Opinion Cricket

What’s ailing Virat Kohli against spinners?

CT Contributors Updated: 11 March, 2019, 10:56 AM IST


Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli is undoubtedly the best batsman in the world at the moment and is also one of the better players of spin bowling in India. But time and time again, we have seen Kohli struggling against spin bowling and especially leg-spinners.

In the ongoing ODIs against Australia, leggie Adam Zampa has dismissed Kohli twice and earlier in the T20Is he got the 30-year-old once. In Ranchi, Zampa dismissed Kohli on 123 and that was the turning point in the match as Australia won the same to claw back in the five-match series.

After the match, Zampa was asked about Kohli and whether the Indian star has become his bunny. Zampa played it down and said, “Virat is a serious player, it was good to take his wicket when we did. I don’t think he’s my bunny, he’s one of the hardest players to bowl to. I was under a bit of pressure, if he had hit a couple of more boundaries, the momentum would have shifted towards them.”

Kohli’s trend against the spinners hasn’t been something laudable in recent times. Last season in the ODIs against England, Adil Rashid got the player twice. And then Moeen Ali too dismissed him once. Credit must be given to Rashid for bowling cleverly against the Indian batsman.

Notably, in the third ODI, Rashid got Kohli with a beauty. The ball pitched around middle and leg stump and then took a sharp turn beating Kohli's outside edge as the ball clipped the top of the off-stump and then nestled into Jos Buttler's glove.

In the third ODI against Australia, Zampa’s googly got the better of Kohli. It was full on middle, and spinning into Kohli. He tried to whip the one off his toes to mid-wicket, but the ball went under his bat, and clipped the leg stump. What the spinners have done with time is mix things up and been confident.

Zampa was smashed for two successive fours prior to him dismissing Kohli. That’s where the confidence came into play. Back in IPL 2018 edition, Kohli was dismissed 8 times by spinners out of the 14 innings that he played for the Royal Challengers Bangalore. This is an interesting trend to follow.

Teams will target Kohli in ODIs with quality spin bowling during the ICC World Cup 2019. They will feel that there is an outside chance of getting the legend if the ball is pitched on the right areas. Rashid Khan is another bowler, who will fancy his chances against Kohli. The Afghan sensation has had success against Kohli in the IPL.

Looking at Kohli's dismissals against spin, it has got to be the googly that is causing issues. Rashid, Khan and Zampa have all tried this delivery and it has worked for them. Kohli will need to work his way through. Intense preparation and using the feet well can serve him better.

It remains to be seen how the likes of Zampa and Nathan Lyon goes against Kohli next. It will be a great battle to watch nonetheless.

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News Cricket

Disgruntled skipper Virat Kohli reveals reasons for defeat

Staff Writer Updated: 11 March, 2019, 10:05 AM IST


Ashton Turner bludgeoned 84 off 43 balls as Australia beat India by four wickets in the fourth ODI 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.

Chasing 359, Bhuvneshwar Kumar (1-67) bowled Aaron Finch for a two-ball duck and then Jasprit Bumrah (3-63) sent back Shaun Marsh (6) with Australia struggling to get going.

Khawaja and Handscomb then dug deep, rebuilding the innings from scratch but took calculated risks to keep pace with the asking rate at all times. Australia crossed 100 in the 19th over.

While Handscomb passed 50 off 55 balls, Khawaja scored his seventh ODI half-century off 52 balls, his second of the series as they kept Australian hopes alive after taking the score past 200 in the 33rd over.

With the asking rate touching 10 per over, it was time to change gears but Khawaja holed out to Bumrah in the 34th over.

However, dew was starting to make its presence felt and the Indian spinners struggled to grip the ball. But that was scant excuse for some poor Indian fielding for a second game running after a torrid show in the third ODI on Thursday.

After Handscomb scored his maiden ODI hundred off 92 balls, Rishabh Pant missed a stumping chance. The young wicket keeper would then miss another later on with Turner making the most of his second chance.

In between, Kuldeep Yadav (1-64) trapped Glenn Maxwell (23) lbw, with DRS ruling against the batsman.

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.

"The partnership between Usman and Peter was crucial to get us deep (in the innings). The wicket was good and there was no panic. This is what we try to do when chasing 300-totals in Australia. We have seen Ashton do this a lot in Big Bash League, and it was a world-class knock to take on two of the best death-bowlers in cricket at the moment," said skipper Aaron Finch after the win.

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.

Lokesh Rahul (26) came out to bat at No. 3, but couldn't sustain the momentum, though he managed to add 61 runs with Dhawan for the second wicket.

Pat Cummins (5-70) took his maiden five-wicket haul in ODI cricket and applied the brakes to India's innings when he bowled Dhawan in the 38th over.

Virat Kohli (7) fell cheaply for a change, caught behind off Richardson, and despite Rishabh Pant's cameo of 36 off 24 balls, India were in danger of falling short of 350 after crossing 200 in the 32nd over.

Vijay Shankar then hit 26 off 15 balls and pushed the score higher, but it didn't prove enough.

"It became too wet to bowl. The stumping chances were crucial, but we were sloppy in the field as well. We should have grabbed our chances," said Kohli. "Handscomb and Khawaja played well, but Ashton played one hell of a knock. It was the game changer. The wicket was good throughout and dew made it difficult to bowl in right areas. (But) It was a record chase and they deserved to win."

The fifth and final ODI will be played in Delhi on Wednesday.

News Cricket

Rohit Sharma set to surpass Dhoni to create this big record

Staff Writer Updated: 9 March, 2019, 5:47 PM IST


India lost the third ODI against Australia by 32 runs at JSCA International Stadium Complex in Ranchi on Friday. India are leading the ODI series 2-1 but the tourists have also kept their hopes alive. The fourth ODI between both the sides will be played in Mohali on Sunday.

Indian vice-captain, Rohit Sharm is one the verge of leaving MS Dhoni behind in terms of most ODI sixes while playing for India. The Indian right-hander is just two sixes away from surpassing Dhoni in the list of most ODI sixes hit by an Indian. The veteran Indian glove-man, MS Dhoni has 217 sixes while Rohit has 216 sixes to his credit, playing for India.

Dhoni and Rohit are followed by Sachin Tendulkar (195), Sourav Ganguly (189), and Yuvraj Singh (153) when it comes to players with the most number of sixes for India.

The Indian opener has just scored 220 runs in his last eight ODI innings at a poor average of 27.5. Both Dhawan and Rohit have struggled for runs of late.

Feature Cricket

Exclusive: Yusuf Pathan reveals the difference between captaincy of Warne, Gambhir, and Kane

Harshit Anand Updated: 9 March, 2019, 5:06 PM IST


Sunrisers Hyderabad got a massive blow even before the commencement of the 11th edition of the IPL when they lost their captain David Warner after he was found guilty in the ball-tampering scandal. David Warner was central to Hyderabad's triumph in 2016 IPL. It was a double whammy for them as they not only lost their captain but also their best batsman.

Kane Williamson, who was not even a regular starter in the Hyderabad side was handed over the reigns. He had big boots to fill. And the Kiwi player, not only shone through as captain by taking SRH to the finals but also ended the season as highest run-getter to stamp his authority.

"A great leader is who, takes the team to greater heights in difficult times, and Kane Williamson has that capability, and that's why we reached the finals as well. There were a lot of close games, and it's not easy to take tight decisions but he handled the team really well," Yusuf Pathan told Cricket Today when asked about captaincy of Kane Williamson.

"Kane is very calm, reads situations well, and has a positive attitude towards teammates, and that's' why he is the captain. It was not easy to captain the team for the first time and take them through to the finals that too in absence of David Warner. With a cool and calm head, he handled the team, and scored lots of runs to take the team through to finals," added Pathan, who played for SRH in 2018 for the first time.

Before Kane Williamson, Pathan had also played under the likes of Shane Warne and Gautam Gambhir while representing Rajasthan Royals and Kolkata Knight Riders respectively. He not only played under them but also won IPL with them. Both Warne and Gambhir are known as astute tacticians of the game. Pathan shed light on captaincy styles of both Shane Warne and Gautam Gambhir.

He said, "Shane Warne is very positive, be it as a person or a cricketer." Notably, Shane Warne had taken four wickets in semi-finals of both the 1996 and 1999 World Cup. The leggie had also bagged four wickets in the 1999 World Cup final. Warne was a big-match player. And Yusuf learned a great technique of success from him. "Warne taught me how to visualize well before games. I learned how to visualize keeping in mind the strong and weak points of the opposition players," asserted Pathan.

"As far as Gautam Gambhir is concerned, he is a very aggressive cricketer and steps on to the field with a lot of positivity and fire," revealed Pathan.

The elder Pathan brother might be 36 years old, but he still has the fire and belief that he can win games for his side. He is someone, who can take the game by storm. His aggressive batting and audacious strokeplay have won his teams' many games, over the years. The right-hander intends to do the same this year.

Pathan announced, "I have this tag of being a match-winner and my role is to play aggressively. My approach is to win matches for my team. Inshallah, till the time I keep playing cricket, I would love to keep playing aggressively. He added an interesting point, "A lot of times in order to curb my aggressive instinct, the opposition think too much about me and as a result, my partners get the benefit and they go on to score runs."

Pathan also relishes the fact that he gets the license to play his natural game at Hyderabad. He shared his experience of playing under legends like VVS Laxman and Muttiah Muralitharan. "VVS bhai is always like when you go out to bat and start doing well, opposition team panics. So when a legend like Laxman says things like that it feels good. He appreciates my talent and approach."

He also disclosed how much fun it is to be around Muttiah Muralitharan. "Murali is a very fun loving person, he keeps having a lot of fun banter with me, and I enjoy playing with him around the team. I have played against him as well, and its a very good experience playing under such a bonafide legend of the game," said Pathan.

Yusuf Pathan was part of India's 2007 WT20 and 2011 World Cup winning side. He didn't have the most fulfilling career in the Indian jersey but some of his knocks have stood up to the test of time. "There are a lot of innings that I have forgotten, but when fans talk about those innings, which I have played for India, it feels special. And all the wonderful memories get freshen up in my mind," asserted Pathan.

He has played some brilliant knocks for India. Be it his 96-ball 123 against New Zealand in 2010, where India chased down 316 runs after being 108 for four or his 50-ball 59 in Cape Town against South Africa (2011) were the Men in Blue won a thriller after being 93 for five, or his 70-ball 105 in Centurion against the Proteas in a losing cause, where no other Indian batsman could even touch 40, Yusuf had his share of moments at the highest level.

"It has always been my approach, which helped me play innings like these, I cherish difficult situations and it helped me give my best. Whenever I sit down and reflect on those innings it feels special", gushed Pathan taking a walk back to nostalgia.

But as he got back from nostalgia to the present moment, he looked all fired up to put his best foot forward in the IPL. "My preparations for IPL are going very good, I am having a good time in Syed Mushtaq Ali trophy, practice is going well and I have more time for individually fine-tuning myself before our camp starts," stated Pathan.

He signed off by saying or rather announcing, "There are a lot of matches to come and Inshallah, I will play many more memorable knocks in times to come for my team."

*The Interview was taken by Harshit Anand.

This is part 2 of our Interview, here is part 1:


Feature Cricket

Brexit Worries for SA

Sreelata S Yellamrazu Updated: 9 March, 2019, 4:16 PM IST


Even as South Africa try to lift their morale in the course of the one day internationals series with Sri Lanka, there is undoubtedly a pall of gloom hanging around the still shocking announcement of Duanne Olivier going the Kolpak way. But it was looming on the horizon as the Brexit deadline drew closer.

For years, South Africa have had to deal intermittently with the problem of their national players abruptly shutting shop by signing Kolpak deals that effectively made them available for English county circuit but no longer available to represent South Africa. At the height of their success, just as they were realizing their potential in South Africa’s greens, it seemed South Africa’s promise has been snuffed out right in front of them. Repeated instances however did not prod Cricket South Africa to check the exodus.

The decision by Duanne Olivier, just as he was hitting his strides in Test whites and becoming a stronger candidate to make the berth for the ICC Cricket World Cup in June in England, to announce his departure from the South African cricket team, having signed the Kolpak contract continues to be a major talking point, a shock South Africa still seem to be trying to get over.

The fact that it has perhaps hit harder than it even did when Kyle Abbott was the last prominent South African cricketer to quit at the height of his success in national colours is telling of just how much of an impact Duanne Olivier has had in recent months. It is, also, evident of the fact that South Africa, despite a brave façade, are still very much in transition, not quite recovering from the larger-than-life losses of the retirement of Jacques Kallis and AB de Villiers last year.

However, South Africa knew that not only was the Kolpak contract a perennial worry lurking in the shadows but also, that the Brexit decision arrived at by a referendum in Great Britain two years back was going to make for a greater push for cricketers to sign on the dotted line before the deadline. With the European nation yet to arrive at a Brexit deal, the idea of a no-deal Brexit is causing consternation not only within commercial establishments dependent on import-export barters and partnerships but also, cricket as a sport. With potentially unforeseeable changes on the anvil, there are perhaps more revelations in the offing but not quite on the level as that of Olivier’s that could be on the cards as the race to the Brexit deadline now gathers speed.

The Kolpak contracts have become a perennial problem for Cricket South Africa from the standpoint that cricketers not only earn a greater remuneration as a result of the rand to pound conversion rate but also, have a sense of security, particularly after Cricket South Africa were forced to follow the country’s sports laws that suggest heavy penalties including non-hosting of global events if not compliant with the mandatory inclusion of non-white players. With cricket also now subjected to the quota system, the uncertainty factor in the air has been more prominent leading to an exodus of players virtually en masse which has greatly dented South Africa’s potential to not only stay competitive but also, become a powerhouse looking for its first World Cup trophy.

With Brexit now throwing another spanner in the works, cricketers harbouring uncertainty over their future and doubts about their place in the national team will have already been scouted and scooped up in a hurry. It is a now a longstanding problem that Cricket South Africa have failed to check address in the past and indeed may now look helpless in the immediate future and an uncertain of their place going into the ICC Cricket World Cup.

Feature Cricket

Friday’s result a wake-up call for high flying Indians

Partab Ramchand Updated: 9 March, 2019, 4:11 PM IST


Friday’s result was a timely wake-up call for the rather high flying Indians. Successive wins can give a side an illusion of invincibility and can lead to over confidence. Despite the victories and the current No 2 ranking this Indian team has weaknesses and the defeat to Australia will show them up as a good side and nothing more.

For some time there were rumbles that the middle order is not settled. Suddenly it is the top order which is the subject of much concern. It is difficult to win any match when a side is 27 for three especially when the target required is a stiff 314. And gallantly as Virat Kohli and others performed truth be told the Indians were always going to fall short.

The match also did little to boost the chances of Kedar Jadhav as he tries to stake his claim for inclusion in the World Cup squad. He did come up with a cameo with the bat but was harshly treated while bowling. Jadhav in fact was badly exposed and certainly the kind of tripe he sends down is not what the Indian team requires in the World Cup. With Vijay Shankar and Hardik Pandya now almost certainties to make the cut there could be place for one more utility player but that is not Jadhav.

One is also concerned about Kuldeep Yadav’s form. He picked up three wickets but at a cost and the danger is that opposing batsmen are able to read him better. A chinaman bowler like him is a precious talent and perhaps he should not be played again before the World Cup.

It is a pity that a regal innings by Kohli for once had to be in a losing cause. The Indian captain is in a league of his own and the manner he is batting of late the Australians can well paraphrase something that Bjorn Borg’s opponents said in the 70s when the legendary Swede was at his peak. ``We play tennis, he plays something else.’’ Kohli’s opponents could well be saying about the Indian captain that while they play cricket, he is playing something else.

News Cricket

Karachi set to watch top cricketers in PSL T20 finals

Staff Writer Updated: 9 March, 2019, 4:04 PM IST


Pakistan's biggest city is set to witness some of the biggest stars in international cricket over the next nine days as the last leg of Pakistan Super League begins on Saturday.

Shane Watson of Australia, Kieron Pollard and Darren Sammy of the West Indies will be the star attractions in the Twenty20 format for cricket-frenzied fans in Karachi.

Watson will be playing in Pakistan 14 years after being a member of the Australia A team in 2005, while Pollard will be playing in Pakistan for the first time.

Sammy has been an unofficial ambassador of the PSL around the world since the league began in 2016. Sammy, who leads Peshawar Zalmi, won the second edition of the PSL at Lahore in 2017 as the PCB gradually started organizing more and more league games at home.

"It's been 14 years since I last visited Pakistan, a place with some of the most passionate fans in world cricket. Can't wait to give it our best shot in winning the trophy," Watson said in a video message tweeted by his team Quetta Gladiators.

Lahore, which organized the PSL final two years ago, was ruled out to host three of the remaining eight PSL matches after the recent political tensions between Pakistan and India forced a delay in opening of the international air space in Lahore.

This led the Pakistan Cricket Board to contemplate rescheduling the remaining eight games in Pakistan after organizing 26 PSL league matches in the United Arab Emirates.

But then Karachi, which also hosted the last year's PSL final, was chosen as the PCB was adamant to show the cricketing world that it's safe to again host international teams in Pakistan.

"The perception that foreigners have about the safety situation in Pakistan will change and they will be satisfied with the security arrangements," PCB chairman Ehsan Mani said in Karachi.

"I am delighted to welcome the foreign players who have come here for the PSL and I am sure it will help us in bringing more international matches to the country."

In a recent interview with The Associated Press, Mani had said that Bangladesh and Sri Lanka were the two teams which could tour Pakistan later this year if the PCB successfully organizes PSL games in Pakistan.

It's been 10 years since Pakistan hosted a fully-fledged bilateral cricketing series when terrorists attacked on Sri Lanka cricket team bus at Lahore in 2009.

Several key cricketing delegates from around the world that include top officials from the ICC, Federation of International Cricketers Association and Bangladesh Cricket Board will also oversee security arrangements during the matches in Karachi.

Tight security will be provided for the six franchise teams, including more than 13,000 policemen and 2,500 armed paramilitary personnel in place en route from hotel to the stadium and in the surroundings of the National Stadium.

Hundreds of CCTV cameras have been installed in and around the National Stadium to monitor the movement of spectators. Spectators have to show their original National Identity Cards along with their tickets at the entry points.

Defending champions Islamabad United will take on Lahore Qalandars at 7 p.m. local time (1400 GMT).

The main roads of the metropolis city have been decorated with lights and cardboard cut-outs of players on the roadside. There are also giant billboards showing several foreign players representing the six teams — Karachi Kings, Lahore Qalandars, Islamabad United, Peshawar Zalmi, Quetta Gladiators and Multan Sultans.

News Cricket

Pakistan want ICC to take strict action against Men in Blue for wearing Army Caps 

Staff Writer Updated: 9 March, 2019, 3:53 PM IST


Pakistan Minister Fawad Chaudhry has urged the ICC to take action against Virat Kohli-led team for politicizing the game by wearing army caps during the third ODI against Australia.

Indian players were sporting camouflage caps as a mark of tribute to the CRPF security personnel, who lost their lives in Pulwama terror attack.

Men in Blue also donated their match fee to the National Defence Fund, which will use the money to take care dependents of Pulwama attack martyrs.

“It’s just not cricket,” Chaudhry tweeted late on Friday. “By wearing the caps, the Indian team has politicized the Gentleman’s Game”, Dawn quoted the Information Minister as saying.

He insisted that PCB should lodge a formal protest against India.

“And if the Indian team does not stop wearing the caps, the Pakistan team ‘should (also) wear black bands to remind the World about Indian atrocities in (occupied) Kashmir,” said Chaudhry.

Many in Pakistan, including journalists Owais Tohid and Mazhar Abbas lambasted Team India for donning Army Caps.

“Sad to see war hysteria in Indian cricket team with great players like Virat Kohli and M.S. Dhoni leading it,” Tohid said in a tweet. “Heroes shouldn’t act like losers,” he added.

Abbas criticized the Indian players for their gesture. “Sports can defuse tension but not like this. Don’t (drag) cricketers in(to) politics.”

News Cricket

Virat Kohli joins Michael Bevan in elite list after 41st ODI ton

Staff Writer Updated: 9 March, 2019, 2:18 PM IST


Virat Kohli's batting average in ODIs has gone past 60 after he scored a magnificent hundred in the third ODI against Australia. Despite Virat's 41st ODI ton, India lost the match by 32 runs in Ranchi.

Men in Blue now lead the series 2-1 having won the first two matches in Hyderabad and Nagpur. This is the highest batting average Kohli has reached in his career thus far. Virat is now behind former Aussie batsman Michael Bevan, who reached an average of 62.1 in his 102nd innings.

Virat and Bevan are the two players who have gone past the 60 mark as far as average is concerned. West Indies legend Viv Richards is at the third spot in the list. He had touched 56.8 average in his 100th ODI innings.

News Cricket

Rishabh Pant to replace MS Dhoni

Staff Writer Updated: 9 March, 2019, 1:57 PM IST


Rishabh Pant will play as a specialist wicket-keeper batsman in the fourth ODI against Australia. With MS Dhoni being rested for the last two ODIs of the series, Pant can seal a slot in the World Cup squad. In earlier ODIs, Pant had played purely as a batsman with Dhoni donning the wicket-keeping gloves.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar has the chance of playing on Sunday after Mohammed Shami was hit on the leg during the third ODI of the series.

Men in Blue will go in with couple of changes in the remaining games.

"We will have a few changes in the next couple of games but the idea is to tell the boys to put in match-winning performances and the boys will be looking to be in top form before the flight to England," Kohli said after the third ODI.

News Cricket

R Ashwin ready to grace Karan Johar’s popular show Koffee With Karan

Staff Writer Updated: 9 March, 2019, 1:46 PM IST


Koffee With Karan had to bear the brunt of fans when Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul made sexist remarks. They not only drew flak but were also suspended by the BCCI before being reinstated in their respective roles.

The governing body of Indian cricket was thinking of bringing a rule to bar players from participating in such shows. Despite BCCI's tough stance, R Ashwin is still interested to feature on Koffee with Karan.

He hosted a Q&A session on Instagram where he answered fans' questions. One of the fans asked him if he would fancy going to Koffee With Karan. “Sure,” he wrote.

Ashwin is currently out of the Indian team with Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal preferred in the limited-overs side.

He has represented India in 65 Tests, 111 One-Day Internationals and 46 Twenty20 Internationals.

News Cricket

Virat Kohli has made it a joke: Mohammad Kaif after Kohli's 41st ODI ton

Staff Writer Updated: 9 March, 2019, 12:49 PM IST


Captain Virat Kohli scored 123 runs but India was prevented from clinching the one-day cricket international series when Australia won the third match by 32 runs.

Kohli reached his 41st hundred, and second in two matches, off 84 balls but after he was out at 219-6, bowled by leg-spinner Adam Zampa, India ran out of puff. Vijay Shankar, with 32 off 30 balls, was the second-highest scorer.

Kohli reached 50 off 52 balls, and picked up the innings' reins as he added 88 runs off 75 balls with Kedar Jadhav (26) for the fifth wicket. The skipper accelerated, attacking Marcus Stoinis (0-39) in particular.

Kohli didn't slow his pace as he hit 16 fours and a six in the 95-ball knock. As India crossed 200 in the 36th over, it seemed he would singlehandedly win the game.

However, Zampa bowled Kohli in the 38th over, with 95 runs still needed off 75 balls. And India's threat evaporated with him.

Mohammad Kaif took to twitter to laud Virat Kohli for his brilliant hundred. "It isn’t this easy. It isn’t a joke, but this man has made it a joke. 41st for King Kohli. #IndvAus," he wrote.

News Cricket

Virat Kohli issues a stern warning to Indian batsmen

Staff Writer Updated: 9 March, 2019, 12:45 PM IST


Indian team lost the third ODI against Australia in Ranchi by 32 runs. Barring Indian skipper, Virat Kohli, who scored 123 runs, all else struggled. Not even one batsman could score a fifty for India. And Virat Kohli has hinted for changes in the next two games. He doesn't want more batting collapses as well.

"We will have a few changes in the next couple of games. We have to figure out what those changes are. But the idea is to go out there and win matches and take a lot of pride in winning games for the country. That mindset will not change," Kohli said at the post-match presentation.

"We will have a few new faces and they will have to make the most of their chances because there is a World Cup coming and everyone wants to be on that flight. The guys are excited and looking forward to it. A little hiccup in the middle but we will regroup and come back stronger," Kohli added.

"The guys who have got out will want to make the most of the opportunity. We don't want collapses. We want partnerships that can get us going.

News Cricket

Virat Kohli makes a big statement about his 41st ODI hundred

Staff Writer Updated: 9 March, 2019, 12:34 PM IST


Captain Virat Kohli scored 123 runs but India was prevented from clinching the one-day cricket international series when Australia won the third match by 32 runs.

Australia cut India's lead to 2-1 in the five-match series. The fourth match is on Sunday in Mohali.

Australia made 313-5 after an opening stand of 193 between Usman Khawaja, 104, and Captain Aaron Finch, 93.

India was bowled out for 281 in the 49th over.

Only Kohli passed 35 in the chase. "In terms of hitting the ball, it was one of my finest innings. I was feeling good since ball one," Kohli said.

"We pulled things back because at one stage it looked like we would be chasing 350. I was told to expect dew in the evening, but none of it happened."

Australia was put into bat and Finch and Khawaja produced a mammoth opening stand.

Khawaja scored his maiden ODI hundred, and Finch crossed 50 for the first time since June 2018.

They plundered Mohammed Shami, who needed regular treatment after being hit on the ankle off a Finch drive, and benefited from dubious India judgment and fielding. India wasted a video review against Finch for lbw in the second over, and Khawaja was on 17 when he was dropped by Dhawan off Ravindra Jadeja in the seventh over.

Finch and Khawaja brought up their combined 100 off 99 balls on the best batting surface of this series so far.

They were close to 200 runs together when Finch was out lbw off Yadav in the 32nd over.

Finch sought a video review, which showed the ball pitching away from its original spot. However, Hawk-Eye claimed to suffer a technical glitch, the right decision was eventually made, and Finch walked.

Khawaja reached his hundred off 107 balls, and was out shortly afterwards, chipping Shami straight to midwicket.

"My previous high score was 98, so it was good to get those extra two runs," Khawaja said. "We weren't sure what a good score is and the bowlers bowled beautifully (to set up the win)."

Glenn Maxwell was promoted up the order and made 47 off 31 balls before he was run out by a deflection. That slowed Australia's momentum, though it crossed 300 in the 49th over, the first time any team has done so in five ODIs at this ground.

News Cricket

Virat Kohli breaks AB de Villiers’ world record

Staff Writer Updated: 9 March, 2019, 12:29 PM IST


During the third ODI against Australia, Indian skipper reached another landmark. Virat became the fourth Indian skipper and 12th overall to complete 4000 ODI runs as captain. He also surpassed AB de Villiers to become the fastest skipper to reach the 4000-run mark as ODI captain. AB had touched this mark in 77 innings while Kohli breached his tally in juts 63 innings.

Kohli reached his 41st hundred, and second in two matches, off 84 balls but after he was out at 219-6, bowled by leg-spinner Adam Zampa, India ran out of puff. Vijay Shankar, with 32 off 30 balls, was the second-highest scorer.

Kohli reached 50 off 52 balls, and picked up the innings' reins as he added 88 runs off 75 balls with Kedar Jadhav (26) for the fifth wicket. The skipper accelerated, attacking Marcus Stoinis (0-39) in particular.

While Kohli scored another hundred, Zampa undermined India again by trapping Jadhav, who was out trying to sweep.

Kohli didn't slow his pace as he hit 16 fours and a six in the 95-ball knock. As India crossed 200 in the 36th over, it seemed he would singlehandedly win the game.

However, Zampa bowled Kohli in the 38th over, with 95 runs still needed off 75 balls. And India's threat evaporated with him.