Monthly Archives: November 2020

Vijay Shankar doesn’t have same impact batting at 5 or 6 as Hardik Pandya: Gautam Gambhir

Gautam Gambhir questioned India on their sixth bowling option if Hardik isn’t in the best of fitness now.

Former India opener Gautam Gambhir feels the Men in Blue will keep facing the problem of imbalance till they find a suitable replacement for a half-fit Hardik Pandya. Gambhir also said that Vijay Shankar might be an option but is doubtful of his impact while batting at crucial number five or six position for Team India.

India are in a bother of spot due to the lack of sixth bowling option as Hardik Pandya is not bowling due to his back issue. The all rounder made his much-anticipated return to high-profile cricket through IPL 2020 but didn’t bowl at all in the tournament while playing for Mumbai Indians. He didn’t bowl against Australia in the first ODI either as India suffered a crushing loss.

The Men in Blue were in a desperate need of the sixth bowling option as their main bowlers were taken to the cleaners. Australia piled up 374 for 6 with the likes of Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal and others having an off day. And Gambhir believes the problem will continue for Team India till they find a suitable replacement for Pandya.
“Big time and this has been happening what — since the last World Cup. If Hardik is not fit (to bowl), where is your sixth bowling option,” Gambhir told ESPNcricinfo when asked if there is a problem of balance in the team.

“It’s only Vijay Shankar that I can think of but does he have the same impact batting at No 5 or 6. Can he give you seven or 8 overs, I have my doubts,” he added

Team to face same problem even if Rohit returns: Gautam Gambhir

India have also been weakened by the absence of their batting mainstay Rohit Sharma. The opener is currently at the National Cricket Academy for his rehab and is expected to join the team later for the Test series. However, Gautam Gambhir said that even if Rohit Sharma as well as Manish Pandey are included in the playing eleven, India will face the problem.

“You can talk (about) putting in Manish Pandey, even if and when Rohit Sharma comes back in the XI, the problem you are facing now you will be facing then. There is no one in the top six who can actually give you a coupe of overs,” he said.

Meanwhile, Pandya finally resumed his bowling on Sunday during the second ODI as India once again desperately searched for other bowling options. The allrounder bowled four overs, conceded 24 runs while taking the big wicket of Steve Smith.

David Warner ruled out of remaining ODIs and T20Is against India; Pat Cummins rested

D’Arcy Short has been roped in as Warner’s replacement.

Australian batsman David Warner has been ruled out of the final ODI and the three T20Is against India after he developed a groin injury during the second ODI at the iconic Sydney Cricket Ground. In the first two matches, the southpaw got scores of 69 and 83 and looked in good form. D’Arcy Short has been named as his replacement for the T20I series.

Apart from Warner, Pat Cummins, the Aussie fast bowler, has been rested from the remaining white-ball fixtures against the Men in Blue. Cummins hasn’t been in the best of rhythms, though he picked up three wickets in the second ODI after going wicketless in the first. The speedster was also below-par for the Kolkata Knight Riders in the 2020 Indian Premier League.

David Warner, Pat Cummins a crucial part of Test squad, says Langer

Justin Langer, the hosts’ head coach, reckons that Cummins and Warner are important members of the Test setup and the duo needs to stay fit, both ‘mentally and physically’.

“Pat and Davie are critical to our plans for the Test Series. Davie will work through his injury rehab and in Pat’s case it is important all of our players are managed well to keep them mentally and physically fit throughout what is a challenging summer,” Langer was quoted as saying on Cricbuzz.

“The priority for both is being fully prepared for one of the biggest and most important home Test Series we have played in recent years, especially with World Test Championship points up for grabs,” he added. The Test series gets underway on December 17 with the Day-Night Test in Adelaide.

Among other members of the white-ball squads, Marcus Stoinis remains with the squad after missing the second ODI due to a side strain. Moises Henriques replaced him in the playing eleven on Sunday’s match.

In the meantime, Mitchell Marsh won’t be joining the Australia A squad and will be undergoing rehabilitation after he sustained an ankle injury in the 2020 edition of the IPL.

After taking an unassailable 2-0 lead in the ODIs with a 51-run victory on Sunday, Australia would be going for a whitewash when the last game takes place on Wednesday, December 2 in Canberra.

Kapil Dev forms a ‘Kapil XI’ team, reckons that nobody can touch MS Dhoni’s spot

Dhoni, along with Kapil, is one of the two captains to have won India the 50-overs World Cup.

Kapil Dev, the former Indian cricketer, has recently named the ‘Kapil XI’, a team formed with some of the greatest cricketers Team India have ever produced. In his eleven, he picked MS Dhoni and went on to say that his spot is ‘untouchable’. Dhoni remains to be the only captain to have won all three ICC limited-overs trophies for the Men in Blue while serving his nation for 15 years.

Dhoni, along with Kapil, is one of the two captains to have won India the 50-overs World Cup. Apart from Dhoni, Dev also named Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, Rahul Dravid, Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar in his star-studded eleven.

As his specialist spinners, Kapil went for Harbhajan Singh and Anil Kumble. To partner the tweakers, he selected Javagal Srinath, Zaheer Khan and Jasprit Bumrah in the pace department.
Kapil, the 1983 World Cup-winning skipper, put forth his eleven during a chat show, No Filter with Neha, hosted by popular Bollywood actress Neha Dhupia.

Jasprit Bumrah has done extremely well, says Kapil Dev

“There’s a test match is different, there’s a one-day cricket is different. ODI…if I have to pick, I would say definitely Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Virat Kohli, will be there, Rahul Dravid will be there, Yuvraj will be there,” Kapil was quoted as saying on the show No Filter with Neha.

“Wicket Keeper is only Dhoni. Nobody can touch his spot. You have Zaheer Khan, you have Srinath. Recently Bumrah, I can say. He’s done extremely well. Anil Kumble, all-time great spinner, and Harbhajan. These are the cricketers who come to my mind very much there,” he added.

A far as Dhoni is concerned, he last played for India in the 2019 World Cup in England and Wales. Back on August 15, he hung his boots from international cricket. Nevertheless, he took part for the Chennai Super Kings in the 2020 Indian Premier League. The 39-year-old also confirmed his participation in the 2021 edition of the T20 tournament.

Here’s the XI

Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Virat Kohli, Rahul Dravid, Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni, Javagal Srinath, Zaheer Khan, Anil Kumble, Harbhajan Singh, Jasprit Bumrah

Reports: Rohit Sharma, Ishant Sharma set to miss Australia Test series; team management asks for Shreyas Iyer as cover

Rohit and Ishant are currently busy undergoing rehabilitation at the NCA in Bangalore.

With only a handful of days remaining for India’s international series against Australia, the ruckus, surrounding Rohit Sharma and Ishant Sharma doesn’t seem to end. Their fitness has been an area of concern from the 2020 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) and nothing concrete has been known about their participation in the matches in Australia.

Both cricketers are undergoing rehabilitation at the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore, but the team management isn’t aware of the progress they are making. If reports are to be believed, both are unlikely to board the flight for Australia. As per reports, head coach Ravi Shastri hasn’t been communicated about Rohit and Ishant’s availability.

Ravi Shastri apprehensive about Rohit Sharma, Ishant Sharma’s availability

“He (Rohit) was never going to play the white-ball series, they were just looking to see how long he needed the rest because you can’t afford to be resting for too long. If you need to play in the Test series or any red-ball cricket, you’ve got to be on the flight in the next three or four days. If you aren’t, then it’s going to be tough.

“It’s a similar case (Ishant’s injury) to Rohit. You don’t really know how quickly he’ll be available to fly out. As I said, if anyone has to play in the Test series, he has to be on the flight in the next four or five days. Otherwise, it’s very difficult,” Shastri was quoted as saying to ABC Sports.

In the meantime, as per Insidesport, Shreyas Iyer might be called up as a cover for Rohit. Iyer has played ODI and T20I cricket but is yet to make his debut in the whites. If Rohit misses out, it’s expected to be a big blow for Team India as he has scored 556 runs with two tons and one double century after being asked to open the batting.

For Ishant, the team management is also looking to retain one of the players from the white-ball squads for the Test series. The speedster was earlier ruled out of IPL 2020 due to a rib cage injury. Rohit, on the other hand, had a hamstring injury but returned to play in the business end of the tournament.

‘He made it seem as if we had known each other forever’ – Adam Zampa on his first interaction with Virat Kohli in RCB

Zampa mentioned that Virat has a humorous side and is someone, who’s good to talk to.

Adam Zampa, the Australian leg-spinner, made his comeback into the Indian Premier League. He plied his trade for the Royal Challengers Bangalore and rubbed shoulders with skipper Virat Kohli. During the tournament, he only took part in three games where he picked up a couple of wickets. But despite not playing a whole lot, Zampa had a learning experience.

The tweaker talked about how Kohli made him feel at home after he joined the RCB setup. Zampa said that after he reached the United Arab Emirates, Virat introduced himself through WhatsApp, sending information about a vegan restaurant.

Zampa put forth the revelations during an interview with on Sydney Morning Herald. “It was the first day I arrived [and], he [Kohli] WhatsApped me, I didn’t have his number. He made it seem as if we had known each other forever,” Zampa said.
“Zamps, here’s the $15 off voucher at a vegan restaurant from Deliveroo, it’s a really good restaurant,” the WhatsApp message from Kohli read.

Once he’s off the park, he’s the most chilled guy, says Adam Zampa

On the field of play, Kohli is known to be an animated character, showing his emotions day in and day out. Zampa, who earlier played for the defunct Rising Pune Supergiant, lauded Kohli for showing intensity and being a competitive personality.

“He’s absolutely not what you see on the cricket field. He always brings his intensity to training and the game; he loves competition, and he hates losing as much as anyone.

“He probably shows it more than anyone. Once he’s off the park, he’s the most chilled guy. He’s watching YouTube clips on the bus, and he’ll laugh out loud,” Zampa stated.

Zampa mentioned that Virat has a humorous side and is someone, who’s good to talk to. He also spoke about Virat’s fondness towards travelling and exploring a variety of food.

“There was a cricket clip recently from cricket.com.au, it was a funny run out. He was laughing about it for three weeks straight. He loves holding onto jokes like that. He talks about coffee, travelling, food. He’s a really cultured guy. He’s good to talk to, good fun,” he added.

RCB and Virat didn’t have the greatest of outings. The Challengers bowed out of the tournament after losing to Sunrisers Hyderabad in the final.

‘It is just a money grab’ – Allan Border wants cricket boards to stop sending their players to tournaments like IPL

Allan Border isn’t happy with the prioritization of the franchise leagues like IPL over the ICC T20 World Cup.

Former Australian Test captain Allan Border isn’t happy with the prioritization of the franchise leagues like the Indian Premier League (IPL) over the ICC T20 World Cup. Border also opined on the advantage Australia has over India in the upcoming Test series in the absence of Indian skipper Virat Kohli for the last three Test matches.

Speaking about franchise cricket, Allan emphasized that the home boards should stop sending their players to tournaments like IPL as it is taking precedence over ICC tournaments. He also feels that such tournaments are just for making money.

“I’m not happy with that. The world game should take precedence over local competition. So, the World T20, if that can’t go ahead, I don’t think the IPL can go ahead. I would question that decision, it’s just a money grab, isn’t it, that one?” Border told ABC.
“The World T20 should take precedence, for sure. The home boards should stop their players going to the IPL if that’s the case,” he added.

I think that is a big ‘out’ for India: Allan Border on Kohli’s absence for the last three Tests

The 65-year-old, who represented Australia in 156 Test matches aggregating 11,176 runs at an average of 50.6, spoke highly of the Indian skipper Virat Kohli and feels that Kohli and countries like India, England, and Australia have the responsibility of keeping the Test cricket alive amidst the threat of franchise tournaments.

“He [Kohli] is an antagonist and plays aggressively. It is up to players like Kohli and teams like India, England and Australia to keep Test cricket alive from the growing threat of franchise cricket,” Border said.

The Indian skipper will be traveling back to India after participating in the first Test match, starting from December 17 in Adelaide, to be with his wife Anushka Sharma at the time of the birth of his first child. Speaking about the same, Allan jokingly added that he was hoping that the baby would be born in Australia so that they can claim him/her as an Australian citizen.

“We were hoping his baby would be born in Australia so that we can claim him or her to be an Australian!,” quipped the former Australian test captain.

Sreesanth to take part in President’s T20 Cup in Kerala

The T20 championship is subject to government clearance and the dates aren’t fixed either.

Sreesanth, the tainted Indian fast bowler, is set to mark his comeback in the President’s T20 Cup- a tournament organised by the Kerala Cricket Association (KCA). Back in September, the 37-year-old pacer’s seven-year-long ban ended after his career went into the doldrums due to the spot-fixing scandal in the 2013 Indian Premier League (IPL).

As far as the T20 championship is concerned, it’s subject to government clearance and the dates aren’t fixed either, though it’s learned that the tournament might take place in the month of December.

Sreesanth last played a competitive match, representing the Royals against Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) back on May 9, 2013. Ever since then, he has fought for his survival and tried his best to make a comeback to competitive cricket.

Sreesanth set to be in action

“Yes, definitely. Sreesanth will be an attraction. Every player will be in a bio-bubble in one hotel in Alappuzha. We are looking at the first week of December. The clearance from the Kerala government is the main thing,” Sajan K. Varghese, the president of Kerala Cricket Association was quoted as saying to Sportstar.

Dream11, the popular fantasy platform, is on board for the championship. “With the support of Dream11, it is a league format that we have planned. All the teams, from different age groups, are from Kerala,” the president added.

When Sreesanth started his cricket career, he was deemed to be one of the brightest prospects in Indian cricket. In 2005, he made his ODI debut against Sri Lanka in Dambulla. Then in 2006, the speedster forayed into Test and T20I cricket.

In 27 Tests, 53 ODIs and 10 T20Is, the pacer picked up 87, 75 and seven wickets respectively. He also has four five-wicket hauls to show for his efforts. He last donned the national jersey during India’s tour of England back in 2011.

Sreesanth is mostly known for his celebrations and the catch he took in the final of the T20 World Cup in 2007 to dismiss Pakistan’s Misbah-ul-Haq. Then in 2011, he was also a part of India’s playing eleven during the World Cup final against Sri Lanka at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.

Shane Bond talks about a New Zealand youngster who can grab an IPL contract soon

A great performance in T20I format boosts player’s chances for IPL contract, reckons Shane Bond

Former New Zealand pacer opines that Kyle Jamieson can bag an IPL contract given he delivers his best in T20Is against West Indies. Jamieson impressed the cricket fraternity last summer, and it assisted the Black Caps, to win both ODI and Test series against India easily. He was a star last summer with his all-round potentials and is looking forward to replicating his heroics in T20I formats as well.

Though he has not made his T20I debut yet, Bond believes that the all-rounder’s impressive performance would help him cement his spot for future assignments with New Zealand in all the formats. Since the next edition of IPL is just 4-5 months away, a great performance in T20I format would help the youngsters to grab a place in the world’s most competitive T20 league.

“I’m looking forward to seeing how he does in T20, there are always opportunities in the T20 game. With another IPL around the corner, who knows what can happen. Things in this game can change pretty quickly,” said Bond as quoted by ESPNcricinfo.

I thought Jamieson was sensational last season: Shane Bond

The former pacer states that Jamieson has taken his game to next level after the last summer and New Zealand A tours have to be credited for his development. The senior cricketer also said that the 25-year-old has improved himself while polishing his weak sections even being away from competitive cricket for so long.

“I thought he was sensational last season. He’s certainly taken his game to another level, and I think that’s a sign of the investment New Zealand Cricket made in him – the value of those A tours and programs. He’s learned about travelling and what is required to be at the top. The second part is the credit that Kyle deserves for going away and continuing to improve on areas that he had. He’s a hugely exciting talent, he obviously offers many skills,” Bond added.

The Caribbeans would be up against the Kiwis for the first T20I on November 27. Kyle’s role in the shortest format of the game would be a thing to watch out for if he is eyeing an IPL contract.

Rohit Sharma is a match-winner and teams are scared of him: Ramiz Raja

Ramiz feels India will miss Rohit Sharma in Australia in ODIs and T20Is.

Rohit Sharma has been in marvellous touch since the day he has started opening in limited-overs cricket. He has been praised by several cricket pundits for his tremendous form in the white-ball cricket and Ramiz Raja is the newest addition to the list. The former Pakistan skipper is known to express his views openly and while praising Rohit, he said that teams are scared of the dashing opener.

Raja was emphasizing on the fact that India will be missing Rohit’s services badly in the limited-overs series on the Australian tour. Notably, India’s vice-captain is struggling with a hamstring injury and he won’t be able to play in the limited-overs leg of the tour Down Under. Though he played in the IPL 2020, BCCI has rested him as a precautionary measure.

“Rohit is a match-winner and teams are scared of him. When teams huddle together before a batsman arrives at the crease as Sharma does it says a lot. Rohit’s absence is a big loss to India,” Ramiz Raja said on the Cricket Baaz Youtube Channel.

The pitches in Australia are no longer what they used to be, says Ramiz Raja

Rohit Sharma will be travelling to Australia before the Test series which starts on December 17 and he is expected to play as per his reputation. He will be having more responsibility as India will be there without their skipper. Virat Kohli will be coming back after the first Test to attend the birth of his first child. However, Raja feels that India is a great side and they have a chance to beat Australia in their own backyard again.

“The pitches in Australia are no longer what they used to be some years back. I mean there is less bounce, sideways movement and they are less venomous. And I think Australia will want to have full five-day Tests against India for viewership figures given their requirements,” Ramiz Raja said.

“I think India has the batting line-up to tame Australia and the Indian bowling has improved a lot and they have a very good attack now and Australia will have this in mind,” he added.

Notably, in 2018-19, India became the only Asian team to beat Australia at home in a Test series. A lot of players were a part of the squad on the last tour as well. Though David Warner and Steve Smith were serving a ban at that time India’s performance was outstanding in all the departments.

I didn’t even know I had contracted coronavirus: Mark Boucher

Earlier, an unnamed South African cricketer was also tested positive for COVID-19.

Mark Boucher, the South Africa head coach, revealed that he, once, contracted the novel coronavirus without knowing about the same. The 43-year-old veteran had some discomfort while he was training along with the national cricketers. His revelation came after one of the Proteas cricketers was tested positive for COVID-19 when the players got together on Wednesday.

The unnamed cricketer had come in close proximity with two other cricketers, who both have been sent into isolation as well. They are currently being monitored by the medical staff as per a statement from Cricket South Africa. Boucher understood what the players must be going through at the present point in time.

“Sitting alone in a room for six or seven days is very tough. I didn’t even know I had it. I felt a little down for one or two days. I had been throwing down to some players in the nets and felt some aches and pains. Covid is bigger than sport,” Boucher was quoted as saying in Times Now.

We had some tough issues to deal with: Mark Boucher

The South Africans are set to take part in three T20Is followed by as many ODIs against England, starting November 27. Prior to the white-ball series, Boucher said that the players may not “take a knee” to show their support for the Black Lives Matter movement.

Rather, he expected flags to be at half-mast during the first two games, paying tribute to the victims of coronavirus and racial discrimination in the country. He also said that players could wear black armbands. “It’s not something we have to continue to show, it’s something that we have to live.”

Boucher is looking forward to the series against the Three Lions after the hassles due to COVID-19 and boardroom battles. “We have to put that behind us. We are in a position to put some good news in South African cricket. We had some tough issues to deal with,” he stated.

“We have started afresh and restructured our values. It is all based on performance. We want to be nice and aggressive, but we need to be smart,” he added.

The Newlands in Cape Town and the Boland Park in Paarl are the venues for the ODI and T20I series over the next two weeks.

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