Team India misses MS Dhoni a lot, nobody sits on his corner seat in the bus: Yuzvendra Chahal

Garima Kotroo Updated: 28 January, 2020, 1:54 PM IST

HIGHLIGHTS

Former Indian skipper MS Dhoni hasn’t been seen in the Indian colors since the World Cup semifinals last year and his retirement plans have become the biggest talking point in the cricket fraternity all around the globe. The 38-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman, who lost his place in the BCCI contracts for season 2019-20, is currently gearing up for the upcoming edition of IPL. With Ravi Shastri claimed that Dhoni’s international comeback is still possible if he performs well in the next season of the cash-rich league, everyone is waiting for the performance of CSK captain.

In the latest episode of Chahal TV, Indian spinner Yuzvendra Chahal admitted the fact that the Indian cricket team still misses the presence of the MS Dhoni. During the bus journey of Team India from Auckland to Hamilton, Chahal showed the seat where Dhoni used to sit and revealed that nobody occupies it in the absence of the legendary player.

“Yeh woh seat hai jaha ek legend baithte they, Mahi bhai (MS Dhoni). Abhi bhi yaha koi nahi baithta. Hum unhe bohot miss karte hai (This is the seat where one legend used to sit. No one sits here now. We all miss him a lot).”

India will play the third T20I against New Zealand at the Seddon Park in Hamilton on January 29.

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Feature Cricket

IPL 2020: 5 CSK batsmen to watch out for

Garima Kotroo Updated: 21 February, 2020, 1:07 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Three-time title lifters Chennai Super Kings will be eyeing their fourth IPL trophy in the upcoming season of the cash-rich league. MS Dhoni-led side has been one of the most successful franchises in the IPL and will look to extend their dominance. Notably, the batsmen have played a crucial role in CSK’s success over the last few years. While Shane Watson stunned everyone by his batting heroics in 2019, MS Dhoni has always remained a star for his side. Let’s take a look at five batsmen who can win matches for CSK.

Shane Watson

Fearless, powerful, unstoppable are the right words to describe Shane Watson. The Australian all-rounder has always been an integral part of the CSK squad. His numbers for the franchise in the past two years are enough to suggest that he is one of the key players to watch out for in the upcoming edition of the cash-rich league. If we take Watson’s batting performance into account, he stole the show for CSK in the grand finale against Mumbai Indians last year. However, MS Dhoni-led side lost the title by just one run but Watson’s 59-ball 80 runs with a bloodied knee won the hearts of IPL fans across the world. The 38-year-old right-hander has scored 3575 runs in 134 IPL matches at a strike rate of 139.53 and an average of 31.08 so far.

Faf du Plessis

Faf du Plessis has remained a consistent performer for Chennai Super Kings ever since he joined the Dhoni-led team. Despite missing quite a few matches due to injuries and national commitments in the last couple of years, the star batsman has done exceedingly well in the limited chances he has got in the yellow jersey. The South African star accumulated 396 runs in 12 games in the 12th edition of IPL. Overall, in 71 IPL matches, du Plessis has scored 1853 runs at a strike rate of 126.74 and an average of 31.40. With his impressive batting records, he can open for CSK in the upcoming edition of IPL.

Suresh Raina

Suresh Raina, the ‘Chinna Thala’ of the CSK squad, can perform under pressure. He is a vital cog in the batting wheel of the ‘Men in Yellow’. The left-handed batsman has amassed 5368 runs in 193 games in IPL. With such impressive batting records, Raina can make a difference for CSK in the next edition. The experienced batsman still has a lot to offer.

MS Dhoni

A lot has been said and written about MS Dhoni's future in international cricket but now its time for the biggest cricket carnival in India and everyone knows ‘Thala’ can never let his team down when it comes to IPL. The CSK skipper has always showcased his Masterclass in the 20-over competition. He is one of the most successful captains of the cash-rich league who led his team to three IPL titles. Not only this, he even guided his team to the nail-biting finale against Rohit Sharma-led Mumbai Indians last year. The legendary wicketkeeper-batsman scored 416 runs from 15 matches in the 12th edition of the league. His strike rate of 137.85 and an average of 42.20 are enough to show his caliber in the IPL. In the next edition of the cash-rich league, all eyes will be on MS Dhoni as this could be his last chance to make an international comeback.

Dwayne Bravo

Dwayne Bravo has a lot of experience in the franchise cricket and has done well for Chennai Super Kings in the past. Bravo's IPL numbers are quite impressive as he has scalped 147 wickets in 134 matches at an economy rate of 8.39. As far as his batting is concerned, the all-rounder has scored 1483 runs from 134 IPL games at a strike rate of 128.28. His path-breaking performances with both bat and ball in the shortest format of the game, make him a perfect T20 package for any captain.

News Cricket

Ravi Shastri gets emotional, recalls Test debut at Wellington 39 years ago

Garima Kotroo Updated: 21 February, 2020, 1:06 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Ravi Shastri, the head coach of Team India, went down the memory lane during his latest interview session with talented batsman Cheteshwar Pujara. On the eve of India’s first Test against New Zealand at the Basin Reserve in Wellington, Shastri revealed that exactly 39 years ago on February 21 in 1981 he made his Test debut for India at the same venue. Shastri said that he would have never believed that he would visit Basin Reserve yet again and that too against the same opposition.

Speaking to Pujara about his Test debut, Shastri said, "I would have never believed I would come to the same ground, the same venue, playing against the same opposition. I went into the same dressing room, nothing has changed. I made my debut here 39 years ago. I wouldn't have believed it to the day, 21st of February, I would be back after 39 years.”

The 57-year-old legendary all-rounder also took to his official Twitter handle and wrote, “It was 39 years. They say what goes around comes around. Tomorrow, Same day same ground same team same city I made my Test match debut 39 years ago. Unreal.”

Feature Cricket

Virat Kohli spot on: Periodic breaks best way to deal with rigorous schedule

Partab Ramchand Updated: 21 February, 2020, 1:04 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Virat Kohli was right in mincing no words on Wednesday while admitting that fatigue and workload management are issues that need to be addressed. ``Periodic breaks are the best way to deal with a rigorous schedule’’ said the Indian captain in hitting the nail firmly on the head.

There just seems to be no limit to the workload of an international cricketer these days. The schedule has been getting heavier and heavier in recent years and the players need a break to recharge their batteries and come back afresh. Kohli himself admitted that such periodic breaks have worked well for him. He gave his own career as an example saying that over the last eight or nine years he has been playing 300 days a year which includes traveling and practice sessions. Kohli actually made his international debut in 2008 in ODIs played his first T-20 international in 2010 and his first Test the following year and over the years with three formats, any number of bilateral contests, ICC tournaments, the IPL and so on he is quite right in saying that since the intensity is right up there all the time it does take a toll on the player.

That is why the cricketer needs the periodic breaks and as Kohli said it is not something that the players are not thinking about. ``We do choose to take a lot more breaks individually even though the schedule might not allow you too. You are going to see a lot of that in the future from many players, particularly those who play all three formats.’’

Kohli was again spot on while assessing his own career saying that he is preparing himself for a ``rigorous three years’’ of playing all three formats but after that, he might reassess his workload amid a transition phase that could be setting in. At 31 Kohli feels his body could take some extra workload but after three years he might have to decide on playing two of the three formats. Here it might not be out of place to point out that MS Dhoni retired from Tests at the age of 33 to concentrate on the two remaining formats.

Kohli has obviously set his sights on the larger picture when he says that ``for the next two or three years I have no issues at all.’’ He understands that his presence and peak performance is crucial till the 2023 World Cup after which the next phase of transition is likely to set in. ``I can keep going on with the same intensity and also understand that the team would want my contribution before we ease into another transition that we faced five to six years ago’’ obviously referring to the retirements of Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman.

Feature Cricket

David Warner Behavior Blamed on Workload

Sreelata S Yellamrazu Updated: 21 February, 2020, 1:02 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

It is an interesting proposition the cricketers union and David Warner have put out in defense of his behavior that led to the sandpaper-gate in South Africa last time around. While Warner has also chimed in to suggest that playing round the clock took its toll, how does it make this year since his return from the ban any different?

Upon landing in South Africa, David Warner has fished out the excuse that the last time Australia had come to South Africa – which was two years ago, he was an overworked, jetlagged person who could not come to terms with the workload.

Workload has become an increasingly critical issue, something India’s captain, Virat Kohli, chronically touches upon and has recently spoken about with regard to his own career longevity.

Warner, like Kohli, features for his team across all formats and additionally plays in the Indian Premier League. To that extent, the idea that players need to ask and enforce rest time is becoming more and more the norm. But they then run the risk of possibly losing their slot to the next incumbent awaiting his turn. While Warner, Kohli and the likes are not in imminent danger of such a scenario, it takes one unsavory incident and Warner had one too many on that previous tour of South Africa.

Warner, in more ways than one, has been Australia’s poster boy for both, phenomenal batting and atrocious behavior in cricket. His run-in with Quinton de Kock before playing a pivotal role in the ball-tampering fiasco were not his only misdeeds. A talent bludgeoner of the ball, Warner has roasted his own reputation as he has of bowlers around the world. To that extent, Warner is the boon and bane of Australian cricket and Australia have had to take cognizance of that fact when perhaps designing the one year ban so as to make Steve Smith and Warner available in time for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 in England last year.

To that end, Cricket Australia’s plans worked brilliantly as Warner was virtually unstoppable in the World Cup and thereafter, despite the hiccup of a dismal Ashes series in England, followed it with belligerent centuries in the home series against Pakistan and England. Warner has been part of the action ever since his return, bringing into question that if workload alone was the reason why there were some serious lapses in judgment and subsequently, behavior, how is this different given that Australia have been on a roll?

The greater truth of the matter lies somewhere between workload and results. When Australia have been doing well as they have since just before the World Cup by winning the one day international series in India, they have been a happy dressing room, easier to accommodate giant-sized egos and bad boys. When things have not been working well and they did not for Australia two years ago which made them resort to underhand tactics, they have found dearth even in leadership – Smith was the captain with the troubled brain fade moments and Warner with his perennial bad boy problems. Managing expectations, as well as workload, maybe more to the point in Warner’s and Australia’s case.

News Cricket

‘Ke ghungroo toot gaye’: Shreyas Iyer trolls Virat Kohli on Instagram

Abhishek Singh Updated: 21 February, 2020, 1:01 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

India middle-order batsman Shreyas Iyer trolled Virat Kohli in a hilarious way on Instagram. BCCI posted a photo of Virat Kohli, just before the toss in the first encounter of the Test series between New Zealand and India in Wellington.

BCCI went on to caption the picture as, "Let's put on our thinking caps and caption this? The best one will feature right here. Go.Go.Go #NZvIND". In the photo, Virat Kohli can be seen wearing the India blazer and standing in a 'dancing position' ahead of the toss in Wellington. Shreyas Iyer won over the Instagram by his hilarious caption- ‘Ke ghungroo toot gaye’, A famous line, mostly found in the Hindi songs, depicting marvelous footwork of the dancers.

As far as the Test match is concerned, New Zealand pacer Kyle Jamieson made a dream debut by dismissing Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli. New Zealand capitalized on winning the toss and bowling on a green Basin Reserve pitch, by picking five wickets.

As rain played spoilsport, India were lingering at 122-5 at the end of the first day’s play. Rishabh Pant and Vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane were at the crease.

News Cricket

Ross Taylor presented with 100 wine bottles to mark his 100th Test appearance

Garima Kotroo Updated: 21 February, 2020, 12:55 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Superstar Kiwi batsman Ross Taylor created history on the first day of the Test series opener against India at Basin Reserve in Wellington. The 35-year-old right-hander came out to play his 100th Test on Friday and also became the first cricketer in the world to play 100 matches across formats.

During the five-match T20I series against India at home, Taylor played his 100th T20I last month. As far as ODIs are concerned, Taylor has played 231 games so far, scoring 8570 runs for New Zealand.

In order to make this moment memorable for the veteran player, the New Zealand cricket fraternity came forward to present 100 wine bottles to Taylor.

While expressing his thoughts on the special gesture, Taylor said, “Really excited about the occasion. It’s not a great sign when you wake up in the morning and there’s some rain around. Ian Smith said a few words at an event last night, and it was very nice for the team and the family to experience something they might never do again. I’ll need some help drinking (the hundred bottles of wine), but they can be stored for a while.”

News Cricket

Dhawan relives childhood memories with son Zoravar, dances with characters of Chhota Bheem

Abhishek Singh Updated: 21 February, 2020, 12:52 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Indian opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan and his son Zoravar were recently seen playing and dancing around with people wearing costumes on famous cartoon series Chhota Bheem. The Delhi opener recently posted a video where he can be seen having a gala time with his son.

View this post on Instagram

Never let go of the child in you. Fun times ✌�

A post shared by Shikhar Dhawan (@shikhardofficial) on

The cartoon characters Bheem, Raju and Chutki from the famous show ‘Chhota Bheem’ had a blast with a famous Indian player. “Never let go of the child in you. Fun times,” wrote Dhawan.

Dhawan is currently recovering from his injury sustained during the third and final ODI in the India- Australia series. While trying to stop the ball, Dhawan dived full length and injured his shoulder.

Shikhar Dhawan is gearing up to play for the Delhi Capitals in the upcoming edition of the IPL. The franchise from Delhi is hoping to see him in good shape ahead of the new season. In the meantime, he is spending quality time with his family.

News Cricket

Darren Sammy to become a Pakistani citizen

Abhishek Singh Updated: 21 February, 2020, 11:43 AM IST

HIGHLIGHT

The jovial and always friendly, Darren Sammy has applied for Pakistani citizenship. The Peshawar Zalmi player has been a vocal supporter of the Pakistan Super League (PSL). The owner of the Peshawar franchise confirmed the news.

“We have requested for the honorary citizenship of Pakistan for Daren Sammy. The application is currently at President’s table. I request the PCB chairman to put in a good word for Sammy, so it can be approved,” said Javed Afridi as quoted by cricketpakistan.com.pk.

The Peshawar Zalmi captain was conferred with the iconic ‘Kaptaan Chappal’ from Pakistan’s famous cobbler Nooruddin. “I want the PSL-5 to be the best out of all of them. As players and as fans let’s show the world how great it is to play cricket here,” Darren Sammy had said after this.

Echoing the pain of Pakistani players of not playing at home, Darren said that he is very happy that PSL has rightfully returned to its home.

“Back in 2017 when the final was in Lahore it was a step to bring cricket back here. I have been playing cricket away and at home. I see how the people at home love to see their stars and you know Pakistani players have missed that,” said Peshawar Zalmi skipper.

In 2017, Darren Sammy led his side Peshawar Zalmi to title glory in Lahore.

News Cricket

Harsha blasts team management for dropping world’s best wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha

Garima Kotroo Updated: 21 February, 2020, 10:51 AM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Famous commentator Harsha Bhogle came down hard on the Indian team management for dropping experienced wicketkeeper-batsman Wriddhiman Saha from the playing XI against New Zealand on Friday. India gave preference to the young player Rishabh Pant over Saha during the first Test at the Basin Reserve in Wellington. The selection didn’t go well with Harsha and he immediately took to his official Twitter account to slam the management.

Bhogle wrote, “Just up and see Saha is left out. We have just told every young keeper in India not to bother becoming the best in the world behind the stumps and instead focus on getting a few more runs in front of them. Disappointed.”

Bhogle also made it clear that he is not against Rishabh Pant but he feels for Saha.

“Don’t get me wrong. This isn’t about Pant. Just think in tests you pick your best five batsmen, best four bowlers, best keeper and think about a secondary skill for number six, if at all. I hope he does well because he is a gifted young player but feel for Saha.”

News Cricket

Won’t mind sharing India’s No. 1 Test spot with New Zealand - Virat Kohli

Garima Kotroo Updated: 20 February, 2020, 2:38 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Indian skipper Virat Kohli and his troops recently visited the Indian High Commission in Wellington ahead of their first Test against Kiwis at the Basin Reserve. During his visit, Kohli expressed his gratitude for the High Commission and even showered praise on New Zealand cricket.

“If we have to share our No.1 Test rank with anyone, it would be with New Zealand. We have had a tremendous time here, the hospitality has been amazing. We feel very welcomed here. We lost the ODI series, but now we have real cricket to look forward to that is Test cricket."

Kohli also went on to say that India have reached that stage of world cricket where every team wants to beat them.

“Something that we as a team has embraced a lot over the last three to four years, we have reached a stage where every team wants to beat us.”

Talking about the mutual admiration and respect between India and New Zealand, Kohli added, “New Zealand won’t be any different, but the difference would be there won’t be any spite. That’s one reason why I can sit with Kane on the boundary line and have a conversation mid-game about life and not cricket.”

Feature Cricket

High quality keenly contested Test series on the cards

Partab Ramchand Updated: 20 February, 2020, 2:36 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

India are the No 1 ranked Test side while New Zealand are perched on the fourth position. The home advantage, however, can narrow the gap so that’s why one can expect a keen duel for supremacy in the two-Test series starting at Wellington on Friday. But there is one telling stat that no one can ignore. Out of their first seven Tests in New Zealand India won four. Of the next 16, the visitors have won just one. And as is well known New Zealand are difficult to beat at home.

So does this make New Zealand favorites for the contest? They certainly have a formidable squad and are at full strength after Trent Boult’s recovery following the injury he sustained during the Boxing Day Test against Australia. Their chief strength will be the pace trio of Boult, Tim Southee and Neil Wagner though Matt Henry has been called up as cover for Wagner who is awaiting the birth of his child. The selectors have also rewarded Kyle Jamieson. The tall paceman was impressive in the ODIs against India though he is unlikely to play at Wellington with Ajaz Patel being picked as the lone specialist spinner.

New Zealand’s other strength is their batting. Led by the outstanding duo of skipper Kane Williamson and the vastly experienced Ross Taylor who incidentally will be playing his 100th Test the Kiwis bat deep down the order with the likes of Tom Blundell, Tom Latham, Colin de Grandhomme, BJ Watling and Henry Nichols round to lend a helping hand.

However if New Zealand have a formidable squad so does India who will be keen on building upon their run of seven successive victories. Their strength too is their pace attack and the middle order batting. The pace attack is the best in Indian cricket history and even though there is quite a choice before the team management the trio of Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami should get the nod. The middle-order batting (Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane and Hanuma Vihari if he plays) is one that could cause even the strong New Zealand attack to have sleepless nights. And Mayank Agarwal and Prithvi Shaw have the class and skill to blunt the new ball at the top of the order.

So it does look like it could well be a high quality keenly contested series between two equally strong teams though one must always keep in mind the all-important stat stated earlier.

News Cricket

Almost as good as Headingley - Michael Vaughan takes a cheeky dig at Motera Stadium

Garima Kotroo Updated: 20 February, 2020, 2:34 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Former England skipper Michael Vaughan never misses any chance to mock Indian cricket fans with his hilarious comments. This time, the 45-year-old legendary batsman tried to take a jibe at the iconic Motera Stadium. Vaughan has compared the world’s largest cricket stadium with Headingley in England.

BCCI recently posted a colorful picture of the newly-refurbished Sardar Patel Stadium on its official Twitter handle and wrote ‘The sun is out! #MoteraStadium’. While many cricket fans appreciated the picture wholeheartedly, Vaughan came forward to take a dig at the venue. He cheekily commented, “Almost as good as Headingley !!.” Headingley stadium in Leeds has a seating capacity of over 18,000 while Motera can host over 1,10,000 spectators at a time.

US President Donald Trump, who is set to come to India for a two-day trip along with First Lady Melania on February 24, will visit the iconic stadium where the construction work is still underway. After the likes of Chinese President Xi Jinping, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Trump will be the fourth world leader to be hosted by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Ahmedabad

Motera has hosted 12 Tests, 24 ODIs and just one T20I game between India and Pakistan in 2012 so far. It is the ground where batting maestro Sunil Gavaskar had completed 10,000 runs in the longer format during the 1986-87 Test series against Pakistan.

News Cricket

The bromance continues: Kane Williamson gives best batsman title to Virat Kohli

Garima Kotroo Updated: 20 February, 2020, 2:33 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Kiwi skipper Kane Williamson has named his favorite batsman across formats ahead of New Zealand’s first Test against India. Not so surprisingly, Williamson picked Indian captain Virat Kohli’s name with whom he shares a good bond on and off the field.

“Obviously, Virat is the best, one-off, without a doubt in all formats. I have always admired Virat in a lot of ways.”

During the fifth T20I in Mount Maunganui, both Kohli and Williamson were seen chatting on the sidelines for a long time as they were not part of the playing XI.

Speaking about India’s top spot in the World Test Championship, Williamson also added, “They are a quality side and leading the World Test Championship. There is a reason for it, they have so many quality batsmen in their line-up and they have got a world-class bowling line-up as well. So, you certainly do not focus on the one single player and that brings us back to the focus on everyone’s team approach.”

The first Test between both the countries is scheduled to be played at the Basin Reserve in Wellington and it will begin from February 21.

News Cricket

Bangladesh give last series to skipper Mashrafe Mortaza

Abhishek Singh Updated: 20 February, 2020, 2:30 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

The president of the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB), Nazmul Hasan wants to move ahead of legendary captain Mashrafe Mortaza. The star player will lead Bangladesh for the last time in the upcoming series against Zimbabwe.

"There might have been instances when Mashrafe played despite not passing the beep test but it will not happen now. If he wants to play, he has to perform and get selected in the team," Nazmul said.

Mortaza became captain for the second time in 2014, coincidentally, also against Zimbabwe. Overall, he captained Bangladesh in 85 ODIs, won 47 and lost 36.

Stating that the board wanted to have a farewell series for the captain, Nazmul Hasan said that now it’s up to Mortaza how long he wants to play.

"We also need to consider Mashrafe's contribution in turning points of Bangladesh cricket; it is unparalleled. All the big players around the world plan, decide and inform when it's time for their retirement. We wanted to make some kind of arrangement to see him off,” added Nazmul Hasan.

"For the World Cup, we have to decide on the team and captain with at least two years in hand," Nazmul said about picking a new captain.

The retirement speculation has been going around since the World Cup last year. The one-day series begins from 1st of March 2020.

Feature Cricket

 Virat Kohli’s Assessment Symptomatic of IPL-Era

Sreelata S Yellamrazu Updated: 20 February, 2020, 2:29 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Virat Kohli’s assessment of his own possible career longevity is already raising concern. While Kohli has suggested that he still has three or four good years ahead of him before he will assess his physical and mental workload with regard to playing for India, it has raised the issue of whether a cricketer at his peak contemplating his time in the game at thirty-one years of age is symptomatic of the Indian Premier League age.

With over a decade of the Twenty20 tournament having usurped Indian cricketers of a proverbial offseason, while the Indian Premier League has provided a greater number of cricketers employment at a higher salary albeit, for a couple of months, it has, also, taken a toll on the current batch of cricketers.

While the IPL has featured even forty-year-old cricketers from India and other participating foreign countries, what it has gone unaccounted for is having cricketers now with early retirements in international cricket in order to lighten their workload, increase their financial security through playing Twenty20 as freelance agents and providing much-needed sustenance for their families. While the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) did make it mandatory on cricketers to provide no-objection certificates from their own cricket boards in order to participate in the Indian Premier League, it has also, thrown cricketers into a dilemma when it comes to Indian cricket and created a worldwide syndrome where more and more cricketers are taking the early retirement.

With the pressure of playing across all three formats of the game along with the IPL, not a few cricketers like Virat Kohli deal with having to play international cricket practically throughout the year as well as play the IPL in the grueling summer months. While they do profit financially, it can be too much of a task.

But rather than regulating the number of games players play and assess the issue of burnout, player and injury management which has become a controversial topic when it comes to player niggles and time out which the BCCI claims a player is allowed to ask for without the player necessarily having the cushion of retaining his place after the break, the grey area, and blind spots continue to shadow the premier Twenty20 tournament in India.

To that end, the fact that while the IPL can claim that several young players, as well as retired players, have opportunity to extend their scope and longevity, the number of cricketers who are contemplating retirement, particularly batsman who usually peak post 30 years, is of concern for most cricket teams that count on experience and wealth of knowledge in the international arena.

Kohli is currently one of the most influential cricketers, on and off the field. His aggressive brand of cricket suits the shorter formats. His versatility makes him the champion for the Test cricket format as well. In that sense, Kohli’s longevity as an international cricketer far supersedes the idea that even if in a couple of years, Kohli decides to bid the game adieu, he could still show up for the Twenty20 tournaments. As the veritable flagbearer, he is the transition to the next generation of cricketers and therefore, a vital link to the continuance of the game in its present avatar.

This self-assessment of Kohli on India’s tour of New Zealand does ring alarm bells for the current trends around the world even if Kohli’s own retirement is not imminent in the immediate future.