News Cricket

Replace Dhawan with Pant and make him open alongside Rohit, says Australian legend

Harshit Anand Updated: 13 February, 2019, 11:07 AM IST


Now, we are just a few months away from the 2019 Cricket World Cup. The hustle and bustle that usually surrounds the build-up of the ICC megaevent is already creating euphoria among the cricketing circles. Most of the cricket pundits are giving out their opinions on the kind of composition and XI that the teams should opt for in the World Cup that will be played in England and Wales.

Australian legend, Shane Warne has opined that Shikhar Dhawan should be replaced with Rishabh Pant as Indian opener and made to open alongside Rohit Sharma.

"There has been talk if Rishabh Pant can play in the side. I think Dhoni and Pant both can play. I can't see why Rishabh Pant can't play as a batsman, he is outstanding. Maybe even open the batting with Rohit Sharma. I know Shikhar Dhawan does a great job but Rishabh Pant opening the batting with Rohit Sharma could be pretty cool too for India. Go with some of these X-factor type things and tactical battles, where you surprise the opposition," Warne told India Today in an interview.

"It could be worth throwing Rishabh Pant at the top of the order for a couple of games and see how he goes. Maybe against Australia now [upcoming series] and experiment and see how he goes for the World Cup. Dhawan may have a role to play somewhere else. But I am really looking forward to seeing what India have because they have a lot of players who can do a lot of roles," he added.

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News Cricket

England hit Windies hard, defeat home team by massive margin of 232 runs

AP Updated: 13 February, 2019, 10:30 AM IST


  • England earned a consolation test win by 232 runs in four days
  • The West Indies won the series 2-1 in brilliant style
  • Chase celebrated his fifth test century and saw out the over on 102 not out off 191 balls

England earned a consolation test win by 232 runs in four days in a lost cricket series and still managed to be upstaged by the West Indies on Tuesday.

The English set the West Indies 485 and most of two days to win the third and final test, and bowled out the home side for 252 to prevent being whitewashed. The West Indies won the series 2-1 in brilliant style, and despite losing on Tuesday it finished with smiles.

England had been certain of victory since day two on Sunday when Mark Wood took 5-41 to earn a first-innings lead of 123. After making the target unreachable on Monday, captain Joe Root declared early Tuesday as soon as he was out for 122. They had a massive 484-run lead.

The West Indies knew it was never going to win. Allrounder Keemo Paul was last seen with a torn right quadricep on a stretcher being loaded into an ambulance on Monday morning, and top-order batsman Darren Bravo didn't field on the third day to nurse a finger injury.

Bravo was quickly out in the middle on Tuesday and back in the pavilion just as quick after scoring a duck, as England fast bowler James Anderson reduced the home side to 10-3.

By then Roston Chase was at the crease, and showing again the grit England generally lacked in the series. He was on 78 when Alzarri Joseph went out blazing with 34 off 30 balls, and was joined by No. 10 Shannon Gabriel. Gabriel seemed not to care to help Chase reach a defiant ton, throwing his wicket away for 3 while Chase was on 98.

Then the drama went up a notch as Paul limped out to the middle to help Chase, even though he wasn't going to be running between the wickets. Paul blocked one ball and gave the strike to Chase, who achieved the hundred by cutting Joe Denly for his 12th boundary.

Chase celebrated his fifth test century and saw out the over on 102 not out off 191 balls.

Back on strike, Paul couldn't run but showed he could bat by smacking Ben Stokes for three boundaries before giving Stokes a caught and bowled and ending the test and series.

"We could have rolled over, given it up," West Indies captain Jason Holder said. Of Chase, he added, "I'm really happy he could get his hundred."

Holder was banned from the test for a slow over-rate in the three-day second test, and still finished the leading run-scorer in the series.

Root surprised when he decided to keep batting in the morning, moving from 111 to 122 in six overs when he hit a full toss from Shannon Gabriel to midwicket. Root finally declared on 361-5 and Stokes was left on 48 not out.

The West Indies was sunk by lunchtime.

Anderson removed opener John Campbell for a first-ball duck, with Moeen Ali taking a high catch at gully.

In his next over, Anderson got an edge from stand-in captain Kraigg Brathwaite to Stokes at second slip.

Bravo was next to go, nicking a lifter from Anderson to Root, and the West Indies was 10-3 and Anderson had 3-5.

Shai Hope, dropped by Jos Buttler off Stuart Broad before he scored, made only 14 before he lobbed Wood to Broad, and the West Indies was 4-31.

Meanwhile, Chase batted on, through lunch and tea. Shimron Hetmyer was run out, and Ali took three wickets. Broad bowled 14 overs and conceded only 22 without a wicket. But Chase kept his head down, frustrating England, and giving West Indies back a little pride in a losing cause.

The five-match one-day international series starts next week.

News Cricket

Cricket body charges West Indies player over anti-gay slur

Staff Writer Updated: 13 February, 2019, 10:26 AM IST


  • Gabriel has been charged with a breach of code of conduct
  • Charge was laid by match umpires
  • British sports minister Mims Davies praised Root

The International Cricket Council has charged West Indies bowler Shannon Gabriel after he was accused by England captain Joe Root of making a homophobic comment.

In the third test in St. Lucia, Root was picked up on a broadcast feed saying to Gabriel: "Don't use it as an insult. There's nothing wrong with being gay." The preceding comment by Gabriel could not be heard on the clip posted by British broadcaster Sky Sports.

The ICC said Tuesday that Gabriel had been charged with a breach of its code of conduct. The governing body tweeted that "the charge, which was laid by match umpires, will now be dealt with by match referee Jeff Crowe."

British sports minister Mims Davies praised Root "for doing the absolute right thing to properly call this out."

Root married Carrie Cotterell in December.

News Cricket

Fans slam Gautam Gambhir for targeting Arvind Kejriwal, call him bigot & chamcha

Staff Writer Updated: 12 February, 2019, 9:26 PM IST


Former Indian cricketer Gautam Gambhir has slammed Arvind Kejriwal and the authorities after tragic fire at hotel Arpit Palace in Karol Bagh claimed lives of 17 people. He took to Twitter after the city government announced Rs 5 lakh as compensation for families of deceased souls.

“Surely a human life is worth much more than INR 5 lakh Arvind Kejriwal. It underlines what our machinery thinks about us, d common man. Compensation is merely a bandaid on an oozing wound whereas Delhi needs surgeries and it should begin with a systemic overhaul.”

He slammed the regulators and even claimed the hotel is near Gautam Gambhir Foundation’s office and was aware about the rules and regulations being flouted for commercial interests.

This is not the first time, Gambhir has taken on Delhi Chief Minister. However, his rant didn’t go down well with Twitterati, who lambasted him for unnecessarily blaming Kejriwal instead of BJP governed MCD.

Here are some of the tweets:

News Cricket

Doppelganger Alert: KKR Shares A Picture Of Andre Russell's Lookalike

Harshit Anand Updated: 12 February, 2019, 5:32 PM IST


After the social media found Anushka Sharma's doppelganger, a while back, now it has figured out West Indies and Kolkata Knight Riders star Andre Russell's lookalike. And no one else, it's his franchise KKR that has discovered his doppelganger

KKR took to Twitter and shared a picture of the aggressive Windies all-rounder along with his so-called lookalike - "Clubber Lang". Lang is a character which was played by Mr. T (Laurence Tureaud) in the film Rocky III.

They wrote, "Like how Clubber Lang tormented the boxing arena in the eighties, mighty @Russell12A makes 'em bowlers shiver in fear today."

Andre Russell has played 39 IPL innings and has blasted 890 runs at a blazing strike-rate of 177.29. He also has 25 wickets in the lucrative league. The Jamaican cricketer is known for his ability to hit big sixes in white-ball cricket. He is often used as a power-hitter cum finisher by the KKR franchise.

News Cricket

Ross Taylor announces his retirement plans

Staff Writer Updated: 12 February, 2019, 4:49 PM IST


IPL started the trend of franchise-based T20 leagues around the world. These leagues are lucrative and one can make a big sum of money in a short period of time. But Kiwi veteran, Ross Taylor doesn't find these T20 leagues too alluring. Many players have hung up their boots from international cricket so that they can actively participate in cash-rich T20 leagues across the globe. But Taylor is not going to go that way.

“I don’t think I will retire earlier from international cricket just to go and do the T20 circuit because I love playing for New Zealand,” Taylor was quoted as saying in the Hindustan Times.

“Playing for a different franchise every month is not something that appeals to me as much as playing in front of family and friends here in New Zealand.”

The 34 years old also revealed that he has no plans of taking retirement anytime soon and has a lot of things on his mind that he wants to achieve.

The right-hander said, “The day you are satisfied is the day you need to retire. There are still things I would like to achieve. I joke a little bit that I am old because I am the oldest in this team. But I still feel young and have still got a few years to contribute to New Zealand cricket. I love playing for my country and I feel I can still get better as a player. The day I don’t feel that I will have to retire. I want to score a few more runs and wins, and give my best.”

The 90-Test-old also made clear that Test cricket is high on his priority list besides naming few things that he is keenly looking forward to in the coming times.

“Test cricket is still high on my priorities. I would like to play 100 Tests. New Zealand hasn’t played a Boxing Day Test in Australia since the 1980s, so there are quite a few things I would like to hang around for. At the same time, you don’t want to do just that and want to be playing an active role in the team. I still have a desire to go on, so no date or timeframe yet,” said Taylor.

Feature Cricket

Australia’s Choices Defy Logic...

Sreelata S Yellamrazu Updated: 12 February, 2019, 4:40 PM IST


  • Langer was simply biding his time before giving Saker the boot
  • Ponting has been announced as assistant coach for the ICC Cricket World Cup
  • Ricky Ponting may have to first contend with a potential conflict of interest scenario

Fuelling the speculation that Justin Langer, the current Australian coach, had wanted David Saker out of the support staff long before the latter resigned, Australia have made some bizarre appointments while being at the doorstep of the World Cup.

There was perhaps a catch to Cricket Australia announcing former captain, Ricky Ponting, as an assistant coach to Justin Langer for Australia’s campaign heading into the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 in England as defending champions and five time winners. Ponting is after all the Australian captain who took Australia thrice to the final and to a trophy on two occasions. It stands to merit that Australia made this decision in the interests of the team and in a timely fashion at that, going into the World Cup’s final preparations with tours against India and Pakistan.

However, there seemed to be a deliberate timing to the events because not shortly before the announcement of Ponting joining Langer as part of Australia’s support staff in time for the ICC Cricket World Cup, David Saker turned in a quiet, unceremonious resignation that ironically spoke rather loud.

That Nathan Lyon, considered Australia’s best spinner at the moment, claimed to have no knowledge about the now former bowling coach and assistant coach resigning with immediate effect, it says a lot about the manner in which Australian cricket is operating at the moment. Those with an inkling seemed to suggest that Langer was simply biding his time before giving Saker the boot. To that end, it seemed convenient that Langer spoke about being in discussion with Saker about the decision for more than six months. Was the feud with the bowlers and difference of opinion the straw that was used to break the camel’s back as it were. Is there more than what meets the eye or is this merely a case of putting two and two together and making five?

There is another corollary to Saker’s exit following what he himself admitted to being a heated debate and discussion with the bowlers as India faced Australia on the field during the Test series. Whether it was the players’ fallout or the current coach’s wishes to appoint someone else for the job and the differences coming at a rather convenient time to roll out the changes, h w does Australia explain the fact that while Ponting has been announced as assistant coach for the ICC Cricket World Cup, Saker’s replacement, Troy Cooley, has only been appointed for the limited overs tours of India and Pakistan?

Does this mean Cooley is on trial and if things go south, Australia will pick another bowling coach appointment on the brink of the World Cup or is Cooley going to be the stop gap replacement as many suggest until Langer decides the time is right for him to ring in the changes of his choice?

In the meantime, Ricky Ponting may have to first contend with a potential conflict of interest scenario given that his proximity with one of the franchises of the Indian Premier League for 2019, the newly named Delhi team, could put him at odds given that there are likely to be worries that Ponting’s position gives me an inside track on some of India’s promising players in line to make the squad for the ICC Cricket World Cup. That is something neither Delhi nor the IPL officials would have perhaps contemplated unless Ponting accepted the role with Cricket Australia after due intimation and blessing.

News Cricket

Matthew Hayden takes a pot shot at Sehwag, says never take Aussie’s for a joke

Staff Writer Updated: 12 February, 2019, 4:33 PM IST


Virender Sehwag is known for his humor and spot on replies on social networking sites. The former Indian opener, in a new TV commercial, has turned babysitter ahead of Australia's tour of India.

The new commercial featuring Sehwag is hilarious. In an advertisement for Star Sports, he is seen with kids wearing Australian jerseys.

"Jab hum Australia gaye the, toh unhone poocha tha babysitting karoge? Humne kahaa sabke sab aajaao. Zaroor karenge."

This didn't go down well with the former Aussie cricketer Matthew Hayden, who took to twitter to register his protest.

“BeWarned Never take Aussie's for a joke Viru Boy @virendersehwag @StarSportsIndia Just remember who's baby sitting the #WorldCup trophy,” Hayden tweeted ahead of the series.

During one of the Test matches, Paine had asked Pant if he would like to babysit his kids while he is out with Mrs. Paine. After few days, when Team India went to meet the Australian Prime Minister, Pant was pictured with Paine’s wife and kids and she captioned the photo 'Best Babysitter.'

During the last Test match at the Sydney Cricket Ground, the Bharat Army even dedicated a song to Babysitter Pant.

News Cricket

Kumar Sangakkara makes a big statement on Virat Kohli’s greatness

Staff Writer Updated: 12 February, 2019, 4:17 PM IST


Virat Kohli is rewriting record books in international cricket. The Indian skipper led India to maiden Test series win in Australia and even defeated the hosts in one-day internationals. He was not finished with this and scripted Men in Blue’s triumph in one day internationals in New Zealand.

He won all the major ICC awards and was the best player across formats in 2018. Following Virat’s sublime form, Kumar Sangakkara has lauded the Indian skipper and claimed he is destined for greatness.

"Everything about Virat's game stands out. I think he is head and shoulders above anyone else in world cricket today," Sangakkara told a news channel.

"And I think going forward, he will be one of the greatest ever cricketers, if not the greatest ever," he added.

He is mighty impressed with the way Virat has amassed runs in Tests and limited overs cricket without changing his basic game.

"He has this incredible knack of scoring runs and has a very, very solid method that he believes in..." said the former Sri Lanka captain.

"If you see the tempo which he bats with, it hardly changes. He does read the situation very well.

"He is a very passionate guy, you see that in his expressions on the field... it's the overall aspect of both the person and how he has sorted his batting and his attitude."

News Cricket

Cheteshwar Pujara targets Sachin Tendulkar, points out to his slow batting

Staff Writer Updated: 12 February, 2019, 4:01 PM IST


Indian batsman, Cheteshwar Pujara had a great Test tour Down Under. He was leading run-scorer in the four-match Test series between Australia and India with 521 runs. He smashed three centuries and shunned up all his critics in style. There have been question marks over his slow batting in Tests but he put all the criticism to bed with his run-spree that was perhaps the difference between the two sides in the Australia Test series.

India's Test no.3, Pujara pointed out Sachin Tendulkar to justify his batting style. “Obviously Tendulkar was a different player, he liked to dominate, but there have been other players who have played Test cricket the way it has been played. Even Tendulkar, when the situation demanded, has scored just 50 runs in 150 balls, so there is nothing wrong in that. You just need to understand what situation you are playing in and bat accordingly."

Pujara also reflected on the fact that his batting has found great acceptance ever since the Australia Test series. He said he always kept believing in his abilities than worrying about the talks regarding his intent and strike-rate.

“People have realized what’s required to perform well in Test cricket. People started appreciating the way I was batting, not just the Indian team management.Everyone has realized that there are different methods of playing this format. And because of white ball cricket, there’ve been players who’ve been playing many shots … they’ve been very aggressive. I still respect that. When talk about intent and strike rate was going on, I just kept believing in myself, in my ability. I actually don’t get worried about what people are saying. Sometimes you just need to do the right thing for the team,” said Pujara.

News Cricket

Star Aussie bowler to make comeback against Pakistan

Staff Writer Updated: 12 February, 2019, 3:27 PM IST


Star Aussie bowler is hopeful of making a return to international cricket for the for the ODI series against Pakistan in March. Mitchell Starc sustained the injury during the second Test against Sri Lanka was told to take couple of weeks rest to attain full fitness.

He will miss the upcoming T20 and ODI series against India.

"The UAE is around the 15th of March so if all goes to plan I should be pretty sweet to be available for that one," Starc told "Obviously the boys go to India, hopefully it's a good tour for them there. I don't think I'll be ready for any stage of that. So it's up to the rehab group and the selectors and see how the rest of this summer goes."

Australia will play two T20 internationals and five ODI matches against Men in Blue. The five-match ODI series against Pakistan will start from 22 March.

News Cricket

Yuvraj Singh loses his cool, comes up with a tweet

Staff Writer Updated: 12 February, 2019, 2:58 PM IST


After Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh also took to Twitter to lambast those who attacked Amit Bhandari and even demanded justice for the former Indian cricketer.

The head of senior selection committee of Delhi was hit with hockey sticks and rods by unidentified men at the St Stephen’s Ground. He was assisting the trials of the U-23 team for the upcoming Mushtaq Ali Trophy.

“I’ve given my statement to the police. I’ve given them the reason of selection and the names (of attackers) as well,” said Amit Bhandari.

Virender Sehwag was furious with what happened with his former teammate.

“The attack on Delhi selector Amit Bhandari for not picking a player is a new low and I am hopeful that stringent action will be taken against the culprit and adequate measures will be taken to avoid such incidents.”

In response to Viru's tweet, Yuvraj wrote: “Absolutely agree with Viru! This kind of inhuman act can never be tolerated. Strict action needs be taken against all the culprits involved, wishing Amit Bhandari a speedy recovery.”

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News Cricket

Harbhajan names his Indian squad for World Cup, springs a couple of surprises

Staff Writer Updated: 12 February, 2019, 2:31 PM IST


Harbhajan Singh, who is quite active on social media these days, has named his Indian squad for the World Cup. Speaking for Sports Tak, the off-spinner, brought in Umesh Yadav while leaving Rishabh Pant out in favor of Dinesh Karthik. The left hand batsman was not part of the ODI series against Australia and New Zealand but was among runs in the three-match T20 series in New Zealand.

He included Vijay Shankar and Ravindra Jadeja in his team for the showpiece event. Bhajji, who was part of the World Cup winning team in 2011, has named Mohammed Shami in the squad after his impressive performance in Australia and New Zealand.

Harbhajan’s 15-man squad for the 2019 ICC World Cup: Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli (c), Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni (wk), Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Dinesh Karthik, Umesh Yadav and Vijay Shankar.

News Cricket

KL Rahul, Ajinkya Rahane to make ODI return?

Staff Writer Updated: 12 February, 2019, 2:07 PM IST


  • Ajinkya Rahane is the front-runner to stage another ODI comeback
  • Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal could be rested
  • Virat Kohli will lead India against the visitors

Keeping the hectic schedule in mind, the national selectors are expected to rest senior players like Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan from the upcoming ODI series against Australia. KL Rahul and Ajinkya Rahane are likely to be recalled.

Virat Kohli, who was rested from the last two ODIs and T20 internationals against New Zealand, will lead India against the visitors.

In Rohit's absence, Ajinkya Rahane is the front-runner to stage another ODI comeback, as per reports in The Hindu.

Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal could be rested considering their workload in international arena. Jasprit Bumrah, who was rested from the ODI series against Australia and the entire New Zealand tour, is expected to lead the attack in absence of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami, the two pacers who could be rested.

News Cricket

MS Dhoni on the verge of breaking world record

Staff Writer Updated: 12 February, 2019, 1:46 PM IST


MS Dhoni has hit the right notes in the ongoing year. From a dismissal performance in 2018 to three consecutive fifties in the ODI series against Australia, the former skipper has turned around his questionable form. Dhoni has accomplished a lot in his career and holds several record to his name.

He is on the verge of breaking Mark Boucher's world record of most international matches as wicket-keeper. The former South African stumper has got 596 caps to his name while MS Dhoni has represented India in 594 matches.

He needs just three more international matches to surpass Boucher.

They are followed by Sri Lankan Kumar Sangakkara with 499 while Adam Gilchrist comes fourth with 485.

India will take on Australia in the T20 and ODI series.

The two teams will play 2 T20Is and 5 ODIs, beginning February 24.