News Cricket

Misbah-ul-Haq becomes the most powerful person in history of Pakistan cricket

Staff Writer Updated: 4 September, 2019, 1:55 PM IST

HIGHLIGHTS

Former Pakistan skipper Misbah-ul-Haq has been appointed as the head coach and chief selector of the Pakistan cricket team. He will run Pakistan’s cricket for three years. Misbah is one of the most respected figures in Pakistan and has represented his nation in Tests and ODIs.

Misbah expressed his happiness after being appointed by Pakistan Cricket Board.

“It is very humbling for me to join a select group of some of the very best to have coached the Pakistan national sides in the past. It is an honour and more than that, a massive responsibility as we live and breathe cricket.

“I know expectations are high, but I am absolutely ready and up for the task otherwise I would not have thrown my name in the hat for one of the most challenging and coveted roles in Pakistan cricket.

“We have some of the most talented and exciting cricketers, and I will like to help them train and prepare in such a way that they can play intelligently, smartly and fearlessly. I am aware this will require a change in the dressing room culture but if we have to compete consistently at the highest level, we have to embrace these modern day requirements.

“We need to understand this is a performance-oriented world and only those Pakistan players have thrived in the past who have taken the pride in donning the star and crest on their chests by delivering every time they have stepped on to the field.

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News Cricket

Sourav Ganguly warns KL Rahul, names two batsmen who can replace him in ODIs

Staff Writer Updated: 19 September, 2019, 1:54 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

KL Rahul is under pressure after losing his place in the Test squad. Former India skipper Sourav Ganguly feels that the 27-year old will have to perform well and make most of the opportunities coming his way.

According to Dada, Manish Pandey and Shreyas Iyer can snatch number four slot from KL Rahul.

In the ODIs, he hasn't played since the World Cup. He replaced an injured Shikhar Dhawan as opener in the tournament and played some good knocks in the process.

However, Ganguly feels his place is not guaranteed in the squad.

“With Rohit (Sharma) and Shikhar (Dhawan) at the top as the best possible opening pair, K L Rahul will be pushed. He has lost his place in Test cricket due to indifferent form and the likes of Shreyas and Manish Pandey will keep him on his toes if he wants to hold on to the No. 4 slot,” Ganguly wrote in his column.

Videos Cricket

Watch: Frustrated Virat Kohli breaks stumps in anger

Staff Writer Updated: 19 September, 2019, 1:47 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Virat Kohli is known for his aggressive nature on the field. Be it any format of the game, skipper of the Indian cricket team never misses a chance to prove his point.

In the second T20 international of the series, his aggression was in full flow as he took an exceptional catch to get rid off Quinton de Kock.

However, he lost his cool in another moment after Shreyas Iyer failed to collect the ball.

The incident took place in the 10th over of South Africa's innings when the fumble by Iyer allowed rivals to take an extra run.

Iyer's throw was not on the target and the skipper was visibly upset with him. Virat Kohli, who was fuming, broke the stumps with his hand after collecting the ball.

Chasing 150 for victory, Virat Kohli scored an unbeaten 72 off 52 balls. With his 22nd fifty in T20 internationals, he surpassed Rohit Sharma to become the batsman with most runs in this format.

News Cricket

I will do whatever it takes to win for my country – Virat Kohli

Staff Writer Updated: 19 September, 2019, 1:39 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Skipper Virat Kohli played another memorable knock of his T20I career when he led India to win in the second match of the series against South Africa. He was proud of his effort.

"It's the badge in front of my shirt. It's a pride to play for my country so whatever it takes to get over the line, I will do. Get the team across the line anyhow. If you want to make your team win, you'll find a way," Virat said.

Virat Kohli, who scored an unbeaten 72 to guide India to a seven-wicket win, lauded bowlers for their exceptional performance.

"Bowlers showed a lot of character. The pitch was very good and they (South Africa) got off to a good start so it was an outstanding effort from the bowler to pull the game back from us," he said at the post-match press conference.

"That's exactly what we're looking at, try out new people and see who stands up under pressure," he added.

News Cricket

I got a bit of motivation from T20 World Cup win in Mohali – Virat Kohli

Staff Writer Updated: 19 September, 2019, 12:50 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Virat Kohli is arguably the best batsman at the moment. He played one of the best knocks in T20 international cricket in Mohali during the T20 World Cup in 2016 when he single-handedly won the game against Australia. The right hand batsman scored an unbeaten 82 off just 51 balls, hitting 9 fours and 2 sixes in the process.

He was reminded of that knock as he led India to another emphatic win over South Africa in the second T20I of a three-match series. Virat amassed an unbeaten 72 from 52 balls as Men in Blue successfully chased down 150 runs.

Speaking at the post match presentation ceremony after winning the Man of the Match award, Virat Kohli revealed he got a bit of motivation from that during India’s triumph against South Africa.

"You reminded me of the best game of my T20 career. I got a bit of motivation from that. When you play like that and win a game for your team, it is always a good feeling. That night [2016 T20 World Cup match against Australia) was a revelation of how fit you can be on a cricket field," Kohli told Star Sports host Sanjay Manjrekar.

News Cricket

Shahid Afridi hails Virat Kohli, calls him a great player

Staff Writer Updated: 19 September, 2019, 12:31 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Former Pakistan skipper Shahid Afridi lauded Indian skipper Virat Kohli after his another match winning performance in international cricket. The right-hand batsman became the only batsman to have his batting average above 50 across formats.

Chasing 150 for victory, Virat Kohli scored an unbeaten 72 off 52 balls. With his 22nd fifty in T20 internationals, he surpassed Rohit Sharma to become the batsman with most runs in this format.

Shahid Afridi retweeted ICC's tweet and captioned it: "Congratulations @imVkohli You are a great player indeed, wish you continued success, keep entertaining cricket fans all around the world."

Earlier, India won the toss and put South Africa in to bat. The visitors handed T20 debuts to Fortuin, Temba Bavuma, and Anrich Nortje.

New Proteas' skipper Quinton de Kock (52 off 37 balls) started his reign with a third T20 half-century, giving his side a quick start. But India put on the brakes quickly as South Africa only managed 39 runs from the six powerplay overs, with Deepak Chahar removing Reeza Hendricks (6) cheaply.

Bavuma added 57 runs with the captain for the second wicket and steadying the South African ship after the latter's dismissal in the 12th over. Kohli took a diving catch to his left at mid-off to dismiss his counterpart off Navdeep Saini (1-34) and that breakthrough sucked out momentum from the Proteas' innings.

They lost wickets at regular intervals thereafter and never looked like making a charge in the final overs despite a 15-ball cameo from Miller (18).

News Cricket

Bring back MS Dhoni, says fans after Rishabh Pant's failure with the bat

Staff Writer Updated: 19 September, 2019, 12:19 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Rishabh Pant was expected to score heavily in the ongoing T20 series against South Africa but he failed to get going in the second T20 international, scoring just 4 runs. The fans were not happy with his display and want MS Dhoni to return.

He came out to bat after Shikhar Dhawan's dismissal but his habit of playing too many shots resulted in his downfall. With Virat Kohli standing at the other end, Pant had all the time in the world to get himself in but he went for a big one, offering a simple catch to Tabraiz Shamsi.

Virat Kohli scored 72 runs off 52 balls as India coasted to a seven-wicket win over South Africa in the second Twenty20 on Wednesday.

Chasing 150, Kohli eased his way to a 22nd half-century in T20 cricket as India won with an over to spare. Shikhar Dhawan contributed 40 off 31 balls after South Africa was restricted to 149-5.

Dhawan and Rohit Sharma (12) gave the hosts a fiery start and put on 33 off 23 balls. Andile Phehlukwayo (1-20) trapped Sharma lbw and broke the flow of runs.

Kohli and Dhawan then came together to put on 61 runs for the second wicket as India was coasting at the halfway mark of their innings. But South Africa struck twice in the space of 13 balls to cause a minor wobble.

Kohli, though, quickly dashed any South African hopes of an unlikely victory. He reached his half-century off 40 balls and then shifted gears with ease.

In doing so, he went atop the list of run scorers in international T20 cricket with 2,440 runs, six ahead of compatriot Sharma (2434).

Shreyas Iyer (16 not out) played the ideal foil to his skipper as India took a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.

Feature Cricket

England can look back at the season with pride and satisfaction

Partab Ramchand Updated: 19 September, 2019, 10:37 AM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Disappointment at not being able to regain the Ashes aside England can look back with pride and a sense of satisfaction at the season just concluded. If they did not win back the urn they at least saw to it that Australia did not win an Ashes series in England since 2001. More famously however they won the World Cup for the first time after 44 years and 12 attempts. It does not matter if the triumph was achieved through controversial means. It was Eoin Morgan and the England team that held the cup aloft at the end of it all.

How much of the credit should go to the men behind the scenes notably Andrew Strauss and Trevor Bayliss is a moot point. The fact however remains that planning is one thing, execution quite another and the players deserve full credit for almost pulling off a double triumph.

Unlike in previous competitions England were the favourites going into the World Cup partly because of home advantage and the No 1 ranking but more importantly because of their record going into the tournament. They also appeared to have the right balance in the team personnel – explosive hitters, strokeplaying batsmen, a sheet anchor in Joe Root, a couple of star all-rounders and an incisive pace attack. And yet despite all this they were in some danger of not making the semifinals before they recovered in the nick of time, made the grade and then went on to win the trophy after a final and a super over against New Zealand that has been well documented.

Going into the Ashes contest it was clear that England and Australia were evenly matched going not just by one team being ranked No 4 and the other ranked No 5 but also on team personnel. And not unexpectedly the series ended 2-2, the first drawn Ashes contest in 47 years. And while Steve Smith was clearly the man of the series with his astounding run of tall scores the single most important innings in the series was played by Ben Stokes.

There were plenty of positives that England could take away from the season, the most important being that they didn’t miss James Anderson in the Test series with Jofra Archer stepping in admirably. The discovery of Archer was timely as Anderson at 37 cannot go on for much longer.

Other encouraging aspects were Jack Leach emerging as an able spinner and Stuart Broad still having plenty of fire in his bowling. Stokes remains their star all-rounder with Chris Woakes not far behind though there must be a question mark over Moeen Ali’s future as far as his England place is concerned. The batting did present problems though things improved towards the end of the season and that is one department the think tank will have to look at.

News Cricket

It is great to get a winning start to the home season - Shikhar Dhawan

AP Updated: 19 September, 2019, 10:09 AM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Virat Kohli scored 72 runs off 52 balls as India coasted to a seven-wicket win over South Africa in the second Twenty20.

Chasing 150, Kohli eased his way to a 22nd half-century in T20 cricket as India won with an over to spare. Shikhar Dhawan contributed 40 off 31 balls after South Africa was restricted to 149-5.

Dhawan and Rohit Sharma (12) gave the hosts a fiery start and put on 33 off 23 balls. Andile Phehlukwayo (1-20) trapped Sharma lbw and broke the flow of runs.

Kohli and Dhawan then came together to put on 61 runs for the second wicket as India was coasting at the halfway mark of their innings. But South Africa struck twice in the space of 13 balls to cause a minor wobble.

David Miller pulled off a stunning one-handed diving catch to his left at long on to leave Dhawan stunned. The left-hander was dismissed off Tabraiz Shamsi (1-19) in the 12th over.

An over later, Rishabh Pant (4) carelessly pulled Bjorn Fortuin (1-32) straight to short fine leg, resulting in yet another cheap dismissal.

"Miller's catch was unbelievable. (But) It is great to get a winning start to the home season," Dhawan said.

News Cricket

Virat Kohli surpasses Rohit Sharma to become leading scorer in T20 internationals

AP Updated: 19 September, 2019, 10:03 AM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Virat Kohli dashed any South African hopes of an unlikely victory. He reached his half-century off 40 balls and then shifted gears with ease.

In doing so, he went atop the list of run scorers in international T20 cricket with 2,440 runs, six ahead of compatriot Sharma (2434).

Shreyas Iyer (16 not out) played the ideal foil to his skipper as India took a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.

India had won the toss and put South Africa in to bat. The visitors handed T20 debuts to Fortuin, Temba Bavuma, and Anrich Nortje.

New Proteas' skipper Quinton de Kock (52 off 37 balls) started his reign with a third T20 half-century, giving his side a quick start. But India put on the brakes quickly as South Africa only managed 39 runs from the six powerplay overs, with Deepak Chahar removing Reeza Hendricks (6) cheaply.

Bavuma added 57 runs with the captain for the second wicket and steadying the South African ship after the latter's dismissal in the 12th over. Kohli took a diving catch to his left at mid-off to dismiss his counterpart off Navdeep Saini (1-34) and that breakthrough sucked out momentum from the Proteas' innings.

They lost wickets at regular intervals thereafter and never looked like making a charge in the final overs despite a 15-ball cameo from Miller (18).

Chahar was India's most successful bowler with 2-22 from his four-over spell, carrying on the good work from the recent West Indies' tour in the dual absence of Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

"We got off to a good start but they bowled pretty well at the end," de Kock said. "India assessed the conditions better than we did. There was a lot of pressure on some of the new guys and I think they did pretty well against this world-class opposition."

The third and final T20 will be played in Bengaluru on Sunday. The first T20 in Dharamsala was abandoned due to incessant rain.

Feature Cricket

‘Cheat’ Smith Hide’s Australia’s Uncomfortable Batting Truths

Sreelata S Yellamrazu Updated: 18 September, 2019, 4:12 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Steve Smith’s hopes of annihilating memories of sandpaper-gate with a stupendous Ashes series may be too farfetched even at this point despite the phenomenal success he has had in the Ashes. But while his individual performances may have eased his own pain and the opinion of few others about his role in the ignominious scandal in South Africa to an extent, Smith’s batting reveals a far more uncomfortable truth: about the dearth in Australia’s own den.

England’s former fast bowler, Steve Harmison, is not alone in thinking that Smith will have to leave the game one day with the tag intact of having being part of a dubious Australian trio that got caught tampering with the ball and tarnishing the reputation of the game. Although it is a blot - a huge one on his career graph, the pain is only assuaged by the fact that Smith has been almost immediately impactful on the game.

While his misdeeds cannot be subverted by his contributions to the game, great players are able to move past misgivings to raise the level of their game higher. Smith’s redemption lies in the fact that he holds true to the promise of his prodigious talent which as he has as he showed in exemplary fashion in the Ashes, singlehandedly scoring over 700 runs.

No apparent challenger to the crown of the thorns is how the story is already being built back up in Australia. There was a sense that Tim Paine was a caretaker appointment as Australia’s captain in the immediate aftermath of sandpaper-gate. Now with Smith scoring as prolifically as he has – albeit in just the one Test series since his reinstatement back, it did not take much time for the same former Australian cricketers, who until recently stated that they felt that the entire truth of the saga had not emerged, to quickly join the band wagon of support that states that Smith will be reinstated at the earliest possible moment as Australia’s captain, multiple brain fades notwithstanding.

While that might be heartening to Smith’s ears and an uplifting moment for Australia after the team take down in Cape Town in 2018, it must be disconcerting for Australia’s inner cricket circles that apart from the fact that Australia have been not been able to find another player worthy of putting up his hand to make a go for the captaincy, they have not really been able to resolve the chronic issue of inconsistency in their batting.

What Smith has done in the Ashes is provide a shield for the many times Australia slipped up. That he was able to do it well and that often has what has made the difference between giving England a doorway of an opportunity and shutting the door altogether. But Australia haven’t found a sword to sheath yet. It is uncharacteristic of past Australian teams whose batting was often deep as well as robust as they climbed to a position of unyielding dominance. That will rankle in Australia irrespective of how much the Ashes overshadows the fact.

Although Marcus Labuschagne showed that he could be more than just a concussion substitute in Test cricket, despite the Ashes, Australia are going to have to go back to the drawing board themselves, for contingency when Smith’s bat does begin to lose some of its momentum, even temporarily.

Going from a leadership crisis perspective, it has to be worrisome a year and a half into the sandpaper-gate scandal, even on the back of such resurgence largely from one individual, that Australia’s cricket and indeed their Ashes success belies a greater truth: they haven’t found another batsman worthy enough to bring forth candidature for a new leadership.

News Cricket

Virat Kohli leads by example - Mayank Agarwal

Staff Writer Updated: 18 September, 2019, 3:31 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Mayank Agarwal, who had a mediocre Test series against the Windies, has praised the 30-year old Indian skipper. Agarwal made his Test debut against Australia and recently got an opportunity to bat with Virat Kohli in the two-match Test series in West Indies. He has revealed how Virat made him learn about the importance of staying at the wicket.

“Virat came into bat about half hour before lunch. The first thing we spoke about was getting a partnership going. We said, ‘Let’s not take any chance, let’s hold on to both ends till lunch and then come out.’ So, we were tight and cautious,” Mayank told The Times of India (TOI).

“After lunch, Virat went bang, bang, bang and suddenly upped the ante. What I took from Virat’s batting is intensity and mindset in terms of how he looks at and reads situations. He also brings in a lot of energy. He is the guy at the forefront, leading by example,” he stated.

He also lauded Hanuma Vihari and Ajinkya Rahane.

“There were so many guys doing the job well, Jinks (Ajinkya Rahane), (Hanuma) Vihari. It is great to be involved with a team like this,” he added.

News Cricket

Dinesh Mongia announces retirement 12 years after his last international match

Staff Writer Updated: 18 September, 2019, 3:22 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Dinesh Mongia, who was the part of Indian team during the ICC World Cup in 2003, has finally bid adieu to cricket.

He last played for India in 2007 before moving on to join the rebel Indian cricket league.

Dinesh Mongia was banned by the BCCI and despite all the players getting clearance from the governing body of Indian cricket after submitting their apologies, he remained the only one not to get go ahead because of his involvement in match-fixing.

Mongia, however, had denied any wrongdoing on his part.

He represented India in 57 ODIs scoring 1230 runs at an average of 27.95. Mongia also took 14 wickets in his international career.

He played for Punjab in the first-class cricket. Mongia represented Punjab in 121 first-class matches scoring 8028 runs at an average of 48.95.

News Cricket

Support pours in for Ben Stokes after newspaper published a story about his family tragedy

Staff Writer Updated: 18 September, 2019, 3:05 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Ben Stokes slammed an English newspaper for publishing an article about his family tragedy.

Hours after he released a statement, his name started trending in India as influential personality’s rallied behind him.

Tom Harrison, chief executive of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), has stated that English all-rounder has the support of the whole country.

"We, like the wider sporting world, are disgusted and appalled at the actions taken in revealing the tragic events from Ben's past," Harrison said in the ECB's statement.

"We are saddened that an intrusion of this magnitude was deemed necessary in order to sell newspapers or secure clicks. Ben's exploits at Lord's and Headingley cemented his place in cricket history this summer - we are sure the whole sport, and the country, stands behind him in support.''

Earlier, Test skipper Joe Root, Michael Vaughan, footballer Marcus Rashford and many others have urged their fans to support Ben Stokes.

News Cricket

Shoaib Akhtar joins campaign to demand Justice for Nimrita Kumari

Staff Writer Updated: 18 September, 2019, 2:47 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Former Pakistan player Shoaib Akhtar has demanded justice for Nimrita Kumari, whose body was recovered from her hostel room of Chandka Medical College, in Larkana (Pakistan) on Monday. The citizens of Pakistan are furious and have started #JusticeForNimrita campaign on social media.

She was found dead at the Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Medical University (SMBBMU). Nimrita's body was lying on charpoy with a rope tied to her neck.

Shoaib Akhtar took to twitter and wrote, "Extremely sad & hurt sad reading about the suspicious death of young innocent girl, Nimrita Kumari. I hope the justice is served and the real culprits are found. My heart beats with every Pakistani no matter what faith he/she belongs to. Rest in Peace. #JusticeForNimrita."

The police are now investigating the cause of her death.

News Cricket

Bollywood diva Sonal Chauhan opens up on her relationship rumours with KL Rahul

Staff Writer Updated: 18 September, 2019, 2:19 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

KL Rahul, who was recently axed from the Test team, has been linked up with several Bollywood actresses. However, he has denied all the link-up stories.

There were rumours about the 27-year old dating Sonal Chauhan but she has categorically denied any sort of relationship with him.

“No, not at all. He is a very good cricketer. He is very talented and a nice guy," she said.

He is part of the limited overs squad in the ongoing T20 series against South Africa.

Earlier, chief selector MSK Prasad had said he was worried with KL Rahul's poor form in Test cricket.

"KL (Rahul) is definitely a great talent. Of course, he is going through a bit tough time in Test cricket. We are definitely concerned about his form. He needs to spend more time on the wicket and regain his touch and form."