News Cricket

South African legend comes out in support of R Ashwin

Staff Writer Updated: 28 March, 2019, 11:57 AM IST


After Rahul Dravid, South African great AB de Villiers has come out in support of Kings XI Punjab's captain, Ravichandran Ashwin. Ravi Ashwin made the headlines when he mankaded English international and Rajasthan Royals' opener, Jos Buttler at Jaipur. AB de Villiers, however, also expressed his sympathy for Jos Buttler.

“I felt sorry for Buttler because he wasn’t trying to steal a run, and Ashwin did nothing wrong because he was operating within the laws,” the Bangalore star wrote in his column for the Times of India.

“It’s still a grey area, and Law 41.16 needs to be clarified. Either running a batsman out at the non-striker’s end is legal or it isn’t — can somebody please decide,” he added.

Royal Challengers Bangalore started off their 2019 IPL campaign with a terrible loss against defending champions, Chennai Super Kings. Today, they will take on Mumbai Indians at their home ground.

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News Cricket

Quinton de Kock reveals the way Mumbai can beat RCB

Harshit Anand Updated: 28 March, 2019, 11:08 AM IST


Today, Mumbai Indians will clash with Royal Challengers Bangalore at M.Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru. Both Mumbai and Bangalore started off their IPL campaign with defeats, so it will be a chance for them to make amends.

Quinton de Kock, who represented RCB last year and is in Mumbai's side this year, revealed the one threat that his side would need to conquer if they want to win the tie against the Kohli-led RCB.

“AB being AB, he is a big wicket for them. I think if we get him out pretty early, we stand a good chance of doing well in the game. So we have spoken about it — about how we’re going to try and get him out and hopefully it comes off tomorrow,” Quinton de Kock told reporters on the eve of the match.

“Otherwise, we just hope he (de Villiers) makes a mistake,” he added.

Mumbai are known to be slow starters and they will need to get into their groove quickly. “Any big tournament around the world, everybody wants to get off to a good start. Coming into this game, knowing we haven’t won a game, so it’s a big game for us tomorrow. We need to get going with a win and hopefully build some momentum, get things rolling for our campaign this year,” he said.

News Cricket

Australia romps to 80-run win against Pakistan in 3rd ODI

AP Updated: 28 March, 2019, 10:27 AM IST


Australia romped to an 80-run win against Pakistan in the third one-day international on Wednesday and took an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-match series.

Captain Aaron Finch missed out on an opportunity to become the first Australian to hit three consecutive ODI hundreds but his 90 off 136 balls anchored the world champions to 266-6.

Glenn Maxwell, dropped on 28, accelerated after Finch was caught out in the deep and scored 71 off 55 balls as Pakistan conceded 90 runs in the last 10 overs.

Leg spinner Adam Zampa hurried through the Pakistan tail enders with career-best figures of 4-43 to bowl out the home team for 186 in 44.4 overs.

Fast bowler Pat Cummins, playing his first match of the series, had earlier polished off the top order to finish with 3-24.

"If we had lost tonight, it would have been my fault for batting so slow," Finch said. "But we ended up getting a good score on a difficult wicket. The rain put a bit of moisture in the wicket, and Cummins and Behrendorff exploited that. Our spinners were incredibly good again."

Opening batsman Imam-ul-Haq top scored with 46, but Pakistan, which rested seven of its likely World Cup players for this series, always struggled against the pace of Cummins and spin of Zampa.

"We are trying to give all the players chances so that selection committee and team management both have a better picture in front of them," Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik said. "If we win two games, we have something in our pocket."

Earlier, Australia stuttered to 20-2 after unusual rain in Abu Dhabi delayed the start of the match by 15 minutes.

Usman Shinwari clean bowled Usman Khawaja in the first over and Shaun Marsh was caught off Junaid Khan.

Finch and Peter Handscomb rebuilt the innings with an 84-run stand before part time left arm spinner Haris Sohail undone Peter Handscomb with a delivery that shaped away from the right hander.

Handscomb hit four of his six boundaries to 18-year-old fast bowler Mohammad Hasnain in one over before being dismissed for 47 off 43 balls.

Australia was buckled down by Pakistan spinners Imad Wasim (1-34) and Yasir Shah (1-47) in the middle overs on a slow wicket before Maxwell got better of the seamers after Finch departed in the 42nd over.

Finch, who hit five fours and a six, looked set for his third successive century before he holed out at long on in Shah's last over.

Maxwell was given a let-off when Imam-ul-Haq dropped a sitter at point and the Australian batsman cut lose thereafter. Maxwell hit eight fours and a six in his chancy knock before getting run out in the 47th over.

Malik and Imam shared a 59-run stand but the Australian bowlers always controlled the game once Cummins found the outside edges of Shan Masood, Haris Sohail and Mohammad Rizwan which reduced Pakistan to 16-3.

Imad Wasim scored 43 and Umar Akmal made 36 before Zampa wrapped up the innings quickly as Pakistan was bowled out with more than five overs to spare.

Australia won the first two matches at Sharjah by identical margins of eight wickets. Dubai will host the remaining two games on Friday and Sunday.

News Cricket

 Bravo terms MS Dhoni as the "best captain" in the world

Harshit Anand Updated: 27 March, 2019, 5:30 PM IST


Chennai Super Kings made a grand comeback to the cash-rich IPL, last year. They went on to win the title after not being part of the league in the preceding two seasons. Now, they have made a great start to the 2019 season of IPL as well by winning the first two games.

Dwayne Bravo, who has been an integral part of CSK in IPL disclosed quite a few interesting details about the side.

“We are aware of our age. It’s there and you can google it but that’s nothing. We are not 60 year-olds, we are 35, 32-year-olds. We are still young, we look after our bodies and we have a lot of experience.

“In any sport, in any tournament, you just cannot beat experience. We know our weaknesses and we play smart and we are well led by the best captain in the world. And he [Dhoni] keeps reminding us that you know we are not the fastest team, but we can be the smartest team,” Bravo added.

“We don’t plan. We don’t have team meetings. We just turn up and go with the flow. MS has a style, and every player has a style. We just watch the situation and adapt quickly and that’s where experience comes in,” said Bravo .

News Cricket

Jofra Archer names the best T20 bowler in the world

Harshit Anand Updated: 27 March, 2019, 4:54 PM IST


Rajasthan Royals bowler, Jofra Archer is counted among the upcoming stars of the game. He has already made a name for himself with his inspiring displays in the shortest format of the game. The lanky pacer shot to fame with his exploits in Australia's Big Bash League and from there onwards, he has not looked back.

The Barbados born speedster has 105 scalps in 82 T20s. He recently revealed that he considers India's Jasprit Bumrah as the best T20 bowler and also explained why.

“I am going to say that I quite like Bumrah. I would include a spinner in the list and that is Rashid Khan. So it’s myself, Bumrah and Rashid, who are three best bowlers in T20 cricket,” Archer, playing for Rajasthan Royals in the ongoing IPL, told PTI during an interview.

“With the new ball, it can go either way, so for all the fast bowlers, it is essential that you have an extra edge at the death,” said Archer.

“Even with Bumrah's action, he bowls yorkers really well. And the key to possessing a potent slower delivery in case of Bumrah is his action. His hands go on all directions and suddenly you will find it really hard to pick up the slower one,” explained Archer.

Feature Cricket

MCC statement clarifies legality of Buttler's dismissal

Partab Ramchand Updated: 27 March, 2019, 4:06 PM IST


Not unexpectedly the storm over Ravi Ashwin’s dismissal of Jos Buttler on Monday is not abating. The pros and cons, those for and against either the bowler or the batsmen have all aired their views and opinion is divided.

But the most important reaction has come from MCC the guardians of the laws of cricket who have defended the controversial circumstances of Buttler’s dismissal stating that it is not against the Spirit of Cricket for a bowler to run out a batsman at the non-striker’s end. However MCC stated that the legality of the dismissal came down to the umpire’s interpretation of the law given that Butler had not been seeking to gain an advantage in the moments before Ashwin chose to abort his delivery stride and attempt the dismissal.

The relevant part of Law 41.16 states: ``If the non-striker is out of his ground from the moment the ball comes into play to the instant when the bowler would normally have been expected to release the ball, the bowler is permitted to attempt to run him out.’’

MCC however acknowledged the ambiguity of the current wording of the law pertaining to the non-striker leaving his ground early. Given that the ICC’s interpretation of the law clarifies that the ``expected moment of release’’ comes when ``the arm reaches its highest point’’ in a bowler’s delivery stride MCC concluded that it was understandable how Bruce Oxenford the TV umpire had seen it fit to give Butler out.

Most importantly the MCC in its statement clarified that it has never been in the laws that a warning should be given to the non-striker and nor is it against the Spirit of Cricket to run out a non-striker who is seeking to gain an advantage by leaving his ground early. ``Furthermore with batsmen now being deemed in or out by millimeters by TV replays on quick singles it is right that they should remain in their ground at the non-strikers end until it is fair for them to leave.’’

That puts to rest all talk that a bowler should warn the batsman before running him out. In short, in future if the non-striker does not want to be ``Mankaded’’ he should stay within the crease till the ball is delivered.

Feature Cricket

Call A Spade a Spade…

Sreelata S Yellamrazu Updated: 27 March, 2019, 4:00 PM IST


For the better part of the last twenty four hours, the cricket world has been abuzz about the Kings XI Punjab captain’s decision to run out the batsman from the Rajasthan Royals through a tricky dismissal known as ‘Mankad’ing. However, one wonders how it is easy to call it a violation of the spirit of the game issue when the rules of the game are quite explicit.

Quite a stir has been created over an issue that has been quite clear as per the laws of the game. Jos Buttler, himself a repeat offender of walking out of his crease at the non-striker’s end, is once again making a hue and cry about an issue that he himself stated he was in the wrong in the past. He stated it himself in 2016, two years after he claimed indignation at being mankaded by Sri Lanka, calling it ‘a batsman error’. Along with the England wicketkeeper-batsman, much of the cricket world that is up in arms appears to have forgotten that there is a place for the spirit of the game and also, one for adhering to the laws.

Ravichandran Ashwin was well within his right to spot the non-striker out of his crease in the course of his run up and dismiss him in the fashion he did. Those that claim that Ashwin had no intention of bowling the ball – when a bowler will stop in his tracks in order to effect the removing of the bails, must, also, look at the batsman’s behavior before making such a judgement. For the Kings XI Punjab bowler and captain to be vilified in such fashion seems out of place when the cricket law clears states that the bowler is well within his rights.

Furthermore, nowhere does it state that the bowler must warn the batsman although there have been past instances. For Jos Buttler and for those who are calling foul from a high moral ground must remember they are living in glass houses themselves and that Buttler, from his own experience, should have known better, not only knowing the laws as a batsman but also, as a wicketkeeper and furthermore, of having faced such an ignominy himself in the recent past.

It would have been equally telling on Ashwin had he merely warned the batsman and let him off while his team was struggling to pull back the match. It is quite plausible that the same people making the argument for Buttler today would have criticized Ashwin for being ‘soft’ when the game demanded action to make something happen for the team.

Just because a batsman is in good form does not mean that the bowler has unfairly deprived the cricket world of fireworks. Ashwin did what any bowler should do in a world skewed in favour of the batsman. After all, is it not school boy training for a batsman to always remember to have his bat behind the crease? The law book says so. Where is the spirit of the game if not in upholding the law?

If this brings shame upon Ashwin, perhaps those that are deeming it so should look at their own actions as well as the ones perpetrated that have far demonized the game and the men who make up the sport, particularly when it comes from the Rajasthan Royals whose players were caught spot fixing, who are batting for Steve Smith who failed to uphold the high echelons of captaincy despite being one of the world’s best batsmen at the time of sandpaper-gate and have Shane Warne who did not think about standards when dealing with bookies or the many shenanigans that eventually cost him the Australian captaincy.

News Cricket

“I was hated nationally, and it was not easy": KL Rahul opens up on Koffee with Karan controversy

Harshit Anand Updated: 27 March, 2019, 3:54 PM IST


The Koffee with Karan controversy made KL Rahul doubt himself as a person. Being a cricketer is never easy as it brings intense scrutiny over your life. Rahul experienced the worst side of being a public figure after he partnered Hardik Pandya in the Karan Johar hosted TV talk show, where Pandya made sexist comments on women. Although Rahul didn't say anything wrong about girls, but he was also brutally targeted on social media.

Rahul opened up on how traumatic it was to deal with after effects of Koffee with Karan episode, the backlash of which, created ripples.

“The last two months have been very, very tough for me. When it happened, I had started to doubt myself as a person,” Rahul told India Today on Wednesday.

“I was hated nationally, and it was not easy. I always thought I was a good person and then I started to believe otherwise. I couldn’t come out of home for I was not ready. Only played play station and all. I have become calmer and more mature as a result. It has taught me a lot and maybe, I have emerged stronger also,” he said.

News Cricket

I don't want to be R Ashwin, says Kevin Pietersen

Harshit Anand Updated: 27 March, 2019, 2:58 PM IST


Ravichandran Ashwin has been slammed by a plethora of England cricketers in aftermath of the mankading controversy that erupted during a game between Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab at Jaipur. Punjab skipper, Ashwin had mankaded Jos Buttler, who was in red-hot form and looked set to lead his team to a win. Buttler has been in great touch for his franchise. And against Punjab he started off from where he had left in the 2018 IPL.

Former English cricketer, Kevin Pietersen said Ashwin will be talked about for a long time for his controversial act. "I don't see many talking favourably about what happened, leaving it up to him and leaving it up to the individual. He (Ashiwn) is always going to be liable with it now because it is such a big topic and it is going to be talked about for a long time," Pietersen said on the Star Sports Select Dugout show.

The former England batsman, further added, "I'll put it this way, I don't want to be that player, that was talked about in that circumstances," said the 38-year-old Pietersen.

News Cricket

MS Dhoni or Rishabh Pant for India's World Cup squad? Rahul Dravid answers

Harshit Anand Updated: 27 March, 2019, 2:36 PM IST


With the World Cup around the corner, there are a lot of debates on who should be in the Indian team and who shouldn't be. With waning powers of MS Dhoni, he is often targeted by a group of fans, who consider Dhoni as a liability on the team. But, there is a vast section, which feels that Dhoni is still invaluable to the team with his experience and strategic powers. The veteran cricketer has done well this year with the bat as well.

Rahul Dravid expressed his opinion recently when he was asked to pick on between Dhoni and Pant for the WC team.

“As a coach of the India U-19 team, I should not be commenting on who should be included. Everyone is same for me. All I will say is that Dhoni has incredible experience and he has been playing very well in the past few months. Rishabh is definitely an exciting young player and he has got the talent,” Dravid told TOI.

“If the selectors feel, two wicketkeepers can play. The best 15 should be in the team,” the legendary Indian cricketer further added.

There are also a lot of question marks over the no.4 spot. India tried Rayudu, Rahul, and Pant at the crucial spot, which shows they are yet to finalize anyone for the World Cup.

Dravid refused to state his preference for the no.4 spot player.

“Like I said, I cannot be commenting on that. I am coaching 10 boys and all of them are fighting for a place in that squad. I cannot publicly pick one particular player,” said Dravid.

News Cricket

Rahul Dravid defends R Ashwin

Harshit Anand Updated: 27 March, 2019, 12:07 PM IST


Legendary Indian cricketer, Rahul Dravid has come out in support of Ravichandran Ashwin in wake of the mankading controversy. Big names like Shane Warne, Kevin Pietersen, Eoin Morgan and host lot of cricketer have criticized R Ashwin. Many believe that it might be right under the laws of the game but is not morally correct. However, Rahul Dravid's taken on the whole fiasco is refreshing.

“I think some of the reactions were overblown. Questioning Ashwin’s character because he did that is totally wrong. He has every right to his view. You might not agree with it, but it was well within his rights to do it and that does not make him a bad person,” Dravid told the Times of India.

“I don’t have a problem with someone deciding to do it. Ashwin was well within his rights to do what he did. However, personally, I would prefer it if somebody warns someone first. That would be my personal choice, but I respect someone’s view to think differently. I might not agree with it necessarily, but I would just have to agree to disagree whether someone should run someone out without warning him,” he explained.

News Cricket

It’s unfortunate that my father’s name has been tainted: Vinoo Mankad’s son

Staff Writer Updated: 27 March, 2019, 11:04 AM IST


The mankading law has been back in focus ever since Ashwin mankaded Buttler during one of the IPL games. Many people consider the law to be against the "spirit of cricket." This law has been named after Indian cricketer, Vinoo Mankad, who was one of the earlier cricketers to use this way of effecting a run-out.

“I have spoken to many greats, including Sunil Gavaskar, the Chappells (Greg and Ian) and Michael Holding and they have no issue with this form of dismissal. But this doesn’t die as a controversy, it’s unfortunate that my father’s name is tainted because of this,” the 63-year-old Rahul, one of the three sons (Ashok and Atul were others), told Mumbai Mirror.

“The mode of dismissal is within the laws of cricket. It was not as if my father did it the first time, or it hasn’t been done subsequently. I think it was Australian journalists who had coined the phrase (way back in the 40s). The ICC has already ruled that the mode of dismissal should be called run out. I think it’s appropriate,” Rahul explained.

News Cricket

Mankad decision in IPL divides cricket fans around world

AP Updated: 27 March, 2019, 9:20 AM IST


There are contentious issues in cricket that, it seems, just aren't cricket.

Take for instance one particular run out, within the laws of the game but against some people's concept of the spirit of cricket, in the Indian Premier League that has divided fans, former players and experts across the world.

It's called a Mankad, named after the first player to do it in an international match in 1947. Kings XI Punjab skipper Ravi Ashwin ran into bowl but didn't release the ball, instead taking off the bails at the non-striker's end of the pitch while Rajasthan Royals batter Jos Buttler was out of his crease.

The Indian Premier League posted the full video online under the questions: Within the rules of the game? Fair play? Would you have done it?

In the video, there's some lively discussion between Ashwin and the English batsman Buttler on the field while the decision was referred to the TV umpire.

Respected international cricket analyst Harsha Bhogle said it was within the laws of the game for the bowler to run out a batter backing up at the non-striker's end, and there was no need for the bowler to warn the batter.

Bhogle was commentating on the game for TV. His co-commentator described Ashwin's run out as a "terrible, terrible gesture."

"Lots of drama on the Buttler run-out," Bhogle later posted on Twitter. "He was livid but the law and the advisory on it is clear. The bowler is within his right to run a player out at the non-striker's end if he is out of his crease."

It sparked immediate debate among other former cricketers. Some, such as ex-Australia legspinner Shane Warne, describing it as "disgraceful and embarrassing," while others could see no problem with the decision.

"As captain of your side you set the standard of the way the team wants to play and what the team stands for!" Warne posted on Twitter, adding that Ashwin would be remembered for it."

Under the old more-or-less unwritten rules, a bowler was supposed to warn a batter at the non-striker's end the first time a Mankad run out was an option in cases where the runner was leaving the crease too early.

The International Cricket Council codified the rule to reflect the bowler didn't need to warn a batter, so long as the bowler abided by certain conditions.

What is still debatable is whether a bowler can lure the non-striker into leaving the crease early by faking a bowl.

The Marylebone Cricket Club, regarded as the guardian of the laws of the game, sided with Ashwin when it released a statement about the incident on Tuesday.

"It has never been in the laws that a warning should be given to the non-striker," the Lord's-based MCC said, "and nor is it against the spirit of cricket to run out a non-striker who is seeking to gain an advantage by leaving his/her ground early.

"Furthermore, with batsmen now being deemed in or out by millimetres by TV replays on quick singles, it is right that they should remain in their ground at the non-striker's end until it is fair for them to leave."

Ashwin's team won, and he said in a later interview that it wasn't a predetermined idea to run out Buttler.

"Look, it was very instinctive on my part. It was not planned or anything like that," Ashwin said. "It's there within the rules of the game. I don't know where the understanding of spirit of the game comes because quite naturally, if it's there in the rules, it's there."

In an International Cricket Council poll on Twitter, 72 percent of the 31,417 voters said they didn't believe Ashwin did the right thing.

Former England captain Michael Vaughan posted the question to those supporting Ashwin's move , if it had been India star Virat Kohli batting would they think it was a good idea?

"I would say to all India ex-players/Pundits who are supportive of what R Ashwin did ... If @imVkohli was batting would you be so supportive !!???"

Rajasthan Royals head coach Paddy Upton said in a post-match TV interview Ashwin's "actions tonight speak for him and represent him."

"When I looked in the eyes of his teammates, I'm not sure if it represented his teammates," Upton said. "I think we'll leave it up to the IPL fans to decide if that's the kind of thing they want to see. We'll leave it up to the cricket world to judge Ashwin's actions tonight.

"We're here to play cricket and entertain the fans and be good role models for people who love the game."