Feature Cricket

Women’s Day Special: A look at the significance of women in the life of current leading cricketers

Bhavesh Bhimani Updated: 8 March, 2019, 10:21 AM IST

HIGHLIGHTS

8th of March is celebrated worldwide as International Women’s Day. While you will undoubtedly be reading countless inspirational stories of women all over social media today, let’s not forget that the cricket world too is filled with motivational stories of the role of women in the lives of several current players. On this special day here is a look at some leading current cricketers and the significance of women in their lives.

Virat Kohli’s mother

The current Indian batting superstar has had a rather difficult journey growing up. He lost his father when he was just 17 years of age and his life transformed after that. It was Virat’s mother Saroj, who then ensured that Kohli remained mentally strong and focused upon his career. Kohli has credited his mother Saroj for being the major reason behind his tremendous success several times. He has often been insistent about the positive impact his mother has had in his life.

David Warner’s wife

Ever since the ball tampering scandal broke out, Australian batsman David Warner has been through an emotional roller-coaster. He was suspended from international cricket and was labeled a cheat by angry fans everywhere. It was Warner’s wife, Candice, who has stood with him like a rock in this tough phase. The couple has faced a lot together but Candice, despite going through an emotional turmoil herself, helped he vulnerable Warner out of the situation and has ensured that he is mentally better prepared when he returns to international cricket.

Rishabh Pant’s mother

Like Kohli, Indian wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant lost his father at a very young age but has overcome that grief because of the support of his mother. Pant lost his father Rajendra Pant right before IPL 2017 but continued playing. Over the next few months, it was Pant’s mother who did not let his young son fall helped him cope with his grief. Earlier this year, after Pant smashed a brilliant 159 against Australia in the Test at Sydney he went on to thank his mother. “Thank you for taking all the stress of mine and making it yours can’t even express my feelings in word,” Pant write in an emotional Instagram post.

Australian woman fast bowler Megan Schutt’s partner Jess Hollyoake

Same-sex marriage has been a debatable issue across the globe including Australia. But Australian woman’s team fast bowler Megan Schutt, ignoring the raised eyebrows in the society over her decision, went ahead and got married to her lover Jess Hollyoake. "If you don't like gay marriage, don't get gay married." Megan has admitted that Jess has changed her life for the better. She draws strength from her partner. “I didn't hate love but I didn't believe it could change you as a person, or do any of the crap that the movies bang on about. But it does. It really does,” Megan was quoted as saying happily. Their story is an inspiration for any woman.

Yuvraj Singh’s mother

Cricketer Yuvraj Singh’s battle against cancer is now well known. What many don’t know is the role of his mother Shabnam Singh in helping him through it. A single parent, Singh divorced her husband, former cricketer Yograj Singh, when Yuvraj was still a teenager, has had a tough road and dedicated her life for her son. “We are like kind of best friends and he confides everything in me. It's just that I had to take over when he was sick,” Shabman was quoted as saying.

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News Cricket

Stoinis names two Indian players from whom he learns a lot 

Harshit Anand Updated: 7 March, 2019, 5:49 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Marcus Stoinis played a valiant knock in the second ODI against India in Nagpur. He made 52 runs off 65 deliveries and was there fighting for his team till the very end. Vijay Shankar dismissed him in the final over and as a result, Australia lost the game by eight runs to concede India a lead of 2-0 in the five-match ODI series. 

Stoinis opened up on the heartbreak in the second ODI. The bright Aussie cricketer said, “We did well, fought hard, got close but we didn’t get the result we wanted. Hindsight is a beautiful thing … you think if this partnership goes longer or you take a risk earlier (what would have happened), all that sort of stuff. You never know what’s going to happen.”

“We haven’t had a debrief yet … when emotions are going it’s probably best to let that settle then have a more relaxed conversation the next day,” he added.

The Australian all-rounder also had words of praise for two legends of Indian cricket- MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli. Stoinis said he looks up to them and it's a great thing that Australia are rubbing shoulders with a team like India, which helps players like him to play against such accomplished stars of India. 

“Virat and MS play very different roles, but they make sure they get the job done for the team,” Stoinis said before adding: “Two of the best players in the world … so there’s things to learn from them and it’s probably fortunate we’re playing them so frequently leading up to a World Cup.”

News Cricket

I cried for two days when Neymar left Barcelona - Kuldeep Yadav

Staff Writer Updated: 7 March, 2019, 5:46 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Kuldeep Yadav has become India's main spinner across formats. Since making his debut, Kuldeep has been among top performers. His partnership with Yuzvendra Chahal is talk of the town with rival batsmen finding hard to score runs against them. Kuldeep was phenomenal in South Africa, England, Australia and New Zealand.

He is now all set to represent India in the World Cup, which will be played in England and Wales. Kuldeep's emphatic display was lauded by none other than Indian head coach Ravi Shastri. He had clearly stated that Kuldeep would be given preference over Ashwin and Jadeja in overseas matches.

Meanwhile, in a recent interview with Sportskeeda, he revealed how he found it tough to deal with Neymar's departure from Barcelona. In 2017, Neymar has joined Paris Saint-Germain for a world record fee of £200m. Kulddep also stated that he now supports both the clubs.

“It’s a very difficult question to ask”, Kuldeep Yadav told Sportskeeda. “Before, when Neymar was in Barcelona, I used to support them. Nowadays, I am supporting both PSG and Barcelona, because Barcelona is my team and Neymar is my player. So yes, I am supporting both. I want Neymar to be back in Barcelona again,” he added.

He further revealed that he cried for two days after seeing Neymar leave his favorite club. “You must have seen my Instagram post. I was literally crying for two days. I didn’t want him to go to PSG. Barcelona is my team, and I wanted him to stay at the club, and maybe create some more records with Lionel Messi,” he added.

News Cricket

Bhuvneshwar Kumar gives a big statement regarding workload management in IPL

Harshit Anand Updated: 7 March, 2019, 5:22 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

There are a lot of talks going around the workload management of Indian bowlers during the 12th edition of Indian Premier League (IPL). The World Cup will commence from May 30 in England and Wales. And no team would want their key players to get injured during a domestic T20 league like IPL when the World Cup is so close. Team India are no different. Not only they would want their bowlers to be fit but fresh and raring to fire with all guns blazing when the World Cup begins. 

Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who is one of India's premier quick bowlers, opened up on workload management during the IPL. Sunrisers Hyderabad‘s key bowler, said: “That’s there in our minds. It will come into play after the first half of IPL, six-seven matches then we can know how we can approach the second half of IPL and what we need to do to remain fit for the World Cup. 

“Yes, it (World Cup) is there on our minds but we’ll look after (our fitness) in the second half of IPL,” added Bhuvneshwar. 

Bhuvi will also take rest if he feels like there is a need for it. “There isn’t a surety for anything. Yes, there is something which is mind, if I feel that I am tired, then we can take rest. So, of course, it’s upto the franchise. I am sure they will cooperate with each and every player because the World Cup is a very important thing for us and BCCI may also talk to them,” said the Indian pacer.
 

News Cricket

Men in Blue on the verge of achieving big milestone against Australia

CT Contributors Updated: 7 March, 2019, 5:08 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Team India will be looking to seal the ODI series against Australia in Ranchi. Men in Blue are leading 2-0 with three matches to go. After registering their 500th win in the ODIs, Virat-led India is on the cusp of achieving another milestone in one-day internationals.

If India manage to beat Australia in the third match of the series, they will become the third country to complete 50 wins against Australia in this format of the game. England and West Indies are the two teams who have achieved this milestone.

Earlier, Chasing 251 to win, Australia was in it going into the last over until new allrounder Vijay Shankar, a medium-pacer, trapped Marcus Stoinis on 52 with the first delivery, and bowled Adam Zampa on 2 with the third delivery.

"I was ready to bowl that over. Only if I do it will people know I can," Shankar said after his first two wickets in his sixth ODI. "It was just about being mentally clear, not be crowded mentally."

Australia was all out for 242 in 49.3 overs, and India led the five-match series 2-0. The third match is in Ranchi on Friday.

Virat Kohli was man of the match for his 40th hundred, nine less than Sachin Tendulkar's ODI record. Kohli's 116 off 120 balls, including 10 boundaries, propped up India's par total of 250 all out in the 49th over.

News Cricket

Watch: Virat Kohli’s lookalike steals the show in Nagpur

Staff Writer Updated: 7 March, 2019, 4:48 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Virat Kohli's wife and one of the most famous Bollywood actresses Anushka Sharma was over the moon when she saw her doppelgangers picture. She had even messaged her in order to touch base.

Meanwhile, Virat Kohli's lookalike was spotted during the second ODI between India and Australia in Nagpur.

He was donning the Indian jersey and the crowd even cheered for him when they saw him on the big screen.

The same fan had turned up during an India-Australia ODI in 2017.

The Indian cricket team has landed in Ranchi. The JSCA stadium will host the third ODI of the series between India and Australia.

Men in Blue could seal a series win against Aussies with a victory in Ranchi. The hosts are leading the five match series 2-0, having won the games in Hyderabad and Nagpur.

Feature Cricket

WADA’S BCCI Headache for ICC

Sreelata S Yellamrazu Updated: 7 March, 2019, 4:33 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Even as the muted euphoria over the re-induction of cricket into the Asian Games continues to do the rounds, the International Cricket Council (ICC) is having to deal once more with the WADA’s BCCI headache as the Olympics deadline looms perilously close.

The WADA, or the World Anti-Doping Agency, is the longest, perhaps trickiest obstacle for the ICC en route to seriously making a case for cricket to make the disciplines at the global sports event, the Olympics. While the percentage of opposition towards becoming WADA compliant is minuscule in terms of numbers, it is a powerful obstacle standing in the way given that it is the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), arguably the richest and most powerful cricket board in the world, which has not only been resistant to the idea of pushing cricket at a global event but also, and perhaps more importantly, been opposed to bringing the cricketers under the National Anti Doping Agency (NADA) towards making becoming WADA compliant.

With less a week before the review committee of the WADA accepting the ICC proposal for the induction of cricket into the Olympics, once again the BCCI’s opposition is proving to be a perennial thorn in the flesh, once more hurting the agenda of the ICC to push for its globalization efforts through giving cricket exposure through the world sporting events.

While the BCCI is complying with another WADA approved anti doping and testing agency, that it has had its reservations about NADA and therefore, refusing to allow its cricketers to follow through with the NADA regulations compliant for other sports in the country, unless the sport as a whole comes under WADA including the Indian cricket team under the NADA regulations, the ICC will have a tough task pushing its agenda forth. The BCCI, on its part, has stated categorically in the past that given certain discrepancies that involved NADA in other sports, it is not trusting enough of the agency to subject its cricketers to testing under that body.

Although the rest of the cricket playing nations have raised no objections even a decade ago, the BCCI has long been withholding its cricketers from being subjected to the NADA testing, which has made compelling the Indian cricket team to come under WADA impossible and the ICC left languishing for want of unanimous support. The BCCI has been solitary but staunch in its opposition to the point that the ICC’s ambitions for cricket’s global landscape have had to repeatedly bite the dust.

However, notwithstanding India’s opposition, the ICC is determined to make a push once more, this time sending forth its strongest member in the ICC Chairman himself who was the BCCI chief before abdicating the latter position. However, while the BCCI officials might lend their ear, it is highly unlikely that the BCCI would be immediately in agreement. While the ICC will look to buy time, there is, also, a concern that given the fallout of Shashank Manohar with key BCCI officials in the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s involvement, the issue could become more personal than professional which could further stall the ICC’s Olympics ambitions for as early as 2028 in Los Angeles.

Opinion Cricket

Shikhar Dhawan is a match winner, should be persisted with

Partab Ramchand Updated: 7 March, 2019, 4:30 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Slowly but surely the missing pieces in the jigsaw puzzle that is the composition of the Indian team for the World Cup are falling into place. While most were certainties two or three places remained to be filled by the fringe players and a couple of them have virtually clinched their places and the selectors should be ready with their squad by now.

However even as the finalization has just about taken place there appears to be a question mark over one of the certainties. The form of Shikhar Dhawan is causing concern and while his place is not in any danger the runs have dwindled and the big scores he is so capable of have evaporated. Dhawan is a match winner as he has proved time and again thanks to his swashbuckling approach. When he is on song the bowling has never looked so helpless. Always on the look out for runs, always ready to play the big shots Dhawan can be a nightmare for the best of bowlers. No one can question his credentials. In 124 innings he has 5199 runs at an average of 44 coupled with a strike rate of 93 and 15 hundreds.

What is causing concern is his form of late. Since the Asia Cup in the UAE last year where he topped the figures with 342 runs from five innings at an average of 68 and a strike rate of 102 Dhawan has managed only 376 runs in 15 innings at an average of 26.85 with just two half centuries. With KL Rahul breathing down his neck Dhawan cannot afford to prolong this run. Indeed on the eve of the ODI series against Australia Virat Kohli spoke very highly of Rahul saying that his sparkling strokeplay strengthened his case for the World Cup.

Question marks have been raised about Dhawan’s technique in the past but this time the experts feel that it is the mindset that is the cause for his lean patch. They are convinced that once he gets out of this mental block he will be back to his buccaneering days when he just toys with the bowling.

The key question is whether Dhawan should be dropped for a match or two to help him regain his rhythm and confidence. With just the three matches in the ongoing series before the World Cup it would be better if he is retained and hope that he finds his form. In any case one would think twice before breaking up one of the most successful opening partnerships in ODI history. And perhaps the most encouraging fact is that Dhawan has always come off in England. He was the player of the tournament in the Champions Trophy in 2013 and again topped the run getters list in the Champions Trophy four years later.

News Cricket

Should Pant and Rahul get selected for WC? Zaheer Khan and Ajay Jadeja opine  

Harshit Anand Updated: 7 March, 2019, 2:49 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Team India is currently playing a five-match ODI series against Australia. Their preparations for the World Cup are going in full swing at the moment. Majority of the side that will travel to England and Wales for the World Cup are decided but there are few spots here and there, which are up for grabs. 

There are question marks over the inclusion of KL Rahul and Rishabh Pant. Former Indian cricketers, Zaheer Khan and Ajay Jadeja weighed in over the selection of KL Rahul and Rishabh Pant keeping the World Cup in mind.

“One of the two will definitely reach. Only time will tell whether both of them go to England or just one of them makes it,” Zaheer said in a video by Cricbuzz. 

“KL Rahul is definitely going,” said Jadeja to which Zaheer said, “I think Rishabh should definitely go.” Jadeja further added, “I agree with him but KL is a surety because a lot of times a captain is compelled to do so. Now that Rahul has scored in his last two games and the team is about to be made, if you don’t fail you are certain to make it.”

News Cricket

Former Indian cricketers reveal main reason behind Shikhar Dhawan's poor form

CT Contributors Updated: 7 March, 2019, 2:27 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Indian opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan is struggling to score runs in shorter formats of the game. Since his fifty in New Zealand, the left hand batsman has failed in nine innings with 30 being his highest score.

Nathan Coulter-Nile got better of him in the first ODI in Hyderabad while he was undone by part-timer Glenn Maxwell in the second match in Nagpur.

Former Indian cricketers Aakash Chopra and Vijay Dahiya, who have played with Dhawan for their state Delhi, feel there is no problem with his technique and he will turn it around in the upcoming games.

“There is no denying Dhawan is going through a bad patch but with only three international matches left, I don’t see any drastic changes happening,” Chopra told PTI on the eve of the third game.

“If he has scored 5000 plus ODI runs (5199 from 125 games), it means that he has been around for a reasonable period of time, seen ups and downs to have scored that many runs. “His record in multi-nation tournaments (World Cup, Champions Trophy, Asia Cup) is fabulous, so it could well be a matter of time that he is back in form,” he added.

Dahiya thinks Dhawan's current slump is because of his mindset.

“I won’t say technique is a big issue here as the boundaries that he got were all in-front of the wicket. May be not on the off-side but those were not behind the stumps shots either,” said Dahiya, who believes that every individual reacts to pressure in different situation.

“What he was trying to do was to score quickly and that’s what happened against Maxwell. He probably felt that since Maxwell is a part-time, he can score quickly and that’s why played that pull shot,” Dahiya said.

News Cricket

Shikhar Dhawan names this Pakistani pacer as his all time favorite bowler

CT Contributors Updated: 7 March, 2019, 2:20 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

Shikhar Dhawan's poor form has become a matter of concern for Team India ahead of the World Cup. The left hand batsman couldn't do much in the first two ODIs of the five-match series against Australia.

After the ongoing series, star players of India will represent their respective IPL franchises in the upcoming edition of the league.

Shikhar Dhawan was bought by Delhi Capitals in the IPL auction and the franchise took to twitter on Thursday to post a video of their star player, where he is seen answering a series of questions.

When he was asked about his favorite bowler, he named Shoaib Akhtar. “I like Shoaib Akhtar a lot," he said.

His reply has come at a time when the political tension between India and Pakistan is at peak.

However, despite all the differences, players from both countries have always shared a close bond.

News Cricket

Star Indian player ruled out of tournament

CT Contributors Updated: 7 March, 2019, 2:17 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

One of India's most reliable middle order batsman Ajinkya Rahane has been ruled of the Super Leagues stage of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. He led Mumbai in the group matches and according to Ajit Agarkar, the chairman of selectors, Rahane needed some rest to recover from niggles.

"He was carrying niggles even during the league phase, which he kind of pushed through when we were in a bit of trouble. But he would not be 100% (for Super League)," ESPN Cricinfo quoted Agarkar as saying.

Mumbai topped the Group C, winning five out of six matches. However, Rahane scored just 58 runs in six matches at an average of 9.67.

Rahane, who is an important member of the Rajasthan Royals, is expected to be fit for the upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League.

News Cricket

AB de Villiers likely to be fit for IPL

Staff Writer Updated: 7 March, 2019, 2:14 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

AB de Villiers suffered a back injury during the Pakistan Super League and his IPL franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore are in a fix since the next edition of the league is just two weeks away.

However, AB de Villiers has given a good news ahead of the 12th edition. He has stated that the doctors have suggested him to take two weeks rest, meaning he might get fit in time for the IPL.

“I saw my doctor who has advised complete rest for two weeks,” AB de Villiers was quoted as saying by the Indian Express.

Having retired from international cricket, AB de Villiers will be available for the whole season of the league.

He was in good touch in the Bangladesh Premier League and Pakistan Super League before being ruled out of the latter because of an unfortunate injury.

News Cricket

Dhoni, Sakshi host Team India for dinner: Thank you bhai and bhabhi, says Chahal

CT Contributors Updated: 7 March, 2019, 1:43 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

MS Dhoni and his wife Sakshi hosted the members of Team India for dinner at their farmhouse. Yuzvendra Chahal took to twitter to thank Dhoni and Sakshi for hosting the team. "Thank you for last night @msdhoni bhai and @SaakshiSRawat bhabhi," he wrote.

India will take on Australia in the third ODI in Ranchi on Friday. As the team landed in Dhoni's land, he took over the driver duties for his teammates. In the video posted by the BCCI, he is seen driving some of the players in one his cars as soon as they came out of the airport.

Earlier, he was given a rousing welcome upon his arrival.

The game in Ranchi could be his last international appearance at his home turf. He is expected to retire from international cricket after the ICC World Cup in England and Wales.

Men in Blue could seal a series win against Aussies with a victory in Ranchi. The hosts are leading the five match series 2-0, having won the games in Hyderabad and Nagpur.

News Cricket

Have South Africa found their Dhoni? Faf du Plessis thinks so

Staff Writer Updated: 7 March, 2019, 12:50 PM IST

HIGHLIGHT

In the second ODI between South Africa and Sri Lanka, the hosts won the game easily by 113 runs to take a lead of 2-0 in teh five-match ODI series. However, an interesting incident took place during the course of the match. Proteas regular wicket-keeper, Quinton de Kock went off the field while Sri Lanka was batting. 

It compelled South Africa to hand over the gloves to David Miller, who is an absolutely brilliant fielder. And he made the most of his stint as the Proteas stand-in gloveman. Moreover, he also got compared to India's great MS Dhoni after he took off the bails in a rapid manner much like Dhoni in the 32nd over of the visitors' innings. 

The batsman at the strike was Vishwa Fernando. he was adjudged not-out since his foot was inside the crease. But Miller's quick hands made Dhoni's Chennai teammate and South Africa skipper, Faf du Plessis term him as MSD.

Watch the video below: