News Cricket

Sachin Tendulkar names a big threat for the opposition at 2019 World Cup

Harshit Anand Updated: 5 February, 2019, 10:47 AM IST

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The 2019 Cricket World Cup will take place in England and Wales
  • It will commence from May 30
  • Sachin Tendulkar named a big threat for the opposition at 2019 World Cup

The countdown for cricket's biggest carnival - the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup has begun with all the participants trying to be in best possible shape and form by the time the megaevent commences in England and Wales.

India are red-hot favorites to win the 2019 World Cup. Jasprit Bumrah is one of the X-factors for the Men in Blue. There is no better bowler in death overs than Bumrah in white-ball cricket. And Indian legend Sachin Tendulkar has also termed him as a "big threat" for batsmen in World Cup.

"Bumrah will be a big threat to the opposition and a great asset to India at the World Cup," Sachin Tendulkar said.

"I am not surprised by Bumrah's success. Having spent time with him and seen his sincere and honest efforts to improve and learn, I always knew it was a matter of time before he would rattle the best batsmen in the world," Tendulkar said, as quoted by Sportstar.

"I have seen from close quarters how he looks to improve. In 2015, I had seen his ability to win a battle. With Kane Williamson in batting, I had said Bumrah would make his mark. I am happy he has," he added.

Bumrah made his Test debut last year against South Africa and left his mark instantly. After that, he carried his hot form in the Test series against England and Australia as well.

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News Tennis

Tsonga recovers to reach 2nd round at Open Sud de France

AP Updated: 5 February, 2019, 10:39 AM IST

HIGHLIGHT

  • Tsonga wasted seven break points but finally took the advantage
  • Jo-Wilfried Tsonga rallied from a set down to beat fellow Frenchman Ugo Humbert
  • Tsonga will next face another compatriot in fourth-seeded Gilles Simon

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga rallied from a set down to beat fellow Frenchman Ugo Humbert 3-6, 7-6 (5), 6-4 in the first round of the Open Sud de France.

Tsonga, who has slipped to 210 in the world rankings after a long injury layoff, will next face another compatriot in fourth-seeded Gilles Simon, who received a first-round bye.

Tsonga wasted seven break points but finally took the advantage in the final set, with Humbert visibly disappointed to have lost a second set he dominated.

It was even tougher for Marcel Granollers, who needed three tiebreak sets to prevail 7-6 (3), 6-7 (5), 7-6 (5) over Croatian Ivo Karlovic, who turns 40 this month.

Granollers of Spain next faces third-seeded Denis Shapovalov of Canada.

Jeremy Chardy routed lucky loser Adrian Menendez-Maceiras of Spain 6-1, 6-1 in only 47 minutes. Chardy will meet fellow Frenchman Antoine Hoang or Belgian Steve Darcis in the second round.

News Football

Ben Arfa suing for compensation over unhappy spell with PSG

AP Updated: 5 February, 2019, 10:30 AM IST

HIGHLIGHT

  • French midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa is seeking up to 8 million euros ($9.1 million) in compensation
  • Ben Arfa's contract at PSG was heavily weighted with performances bonuses
  • Ben Arfa joined PSG in 2016

French midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa is seeking up to 8 million euros ($9.1 million) in compensation from Paris Saint-Germain for not playing him during the last 15 months of his largely unhappy spell with the club.

The player's lawyer, Jean-Jacques Bertrand, said in an Associated Press interview that the suit was filed on Friday with a Paris labor tribunal.

Bertrand said Ben Arfa's contract at PSG was heavily weighted with performances bonuses, so his earnings took a hit from the club's decision not to play him. The suit also argues that PSG's treatment of Ben Arfa amounted to workplace harassment.

The lawyer alleges the club's aim was "to make him crack," and PSG "did everything to push him to leave."

In response, PSG expressed confidence that it will be vindicated and said it regrets the "stubbornness" of Ben Arfa and his attorney.

Ben Arfa joined PSG in 2016. But after scoring twice in a French Cup quarterfinal in April 2017, he never played for the PSG first team again to the end of his contract in June 2018, an exile of nearly 70 matches.

News Football

Liverpool held by West Ham as title challenge falters again

AP Updated: 5 February, 2019, 10:19 AM IST

HIGHLIGHT

  • Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp is keen to transmit serenity
  • Liverpool is still top of the English Premier League by three points
  • Manchester City can overhaul Liverpool for top spot by beating Everton

With points dropped for the second consecutive game and a title challenge getting jittery, Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp is keen to transmit serenity.

After all, Liverpool is still top of the English Premier League by three points despite being held 1-1 by West Ham after also drawing with Leicester in the previous game.

"It's not about pressure," Klopp said. "It's about enjoying the situation you are in it. We have 62 points. We lost one game in the (league) season so far, which is very positive."

There is, however, a noticeable downturn in the club's fortunes in the league. Michail Antonio canceling out Sadio Mane's opener for Liverpool meant Klopp's squad has now dropped seven potential points in its last five games. The northwest club only dropped six points in the opening 20 fixtures by drawing three games.

Now Manchester City can overhaul Liverpool for top spot by beating Everton on Wednesday, albeit only on goal difference and by having played a game more than Liverpool.

Klopp could tell critics weren't convinced by the display at the Olympic Stadium or Liverpool's ability to sustain the challenge to end the team's 29-year English title drought.

"I have seen your faces," Klopp told a post-match news conference. "You feel a little bit sorry for us, and you don't have to. We are all fine."

News Cricket

When New Zealand captain Kane Williamson was left heartbroken!

Harshit Anand Updated: 4 February, 2019, 5:23 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

  • India won the fifth and final ODI in Wellington against New Zealand
  • One of the critical points in the game came in the 11th over when Pandya got Taylor's wicket
  • Taylor consulted Williamson whether to take the DRS or not.

India won the fifth and final ODI in Wellington against New Zealand by 35 runs to clinch the five-match ODI series by 4-1. Ambati Rayudu, who top-scored with 90 to help India recover from 18-4 was adjudged Player-of-the-Match. India posted 252 runs on board after opting to bat first.

One of the critical points in the game came in the 11th over when Hardik Pandya got rid of in-form Kiwi batsman Ross Taylor. Taylor was given out leg before the wicket. Taylor consulted Williamson whether to take the DRS or not. Williamson felt it was out and advised Taylor against taking the review. But later it was found that the ball was missing the stumps.

"I heard about that not long after I got out which is extremely frustrating. We had a conversation and Ross has been batting absolutely beautifully so it breaks your heart when you realise you make a mistake like that through communication," Williamson said at the post-match conference.

He added, "Yeah, he walked past me and asked, 'what do you reckon, and maybe it's too high, and maybe it's umpire's call,' and unfortunately it's one of those things that we move on (from)."

Feature Cricket

Nucleus of India's World Cup squad is in place

Partab Ramchand Updated: 4 February, 2019, 5:20 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

So all is well that ends well. The Indians managed to shrug off the very bad day at the office in the fourth ODI and by winning the final game wrapped up the series 4-1. Given the fact that New Zealand have had the better of bilateral contests in recent years it was a pretty impressive performance though one supposes it will not be easy to forget or forgive the abysmal show at Hamilton.

The most encouraging aspect of the final ODI was that the middle order came good. There has been a question mark over the middle order for some time now and the feeling, quite rightly, is that the team is over dependent on the top order. This time for once the top order came a cropper but from 18 for four Ambati Rayudu, Kedar Jadhav, Vijay Shankar and Hardik Pandya lifted the score to a highly competitive 252 and the bowlers who have seldom let the team down saw to it that the Kiwis were always going to fall short of the target.

Chairman of selectors MSK Prasad has been saying that the team for the World Cup is more or less settled and on the evidence of the just concluded series it is difficult not to agree with him. The nucleus is very much there what with Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Rayudu, MS Dhoni and Dinesh Karthik certainties as the batsmen. Also certainties are the utility players Ravindra Jadeja and Hardik Pandya and the spin duo of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav. Among the seam bowlers the certainties are Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami. There is place for an additional seam bowler and depending on the selectors’ preference youth or experience can be given the nod. There is also place for an extra batsman in which case Rishabh Pant should be the first choice unless the selectors plump for one more utility player and the choice here is between Vijay Shankar and Kedhar Jadhav.

This then is the nucleus of the Indian side for the World Cup. Whether it is good enough to regain the trophy or not is a moot point but what cannot be debated is that it is just about the best that India can field with the right blend of youth and experience.

Feature Cricket

No One’s Safe in Test Cricket

Sreelata S Yellamrazu Updated: 4 February, 2019, 5:11 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

England’s defeat at the hands of the West Indies proves one thing: No one can take their place for granted in Test cricket. After all, this was the England team that beat the currently rejoicing Indian team by a shocking 4-1 margin not six months ago.

It makes a little bit of a mockery of the current world rankings, particularly since the points accumulated do not necessarily reflect the actual current state of the game and do need some more revision in terms of how they are awarded in terms of teams, rankings, standings and on the basis on home and away.

By mathematical deductions and simple iterations, West Indies beat England. England beat India. India beat Australia. England beat Sri Lanka. Australia beat Sri Lanka. So, how does the pedestal look after what has been a rather surprising and phenomenal year for Test cricket at a time when Twenty20 has dominated agendas for a decade and the ICC Cricket World Cup is the next itinerary teams are setting their sights on?

While any win for the West Indies brings back a sense of nostalgia given that the Caribbean islands have produced some of cricket’s finest champions in the yesteryears, one cannot unfortunately deride the fact that the Test teams currently on show are not an entirely settled bunch. In many ways, the fickle weather play of the England team – their struggles from the previous Ashes being relived in terms of their batting, has meant that the quality of the battle on show is suffering because of the malaise of the modern game.

While it makes Test cricket rather intriguing, there is plenty of room for improvement. What is worthy to note is that while England have lapsed badly in their attempt to stay consistent and improve since that Ashes debacle, West Indies, despite the greater propensity of their players to defect to the Twenty20 leagues, have managed to put together a team that can withstand the pressure of Test cricket enough to make a sizeable dent on the landscape even if this one has been a long time coming, if one leaves out Bangladesh and Zimbabwe.

West Indies’ own cricket has oscillated from hope to misery once too often and while they have every right to rejoice this renewed hope, a lot will, also, depend, on the manner in which they now approach the dead rubber in the form of the third Test given that they have won the Test series comprehensively and also, because they will miss the double centurion and captain, Jason Holder, from the third Test as a measure of penalty for slow over rate which could considerably undermine the team given that Holder has been crucial to picking up wickets as well.

With both teams struggling for consistency, while one would like to think this is an isolated problem, the fact cannot be overlooked that the rest of the cricket world including India who are euphoric about their trip down under after suffering a rather ignominious loss of a golden opportunity in England prior to the tour of Australia, cannot rest easy/ The state of Test cricket as it stands suggests that even while the rankings keep it interesting, they are not really the reflection of the current state of affairs nor are they the basis on which betting predictions can be made.

Videos Cricket

Watch: Thala Dhoni avoids Chahal TV interview in the most hilarious manner

Harshit Anand Updated: 4 February, 2019, 4:39 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

  • Team India completed New Zealand’s annihilation in fifth ODI
  • BCCI has started an interview segment named ‘Chahal TV’
  • Chahal interviews the best performer from the team at the end of the match

Team India completed New Zealand’s annihilation with a brilliant performance in the fifth and final ODI in Wellington after being reduced to 18-4 at one point of time in the dead rubber. India's stand-in-skipper, Rohit Sharma decided to bat first on a pitch that had moisture and help for bowlers. But India's middle-order stood up and helped India post 252 runs on the board.

As a result, India won the dead rubber by 35 runs. Ambati Rayudu, who scored a magnificent 90 was adjudged Player-of-the-Match. The Men in Blue were in a cheerful mood after the match and shared some light moments on the field.

BCCI has started an interview segment named ‘Chahal TV’ on which wrist-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal interviews the best performer from the team at the end of the match. Chahal was seen running behind Dhoni for an interview after fifth ODI but Dhoni ran towards the dressing room to successfully avoid Chahal, which was quite funny to see.

WATCH VIDEO —

News Cricket

David Miller reveals what made him feel like "the worst captain on the planet"

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

HIGHLIGHT

  • South Africa defeated Pakistan in the second T20I by seven runs
  • The Proteas have an unconquerable lead of 2-0 in the series
  • David Miller has been central to both the Proteas wins

South Africa defeated Pakistan in the second T20I by seven runs at the Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg to take an unassailable lead of 2-0 in the three-match T20I series. David Miller has been central to both the Proteas wins. In fact, he has won back-to-back Player-of-the-match awards for his brilliance in the ongoing series between the two sides.

But the stand-in Proteas skipper, David Miller, at one point felt that he was "the worst captain on the planet."

“I thought I was the worst captain on the planet, to be honest, but they were always going to go hard in the powerplay,” said Miller during the post-match presentation.

‘We didn’t start too well, but credit to our bowlers for really bringing it back. Shamsi came on and did incredibly well to bring their run rate down, and then Sipamla in his first game was absolutely incredible. I was really pleased with the two of them,’ said Miller, who was captaining South Africa in absence of the rested Faf du Plessis.

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

HIGHLIGHT

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.

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."