News Cricket

Williamson, Dananjaya reported for suspect bowling actions

Staff Writer Updated: 20 August, 2019, 4:13 PM IST

HIGHLIGHTS

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson and Sri Lanka spinner Akila Dananjaya have been reported for suspect bowling actions after the first test between the teams which ended.

The International Cricket Council issued a statement Tuesday saying the report from the match officials cited concerns about the legality of the bowling actions of both players.

"Williamson and Dananjaya will now undergo testing within 14 days from the reporting date and, during this period, both will be permitted to continue bowling in international cricket until the results of the testing are known," the ICC said.

That means both players will be available to play in the second test of the two-test series, which starts Thursday in Colombo.

Right-armer Dananjaya bowled 62 overs in the first test at Galle, taking 5-80 in the first innings and 1-84 in the second, helping Sri Lanka to a six-wicket win.

He had just returned to test cricket after being banned in December, 2018 for an illegal action. Danajaya was left out of the Sri Lanka team which played a test series in New Zealand that month after failing a bio-mechanical test in Brisbane.

On that occasion the ICC ruled "his deliveries exceeded the 15 degrees level of tolerance permitted under the regulations" and he was required to remodel his action before returning. He had taken career-best figures of 6-115 in a test against England in November, 2018.

Dananjaya enjoyed a meteoric rise in international cricket, being chosen for the preliminary Sri Lanka team for the 2012 T20 World Cup before he had played a professional match. His talent was identified after he had been a net bowler for the Sri Lanka team.

Williamson, a part-time off-spinner, bowled only three overs in the second innings without taking a wicket.

He was banned from bowling in international cricket in 2014 after tests found his elbow extension exceeded the 15 degrees allowed under ICC rules. His remodeled action was later approved by the world body.

The match was umpired by Michael Gough and Richard Illingworth of England, and Andy Pycroft of Zimbabwe was the match referee.

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News Cricket

I think Steve Smith will lead Australia again - Ricky Ponting

Staff Writer Updated: 19 September, 2019, 4:29 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Smith finished with 774 runs in the Ashes in only seven innings at an average of 110. The star batter received a standing ovation from England and Australia fans as he left the field on Sunday, a strong sign Smith has been forgiven after a ban for his role in a ball-tampering scandal. The 30-year-old Smith posted the highest number of runs in a five-match series since Brian Lara managed 798 against England in 1993-94.

Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting has stated that he is sure that Smith will lead Australia once again after his captaincy ban ends in 2020.

“Steve Smith – I think he will captain again. I don’t know what the Australian public might think about that. So, to me that seems like Cricket Australia has left the gate open … so if Cricket Australia thinks it’s OK then I’m happy with [it]. I think he knows his role now. But once that ban is lifted, I don’t think it will be too long until he’s captain again,” Ponting was quoted as saying by Times Now.

News Cricket

Azharuddin files nomination for president's post in the Hyderabad Cricket Association

Staff Writer Updated: 19 September, 2019, 4:24 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Former India skipper Mohammad Azharuddin has filed his nomination for the post of president in the Hyderabad Cricket Association.

Azhar, whose nomination was rejected two years ago, completed the formalities in front of Chief Election Commissioner VS Sampath.

"I want to take inputs from everybody and work for promoting cricket. I want to do something for districts also (towards growth of cricket)," Azharuddin told PTI.

He has the backing of Arshad Ayub and Shivlal Yadav.

The Hyderabad Cricket Association will hold its elections on September 27.

Azhar was one of the best fielders during his heydays and even captained India in Tests and ODIs.

He holds the world record of scoring three consecutive Test tons in his first three Test matches.

News Cricket

It is easy to bowl in death overs - Deepak Chahar

AP Updated: 19 September, 2019, 4:01 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Deepak Chahar was India's most successful bowler with 2-22 from his four-over spell, carrying on the good work from the recent West Indies' tour in the dual absence of Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

“I find it easy to bowl death overs because, in the powerplay, you only get two fielders outside the circle. However, after the powerplay, you get five fielders outside. Therefore, I find it easy to bowl death overs,” Chahar was quoted as saying about his performance during a post-match press conference.

He also spoke about his chances for T20 World in 2020.

“Whenever you do good in a match, you get confidence. And the confidence I got from IPL, it benefitted me. It is still one year for the World Cup and I do not think far too ahead. I take every match as my last match. At this time, Indian cricket is at the top and if you want to find a spot, you will have to do very good and that too, in every match because there is a lot of competition.”

Feature Cricket

India, SA, DRS and the Third Umpire

Sreelata S Yellamrazu Updated: 19 September, 2019, 3:24 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

As South Africa embark on yet another historic series with India, an interesting side story perks up its ears. India have always been reluctant users of technology, probably because they have had an uncomfortable history as Sachin Tendulkar’s run out points out.

South Africa was where the first instance of the third umpire was trialed. And the unfortunate first batsman to be ever run out in the game of international cricket through the decision of the third umpire was none other than the batting maestro, Sachin Tendulkar.

That little fact today might seem of little relevance, given how prevalent the third umpire has become in the sport. For those still imagining the game before the introduction of the third umpire or the television umpire as he was, also, known, two umpires shared dubious history. Cyril Mitchley got it right referring the decision of Sachin Tendulkar’s run out to the third umpire. Steve Bucknor did not want to use technology, backed himself and got it wrong against Jonty Rhodes. The television umpire was born in the series between India and South Africa.

India have been allergic to use of the Decision Review System (DRS), formerly known as the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS). Although other cricket playing nations around the world have embraced the technology, it has not been without controversy. The recent instance when Tim Paine’s captaincy was brought into question after he failed to use the technology well in the dying moments of the one Test England managed to win in the Ashes shows just how much peril such quick decision making - to use or not use the reviews at the team’s disposal and the timing – puts captains in these days.

It seemed that India were put off when Anil Kumble used the technology and not well at all against Sri Lanka. It put India and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) at odds with the International Cricket Council (ICC) and the rest of the cricket member boards. While there are some nuances of the technology that India have stubbornly held grievances over in terms of determination of a dismissal of a batsman, the Decision Review System and the third umpire are now part and parcel of the sport, almost to the point of being taken for granted.

But it was not just the players alone that felt threatened about the worthiness of the technology at hand. There was, also, concern that the fabric of the game as it were would change drastically with the umpire on the field no longer the sole determining authority on the field. There was worry that in the event that the umpire’s ruling was overruled by the technology, the players would lose the traditional respect reserved for the umpires as adjudicators on the field.

No technology has been without flaws. Technology has not managed to solve all problems, whether it is taking a low catch on an uneven field which makes decision making drastically polar from different camera angles or when determining to the minutest frame whether the batsman has crossed the crease or whether he is on the line that belongs to the umpire. Touch and go decisions continue to enthrall and aggravate the game’s aficionados.

Eventually the umpires have either invited scorn for being too conservative to the point of being wrong or have had to swallow the bitter pill and refer everything under the sun for the sake of safety. Even more recently, the umpires have generally learnt to accept that they might have been wrong or that they could be challenged irrespective of the accuracy of their decision on the field as is now the privilege and prerogative of the cricketers because of the Decision Review System (DRS).

If anything, such as been the integration of technology with the sport that the role of the umpires on the field has once again been brought into question. With the umpires in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 final not having referred to the third umpire in the matter of over throws and therefore, having controversially accorded a crucial additional run to England that in the end, putting New Zealand behind despite double ties with England, it has brought the role, relevance and also, more importantly, the degree of importance, of the third umpire once again back front and center.

It seems hard now to imagine that the sport once relied solely on the eyes and discretion of the umpire on the field and that Sachin Tendulkar being run out by a television umpire once grabbed the headlines. Fortunately Tendulkar has seen better days and despite the reservations of both, the umpires and the cricketers, the sport has seen better decisions being made in the interest of the game.

News Cricket

Sourav Ganguly warns KL Rahul, names two batsmen who can replace him in ODIs

Staff Writer Updated: 19 September, 2019, 1:54 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

KL Rahul is under pressure after losing his place in the Test squad. Former India skipper Sourav Ganguly feels that the 27-year old will have to perform well and make most of the opportunities coming his way.

According to Dada, Manish Pandey and Shreyas Iyer can snatch number four slot from KL Rahul.

In the ODIs, he hasn't played since the World Cup. He replaced an injured Shikhar Dhawan as opener in the tournament and played some good knocks in the process.

However, Ganguly feels his place is not guaranteed in the squad.

“With Rohit (Sharma) and Shikhar (Dhawan) at the top as the best possible opening pair, K L Rahul will be pushed. He has lost his place in Test cricket due to indifferent form and the likes of Shreyas and Manish Pandey will keep him on his toes if he wants to hold on to the No. 4 slot,” Ganguly wrote in his column.

Videos Cricket

Watch: Frustrated Virat Kohli breaks stumps in anger

Staff Writer Updated: 19 September, 2019, 1:47 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Virat Kohli is known for his aggressive nature on the field. Be it any format of the game, skipper of the Indian cricket team never misses a chance to prove his point.

In the second T20 international of the series, his aggression was in full flow as he took an exceptional catch to get rid off Quinton de Kock.

However, he lost his cool in another moment after Shreyas Iyer failed to collect the ball.

The incident took place in the 10th over of South Africa's innings when the fumble by Iyer allowed rivals to take an extra run.

Iyer's throw was not on the target and the skipper was visibly upset with him. Virat Kohli, who was fuming, broke the stumps with his hand after collecting the ball.

Chasing 150 for victory, Virat Kohli scored an unbeaten 72 off 52 balls. With his 22nd fifty in T20 internationals, he surpassed Rohit Sharma to become the batsman with most runs in this format.

News Cricket

I will do whatever it takes to win for my country – Virat Kohli

Staff Writer Updated: 19 September, 2019, 1:39 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Skipper Virat Kohli played another memorable knock of his T20I career when he led India to win in the second match of the series against South Africa. He was proud of his effort.

"It's the badge in front of my shirt. It's a pride to play for my country so whatever it takes to get over the line, I will do. Get the team across the line anyhow. If you want to make your team win, you'll find a way," Virat said.

Virat Kohli, who scored an unbeaten 72 to guide India to a seven-wicket win, lauded bowlers for their exceptional performance.

"Bowlers showed a lot of character. The pitch was very good and they (South Africa) got off to a good start so it was an outstanding effort from the bowler to pull the game back from us," he said at the post-match press conference.

"That's exactly what we're looking at, try out new people and see who stands up under pressure," he added.

News Cricket

I got a bit of motivation from T20 World Cup win in Mohali – Virat Kohli

Staff Writer Updated: 19 September, 2019, 12:50 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Virat Kohli is arguably the best batsman at the moment. He played one of the best knocks in T20 international cricket in Mohali during the T20 World Cup in 2016 when he single-handedly won the game against Australia. The right hand batsman scored an unbeaten 82 off just 51 balls, hitting 9 fours and 2 sixes in the process.

He was reminded of that knock as he led India to another emphatic win over South Africa in the second T20I of a three-match series. Virat amassed an unbeaten 72 from 52 balls as Men in Blue successfully chased down 150 runs.

Speaking at the post match presentation ceremony after winning the Man of the Match award, Virat Kohli revealed he got a bit of motivation from that during India’s triumph against South Africa.

"You reminded me of the best game of my T20 career. I got a bit of motivation from that. When you play like that and win a game for your team, it is always a good feeling. That night [2016 T20 World Cup match against Australia) was a revelation of how fit you can be on a cricket field," Kohli told Star Sports host Sanjay Manjrekar.

News Cricket

Shahid Afridi hails Virat Kohli, calls him a great player

Staff Writer Updated: 19 September, 2019, 12:31 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Former Pakistan skipper Shahid Afridi lauded Indian skipper Virat Kohli after his another match winning performance in international cricket. The right-hand batsman became the only batsman to have his batting average above 50 across formats.

Chasing 150 for victory, Virat Kohli scored an unbeaten 72 off 52 balls. With his 22nd fifty in T20 internationals, he surpassed Rohit Sharma to become the batsman with most runs in this format.

Shahid Afridi retweeted ICC's tweet and captioned it: "Congratulations @imVkohli You are a great player indeed, wish you continued success, keep entertaining cricket fans all around the world."

Earlier, India won the toss and put South Africa in to bat. The visitors handed T20 debuts to Fortuin, Temba Bavuma, and Anrich Nortje.

New Proteas' skipper Quinton de Kock (52 off 37 balls) started his reign with a third T20 half-century, giving his side a quick start. But India put on the brakes quickly as South Africa only managed 39 runs from the six powerplay overs, with Deepak Chahar removing Reeza Hendricks (6) cheaply.

Bavuma added 57 runs with the captain for the second wicket and steadying the South African ship after the latter's dismissal in the 12th over. Kohli took a diving catch to his left at mid-off to dismiss his counterpart off Navdeep Saini (1-34) and that breakthrough sucked out momentum from the Proteas' innings.

They lost wickets at regular intervals thereafter and never looked like making a charge in the final overs despite a 15-ball cameo from Miller (18).

News Cricket

Bring back MS Dhoni, says fans after Rishabh Pant's failure with the bat

Staff Writer Updated: 19 September, 2019, 12:19 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Rishabh Pant was expected to score heavily in the ongoing T20 series against South Africa but he failed to get going in the second T20 international, scoring just 4 runs. The fans were not happy with his display and want MS Dhoni to return.

He came out to bat after Shikhar Dhawan's dismissal but his habit of playing too many shots resulted in his downfall. With Virat Kohli standing at the other end, Pant had all the time in the world to get himself in but he went for a big one, offering a simple catch to Tabraiz Shamsi.

Virat Kohli scored 72 runs off 52 balls as India coasted to a seven-wicket win over South Africa in the second Twenty20 on Wednesday.

Chasing 150, Kohli eased his way to a 22nd half-century in T20 cricket as India won with an over to spare. Shikhar Dhawan contributed 40 off 31 balls after South Africa was restricted to 149-5.

Dhawan and Rohit Sharma (12) gave the hosts a fiery start and put on 33 off 23 balls. Andile Phehlukwayo (1-20) trapped Sharma lbw and broke the flow of runs.

Kohli and Dhawan then came together to put on 61 runs for the second wicket as India was coasting at the halfway mark of their innings. But South Africa struck twice in the space of 13 balls to cause a minor wobble.

Kohli, though, quickly dashed any South African hopes of an unlikely victory. He reached his half-century off 40 balls and then shifted gears with ease.

In doing so, he went atop the list of run scorers in international T20 cricket with 2,440 runs, six ahead of compatriot Sharma (2434).

Shreyas Iyer (16 not out) played the ideal foil to his skipper as India took a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.

Feature Cricket

England can look back at the season with pride and satisfaction

Partab Ramchand Updated: 19 September, 2019, 10:37 AM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Disappointment at not being able to regain the Ashes aside England can look back with pride and a sense of satisfaction at the season just concluded. If they did not win back the urn they at least saw to it that Australia did not win an Ashes series in England since 2001. More famously however they won the World Cup for the first time after 44 years and 12 attempts. It does not matter if the triumph was achieved through controversial means. It was Eoin Morgan and the England team that held the cup aloft at the end of it all.

How much of the credit should go to the men behind the scenes notably Andrew Strauss and Trevor Bayliss is a moot point. The fact however remains that planning is one thing, execution quite another and the players deserve full credit for almost pulling off a double triumph.

Unlike in previous competitions England were the favourites going into the World Cup partly because of home advantage and the No 1 ranking but more importantly because of their record going into the tournament. They also appeared to have the right balance in the team personnel – explosive hitters, strokeplaying batsmen, a sheet anchor in Joe Root, a couple of star all-rounders and an incisive pace attack. And yet despite all this they were in some danger of not making the semifinals before they recovered in the nick of time, made the grade and then went on to win the trophy after a final and a super over against New Zealand that has been well documented.

Going into the Ashes contest it was clear that England and Australia were evenly matched going not just by one team being ranked No 4 and the other ranked No 5 but also on team personnel. And not unexpectedly the series ended 2-2, the first drawn Ashes contest in 47 years. And while Steve Smith was clearly the man of the series with his astounding run of tall scores the single most important innings in the series was played by Ben Stokes.

There were plenty of positives that England could take away from the season, the most important being that they didn’t miss James Anderson in the Test series with Jofra Archer stepping in admirably. The discovery of Archer was timely as Anderson at 37 cannot go on for much longer.

Other encouraging aspects were Jack Leach emerging as an able spinner and Stuart Broad still having plenty of fire in his bowling. Stokes remains their star all-rounder with Chris Woakes not far behind though there must be a question mark over Moeen Ali’s future as far as his England place is concerned. The batting did present problems though things improved towards the end of the season and that is one department the think tank will have to look at.

News Cricket

It is great to get a winning start to the home season - Shikhar Dhawan

AP Updated: 19 September, 2019, 10:09 AM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Virat Kohli scored 72 runs off 52 balls as India coasted to a seven-wicket win over South Africa in the second Twenty20.

Chasing 150, Kohli eased his way to a 22nd half-century in T20 cricket as India won with an over to spare. Shikhar Dhawan contributed 40 off 31 balls after South Africa was restricted to 149-5.

Dhawan and Rohit Sharma (12) gave the hosts a fiery start and put on 33 off 23 balls. Andile Phehlukwayo (1-20) trapped Sharma lbw and broke the flow of runs.

Kohli and Dhawan then came together to put on 61 runs for the second wicket as India was coasting at the halfway mark of their innings. But South Africa struck twice in the space of 13 balls to cause a minor wobble.

David Miller pulled off a stunning one-handed diving catch to his left at long on to leave Dhawan stunned. The left-hander was dismissed off Tabraiz Shamsi (1-19) in the 12th over.

An over later, Rishabh Pant (4) carelessly pulled Bjorn Fortuin (1-32) straight to short fine leg, resulting in yet another cheap dismissal.

"Miller's catch was unbelievable. (But) It is great to get a winning start to the home season," Dhawan said.

News Cricket

Virat Kohli surpasses Rohit Sharma to become leading scorer in T20 internationals

AP Updated: 19 September, 2019, 10:03 AM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Virat Kohli dashed any South African hopes of an unlikely victory. He reached his half-century off 40 balls and then shifted gears with ease.

In doing so, he went atop the list of run scorers in international T20 cricket with 2,440 runs, six ahead of compatriot Sharma (2434).

Shreyas Iyer (16 not out) played the ideal foil to his skipper as India took a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.

India had won the toss and put South Africa in to bat. The visitors handed T20 debuts to Fortuin, Temba Bavuma, and Anrich Nortje.

New Proteas' skipper Quinton de Kock (52 off 37 balls) started his reign with a third T20 half-century, giving his side a quick start. But India put on the brakes quickly as South Africa only managed 39 runs from the six powerplay overs, with Deepak Chahar removing Reeza Hendricks (6) cheaply.

Bavuma added 57 runs with the captain for the second wicket and steadying the South African ship after the latter's dismissal in the 12th over. Kohli took a diving catch to his left at mid-off to dismiss his counterpart off Navdeep Saini (1-34) and that breakthrough sucked out momentum from the Proteas' innings.

They lost wickets at regular intervals thereafter and never looked like making a charge in the final overs despite a 15-ball cameo from Miller (18).

Chahar was India's most successful bowler with 2-22 from his four-over spell, carrying on the good work from the recent West Indies' tour in the dual absence of Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

"We got off to a good start but they bowled pretty well at the end," de Kock said. "India assessed the conditions better than we did. There was a lot of pressure on some of the new guys and I think they did pretty well against this world-class opposition."

The third and final T20 will be played in Bengaluru on Sunday. The first T20 in Dharamsala was abandoned due to incessant rain.

Feature Cricket

‘Cheat’ Smith Hide’s Australia’s Uncomfortable Batting Truths

Sreelata S Yellamrazu Updated: 18 September, 2019, 4:12 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Steve Smith’s hopes of annihilating memories of sandpaper-gate with a stupendous Ashes series may be too farfetched even at this point despite the phenomenal success he has had in the Ashes. But while his individual performances may have eased his own pain and the opinion of few others about his role in the ignominious scandal in South Africa to an extent, Smith’s batting reveals a far more uncomfortable truth: about the dearth in Australia’s own den.

England’s former fast bowler, Steve Harmison, is not alone in thinking that Smith will have to leave the game one day with the tag intact of having being part of a dubious Australian trio that got caught tampering with the ball and tarnishing the reputation of the game. Although it is a blot - a huge one on his career graph, the pain is only assuaged by the fact that Smith has been almost immediately impactful on the game.

While his misdeeds cannot be subverted by his contributions to the game, great players are able to move past misgivings to raise the level of their game higher. Smith’s redemption lies in the fact that he holds true to the promise of his prodigious talent which as he has as he showed in exemplary fashion in the Ashes, singlehandedly scoring over 700 runs.

No apparent challenger to the crown of the thorns is how the story is already being built back up in Australia. There was a sense that Tim Paine was a caretaker appointment as Australia’s captain in the immediate aftermath of sandpaper-gate. Now with Smith scoring as prolifically as he has – albeit in just the one Test series since his reinstatement back, it did not take much time for the same former Australian cricketers, who until recently stated that they felt that the entire truth of the saga had not emerged, to quickly join the band wagon of support that states that Smith will be reinstated at the earliest possible moment as Australia’s captain, multiple brain fades notwithstanding.

While that might be heartening to Smith’s ears and an uplifting moment for Australia after the team take down in Cape Town in 2018, it must be disconcerting for Australia’s inner cricket circles that apart from the fact that Australia have been not been able to find another player worthy of putting up his hand to make a go for the captaincy, they have not really been able to resolve the chronic issue of inconsistency in their batting.

What Smith has done in the Ashes is provide a shield for the many times Australia slipped up. That he was able to do it well and that often has what has made the difference between giving England a doorway of an opportunity and shutting the door altogether. But Australia haven’t found a sword to sheath yet. It is uncharacteristic of past Australian teams whose batting was often deep as well as robust as they climbed to a position of unyielding dominance. That will rankle in Australia irrespective of how much the Ashes overshadows the fact.

Although Marcus Labuschagne showed that he could be more than just a concussion substitute in Test cricket, despite the Ashes, Australia are going to have to go back to the drawing board themselves, for contingency when Smith’s bat does begin to lose some of its momentum, even temporarily.

Going from a leadership crisis perspective, it has to be worrisome a year and a half into the sandpaper-gate scandal, even on the back of such resurgence largely from one individual, that Australia’s cricket and indeed their Ashes success belies a greater truth: they haven’t found another batsman worthy enough to bring forth candidature for a new leadership.

News Cricket

Virat Kohli leads by example - Mayank Agarwal

Staff Writer Updated: 18 September, 2019, 3:31 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Mayank Agarwal, who had a mediocre Test series against the Windies, has praised the 30-year old Indian skipper. Agarwal made his Test debut against Australia and recently got an opportunity to bat with Virat Kohli in the two-match Test series in West Indies. He has revealed how Virat made him learn about the importance of staying at the wicket.

“Virat came into bat about half hour before lunch. The first thing we spoke about was getting a partnership going. We said, ‘Let’s not take any chance, let’s hold on to both ends till lunch and then come out.’ So, we were tight and cautious,” Mayank told The Times of India (TOI).

“After lunch, Virat went bang, bang, bang and suddenly upped the ante. What I took from Virat’s batting is intensity and mindset in terms of how he looks at and reads situations. He also brings in a lot of energy. He is the guy at the forefront, leading by example,” he stated.

He also lauded Hanuma Vihari and Ajinkya Rahane.

“There were so many guys doing the job well, Jinks (Ajinkya Rahane), (Hanuma) Vihari. It is great to be involved with a team like this,” he added.