Tuesday, January 24, 2017

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The BCCI progress to have Ranji Trophy matches at neutral venues failed unhappily in its first challenge, according to top domestic players who say that the idea did not work due to the apathy of the host associations and poor planning.

The BCCI has announced that the concept to make the tournament more aggressive by negating the home advantage those teams earlier should exploit and exposing the players to different conditions.

The national cricket expert Rajat Bhatia said “The idea was good but the implementation was third class. Most host associations did not show interest in organising matches for other teams. The facilities were poor, be it providing us with good wickets, adequate balls or serving decent food. It could have been handled much better.”

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The Delhi-based cricketer has played for three states and is recent with Rajasthan; Bhatia was quietly scathing in his criticism. “The system was introduced to stop teams from taking undue home advantage with games often finishing inside two days. But the quality did not improve even though games were held at neutral venues.”

The 37-years-old said “Take our match against Assam in Vizag for example. The wicket was not fit enough for a First-Class match and therefore the match was over well inside three days. And it was just two weeks before an international match. The groundsmen did not have much to say when we asked them why we were made to play on such a poor surface.”

Another issue for the players was scheduling of the game since they had to travel to distant areas with limited time in hand. The 22-years-old Gujarat and Indian spinner said “Scheduling was a big problem. Sometimes there was just a three-day gap between games and we had to travel to places which were not easily accessible, which meant we had to spend a lot of time on the road in buses.”

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The senior player who criticized the concept is Tamil Nadu opener Abhinav Mukund. The 27-years-old said during the tournament, “No one actually gives a damn about the wickets that are being prepared. Everyone’s playing safe, which is why people are scoring more than 1000 runs, and I don’t see many spinners coming into play.”

“I don’t like this concept mainly because of the fact that there’s no continuity. You play throughout the year in one condition it’s really important to play at home.”

Bhatia said that BCCI can still continue with neutral venues provided the execution, “I think it was a very good idea especially after you had introduced pink-ball cricket in Duleep Trophy. It was held at a neutral venue (in Greater Noida), but crowd turned up. The BCCI could have done the same with Ranji Trophy. You got to promote it the right way. Otherwise, there is little point in doing something new.”

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ODIs and T20Is Indian Captain Virat Kohli was an honour to his young player Kedar Jadhav for his ‘outstanding’ knock of 76-balls 120 in the first ODI against England, saying that it as one of the best calculating innings he had seen.

Last night Kohli (122 of 105 balls) and Jadhav, whose 120 was his career-best, smashed excellent hundreds to help India pursue down the stiff target of 351 for a three-wicket win in the first of the three-match ODI series.

According to the sources, captain Kohli stated at the post-match press conference that “One word for it is outstanding. He (Jadhav) put a lot of pressure into the spinners. It was one of the best calculative innings I have seen, 150 strike rates were outstanding. Some of the shots he played. He told it was instinctive. I could not believe.”


Kohli and Jadhav made a together partnership of 200 runs for the fifth wicket to set up the platform for the win. Jadhav hit four sixes and 12 fours in his effective innings of over 150 strike rate.

“Just to have another guy who is willing to do from any situation, to keep pushing, knew how exactly to bat on this pitch which was even better to bat on in the second innings. His shots were all clean, not slogs, and that’s way to bat at number 6. Was glad I was out there with him,” said Kohli.

The 28-years-old Indian captain said Jadhav was disheartened that he could not get the team past the victory line against New Zealand in the earlier ODI series. “He was disheartened versus New Zealand that he could not get the team across the line. I told him there was no point thinking what you could have done and told him to keep pushing hard,” said Kohli.


When he asked about the tackle looking like a hopeless situation, the captain said, “We spoke about how to tackle that situation and decided it the best way was a counterattack. No wickets had been lost to good balls; we committed errors and the wicket was better to bat in the second innings. The ball travels very far.”

“We could hit sixes to put pressure on the opposition. It’s one of the best partnerships I have been part of. We have chased 350 before but not from 63/4. We believed in the Test series we could win from any situation. This was the same,” he added.

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Team Indian cricket coach Anil Kumble paid a bright honor to MS Dhoni, who recently stepped down from limited-overs captaincy past week said he is one of the highlights of his leadership term was the right managing of a senior player in the team.

MS Dhoni became Indian captain when Anil Kumble retired in the year 2008 from Test during the Australia series at home. In a press communication, Anil Kumble said about the forthcoming limited-overs series against England.

When media asked on similarities between 08, 17, Indian cricket team coach stated that “The first phase was probably easy for me because I was old; it was easy for me to say ‘MS take over.’ It was difficult for me to continue at that time, the body was not willing, but I thought it was the right time for me to leave as well. MS (Dhoni) was ready to take over Test captaincy.”


Anil Kumble said on the new captaincy of Virat Kohli “Like I mentioned, Virat came into the side when MS was captain, so the bonhomie and bond that they have shared will only help Virat grow as a leader.”

“And Virat has shown the exceptional quality he has and what he brings to the team, both as an individual and leader. We have seen the results under him in Test format, and I am sure he will be equally good in the one-day format.”

The 46-years-old said on Dhoni’s role in the team that “MS has been one of the best captains that we have had. Hats off to him and congratulations to him for what he has done as captain. Now, looking forward to MS as the batsman and keeper and as a leader. He is still a leader in the team.”


When media asked Kumble about Dhoni’s batting at four, he said “I don’t think it is the right for me to discuss the team combination. Like you mentioned it is a good choice that we have in the squad with Yuvi coming back into the team.”

“We all know what he is capable of. Having said that both Manish Pandey and Kedar Jadhav in that slot had done well. It is nice to have choices; there is competition in the team and that is what you want. All 15 members are available for selection.

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The days after Ian Chappell asked Cricket Australia to end inviting Pakistan for tournaments, former Pakistan speed bowler Shoaib Akhtar hit back at the former cricketer of the Australian team for his remark.

Criticizing Pakistan for their incapacity to play aggressive cricket in a newly concluded Test series on Australia mud, the 73-years-old former cricketer said that Cricket Australia should end inviting Pakistan for tournaments unless they get better their performance.


Chappell, who feels Pakistan’s as weak in fielding at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, was a sign of things to come in the rest of the series. Chappell said to ESPN that “Pakistan have now lost 12 Test matches on the trot in Australia, and somebody’s got to give them a kick up the bum. Cricket Australia has got to start saying ‘listen if things don’t improve we will stop with the invites.”

Respond to his comment; Akhtar tweeted from his official account that “Pak lacked grit: Chappell. I agree but not comin 2 Australia no remedy. England never won World Cup but doesn’t mean dey shudn’t participate.”

The 41-years-old wrote again to Chappell that it was the similar team which drew a series 2-2 against Alastair Cook’s men in England last year. “Agree partially wid @ianchappelli dat Pakistan lacked grit but the same team drew 2-2 vs England less dan an year ago.”


Chappell was very critical of Misbah’s captaincy after Pakistan lost a three-match series at 0-3 aginst Steve Smith-led Australia. “A lot of their struggles were because they had no leadership. There was no inspiration from Misbah, so things have got to change in Pakistan.”

Australia defeated Pakistan by 220 runs in the third Test, giving them their 12th consecutive Test loss in Australia.

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On Wednesday, the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) announced that Pakistan will tour the Caribbean for playing Twenty20 International (T20Is), One-Day International (ODIs) and Two Tests in April-May. The Asian country hasn’t visited the Caribbean since 2013 after they defeat West Indies 3-1 in ODIs and won both the T20Is.

Pakistan is going to start their tour by playing a pair of T20Is at Sabina Park on 31st March and 2nd April, respectively. And they are also ready to play their three ODIS at Guyana National Stadium on 7, 9, 11 April.

The guests will play a three-day training match at Trelawny in Jamaica, which will start on 15th April. The first Test series of three-match will start on 22nd April at Sabina Park, the second Test will start on 30th April which will take part at Kensington Oval in Barbados, and the final game will play at Windsor Park in Dominica on 10th May.pakistan

The previous year, Pakistan had defeated both match T20Is and ODIs against West Indies at 3-1 in the United Arab Emirates. They also overcame the visitors 2-1 in the Test series. The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) manager of operations said that “To improve its ranking. Any series against Pakistan always poses an interesting contest for the West Indies.”

Pakistan recently ranked in the eighth position in the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) ODI ranking with 89 points, whereas, West Indies ranked just at three points behind them with 86 points.


Only the top eight teams at the stop date of September 1, 2017, are assured to take part for the upcoming ICC World Cup which will be held in the year 2019. So, if West Indies or Pakistan not succeeds to get direct entry, then they need to play in the ICC World Cup Qualifier slated to held in the year 2018 in Bangladesh.


Friday, March 31 – 1st T20 – Queen’s Park Oval

Sunday, April 2 – 2nd T20 – Queen’s Park Oval

Friday, April 7 – 1st ODI – Guyana National Stadium

Sunday, April 9 – 2nd ODI – Guyana National Stadium

Tuesday, April 11 – 3rd ODI – Guyana National Stadium

Saturday, April 15 – 3-Day Match – Trelawny Stadium

Friday, April 22 – 1st Test – Sabina Park

Sunday, April 30 – 2nd Test – Kensington Oval

Wednesday, May 10 – 3rd Test – Windsor Park

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After the appointment as India’s limited overs captain, Virat Kohli said that having a player of the quality of MS Dhoni was a “win-win situation” for their team. Dhoni was at the helm for close to a decade, and yet since two years ago India’s World Cup semi-final loss against Australia in Sydney, his position in the batting order has been a point of high discuss and inspection.

Using his well-known finishing powers on the decrease, most spectators felt he was better off batting higher up the order, playing the sheet anchor’s position. Kohli recommended that he wanted his senior player to bat higher up the order. He thinks that by doing so, Dhoni will able to play free cricket and it will help him enjoy his game.


Recent captain of both ODI and T20I series of India’s, Kohli said to the BCCI.TV that “What I’m most happy about it that he’ll be able to play free cricket and express himself as the aggressive MS Dhoni we knew when he first came into the team.”

“As a player, responsibility can take that away from you. I think it’s time he enjoys his cricket because he has taken so much burden for the country.”

Just a week before starts ODI series against England, India’s comeback Yuvraj Singh yet spoke along with similar lines and re-emphasized what their captain said about MS Dhoni couple of days back.


Yuvraj approved that it will be like the old days when they played and started together. Singh said “It will be like the old days playing with him (Dhoni) when we had started. Obviously, I started much before him, but back then we were fearless when we used to play together. We can do the same this time, in the upcoming series against England.”

The 35-years-old all-rounder said about the right decision in stepping down as captain, “I think he (Dhoni) took a good decision in stepping down as captain, as he must have felt that it would give Kohli enough time to take over and build the team for 2019 World Cup.”

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Australian leg-spin bowler and right-handed batsman Adam Zampa, who look at a place in the national cricket team for the four-Test tour to India, has exposed that World No. 1 Test bowler Ravichandran Ashwin wants to keep the secrets of his skill under wraps.

The 24-years-old Zampa, who shared in the dressing room with leg-spin bowler Ashwin and his national team captain Steve Smith during last year’s in (IPL) Indian Premier League for the Rising Pune Supergiants, he said that the Chennai off-spinner bowled only leg spin to Smith at the nets.


When asked by cricket.com.au, he said “I think the way Ashwin bowled in the nets; you ask someone like Smithy (Smith) or guys that you can tell he’s going to come up against in international cricket. I think there was one net session to Smithy where he just bowled leggies for an hour.”

The Australian leg-spin bowler and right-handed batsman added that “I don’t think he (Ashwin) wants to give too much away.”

Adam has often compared with the famous former leg-spinner of the Indian team and new Indian coach Anil Kumble for bowling quicker through the air instead of relying on spin and guile, he said.


“I know a lot of people say ‘he doesn’t spin the ball enough’ and all that junk. I don’t really see a different it the ball goes under the bat, over the bat or next to the bat. People have a lot of criticism on that side of my game, but there are other ways of taking a wicket than being a big spinner of the ball,” he added.

“A lot of people have been talking about my first-class statistics and all those things, but if I was given the opportunity, the way I bowled in Sir Lanka particularly and I know it’s Twenty20 cricket but during the IPL, the respect I’ve gained from those countries and the players now I think I would suit that role.”

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Australia will have “no excuses” however to bat well, pick up 20 wickets and adjust to the conditions if they want to beat an in-form Indian team in their backyard in the upcoming Test series, says vice-captain, David Warner.

The Australians might be in high spirits having won last three Tests against Pakistan to win three-match series 3-0, however, will start to India next month having lost nine successive Test in Asia and with just one series win there since the late 1960s.


The 30-years-old vice-captain said that “So far us as a team to take some positives out of that … the challenge is to try and bat longer periods. We’re going to have to take 20 wickets to win the game, simple as that, and we’re going to have to adapt straight away. No excuses.”

He excerpts as saying by cricket.com.au, “Whether it’s batting or bowling and taking catches in the field, we’ve got to be on from ball one and have a plan B if plan A doesn’t work.”

Although, it would be easier said than done as the Virat Kohli-led Indian team is victorious in their past 18 Tests at home and currently completed a 4-0 series win over England, including two victories by an innings.


Warner, however, they can take heart from England, who was able to show some fight with the bat during their recent series by posting 400 or more in three of the five Tests.

Warner said “We just saw the recent series with England and to be brutally honest they played very well. They batted deep; they got big runs on the board. India just got bigger runs on the board.”




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Eden Garden, Kolkata: On Saturday, instant Indian death over specialist, Bhuvneshwar Kumar credited Indian Premier League (IPL) for big transformation as a death bowler...