Indian off-spinner, Harbhajan Singh has advocated for persisting with the wrist-spin duo of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal in the ongoing World Cup. At a point of time, there were question marks on Kuldeep Yadav's place but his brilliant bowling performance against Pakistan must have vanished all the doubts.
As far as Yuzvendra Chahal goes, he has been impressive for India right from the beginning of the 2019 Cricket World Cup. Harbhajan applauded the pair and said India should stick with the duo, no matter what.
“It is a very good combination. The results that India have got in the last two-and-a-half years, a lot of credit should be given to these guys.I would like to see them playing together, because none of the other teams have got two spinners and they don’t have the habit of playing spin in the middle overs," Harbhajan told AFP.
“It has worked for India to play two spinners, even in English conditions, because they are wrist spinners. If India are thinking about their best XI then these two will feature in all the games," he added.
The 2019 Ashes series is being talked up as the Smith's Ashes. The Aussie star has made three centuries and two fifties in the five innings that he has batted so far. He is averaging an outstanding 134.20 in the series and is the leading run-getter by a country mile. But former Australia captain, Ricky Ponting feels that Australian bowlers have done an exceptional job as well and they also need to be talked about and applauded in the same way.
"I think they (Australia) should have had a bigger lead, not just on the back of Steve Smith," Ponting told Sky Sports.
"Everyone is talking about what impact he has had, but the whole bowling department has been absolutely outstanding. Look at the difference in the bowling attacks in this game.
"(Mitchell) Starc, (Pat) Cummins, (Josh) Hazlewood and (Nathan) Lyon, match that up with the England attack. There were more holes in that England attack than the Australia one.
"They were relentless in everything they did," said Ponting.
Former Australian captain, Steve Smith has awed one and all with his ridiculously magnificent batting exploits in the ongoing Ashes series, which has earned him comparisons with arguably the greatest ever in the sport, Sir Don Bradman.
Smith has scored 671 runs in five innings at an average of 134. He has three centuries and two half-centuries in five innings of the series so far. His lowest score of the series has been 82. He starred with the bat in the Old Trafford win too with his double-ton in the first innings of the fourth Test.
Australia's legend, Steve Waugh has compared Smith to Bradman. "I think only he could explain that," Waugh, who is working with the Australian side as a mentor, told the BBC.
"It's a phenomenal performance. It's monumental when you look back on it. To be out of the game for so long, to have so much pressure and to do so well, it's almost incomprehensible what he's done. It'll go down in the history of the game as one of the great performances by an individual in a series. I obviously didn't see Don Bradman play, but I guess it's in a similar sort of vein," Waugh said.
Waugh added by saying, "He just keeps scoring runs and it almost looks too easy. He's playing on a different level to everyone else. I guess you've just got to cash in while it lasts because we know cricket can turn around pretty quickly. But right now he's making the most of some great form."
Australia retained the Ashes after beating England by 185 runs in the final session of the fourth test at Old Trafford on Sunday.
Josh Hazlewood claimed the winning wicket, trapping Craig Overton lbw, as Australia dismissed England's second innings for 197 deep into the evening session to take a 2-1 lead in the five-match series.
As the holder, Australia only needs to draw the series to keep cricket's famous urn.
"We've retained it, we haven't won it," Australia captain Tim Paine told the BBC. He added: "We'll have a bloody good night."
The fifth and final test in cricket's oldest regular international series starts Thursday at The Oval.
Australia star batter Steve Smith was player of the match — and the major difference between the two teams — with scores of 211 and 82. Australia declared its first innings at 497-8 and its second at 186-6.
England, which scored 301 in its first innings, resumed Day 5 on 18-2, went to lunch on 87-4 and tea on 166-6.
Jack Leach, who scored a 51-ball 12, was promoted to No. 10 and batted for an hour with England fans hoping for a repeat of his third test heroics, or even bad light.
Australia held on to the Ashes in England for the first time in 18 years. It thrashed England by 251 runs in the opening test at Edgbaston, the second test at Lord's was drawn before England won at Headingley by one wicket to level the series 1-1.
"Bitterly disappointed," England captain Joe Root said, "to come so close to taking it to The Oval is quite hard to take."
Pacer Pat Cummins finished with 4-43 off 24 overs. He bowled Jason Roy (31) in the 18th over of the day, knocking over his off stump, and then claimed the key wicket of Ben Stokes, hero at Headingley with Leach. The England allrounder got an inside edge and was well caught behind the wicket by Paine. Stokes, who had scored just one, did not wait for a decision from the umpire and walked as Australia appealed.
That left England in deep trouble on 74-4.
Joe Denly brought up his half-century after lunch with a crisp off drive off Cummins. It was his sixth boundary and took him to 53 off 112 balls. He fell without adding further to his score when he was caught out by the bounce from a delivery from Nathan Lyon (2-51) and offered a catch to Marnus Labuschagne at short leg.
Jonny Bairstow and Jos Buttler came together and steadily took the score to 138-5 after 53 overs as Paine turned to part-time bowlers Labuschagne and Travis Head in the hope of breaking their concentration.
But it was Starc (1-46) that made the next breakthrough when he won an lbw verdict against Bairstow for 25. That left England 138-6, with Australia needing just four more wickets to retain the Ashes.
Australia thought it had removed Overton with the first ball after tea as Labuschagne grasped a catch fielding close to the bat but the ball had hit the body.
Buttler misjudged the line off Hazlewood (2-31) and was bowled leaving the ball. His removal for 34 left England 172-7 and needing a rearguard from the tail.
Jofra Archer did not last long, scoring only one before being trapped lbw by Lyon with a ball that kept low.
Overton formed a stubborn ninth-wicket partnership with Leach, taking the score to 195-8 off 85 overs, with 20 remaining in the day.
Australia was unhappy with what they perceived as time-wasting tactics from the England pair but Leach's resistance came to an end after Paine turned to Labuschagne's leg-spin. Leach offered a simple catch to Matthew Wade close in.
The game ended when Hazlewood trapped Overton lbw, ending his stubborn innings of 105 balls for 21. The England man called for a review but the decision stood and Australia had kept the Ashes.
"Definitely, yes," Root said when asked if he felt he was the right man to lead England.
"We have an important test match against Australia and we have to make sure we finish this summer strong: do not lose this Ashes series," he said.
"Every game against Australia matters."
After leading England on a failed attempt to regain the Ashes, Joe Root has a familiar headache ahead of the fifth and final test: How to stop Australia's star batter Steve Smith scoring buckets of runs?
The England captain may also be wondering what else is on Smith's bucket list after Australia won the fourth test by 185 runs Sunday to take a 2-1 series lead which ensures it retains the Ashes.
"I've been here a few times when things haven't quite gone our way or we haven't performed to the best of our ability," Smith said in a post-match TV interview at Old Trafford. "To come back and get the urn here was always one to tick off my bucket list."
Smith has scored 144, 142, 92, 211 and 82 in his five innings in the series so far. He missed one innings in the second test and the entire third test — which England won by one wicket — because of a concussion.
The 30-year-old Smith has been the single biggest difference between the two teams throughout the series.
Returning to test action following a 12-month ban for his role in a ball-tampering scandal in South Africa in March, 2018, Smith has — so far — scored 671 runs in this Ashes series at an average of 134.20. It has lifted his career test average to 64.81 and has been the kind of performance that has drawn comparisons with Don Bradman, who was widely regarded as cricket's greatest batsman.
Smith was the No. 1-ranked batter in test cricket before he was suspended last year by Cricket Australia. He regained the top ranking from India captain Virat Kohli last week.
Tim Paine, who replaced Smith as Australia's test captain last year, on Sunday described the No. 4 batsman as the "best player I have ever seen."
And Paine had a warning which Root's England is likely to take seriously ahead ahead of the fifth test in cricket's oldest regular international series.
Smith "is just a genius and I never had any doubt he would come back and be the player he was," Paine said. "The scary thing is he's getting better."
KL Rahul has to be one of the most frustrating cricketers at present. He is so immensely talented and skillful that for lovers of the game, it is extremely disappointing to be deprived of the best that this Karnataka player can offer. Now, he is closing in on getting dropped after having another mediocre Test series.
In the last seven Test series barring the one-off Test against Afghanistan, Rahul's highest average in any single series has been 29.90, which is poor, to say the least, especially for an opener, who has a major role to play at the start of the innings. The stylish batsman managed scores of 44, 38, 13 and 6 in four innings in West Indies.
“I am fine if you get out early. But if you get out on 20, 30, 40 then your capacity and temperament are questionable. I saw Rahul going outside the off-stump and sweeping (in the first Test). You can’t do that. It’s a T20 shot. I saw Rahul going outside the off-stump and sweeping (in the first Test). You can’t do that. It’s a T20 shot,” Chetan Chauhan was quoted as saying by Hindustan Times.
“Opening is the most difficult task in batting. We’ve to persist with the openers, they should be given time to settle down. We must persist with Rahul. He has to play more Ranji games, score big hundreds to find rhythm, how to change the game immediately (from ODI to Test),” he concluded.
Former Australian cricketer, Shane Warne has opined that Indian captain, Virat Kohli is a major threat to Sachin Tendulkar's records. Virat has always been but now he is inching closer in actual terms. And it's scary if you are a Sachin fan.
Before anything else, we have to look at records of Virat Kohli. The Indian skipper has 11,520 runs in 230 ODI innings at an average of 60.31. The 30 years old has 43 centuries to his credit. The Delhi batsman has 6,749 runs in 135 Test innings at an average of 53.14 with 25 centuries. He also has 2,369 T20I runs at an average of 49.35. His centuries add up to 68 in international cricket.
Given the fact that Kohli is 30-year-old, he is likely to overtake Sachin Tendulkar's world record of 100 centuries and most number of hundreds in ODI cricket.
Warne said, "Yes, I think Sachin's records are in danger and it is like anyone else who has a record. With me having 708 Test wickets, I was asked the question if I think Nathan Lyon can get me, I hope he does because that will mean that he has played well for a long period of time. It is the same with Sachin. I believe if you ask him if he wants Virat to break his records, he would say absolutely. It will be great fun to watch. Look out Sachin, Virat is coming for you."
Ravi Shastri, Virender Sehwag, and Gautam Gambhir applauded the scientists of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) after setback during Chandrayaan-2 mission. Apparently, ISRO lost contact with Chandrayaan-2's lander Vikram. About 2.1 kms from the surface, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), unfortunately, lost contact with the lander
Gautam Gambhir tweeted, It's only a failure if we don't learn from our setbacks. We will come back stronger! I salute the great spirit of team @isro for making a billion Indians dream together, as one. The best is definitely yet to come 🚀 #Chandrayaan2
Virender Sehwag tweeted, "Khwaab Adhoora raha par Hauslein Zinda hain, Isro woh hai, jahaan mushkilein Sharminda hain .
Hum Honge Kaaamyab #Chandrayan2"
Ravi Shastri tweeted, "#India is proud of its #ISRO scientists who have made us a world leader in Space Science. #Chandrayaan2 will inspire millions of Indian kids. Jai Hind 🇮🇳"
"If we would have been defeated by our starting difficulties, we would not have become a premier space agency. Regardless of the result, I and all of India are extremely proud of our scientists and engineers," PM Modi said as he addressed the nation from Isro's headquarters in Bengaluru on Saturday.
"The learnings from today will make us stronger and better; there will be a new dawn. The best is yet to come in our space programme; India is with you. Countless people have got access to a better life due to the hard work of our space scientists. Our determination to touch moon has become even stronger, we came very close but we need to cover more ground," PM Modi further said.
The whole cricketing fraternity is mourning the untimely death of prodigal Pakistani leg-spinner, Abdul Qadir. Touted as the reviver of the art of leg-spin during his heydays, Qadir died of a cardiac arrest on Friday at the age of 63. His son revealed that they rushed him to the hospital but unfortunately, he couldn't survive much to the sadness of his family and cricket lovers.
Qadir represented Pakistan in 67 Tests from 1977-90, picking 236 wickets. He also took 132 wickets in 104 ODI games. Qadir served Pakistan as chief selector in 2008. He also ran a private cricket academy just outside PCB headquarters at Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore.
Let's take a look at how the cricketing community reacted to the loss:
Steve Smith has taken the Ashes series by storm. The former Australia captain has 589 runs in just four innings of the series at an average of147.25. Smith has scores of 144, 142, 92 and 211 in the ongoing Ashes, which is remarkable. Smith has been in Bradman-esque form when it comes to the Test matches between England and Australia. He has in fact made seven centuries in last 12 Ashes Test innings.
But former England cricketer, Steve Harmison believes no matter what he does, he will always be remembered as a cheat. “I don’t think you can forgive him,” Harmison told talkSPORT. “When you’re known as a cheat – and he is, I’m not going to sugar-coat it – that’s on your CV. You’re marked and you take it to the grave. Whatever Steve Smith does, he’ll always be remembered for what happened in South Africa.
“That’s something he’s got to live with. I can’t see anyone’s opinion changing on Smith, Bancroft, or Warner – because they’ve tarnished the game,” he added.
India's no.4 problem in ODIs has not been solved yet. It has been a long-standing issue, which has also been fuelled by India's poor selection policy. The Men in Blue led by Virat Kohli have been guilty of not giving enough chances to a particular player. Due to lack of opportunities, India have failed to find a consistent no.4 batsman in ODIs.
Indian off-spinner, Harbhajan Singh has batted for Sanju Samson's inclusion in the team after the right-hander made a 48-ball 91 in India A's brilliant 36-run win against South Africa A.
"Why not @IamSanjuSamson at number 4 in odi.. with good technique and good head on his shoulders.. well played today anyways against SA ," tweeted Harbhajan.
Replying to his former teammate, Yuvraj said, "Top order is very strong bro they don’t need no 4 batsman," followed by a laughing emoticon.
India's new batting coach, Vikram Rathour has advocated names of Shreyas Iyer and Manish Pandey for the no.4 slot in the 50-overs format. He said, "Shreyas Iyer has done well in the last couple of games and we also have Manish Pandey. These two guys have done very well in domestic cricket and with India A. These are the batters who are capable of doing the job and I have no doubt about it in my mind. It is a matter of getting it right at the top level."
The helicopter shot is one the trademark MS Dhoni things that we all love in cricket. The fanfare of the shot extends to Indian cricket team as well. All-rounder, Hardik Pandya absolutely loves the helicopter shot and we have seen him play the difficult shot in IPL successfully as well.
After missing out on the West Indies tour, Hardik Pandya is preparing himself for the three-match T20I series against South Africa that will commence from September 15. Pandya has been named in India's squad for the series.
Pandya shared a video from his net session where he can be seen middling the ball in all parts of the ground but one shot that stood out was the helicopter shot that Pandya has been trying to master for some time now. He doesn't play this shot in international cricket as much as he does in IPL and perhaps, that is the reason why he is practicing the shot so much of late.
The Baroda cricketer, tweeted, "Solid session in the nets today. Can't wait to join up with the boys."
India's squad for 3 T20Is against South Africa: Virat Kohli (c), Rohit Sharma (vc), KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Rishabh Pant (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Krunal Pandya, Washington Sundar, Rahul Chahar, Khaleel Ahmed, Deepak Chahar and Navdeep Saini.
Even with the number of outstanding spin bowlers produced by Pakistan there can be little doubt that Abdul Qadir remains the greatest. His legacy goes beyond figures which are impressive enough – 236 wickets from 67 Test matches allied to 132 wickets from 104 ODIs – as he was the bowler who revived interest in leg spin bowling after it was largely a forgotten art for a while.
Qadir was considered a ``magician’’ for the things he did with the ball, bewildering batsmen with his googlies, beating them with a trimming leg break and bowling them with one that fizzed straight through. There seemed to be no end to his bag of tricks and his unusual action which followed a long, loping run to the crease added to his mystic. He was an integral part of the highly successful Pakistan teams of the 80s under Imran Khan who gave him full scope to exhibit his skills.
Qadir’s googly was the most difficult to spot and on numerous occasions the batsman would aim to drive on the offside playing for the leg break only for the ball to skid off the inside edge and land up in the short fine leg area. He made the best of batsman look like novices and was one bowler capable of running through a side on his own like he did while bagging nine for 56 – still the best innings figures by a Pakistan bowler in Tests - against England at Lahore in 1987-88. In that three match series Qadir finished with 30 wickets. Yes, the phrase match winner fits Qadir like it fits few other bowlers.
Qadir was one bowler not at all bothered by a batsman’s reputation and he took on the strong West Indian batting line-up of his time head on with attacking bowling that was the apotheosis of a sublime art. In back to back series against the No 1 team in the world in 1986 and 1988 he took 32 wickets from six Tests at home and away. He was less successful against India the only blot in a long and illustrious career.
One of the finest tributes to Qadir was the fact that Mushtaq Ahmed who he mentored based his action entirely on Qadir’s. The younger leg spinner who was a natural successor to Qadir also carved out a fruitful career and openly acknowledged that he owed a lot to his guru. Even Shane Warne acknowledged that he received valuable tips from Qadir when he met him during Australia’s tour of Pakistan in 1994.
Qadir will also be remembered for his unexpected heroics with the bat during the World Cup against West Indies at Lahore in 1987. He hit Courtney Walsh for 2, 2, 6 and 2 off the last four balls of the match to clinch a last ball one-wicket victory. But it is the mesmeric bowling that will be his lasting legacy to Pakistan – and world - cricket.
41 years old retired English cricketer, Andrew Flintoff, who currently presents BBC motoring show, Top Gear, has expressed his desire to coach England. The incumbent England coach, Trevor Bayliss, will be stepping down from his position at the end of the ongoing Ashes series.
ECB are yet to name his replacement. Flintoff's ambition couldn't have surfaced at a better time than this but he also knows that he is far off from the role at this juncture of time.
"Coaching is definitely an ambition," Flintoff told Test Match Special. He added, "There are probably two or three coaching jobs I'd like - England, Lancashire or Lancashire Academy. I'd love to be England coach one day, just not quite yet. I like to come and watch, I turn up with a sense of excitement. A few years ago I applied for the England coaching job - we were getting beat, I was in the office and thought, 'I'm going to apply'.
"I wrote an email for the interview, a month passed and I'd heard nothing. I chased it up, then I got a phone call saying they thought it was somebody taking the mick. I've got two of my coaching levels - me and [fellow former England cricketer] Steve Harmison might do our level threes soon," said Flintoff, who played 79 Tests, 141 one-day internationals and seven T20s for England.
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