News Cricket

Malinga slams his team after second ODI loss against South Africa

Harshit Anand Updated: 7 March, 2019, 10:46 AM IST


South Africa thrashed Sri Lanka by 113 runs in the second ODI at SuperSport Park, Centurion to take a lead of 2-0 in the five-match ODI series. Sri Lanka captain, Lasith Malinga was not pleased with Sri Lanka's performance at all. In fact, he came hard at his teammates after Sri Lanka put up a poor show yet again.

He said, “I think they [Sri Lankan [players] didn’t understand. I feel this is not a gift. They have talent. That’s why they’re playing for the national team. They have to understand that. They have to understand their own value. We have done enough talking. Players have to realise they have to value these opportunities. They don’t come around every day. They have to grab it.”

“First 10-15 overs we did not bowl well. But we corrected ourselves and restricted them to 250. Very good effort from the bowlers,” added Malinga.

Sri Lanka had registered a historic Tests series over South Africa. But, they have failed to live up to the billing in the ODI series thus far. The 2019 Cricket World Cup isn't too far away, so this doesn't bode well for the no.8 ranked Sri Lanka and they need to improve their performance sooner than later.  


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News Cricket

Good news for Pakistan: Shane Watson gives nod to play PSL matches in Pakistan

AP Updated: 7 March, 2019, 10:19 AM IST


Shane Watson will play for his franchise in the Pakistan leg of the PSL.

The Australian all-rounder has scored 332 runs in Pakistan's premier domestic Twenty20 competition while representing Quetta Gladiators, which has already qualified for the playoffs after winning seven of its nine games.

Watson didn't come to Pakistan in the previous two editions of the PSL and only played in the league matches in the United Arab Emirates. Initially, Watson had agreed to play in the UAE in this year's tournament, too, but said he changed his mind.

"It has been a tough decision, more so from my family's point of view, and it all comes down to the support that my wife and my family has given me," Watson said in a statement Wednesday. "I am very excited as it has been 14 years since I was in Pakistan last."

The Pakistan Cricket Board sees the PSL as a pathway to regain the confidence of foreign teams for the resumption of international cricket at home.

Karachi will host eight PSL matches because the PCB moved three matches from Lahore to the southern port city last Sunday after political and military tension between India and Pakistan.

News Cricket

World Cup winning coach returns to coaching

AP Updated: 7 March, 2019, 10:15 AM IST


Darren Lehmann is set to take over as coach of the Brisbane Heat in Australia's Twenty20 Big Bash in what will be his first domestic appointment since quitting the national job in the wake of the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa last year.

Lehmann was Australia's head coach from 2013 until March last year, when three players were embroiled in a cheating scandal during a test match against South Africa in Cape Town.

A veteran of 27 test matches and 117 limited-overs internationals for Australia, Lehmann said he had no knowledge of the scheme to change the condition of the match ball. A subsequent Cricket Australia investigation found he was not involved the episode.

Steve Smith and David Warner, who were then captain and vice-captain, were each suspended for one year and opener Cameron Bancroft received a nine-month ban for their parts in the scandal. Lehmann quit days later because of the toll the scandal took on the team.

Brisbane Heat general manager Andrew McShea on Thursday said Lehmann, who coached the Queensland state team to a domestic Sheffield Shield title and the Heat to their only Big Bash League title in 2013, would assume his position next week.

The left-handed Lehmann scored 25,795 runs in first-class cricket in Australia and England. His test ambitions were restricted because of the strength of Australia's batting depth from the mid-1990s but he was a regular in the one-day international team, scoring the winning runs in the World Cup final at Lord's in 1999.

News Cricket

Bowlers lead South Africa to win over Sri Lanka in second ODI

AP Updated: 7 March, 2019, 10:12 AM IST


South Africa's fast bowlers came to the rescue after a batting collapse to deliver a 113-run win in the second one-day international on Wednesday.

The victory gave the home team a 2-0 lead in the five-match series, but the result wasn't on the cards after South Africa lost its last six wickets for 21 runs to fall to a mediocre total of 251 all out batting first. The South Africans were dismissed with nearly five overs of their 50 left unused at SuperSport Park.

South Africa's quicks ran through Sri Lanka in response, though, with Kagiso Rabada taking 3-43, Lungi Ngidi 2-14 and newcomer Anrich Nortje 2-25. Sri Lanka was bowled out for 138 in the 33rd over.

Those three fast bowlers combined to reduce Sri Lanka to 116-6 and there was no way back for the tourists after that.

Legspinner Imran Tahir chipped in with 2-39 and there was a late appearance by Dale Steyn, who joined the game as a substitute fielder and took a simple catch at point to dismiss last man Lasith Malinga and end the match.

South Africa was on course for a 300-plus score after being put in to bat. Opener Quinton de Kock hammered 94 off just 70 balls with 17 fours and a six. Captain Faf du Plessis made 57 to follow his century in the first game.

But du Plessis' dismissal, bowled by Thisara Perera in the 37th over, sparked the South African collapse.

The Proteas went from 220-4 to 251 all out, with Perera finishing with 3-26 and Malinga and Dhananjaya de Silva taking two wickets each.

Rabada cranked up the pace and struck first in the third over when Niroshan Dickwella couldn't deal with a fast, short delivery and looped a top edge to wicketkeeper de Kock. He picked up another two down the order.

In his debut series, Nortje contributed two wickets and also a run out, when he hit the stumps with his throw from third man to remove Kusal Mendis for 24. He also had top-scorer Oshada Fernando put lbw next over as Sri Lanka fell to 92-5.

News Cricket

Watch: MS Dhoni takes driver seat for Men in Blue

Staff Writer Updated: 6 March, 2019, 10:31 PM IST


The Indian cricket team has landed in Ranchi. The JSCA stadium will host the third ODI of the series between India and Australia. It is no more a secret that MS Dhoni loves driving bikes and cars. After arriving in his home town, he wasted no time in assuming driver duties for his teammates.

He was seen driving some of his teammates in one of his cars as soon as they came out of the airport upon their arrival in Ranchi.

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Earlier, he was given a rousing welcome by the local fans at the airport.

The game in Ranchi could be his last international appearance at his home turf. He is expected to retire from international cricket after the ICC World Cup in England and Wales.

Men in Blue could seal a series win against Aussies with a victory in Ranchi. The hosts are leading the five match series 2-0, having won the games in Hyderabad and Nagpur.

News Cricket

Humble Dhoni refuses to inaugurate ‘Dhoni Pavilion’ at JSCA

Staff Writer Updated: 6 March, 2019, 10:22 PM IST


Former Indian captain, who is known for his humble and down to earth nature, has refused to inaugurate the pavilion named after him at the JSCA stadium ahead of the third ODI between India and Australia.

According to PTI, he informed about his decision to JSCA secretary Debashis Chakraborty.

“We requested him but he said ‘Dada apne hi ghar mein kya inaugurate karna.’ (What’s there to inaugurate in my own house). He is still so humble and down to earth,” Jharkhand State Cricket Association (JSCA) secretary Debashis Chakraborty told PTI on Wednesday.

“At the AGM last year, the decision was taken that the North Block stand that comprises media enclosure as well as VIP boxes would be named after Dhoni,” he added.

The game in Ranchi could be his last international appearance at his home turf. He is expected to retire from international cricket after the ICC World Cup in England and Wales.

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."

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.

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Guess who? 😋 . #CricketMeriJaan

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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.

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."