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Found 90 results

  1. It has been a while since the Board for Control of Cricket in India had declared the list of final 15 cricketers who will be representing the country in the 2019 ICC World Cup and while the level of talent and skills the roster boasts, a good portion of the fans of Indian cricket are questioning the Board's decision to not pick the 21-year-old Rishabh Pant, former Australian captain, two-time World Cup winner and Delhi Capitals Head Coach, Ricky Ponting being one of them. "I was surprised when he was left out of the squad. I thought he'll be in and I thought he'll actually play in the starting eleven. I thought that someone like him batting at No. 4 or 5 in their side would have just been that sort of player who could have had that X-factor about him that could have been the difference between India and some other teams in the World Cup,” said Ponting, according to an International Cricket Council (ICC) report. Pant â Karthik â India have named their @cricketworldcup squad â¬ï¸https://t.co/7fOjI2he3X pic.twitter.com/q8WnsVCa42 — ICC (@ICC) April 15, 2019 Ponting, who has been one of Pant's hardcore fan ever since his brilliant innings in the Test series against Tim Paine's Australian team in January 2019, has become more of a mentor to the Roorkee-born as integral parts of the Indian Premier League franchise, Delhi Capitals. "He is sort of like another Adam Gilchrist" – Ricky Ponting on Rishabh Pant after the India wicket-keeper batsman hit an entertaining ð¯ at the SCG. READ ðhttps://t.co/fofFrxgqLi pic.twitter.com/7CsO9ITloR — ICC (@ICC) January 5, 2019 Having spent more than a month together now, the Aussie was in Pant's corner when the Indian squad for the World Cup was announced and got to see him take in the rejection up close. According to him, Pant naturally felt a bit dispirited and depressed upon learning his exclusion but was quick to get back on his feet. "The thing that he has to remember, and we all have to remember, [is that] he's still very, very young. He's got an opportunity to play, potentially, in another three or four World Cups during the course of his career," Ponting said. "One thing that we know about Indian cricket is that there is a lot of depth around, particularly around the batting side. Unfortunately, this time, Rishabh is the one that has missed out, but as I said, I think knowing what he's like and the talent he's got, I'll be surprised if he doesn't play at least three World Cups before his career is over." While the World Cup teams have the right to make amendments to their respective teams until 23rd May 2019, the Australian truly believes that Pant's chances of being called this year, are negligible. Instead, he wants the Indian wicket-keeper batsman to focus all his energy towards helping Delhi Capitals do better in the ongoing IPL and try a win them their maiden title. This. Is. New. Delhi. ⤠Coach Ricky Ponting out there giving us all the #MotivationalFeels with his speech after the #MIvDC game ðð¥ The boys are ready for #DCvCSK at #QilaKotla! #ThisIsNewDelhi #DelhiCapitals #CoachSpeaks pic.twitter.com/hLzTuQI7X2 — Delhi Capitals (@DelhiCapitals) March 26, 2019 "What he can only focus on now is win games for the Delhi Capitals. I think there's enough motivation there for him with that, he's talked a lot about wanting to be a successful part of a successful Delhi team. We've got that opportunity now over the next month."
  2. The Indian cricket team comprises of numerous players who share more than just a good rapport with each other. And then, there are Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul whose bromance probably overshadows the camaraderie shared between other players in the team. From hanging out together on tours to exchanging their jerseys on the field, it's needless to say that the young duo is inseparable. However, the year 2019 started on a disastrous note for the Indian stars. The two cricketers were reprimanded for their demeanour on the popular TV show 'Koffee With Karan'. There was a lot of backlash on social media that in turn led to their respective suspensions at the hands of the Indian cricket board. © Instagram/@hardikpandya93 It was arguably the lowest of lows in their respective careers. But, the two cricketers didn't let it affect their mindset as they won the fans back with spirited performances, upon their return, on the field. While Rahul looks determined in his batting approach for Kings XI Punjab (KXIP), Pandya, too, appears more focussed while carrying out his responsibilities for Mumbai Indians (MI) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) this season. Their fall from grace seems to have brought the much-needed maturity into their approach towards the game. And, with the chat show controversy behind them, both Rahul and Pandya are looking to make the most of the opportunities with positive intent - something that was highlighted in the latter's latest Instagram post. View this post on Instagram Brothers for life !!!!! No matter what !!! Love u bro @rahulkl happy birthday. Let's make it our year A post shared by Hardik Pandya (@hardikpandya93) on Apr 17, 2019 at 11:34am PDT On 18th April, Rahul turned 27. From his fans to teammates, everyone poured in heartfelt wishes for the Karnataka batsman. But, the one from Pandya clearly stood out. Taking to Instagram to wish his best mate, Pandya wrote: "Brothers for life !!!!! No matter what !!! Love u bro @rahulkl happy birthday. Let's make it our year". Both Rahul and Pandya have been included in Team India's 15-man squad for the ICC World Cup by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). While Rahul will either provide a back-up option as an opener or might just get to play at the much-debated No. 4 slot, Pandya will add teeth to the Indian line-up with his all-around abilities.
  3. On Monday, a couple of hours before the final list of India's top 15 cricketers who will be representing the nation in the greatest contest of the cricketing world, was declared, former Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh shared his thoughts on the decision to select one of two players in particular. In an interview with India Today, Bhajji spoke about the lack of need of a secondary or backup wicket-keeper to the current man behind the stumps, Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Showing his utmost faith in the former skipper, he believes that the Indian squad are more than good enough to be successful at the 2019 ICC World Cup with just a single wicket-keeping maestro, thereby also announced his apprehensions about both Dinesh Karthik and Rishabh Pant being selected. “It's not that Dhoni does not have niggles. Playing cricket with him I know he has some back issues but with his experience, he knows how to play with all that,” Singh told India Today. © Reuters Not to let his devotion toward Dhoni get the better of him, Harbhajan also spoke of how KL Rahul is well qualified and experienced to fill in Mahi's shoes if the 37-year-old suffered a serious injury. “I don't think you need any backup for Dhoni unless he suffers from any major injury during the World Cup. In case of any minor niggle, you do have KL Rahul in the squad who can keep.” Singh also showed some love for the Royal Challengers Bangalore pacer, Navdeep Saini, who's fresh bowling style and raw pace has not only impressed cricketers like Sourav Ganguly and himself during 2019 season of the Indian Premier League but also in the domestic circuit. “You need a fourth specialist seamer in England too and Navdeep Saini would be my pick. Not just because he has bowled well in IPL which in itself is credible in Bangalore's batting friendly wickets but also because he has won Ranji matches in the past, so he comes with domestic experience,” he said.
  4. While the entire nation is filled with hope after the announcement of a 'balanced' Indian squad for the World Cup 2019, critics are still divided over the selection of Dinesh Karthik over the popular choice Rishabh Pant, in the 15-man squad. Answering this, the five-member panel of the BCCI that announced the squad, gave an explanation behind opting for Karthik's experience over Pant's flair. MSK Prasad, the Chief Selector of the Indian team said: “All of us felt that either Pant or Kartik will only come into playing XI if Mahi is injured. If it is a crucial match, wicket-keeping also matters, so that is the only reason why we went ahead with Dinesh Kartik otherwise Rishabh Pant was almost there.” Well deserved place for DK. — KD Deshmukh (@ImKrishna423) April 15, 2019 Very Gud BCCI...DK got wht he deserves â¤ï¸ — Ayega To Modi Hi ð®ð³â¤ï¸ (@shikhag802) April 15, 2019 come on guyz pant is young guy he needs lot of time to be in world cup squad... may be in next worldcup he will be there dnt wry.. dk deserves this opportunity... — joseph (@joseph_kurvila) April 15, 2019 While all the dropped catches and sloppy work with the gloves behind the stumps cost Pant a ticket to the United Kingdom, Karthik made it to the 15 on the grounds of apparently better glovework. Despite his flamboyance with the bat, Pant leaves a lot to be desired in terms of wicketkeeping. The Delhi lad's verbal volleys might be fun to listen to from the stump mic, but he's already conceded more than 100 byes in his short stint as the wicketkeeper of the Indian Test team. © AP On the other hand, Dinesh Karthik, who has been around the team since the past decade, was the first choice keeper for the Indian team before the arrival of Dhoni. It seems only legit that he be given one last shot at attaining World Cup glory before the torch is passed on to the Pant generation of Indian keepers. Apart from Pant, the exclusion of Ambati Rayudu also divided the house on the internet. In his absence, either Vijay Shankar or KL Rahul will be asked to fill in the number four spot. Elsewhere, the usual suspects' slot right in. There's the opening pair of Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma, followed by skipper Virat Kohli. The lower middle order features World Cup-winning former captain MS Dhoni, and Kedar Jadhav, followed by Hardik Pandya and the bowlers. Umesh Yadav misses out and so does Khaleel Ahmed. Ravindra Jadeja finds a place as an experienced bowling option, who can also chip in with the bat.
  5. The anticipation for the final squad to represent India at the upcoming ICC 2019 World Cup is finally over as MSK Prasad, the chief selector, and Amitabh Choudhury, the BCCI secretary announced the list of players on Monday. Scroll down for the full squad. There were no big surprises in the squad, but Dinesh Karthik was picked ahead of other competitors vying for the number four role. The Kolkata Knight Rider will also serve as a backup keeper, behind the former captain and World Cup-winning veteran MS Dhoni in the squad. As a result, the popular youngster Rishabh Pant missed out on a berth to the United Kingdom. Without surprise, Virat Kohli will be leading the team from the front. His prolific form in the One Day format of the game has brought laurels to the Indian team and he would be hoping to push Team India's charge for a third World Cup trophy after the triumphs of 1983 and 2011. The opening duo of Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma fill the top two places. Added to the squad as a backup opener is KL Rahul, who makes it to the team on the basis of brilliant performances in the domestic season and off late in the Indian Premier League also. Coming to the number four spot, which has been a matter of concern for the Men in Blue for many months, all-rounder Vijay Shankar has been chosen to do the honours. Ambati Rayudu missed out on a berth and so did Rishabh Pant, who was a popular choice ahead of Karthik. Another all-rounder, Hardik Pandya made it to the squad with a sparkling showcase of his talent in the ongoing IPL. With some impressive performances in the recent past and owing to the ability to bag wickets in the middle overs, Kedar Jadhav has also really worked hard to earn this spot. In the bowling department, Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal make the perfect spin duo for the Men in Blue followed by the experienced Ravindra Jadeja. The fast bowling unit comprises frontman Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Umesh Yadav missed out and India also chose not to go with a left arm pacer in Khaleel Ahmed. Full squad: Virat Kohli (capt.), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Vijay Shankar, MS Dhoni (wk), Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja and Mohammed Shami
  6. So far in the twelfth season of the Indian Premier League (IPL), regardless of which team is leading the tournament according to the Points Table, we have to agree that the highlight of the entire league are the West Indies cricketers who have been playing the game of cricket on a level a lot higher than anyone else. Be it the ability to chase down huge totals or their performance with the ball, the Caribbeans look to be miles ahead that the rest of the players on the field in this month and a half long contest. For instance, Kolkata Knight Riders' Andre Russell has been on a tear ever since the franchise's first game of the season against Kane Williamson's SunRisers Hyderabad. Chasing an above average total of 181 runs, Russell took to the crease on the fifth spot and led the team to victory playing a 49 off 19 balls innings. Playing with a scary strike rate of 212.39, the 'Baahubali' of IPL is a player to look out for in the biggest tournament in the game come May. Ruthless. Relentless. Russel ðªð¥ The absolute hitting that led to this though ðð@KKRiders @Russell12A #RCBvKKR pic.twitter.com/4Ou1HzYS34 — IndianPremierLeague (@IPL) April 5, 2019 If there is someone who's a bit scarier than Russell, it has to be the 'Universe Boss', Chris Gayle who opens the batting order for Kings XI Punjab along with KL Rahul. At 39 years of age, Gayle, has opened up about his thoughts of retiring from the game after the World Cup. However, his beyond-amazing performance in the ODI series against England and recently found IPL mojo, Gayle is one of those batsmen who can change the game in his team's favour in the blink of an eye. Kieron Pollard is another veteran who seems to have found his game during the 2019 IPL. Having struggled for a couple of seasons in the past, Pollard has returned to his original destructive-self and how. While struggling to connect with the ball in the first few games, Pollard showed to the world and the selectors of the Windies side that he's still skilled enough to make it to the World Cup roster, keeping in mind that this could be his final chance to lift the trophy. Hardik: Kieron Pollard is a legend. Only one man could've done this.#OneFamily #CricketMeriJaan #MumbaiIndians #MIvKXIP pic.twitter.com/YcUKauYTWv — Mumbai Indians (@mipaltan) April 10, 2019 Although Chennai Super Kings' Dwayne Bravo isn't having the best IPL season of his career, the fact that he continues to be a top-10 bowler of the league has to be appreciated. The one capable enough to catch fire with the bat quickly, Bravo's inclusion to the team could be crucial for the Windies' success. A blend of such veterans with young and raw talents like Alzarri Joseph can make for a scary West Indies squad, maybe even capable enough to bring back the glory days to the Caribbean. Alternatively, the Windies also have a tendency to fall apart when it comes to playing together as a team. Series like the one against England a couple of months ago is a perfect example of how individual talents like Gayle, Jason Holder and Darren Bravo fail to perform well as a team and the team ends up crashing and burning.
  7. An official statement released by Epic, the video game company responsible for revolutionising the Battle Royale format of digital gaming and taking the esports world by storm, announced important details about the World Cup tournament for their iconic multi-million dollar project, 'Fortnite' set to take place between 26th and 28th July. View this post on Instagram Claim your seat at the Fortnite World Cup! Tickets are available for pre-registration. Link in bio. A post shared by Fortnite (@fortnite) on Apr 8, 2019 at 7:19am PDT Nothing unusual right? Video game tournaments happen all the time. After all, there are games like 'Counter-Strike' and the 'Call of Duty' series that has produced numerous teams from all over the world to put in hard work to perfect their hand at a particular game and compete for considerable sums of prize money. But when compared to outdoor sports that have enjoyed decades worth of heritage and millions of fans, one would take their time accepting the fact that 2019 'Fortnite' World Cup is going to consist of a prize money a lot more than Wimbledon. That's right. According to Wimbledon's official website, when Serbian tennis legend Novak Djokovic won the most prestigious Grand Slam last year, he won a total of $ 2,980,000. According to Epic's statement, the 2019 'Fortnite' World Cup will be offering an outrageous $30 million prize pool for solo and duo players in New York City. The winners will be collecting $3 million each, while every participant will be taking home a minimum of $50,000 for qualifying for the tournament. Other major sporting events with prize money smaller than 'Fortnite' World Cup include Indy 500 ($2,530,000), The Masters ($1,980,000), World Darts Championship ($640,000), Tour de France ($580,000), World Snooker Championship ($560,000) and Ironman World Championship ($120,000).
  8. Amidst the madness of the Indian Premier League (IPL) taking over a country of cricket-crazy people, news of the Indian squad for the 2019 ICC World Cup being announced about a week from today, has caught people's attention. According to a Times of India report, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and Indian skipper Virat Kohli have made plans to meet next Monday in Mumbai to sit and pick a roster that will represent the country in the tournament starting 30th May. Rohit Sharma believes that the final team will only be selected once the thoughts and ideas of Kohli and head coach Ravi Shastri have been taken into consideration by the Board. “I think we are pretty much settled. There are a few spots (undecided) which everyone knows about but again that depends on what the captain and the coach and the selectors think whether they want to go for the extra seamer or the extra spinner or extra middle order player or a reserve opener. “It also depends upon the conditions. The last time we were in England, the conditions were quite dry. I don't know how things will be. So if it is like that, then you take an extra spinner, as simple as that. If it's not then probably take the extra seamer,” the 'Hitman' said in Mumbai. The last portion from Sharma's quote is worth paying some heed to. It is well established that the fourth spot in the team is the most uncertain position. While currently in the hands of former allrounder Ambati Rayudu, it is highly probable that the Guntur-born will be asked to give it up, considering his below average performance against Australia in the ODI and T20I series last month (and let's not even talk about his IPL journey so far). Basing the argument on Sharma's take, if the conditions in England and Wales consists of heavy moisture, the number four spot could go a batting allrounder like Vijay Shankar who usually goes to the pitch as the fifth batsman and somebody like Hardik Pandya can be inserted in the fifth slot. Alternatively, Dinesh Karthik becomes an ideal candidate for number four adding to the powerful middle order batting line up with Pandya taking away Shankar's place from the roster. On the other hand, if the weather conditions continue to remain dry like the last time Men in Blue had visited England, bowling allrounder, Kedar Jadhav becomes one of the foremost picks for Kohli. Also, if the captain and the coach really want to try something that they haven't in the last two years, bringing back Ravichandran Ashwin does not appear to be a bad thought either. While positions for batsmen like Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan, and bowlers like Yuzvendra Chahal and Jasprit Bumrah can be considered to be a confirmed lock, the spots for allrounders are what will be a major part of the discussion between Kohli and the BCCI on Monday.
  9. Hardik Pandya might have courted controversy on his last TV show appearance. He may have deservedly attracted flak and, later, suspension from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for his comments. And, more recently, he might have been summoned by Indian cricket board's Ombudsman, Justice DK Jain, to be present for the hearings in relation to his controversial remarks about women. But, despite all that, hand this young lad a cricket bat and he'll show you what an absolute nightmare he can be for the opposition bowlers - something that's becoming more of a trend in the Indian Premier League (IPL) this season. The 25-year-old began this season with a forgettable duck against Delhi Capitals (DC) who eventually shocked the three-time IPL champions with a 37-run triumph. But, since then, there's been no looking back for Pandya. Twitter/@IPL He smashed a 14-ball 32 against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and, then, a 19-ball 31 against Kings XI Punjab (KXIP). But, he saved his best for Chennai Super Kings (CSK) who bore the brunt of Pandya's willow at the Wankhede stadium on 3rd April. Against RCB, Pandya's blitzkrieg allowed Mumbai to accelerate from an average-looking 145 after 16 overs to a competitive 187 after 20. And, at home against CSK, the swashbuckling right-hander, once again, got a meandering Mumbai innings out of a ditch with an absolute carnage of an innings. Coming out to bat in the 17th over, Hardik swapped places with elder brother Krunal and was looking to give more strike to settled Suryakumar Yadav. He couldn't score a run on his first delivery and then a single on the second got him off strike in the 18th over. But, after Yadav got dismissed on the last delivery of the over, the right-handed batsman knew it was time to unleash the beast. Twitter/@IPL He smashed Shardul Thakur for a towering six over square leg on the first delivery of the penultimate over and followed it up with a single. With Hardik off strike, Kieron Pollard could only manage seven runs off four deliveries including a six on the fifth ball. At 141/5, with just six deliveries to go, both Hardik and Pollard knew they needed to up the ante to help Mumbai post a competitive total. M15: MI vs CSK – Hardik Pandya Six https://t.co/GjfmMNB7va via @ipl — Dixit Bhargav (@dixitbhargav09) April 3, 2019 While Pollard smashed a six on the third delivery (a no-ball) and ran three runs on the legitimate ball (a free-hit), Hardik went hammer and tongs at Dwayne Bravo on the last three balls of the final over. He helicoptered Bravo's yorker into the top tier - something MS Dhoni would have also enjoyed - on the fourth delivery. Then, he punched a drive through extra cover for a boundary. And, finally, slashing a fuller delivery over third man to finish with a six. MUST WATCH: The Pollard-Pandya last over carnage ð®ð® Full video here â¶ï¸https://t.co/7kgiaB3Nsc #MIvCSK pic.twitter.com/pLdU2pyRID — IndianPremierLeague (@IPL) April 3, 2019 A staggering 29 runs came off Bravo's final over wherein Hardik was responsible for 17, Pollard scored 10 and two came as extras. From reeling at 119/4 in 17 overs, Mumbai romped their way to 170/5 - thanks to a slambang 8-ball 25 from Hardik and 7-ball 17 from Pollard. In 37 innings since the 2017 edition of the IPL, Hardik has come in to bat with roughly 26 balls remaining in the innings, which is extremely low for a hitter of his ability in a T20 game. While that may raise questions on Mumbai's decision to keep him much down the batting order, it undoubtedly highlights what kind of an influence, in just a few deliveries, this young bloke can have on a game - something Team India would need in the all-important ICC World Cup, slated to begin from 30th May.
  10. At just 18 years of age, Muskan Kirar must feel on top of the world after bagging four medals including two golds, one silver and one bronze medal and was crowned the 'Individual Champion' in Compound women category at the 2019 Asia Cup World Ranking Archery Stage-1 in Bangkok on Monday. NEWS. India's Muskan Kirar ð¹ ð®ð³ defends Asia Cup ðð gold in Bangkok #archery ð¹ð¯ https://t.co/Bs0izP4q65 pic.twitter.com/hyIKv4TIXN — World Archery (@worldarchery) March 29, 2019 As sports enthusiasts, we are a sucker for stories that epitomise the rise of classic underdogs and Kirar's narrative does not disappoint. Hailing from the town of Jabalpur, Muskan has never been the one to back away from hard work. In an interview with india.com, her father spoke of her rigorous regimen during which Muskhan spends around nine hours every single day, putting in the effort just to get one step closer to perfecting her craft. And as a dedicated sports person, her achievements speak a thousand words about her sincerity and affection towards the game. Making a stunning debut on the professional level a couple of years ago in 2017, she put the national selectors on notice during the Senior Asian Championship in Dhaka and even managed to reach the Asia Cup Stage-3 the same year in Taipei, Taiwan in the senior category. But the archer was able to win her first gold in the sub-junior category during the 2017 season of National Archery Competition in Bhubaneswar and did not look back ever since. Before dominating the range at this year's Asia Cup, Kirar visited Bangkok in 2018 and had taken 'Krung Thep' by storm and won the gold back then as well. However, a big portion of credit behind Muskan's skyrocketing career must be given to her father Virendra Kirar who runs a butcher shop in their hometown of Jabalpur. “None of us usually talk about my profession as people look down upon it… But with whatever money I earn, I help my children accomplish their dreams,” Mr. Kirar told india.com. A father of three children, Virendra has made sure to not compromise with the sporting dreams of his kids. With Muskan clearly making a name for herself, her father is also dedicated to send his younger daughter Saloni into archery as well while making his boy, Basu, a karate expert. How often do we overlook the wonderful support system an athlete's family becomes for them. Parents like Virendra Kirar, go through hell to earn a living, only to give up on their own dreams and aspirations and make the world happen for their children. While there is no doubt that Muskan Kirar's relentless pursuit of her dreams got her to where she is right now, we have to acknowledge the sacrifices her father has made to make it a reality.
  11. A couple of days ago, we decided to ask you to choose from a set of 22 cricketers who essentially belonged to different eras of the Indian cricket team. These name ranged from the timeless leg-spinner Anil Kumble to the fearless bowling all rounder Hardik Pandya with the obvious legends of the game like Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli being in the mix as well. We gave two options for every spot in the squad and here are the results: Opener #1: Virender Sehwag vs Rohit Sharma In the 251 ODIs played by Viru, he has batted with an average of 35.06 with a fairly decent strike rate of 104.34 while scoring a total of 8273 runs. When compared to Sehwag, the current opener for the Men in Blue has played in 206 ODIs with an average a lot higher that Sehwag (47.4) but a relatively low strike rate of just 87.95 and 8010 runs till now. © MensXP 65% chose Virender Sehwag over Rohit Sharma Opener #2: Sourav Ganguly vs Gautam Gambhir The decision to choose between Sourav Ganguly and Gautam Gambhir was a lot more difficult than that between Sehwag and Sharma. Albeit, Gambhir played in less than half the ODI games played by Dada, but his ability to stick to the crease and score big runs at the time of the need made him an appropriate alternative option to Ganguly. © MensXP 53% chose Gautam Gambhir over Sourav Ganguly God of Cricket (One Down): Sachin Tendulkar vs Virat Kohli The contest for the position of the third batsman in the lineup had to be an obvious one. Probably the most talented players to choose from, Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli were made to up against each other with an additional honour of being called the 'God of Cricket'. 65% chose Sachin Tendulkar over Virat Kohli © MensXP All Rounder #1: Yuvraj Singh vs Yusuf Pathan Two huge hitters with enough skills as bowlers to fool their opponents to give up their wickets, Yuvraj Singh and Yusuf Pathan were booked for the fourth place on the dream team. © MensXP 89% chose Yuvraj Singh over Yusuf Pathan All Rounder #2: Hardik Pandya vs Irfan Pathan While the spot for the all rounder position between Yuvi and Yusuf were decided keeping in mind their abilities as spinners, this spot would have gone to the pacer from either Hardik Pandya or Irfan Pathan, both of whom were instant run-machines and could have easily hit the deliveries out of the park. © MensXP 55% chose Hardik Pandya over Irfan Pathan Wicket-Keeper: MS Dhoni vs Rahul Dravid If the selection between MS Dhoni and Rahul Dravid had to be done solely on the basis of their batting skills, it would have been a tough one. However, as a wicket-keeper, Ranchi-born MS Dhoni has been on another level throughout his international career and easily took the spot in the dream team. © MensXP 91% chose MS Dhoni over Rahul Dravid Off Spinner: R. Ashwin vs Harbhajan Singh Two of the greatest off spinners of different times, it was only fitting for one to choose between R. Ashwin and Harbhajan Singh for this category. In fact, it has widely been accepted as a fact that Ashwin was the one to take Bhajji's spot in Team India. © MensXP 58% chose R. Ashwin over Harbhajan Singh Leg Spinner: Yuzvendra Chahal vs Anil Kumble Chahal has proven his worth as a leggie in the recent games against Australia and New Zealand but needs to cover a lot of distance in order to take over the man who took all ten wickets in a single innings. © MensXP 69% chose Anil Kumble over Yuzvendra Chahal Fast Bowler #1: Jasprit Bumrah vs Zaheer Khan The choice between Jasprit Bumrah and Zaheer Khan was the most difficult to make according to the stats. While the former is the best bowler in the world in ODI rankings, the latter was known to have got Team India out of trouble on a number of occasions, the 2011 ICC World Cup being one of them. © MensXP 52% chose Jasprit Bumrah over Zaheer Khan Fast Bowler #2: Ashish Nehra vs Mohammed Shami The similarities between Nehra and Shami are uncanny. Both struggled to make big careers in the first stint with the Indian cricket team, suffered horrible form and made a comeback to international cricket after a year to take the entire world by storm. © MensXP 57% chose Ashish Nehra over Mohammed Shami Fast Bowler #3: Ishant Sharma vs Javagal Shrinath While it is a fact that Ishant Sharma is considered to be a 'rhythm' bowler, he is still one of the scariest bowlers to have participated in international cricket from the Indian side. Srinath, on the other hand, has been considered to be one of India's finest fast bowlers who also holds the record of being the first Indian bowler to have bagged 300+ wickets. © MensXP 65% chose Ishant Sharma over Javagal Shrinath Coach: Ravi Shastri vs Gary Kirsten At the end, we also provided you with the option of choosing the ideal coach for your dream team and you could have chosen between the all-time great Gary Kristen and the current coach of the Men in Blue, Ravi Shastri because, why the hell not? © MensXP 61% chose Gary Kirsten over Ravi Shastri Final Dream Team squad: Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Sachin Tendulkar, Yuvraj Singh, Hardik Pandya, MS Dhoni, R. Ashwin, Anil Kumble, Jasprit Bumrah, Ashish Nehra, Ishant Sharma with Coach Gary Kirsten
  12. With the Indian Premier League (IPL) underway in full steam, we are bound to see many new-comers who will make a name for themselves and go on to earn laurels. Established youngsters such as Prithvi Shaw and Shubhman Gill, who are already in the limelight, can be the ones to replace the current Indian squad in the coming two to three years. These are the predicted top five youngsters who own the skills and determination to make it to the Indian team by the next World Cup, that is in 2023. 1. Prithvi Shaw (Delhi Capitals) © TOI The young Mumbai lad, Prithvi Shaw, is all set to make a comeback in the limelight of Indian Premier League under Delhi Capitals. Having a wonderful debut last year in the league, overshadowing Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant and many other stars, Shaw definitely made a name for himself and got retained by the side during the 2019 IPL auction. Giving some prolific performances for the Indian Test side and that too at the age of just 18 is another proof of why he is referred to as the 'Next Master Blaster' of Indian cricket. Despite his worth still to be proven in limited overs cricket, he remains our top contender to make it to the Indian squad in the coming years, especially for ICC World Cup 2023. 2. Shreyas Iyer (Delhi Capitals) © Instagram The captain of the domestic as well as the IPL team of Delhi, Shreyas Iyer, is known to be the man of focus as this IPL season kicks off. Replacing Gautam Gambhir's leadership of Delhi Capitals since last year, Iyer has flowered as a captain and a better player too. From scoring in IPL to playing some great knocks for India A, the 24-year-old Mumbai lad has been in a prime form which if continues, will provide him with the great opportunity to support Virat Kohli by the World Cup 2023. 3. Shubhman Gill (Kolkata Knight Riders) © Instagram Soon after the arrival of Shaw, Shubman Gill became the next big thing to be talked about in the Indian cricket circuit. The 19-year-old batsman from Punjab is completely determined to achieve big things in international cricket and has continued to deliver consistently whenever the opportunity is provided. Ever since his phenomenal performance in the ICC U-19 World Cup 2018 in New Zealand, Shubman has been knocking at the door of the senior team. After being declared as the 'Player of the Tournament' during the2018 U-19 World Cup, he has been hailed by the experts as a player to watch out for. Getting an early entry into the Indian team and sharing the dressing room with big shots like Sunil Narine, Chris Lynn and Andre Russell for the Kolkata Knight Riders, Gill will definitely gain more knowledge of how to become a mature player. In the next few years, we will be seeing some major transformations in the youngster and we hope he goes on to break many records and might get us the 2023 World Cup too. 4. Mayank Agarwal (Kings XI Punjab) © Instagram “International cricket has made me calmer” was a statement given by Mayank Agarwal in an interview to Hindustan Times on Sunday. Having scored 2141 runs for the domestic team of Karnataka in the 2017-18 season and 3472 runs in 70 India-A matches, Agarwal's long wait of getting into the Indian team ended in December last year. Called to Australia as a replacement for Rohit Sharma, the 28-year-old was finally selected for the Boxing Day Test at the MCG, where he responded with a brilliant 76, the highest score by an Indian debutant in Australia, and a 42 in the second innings. Now, making a comeback after his thumb injury for Kings XI Punjab, he seems all set to show the entire world what he is made of. Regardless of all the difficulties and drawbacks that he has had, we would still opt him as our favourite to showcase in World Cup 2023. 5. Mayank Markande (Mumbai Indians) © Instagram 21-year-old Mayank Markande, recently added an achievement to his resume as he received his maiden call-up for the India T20I squad against Australia. Playing for Mumbai Indians and sharing the dressing room with legends like Sachin Tendulkar and Mahela Jayawardene, will surely be helpful to the young leggie. Keeping World Cup 2023 in mind, it will be interesting to see how young Markande fills the shoes of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal.
  13. Following the ODI series against the visiting Australian cricket team comes as a wake-up call for the Board of Cricket Control in India (BCCI). It gives a hint of how dire a situation they are in right now and what kind of competition they are looking at in the ICC World Cup 2019 come June. It was also a reminder of how badly do they still need Mahendra Singh Dhoni to be included in the final roster. Virat Kohli's Commander In Chief © Reuters Yes, Virat Kohli has proven his worth maybe a million times both as a batsman and a leader and his efforts were even recognised by the International Cricket Council (ICC) when they honoured the 30-year-old with three of the most prestigious awards in the game - Men's Cricketer of the Year, Test Cricketer of the Year and ODI Cricketer of the Year while also naming him the captain of the Test and ODI Teams of the Year. However, the man himself has agreed to the fact that he can afford the luxury of fielding at the boundary whenever Dhoni plays from his team. A big fan of the former skipper's ability to lead, Kohli trusts Dhoni's decision-making, especially in crunch time, when the match is on the line. Kohli's frustration and anger in the final overs of Indian bowling in the fifth ODI were enough to understand how gravely he missed having 'Mahi Bhai' by his side. Skills Behind The Stumps © Reuters Rishabh Pant may turn out to be a great substitute for MSD in due course of time and as his childhood coach Tarak Sinha very rightly said that it is unfair to compare a seasoned veteran like Dhoni to a fresher like Pant. Having said that, Pant will get a lot of chances to brush up his skills behind the wicket. For now, at least till the World Cup is over, India can't afford to have the kind of slip-ups the 21-year-old did in the last two ODIs. "Yeh aank band karke rokega. Dusra waala daal sakta hai isko." MS Dhoni from behind the stumps reads Boult, suggests Kuldeep to bowl a googly. Kuldeep obliges and Rohit takes a simple catch at first slip. NZ have been bowled out for 157. #CricketMeriJaan #NZvIND — Mumbai Indians (@mipaltan) January 23, 2019 India also missed how Dhoni reads the game and the batsman's mind and instructs the bowlers accordingly. Success of Indian spinners in the recent past has a lot to do with Dhoni's observations from behind the stumps. On the contrary, his absence from the roster has led to bowlers like Kuldeep Yadav and Kedar Jadhav being thrashed by the batsmen from Down Under. Dependable On The Crease © Reuters His capabilities as a batsman also needs to be taken into account. Albeit his consistency to score big runs and hit long shots has gone down drastically in recent days, but one can still bet on Dhoni's ability to stay on the crease. During the T20I and ODI series in New Zealand and the partnership between him and Jadhav, Dhoni made sure that his side doesn't lose any more wickets while enabling his partner to score big runs on strike. His Locker-Room Aura © Reuters Finally, just the mere presence of a personality like Dhoni in the locker room brings a sense of stability to the team. After the win in the first ODI, Jadhav openly advocated that notion: “Every time I see 'Mahi bhai', it instills confidence in me. That sort of aura is like, that you see him and feel that 'I will deliver today'. He has the knack of getting the best out of every player and that's what everybody loves about him.”
  14. Ever since the deadly Pulwama terror attack by JeM that took the lives of over 40 CRPF soldiers on Valentine's Day last month, the cricketing fraternity in India has had varying opinions about the Board of Cricket Control in India's (BCCI) decision to plea to the other member nations of the International Cricket Council or the ICC to “sever ties with the nation from which terrorism emanates”. In other words, the BCCI wanted to boycott the Pakistan cricket team during the upcoming ICC World Cup 2019 in London and Wales as a means to show their protest against terrorism. I'm boycotting today's #IndvAus ODI to protest the BCCI pestering the ICC to ban Pakistan from the World Cup — Dennis Universe Boss (@DennisCricket_) March 2, 2019 A number of cricketing legends such as Sourav Ganguly and Harbhajan Singh were openly advocating this move while there were others such as Sunil Gavaskar and Indian master blaster Sachin Tendulkar who instead thought that competing and beating Pakistan on the biggest platform of the game would be the most impactful response. However, during the quarterly ICC meet in Dubai, when BCCI CEO Rahul Johri raised the issue to be discussed formally, ICC chairman Shashank Manohar refused to pay heed to the topic saying that the council did not enjoy the authority to 'isolate' Pakistan because it continues to be one of the permanent members of the Council. Amid India-Pak World Cup clash uncertainty, BCCI to discuss ICC's stand on terrorism pic.twitter.com/Gex2n2PS0v — Mukesh Rajpoot (@MukeshR43127690) March 4, 2019 So, the most pertinent question here is, now what?. The decision of forfeiting from the contest against Pakistan now rests completely in the hands of the BCCI. The two cricketing titans are scheduled to go head to head during the point round on 16th June 2019 and even if India decides to not show up for the match and Pakistan wins by default, it will have little to no harm on India's chances at qualifying for the knockout rounds. However, the real issue arises if and when the two rivals meet again during the semis or worse yet, the World Cup final. Is India ready to give up on all those players who only want to lift the trophy and have been dreaming about this day ever since they were kids? Alternatively, will they just look over the agenda and face them? The kind of heat the BCCI will face from those who share Ganguly and Singh's vision, will then be extremely difficult to deal with the Indian Cricket Board. Yes, India has been wronged, time and again, as terrorism has been inflicted on our sovereign land and the perpetrators are all around us, but when politics get involved with sports, the outcome, more often than not, is ugly.
  15. It was a chilly Sunday afternoon in Bengaluru, the roads were empty and the offices closed. If you were new in the area, you'd ask out loud: “What has happened to one of the busiest and happening cities this nation?” The answer: India Vs England. People found themselves stuck in front of their televisions, unable to blink amid one of the most anticipated matchups of the 2011 ICC World Cup, the host, Team India was to go head-to-head against a dominating force in England. Paul Collingwood, skipper Andrew Strauss and the notorious Kevin Peterson had taken the Englishmen to heights never seen before. On the other hand, the Men in Blue looked rock solid with Sachin Tendulkar getting over his woes and thoughts of retiring from the sport, Virender Sehwag finding his mojo and MS Dhoni's outstanding winning streak, while a young Virat Kohli was on the rise. After winning the toss, in a not-so-popular decision, Dhoni decided to bat first. Unable to stick to the crease for long, opener Virender Sehwag was dismissed by Matt Prior off Tim Bresnan. However, it was the second opener and the 'god of cricket' Sachin Tendulkar who showed his true form to us mortals as he took the English bowlers to task. Be it pacer James Anderson or orthodox spinner James Yardy, the master blaster spared no one. In a beautiful innings, Tendulkar scored a toasty 120 to record his 47th ODI ton and the fifth World Cup century - more than any other player in the history of the game. Check out "WC 2011: Sachin Smashes 120 vs Eng" on Hotstar!https://t.co/aU9p38gFoz — Aditya Pandey (@adityapandey148) February 27, 2019 Gautam Gambhir and Yuvraj Singh were excellent sidekicks to Tendulkar's heroic performance as they scored 51 and 58 runs respectively. Team India built a mammoth total of 338 for England to chase. People expected England to swing for the fences from the first ball, but nobody expected captain Andrew Strauss to explode like that. Watching him destroy the spinners made people want to shoot themselves in the foot. Both Piyush Chawla and Harbhajan Singh were visibly frustrated as Strauss sent deliveries to every corner of the M.Chinnaswamy Stadium. After scoring an incredible 158 off 145 balls, the English batsman was finally sent away on an LBW appeal by bowler Zaheer Khan. Despite Strauss' sendoff, England managed to hang on to the ropes as future skipper Ian Bell shouldered the batting order, scoring 69 in 71. Even though the English tailenders were on the crease, the Indian fans were holding their breath as the fate of the match was to be decided on the very last ball. On a perfect delivery by Munaf Patel, Graeme Swann tried to go for the big one, but the ball went straight to the mid-off fielder Yusuf Pathan, who made no mistake in getting hold of it and the batsmen were pinned to taking a single. After 100 overs of action-pact innings spearheaded by Sachin Tendulkar and Andrew Strauss, one of the greatest encounters in the history of ICC World Cup ended on a tie as commentator Ravi Shastri very rightly said: “No team deserved to lose.”. One of the most exciting @cricketworldcup encounters ever? We think so!#OnThisDay in 2011, India and England tied a thriller in Bengaluru! ð®ð³ ð´ó §ó ¢ó ¥ó ®ó §ó ¿ pic.twitter.com/p1ndpaS6el — ICC (@ICC) February 27, 2019
  16. Australian wizard and bowler Glenn McGrath is not too famous for his sledging skills unlike his fellow teammates Ricky Ponting and Andrew Symonds, but he is known for the presence he commanded with his extremely nerve-wracking deliveries that more often than not used to stun the poor batsmen of his time. Having put up some of the most impressive numbers throughout his well-documented career, McGrath boasts of a brilliant 24/8 bowling innings in the first Test match between Australia and the visiting Pakistani team. Although not having enjoyed much success in the Twenty20 International format of the game, 'Nobby' McGrath did have a brilliant 29/4 spell with Delhi Daredevils during the opening season of the Indian Premier League against Rahul Dravid's Royal Challengers Bangalore at Delhi's Feroz Shah Kotla cricket stadium in 2008. However, McGrath's greatest bowling figures were recorded on this very day, exactly 16 years ago in a World Cup group stage match against the Namibian cricket team that had qualified for the World Cup for the very first time and hasn't qualified ever since. 7 overs. 4 maidens. 7 wickets for just 15 runs! ðª#OnThisDay in 2003, @glennmcgrath11 took a stunning 7/15 against Namibia in Potchefstroom - the best bowling figures in @cricketworldcup history! ð pic.twitter.com/U9DtBeThuE — ICC (@ICC) February 27, 2019 In the 2003 match, having won the toss, Australia decided to bat first. With the help of their big hitters like Matthew Hayden and Andrew Symonds, the Aussies were able to build a huge total of 301 runs for the newcomers. When the innings switched, it was showtime for McGrath, the pacer. Striking early in the first over itself, Mcgrath was able to dismiss the Namibian opener AJ Burger and it was a cakewalk for Team Australia ever since as the opposing batting-order spiralled around his bowling. In just seven overs, McGrath was able to bag a total of seven wickets giving out just 15 runs. These stats have been recorded as the best bowling figures in the history of ICC World Cups. Australia went on to win the 2003 World Cup after defeating an All-Star Indian cricket team with players like Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and Virender Sehwag building the core of the roster. McGrath dismissed three of India's batsmen in the final.
  17. For a man who was left to fill in the void left by Antonio Conte's departure, Maurizio Sarri joined Chelsea last July with a promise and the hope for better and more exciting things for the London-based club. While there were some signs of improvement for the Blues, Sarri's brief term now faces the imminent threat of a sad end. The Blues are currently languishing at the sixth spot with just 15 wins in 26 Premier League games so far. And, their recent loss in the Carabao Cup final, which was eventually won by Manchester City on penalties, has further worsened the situation for the former Napoli manager. If bottling an opportunity to win the Carabao Cup affected Sarri's chances of staying in-charge at Stamford Bridge, his farcical incident involving goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga further highlighted the problems for the Chelsea boss. This could very well be Kepa's last game at Chelsea or the start of a legendary keeper if he wins this for Chelsea, although it doesn't look like Sarri would forgive him either way. Childish act to say the least. pic.twitter.com/RBAHx4OeNy — Mootaz Chehade (@MHChehade) February 24, 2019 The extra-time "misunderstanding" between Sarri and Kepa that saw the Chelsea goalkeeper defying his manager to come off the ground, has been the talk of the town. But, labelling it as a mere miscommunication, both Sarri and Kepa have denied any rift between them. However, Chelsea's latest decision to fine the former Athletic Bilbao goalie a week's wages highlights that the incident was much more than just a "misunderstanding" between the duo. © Reuters Earlier, speaking on Sunday's theatrics, Kepa had said: "Although there was a misunderstanding, on reflection, I made a big mistake with how I handled the situation. I wanted to take the time today to apologise fully and in person to the coach, to Willy, my team-mates and to the club. I will learn from this episode and will accept any punishment or discipline the club decides is appropriate". On the other hand, Sarri, too, had dismissed the incident following their loss to City. "Kepa and I have spoken about the incident. It was a good conversation. There was a misunderstanding yesterday but he realises he made a big mistake in the way he reacted," Sarri said. "He has apologised to me, his team-mates and the club. It is up to the club if they want to discipline him according to the club rules, but for me, this matter is now closed," he added.
  18. This season of 'Koffee With Karan' came with its own set of controversies, fodder for gossip and some fresh scoop on some of our favourite stars who made it to the couch and spilt some beans during the rapid-fire rounds of the show. However, the season is now all set to draw the curtains with a grand finale, which will have Kareena Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra brewing some insanely hot coffee for us. The star power next week will go off the charts with Begum of Bollywood #KareenaKapoorKhan and Global Sensation @PriyankaChopra on the Koffee couch. #KoffeeWithKaran #KoffeeFinale pic.twitter.com/pSagOiIcVX — Star World (@StarWorldIndia) February 17, 2019 One of the teasers show us the chemistry between the two hotties, where they speak about how both of them were proposed in Greece by their respective partners and another one shows a sassy PC talking about how she can beat any millennial in the art of how fast can she 'move on' in life. #KareenaKapoorKhan and @PriyankaChopra connect, reminisce and compete on the Koffee couch. #KoffeeWithKaran. #KoffeeFinale pic.twitter.com/T1gPfFczEv — Star World (@StarWorldIndia) February 17, 2019 This is going to be a great finale with some major scoop awaiting us in this episode. The two actresses haven't always been so pally in the past when Bebo commented on PC's accent and PC answered back in her unique style when she graced the couch in one of the previous seasons. The two have worked together in 'Aitraaz' in 2004 and have never really shared the screen after that. View this post on Instagram Girls just wanna have fun!!!! #seasonfinale #koffeewithkaran @priyankachopra #kareenakapoorkhan A post shared by Karan Johar (@karanjohar) on Dec 12, 2018 at 11:13am PST Will someone sign them up together for a movie after this episode airs? We sure hope so!
  19. 14th February 2019 marked one of the darkest days in India's rich history. A cowardly terror strike in the Pulwama district of Awantipora robbed India of more than 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel on the spot, while injuring several others. The tragic incident has since become the topic of great discussion, further fuelling backlash for Pakistan over their alleged role in the deadly strike. In protest against the Pulwama attack, the Indian government withdrew the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status awarded to Pakistan. Upon withdrawal, basic customs duty on all goods exported from Pakistan to India has been raised to 200 per cent with immediate effect. More recently, IMG Reliance, too, pulled out of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) as their main broadcaster, as a mark of respect for the CRPF martyrs. © AP The Cricket Club of India (CCI) also removed the portrait of Pakistan PM Imran Khan from their restaurant wall. While the world was condemning the horrendous act, the Pakistan PM didn't even bother to comment on it which led to the CCI's move. "We condemn the terror activities carried out against our army and CRPF personnel. Though CCI is a sporting association but nation comes first even before sports," CCI Secretary Suresh Bafna had told ANI, while also suggesting to skip the Pakistan clash in the ICC World Cup in June. Amid growing calls for revenge, Indian cricket fans, too, have asked skipper Virat Kohli and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to boycott Pakistan at the World Cup in England and Wales. Expel the country Pakistan from every global arena, at first, expel them from ICC World cup 2019. It's mandatory. Separate them is every stage.ð ð¡ Jai Hind. #ICC we don't want to see Ind vs Pak match WC #ExposeDeshDrohis #PulwamaTerrorAttacks #ICC #BCCI pic.twitter.com/udBFAbUvpc — Shomedeep Mondal (@MondalShomedeep) February 17, 2019 @BCCI @imVkohli @RaviShastriOfc The general emotion of the Indian public is don't play Pakistan in world cup as well, let ICC award the 2 points to Pakistan. I am sure you all can do ur bit for our Marty's wth this Gesture!! Jai Ho!!! — Amit Manohar Narang (@amit0283) February 17, 2019 Let's boycott Pakistan in @ICC Cricket World Cup! Let's stand together against the terrorism they are sponsoring. @BCCI @CricketAus @OfficialCSA @OfficialSLC @cricketworldcup #BoycottPakistan — Ishaan Datta (@datta_ishaan) February 16, 2019 As a mark of respect for our armed forces Indian cricket team should not play cricket with Pakistan in June world cup match — Vinod Punwani (@vpunwani56) February 17, 2019 If you have the spine @BCCI then give a strong message to @ICC Either India will be part of World Cup 2019 or Pakistan. You have enough funds to pull this off Will you do it @msdhoni @imVkohli — #RenukaJain, FCA ð®ð³ (@RenukaJain6) February 15, 2019 #boycottindvspakworldcupmatch @BCCI & @imVkohli please boycott Ind Vs Pak match in world cup 2019. @imVkohli 2 point bhikh me de do pak walo ko. We do not want to see Indian team with Atankistan on the same field. Proud to be an indian. #PulwamaAttack — Keshav Pandey (@Pandey_k100) February 17, 2019 ICC gets most profit from IND vs PAK matches. Boycott this event they will sure show Pakistan its place — Sumit gupta (@Virus0uploading) February 18, 2019 Dear @BCCI there is a IND vs PAK WC fixture on 16/6/19 so please make sure this match is cancelled otherwise we will have to boycott the @cricketworldcup #Pulwama #PulwamaAttack #PulwamaTerrorAttack — Dr. Hanni Billu (@SavageRaptor7) February 15, 2019
  20. Cricket, as a game, has evolved a lot over the period of time. Starting with sticking to the basics of both bowling and batting, to playing unconventional shots and differentiating the bowling speeds and styles, cricket is on a constant path of evolution. It is quite a sight indeed to witness players like David Warner and Kevin Pietersen, who can bat both right and left-handed. And to support that, a recent example could be of Warner, who is a conventional left-handed batsman, but batted right-handed for a few balls while playing Chris Gayle in the Bangladesh Premier League. © BCCI But now it looks like the switching part is not just restricted to batting. The bowling sensation of Vidarbha, Akshay Karnewar, showed his exemplary skills in the Irani trophy match, where he surprised both Umpire Nandan and the batsman, Ishan Kishan when he informed the umpire to bowl right handed off-spin. Already bagging the wicket of Shreyas Iyer by his conventional left-arm off-spin, Karnewar decided to welcome Kishan with a surprise by bowling a right-handed off-spin. However, he didn't stick to this for long and resumed bowling right-handed as both Kishan and Hanuma Vihari were unaffected by the change. Turns out this was not the first time the Satara lad had done something like this. Right from his junior cricket days, he has turned heads with his ability to bowl both left-arm spin and right-arm off-spin. Once, he even surprised 'The Hitman' Rohit Sharma, when both of them played for Indian Oil. Sharma even called Karnewar to the Indian team's net practice many years ago, where he managed to stun Sachin Tendulkar. © BCCI It all started in Pandharkawda in Maharashtra's Yavatmal district, where the 26-year-old was born to a bus driver. Karnewar initially started to bowl off-spin, but his coach Balu Naoghare suggested he give left-arm spin a try as well. “I was a right-arm off-spinner but used to throw with my left hand. One day, my coach asked if I could bowl left-arm spin. Initially, I struggled but after two years I became a left-arm spinner,” he recalls. Karnewar went on to represent Vidarbha as a left-arm spinner. Calling this skill his secret weapon, the ambidextrous bowler said that he uses this skill only when his team requires it the most. “I have bowled before too but this was probably the first time it came on television. Last year, I bowled during the one-dayers (Vijay Hazare Trophy) and got wickets from off-spin. Today, since Ishan Kishan is a left-hander and he likes to go after spinners, my captain Faiz Fazal said I should try off-spin. So I tried. When Hanuma Vihari came I bowled left-arm spin,” Karnewar told The Indian Express. With Karnewar starting a new trend, let's hope many other cricketers also show up with the ability to bowl from both hands.
  21. Going into the 2019 Asian Cup, the Japanese football team was looked upon as one of the top contenders for the coveted title. They began their campaign with convincing wins over Turkmenistan, Oman and Uzbekistan in the Group Stage before overcoming a resilient Saudi Arabia side in the Round of 16. A 1-0 victory over Vietnam in the quarters saw them setting a date a semifinals date with Iran who were eventually steamrolled 0-3 by the 'Samurai Blue'. A prolific run in the tournament finally placed them in the all-important final where they found dark horse Qatar standing in their way of the Asian Cup title. AP But, it was Qatar whose spirited run found a fairy-tale ending. Thanks to goals from Almoez Ali, Abdulaziz Hatem and Akram Afif, Qatar lifted their maiden Asian Cup trophy and made their intentions clear ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup which will be hosted by them. Japan's Takumi Minamino scored a goal for his side, but couldn't save the four-time Asian Cup champions from defeat in the final. For a team that had come agonisingly close to winning the title, Japanese football team and their fans surely suffered a heartbreak following their loss. Japan leave the #AsianCup2019 dressing room spotless with thank you message in English, Arabic and Japanese! ð pic.twitter.com/RfiVyoMumd — #AsianCup2019 (@afcasiancup) February 2, 2019 While they endured defeat on the football field, the Japanese football team was surely a winner for their heartfelt gesture off it. After their loss, the Japanese squad showed their class by cleaning up their dressing room. The 2019 Asian Cup runners-up left the floor spotless and wrote a 'Thank You' note in English, Arabic and Japanese language as they expressed their gratitude to the organisers of the tournament. Japan left their changing room spotless after they lost 3-2 to Belgium last night. They then left a note in Russian saying 'Thank you' Pure class. pic.twitter.com/7baTFgDfRO — FootballFunnys (@FootballFunnnys) July 3, 2018 This isn't the first time when Japan has floored everyone with their touching gesture. During the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, the Japanese brigade had also cleaned up their dressing room and left a 'Thank You' note following their Round of 16 exit at the hands of Belgium - proving why they are football's classiest nation. Owing to their latest antics, there was no surprise to see football fans across the globe showering praise on the Maya Yoshida-led side for setting an example in the sport. I love these Japanese players! ðð¼ Even the u16 players when they played here in Malaysia , they applaud us Malaysian fans and bow at us after the match. Top class manners. Respect ð¯ð¯ — Abu Colgate (@Harizzu) February 2, 2019 Japanese players and fans are well behaved and respected all around the world for their good gesture — rakeshrussell (@rakeshrussell52) February 2, 2019 That is very nice of Japanð They have really shown they are a great nation ðâ½ð Better luck next time in their tournamentð#AsianCup2019 — Jafarnumbers (@jafarnumbers) February 2, 2019 Respect and love Japanese Players so muchðð¯ðµð¯ðµð¯ðµ — Jolie Nguyen (@JolieNg10519393) February 2, 2019 Great sportsmanship, class and respect. Japan leading by example despite losing the final. ðð¼ — TheUnitedPage (@TheUnitedPage) February 2, 2019 Every country needs to learn from them. Similar gesture during WC tooððð¤ð¤ — sudha HJ (@shjug) February 2, 2019 Thank you, Japan, for your respectful attitude and good manners! You are also winners in that respect. — Magda (@almarzoukstore) February 2, 2019 #Japan is one of the few countries who always inspire me with their tidiness and punctuality — Ù. Ø­ÙÙد حس٠اÙشح٠(@HumaidHasan) February 2, 2019
  22. With the upcoming 2019 ICC World Cup, here is a look at what the members of the 2011 World Cup winning Indian cricket team are up to these days. Virender Sehwag © Reuters Although Sehwag did not have the perfect World Cup final as he was dismissed on the second delivery for a duck against Sri Lanka, he did have a great run during the 2011 World Cup tournament itself, which began with a massive 175-run innings against Bangladesh in the first match. After officially retiring from all formats of the game in 2015, Viru provides his expertise on various pre and post match analytical shows. Sehwag is a proud owner of Sehwag International School that has been producing some of the most talented players from the younger lot. He can also be seen on social media every now and then, roasting others and sometimes, even himself. Sachin Tendulkar © Reuters In his final days as one of the Men in Blue, the 2011 World Cup can probably be considered as the endgame for the master blaster. Having an above average run, Tendulkar was more or less consistent during the Group matches and also the Knockout rounds. Scoring 120 against England in the second match and 53 against Australia in the quarter finals, Tendulkar made it clear to the world that he's still got it. After lifting the cup during the victory round with the Wankhede Stadium chanting his name, Tendulkar retired from ODIs in 2012 after a disappointing series against England. What is remarkable about Tendulkar's post-retirement life is how much he has done to promote sports other than cricket. Owner of the Indian Super League franchise Kerala Blasters and Premier Badminton League franchise Bengaluru Blasters, Tendulkar is also the UNICEF ambassador for Hygiene and Sanitation and also launched a sports management company called STD in 2016. Gautam Gambhir © Reuters Probably the most consistent batsman throughout the 2011 World Cup, Gautam Gambhir played a crucial role in India successfully chasing Sri Lanka's respectable score of 274 in the final. Although Gambhir got bowled off Thisara Perera's delivery with 50 odd runs still left to be made, his heroic innings helped MS Dhoni reach the target a lot more easily. After winning the 2011 World Cup, Gambhir struggled to find his form and went off the radar for quite some time. He began to play domestic cricket and was even called to play a Test series against New Zealand in 2016. However, Gambhir announced his retirement ahead of his final match for team Delhi in the 2018 Ranji Trophy season, in which he also scored a century on 6th December 2018. Virat Kohli © Reuters Scoring a decent 35 in the final against Sri Lanka, Kohli was just 22 years old when India lifted the Cup. Although he became a familiar face for the Indian audience, not a lot was expected out of the future captain as players like Sehwag and Tendulkar were there. Kohli himself has expressed a lack of emotions after the win because he didn't feel like he earned it. A lot has changed in eight years. Not only has the 22-year-old outspoken boy evolved into a wise and calm (relatively) captain, he has also spearheaded the team to great heights, winning a Test series in Australia, for instance, which none of his predecessors were able to achieve. With the 2019 World Cup approaching, Kohli looks focused and will surely have strong emotions towards whatever the Indian Cricket Team has in store for themselves in the future. MS Dhoni © Reuters A captain, a wicketkeeper and a batsman, Mahendra Singh Dhoni aced in every category during the 2011 World Cup. A massive but more importantly, clutch innings put out by the middle-order hitter was a great testament of exactly how much we will miss Mahi when he finally decides to retire (hopefully after another World Cup). Named the Man of the Match in the final, Dhoni won the Cup for Team India in wonderful fashion with a six. Eight years later, despite many stints of bad form, Dhoni continues to be the 'finisher of games' for the Indian side. After winning the ODI series in Australia while acting as the backbone of the squad, Dhoni has proved his critics wrong once again and is making a great case for another hand at the upcoming World Cup. Yuvraj Singh © Reuters Other than getting out on the first ball against Pakistan in the semi final, Yuvraj Singh was steady as a rock for the Men in Blue for the entire tournament. His back-to-back 50s against England and Ireland in the initial rounds and a masterful 113 against the Windies in the 42nd Match were some of the best innings played during that year's World Cup. Soon after winning the World Cup, Singh was diagnosed with a rare cancer which spread into his lungs but after months of therapy and diet-control, Yuvi was able to make a comeback to cricket. Although, he has not yet announced his retirement, his absence from the roster is a clear indication of the inevitable. His Yuvraj Singh Foundation and cancer organisation, YouWeCan is focused on helping diagnosed patients get treatment and create awareness against the stigma attached to cancer. Suresh Raina © Reuters To be completely honest, Suresh Raina did not contribute a lot towards India's rise throughout the tournament and thanks to Dhoni's game-winning innings, did not get to bat in the final too. His best innings came in the semi final during which the batsman scored 36 runs. After being an integral part of Team India for years to come after the 2011 victory, Raina hit a slump in 2016 and has been on and off the team ever since. Having played his last ODI and T20I match for the national team back in July'18 against England, Raina is trying to make a comeback but it may be too late for the senior middle-order batsman to return. Zaheer Khan © Reuters In a time when Indian bowling was considered to be subpar, it was Zaheer Khan who led the attack when his side was fielding. Albeit, Khan proved to be expensive in the final three overs against the Lankans in the final, his consistency and deliverance throughout the tournament can not be questioned. Case in point, Khan's three-wicket attack against England in what was considered to be the toughest match throughout the tournament for India. After retiring from international and domestic cricket in 2015, 'Zak' has entered the fitness industry with his brainchild venture ProSport Fitness. Khan now has two fitness centres in Mumbai and is looking to expand to other cities as well. He also has a couple of restaurants and a sports lounge in Pune. S Sreesanth © Reuters 27 years old at the time, S Sreesanth was fierce with the ball. However, the World Cup proved to be a disappointment for the pacer who gave up 52 runs in just 8 overs in the final match against Sri Lanka. Sreesanth was a surprise pick for the playing 11 after Ashish Nehra was out due to an injury. His journey after winning the Cup was full of unfortunate milestones as two years later, the Kerala-born was caught in the infamous spot-fixing scandal during the 2013 IPL scandal and was sentenced a lifetime ban from playing cricket. Recently, Sreesanth became the 2018 season's runners-up of the reality show, Bigg Boss. Sreesanth has appealed to the judiciary, time and again to lift the ban on his cricketing career but it hasn't led to anything fruitful. Harbhajan Singh © Reuters Cricket is not all about aggressive bowling and trying to take wickets, it is also about preventing to concede runs and work towards forcing the opponent to put up the smallest total that they can. During the 2011 World Cup, Bhajji, who not only was the second highest wicket taker for the Indian side, he also had one of the best economy rate amongst the Men in Blue. Not having officially retired from the international scenario, Singh has no plans of playing international or first class cricket anymore. Having said that, he continues to play for Chennai Super Kings in the IPL. Munaf Patel © Reuters Munaf Patel's impressive performance in the ODI series in Sri Lanka in 2010 got him a spot in the 2011 World Cup squad as Parveen Kumar and Ashish Nehra were out due to injury. While a lot of people belief Patel's role in the victory wasn't very eventful, the more technically sound fans call him the unsung hero. The then-bowling coach, Eric Simmons commends Patel's high degree of skills which covered up the lack of pace. Unfortunately for Patel, once the World Cup was over, his days with the Indian national team were numbered. Playing his last ODI against England in September 2011, Patel was last seen on the field, playing in the 2017 IPL for the Gujarat Lions. He has also expressed the desire to begin a career as a coach.
  23. MS Dhoni's recent success has been nothing short of an inspirational narrative which spoke of the return of the one who's been called a 'has been' for a really long time now. His ability to be at an elite level both behind and in front of the stumps as a wicketkeeper and a batsman is worth all the compliments that the former Indian captain is getting right now. While Dhoni made headlines after a consistent and grand performance during the ODI series in Australia which eventually won him the Man of the Series award for two game-winning innings in the second and third games in Adelaide and Melbourne respectively, he also caught the attention of probably the last person you could think about in the sports and entertainment industry. After the ODI series win against Australia, ICC Cricket World Cup's official twitter handle paid their respects to the Indian veteran by tweeting this out: Eat. Sleep. Finish games. Repeat. Life as @msdhoni. ð pic.twitter.com/5GXrzH0dtR — Cricket World Cup (@cricketworldcup) January 18, 2019 The tweet read: “Eat, Sleep, Finish games, Repeat. Life as @msdhoni.” referring to Dhoni's iconic ability to finish games for the Indian cricket team by hitting the ball for a six of a four. Having said that, there is someone else who has the similar ability to end matches with literally a huge blow to their opponents, WWE superstar Brock Lesnar. Also known as 'The Beast Incarnate', Lesnar is famous for some of the greatest bouts in the WWE like the Wrestlemania XXX match against The Undertaker, in which he finally broke The Deadman's streak. As one of the most dominating forces of wrestling, Lesnar lives by a single rule: “Eat, Sleep, Conquer, Repeat”. This phrase was the brainchild of Lesnar's manager and spokesperson, Paul Heyman, who does his job exceptionally well in keeping Lesnar relevant even when he is not competing. EAT SLEEP CONQUER REPEAT! @BrockLesnar @WWE @WWEUniverse No apologies offered! pic.twitter.com/59WzNL59DB — Paul Heyman (@HeymanHustle) January 11, 2014 So, when the Cricket World Cup posted the tweet about Dhoni, Heyman was quick to respond with this cheeky message of his own: My most (in)sincere compliments to @cricketworldcup for promoting the amazing @msdhoni by paraphrasing my mantra for @WWE #UniversalChampion @BrockLesnar #EatSleepConquerRepeat. Our royalties may be paid in cash, check, stock or cryptocurrency. https://t.co/sGtIALzso1 — Paul Heyman (@HeymanHustle) January 18, 2019 While paying his respects to the Indian batsman, Heyman threw a jab at the Twitter account of Cricket World Cup saying that the they paraphrased his 'mantra' to promote Dhoni, while jokingly mentioning that he would take royalty in cash, cheque, stock or even cryptocurrency. Obviously a light-hearted prank, Heyman's tweet is just an example of his ability to create buzz of out thin air. He has been one of the most entertaining performers of the WWE without even being a wrestler and has gained a fan-following from all over the world, even Indians who seemed to be pleasantly stung by Heyman's reply: Please become MSD's advocate — Shreyas Gurudatt (@SpyderSG209) January 18, 2019 Since u have used d word" amazing" for Dhoni...We can shower only "love" for u. No cash,cheque or crypto. — sanjay kis prasad (@theskpd) January 19, 2019 @KarthikRaju4 look at this ! Imagine msd being introduced by Heyman ! ðâ¤ï¸â¤ï¸â¤ï¸ — lalit_pnl (@lalitp_3) January 19, 2019 Wow. Here is a mashup I never thought would happen @Rama21989 — Rakshit Chopra (@rakshit_chopra) January 18, 2019 Thank you paul heyman for applausing indias greatest finisher ever. Dhoni the GOD OF FINISHER. — chandra sekhar (@chandra53646645) January 20, 2019
  24. It sure is a scary thought, but it's inevitable. Most of our favourite cricketers are going to hang their boots one day and we will watch them go with a heavy heart. Here below we discuss 5 legendary cricketers who could possibly retire after the 2019 ICC World Cup: 1. MS Dhoni © Reuters A lot has been said about the decision to include Mahendra Singh Dhoni in the Indian squad for the World Cup. With Rishabh Pant showing his worth both as a batsman and a wicket-keeper during the Border-Gavaskar Test series in Australia, the idea of Dhoni playing in the biggest tournament this year has been challenged by many. But his performance in the ODI series against the Aussies has cleared all doubts that he's not only still got it but continues to be one of the elite batsmen out there. The batsman has shown interest in playing the 2019 World Cup ever since he gave up his captaincy. "It's been a long cherished dream of Dhoni - since he gave up the captaincy in white ball cricket - to play in the World Cup next year where he would be more as a mentor to the team,” Dhoni's Manager, Arun Pandey told Gulf News in 2018. He's had a wonderful career ever since he became a part of Team India. Probably the most loved captain ever, he is also the most accomplished. The best way to say goodbye to the sport for Dhoni would be to play this World Cup, or better yet, win it. A final token of love for the country, one final medal on his wall. 2. Chris Gayle © Reuters Considered to be on a declining career roller-coaster, this may be Chris Gayle's last big show as an active batsman for the West Indies. 2018 was probably one of the worst years for the big hitter who was absent from the Windies squad for long. Despite that, Windies chief selector, Courtney Browne is certain that Gayle will play a crucial role during the team's World Cup run. A part of his national team for four World Cups, Gayle is known for his big innings and making unbelievable records including a massive 215 double century against Zimbabwe during the 2015 World Cup With injuries keeping the former captain away from the pitch for long, the World Cup would be the perfect opportunity for the fans to witness one last 'Gayle Storm'. 3. Ross Taylor © Reuters Making his ODI debut all the way back in 2006, this Kiwi is still playing like a 20-year-old fresher with strong legs and back to support his game. In what has turned out to be a great 2018 for the former New Zealand captain, Taylor scored 639 runs in just 11 ODIs which included two centuries and four half-centuries. "It's a World Cup year, and I've put a big focus on the tournament and on one-day cricket," Taylor said in a post-match press event after the second one-day international against Sri Lanka on Saturday, 5 January. "There are still a few things I want to work on, but I can hopefully continue the form over the summer." Despite the recent run of success Taylor is enjoying, his inconsistency along with his age are hinting his separation from the game. Under the leadership of Kane Williamson and Taylor, New Zealand are looking like real title contenders. 4. Dale Steyn © Reuters The South African pacer was last seen playing in the 50 over format all the way back in 2016 when they were hosting Australia for a five-game series which the Proteas won with a 5-0 clean sweep. "It's so bloody long ago I can't even remember it," Dale Steyn said in an interview with ICC. "What I do remember is that we won 5-0. And it's a team game. And that's all that matters." Since then, Steyn, who's distanced himself from ODIs, has often shown interest in participating in the 2019 World Cup and has also mentioned how he wants his country to lift the championship a lot more. Finding his fitness once more, the bowler played a big role in the Hampshire County Cricket Club England and Wales' domestic first-class cricket circuit and can capitalise it on it during the World Cup in June. 5. Hashim Amla © Reuters Known for his quiet demeanour and a strong presence on the pitch, South African cricketer and Dale Steyn's former teammate, Hashim Amla as a performer, is deteriorating with every single day. Once a proud opener for the Proteas with a powerful and prestigious career of his glory days behind him, the 36-year-old is currently struggling with his pace in all formats of the game. Although the team has other options should Amla not get his touch back, there is still a lot of time for 'the mighty Hash' to get there. What is probably a bit more worrying is his bad luck dealing with injuries. If this is going to be Amla's big exit from the cricketing world, he will most certainly try his best to perform with how much ever fuel he has left in his tank.
  25. Things are not looking too good for 21-year-old Rishabh Pant when it comes to getting selected for the Indian cricket squad for the upcoming 2019 ICC World Cup. Especially now that both MS Dhoni and Dinesh Karthik seem to have found their form during the three-game ODI series between India and Australia. Pant, who has been dropped for the ODI and Twenty20 series against Australia and New Zealand, is nonetheless selected to be a part of Team India A for a five-game series against the England Lions starting January 23 in Thiruvananthapuram. Post the new found success behind Dhoni and Karthik's exceptional performance during the second ODI victory at the Adelaide Oval, both the wicket-keepers are getting a lot of support from cricket pundits from all over the world. Conversely, India's legendary batsman, Sachin Tendulkar has finally joined the discussion about Pant's chances of being selected for the World Cup team. Tendulkar has hinted that including the youngster in the team would be extremely difficult, given the fact that there are already two other keeper-batsmen in the team who have a lot more experience than the Delhiite. "It's a nice thought (to have Pant in) but we have already got Dhoni and Karthik playing as a batter, we have two wicket-keepers... They have had a crucial partnership which won us the match (2nd ODI vs Australia)," Tendulkar said on his mobile app 100MB. "So if you are looking to have Pant in the team that means you have to remove a proper batter or one bowler, and I don't think we can afford to remove a bowler,” he added. Having said that, Tendulkar also said that if the selectors do find a way to bring in Pant as a replacement for a pure batsman who doesn't bowl, then there should not be a problem. Although Indian Head coach Ravi Shastri and chief selector MSK Prasad have ensured that Pant will be seriously considered for a spot in the 2019 World Cup roster, it seems that Dhoni and Karthik will take this one away from him.
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