News Cricket

Brother wearing husband's jersey! Ritika reacts after spotting Yuvi with Rohit’s jersey

Staff Writer Updated: 6 March, 2019, 5:10 PM IST


Yuvraj Singh, who was bought by Mumbai Indians for INR 1 crore, is eagerly waiting to play for his new IPL franchise. During one of the shoots, he had to don Rohit Sharma's jersey as his jersey was not ready. The picture was shared by the official page of Mumbai Indians. Rohit Sharma's wife Ritika Sajdeh, who is quite active on social media, saw the picture and gave her reaction. "My brother wearing my husband's jersey is all kinds of weird @yuvrajsinghofficial @rohitsharma," she wrote.

Yuvi has played for Kings XI Punjab, Delhi Daredevils, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Pune Warriors India and Sunrisers Hyderabad in the past.

The Indian all-rounder has not represented national team since long and could hang his boots after the upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League.

He has been part of two World Cup winning campaigns – T20 World Cup in 2007 and Fifty Over World Cup in 2011.

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News Cricket

Steve Smith and David Warner can lead Australia to sixth World Cup title – Shane Warne

Staff Writer Updated: 6 March, 2019, 5:20 PM IST


Steve Smith and David Warner, who are serving one year ban following their involvement in ball-tampering saga in South Africa, are about to return to international cricket.

They are expected to join their national team ahead of the World Cup in England and Wales.

Smith and Warner have not played international cricket since last one year but former Aussie star spinner Shane Warne is not worried. Citing his own example, he said these two will come back stronger after the break.

Warne was suspended in 2003 for one year after testing positive for a banned substance. He was written off but came back with a bang. He feels Smith and Warner can lead Australia to sixth World Cup title.

"Sometimes having an enforced lay off - like I'm used to, I had 12 months off myself - what that means is you become really fresh," he told Fox Sports.

"You freshen your mind up, you become hungry again and realise how important cricket is to you."

"That's why I reckon Australia can win the World Cup," he said.

"They'll walk straight back in, they'll be hungry. They'll be a bit nervous in the first few games but that'll be good for them, they'll be excited and I would expect them to play as good as they always have."

Videos Cricket

Watch: MS Dhoni arrives to a rousing welcome in Ranchi

Staff Writer Updated: 6 March, 2019, 4:53 PM IST


After beating Australia in the second ODI, Men in Blue are all set to take on Australia in the third ODI, which will be played in Ranchi. Local boy Dhoni along with team players and support staff have reached Ranchi. The former Indian skipper was given a rousing welcome by the fans, who were waiting to catch a glimpse of their favorite cricketer. The governing body of Indian cricket took to twitter to share a video of Dhoni's arrival at the Ranchi Airport. “Ranchi - Look who's here - @msdhoni #TeamIndia #INDvAUS,” he wrote.

Dhoni played a key role in Team India’s ODI series win in Australia. He was declared Man of the Series for scoring three consecutive half centuries against the hosts.

Former skipper played another match winning innings in the first ODI of the series against Australia in Hyderabad but couldn’t do much in the second game in Nagpur.

Men in Blue are leading 2-0 in their own backyard with three more games to go.

Feature Cricket

Asian Games: ICC V BCCI

Sreelata S Yellamrazu Updated: 6 March, 2019, 4:32 PM IST


Cricket shares an uncomfortable position between two powerful bodies. While one rules the world on a technicality, the other dominates by the strength of its clout. As cricket is welcomed back into the Asian Games fold, the obvious is being asked: Who needs the Asian Games more: the ICC or the BCCI?

The last time cricket featured as part of the disciplines at the Asian Games was in 2014 and even then, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) took the decision not to send the men’s or the women’s cricket teams even though only the men were involved with the Champions League Twenty20, the Indian Premier League spin off, that was operating at the time. Instead it was Sri Lanka and Pakistan as the then only prominent Asian Test playing nations that were present to represent the sport.

Now even as the news has arrived that cricket will feature as part of the Hangzhou Games in 2022, there is muted celebration for the simple fact that while the International Cricket Council (ICC) would welcome any opportunity to further its globalization interests and therefore, exposure for the game at the multi team and multi nation events, there is a huge conundrum over whether the BCCI will be more amenable this time around.

For the ICC, the interests are obvious. The ICC, sometimes labelled a toothless body, as the governing body of the sport needs every platform to generate not only interest and participation but also, revenue as cricket is taken to further corners of the globe. For cricket that has grown rather slowly in terms of induction of members amongst the permanent boards that boast of Test playing nations, the ICC is essentially desperate for any avenue that will spread the word and attract commercial ventures.

For the BCCI, on the other hand, cricket is already a religion amongst the mass of followers and a commercially viable sport in the Indian sub continent, so much so that attracting foreign cricketers has been as easy as drawing bees to honey. To that end, the BCCI working only in the interests of the Indian cricket team, does not need to look to foreign shores to increase its kitty in terms of participation or revenue. Arguably the equation of the BCCI vis-à-vis the ICC is, therefore, a tumultuous one and also, one where the ICC can encourage but not dictate participation of arguably the world’s richest cricket board.

There is some concern that the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) might have to rethink its itinerary as per the Future Tours Programme (FTP) particularly given that the Hangzhou Games are set to clash with the edition of the Asia Cup scheduled for the same month in 2022. However, even as those details will need reworking, the greatest uncertainty remains the participation of the hugely viable and popular Indian cricket team which is undoubtedly generate great interest as well as commercial value and give cricket the platform it needs at such a multi-discipline event.

However, the needs of the ICC are not necessarily on par with those of the BCCI which is what makes this celebration a rather somber one, particularly since the BCCI has the perfect ally in the excuse that presently the board is far from being reconstituted, situated as it is presently under the watchful eye of the Supreme Court, and therefore, is not in a position to confirm its status, with the Games still a fair bit away.

News Cricket

Ganguly termed ANTI-NATIONAL after he refuses to remove Imran Khan's portrait from Eden Gardens

Staff Writer Updated: 6 March, 2019, 4:26 PM IST


Sourav Ganguly has taken a strong stand against removing the photograph of Pakistan Prime Minister and former cricketer, Imran Khan from club house of the cricket stadium of Kolkata, the Eden Gardens. This has become a big issue and has caused an uproar from the Bengal unit of BJP.

In wake of the Pulwama terror attack, Imran Khan's portrait were removed from Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur, Cricket Club of India (CCI), the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore and the PCA Stadium in Mohali.

In his book, "A Century Is Not Enough," Ganguly had said something noteworthy about Imran Khan. Ganguly had written, “Imran said something I shall never ever forget. ‘Sourav, you should fly higher. When you fly in the sky and see dark clouds, the only way to negotiate is to fly higher’.” This might well be the reason behind Ganguly's strict stance on the ongoing issue.

Ganguly had also tweeted to congratulate Imran Khan when he was on the verge of becoming the Pakistani PM. He had tweeted, “Congratulations to him. He has been fighting for a long time and now he is set to become the prime minister of Pakistan.”

Interestingly, Ganguly had advocated for severing all sporting ties with Pakistan after Pulawam terror attack, in which at least, 40 CRPF Jawans were martyred.

Feature Cricket

Vijay Shankar takes a major step towards World Cup selection

Partab Ramchand Updated: 6 March, 2019, 3:39 PM IST


The importance of the utility or bits and pieces players in limited overs cricket cannot be overemphasized. A cricketer who can contribute with both bat and ball is a priceless asset to any side. From the Indian viewpoint the best example would still be the 1983 World Cup triumph. India had Kapil Dev, Roger Binny, Ravi Shastri and Madan Lal in the ranks and each of them in addition to Mohinder Amarnath contributed substantially to the ultimate triumph. Thirty six years later we have another World Cup coming up in England and again the presence of utility players will be a boon for the Indian team.

Fortunately there are a number of such cricketers around and indeed there may be an embarrassment of riches as far as this department is concerned. In the 15-member squad there should be two, at most, three bits and pieces cricketers with the remaining places going to batsmen (including the wicketkeeper) and specialist pace and spin bowlers.

Hardik Pandya is almost a certainty in the squad. But a player who for some time has been on the fringe could well have taken a major step towards selection for the World Cup on Tuesday. Vijay Shankar has impressed so far in his brief career with his stroke playing batsmanship and his steady medium pacers. But against Australia in the second ODI at Nagpur he displayed another facet of his cricketing skills – an unflappable temperament. This is a quality that is essential for a cricketer to excel at the international level and the 28-year-old Shankar displayed it in abundant measure.

Shankar had bowled one over for 13 runs midway through the innings but as he has said he was mentally prepared to bowl at the death since the main bowlers would have completed their quota by then. Sure enough for the 50th over with Australia needing ten to win with two wickets in hand Virat Kohli gave the ball to Shankar. Far from being nervous in a tight situation he was ready for the big occasion and delivered in style getting the dangerous Marcus Stoinis leg before with the first ball and bowling last man Adam Zampa with the third to seal an eight-run victory.

The all-rounder from Tamil Nadu had earlier shone with the bat. Coming in at 75 for three he and Kohli turned the innings around with a fourth wicket partnership of 81 before Shankar was run out for 46 off 41 balls with five fours and a six. Shankar’s international appearances may be limited – he has played just six ODI and nine T-20 internationals – but sometimes you don’t have to see too much of a player to know that he is a long term prospect. With his showing on Tuesday and the promise of more such all-round displays to come Shankar could well have clinched one of the utility player’s berths in the World Cup squad.

Opinion Cricket

Why is Virat Kohli the greatest ODI player in history of cricket?

CT Contributors Updated: 6 March, 2019, 3:32 PM IST


Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli was stupendous with the bat once again as he hit his 40th one-day international century against Australia on Tuesday. Kohli’s remarkable 116-run innings played a massive role in seeing India take a 2-0 lead in the five-match ODI series.

Kohli’s brilliance as a batsman has helped him well in terms of his leadership attributes. The manner in which India pulled off a close encounter in Nagpur, showed Kohli’s boldness with the field settings and knowledge to get the bowling changes spot on.

Australia collapsed to hand India a tense eight-run win and at the moment Kohli is flying high in terms of leading the side from the front. His mettle was seen in India’s innings as he top scored with the bat. Kohli’s ability to come out strong depended a lot on his approach.

He kept the scorecard ticking and the 120 balls faced showed why he always kept in touch with the scoring rate. India were bowled out for 250 in 48.2 overs and Kohli’s 116 played a solid role. In reply, the tourists were well placed at 218-6 in the 45th over but lost their last five wickets for 24 runs.

The man of the moment was Kohli, who notched his 65th international ton. He also needs just 10 ODI tons more to get past legend Sachin Tendulkar (49). There have always been discussions regarding who is the best batsman in ODI cricket. But now we are getting a better view.

No doubt that Tendulkar has been phenomenal in his achievements and when it comes to overall application in ODIs and Tests, there is nobody better than him. Tendulkar was always considered as the best ODI batsman in terms of all the numbers and stats that came along.

Tendulkar also played numerous match-winning knocks. But Kohli with time looks to have taken the mantle as the best ODI batsman. His eyes for runs and hunger for match-winning knocks makes him a class above the rest. Kohli has already won 33 matches for India with his tons in ODIs. That’s the same number Tendulkar achieved from his 49 centuries.

Kohli’s dominance in the ODI circuit in recent years have tilted the balance in his favour. We expect the 30-year-old to soon surpass Sachin in terms of ODI hundreds. Getting to the feat way quicker then the legend is pretty remarkable. Kohli’s vision and the touch of class that comes with his captaincy as well, makes him the best batsman in the world in ODI cricket.

Kohli has also developed a knack of breaking Tendulkar’s milestones in ODI cricket since quite some time now. Whatever Tendulkar achieved along the way, Kohli is scripting these records in a much quicker fashion. Also his contributions in winning and ability to score equally in every corner of the world, makes him the perfect example of the modern day great in terms of status and records.

News Cricket

Ravi Shastri posts heartwarming message after Team India’s 500th ODI win

Staff Writer Updated: 6 March, 2019, 3:28 PM IST


Men in Blue registered their 500th ODI win on Tuesday, beating Australia in the second ODI of the five-match series in Nagpur. India became the second team after Australia to reach the landmark.

Team India’s head coach was mighty impressed with the effort of players and congratulated them. He took to Twitter to post a heartwarming message for the players.

"Your future is as bright as your faith," Ravi Shastri posted on social media.

It took 45 years to register 500 ODI wins having played their debut game in the format against England in 1974. The sub-continent team registered their first ODI win against East Africa in 1975 while their 100th win came against South Africa in 1993.

The 200th ODI victory was against Kenya in 2000 while they scripted the 300th one-day international win against West Indies in 2007. The 400th ODI win was over Sri Lanka in 2012.

India have played 963 ODI matches till date, winning 500 and losing 414. Australia, who was the first team to win 500 ODI matches, have played 924 matches, winning 558 and losing 323.

News Cricket

Suresh Raina reveals best suited batting spot for finisher MS Dhoni

Staff Writer Updated: 6 March, 2019, 3:25 PM IST


MS Dhoni couldn’t do much in the second ODI against Australia and was dismissed without troubling the scorers for the tenth time in his career. Despite his failure, he has been in exceptional form in 2019. The former Indian skipper has scored four consecutive fifties against Australia.

He was adjudged Man of the Series for his performance in Australia. Renowned for his meticulous work, Dhoni had started the ongoing year with a bang.

Suresh Raina, who has a long time association with Dhoni, has stated that former Indian skipper should bat in the lower middle order.

"For MS, the ideal position would be number five or six," said Raina.

"He is such a keen reader of the game and brings years of experience. When required he can build up an innings and his finishing skills are unmatched."

Raina, who has been a part of 2011 World Cup winning team, wants Virat Kohli to bat at number three of four.

"I think number three or four should be good (for Kohli)," Raina, a member of India's 2011 World Cup team, said. "If the top order topples quickly, we need someone like Kohli to keep it together."

Videos Cricket

Watch Teaser: MS Dhoni to feature in docu-drama “Roar of the Lion”

Staff Writer Updated: 6 March, 2019, 3:21 PM IST


Former Indian skipper MS Dhoni, who is one of the most integral parts of Team India at the moment, will feature in a docu drama series where he will disclose a secret about him. He will appear Hotstar’s docu-drama “Roar of the Lion.”

“Ek kahaani hain, jo aapne ab tak nai suni (There is one story that you are yet to hear),” says the former captain in a teaser. “Ye kahaani hai zidd ki (This is the story of determination).”

The official synopsis of the show reads, “Called MSD, Mahi, Captain Cool, Thala and more by the billions of fans that cheer him on and off the field, MSD’s story is known to all. Or so you think! He has another story to tell, one that not even his closest friends know. What is it all about? His toughest moment as a sportsman, cricketer, captain, husband, father or more?”

He is one of the most successful Indian captains of all time having won T20 World Cup, Fifty-Over World Cup and Champions Trophy. Dhoni will travel with Team India for the 2019 ICC World Cup, which will be played in England and Wales.

News Cricket

Universe Boss overhauls Marlon Samuels to script yet another BIG record

Staff Writer Updated: 6 March, 2019, 3:16 PM IST


Chris Gayle, the man-of-the-series in the ODIs, fell to Chris Jordan's wide Yorker which he could only squeeze to short third man.

Despite scoring 15 runs in the first T20 international against England, he surpassed Marlon Samuels to become West Indies' highest scorer in the shortest format of the game. The left hand batsman was in need of 5 runs before the game to leapfrog Samuels.

Chris Gayle has scored 1622 runs in 57 matches while Marlon Samuels has accumulated 1611 runs in 67 matches. The third spot is occupied by Dwayne Bravo, who has 1142 runs under his belt.

Earlier, Shimron Hetmyer also failed to leave his mark on proceedings, chipping in with 14 before pumping a Curran full toss straight to mid-on.

Darren Bravo and Nicholas Pooran helped claw back some of the lost ground, as the fourth-wicket pair added 64 in 51 balls but were parted in style by the returning Jordan.

The reply began in a flurry of activity as Sheldon Cottrell's opening over contained 17 runs, a dropped catch and finally the wicket of Alex Hales.

Joe Root's hopes of sharpening his T20 skills lasted exactly two balls, lbw to Cottrell attempting to open up the leg-side, but Bairstow was unaffected.

He launched himself into a 13-ball sequence containing five boundaries and one six, driving England to 62 for two in the powerplay, well ahead of the West Indies benchmark.

Bairstow nicked Carlos Brathwaite on 34 but a fingertip catch skimmed off Hope's gloves and brought him four more. Brathwaite did manage to see off skipper Eoin Morgan but Bairstow was dropped again by Cottrell shortly after reaching a 27-ball 50 with his second six.

By the time he was held at wide long-on, he had left a target of 58 in 50 balls.

Billings and Denly, both of whom are still seeking to find their place in the England set-up, chalked off all but eight of the required runs in calm fashion before nerves struck.

Holder persuaded Denly to hole out with 14 balls remaining then Billings had a let-off next ball, Oshane Thomas just failing to hang to a miss-cued pull at fine leg.

Reprieved, Billings then swiped at a Cottrell cutter that knocked back his stumps. Four byes over Hope's head eased the growing tension allowing Curran to slog the winning runs.

Videos Cricket

Yuzvendra Chahal Trolls Vijay Shankar In One Of The Most Hilarious Interviews On 'Chahal TV'

Staff Writer Updated: 6 March, 2019, 2:12 PM IST


India defeated Australia in the second ODI of the series to record 500 victories in one-day internationals. Men in Blue successfully defended the below par total of 250 to win by eight runs and go 2-0 up in the five match series. Apart from Kuldeep Yadav and Jasprit Bumrah, Virat Kohli and Vijay Shankar also contributed in the winning cause and the duo appeared on Chahal TV to talk about India’s win.

"We had a discussion on whom to give the final bowler. We had a thought that if a spinner's delivery comes in the radar, then it will be easier to step out and hit it for a six. There was reverse swing on offer for a fast bowler. So, I was hoping that Vijay would be able to reverse swing a bit," said Kohli.

"If he bowls in the right areas, the batsman might go for a swing and miss, which happened on the first ball. And then it reversed a bit on the final ball, and we won. So we were hoping he could exploit the swing on offer. 11 runs were needed in the final over, so I knew it could be easier for Vijay. Because then the batsman had to go for a big hit. And they just had two wickets left," he added.

Vijay Shankar, whose hands are tied when it comes to conversing in Hindi, was jokingly asked by Chahal to speak in Hindi. According to Vijay, bowling last over of the innings piled less pressure on him than conversing in Hindi.

"I was actually ready for it. I was preparing myself for it after the 43rd over. I thought I am going to have to bowl the last over and defend 10 runs. So, it was already there in my mind. So, I was just thinking about what I should do, and I just executed that," said Vijay.

News Cricket

Virat Kohli overhauls MS Dhoni in unique list

Staff Writer Updated: 6 March, 2019, 1:52 PM IST


Virat Kohli was man of the match for his 40th hundred, nine less than Sachin Tendulkar's ODI record. Kohli’s 116 off 120 balls, including 10 boundaries, propped up India's par total of 250 all out in the 49th over.

"It's important to look ugly at times, and come through and win," Kohli said. "We might get these low-scoring games in the World Cup as well."

Kohli had to dig deep and combined for 67 with Ravindra Jadeja to take India past 200 in the 39th. In doing so, he reached 100 off 107 balls.

Cummins returned to break the stand, and took three wickets — including Kohli — in the final overs to restrict the hosts.

With his knock of 116 runs at the VCA stadium, Virat Kohli surpassed Dhoni to become the highest scoring batsman at the venue with 325 runs. He has scored his runs in five innings at an average of 89.63. Dhoni stands second with 268 runs in five innings.

News Cricket

Virat Kohli has massive praise for Shankar, says he made his batting easy

Harshit Anand Updated: 6 March, 2019, 12:43 PM IST


Vijay Shankar won a lot of accolades for his critical performance in yesterday's encounter between India and Australia in Nagpur. India won the second game by eight runs. Shankar scored 46 runs and picked up two wickets.

Virat Kohli had a special mention for Shankar. "I want to specially congratulate Vijay [Shankar] because of the way he batted and also for the way he bowled in the last over. That requires a lot of mental strength and he showed a lot of character," Kohli told Chahal.

"When Vijay and I were batting, we built a very good partnership. I think he [Vijay] batted really well, in a very good flow which made my job also easy. With that partnership, I thought India could post in excess of 270 but unfortunately, he was run-out. After that I had to reassess the total," said Kohli.

Virat Kohli scored his 40th ODI century yesterday. Aaron Finch termed Kohli's century as one of his finest ever innings. Kohli also became the fastest to 9,000 international runs as skipper. He was also adjudged the Man-of-the-Match. And if he continues playing the way he has been, Kohli would reach the magical 50 century landmark in ODIs soon.

News Cricket

"Kuldeep deserved headlines for both ODIs, not Kedar-Dhoni and Virat-Shankar": Sanjay Manjrekar 

Harshit Anand Updated: 6 March, 2019, 10:57 AM IST


India won a thriller against Australia in the second ODI in Nagpur. Vijay Shankar defended 11 runs in the final over off the game and as a result, the Men in Blue won the game by eight runs to take a lead of 2-0 in the five-match ODI series.

People credited Virat Kohli and Vijay Shankar for India's win. Kohli had made a brilliant century while Shankar scored 46 runs and took two wickets in the game. Somewhere down the line, people didn't credit Kuldeep Yadav and Jasprit Bumrah as much even though they took three and two wickets respectively.

Cricket commentator and analyst, Sanjay Manjrekar opined on the same and tweeted, "How easily we give batsmen all the credit. That India is 2-0 up is thanks more to the bowlers than the batsmen."

"50 overs format is so heavily loaded in favour of batsmen. The imbalance exists even before the game begins. It pains me when bowlers are not given their due. Kuldeep should have grabbed headlines in both games. But it was more Kedar, Dhoni last game & now Virat, Shankar."