There was a rare period of no international cricket with a lull between Tests and series across the world, but that didn’t stop the news from flowing in on Thursday (December 1). Haseeb Hameed’s remarkable, courageous defiance continued to earn plaudits, while the Jennings household – which benefitted from Hameed having to leave England’s tour of India through injury – was in happy upheaval.
There was also a rare copy of the Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack up for auction – which was not presented to a certain player in 2011 due to extraordinary circumstances, while Glenn Maxwell didn’t hold back in talking of his ‘hurt’ at having to bat below Matthew Wade.
So the story goes that young Ajinkya, not yet into adolescence, was hit by a strapping bowler more than twice his age during a practice match. He lay prone on the ground, wincing in pain.
The sympathetic teammates and umpires advised him to head back to the dugout, which must not have been anything but a disorderly row of plastic chairs under a shamiana. Rahane just got up, washed his face and returned to the crease. The next ball, he drove for four. Then another. Then he flicked another to the fence, or the chalk powdered line that functions as the rope at most maidans. Then another. Had the bowler stared back at Rahane’s eyes, he wouldn’t have sensed the storm he was to stir up. His eyes are that placid, except when they bulge while batting. It’s difficult to read his mind through his eyes.
Hameed will fly to home to have a metal plate inserted into the finger to help the healing process and be fit for the start of next season.
He leaves India having earned the respect of his team-mates and the coach’s praise ringing in his ears. Virat Kohli, the captain of India, shook his (good) hand after “an innings full of character” from a player he believes is “definitely going to be a future star” of the game.
‘It’s a lot to take in, and very exciting,’ he said. ‘Telling my family and the guys at Durham has been pretty emotional.
‘My mum was in tears and my dad was speechless, and they’re two things that don’t happen very often. All the Durham boys have been great – Mark Wood was bouncing off the walls, although that’s not unusual for him.
‘To be honest I wouldn’t know what day it is at the moment. Everything has been such a whirlwind. I need to have a coffee and get my head around everything that’s happened.’
The ideal solution for Kohli would be to retain Patel in the Mumbai Test team and play him as a batsman.
Saha can earn his slot back in the keeper’s role while Rahul should be rested to allow him more time to recover as India play a further seven Tests in the coming months.
When Anil Kumble took over as the chief coach this summer, the 13 home Tests promised to be dominated by Indian spinners. So far, barring the first Test against England at Rajkot, there has been no twist to the much-anticipated script.
Virat Kohli, the batsman, is showing his insatiable appetite for runs. Kohli, the captain, is thrilled with the results. The contributions of the spinners, with the bat, have added a new dimension to the side.
That Parthiv Patel will continue to stay on with the Indian squad is a given, considering his impressive performance in the third Test against England in Mohali. Turns out that he will have to stay on anyway, as Wriddhiman Saha, India’s first-choice wicketkeeper, is unlikely to recover in time for the fourth Test.
The word from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) sources is that Saha, who has suffered a hamstring injury, will not be fit for the Mumbai Test which starts on December 8. The development may have solved any dilemma the selectors may have faced over India’s wicketkeeper’s position.
A passage of play from the Mohali Test will be etched in the memories of Indian cricket fans. It involved three bouncers by Mohammed Shami in his first over with the second new ball.
The first one hit Chris Woakes on his helmet, the second got his wicket and the third dismissed Adil Rashid. An Indian fast bowler bouncing a batsman out on an almost flat track at home is a rarity, but this Indian bowling unit has shown it has the fitness to sustain hostility for a consistent period of time.
India’s confidence is soaring ever higher after they recovered so emphatically from a tricky 204 for six in their first innings. They bat deep and they bowl dry. Now the likelihood of England squaring the series is not much greater than Sir Ian Botham voting “remain” in any second referendum.
Ranji Trophy 2016: Neutral venues can’t pitch it right (The Indian Express)
The tale of pitches is a curious case: if there is no home team playing there shouldn’t be any bias-pressure for the host venues to manufacture tracks. Ideally, the curators should have the freedom to create sporting tracks. However, the absence of the home team has instead given way to apathy where some host associations haven’t cared enough about the state of pitches.
Currently the Kerala team is playing Tripura in Cuttack and Samson does not feature in the XI. But more alarmingly he is facing an inquiry for misconduct and indiscipline.
According to sources in the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and KCA, the 22-year-old wicketkeeper batsman was involved in an unsavoury incident during Kerala’s match against Goa at Brabourne Stadium a fortnight ago.
Western Railway southpaw Sagar Mishra slammed six sixes in an over to create sensation in their Times Shield Division B match against Rashtriya Chemicals & Fertilizers at the Western Railway cricket ground at Lower Parel.
Mishra, who played two Ranji Trophy matches for Railways in 2015, sent the ball over the ropes six times in an over bowled by RCF’s Tushar Kumare.
Mishra slammed a 46-ball 91 which included nine sixes — all coming in the last 11 balls of his innings. Western Railway posted a mammoth 403 for four in 64 overs and then bundled out RCF for 86.
The Hyderabad High Court on Wednesday decided to freeze the accounts of the Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA) after serious accusations against its office-bearers.
The HCA had recently been ordered by the High Court to give an undertaking regarding implementation of the Supreme Court’s order on Lodha Committee recommendations. HCA then subsequently called an SGM to implement the Lodha report.
A unique copy of cricketing bible Wisden’s Almanack, which was withheld from its player of the year after he was convicted of cheating, is expected to break sales records for the much-loved reference book at auction.
Although Berry declined to name him, it was an open secret in the cricketing world that Pakistani bowler Mohammad Amir was the fifth player.
Glenn Maxwell says it has been “painful” to be batting further down the order than wicketkeeper and captain Matthew Wade at state level, believing the decision may have hurt his chances of a Test recall this summer despite an impressive recent first-class record.
The electrifying all-rounder is back in an Australian uniform this week for Sunday’s first one-dayer against New Zealand at the SCG but was overlooked for a first ever Test appearance on home soil when selectors changed more than half the squad for the pink-ball Test against South Africa in Adelaide.
Talk about gaze at it. Australian cricket’s obsession with itself appears to know no bounds.
You can disregard their dead-rubber test win over South Africa in Adelaide and the false bravado that’s generated.
It doesn’t alter the inept cricket Australia have spent most of 2016 producing, and the continual conversations about the “way” the team play and the sudden disrepair their pathway to the top has fallen into.
Brian Lara gave me this saying on a piece of paper that I carried around in my baggy green satchel until the day I retired: before you begin a thing, remind yourself that difficulties and delays quite impossible to foresee are ahead …You can only see one thing clearly, and that is your goal! Form a mental vision of that and cling to it through thick and thin.
Who you gonna call? When the wind is blowing against you? When the surface has flattened out? When the ball has become softer and older? When the batsmen are settled? Neil Wagner that is who; Neil Wagner, New Zealand’s unsung enforcer.
Tim Southee and Trent Boult get much of the fast-bowling plaudits thrown New Zealand’s way. It is understandable – they swing the ball, make it curve around beautifully and play a gazillion little tricks upon batsmen.
At least one man wants the home of cricket to be used for just that. And only that.
Barbados Cricket Association (BCA) board member Winston Stafford is against Kensington Oval being used as a multi-event facility and is calling for the hallowed cricket ground to stop staging non-cricketing events.
“Yes, it was very disappointing, we had played well through the day in only losing one wicket up until tea but were probably a little short of where we wanted to be runs-wise and we certainly wanted to give ourselves an opportunity to try to win the game,” Arthur said while speaking exclusively to Dawn from Brisbane. “That is how we want to play and look to win first and only then settle for a draw. We have to realise that we are going to lose some games trying to win but that is certainly the brand we want to play.”