News Cricket

Ambati Rayudu announces retirement from all forms of cricket

Harshit Anand Updated: 3 July, 2019, 12:58 PM IST


Hyderabad batsman, Ambati Rayudu has announced his retirement from all forms of international cricket. This move comes after he was overlooked twice from getting a call-up in India's squad for the ongoing World Cup. Shikhar Dhawan and Vijay Shankar were replaced by Rishabh Pant and Mayank Agarwal in India's WC squad.

Despite being named as one of the standby players for the World Cup, Rayudu didn't get a look in the side. He was also not named in the original WC squad as all-rounder, Vijay Shankar was preferred over him for his three-dimensional skills.

In the 50 ODI innings that the right-hander played, Rayudu scored 1,694 runs at an average of 47.05. He hit three centuries and 10 fifties and has a strike rate of 79.04. In the five T20Is, he scored 42 runs at an average of 10.50.

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News Cricket

Men in Blue finally have the coolest, most bindaas fan

Harshit Anand Updated: 3 July, 2019, 11:16 AM IST


Cricket transcends boundaries of age, sex, caste, religion and what not. It's such a beautiful sport that those watching it are ready to go miles as such is the joy it exudes for its viewers.

In yesterday's game of India, which took place against Bangladesh at Edgbaston, an elderly lady as old as 87, who has been identified as Charulata Patel came cheering for the Men in Blue and caught everyone's attention. It so such an amazing sight that someone as old as her came cheering for the team.

Players were so touched by her presence that Indian skipper and vice-captain, Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma went to meet her after India defeated Bangladesh by 28 runs to ensure a place in the semi-finals of the World Cup.

Twitter was also engrossed by her presence in the stands. Take a look at how Twitter reacted:

News Cricket

Jasprit Bumrah reveals the secret of his success in World Cup

AP Updated: 3 July, 2019, 11:10 AM IST


India, champions in 1983 and 2011, has 13 points, one behind leader Australia, and plays Sri Lanka in its final game at Headingley on Saturday.

Sharma and Lokesh Rahul shared the highest opening stand for this tournament of 180. But Bangladesh struck back to reduce India to 237-4 when Mustafizur's double-wicket maiden claimed Virat Kohli on 26 and Hardik Pandya for a two-ball duck.

Sharma's ton matched Sri Lanka great Kumar Sangakkara's record of centuries at a single World Cup in 2015. After he was out, Rahul went shortly afterward for 77, also in 92 deliveries.

Rishabh Pant added a 41-ball 48.

Mustafizur dismissed Mohammed Shami on the last ball of the innings to finish with a five-for. Shakib, the top-ranked ODI allrounder, took 1-41 in 10 overs and then top-scored in Bangladesh's reply.

Bangladesh had proved it can reel in large totals, pulling off the second highest successful run chase in tournament history — 322 — to beat the West Indies by seven wickets with eight overs left. But the Indian bowlers provided tougher opposition and pacer Jasprit Bumrah mopped up with wickets in the 48th over, the last of the match.

"Whenever I practice in the nets, I practice each and every situation, be it with the new ball, be it with the old ball, bowling at the death," said Bumrah, who bowled four batsmen. "So if I've ticked all of the boxes in the net, so in the match it's all about execution and keeping a clear head."

It worked as Bumrah ended on 4-55 and Pandya took 3-60.

India is through but Bumrah does not want to be rested against Sri Lanka.

"This is my first World Cup, so I want to play as many games as possible. I don't think I've become an experienced player that I could say I don't want to play some games," Bumrah said. "I always look forward to playing, and the more number of matches you play, you enjoy more."

News Cricket

Shakib Al Hasan creates history

AP Updated: 3 July, 2019, 11:06 AM IST


Top-ranked ODI allrounder Shakib Al Hasan has reached 500 runs overall at this World Cup, the first time by a Bangladeshi at a single World Cup.

Only three other batters have reached the 500 mark, India opener Rohit Sharma (544) in this match, and Australia openers David Warner (516) and Aaron Finch (504).

He also became the first cricketer in the history of the ICC World Cup to score 500 plus runs and also claim more than 10 wickets in a single edition of the showpiece event.

Earlier, Two-time champion India survived a late scare to secure its place in the semifinals at the Cricket World Cup with a 28-run win over Bangladesh, which was eliminated from playoff contention on Tuesday.

India won the toss at Edgbaston and reached 314-9, with opener Rohit Sharma scoring a 92-ball 104 — his record-tying fourth century of the tournament. Seamer Mustafizur Rahman took 5-59.

Bangladesh was 286 all out in reply with Shakib Al Hasan again providing the main resistance with a 74-ball 66 including six fours.

News Cricket

England, New Zealand eye semifinal spot at Cricket World Cup

AP Updated: 3 July, 2019, 11:03 AM IST


Eoin Morgan hit "rock bottom" when his England team was demolished by New Zealand at the last Cricket World Cup.

Four years later, a win over the Black Caps at the tournament would leave the England captain within touching distance of the ultimate career high.

England will secure a spot in the semifinals by beating New Zealand in the northeast town of Chester-le-Street on Wednesday, ending a group-stage campaign in which the World Cup host has found itself in a perilous position.

A defeat would leave the English at the mercy of Pakistan, which would then guarantee a playoff spot with a win over Bangladesh at Lord's on Friday.

Morgan, however, is thinking only positive thoughts after Sunday's victory over India that got England back on track after successive losses to Sri Lanka then Australia.

England was back playing the positive brand of cricket — as Morgan put it on Tuesday — the team has been known for in this World Cup cycle, during which it climbed to No. 1 in the rankings largely on the back of a destructive batting lineup.

And that attacking mindset was largely inspired by New Zealand's style of play in the 2015 tournament which really hit the heights in an eight-wicket win over England that Morgan took a while to get over. Bowled out for 123, England was overhauled in 12.2 overs by the Kiwis that led to an embarrassing group-stage exit.

"It was as close to rock bottom as I've been," Morgan said. "Certainly as a captain and as a player, being beaten off the park like that is humiliating.

"The influence throughout the whole World Cup on all the other teams was quite extreme. New Zealand proved a point that you can actually be really good humans and grow the game and play cricket in your own way and win, at the same time, which is incredibly eye-opening for a lot of countries around the world. I thought that rubbed off on everybody."

New Zealand reached the final in 2015 and is on track to get back in the last four. A win against England seals a semifinal berth, while avoiding a big defeat should also mean fifth-placed Pakistan cannot overhaul the Black Caps. Pakistan is two points behind New Zealand going into the final group matches but has a much inferior net run-rate.

Such is the ebb and flow of a long group-stage campaign that England suddenly appears to be on the up after beating India, while New Zealand, which won its first five matches, might be lacking some belief after losing to Pakistan and Australia back to back.

"We definitely haven't got the momentum that we would have liked," said batsman Ross Taylor, who was talking about the team but could easily have been referring to Martin Guptill.

The opener began group play with an unbeaten 73 against Sri Lanka, but hasn't made more than 35 in his other six innings.

"He was leading run scorer in the last World Cup and he had gone into that last World Cup not scoring any runs," Taylor said.

"(But) his confidence is down. Sometimes you need a bit of luck and he certainly needs that."

More than 650 runs were scored at Chester-le-Street in the game between Sri Lanka and West Indies on Monday. With a different, fresh pitch being used on Wednesday and on the back of some decent weather in northern England, another run-fest could be on the cards.

That would suit England, which has struggled with its management of tighter, low-scoring matches in this tournament.

As would winning the toss.

England has preferred to chase during its one-day resurgence of recent years so it was notable that Morgan decided to bat first against India at Edgbaston, a decision that was rewarded with a 31-run victory.

"Just accepting that the wickets haven't been as good as they have been in the last four years has changed that," Morgan said.

"Every wicket that we've played on so far has been tougher to bat on in the second innings, regardless of whether we've won or not. Even the games I've watched on TV, it's been tougher in the second innings."

Morgan said Jason Roy was fit to start after the opener bruised his arm in the win over India at the weekend. On his return after three games out with a left hamstring injury, Roy scored 66 against India but did not field.

News Cricket

Prolific Sharma leading charmed life at Cricket World Cup

AP Updated: 3 July, 2019, 10:50 AM IST


Catch him if you can. Rohit Sharma became the leading scorer at the Cricket World Cup, and once again had a little help from the opposition despite his batting brilliance.

Sharma hit seven fours and five sixes in a 92-ball 104 as India beat Bangladesh by 28 runs at Edgbaston to qualify for the semifinals.

It was Sharma's record-matching fourth century of the World Cup. He also scored 122 not out against South Africa, 140 against archrival Pakistan, and 102 against England.

In all four innings, Sharma was dropped early on.

It was the turn of Tamim Iqbal, a fellow opener, on Tuesday.

"I had a great feeling right at the start," the 32-year-old Sharma said about his batting form, not Tamim's fingers. "It's a great pitch to bat on."

Sharma did concede he had been lucky but added: "Fortune favors the brave."

Tamim dropped Sharma, who was on 9 at the time, on the deep square boundary off Mustafizur Rahman. It was an easy chance — Tamim had lots of time — and Sharma was definitely not a batter to drop.

He made sure his next attempted and successful six went much further in the following over, off Mohammad Saifuddin.

The only other batsman to hit four centuries in a single World Cup is Sri Lanka great Kumar Sangakkara, in 2015, but Sharma has his eyes on an even bigger record.

Sharma has now scored 544 runs in seven innings. That's two more runs than Bangladesh's Shakib Al Hasan, who scored 66 on Tuesday. Going into the match, Australia openers David Warner (516) and Aaron Finch (504) had led the scoring.

Shakib has one game left — against Pakistan — so it's unlikely but not impossible that he'll catch Sachin Tendulkar's all-time record haul of 673 runs at one World Cup. That was set in South Africa in 2003 when India reached the final.

Unlike Bangladesh, India has advanced to the semifinals. Sharma has potentially three games ahead of him if India reaches the final. He needs 130 more runs to go past Tendulkar.

On Tuesday, after arriving at the century mark in 90 balls, Sharma hit a four off Soumya Sarkar and then sent a mis-hit drive to Liton Das.

Unlike Tamim, Das caught it.

News Cricket

Liam Plunkett applauds MS Dhoni, says never underestimate him

Harshit Anand Updated: 2 July, 2019, 5:46 PM IST


Liam Plunkett was one of the stars for England in their win against India. Plunkett had got the crucial wickets of Virat Kohli, Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya replacing Moeen Ali at Edgbaston on Sunday. His cross-seam slow balls proved too difficult for the Indian batsmen on a pitch that was two-paced and slow and not as flat as the people thought it to be.

MS Dhoni was heavily criticized for not trying to go for the big hits when the team needed 71 runs off last 31 balls. India could make just 39 runs off the final 31 deliveries.

But England pacer, Liam Plunkett won't be surprised if Dhoni comes with all guns blazing in the next game. "I just think in the next game he (Dhoni) can go smashing. I think you can never underestimate Dhoni. His talent stands out as how good player he is," said Plunkett.

Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma had also backed both Dhoni and Jadhav despite their slow batting against England. Rohit said, “When MS and Kedar were batting, I think they were trying to hit, but they were not able to because of the slowness of the pitch. You’ve got to give credit to the English team because they used the conditions really well. They used the longer boundary really well.”

"I think MS was trying really hard to get the boundary but it wasn't coming off. They bowled in good areas and the ball was stopping, hence it was difficult to bat towards the end," said Kohli after the game.

News Cricket

Ambati Rayudu offered permanent citizenship by another country after World Cup snub

Staff Writer Updated: 2 July, 2019, 5:41 PM IST


Ambati Rayudu, who was on standby for the ongoing World Cup, was ignored when Shikhar Dhawan and Vijay Shankar were ruled out of the tournament following their injuries. After taking his situation into account, Iceland have come forward to help the Indian star.

In a bizarre move, Iceland cricket has offered him permanent residency in their country so that he can represent them at the international level, after he was snubbed again in favor of Rishabh Pant and Mayank Agarwal.

Rayudu had criticized the national selectors for ignoring him for the World Cup. Iceland have also mocked Mayank Agarwal for his bowling average and requested Rayudu to don their national colors.

"Agarwal has three professional wickets at 72.33 so at least @RayuduAmbati can put away his 3D glasses now. He will only need normal glasses to read the document we have prepared for him. Come join us Ambati. We love the Rayudu things. #BANvIND #INDvBAN #CWC19."

They also tweeted the application form for permanent residency in Iceland if Rayudu is interested to take up the offer.

News Cricket

I don't need to sit down and assess how to convert fifties into hundreds – Virat Kohli

Staff Writer Updated: 2 July, 2019, 5:09 PM IST


Indian skipper Virat Kohli has failed to convert fifties into hundreds in the ongoing World Cup. The right hand batsman, who has hit five consecutive fifties in the tournament so far, is stuck on 41 tons in one-day internationals.

When he was asked about his recent failure to convert fifties into hundreds, Kohli said that he doesn't need to ponder this aspect as he has already done it a lot of times in his career.

"I don't need to sit down and assess how to convert those (fifties into hundreds), I have done that a lot of times in the past. I'm really enjoying the way I'm batting at the moment. It's just about contributing to the team," he said.


India: Lokesh Rahul, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli(c), Rishabh Pant, Dinesh Karthik, MS Dhoni(w), Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah

Bangladesh: Tamim Iqbal, Liton Das, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim(w), Soumya Sarkar, Mosaddek Hossain, Sabbir Rahman, Mohammad Saifuddin, Mashrafe Mortaza(c), Rubel Hossain, Mustafizur Rahman

News Cricket

Mayank has always dreamt of playing in the World Cup: Coach RX Muralidhar

Harshit Anand Updated: 2 July, 2019, 5:04 PM IST


Representing your country in the World Cup arguably remains the biggest dream of any cricketer. And Mayank Agarwal might well realize it soon enough. He has been called up in the Indian squad as replacement for Vijay Shankar, who suffered toe fracture. He had made his Test debut in the most amazing way Down Under, where he impressed one and all with half-centuries in his first two Tests.

He was in line to make his India debut for a long time but it happened quite late but he did come up with flying colors in Australia. And now we might well make his ODI debut in the World Cup as well. His coach, RX Muralidhar is elated with his selection.

“For us, it is all about the journey that we have travelled together. It has been amazing because some of the experiences that I have shared with him, it’s like you know some hugely happy moments, some hugely disappointing moments. It’s an emotional roller-coaster ride that we have been through. It’s something that I don’t think anybody can ever experience that. So, for me, going through that phase and he playing for India, reaching the pinnacle was one of the highs of my life. It has given me a lot of confidence and experience taking people forward. So, he has taught me a lot. In his journey, I have learnt a lot as a coach,” RX Muralidhar had said in chat with Cricket Country.

He added,“(It’s a) Dream come true. He has always dreamt of playing in the World Cup. This is a pleasant surprise. (I am) Very elated. He (Mayank) was thrilled. He was extremely thrilled.”

News Cricket

Rohit Sharma makes his 26th ODI century

Harshit Anand Updated: 2 July, 2019, 5:00 PM IST


India's vice-captain, Rohit Sharma made his 26th ODI century against Bangladesh at Edgbaston. Rohit has been in sensational form this World Cup. This is his fourth century of the World Cup. He also became the second Indian to score in excess of 500 runs in a World Cup for India. Earlier, only Sachin Tendulkar had the distinction of scoring more than 500 runs in an edition of a World Cup for India.

Sachin has scored more than 500 runs in two editions of the World Cup. He had made 673 runs in the 2003 World Cup, which is the record for the highest number of runs in any edition of the World Cup.

Rohit Sharma has also become the leading run-scorer in the ongoing World Cup leaving behind David Warner, who has 516 runs in the 2019 World Cup.

Feature Cricket

The Rise of Shami 2.0

Abhishek Chaudhary Updated: 2 July, 2019, 4:39 PM IST


Mohammad Shami is not your usual fast bowler. He is not a medium pacer either. He is quick; really quick by the Indian standards but that is where the similarities between a fast bowler and Shami ends.

He is not fiery in the press conferences, hardly sledges the batsmen, is not quite an athlete, his built is like a middle order batsman who would rely on cheeky singles to see through the day. But of late something has got into Shami. He has lost weight and that shows; everyone is praising him for the lifestyle changes he has made to ensure that. And boy he is bowling quick! The hat-trick against Afghanistan was a testimony to how Shami at one end bolsters Bumrah’s confidence too.

But this is not the first time Shami has bowled like this. Four years ago, during India’s campaign in the 2015 World Cup – where they made to the semis before falling flat against the hosts Australia - Shami had shown similar hunger for wickets. In 7 matches he took 17 wickets at 17.29 and was instrumental in India’s success. But this year he has looked different.

Could his recent success be also attributed to how he has emerged out of a turmoil in personal life? After some serious allegations of infidelity that saw him lose the central contract for a brief while, there were doubts over how he would come out of it. But Shami did that, and in style.

In recent past there have been a couple of other Indian cricketers too who have had to face difficult times off the field, but they have managed to leave that in the past. Shami’s resurgence cannot totally be attributed to his will to leave everything aside and focus on what was under his control, it was also about he was handled in the team. Kohli has always been mindful of the value the pacer adds to the team. The attitude change that he has introduced in the team by following a military-regime of fitness must have played its part too.

But despite Shami being quicker and in the rhythm of his life, the team management stuck to Bhuvneshwar Kumar for the first few matches. That did not deter Shami and in a match where a lot more than just a win was at stake, he roared with Yorkers to prove why Kohli rates him so highly.

The Bengal pacer has proved that he knows his ways and with variations that can charm a dull critic, he will be lethal against any side. The ensemble is moving towards the business end and from here on Shami’s job becomes tougher. He is in the team but there will always be a view that will consider him the back-up pacer. And back-up pacers are not the best pacers. But when has Shami been orthodox?

News Cricket

Razzaq brings religious angle to target India, says only Shami played well

Harshit Anand Updated: 2 July, 2019, 4:21 PM IST


Former Pakistan cricketers have certainly lost it, especially after India lost their first game of the World Cup against England in Birmingham. Some are accusing Indian cricket team of losing the match deliberately but former all-rounder, Abdul Razzaq has gone a step ahead and brought religious angle to play in the defeat, which they faced against the Poms by 31 runs.

"Shami to hai bhi Musalman, jo ki achi baat hai. Wo pura jor laga raha tha match mein (Translation- Shami is a Muslim, which is a good thing and he was trying his best in the match)," Abdul Razzaq told a local television channel.

Basit Ali had also made controversial claim when he had said,"India will never want Pakistan to make it to the semi-finals. They have matches remaining against Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Everyone saw the fashion in which they won against Afghanistan. They'll play in such a way that nobody will come to know what has happened. What happened in India's match against Afghanistan? What did Australia do against India? What did David Warner do?"

News Cricket

If Pakistan do make the semi-finals then they are going to be dangerous – Waqar Younis

Staff Writer Updated: 2 July, 2019, 3:57 PM IST


After Pakistan's improved performance in the ongoing World Cup, former players are expecting a lot from them. Former Pakistan skipper Waqar Younis feels that Pakistan could beat any team if they reach last four of the tournament. With a game left against Bangladesh, Pakistan still have a chance of making it to the semis.

"It is actually becoming quite scary at this point! Is history repeating itself? I have no idea but if Pakistan do make the semi-finals then they are going to be such a dangerous side. For that to happen they will need some results to go their way, but most importantly of all they will have to beat Bangladesh," Waqar wrote in his ICC column.

"To beat Bangladesh they will have to play better than they managed against Afghanistan. The win over Afghanistan on Sunday was not the performance of champions and yet, somehow and some way, they are still in contention for a semi-final spot and you can never write them off," he added.

News Cricket

India should not look at MS Dhoni to win games: Sanjay Manjrekar

Staff Writer Updated: 2 July, 2019, 3:34 PM IST


MS Dhoni the batsman divides opinions like none else, He is the most polarizing figure in the world fo cricket. Former Indian cricketer and cricket analyst, Sanjay Manjrekar has said that Dhoni should not be the only one that India should depend to win all the games and players like KL Rahul also need to be put to pressure when it comes to winning games of cricket for the country.

Speaking to IANS, TV commentator Sanjay Manjrekar said that it was time that the Indian team management looked beyond Dhoni in pressure cooker situations.

"I will answer it differently. India should be looking at others, and not just Dhoni, to win them matches. The likes of K.L. Rahul should also be asked as to why he is getting out after getting a start and not finishing with big scores.

"I love Dhoni best when he bats like he did in the warm-up games where he scored 30 off 30 balls and then the late flourish came. The team management should tell him to keep up with a run-a-ball kind of start and then see how it goes. If it is 12/2, then I can understand that Dhoni's experience comes in. But once he is in at around 22-25 overs, that should be the endeavour," said Manjrekar.