Surprising! Hanuma Vihari credits his competitor Rohit Sharma for his maiden Test ton

Staff Writer Updated: 23 September, 2019, 3:11 PM IST


Hanuma Vihari cemented his place in the Indian Test team by emerging as leading run-getter from either sides in the two-match Test series between India and West Indies, which India won by 2-0. The tour witnessed Vihari's first Test ton as well. Indian skipper, Virat Kohli was so impressed with the right-hander that he went on to say that Vihari brings calm in the dressing room with his batting.

Interestingly, on the day, Vihari smashed his maiden Test century, he was seen having a long chat with India's limited-overs vice-captain, Rohit Sharma. Vihari, in an exclusive chat with, revealed how Rohit's words helped him immensely during that knock.

"Rohit was talking about the mindset. He has been playing international cricket for the last 12 years so he spoke about the mindset he carries when he goes out to bat, especially in limited-overs. He gave me that assurance that I have a good base and technique to succeed in international level. It was a good and lengthy chat. That really helped me as he gave me reassurance and it served as a confident booster, especially coming from someone of Rohit's stature," said the Andhra Pradesh-born batsman.

After Vihari's exploits, many were considering it as a big blow to Rohit's Test career. But thankfully for him, he will be getting the chance to open the batting in Test cricket against South Africa as well. 


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News Cricket

Malinga bows down to genius Bumrah, says Indian bowler has better skills than him

Staff Writer Updated: 29 November, 2019, 11:03 PM IST


Lasith Malinga has played a key role in Jasprit Bumrah's career. The Sri Lanka legend has taught Bumrah a lot during their association at the Mumbai Indians. The two pacers play for four-time IPL champions in the cash rich league. Malinga stated that he is really happy with the progress of Jasprit Bumrah.

“I am really happy to have helped someone while I am still playing international cricket, and he is the World No. 1 bowler now. Happy to have given him tips which make him recognise my contribution in his career. I think everyone should share their experience and expertise with young players so that cricket is the eventual winner. Jasprit might have options better than me too for getting inputs; he has the kind of brain which can collect and work on all advises he gets. It is evident from how he executes his yorkers and slower balls, it is just unbelievable how he does it. He is very hungry to learn,” Malinga told in an interview.

Malinga defended nine runs in the final over of the IPL finale in 2019. According to him, it was the most exciting over of his career.

“At this age when I am ending my career, it felt good. In the first five balls of the over I clocked at around 140 kmph and the last ball was around 118 to 120 kmph. People ask me how and why I made the decision to bring down my pace when CSK needed two runs from one ball. It was because I needed a wicket and I felt that a slower ball could do the trick for me. That was by far the most exciting over of my IPL career,” he added.

News Cricket

Captaincy drained me mentally - Sarfaraz Ahmed

Staff Writer Updated: 29 November, 2019, 11:02 PM IST


The veteran Pakistani cricketer was sacked from the captaincy across all the formats after failing to lead Pakistan to victories. He was also dropped from the team. It has worked in his favour as he is scoring runs in domestic cricket. Sarfaraz is confident of regaining his spot in the national side.

The 32-year old led Pakistan to their maiden ICC Champions Trophy in 2017. He was also successful in T20Is where his team won 11 consecutive T20 series.

Recently, while talking to the former Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi, he spoke about his comeback and even stated that he was mentally drained while leading Pakistan across three formats.

“I prepared mentally after being dropped. I have received suggestions from the former cricketers to concentrate on domestic cricket and perform for the team. After playing a lot of international cricket as a captain with a lot of pressures, playing domestic cricket will help to find ourselves. I played World Cup and captained my team in all three formats for quite a few years, which drained me mentally,” he said.

His main focus is on domestic cricket. The right-hand batsman wants to improve his game by playing in the domestic circuit.

“I just want to forget about the international team for some time and concentrate on domestic cricket. I want to improve myself and my game. After preparing myself to all the challenges if Pakistan board gives me a chance, then I will be ready to play again for the country. The quality of domestic cricket also improved a lot,” Sarfaraz added.

News Cricket

I have worked hard to score runs in Test cricket - David Warner

Staff Writer Updated: 29 November, 2019, 11:00 PM IST


David Warner and Marnus Labuschagne posted back-to-back hundreds and combined in a record 294-run partnership as Australia dominated Pakistan’s revamped attack to finish day one at 302-1 in the day-night cricket test.

Warner was unbeaten on 166 and Labuschagne was not out 126 at stumps on Friday.

The second-wicket stand beat the record partnership of 248 for a day-night test set by England pair Alastair Cook and Joe Root in 2016-17.

Warner’s 23rd test century was his 17th in Australia and emphasized his comfort in home conditions following a poor Ashes series in England when he averaged 9.5, which jeopardized his spot at the top of the order.

It was a second test century in as many matches for Labuschagne, who is playing his 11th test.

Warner scored 154 and Labuschagne posted a career-high 185 last week in Australia’s innings victory over Pakistan at the Gabba, where they combined for a century partnership in Australia’s first innings of 580.

Unlike the Gabba, though, they had to join forces early because Joe Burns was dismissed in the fourth over. Burns and Warner put on 222 for the first wicket in Brisbane.

Australian skipper Tim Paine won the toss and elected to bat in gloomy conditions and with rain in the forecast for all five days of the second test at the Adelaide Oval, opting against the temptation to bowl first in conditions that would have suited his pace attack.

It paid off, despite the loss of Burns (4), who chased a ball from left-arm paceman Shaheen Afridi and edged behind to Mohammad Rizwan with the total at eight.

Labuschagne narrowly avoided a first-ball duck, Shaheen just missing the edge, but grew in confidence in combination with Warner and solidified his claim to Australia’s No. 3 position.

After that, and despite 17 overs lost because of rain, the Australian batters were ruthless in eight wicketless hours.

Warner faced 228 deliveries and hit 19 boundaries to all parts of the ground.

“One thing on my game I've really tried to work hard on is really try to be a bit more patient,” Warner said. “The last two games I've actually showed myself I can do that. I'm just really proud with how good my defense was tonight."

It was Warner’s first century in day-night test match, a relatively new format that Australia leads the world in with a 5-0 record.

Unlike the previous day-night tests in Australia, though, the pink ball barely swung in the twilight or night conditions and the Pakistan pacemen struggled. The fielding was also poor, with Shaheen kicking the ball into the boundary rope in an embarrassing blunder in the 58th over to give Warner a four off Yasir Shah.

News Cricket

Thoughts and prayers with her family: Yuvraj reacts to Priyanka’s rape-murder case

Staff Writer Updated: 29 November, 2019, 10:58 PM IST


Former Indian cricketer Yuvraj Singh has expressed his anger on the state of treatment meted out to women in India. He has reacted to the painful killing of Priyanka Reddy. The 27-year old, who was returning home, was raped and burnt alive by miscreants. Yuvraj took to twitter to condemn the incident and offered his condolences to her family and friends.

On Thursday, the charred body of Priyanka was found under a culvert after she had gone missing.

“This is an extremely painful news, shocked & disgusted on this barbaric and ghastly rape & murder. Its time we all hang our heads in shame. Thoughts and prayers with her friends and family. #RIPPriyankaReddy,” he wrote.

Earlier, Harbhajan Singh also took to Twitter to express his anger.

"Shame on all of us we keep letting these things happens again nd again but nothing change.y can’t we make strict policy against such criminals nd hang them in front of whole town to set th examples 4 others #RIPPriyankaReddy need ur attention @narendramodi sir,” he wrote.

News Cricket

Marnus Labuschagne has more Test runs in 2019 than Smith, Kohli, Root and Williamson

Staff Writer Updated: 29 November, 2019, 10:13 PM IST


Labuschagne faced 205 balls and hit 17 boundaries. He went within an inch of notching his century with a six, advancing down the track to leg-spinner Yasir Shah and lofting him down to long-off. Replays showed the ball narrowly failed to clear the rope, moving Labuschagne to 98. He reached triple figures with two through the leg side on the next delivery.

He said it felt “surreal” to be scoring back-to-back centuries and combining in big stands in test cricket.

While the Australians stuck with the same XI that won the series opener, Pakistan made three changes in a bid to end a losing streak in tests in Australia that dates back to 1995.

Mohammad Abbas was recalled and 19-year-old Muhammad Musa got a test debut at the expense of Imran Khan and 16-year-old Naseem Shah.

Shaheen had the only breakthrough of the day for Pakistan, returning 1-48 from 18 overs. Abbas had figures of 0-56 from 19 overs and Musa had 0-71 off 13.

He is the leading run-scorer in Whites in 2019. Labuschagne has surpassed Steve Smith in the run-scoring chart. This Aussies batsman is also ahead of Virat Kohli, Kane Williamson and Joe Root in terms of runs in the ongoing year.

While Steve Smith has scored 778 in 2019, Virat Kohli has accumulated 612 runs. Kane Williamson and Joe Root have scored 353 and 548 runs respectively in 2019.

News Cricket

'Shame on all of us': Harbhajan condemns doctor Priyanka Reddy’s tragic death

Staff Writer Updated: 29 November, 2019, 9:54 PM IST


There is no denying the fact that India is one of the most unsafe places for women. Time and again, women have been subjected to gruesome treatment. Priyanka Reddy, the veterinary doctor, was murdered and burnt alive by miscreants. Harbhajan Singh, the veteran cricketer, is in deep shocked and has demanded strict action against all the accused.

"Shame on all of us we keep letting these things happens again nd again but nothing change.y can’t we make strict policy against such criminals nd hang them in front of whole town to set th examples 4 others #RIPPriyankaReddy need ur attention @narendramodi sir,” he wrote.

Priyanka was returning home but had to stop in between due to her scooter’s flat tyre. She called up her sister Bhavya to narrate about her problem. In between the conversation, she informed Bhavya that she was feeling scared with the type of people who have come to her aid. Bhavya urged her to wait at the toll-plaza, but Priyanka refused stating that it would be awkward to wait at the toll-plaza.

Bhavya also suggested her to leave the scooter and head back to home. They spoke around 9.22 pm and her phone was switched off around 9.44 pm. She informed other family members and they went to the toll-plaza to look for her.

They lodged a police complaint after failing to find her.

News Cricket

Shami, Bhuvneshwar, Bumrah, Umesh Yadav are role models for youngsters - Rahul Dravid

Staff Writer Updated: 29 November, 2019, 5:33 PM IST


Indian pacers have surprised even their opponents with remarkable consistency in the last few years. Be it Asia or tough conditions of other countries, fast bowlers from India have stamped their authority. Their display has ensured that India are ahead of its competitors in the ongoing World Test Championship. Former India skipper Rahul Dravid is mighty pleased with the way pacers have bowled in the recent times. He believes they are going to influence the budding cricketers to take up fast bowling as career option.

“What Ishant, Shami, Umesh, Bhuvneshwar (Kumar) and Bumrah are doing is they are actually in a way becoming role models for a younger generation of boys, who believe now they can be successful as fast bowlers in India. I think it is great to see,” Dravid was quoted as saying by The Hindu.

“Obviously we had people like Kapil (Dev), Sri (Javagal Srinath), Zaheer (Khan) in the past. But now, as a group, probably this is one of the best fast bowling attacks we have ever had. I think that’s a great inspiration for a lot of these young boys,” Dravid added.

He further added that there are a couple of good fast bowlers at the junior level as well.

“Now, at the under-19 level, we have very good fast bowlers. Last time (during the 2018 under-19 World Cup), we had three of them — Kamlesh (Nagarkoti), Shivam (Mavi) and Ishan (Porel). This year, you will also see some good fast bowlers in the team. That’s been fantastic. I think when you have role models and you have heroes like the senior team (it’s encouraging).”

News Cricket

Wasim Akram worried by Yasir Shah’s send-off to world’s best batsman Steve Smith

Staff Writer Updated: 29 November, 2019, 5:31 PM IST


Steve Smith failed to score runs in the only innings of the first Test match between Australia and Pakistan. He was dismissed by Yasir Shah for the seventh time in his career, and the way Pakistani bowler celebrated, was widely covered. However, Wasim Akram is a worried man after Smith's statement about his dismissal performance against Pakistan's leg spinner. Smith had promised to take care of his performance in the second Test.

“You know in our times, when I played I didn’t bother with how many times I got out who,” Akram told

“It was the last thing on our minds. Nowadays, with stats, people know everything.

“But I, as a bowler, (worried about) ‘am I impacting the game or not? Am I winning the game for Pakistan or vice versa?’ If not, that doesn’t matter if I’ve got him seven times. It was just an inexperienced mistake. I hope he hasn’t poked the bear there.”

Wasim refused to categories Yasir's mistake as 'unwise'.

“Not unwise … I wouldn’t have done it. I would have done it in the fourth innings if I got him out the second time winning the Test match. But not when you’re losing badly.”

News Cricket

VVS Laxman wants KL Rahul to open with Rohit Sharma in T20I matches

Tarun Singh Updated: 29 November, 2019, 5:29 PM IST


India, after recording its 12th consecutive Test series win at home by thrashing Bangladesh recently, will lock the horns with West Indies at home.

Former Indian cricketer VVS Laxman has suggested a new opening partner for Rohit Sharma in the upcoming T20I series against West Indies.

VVS Laxman expressed that KL Rahul, who performed well at batting order number 3 during Kohli’s break from cricket, should now be promoted to open the game with Rohit Sharma.

“The big question is that with Virat Kohli back and K.L. Rahul doing a good job batting at number three so then where will he fit? I believe that it is time that K.L. Rahul opens with Rohit Sharma. I would definitely have Rahul open with Rohit for the West Indies Series.”

India skipper Kohli is back in the team, but the opener Shikhar Dhawan has been ruled out due to his knee injury picked up in a domestic game.

This scenario is strengthening the possibility of KL Rahul to open the innings with Rohit Sharma against West Indies.

VVS Laxman also hailed Shreyas Iyer for his heroics and his batting prowess shown in the Twenty20 match against Bangladesh in Nagpur.

“I was very impressed with the way Shreyas Iyer has batted so far. The best part about him was when during the last T20 International in Nagpur when India lost their top 3 batsmen, he had the ability to assess the condition very well and was very versatile in his approach.”

News Cricket

Sanjay Bangar wants ‘match-winner’ Kuldeep Yadav to be backed by team management

Tarun Singh Updated: 29 November, 2019, 5:28 PM IST


Former India batting coach Sanjay Bangar came out to back Kuldeep Yadav amid his difficult phase, stating it is important to support Kuldeep as he is a match-winner.

"I'm a massive Kuldeep Yadav fan and in terms of strike rates you see he is the quickest to 100 ODI wickets and even in the shorter format, if you look at the match we won in England, he picked up five wickets at a time where the opposition was running away from the match," Bangar told.

The wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav is going through a lean patch in his cricket career, and he has found himself out of the T20I squad for the most part of the year 2019.

Yadav has been neglected by the team management this year, especially since the last edition of IPL where he had a couple of poor games.

However, Sanjay Bangar has complete faith in Kuldeep Yadav’s bowling prowess and he would not rule out Yadav on the basis of his two bad games in IPL.

"I wouldn't count out Kuldeep Yadav, it's just that he's had a couple of poor games in the IPL last season. For him, this IPL is going to be a massive factor and if he does really well, it will be very hard to keep him out,” Bangar further added"

Kuldeep Yadav has recently received a call-up for the upcoming Twenty20 series against West Indies at home.

Feature Cricket

The resurgence of Ishant Sharma

Partab Ramchand Updated: 29 November, 2019, 5:27 PM IST


The Indian fast bowling quintet is very much the topic of discussion in cricket circles and why not? They have all been superb for some time now having played a leading role in the highly successful run the team is enjoying. Each of the five bowlers has an interesting background but surely Ishant Sharma tops the list. The ups and downs that he has had over these last 12 years and the resurgence he has experienced in the last couple of years has been nothing short of remarkable. He has had to endure injuries, bad patches and jokes about his non-performance at these times but he has overcome all this and is currently undergoing a metamorphosis that has seen the stats against his name get better and better.

When he exploded on the scene in Australia in 2007-08 he was hailed as the next big thing in Indian cricket. Steve Waugh, Damien Fleming, Richard Hadlee and Ricky Ponting were effusive in their praise of the tall 19-year-old fast bowler who was making the ball fly about disconcertingly. He gave Ponting a harrowing time when the Australian captain was in the midst of a golden run and during the CB Series one delivery was timed at almost 153kmph making him the fastest Indian bowler of all time. He was hailed as Indian cricket’s next superstar and for some time he could do no wrong.

Then suddenly he couldn’t do a thing right. While the pace still remained around the 140 kmph mark the zing that accompanied it was missing. He was wayward, lost much of his rhythm and was just not in the zone. He still commanded a place in the side in all three formats so was it a case of too much cricket? In any event the strike rate, the economy rate and the average came in for much derisive comment. With an average of around 37 he had the worst figures for any specialist bowler with 200 wickets in Test history.

In the last couple of years however Ishant has been back to his glorious best knocking down stumps and sending down deliveries that have beaten batsmen for pace and swing. He is now more brain than brawn, cutting down on his speed and varying his deliveries so admirably that he is extremely deceptive. The strike rate and economy rate are much better and his career average is now 32.68. Of course he now plays only Tests so that has undoubtedly helped as also the fact that with plenty of competition around Ishant at 31 cannot afford to lag behind. Indeed he has risen to the occasion and struck up a good combination with his younger teammates. And as he approaches two important landmarks – 100 Tests and 300 wickets – Ishant is confidence personified.

Feature Cricket

Gavaskar’s History Lesson for Kohli

Sreelata S Yellamrazu Updated: 29 November, 2019, 5:24 PM IST


Stung at being overlooked in the accolades, former Indian cricketer and captain, Sunil Gavaskar, took a jibe at the current Indian captain, Virat Kohli. In the race for being known as pathbreakers, Gavaskar certainly did not appreciate the team of his times being overlooked when it came to overseas records.

In what seemed like a harmless comment on the part of the current Indian skipper got the goat of the former cricketer turned commentator who let the viewers know on air that Virat Kohli’s knowledge of the game was far from adequate.

In a stinging and stunning turn of events, Gavaskar even stated at the end of the first ever day and night Test cricket at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata that “We were winning even before Kohli was born.”

Gavaskar is not wrong in stating that India did get in a few series wins in the 1970’s and 1980’s before the advent of Sourav Ganguly as India’s captain. However, it was under Ganguly’s leadership that India developed a more robust outlook that neither gave an inch nor took one. That bluster and bravado actually paid off as it was under Ganguly’s unpopular choice as captaincy, the ratio of wins in terms of Test matches turned favourably for captains.

When Virat Kohli mentioned at the post match press conference that Ganguly was the one to teach the Indian team to stand up and fight back, Kohli was talking about ideologies and the policies of the Indian cricket team as he viewed as a young impressionable boy. This is from the perspective since he began to follow the game. It was, in no way, a retelling of history.

Gavaskar though would not cut the Indian captain slack, despite the fact that the Indian cricket captain became the first batsman to score a Test century under floodlights. Instead he ripped, in his own way, into the idea that he thought Kohli was perpetuating by claiming that cricket did not begin in the 2000’s. Point taken, Mr. Gavaskar.

But what beats the mind is that Gavaskar would think Kohli was merely trying to score brownie points by mentioning the current BCCI chief in the latter’s presence.

That someone of the stature and standing that Gavaskar enjoys would even make the allusion seems like taking cheap potshots at the current Indian captain who has not only taken his cricket to great heights but also, taken the Indian cricket team to a much stronger position. It would seem that this would be the least offending remark on the part of Kohli and certainly not one to rile Gavaskar to speak the way he did.

There is little doubt the world over that sometimes legends are forgotten and consigned to the history books. But with the occasion replete with honouring legacy with the parade of former champions even as Test cricket in India marked a new chapter, this was an unusual moment when Gavaskar felt slighted and took it out on the current Indian captain.

Opinion Cricket

Why is Virat Kohli reluctant to play day-night Test matches?

CT Contributor Updated: 29 November, 2019, 5:22 PM IST


Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli welcomed the move by BCCI to hold the side's first-ever day-night Test match against Bangladesh last week. India won that match by an innings and 46 runs to seal the series by a 2-0 margin. Kohli looked satisfied after the format was a success which drew a lot of fans and had several dignitaries attending the historical match. However, the 31-year-old said he doesn't want day-night Test to be the only version in the longest format in the near future.

Kohli said he still prefers the regular version and wants fans who understand Test cricket to attend the same. "This can be a one-off thing. It should not in my opinion become a regular scenario, because then you are losing out on that nervousness of the first session in the morning," Kohli had told reporters at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata.

"The entertainment of Test cricket lies in the fact that the batsman is trying to survive a session and the bowler trying to get a batsman out," he added. The day-night Tests have been aimed at increasing crowds and TV audiences for the longer format. It was successfully introduced in 2015 when Australia played New Zealand in Adelaide.

India had kept away, with its cricket board last year refusing to play a day-night Test in Adelaide. "Obviously, we wanted to get a feel of pink-ball cricket. Eventually it had to happen," said Kohli.

Going by his comments, Kohli is not someone who is advocating day-night Test on a regular manner. He prefers the older version and has always backed Test cricket. However, he isn't completely reluctant either. The Indian skipper is open to playing day-night Test next against Australia when the side visits Down Under end of 2020. He said India should be given a practice match ahead of the same.

Kohli has his own reasons and we should support him. Yes, day-night Test should be encouraged, however, it should not be the only version of Test cricket. We can have a match here and there. When India do host teams for 3 Tests or more, one match should be a day-night affair. Other venues should come into the picture like BCCI President Sourav Ganguly pointed out. Test cricket needs more excitement. The format has had a slow death in recent years with T20 cricket being the preferred choice.

However, there should be a collective approach to sort this. From lively pitches, association with fans and other aspects, one can perhaps see it get back to its feet. Day-night Test is one of those aspects that can help.

News Cricket

Why Jacques Kallis shaved half of his beard & moustache?

Staff Writer Updated: 29 November, 2019, 5:00 PM IST


Former South African all-rounder Jacques Kallis surprised everyone when he posted a picture of him with half shaved beard and moustache. The fans were amused with his new look and wanted to know the reason behind this move of the veteran cricketer.

"Going to be an interesting few days. All for a good cause Rhinos and golf development @alfreddunhill," wrote Kallis in his Instagram post.

He has taken up 'Save The Rhino' challenge in his country which required him to shave half of his facial and chest hair to raise awareness among the masses. This effort will also help in raising money to save the rhino population in South Africa.

Apart from Kallis, former cricketers like Kevin Pietersen and Mark Boucher are also associated with such projects. Time and again, they have urged people to come forward in their fight against poaching of Rhinos.

Even Rohit Sharma has advocated the need of working for the survival of Rhinos.

News Cricket

Rahul Dravid is disappointed with IPL franchises, wants them to hire Indian coaches

Tarun Singh Updated: 29 November, 2019, 2:34 PM IST


Former Indian cricketer and currently the National Cricket Academy (NCA) Director Rahul Dravid has expressed his displeasure over lack of opportunities for Indian coaches in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

"I believe we've got some very good coaches, a lot of good people. I'm fully confident [in their ability]. Just as we have a lot of talent in the cricket department, we have a lot of talent in the coaching department,” quoted Dravid.

Rahul Dravid believes that the Indian coaches would train and understand the players better than the foreign coaches in the league.

"Honestly, there are so many Indian players in the IPL, there's so much of local knowledge [among our coaches]. I feel a lot of teams could actually benefit from using a lot of our Indian coaches in the IPL. They know the Indian players better, they understand them better. Even as assistant coaches... there is a lot of talent and ability. It just needs to be given the opportunity, and flourish."

Indian Premier League (IPL) has played a crucial role in the development of fresh talents in Indian cricket.

Many key players of Team India have been produced by (IPL) like Hardik Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah, Kuldeep Yadav and Deepak Chahar.

However, Rahul Dravid feels that the IPL teams could not utilize many talented Indian coaches by not giving them enough opportunities to coach.

"A part of our goal is to create a program for coaches as well so that we can give them certain skills in which they can develop - and hopefully then get the opportunities to work at a slightly higher level.”

"I think a lot of IPL teams miss a trick by not using more domestic talent in the coaching area and the talent identification area, even if it is as assistants. That's my personal opinion,” Dravid further added.