Weekly cricket buzz, November 25 – 1 December

Cricket buzz, November 25

Reality check to England as BJ Watling, Santner & Co. force them do the Donkey-work

Mount Maunganui, BJ Watling became the first New Zealand wicket keeper and 9th overall to score a double hundred in Test cricket. He played a brilliant knock of 205 runs in 473-balls, thereby ending a comeback hope of the Englishmen. Former New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum earlier held the record for scoring the highest runs by a Black Caps wicket keeper. McCullum had scored 185 runs against Bangladesh at Hamilton in 2010.

Weekly cricket buzz, November 25 - 1 December 1
BJ Watling became the first New Zealand wicket keeper to score a double hundred in Test cricket

The record for the highest score by a wicketkeeper in Test cricket belongs to Andy Flower who had scored 232 not out against India at Nagpur in 2000, followed by Kumar Sangakkara who had played a knock of 230 runs against Pakistan at Lahore in 2003.

Batting first, England scored 353 runs, with a brilliant 91 from Ben Stokes. New Zealand however were 6 down on the score of 316, where it seemed that the Blackcaps innings will fold out with a minimal lead to their bank. But, as they say, destiny had other plans. Along With left-arm spinner Mitchell Santner, who also scored his highest Test score of 126, Watling stitched a 261-run partnership for the seventh wicket. 

The Black Caps’ first innings ended at 615-9 declared, which is their highest total against England and were with a 262-run lead over the Englishmen. With a days play left for survival, the feisty Blackcaps Pacer Neil Wagner clinched a fifer in his spell of 19.2 overs, thereby handing England a cracking defeat.

The Universe’s Boss Chris Gayle “deserves” demands respect

Christopher Henry Gayle, just a name for many, who by far have no connection to the Game of Cricket. But ask those who knows the slightest about the Game of Cricket, he would certainly get awe-struck once heard the name of Chris Gayle. The self proclaimed but widely accepted, “Universe’s Boss” undoubtedly is the biggest nightmare for bowlers and their captains. Chris Gayle is a havoc wreaking machine when he gets going and the crowds in the stadiums and those watching on TV expects ‘Gayle-storm’ everywhere and everytime he plays. And at the stage of life he is in, this same Swag and Charisma which he possessed once, which became an expectation for every now and then; seems to haunt Chris Gayle, as the disheartened ‘Jamaican Big Guy’ took to a press conference and stated “As soon as I don’t perform for two or three games, then Chris Gayle is the burden for the team.”  [Read More]

Cricket buzz, November 26

Future of MS Dhoni lies in his IPL form

MSK Prasad, the chief selector recently stated that India is ‘moving on’ from Dhoni, new BCCI president Sourav Ganguly offered hope and reiterated that the final call will be taken by the veteran himself. However, Shastri has now provided a fair bit of clarity by opening a door for Dhoni’s comeback, potentially in the T20I team for next year’s World Cup, which will solely depend on how he fares for Chennai Super Kings.

Even though the 38-year-old hasn’t been picked for the upcoming West Indies ODIs, he was recently spotted practising at the nets with the Jharkhand side sparking endless debates over his future.

“It all depends on when he starts playing and how he is playing during the IPL,” Shastri told IANS. “What are the other people doing with the wicket-keeping gloves or what is the form of those players as opposed to Dhoni’s form.”

Weekly cricket buzz, November 25 - 1 December 2
Ravi Shastri with former India coach and India men’s Batting Coach

Shastri also pointed out that India’s T20 World Cup squad will be more or less decided post-IPL based on the performances in the tournament. “The IPL becomes a massive tournament because that could be the last tournament after which more or less your 15 is decided,” he said. “There might be one player who might be there and thereabouts in case of an injury or whatever.

“But your team I would say would be known after the IPL. What I would say is rather than speculating on who is where wait for the IPL to get over and then you are in a position to take a call on who is the best 17 in the country.”

Cricket buzz, November 27

Dhawan’s injury is Samson’s opportunity gets a call-up

India opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan has been ruled out of the three-match home T20I series against West Indies, beginning on 6 December, due to a knee injury.

Dhawan had hurt his left knee while playing against Maharashtra in the ongoing Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy – India’s domestic T20 competition – in Surat last week. The left-hander was assessed by the BCCI medical team on Tuesday, 11 November, and it emerged that he would need some more time to recover completely. Wicket-keeper batsman Sanju Samson has been roped in as his replacement.

“Dhawan suffered a deep cut on his left knee during a Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy game against Maharashtra in Surat,” the BCCI said in a statement released on Wednesday, 27 November. “The BCCI Medical Team assessed him on Tuesday to review the healing of his wound. The BCCI Medical Team has suggested that Dhawan needs some more time for his stitches to come off and his wound to heal completely. The All-India Senior Selection Committee has named Sanju Samson as Dhawan’s replacement for the T20I series.”

Meanwhile, India’s Test wicket-keeper Wriddhiman Saha sustained a fracture on his right ring finger during the recently concluded pink ball Test in Kolkata against Bangladesh. Saha underwent a successful surgery in Mumbai on Tuesday, and will soon be seen for his rehabilitation at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru.

India’s revised T20I squad for West Indies series: Virat Kohli (c), Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Rishabh Pant (wk), Shivam Dube, Washington Sundar, Ravindra Jadeja, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Deepak Chahar, Mohammed Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Sanju Samson

Women T20 World Cup will showcase How far Women Cricket has come

Former Australia cricketer Clea Smith feels that the upcoming T20 World Cup in Australia will serve as an example of how far the women cricket has come.

Speaking to Mel Jones at this week’s Road to the T20 World Cup podcast, Smith, alongside former team-mate Sarah Elliott, went back in time to discuss some of their own memorable cricketing experiences, reminiscing their 2010 T20 Women World Cup final, where Australia beat New Zealand by a mere three runs to defend 106 in the final.

“It was quite a famous last ball, where Ellyse Perry kicked it (the ball) with her foot,” Smith said, recalling the game at Bridgetown. “I can just picture and be back in that moment of standing at the deep boundary as that ball was bowled, and also some vivid memories from tours before when Sophie Devine was absolutely smashing us. That was ten years ago, nothing’s changed.

“That was vivid, and I can close my eyes and go back at the moment, with the crowd and excitement.”

While Elliott vividly described the moment, Jones jokingly pointed out that Smith actually had to Google search the moment before the podcast.

Now, less than four months from the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 final, which is set to be held on 8 March and is being billed as the biggest women cricket match ever, Smith believes that the grand spectacle in Melbourne could serve as an example of the spectacular growth of women cricket in recent times.

“I hope that it’s a moment in time that displays how far women’s sport has come, with women cricket being the vehicle for that conversation. If you think back, international cricket has been played in Australia since the 30s.

“It’s not new, but the progress across those decades, and then probably the shining the spotlight on the last couple of years, since the time the three of us were young, people have retired is extraordinary. I think it’s a chance to tell that story.”

The final, set to be held at the 92,000-seat Melbourne Cricket Ground on International Women’s Day, is expected to be a packed house. “It would be extraordinary,” Smith said. “It’s very possible. It’s an aspirational possible goal, which is really powerful. Women’s sport keeps breaking its own records. What it demonstrates to me is that investment provides exposure, and exposure provides interest.

Katy Perry set to ‘Roar’ at the 2020 ICC Women’s T20 World Cup final

“This could all culminate in a 92,000-person packed MCG on International Women’s Day, showcasing hopefully what is one of the best Australian cricket teams we could ever put out. It’s the anticipation as much as anything that’s exciting.”

Competing in the tournament will be the Meg Lanning-led Australian women’s team, touted to be one of the strongest units ever assembled. Having strung together a record 18 consecutive wins in October, the side seems to be on track to carry forward the legacy of the past. Elliott believes that the onus is on the other teams to match up to the world leaders.

“I think it’s right up there [among the best Australian teams,” Elliott said. “We had a really strong era, with Cathryn Fitzpatrick and Belinda Clark – that was a super dominant period. I think we are coming back to that sort of dominance now. We bust our guts and were at the top of our game, but these girls have taken it to a whole another level just with more time, more resources. It’ll be interesting to see how other countries can come and match it.”

An ICC Report.

November 28

MS Dhoni wants the suspense to be maintained till January

MS Dhoni on Wednesday at an event in Mumbai, refused to answer even before questions on his sabbatical, could be shot at him, which started with India’s semi-final tragic exit from the World Cup in July. MS Dhoni skipped it with “January tak mat poocho” (Don’t ask me till January).

Weekly cricket buzz, November 25 - 1 December 3
MS DHONI at an event of Panerai in Mumbai

MS Dhoni had missed the tour of the West Indies and the home series against South Africa and Bangladesh. MS Dhoni the Pied-piper of the IPL team CSK (Chennai Super Kings), is set to miss the limited-overs home assignment against the West Indies starting December 6, comprising three T20Is and 3 ODIs.

However, MS Dhoni was seen training with Jharkhand’s under-23 team in Ranchi some days back, triggering a fresh round of speculation on a possible comeback.

Sourav Ganguly, the BCCI President, last month replied to the stern questions over MS Dhoni’s future and has stated that Dhoni will get the respect that a player of his stature deserves and had ruled out an immediate retirement of the celebrated Indian Captain. Dada stated, “You know champions don’t finish quickly.” 

But, The Chairman of the Selection committee MSK Prasad already made it clear that he had “moved on” over MS Dhoni, and Dhoni is aware of his intent to groom youngsters such as Rishabh Pant or Sanju Samson considering next year’s T20 World Cup in Australia.

One of the biggest names in Indian cricket, MS Dhoni who led India to two world titles victory, first the 2007 World T20 held in South Africa and then the 2011 ODI World Cup at home has been constantly used as a source of TRP as recently the Present India Head Coach, Ravi Shastri stated a call will be taken on MS Dhoni’s future only after next year’s Indian Premier League (IPL), offering his own spice in the Tale.

Rahkeem Cornwall: The newest ‘Heavyweight’ Windies Spin Champion

Weekly cricket buzz, November 25 - 1 December 4
Rahkeem Cornwall on Thursday claimed a 10for vs Afghanistan

The newest ‘Heavyweight’ Windies Spin Champion Rahkeem Cornwall on Thursday became the first Spinner in 2 years to pick up a 10-wicket haul in a Test match in India. After taking 7 wickets in the 1st innings during the Only Test vs West Indies in Lucknow, Cornwall added 3 more scalps to his kitty on the 2nd day to take his match haul to 10. He now has the third-best overall figures ever by a West Indies bowler in India. Cornwall is also the 1st West Indian spinner to pick up 10 wickets in a Test match in the subcontinent.

Achieving the 10-for Cornwall became the 2nd foreign spinner after Australia’s Steve O’Keefe to pick 10 wickets in a Test match in India. O’Keefe in February 2017 had match figures of 12/70 vs India in Pune to gift the hosts’ only loss since 2013. Indian premier spinners R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja last picked up 10-wickets in a Test during the 4-match series vs England in December 2016.

This was the First Test win for WI away from home in their last 7 Tests.

In brief- 

AFG- 187 & 120

WI 277, 33/1 

West Indies won by 9 wickets.

PLAYER OF THE MATCH- Rahkeem Cornwall

November 29

Virat Kohli shares his deep gash “I hate losing”

There was silence and yet it was very loud – this was the feeling when India were dumped out of the ICC World Cup by New Zealand in the semi-finals. The match took place across two days and in seaming conditions, the Indian top order was sliced away by the Kiwi bowlers. MS Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja then put on a valiant partnership, but Dhoni was inches short of his crease and India were knocked out.

Speaking about the match and the emotions which rang through the dressing room, Indian captain Virat Kohli said he was pained with the defeat, more so when could not help the side get past the tricky phase.

“Do I get affected by failures. Yes, I do. Everyone does. At the end of the day, I know my team would need me. I had the feeling so strong in my heart that I am going to come not out and make India go through that tough phase [in the semi-final]. But then again, maybe that was my ego talking because how can you predict something like that? You can only have a strong feeling or maybe it was a strong desire to do something like that,” Kohli told India Today.

There is intensity in the way the skipper walks out, there is an intensity in the way he moves around on the field, in the way he bats, there is intensity even in the way he celebrates and according to him, he wants to give his all when out in the field.

“I hate losing. I don’t want to walk out and say I could have done this. When I step out on the field, it’s a privilege. When I walk out, I want to have zero energy. We want to leave behind a legacy that future cricketers will say we want to play like that,” Kohli further added.

 PS- Virat Kohli never said it was his ego which cost India the Semi loss. Like how some reputed news house choose to sell it. 

Watch full video below for yourself; Courtesy SportsTak

IPL 2020: Indian Coaches the Key to Success, opines Rahul Dravid

Former India captain Rahul Dravid OPINES ‘success mantra’ for teams like RCB (Royal Challengers Bangalore), Delhi Daredevils and Kings XI Punjab for a turnaround in the upcoming season of the IPL (Indian Premier League). Rahul Dravid suggests the IPL teams should hire Indian coaches and use their local knowledge for their desired success.

Rahul Dravid, who went to monitor the preparations of the Under-19 team for the upcoming ICC Youth World Cup in South Africa in January opined, “If not the chief coach, they should be appointed as assistant coaches and I am sure their knowledge would be helpful in changing the fortunes of many teams. I think a lot of IPL teams miss a trick by not using more domestic talent in the coaching area and the talent identification area, even if it is as assistants. They know the Indian players better, they understand them better. Even as assistant coaches… there is a lot of talent and ability. It just needs to be given opportunity and flourish.”

Rahul Dravid, the director of the National Cricket Academy (NCA), also believes in helping the coaches at the NCA too. “Through the NCA we’re also going to try and help a lot of our coaches. We’ve hired Sujith now, who has come on as head of education. A part of our goal is to create a programme for coaches as well so that we can give them certain skills in which they can develop – and hopefully then get the opportunities to work at a slightly higher level.”

Showering further praise on Indian coaches, Dravid said the Indian coaches were doing a fantastic job even with different foreign teams. “Indian coaches understand and know the system, and they know a lot of Indian players. Every IPL team has at least 17-18 Indian players. It’s my personal view, but I would love to see a lot of our boys get the opportunity to be in and around that environment. Hopefully, we can work with some teams to try and ensure that.”

Rahul Dravid while praising Indian Pacers, on the sideline of the Under-19 ODI between India and Afghanistan on Thursday said, ‘the success of Team India bowlers, especially seamers, has been a great source of inspiration to the younger generation.’ 

An interview by- Asian News International

November 30

Sourav Ganguly the BCCI President assures transparency between the board, MS Dhoni and the selectors

MS Dhoni wants the suspense to be maintained till January. MS Dhoni on Wednesday at an event in Mumbai, refused to answer even before questions on his sabbatical, could be shot at him, which started with India’s semi-final tragic exit from the World Cup in July. MS Dhoni skipped it with “January tak mat poocho” (Don’t ask me till January).

As the situation got more suspensory and intensified BCCI president choose to assure the public on the issue.

Sourav Ganguly told PTI  “There is clarity, but certain things cannot be said on public platform. There is absolute clarity on MS Dhoni and you’ll find out in time.”

“There’s transparency between the board, MS and the selectors. When you deal with such champions – MS Dhoni is an unbelievable athlete for India – certain things have to be kept within closed doors. It’s very transparent and everybody knows where they stand.”

December 1

Australian leggie Kristen Beams bids adieu from all forms of cricket

Kristen Beams, the Australian leg spinner, announced retirement from all forms of the game
Kristen Beams announced retirement from all forms of the game

Women Cricket: Kristen Beams, the Australian leg spinner, announced retirement from all forms of the game on Sunday. The 35-year-old made her Australian debut in August 2014, following which she went on to represent Australia in 1 Test, 30 One-Day Internationals and 18 Twenty20 Internationals. The only Test she played was in the Ashes of 2015, returning 62 wickets across formats.

Beams said “I’ve loved the last five years with the Melbourne Stars and being part of the Stars family. To see the WBBL grow from the first year of competition to what it is now has been a fantastic journey. I’d like to thank the Melbourne Stars for their support. I’m really proud of the club and what it represents, and I wish them well for the future.”

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