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ZODIAC

Found 32 results

  1. Often labelled as the mother of all battles, the Indian cricket team's much-anticipated clash against Pakistan at the ongoing ICC World Cup on 16th June failed to live up to the billing. The contest, that pitted arch-rivals India and Pakistan against each other, turned out to be a one-sided affair as Virat Kohli-led brigade proved too good for their opponents at Old Trafford. While Rohit Sharma's blistering knock of 140 runs set the tone for India's mammoth total of 336 runs, a collective effort by their bowling unit, thoroughly complimented by some mediocre batting from Pakistani batsmen, powered Kohli & co to a 89-run triumph via Duckworth-Lewis method (D/L). A splendid 140 from Rohit Sharma, which came off just 113 balls, guided India to their seventh straight victory over Pakistan in World Cup cricket ð¥ The Hit-Man is our @Oppo Shotmaker for India v Pakistan. pic.twitter.com/CIDOxS7bo3 — ICC (@ICC) June 17, 2019 On one hand, where the Pakistani fans were left red-faced in the wake of their team's dismal show, the mood on the other side of the border was celebratory. From Bollywood celebrities, prominent politicians to crazed fans, everyone lauded the clinical show produced by the Indian cricket team which has now extended their unbeaten run to four games in the ongoing World Cup. Amongst the innumerable messages and celebratory videos, there's one that clearly stands out and sums up the mood of Indian fans. While Kohli & Co were busy cutting Pakistan a sorry figure on the field, Rishabh Pant and Ziva Dhoni were having a gala time in the stands. View this post on Instagram Partners in crime ð @ziva_singh_dhoni A post shared by Rishabh Pant (@rishabpant) on Jun 16, 2019 at 11:42am PDT Pant, who recently reached England as a backup following Shikhar Dhawan thumb injury, shared a video on Instagram where he was seen rooting for Team India alongside MS Dhoni's adorable daughter. Their cute video was liked and cherished by Indian cricket fans who also expressed their desire to see Pant donning Indian colours at the World Cup soon.
  2. Going into the ICC World Cup, the Indian cricket team was tipped as one of the favourites to lift the coveted trophy in England & Wales this year. Staying true to their reputation, Team India made their intentions pretty clear by defeating the likes of South Africa and Australia to post consecutive wins in the ongoing tournament. Apart from their victories, it's the domination of the Indian team in almost all facets of the game that has allowed them to establish themselves as serious contenders this year - something that was validated by Michael Vaughan after their triumph over Australia. But, just when you thought all was going well, the 'Men in Blue' were dealt a major blow after the disclosure of Shikhar Dhawan's injury. The Indian opener, who rediscovered his form with a brilliant knock of 117 runs against Australia, has been ruled out for about two to three weeks owing to an alleged hairline fracture on his left thumb. The left-hander was struck on his left thumb by a Nathan Coulter-Nile's bouncer during India's 36-run win over Australia on 9th June. © Reuters The news has surely got the Indian team in a spot of bother. For a team that relies heavily on their top three, India will undeniably miss Dhawan at the top especially after his return to form following some nervy starts earlier. But, that's not the only thing that has got the Indian team management and selectors in a fix. Dhawan's absence is bound to disrupt Team India's batting line-up and team balance. His injury means that India will now have to find someone to replace him at the top while ensuring the middle-order stays intact. And, as the Indian selectors and team management consider viable options, the chorus on social media seems to be in support of Rishabh Pant. The Delhi batsman has been one of the finds for India in the past few months. His breathtaking strokeplay and aggressive batting style is not only capable of taking on the best bowling attacks, but also looks pleasing to the eye - something that has made him a fan-favourite in a short period of time. © Reuters But, despite his heroics on overseas tours and the IPL earlier this year, Pant was overlooked for Team India's 15-man squad for the ICC World Cup - something that caused quite an uproar on the social media. Two matches into the World Cup, Dhawan's injury has got the Indian selectors facing a similar situation where the fans are gearing up to slam them if they overlook Pant again. But, is he worth it? Going by his form and ability with the willow, any team would be lucky to have a batsman as capable as Pant in their batting line-up. But, the current situation is not about Pant or his batting capabilities, it's about Team India and maintaining its balance. Don't agree? Allow us to help you understand. With Dhawan leaving a void at the top, the Indian team management is likely to push KL Rahul to the opening slot alongside Rohit Sharma - an obvious choice considering he's well acclimatised to the conditions. Now, Rahul's ascension in the line-up leaves the no. 4 slot vacant which holds key to Indian batting order's stability. © Reuters Now, Pant cannot just walk into the Indian team and open the innings. That's just too big a risk in a tournament of World Cup's stature. He can surely be vital for the middle-order, but being one-dimensional is not going to help his cause. With MS Dhoni being an immovable object in the wicket-keeping role, Pant cannot be included just for his batting skills. If you take a look at India's middle-order, the likes of Kedar Jadhav and Hardik Pandya are capable of contributing with both bat and ball. Thus, when it comes to finding a potential replacement following Dhawan's injury, Vijay Shankar, and not Pant, appears to be the perfect fit in relation to the team balance. Shankar is a versatile batsman who is capable of batting anywhere in the middle. He is more than capable of holding the fort at one end in case of a collapse, and his wide array of strokes adequately allows him to accelerate the innings at the death overs. And, that's not all. Shankar's inclusion in the Indian team will not only bolster their batting, but will also add teeth to their bowling line-up - something that has left Pant in the shadows lately. In case of a bad day for frontline bowlers, Shankar can ease the pressure off by bowling in some of his medium-paced deliveries and giving his captain an extra option with the ball. In all fairness, Pant is a cricketer Team India can surely use, but cannot afford owing to the team balance. And, right now, given the situation, India needs Shankar who doesn't just fit the bill, but can prove to be crucial in India's dreams of clinching their third World Cup title this year.
  3. For a team that was labelled as one of the top contenders in the tournament, the Indian cricket team has undoubtedly lived up to the billing on the back of clinical performances in their two matches so far at the ICC World Cup. The 'Men in Blue' began their campaign with a six-wicket triumph over South Africa, and then a 36-run victory over Australia highlighted their intent in the coveted tournament. If their consecutive victories weren't enough, the fact that Team India almost ticked all the boxes further bolstered their reputation as a champion side. Whether it was their spin bowling duo of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav or the seam bowling partners Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, India's bowling unit has managed to prove their mettle in the recent matches. © Reuters Similarly, in the batting department, the likes of Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan getting their respective hundreds in two matches and KL Rahul consolidating his position at the much-debated no. 4 slot, has made the Indian team a force to be reckoned with. But, cricket is a sport where one cannot take anything for granted - something that India and their fans realised recently. In what appears to be a major blow, Dhawan, who rediscovered his form with a 117-run knock against Australia, has been ruled out for about two to three weeks with an alleged hairline fracture on his left thumb. The Indian opener was hit by Nathan Coulter-Nile's bouncer during the clash against Australia. While the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is yet to announce his replacement, the news of Dhawan's injury comes as a major let down for the Indian fans who expressed their views on the social media. While some wished the left-handed batsman a speedy recovery, others deemed Rishabh Pant as his ideal replacement. With Shikhar Dhawan injured, bring in Rishabh Pant. Making him open with Rohit Sharma, with a licence to go beserk!#CWC19 #CWC2019 — Mohandas Menon (@mohanstatsman) June 11, 2019 I want Rishabh pant in team — •RIYA•â¨ðð» (@chatty_gurl_) June 11, 2019 Wtf. Just Opened Twitter and saw Shikhar ruled out of the World Cup. ð­ It's a huge blow for India. I think they should call Rishabh Pant to play at 4 and let KL Rahul open. — Sharique ð (@ShariqueAghaz) June 11, 2019 We can always open with Rahul and call Rishabh Pant to bat at number 4. — Sanchit Gupta (@SanchitGupta8) June 11, 2019 Well Rishabh pant might get a chance — Dhaval prajapati (@Dhavalfreeman25) June 11, 2019 Rishabh pant be like...@BCCI ð pic.twitter.com/awmRdtuTYa — Ayan (@AyanViratians) June 11, 2019 Rishabh Pant right now.. #CWC19 pic.twitter.com/e3mruSM0gP — Loveyouall_007 (@loveyouall_007) June 11, 2019 Rishabh pant have most probable chances because we don't have lefty's in lineup — Surya (@Surya__Speaks) June 11, 2019
  4. “IPL performance will not dictate the selection process for the upcoming ICC World Cup,” said the Board of Control for Cricket in India about a month before the team was supposed to be finally announced and we have got to give it to them that despite some pretty bombastic innings played by a lot of Indian cricketers during the month and a half long tournament, the selectors have stuck to their performances only in the ODI format of the game. Having said that, a lot of people were already sceptical about the fact that the Roorkee-born Rishabh Pant was dropped from the list of Top 15 Men in Blue who will go on to represent the nation in the tournament and after his heroic innings in partnership with the Delhi Capitals opener, Prithvi Shaw against Steve Smith's Rajasthan Royals, his fans had an excuse to get on BCCI's tail. Backed by the stability provided by the 19-year-old Shaw on the other side of the batting pitch Pant was given the green light to go all out and hit big shots for his side. Scoring 78 off 36 deliveries, the former wicket-keeper of the Indian cricket team put the rest of the roster on his shoulders and led them to a massive win, showing courage, leadership and the ability to perform under pressure. Boundaries, flair and power-hitting. @RishabPant777 was at his best in #RRvDC! ðª Dilliwalon, which emoji would you use to describe this match-winning knock?#ThisIsNewDelhi #DelhiCapitals pic.twitter.com/Gb7W2fsHKX — Delhi Capitals (@DelhiCapitals) April 23, 2019 Understanding his state of mind after being dropped from the main roster just a few days before the World Cup was to begin, the Capitals' head coach Ricky Ponting and special advisor, Sourav Ganguly really wanted the batsman to have himself a game like this in order to overcome the rejection and focus on the future. Rishabh pant â¦@RishabPant777â© â¦@ParthJindal11â© u deserve this .. u r wow pic.twitter.com/tTYgWrZZpH — Sourav Ganguly (@SGanguly99) April 22, 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," Ponting had said earlier this week when he touched upon the topic of Pant's fate with regards to the 2019 World Cup. And now that the 21-year-old had “one of those games”, his fans backed him up and trolled the team selectors at BCCI for letting him go: Woh World Cup ki team announce hoyeli ho, toh usme aur ek player add kar sakte hai kya?? @RishabPant777 #PantsOnFire #RRvDC #IPL2019 #RishabhPant Pant pic.twitter.com/RTPruaCWBd — North Stand Gang - Wankhede (@NorthStandGang) April 22, 2019 BCCI thinking why they didn't include Pant in World Cup squad.#RRvDC pic.twitter.com/frl2gW3ZNL — Kaushik (@Sarcasmm007) April 22, 2019 Rishabh Pant to BCCI selectors after today's innings. #RRvDC pic.twitter.com/qAlPxYYTb9 — Savage ð®ð³ (@CutestFunniest) April 22, 2019 #RRvDC Pant to BCCI for not picking him in world cup squad - pic.twitter.com/qQRAW1I2tl — RAHUL TYAGIð®ð³ð± (@rahulastic) April 22, 2019 Rishabh Pant to BCCI selector #RRvDC pic.twitter.com/IbTh6Xi5nV — prayag sonar (@prayag_sonar) April 22, 2019 My rxn for Indian world cup selector after seeing pant batting #RRvDC pic.twitter.com/g9vT9oGVvW — Chowkidar Mukesh Amrito (@imkamrito) April 22, 2019 RISHABH PANT to the WC Team Selector: ð¥#IPL2019 #RRvDC pic.twitter.com/ps4uXLV3dC — Anupam ð (@Anupam183) April 22, 2019 Rishabh Pant to BCCI. #RRvDC pic.twitter.com/8HJnag906s — Bollywood Gandu (@BollywoodGandu) April 22, 2019 Rishabh Pant to @BCCI @rajasthanroyals #RRvDC pic.twitter.com/m94oOTArX3 — Nayan (@nayan2chaudhari) April 22, 2019 This Rishabh Pant innings was dedicated to BCCI selectors. Amazing Performance. #RRvDC #DCvRR — Godman Chikna (@Madan_Chikna) April 22, 2019 Pant to BCCI :thukra ke mera pyaar mera intaqaam dekhegi #RRvDC pic.twitter.com/RsrK0aWh50 — nishant vadhiað®ð³ (@nishant_vadhia) April 22, 2019 .@BCCI now: looking at the way Rishabh Pant & DK are playing in this IPL! pic.twitter.com/t0fFN6TZCL — ‎Ù (@RealSatz) April 23, 2019
  5. In what initially felt like a show completely run by the home team, Rajasthan Royals, the young guns of Delhi Capitals were successful in snatching the win from right under their noses as opener Prithvi Shaw and keeper-batsman Rishabh Pant along with veteran Shikhar Dhawan shine in the second innings of the match. The Capitals looked in the winning attitude ever since the beginning and an impressive to of 191 felt like a rather comfortable chase, especially with the kind of opening partnership established by two of the more talented batsmen who have represented Team India in the past. With Shaw's strategic yet powerful batting and Dhawan's brutal beating, the duo was able to post a 50-run partnership in less than six overs. .@SDhawan25 REACHES HIS FOURTH FIFTY OF THIS @IPL SEASON! ðª GABBAR, WE LOVE YOU! ð#RRvDC #ThisIsNewDelhi #DelhiCapitals pic.twitter.com/43h5MaIgyV — Delhi Capitals (@DelhiCapitals) April 22, 2019 Once Gabbar was dismissed by keeper Sanju Samson in a cheeky stumping and Delhi skipper Shreyas Iyer was forced to leave the pitch early, it was Rishabh Pant's time to hold the fort with his buddy, Shaw. The 19-year-old continued to stick to the crease for enough time for Pant to comfortably settle in, while also scoring at his own pace to keep the contest at hand. Scoring 78 off just 36 balls, Pant played a brilliant match-winning knock and was rewarded for his performance with the 'Man of the Match' award as the two went on to establish a 53-run-partnership in 31 balls. The camaraderie was seen yet again when the duo was asked to interview one another after the match. “I was really confident because you (Prithvi) were also playing by my side. I thought we would finish the game together,” Pant told his teammate. Pant also described the winning moment when he finished the game with a six and the team's special advisor, Sourav Ganguly lifted him in celebration. Rishabh pant â¦@RishabPant777â© â¦@ParthJindal11â© u deserve this .. u r wow pic.twitter.com/tTYgWrZZpH — Sourav Ganguly (@SGanguly99) April 22, 2019 “He (Ganguly) wanted me to finish a good match for the team and when it finally happened, it was a great experience, especially when Sourav sir lifted me up,” Pant told Shaw. With the heroic display of “showing up in the crunch”, the young duo helped their franchise reach atop the IPL Points Table, going two points ahead of the reigning champions, Chennai Super Kings. The same team that ranked last in the league a year ago, are at the top now. Maybe changing their name did bring them good luck, huh?
  6. 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."
  7. As the Board of Control for Cricket in India announced the names of the 15 cricketers who will be representing the nation in the upcoming 2019 World Cup in England and Wales this May, a war of sorts started to rage on between the followers of youngblood Rishabh Pant and those of the veteran wicket-keeping batsman, Dinesh karthik, who is going to play in the World Cup for the second time after waiting for 12 long years. When the team was officially announced on Monday, Karthik was sharing a meal with his wife and ace squash player Dipika Pallikal, and Kolkata Knight Riders CEO Venky Mysore. It was Pallikal's father who called to give the cricketer the good news and made him nearly jump out of his seat. View this post on Instagram Happy Women's Day to all you wonder women out there! I'm so fortunate to always have such an inspiring woman by my side! A post shared by Dinesh Karthik (@dk00019) on Mar 8, 2019 at 7:32am PST "It is a special occasion. I am really lucky and grateful," said the veteran in a media gathering at his hotel on Tuesday. DK has been one of India's top players for quite a stint now and even though he was dropped for the series against the visiting Australians in March, he was never thrown out of the discussion while deciding the World Cup team. "My journey for the 2019 World Cup began when I returned to the Indian team in 2017. I started believing that if I do something special, I can be a part of this amazing team that will play the World Cup," he said. One could see Karthik's real potential as a hitter with skills enough to show up in the clutch and end matches in favour of his side during the 2018 Nidahas Cup final against Bangladesh when he scored 29 runs off just 8 balls to win the trophy whilst deflating the notorious Bangladeshi bowling line-up. Remembering the brilliant innings, Karthik said: “A lot of credit should go to Abhishek Nayar for making me play the finisher's role. He made me believe that it was a skill that I could acquire if I practice in a certain way and learn to a few types of shots. However, I never planned to be a finisher. I just tried to be consistent and deliver in crunch situations.” Opening about being chosen over Pant for the number four spot, Karthik addressed the gathering when he said: “There will always be someone who will miss out. That's the nature of the game… He (Pant) was aware of his opportunity and so was I. If he had been selected, I would have been disappointed. Now that I have been selected, I am sure he is a bit disappointed.” A couple of days ago, former Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh may have taken a shot at the Tamil Nadu player saying that the active wicket-keeper of the team, Mahendra Singh Dhoni needed no backup and the presence of KL Rahul's name on the list can take care of the situation had Dhoni faced an injury. Karthik, on the other hand is just happy to be where he is right now and brings along the willingness to play whatever role the team will need of him. Addressing the concerns related to Dhoni, he said: “I am just that small first-aid kit that will travel with the team. If he (Dhoni) gets injured then I will be the band-aid for a day." “I am however, aware that I can bat at number four or be the finisher, if given an opportunity,” mentioned the confident athlete. Such is the nature of the KKR skipper. A blend of humbleness in heart, faith in his hardwork and an open mindset allowing him to mould himself according to the changing needs of time, has made the cricketer one of the most liked members of an extremely skilled and talent-laden team that will be competing for the greatest honour and recognition there is in the cricketing world in less than a month and a half.
  8. The year 2018 was really crucial for the Indian cricket team. The Virat Kohli-led side didn't just appear clinical at home but also proved their credentials in the multiple overseas series they played. Testing young blood with experienced campaigners, the new-look Indian team has now established themselves as serious contenders for the ICC World Cup in England & Wales. In a bid to find the perfect team, the Indian selectors and team management were seen trying all possible options in specialist roles in the recent series. And, it finally boiled down to 15th April when the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced the 15-man squad for the ICC mega event. While the likes of Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli will be seen occupying the top-order, the inclusion of KL Rahul, MS Dhoni, Kedar Jadhav, Vijay Shankar, Dinesh Karthik and Hardik Pandya all provide adequate options to the Indian team in the middle-order. The bowling department looks well equipped with Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar bolstering the pace attack and the likes of Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal and Ravindra Jadeja adding teeth as spinners. BREAKING: India have named their #CWC19 squad! pic.twitter.com/mMXt5kAG6Y — Cricket World Cup (@cricketworldcup) April 15, 2019 Though the Indian squad looks perfectly balanced, the notable omissions of Rishabh Pant and Ambati Rayudu have irked cricket pundits and fans alike. Both Pant and Rayudu were in the fray for the World Cup, but the Indian selectors showed faith in Karthik and Shankar to do the job for India in the all-important World Cup. While Pant staked his claim to a World Cup spot on the back of blazing batting performances, Rayudu, too, was looked upon as a potential candidate who could solve India's No. 4 problem. However, the Indian selectors thought otherwise and in a bid to derive team balance, they went for safer and more proven options in Karthik and Shankar. There is no doubt over Pant's ability with the willow. On his day, the dashing left-hander is more than capable of running away with the game on the back of innovative strokes he boasts of in his armoury. But, Pant is a gamble in any game. On a day, his shot might come off and on the other, it won't. And, there's little doubt over his unpredictable batting. © BCCL However, Pant's omission for Karthik wasn't decided just on batting. The fact that India needed an extra wicket-keeping option is probably what ruined Pant's chances. While the young gun is undeniably a batting star for the future, his wicket-keeping skills are still a work in progress - something that probably gave Karthik leverage in his selection. "In unison, we all felt either Pant or DK will come into the XI if Mahi (Dhoni) is injured. "If it's a semi-final or an important game, wicket-keeping also matters. That's the only reason we went ahead with Dinesh Karthik. Otherwise, Rishabh Pant was almost there," MSK Prasad, the chief national selector, revealed. The competition between Shankar and Rayudu was also decided on similar lines. Rayudu was being looked upon as a viable No. 4 option after he showed consistency with the willow in the recent series. But, barring his batting might, Rayudu doesn't bowl (thanks to an ICC ban in January) and his fielding, alone, is just not good enough to make the cut. © BCCL On the other hand, Shankar has proven his mettle in the limited opportunities he got. His batting bolsters the Indian middle-order, while his medium-paced deliveries provide an extra bowling option to the 'Men in Blue'. And then, when it comes to fielding, Shankar's 'bullet throw' in the first T20I against New Zealand earlier in February should put all the doubts to rest. “After the Champions Trophy, we tried quite a few middle-order batsmen. We also tried Shreyas Iyer and Manish Pandey. We gave a few chances to Rayudu, but what Vijay Shankar offers is three-dimensional. Apart from his batting, he can bowl if the conditions are overcast, which we might encounter in England. And he's a fantastic fielder. That's what went in Shankar's favour. He's a batsman who can bowl. We're looking at him at No.4 (to begin with). With Dinesh Karthik in and Kedar Jadhav, we've plenty of options at No. 4 right now," Prasad said. Though it's a little too early to predict whether the inclusion of Shankar and Karthik ahead of Pant and Rayudu will work out, it surely gives India enough balance to adapt to the tournament as it progresses to the knockout stages.
  9. 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.
  10. It was a bitter-sweet day for Indian opener Shikhar Dhawan yesterday when the batsman played the best T20 innings of his career, scoring 97 runs off just 63 balls but could not achieve his maiden century in this particular format of the game in a Delhi Capitals win against the Dinesh Karthik-led Kolkata Knight Riders, as his teammate and South African cricketer Colin Ingram decided to steal the show on the final moments of the matchup. Deciding to go for a maximum instead of letting his partner take the strike and try for his first T20, Ingram scored a total of 14 runs in just 6 balls sealing a seven-wicket victory for the Capitals. However, yet another highlight of the evening came after the match ended in favour of Delhi when the team's wicket-keeper and the official babysitting mascot of the name, Rishabh Pant was found chasing Shikhar's son Zoravar all around the green field of Kolkata's legendary Eden Gardens Stadium. The five-year-old seemed to be having the time of his life as Pant put a towel around him and began swinging him in a circular motion right next to the pitch. Dear @tdpaine36, Pls be careful next time you ask Rishabh Pant to babysit. ðð#KKRvDC pic.twitter.com/EQMIFgCwxo — Sir Jadeja fan (@SirJadeja) April 12, 2019 Known for being absolutely fantastic around kids, the wicker-keeper-batsman has made a name for himself as a great babysitter ever since India's five-match Test series in Australia back in the final days of 2018, thanks to the extremely entertaining banter with the then Aussie skipper, Tim Paine. Adding to his narrative, Pant even posed with Paine's wife, Bonnie Paine and kids for a picture which would go viral for all the right reasons in the coming days. Tim Paine to @RishabPant777 at Boxing Day Test: "You babysit? I'll take the wife to the movies one night, you'll look after the kids?" *Challenge accepted!* ð¶ (ð¸ Mrs Bonnie Paine) pic.twitter.com/QkMg4DCyDT — ICC (@ICC) January 1, 2019 Watching the cricketer get along with Dhawan's son so well, the Indian fans of the game reacted with extreme joy: ððððððð perfect babysitter — Geetika ðð(@Geetikatuli) April 12, 2019 Abbe bs kr bhai. Gabbar k bete k sath pange mt le 𤣠— Aadi Sharma ð®ð³ (@aadisharma1900) April 12, 2019 Aur bulawo best babysitter. — chiku (@sjchiku) April 12, 2019 The best babysitter in the world isn't for everyone ðð — Dhananjay Saxena (@DhananjaySaxena) April 13, 2019
  11. This season of Indian Premier League has never been short of controversies right from the outset. From Ravi Ashwin's 'mankading' controversy to the 'no-ball' controversy in the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) versus Mumbai Indians (MI) game, it has seen it all. And now, in the 10th match of the season, fans on social media speculated that Indian Test wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant was involved a match-fixing scandal during the contest between Delhi Capitals (DC) and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), on Saturday. As per reports, Pant was caught on the stump mic, saying “yeh to waise bhi chaukka hai (this is going to go for a four)” in the fourth over when KKR's Robin Uthappa was on strike. On the very next ball, Robbie hit the ball for a four off Nepal leg-spinner Sandeep Lamichhane, to get off the mark. The video of the incident went viral on social media with many fans questioning Pant on how he knew the result of the delivery even before the ball was bowled. However, the BCCI has dismissed all claims regarding the comment made by Pant. © AP “No one heard what Rishabh said before that particular sentence. He was apparently telling (Delhi Capitals captain) Shreyas Iyer to increase fielders on off-side to stop an imminent four,” a BCCI official told PTI. The BCCI official added that a young cricketer like Rishabh Pant shouldn't have been maligned in such a way on social media. “Maligning a young cricketer without even knowing the details is so unfortunate. A section of media allowed the social media to insinuate and vilify a young talent without getting into details. This is so disgusting,” the official added. Eventually, DC went on to win the match in the Super Over after finishing on 185/6 while chasing 186 for victory. Are social media trials getting too harsh? Let us know in the comments section.
  12. Arguably one of the greatest athlete of his generation, Michael Phelps dominated competitive swimming every time he entered the pool. From creating records to bagging Olympic golds, matching Phelps' astronomical achievements will surely be an uphill battle for the next generation swimmers in years to come. The American legend might have called time on his career, but such has been his success in competitive swimming that he continues to garner public affection and enjoys popularity across the globe. So, when he set foot in India for the very first time, the excitement amongst people was quite understandably at an all-time high. Arriving in India in collaboration with a sports and fitness brand, Phelps was seen enjoying interactive fun sessions in the national capital. But, the moment that surely stands out on his recent trip was his exchange with Delhi Capitals (DC) destructive batsman Rishabh Pant in nets. View this post on Instagram Michael Phelps takes batting lessons from Rishabh Pant! A post shared by Delhi Capitals (@delhicapitals) on Mar 27, 2019 at 4:28am PDT The 23-time Olympic gold medallist was seen taking batting lessons from Pant as he tried his hand at cricket in the nets. In a video shared by Delhi Capitals on Instagram, Pant can be seen helping him with his stance while imparting batting tips to the swimming great. After sharing a light moment with the legendary swimmer, Pant was asked how would he convince Phelps to play cricket. In reply, the left-hander told IANS: "I would just tell him that he is most welcome to stay at my place for as long as he wants, where I can teach him how to play the sport". View this post on Instagram Just a causal chat before we got together for the group picture! ð¸ A post shared by Delhi Capitals (@delhicapitals) on Mar 27, 2019 at 3:13am PDT Apart from Pant, Phelps was also seen interacting with Capitals' other players including captain Shreyas Iyer, Chris Morris and Ishant Sharma. "The man is an absolute legend. He is the all-time leading gold medal winner at the Olympics. It is quite an honour to interact with him. I was excited to see him today. Phelps is a name that is synonymous with Olympics. Two Olympians -- Phelps and Usain Bolt -- have become household names, and I'm really buzzing," Morris told IANS. "It was a great opportunity for all of us to have met him. You know he's a world champion and we shared a few moments with him as well. He has been a huge motivation to athletes around the world over the years, and it was the same for all of us at the Delhi Capitals," Delhi's bowling spearhead Ishant said. View this post on Instagram ICYMI: We hosted the most decorated Olympian, @M_Phelps00 at #QilaKotla for our first home game! Here's what happened when we had the man with many strokes on the front foot ;) @StarSportsIndia @UnderArmourind #ThisIsNewDelhi #DelhiCapitals A post shared by Delhi Capitals (@delhicapitals) on Mar 27, 2019 at 3:58am PDT After spending some time with the cricketers, Phelps was also seen attending Delhi's clash against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the 2019 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) at the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium. While Delhi couldn't match Chennai's might, losing the contest by six wickets, Phelps was just happy to watch a live cricket match. "I don't think cricket is my next sport, but I loved seeing the match with the Delhi Capitals. It was nice to see how excited the crowd was, and to see how the players shift when there is a change of ends, or a dismissal. I loved watching the sixes. Definitely, today has been about getting a couple of tips from the boys, starting with how to hold a bat. I'm sure I will be better prepared to play cricket when I visit India next," Phelps said.
  13. For someone who was labelled by MS Dhoni as his potential successor, Rishabh Pant has struggled to live up to the hype in the recent opportunities he got. While his wicket-keeping skills are still a work in progress, Pant's batting, where he failed to build on his stats, had attracted a lot of criticism. But, on 24th March, the dashing left-hander silenced everyone by playing one of the most exciting knocks in T20 cricket. Carrying the baton for a new-look Delhi Capitals (DC), Pant smoked an unbeaten 27-ball 78 to power his team to a mammoth 213-run total against Mumbai Indians (MI) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) clash. Coming out to bat, with his side looking to surge ahead at 112/3, the 21-year-old went about his business in the usual unorthodox manner. For someone who smacked his second ball in international cricket (Test debut against England last year) for a six, Pant took no time to settle at the crease as he began clobbering the Mumbai attack all around the park, with his best shot being a helicopter-flick off Jasprit Bumrah's yorker. © Twitter/@IPL He notched up his fifty in just 18 deliveries and surpassed his idol Dhoni who had achieved the feat against Mumbai in 20 balls back in 2012. Pant's half-century was also the third-fastest fifty in the IPL. KL Rahul currently leads the list of fastest fifty in the IPL, having reached the mark in 14 deliveries last season. Sunil Narine and Yusuf Pathan share the second spot with their fifties coming in 15 balls. Pant's blistering knock was decorated with seven fours and as many sixes, while his strike-rate of over 288 speaks about his big-hitting. To put things in perspective, Delhi's run-rate was 8.61 when Pant came out to bat, and by the time he was done (end of the innings), his side had surged to a run-rate of 10.65. © Twitter/@IPL In reply, Yuvraj Singh's valiant fifty kept Mumbai in the hunt (for a while) and Krunal Pandya, too, chipped in with a 15-ball 32. But, the three-time IPL champions just couldn't break the first-match jinx, losing the contest by 37 runs - an opening game defeat for seventh season in a row. For a man who was recently getting slammed for his exploits on the field, Pant's blazing knock served a stark reminder to his critics that he's here to stay. Just Wow from Pant ! — Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) March 24, 2019 Only one word for Rishabh Pant today. Wow. The sixes were exquisite but the boundary to get to 50 was simply special. — Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) March 24, 2019 It was nothing short of breathtaking that from Pant! Two shots off Bumrah were just pure gold. ððððð#MIvDC #IPL2019 — Sanjay Manjrekar (@sanjaymanjrekar) March 24, 2019 Rishabh Pant is a serious player !!! — Nasser Hussain (@nassercricket) March 24, 2019 Just how good is Rishabh Pant. And yes, he's worth investing in. #MIvDC #IPL — Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) March 24, 2019 If it was Andrew Russell at Eden, it is Rishabh Pant at Wankhade. Mind-blowing stuff from both these lads. As much as Death bowlers, these extremely talented strikers of the ball at the death need to be tagged as 'Death Batters' #MIvDC #KKRvSRH — Hemang Badani (@hemangkbadani) March 24, 2019 Wow u r amazing Mr pant what a knock champion ðððð @RishabPant777 @DelhiCapitals @IPL — Rahul Sharma (@ImRahulSharma3) March 24, 2019
  14. After losing the 2-match T20I series in a rather disappointing fashion, Indian cricket fans saw a ray of hope when the Men in Blue went on a great run, winning the first two ODIs in the five-match series, with Indian batsmen--including Virat Kohli, Kedar Jadhav and MS Dhoni playing some brilliant innings. However, after losing the Ranchi ODI by 32 runs, all eyes were on Kohli's men giving their best in order to come out victorious in Mohali, winning the series with the Delhi game still in hand. After scoring a massive total of 358, the win looked almost certain, all we had to do was bowl the 50 overs as there was no way the Aussie were going to chase such a score. Who knew Aaron Finch's men would get some extra boost as the Indian cricketers created some major goof ups in the form of dropped catches, misfields and dropped catches (so many dropped catches). And then the unthinkable happened. Not only did the Australians chase the massive total, they did it with more than two overs to spare. Following the loss, one of the Indian cricketers who found himself taking a major share of the blame was the Indian wicket keeper Rishabh Pant who missed out on major stumping opportunities at crucial junctions of the game. To make matters worse, the 21-year-old also dropped a couple of catches behind the wicket. The fact that veteran keeper and former captain of the team, Mahendra Singh Dhoni wasn't a part of the playing XI and Pant had to replace his presence led to all the MS Dhoni fans putting on a barrage of brutal criticisms, taunting his inability as a wicketkeeper whilst comparing him to a veteran like Dhoni. As the day ended, a lot of people came forward to show their support for the player who had suffered a lot of firing in the past 24 hours. While his childhood coach, Tarak Sinha called all the comparisons between Dhoni and Pant completely unfair, the Delhi-born cricketer got support from a rather unexpected source. He's just 21 and represents India in all 3 formats. Let's introspect and see what we were doing at that age. Give him a chance. @RishabPant777 u are pure talent keep the focus, you got this ! pic.twitter.com/GDySpRgiGU — Suniel Shetty (@SunielVShetty) March 11, 2019 Bollywood actor Suniel Shetty came to the young athlete's rescue reminding everyone of the fact that having been only 21 years old, Pant is one of the top choices for the team in all three formats of the game. Shetty also goes on to urge everyone who's criticising the talented star to introspect and realise what they were doing when they were of his age. Finally, he requests the ever-so-passionate fans of the game to give Pant a chance as he is destined for greatness and great things are in store for him. Wise words.
  15. Ever since MS Dhoni called time on his Test career, the Indian selectors have been busy trying to fill in the void. They've tried Wriddhiman Saha who did quite an impressive job in the longest format. Then, we saw the ascension of Dinesh Karthik to the Indian team. And now, young Rishabh Pant is being looked upon as Dhoni's worthy successor behind the stumps. Amongst the available options, Dhoni, himself, had backed Pant as his potential successor when he dropped himself from the Indian squad for the Twenty20 International (T20I) series against Australia last November. For a man who considers Dhoni his idol, Pant appeared to have thrived in the limited opportunities he has got in the Indian team so far. His batting prowess surely makes him a valuable addition to the Indian team down the order. But, sadly, the same can't be said about his wicket-keeping skills. At the age of just 21, Pant is still young and continues to learn the art of wicket-keeping. However, with the ICC World Cup around the corner, the margin for error is very low for the youngster. © AP While many have advocated Pant's case in the recent past, the 4th One-Day International (ODI) between India and Australia gave a stark reminder why he is still a work in progress as far as wicket-keeping is concerned. The clash in Mohali saw India losing, what is being deemed as an unlosable game, as Australia chased down the fifth-highest target (359 runs) in ODI cricket. From misreading the conditions to missing key chances, there were a flurry of mistakes Indian cricket team find themselves pondering over as Aussies fought back from being 0-2 to 2-2 in the five-match series. While Kedar Jadhav missed a tough chance at deep midwicket in the 47th over, Shikhar Dhawan put down an absolute dolly at mid-off in the same over. However, amongst the lost opportunities, Pant's blunders were arguably the ones that ended up hurting India's chances the most at the Punjab Cricket Association stadium. In the 39th over, Peter Handscomb had already notched up his maiden ODI hundred and was eager to take the momentum away from India when he decided to step out of the crease, looking for a big shot. Realising Handscomb's intentions, Kuldeep Yadav shortened his length and ensured the batsman missed the ball. But, it was Pant's inability to collect the ball cleanly to effect the stumping that gave a crucial lifeline to Handscomb as Kuldeep and a packed Mohali stadium watched in disbelief. Pant's mistakes...!! pic.twitter.com/qyo9Kpkdox — Vidshots (@Vidshots1) March 10, 2019 But, it was the 44th over that left the Indian team, owing to Pant's blunders, completely red-faced. The first delivery of Yuzvendra Chahal's over saw Pant fluffing another stumping opportunity that could've surely sent dangerous-looking Turner back into the hut. Disheartened by the lost chance, Chahal bowled the third delivery right into the blockhole as Alex Carey just about managed to squeeze it away from the stumps. But, Pant's effort to pull-off Dhoni's 'No Look' throw converted a dot ball into a single. Watch the Mahi magic on loop #INDvNZ https://t.co/btMoJF0xC3 — BCCI (@BCCI) October 26, 2016 The fourth delivery of the same over saw Turner charging down the track only to get beaten wide outside the off-stump. Making amends for his mistake, Pant successfully managed to grab the ball this time around and jumped in appeal for a potential caught behind dismissal. Pant's confidence that the Aussie had edged the ball convinced Virat Kohli to review and even as the replays showed a noticeable spike on 'Ultra-Edge', the third umpire deemed it not out and called for a wide. While Pant should hardly be blamed for the last opportunity as there was actually a spike in replays, the other three blunders undoubtedly proved costly for his team's chances to win the game and seal the series. Though Pant is still young and needs time to establish himself as India's go-to wicket-keeper, the left-hander must learn to work on his strengths rather than copying Dhoni's artistry with the gloves. © AP In the two stumping opportunities he missed, Pant was so eager to whip the bails off that he almost forgot to collect it in the first place. Dhoni's lightening quick glovework is a technique derived through impeccable hand-eye coordination, developed over years of hard work. Similarly, when Pant tried to pull off Dhoni's 'No Look' throw, he looked very casual - something that further evoked a strong reaction from his captain on the field. It's one thing to idolise someone, but, to become like them, is an uphill battle that takes time. Pant might have pulled off Dhoni's unorthodox style of wicket-keeping a million times in the practice sessions. But if you can't do it correctly in crunch situations during a key clash, then, the wise thing would be to stick to the basics, rather than being flamboyant - a lesson Pant must learn to live up to his billing as Dhoni's successor behind the stumps.
  16. After taking a crucial 2-0 lead in the five-match series, the Indian cricket team appeared to have a gala time, as former captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni hosted his teammates for dinner at his lavish seven-acre farmhouse, ahead of the 3rd One-Day International (ODI) in Ranchi. The Indian cricketers were seen enjoying food in a special area of the farmhouse that resembled nothing less than a grand event at a luxurious wedding. There were chandeliers, candles, huge curtains and a massive table to ensure Dhoni's teammates had a great time under the starry night. Great night with the boys at mahi bhais place last night. Good food, fun chats all around and great energy. Perfect team evening ð®ð³ðð. @msdhoni @imkuldeep18 @RishabPant777 @yuzi_chahal pic.twitter.com/6Xfc4rK7Xl — Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) March 7, 2019 And, the Team India stars, too, paid their gratitude to MSD and Sakshi Dhoni for hosting them for the great supper. Virat Kohli Skipper Virat Kohli shared an image from the evening on Instagram. He captioned it by saying: “Great night with the boys at mahi bhais place last night. Good food, fun chats all around and great energy. Perfect team evening”. Thank you for last night @msdhoni bhai and @SaakshiSRawat bhabhi âºï¸ð®ð³ pic.twitter.com/80BOroVvze — Yuzvendra Chahal (@yuzi_chahal) March 7, 2019 In another picture shared by Yuzvendra Chahal, the Indian leggie was seen in the company of the entire squad alongside their support staff. “Thank you for last night @msdhoni bhai and @SaakshiSRawat bhabhi,” Chahal captioned the image. Bhabhiji ruining our fitness levelsðð¥ð½ Super fun evening with fam-jam ! Thank you @msdhoni and @SaakshiSRawat for hosting us # goodtimes @imVkohli @imkuldeep18 @yuzi_chahal pic.twitter.com/ocQqDYdVQ6 — Rishabh Pant (@RishabPant777) March 7, 2019 Amongst the 'thank you' notes, Rishabh Pant was also seen thanking the Dhonis for their hospitality. But, Dhoni's so-called successor did it with pun and humour. In a light-hearted tweet, the 21-year-old joked that Dhoni's better-half Sakshi is ruining the Indian cricketers' fitness levels with great food. "Bhabhiji ruining our fitness levels. Super fun evening with fam-jam ! Thank you @msdhoni and @SaakshiSRawat for hosting us # goodtimes @imVkohli @imkuldeep18 @yuzi_chahal," Pant tweeted. When it comes to cricket, the Indian team found themselves running into a more focussed Australian brigade on 8th March during the 3rd ODI in Ranchi. Riding on brilliant knocks by Usman Khawaja (104) and Aaron Finch (93), Australia managed to post a formidable total of 313 runs. In reply, India stuttered early on, losing both openers Shikhar Dhawan (1) and Rohit Sharma (14) in the first five overs.
  17. The Men in Blue are currently guests in the former Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni's hometown of Ranchi for the crucial third of five ODIs against Team Australia, scheduled to take place on 8th March 2019. It is a well-known fact that a major reason why the Jharkhand capital is known globally is because of the inspirational ascend of the wicket-keeper batsman, who rose from the streets and went on the win big trophies for the country, in a game which is treated as a religion. Dhoni is a star, nay, a god in Ranchi. Tourists from all over the world visit the city literally to be a part of a 'Dhoni Tour'. Where he went to have tea, his locker room, his favourite place to sit back and experience Ranchi cricket in all its glory, everything has been well documented by the cricketing world. Now that the prodigal son has returned, the streets are his to rule. An automobile enthusiast, Dhoni has a massive garage of beasts like Ferrari 599 GTO and GMC Sierra 3500HD but the car that our 'Captain Cool' is particularly fond of, is his silver Hummer H2 (probably because that's the only car out of his collection that would move on Indian roads and over monstrous speed-breakers). Whenever Dhoni is in Ranchi, he loves to move around in his shiny Hummer. Remember the time Thala rode past the New Zealand squad in his supercar while Kiwi batsman Ross Taylor's jaw dropped to the floor? Remember when Dhoni drove to the ground with his Hummer and NZ players were left in awe ðð. Look at Ross's face. Mass pic.twitter.com/6JpE1AdWEY — Naveen (@ImNsamy) March 6, 2019 This time around, ahead of the third ODI against the Aussies, Dhoni decided to take the youngsters of the team, Rishabh Pant and Kedar Jadhav, for a spin in the H2. As expected, the car was surrounded by Dhoni's most ardent fans making it difficult for the cricketers to even get inside SUV. View this post on Instagram ♥ï¸♥ï¸♥ï¸ A post shared by Team Indiað®ð³ (@indiancricketteam7) on Mar 6, 2019 at 2:02am PST Pant and Jadhav, who might not have expected such a crowd around Dhoni's car, looked startled and had boyish expressions on their faces as they comfortably placed themselves of the expensive leather seats.
  18. With less than a month before the first match of the 12th edition of the Indian Premier League between Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and the reigning champions, Chennai Super Kings (CSK) takes place on 23rd March, new IPL promos have been made available to the fans. These promos come as responses to young cricketers Rishabh Pant and Jasprit Bumrah, who took shots at veterans like Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Indian skipper Virat Kohli. In what was considered to the first very first promo for the 2019 IPL, Rishabh Pant taunted former Indian captain MS Dhoni as he vowed to make the 'Captain Cool' lose his cool when his team, Delhi Capitals take on Dhoni's CSK. The fun banter is on ððð@RishabPant777 from @DelhiCapitals is going one up against @ChennaiIPL Captain @msdhoni - What will be Thala's reply? Watch this space for more ðð #VIVOIPL pic.twitter.com/aI2fO5bl4x — IndianPremierLeague (@IPL) February 24, 2019 On the other hand, Indian pacer and the world's best ODI bowler, Jasprit Bumrah challenged “Cheeku Bhaiya” aka Virat Kohli who sits atop ICC ODI and Test Rankings for batsmen ahead of their matchup. The World's Best Bowler vs The World's Best Batsman. Who will come out winning? @mipaltan's @Jaspritbumrah93 or @RCBTweets's @imVkohli - Bring it on ðð¤ #VIVOIPL pic.twitter.com/wFVN9cgptD — IndianPremierLeague (@IPL) February 24, 2019 Now that the youngsters have extended the challenge, it was time for the more experienced veterans to snap back and snap back they did. In the first promo launched earlier yesterday, we see MS Dhoni watching Pant sledging him on his mobile phone sitting in a bus. How's that for a response from Captain Cool? ðð#VIVOIPL pic.twitter.com/BAMYwNLA7v — IndianPremierLeague (@IPL) February 28, 2019 “Aaja Rishabh… Wicket ke peeche toh main hi rahoonga,” Captain cool calls his apprentice out as he exits the bus. If Dhoni got down to responding to Pant's challenge, how can we expect Kohli to stay behind? The @RCBTweets Captain has a befitting response to the @Jaspritbumrah93 yorkers ðð Check it out ð#VIVOIPL pic.twitter.com/m9iEHq0gge — IndianPremierLeague (@IPL) February 28, 2019 Surprised at being called out as “Cheeku Bhaiya” Kohli was pleased to see a relative rookie like Bumrah trying to sledge his captain. “Apne captain ko sledge karega? Chal, aakhir seekh hi gaya tu,” says a very jolly Kohli. Replying to Bumrah's yorkers, Kohli made it very clear that the bowler should not expect any leniency from him when he enters the field to bat. These promos are great and provide us with a great preview of the level of competition we are going to witness in the 12th edition of the cricket league. With some of the best cricketers returning to the colourful jerseys, we are surely in for a treat.
  19. Last year, when the Indian selectors dropped MS Dhoni from the Twenty20 International (T20I) series against Australia, there was a lot of hue and cry over the decision. While many slammed the selectors for axing Dhoni, others targeted Rishabh Pant who was preferred over the former Indian captain. After much speculation, it was Dhoni who finally revealed that he dropped himself in a bid to give young Pant some game-time before labelling him as his worthy successor. It was the first time when Dhoni's admiration towards Pant came to the fore. But, for Pant, Dhoni has always been an idol whose exploits on the field inspired him to become a wicketkeeper-batsman. While Pant is still learning the tools of the trade from Dhoni, the Delhi youngster seems to have now turned the guns against his own idol. The left-hander was recently seen taunting Dhoni before concluding that he intends to make the Jharkhand cricketer lose his cool. What's wrong with Pant? Why would he do that? Before all these questions drive you nuts, allow us to clear the air. The fun banter is on ððð@RishabPant777 from @DelhiCapitals is going one up against @ChennaiIPL Captain @msdhoni - What will be Thala's reply? Watch this space for more ðð #VIVOIPL pic.twitter.com/aI2fO5bl4x — IndianPremierLeague (@IPL) February 24, 2019 Pant's comments were part of a promotional video for the twelfth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL). Sporting the new Delhi Capitals jersey, Pant was seen sitting in the middle of the pitch where chants of Dhoni was reverberating in the background. The young cricketer, then, opens a fan-book containing Dhoni's picture and calls the former Indian captain his "guru". In a thought-provoking baritone, Pant even went on to say that if it wasn't for Dhoni, he may not have become a wicketkeeper-batsman. But, just when you thought Pant was paying a tribute to his mentor, the video takes a complete turn as the 21-year-old, then, fires a straight warning to Dhoni. The young gun claimed that he will rain on Chennai Super Kings' (CSK) parade so effectively in the upcoming season of the IPL that Dhoni will lose his cool. Twitter/@BCCI Pant subsequently asked "Mahi Bhai" to get ready as he will be coming to show his batting prowess in the IPL. While the video ended with Dhoni watching Pant's warning on his phone, there is probably a reply from the CSK skipper lurking around the corner. The twelfth edition of the IPL will kickstart with the pulsating clash between defending champions CSK and Virat Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) on 23rd March. On the other hand, Delhi Capitals will be seen opening their campaign against Mumbai Indians on 24th March.
  20. When the TV commercial came out in which former Indian opening batsman, Virender Sehwag turned into a babysitter) (a very good one, at that) to take care of the visiting Australian cricket team, everyone wondered why wasn't the original babysitter Rishabh Pant selected for the role. Although, Sehwag perfectly fits the role of a dad looking after his 11 kids, the entire concept behind the TVC would not have existed if it wasn't for the friendly banter between the Indian wicketkeeper Pant and the Australian Test captain Tim Paine during India's tour Down Under. A Quick Review: We can track the inception of the verbal feud back to Adelaide when the Indian wicket-keeper was trying to get inside his Delhi Capitals' teammate Pat Cummins' head. Stump mic on ð It's cricket like never before, no commentary in the whole over ð®#AUSvIND #foxcricket pic.twitter.com/8R2nwVMa9W — Fox Cricket (@FoxCricket) December 10, 2018 Standing up for his teammate, Tim Paine decided to get some revenge when Pant approached the pitch to bat in the second innings. Tim Paine doing some recruiting for the @HurricanesBBL out in the middle of the 'G... ð#AUSvIND pic.twitter.com/6btRZA3KI7 — cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) December 28, 2018 Besides his role behind the wicket, Paine also did some personal recruiting when he asked Pant if he would babysit his children. We have to commend the humour Pant saw behind getting an image taken with Paine's wife and kids after Paine threw the 'babysitter' shade at him. Tim Paine to @RishabPant777 at Boxing Day Test: "You babysit? I'll take the wife to the movies one night, you'll look after the kids?" *Challenge accepted!* ð¶ (ð¸ Mrs Bonnie Paine) pic.twitter.com/QkMg4DCyDT — ICC (@ICC) January 1, 2019 Neither of the cricketers would have ever imagined that that tiny moment of light-hearted comedy would snowball into something as big and newsworthy as it is now. The sledging went viral and even led to the world-renowned Bharat Army coming up with the 'Babysitter' song. Now that the Aussies are coming to India for their T20I and ODI series this month, looks like the broadcasters decided to continue with the sledging with Sehwag's hilarious new commercial. Amidst the desperation with which people were waiting for Pant to react to the ad, he responded with a rib-tickling tweet: Viru paaji showing me how to be better at cricket and babysitting — an inspiration always! ð@StarSportsIndia @virendersehwaghttps://t.co/IZvf9AqoJV — Rishabh Pant (@RishabPant777) February 13, 2019 Here is hoping we get to see more of the good old banter between the two cricketing titans, when the T20I series begins on 24th February 2019.
  21. Sledging - the art of getting under your competition's skin by throwing shade at them via verbal intimidation. The idea is to shake your opponent's concentration thereby putting them in a situation in which they are likely to make mistakes and give you the opportunity to exploit their distraction. Having said that, there exists a very fine line between competitively mocking someone and actually offending them on levels that are not only socially unacceptable but can also mentally scar them, and sledging works along that thin line. Understandably, the process could get a bit tricky especially in today's era of the internet in which information travels faster than light and nothing ever is truly forgotten. In the first month of 2019, the cricketing world has seen two examples of sledging that were triggered for similar reasons but turned out to be poles apart in terms of their respective outcomes. While on one hand, we got to witness the great competitive spirit between the Indian wicketkeeper, Rishabh Pant and the Aussie Test captain, Tim Paine, during the Test series between India and Australia, on the other, was what we can only call a complete disaster at the hands of the Pakistani skipper Sarfraz Ahmed against South Africa's Andile Phehlukwayo. During India's tour Down Under, there were various instances in which Pant and Paine exchanged some cheeky comments. While Paine called him a 'babysitter', the 21-year-old returned the favour by asking him how his 'temporary' captaincy was going. The fact that Tim's wife Bonnie Paine joined the ongoing sketch with the classic photo with Pant and even the Australian Prime Minister appreciating the competition, made the rivalry a lot more exciting and fun to watch. Tim Paine doing some recruiting for the @HurricanesBBL out in the middle of the 'G... ð#AUSvIND pic.twitter.com/6btRZA3KI7 — cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) December 28, 2018 Despite the comical banter, the two wicketkeepers and batsmen kept it classy while respecting the competing nature of one another. No badmouthing or display of passive aggression was reported during the series or even after it. It was good entertainment for the players, the commentators and the millions of Indian and Australian fans of the game who tuned in daily to watch the two historically great teams go head-to-head. It was Rishabh Pant's turn for some fun on the stump mic today... #AUSvIND pic.twitter.com/RS8I6kI55f — cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) December 29, 2018 And then there is Pakistan captain, Sarfraz Ahmed's absolute blunder which came up during the second ODI against South Africa. In a desperate attempt to break a completely dialled-in Andile Phehlukwayo's focus, the wicketkeeper yelled out: “Abey kaale, teri ammi aaj kahaan baitheen hain? Kya padhwa ke aaye hai aaj? (Hey black guy, where's your mother sitting today? What [prayer] have you got her to say for you today?).” Not so subtle, is it? Sarfaraz Ahmed to Andile Phehlukwayo: "abbay kaale teri Ami kahan bethi hoyi hain aaj, kya parhwa kay aya hai aaj" "black man wheres your mother sat? What have you asked your mother to pray for you today?"#SAvPAK pic.twitter.com/vw6yuE73OE — Saj Sadiq (@Saj_PakPassion) January 22, 2019 The comment was so offensive that even the legendary Ramiz Raja, the on-air commentator during the match, seemed uncomfortable even speaking about it and when asked by fellow commentator Mike Haysman to translate it for the rest of the English speaking audience, he bailed out by saying that it was a “big long sentence” and was therefore “difficult really to translate.” Racism, in any form, is unacceptable and when you are visiting a country like South Africa, that has a history so tainted by sacrifice and blood lost over colour based discrimination for decades, the visitors must be extra sensitive about such issues. For Ahmed, who happens to be the captain of a national team and therefore the most influential representative of his country, to say something so appalling, is a testament to his lack of sportsmanship and insensitivity towards the others. Pakistan not only lost the match at the hands of Phehlukwayo, who went on to become the Man of the Match but now, Ahmed is also looking at some very serious sanctions that the ICC is mulling over his violation of the ICC Anti-Racism Policy for International Cricket.
  22. It's said that if someone offers you an amazing opportunity and you're not sure if you can do it, just say yes, and learn how to do it later, and that's exactly what young Rishabh Pant did when he was handed his International Test debut at the Trent Bridge. He started making a record from the very second ball he faced in Test cricket and since then, there has been nothing that could stop him. Following a magnificent IPL season, the Delhi cricketer shifted his gears forward and has never looked back since then. Being just 21 years of age, Pant has already created and broken many records, be it scoring his maiden century in England, or taking most catches in a single match, he has done it all. Let's go through all the records Pant has made or broken till now: © Reuters . He was the first Indian to open a Test account with a six, which came on his Test debut against England at Trent Bridge. He got off the mark by deposing Adil Rashid's googly into the stands, straight back over the bowler's head. . He became the first Indian keeper to score a Test century in England. . He broke another record when he became the first Indian wicket-keeper to take 11 catches in a Test, equaling the record of AB de Villiers and England's Jack Russell. . He also became the first Indian wicket-keeper to take 20 catches in a Test series, breaking MS Dhoni's record of 17 catches. . With his unbeaten 159, he also became the 1st Indian wicket-keeper to score a Test century in Australia. The Delhi cricketer also holds the highest score by an Indian wicketkeeper overseas, when he scored an unbeaten 159 against Australia in Sydney, overcoming Dhoni's record of 148 against Pakistan. . Pant became the first wicket-keeper with two Test hundreds as a 21-year-old.
  23. 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.
  24. Indian wicket-keeper and batsman, Rishabh Pant was one of the star performers for the Indian side during the 4-game Test series against Australia. With a big-time performance in the first innings of the Sydney Test, Pant, with his 159* runs, has put the Indian cricket team selectors in bewilderment in deciding the final roster for the 2019 ICC World Cup tournament, that is to be held in England and Wales between 30th May and 14th July. 150 runs for @RishabPant777 ððð#TeamIndia 616/6#AUSvIND pic.twitter.com/vZFY9hunBL — BCCI (@BCCI) January 4, 2019 On Wednesday, the Cricket Club of India was buzzing with celebratory cheers on the occasion of Indian legend Kapil Dev's 60th Birthday when former Team India player Farokh Engineer bounced, what is probably the most important question of the hour, at the team selectors: “Would you pick Dhoni for the World Cup? How can you drop Pant? He has done so well,” bombarded Engineer. When it comes to ODIs, Pant's opportunity to play for the team has been taken away either by MS Dhoni or Dinesh Kartik on multiple occasions. Even when the 21-year-old did get a chance to play against the Windies in a three-game series last year, Pant didn't face a lot of balls to prove his worth as a batsman and got out early. In an odd complexity of misfortune, Pant is stuck in a unique juxtaposition between “not experienced enough” and “not given enough time to gain experience.” Ironically, the thing that makes Pant so impressive in the eyes of the Indian cricket fans may also be the bane of his World Cup chances, and that's his age. With Dhoni and Kartik, both healthy and ready to get in action, probably the most common argument Pant would hear would be how young he is and how he will have many more World Cups to take part in, as he grows older and wiser. India have MS Dhoni ahead of Pant for the ODI series. pic.twitter.com/XvGwLSg5zM — Dennis Pucovski (@DennisCricket_) January 4, 2019 Despite chief selector MSK Prasad ensuring that Pant was one of the key contenders for a spot in the 2019 World Cup roster, he was not selected for the three-game ODI series against Australia or the five-game series against New Zealand which follows. Having said that, Pant has been selected to be a part of India A for the five-game series against the England Lions. If things are considered on a priority basis, Pant's very little experience in the 50-over format of the game, no matter how hapless, makes for a solid case for him to miss out on this year's World Cup.
  25. Indian cricket team's Entertainer No. 1 and International-level babysitter now has a song in his name. Much like that of the superhero Spiderman, Pant can now boast about having one of the catchiest songs of the year 'composed' and sung in his name by the legendary Bharat Army. After the Border-Gavaskar trophy was given to the Men in Blue for their 2-1 Test series victory against Australia, the extremely dedicated group of global Indian cricket supporters who've named themselves 'The Bharay Army' came up with a highly innovative way of celebrating the win. #AUSvIND Scenes of @RishabPant777 dancing to our song; 'We've got Pant' ! . 'We've got Pant Rishab Pant I just don't think you'll understand He'll hit you for a six He'll babysit your kids We've got Rishab Pant' . #BharatArmySongBook #BharatArmy #12thMan #COTI ð®ð³ð¶ð¼ pic.twitter.com/l9WoTlqLnu — The Bharat Army (@thebharatarmy) January 8, 2019 Unable to stop himself from joining the fans, Pant came to the boundary to shake a leg to the song composed in his honour. Here are the lyrics: "We've got Pant Rishabh Pant I just don't think you'll understand He'll hit you for a six He'll babysit your kids We've got Rishabh Pant" Adding to the legacy of 'The Babysitter', Pant's teammate Rohit Sharma who recently became a father brought in some more humour with this tweet: Morning buddy. Heard your a good baby sitter, need one right now. Ritika will be quite happy ð@RishabPant777 https://t.co/JkGWTYpnBk — Rohit Sharma (@ImRo45) January 9, 2019 Sharma's observations about Pant's babysitting skills may not be incorrect as Tim Paine's wife, Bonnie Paine, who appointed our boy for the job as the 'Pacifier', sought his assistance once again. © Instagram - Bonnie Paine The Bharat Army has been extremely loyal towards the Indian Cricket Team and have continued to show their unshaken support ever since their inception in 1999. Their efforts were well appreciated on Twitter: You guys are awesome...So proud all of you...Keep supporting indian team like thisð ð — Nehra Ji ð¯(Romil's Fan)ð¯ (@Nehraashu29) January 8, 2019 @thebharatarmy Very nice! Can you officially release this song? Thank you!! — Vinay U V (@ivinayuv) January 8, 2019 VERY GOOD SUPPORT FOR YOUR TEAMMATESð¤ð¼ð¹ð¥ð·ðºð¸ð» TO THE TEAM ð®ð³ð®ð³ð®ð³ INDIA ð®ð³ð®ð³ JAIHINDHð¤ðâðªâ¤ððð. — SELVAM M (@SELVAMM88441745) January 9, 2019 This is awesome!ðð Rishabh pant dancing to his own song! @RishabPant777 — Ashutosh Mishrað®ð³ (@ashutosh147) January 8, 2019 No words to tell about u #thebharatarmy u r amazing to support and giving perffect boost for our @BCCI @thebharatarmy peeks fan of uððð — REDDY NAGA SAI SURYA (@suryareddy945) January 8, 2019
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