News Cricket

Ravi Shastri reveals India's best player in last five months and it's not Kohli

Harshit Anand Updated: 4 February, 2019, 3:14 PM IST

HIGHLIGHTS

India have put up some memorable performances in the last few months. Very rarely does Men in Blue lose out any series given how triumphant they have been for a while now. They are ranked no.2 in ODI and T20Is respectively while they sit atop in the ICC Test rankings.

Indian head coach revealed India's stand-out player in the last five months and surprisingly it is not Virat Kohli. "I thought we batted well in the top-order in the first three games. But one man, if I have to single out, over the last five months [that stood out] is the man who won the Man of the Series today [Mohammed Shami]," Shastri told Star Sports.

Shastri went on to reveal how the yo-yo Test failure left Shami hurt. He said, "It hurt him when he got the kick up the backside and was dropped from the side after failing the yo-yo test. He went back, did the hard yards, and across all formats, he has been simply outstanding. And right through the series, he has given us those early breakthroughs."

Shastri also applauded Shami's pace."Very impressive [Shami's pace]. He was right up there when it came to pace and the spinners supported him well. You can't take away the contribution of Kuldeep and Chahal in al these one-day games," Shastri said.

Get Daily Updates From CricToday

Subscribe and get the latest Sports News delivered to your inbox.

Email is required. Invalid email address.
News Cricket

MS Dhoni climbs up in latest ICC ODI rankings

Harshit Anand Updated: 4 February, 2019, 2:33 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

  • MS Dhoni has also jumped three spots in latest ICC rankings
  • Dhoni wasn't part of India's XI in the third and fourth ODI against New Zealand
  • Indian skipper Virat Kohli and his deputy Rohit Sharma retained their No.1 and No. 2 spots in the ODI rankings

Indian skipper Virat Kohli and his deputy Rohit Sharma retained their No.1 and No. 2 spots in the latest MRF Tyres ICC Men’s ODI Player Rankings. Indian wicket-keeper batsman MS Dhoni has also jumped three spots. He is ranked 17th in latest rankings released by the ICC.

New Zealand pacer Trent Boult moved up seven places to take the third position. Boult scalped 12 wickets in the five-match ODI series against India. He took a five-for in fourth ODI against India and was central to restricting the visitors to a below-par total of 92 runs. New Zealand went on to win that game by eight wickets.

Dhoni wasn't part of India's XI in the third and fourth ODI against New Zealand owing to injury. Dhoni didn't get to bat in the first ODI but scored an unbeaten 48 runs off 33 balls in the second ODI at Bay Oval. The 37 years old could manage merely a run on his return to the team in the fifth and final ODI, which the Men in Blue won by 35 runs in Wellington.

Feature Cricket

Thanks West Indies for making us fall in love with Test cricket yet again

Staff Writer Updated: 4 February, 2019, 12:20 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

After years of wilderness in the Test arena, the West Indies cricket team managed to bring in some much needed personality. Their Test series win against England at home after a gap of close to 10 years came as a much needed breakthrough. Windies were stronger with the bat in testing conditions across both the Tests. Their bowling unit had more pace and intensity in them to trouble the visitors. The young side bore the fruit of belief and determination to come out on top against Joe Root's England.

Not to forget the issues West Indies have faced over the years on and off the field. From players protesting against the board to problems over payments, Windies had so much to go through. Their teams changed significantly with many star players stepping down. Even in ODIs, the match-winners left for the more accepting global T20 leagues, Windies needed someone to build the side around. Jason Holder came in as the answer. The all-rounder has finally got out of his blocks to deliver as skipper.

Holder has kept his headstrong and the simple attitude has helped rub off to the others in the squad. The number one all-rounder in the world was the chief architect for the victory in the first two Tests. Players like Kemar Roach, Shai Hope, Roston Chase and Shane Dowrich chipped in as well. It was a team effort and its so nice to see the young group come together and making it count. It hasn't been an easy ride. Windies have taken many blows along the way over the years and losses became a similar story.

What the young crop of players has done is that, they have learned from their mistakes. They have been given the freedom to go out an express themselves and there is not much pressure. That's a positive aspect of this Test side. After successive losses away against India and Bangladesh, the body language seemed low. But credit to the group of players for pulling their socks up and starting afresh.

When a youngster like Alzarri Joseph stands tall despite losing his mother in the second Test, shows the character and toughness these players have. The 22-year-old put in a shift despite this personal tragedy and that just helps everyone to fight for the common goal. The hosts fought all the difficulties surrounding them and battled past everything. The grit and grind made us fall in love with this team.

Windies won the first Test by 381 runs and then sealed the second by 10 wickets. These are massive wins. And to be honest, the hosts won't be satisfied just yet. They will want to come strong in the third Test and get a whitewash under their belt. The performances will definitely boost the Windies in their journey ahead. It will help them to believe in their gameplay more and we can be in store for some good quality cricket.

WI have some star players in their ranks. Their promise and fight could be the turning factor in their Test match approach. For such a young side to come in and stitch some crucial wins, it means a lot. After the victory in Antigua, Holder said, "We all rallied around one another. We wanted to do it for her, and for Alzarri to come out after that kind of news, the way he bowled was exceptional. This one is for him and his family."

West Indies have won hearts and must be showered with respect and love. Give them some time and they will conquer more in the longest format.

News Cricket

Hardik Pandya's 20-30 runs made all the difference: Ravi Shastri

Harshit Anand Updated: 4 February, 2019, 11:32 AM IST

HIGHLIGHT

India defeated New Zealand by 35 runs in the fifth and final ODI in Wellington to seal the ODI series 4-1. Ravi Shastri praised talented allrounder Hardik Pandya, who made comeback to the team in the New Zealand ODI series. Pandya blasted 45 runs off 22 balls in the fifth ODI. The knock included five sixes and two boundaries and he exhibited his finishing prowess to the very best of his abilities.

Indian head coach Ravi Shastri made a special mention of Pandya and said, “And it was great to see Hardik, the way he came back. He’s a natural talent, he is a match-winner. And he showed what he can do today with the bat. Those 20-30 runs made all the difference today.”

The lanky all-rounder was suspended for his sexist comments on the popular television show, Koffee with Karan. The Baroda all-rounder had an instant impact on his return to Indian colors as he scalped two wickets in the third ODI at Bay Oval besides taking a blinder to dismiss New Zealand captain Kane Williamson in India’s seven-wicket win last week.

News Cricket

Rayudu was told to apply himself after Hamilton ODI duck: Shastri

Harshit Anand Updated: 4 February, 2019, 10:50 AM IST

HIGHLIGHT

  • Ambati Rayudu top-scored for the Men in Blue with 90 runs in fifth ODI against New Zealand
  • India defeated New Zealand by 35 runs to seal the series 4-1
  • Shastri praised Rayudu for his brilliant knock

India head coach Ravi Shastri showered high praise on Ambati Rayudu after he top-scored for the Men in Blue with 90 runs in some trying circumstances in the fifth and final ODI against New Zealand in Wellington.

After getting all-out on 92 runs in fourth ODI, India were outplayed by the hosts. The Kiwis defeated them by eight wickets in Hamilton. India got off to a disastrous start in fifth and final one-dayer as well but they went on to score 252 runs and won the game by 35 runs to seal the series 4-1.

“This was the best game of the five matches. I thought we really competed well from 18/4 to win the game. Rayudu, in particular. He batted like a millionaire in the last game (Rayudu scored a duck). He was told to apply himself as he did in the middle today. It’s very commendable,” Shastri told official broadcasters Star Sports after the match.

News Cricket

"It's never a nice feeling seeing someone go down like that," Cummins after flooring Karunaratne

Staff Writer Updated: 2 February, 2019, 9:02 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

A frightening injury to Sri Lanka opener Dimuth Karunaratne overshadowed other events on the field dominated by Australia on the second day of the second cricket test.

Karunaratne was hit by a short-pitched ball on his helmet and was taken off the field at Manuka Oval on a motorized stretcher. He was later shown being taken to a hospital by ambulance, where he remained under observation.

Karunaratne crumpled to the ground after ducking into a Pat Cummins bouncer which rocketed into the back of his helmet after the tea break. The 30-year-old Karunaratne retired hurt on 46 and play was delayed for close to 15 minutes while medical officials from both teams attended to the batsman.

"It's never a nice feeling seeing someone go down like that," Cummins told the host broadcaster after the end of the day's play.

"The good thing was he looked like he was moving his hands and the physio said he seemed all right when he left. I wish him all the best and hopefully he's doing all right. You never like seeing that. It's just one of those things that happens in cricket. Whether its your team mate, another team mate, you just hope they're OK."

News Cricket

You haven't won the game until you have got MS Dhoni out, says star all-rounder

Staff Writer Updated: 2 February, 2019, 6:46 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

New Zealand all-rounder has praised MS Dhoni

MS Dhoni, who missed the third and fourth ODI due to hamstring injury, is set to return

Former Indian skipper is a fantastic player in the middle order

New Zealand all-rounder has praised MS Dhoni, saying the former Indian skipper is a fantastic player in the middle order for his team.

James Neesham also stated that the Kiwi bowlers will try to restrict Dhoni in the remaining matches of the ongoing tour.

MS Dhoni, who missed the third and fourth ODI due to hamstring injury, is set to return for the final ODI.

"His [Dhoni's] records speak for itself. I mean, he is a fantastic player. Some noise was made especially from Indian media about whether he should be there in their World Cup squad or not. But as I said, his record speaks for itself," Neesham said on Saturday.

"He's got that calm demeanour in the middle order. And when you're bowling to him, you know you haven't won the game till you've got him out. Hopefully, we can do that tomorrow and run through them."

News Cricket

Can't draw conclusions after one failure, says Sanjay Bangar

Staff Writer Updated: 2 February, 2019, 5:32 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

  • India's batting coach Sanjay Bangar isn't much concerned about India's middle-order
  • India have already won the five-match ODI series by 3-1
  • Bangar says we can't draw any conclusions after one odd failure

India's batting coach Sanjay Bangar isn't much concerned about India's middle-order and feels it will not be right to draw conclusions after just a failure. New Zealand defeated India by eight wickets in Hamilton on Thursday. The hosts got the visitors all-out on 92 runs.

Ahead of the fifth ODI, Bangar said, "It [Hamilton ODI] also gives us an opportunity for us to reflect. In case, we lose out on a couple of players due to fitness issues... the World Cup is going to be a long tournament... play nine games [in the group stage]. Players are going to get injuries, some will miss out. So it gave us a reflection on how the team will cope up if players are injured."

Bangar added: "We were found wanting in that sort of situation in the last game. But these players are quality players. Even in the previous game, Rayudu and Dinesh Karthik stitched a partnership of 82 (77 not out) to finish the game. So we can't draw any conclusions after one odd failure."

India have already won the five-match ODI series by 3-1. MS Dhoni is likely to feature in India's XI in the fifth game after being declared fit to play.

News Cricket

Mental health issues force Australian cricketer Will Pucovski out of Test squad

Staff Writer Updated: 2 February, 2019, 5:25 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

  • Will Pucovski has been released from Australia's Test squad playing Sri Lanka
  • He will receive treatment for a mental health-related illness
  • The youngster will return home to Melbourne

Young Australia batsman Will Pucovski has been released from Australia's Test squad playing Sri Lanka due to mental health concerns as per Cricket Australia (CA). Pucovski has featured in eight first-class matches.

The Malvern-born batsman had earlier scored 243 for Victoria before going on a break from the game so that he can receive treatment for a mental health-related illness.

“Will Pucovski has been released from the men’s test squad and will return home to Melbourne to continue managing his wellbeing,” Cricket Australia Doctor Richard Saw said in a statement from the board.

“He reported some challenges over the past few days, and the decision has been made that the best thing for Will’s welfare is for him to return home to Melbourne.

“Will has been proactive in this process and while he has made significant progress, he feels this is the best course of action to get ready to play cricket for Victoria.” Pucovski consulted his family and Cricket Victoria before arriving at the decision, the board said.

Videos Cricket

Watch: Jason Roy takes an absolute blinder in 2019 BPL

Harshit Anand Updated: 2 February, 2019, 5:08 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

  • Jason Roy grabbed a snorter at the deep boundary to dismiss Yasir Ali
  • Roy had recently joined Sylhet Sixers as a replacement for David Warner
  • Roy is considered a brilliant fielder

England's limited-overs opener Jason Roy turned into a superman against Chittagong Vikings at Shere Bangla National Stadium in 2019 BPL. He grabbed a snorter at the deep boundary to dismiss Yasir Ali. He dived to his left and was in the air while taking the one-handed stunner that left everyone in awe of his athleticism.

Bangladesh player Alok Kapali was the bowler. He bowled a shocking delivery but got lucky as Roy did something out of the blue.

Roy had recently joined Sylhet Sixers as a replacement for the injured David Warner. Roy is considered a brilliant fielder and he only enhanced his reputation with this screamer in the ongoing BPL.

Watch:

News Cricket

Latest update on MS Dhoni's fitness out

Harshit Anand Updated: 2 February, 2019, 3:02 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

India’s batting coach Sanjay Bangar has confirmed that Mahendra Singh Dhoni will feature in fifth and final ODI against New Zealand. Dhoni has regained his fitness as per Sanjay Bangar. India and New Zealand will lock horns in the final ODI at the Westpac Stadium in Wellington tomorrow.

The Men in Blue have already won the series 3-1. They suffered humiliation in the fourth ODI at the hands of the hosts after they got bundled out on 92 runs. The no.2 ranked ODI side in the world will look to finish the ODI series on a high.

Bangar told reporters on the eve of the game, “Yes, he is fit and will be playing the fifth ODI.”

Dhoni was Player-of-the-Series in ODI series against Australia after he scored three fifties in as many games. He had also scored a 33-ball 48 in the second ODI at Bay Oval.

Feature Cricket

Test Cricket Alive; But Unhealthy?

Sreelata S Yellamrazu Updated: 2 February, 2019, 2:38 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

  • India’s overseas Test series win over Australia has really been a thought-provoking pivotal moment on cricket’s map
  • India held the aces even in England even though the result was rather adverse
  • England found succour at the deep end and pulled wool over the Indians

India’s overseas Test series win over Australia has really been a thought-provoking pivotal moment on cricket’s map. Even as queries were raised about whether the Test series win matters more than a World Cup, as the landscape of cricket appears to be rapidly evolving, one wonders if being alive can alone be equated with being healthy.

One of the facts stated explicitly at the outset of India’s tour of England which preceded their travelling down under was that this was India’s golden opportunity. With South Africa not as far down the road as England and particularly Australia, it was considered that while the South African sojourn was a slightly more even battle, there was never a better time for India to conquer England and Australia.

To a large extent, it was proven right. India held the aces even in England even though the result was rather adverse in hindsight. It is another matter than a befuddled Indian think tank messed up and never utilized or realized their full potential. The one thing England did right was play their cards at the right time. In the battle between underperformers, England pulled through because they backed their fringe players even as India seemed heavily consumed with the weight of expectations thrust virtually solely on the shoulders of India’s prolific premier batsman and captain, Virat Kohli.

Once too often, England found succor at the deep end and pulled wool over the Indians. Jolted by that unexpected, rather embarrassing turn of fate, it was expected that India would present a much stiffer competition for Australia who looked beaten down by their own problems besetting their topmost leadership. Without a steady team or cohesive leadership, Australia operated like a rudderless ship, unable to capitalize on the opportunities when they were thrown their way.

In the end, India’s series win down under was well deserved, although the haunting thought remained at the back of the mind like a nagging whisper. How much does this win count given that Australia have conspicuously not been at full strength? Can this series stand up to the test of time? If the adage that credit must be given where credit is due, then it stands to applaud India’s effort to make the most of their opportunities and make amends for the missed opportunities in England.

It is easy to be swayed into believing that being number one is being one’s best when perhaps India could easily raise the bar if they were presently given the opportunity to play against a tighter opponent than Australia. A corollary of a thought perked its head as the West Indies celebrated a Test win over England. Was it a shock? By common standards, yes. But the idea that a West Indies win keeps Test cricket alive is somewhat misleading from the standpoint that England’s cricket is not where it is supposed to be. After the Ashes, Joe Root and England were a doleful lot that found a hint of light in the series against India when they dodged the bullet courtesy primarily of India’s largesse of muddled team selections and decisions. Does West Indies’ win mean they raised the bar? Or does it mean England were caught with their pants down?

Australia are taking heart from winning the first Test over Sri Lanka when the latter are competing with the hosts for the wall of shame over the controversies that have plagued cricket. How much can it really count with so much in disarray and Australia seemingly groping in the dark trying to come up with the answers? While Test cricket has now absorbed Afghanistan and Ireland into its fold, apart from the inaugural jubilation, they have nothing lined up on the horizon to keep them busy, honing their skills for their next severe test. At the present time, it all seems like a bit of a mirage.

Feature Cricket

The unique achievement of Anderson and Broad

Partab Ramchand Updated: 2 February, 2019, 2:30 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

  • Anderson and Broad are the first pair of fast bowlers to take over 1000 Test wickets between them
  • At the start of the ongoing Test Anderson had 570 wickets and Broad 433
  • They are of course fortunate in that both have played well over 100 Tests

Watching James Anderson and Stuart Broad bowling in tandem during the ongoing Test against the West Indies I couldn’t help feeling a sense of amazement at the sheer longevity of their partnership. For a fast bowler to carry on for over 15 years is a rarity. For two fast bowlers to bowl in tandem for over a decade – they first bowled together against New Zealand at Wellington in 2008 – is an eye rubbing and mind boggling achievement. Courtney Walsh and Curtly Ambrose were another pair who bowled in tandem for over a decade picking up 924 wickets between them but what makes the Anderson – Broad duo absolutely unique is that they are the first pair of fast bowlers to take over 1000 Test wickets between them.

At the start of the ongoing Test Anderson had 570 wickets and Broad 433. There have been at least three pairs of bowlers who bowled a lot together and were also rewarded with a tally of over 1000 wickets but they were either the pace spin duo of Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne and Chaminda Vaas and Muthiah Muralitharan or the all spin pair of Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh.

So it does speak volumes of the skill and stamina of Anderson and Broad. And while they have enjoyed most success in England – not surprisingly given the fact that they excel in seam and swing bowling - they have also come out with flying colours in away Tests having bowled in all conditions and against every kind of opposition. They are of course fortunate in that both have played well over 100 Tests but the stats – average, strike rate, economy rate – are all symbolic of the tremendous success they have enjoyed.

The English cricket follower must be dreading the day when they call it a day which cannot be far away since Anderson is 36 and Broad 32. But as long as they are around the fans know that the England pace attack continues to be in very good hands.

News Cricket

Sledging Dravid brutally the worst moment I have ever been involved, says Allan Donald

Staff Writer Updated: 2 February, 2019, 2:13 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

  • Allan Donald was one of the most fierce bowlers of his times
  • Donald once rubbed Rahul Dravid the wrong way
  • The former paceman now regrets the incident

Allan Donald was one of the most fierce bowlers of his times. He was not just hostile with the ball in hand but savage with his words as well. Known as "White Lightning," Donald once rubbed India's legendary batsman Rahul Dravid the wrong way. He brutally sledged Dravid, who was never the kind of guy to retaliate back in one of the Tests in 1997.

Now, he regrets the incident. “My sledging of Rahul Dravid in 1997 was way over the top. The way I said what I did to Dravid was definitely not on but I was willing to do something that might bring me a wicket. Two overs later, we got him out and eventually won that ODI final against India in Durban,” Donald recalled the incident while talking to Sport24.

“Post-match, I went up to Rahul who obviously didn’t want to speak to me, and of course the Indian team wasn’t happy with me, but down the line we managed to sort it out. Looking back at it now, I reckon the match referee would have given me a year off from cricket. I said all sorts to Dravid and there was a fair amount of swearing involved. That is probably the worst moment I have ever been involved in,” the former paceman added.

News Cricket

Dimuth Karunaratne taken to hospital after he cops a nasty blow on back of the helmet

Staff Writer Updated: 2 February, 2019, 1:59 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Sri Lankan opener Dimuth Karunaratne suffered a dangerous blow on the back of his helmet on the bowling of Pat Cummins during the second day of the 2nd Test between Australia and Sri Lanka at Manuka Oval, Canberra.

The hostile bouncer from Australian speedster hit Karunaratne just above the neck, and as a result, he went down on the ground which demanded immediate medical attention on the field. The southpaw was stretchered off so that he is given appropriate help.

Fox Cricket’s Neroli Meadows was quoted as saying, “He has been taken to hospital. It was quite distressing at the time. His dad came around and was visibly upset, his sister came as well. They’ve gone to hospital in a separate car to support Karunaratne. The manager from Sri Lanka was also with him.”

He has been to the Canberra Hospital as a precautionary measure.