It is still relatively early days in the Indian Premier League and already there are massive rumbles, tumbles and stunning renunciations. Unfortunately for Delhi’s cricket fans, it is their team, the Delhi Daredevils, seeing red once more as they have had in the past decade since the IPL’s inception, waving the white flag rather early yet again with the homebound skipper having shockingly thrown in the towel. Expectations were high at the start of the eleventh edition of the IPL for the revamped Delhi Daredevils team. For one, the GMR-owned and now franchisee of the now fifty percent stakeholder in JSW, things were looking up after they brought in a new coach in the form of former Australian captain and former Mumbai Indians coach, Ricky Ponting. Even more buoyant were the Delhi Daredevils with the prospect that Gautam Gambhir willingly gave up his captaincy and place with the Kolkata Knight Riders – whom he successfully led to two IPL trophies – to rejoin the team he began his IPL journey with and that too in the topmost leadership position.
However, in an unsettling familiarity which is a throwback to their past debacles over the years, the Delhi Daredevils barely took flight and by the time they played their first home match in six matches, the fight seemed all but over. After coming within inches of another possible win after their solitary victory against the Mumbai Indians in Mumbai, the defeat to the Kings XI Punjab seemed to be the final straw that drew the surprise announcement that Gambhir was stepping down as captain after only defending the Delhi Daredevils two matches before and taking on the online trolls for his team drawing flak.
Nothing went right for the Delhi Daredevils from the get go. Although the skipper – one of the leading run getters of the IPL – got off to a half century, the Delhi Daredevils could not get off the mark. Although the team boasted of emphatic batsmen and openers in Jason Roy, Daniel Christian, Colin Munro, David Maxwell, neither player could string together a consistent enough performance to get the Delhi Daredevils out of the red.
With a bowling attack comprising Kagiso Rabada, Chris Morris, Mohammad Shami and Trent Boult, Delhi did not seem to lack in pace. In Amit Mishra, they had a seasoned spinner who had been at the top of his game in the IPL. Yet injuries to Rabada and thereafter, Morris depleted Delhi Daredevils’ in-form resources while the skipper seemed to have lost faith in Mishra after just one match.
Even without AB de Villiers, the Delhi Daredevils had the pick of promising young Indian players in Rishabh Pant, Shreyas Iyer and leg spinner Rahul Tewatia. But without a consistent performance streak from any player – uncapped, national or international - in the squad and some baffling decisions whereby some players were turned into strange passengers such as Vijay Shankar who was used sparingly by Gambhir despite making it to the playing eleven, the Delhi Daredevils did not seem a cohesive enough team who had their game plan together, leading to lapses in judgement, concentration and decision making that ultimately had them beat on foreign turfs as it had them beat for much of the IPL in the past ten years.
For a skipper and coach who firmly believed in the team’s talent at the outset, and for a player like Gambhir who shaped the Kolkata Knight Riders’ rise only to inexplicably cut his ties, one would have thought for having defending his team and taking on detractors just two matches ago, he would have continued on himself to lead the team as they navigated IPL’s treacherous waters. However, it would appear the over-reliance on the prolific skipper’s bat ultimately took its toll on the skipper himself, leading to his stepping down, which betrays a certain lack of self-belief and belief in his own ability to turn this team around which is very disturbing when one considers the fact that the Delhi Daredevils and success have never found place in the same breath when it comes to the IPL in all these years.
Shreyas Iyer has now the onerous job to attempt to pull this team who are emphatically scraping the bottom and languishing by the way side, licking their wounds in an obvious sign of an admission of defeat. Not very daredevil-like from the team that has never really embraced the challenge that has been the IPL despite their rather fearsome name emblazoned on the players’ T-shirt, now looking rather pale and lacklustre.
Indian skipper was rested for the last two ODIs as well as T20Is against New Zealand so that his hectic workload can be managed in a better way especially keeping the upcoming World Cup in mind, which isn't too far away.
MS Dhoni, who is nursing a hamstring injury for the past few days, has also missed the last two ODIs. After India's poor show at Seddon Park, fans went on a meme-spree.
Here are a few of them:
Cheteshwar Pujara scored a brilliant century in the semi-final of the Ranji Trophy game against Karnataka. He helped Saurashtra chase down a challenging target and his ton in the fourth innings of the game was at the heart of his team's fantastic victory in Bangalore.
He was at the receiving end of booing, however, in the aftermath of the game for not walking off after nicking the ball to the keeper off R Vinay Kuma in second innings of Saurashtra's innings.
Despite that, his fellow Saurashtra teammate Jaydev Unadkat hailed him for the kind of influence he has on the team.
Unadkat was quoted as saying by the PTI, “I have been saying this since the Lucknow game (quarter-final against Uttar Pradesh), we cannot have (someone) with a better influence than him (Pujara) in the team. He has been the pillar for India now, like he has been for Saurashtra for a long period of time.
“We are fortunate to have him in the team, at the moment, in the knock-out stage and looking forward for one more performance. But having said that it is not just (about) him, all the guys are playing their best game. During knock-outs, away from home, you need everyone to step up and it can’t be one or two guys, so that’s what we have been doing in the last two games."
The Men in Blue struggled to put up a decent total on board in the absence of batting stalwarts Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni in the fourth ODI against New Zealand at Seddon Park, Hamilton. They got bundled out on 92 runs.
Trent Boult was the destructor in chief for New Zealand as he finished with exceptional figures of 5/21. The pitch was providing help to seamers and Boult exploited the conditions beautifully.
Boult said after the match, "It was nice to see the ball move in the air like that. I feel I'm a different bowler when it swings.
"One of my home grounds domestically, I live about an hour away from here. I have a bit of experience here I suppose. It does swing around, bit humid here and it was nice to make the most of it today.
"Just one of those things when you get a couple of wickets at the top... a pretty unique thing to bowl 10 overs on the bounce. But it's just one of things, when the rhythm's good and the ball is swinging late in the spell so I just wanted to make the most of it."
The Black Caps won the fourth ODI against India by eight wickets at Seddon Park, Hamilton. India has already won the five-match ODI series. They gained an unassailable lead after the winning the third ODI at Bay Oval. Today, the hosts New Zealand restricted India to a below-par total of 92 runs.
In the aftermath of the loss, Bhuvneshwar Kumar said, "You always miss him [Virat] or his kind of player. At the same time, it's a good opportunity for the young guy who came in place of him. We don't always want to depend on him. Of course, what he has done is amazing.
“If you look at the cricket we have been playing in the last few months, we have played good cricket and such matches come after some time. So, it is a kind of reality check what we can do and improve in the next matches.
“We were confident after winning the series but things didn’t go our way. I don’t want to take credit away from these guys (New Zealand bowlers). They bowled really well and outplayed us.
Sri Lanka all-rounder Thisara Perera wrote a letter to Sri Lankan Cricket Board after he got into a fight with the wife of fellow pacer Lasith Malinga, Tanya Perera. As per reports in ESPNCricinfo, Tanya Perera had accused Thisara Perera in a Facebook post to have met Sri Lanka's sports minister, earlier in the month, to secure a berth in the Senior Men's side.
At that time, the Sri Lankan all-rounder had rubbished the allegations on Facebook. But, a few weeks later, Tanya again took potshots at Thisara on the same platform, which compelled the former Sri Lankan skipper to write a letter to the board.
Excerpts of the letter are as follows: "When these kinds of accusations are made by the incumbent captain's wife on social media, it is hard to prevent the general public from believing and further slandering me in various ways.
"There has been a general sense of unease in the dressing room ever since [the Facebook post] and to be honest the environment was rather unpleasant for the youngsters especially when two senior players were not on the same page. We cannot play as a team with friction. The leadership's role is to create stability and unity within the team even before one could start with a game plan. In this instant I regret to say we had none of the above."
"We are at the verge of the World Cup. Our focus and attention should be on performing well at it instead of bickering over social media on pointless issues. This team is in dire need of steady leadership and guidance. Importantly, and environment of unity is needed… These issues need rectifying ahead of the World Cup. The leadership and seniors of the team must set the example for this.
"We have become the laughing stock of a whole country all because of one person's personal vendetta. This is not something to be taken lightly, especially at a time like this. I humbly request SLC to intervene and help us overcome our difference and move forward with a renewed confidence and sense of unity."
New Zealand finally found conditions to its liking — hot conditions which made the ball swing — and in the absence of captain Virat Kohli, who was rested, and M.S. Dhoni, who has a hamstring strain, bowled out India for 92 in 30.5 overs.
New Zealand reached 93-2 in only 14.4 overs, concluding the match before the scheduled dinner break. Ross Taylor made 37 in an unbroken 54-run partnership with Henry Nicholls (30 not out) to see New Zealand home, clinching the win with a six and a four from the bowling of Yuzvendra Chahal.
Boult was thrilled to find the swing which is the foundation of his bowling success — he is ranked 10th in the world in ODIs — and used it expertly to wreck India's top and middle order. The full ball, swinging into the stumps late, was too much for India batsmen who flourished in more placid conditions in the first three matches.
India lost three wickets for 33 runs and slumped to 55-8 before some tail-end resistance took it past 88, its previous lowest score against New Zealand.
Without the steadying influences of Kohli and Dhoni, India crumbled. Once New Zealand broke the opening partnership between Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan cheaply for the first time in the series, it was able to expose a middle order it hadn't previously seen. The New Zealand bowlers had taken only nine wickets in the three previous matches.
Former England captain Michael Vaughan mocked Men in Blue for their batting collapse.
His comment invited the wrath of Indian fans, who reminded him of England's collapse in their first innings of the 1st Test against the Windies last week.
Trent Boult took five wickets for 21 runs to lead New Zealand to a face-saving eight-wicket win over India on Thursday in the fourth one-day cricket international.
India had already won the five-match series 3-0, outplaying New Zealand by eight wickets in the first match, 90 runs in the second and seven wickets in the third.
"I think it was one of our worst performances with the bat for a long, long time," stand-in captain Rohit Sharma said. "Games like this can happen. You've got to give credit to the New Zealand bowlers; after losing three matches to come out and bowl like that was a magnificent effort."
Earlier, Rohit Sharma reflected on his journey to 200 ODIs. The right hand batsman became the 14th Indian player to play 200 one-day internationals. “Yeah, 200th game is special. Lots of ups and downs but I am happy where I am,” Sharma said during the pre-match interview.
Shubman Gill's debut didn't go well as he was dismissed for 19 runs. The right hand batsman was highly recommended by former cricketers and current Indian skipper Virat Kohli. Former Indian skipper Sunil Gavaskar wanted Men in Blue to try Gill in the last two ODIs. Despite his failure in his brief maiden innings in international cricket, Gavaskar feels he has a future with Team India.
"Well, for whatever little time he was there, he was a little bit tense, nervous. That's understandable because he is playing for the country for the first time," Gavaskar told Star Sports.
"Even then, when Boult was swinging the ball, he was able to get in line, yes... he was hit by the short ball as well. I think this guy's got a future, you have got to be patient with him.
"My feeling is that they'll probably have Dhoni coming in place of Karthik. Other changes will be based on the conditions in Wellington. I don't see too many changes though. I am sure Shubman Gill will get another opportunity," Gavaskar said.
There is no masking what happens in the name of banter on the field. The fact of the matter remains that cricket needs not only gender sensitivity lessons but also, a class on racism, a perennial problem in other global sports as well.
The recent telling comment came from the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) who denounced the International Cricket Council (ICC) for not merely slapping Sarfraz Ahmed on the wrists but instead banning him for four matches in the face of comments he made that alluded to the colour of the skin of one of the South African cricketers in the course of the second day international in Durban.
In some ways, it highlights not only how politically incorrect and morally insensitive cricketers can be but also, of how blind the cricket boards can be in addressing issues of such grave concern that look to divide people. While it is good that the cricketer did apologise for his comments publicly, it was interesting to note that he mentioned that he had not intended for anyone to hear those comments caught on the stump microphone. The fact that those words were even added suggests a myopic view wherein the cricketer in question thinks that if his words were not heard, it was still alright to utter them.
Cricket boards are dealing with a rapidly evolving world that has put money right in the center of the equation, changed the way platforms have evolved in terms of player interactions, have brought peril to the doorstep with social media becoming more of a bane than a boon and is blinding even the most seasoned of cricketers from refraining themselves from making public gaffes as Virat Kohli did during a fan interaction around Diwali. In a sense, it is quite the conundrum that while the Indian captain’s comments about ‘leave India’ came in a social setting and not on the cricket field, but still targeted cricket fans, that there was not enough done publicly to reprimand him as a manner of setting the example and also, that he virtually got away. Whether that speaks to the fact that he holds such a pivotal place in the hierarchy of the dressing room or the fact that India have been overbearingly dependent on his bat, it is something that the BCCI needs to look inwards to introspect. In sending mixed messaging, the already confused modern cricketers – evident in the jarring conversation on the couch between Hardik Pandya, KL Rahul and the rather loud host of the show, are not getting the compass bearings right. Perhaps they had never been taught to read the arrows, not until they were firmly pointing south.
At the other end of the spectrum, Hardik Pandya appeared to be emulating the swagger while understanding nothing of the culture and heritage of colour and racism as he went all out bragging on a television show. The fact that it was not in an international match is perhaps what would make the Indian all-rounder think he has dodged a bullet on this one. However, if the quantum of punishment as adjudged by the ICC is anything to go by and the BCCI takes a cue from it, Pandya may be facing similar time away from the game. But with the BCCI in such a state of confusion, Pandya may still be thanking his stars.
What it brings to light is that sport as a bridge has a long way to go. It may have connected people and brought them together in its evolutionary nature. But in terms of emotional and cultural maturity, cricket has a long way to go from checking the hem of the women presenters’ skirts and not their knowledge as a merit of their worthiness to present on television and letting cricketers confuse notoriety with popularity and think they are far too big to be labeled themselves.
The Black Caps won the fourth ODI against India by eight wickets at Seddon Park, Hamilton. As per reports in Times Now, ICC CEO David Richardson reacted to New Zealand's win by saying that "Every dog has its day.” He was asked about New Zealand's win over India by a reporter.
Every dog has his (or its) day is an idiom, which means, "Everyone will have good luck or success at some point in their lives."
India has already won the five-match ODI series. They gained an unassailable lead after the winning the third ODI at Bay Oval. Today, the hosts New Zealand restricted India to a below-par total of 92 runs.
Indian leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal top-scored for the visitors with 18 runs. Rohit Sharma failed to make his 200th ODI special and got out without scoring many runs. Shubman Gill also failed to impress in his India debut at Seddon Park.
Trent Boult picked up five wickets and was the man who broke India's back in the dead rubber. Indian batsmen played some really bad shots.
India's stand-in-skipper Rohit Sharma also lamented India's poor batting and said, “One of our worst performances with the bat for a long time. It's something we didn’t expect."
New Zealand defeated India in the fourth ODI by eight wickets to open their account in the five-match ODI series. The Men in Blue put up a flop show in the absence of batting stars Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni at Seddon Park, Hamilton. They got all-out on a below-par total of 92 runs.
Yuzvendra Chahal top-scored for India with 18 runs. Trent Boult finished with brilliant figures of 5/21. The pitch assisted seamers unlike the first three ODIs and New Zealand bowlers exploited the conditions beautifully. Indian batsmen were guilty of playing some poor shots.
At the post-match presentation, India's stand-in-skipper Rohit Sharma said, “One of our worst performances with the bat for a long time. It's something we didn’t expect. You got to give credit to the New Zealand bowlers. It was a magnificent effort. Something to learn for us.”
“At times, you need to absorb pressure. We need to blame ourselves for it. Things were looking good at that stage. It was about applying ourselves. Once you get in, things will start to look easier. We played some bad shots as well. It’s always challenging when the ball is swinging,” he added.
India sealed the ODI series at Bay Oval when they gained an unbeatable lead of 3-0 in the series.
As Rohit Sharma plays his 200th ODI on Thursday – joining 13 other Indian cricketers who have achieved the feat – it is impossible not to reflect on his international career and discuss whether he has in fact lived up to his initial promise. When he first really attracted notice during the 2007-08 Commonwealth Bank Series `Down Under’ no less an expert as Ian Chappell predicted a ``huge future’’ for him. The acerbic former Australian captain is not given to hyperbole and so for him to come out with such gushing praise was quite unexpected though it also underlined the considerable impact Rohit made with his dynamic batting skills.
Though he first made his mark in the limited overs game there was always the feeling that Rohit could also come good in Test cricket. He was after all a graduate from the Mumbai School of batting which teaches patience and perseverance, the ability to build an innings and amass hundreds and double hundreds. His first class record seemed to back him up and when he finally got an opportunity to play in the game’s traditional format he grabbed it gloriously scoring hundreds in his first two Test innings. But somewhere along the line he faltered and after playing 27 Tests he has scored only one further hundred and his average during his fragmented career is fractionally below 40 – a figure not in keeping with his initial promise.
Rohit hasn’t cemented a place in the Test side but in ODIs he has gone from strength to strength. One simple fact would underline his exalted status in the limited overs game. Out of eight double hundreds notched up in ODIs Rohit alone has hit three and that has given him the sobriquet `Hitman’ which will no doubt please him no end. With Shikhar Dhawan he has formed one of the most successful opening partnerships in ODI history. With nearly 8000 runs at an average of 48 with 22 hundreds allied to a strike rate of 88 Rohit takes his place as one of the most successful batsmen in ODIs.
All the same one cannot help looking wistfully as his very impressive first class record – over 6500 runs at an average of 54 with 20 hundreds and a highest score of 309 not out – and wonder why he could not have rather similar figures in Test cricket. To that extent Rohit Sharma will remain one of the biggest enigmas of Indian cricket.
The Men in Blue struggled to put up a decent total on board in the absence of batting stalwarts Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni in the fourth ODI against New Zealand at Seddon Park, Hamilton. They got bundled out on 92 runs.
Wrist spinner Yuzvendra Chahal top-scored for India with 18 runs. Trent Boult finished with exceptional figures of 5/21. The pitch was providing help to seamers and New Zealand bowlers exploited the conditions beautifully. Indian batsmen were guilty of playing some very loose shots as well.
At the moment, New Zealand are 39 for two after six overs with skipper Kane Williamson and opener Martin Guptill back in the hut. Bhuvneshwar Kumar has taken both the wickets.
Take a look at how Twitter reacted to India's poor batting performance;
Sri Lanka looks to overcome a heavy loss in the first test and some selection panel changes when it begins play in the second test against Australia at Manuka Oval on Friday.
Coach Chandika Hathurusingha was removed from the team's selection panel this week. Captain Dinesh Chandimal says Hathurusingha was disappointed with no longer being a selector, but the team had to focus on an improved showing in the second test after losing by an innings and 40 runs in Brisbane.
"It's tough. Every day there are a lot of changes," Chandimal said Thursday. "That's part of the game sometimes ... we want to forget about that stuff outside of the cricket."
Before Sri Lanka arrived in Australia, key batsman Angelo Mathews was ruled out with a hamstring injury and since, fast bowlers Lahiru Kumara and Dushmantha Chameera have returned home with injuries.
Kasun Rajitha is expected to add to his three tests, as is left-armer Vishwa Fernando. Chandimal said Sri Lanka had settled on the lineup he hopes can level the series, but won't divulge it until just before the toss.
"I can't tell that you today, you can see tomorrow," he said.
Australia coach Justin Langer said the hosts will likely keep the same team which won in Brisbane — six batsmen and no all-rounder.
"My gut feeling is it's always nice to keep the same XI after you've had a win ... if there is that little bit of grass on it (the wicket) I would be surprised if we changed the team," Langer said.
After years of lobbying, Canberra will host its first test match as Manuka Oval becomes Australia's 11th test venue.
Manuka first hosted an international match in 1992 during the World Cup when South Africa beat Zimbabwe by seven wickets. Chris Gayle hit a record 215 there in the West Indies' 73-run win over Zimbabwe at the 2015 World Cup.
The ground has mostly hosted annual Prime Minister's XI matches against a touring side.
The Pakistan Cricket Board expressed its disappointment over the ban
He has vowed to comeback stronger and improved man after his ban
He was welcomed by 200 fans at the airport
The Pakistan skipper, who was banned by the ICC following his racist remarks against South Africa all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo during the second one-day international, has vowed to comeback stronger and improved man after his ban.
The Pakistan Cricket Board expressed its disappointment over the ban, saying ban was not required as the two players had resolved the issue.
He was welcomed by 200 fans at the airport who were holding placards condemning ICC’s decision.
"Whatever happened has happened," Sarfraz told media at the airport after landing from Cape Town. "I accepted my mistake and ICC's decision is in front of you. "I will improve myself and my performance in the future and I thank my supporters for their backing."
He will have to attend an education programme as directed by the ICC to promote the understanding and awareness of issues directly relevant to the offence that he has committed.
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