This is our WC and we are going to go about it how we want to: Ben Stokes

This is our WC and we are going to go about it how we want to: Ben Stokes

Harshit Anand Updated: 26 June, 2019, 2:28 PM IST

HIGHLIGHTS

England slumped to yet another defeat in the World Cup, this time against Australia. England have lost three matches out of seven games. Now, they will need to beat India and New Zealand to qualify for the semi-finals. Who would have thought that the pre-tournament favorites will be in such a do-or-die situation in the World Cup? The loss against Sri Lanka have changed it all for them.

But the English all-rounder, Ben Stokes is still hopeful that England will make it to the final four. “This is our World Cup. We’ve had great support over the last four years and we know how much the World Cup means to fans and we know that as players as well. It’s one of the biggest times and greatest times to be a cricketer, which is to represent your country at a World Cup,” Stokes

“But we are not going to take a backwards step and, as I’ve said, this is our World Cup and we are going to go about it how we want to,” he added.

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Feature Cricket

Kohli’s Don’t-Sell-Test-Cricket-for-Entertainment Pitch

Sreelata S Yellamrazu Updated: 7 December, 2019, 12:34 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

In an age when a cricketer would be considered having consigned his career to flames for abjectly rejecting the entertainment element of the sport as it is being currently run, Virat Kohli has thrown caution to the wind, earning the plaudits of purists around the world.

One must doff one’s hat to the Indian captain. Even if his behavior is not everyone’s cup of tea, Kohli has repeatedly shown his heart is in the right place, particularly when it comes to Test cricket.

Not so long in the past, Kohli made the argument that Test cricket must be protected. He was an excited captain, right out of the gate, happy at the opportunity to lead India’s Test team down under in 2014, when Mahendra Singh Dhoni suddenly decided to hang up his boots.

Ever since, Kohli’s aura has been on the rise. Even his batting has blossomed under pressure, the responsibility sitting rather well with him. Having scored his twenty-seventh Test century, his twentieth as the Indian captain, in the first ever day and night Test cricket in India, although Sourav Ganguly emphasized that Kohli was quick to the idea of a day and night Test against Bangladesh in Kolkata, Kohli reiterated at the end of the match that day and night Test cricket must remain a one off novelty and not the norm.

Emphasizing that argument, Kohli took it a step further, asking for Test cricket not to be reduced to a scale to measure entertainment factor as is being done for Twenty20 and the formats it is springing up in its wake.

To use Kohli’s own words, “You can bring excitement into Test cricket but you can’t purely make Test cricket based on entertainment. The entertainment of Test cricket lies in a batsman trying to survive a session, a bowler trying to set up a batsman. If people don’t want to respond to that, too bad. If I don’t like Test cricket, you can’t push me. Those who enjoy the battle between bat and ball and great session of Test cricket, in my opinion, those are the people that should come and watch Test cricket because they understand what is going on.”

That is a bold and highly accurate statement if ever there was. For quite sometime now, there is the notion that the game can cater to different audiences and need not be a case of one formula fits all.

While Kohli is not wrong that only a nuanced cricket aficionado would find enjoyment and satisfaction in an absorbing day’s cricket, not to be judged by the number of blistering runs scored but time bidden and fortunes changed as a result of it in a contrarian view to the modern game that judges everything by the bat, the fact remains that Test cricket has not been promoted in quite the same way as the other versions.

Test cricket can be exciting, if not more relishing, as a savoury dish spread as a five course meal. It has continued to inspire generations after generation of cricket lovers and cricket aspirants. Evidence of surveys have shown Test cricket still enjoys an avid sports following, ahead of the other formats, albeit across different platforms, particularly with ticket prices exorbitant and little done for fans. When larger-than-life players like Virat Kohli go to bat for it, perhaps it is time the game’s so-called custodians and administrators to go back to the drawing board and realize that there were no missing elements in Test cricket in the first place. Just a change in perspective that could easily change the ball game once more.

Opinion Cricket

Has the world of fast bowling ever had it so good?

Partab Ramchand Updated: 7 December, 2019, 12:31 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

It is an accepted fact that Indian fast bowling has never had it so good but actually on closer scrutiny it would appear that pace bowling the world over has never had it so good. And when Ian Bishop in a recent interview says that he is salivating about the fast bowlers now available in world cricket he is not far off the mark. The amiable fast bowler among the last in the assembly line of great pacemen from the Caribbean who is now one of the best commentators in the business is known for his vast knowledge and balanced views and when he says that he is this enthusiastic about the quality of fast bowlers in the game today there has to be more than a grain of truth.Indeed the question has to be asked whether the world of fast bowling has ever been better. In the past there were two or three countries with some great pacemen but other than that the cupboard was bare. So you had Dennis Lillee and Jeff Thomson for Australia and the deadly West Indian pace quartet and Imran Khan of Pakistan and Bob Willis for England around to make the best of batsmen hop around and duck and weave their way out of trouble in the seventies and early eighties.

These days you have fast bowlers from half a dozen countries plying their trade and making life hell for batsmen. The big difference in the scenario is basically India and South Africa. India were around at the time of the Lillees and the Thomsons but the strength was spin bowling and later the lion hearted Kapil Dev who ploughed a lonely furrow. South Africa were not even around at the time because of their excommunicaton from international cricket but since their return have produced the likes of Allan Donald, Shaun Pollock, Makhaya Ntini, Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel and the present lot of Vernon Philander, Lungi Ngidi and Kagiso Rabada doesn’t compare unfavourably. Australia in the post Lillee - Thomson period have produced true greats in Craig McDermott, Glenn McGrath, Brett Lee and Mitchell Johnson and the tradition has continued with the present quartet of Mitchell Starc, James Pattinson, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood.

The English pace bowling tradition is in the capable hands of Jofra Archer while the fall in West Indian and Pakistan standards in the last decade has been more than made up by the sensational rise of India’s strength in pace bowling. The quartet of Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah and Umesh Yadav constitutes arguably the most potent fast bowling attack in the contemporary game. New Zealand too has a pair of great bowlers in Tim Southee and Trent Boult. So viewed from any angle pace bowling the world over has never had it so good and that is why Test cricket is so exciting these days for there is nothing in the game like a group of fast bowlers hurtling bouncers and yorkers and sending stumps flying.

Feature Cricket

5 players with highest base prices who might go unsold in IPL auction 2020

CT Contributor Updated: 7 December, 2019, 12:29 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

The Indian Premier League 2020 auction is set to be held on December 19 in Kolkata and the anticipation is growing louder with each passing day. A total of 73 players were released by the eight teams last month. Meanwhile, 971 players have put themselves in the auction pool with several high-profile stars keeping their base price higher. According to a report in ESPN Cricinfo, seven players have set their prices at Rs. 2 crore. Whereas, around nine players have kept their base prices at Rs 1.5 crore. Many others have Rs 1 crore base prices as well.

Here we look at five players with the top base prices who might get snubbed in IPL auction 2020.

Josh Hazlewood (2 crore)

The Australian pacer has been a revelation in Tests for Australia for a while now. He has gone on to become quite the force for the Aussies in the longest format. However, when it comes to limited-overs, Hazlewood has been kept out in order to protect him from injuries of late. Hazlewood hasn't featured in the IPL and doesn't possess much experience in the shortest format. Looking at this, he may get ignored. Last season, he had a base price of Rs 2 crore. But teams preferred to ignore him in the auction.

Angelo Mathews (2 crore)

The veteran Sri Lankan player last featured in the IPL back in 2017 for Delhi. He played just three games and was subsequently released. He was ignored last season after choosing to keep a high base price of Rs 2 crore. Given that he has chosen the same route for the 2020 auction, the chances of him being roped in appear to be slim. Teams won't prefer someone at his age anymore.

Dale Steyn (2 crore)

The South African has been bothered a lot by injuries of late and that might hinder his chance of earning an IPL contract. Steyn was chosen as a replacement bowler by RCB last term and he ended up playing two games before being injured. RCB released him last month and the Proteas man is now in the pool. However, given his repeated injury woes, teams will not be willing to take a huge risk.

Robin Uthappa (1.5 crore)

The KKR stalwart was a strong member of the side over the last few seasons. However, the eastern giants decided to release him after he hasn't quite made an impact of late. Uthappa has slowed down and that has affected his growth and impact. Given his age, teams might let him pass by and focus on something else for the price. His IPL journey could come to an end.

Shaun Marsh (1.5 crore)

The Australian is likely to get snubbed by IPL teams in the upcoming auction. He is someone who currently isn't a part of the Aussie set-up post the 2019 World Cup. He didn't find any takers in IPL 2018 and 2019 and there is little hope that franchises will opt for him this time as well. To have such a costly sum riding on him, Marsh will be ignored.

News Cricket

Watch: Virat takes perfect revenge, imitates Kesrick’s notebook send-off in first T20I

Garima Kotroo Updated: 7 December, 2019, 12:27 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

India started the blockbuster T20I series against West Indies on a happy note as they defeated the visitors by six wickets at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium in Hyderabad. The credit of India’s comprehensive win goes to none other than Virat Kohli, who was on fire during the nail-biting battle against Kieron Pollard’s troop.

The Indian skipper slammed an unbeaten 94 runs off just 50 deliveries while chasing down the monumental target of 207 runs against the Caribbean.

In-form Kohli had a slow start but he switched his gears in the last five overs of the game to turn around the tables in favour of India.

In the 16th over bowled by the talented pacer Kesrick Williams, Kohli fired up himself and went for a brilliant boundary. He even baffled the aggressive opponent with an outrageous six after which the Indian captain imitated Williams’ "notebook" celebration.

However, the man of the match later revealed that he was not trying to copy Williams' CPL send-off to Chadwick Walton but it was more of a revenge from him.

"It's not the CPL, it happened to me in Jamaica when he got me out. So I thought I'll tick a few in the notebook as well, but all good. There were a few words, but smiles at the end”.

News Cricket

Yuvraj blasts Virat Kohli-led Team India, says they were poor in the field against West Indies

Tarun Singh Updated: 7 December, 2019, 12:26 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Yuvraj Singh, who was one of India’s most impressive fielders of his time, lambasted the young-guns of Team India for their poor show in fielding during the 1st T20I vs West Indies in Hyderabad.

Former all-rounder Yuvraj Singh slammed India’s fielding because the players dropped several catches and conceded too many extra runs, which eventually enabled Caribbean players to post a mammoth target of 207/5.

Washington Sundar, Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant and even Virat Kohli made a few fielding fumbles against the visitors, which allowed the rivals to post the second-highest T20 total against India in India.

Yuvraj took to Twitter and wrote, "India very poor on the field today ! Young guns reacting a bit late on the ball! Too much cricket ? ? Let's get these runs come on lads."

However, there were speculations over the wrong angles of the floodlights in Hyderabad which could have affected the visibility of the ball resulting in several fielding fumbles.

But they say, ‘all’s well that ends well’. The chase master Virat Kohli hammered the Windies bowlers with a career-best 94* to take the hosts to pass the finish line in the 19th over only.

Virat Kohli-led India, after one of the best chases of all time in T20Is, are now 1-0 up in the ongoing three-match T20I series against the Kieron Pollard-led team.

Feature Cricket

Top T20I knocks by Virat Kohli in chases

Renin Wilben Albert Updated: 7 December, 2019, 10:58 AM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Whether it is ODIs or T20Is, Indian captain Virat Kohli just loves chasing. On Friday against West Indies at Hyderabad, Kohli demonstrated yet again why he is the best chaser in limited-overs matches. Replying to a challenging target of 208, Kohli struggled initially, but played the waiting game, and exploded as only he can once he got his eye in. The skipper’s career-best of 94 not out from 50 balls led India to triumph by six wickets.

The innings at Hyderabad will go down as one of Kohli’s finest in T20I chases. Here are few other gems from Kohli’s book of chasing.

72 not out vs South Africa

This is nowhere near Kohli’s highest scores, but achieves great significance as it came in the semi-final of the 2014 World T20 at Dhaka. Courtesy South African skipper Faf du Plessis’ 58 and JP Duminy’s unbeaten 45, the Proteas finished on an impressive 172 for 4. To get to the final, India needed one big innings from the top three. Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane laid the foundation with 24 and 32 respectively, but it was Kohli’s knock that sealed the finals berth for India. His rollicking 72 came from just 44 balls, and featured five fours and two sixes. India got home by six wickets in the last over.

82 not out vs Australia

This is undoubtedly one of Kohli’s finest T20I knocks till date, as it came in the World T20 clash against Australia at Mohali in March 2016. Courtesy all-round contributions, Australia posted a challenging 160 for 6 batting first. Under pressure, India stumbled to 49 for 3 as Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and Suresh Raina fell cheaply. However, Kohli was rock solid as ever. He eased his way to an unbeaten 82 from 51 balls, hitting nine fours and two sixes, as India clinched the contest by six wickets.

78 not out vs Pakistan

Another World T20 contest, and another special from Kohli, this time against arch-rivals Pakistan. In the marquee clash of the 2012 World T20, Pakistan managed only 128 batting first as L. Balaji turned out to be an unlikely hero with 3 for 22. India would have been under pressure though considering the magnitude of the game, and the early dismissal of Gautam Gambhir gave Pakistan hope. Kohli though shut out any miraculous comeback chances with an assured innings of 78. He slammed eight fours and two sixes as India romped home by eight wickets.

82 vs Sri Lanka

Kohli ensured victory for India in the Only T20I played at Colombo in September 2017. Dilshan Munaweera’s 29-ball 53 and Ashan Priyanjan’s unbeaten 40 lifted Sri Lanka to 170 for 7. India got off to a poor start, losing Rohit for 9 and Rahul for 24. Once again, Kohli led from the front, and made a blazing 82 from 54 balls, an innings decorated with seven fours and a six. He found good company in Manish Pandey, who made an unbeaten 51 from 36 balls, as India comprehensively won the match by seven wickets.

72 not out vs South Africa

One more unbeaten knock in a chase, this time against the Proteas at Mohali in September 2019. In the second T20I of the series, South Africa batted first and put up 149 for 5, thanks to skipper Quinton de Kock’s 52 and Temba Bavuma’s 49. India lost Rohit for 12 before Kohli and Dhawan (40) featured in a steadying partnership. After Dhawanand Rishabh Pant’s departure, Kohli ensured there were no hiccups. He eased his way to an unbeaten 72 from 52 balls as India reached the target with an over to spare.

Feature Cricket

Gavaskar’s Concussion Argument not Unlike Runners

Sreelata S Yellamrazu Updated: 6 December, 2019, 9:54 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

One of the concerns coming out of the day and night Test at the Eden Gardens was the ability of the batsmen to be able to pick the pink ball. While it got a commentator and a former-cricketer-turned-commentator into a tangent of a debate, Gavaskar’s comments about the Bangladesh players brought back arguments that went against the runner. So, is the concussion substitute short-lived?

The runner was a fact of cricket until recently. Much like the concussion substitute – Australia’s Marnus Labuschagne became the first such player in the course of the Ashes series in England, the runner would come in for a batsman hampered by an injury having incurred on the field. Only difference is that while the runner himself only ran between the wickets for the indisposed batsman, the concussion substitute player is allowed to bat in lieu of the retired player who is put under observation for concussion’s delayed after effects.

The runner, however, ran into trouble in recent years with distinguishing lines blurring over whether a particular batsman was entitled to a runner, whether the injury was sustained on the field, whether the degree of injury actually warranted a runner and whether a team was merely exploiting the opportunity to have someone ring up the scoreboard by running quickly between the wickets. The counter argument though was that the introduction of runner was also something of a comic relief, with a run out opportunity not far in the offing and therefore, adding an added element of entertainment and excitement into the game.

While the Indian fast bowlers did quick work of the Bangladesh batsmen at the Eden Gardens – the first innings barely getting into the tricky twilight period, the fact that too many Bangladesh players were getting hit became something of concern. Eventually as the concussion substitutes began to make their way onto the field, it got the goat of Sunil Gavaskar, India’s former captain, prolific batsman and now commentator and columnist.

While Gavaskar’s comments about Virat Kohli’s statements about India’s winning culture under Sourav Ganguly were well documented, the fact that Gavaskar was suspicious of the Bangladesh players using the concussion substitute argument raised eyebrows in fewer circles.

For one, following the untimely demise of Australia’s Phil Hughes in a domestic match after being hit on the head by a rising ball in 2014, there has been a huge concern about safety of all players as well as umpires on the field, not just the batsmen. That has been brought home even more for the timing of the year when Hughes lost his life under unfortunate circumstances.

Although Hughes was not the first player to suffer a fatal injury on the field – Raman Lamba’s name comes instantly to mind, it raised debate in light of the fact that Twenty20 has been encouraging in a big way the idea that batsmen could take reckless chances, sacrifice technique, put themselves in harm’s way as well as threaten injury to the bowler, fielders and umpires on the field with the kind of explosive batting being considered lucrative for run scoring as well as for attracting exponential financial increments.

Secondly, with concussion having become a huge debate and not just in cricket, it seemed somewhat blaze on the part of the former captain to almost reduce the idea of a concussion substitute as something of a mockery, a loophole to be exploited.

While as a former player himself, Gavaskar might know a thing or two about players around the world ducking the opportunity to face up to a challenge by finding an escape route, if what he is suggesting is a similar ploy being used by Bangladesh’s cricketers, it is tantamount to shortchanging the game and it will need looking into. These are not statements to be made lightly or to be ignored. The insinuations are particularly dire.

News Cricket

It will take Rishabh Pant 15 years to be even close to MS Dhoni – Sourav Ganguly

Staff Writer Updated: 6 December, 2019, 9:46 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Indian skipper Virat Kohli recently came forward in defence of the young cricketer Rishabh Pant amid his comparison with MS Dhoni and Wriddhiman Saha. Sourav Ganguly, the BCCI President, feels Pant should face the ongoing scrutiny to become a strong player in the near future.

"If I were Virat Kohli, I would just let him go through it, let him hear it and find ways to succeed. Everybody must remember that you don't get MS Dhoni's every day. MS Dhoni also, when he started, was not MS Dhoni. It will take Rishabh Pant also close to 15 years to be even close to what MS Dhoni is today”.

The 22-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman, Pant was given the responsibility to fill the big void left by MS Dhoni’s absence. But the youngster has failed in the past tournaments.

As a result, Pant is facing heavy criticism for his poor performance with the bat and gloves.

News Cricket

"You perform, you continue or someone else will takes over": Ganguly on head coach Shastri

Staff Writer Updated: 6 December, 2019, 9:44 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Sourav Ganguly and Ravi Shastri were at loggerheads when Anil Kumble was preferred over the latter in the race of India's head coach position. However, with Kumble's resignation, Shastri was appointed as the head coach of Team India. With Sourav Ganguly's elevation as the new president of BCCI, it seems ice is melting between the two.

Ravi Shastri was full of praise for Sourav Ganguly. "I think it is fantastic. I was one of the first to congratulate him when he became the President because I was delighted that more important than anything a BCCI was back in place to put Indian cricket where it belongs both on and off the field. And I was even more delighted that a cricketer should be at the helm at this important phase of Indian cricket," Ravi Shastri had told IANS.

When Sourav Ganguly was asked about his relationship with Ravi Shastri, he said: "That's why it's speculation. I don't have an answer to it. It's pretty simple. It's about performance. You perform, you continue or else somebody else would take over. It's a simple formula," Ganguly said at the India Today's East Conclave in Kolkata.

Feature Cricket

Despite rankings and head to head record the contest could be close

Partab Ramchand Updated: 6 December, 2019, 5:50 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

T-20 cricket is how most of the young talent today makes their way through to the higher echelons of ODIs and Test matches. Jasprit Bumrah is a classic case of a cricketer who first created a favourable impression in the shortest format of the international game before going on to achieve fame in the two other formats. Sure, there are a few who could be termed as Test specialists like Cheteshwar Pujara but by and large the more systematic approach is to groom youngsters in T-20 cricket first and see whether they are good enough to make to ODIs and Tests.

That is probably one reason why India are not ranked that high in T-20 internationals as they are in Tests where they are No 1 or ODIs where they are No 2. India are ranked No 5 in T-20s because as Virat Kohli put it on Thursday they have been experimenting in getting the combination right for the World Cup to be held in Australia in about ten months time. As the captain said the selectors and the team management have to see which players can make the transition to coming good in international cricket and the three-match series against West Indies starting on Friday is another opportunity to get the right playing combination for the mega event.

As is well known T-20 is a format in which any team can win on a given day. Rankings matter very little and so one should not read too much into the West Indies being as low as 10th in the ICC rankings. True, the head to head record ( 8 – 5) is in favour of India and the home advantage will always be there. It is also true that West Indies are taking on India after having just gone down to Afghanistan 2-1. It must also not be forgotten that India blanked West Indies in their own backyard a few months ago. Indeed it is hard to believe how the mighty have fallen for the West Indies are the reigning World T-20 champions and the only team to have won the event twice. But then they are a mercurial lot and one can never really write them off particularly in this format in which they have produced some of the leading lights of world cricket.

Even the current side has a lot of exciting players and it is just a case of getting their act together. And if there is one player who can inspire them to perform above their potential it is Kieron Pollard. The 32-year-old captain is one of the leading T-20 stars in the game and has regaled audiences the world over while plying his trade for the various franchisees. He is very popular in India being a stalwart for many years in the IPL while representing Mumbai Indians. And keeping in mind the format and what the West Indies are capable of (they did defeat India in the World T-20 semifinal in Mumbai in 2016) one would like to think that the contest will be close despite the head to head record and the disparity in the rankings.

News Cricket

Ashwin takes the blame for not taking KXIP to playoffs

Garima Kotroo Updated: 6 December, 2019, 5:01 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Ace Indian spinner Ravichandran Ashwin is missing from Team India in the shortest format of the game, but he is a star in the carnival of Indian Premier League. Having played for the popular franchises like Chennai Super Kings (CSK), Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) and Kings XI Punjab (KXIP), Ashwin has made his special place in the glitzy tournament.

After playing many IPL seasons for MS Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings, Ashwin was given the responsibility of leading the Punjab outfit in 2018. Despite putting in his best efforts, Ashwin failed to make a mark as Kings XI Punjab failed to qualify for the playoffs in the last two editions.

The 33-year-old right-hander claimed that the owners of Kings XI Punjab blamed him for not steering his team to the playoffs but he subtly accepted all the allegations made by the owners. "There are other factors, the owners did feel I haven’t delivered which is true because I could not take the team through to the playoffs in both the seasons. You can give excuses why we could not do that, but I am someone who takes it under my chin and admits that ‘yes I couldn’t deliver."

The experienced cricketer, who dominated the headlines in IPL season 12 for mankading Jos Buttler, has now joined the squad of Delhi Capitals for the next edition. He will now play alongside the likes of Shikhar Dhawan, Rishabh Pant, Ishant Sharma and Shreyas Iyer.

News Cricket

'From a ‘baby bowler’ to a world-beater': Mumbai Indians mock Razzaq on Bumrah's birthday

Staff Writer Updated: 6 December, 2019, 4:59 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Jasprit Bumrah has carved a niche for himself since making his international debut against Australia. The Indian pacer is one of the best fast bowlers at the moment and has made his performance count across formats. Be it any format, Bumrah has taken a lot of wickets in a short span of time. He is currently recovering from a stress fracture and is expected to return against New Zealand in 2020.

He has been phenomenal for his national team and has earned respect of his rivals as well.

On the occasion of his birthday, his IPL franchise Mumbai Indian posted a cheeky wish for their player. The Mumbai based team took a dig at Abdul Razzaq comment where he had termed Bumrah a baby bowler.

“From a ‘baby bowler’ to a world-beater #BoomBoozled #OneFamily #CricketMeriJaan #MumbaiIndians @Jaspritbumrah93,” tweeted the four-time IPL champions.

In one of his recent interviews, Razzaq had told cricketpakistan.com.pk, "After having faced the world-class bowlers in my time, I would have had no problem against a bowler like Bumrah. The pressure would have been on him. I have played against great bowlers like Glenn McGrath and Wasim Akram. So Bumrah is a baby bowler in front of me and I could have easily dominated and attacked him.”

News Cricket

HCA to inaugurate Mohammad Azharuddin Stand before first T20I against West Indies

Garima Kotroo Updated: 6 December, 2019, 4:58 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

While Virat Kohli and team are gearing up to play the thrilling T20I opener against West Indies at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad, the former Indian skipper Mohammad Azharuddin is preparing for the inauguration of a new stand which will be named after him before the match.

The current president of Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA) will now have a stand on his name above the VVS Laxman pavilion in Hyderabad.

The new stand is expected to be inaugurated by the legendary cricketer Sunil Gavaskar on Friday.

Before the match gets underway, the HCA will also organise a small felicitation ceremony at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium to honour the former Hyderabad players who have represented Team India in world cricket and performed well for their country.

One of the most successful captains of India, Azharuddin has played a total of 99 Tests and 334 ODIs in his great career stint. He was elected as the chief of Hyderabad Cricket Association in September 2019.

On the match front, India are looking forward to edge past the Caribbean players in the three-match T20I series on home soil.

News Cricket

Hyderabad Rape Case Encounter: Harbhajan lauds cops for swift action

Staff Writer Updated: 6 December, 2019, 4:49 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

India off-spinner Harbhajan Singh has praised the Telangana Chief Minister and police for killing all the four men accused of raping and murdering a 26-year old doctor.

The accused were taken to the spot for reconstruction of the crime scene but they attacked police personnel, leading to firing from the cops, which resulted in the death of four men.

The action taken by the police was praised from one of the leading cricketers in India.

"Well done @TelanganaCMO and police for showing this is how it is done no one should dare doing something like this again in future," Harbhajan tweeted on Friday.

Earlier, Bhajji had demanded strong action against the culprits after he came to know about the brutal killing of a noble soul.

“Shame on all of us we keep letting these things happens again nd again butnothing 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

“Pose kam maar, batting karle thoda”: Rohit Sharma brutally trolls Kedar Jadhav

Tarun Singh Updated: 6 December, 2019, 2:56 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Kedar Jadhav got brutally trolled by India's limited-overs vice-captain Rohit Sharma for sharing some of his pictures on Instagram from the practice session.

Jadhav can be seen in stylish poses, donning sunglasses, cap, and cricket gear in his Instagram post.

"Feels good to be back on the field and do what I like to do," Jadhav captioned the pictures.

However, Rohit was not impressed with the Indian all-rounder wasting time in getting his poses clicked. He advised Jadhav to focus on batting rather than posing.

"Pose kam maar, batting karle thoda (Strike less pose, focus on Batting)," Rohit Sharma commented on Jadhav’s post.

Indian spin all-rounder Kedar Jadhav is gearing up to play against West Indies in the ODI series after failing to perform continuously since the World cup campaign in England this year.

In five games of the 50-over World cup, Jadhav could only accumulate total of 80 runs for Virat Kohli-led India. Jadhav continued the same form against West Indies as he contributed 16 and 19 in two matches.

However, Jadhav had a great domestic season which kept his place safe in the Indian ODI squad, but he will have to replicate the same performance against West Indies too to cement his place in Team India.

India, led by Virat Kohli, will face West Indies in the opening match of the three-match T20I series on December 6.