News Cricket

Mohammed Kaif opines whether India should play Pakistan in WC or not

Harshit Anand Updated: 5 March, 2019, 12:51 PM IST

HIGHLIGHTS

There have been a lot of tensions between India and Pakistan ever since a Pakistan sponsored terror attack hit Pulwama, in which at least, 40 CRPF Jawans were martyred. There have even been calls for boycotting Pakistan in the ICC Cricket World Cup that begins from May 30 in England and Wales.

Former Indian player, Mohammed Kaif who was appointed as the assistant coach of Delhi Capitals, said, “Virat Kohli has said that government is going to take a call on that. It’s not about players or BCCI. They have said that the government will take a decision. So we’ll have to wait and see.”

BCCI had requested ICC to sever ties with countries which harbour terror. But ICC turned down the request. "There was no chance that anything like that would have happened. The ICC chairman made it clear that the decision to ostracize a nation is taken at the government level and ICC had no rule. The BCCI knew it all along but still took a chance," a BCCI official told PTI.

India and Pakistan are set to clash on June 16 in Manchester in the ICC showpiece event.

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Feature Cricket

Kedar Jadhav: Team India's most important asset

CT Contributors Updated: 5 March, 2019, 11:50 AM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Kedar Jadhav’s role in the Indian cricket team bears utmost significance given his consistency and love for batting in crunch situations. The middle order batsman offers plenty of cushion for Team India with his match-winning attributes. From being an able bowler, who can give you the wickets, to that of playing strongly with the bat, Jadhav is a captain’s delight.

Jadhav was superb once again in the first ODI against Australia in Hyderabad after guiding Indian to a sensational six-wicket win. The utility man chipped in with a sublime 87-ball 81, which was studded with nine boundaries and a six. He joined hands with veteran wicket-keeper batsman MS Dhoni and the pair stitched a match-winning 141-run stand.

India got to the score of 240 for four in 48.2 overs after the Aussies had managed 236/7 in 50 overs. Ahead of his mastery with the bat, Jadhav also performed well with the ball after figures of 1/31 in seven overs. Jadhav has repaid the faith the side has vested in him and he has given the feeling of being an able finisher.

With the ICC World Cup 2019 starting in England and Wales from May 30 onwards, Jadhav’s influence in the team will be immense. One can expect skipper Virat Kohli to continuously turn on to the player in terms of producing moments of magic with both bat and ball. Jadhav has grown to become an experienced customer and every now and then he has played innings of substance to help India win ODI matches.

What Jadhav has shown here is that the side can rely on his experience during tricky chases. In January, his 61* helped India get past the line. Back in 2017, his knocks of 120 and 90* against England, helped the side register stiff targets in the ODI series at home.

Jadhav is a player that excels in these type of situations. In the Asia Cup in 2018, his 23* helped India beat Bangladesh in the final. Once again India were chasing in that match. This is a strong sign of a player, who isn’t afraid to go out and express himself in these situations.

When you follow Jadhav’s ODI career trajectory, while batting first, the right-hander has only one 50+ score in 18 innings. But when it comes to chasing a match, he has six 50+ scores. The statistic puts weight to his credentials as a chaser. He is someone who is growing to become like a Dhoni or Kohli, who are known to be terrific while chasing down targets.

Jadhav’s role is more than just a part-time spinner. His attributes with the ball make him a vital bowler in this ODI side. One can expect the player to get crucial overs during the Cricket World Cup. He won’t be there just to fill in the numbers. Kohli will be tempted to give him decent amount of overs and bring that impact in the middle overs. Jadhav has a knack of getting key scalps and he is often a partnership breaker.

News Cricket

Adam Zampa credits INDIAN player for success against Virat Kohli

Staff Writer Updated: 5 March, 2019, 10:54 AM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Australian leg-spinner, Adam Zampa had a good outing in the first ODI against India in Hyderabad. The Aussie player accounted for wickets of Indian skipper, Virat Kohli, and Ambati Rayudu. He caused a mini-collapse in India's innings but then the partnership between MS Dhoni and Kedar Jadhav and the average total set by Australia proved too difficult for the visitors to win the ODI series opener.

Zampa revealed how he plans against Kohli, who is no.1 ranked Test and ODI batsman. He was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au., “He’s (Virat Kohli) one guy we always spend a little bit of extra time talking about in team meetings. It’s good for the confidence, it’s exciting to get a player like that out.”

Zampa credited former Indian player, and Australia’s spin consultant, Sridharan Sriram for his success against Kohli. “Sri (Sridharan Sriram) has got the experience here and the knowledge. In Australia, I tend to bowl a little bit more top-spinners and wrong’uns whereas here I’m probably a bit more out the front, a bit of side spin. Sliders with a little bit of leg-spin, I’m finding in the nets it worked. And I got a wicket like that the other night in the first game – Kohli was the one that went straight on,” said Zampa.

News Cricket

Virat and Anushka's World Cup plan prove why they are the most adorable couple

Staff Writer Updated: 4 March, 2019, 5:34 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma keep giving us relationship goals. They make up for the most lovely and stylish couple and they openly come out in the public domain to express their love for each other as well.

It has been reported by DNA citing sources that Anushka Sharma will be present in England and Wales during 2019 Cricket World Cup to cheer for her husband.

As per sources, “Anushka has been the perfect partner supporting her husband’s milestones. Virat, too, has always gone out of his way for his beloved biwi. He is captaining India for the first time in a 50-over World Cup tournament and Anushka wants to be there to root for him and see him lift the prized trophy. But, what the duo is planning to do there is truly commendable. It just shows how supportive they are of one another and how they are actually each other’s better halves.”

The source adds, “While Anushka will be travelling to England to be the perfect pillar of strength to Virat, she might not go to the stadium with him. In fact, she wants to go separately to watch the matches and cheer the loudest for Virat. Usually, when the wives of the cricketers travel on tours, they take the team bus. However, on match days, Anushka plans to hire her own car and bear all the costs of her visit to the stadium. Of course, she has a heartwarming reason behind this decision. They both are huge celebrities and know that there will be ample media attention during the World Cup. So, the two of them wish to keep all distractions at bay during this sporting tournament. Virat and his boys definitely want to try and win for India. Somewhere, Anushka also knows how important the WC is and therefore, Virushka collectively feels that the lesser the distraction on match days, the better it is. The power couple wants the focus to be only on the game.”

News Cricket

Virat Kohli Kept Fake Name To Keep Their Wedding A Secret

Staff Writer Updated: 4 March, 2019, 5:31 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma maintained a high level of secrecy during their wedding. They went to lengths to ensure that their wedding plans were not made public. They married in the dreamy valleys of Tuscany, Italy. When the photos of their wedding were out, it caused a social media meltdown.

To make sure that their wedding plans weren't out they even used fake names. Anushka Sharma revealed and said, “We wanted to have a home-style wedding. There were only 42 people there, with all our friends and family present. I wanted it to be about Virat and me marrying each other, and not this big celebrity wedding. The energy at our wedding was blessed.”

The couple even took on fake names when they interacted with the caterers. “I think Virat’s was Rahul,” said Anushka.

Feature Cricket

SA Continue to Reel after Olivier Dilemma

Sreelata S Yellamrazu Updated: 4 March, 2019, 5:29 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

The aftershocks in South Africa continue a week after they were handed shocking defeat at the hands of Sri Lanka at home and as a double blow, lost Duanne Olivier to the dreaded Kolpak contract.

Cricket South Africa and Ottis Gibson will have to have a closer look not only at South Africa’s game plan but also, retention policy because not only did South Africa allow Sri Lanka to become the first Asian team to beat them in a Test series in their own backyard but also, are consistently applying defensive tactics even as they continue to suffer brain drain.

As South Africa tried to assimilate a rare Test series defeat at home and that too against a Sri Lankan team that was struggling to hold its ground, they were dropped another jolt when it was announced on social media first that their enterprising fast bowler, Duanne Olivier, had entered a three year Kolpak contract that would effectively render him unavailable to represent South Africa for at least that duration of time.

The blow is particularly impactful since South Africa had just begun to contemplate converting Olivier’s recent successes (he picked up thirty-one wickets in the last five of the total of ten Test matches he played) from Test cricket into the one day internationals format which would have included the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 in June in England. Although Olivier’s stint with the national team began in 2017, his recent successes had made South Africa dream again of an all out pace quartet, particularly in home conditions, a decision that has been criticized for sometimes being one track and restrictive on the part of Gibson and the support staff as the game has undergone a sea change since South Africa’s readmission in 1991.

Cricket South Africa expressed disappointment as they had contemplated giving Olivier a two year contract although it has to be understood that the young fast bowler was already in talks and surreptitious deal making at the time of representing South Africa and before the performances that went his way. It is not easy to tell whether his recent distinction would have made him rethink his decision in light of the timing of the deal as well as the financial prospect.

From South Africa’s perspective, it throws a major spanner in the works for a team that is trying to desperately hold onto its top tier ranking without quite looking like the consistent, world beating unit. Taking another slice from the reduced pie that included the recent retirement of AB de Villiers, Faf du Plessis has been left to nurture the resources at his disposal at a time when South Africa seem to be losing talented, promising future prospects such as Olivier ad Kyle Abbott before him.

While financial remunerations and the quota system in South African cricket are being blamed for South Africa’s depleted resources, while there is perceptible anger being directed at Olivier as it was at Abbot before him, there is a lot of deep reflection that must be done on the part of Cricket South Africa before it contemplates its next move when it comes to player management. For the moment though, South Africa’s headaches ahead of the ICC Cricket World Cup have only compounded with Dale Steyn left to steer the ship in his senior role.

News Cricket

Will Dhoni and Kohli be rested from IPL? Here's what BCCI has to say

Staff Writer Updated: 4 March, 2019, 4:58 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

IPL is one of the major cricketing attractions in the world. The last season of IPL was a hit. But there are doubts over the 12th edition of IPL as there are chances that major players might miss a part of the cash-rich league given the fact that ICC showpiece event- World Cup will begin two weeks after the culmination of the IPL.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is yet to decide whether stars like Kohli, Dhoni, Rohit will be rested from IPL or not. But they said that franchises will be "crucial" to this decision.

Speaking to Times Now, BCCI's acting secretary Amitabh Chaudhary said, “Selectors are deciding on which all players representing India at World Cup should be given how much rest during the IPL. The decision of franchise owners is also important in this because they have signed a contract with those players.”

Chaudhary laid out four factors that will determine the workload management in the IPL:

1) Managing workload of players is crucial. If a player asks for more matches, he will be given more matches to play in the IPL.

2) Selectors to also take a call on the number of matches India’s players from the World Cup squad would play.

3) Opinion of head coach Ravi Shastri and assistant coaches will also be taken into account.

4) The opinions of franchise owners will also be taken into consideration as they have signed deals with the cricketers.

News Cricket

Bad news for Pakistan! AB de Villiers not to play in Pakistan leg of PSL

Harshit Anand Updated: 4 March, 2019, 4:16 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Retired South African cricketer, AB de Villiers, who was set to play for Lahore Qalandars in its final two league games has been ruled out of Pakistan’s leg of PSL due to injury, which comes as a huge shock for the Pakistani cricket community, which was eagerly awaiting to see Mr.360 degree in action.

“It’s disappointing news for Lahore Qalandars management and its fans that AB de Villiers will not be able to make it for Pakistan’s leg of PSL,” Sameen Rana, the manager of Lahore Qalandars, said in a statement.

“Any update on a replacement, if any, will be communicated in due course,” he added.

Pakistan will host the last four group matches, the qualifiers as well as the finals in Karachi from March 9.

De Villiers also expressed his sadness over missing out from the action in front of the "passionate Pakistani fans."

"I am very disappointed that I will not be able to play in front of the passionate Pakistani cricket fans. I saw my doctor who has advised complete rest for two weeks and, unfortunately, that rules me out of the games in Karachi," AB de Villiers said.

"I hope to be a part of the PSL next year and very much hope to play my part in the return of international cricket to the country. I am backing Lahore Qalandars to go all the way and win the trophy this year."

News Cricket

Kuldeep makes a big statement regarding sidelining of Ashwin & Jadeja from ODI format

Staff Writer Updated: 4 March, 2019, 4:10 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Since the arrival of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav, veteran spinners R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja have been sidelined in the ODI format. R Ashwin is no more part of the team while Ravindra Jadeja is India's third choice specialist spinner.

When asked whether his and Chahal's superlative performances have almost shut the door on R Ashwin, Kuldeep said: “No, no, not at all. We haven’t ousted anyone. It’s just that we have got the opportunities and we did well. They (Ashwin and Jadeja) have always been doing well for India. In Test matches, Ash (Ravichandran Ashwin) and Jaddu Bhai (Ravindra Jadeja) are still playing,” Kuldeep said on the eve of the second ODI.

He went on to praise his senior pros. “And we learn a lot from them. They have a lot of experience. When I am in the Test squad, I learn a lot from them. Whenever we got an opportunity, for me and Chahal, we have performed for the team and that helped the team to win, so happy about it," he added.

News Cricket

After two-year absence, Jhulan Goswami back at No. 1 in ODI rankings

Staff Writer Updated: 4 March, 2019, 3:46 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

India woman fast bowler Jhulan Goswami has reached the top position for bowlers in the ICC Women's ODI Rankings after picking up 8 wickets against England in the women's championship. Women in Blue reached the second position in the eight-team championship that provides direct entry to hosts New Zealand and four other top teams in the 2021 Women’s Cricket World Cup.

The veteran Indian bowler, who last held the numero uno spot in February 2017, has been in wicket taking form in the recent times. In the ICC Women's Championship series, Australia are leading the table with 22 points from 12 matches while India are second with 16 points from 15 matches. The Kiwis are third with 14 points from 15 matches. They are followed by South Africa and England.

Goswami is the most successful ODI bowler with 218 wickets in her kitty and has held the top spot for 1873 days, with only Cathryn Fitzpatrick ahead of her having spent more time at the top, for 2113 days.

News Cricket

ICC gives a big jolt to BCCI over Pakistan's participation in WC

Staff Writer Updated: 4 March, 2019, 3:21 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

After Pulwama terror attack, in which at least 40 CRPF were martyred, the BCCI had urged the ICC to "sever ties" with countries which harbor terror, indirectly indicating to Pakistan.

But ICC has not paid heed to BCCI's request to sever ties with countries from which "terrorism emanates".

"There was no chance that anything like that would have happened. The ICC chairman made it clear that the decision to ostracize a nation is taken at the government level and ICC had no rule. The BCCI knew it all along but still took a chance," a BCCI official told PTI.

In wake of the Pulwama terror attack,, there were calls for boycotting Pakistan in the ICC Cricket World Cup.

India are slated to take on Pakistan in the ICC showpiece event. They will take on each other in Manchester on June 16.

News Cricket

Virat Kohli in danger of losing number-one Test ranking

Staff Writer Updated: 4 March, 2019, 2:30 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Kane Williamson completed a meticulous double century and New Zealand compiled its highest score in tests on day 3 of the first Test match against Bangladesh. Williamson struck a four from the last ball of the innings to reach 200 not out before declaring New Zealand's innings at 715-6, a lead of 481 runs. Williamson's innings propelled New Zealand on to its highest test total, which ground down the Bangladesh bowlers.

Williamson has become a relentless run-scoring machine for New Zealand with 20 centuries and 29 half centuries in 71 tests at an average of 52. He has now scored almost 900 runs in the eight tests New Zealand has played in the past year, with a double century, two centuries and three half centuries in that time.

Williamson has lifted himself to second place on world test batting rankings, behind India captain Virat Kohli, and he also became only the fourth New Zealander after Stephen Fleming, Brendon McCullum and Ross Taylor to pass 6,000 runs in tests.

Williamson has reached a career-best 915 rating points in the ICC Player Rankings for Test batsmen. He is seven points behind Indian skipper Virat Kohli, who is the number one Test batsman with 922 points.

News Cricket

Faf du Plessis names his biggest weapon as captain

Staff Writer Updated: 4 March, 2019, 2:28 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

South Africa won the first ODI against Sri Lanka at the Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg by eight wickets. Imran Tahir and Lungi Ngidi had set up the base for the victory. Both picked three wickets each and helped the hosts restrict Sri Lanka to an average total of 231 runs.

Tahir was the stand-out bowler since he ended up with figures of 3/26. Du Plessis termed him as his biggest weapon. "He is probably my biggest weapon as a captain over the years,” Du Plessis said of Tahir. Notably, Tahir's contract was not renewed for the 2019/2020 season by Cricket South Africa.

Faf also credited Lungi Ngidi, who took early wickets of Niroshan Dickwella and Upul Tharanga. Ngidi was returning to the side after a while. "Imran bowled brilliantly in the middle overs today but it was really important to get wickets with the new ball,” said Du Plessis.

The Proteas skipper himself played a major role in team's win as he scored a brilliant century. Wicket-keeper batsman, Quinton de Kock had also made a terrific half-century.

News Cricket

Virat Kohli breaks another World Record

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

HIGHLIGHT

Virat Kohli was looking impressive during the first ODI against Australia in Hyderabad before he missed a googly from Adam Zampa and was trapped in front of the wickets. The appeal was turned down by the on-field umpire but Australia reviewed it and got the wrong decision successfully overturned. Kohli's knock of 44 runs was laced with 6 fours and a six.

After Kohli's dismissal, Rohit Sharma and Ambati Rayudu were also dismissed in quick succession, leaving the hosts in big trouble. MS Dhoni and Kedar Jadhav scored match winning fifties during their unbeaten 141-run stand to take India home. Jadhav scored 81 not out while Dhoni smashed an unbeaten 59 as India won the series opener by six wickets.

Meanwhile, Kohli ended up breaking a long-standing world record during his 44-run knock. The Indian skipper completed 12,000 runs in List A cricket and became the 50th player to achieve the feat. He reached the milestone in 248 innings and broke former Australia batsman Michael Bevan's record. Bevan had completed 12,000 runs in List A cricket in 297 innings.

News Cricket

Usman Khawaja gives ultimate praise to MS Dhoni

Staff Writer Updated: 4 March, 2019, 1:40 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Australian opener Usman Khawaja has lauded MS Dhoni for the way he led India to win in tense situation during the first ODI in Hyderabad. Praising MS Dhoni for staying calm and compose under pressure, Khawaja stated Dhoni executes run-chases to perfection most of the times.

His comments come after MS Dhoni stitched an impressive and match winning partnership with Kedar Jadhav in the first ODI of the series.

India were in a spot of bother when Dhoni and Jadhav joined hands. Dhoni once again played the anchor’s role to perfection during an unbeaten 141-run stand with Jadhav. Dhoni remained unbeaten on 59 while Jadhav smashed 81 not out as India defeated Australia by six wickets.

"He [Dhoni] just executes well. He has the last three games, just stayed calm and backed himself to take it deep. Then when he needs to he hits a boundary. You can tell he sort of changes gears, he'll hit single, single, two then try to hit a boundary," Khawaja was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.

"It doesn't always come off but the majority of times it does. He does that really well, that's experience."