News Cricket

Sri Lanka drops captain Chandimal for South Africa Tests

AP Updated: 6 February, 2019, 10:20 AM IST

HIGHLIGHTS

Sri Lanka dropped captain Dinesh Chandimal from the test squad for the upcoming tour of South Africa

Sri Lanka Cricket asked him to play domestic games to regain his form

Dimuth Karunaratne is the stand-in captain of a 17-man squad for the two-test series

Sri Lanka dropped captain Dinesh Chandimal from the test squad for the upcoming tour of South Africa.

Sri Lanka Cricket asked him to play domestic games to regain his form.

Opening batsman Dimuth Karunaratne is the stand-in captain of a 17-man squad for the two-test series starting on Feb. 13.

Chandimal's omission follows scores of 5, 0, 15, and 4 in the two recent test losses against Australia.

The squad includes three uncapped players: Batsman Oshada Fernando, seam bowler Mohmed Shiraz, and left-arm spinner Lasith Embuldeniya.

Sri Lanka's pace attack is depleted because of injuries to Dushmantha Chameera, Lahiru Kumara, and Nuwan Pradeep.

However, Suranga Lakmal is back after missing the second test against Australia. Specialist opening batsman Kaushal Silva is also back having missed the Australia series.

Allrounder Milinda Siriwardana was recalled after nearly three years.

The tests are in Durban from Feb. 13 and in Port Elizabeth from Feb. 21.

Sri Lanka: Dimuth Karunaratne (captain), Niroshan Dickwella, Lahiru Thirimanne, Kaushal Silva, Kusal Mendis, Kusal Perera, Milinda Siriwardana, Dhananjaya De Silva, Oshada Fernando, Angelo Perera, Suranga Lakmal, Kasun Rajitha, Vishwa Fernando, Chamika Karunaratne, Mohamed Shiraz, Lakshan Sandakan, Lasith Embuldeniya

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Videos Cricket

Watch: Rishabh Pant slays it in style in the nets ahead of the first T20I

Harshit Anand Updated: 5 February, 2019, 5:28 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

After winning the five-match ODI series 4-1 against New Zealand, now the team will lock horns with hosts in three-match T20I series. Ahead of the first T20I in Wellington on Wednesday, Rishabh Pant, who was overlooked from the ODI side was seen sweating it out in the nets to get himself in the groove in what can be a golden opportunity for him to prove his credentials in white-ball cricket and perhaps, audition for a spot in middle-order for the 2019 Cricket World Cup.

In a video shared by BCCI, the Indian youngster was seen playing an audacious shot in the form of reverse flick. He changed his stance at the very last moment and then flicked a full ball with perfection.

India Squad for T20Is: Rohit Sharma (C), Shikhar Dhawan, Rishabh Pant, Dinesh Karthik, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni (WK), Krunal Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Siddarth Kaul, Khaleel Ahmed, Shubman Gill, Vijay Shankar, Hardik Pandya.

News Cricket

Ravi Shastri compares Virat Kohli to Imran Khan and Vivian Richards

Staff Writer Updated: 5 February, 2019, 5:03 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

  • Ravi Shastri has compared Virat Kohli to two legends of the game
  • According to him, India is lucky to have a captain like Virat Kohli
  • He feels Virat is like Imran Khan and Vivian Richards

Ravi Shastri has compared Virat Kohli to two legends of the game. In an interview with Cricbuzz, he lavished praise on the Indian skipper after he won all the major ICC awards. According to him, India is lucky to have a captain like Virat Kohli. He feels Virat is like Imran Khan and Vivian Richards, the two greatest players in the history of cricket.

“But here is a guy who is as dominant as Sir Vivian Richards. The closest I have seen to the great man. Virat is in your face, he wants to dominate and has a work ethic like no one else. Whether it comes to discipline, training, sacrifice or self-denial, it is unbelievable.

“I think India is lucky to have a leader of that sort. He reminds me of Imran Khan in many ways — in the way he sets the example and sets the standards, and goes about defining it in his own way and leading from the front,” Shastri further said.

Opinion Cricket

Has Virat Kohli been an underperformer in big games of ICC 50-overs events?

Harshit Anand Updated: 5 February, 2019, 4:36 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Virat Kohli sits atop of most of the batting charts. There is no better batsman in the world than Kohli at this juncture of time. It is not like he has become an overnight star. The 30 years old has been a consistent performer for India over the years.

He is often dubbed as the "run-machine." Kohli averages a whopping 59.51 in One-day internationals. It has been a format, where he is comfortably better than any other batsman by a country mile. The Indian batsman has 10,533 runs in 214 ODI innings. The 30 years old has 39 centuries and 49 fifties to his credit.

Once there were doubts over Virat's caliber in Test cricket but no one ever dared to question Kohli in ODI cricket as such has been his phenomenal run in the format. The Delhi dasher has taken the craft of ODI batsmanship to a sky-high level with his skill and tenacity.

But, somehow, Kohli has failed to transform his lofty batting standards into runs when it matters a great deal in big games of ICC megaevents.

Take a look at how Kohli has fared in ICC's 50-overs knock-out games:

Game Opposition Runs
2011 WC Quarter-final Australia 24
2011 WC Semi-final Pakistan 09
2011 WC Final Sri Lanka 35
2013 CT Semi-final Sri Lanka 58*
2013 CT Final England 43
2015 WC Quarter-final Bangladesh 03
2015 WC Semi-final Australia 01
2017 CT Semi-final Bangladesh 96*
2017 CT Final Pakistan 05

In nine innings, Kohli has 274 runs at an average of 39.14. The Indian skipper has crossed the fifty-run mark just twice in nine innings and has as many as four single-digit scores. For a man known as a prolific century-maker, the right-hander doesn't even have a single century. Kohli is yet to cross even fifty after having featured in three ICC megaevent finals.

These numbers are clearly not something that you would associate with a freak of nature like him. Even his fifties have come when openers have laid a solid platform.

In 2013 Champions Trophy semi-final, the Men in Blue needed 182 runs to win against Sri Lanka. And thankfully for India, openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan combined in a partnership of 77 runs, which greatly eased off the pressure from Kohli.

Kohli's other fifty came against Bangladesh in the semi-final game of 2017 Champions Trophy. India required 265 runs to qualify for the finale. Indian openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan laid a solid platform and gave India the early momentum. They added 87 runs for the first wicket in 14.4 overs to sway away hopes of Bangladesh, if there were any after they scored a below-par total on a flat wicket.

I am not discounting his performances in the aforementioned games but clearly, the situation was less demanding in comparison to some of the others. Kohli's 43 in 2013 Champions Trophy final against England has been his best of the lot.

But still, overall, his underwhelming performances are of no match to the lofty standards set by the man himself. Kohli is the face of consistency in 50-overs format, and his below-par average of 39.14 in these big games, clearly highlight to a chink in his armory. It doesn't bode well with the aura of a modern-day legend.

Also, it is not like Kohli has played one or two games that we can term these performances as an exception. It is clearly a pattern of underachievement. Nine innings is enough to leave a mark. They say cometh the hour, cometh the champion. But Kohli has often went missing in big ICC 50-overs games.

AB de Villiers was often termed a "choker" for his average performances in knock-out games of ICC events, by a vast section of cricket fans. But when it comes to ODI knockouts in ICC megaevents, even he has a better average than India's talisman, though marginally. De Villiers averages 40.25 after appearing in five ICC ODI knockouts (World Cup and Champions Trophy).

2019 Cricket World Cup is just a few months away. Virat Kohli's India looks as dominant as ever. Kohli has been in sublime touch of late. But, would he be able to finally perform like the Kohli we know or the ICC's 50-overs knock-out games will again prove too bigger a challenge for him to conquer?

That only time will tell. But, he would not get a better opportunity than the upcoming ICC megaevent to conquer the only evident chink, which one can pinpoint to in Kohli the ODI batsman.

Feature Cricket

One Rules Fits All

Sreelata S Yellamrazu Updated: 5 February, 2019, 4:29 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

  • Jason Holder was clearly the star of the first Test in Bridgetown
  • He scored a double century that made a huge difference
  • Holder became the instrument with which the team inflicted unexpected

Even in the midst of the euphoria surrounding the West Indies scoring their first Test series win over England since 2009 (or any high ranking team for that matter since 2012), there has been a dampener in the form of the West Indies captain being penalized with one match ban for slow over rate. Now as he is being asked to appeal the decision, here is where the conundrum lies.

Jason Holder was clearly the star of the first Test in Bridgetown, Barbados. For one, he scored a double century that made a huge difference in the run making tally of both teams, elevating one and denting the other. Besides his batting exploits, Holder was a useful bowler, picking up crucial wickets that told of West Indies’ gift in having the all-rounder in their Test team and on their side. In the constellation of island nations that boast of talented all-rounders but not enough to go around their own circuit, particularly in the longer format of the sport, Holder has been a beacon of hope for the beleaguered island nations that once dominated the sport.

In the second Test, the captain was at it once more, marshalling his resources to ensure England flattered to deceiving, wilting under the conditions of the pitch and the persevering stance of the hosts in Antigua. Picking up wickets to support the other frontline bowlers, Holder became the instrument with which the team inflicted unexpected, shocking damage on the visitors, buoyant after their home series victory over India and a whitewash handed to Sri Lanka in the Emerald Isles and certainly not expecting to be so brutally exposed and upstaged.

However, even as West Indies won hearts once more for the comprehensive manner in which they subjugated England in the second Test to win by ten wickets to follow up their first Test win by 381 runs, there was a twist in the tale. Holder was being punished for the teams slow over rate and as a result, would have to miss out the third Test in St. Lucia.

Customary for captains around the world to bear the brunt of the bowlers’ lag time and any team decisions that may have eaten into the mandatory ninety overs to be bowled in a day, Holder’s problem would not be so unique or unusual other than the fact that it would be not only a little disappointing for the team savoring the victory in a decade but also, severely hampering the team’s chances for a possible whitewash given Holder’s prowess and exploits.

It was not surprising in that context that amongst the dissenters of the rule was former Australian spin legend, Shane Warne, who contended the decision should be appealed since the match did not go the distance of five days. While that has been the argument made on several occasions, the conundrum lies in the fact that the duration of the game cannot be the yardstick by which punishment is meted out for slow over rates. The problem lies in the fact that if Holder was let off the hook in this one instance, given the jubilation that is marking West Indies’ current success, it sets up a precedent for other teams to use at a later date when their own team is facing a similar punitive action for the same offence. It is this issue that has polarized opinion in the aftermath of the Test, particularly since this has been a series that has garnered attention, as an afterthought much like the debate about the penalty.

News Cricket

Sunil Gavaskar wants Rishabh Pant in place of MS Dhoni

Staff Writer Updated: 5 February, 2019, 4:23 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

  • Sunil Gavaskar wants team management to rest MS Dhoni
  • Pant has been part of 3 ODIs so far and has scored just 42 runs in two innings
  • Gavaskar also stated that he would like to see Pant at No.4 and 5

Former India skipper Sunil Gavaskar wants team management to rest MS Dhoni from the upcoming five-match ODI series against Australia and give Rishabh Pant a long run keeping World Cup in mind. Gavaskar also stated that he would like to see Pant at No.4 and 5 rather than coming down the order to hit sixes and fours.

When asked if he would like to see Dinesh Karthik's as MS Dhoni's back-up option in the World Cup squad, Gavaskar said, “I would also keep Rishabh Pant. He brings that left-handedness in the top lineup as well. And I would look at playing him in the team. I will look to play him in the five one-dayers that India plays against Australia in about two weeks time. That will give us a fair idea about how the young kid is shaping up and give him some little more responsibility at say 4 or 5 because at No.6 or 7 he just going to bang...bang and blast it around and that is not what you want to see. What we want to see is may be something like what happened today, three wickets down with not too many and then he comes in and looks to play the ones and the twos, settle down and then hit the big shots to score 70 or 80 or even a hundred. That left-handed option in the middle order is very crucial. All I am saying, take a punt with Rishabh Pant."

Pant has been part of 3 ODIs so far and has scored just 42 runs in two innings. Gavaskar also backed Karthik as the third opener for India in the World Cup.

"The left-handed option in the middle order I think is very crucial. I would look at Dinesh Karthik as the third opener because you want to carry a spare opener in your 15 anyway. Even if you have three wicket-keepers in your squad, MS Dhoni, Dinesh Karthik, and Rishabh Pant, so be it. I think it will give the team just a little flexibility with the batting," he added further.

News Cricket

Indian captain Virat Kohli has a lot of room to grow, claims Ravi Shastri

Staff Writer Updated: 5 February, 2019, 4:05 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

  • He praised Virat Kohli for outsmarting Australia in Australia
  • Ravi Shastri feels Kohli has a lot to learn as captain
  • Virat Kohli won all the ICC awards

Indian head coach Ravi Shastri feels Kohli has a lot to learn as captain and he is still evolving. Speaking to Cricbuzz, he praised Virat Kohli for outsmarting Australia in Australia but believes there is always room for improvement.

"As far as I am concerned, tactically, there is still room for plenty of improvement as captain. He has gotten better and better, and better, and I thought in the Australian Test series, tactically he outsmarted Australia. I still see more room across formats for him to evolve. As a captain, Virat will evolve further," Shastri told Cricbuzz.

He also said Virat Kohli winning all the ICC awards is a rare occurrence and he don't think anyone will ever do it again.

"Starting with the ICC awards (achieving all awards in the same year), I don't think anyone will ever do it again. It is something very rare because you need two things to happen to win all awards in a single year. You need to be a captain of a very good cricket team across formats, that allows you to win two awards as the best captain of the ICC Test team and the ICC ODI team. So obviously your team is one of the best in the world and it has never happened in Indian cricket before. So an Indian captain gets it, and I want to focus on those two awards more than the personal awards that he has won.

"You will not get a repeat of that in these two biggest formats of the game. And there is no award for ICC T20 captain. So your team has to be that good that you can win those awards. Whether we get accolades from our guys back home or international media, I give two hoots. When my captain wins those two awards, that's a tribute to the team. So the boys can be at peace. And Virat knows it," he said.

News Cricket

Shastri explains why maiden Test series win in Australia bigger than India’s 83 World Cup win

Staff Writer Updated: 5 February, 2019, 3:41 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

  • India defeated Australia in Australia for the first time in purest form of cricket
  • Indian cricket team under Virat Kohli registered a historic 2-1 series triumph in Whites
  • Ravi Shastri termed it as a bigger achievement than the 1983 World Cup title victory

India defeated Australia in Australia for the first time in purest form of cricket. Indian cricket team under Virat Kohli registered a historic 2-1 series triumph in Whites. After India's magnificent triumph, head coach Ravi Shastri termed it as a bigger achievement than the 1983 World Cup title victory.

"I will tell you how satisfying it is for me. World Cup 1983, World Championship of Cricket 1985 - this is as big, or even bigger, because it is in the truest (Test) format of the game. It's Test cricket, which is meant to be the toughest," Shastri had said.

He was lambasted for undermining the importance of World Cup win in England. In an interview with Cricbuzz, he refused to move away from his earlier stand and stood by what he had said in Australia.

“In 1983, I was in the dressing room. In 1985, I was in the dressing room. In 2018-19, I was in the dressing room. Why do I rate this? Because Test cricket is the purest form and we came to Australia as heavy weight champions of Test cricket, home and away. We were not favourites - no team can come to Australia as favourites because Australia will chew them out. But we were not underdogs to come and surprise them either. We came as number one Test side and we played as the number one Test side, and we won,” Shastri said.

News Cricket

Ravi Shastri names India’s No. 1 spinner in overseas conditions

Staff Writer Updated: 5 February, 2019, 3:07 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

  • Ravi Shastri has heaped ultimate praise on Kuldeep Yadav
  • He has played six Test matches and picked up 24 wickets
  • Shastri feels Kuldeep has done enough to seal the spot

Ravi Shastri has heaped ultimate praise on Kuldeep Yadav and labelled him as India's No.1 spinner in Test cricket ahead of R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja. He was impressed with the way Kuldeep performed in the Sydney Test. He picked up five wickets despite not being part of the playing XI for the first three matches of the series. He has played six Test matches and picked up 24 wickets at an average of 24.12. Shastri feels Kuldeep has done enough to seal the spot ahead of two veterans if India play one spinner.

"Yes, and I was very impressed with the way Kuldeep bowled in Sydney. Even in Test cricket, it is going to be the age of wrist spin, especially in overseas Test cricket. The way he bowled in Sydney, he becomes our number one spinner in overseas Test cricket.

"He plays overseas Test cricket and he gets five wickets, so he becomes our primary overseas spinner. Going ahead, if we have to play one spinner, he is the one we will pick. There is a time for everyone (referring to Ashwin's poor fitness record in 2018). But now Kuldeep is our frontline number one overseas spinner," Shastri told Cricbuzz.

News Cricket

Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma are making most of the month of love, new picture out

Harshit Anand Updated: 5 February, 2019, 2:59 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

  • Virat Kohli has been rested by the Board of Control for Cricket in India
  • Virat and Anushka are currently holidaying at some unknown place
  • Rohit Sharma has been captaining India in the absence of India's regular skipper

Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma make up for a hot and happening couple. One is the king from the field of cricket while the other one is a tinsel town diva. They are desirable, loved and have a huge fanbase. Since the time of their coming together, fans just couldn't get enough of this power couple.

Virat and Anushka are currently holidaying at some unknown place. But they are keeping their fans updated with their lovey-dovey pictures on social media. This time around, Virat Kohli took to Instagram to post a picture that shows the couple taking a walk in a forest.

Check out the picture here:

Indian skipper Virat Kohli has been rested by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for the last two ODIs and the entire T20I series against New Zealand.

Rohit Sharma has been captaining India in the absence of India's regular skipper. Recently, India defeated New Zealand by 35 runs in the fifth and final ODI in Wellington on Sunday to win the series 4-1.

Videos Cricket

Watch: MS Dhoni Stumps Kedar Jadhav By Speaking In Marathi During Fifth ODI

Staff Writer Updated: 5 February, 2019, 2:48 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

  • Dhoni was heard giving advice to Kedar Jadhav in Marathi
  • The Indian all-rounder was delighted and took to Twitter to express his feelings
  • India's convincing series victory away from home suggested it will mount a formidable World Cup challenge

Impossible is nothing for MS Dhoni as he can do anything on cricket field. He can finish games, win trophies and can also speak in Marathi. During the fifth ODI between India and New Zealand, he was heard giving advice to Kedar Jadhav in Marathi.

Here’s the video:

The Indian all-rounder was delighted and took to Twitter to express his feelings. "You always feel at home on foreign tours when @msdhoni is behind the stumps... But this moment came as a real surprise..."

Earlier, India sounded an emphatic warning to rivals at this year's cricket World Cup when it completed a 4-1 series win over New Zealand on Sunday, taking the final one-day international by 35 runs.

Coming into the series, India was second behind England in ODI world rankings and only eight points ahead of New Zealand which was third and had just completed an impressive 3-0 sweep of Sri Lanka.

India's convincing series victory away from home suggested it will mount a formidable World Cup challenge in England in the middle of the year. On Sunday it demonstrated resilience and versatility in rallying from 18-4 to reach 252, using up all but one ball of its 50 overs. It then bowled out New Zealand for 217 with 35 balls remaining.

News Cricket

Rishabh Pant is an asset for India, says Shikhar Dhawan

Staff Writer Updated: 5 February, 2019, 2:40 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

  • Shikhar Dhawan has lauded Rishabh Pant for his performance
  • Pant is returning back to side for the T20 matches against New Zealand
  • The upcoming series could lead to much-needed rest for Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan

Shikhar Dhawan has lauded Rishabh Pant for his performance in international cricket. According to senior pro, Dhawan has become an asset for the team due to his ability to chance the course of a game in a short span of time. Pant, who was the ICC's Emerging Cricket of the Year, is returning back to side for the T20 matches against New Zealand after being left out of the one-day international series which India won 4-1.

"He is an aggressive batsman, an asset for the team, can take away games from opposition in a very short span of time. I hope he grabs this opportunity (in T20s) with both hands," said Dhawan.

The upcoming series could lead to much-needed rest for Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan, as Ravi Shastri hinted after India lifted the ODI series trophy.

"We too are humans and our bodies need a bit of rest. Of course, we would be looking to win the series and carry the momentum back home for the Australia series," said Dhawan on the eve of the game.

News Cricket

Hardik and Krunal look set to play alongside each other in an international game

Staff Writer Updated: 5 February, 2019, 2:30 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

  • Hardik and Krunal are all set to play alongside each other
  • They will join an elite list of brothers who have been part of playing XI
  • Amarnath brothers and Pathan brothers have been part of the playing squad at the same time

Hardik and Krunal are all set to play alongside each other for the first time when India will take on New Zealand in the three-match T20 series. They will join an elite list of brothers who have been part of playing XI at the same time in an international match. Amarnath brothers and Pathan brothers have been part of the playing squad at the same time.

Hardik made his debut for India in 2016 and has become an integral part of the team across formats. Krunal made his international debut against the Windies last year when his brother was injured. They play together for Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League.

They could have played their first game together in England but Krunal was not included in the playing XI in any of the T20 matches. This will be a memorable moment for Hardik Pandya, who was suspended for his sexist remarks on Koffee with Karan. The suspension, however, was lifted by the BCCI and he was drafted back into the side for the remaining ODI matches against New Zealand.

News Cricket

Rohit Sharma And Yuzvendra Chahal Troll Each Other On Instagram And It Is Hilarious

Staff Writer Updated: 5 February, 2019, 2:03 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

  • Rohit Sharma and Yuzvendra Chahal are close buddies
  • Chahal uploaded a picture from the fourth ODI with an inspirational quote
  • Rohit recently came on Chahal TV

Rohit Sharma and Yuzvendra Chahal are close buddies and never miss a chance to troll each other. Chahal uploaded a picture from the fourth ODI with an inspirational quote. "Think big, believe big, act big, and the results will be big...!" Chahal wrote on the picture along with Kuldeep Yadav in the frame.

Rohit, the stand-in Indian skipper, trolled his friend with a hilarious comment. "How about ironing your uniform."

Chahal hit back in his own unique style praising Rohit for his effort.

"And my big brother trying to troll me hmm nice try bhaiya you improved little bit keep up," Chahal replied.

Rohit recently came on Chahal TV and the host of the show asked him if he can be promoted to number 3 position in absence of Virat Kohli.

Rohit’s reply was spot on.

"He [Chahal] was our top scorer in the previous match that we lost. But I want you to be the top scorer in a match which go on to win. I will speak to Ravi Bhai for your promotion to No.3 in the T20s," Rohit jokingly said.

News Cricket

Sarfraz Ahmed breaks silence on alleged fallout with Shoaib Malik

Staff Writer Updated: 5 February, 2019, 1:54 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

  • Shoaib Malik was asked to lead Pakistan after regular skipper Sarfraz Ahmed was banned
  • Sarfraz has categorically denied any sort of feud with Shoaib
  • He is confident of retaining his place as skipper of the team

All-rounder Shoaib Malik was asked to lead Pakistan after regular skipper Sarfraz Ahmed was banned for four matches by the governing body of international cricket for making racial remarks against the South African all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo. As soon as Shoaib Malik took over from Sarfraz, reports of their alleged fallout started doing the rounds. The announcement by the PCB to appoint captain of the World Cup team after the PSL further ignited the debate about Sarfraz’s captaincy future. Sarfraz, however, is not worried and has categorically denied any sort of feud with Shoaib.

"There is no truth to the claim people who play under Shoaib bhai don't want to play under me. All the boys are very good and support each other. I don't think there's anything about that," he said.

"I'm hopeful and expectant of a comeback. I came back because I had a four-match ban, and there was just one more match after that. So travelling with the team all that while and not playing, what with me having been away from home for five months, was very hectic. If I had come back with the team and got just three days here before going for the PSL [Pakistan Super League], that would have been very hectic. So getting the rest instead was much better." he added.

He is confident of retaining his place as skipper of the team.