Feature Cricket

Ranji Trophy no longer the monopoly of a few teams

Partab Ramchand Updated: 8 February, 2019, 2:28 PM IST

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Several leading cricketers have spoken about how the first class game has prepared them for Test cricket
  • Pujara enjoyed a very successful season in the process leading Saurashtra to the title clash
  • Wasim Jaffer had a highly successful season

This year’s Ranji Trophy championship once again underlined the fact that the premier national competition is no longer the monopoly of a handful of teams as has been the case for so many years. In the past there was no point in looking beyond Mumbai, Delhi and Karnataka. Indeed for 28 years from the late fifties to the mid-eighties there was no fourth name on the trophy.

However over the last 30 years many new teams have inscribed their names on the trophy and these include Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, Baroda, Railways, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and Vidarbha. Teams that were punching bags for long are now serious challengers. The prime example of this is Kerala who entered the quarterfinals last season and made a historic semifinal entry in the just concluded tournament. The changing trend was also symbolized by the fact that heavyweight teams like Mumbai, Delhi, Tamil Nadu and Hyderabad did not even qualify for the quarterfinals while Karnataka were eliminated in the semifinals. Also the major surprises constituted with Uttarakhand qualifying for the knock out by topping the plate group and Delhi finishing in the cellar position in their elite group. .

All this is certainly encouraging for it is good that players from hitherto lightweight states cricket wise are shining on the big stage. And this is reflected in the national squad for over the last few years many cricketers who have represented India have come from these so called unfashionable sides.

The Ranji Trophy might have lost its glamour of the past thanks to the introduction of the IPL and various other limited overs competitions. But its importance cannot be overemphasized. Several leading cricketers have spoken about how the first class game has prepared them for Test cricket and the latest to express this view is none other than Cheteshwar Pujara. India’s prolific run getter and permanent No 3 honed his skills for Saurashtra in the Ranji Trophy and has emerged as one of the leading batsmen in the world renowned for his age old skills of dedication, determination and concentration and the ability build an innings.

Not unexpectedly Pujara enjoyed a very successful season in the process leading Saurashtra to the title clash which they lost after a keen duel to Vidarbha who thus retained the title they won for the first time last season. And along with Pujara another product of the old school Wasim Jaffer had a highly successful season while being a member of the title winning Vidarbha side for the second year in a row. The 40-year-old former Indian opening batsman in fact became the first in Ranji Trophy history to score over 1000 runs in a season for a second time. Jaffer is the highest run getter in the championship (nearly 12,000 runs) and the highest century maker (40) and with his vast experience has proved to be an inspiring figure for the young Vidarbha side.

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News Cricket

Rohit Sharma hails his boys after an emphatic win over New Zealand

Harshit Anand Updated: 8 February, 2019, 5:20 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

It takes a lot of character and hard work to bounce back from setbacks. And the Indian cricket team has over and again shown their ability to deliver when it matters the most. Today, India, for the third time on their ongoing tour Down Under made a comeback in the do-or-die game after being 0-1 down.

Australia had defeated India in the first T20I in Brisbane but India ended the series 1-1. In ODI series against Australia, the Men in Blue returned to winning ways after losing the ODI series opener. And today against New Zealand, they again exhibited their ability to bounce back after they won the second T20I by seven wickets. India were handed over their biggest T20I defeat in last game by the Kiwis.

Rohit Sharma was ecstatic after the win and said, “Very pleased to see how we bowled, and we were quite clinical with the bat as well. We have quality in our side, but we executed our plans better today, after learning from our mistakes. It’s important to understand the mistakes that we made – it’s been a long tour for everyone. So, we didn’t want to put a lot of pressure on the boys, just go in there with a clear mind,” Rohit said at the post-match presentation ceremony.

The series decider will be on Sunday at the Seddon Park in Hamilton. “It’s going to be a cracker of a game in the 3rd T20I, but nothing to take away from New Zealand, they’re still a quality side,” Rohit said.

News Cricket

Hardik Pandya or Vijay Shankar in World Cup squad? Sunil Gavaskar reveals his choice

Staff Writer Updated: 8 February, 2019, 5:08 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Vijay Shankar has shown a considerable improvement in his display since making debut in the Nidahas Trophy. The Indian all-rounder has made some useful contributions in the ongoing series against New Zealand. Hardik Pandya and Vijay Shankar are the two genuine all-rounders, who are in contention to represent India in the World Cup. Sunil Gavaskar, the former Indian skipper, wants national selectors to give Vijay a long run before deciding the fate of two players.

“Vijay Shankar has a chance for the World Cup. You need an extra seamer in England. He is a good all-round fielder too. He showed in the ODI (5th ODI in Wellington) where he got the team out of trouble with the bat. He read the game situation well with his experience of having led in domestic cricket. You build hopes on a player who reads match situations well. He should also be under consideration,” he told India Today.

Hardik has made a remarkable comeback to international cricket after his ban was lifted by the BCCI and could edge Vijay because of his impressive all-round display in the recent times.

“I think he should be playing all the three T20 games. Give him games after games and you would know if he has what it takes. Because if there is a situation that even after the five ODIs vs Australia, we don’t find a fourth fast bowler we can rely on, then we should be open to having Hardik Pandya as the fourth seamer in the squad and Vijay Shankar as an additional option,” Gavaskar further added.

News Cricket

Ross Taylor equals unwanted world record after another run-out

Staff Writer Updated: 8 February, 2019, 5:05 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Colin de Grandhomme raced to a maiden T20 half-century from 27 balls in a 77-run fifth-wicket partnership with Ross Taylor (42) which revived the New Zealand innings. However, with his run-out, Ross Taylor equaled an unwanted world record.

Mitchell Santner hit the ball towards long-on and as Taylor was going back to complete the double towards the non-striker's end, Shankar's direct throw ended his innings. This was Taylor's ninth such dismissal in the slam bang version of the game and now he shares top spot with Bangladesh star Mahmudullah in the list of most run-outs in T20Is.

Earlier, Left-arm spinner Krunal Pandya bowled an outstanding four-over spell, taking 3-28 as India contained New Zealand to 158-8 as it batted first after winning the toss. He was man of the match.

News Cricket

Numbers don't lie; Rohit Sharma is better captain than Virat Kohli

Staff Writer Updated: 8 February, 2019, 4:52 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Rohit Sharma led India to an emphatic victory in the second T20I at Eden Park, Auckland. India won the game by seven wickets with seven balls to spare. It was a do-or-die game for India as New Zealand had started off the T20I series with a massive victory by 80 runs to go 1-0 up in the three-match T20I series.

Rohit also equaled the number of wins achieved by Kohli as T20I skipper. Under Virat Kohli's captaincy, India have won 12 games out of 20, losing seven while one game has ended without a result. In comparison, Rohit Sharma has led India to 12 victories in just 14 games and his record is far superior to Kohli. Rohit Sharma has a winning percentage of 85.71, which is way better than Virat's winning percentage of 63.15.

India chased down the total of 159 runs with ease. Rohit Sharma blasted 50 runs off 29 balls while Rishabh Pant scored an unbeaten 40 off 28 deliveries. Krunal Pandya was adjudged Man-of-the-Match for ending up with figures of 3/28.

The series decider will be played at Seddon Park, Hamilton on February 10.

 

News Cricket

Krunal Pandya ecstatic after winning the 2nd Man-of-the-Match award in 8 T20Is

Staff Writer Updated: 8 February, 2019, 4:44 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Captain Rohit Sharma dashed a half-century from 28 balls and Rishabh Pant made an unbeaten 40 as India beat New Zealand by seven wickets in the second Twenty20 to level the three-match series at 1-1 on Friday.

New Zealand won the first match by 80 runs on Wednesday. The final match is on Sunday at Hamilton.

Left-arm spinner Krunal Pandya bowled an outstanding four-over spell, taking 3-28 as India contained New Zealand to 158-8 as it batted first after winning the toss. He was man of the match.

"It felt really nice to contribute for the team. It's always special when you contribute to a win. The dimensions are quite different from Wellington, the straight boundaries were short and I had to adjust my length to it. Looking forward to the decider in two days' time," Krunal said after receiving his man-of-the-match award.

Sharma set up the India run chase in a 79-run partnership for the first wicket with Shikhar Dhawan, who made 30 from 31 balls, and Pant saw India home in an unbroken 44-run partnership for the fourth wicket with Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who made 20 from 17 balls.

India reached its winning target with seven balls remaining.

"I was very pleased with the way we bowled to start with and then it was very clinical with the bat as well," Sharma said.

"Something like that we were expecting. We've got quality in our side. It's just that we didn't execute our plans in the first game and we learned from our mistakes. We executed those plans in this game and we got the reward for it."

New Zealand fell well short of the total it needed to have any chance of beating India on Eden Park, where short boundaries make defending any score extremely difficult.

Krunal Pandya and Bhuvneshwar Kumar dismantled the New Zealand top order, reducing the home side to 50-4 after 7.5 overs.

Colin de Grandhomme raced to a maiden T20 half-century from 27 balls in a 77-run fifth-wicket partnership with Ross Taylor (42) which revived the New Zealand innings. But Hardik Pandya removed de Grandhomme, and Khaleel Ahmed took two late wickets to ensure New Zealand fell short of an adequate total.

New Zealand needed early wickets but Sharma and Dhawan denied them, knocking off almost half of India's target inside the first 10 overs.

Sharma reached his 16th T20 half-century from 28 balls with three fours and four sixes. He was out immediately afterwards, caught in the deep by Tim Southee from the bowling of Ish Sodhi.

India stayed ahead of the run-rate, and wicketkeeper Pant saw India home in a superb partnership with his mentor, Dhoni.

Dhoni came to the crease to an enormous ovation from the crowd of 30,000, almost two thirds of whom were India fans and most of whom had come to watch Dhoni in his last tour to New Zealand.

The pair came together when India was 118-3 in the 14th over and saw India home in the 19th over when Pant struck a four down the ground off Scott Kuggeleijn.

News Cricket

Arthur reveals why Sarfraz was named skipper for World Cup despite his racist remarks

AP Updated: 8 February, 2019, 4:41 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur says it's time to move on from captain Sarfraz Ahmed's four-match ban for a racial taunt and concentrate on finalizing the team for the Cricket World Cup.

Sarfraz was reaffirmed on Tuesday as captain to the end of the World Cup in July, despite the Pakistan Cricket Board saying its policy was to name the captain on a series-to-series basis.

Pakistan media have questioned the Sarfraz decision, including whether it was a political riposte at the ICC for banning Sarfraz. Private broadcaster Geo News wondered whether the PCB did a U-turn or succumbed to pressure from unnamed quarters.

On the national team's return on Friday from the tour of South Africa, Arthur said PCB chairman Ehsan Mani talked with him and chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq before reappointing Sarfraz as captain.

"We've made that decision because we are very comfortable with Sarfraz leading this team forward," Arthur said in Lahore. "There's clarity, there's no more speculation."

Sarfraz was banned for racially taunting South Africa allrounder Andile Phehlukwayo in an ODI last month in Durban. He returned home and missed the last two one-day internationals and the entire three-match Twenty20 series.

"What he did was wrong and it was worked through," Arthur said. "Saffy took it on the chin, he apologized, he moved forward, everything was handled properly."

Arthur believed Sarfraz's main job is wicketkeeping, and he was not worried about his captain's dip in batting form.

"He (Sarfraz) has dropped eight balls in four and a half months, so he is not out of form in his core job," Arthur said. "I'm not, and I want to reiterate, not worried about Sarfraz Ahmed's (batting) form."

Pakistan lost the test, ODI, and T20 series in South Africa.

While Arthur acknowledged Pakistan needed to improve a lot in test matches, he was disappointed to lose the ODIs 3-2 and the T20s 2-1.

"We thought we were as good as South Africa in those conditions," he said.

Arthur criticized the test pitches as none of the games went to the fifth day. But Arthur said Pakistan was not the only team which has struggled in South Africa.

"I don't think there's any coincidence that no Asian team has won a test series in South Africa," he said. "So we know we've got a lot of work to do with our test side."

He picked out Babar Azam for praise, for becoming the batting mainstay in white-ball cricket.

"South Africa is the toughest place to bat ... to see Babar Azam's development across all formats on this tour was simply amazing and I think was something to be proud," he said.

The South African-born Arthur said he had a pool of about 20 players from which the final 15 will be picked for the Cricket World Cup in England and Wales.

"We're probably ahead of lot of other teams ... we have condensed our pool and now have to finalize it after the Australia tour (in March), so we are pretty much on track."

News Wrestling

Pakistan’s ace boxer Mohammad Waseem set to bring world title to Pakistan

Alam Zeb Updated: 8 February, 2019, 4:20 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

After having completed a complicated but a productive stint with the Korea-based AK Promotions Pakistan’s professional boxer Mohammad Waseem is now set to begin what could be an interesting stint with England-based MTK Global, the world’s major boxing management company.

The 31-year old Quetta boxer a few days ago struck a three-year deal with MTK at a gripping ceremony in Dubai. It is highly expected that during his fresh journey former Pakistan’s amateur fighter will be able to win the coveted world title in the flyweight category.

“Yes, it’s my mission and that is why I have now joined MTK Global,” Waseem told crictoday.com in an exclusive interview on Wednesday.

After having won several international medals during his decade-long amateur boxing journey for Pakistan which also includes a bronze in the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games, silver in the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games and a bronze in the 2014 Incheon Asian Games, Waseem also shot to fame in professional circuit within short time when he became a rare boxer of the world to clinch the World Boxing Council (WBC) world silver flyweight title in July 2016 in only his fourth professional fight. He then went on to defend it in November the same year. He has played so far nine professional bouts, winning eight with six knock-outs, losing just a single when he was denied a victory in the International Boxing Federation (IBF) world title bout against South Africa’s Moruthi Mthalane in July 2018 in Malaysia.

“MTK Global is a big company as over hundred of world’s leading fighters are playing under its wing. I am lucky to have joined a good group and am confident I will win the world title soon,” Waseem said.

“They are professional people and know how to deal with a boxer. I have really been impressed by the treatment the company extended to me during my whole stay in Dubai and the way they gave me the protocol was fantastic,” said Waseem, who turned pro in early 2015.

The former world No1 fighter said he was going to prepare for his new stint.

“I am renewing my passport. And in the next few days I will forward it to my company and will then act what I will be advised by them,” Waseem said.

“In the last few years I faced ups and downs mainly due to financial issues. Now I am not worried as I know I will be looked after strongly by MTK Global and my focus will now only be on my game,” the fighter said.

“What I believe in the start fights for me will be organised for promotions and then we will decide about the world title fight. Personally in the next few days I will start my training. I am confident my stint with the new group will be more productive for me, for my company and for my country,” the boxer said.

Waseem said that there was more chance he would train in Scotland.

“I have been told that Scotland could be my second home as the group has more fighters from that region. Glasgow is also a lucky place for me. The people of that area know me as I have already won silver medal there in the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games,” said Waseem, nicknamed Falcon.

Waseem also disclosed that MTK was also interested to organize a few bouts for him in Pakistan.

“Yes definitely. They are interested. They will meet Prime Minister Imran Khan and I hope if any such step was taken it would help promote professional boxing in Pakistan,” Waseem said.

During his previous stint with AK Promotions Waseem was mainly coached in Las Vegas, USA, by Jeff Mayweather, uncle of boxing legend Floyd Mayweather Junior.

Impressed by Waseem’s professional commitment, Jeff had once told this correspondent that he had never seen such a hard-working fighter in his entire career.

“When he boxes the whole gym stops,” Jeff had told this correspondent.

News Cricket

Twitter reacts to India's first T20I win in New Zealand

Harshit Anand Updated: 8 February, 2019, 3:49 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

  • Krunal Pandya (3/28) and Rohit Sharma (50 off 29 balls) starred in India's historic win
  • The three-match T20I series is now leveled at 1-1
  • The series decider will take place at Seddon Park, Hamilton on February 10

The Men in Blue registered their first T20 International win in New Zealand. India defeated New Zealand by seven wickets with seven balls to spare in the second T20I of the three-match T20I series at Eden Park, Auckland.

Krunal Pandya (3/28) and Rohit Sharma (50 off 29 balls) starred in India's historic win in Auckland. India was handed over a big defeat in the T20I series opener in Wellington. They had lost the game by 80 runs- their bigger ever loss in terms of runs.

Batting first, New Zealand scored 158 runs, which India chased down with ease on the back of brilliant first wicket partnership of 79 runs between Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma.

The series is now leveled at 1-1 with the series decider set to be played at Seddon Park, Hamilton on February 10.

Take a look at how Twitter reacted:

Videos Cricket

Third umpire howler leaves everyone stunned in Auckland T20I

Staff Writer Updated: 8 February, 2019, 3:01 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

  • New Zealand player Daryl Mitchell was given out leg before wicket
  • He was given out off Krunal Pandya's bowling by the on-field umpire
  • The third umpire made a horrendous decision

Today, there were calls of doing a DRS on DRS after the third umpire made a horrendous decision much to everyone's astonishment.

New Zealand player Daryl Mitchell was given out leg before wicket despite edging the ball on to his pads. He was given out off Krunal Pandya's bowling by the on-field umpire. But as he had nicked the ball, he went for the review.

While there was a clear mark on Hotspot, the spike on the snicko was after the ball passed the bat.

Watch the video:

Opinion Cricket

Has Rishabh Pant done enough to earn a spot in India's World Cup squad?

Staff Writer Updated: 8 February, 2019, 2:51 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

  • Rishabh Pant has been a true performer for India in the Test circuit
  • Pant was given his ODI debut versus the Windies
  • Pant has to make things work in his favour

Rishabh Pant has been a true performer for India in the Test circuit. The youngster made his foray into the Indian side last year after being called up for the Test series against England. A century in his maiden Test series was enough for the southpaw to keep his place in the team. Runs followed against West Indies at home and also in Australia in the four-match Test series. Pant has become a crucial member of the side. But the same cannot be said about him as far white-ball cricket is concerned.

Pant was given his ODI debut versus the Windies and he flopped in the two outings before being dropped to the bench. One expected him to play well in the T20Is in Australia, but 20 and 0 did little to convince his readiness in the limited-overs. Pant, who was not selected for the ODIs against Australia and New Zealand, came back to the team for the ongoing T20Is against the Black Caps. This was a perfect opportunity for him to showcase his prowess and make a claim, but that fizzled out as well.

In the first T20I at the Westpac Stadium in Wellington, Pant was dismissed for a 10-ball four. He slowed down the proceedings as India lost both the openers early on. It was a clueless innings from the player. Now he has two more T20Is to get some much needed runs under his belt. That could help him be recalled to the ODI scheme of things when India host Australia at home next. India have just five ODIs and five T20Is at hand ahead of the ICC World Cup 2019.

This means Pant has limited time to make things work. Also the ODI squad is almost settled with only one or two slots on offer. Pant has to make things work in his favour and transform his Test form in the white-ball format as well. It will not be easy. All eyes will be on him in the remainder of the T20Is against the Kiwis. Another major failure could see him not being handed a shot in the ODIs against Australia. Team India may rather prefer Vijay Shankar, who has shown steel and substance in the recent tour.

The question arises where does Rishabh Pant stand now in the scheme of things after wasting another opportunity in limited-overs cricket to be considered for the World Cup? It is an answer that will be answered post the T20Is. Does Pant have it in him to strike gold in England and Wales in a major tourney as the World Cup? Does he have enough experience in this format? He hasn't played much white-ball cricket as well. Earlier, selector MSK Prasad ensured that Pant will be given a chance to prove himself. But well, the time is running away.

That innings in Wellington did more harm than good. Pant's average in ODIs reads 20.50 and he has only played three matches that too against a lacklustre West Indies side. In T20Is, he averages a dismal 17.88. So the selectors need to take the right call and take a firm decision accordingly.

Feature Cricket

Manohar’s Morbid Declaration Slammed

Sreelata S Yellamrazu Updated: 8 February, 2019, 2:40 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

  • Shashank Manohar has now declared that Test cricket is dying
  • He is actual putting up excuses even before the ICC Test Championship has gotten underway
  • Indian cricket administration finds itself in a world of turmoil

Why does it feel like what has been ailing Indian cricket for the past decade has now permeated the ranks of the International Cricket Council (ICC)? Is it perhaps because of the entities of Indian cricket administration that held posts in the same period at the sport’s highest governing body?

It is ironic that on the one hand, the greater part of the cricket world is sharing the jubilation of the West Indies in celebrating their first Test series win over England in over a decade and India have scored over Australia for a first in seven decades. On the other hand, there is Shashank Manohar who jumped ship from the malaise-ridden Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to the ICC in the midst of a judicial review, who is now declaring that Test cricket is, to quote him, ‘dying’.

Euphemistic much?

It is starkly evident that either the current serving ICC Chairman is out of touch with the rest of the world or is tooting the same thing he and other Indian cricket administrators did under their regime to alter constitution and bend rules and allow nepotism and malice into the sport when eyeing the golden goose they perceived the Indian Premier League to be more than a decade ago. The IPL came about only after scuttling an eerily similar ‘rebellious’ enterprise - the Indian Cricket League (ICL)- that came into the picture following India’s unprecedented success at the ICC World Twenty20 in 2007. At the time, the BCCI through its strange bedfellows that included Manohar, N. Srinivasan who served as the Treasurer and Lalit Modi, the self-proclaimed czar of the IPL, shut down the ICL with all of their power, shunning the cricketers into a deep hole for their association.

Greed had obviously blinded them to the misappropriations they had committed and instead of taking responsibility collectively as a unit for having claimed to have served the interests of cricket without accepting a fee, they waited until the rot surfaced only to end up fighting a battle they knew they cannot win, each one throwing the other under a bus while shamelessly holding onto any semblance of power they found. Out in the open, instead of implementing the Lodha recommendations, Manohar, like Srinivasan, eyed a worldwide opportunity and promptly jumped ship.

Now it seems that instead of jumping at the opportunity of watching Test cricket enjoying an unbelievable year of attention and capitalizing on it, this even as the ICC Cricket World Cup looms, instead of rejoicing at the fact that social media has been ablaze with former Test cricketers chipping in with their two cents, the ICC Chairman, in his esteemed capacity, instead of lauding the effort and revival, is actual putting up excuses even before the ICC Test Championship has gotten underway.

If the sentiments of Manohar are reflective of the ICC’s own, perhaps they should not embark on the Test championship because it is like being shot in the foot even before taking the field. What chance does Test cricket stand when the cricket administrators who are supposed to be the custodians of the game take such a myopic, pronounced disdainful, no-hope view, plausibly dangerously, dare one say, with an eye on easy meal tickets instead of working to preserve the game?

If anything, the passionate cricket fans must now hold Manohar responsible on a larger platform. While Indian cricket administration finds itself in a world of turmoil as a result of the avaricious mess that these administrators have left behind, he must be held personally accountable for using word like ‘trying to see’ with regard to the Test championship which suggests, perhaps erroneously, that the ICC has not thought this new system through. Half-baked ideas rarely have a chance and if Test cricket is intended to die, perhaps there is a reason why enough effort is not being put in to promote it even in the new proposed avatar. It is alarming but every bit possible given that these administrators were at the helm when they pushed the IPL agenda to their own detrimental effect as well as that of Indian cricket’s perception around the world as a greedy, self-served, vested entity.

If this is the view with which he preserves the highest form of the game, perhaps it is not too much to ask Manohar to step down and ask a more deeply invested, passionate individual to take over the caretaking of the game.

News Cricket

Rohit Sharma becomes leading run-scorer in T20Is

Harshit Anand Updated: 8 February, 2019, 2:19 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

  • Rohit became the leading run-getter in T20Is
  • Rohit made a blistering half-century
  • He scored 50 runs off 29 deliveries

India's stand-in skipper, Rohit Sharma surpassed Kiwi opener, Martin Guptill to become leading run-getter in T20 Internationals. The Indian opener now has 2,288 runs to his credit. Martin Guptill has 2,272 runs in the shortest format. Rohit averages 32.68 and has a strike-rate of 138.41. The right-hander has four centuries and 16 half-centuries to his credit.

Today, India are chasing 159 runs in the second T20I against New Zealand in Auckland. Rohit made a blistering half-century. He scored 50 runs off 29 deliveries with the help of three fours and four sixes. He has laid a perfect platform for India to prosper.

News Cricket

Rohit gets trolled for picking Krunal Pandya on "MI quota" but Krunal has the best response

Harshit Anand Updated: 8 February, 2019, 12:54 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

India's stand-in-skipper, Rohit Sharma got brutally trolled, earlier today after he selected Krunal Pandya over chinaman spinner Kuldeep Yadav in team's XI for the second T20I against New Zealand in Auckland. Twitter users accused him of playing elder Pandya in the team as he represents Mumbai Indians in the IPL, which is led by Rohit Sharma.

“We are playing the same team. I know there will be a lot of talk about Krunal and Kuldeep. Kuldeep has been brilliant for us. It's just that we want to see other guys as well, especially in overseas conditions. Having one bad game doesn't say anything. We need to give them more games to understand what they have in them," explained Rohit at the toss.

Take a look at how Twitter reacted to the decision:

But Krunal Pandya responded brilliantly to shut up all his critics and proved to the world that Rohit took the right decision at the toss when he picked him in the team. Krunal Pandya ended up with figures of 3/28 in his quota of four overs. He got rid of the likes of Colin Munro, Kane Williamson, and Daryl Mitchell and was too good for the Kiwis in his first three overs though he was taken to the cleaners in his last over. Still, it was a commendable effort for a spinner to perform like that on a ground, which has small boundaries.

News Cricket

'Test cricket is dying': ICC Chairman Shashank Manohar

Harshit Anand Updated: 8 February, 2019, 11:06 AM IST

HIGHLIGHT

  • International Cricket Council (ICC) Chairman, Shashank Manohar feels that Test cricket is dying
  • He said, "From 10 to 5 everybody has their own job to do so it is very difficult for them to watch this game
  • ICC Test Championship will commence from 2019 with nine teams participating in it

2018 was a year in which Test cricket prospered like anything. We saw the best of the format with teams putting up a brilliant show on display. But the International Cricket Council (ICC) Chairman, Shashank Manohar feels that Test cricket is dying and the upcoming Test championship might generate some interest in the format.

"We are trying to see whether the Test championship can generate interest. Because Test cricket is actually dying to be honest. So to improve the situation, we are trying ways and means. The [ICC] board directors came to a conclusion that if we start a Test championship, it would keep Test cricket alive and generate more interest in the game," Manohar said.

"From 10 to 5 everybody has their own job to do so it is very difficult for them to watch this game. T20s get over in three-and-a-half hours, like watching a movie. Therefore, it is picking up very fast," the ICC chairman added.

Manohar also shed light on the feasibility of Cricket in Olympics. He said, "We are trying to take it to the Olympics but there are certain hurdles. The bigger issue is the Olympics is held over 15 days. How do you finish a world event of cricket in fifteen days? "For that, you need cricket stadiums also. Olympics are not held only in cricket-playing countries."