News Cricket

Virat Kohli vs. Sachin Tendulkar vs. Brian Lara? Vaughan settles GOAT debate

Staff Writer Updated: 11 March, 2019, 4:34 PM IST


Former English skipper Michael Vaughan has rated Virat Kohli above Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara in ODI cricket. He has often lauded Virat Kohli for his exceptional display in international cricket. After he notched up his 41st ODI ton, Vaughan took to twitter to praise the Indian skipper. "The (GOAT) is at it again ... #Virat"

When Vaughan was asked by a Twitter user if he actually rates Virat Kohli above Don Bradman, Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara, he replied in the affirmative.

Virat Kohli is being hailed by cricket fraternity for his well compiled 123 runs in Ranchi. His knock, however, went in vain as Australia defeated India by 32 runs to keep the ongoing series alive.

Meanwhile, Ian Bell, who is regarded as one of the best English batsmen, has also lauded Virat Kohli. "Absolutely next level! Have run out of words to describe this guy!" Bell wrote.

Former Aussie opener and one of the commentators in the ongoing ODI series between India and Australia, Matthew Hayden has heaped praise on Virat.

"Absolutely staggering. I am trying to think back, check the memory banks of brilliant players over the years. Maybe Brian Lara in his heyday, Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly all these players have been on top of their game at various points in one-day cricket. But Virat Kohli is doing it so easy. He is drifting away to a hundred. Not only that, just the way he is transcending every game seems to be a different performance," Hayden told Star Sports after Australia's win on Friday.

"I think he has always got great energy and the intent and he's got the fitness to be able to do it. It's almost like one performance leads to the next. His tempo is incredible. We saw the likes of Vijay that had an opportunity to bat with him. That's only going to be good for India ahead of the World Cup."

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News Cricket

David Warner has a special message for Sunrisers Hyderabad fans

Staff Writer Updated: 11 March, 2019, 5:19 PM IST


David Warner is all set to play for Sunrisers Hyderabad in the upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League after completing a 12-month ban following his involvement in the ball tampering scandal in South Africa.

Ahead of the new season, he has come out with a special message for Sunrisers Hyderabad fans. In a video posted by his franchise, he said, “Hi everyone, this is David Warner, I've a special message for all the Orange Army fans thank you for showing us all the love and support for all these years. Now its our time to give back to our loyal fans." He then goes on to tell fans about 25,000 seats that would be available for cheaper prices.

He led Sunrisers to their maiden IPL title in 2016, scoring 848 runs at an average of 60.57.

Warner sustained a small fracture to his thumb. He has scored a total of 4,014 runs at an average of 40.54 in 114 IPL matches.

News Cricket

Star Aussie player doubtful for series decider against India

Staff Writer Updated: 11 March, 2019, 4:45 PM IST


Australian all-rounder is doubtful for the series decider against Men in Blue in Delhi after he sustained a small fracture to his thumb during his team's 32 runs victory in the third ODI in Ranchi.

He didn’t play in the fourth ODI in Mohali, which Australia won by four wickets courtesy Ashton Turner's sublime Knock of 84.

Teammate Peter Handscomb said they will not rush with their star all-rounder.

"He'll look to play at some stage but it's just pain management with him," Handscomb said.

"When it's your bottom-hand thumb it makes it hard to hold the bat.

"We've just got to wait and see with him."

Stoinis was awarded with men ODI player of the Year award after his magnificent run of form in international cricket.

News Cricket

Harbhajan Singh sounds warning to Virat Kohli & Co

Staff Writer Updated: 11 March, 2019, 3:58 PM IST


Indian players will join their respective IPL franchises after the ODI series against Australia. With World Cup being the next international assignment, there are worries that T20 league could lead to injuries. Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh has cautioned Indian players especially Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah to be extra smart while playing in the cash rich league.

“You don’t want your key players to get injured someone like Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah you don’t want them to miss the World Cup because of injuries or niggles. You want them to be on their best of form and (play) best of cricket,” he said.

“Looking at his (Virat’s) form, from the last four-to-five years, he has hit that purple patch and he is definitely one of those toughest batsmen that you will come across as a bowler. Every batsman has a weak point where to bowl at and, at the moment, we don’t see that with Virat Kohli,” he added.

However, he is backing India to do well in the showpiece event in England and Wales.

“World Cup is still very far. We will have to wait and watch what happens. But this is a kind of a team which can lift any major championship. World Cup or any big tournament, – they can definitely win. They have the team (for it)”, Harbhajan was quoted as saying on Sportstar.

News Cricket

PCB sends a strongly worded letter to ICC, calls for action against India for wearing army caps

Staff Writer Updated: 11 March, 2019, 3:50 PM IST


The governing body of Pakistan cricket has written to ICC, urging them to take a strong action against India for wearing camouflage military caps during the third ODI against Australia.

“We have made our point very strongly to the ICC which now has no doubts or confusion about our intention or stance now on this matter,” Ehsan Mani told reporters at the National Stadium on Sunday night.

“We will be sending another letter to the ICC in next 12 hours after more consultations with our lawyers,” he added.

He further stated that cricket must not be used for politics. “This is the second that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has tried to use cricket for politics. They took permission from ICC for some other purpose and used it to do something else, which is not acceptable,” he said.

Mani said they have reminded the ICC about the action they took against Imran Tahir and Moeen Ali for making a politically motivated statement on field.

“We want the ICC to take similar sort of action against the Indians.”

Videos Cricket

Watch: Virat Kohli's reaction after Rishabh Pant tries to emulate Dhoni's no-look flick

Staff Writer Updated: 11 March, 2019, 3:46 PM IST


Rishabh Pant is being criticized by fans for his mediocre wicket keeping display during the fourth ODI of the series against Australia. He had replaced MS Dhoni, who was rested for the final two ODIs of the five-match series.

Pant missed a few clear-cut wicket taking chances and on one occasion, he even tried to copy MS Dhoni's no-look flick but failed miserably, leading to angry reaction from Virat Kohli.

The Indian skipper looked miffed as Pant's mistake led to an overthrow. Yuzvendra Chahal was not amused with the antics of Pant, who was smiling after conceding an extra run.

Ashton Turner bludgeoned 84 off 43 balls as Australia beat India by four wickets in the fourth ODI on Sunday to level the five-match series 2-2.

Peter Handscomb added 117 off 105 balls, while Usman Khawaja made 91 runs as Australia made surprisingly easy work of an imposing 359-run target.

Handscomb and Khawaja put on 192 runs for the third wicket after Australia had been reduced to 12-2 and Turner applied the finishing touch to lead Australia to 359-6 in 47.5 overs.

Earlier, Shikhar Dhawan scored his 16th ODI hundred as India reached 358-5 after opting to bat on the best pitch in this series. Rohit Sharma also scored 95 runs and the duo put on 193 runs for the opening wicket to set the stage for a challenging score.

But dew and poor fielding put paid to India's chances as Australia rallied to its record chase in ODI cricket.

News Cricket

Spinner Mosharraf Hossain Rubel diagnosed with a brain tumour

Staff Writer Updated: 11 March, 2019, 3:18 PM IST


Bangladesh spinner Mosharraf Hossain Rubel has been diagnosed with a brain tumour.

He is suffering from glioma, a kind of tumour that starts in the glial cells of the spine or the brain.

Mosharraf will travel to Singapore for further treatment.

The experienced spinner had fainted quite a number of times after which he consulted the doctors and was informed about glioma.

He is no more a part of Bangladesh team but continues to play in Bangladesh's domestic cricket. The Dhaka-born cricketer is confident of his recovery and is expected to be fine.

“I have applied for the visa and an appointment has been set at Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore. The doctors said the tumour is at a very primary stage and successful removal should be able to cure me, Inshallah,” Mosharraf was quoted as saying in Dhaka Tribune.

Dr. Debashish Chowdhury, the chief physician of the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB), stated that Mosharraf has consulted them regarding tumour.

“Severity of the tumour can only be understood once the biopsy is done following the operation. So far, the reports suggest that the tumour is at a primary stage but after all, it is a tumour in the brain so it is very sensitive. It was during the BPL this year when he fainted and was advised a thorough checkup,” he mentioned.

News Cricket

David Warner to win Player of the Tournament award in World Cup

Staff Writer Updated: 11 March, 2019, 2:48 PM IST


Shane Warne is backing David Warner to make an instant impact for Australia at the World Cup. He has tipped suspended Australia batsman to be named Player of the Tournament at this year's World Cup.

“The little things that used to make you say ‘here we go again’ don’t matter anymore. You get excited just going to the nets again because you have taken it for granted in the past so I think they will come back better than they were. They are going to come out and destroy attacks and I back David Warner to be the player of the World Cup,” said Warne.

“Warner overstepped the line a lot in his early career. He then changed into a more placid player but was then told by Cricket Australia to be the enforcer and was doing what he was told,” he added.

He gave his own example to talk about David Warner and Steve Smith’s comeback

“All I can go on is experience having a year off myself. The next four years were the best I ever had. I was hungry for the game. My body and mind were fresh and it is amazing how excited you are to play again,” Warne told Telegraph Sport.

News Cricket

Cricket Australia trolls Shikhar Dhawan for forgetting Ashton Turner's name

Staff Writer Updated: 11 March, 2019, 2:44 PM IST


Ashton Turner bludgeoned 84 off 43 balls as Australia beat India by four wickets in the fourth ODI on Sunday to level the five-match series 2-2.

Handscomb and Turner put on 42 runs as the game changed course toward Australia in the final power play. Even when Handscomb was caught at long on off Yuzvendra Chahal (1-80) in the 42nd over, Australia remained in contention.

Playing only his second ODI, Turner made great use of the conditions as he smacked five fours and six sixes to stun the Mohali crowd, putting on 86 runs with Alex Carey (21).

He reached his maiden half-century off 33 balls and gained from two dropped catches in an over off Kumar, taking Australia across the finish line with 13 balls to spare.

Team India's opener Shikhar Dhawan lauded Turner for his batting but he completely forgot his name.

"He's a new player but we knew that - he already (played). Of course, 'that guy' played a really good knock and took the game away from us," Dhawan told the media in Mohali.

"But if there wasn't any dew it wouldn't be possible to play those shots. Because of the dew those things just got away from us. Credit goes to him that he played a great knock."

Cricket Australia's official website took a cheeky dig at Dhawan. "Ash who? 'That guy' leaves India reeling," reads the headline of one of their news stories.

News Cricket

Dhawan jumps to Rishabh Pant's defence, says don't compare him to Dhoni

Staff Writer Updated: 11 March, 2019, 2:10 PM IST


Rishabh Pant had a miserable outing in terms of wicket-keeping in the third ODI between India and Australia. The youngster not only dropped catches but also missed a crucial stumping of Ashton Turner, who led Australia to victory.

The fans at the Punjab Cricket Association stadium were not amused by Pant’s glovework and they chanted Dhoni Dhoni to remind him of his role. During the 44th over of the Australia innings, Pant missed a straight forward stumping chance to dismiss Turner, who was on 38 at that moment.

He also tried to emulate MS Dhoni by flicking the ball towards the stumps to run Alex Carey out but missed the target and even conceded an extra run.

Pant also forced Virat Kohli to opt for a review against Turner but the on-filed decision was upheld by the third umpire.

Pant’s teammate Shikhar Dhawan has backed the young Indian star, saying it's unfair to compare him to legendary player MS Dhoni and he should give more time to prove himself in international cricket.

"Rishabh is a young bloke and like any other youngster, you have to give time to him. Rishabh is still finding his feet. You cannot compare Pant to Dhoni [bhai], given the experience he has having played over the years," Dhawan told the media in Mohali.

He added: "Of course, had the stumping chance been taken, it could have turned the game. Having said that, the game slipped away from our hands quite quickly after that. The dew also played its part in the game. But that's what it is."

News Cricket

Umar Akmal goofs-up big time, says agla IPL Pakistan mein hoga

Staff Writer Updated: 11 March, 2019, 2:07 PM IST


Umar Akmal, who is more often in the news for his trash talks and out of the box ideas, has goofed up once again. During one of the promotional events for the ongoing Pakistan Super League, Akmal, who is part of Quetta Gladiators, made a big mistake while promoting the league.

“Zaahir si baat hai Quetta ki team Karachi aayi hui hai aur hum apne home ground pe khel rahe hai, aur crowd jitna bhi support karega humari team ko, team utna accha perform karegi. Aur crowd issi tarike se har team ko support karega toh agla IPL (corrects), sorry PSL yahi pe hoga [It is obvious that with Quetta at home in Karachi, we will be banking on our home support. As many people come out and support us, the better our team will perform. If the crowd continues to support us like this then the next IPL, sorry PSL, will be played here only],” he said.

Karachi was not part of the original plans to host PSL matches in the ongoing edition but Lahore’s inability to conduct the games on its soil due to suspension of airspace moulded things in Karachi’s favor.

The eight matches – four in the league stages and four in the playoffs, including the final, will be played in Karachi.

News Cricket

Fans want Dinesh Karthik for World Cup after Rishabh Pant messes up big time in third ODI

Staff Writer Updated: 11 March, 2019, 1:58 PM IST


A lot was expected from Rishabh Pant after MS Dhoni was rested for the last two ODIs against Australia. He was given preference over Dinesh Karthik to prove his credentials ahead of the World Cup. However, his glovework was shabby all through Australia's innings.

He was booed by the fans during the match and they even chanted Dhoni Dhoni to remind him of his duties. Apart from dropping catches, he missed the easiest of stumping chance to give reprieve to Ashton Turner, who won the game for his side in the end.

Pant also tried to copy MS Dhoni to run Alex Carey out but the ball went past the stumps, leading to more embracement.

Here's how fans reacted to Pant's shabby glovework.

Few of the fans even called for Dinesh Karthik's return to the World Cup squad.

News Cricket

Match-fixing bigger crime than murder: Dhoni breaks his silence on CSK’s two-year ban

Staff Writer Updated: 11 March, 2019, 1:54 PM IST


MS Dhoni led Chennai Super Kings to its third IPL title in 2018 after the franchise was inducted back into the league following the completion of a two-year ban period for its involvement in the 2013 spot fixing scandal.

Former Indian skipper, who had to play for Rising Pune Supergiants for two years during that period, has finally broken his silence on the whole incident.

“The biggest crime that I can commit is not a murder, it is actually match-fixing,” Mahendra Singh Dhoni has said in a soon-to-be released documentary that focuses on Chennai Super Kings’ fairy tale comeback to the Indian Premier League last year.

“The team was involved, I was accused too. It was a tough phase for all of us. Fans felt that the punishment was harsh. Coming back was an emotional moment and I have always said, what doesn’t kill you makes you strong," he added.

The punishment was handed down by a Supreme Court-appointed three-member committee after they found Gurunath Meiyappan's involvement, who was one of the key officials of the Chennai Super Kings, in betting related activities.

News Cricket

Shikhar Dhawan reveals how he deals with criticism

Staff Writer Updated: 11 March, 2019, 12:27 PM IST


Shikhar Dhawan scored his 16th ODI hundred as India reached 358-5 after opting to bat on the best pitch in this series. Rohit Sharma also scored 95 runs and the duo put on 193 runs for the opening wicket to set the stage for a challenging score.

Earlier, opting to bat, Dhawan and Sharma made good use of the batting track on offer as they provided a rollicking start to the Indian innings.

Dhawan in particular was harsh on the Australia bowlers as the duo brought up 50 off just 56 balls. India's 100 came up in 104 balls.

After a slow start, Sharma scored his 40th ODI half-century off 54 balls, hitting seven fours and two sixes overall.

Dhawan reached his first hundred since September off 97 balls.

Sharma fell with his hundred in sight, holing to the deep off Jhye Richardson (3-85). Dhawan took over the reins as he continued attacking, hitting 18 fours and three sixes overall.

"First of all, I don't read newspapers and I don't take information which I don't want to. So I don't know what's happening around me and I live in my own world. So, I decide in which direction my thoughts are going," said the 33-year-old after the match.

"I perform best when I am calm. There's no point in cribbing or being sad," said Dhawan.

"When I feel hurt, I move on quickly. And I don't really know what people are writing. I make sure that I am in a positive frame of mind and keep doing my process," he added.

"I accept the reality and move on. I don't resist something that's happening. If it's going good, then it's good."

"If I am doing all my skill work, taking care of my fitness and having the right mindset, then I just sit back and enjoy," said Dhawan, who has been India's key player in all the recent multi-nation tournaments.

News Cricket

Finding of MCC survey on Test cricket not surprising

Staff Writer Updated: 11 March, 2019, 11:56 AM IST


I am not exactly surprised by the findings of the MCC survey on cricket. An overwhelming 86 percent of fans prefer watching the five day matches as compared to limited overs versions being of the opinion that Test cricket is the ``ultimate’’ form. This comes on top of a survey conducted last year by the ICC which said that close to 70 percent (of 19,000 people between the ages of 16 and 69 supported Test cricket.

How often have we heard the phrase that ``Test cricket is dying’’. Just last month we had no less a personality than the ICC chairman saying much the same thing. First it was said that Test matches had lost out to ODIs. Then with the proliferation of T-20 leagues around the cricketing world it was opined that there is no hope for Test cricket. And yet here we have facts that state just the opposite.

As a traditionalist and a bit of an old timer I still follow Test cricket. Of course I follow the limited overs versions too as a cricket fan and a professional writer on the sport but overall there is no greater satisfaction than watching a well contested Test match. The twists and turns, the lengthy suspense till the match is won or lost – or even when it ends in an exciting draw – is the apotheosis of the sport. Sure they have been dull Test matches but then there have been dull and totally one sided limited overs games which one hardly remembers. The events of a Test match however stay in the mind for long.

The cynics point out to the empty stands during a Test match to underscore their point that there is hardly any interest in cricket’s traditional format. While it is not an encouraging sight to see international games played before empty stands for crowds after all is what the game is all about this does not prove that there is a lack of interest in the format. People keep track of it on the internet or their mobiles, they watch it on TV and follow it on the radio. Fans still stop people on the road and want to know the latest score.

The survey was carried out across 100 countries with over 13,000 fans responding so the results can be taken as fairly conclusive. ``Overwhelmingly Test cricket came out as the format that interests fans the most regardless of country or age,’’ the MCC said in a release. Certainly the survey points out to a positive future for Test cricket. The findings may also raise eyebrows among global cricket administrators including the ICC who are convinced that T-20 cricket is behind the growth of the game.

Yes, the administrators can look at steps like day/night Test cricket or four day matches or anything else that can bring the crowds back to the stadia. Or perhaps the Test Cricket Championship commencing later this year could be the answer. But one thing is sure – Test cricket will never die.