Yearender 2019: Cricket Today's T20 XI of 2019

Yearender 2019: Cricket Today's T20 XI of 2019

Renin Wilben Albert Updated: 10 December, 2019, 12:46 PM IST


The year 2019 is coming to an end. And, while all three formats have seen many memorable performances, T20Is have been significant for all teams as they build up to the World T20 to be held in Australia next year. Former champions India and current champions West Indies are presently battling it out in a three-match series, which is locked 1-1. As the teams build towards the 2020 World T20, we put together the World T20I XI of 2019.

Openers: David Warner, Babar Azam

David Warner has had an excellent year in T20Is. In six matches, he has 287 runs to his name at an exceptional average of 287, since he has been dismissed only once in the year. In the T20Is against Sri Lanka at home, he registered scores of 100 not out, 60 not out, and 57 not out. Warner has a strike rate of 145.68.

Pakistan’s Babar Azam, who has been in amazing form, will open with Warner. In 10 matches, he has amassed 374 runs at an average of 41.55, and a strike rate of 136.99. His best of 90 came off 58 balls against South Africa at Johannesburg in February.

Middle-order: Virat Kohli (Captain), Dawid Malan, Eoin Morgan, Glenn Maxwell

Indian captain Virat Kohli will lead the World XI. Just like Tests and ODIs, he has been in great form in T20Is as well. In nine games, Kohli has 396 runs to his name at a strike rate of 138.46, and an average of 66. His best of 94 not out came against West Indies at Hyderabad in a chase of 208.

England batsman Dawid Malan has played only four games, but has smashed 208 runs at a strike rate of 163.77, and an average of 69.33. His most memorable performance was the unbeaten 103 from 51 balls against New Zealand at Napier in November.

English skipper Eoin Morgan also has had a good year. In nine matches, he has 268 runs to his name at a strike rate of 172.90, and an average of 44.66. He hit 91 from 41 balls at Napier against New Zealand.

Aussie Glenn Maxwell, before he took a break for mental health issues, had an amazing year. In four matches, he smashed 231 runs at a strike rate of 183.33 and an average of 115. His scores in the year read -- 56 from 43, 113 not out from 55, and 62 from 28.

Wicket-keeper: Quinton de Kock

South Africa’s T20I captain Quinton de Kock will keep wickets for the team. In three matches, he has 144 runs at a strike rate of 135.84, and an average of 72.00. His best of 79 not out from 52 balls came against India at Bengaluru in September as Proteas squared the series.

All-rounders: Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner

New Zealand all-rounder Colin de Grandhomme has had a consistent run with the bat. In matches, he scored 301 runs at a strike rate of 156.77 with three fifties. While de Grandhomme has starred with bat, Mitchell Santner has been impressive with the ball. In 12 matches, he has claimed 20 wickets at an average of 15.40, and strike rate of 12.6 with a best of 3 for 12.

Bowlers: Chris Jordan, Lasith Malinga

England pacer Chris Jordan has claimed 14 wickets in eight matches at an average of 12.85 and a strike rate of 10.2. His best of 4 for 6 came against West Indies at Basseterre. Veteran Lankan Lasith Malinga continues to impress at the T20 level. In 10 matches, he has 14 wickets with a best of 5 for 6. The sensational performance against New Zealand at Pallekele saw Malinga claiming four wickets in four balls.

12th man: Andile Phehlukwayo

With 13 wickets in seven matches at a strike rate of 12.0, South African pacer Andile Phehlukwayo can come in as replacement if needed.

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News Cricket

India reacts as Sachin wins the prestigious Laureus sports award

Abhishek Singh Updated: 18 February, 2020, 11:49 AM IST


India’s greatest cricketer ever, Sachin Tendulkar once again brought laurels for the country as he won the prestigious sporting honor - The Laureus for his World Cup-winning moment of 2011. Sachin as given the award for creating the Best Sporting Moment of two decades i.e. 2000-2020. Laureus tweeted his ward winning speech with the news earlier this morning.

"This is a reminder of how powerful sport is and what magic it does to all of our lives." A God for a nation. An inspiration worldwide. And an incredible speech from the Laureus Sporting Moment 2000 - 2020 winner, the great Sachin Tendulkar.”

Just after this, both fans and celebrities poured in with congratulatory messages for the great Indian batting legend. From cinema to cricket everyone praised Sachin for bringing the country another moment to cheer for, as he is the first sportsperson from India to have received this award.

Indian wicket-keeper batsman KL Rahul tweeted his congratulatory message, praising the speech made by the Mumbaikar during the award ceremony.

“Absolutely agree with the great @sachin_rt paaji. . Sport has the power to unite us and congratulations on winning the #LaureusSportingMoment 2000- 2020 award. �� #Laureus20” tweeted Rahul.

Ritika Sajdeh, wife of the Opening batsman and another talisman from Mumbai, Rohit Sharma, also congratulated the Indian great.

“The greatest #Laureus20 Sporting Moment Award of the last two decades 2000-2020 Goes To The God Of Cricket #SachinTendulkar �[@sachin_rt! @ImRo45],” tweeted Ritika.

While great Malayalam actor Mohanlal also went on to describe Sachin’s award as one of the greatest days for India as a nation. He tweeted, “Proud moment for all Indians and @sachin_rt you truly deserved this #SachinTendulkar #Laureus20 #Sachin”.

News Cricket

Sachin Tendulkar shoulders’ World Cup 2011 moment bags Laureus Award

Staff Writer Updated: 18 February, 2020, 9:54 AM IST


Sachin Tendulkar is the greatest cricketer of all time. He was carried on the shoulders by his teammates after Team India's historic World Cup win in 2011. With the backing of cricket fanatics, Sachin Tendulkar got the maximum votes to bag the Laureus best sporting moment in the last 20 years.

Former Australian skipper Steve Waugh handed the trophy to Tendulkar after tennis legend Boris Becker announced the winner.

“It’s incredible. The feeling of winning the world cup was beyond what words can express. How many times you get an event happening where there are no mixed opinions. Very rarely the entire country celebrates,” Tendulkar said after receiving the trophy.

“And this is a reminder of how powerful a sport is and what magic it does to our lives. Even now when I watch that it has stayed with me.”

Becker then asked Tendulkar to share the emotions he felt at that time.

“My journey started in 1983 when I was 10 years old. India had won the World Cup. I did not understand the significance and just because everybody was celebrating, I also joined the party.

“But somewhere I knew something special has happened to the country and I wanted to experience it one day and that’s how my journey began. It was the proudest moment of my life, holding that trophy which I chased for 22 years but I never lost hope. I was merely lifting that trophy on behalf of my countrymen.”

News Cricket

My positivity and passion about the game can help India to win T20 World Cup - Shardul Thakur

Garima Kotroo Updated: 17 February, 2020, 6:22 PM IST


Indian all-rounder Shardul Thakur has claimed that his positive attitude and passion about the game can help the Men in Blue to win the T20 World Cup title in Australia this year. The 28-year-old pacer scalped only four wickets in the three-match ODI series against the Black Caps and gave away plenty of runs to the hosts. He even faced the wrath of fans on social media for his poor performance on New Zealand soil.

During his recent interview in Mumbai, Shardul said, “Certainly I have my eyes on World Cup. The positivity that I bring into the game and the amount of confidence I have, the way I am passionate about the game will help the team to win the World Cup or at least do the job fairly.

Speaking about the importance of the Indian Premier League, Thakur added, “IPL is important and the momentum we gain from the IPL will be crucial going forward. There is the Sri Lanka T20s coming up and we are going to Zimbabwe after IPL. Then we are playing Asia Cup going into T20 World Cup.”

Shardul, who was unable to meet the expectations of fans and teammates in the ODIs against New Zealand, also stated that he will take it as a learning experience.

“I will study my mistakes and consider them as learning experiences. It was only my first trip to New Zealand and as compared to the other players, I have not played as many games for India.”

News Cricket

World Cup victory will change a lot of things for women cricket in India: Harmanpreet Kaur

Abhishek Singh Updated: 17 February, 2020, 6:21 PM IST


Indian women’s cricket team captain Harmanpreet Kaur has said that winning the Women’s T20 World Cup would be a big boost for women cricket in India. The Indian women came very close to winning an ICC trophy in 2017 when they panicked in the last moment to narrowly miss the chance of lifting the coveted cup at Lords in England.

“If we win the World Cup, there’s no doubt things will change. That tournament would bring a lot of confidence to the girls. If we get a women’s IPL that will be really good for us. If we win the World Cup, it’s going to be very big for us as a team, so we will try to give our best,” said the 29-year-old, while speaking at the captains’ media day at Taronga Zoo.

“Our team is growing day by day, everyone is looking so positive. It’s going to be very big if we win. We will try to give our best,” added the aggressive batter.

The ICC Women’s T20 World Cup will open with a mouth-watering clash between India and defending champions and hosts Australia in Adelaide on February 21.

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Tainted Pakistani batsman Sharjeel wants to focus on PSL after return from a spot-fixing ban

Abhishek Singh Updated: 17 February, 2020, 6:19 PM IST


Pakistan cricketer, Sharjeel Khan, who was banned from all forms of competitive cricket on the charges of spot foxing, has vowed to focus on cricket and especially Pakistan Super League(PSL) on his return to competitive cricket.

“Look every person has a past and future and I don’t want to dwell into the past,” Sharjeel, who is making a comeback to competitive cricket after serving a five-year ban for spot-fixing, has said.

Sharjeel will play for the Karachi Kings in the fifth edition of PSL to be held from February 20 to March 22.

“What happened is over and the chapter is closed. My only focus now is on performing well in this PSL and I am not even thinking about the national selection,” Sharjeel said.

The 30-year-old was banned from all forms of cricket for five years -- half of it suspended -- for his role in a spot-fixing scandal during the 2017 PSL edition.

“I went out while playing the PSL and I am making a comeback in the PSL so it is very significant for me to perform in this tournament,” Sharjeel added.

News Cricket

Wanted to give Indian players a taste of their own medicine - Shoriful on wild celebration in the finale

Garima Kotroo Updated: 17 February, 2020, 6:18 PM IST


The young Bangladeshi pacer Shoriful Islam, who performed exceptionally well for his side in the Under-19 World Cup finale against India, recently revealed the reason behind his team’s wild celebration in South Africa. The junior Tigers were on fire in the grand finale of the U-19 World Cup as they outclassed the boys in blue by three wickets (DLS Method) despite Ravi Bishnoi’s four-wicket haul. Shoriful claimed that his team wanted India to give Indian players a taste of their own medicine after a few close defeats in the past.

“Actually, we lost two close matches against them in the past. One was the Asia Cup semi-final [in 2018] and the other was a [Asia Cup] final [in 2019]. I can’t describe what those defeats felt like. Before taking the field for the final, all I could think about was what they did after winning and how we felt after losing. So, we didn’t want things to turn out as they did before.”

“Firstly, we felt really bad. We lost at our home to them. They celebrated wildly in front of us back then and we couldn’t say anything. We were waiting for the day we would meet in a final again.”

When Islam was asked about whether he had ‘revenge’ in his mind before taking the field against India, “What I wanted was to give it our all. Then they would know what it is like when someone celebrates in front of you like that after you’ve lost.”

After their historic win against India in the showpiece event, some of the Bangladeshi players celebrated aggressively. As a result, things got heated up between both the teams. However, Akbar Ali apologized for the unfortunate incident later.

News Cricket

Winning World Test Championship is way better than a T20 or ODI World Cup: Pujara

Abhishek Singh Updated: 17 February, 2020, 6:16 PM IST


Indian batsman Cheteshwar Pujara has said that winning the inaugural World Test Championship would be the greatest achievement for him. The new 'Wall' of Indian cricket further said that Test Championship weighs way more than any limited over format’s trophy, even the World Cup.

"... when you become Test champions, I would say it is more than winning an ODI or a T20 World Cup. The reason is, this format is the ultimate format," Pujara, who last played a limited-overs match for India in 2014, said during the latest episode of 'Inspiration' on India Today.

"If you ask any great cricket player from the past, even the present cricketers, they would say that Test cricket is the most challenging format of this game. And when you become world champion of Test cricket, there is nothing like it," Pujara added.

India started the ICC World Test Championship with a 2-0 win over the West Indies, before blanking South Africa and Bangladesh 3-0 and 2-0 respectively at home. The men in Blue have secured 360 points from the first seven Tests to stay on course to reach the finale of the inaugural World Test Championship.

Virat Kohli's men will now take on New Zealand in a two-match Test series beginning on February 21 in Wellington.

News Cricket

My biopic will inspire many young girls to play cricket - Mithali Raj

Garima Kotroo Updated: 17 February, 2020, 6:14 PM IST


Indian women’s cricket team’s captain in Tests and ODIs, Mithali Raj has said that her upcoming biopic film ‘Shabhaash Mithu’ will inspire many young girls to play cricket. The 37-year-old right-hander believes that the movie will also encourage the girls to step out and dream about becoming a cricketer. The renowned Bollywood actress Taapsee Pannu will portray the role of the brilliant batswoman in the film.

A few days back, Pannu revealed the poster of the film on social media platforms.

“I’m happy that there is a biopic on my story because a lot will be shown about the struggles of a woman cricketer. When we started way back in the 90s, the journey of a woman cricketer in our country was difficult. It will also inspire a lot of young girls who dream about becoming a cricketer. Many young girls have the urge to play the sport but never get to see it on television so they feel there is no scope. This will open a lot of opportunities for them to dream,” she said.

The film, directed by Rahul Dholakia, will hit the theaters on February 5, 2021.

News Cricket

Its amazing Ashwin still remembers me, says SK, the man who taught carrom ball to Ashwin

Abhishek Singh Updated: 17 February, 2020, 6:13 PM IST


In a recent interview, Indian spin wizard, Ravichandran Ashwin revealed that he learned to ball the carrom ball from a guy during his Tennis ball cricket days in Chennai. Ashwin also rued the fact that he is unable to find that guy since then.

Cricbuzz, the website on whose show Ashwin revealed this, took upon themselves to find that man named SK. They did it within days and got a special message from him to Ashwin as well.

That guy’s real name is Karthik Sekhar. In a clip that Cricbuzz posted, Sekhar was seen praising Ashwin and he said he was humbled by the fact that Ashwin still remembers him.

“Hey Ashwin surprise, here is the SK you have been looking for. I am humbled by the praise you showered for me. This is one of the most pleasant surprises for us. We are so proud of you. From tennis ball cricket to making India proud, you have come a long way. I wonder if my carrom ball was that good, I should have taken it more seriously. Keep making us proud,” said Sekhar.

“Till today I can’t find where the guy is but I haven’t seen a better bowler who can bowl both in and out than him in my life. His name is SK. He was the one from whom I learned that ball,” Ashwin had said in an episode of Spicy Pitch on Cricbuzz.

News Cricket

India to play pink-ball Test against Australia and England

Garima Kotroo Updated: 17 February, 2020, 6:11 PM IST


The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Sourav Ganguly has confirmed that the Indian team will play a Day-Night Test against Australia and England in the upcoming series. Virat Kohli’s troops, who are invincible in the ongoing ICC Test Championship, are scheduled to tour Down Under for a four-match Test series in November 2020.

Speaking to the news agency PTI, Ganguly said, "Yes, India will play a Day/Night Test in Australia. A formal announcement will be made soon.”

The 47-year-old legendary batsman also added the second Test of the next home series against England will also be a day-night affair.

Virat Kohli-led Team India played their maiden pink-ball Test in 2019, where they defeated the Bangladeshi tigers at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata.

On the eve of the first ODI against Australia last month, Kohli had said, "We're ready and up for the challenge - whether it's Gabba, Perth... it doesn't matter to us. It's become a very exciting feature of any Test series and we're open to playing day-night Tests."

India are currently gearing up for the two-match Test series against New Zealand starting from February 21.

News Cricket

It is great to rub shoulders with Indian spinners and listen to their experiences - Ish Sodhi

Garima Kotroo Updated: 17 February, 2020, 6:09 PM IST


Ahead of New Zealand’s two-match Test series against India, right-arm spinner Ish Sodhi has heaped praise on the Indian players. The Kiwi cricketer stated that Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin and Yuzvendra Chahal were very helpful and shared their experiences with him.

“You start off with respect and want to tap into their brains. These are all very helpful guys more than willing to share their experiences. Chahal is a great person to tap into. He is completely a different bowler, big-hearted. It is great to rub shoulders with these guys and listen to their experiences.”

“I was speaking to Jadeja the other day about how he goes on with his training. Talking to Ashwin about the carrom ball and the googly he bowls despite being an off-spinner. It’s crazy.”

Apart from the spinners, Sodhi also lauded the efforts of young wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant for Team India.

“Like Rishabh, who is one of the most destructive hitters of spin. I would ask him what are the lengths that are hardest to hit. I have never seen someone with that kind of reach when he is attacking the spinners.”

Sodhi performed exceedingly well for his side in the T20I series against Men in Blue. He took a total of six wickets in five T20Is. The 27-year-old has played 17 Tests, 32 ODIs and 45 T20 Internationals so far.

News Cricket

He wants to put Marnus Labuschagne off- Steve Waugh on Sachin Tendulkar’s huge compliment

Garima Kotroo Updated: 17 February, 2020, 6:08 PM IST


Former Australian skipper Steve Waugh recently took a dig at the batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar for praising Australian star Marnus Labuschagne. A few days back, the ‘God of Cricket’ had named Labuschagne as the player who reminds him of his batting style.

However, Waugh doesn’t agree with Tendulkar’s views as the 54-year-old feels that the former Indian cricketer spoke those words only to put Labuschagne off his game.

“Maybe he (Tendulkar) wants to put him (Labuschagne) off. I don’t think so. In my opinion, he has an appetite for runs. When he came to the side 12 months ago, he was 26th but now he is fourth-ranked Test player batsmen in the world, so it’s an incredible transformation.”

During the charity match for Bushfire victims in Australia, Tendulkar admitted that Labuschagne is a special player and his footwork is incredible.

“I happened to be watching the second Test match at Lord’s between England and Australia. I was sitting with my father-in-law. I saw Marnus get hit off the second ball from Jofra Archer and, post that, the 15 minutes he batted, I said, ‘This player looks special’. There is something about him. His footwork was precise. Footwork is not physical, it’s mental. If you’re not thinking positively in your mind, then your feet don’t move.”

News Cricket

Breakdown of trust led to his axing from the team: Morgan on Alex Hales

Abhishek Singh Updated: 17 February, 2020, 6:04 PM IST


England captain Eoin Morgan has said that non-selection of destructive opener Alex Hales was not based on performance but because of his off the field mischief which led to a breakdown in trust between the team and the player.

“There was a breakdown in trust between Alex and the team,” BBC quoted Morgan after England won the three-match T20I series against South Africa on Sunday.

“When he was deselected, it was never down to performance. He is one of the best players in the world. Moving forward, to regain that trust there needs to be a considerable amount of time,” said the England captain.

Hales recently finished as the second-highest scorer in the Big Bash League in Australia where he scored 576 runs for Sydney Thunder.

Hales will now be competing for Karachi Kings in the upcoming Pakistan Super League. Hales has also been picked for The Hundred – England’s maiden 100-ball franchise competition.

Morgan scored a match-winning 57 not out in just 22 balls, leading England to an emphatic win in the third and final T20I against the hosts.

News Cricket

Virat Kohli becomes the new meme material with his latest Instagram post

Abhishek Singh Updated: 17 February, 2020, 12:10 PM IST


India captain Virat Kohli shared a picture on social media with twisted faces. Kohli who is currently in New Zealand tweeted a picture with two of his team-mates Mohammed Shami and young opener Prithvi Shaw on Sunday.

In the latest picture, Kohli along with fast bowler Mohammad Shami and opening batsman Prithvi Shaw is seen making weird facial gestures. "Naya post-Sundar dost," Kohli captioned the picture.

As soon as the hilarious post went online, fans went berserk and termed it as the next meme material. Reacting to the post, a fan wrote: "Next meme material", while the other replied, "Meme walo: wah pic mil gaya!". While one fan went on to quote the famous Babu Bhaiya.

India's next assignment is a two-Test series against New Zealand, first of which will be played at Basin Reserve, Wellington from February 21-24. The series will be part of the ICC World Test Championship and India, having won all their previous seven matches, are leading the points table, while New Zealand have managed to accumulate 60 points from five matches.

News Cricket

BCCI ombudsman relieves Kapil Dev of Conflict of Interest charges

Abhishek Singh Updated: 17 February, 2020, 11:49 AM IST


Former India captain Kapil Dev has been relieved of the conflict of interest charges leveled against him by Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association member, Sanjeev Gupta. BCCI ombudsman DK Jain on Sunday confirmed that he has rendered the conflict of interest complaint against Kapil Dev as “infructuous” after the former India captain stepped down from his multiple cricketing roles.

Jain had earlier rendered infructuous, the complaint against Shantha Rangaswamy and Anshuman Gaekwad in December after they also stepped down from their multiple posts.

“The complaint against Kapil has been rendered infructuous,” Jain said.

All three of them were part of the Cricket Advisory Committee but resigned in September after MPCA life member Sanjeev Gupta had leveled conflict of interest allegations against them.

BCCI has now formed a new CAC. Jain had called Rangaswamy, Gaekwad, and Kapil for a personal hearing on December 27 and 28 in Mumbai but the World Cup-winning captain did not appear due to personal reasons.

As per the BCCI constitution, no person can occupy more than one post at the same time.