Virat Kohli was at his absolute best in the third ODI against Australia in Ranchi. He notched up his 41st ODI century. Kohli was in full flow and hit 16 fours and a six in his majestic 95-ball 123 run knock. Kohli's last seven 50+ ODI scores in India have been: 121, 113, 140, 157*, 107, 116, 123. Unfortunately, his knock couldn't help India win the game and they lost the game by 32 runs. But, India are still leading the series 2-1 in the five-match ODI series.
The whole world is in awe of Kohli. And former Aussie opener, Matthew Hayden is no different. "Absolutely staggering. I am trying to think back, check the memory banks of brilliant players over the years. Maybe Brian Lara in his heyday, Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly all these players have been on top of their game at various points in one-day cricket. But Virat Kohli is doing it so easy. He is drifting away to a hundred. Not only that, just the way he is transcending every game seems to be a different performance," Hayden said during the post-match show at Star Sports after Australia's win on Friday.
"Tonight, on a better wicket, he made it look so easy. He does play out of his skin. It was outstanding, no area was untouched. We all know he loves playing through the mid-wicket area but tonight he played some cut shots and took on the spinners. It was just a remarkable innings, can't say anything more than that. I think he has always got great energy and the intent and he's got the fitness to be able to do it. It's almost like one performance leads to the next. His tempo is incredible. We saw the likes of Vijay that had an opportunity to bat with him. That's only going to be good for India ahead of the World Cup," Hayden added.
Virat Kohli's 95-ball 123 went in vain as Australia won the third ODI in Ranchi by 32 runs. Virat Kohli played a gem of a knock to notch up his 41st century. He looked in ominous touch before Australia's leg-spinner Adam Zampa got him out. Kohli had hit back-to-back fours off Zampa before he got cleaned up by the spinner.
Zampa has now got the prized scalp of Kohli three times on this tour, so far. Aussie leggie opened up on whether he considers the world's no.1 ODI batsman his bunny or not. “We bowled well collectively. The quicks upfront were amazing, Virat is a serious player, it was good to take his wicket when we did. I don't think he's my bunny, he's one of the hardest players to bowl to. I was under a bit of pressure, if he had hit a couple of more boundaries, the momentum would have shifted towards them,” said the 26-year-old.
Australian bowlers bowled with single-mindedness, they knew losing the Ranchi ODI would mean conceding the series to the hosts. “The message from the management and the coach was to take wickets, the mindset was the same. The wickets here in India are pretty good and the outfield fast, that has a say in your bowling,” the spinner added.
Tottenham will finally move into its new stadium next month following seven postponements.
Spurs were due to open their 62,062-seat stadium in August, but construction delays caused a series of announcements starting last June that kept pushing back the opening and caused 14 of 19 home Premier League matches this season to be played at Wembley, the home of England's national team.
The north London club said Friday the new facility will open with a Premier League game against Crystal Palace or Brighton in early April.
The opponent depends on the outcome of Brighton's FA Cup quarterfinal against Millwall on March 17.
Should Brighton win, a previously postponed game against Crystal Palace would be the opener on April 3. If Brighton loses, it would play Spurs in the first game on April 6 or 7.
The club will stage two test events needed to obtain a safety certificate: a youth-team game on March 24 with a crowd of 30,000 and a legends game on March 30 with the crowd increased to 45,000.
Tottenham started playing at White Hart Lane in 1899, and the stadium had a capacity of 36,284 in 2015-16. A corner was torn down during its final season, reducing capacity to about 32,000 and allowing construction of the new venue to start.
Spurs originally planned to play at 90,000-capacity Wembley only for 2017-18 and move into the new stadium for the start of 2018-19. The new stadium will have the second-highest capacity in the Premier League behind 74,994 for Manchester United's Old Trafford.
Serena Williams beat Victoria Azarenka 7-5, 6-3 in just over two hours in the second round of the BNP Paribas Open.
Both players returned from maternity leave a year ago at the desert tournament. Since then, Williams has reached two Grand Slam finals and returned to the world's top 10.
Azarenka is still seeking to restore order in her personal life, having been involved in a legal tussle over her young son.
Williams needed just over two hours to close out the match in which she had four aces and nine double faults. She saved 11 of 15 break points.
Earlier, Sloane Stephens lost to Stefanie Voegele of Switzerland 6-3, 6-0 in just over an hour.
The fourth-seeded American committed 32 unforced errors while Voegele had four aces playing in windy conditions. Voegele improved to 4-1 against the 2017 U.S. Open champion.
No. 2 seed Simona Halep beat Barbora Strycova 6-2, 6-4. Other seeded winners were: No. 12 Ashleigh Barty, No. 20 Garbine Muguruza, No. 22 Jelana Ostapenko, and No. 18 Qiang Wang.
Stephens wasn't the only seed to be ousted on the women's side.
No. 14 Daria Kasatkina, a finalist last year, lost to Marketa Vondrousova 6-2, 6-1; No. 19 Caroline Garcia lost to Jennifer Brady 6-3, 3-6, 6-0; No. 27 Su-Wei Hsieh was beaten by Johanna Konta 6-0, 6-2; and No. 29 Mihaela Buzarnescu lost to Daria Gavrilova 6-2, 6-2.
In men's opening-round matches, Steve Johnson beat fellow American Taylor Fritz 6-3, 6-3 and Stan Wawrinka edged Daniel Evans 6-7 (4), 6-3, 6-3. Also advancing were Feliciano Lopez and Hubert Hurkacz.
Novak Djokovic, the world's top-ranked player, won his first-round doubles match with Fabio Fognini. They beat Jeremy Chardy and Milos Raonic 7-6 (5), 6-1.
England won the Twenty20 series after humbling the West Indies by a record 137 runs in the second cricket match.
An unchanged England made a mighty 182-6, with Sam Billings rescuing the side from 32-4 with a career-best 87 before he was out off the last ball.
The West Indies, debuting seamer Obed McCoy, was all out for 45 in less than 12 overs, giving England its biggest T20 victory.
Chris Jordan took four wickets for six runs to rip the heart out of the home side.
England, which lost the test series and drew the one-day international series, won the T20s 2-0 before the third and final tour match here on Sunday.
England was made to bat first, and Jonny Bairstow, Alex Hales, captain Eoin Morgan, and Joe Denly were gone after 5.2 overs.
However, Joe Root and Billings, the last two specialist batsmen, resisted. Root reached his first T20 half-century since 2016 off 36 balls. The two combined for 82 until Root was run out on 55 in the 16th over.
Billings compensated for running out Root by bashing the bowlers. He and David Willey, 13 not out, plundered 44 off the last two overs, evenly divided between Carlos Brathwaite and debutant McCoy.
Billings' 87 came off 47 balls, and included three sixes and 10 boundaries.
Willey and his left-arm medium pace started the West Indies' demise with two wickets in three balls, including the prized Chris Gayle first. Gayle scooped Willey's yorker to Root at mid-on, then Shai Hope was caught by Morgan after colliding with Tom Curran.
In the next over, Jordan took out Darren Bravo and Jason Holder in consecutive balls for ducks. The West Indies was 14-4, then 22-6 after Jordan's second over, where he dismissed Nicholas Pooran, who edged behind, and Fabian Allen, who edged to the slips. Both went for 1.
The mopping up was completed by Adil Rashid and Liam Plunkett, who finished with two wickets each.
Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed has been rested along with five other potential Cricket World Cup players for the one-day international series against Australia this month.
Shoaib Malik will lead the side for the five-match series in the United Arab Emirates from March 22-31, as Pakistan looks to shape its squad for the Cricket World Cup in England in May. Pakistan is also scheduled to play five ODIs against England in the buildup.
The 37-year-old Malik has played ODIs for Pakistan since 1999 but appeared in only one World Cup, in 2007. He's been captain in 38 ODIs, winning 25. The middle-order batsman averages 35, and has taken 156 wickets with his offspin.
Beside Sarfaraz, the others rested included Babar Azam, Fakhar Zaman, Hasan Ali, Shadab Khan, and Shaheen Shah Afridi, who all played in the last ODI series against South Africa which Pakistan lost 3-2.
Middle-order batsman Hussain Talat was dropped while Mohammad Hafeez was not considered as he's recovering from thumb surgery.
Middle-order batsman Umar Akmal has been given another chance, having not played an ODI since January 2017.
"Sometimes, time away from international cricket allows a player to recompose and come back strongly," chairman of selectors Inzamam-ul-Haq said on Friday. "I hope this happens with this player (Akmal), as a fully fit and in-form Umar will bolster the middle-order."
Test seamer Mohammad Abbas is among four uncapped ODI players, along with opening batsman Abid Ali, middle-order batsman Saad Ali, and 18-year-old fast bowler Mohammad Hasnain.
Sharjah will host the first two ODIs on March 22 and 24, followed by the third game at Abu Dhabi on March 27. The last two games will be at Dubai on March 29 and 31.
Pakistan: Shoaib Malik (captain), Abid Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Haris Sohail, Imad Wasim, Imam-ul-Haq, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Rizwan, Saad Ali, Shan Masood, Umar Akmal, Usman Shinwari, Yasir Shah.
MS Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja combined together to dismiss Glenn Maxwell in the third ODI in Ranchi. The run-out incident happened in the 42nd over of Australia's innings when Shaun Marsh played the ball towards mid-wicket where Ravindra Jadeja was stationed.
Marsh called for a quick single but Ravindra Jadeja's quickness and MS Dhoni's smartness proved decisive in the end as Maxwell, who was running towards the danger end, could make his ground. Ravindra Jadeja's bullet throw was off the mark but Dhoni stretched his arm out and deflected the ball onto the stumps.
The umpire went upstairs as he was not sure. However, Maxwell, who had scored 47 runs off 31 balls, stared walking towards the pavilion without waiting for the third umpires decision.
Sania Mirza's sister Anam, and Mohammed Azharuddin's son, Asad are going to get hitched soon if reports are to be believed. According to a media report, a source close to the couple said, “They have been seeing each other for a while now and are likely to get married by the year-end."
A scroll through the pair's Instagram handles show up many images of the couple enjoying themsevles. Asad even mentioned that he is on shopping spree in Dubai, perhaps shopping for their wedding or what? Only time will tell.
There are quite a few pictures of the couple on Instagram and they look adorable together.
Take a look at their pictures below:
"I am a big time foodie, and Hyderabad is home to delicious kebabs, and biryani," gushed the elder Pathan brother, when asked where does the much celebrated Hyderabadi zaika ranks up in his preference of food choices.
For many in India, the word Hyderabad takes them to a joyride of the rich aromatic flavour and taste of the Biryani that often goes interchangeably with the city of Nizams. Hyderabad might well have an opulence of architecture, refined traditions of decorous hospitality and a superlatively cultured way of life, but it has to be it's sumptuous and unmistakable food cuisine, that takes the cake.
Playing for Hyderabad means Yusuf spends a considerable amount of time in the city. But just as the luxury of being a cricketer provides the opportunity to travel the world and taste different cuisines, on the flip side, players have to follow strict diet routines. "I try to stay in limit but also love tasting new food and absolutely rejoice to do that. And undoubtedly, Hyderabad's food is just amazing," said Yusuf.
Yusuf Pathan's move from Kolkata to Hyderabad has been swift. Not only the food, but the Baroda cricketer is absolutely loving his time in Sunrisers Hyderabad as well. "I am having a great time with SRH. I have learned a great deal playing under legends like VVS Laxman, Muttiah Muralitharan, and Tom Moody, who have done well for their country. I have made new friends in this new team and it's been an enriching experience thus far," said the agressive batsman.
Playing in a tournament like IPL is never easy. The tournament goes on in full swing for six weeks, which is even bigger duration than ICC events like World T20 and Champions Trophy, and at par with the World Cup. Matches take place every two to three days apart. Games finish around midnight and pressure of early morning flights and training on the very next day is always running high on the minds of the players. It is highly challenging and apart from physical risks, it takes a toll mentally as well.
Friendships play a major role in such high-pressure situations. IPL is also a place where friendships blossom that too with players from different countries and backgrounds. Last year, during the course of IPL, Yusuf Pathan found perfect companionship in Afghan cricketers, Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi. Their friendship even made it to the headlines. Yusuf Pathan relishes spending time with both these cricketers.
Talking about camaraderie with them, Pathan said, "Both Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi play different leagues across the globe. So, it's great talking to them. They have experience of playing around the world and both Rashid and Nabi share interesting and inspiring stories. I had a great time with all the teammates, some I had played with earlier, while some were new but had particularly great fun with both Rashid and Nabi. Both are good cricketers and are doing extremely well for the country "
The big-hitter from Baroda was all jovial talking about his team and teammates. One could make out from Yusuf's narration, that Hyderabad have a happy bunch of players, and they have each other's back. Even in the absence of their regular skipper, David Warner, they went all the way to the finals and eventually, ended up as runners-up.
But, this season around, Hyderabad will have their regular skipper back. Last year, in wake of the Cape Town ball-tampering scandal, Warner was not allowed to participate in the IPL as well. But, he is set to feature in the 12th edition of the IPL, which comes as a big boost for the SRH.
"Warner will be playing IPL after a long time and whenever a big player returns, a warm reception awaits them in the team. Teams take care of them. David Warner has done very well in the past, and it's an opportunity for the team to welcome him well. He didn't play last year in IPL, so it will be very exciting for him to return as well," told Pathan on being asked how Hyderabad would welcome back their commander in chief.
He, however, added, that the team has not made any specific plans for his welcome yet and how it would be like, would only be ascertained once the camp starts.
Not since the West Indies first unveiled their range of outstanding pace bowlers in the mid-1970s – a factory that remained productive for over a quarter of a century – have we seen such an assembly line of world class pacemen like South Africa has produced since their readmission to international cricket in 1991. Like it was with the West Indians there seems no end to this assembly line as even when a great bowler leaves the scene another just as good if not better takes his place.
South Africa’s pace bowling tradition is not as strong as the West Indies. Its initial successes were scripted by their spin bowlers Bally Balaskas, Reggie Schwarz and Bert Vogler. Later on of course there was Hugh Tayfield South Africa’s finest ever spin bowler. But the first pair of fast bowlers to really attract attention - Peter Heine and Neil Adcock – made their appearance in the fifties. Peter Pollock was their spearhead in the sixties and he was joined later in the decade by Mike Proctor but just as they were proving to be destructive South Africa were banned from international cricket.
The pace bowling tradition however became much stronger since their readmission. Allan Donald was the first to impress with his pace and hostility and even among the plethora of outstanding fast bowlers in the 90s he stood out. No doubt he provided the inspiration for a number of budding fast bowlers and in the last two decades South Africa have produced some of the finest. Shaun Pollock, Dale Steyn, Makhaya Ntini and Morne Morkel have carried on the tradition so admirably that in the past few years South Africa have had the best pace bowling attack in the world.
Even as Pollock and Ntini retired, there burst upon the scene Vernon Philander and Kagiso Rabada. And now that Morkel has called it a day and Steyn will obviously not last very long they already have ready replacements in Lungi Ngidi and the latest find Anrich Nortje. In fact South Africa unearthed the best of the new breed of fast bowlers in Duanne Olivier who in ten Tests picked up 48 wickets at 19 apiece. But he has now signed a Kolpak deal with Yorkshire and that certainly is a big blow for South Africa.
But perhaps in the ultimate analysis it will not mean much for the others are still around and more are bound to appear. And what is particularly eye catching among the South African pacemen is the stats against their names. The average and the strike rate are the best among fast bowlers the world over.
Former Pakistani skipper Misbah-ul-Haq was one of the best players to come out of his country. The right hand batsman accumulated over 11,000 international runs in a career that spanned over 16 years. In an exclusive interview with PakPassion.net, Misbah spoke about Pakistan's chances in the upcoming World Cup and whether politics should get weightage over sports.
“Politics, in my view, is a separate subject and should have nothing to do with sports. There is no connection between both of these ideas. When you enter a sports ground, you compete fairly and in a healthy atmosphere against your adversaries and test your skills against the opponents in good spirit. As a sportsman, you are expected to perform at your best and entertain the spectators which is what they expect of you, and really there is no question of bringing any notion of politics in sports.”
Sporting ties between India and Pakistan have taken a hit since Pulwama terror attack on the convoy of CRPF security personnel. The governing body of Indian cricket even requested the ICC to ban countries promoting terrorism. However, BCCI’s demand was rejected by the international body.
The governing body of Indian cricket has announced the list of centrally contracted players for both the men and women teams. Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah are the only three players, who have been kept in Grade A plus contract. The likes of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Shikhar Dhawan have been demoted from Grade A plus contract to Grade A contract.
There were speculations that Cheteshwar Pujara would be included in the top bracket considering his phenomenal performance in the Test series in Australia. He was the top run scorer in the four- match series and was also declared Man of the Series. However, the right hand batsman, is part of Grade A contract, meaning he would get a payment of Rs 5 crore.
Apart from Pujara, MS Dhoni, Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane and seven other players are part of Grade A bracket.
“Pujara did well in Australia but A-plus category is only for those who are excelling in at least two if not three formats. Pujara is only playing one format. Similarly, Ishant Sharma plays one format and is in A category,” Rediff cited reports quoting a BCCI official as saying.
Why did it surprise no one that the International Cricket Council (ICC) while taking cognizance of the BCCI letter to boycott Pakistan stated emphatically earlier this week that it had no say in the subject? Undoubtedly it has to do with the fact that for a fair time now the ICC has been seen less like the supreme governing body for the sport and more like an innocuous host and a figurehead for the gathering of cricket playing nations.
Pushed to show some kind of action and accused of being patronizing of their neighbours despite the repeated infiltration of cross border terrorism in the aftermath of the Pulwama attacks on army personnel last month, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) sent forth a letter to the ICC calling for a boycott of all nations that sponsor terrorism although it did not go as far as to state Pakistan explicitly by name. The general consensus was that even this late redressal at the ICC was simply lip service on the part of the BCCI, pushing the onus on the ICC instead of taking its stand independent of the stance taken by the government of India.
Even more on predictable lines was the understanding that while the ICC would put the letter on the agenda, it would not carry any weight because the ICC neither has the power nor is influential enough to carry forth the substance of the matter. Besides, the ICC can ill afford to turn away established, traditional Test playing nations with a formidable reputation. In a rather closed group of established teams that number less than a dozen, the ICC is not in a position to alienate any team by letting their political situation interfere the governance of the sport. It is why Zimbabwe cricket, once competitive, was allowed to fall away at one point, to virtually zero significance.
While it is another matter that the internal wrangling within the BCCI have kept the news reeling (pun intended) leading to a rather embarrassing situation at the ICC meeting, what is of relevance here that is while the ICC response was on expected lines, it, also, betrayed the fact that the ICC has very little hold on what happens within every cricket playing nation and for that matter, what happens between cricket playing nations. It explains a lot why things have languished with regard to Zimbabwe cricket as the ICC turned a deaf ear and why the West Indies unfortunately continue to remain in a perennial state of turmoil and their players in flux despite their rich cricketing legacy.
While it speaks to the truth of the matter, at a time when the ICC is making a bigger push for cricket to become a part of the global disciplines of participating sports at events such as the Asian Games and the Olympics, it cannot look like a toothless body running the show. This feeble, almost dismissive response from the ICC with a simple euphemistic notion that it cannot intervene in political matters between states and has no say in the matter does not speak very highly of the ICC as the entity that will take cricket globally. While the ICC is right in this stand given its history of indifference and inaction, it is not the message it would want to take to the world in its position of authority if it is looking to create a powerhouse status for cricket.
Men in Blue decided to don the camouflaged caps in the honor of Indian Army. Dhoni, who is Lieutenant Colonel with the Territorial Army, distributed the caps to the team members before the start of the third ODI between India and Australia in Ranchi. Kedar Jadhav gave Dhoni a grand salute after getting the cap from the veteran.
The official Instagram page of the Indian team posted the video and captioned it: “#TeamIndia will be sporting camouflage caps today as mark of tribute to the loss of lives in Pulwama terror attack and the armed forces. And to encourage countrymen to donate to the National Defence Fund for taking care of the education of the dependents of the martyrs, #JaiHind.”
Meanwhile, the ongoing ODI could be Dhoni's last international game at Ranchi as the former skipper may call it quits after the mega event in England. The Men in Blue are leading the series 2-0, having won the first two ODIs in Hyderabad and Nagpur.
Irfan Pathan posted an adorable video that is winning hearts on social media. In the video, his son Imran can been seen asking him to disconnect the call. The Indian all-rounder is seen talking to someone on his mobile phone when Imran interrupts and forces Irfan to oblige to his demand.
Irfan has represented India in 120 ODIs, 29 Tests and 24 T20Is, picking up 173 wickets, 100 wickets and 28 wickets respectively.
Irfan is the only Indian fast bowler who has taken a hat-trick in the longest format of the game.
He has been part of Kings XI Punjab, Delhi Daredevils, Rising Pune Supergiant, Sunrisers Hyderabad and Chennai Super Kings.
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