Newspapers on Thursday (October 27) were flooded with pieces related to India’s 19-run defeat against New Zealand in the fourth One Day International in Ranchi. The major focus was on India’s over-reliance on Virat Kohli and how it came back to haunt them on Wednesday.
Elsewhere, Indian dailies devoted enough space to the fourth-round of Ranji Trophy, questions were raised on Pakistan’s push-ups celebration and Cricket South Africa is struggling to find T20 sponsors.
Virat Kohli’s dismissal was an anti-climax. In the two completed ODIs at the JSCA Stadium before this, he had scored 216 runs without being dismissed.On Wednesday, however, Kohli was not at his belligerent best. Mitchell Santner beat him with the turn, a couple of full-tosses were hit straight to the fielders and inside-edges ricocheted onto the pad. But Kohli was still going at a brisk pace, putting up a nice partnership with Ajinkya Rahane for the second wicket after Rohit Sharma’s early departure.
Kohli has played the match-winning innings in both the games that India have won in this series. The men in blue have batted second in all four matches. If they are to do the same in Visakhapatnam and also considering the larger picture, it looks like ‘only’ Kohli holds the key to India’s success.
“That’s why Virat Kohli is such a great player. Every time he gets a hundred, even in the last game he got 154 not out, India win the game. I don’t know what would have happened if Ross Taylor would have taken that catch. India 60/3 in Mohali with new batsman in and anything could have happened. But I think there are other match winners in the side who have won India games,” Ganguly told India Today.
The only issue many locals in the Jharkhand capital, whose characters feature in the movie, is that the story takes certain liberties with facts and is a bit economical with the truth. However, Dhoni’s life story understandably pulls at Ranchi’s heartstrings.
Krishna, a resident of Harmu, explains… “I’m here (at the theatre) for the third time and more than the movie itself, I’m coming because of the city connection. He is one of our own who grew up and learnt his cricket here, and went on to become a legend.”
“With what he does in Tests and one-day cricket, he also had a fantastic IPL this year as well. His ability to be consistent in what is quite an inconsistent game is a mark of how a world-class player he is. And he is just 27. I think we should just enjoy the fact that we have got one of the geniuses at work over the next few years. He’s certainly a genius,” said McCullum.
Enigmatic Indian cricket captain MS Dhoni has shown class knows no age with a precision, no-look throw to run out New Zealand batsman Ross Taylor. The home side were finding it hard to stop the New Zealand middle order from building a sizeable target in the dying overs of the ODI at the JSCA International Stadium Complex. That was until Dhoni conjured a piece of magic to dismiss Taylor.
Yuvraj Singh has barely sauntered halfway through to the centre square at Kotla, when he is greeted by loud cries of ‘Yuvi, Yuvi’. The Punjab skipper is pleasantly surprised as he turns around. It’s Baroda’s batting lynchpin and his old friend Yusuf Pathan. They exchange pleasantries and shake hands. The two go back a long way and now find themselves at the same stage of their careers. A India returns seems like a distant dream but they haven’t yet given up.
Both know that they need to bat out of their skins to return to the Indian middle order. Youngers players have cemented their place in the national team and there are several others on the domestic circuit who are in the queue to get their first big break. One of them, Deepak Hooda, will be leading Baroda as regular skipper Irfan Pathan, another one from the Yusuf-Yuvraj generation, has been ruled out of the third round Ranji Trophy game because of a niggle.
Debutant Chhattisgarh has suffered a great blow before the start of crucial Ranji Trophy Group-C clash against Kerala which will begin at the Keenan stadium on Thursday. Chhattisgarh’s influential captain Mohammad Kaif will miss the match due to neck injury and the team which depended so much on his captaincy and presence in its debut season will have to regroup against Kerala which looks to capitalise on its rival’s predicament.
The defeat against Karnataka in the previous match still hurts Delhi. The high of a win against Assam and the draw against Maharashtra look like an illusion for a team that has a new coach in K.P. Bhaskar, who played for Delhi when it was a team to reckon with. On the eve of its Ranji Trophy match against Orissa here, Bhaskar looked back wistfully at those glorious days.
Former member of the ICC Panel of Umpires, Amiesh Saheba is all set to establish a record when he officiates in his 100th first class cricket match at Keenan Stadium here tomorrow. Saheba, who was adjudged by BCCI as “the best Indian Umpire” in 2009-10, will officiate the four-day Ranji Trophy match between Kerala and Chhattisgarh commencing here tomorrow.
A PML-N lawmaker during a National Assembly committee meeting on Wednesday said cricket players should offer prayers instead of doing push-ups following a victory.
MNA, Chaudhry Nazeer Ahmad, said during an Inter-Provincial Coordination Committee meeting that while physical movement was a healthy activity, “it would have been better if the players offered nawafil (special prayers) instead of doing press-ups on the victory”.
As the Australian Test side reports for duty in Perth this weekend, Glenn Maxwell will most likely be in a suburban park in Melbourne turning out for his first-grade club. It’s hardly the start to the season one of the country’s highest-paid stars would have envisaged and certainly not one befitting a player tipped to be on Australia’s next Test tour.
Maxwell’s omission from Victoria’s team has been a talking point in Australian cricket this week with many shocked the reigning one-day and T20 player of the year cannot command a game for his state. Victoria have said he was unlucky to miss out due to team balance but players of Maxwell’s ability at state level should have teams built around them.
In a somewhat unprecedented move, this summer’s domestic T20 competition will go ahead without a title sponsor – unless something drastically changes in the next few weeks. This sheds some light on cricket’s relevance and the country’s economic climate, but that does not mean all hope is lost.
Balancing the oval rugby ball on the tip of his fingers, curled like a cup, Brendon McCullum flips it upwards. The ball makes a few vigorous revs over his head before it nestles back exactly where it had been launched off—on the tip of his caroused fingers. “This is what you call spin,” he informs a bunch of puzzled schoolchildren, gathered around him. He demonstrates the manoeuvre a few times overs, each time with the nuanced measuredness of a seasoned pro. Then, maybe to sound a little grounded, he chuckles, “It’s easier to spin this than a cricket ball. I’ve tried the other spin all my life and couldn’t (grasp it).” The kids giggle in chorus.
Bless him, Warne has never hidden from the fact that the pleasures he derives from life are simple and, thanks to social media, they’re as achingly transparent to the general public now as at any point of his life. We no longer need the Q&A, we can just scroll through Twitter and check which z-grade celebrity he’s currently nattering away to, or which drinks are scattered around his poker table.