Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni combined together to take Men in Blue to 190 runs from the allotted 20 overs. The Indian skipper scored an unbeaten 72 off 38 balls while MS Dhoni amassed 40 off 23 balls as they stitched together a 100-run partnership within eight overs. Earlier, KL Rahul scored a magnificent 47 to give India a lighting start despite Shikhar Dhawan’s below par show from the other end.
Cricket fanatics were mighty impressed with the former Indian skipper batted after his uncharacteristic knock in the first T20, which India lost by 3 wickets. Dhoni was lambasted by critics for his slow batting despite facing a lot of balls.
Here’s how fans reacted:
India all-rounder Hardik Pandya hit the gym and how. The dashing youngster is sweating it hard in an attempt to get himself fit in time for the IPL. He has been ruled out of the entire India-Australia limited-overs series. He is out of action due to lower back stiffness. The Baroda player will undergo strength and conditioning training at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru. A similar injury had ruled him out of the Asia Cup, last year, as well.
He made his India comeback in Down Under but the Koffee with Karan controversy got him suspended from the team. It was lifted after some time though and he returned in the third ODI against the Black Caps.
Take a look at Pandya's workout video:
Pandya has played 45 ODIs and averages 29.24 with the bat and has a strike-rate of 116.59. He has also taken 44 wickets.
The Punjabi boys and Indian cricketers, Harbhajan Singh and Yuvraj Singh are currently enjoying themselves in Switzerland. Both Harbhajan and Yuvraj are great buddies. They are considered to be the biggest pranksters in the Indian dressing room and often charm everyone with their candidness and sense of humor.
In a recent video, the duo was spotted walking in the snow when Bhajji made a weird request to Yuvraj Singh. Take a look at what exactly happened in this video:
Both Yuvraj and Harbhajan are yet to retire from international cricket. But they are not currently considered for the senior Indian team due to their poor form. They will be part of the IPL though. Yuvraj Singh will play for Mumbai Indians while Bhajji will feature in Chennai Super Kings side.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni has to be one of the greatest players to have played for India. He is the only international captain to have led his side to victories in all the major ICC events- World Cup, T20 World Cup, and Champions trophy. Not to forget, he has also led India to no.1 ranking in Test cricket and he also has IPL and Champions League titles to his credit. But, today might well be the last time we see the 37 years old in the shortest format.
India will take on Australia in the second and final T20I of the series at M Chinnaswamy Stadium on February 27. After that, India will play five-match ODI series against Australia, followed by the World Cup that commences on May 30. There are no international T20 games before the World Cup. And the World Cup is touted to be Dhoni's last appearance in the Indian jersey.
Dhoni has 1,577 runs in 84 T20I innings at an average of 37.55 but his strike-rate of 125.26 has often got him severely criticized.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), in a plausible attempt to subvert the topic, has claimed to call upon the International Cricket Council (ICC) with a view to having a wider ban on playing Pakistan. However, while the point may be stated on the table, there is a reason why the ICC cannot and will not ban Pakistan altogether.
Even as the clamour for the BCCI led by the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators to take actions has grown in the days after the Pulwama attack on the CRPF convoy, the BCCI had remained a largely mute spectator, even rendering the voices of the current crop of cricketers virtually redundant by what is being perceived as an unwritten gag. With players toying the line that they will play Pakistan in accordance with the stance taken by the BCCI and in turn, the BCCI claiming to await the Indian government directive in the matter, the matter has been a standoff although the issue about India boycotting Pakistan in cricket and cutting off sporting ties altogether has remained one of the central issues in the hearts and minds of the Indians still mourning the loss of personnel.
With public sentiment being at an all-time high on the issue, although previously India did play Pakistan at the height of the Kargil war in 1999 in the course of the ICC Cricket World Cup in England, once again the venue in June this year, the Pulwama attacks appear to have been the tipping point as far as the proxy war with Pakistan over the Kashmir issue has been concerned. Public opinion has sometimes been labeled knee jerk, emotional and irrational although there is good rationale behind cutting off sporting ties and thereby, cutting off a trail of supply of money as well as respectability for a state that has openly proved to be a safe haven for disruptive, terrorist elements.
Amongst the many tactics the CoA has employed as a way to calm enraged sentiment was to cancel the IPL opening ceremony to donate those allocated funds to the families of the martyrs which has only appeared to be a cosmetic solution to a deeply entrenched problem. Thereafter the BCCI has claimed that it was exploring all options, including India boycotting Pakistan at the ICC Cricket World Cup and also, setting up a proposal at the ICC imploring all cricket playing nations to boycott playing Pakistan.
However, while the BCCI’s word will carry weight, provided it takes the agenda to the ICC which has given no such indication to that effect yet, the ICC is embroiled in its own self-preservation muddle. Even if it were to incur the wrath of the BCCI -which does not seem wholly adamant on the idea of boycotting Pakistan which is explained by their passing their buck on to the Indian government, the ICC is currently dealing with a scenario in which only half of the Test cricket playing nations are competitive and commercially viable at best while the other half struggles for exposure, commercial revenue and competitive levels. With Pakistan forming one half of the most commercially viable rivalry, from its own commercial standpoint and to the end of safeguarding cricket as a viable sport that is struggling to grow globally on a competitive footing, the ICC cannot afford to cut off Pakistan, which has traditionally produced some great players as well as plays.
From the ICC’s perspective, struggling to hold onto those with the Test status has become as much of an agenda as bringing new teams and boards into the fold. In that light, perhaps even the BCCI knows that its lip service to assuage the angry Indian contingent is not likely to hold ground which is why it is unlikely to press matters too hard, even if it brings it up before the ICC.
Congress leader V. Hanumantha Rao has requested the governing body of Indian cricket to appeal the ICC to ban Pakistan from the World Cup in England and Wales. In the letter written to the COA and the BCCI, Rao stated that he is requesting because Pakistan is encouraging terror activities on Indian soil.
He further added: “If Pakistan cricket team is not allowed to play in the World Cup, they may realize, that what they are doing is wrong and may desist with such activities in future.”
He lauded the Indian Air Force for its strikes across the border that destroyed terror camps. “I salute the bravery of Indian Air Force pilots who have made the entire country proud by striking terror targets in Pakistan.”
Former Sri Lanka captain, Mahela Jayawardene has criticized Sanath Jayasuriya, who was banned for two years after admitting to breaching two counts of the ICC's Anti-Corruption Code. Jayasuriya is one of the greatest cricketers to have played for Sri Lanka. So this came as a shock for many of his cricket fans.
Jayawardene tweeted and questioned Jayasuriya that if he loves the game why didn’t he cooperate with the anti-corruption unit.
"Its a sad day for SL cricket to see one of their favorite sons getting a two year suspension from @ICC. why not cooperate? If any one loves the beutiful game in our country should expose the curupted so we protect the next genaration. #Values," read his tweet.
According to an ICC release, "Mr Jayasuriya, the former Sri Lanka Cricket Chair of Selectors, admitted to being in breach of the following provisions of the Code:
1. Article 2.4.6 - Failure or refusal, without compelling justification, to cooperate with any investigation carried out by the ACU, including failure to provide accurately and completely any information and/or documentation requested by the ACU as part of such investigation.
2. Article 2.4.7 - Obstructing or delaying any investigation that may be carried out by the ACU, including concealing, tampering with or destroying any documentation or other information that may be relevant to that investigation and/or that may be evidence or may lead to the discovery of evidence of corrupt conduct under the Anti-Corruption Code.
The release further added that "As a result of the admissions, he has accepted a sanction of a two-year period of ineligibility."
Jamaican star, Chris Gayle is one of the most entertaining cricketers. Be it his antics off the field or aggressive batting on it, he is someone who draws attention like none else. These days, he is back to playing for West Indies' senior team. He even made a century in the first ODI against England, which was followed by a fifty in the second ODI.
The 39 years old is set to peak another scale. Gayle has 9,912 runs in ODIs after 281 innings. He needs just 88 runs to reach the landmark of 10,000 ODI runs. Only 13 men cricketers have reached 10K run-mark in ODIs so far. Gayle averages 37.4 and has 24 centuries to go with 50 fifties.
However, Gayle has 9,857 runs for Windies and will need to score 143 runs to score 10K runs for the Caribbean side. Only one batsman from West Indies has scored 10K ODI runs and he is Brian Lara. Gayle is 492 runs away from becoming the highest run-getter for West Indies in 50-overs format. Lara has 10,348 runs to his credit.
Jasprit Bumrah is one of the best fast bowlers in the world at the moment and is on the cusp of becoming the best death bowler.
He is 5 scalps away from surpassing Rashid Khan as the bowler with most wickets in the death overs (16-20).
The premier spinner of Afghanistan has picked up 33 wickets in the last five overs (all in T20Is starting from 2013) while Jasprit Bumrah is third with 29 wickets to his name.
The second spot is occupied by Lasith Malinga with 31 wickets.
Earlier, from 89-2, Australia nosedived to 113-7 as India tightened its bowling and fielding.
Bumrah struck off successive balls in the 19th over to go past 50 wickets in T20 internationals, only the second India bowler after Ravichandran Ashwin (52) to do so in this format.
With 14 runs needed from the last over, Umesh Yadav conceded two boundaries and Pat Cummins (7 not out) and Jhye Richardson (7 not out) gave Australia the win by scampering home for two runs off the final delivery.
Sunil Gavaskar stated India should bring back Shikhar Dhawan in the side for the second T20 against Australia. The hosts were defeated in the first T20 as the Aussies won the match by three wickets on the last ball of the match.
The former Indian skipper wants Dhawan to open the innings with Rohit Sharma while KL Rahul should bat at number four.
“India would do well to bring Dhawan back and have Rahul at No.4.,” Gavaskar wrote in his column for the Times of India. “The plus point for India is Rahul’s return to form and (Mayank) Markande showing good temperament under pressure.”
He lambasted Umesh Yadav for his ordinary performance in the first game.
“Umesh Yadav, despite being around for such a long time, is not convincing as a white-ball bowler, so India could well do with a replacement for him,” Gavaskar wrote.
Indian skipper Virat Kohli, his deputy Rohit Sharma and former captain MS Dhoni are on the cusp of achieving personal milestones in the second and final T20I against Australia. The Men in Blue are trailing 0-1 in the two-match series and will be looking to win this one in order to level the series.
The batters had a miserable outing in the first match and barring KL Rahul, who scored a well compiled fifty, none of the star players contributed with their willows.
Rohit Sharma is standing just two sixes away from becoming the leading six-hitter in the shortest format of the game. He is just one hit behind the likes of Chris Gayle and Martin Guptill, who have 103 sixes to their names.
Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni are involved in a race as to who will touch the 50 T20I sixes mark first. Dhoni has 49 sixes to his name while Kohli has hit 48 in his career.
Former Indian cricketer Gautam Gambhir has lauded the Indian Air Force after they destroyed terror camps across the border. He also gave a fitting reply to Pakistan PM Imran Khan's remark of responding to India’s strike at the time and place of its choosing.
The strike, which was carried out in the Balakot region of Pakistan, had the involvement of 12 Mirage 2000 aircrafts.
The attack by the IAF came 12 days after the gruesome terror attack on the convoy of CRPF claimed the lives of 44 security personnel.
"Forum (NSC) strongly rejected Indian claim of targeting an alleged terrorist camp near Balakot and the claim of heavy casualties. Once again Indian government has resorted to a self-serving, reckless and fictitious claim," said a statement issued after the National Security Committee meeting in Islamabad which was attended by Prime Minister Imran Khan. "Forum concluded that India has committed uncalled for aggression to which Pakistan shall respond at the time and place of its choosing."
Gambhir took to twitter to respond to Imran's statement.
"We decided the time, we decided the place and we have decided the fate @IAF_MCC @adgpi #SurgicalStrikes2 #airstrikes."
Indian Test vice-captain, Ajinkya Rahane is "very much hopeful" of getting a place in India's World Cup squad. India's chairman of selectors MSK Prasad, a while back had indicated that Ajinkya Rahane could be India's back-up opener at the World Cup. But Rahane was not picked in the any of the limited-overs squads to face Australia at home. The home series against Australia will be India's final international assignment before the World Cup.
"I am aggressive as a batsman but by nature, I am quite shy. I prefer to let my bat speak but sometimes it's important to speak the truth... I have believed the team always comes first and I have always respected the team management and the selectors' decision and I will continue to do that. But in the end, it is important that your performance is recognised as well. See the point that I am trying to make is that if as a player I have always played for the team, then I deserve chances more consistently. That's the least I am asking," Rahane said.
"If you see the last three-four series, my average was around 45 to 50. Yes, after that I was dropped and I went back to domestic cricket and I feel I have done reasonably well," he added.
England coach Trevor Bayliss feels West Indies have the chance to surprise everyone in the upcoming World Cup and are one of the favourites for the coveted title.
“The Windies have been playing some decent cricket over the last 18 months. With the size of their batters and the way some of them hit the ball, there can be a chance of winning that World Cup,” he said.
“It is an interesting choice keeping in mind that West Indies have not won a single bilateral series for close to five years but have sprung in few surprises, especially so far in the ongoing series versus England,” he further added.
After defeating England in the Test series, Windies have shown their firepower in the ongoing ODI series too.
“I know the right West Indies combination with a fully focused side can beat anyone on their day,” Richard Pybus, West Indies’ interim coach, said. “I wasn’t at the World Cup qualifiers but, with the group of guys we have now, we feel confident could take down anyone on their day.”
Indian skipper Virat Kohli is gearing up for the second T20 against Australia. After India's defeat in the first match, Men in Blue are in pressure to win the final game to keep the Aussies at bay.
The Indian captain was in full groove during the practice session on Tuesday along with his teammates.
It was an eventful day for the entire country as Indian Air Force took the revenge of 42 CRPF martyred by destroying terror camps across the border.
Many cricketers expressed their happiness on social media after IAF's strike. They lauded the Indian Air Force for its bravery.
Virat Kohli took to Facebook to post a picture with a thrilling caption, “How's the Josh?”
This phrase is from the recent super hit Bollywood movie, 'URI – The Surgical Strike'. It was based on Indian Army’s surgical strike in Uri sector in the valley.
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