup campaign in Sri Lanka. He was India's second best bowler after Atharva Ankolekar, securing figures of 3/12. He had given early jolts to Bangladesh in a low scoring game. Last month, he made his debut for Rajasthan in Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy against Tamil Nadu and picked up crucial scalps of Murali Vijay and Dinesh Karthik. The 17 years old was also part of India's U-19 side in the recent series against Afghanistan U-19, played in Lucknow.
There seems to be mayhem in how Cricket South Africa is managing its affairs. While Thabang Moroe, the CSA chief executive, was in the eye of the storm after revoking the accreditation of five journalists, Graeme Smith’s impending decision to accept the CSA Director of Cricket post is in the former captain’s own words “frustrating process”.
Graeme Smith, South Africa and cricket’s most successful Test captains, having led South Africa to fifty-three Test wins over his career, was one of three narrowed down for the post of director of cricket. While Enoch Nkwe was appointed the interim coach in football style manager role (which is still not clear) for the tour of India, there is next to no contention of how long he is to continue in the role, particularly as South Africa slipped to a new low of a 300 drubbing that included back-to-back innings defeats.
The position that Smith is now in negotiations with the CSA was previously occupied on an interim basis by Corrie van Zyl who was targeted recently by CSA as being one of three who have been embroiled in the financial drama within the South African cricketers over unpaid dues with regard to their Twenty20 league. His ouster has left a void in trying to bridge South Africa from a state of limbo to a more concrete situation and plan going forward.
But in a headless chicken scenario, CSA’s appointments are a question mark, if not altogether absent and Faf du Plessis, appointed only as South Africa’s Test captain for the tour of India, called for transparency and formal appointments to lead the way forward for clarity and future planning.
Smith, who now works as a television commentator, had previously stated he had withdrawn from the race and described the process as not providing him with enough confidence that there would be freedom to chart out South Africa’s future course of action.
While Smith has now confirmed that CSA are in talks with him again, there has been concern that there are not only not too many takers for the post but also, that the CSA is not convinced of its other few choices. While a premature release suggested Smith on board, Smith confirmed on social media that the truth lay somewhere in between. This is only one more of CSA’s major embarrassment in days. Where the process was supposed to be completed in two weeks, CSA have been stumped at their own game.
Now there is little clarity about squad, teams, planning and preparation even as England are due to arrive shortly.
Meanwhile there is concern that Cricket South Africa is trying to suppress several issues pertaining to cricket, whether it is with regard to the appointments, team selections based on quota, their concern over unable to retain prominent cricketers or the ongoing grappling with the cricketers association as South Africa look to promote Mzansi Cup even as their domestic cricket is being consigned to the doldrums.
The recent revoking of media accreditation and the idea being portrayed that journalists are deviating from the job when asking questions about the selection panel, who comprises ‘technical squad’ and who will pick the squad for England’s tour of South Africa is highhanded to the point of eventual ego driven collapse. In that light, it is not hard to see how far South Africa’s cricket fortunes have plummeted, even as they run the greater risk of running the ship aground altogether.
That Moroe would even suggest that CSA would want to sit down with journalists and discuss how CSA should be portrayed in the public eye smacks of smoke. Can fire be far behind?
The Indian cricket team tops the chart in the ongoing ICC World Test Championship 2019-21. The Virat Kohli-led Indian side has notched 360 points after seven Tests and three series in total. They have a 100% record at the moment. On the other hand, Australia have been making the right noises.
After drawing the 5-match Ashes 2019 series 2-2, the Aussies were terrific in the recently-concluded two-match Test series against Pakistan. Australia won both the Tests by an innings margin and picked up all 120 points. They have 176 points from two Test series and have played seven matches.
Australia will look to enhance themselves in the upcoming three-match series against New Zealand, starting December 12. There are 120 points on offer and expect the side to be on the top of their game. Australia are a real force at home and that makes them a dangerous unit.
New Zealand will be a tough opponent for the Aussies, however, one expects Australia to stand tall with the balanced side on offer. With four more series to go for Australia, Tim Paine-led side can be a strong prospect in the Championship.
Here we present three reasons why Australia are a real force in the ICC World Test Championship.
The pillars in batting provide consistency
David Warner has regained his touch after a dismal Ashes 2019 and slammed two match-defining tons against Pakistan that included a 335*. In Marnus Labuschagne, the Aussies have found a new Mr. Consistent. Right since coming on during the Ashes, he has piled up the most runs this year. And then, you have Steve Smith. The best batsman in Test cricket can give you the platform to strike gold more often.
Bowling is Australia's main strength
The Aussie pacers have been top notch and they know how to get about business. The likes of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins complement each other. They are a deadly trio and pick up wickets in a heap. The combination could help Australia dictate the show against any side in the world.
The aggression is getting back
After the ball-tampering scandal that rocked Australian cricket last year, the Aussies struggled for intensity and looked lost. Injuries, poor form and absence of key players hurt them. Now there is a real swagger in this side. The aggression has returned and players look hungry to perform and set the bar high. This is crucial to succeed.
Joe root, after failing to reach a triple-figure score in his last 14 innings, was ecstatic to get his form back by making a double-ton (226 off 441) against New Zealand in the recently concluded Test series.
But West Indies paceman Fidel Edwards was miffed by watching the ‘slow’ double-ton of England skipper Joe Root and feels that his innings led England to suffer a series defeat against New Zealand after the second Test ended in a draw.
Joe Root had said after his confidence-boosting double ton against New Zealand, "Felt pretty good from the start of the innings, was a tricky period at the start. I just tried to get the rhythm back in my batting, few technical things. Thankfully we got into a position where we could force a result."
But Fidel Edwards took a dig at Joe Root for batting slowly in a must-win Test and Tweeted, "Watching @root66 bat is like watching paint #dry how can u be a game down and bat this slow #poor (sic)."
But Fidel’s comment has provoked an angry backlash from many of Joe Root’s fans on Twitter against the West Indies bowler.
Kane Williamson-led New Zealand claimed a 1-0 series triumph after the rain-affected draw in the second Test.
Form is temporary but class is permanent may be a sporting cliché but none can doubt its truism and the latest to prove this is Joe Root. Till recently the England captain was one among the Fab Four the others being Virat Kohli, Steve Smith and Kane Williamson as the leading Test batsmen in the contemporary game all boasting an average of 50 (Smith of course averages 60). Moreover he was in a class of his own for besides having the chiseled strokes of the other three he also exhibited an approach that was essentially English – absolutely textbook in attack or defence. Of course he was also blessed with an impeccable technique and legendary powers of concentration which saw him get 17 hundreds in 87 Tests including two double centuries.
Then suddenly the runs dried up and what’s more the drought continued for an extended period. Before his innings in the just concluded Test at Hamilton he averaged 27.40 during 2019. Since July he had scored just 371 runs from 14 innings with just four half centuries and three ducks including two in a row. The call for his sacking as captain grew louder and Root was under tremendous pressure.
So what does he do? Digging deep into his powers of concentration and determination the man who is capable of playing a marathon innings does just that – only he bats longer than for any innings during his career that started in India seven years ago. Just a small matter of 636 minutes and 441 balls to steer England out of trouble in what could well be both the quintessential and most important innings he has played in his career. There will now be no more talk about removing him from the captaincy and it is only a matter of time before he again takes his place alongside Kohli, Smith and Williamson as the leading batsmen in the game.
When he made his debut just days before his 22nd birthday with a classy 73 at Nagpur it was immediately obvious that England had discovered a precocious talent who in racing parlance was a stayer and not a sprinter. Root has proved to be just that and with his majestic 226 at Hamilton – the second highest score of his career – he has moved into the top ten of run-getters for England. Interestingly enough none of the nine above him has a better average than Root’s 48.54. Only three England batsmen – Wally Hammond, Alistair Cook and Len Hutton – have scored more than Root’s three double hundreds. And Root who completes 29 later this month has the time and the quality to run up an eye rubbing and mind boggling record.
The Indian team selectors had to face a heavy rage of fans on social media for not selecting talented cricketer Sanju Samson for the T20I series against West Indies. But this criticism proved handy for the young wicketkeeper-batsman as he finally got his place in the squad after Shikhar Dhawan was ruled out of the tournament due to injury.
Following his inclusion in the Indian team, Samson’s childhood coach was completely intrigued and also came up with his opinion on how to use the spectacular batsman in the upcoming series. He wants him to open for India against West Indies. However, Samson is also looking forward to make his mark in the upcoming series starting from December 6.
While lauding Samson’s efforts in Indian cricket fraternity, Biju said, “Sanju should be made to play the first match. He has replaced Dhawan in the squad so he should be asked to open the innings. Confidence and domination are the keys to his success”. He also recalled some moments from his Ranji Trophy match where he tried to play a short pitch ball and eventually lost his wicket. But later in that same encounter he bounced back amazingly and played the same ball for a fantastic boundary.
Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting has applauded Indian pace brigade for their good show during the last couple of years, especially Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami.
“I am taking ours every day of the week... India’s is fantastic; (Jasprit) Bumrah and (Mohammed) Shami have been amazing for the last couple of years and then you put Umesh Yadav into the equation with Ishant Sharma, they’ve got some very, very good fast bowlers. And when you put (Ravichandran) Ashwin and (Ravindra) Jadeja in there, their attack is very good.
But when he compared the Indian bowling attack with Aussies bowlers, Ponting gave his team the edge by praising the Australian pace ace Mitchell Starc and the deadly spinner Nathan Lyon.
Ponting feels that Indian spinners have not been very effective on Australian tracks, but on the other hand, Nathan Lyon has a tremendous bowling record in Australia. He also praised Mitchell Starc for providing wonderful variations as a seam bowler.
Ponting said, “But their spinners struggle more in Australia, Nathan Lyon has a much better record in Australia than the Indian spinners have. And I love the variation we have with Mitchell Starc in the line-up; that left-armer just provides a little bit of something different. And he’s bowling as well as I’ve ever seen him, so there are some even better signs for this Australian attack.”
Ponting comments have come after Australia completed a 2-0 whitewash of Pakistan in the two-match Test series and moved up to the second spot in the World Test Championship rankings.
India are way ahead of Australia and are the highest-ranked team in the World Test Championship standings.
Australia and Virat Kohli-led India will fight for supremacy in Australia next year. In the past, India have beaten Australia in Australia.
After the record-breaking success of India’s maiden pink-ball Test match at the iconic Eden Gardens in Kolkata, the newly-appointed boss of BCCI, Sourav Ganguly wants Team India to play one Day-Night Test in every series.
The popularity of Test cricket has reduced after the arrival of shorter formats like ODIs and T20Is and to revive that spirit one more time Ganguly had organized the first-ever Day-Night Test in India. Not so surprisingly, the hosts also won that historic encounter by an innings and 46 runs against Bangladesh.
With this impressive victory of Team India, Ganguly admitted that Virat Kohli-led squad should play one pink-ball match in every Test series. However, it won’t be easy for Sourav to convince Virat Kohli as the Indian skipper wants to play Test cricket in the traditional format. "I think day-night
Tests can be a one-off thing, it should not be a regular scenario,” he had said on the eve of India’s maiden day-night Test match against Bangladesh. India will play its next Test match against Black Caps in February 2020.
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