Still a rosy scenario for Indian cricket

Partab Ramchand Updated: 3 September, 2019, 11:28 AM IST


A clean sweep by India in the two Test series against West Indies was always on the cards. What was perhaps a bit unexpected was the emphatic nature of the victory. Margins of 318 runs and 257 runs with a day to spare each time only served to underline the disparity between the teams. Indeed the second Test could well have ended in three days had Virat Kohli enforced the follow on. This reluctance on the part of captains these days to enforce the follow-on is something quite inexplicable.

The lop sided contest might have few abiding memories but it did show up why India are the No 1 side in the ICC rankings and why there is nothing really to worry about in the near future. Indian cricket has the knack of producing new young talent aplenty in both batting and bowling with the result that even established stars cannot take their place for granted. Before the series started there was talk of a competition between Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane should the playing eleven consist of five batsmen and five bowlers. Well, the team management went for six batsmen and Rohit wasn’t even played. Hanuma Vihari made the most of the opportunity notching up the highest tally for any batsman in the series and he is now is a cert in the middle order.

Coming to the top order there appears to be a problem since neither KL Rahul nor Mayank Agarwal were among the runs in a big way. Actually there is no problem since Shubman Gill is waiting in the wings, Prithvi Shaw should be back erelong and then there is always the reliable old pro Shikhar Dhawan.

If anything the bowling was seen in better light than the batting and there is absolutely no problem in this department. The pace trio did their job so commendably that there was never any chance of Umesh Yadav getting a look-in. Ravi Ashwin acknowledged to be the No 1 spin bowler for long too did not get look-in with the tour selectors opting for Ravindra Jadeja. It was a contentious decision but the left armer came good with both bat and ball. It is a moot point however whether Ashwin would have performed even better given his excellent all-round record against West Indies.

The Rishabh Pant – Wriddhiman Saha debate suddenly became the subject of some focus during the series partly due to the former’s sometimes reckless batting. It was also argued that Saha is better behind the stumps. My view is that having invested in the younger man it is better to continue with him. After all he is the better batsman, can be a game changer with his buccaneering approach and as a wicket keeper he has after all became the fastest to make 50 dismissals among Indians having taken just eleven Tests.

Overall then things continue to look rosy for Indian cricket as they return home to take on South Africa even as India extend their lead over New Zealand at the top of the table in the World Test Championship.

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Feature Cricket

Why Australia can finally end their T20 World Cup drought

Harshit Anand Updated: 11 November, 2019, 11:08 AM IST


Australia continued its red-hot streak in T20 internationals as it trumped world's no.1 ranked T20I side, Pakistan by 2-0. If it was not for the rain gods saving Pakistan in Sydney, Australia would have whitewashed the Men in Green that too without breaking a sweat.

Australians finished the year unbeaten in the shortest format of the game. Aaron Finch's men are now unbeaten in eight straight T20 internationals. They have won seven out of eight games, which makes up for a brilliant year for the otherwise underperformers in T20I cricket.

Notably, it's their best winning streak since 2010 and they are now just one point behind Pakistan in the ICC Men's T20I rankings. Most importantly, the Kangaroos stamped their authority with some powerful displays, which bodes well for their chances in T20 World Cup, which would take place next year in Australia.

T20 World Cup win has eluded Australia. The same Australia, which have the distinction of winning five 50-overs World Cup and two ICC Champions Trophy titles, which is no mean feat. There have been phases when Australia have been dominating in Test cricket as well. But when it comes to T20Is, despite having some impactful players in the ranks, they have tanked in the T20 World Cups. To put things into perspective, Australia have made six unsuccessful attempts at winning the T20 World Cup.

But the present team under the leadership of Aaron Finch and coaching of Justin Langer, who led Perth Scorchers to three KFC Big Bash League titles before turning national coach, the team is looking bull-headed in terms of confidence and planning, and their performances this year is a testimony of what can unfold next year in the ICC's showpiece event.

In all likelihood, Australia will be sticking to five specialist bowlers and six batsmen policy, which reaped fruits for them this summer. The biggest advantage for them will be the fact that they would be hosting the T20 extravaganza- first ever T20 World Cup in Australia.

There is hardly any doubt about the world-class pace battery of the Kangaroos. They are fast and fearsome. Mitchell Starc has the ability to swing the new ball and we saw how his in-swingers troubled Pakistan batsmen big time in the Perth T20I. Pat Cummins has also been very impressive. He has been the leading wicket-taker for his team, having taken nine wickets in seven T20Is, with an economy of 6.61. The combination of Cummins and Starc is as good as you would see.

And then there are a plethora of options for Australia to pick the third pacer. Kane Richardson has done a very good job as the third pacer but there are still options like Billy Stanlake, Sean Abbott and Andrew Tye for them. Pacers like Jhye Richardson and Nathan Coulter-Nile are also likely to come in contention as we approach the T20 World Cup.

Australia's newly found spin combination of Adam Zampa and Ashton Agar also showed that they can both play together in the XI. The pair of Agar and Zampa provides Australia with a variety of a finger and wrist spinner in the XI, which makes their bowling attack complete.

Australia also have the dangerous pair of David Warner and Aaron Finch at the top, which can destroy any bowling attack on their day, like we witnessed in the Pakistan T20Is. They will be absolute buoyant to perform in front of their people and at their home turf in 2020 T20 World Cup.

There was this wave about Steven Smith's incompetence in the shortest format, with some even questioning his place in the XI. But, he silenced his critics with a smashing 80 runs off 51 deliveries, the only time he got to bat against Pakistan at Canberra.

Australia's bowling and top three are sorted but there are certain doubts about the capability or lack of it in the middle-order. Alex Carey is a great option as a finisher. But Glenn Maxwell's absence can hurt Australia if it stretches beyond a point. But there are some promising options for the Men in Yellow and the upcoming Big Bash League will also help them find suitable candidates for the middle-order positions.

But all in all, Australia are looking strong contenders and there are high chances that playing at home will give them a distinct advantage in the World Cup. There shouldn't be much surprise, if the pair of Finch and Langer, helps Australia win their maiden T20 World Cup, that too at their place and in front of their people.

Feature Cricket

Yuzvendra Chahal emerges as match winner in limited overs cricket

Partab Ramchand Updated: 11 November, 2019, 10:59 AM IST


They have struck up such an admirable partnership that they are familiarly known simply as ``Kulcha’’. Even as Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin continue to be the best bets in Test matches when it comes to limited overs cricket it is the combo of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal that is playing a leading role in India’s successful run. The left arm chinaman bowler and the orthodox leg spinner make for an unlikely combination but they have been among the wickets regularly.

While Kuldeep has worked his way up to the Test squad and has fared reasonably well in his limited opportunities – 24 wickets from six matches at 24 apiece – Chahal’s appearances have been restricted to limited overs cricket where he has emerged not just as leading wicket taker but also as match winner. One always felt how he would fare without Kuldeep at the other end and in the just concluded T-20 series against Bangladesh he has emerged with his reputation enhanced. While the bowling did not exactly cover itself with glory Chahal was the stand-out performer and his assorted bag of tricks had the Bangladesh batsmen guessing and groping.

Chahal is able to run through the entire gamut of leg spin bowling. He is a big spinner of the ball even in a format that encourages accuracy more than a lot of turn. But the prodigious spin is not at the cost of accuracy. He always makes the batsman play, though more often they play and miss as a sizzling leg break goes past their hesitant defence. The googly is used sparingly but it remains one of the most difficult exercises for a batsman to spot it. And then there is always one that fizzes through and goes straight on to trap the surprised batsman leg before.

Moreover Chahal is a thinking bowler able to spot a batsman’s weakness and then exploit it. One just cannot take liberties with Chahal as both Mushfiqur Rahim and Soumya Sarkar discovered during the second T-20 international at Rajkot. Bangladesh were going great guns at 97 for two after 12 overs when in the space of a single over Chahal turned the match around with the wickets of both the experienced batsmen in one over. Bangladesh never recovered from this double strike and a result was an emphatic eight-wicket win for India.

In the three years that he has played for India Chahal has run up pretty impressive figures – 85 wickets from 50 ODIs at 26 apiece with two five-wicket hauls and 50 from 34 T-20 internationals at an average of 21. Before Deepak Chahar came up with his mesmeric spell of six for seven on Sunday, Chahal’s six for 25 against England at Bangalore in 2016-17 was the best figures in T-20 internationals by an Indian. He is the third highest wicket taker for India in this format after Ashwin and Jasprit Bumrah. Whether he can graduate like his partner to the Test level remains to be seen but in the meantime he remains a vital cog in the limited overs game.

News Tennis

Thiem beats Federer at ATP Finals, Djokovic cruises

AP Updated: 11 November, 2019, 10:50 AM IST


Dominic Thiem keeps getting the better of Roger Federer.

Thiem beat Federer 7-5, 7-5 in their opening match at the ATP Finals for his fifth win in seven meetings with the Swiss great — and third straight this year.

"To beat him, everything has to fit together. Today I think (that) was the case again," Thiem said. "Every time, only playing against him is a big honor. Beating him is even better."

Thiem broke in the opening game of the match and again for a 6-5 lead in the first set after Federer had leveled at 2-2.

The second set went with serve until Thiem broke at love for another 6-5 lead. Federer, a record six-time champion at the ATP Finals, then missed two break points in the next game before netting a backhand return on Thiem's second match point.

Thiem also beat Federer at the Madrid Masters and in the Indian Wells final this year, but lost to him in the group stage at last year's ATP Finals.

For Federer, the loss means there's no room for another slip-up in his next two round-robin matches, against Novak Djokovic and Matteo Berrettini. He'll probably have to win both in order to reach the semifinals.

"It's a normal tournament from here on forward," Federer said. "Not allowed to lose anymore for me. That's how it is every week of the year for the last 20 years, so from that standpoint there is nothing new there."

Djokovic had a much easier start to the tournament, easing past Berrettini 6-2, 6-1 in their first round-robin match.

But despite a near flawless performance, Djokovic still found a way to berate himself.

Leading 4-0 in the second set against the Italian, Djokovic hit a backhand wide to concede a break to the Italian, and then angrily turned toward his player's box and shouted out his frustration.

It was a clear sign that even at the end of another grueling season, Djokovic won't tolerate any dips in his game as he pursues a record-equaling sixth ATP Finals title.

"There's no other reasonable explanation (to that reaction) than trying to play as perfect as possible," Djokovic said. "But I guess that's me, you know."

It was certainly the same Djokovic that the O2 Arena crowd has become used to seeing. Although the second-ranked Serb - who won four straight titles at the year-end event in London between 2012 and 2015 - only needed to hit a total of 10 winners in the match as Berrettini's 28 unforced errors handed him an easy victory to start round-robin play.

Berrettini's forehand was responsible for 18 of those errors, including two shots into the net to hand Djokovic the only two breaks of the first set.

After giving up that lone break to make it 4-1 in the second, Djokovic broke right back and then clinched the victory with an easy forehand putaway at the net.

"He missed a relatively easy forehand for him that gave me a break (in the first set)," Djokovic said. "And after that I started reading his serve better."

News Football

'That's crazy': Klopp's Liverpool surges ahead in title bid

AP Updated: 11 November, 2019, 10:46 AM IST


Even Jürgen Klopp cannot quite believe Liverpool's lead over Manchester City this early in the season.

"That's crazy, nine points," the Liverpool manager said. "You cannot imagine that something like this can happen."

It's very real after Liverpool beat City 3-1 thanks to goals from Fabinho, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane at Anfield.

"Other people 100% said already that from now on Liverpool can only lose it," Klopp said. "Well that's a very negative approach, but you can see it like this. We don't care."

Only 12 games have been played, with another 26 to go in the pursuit of a first title since 1990 for the 18-time English champions.

Klopp is not getting carried away despite Liverpool's top spot.

"But it's not important because who wants to be first in early November?" Klopp said. "You want to be first in May."

For the past two seasons that final position has been held by City. Now the two-time defending champions head into the international break down in fourth place.

The side immediately above them is not so unexpected, even if Chelsea's ability to reinforce the squad was hampered by a transfer ban. But it's the presence of Leicester in second place, reviving memories of its incredible 5,000-1 shot title win in 2016, that is shaking up the league.

It leaves the record 20-time champions far from sight of the Champions League places, even after Manchester United beat Brighton 3-1 on Sunday.

United is nine points adrift of neighbor City in seventh place. Wolverhampton is only behind United on goal difference after beating Aston Villa 2-1 in a central England derby on Sunday.

News Cricket

I have been trying to work hard since my childhood and my efforts have paid off - Deepak Chahar

AP Updated: 11 November, 2019, 10:31 AM IST


eepak Chahar took six wickets for seven runs on Sunday to record the best-ever bowling figures in a Twenty20 international cricket match as India won a closely fought series against Bangladesh 2-1.

India beat Bangladesh by 30 runs in their third and final Twenty20 match with medium-quick Chahar needing only 3.2 overs to destroy Bangladesh, including a yorker for the last wicket of Aminul Islam to set the record with a hat trick.

Chasing a winning target of 175, Bangladesh was bowled out for 144 in 19.2 overs.

Chahar's figures overtook Sri Lankan Ajantha Mendis' 6-8 against Zimbabwe in 2012. Chahar also overtook teammate Yuzvendra Chahal's 6-25 as the best T20I performance by an Indian bowler.

"I never thought this would happen, not even in my dreams. I have been trying to work hard since my childhood and my efforts have paid off," Chahar said. "The captain wanted me to bowl crucial overs. I always try to focus on the next ball and I keep doing that until the end of my spell."

Chahar was deadly at both ends of the Bangladesh innings, removing openers Liton Das (9) and Soumya Sarkar (0) off consecutive deliveries in the third over.

Bangladesh fought back thanks to a 98-run third-wicket stand between Mohammad Naim and Mohammad Mithun (27).

Naim top-scored for the Tigers with 81 off 48 balls, including 10 fours and two sixes. It was his first T20I half-century.

Chahar turned the game in the 13th over when he broke the Naim-Mithun partnership.

He found an able partner in allrounder Shivam Dube who chipped in with 3-30 from four overs. A key moment came in the 14th over when Dube bowled Mushfiqur Rahim for a golden duck.

Dube dismissed Naim and Afif Hossain off consecutive deliveries to put India back in charge.

The asking rate climbed and Chahar enjoyed a hat trick across two overs at the end to hand India the victory.

Earlier, Shreyas Iyer and Lokesh Rahul scored attacking half-centuries after India was put into bat and reached 174-5.

Iyer scored a career-best 62 runs off 33 balls with three fours and five sixes while Rahul made 52 off 35 balls as they rescued India's innings after a double blow early on.

India had made a poor start with big-hitting Rohit Sharma (2) and Shikhar Dhawan (19) falling cheaply.

Bangladesh won the opening T20 by seven wickets, its first-ever win over India in the T20 format. India won the second T20 by eight wickets to level the series.

The T20 series will be followed by a two-test series, the second of which will be a day-night match.

The first test begins in Indore on Nov. 14.

News Cricket

Ivy Mae hits her father David Warner for a boundary, says she is Virat Kohli  

Staff Writer Updated: 10 November, 2019, 9:21 PM IST


David Warner had a memorable T20I series against Sri Lanka where he remained unbeaten. The left hand batsman, who couldn't set the field blazing in the Ashes, was back in form in the shortest format of the game. Meanwhile, he is spending quality time with his family ahead of the Test series against Pakistan.

David Warner took to Instagram to upload a video of his daughter's Indi-Mae batting session. She can be seen hitting her father for a boundary and stated that she is Virat Kohli.

“I’m not sure about this one. Indi wants to be Virat Kohli," he wrote.

The video was also posted by Warner’s wife Candice.

“This little girl has spent too much time in India. Wants to be Virat Kohli.”

News Cricket

Virat Kohli is a headache for coaches - Ian Chappell

Staff Writer Updated: 10 November, 2019, 9:19 PM IST


Virat Kohli and Steve Smith are the two best batsmen across formats. The Indian skipper has performed consistently in the last five years. He is the number one batsman in ODIs while his exceptional track record in Tests and T20Is is not hidden from anyone. Steve Smith, who was banned for one year following his involvement in the ball tampering scandal, has comeback strongly. He was the best batsman in the Ashes scoring more than 700 runs. The former captain showed his class in the last T20I series against Sri Lanka where he won the Player of the Series award. Smith has dethroned Virat from the top spot in the Test rankings.

Former Aussie player Ian Chappell feels both Virat and Smith are impactful students of the game.

“Kohli is a great role model for young players searching for a way to build their game for international success. He’s also a headache for coaches who theorize on modern methods and disparage traditional approaches as being “old-time cricket,” Chappell wrote in his column.

“Smith and Kohli are adequate proof that batting is very much an individual exercise and whatever works for you is the correct method,” he added.

News Cricket

Virat Kohli will master cooking skills after retirement

Staff Writer Updated: 10 November, 2019, 9:16 PM IST


Virat Kohli is a big time foodie and loves trying different dishes. The Indian skipper has a knack of identifying good dishes from across the globe. However, his fitness regime has stopped the star player from having anything. In his interview with NDTV, he revealed about his interest in trying out new cuisines.

“I’ve been a foodie since I was a kid, I loved trying foods, used to eat a lot of junk bag then. But then I started travelling and trying different cuisines but yeah I love food….love having well-cooked food.”

He added, “I do not (cook) but I understand flavour, I understand how well a dish is cooked, so can potentially learn it. When I’m done with playing cricket I think cooking is something, I would definitely be interested in.”

Virat Kohli will lead India in the Test series against Bangladesh. He was rested for the T20I series against the same opponent considering his hectic schedule.

News Cricket

Jimmy Neesham urges god to intervene after another super over defeat against England

Staff Writer Updated: 10 November, 2019, 9:13 PM IST


England beat New Zealand in a thrilling Super Over finish to their rain-reduced Twenty20 cricket international Sunday, clinching a 3-2 win in the five-match series.

The teams were tied when England replied with 146-7 to New Zealand's 146-5 in a match shortened by heavy rain to 11 overs per side.

Jonny Bairstow and captain Eion Morgan took 17 runs from England's Super Over, bowled by New Zealand captain Tim Southee, before Martin Guptill, Tim Seifert and Colin de Grandhomme managed only eight from New Zealand's single over.

The match was reminiscent of the World Cup final between the teams in June when England won on a count back of boundaries after being tied at the end of 50 overs and again after the one-over eliminator.

This time England's performance in the tiebreaker was decisive. Bairstow and Morgan both hit sixes to set New Zealand a chase for 18 runs, a total which was challenging even on the postage stamp boundaries ofEden Park.

New Zealand made the unusual decision to nominate wicketkeeper Tim Seifert to take the first ball of its Super Over, bowled by Chris Jordan. Seifert took two, left a wide, hit four and had a dot ball before falling to a brilliant catch by Morgan.

With New Zealand needing 10 runs from the last two balls Guptill could only manage a single from the first ball he faced and the match was over.

Bairstow was Man of the Match for his 47 from 18 balls which helped England match New Zealand's formidable 11-over total and for his contribution in the Super Over.

New Zealand all-rounder Jimmy Neesham has urged the almighty to intervene after another super loss defeat against England.

"Hey you up there, any chance you could change the script?"

Feature Cricket

Which team chases best in T20Is?

Renin Wilben Albert Updated: 9 November, 2019, 4:08 PM IST


India levelled the T20I series against Bangladesh by registering a thumping eight-wicket triumph at Rajkot on Thursday. On the other hand, Australia embarrassed Pakistan by 10 wickets in the third T20I at Perth on Friday to clinch the series 2-0. It is pertinent to note here that Pakistan are the number one team in T20I cricket as per the ICC rankings. With the respective wins, India and Australia became the joint most successful team in T20I chases, with 41 wins each while batting second.

Decoding India and Australia’s success in chases

In terms of numbers, India have done better than Australia in chases. Out of 61 games in which the Indians have batted second, they have emerged victorious on 41 occasions. They have lost 18 matches in chases while two games have produced no result. On the other hand, the Aussies have taken 70 games to register 41 wins. In 26 matches while batting second, Australia have ended up on the losing side. Further, two games ended in a tie while one encounter ended in no result.

India’s highest successful chase in a T20I came against Sri Lanka at Mohali on December 12, 2009. Chasing 207 to win the contest, they finished on 211 for 4 courtesy blistering 60s from Virender Sehwag and Yuvraj Singh. They did amass 244 in a T20I against West Indies at Lauderhill on August 27, 2016. However, this came in a losing cause as India were chasing 245, and KL Rahul’s unbeaten 110 from 51 balls went in vain. Australia have done better in this respect. They chased down 244 against New Zealand in a T20I at Auckland played on February 16, 2018. Martin Guptill’s 105 from 54 balls was outdone by a combined effort from the Aussies -- D’Arcy Short (76 from 44 balls), David Warner (59 from 24) and Aaron Finch (36 not out from 14).

Star performers in chases

Indian captain Virat Kohli is the most successful batsman in chases in the history of T20I cricket. In 35 matches, he has amassed 1,381 runs at a stunning average of 81.23, and an impressive strike rate of 133.17, with 15 half-centuries. His highest successful total in a chase, that of 82 not out, came in the 2016 World T20 Super 10 clash against Australia at Mohali on March 27, 2016. India were chasing 161 to win, and Kohli, almost single-handedly, took India to victory by six wickets. His innings came off 51 balls, and featured nine fours and two sixes.

For Australia, David Warner is the stand-out batsman in chases. In 46 T20Is, he has 1,177 runs to his credit at an average of 29.42 and a strike rate of 140.45. The left-hander has scored 10 fifties while batting second. Warner’s best effort in a chase is 77. It came in the second T20I of the series against South Africa at Johannesburg on March 6, 2016. The Aussies were chasing 205 to win the contest, and Warner blasted 77 from 40 balls, hitting six fours and five sixes. Glenn Maxwell also starred in the game with 75 from 43 balls.

India’s Rohit Sharma also has an excellent record in chases. He has notched up 1,106 runs in 51 games at an average of 28.35 and a strike rate of 129.96. Sharma has managed nine fifties and one century in chases. His best of 100 not out came against England at Bristol on July 8, 2018. India were set a tough 199 to win the contest. However, Rohit eased his way to a century from 56 balls with 11 fours and five sixes, as the hosts were consigned to a seven-wicket defeat.

News Cricket

Shoaib Akhtar welcomes Sikh pilgrims to Pakistan

Staff Writer Updated: 9 November, 2019, 4:04 PM IST


Former Pakistani pacer Shoaib Akhtar has advocated the need of promoting peace and harmony between two rival nations. Shoaib, who shared hostile relationship with a lot of Indian players, has calmed down a bit in the past few years. On the occasion of Kartarpur Corridor’s opening ceremony, he took to Twitter to welcome Sikh Pilgrims to Pakistan.

"I welcome the Sikh brethren to Pakistan. #KartarpurCorridor is a road to peace & religious harmony. Beautiful scenes at the opening of corridor. I can see the priceless happiness on the faces. Special contribution of @ImranKhanPTI & @sherryontopp is highly appreciated," he wrote.

The first batch of over 500 Indian Sikh pilgrims entered Pakistan on Saturday through the historic Kartarpur corridor which was open ahead of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev.

Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh, former chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, Sukhbir Singh Badal and Navjot Singh Sidhu were part of the first batch.

Meanwhile, Shoaib Akhtar has blasted Men in Green for their performance in the recently concluded T20I series against Australia. The visitors were beaten 0-2 on the fast and pacey tracks of Australia.

“Our batsmen Haris Sohail, Fakhar Zaman and Mohammad Rizwan lack the maturity of that of Australian batsman Steve Smith,” Akhtar said on his YouTube channel as quoted by the Business Recorder.

News Cricket

Coach Ricky Ponting believes Ashwin will turn the fortunes of Delhi Capitals

Staff Writer Updated: 9 November, 2019, 2:58 PM IST


Finally, Ravichandran Ashwin has been traded to Delhi Capitals after all the uncertainties over his association with Kings XI Punjab.

The head coach, former Australia captain Ricky Ponting seemed happy to have got his main target in Delhi Capitals, who have never even appeared in an IPL final.

Ricky Ponting has high hopes from Ashwin and feels that the clever bowler will definitely impact the fortunes of the Delhi Capitals team.

Trusting Ashwin’s bowling expertise, the head coach Ricky Ponting said, “Ashwin adds a lot of value to any team that he’s a part of, and I’m sure it’s going to be no different when he joins Delhi Capitals.”

“It is no secret that the pitch on our home ground is on the slower side, and is known to assist spinners. I believe, Ashwin, with his clever bowling, will have a tremendous impact when he bowls on it.”

Ravichandran Ashwin would definitely look forward to performing better with the Delhi Capitals team. The spinner displayed a mediocre performance as the skipper of Kings XI Punjab team, which led to his departure.

No doubt, Ashwin is one of the best spinners that Team India have produced. The right-arm off-spin bowler Ashwin has a tremendous record in Tests. He has snapped huge 357 wickets with 27 five-wicket hauls in 68 Tests that he has played for his national team.

News Cricket

Yuzvendra Chahal on the verge of becoming India's most successful bowler

Staff Writer Updated: 9 November, 2019, 2:50 PM IST


Leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal was the one who scripted Bangladesh's defeat in the second T20I of the series. The visitors were blazing all guns before Chahal's introduction brought back things in India's favour. He was not only economical but also took two key wickets. The Indian spinner is standing on the cusp of achieving something massive in his T20 career. He needs four wickets to go past R Ashwin, who is currently the highest wicket-taker for India in the shortest format of the game.

The off-spinner has taken 52 wickets. Jasprit Bumrah is the other Indian bowler who has crossed the fifty mark (51) in his career. Chahal, who has 49 wickets so far, has a chance of becoming India's most successful bowler.

Meanwhile, Rohit Sharma gave him some batting trips after the second match against Bangladesh. Speaking about his six hitting spree, Hitman stated that even Chahal can hit sixes.

“When I hit three consecutive sixes, I tried to go for six maximums. But when I missed the fourth one, I decided I will take singles. You don’t need a huge body and muscles to hit big sixes. Even you (Chahal) can hit sixes. Power is not the only thing you need to hit sixes, you need timing as well. The ball should hit the middle of the bat and your head should be still. So, there are a number of things you need in order to hit a six,” he told Chahal in the video.

News Cricket

Indian bowling attack is arguably the best in the world - Wriddhiman Saha

Staff Writer Updated: 9 November, 2019, 2:31 PM IST


Wriddhiman Saha has performed well behind the stumps in Test cricket. He is the best wicket-keeper at the moment and his exceptional catches in the Test series against South Africa were applauded by critics and fans. The Indian gloveman feels current bowling attack is the best in the world.

“The Indian bowling attack is arguably the best in the world at the moment. Every pacer in our team is bowling at 140+ (kmph) nowadays regardless of the conditions. Yes, it was definitely a big challenge keeping up with the improving bowling attack and hopefully, I did well (smiles),”Saha told Times Now.

When he was asked about his injury, which was not handled properly by the medical team of the BCCI, Saha said: “It was not a case of mishandling rather I would say there was some sort of miscommunication. Post my surgery, whatever exercises the medical team used to give me I enjoyed them a lot and gave me 100 per cent. And I had a gala time with all the physios, the medical staff and the players present there at that time, and hence it didn’t become boring. I just remained positive with just one thing in my mind – to get back to the cricket field again,” he added.

News Cricket

Rohit on the verge of becoming the first Indian player to hit 400 sixes in international cricket

Staff Writer Updated: 9 November, 2019, 2:29 PM IST


India skipper Rohit Sharma is on the verge of achieving a memorable milestone in international cricket. The right hand batsman, who hit six sixes in the second T20I against Bangladesh, needs to more hits to complete 400 sixes in his career. He has struck 232 sixes in ODIs, 115 sixes in T20Is and 51 in Tests.

Chris Gayle (534 sixes) and Shahid Afridi (476 sixes) are the only two players who have crossed this landmark.

“When I hit three consecutive sixes, I tried to go for six maximums. But when I missed the fourth one, I decided I will take singles. You don’t need a huge body and muscles to hit big sixes. Even you (Chahal) can hit sixes. Power is not the only thing you need to hit sixes, you need timing as well. The ball should hit the middle of the bat and your head should be still. So, there are a number of things you need in order to hit a six,” he told Chahal in the video.

Men in Blue will be eyeing their first T20I series at home this season when they play against Bangladesh in the final match in Nagpur. The team is missing quite a few regular players and wants to identify the core group ahead of the next year’s T20 World Cup in England and Wales.