News Cricket

Rohit Sharma reflects on his journey to 200 ODIs

Staff Writer Updated: 31 January, 2019, 3:48 PM IST

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Trent Boult took five wickets for 21 runs to lead New Zealand to a face-saving eight-wicket win
  • India had already won the five-match series 3-0
  • Rohit Sharma reflected on his journey to 200 ODIs

Trent Boult took five wickets for 21 runs to lead New Zealand to a face-saving eight-wicket win over India on Thursday in the fourth one-day cricket international.

India had already won the five-match series 3-0, outplaying New Zealand by eight wickets in the first match, 90 runs in the second and seven wickets in the third.

"I think it was one of our worst performances with the bat for a long, long time," stand-in captain Rohit Sharma said. "Games like this can happen. You've got to give credit to the New Zealand bowlers; after losing three matches to come out and bowl like that was a magnificent effort."

Earlier, Rohit Sharma reflected on his journey to 200 ODIs. The right hand batsman became the 14th Indian player to play 200 one-day internationals. “Yeah, 200th game is special. Lots of ups and downs but I am happy where I am,” Sharma said during the pre-match interview.

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News Cricket

Despite failure, Shubman Gill has a future with India, says Sunil Gavaskar

Staff Writer Updated: 31 January, 2019, 3:39 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

  • He was dismissed for 19 runs
  • Sunil Gavaskar wanted Men in Blue to try Gill in the last two ODIs
  • India were bowled out for 92

Shubman Gill's debut didn't go well as he was dismissed for 19 runs. The right hand batsman was highly recommended by former cricketers and current Indian skipper Virat Kohli. Former Indian skipper Sunil Gavaskar wanted Men in Blue to try Gill in the last two ODIs. Despite his failure in his brief maiden innings in international cricket, Gavaskar feels he has a future with Team India.

"Well, for whatever little time he was there, he was a little bit tense, nervous. That's understandable because he is playing for the country for the first time," Gavaskar told Star Sports.

"Even then, when Boult was swinging the ball, he was able to get in line, yes... he was hit by the short ball as well. I think this guy's got a future, you have got to be patient with him.

"My feeling is that they'll probably have Dhoni coming in place of Karthik. Other changes will be based on the conditions in Wellington. I don't see too many changes though. I am sure Shubman Gill will get another opportunity," Gavaskar said.

Feature Cricket

‘Colour Blind’ Cricketers

Sreelata S Yellamrazu Updated: 31 January, 2019, 3:21 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

  • There is no masking what happens in the name of banter on the field
  • Cricket boards are dealing with a rapidly evolving world
  • Hardik Pandya appeared to be emulating the swagger

There is no masking what happens in the name of banter on the field. The fact of the matter remains that cricket needs not only gender sensitivity lessons but also, a class on racism, a perennial problem in other global sports as well.

The recent telling comment came from the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) who denounced the International Cricket Council (ICC) for not merely slapping Sarfraz Ahmed on the wrists but instead banning him for four matches in the face of comments he made that alluded to the colour of the skin of one of the South African cricketers in the course of the second day international in Durban.

In some ways, it highlights not only how politically incorrect and morally insensitive cricketers can be but also, of how blind the cricket boards can be in addressing issues of such grave concern that look to divide people. While it is good that the cricketer did apologise for his comments publicly, it was interesting to note that he mentioned that he had not intended for anyone to hear those comments caught on the stump microphone. The fact that those words were even added suggests a myopic view wherein the cricketer in question thinks that if his words were not heard, it was still alright to utter them.

Cricket boards are dealing with a rapidly evolving world that has put money right in the center of the equation, changed the way platforms have evolved in terms of player interactions, have brought peril to the doorstep with social media becoming more of a bane than a boon and is blinding even the most seasoned of cricketers from refraining themselves from making public gaffes as Virat Kohli did during a fan interaction around Diwali. In a sense, it is quite the conundrum that while the Indian captain’s comments about ‘leave India’ came in a social setting and not on the cricket field, but still targeted cricket fans, that there was not enough done publicly to reprimand him as a manner of setting the example and also, that he virtually got away. Whether that speaks to the fact that he holds such a pivotal place in the hierarchy of the dressing room or the fact that India have been overbearingly dependent on his bat, it is something that the BCCI needs to look inwards to introspect. In sending mixed messaging, the already confused modern cricketers – evident in the jarring conversation on the couch between Hardik Pandya, KL Rahul and the rather loud host of the show, are not getting the compass bearings right. Perhaps they had never been taught to read the arrows, not until they were firmly pointing south.

At the other end of the spectrum, Hardik Pandya appeared to be emulating the swagger while understanding nothing of the culture and heritage of colour and racism as he went all out bragging on a television show. The fact that it was not in an international match is perhaps what would make the Indian all-rounder think he has dodged a bullet on this one. However, if the quantum of punishment as adjudged by the ICC is anything to go by and the BCCI takes a cue from it, Pandya may be facing similar time away from the game. But with the BCCI in such a state of confusion, Pandya may still be thanking his stars.

What it brings to light is that sport as a bridge has a long way to go. It may have connected people and brought them together in its evolutionary nature. But in terms of emotional and cultural maturity, cricket has a long way to go from checking the hem of the women presenters’ skirts and not their knowledge as a merit of their worthiness to present on television and letting cricketers confuse notoriety with popularity and think they are far too big to be labeled themselves.

News Cricket

'Every dog has his day': ICC CEO on India's fourth ODI loss against New Zealand

Staff Writer Updated: 31 January, 2019, 2:45 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

  • Richardson was asked about New Zealand's win over India by a reporter
  • He said, 'Every dog has his day' on New Zealand's victory
  • It was a dead rubber as India have already won the series

The Black Caps won the fourth ODI against India by eight wickets at Seddon Park, Hamilton. As per reports in Times Now, ICC CEO David Richardson reacted to New Zealand's win by saying that "Every dog has its day.” He was asked about New Zealand's win over India by a reporter.

Every dog has his (or its) day is an idiom, which means, "Everyone will have good luck or success at some point in their lives."

India has already won the five-match ODI series. They gained an unassailable lead after the winning the third ODI at Bay Oval. Today, the hosts New Zealand restricted India to a below-par total of 92 runs.

Indian leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal top-scored for the visitors with 18 runs. Rohit Sharma failed to make his 200th ODI special and got out without scoring many runs. Shubman Gill also failed to impress in his India debut at Seddon Park.

Trent Boult picked up five wickets and was the man who broke India's back in the dead rubber. Indian batsmen played some really bad shots.

India's stand-in-skipper Rohit Sharma also lamented India's poor batting and said, “One of our worst performances with the bat for a long time. It's something we didn’t expect."

News Cricket

Rohit Sharma slams India's batting in wake of Hamilton drubbing

Staff Writer Updated: 31 January, 2019, 12:47 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

New Zealand defeated India in the fourth ODI by eight wickets to open their account in the five-match ODI series. The Men in Blue put up a flop show in the absence of batting stars Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni at Seddon Park, Hamilton. They got all-out on a below-par total of 92 runs.

Yuzvendra Chahal top-scored for India with 18 runs. Trent Boult finished with brilliant figures of 5/21. The pitch assisted seamers unlike the first three ODIs and New Zealand bowlers exploited the conditions beautifully. Indian batsmen were guilty of playing some poor shots.

At the post-match presentation, India's stand-in-skipper Rohit Sharma said, “One of our worst performances with the bat for a long time. It's something we didn’t expect. You got to give credit to the New Zealand bowlers. It was a magnificent effort. Something to learn for us.”

“At times, you need to absorb pressure. We need to blame ourselves for it. Things were looking good at that stage. It was about applying ourselves. Once you get in, things will start to look easier. We played some bad shots as well. It’s always challenging when the ball is swinging,” he added.

India sealed the ODI series at Bay Oval when they gained an unbeatable lead of 3-0 in the series.

Feature Cricket

Rohit Sharma – One of the biggest enigmas of Indian cricket

Partab Ramchand Updated: 31 January, 2019, 11:31 AM IST

HIGHLIGHT

  • He was after all a graduate from the Mumbai School of batting which teaches patience and perseverance
  • His first class record seemed to back him up
  • Rohit hasn’t cemented a place in the Test side

As Rohit Sharma plays his 200th ODI on Thursday – joining 13 other Indian cricketers who have achieved the feat – it is impossible not to reflect on his international career and discuss whether he has in fact lived up to his initial promise. When he first really attracted notice during the 2007-08 Commonwealth Bank Series `Down Under’ no less an expert as Ian Chappell predicted a ``huge future’’ for him. The acerbic former Australian captain is not given to hyperbole and so for him to come out with such gushing praise was quite unexpected though it also underlined the considerable impact Rohit made with his dynamic batting skills.

Though he first made his mark in the limited overs game there was always the feeling that Rohit could also come good in Test cricket. He was after all a graduate from the Mumbai School of batting which teaches patience and perseverance, the ability to build an innings and amass hundreds and double hundreds. His first class record seemed to back him up and when he finally got an opportunity to play in the game’s traditional format he grabbed it gloriously scoring hundreds in his first two Test innings. But somewhere along the line he faltered and after playing 27 Tests he has scored only one further hundred and his average during his fragmented career is fractionally below 40 – a figure not in keeping with his initial promise.

Rohit hasn’t cemented a place in the Test side but in ODIs he has gone from strength to strength. One simple fact would underline his exalted status in the limited overs game. Out of eight double hundreds notched up in ODIs Rohit alone has hit three and that has given him the sobriquet `Hitman’ which will no doubt please him no end. With Shikhar Dhawan he has formed one of the most successful opening partnerships in ODI history. With nearly 8000 runs at an average of 48 with 22 hundreds allied to a strike rate of 88 Rohit takes his place as one of the most successful batsmen in ODIs.

All the same one cannot help looking wistfully as his very impressive first class record – over 6500 runs at an average of 54 with 20 hundreds and a highest score of 309 not out – and wonder why he could not have rather similar figures in Test cricket. To that extent Rohit Sharma will remain one of the biggest enigmas of Indian cricket.

News Cricket

Twitter reacts to India's poor batting performance in the 4th ODI against New Zealand

Staff Writer Updated: 31 January, 2019, 10:42 AM IST

HIGHLIGHT

The Men in Blue struggled to put up a decent total on board in the absence of batting stalwarts Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni in the fourth ODI against New Zealand at Seddon Park, Hamilton. They got bundled out on 92 runs.

Wrist spinner Yuzvendra Chahal top-scored for India with 18 runs. Trent Boult finished with exceptional figures of 5/21. The pitch was providing help to seamers and New Zealand bowlers exploited the conditions beautifully. Indian batsmen were guilty of playing some very loose shots as well.

At the moment, New Zealand are 39 for two after six overs with skipper Kane Williamson and opener Martin Guptill back in the hut. Bhuvneshwar Kumar has taken both the wickets.

Take a look at how Twitter reacted to India's poor batting performance;

Feature Cricket

 Sri Lanka looks for improvement in 2nd test vs Australia

AP Updated: 31 January, 2019, 10:21 AM IST

HIGHLIGHT

  • Chandika Hathurusingha was removed from the team's selection panel
  • Angelo Mathews was ruled out with a hamstring injury
  • Kasun Rajitha is expected to add to his three tests, as is left-armer Vishwa Fernando

Sri Lanka looks to overcome a heavy loss in the first test and some selection panel changes when it begins play in the second test against Australia at Manuka Oval on Friday.

Coach Chandika Hathurusingha was removed from the team's selection panel this week. Captain Dinesh Chandimal says Hathurusingha was disappointed with no longer being a selector, but the team had to focus on an improved showing in the second test after losing by an innings and 40 runs in Brisbane.

"It's tough. Every day there are a lot of changes," Chandimal said Thursday. "That's part of the game sometimes ... we want to forget about that stuff outside of the cricket."

Before Sri Lanka arrived in Australia, key batsman Angelo Mathews was ruled out with a hamstring injury and since, fast bowlers Lahiru Kumara and Dushmantha Chameera have returned home with injuries.

Kasun Rajitha is expected to add to his three tests, as is left-armer Vishwa Fernando. Chandimal said Sri Lanka had settled on the lineup he hopes can level the series, but won't divulge it until just before the toss.

"I can't tell that you today, you can see tomorrow," he said.

Australia coach Justin Langer said the hosts will likely keep the same team which won in Brisbane — six batsmen and no all-rounder.

"My gut feeling is it's always nice to keep the same XI after you've had a win ... if there is that little bit of grass on it (the wicket) I would be surprised if we changed the team," Langer said.

After years of lobbying, Canberra will host its first test match as Manuka Oval becomes Australia's 11th test venue.

Manuka first hosted an international match in 1992 during the World Cup when South Africa beat Zimbabwe by seven wickets. Chris Gayle hit a record 215 there in the West Indies' 73-run win over Zimbabwe at the 2015 World Cup.

The ground has mostly hosted annual Prime Minister's XI matches against a touring side.

News Cricket

Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed vows to comeback stronger after ban

Staff Writer Updated: 30 January, 2019, 9:50 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

The Pakistan Cricket Board expressed its disappointment over the ban

He has vowed to comeback stronger and improved man after his ban

He was welcomed by 200 fans at the airport

The Pakistan skipper, who was banned by the ICC following his racist remarks against South Africa all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo during the second one-day international, has vowed to comeback stronger and improved man after his ban.

The Pakistan Cricket Board expressed its disappointment over the ban, saying ban was not required as the two players had resolved the issue.

He was welcomed by 200 fans at the airport who were holding placards condemning ICC’s decision.

"Whatever happened has happened," Sarfraz told media at the airport after landing from Cape Town. "I accepted my mistake and ICC's decision is in front of you. "I will improve myself and my performance in the future and I thank my supporters for their backing."

He will have to attend an education programme as directed by the ICC to promote the understanding and awareness of issues directly relevant to the offence that he has committed.

News Cricket

Harmanpreet Kaur is unstoppable, says former Aussie skipper

Staff Writer Updated: 30 January, 2019, 9:47 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Harmanpreet Kaur is blazing all guns in the shortest format of the game

Women in Blue have been paired with Australia, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and a team yet to qualify team

Former Aussie skipper Alex Blackwell has praised the Indian skipper

Harmanpreet Kaur is blazing all guns in the shortest format of the game and is at the peak of her batting prowess.

She will lead India in the ICC Women's T20 World Cup in 2020. Women in Blue have been paired with Australia, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and a team yet to qualify team.

Former Aussie skipper Alex Blackwell has praised the Indian skipper. "India are positioned to make a final. Sometimes we see Harmanpreet Kaur play within herself. But when she goes out there 100 per cent, she has proven to be very hard to stop," Blackwell said.

Mitchell Starc’s wife and Australia's wicket-keeper batswoman Alyssa Healy has cautioned her side from India’s top batswoman. "When I saw the fixtures announcement, I said, 'Damnit!' I was hoping to avoid them. India are such a powerhouse in the cricketing world, on the rise in the women's game, which I think is special," said Healy. "They have got some serious players which they are going to unleash. It is Harmanpreet Kaur's home ground (from the Women's Big Bash League), the Spotless Stadium, so definitely one to watch," added Healy.

News Cricket

MS Dhoni to miss 4th ODI

Staff Writer Updated: 30 January, 2019, 9:43 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

MS Dhoni is likely to miss fourth ODI as the team management wants him to completely recover

He scored 33-ball unbeaten 48 in the second ODI against New Zealand

India are expected to make couple of changes in the fourth ODI match against the Kiwis

MS Dhoni is likely to miss fourth ODI as the team management wants him to completely recover from his hamstring injury ahead of a hectic season.

Dhoni, who was declared Man of the Series in India's ODI assignment against Australia, didn’t play in the third match. He had scored 33-ball unbeaten 48 in the second ODI against New Zealand.

In his absence, Dinesh Karthik will continue as the wicket-keeper batsman for Men in Blue and Shubman Gill will make his debut. India are expected to make couple of changes in the fourth ODI match against the Kiwis.

Gill is expected to replace Virat Kohli in the playing XI. Team India's regular skipper has been rested owing to workload. The visitors are leading 3-0 in the five-match series.

News Cricket

Partners in crime, Jodi no.1, Gabbar lauds partnership with Hitman

Staff Writer Updated: 30 January, 2019, 9:39 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Shikhar Dhawan has lauded his partnership with Rohit Sharma 

He shared a throwback picture with Hitman

The duo surpassed Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag in the second ODI 

Shikhar Dhawan has lauded his partnership with Rohit Sharma ahead of the fourth ODI match against New Zealand.

He shared a throwback picture with Hitman to show their journey for Men in Blue. "Partners in crime! Jodi no.1. #partnership #friends #cricket #teamindia," Dhawan wrote with pictures of them from past and present.

The duo surpassed Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag in the second ODI with their 14th 100-run partnership. Sehwag and Sachin had shared 13 100-run partnerships as an opening pair.

A 154-run opening partnership between Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma set India on course to a 90-run win over New Zealand in the second one-day cricket international on Saturday and a 2-0 lead in the five-match series.

Sharma made 87 and Dhawan 66 as India posted 324-4 after winning the toss and opting to bat. New Zealand mustered only 234 from 40.2 overs in reply for its second heavy defeat after losing the first match of the series by eight wickets.

News Cricket

Nobody like Mahi Bhai, says Khaleel Ahmed as he shared a fun filled picture with MS Dhoni

Staff Writer Updated: 30 January, 2019, 9:36 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Khaleel Ahmed shared a fun filled picture with former skipper MS Dhoni

The visitors are leading 3-0 in the five-match ODI series

MS Dhoni was back at the training session but is expected to miss the upcoming match

India's new speedster Khaleel Ahmed shared a fun filled picture with former skipper MS Dhoni ahead of the fourth ODI against New Zealand.

The visitors are leading 3-0 in the five-match ODI series and will look to win the remaining matches.

He uploaded a picture on Twitter with Dhoni and wrote: ‘Nobody like him #MahiBhai #Legend #IndianCricketTeam #BCCI’.

MS Dhoni was back at the training session but is expected to miss the upcoming match as team management wants him to fully recover from his hamstring injury.

They don’t want to take any risk considering Team India’s hectic limited overs schedule.

News Cricket

Bee Attack halts match between India A and England Lions, Hurts Fans

Staff Writer Updated: 30 January, 2019, 6:20 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Rahul Dravid had to get back to the dugout

Players protected themselves by bending downwards

Five fans were taken to hospital for medical care

The cricket match between India A and England Lions was halted because of an attack by bees. Due to the invasion, there was no play for 15 minutes.

None of the players, match officials and support staff were injured but five fans were taken to hospital for medical care. This incident took place in the 28th over of the England Lions innings when a group of five people threw something at the beehive that led to the attack giving little time to the victims to hide somewhere.

Rahul Dravid had to get back to the dugout, while the players protected themselves by bending downwards and waited around the pitch to let the swarm clear out. The India A team is leading 4-0 against the England Lions in the five-match series.

Chasing 222 to win, the home side successfully chased the target in 46.3 overs and won the game by six wickets.

Opinion Cricket

Why haters and critics need to shut up and applaud current Team India?

Staff Writer Updated: 30 January, 2019, 5:50 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

  • Indian cricket fans are the harshest critics in the world
  • When India lost the Test series against South Africa and England, there were too much criticisms
  • Fans were too harsh on MS Dhoni in the first ODI

Indian cricket fans are the harshest critics in the world and it often takes them just a single opportunity to lash out at the team and certain individuals. When India lost the Test series against South Africa and England away from home in 2018, there were too much criticisms on offer from both fans and pundits alike. But the moment India won in Australia and the Asia Cup, things changed.

Recently in the tour of Australia, fans were too harsh on MS Dhoni in the first ODI at the SCG. People blamed him for India's loss and accused him of slowing things down. Not many realized that he hardly played any cricket coming into that game and also had to do recovery job with India reeling at 4/3.

The same Dhoni then went on to win the series for India after scores of 55* and 87*. People jumped into conclusions too early and suggested Rishabh Pant should be included and that Dhoni should be dropped from the squad to be selected for the World Cup. Next moment when Pant will fail, then he too won't be spared.

The much of the hatred stems on social media sites like Twitter. Several fans, who do or don't understand cricket are quickly to shun anybody in order to prove their point. Their baseless comments are often mixed with abuses and social media aggressions. This is the reality we are living in. Not long ago, former Aussie cricketer Dean Jones pointed out that Indian fans are just too critical and hard.

When India lost the ODIs against England last year, Dhoni was booed off despite the batsmen coming on before him failed to do anything substantial. One feels that he is one of their favourite targets. Besides Dhoni, several fans and pundits alike went too hard on Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul recently regarding the Koffee With Karan controversy.

Pandya asked for apology and the BCCI also suspended the two cricketers. One should leave it till there, but no things went too far. Another major issue fans in particular have is regarding team selection matters and are quick to lash out at the captain and the management. India's overseas form, comments regarding short pitch balls and many more are subject of the criticisms.

Recently Cheteshwar Pujara was called a cheater because of him not walking off after nicking a delivery to the keeper. Isn't that the job of the umpire? Why he gets the blame? The same Pujara was India's hero in Australia in the Test series. So quickly fans shift their focus and rely on anything to spill their venom at.

The question is that can we leave the cricketers alone and let them play the game. Can we for one moment enjoy the cricket and don't utter any judgement? Can we learn to accept defeats as much as enjoy wins? The Indian team needs to be lauded for what they achieved in Australia and now in New Zealand. We need to support the side and the players. That's where sanity and sense prevails.

The World Cup starts from May 30 onwards, and we need to be behind the side as much as we can and stop this blame game and hate.