News Cricket

Fans troll Nehra after another defeat, says he can make State Topper to fail unit test exam

Staff Writer Updated: 16 April, 2019, 11:56 AM IST

HIGHLIGHTS

Royal Challengers Bangalore were undone by Mumbai Indians in last night game at the Wankhede Stadium. With this defeat, RCB have lost seven matches out of eight in the ongoing season of the Indian Premier League. Things were looking good for them till the time AB de Villiers and Moeen Ali were at the crease, but their untimely departures resulted in below-par score on a batting-friendly pitch.

Chasing 172 runs to win, Mumbai Indians had an explosive start with Rohit Sharma and Quinton de Kock and Rohit Sharma going great guns. Mumbai Indians needed 22 runs in the last two overs with Hardik Pandya and Kieron Pollard at the crease.

RCB captain Virat Kohli gave the ball to Pawan Negi to bowl the 19th over of the innings. Hardik Pandya took on Negi and blasted him for two boundaries and two sixes to seal the win.

RCB’s bowling coach Ashish Nehra had told Virat Kohli to bow Negi in the 19th over when skipper was about to hand over the ball to Navdeep Saini and the rest is history.

Several fans took to twitter to blast Ashish Nehra for his suggestion that backfired big time.

Earlier, de Villiers’ 51-ball 75 and Moeen Ali's 50 off 32 balls took RCB to 171. Virat Kohli, the skipper, failed to score once again in the league. Barring his one or two innings, Virat has looked out of touch in the tournament.

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Feature Cricket

Indian World Cup squad has the right balance

Partab Ramchand Updated: 16 April, 2019, 11:37 AM IST

HIGHLIGHT

By and large the MSK Prasad led selection committee has done a reasonable job in picking the 15-member squad for the World Cup in England. It is impossible for every cricket fan to be happy with the selection of any squad but there will be very few who will disagree with this selection. In any case among the fringe players there were always going to be the lucky ones and the unlucky ones and here KL Rahul and Dinesh Karthik were the lucky ones and Rishabh Pant and Ambati Rayudu the unlucky ones.

The squad has the right balance when it comes to batsmen and utility players, seamers and spinners. The team’s think tank has a lot of options and that is a healthy sign. The playing eleven can consist of six batsmen, two utility players and three bowlers or five batsmen, three utility players and three bowlers if there is need for an extra bowling option. The selection of as many as four bits and pieces players in Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Kedar Jadhav and Vijay Shankar brings back happy memories of the triumphant 1983 squad in England with that Indian team having Kapil Dev, Madanlal, Roger Binny and Ravi Shastri in the ranks. No comparison of course but it is always good to have players who can contribute with both bat and ball.

There was never going to be any doubt as to the batting. The extra batsman’s choice was always going to be between Rahul and Rayudu and the former’s ability to be a back-up opener probably gave him the selectors’ nod. Also Rayudu’s form had taken a bit of hit of late. And a line-up of Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni and Karthik has a lot of experience and that is a handy quality to have. There may be a question mark still over the vexed No 4 slot but hopefully that problem will be solved as the matches are played as there are many options and a minimum of nine games.

The choice of the bowlers was never going to pose any problem. The three seam bowlers were always going to be Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami and the two specialist spinners were always going to be Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal. It is now left to them to perform up to expectations. The back-up bowling with the presence of so many utility players presents an embarrassment of riches of sorts and indeed the bowling more than the batting could well hold the key as to how far India will progress in the competition. Overall it is a good side the best the selectors could have picked. Whether it is strong enough to win the trophy is another matter altogether.

Feature Cricket

The Indian Word Cup Squad - An Analysis of strengths and weaknesses

Bhavesh Bhimani Updated: 16 April, 2019, 11:27 AM IST

HIGHLIGHT

After much anticipation, India's squad for the ICC World Cup 2019 has finally been announced. Here is a look at the complete squad that was declared in a meeting in Mumbai on Monday and was attended by India captain Virat Kohli and the five-man selection panel led by MSK Prasad.

The squad: Virat Kohli (capt), Rohit Sharma (vice capt), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Vijay Shankar, MS Dhoni (wk), Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami.

The surprise exclusions:

There are no really big surprises in the squad. Except for the exclusions of young wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant and middle-order batsman Ambati Rayudu. While this may disappoint a few, one feels this is the correct decision.

Pant, despite the talent he possesses, has shown a proclivity be to be really irrational in pressure situations and gives away his wicket to poor shots. He needs more time and training behind the stumps and proper grooming on how to control his aggressive batting. Dinesh Karthik has been in good hitting form and also has years of experience. One thinks he will lend stability to the middle order.

Rayudu, meanwhile, has had a good ODI record. But if you scratch the surface behind his performances you would know that of the 20 innings he played in 2018, he was dismissed below 25 on nine occasions. His form in the ongoing IPL hasn’t been great either. What’s more is that Rayudu is also a liability on the field. Vijay Shankar has impressed recently and so has KL Rahul and both would do well at the No.4 position.

Strengths:

In Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli, India have the strongest top three in the world. If they can sustain their form, then India will have a solid chance at the event. Kohli is expected to do well. Rohit has been in terrific ODI form in the recent past. And Dhawan, despite his inconsistency, has been a proven performer and has done outstandingly well in ICC events and in England.

The bowling unit is solid and versatile. In Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami, India will have one of the best fast bowling lineups in the tournament. In form, this bowling trio can be devastating.

Kuldeep Yadav's dipping form, though, is a concern. He appears to have been sorted out by batsmen on flat surfaces and would need to be at his very best in England. Yuzvendra Chahal is dependable and will be the first-choice spinner in the eleven.

Team has Ravindra Jadeja to fall back on if Kuldeep doesn't come good in the initial games.

Weaknesses:

The form of the Indian middle-order has been a cause for concern for a while now. The No.4 spot continues to be a conundrum. MS Dhoni has struggled to rotate the strike and play at a brisk pace. This might became a major factor on flat surfaces in England.

Indian’s finishing would depend on Kedar Jadhav and Hardik Pandya. Both have been inconsistent in recent times and would need to be at their best in England.

The best possible squad:

All in all, this looks to be the best squad India could have picked for the mega event. One must applaud the selectors, hence, for a job well done. They went for experience and stability over populist choices and that is never an easy thing to do.

Now it’s over to captain Kohli and the others to do the job. These are the fifteen men who will be leading the charge in England in quest of the crown. Indian fans will hope they will give it their best shot.

News Cricket

Dinesh Karthik Reacts to His Selection in World Cup Squad

CT Contributors Updated: 16 April, 2019, 10:02 AM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Vijay Shankhar and Ravindra Jadeja were picked for India's World Cup cricket team on Monday while Ambati Rayudu was left out.

The squad was named by chief selector MSK Prasad after meeting with skipper Virat Kohli.

Rishabh Pant also missed out while the experienced Dinesh Karthik was chosen for the tournament in England.

"After the Champions Trophy (in 2017) ... we did give a few more chances to Rayudu but what Vijay Shankar offers is three dimensions," Prasad said.

The chief selector said Shankar's "fantastic fielding" also went in his favor and if the conditions were overcast in England he might also bowl.

The squad also included KL Rahul, who could either open or fit in the middle order along with Kedhar Jadhav and Karthik. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami are the three frontline fast bowlers with all-rounder Hardik Pandya.

The strong Indian batting lineup includes 2015 World Cup veterans in Kohli, vice-captain Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and MS Dhoni.

Prasad said Karthik could come in India's playing XI if Dhoni is injured, and Karthik's experience of performing under pressure won him the spot ahead of Pant.

"Pant is full of talent. There's a lot of time for him," Prasad said. "Under pressure, we have seen Dinesh Karthik finishing matches (and) that scored for him."

Reacting to his inclusion in the team, Karthik said, "I am very excited. It has been a dream for me to be a part of this team for a long time now.”. “As a team, we have done some special things and I have been through that journey and I have really wanted to be a part of this team," he told www.kkr.in.”

News Cricket

ICC Questions Ambati Rayudu’s Exclusion from World Cup Squad

Staff Writer Updated: 15 April, 2019, 11:14 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Ambati Rayudu was supposed to be India's no. 4 batsman in the upcoming World Cup but his loss of form few months before the event has led to his axing from the squad. Virat Kohli, the skipper, stated that Rayudu had solved the puzzle of no. 4 spot as far as Men in Blue were concerned but now he is out of contention and won't be traveling to England.

The governing body of international cricket has questioned his omission from the squad by sharing batting statistics. ICC shared the "Highest batting career averages for India in ODI cricket (min. 20 innings)” where Virat is at the top followed by MS Dhoni (50.37) and Rohit Sharma (47.39). Rayudu is fourth on the list with an average of 47.05. ICC then writes, "Rayudu was excluded from India's @cricketworldcup squad. Do you think he should have made the cut?"

"We have been planning soon after the completion of the Champions Trophy (2017) for this. But let me tell you that in the last month or so, there have been a couple of players who have really cropped up like Vijay Shankar," MSK Prasad said after announcing the squad.

News Cricket

Ian Chappell names his favourites, dark horses for Cricket World Cup

Harshit Anand Updated: 15 April, 2019, 5:40 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Former Australian captain, Ian Chappell has outlined that conditions are going to be the key in deciding the fate of the 2019 Cricket World Cup that will see ten teams fight it out for the ultimate glory in cricket from May 30 in England and Wales. Australia are the reigning World Cup champions.

Ian Chappell penned down, “And therein lies a clue to likely success in an England ODI tournament - the conditions. If it's a damp summer then the team with the best seam attack will start with a huge advantage, as batting will be a challenge. If, on the other hand, it's a dry summer, the batsmen will have the upper hand and it'll be the attacks with plenty of variety - the accent on genuine pace and spin - that are likely to make the final.”

He further added, “Barring injuries, the teams most likely to fit that criterion are Australia, England, India, New Zealand and South Africa. That's five possible winners, and I wouldn't totally discount the suddenly much-improved West Indies and the highly unpredictable Pakistan. The 2019 World Cup promises to be the most openly contested in the UK, and it may well be hardest to predict of all the premier ODI tournaments that have been played.”

Videos Cricket

Watch: Kedar Jadhav's bromance with MS Dhoni after CSK's triumph at Eden Gardens

Staff Writer Updated: 15 April, 2019, 4:54 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

CSK Super Kings are ruling Indian Premier League in the ongoing season. They are the undisputed larders of the tournament with seven wins under their belt. After thumping KKR at the Eden Gardens, the kings were seen relaxing in the dressing room. Kedar Jadhav, who has been an important member of the squad, shared a video with MS Dhoni that defines their friendship. CSK skipper and Kedar Jadhav as the duo were seen having food from the same plate. Their camaraderie was enough to win the internet. "Bromance," Jadhav captioned the video.

View this post on Instagram

Bromance ❤️

A post shared by Kedar Jadhav (@kedarjadhavofficial) on

In their 8th game of the season, Chennai Super Kings defeated Kolkata Knight Riders by 5 wickets to register their seventh win. Kolkata scored 161/8 in the allotted 20 overs with the help of Chris Lynn's 82 off 51 balls.

Chasing 161, CSK lost openers pretty early in the innings but Suresh Raina kept the scoreboard ticking and his unbeaten 58 runs off 42 balls sealed the game in his team’s favor.

Imran Tahir was declared Man of the Match for his display against the Kolkata Knight Riders. Tahir, who picked up four wickets, didn't allow home team to settle down despite Lynn scoring another half century.

Feature Tennis

Can Djokovic halt Nadal’s run at Monte Carlo?

Partab Ramchand Updated: 15 April, 2019, 4:35 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

It’s clay court season time and so will it be Rafael Nadal all over again? The 32-year-old Spaniard has dominated the surface for over a decade and it is difficult to see any change in the scenario this year too except for the fact that he has been bothered by a troublesome knee for some time now and that will be his major concern as the season commences with the Monte Carlo Masters on Monday.

Nadal a 17-time Grand Slam winner and defending champion at Monte Carlo has not competed since withdrawing from his semifinal clash against Roger Federer at Indian Wells a month ago. He has undergone medical tests on his chronically bad left knee and will be hoping that it will hold up for the grueling run to Roland Garros which begins May 26.

Besides winning the French Open eleven times Nadal has also won the Monte Carlo event eleven times, such has been his mastery over the slow, red surface. But with injuries plaguing him could this be the time when others can take over? The foremost contender would appear to be world No 1 Novak Djokovic who has a decent record on clay highlighted by his title triumph at the French Open in 2016. But the Serb who turns 32 next month has had to endure a slump in his form of late which saw him one short of the quarterfinals at both Indian Wells and Miami Masters events last month.

While Djokovic has been injury free the problem with him is his preoccupation with ATP issues as president of the Player Council. He has admitted to distractions with too many things off the court which has affected his form on court. The incentive for the 15-time Grand Slam champion however is a bid to complete four Grand Slam titles in a row. He won Wimbledon and US Open last year before getting the better of Nadal at the Australian Open final in January. Djokovic grew up on clay and relishes the surface though statistically hard courts have been his most successful surface.

Federer a four-time finalist at Monte Carlo will again skip the event with the 37-year-old set for a return to clay for the first time since 2016 when he plays next month at Madrid prior to returning to Roland Garros. The 20-time Grand Slam champion has made a conscious effort to limit his playing on clay to extend his playing career.

And what about the younger brigade which is snapping at the heels of the Big Three? Main focus will be on world No 3 Alexander Zverev even if he has done little of note this year after winning the ATP finals in November last. The German however will not be the only serious challenger. Hoping to again pose a threat on clay will be last year’s finalist at Roland Garros Dominic Thiem. The fifth ranked Austrian had a breakthrough win with his first Masters 1000 trophy at Indian Wells with a victory over Federer in the title clash.

Feature Cricket

Cricket Australia’s Language Under Fire

Sreelata S Yellamrazu Updated: 15 April, 2019, 4:30 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Even as the India’s cricket loving public waited with bated breath over the team announcement for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, Australia revealed their list that did not altogether detour from the predictable. There was, however, some concern in how the return of Steve Smith and David Warner was phrased.

Cricket Australia released its list of the squad of fifteen players to make the trip to England for the ICC Cricket World Cup and also, released the central contracts for twenty players. What was on expected lines was the fact that the two senior, now disgraced players found themselves back in the squad and on the central contracts lists. There was a conjecture that the duo, in their posts as captain and vice-captain, at the time of the infamous sandpaper-gate incident in the Cape Town Test in March last year, were needed in the Australian team as much as the duo needed to get back into the thick of things to exonerate their name as it were, the latter an arguably more difficult challenge.

Furthermore, although both players were expected to play at least part of the series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates but did not, the selectors would have been reasonably pleased with both players in good form in the Indian Premier League as a way to warm up to international assignments. But while the players may have be ingratiating themselves once more into the international arena, questions will abound as will opinions be divided over whether these players require the kind of ceremonious red carpet welcome being meted out to them by their board.

When Trevor Hohns used the term ‘world class’ for the two players in announcing their presence in the squad, it lit up the social media platforms as well as it raised eyebrows in cricketing circles. While the batting prowess of both, Warner and Smith, are well documented, their ability to lead the team in leadership roles has been under intense scrutiny, made glaringly obvious in light of their miserable decision making at Newlands against South Africa. While their batting exploits might be well respected, whether they can be tagged ‘world class’ given that the ball tampering scar was a rather huge one, involving several members of the Australian team, remains in question.

There was never any doubt about these cricketers making the team even though conspiracies abounded in the immediate aftermath of the incident about Warner falling out with the team for his supposed willingness to release the names and number of players actually involved. It seems stranger still in light of that fact that all it took was one year for the team to suddenly band like brothers.

The entire year since the hastily imposed one year ban by Cricket Australia as a way to perhaps preempt international sanction has not been without controversy, with the two cricketers being allowed to play Twenty20 around the world in the guise of their needing to make money when they did bring the game into disrepute knowingly and also, when they were allowed to interact with and play alongside club cricketers under the ruse of their rehabilitation when there were conflicted reports about whether the duo were given sufficient counselling as well as time away to fully grasp the magnitude of their actions and decisions.

While the opinion is divided on the matter, there was never really a debate about whether Cricket Australia would dare to let Australia go to the ICC Cricket World Cup without their mainstay batsmen as Australia look to defend their title as five time champions.

News Cricket

Tahir on trademark celebration: I want to show my wife & son that I love them as much as I love CSK

Staff Writer Updated: 15 April, 2019, 4:28 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Imran Tahir is bossing batsmen in the ongoing season of the Indian Premier League. He is bowling match winning spells and has won two Man of the Match awards in the cash rich league. Tahir is renowned for his trademark running celebration style after taking wicket. In eight matches so far, he has picked up 13 wickets and has conceded at less than six runs an over.

Shedding light on his famous style, Tahir told IPLT20.com: "Sometimes, my wife and son are here, and I want to show them that I love them as much as I love CSK, so at times, I run towards them. But normally, I don't know when I am celebrating, I hope that people like this. Pray to Allah, I keep taking wickets like this and celebrating like this.

"Being here is like a dream for me. Now that I am here, I pray I do not lose out on the opportunity. I am thankful to God that I am on this platform, playing the best league in the world, representing CSK, one of the best teams in the world," Tahir added.

News Cricket

"Ambati Rayudu must be shattered", Twitter reacts on India's World Cup selection

Harshit Anand Updated: 15 April, 2019, 4:16 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

India announced its 15-man squad for the 2019 Cricket World Cup. Dinesh Karthik was picked as the reserve-wicket-keeper batsman ahead of youngster Rishabh Pant. While Ambati Rayudu, who was announced as India's no.4, a few months back by Indian skipper, Virat Kohli couldn't even find a place in the squad after his form turned hot and cold.

India picked two seaming all-rounders in the form of Vijay Shankar and Hardik Pandya and one spinning all-rounder, Ravindra Jadeja. There are only three specialist pacers namely, Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar, and Shami in the side. Shankar is being looked upon as no.4 batsman.

Here is India's squad for 2019 World Cup:

Virat Kohli (Capt), Rohit Sharma (vc), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Vijay Shankar, MSD (wk), Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohd Shami

Take a look at how Twitter reacted to the squad announcement:

News Cricket

MS Dhoni back injury: CSK skipper gives update on fitness after back trouble

Staff Writer Updated: 15 April, 2019, 3:50 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

In their 8th game of the season, Chennai Super Kings defeated Kolkata Knight Riders by 5 wickets to register their seventh win. Kolkata scored 161/8 in the allotted 20 overs with the help of Chris Lynn's 82 off 51 balls.

Chasing 161, CSK lost openers pretty early in the innings but Suresh Raina kept the scoreboard ticking and his unbeaten 58 runs off 42 balls sealed the game in his team’s favor.

During the game, Dhoni was seen in pain and was attended by physio on the field. The skipper gave an update on his back issue in the post-match presentation ceremony. “Got a back spasm. It's a bit tight right now, hopefully, it'll get better,” MSD said when asked about his injury.

He praised the bowling effort. “The bowling was very good and as a complete team we bowled really well. With Tahir getting us those timely wickets. Lynn had a good day but we kept taking wickets from the other end. We bat quite deep, so we have to take the chances,” Dhoni further added.

He also spoke about his plans while chasing. “Depending on the opposition, we keep changing our plans. I wanted to go after the bowlers early and it paid off today. Me along with Raina, I think it was a good chase. There were a few soft dismissals today but if you get a start it's important to carry on and finish it off. You need to be there till the end. Overall it was a good performance by us.” Dhoni said in the post-match presentation ceremony.

News Cricket

MSK Prasad reveals the reason why DK was picked over Pant

Harshit Anand Updated: 15 April, 2019, 3:33 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

There were a lot of debates regarding who to pick between Dinesh Karthik and Rishabh Pant as the reserve wicket-keeper batsman for the 2019 Cricket World Cup. The Indian selectors went ahead with the seasoned campaigner, Dinesh Karthik ahead fo raw talent Rishabh Pant.

The Indian chief selector, MSK Prasad revealed the reason behind DK's selection. He said, "Definitely a case where we debated in length. We all were in unison that either pant or DK will come in only when Mahi is injured. In an important game wicket keeping is also important."

So, Pant's questionable keeping went against him in the race to be on the flight to England and Wales. Here is India's squad:

India’s squad for the ICC #CWC19: Virat Kohli (Capt), Rohit Sharma (vc), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Vijay Shankar, MSD (wk), Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohd Shami

News Cricket

Dinesh Karthik and R Jadeja in, Pant out, as India announce 15-Man Squad

Harshit Anand Updated: 15 April, 2019, 3:22 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

India have included Dinesh Karthik as the wicket-keeper ahead of Rishabh Pant in India's World Cup squad. All-rounder, Ravindra Jadeja also made it to the side. India didn't pick fourth specialist pacer. Also, India overlooked Ambati Rayudu from the squad that was announced today.

Here is India's squad:

India’s squad for the ICC #CWC19 announced: Virat Kohli (Capt), Rohit Sharma (vc), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Vijay Shankar, MSD (wk), Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohd Shami

News Cricket

ICC relates Imran Tahir's celebration style to Game of Thrones

Staff Writer Updated: 15 April, 2019, 3:10 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Imran Tahir is ruling the ongoing season of the IPL with his clever and classy bowling. He was declared Man of the Match for his display against the Kolkata Knight Riders. Tahir, who picked up four wickets, didn't allow home team to settle down despite Lynn scoring another half century. The governing body of international cricket was mighty impressed with the way Tahir bowled against one of the best IPL franchises. They decided to praise Tahir and came up with a hilarious tweet, relating his celebration style to Game of Thrones.

Fans were bowled over at ICC tweeting about the famous series.

CSK's five-wicket win over KKR took them to 14 points and they are favourites to win this season of the IPL. Imran Tahir's exceptional bowling display helped CSK restrict KKR to a 161 for eight in their allotted 20 overs. Chasing 162, CSK reached the desired target easily with the help of Suresh Raina, who scored his first fifty of the ongoing season.