Category: _category:yct:001000849

Great to See Dhoni’s Sixes, Just Wish it Wasn’…

Chennai Super Kings’ MS Dhoni’s enthralled one and all with a masterclass at the M.Chinnaswamy Stadium on Wednesday as his side beat Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore by 5 wickets of the in the final over of the match.

Dhoni, who scored an unbeaten 70, along with Ambati Rayudu’s 82 powered the Chennai Super Kings to a thrilling win. It was Dhoni who put the seal on the matter with when smashed Corey Anderson over long on to complete the winning runs.

It was a classic MS Dhoni show in Bangalore where he was also helped out by Dwayne Bravo in the final over where they managed to score 16 runs. Incidentally, the record for the most sixes hit in a match was also bettered in this game as the two teams together smashed 33 maximums.

MS Dhoni’s fantastic innings of course drew praise from all over, with opposing captain Virat Kohli also complimenting his India teammate.

“I am happy for him. Great to see him strike a few, not against us though. We wouldn’t have liked that. He’s hitting the ball really well this IPL. He is in a happy space, batting higher up and expressing himself. Seems to be enjoying it. Credit to him as well,” Kohli said at the post-match press conference.

The Royal Challengers Bowlers meanwhile will have a lot to work on as they have failed to defend a score in excess of 200 for the second time this season. Reflecting on that a disappointed Kohli said, “Many things that we can look at. The way we bowled is just not acceptable. Just not good enough on the day, 72/4 and giving away runs like that for just 1 wicket is criminal. Something that we need to address going forward because we haven’t bowled well. If we cannot defend even 200, it’s a problem somewhere. It hurts at the moment, very tough for us to swallow but great game for Chennai.”

Refusing to blame the conditions, Kohli added, “Pitch has played really well, we are happy with that. Spin came as a massive factor, both for us and for them. But quality batting from both sides getting 200-plus. Great game for people to see but as a team, we are disappointed to not get across the line.”

Almost a Decade Since Lahore, Pakistan Look to…

Nine years on from the armed attack on the Sri Lanka team bus in Lahore, Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur says he hopes “we’re really close” to the world’s leading teams touring there again.

International cricket in Pakistan was effectively suspended for several years after the 2009 attack.

Zimbabwe, however, played several limited-overs fixtures in Pakistan three years ago.

Pakistan have subsequently welcomed a World XI and last year played a Twenty20 international against Sri Lanka in Lahore, while earlier this month they completed a 3-0 at home to the West Indies, the World Twenty20 champions.

But Test cricket has yet to resume in Pakistan, with the United Arab Emirates remaining their ‘home away from home’.

“I hope we’re really close,” Arthur told reporters on Wednesday.

“The colour, the passion, the excitement for our local people to see cricket there was amazing and for our players to play in front of their fans and families and just play at home was amazing.

"We’ve had a couple of those now – the World XI, Sri Lanka and now the West Indies,” he added. “They were great occasions so let’s hope that opens the door for a lot more cricket in Pakistan.”

Arthur, a former head coach of both his native South Africa and Australia, was speaking at Canterbury, where Pakistan begin their tour of Britain and Ireland with a four-day warm-up match against Kent starting Saturday.

Arthur’s first Test series in charge of Pakistan ended in an impressive 2-2 draw in England in 2016.

He then oversaw Pakistan’s 2017 Champions Trophy triumph, which culminated with a stunning win over arch-rivals India in the final of the one-day international tournament at The Oval in London.

Pakistan, after providing the opposition for Ireland’s inaugural Test, face England in a two-match series.

England will come into that campaign following Test series defeats in both Australia and New Zealand, but Arthur expects them to prove far more threatening on home soil.

“It’s a little bit early to get too controversial,” said a smiling Arthur when asked if Pakistan could could exploit the “weakness” of an England top-order featuring captain Joe Root.

“I saw Dawid Malan play exceptionally well in Perth…we know Root is world-class, (Jonny) Bairstow is world-class, they are a really good side.”

‘Number One Amir’

Pakistan, described by Arthur as a “young team, trying to resurrect our Test side” following the retirements of Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan, will look to left-arm paceman Mohammad Amir to lead their attack.

Amir, whose career was almost ended by a jail term and suspension for ‘spot-fixing’ during the 2010 Lord’s Test, has been a key man for Pakistan since making his international return in 2016.

The 26-year-old, a proven swing bowler in English conditions, had his entry to the UK delayed by visa problems but Amir was expected to join the rest of the squad later Wednesday.

“He’s our number one bowler, we back him in tough situations,” said Arthur. “We need him to get the ball swinging, we need him to get his length slightly fuller, and if he gets that he’s going to ask a lot of questions.”

Arthur insisted he was conscious of Amir’s workload ahead of the 2019 World Cup in England, where Pakistan will look to repeat their Champions Trophy success in the same 50-over format.

“We only have three weeks off in our calendar now before the World Cup,” Arthur said.

“So we just have to manage them because ultimately we want the best team to play in that 2019 World Cup.”

Kent will be captained by former England batsman Joe Denly, who played alongside Amir and Babar Azam for the Karachi Kings in the Pakistan Super League Twenty20 tournament.

“They are quality players and I’m looking forward to catching up with them this week,” said Denly. “I know from personal experience that there are some really talented guys in this Pakistan squad.”

MS Dhoni Rolls Back the Years as Sixes Record …

Chennai Super Kings’ captain MS Dhoni hammered the bowlers for seven sixers during his match winning innings half century against the Royal Challengers Bangalore. In the process, the match saw the most sixers ever to be hit in the history of any IPL game.

Dhoni scored an unbeaten 70 with 7 maximum, while partner in crime Ambati Rayudu hit eight sixes in his 82 as CSK chased down 205 runs.

The finishing act of the match was completed rightfully by MS Dhoni himself, who smashed Corey Anderson over long on for six to claim the win.

Combined, the two teams smashed a total of 33 maximums in the high scoring game which bettered the previous record of 31 in a game. That match is also from this season and also had Chennai Super Kings on end. CSK and the Kolkata Knight Riders smashed 31 sixes, to equal the record set in 2017 in a game between Delhi Daredevils and Gujarat Lions.

“I thought it was a difficult chase when I saw AB de Villiers batting to see them over 200, I thought it was 15-20 beyond par,” Dhoni commented after.

“We also lost some key batsmen early but it’s a small ground, the ball travels a lot here.”

The win takes Dhoni’s side, returning to the IPL after a two year corruption ban, to the top of the IPL table with five wins from six games, while Virat Kohli’s RCB have just two wins after half the season is gone.

MS Dhoni Finishes Game With a Six as CSK Beat …

New Delhi: Whoever thought that Mahendra Singh Dhoni is past his prime, got their first reality check when he took Chennai inches away from a thrilling win against Kings XI Punjab from the jaws of defeat. But on Wednesday, the Man with the Midas touch showed what finishing games off in style means when he hit a six off Corey Anderson to take Chennai Super Kings home in the Clash of the Titans against Royal Challengers Bangalore at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium. Needing 16 off the final over, Dwayne Bravo started the onslaught with a four and a six, but it was the skipper who swiveled across to the off-side and launched Anderson into the long-on stands as his Chennai teammates erupted in the dug-out.

If death bowling hasn’t been Royal Challengers Bangalore’s forte this season in the Indian Premier League, Dhoni’s reputation as a finisher has dwindled in the last couple of years. But cometh the hour and cometh the man as Captain Cool had the fans inside the M Chinnaswamy Stadium stand up and applaud as Chennai managed to chase down RCB’s total of 205 with two balls to spare. More than Chennai Super Kings taking on RCB, it was about current India skipper Virat Kohli clashing against his predecessor Dhoni. And while Kohli flattered to deceive, Dhoni kept calm and took his team home with an unbeaten knock of 70 off just 34 balls with 7 sixes and a boundary.

While Dhoni does deserve praise for showing his mettle in a high-intensity clash, credit must also be given to Ambati Rayudu who managed to hit a 53-ball 82 to play the perfect aggressor even as Dhoni mixed caution with aggression in Chennai’s mammoth chase of 206. Dhoni made his intentions clear from the word go as the otherwise slow starting CSK skipper hit a six off the third ball he faced — from Pawan Negi. More importantly, it was the much-needed kick the innings needed as the scoreboard read that Chennai needed 132 runs in 11 over with just six wickets in the bag.

But nothing is impossible when you have a man with the experience of Dhoni in the middle and guiding an in-form Rayudu who had already made his intentions clear by taking the attack to the RCB bowlers from the word go. And the best part of the chase was how Dhoni and Rayudu broke it all up. Needing 132 from 66 balls when Dhoni took strike, they first worked the singles and hit the timely boundaries to take Chennai to the last 6 with the visitors needing 80.

And with Dhoni going strong and the RCB bowling lacking the experience, it looked like Dhoni’s sole idea was to take the game deep. And with Rayudu for company, he kept doing just that as Chennai needed 71 off 30 balls, 55 off 24 balls, 45 off 18 balls, 30 off 12 balls and finally 16 off the last six balls.

When Dwayne Bravo hit a four and a six off the first two balls, it almost looked like even the powers above wanted a repeat of history as the same target was chased down by Chennai against RCB in 2012, only that time the game was at home for CSK. With 5 needed off 3 balls, it almost looked inevitable that the cricket lovers would see a repeat of the 2011 World Cup finish and that is exactly what happened as Dhoni swiveled across and launched the ball into orbit.

Earlier, it was a brilliant display of batsmanship from both AB de Villiers and Quinton de Kock on a wicket that was definitely not the typical batting paradise that the Chinnaswamy has been known to produce in the last few years. In fact, Dhoni himself admitted that a score of 205 was 15-20 over par and that is exactly what the idea was for the South African duo after Kohli flattered to deceive with a 15-ball 18. While ABD dealt in boundaries, de Kock (53) was more than happy to run the singles and doubles.

In fact, had Imran Tahir not picked AB de Villiers (68) and Anderson (2) in quick succession, it almost looked like RCB was bent on getting anything close to 250. But the quick wickets in the middle overs and a good last over from Bravo wherein RCB lost 3 wickets meant that Chennai were still in the game.

IPL 2019 Could be Moved to UAE Due to General …

New Delhi: With the general elections set to take place in 2019, the Indian Premier League (IPL) could well be moved to the United Arab Emirates (UAE). While talks are still in a nascent stage, it could be the more favoured venue as UAE played host to the IPL even in 2014. The first half of the league was played in UAE before the cash-rich league returned to India in the business end.

Speaking to CricketNext, IPL chairman Rajeev Shukla said: “With the Lok Sabha elections set to take place, UAE is definitely one of the options, but a final call will be taken after taking the view of all the stakeholders.”

Another official said that there are two sides to the scenario. If the entire tournament has to be shifted due to the elections, then the cash-rich league could well be moved to South Africa, but if it is a case of a few games or half the league, then UAE is the solution as that is logistically also more viable.

There is also an option of an early election in which case the 12th edition of the IPL will be played in India only.

Shikhar Dhawan, Smriti Mandhana Nominated for …

Kolkata: India men’s and women’s team openers Shikhar Dhawan and Smriti Mandhana have been nominated by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for the prestigious Arjuna award, BCCI acting secretary Amitabh Chaudhury said on Wednesday.

“We have sent the communication to the Government of India,” Chaudhury told reporters.

Dhawan is currently playing in the Indian Premier League (IPL) for Sunrisers Hyderabad and has been a consistent performer across all three formats for India.

Mandhana had helped India reach the final of the ICC Women’s World Cup in England last year.

IPL 2018: Siddarth Kaul Reprimanded for Breach…

Mumbai: Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) pacer Siddharth Kaul has been reprimanded for breaching the Indian Premier League (IPL) code of conduct during a match against Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede Stadium on Tuesday night.

“Siddarth Kaul, the Sunrisers Hyderabad bowler, was issued a reprimand during his team’s Indian Premier League encounter against Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede Stadium on Tuesday,” an IPL statement read on Wednesday.

“Kaul admitted to the Level 1 offence under 2.1.4 of the IPL code of conduct for players and team officials and accepted the sanction,” the statement added.

What resulted in the breach of conduct was however, not mentioned in the statement. The 27-year-old has been in fine form this season, scalping nine wickets from six games.

He took three wickets during the 31-run win over Mumbai on Tuesday.

IPL 2018: Gambhir Steps Down as Delhi Daredevi…

New Delhi: Gautam Gambhir has stepped down as the captain of Delhi Daredevils after the team’s disastrous start in the ongoing edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), on Wednesday. Middle-order batsman Shreyas Iyer has been handed over the reins of the team after Gambhir opted to vacate the hot-seat.

“Maybe I was too desparate to turn things around and that can backfire. It could be the reason. I just couldn’t handle the pressure and when you don’t do that, you have to own that up as a leader,” Gambhir said in a press conference also attended by franchise CEO Hemant Dua, coach Ricky Ponting and newly-crowned skipper Shreyas Iyer.

“I was sitting alone and thinking, I couldn’t handle the pressure… I was not good enough and that is all,” he added.

Meanwhile, Iyer expressed his gratitude after being named as the new captain of the team and said: “I want to thank the management and my coaches for appointing me as the captain of the team. It is a great honor for me.”

Gambhir later took to social media to reveal that he wasn’t asked to step down but it was his personal choice to do so. His post read: “True, that I’ve stepped down from DD captaincy. Just to clarify it was my call, nothing from the management or coaching staff. I may not be leading from the front but I will be the last man standing for @DelhiDaredevils. No individual bigger than d team. Very much a #DilDIlli”

Delhi is currently struggling at the bottom of the IPL table, having registered just one win in six matches under the leadership of Gambhir. Delhi is tied with Mumbai Indians in terms of points, however, their net run-rate of -1.0 is less than that of the defending champions. Moreover, Gambhir’s form with the bat hasn’t been great either as he has struggled to change the fortunes of Delhi, something which he did exceedingly well during his time at Kolkata Knight Riders in previous seasons.

In six matches, Gambhir has managed to score just 85 runs, which includes 55 that he scored against Kings XI Punjab in Delhi’s opening match of the season in Mohali. Since then, Gambhir has poor scores of DNB, 15, 8, 3 and 4 respectively.

Prior to this edition, Gambhir had led Delhi once in 2010, guiding them to a fifth-place finish. Gambhir returned to Delhi from Kolkata for this season amidst huge fanfare, with the Delhi management calling him the best man to lead the new-look side. But with just six games into the season, all that talk seemed to have vanished in thin air and the mammoth task of reigniting Delhi’s campaign has fallen on to the shoulders of a young gun.

As far as Gambhir is concerned — with the pressure of captaincy off him now — he will look turn his form around for the good and get amongst the runs for the remainder of the season. During his seven-year stay at KKR, Gambhir slammed 3035 runs and also guided them to two IPL titles. While he may not be able to guide Delhi to the title this time, but he is more than capable of doing same damage with the bat.

IPL 2018: Tare Returns to MI Years After Hitti…

New Delhi: Who could forget that six from legendary India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni off the bowling of Nuwan Kulasekara that helped India lift their second ICC World Cup trophy in 2011 at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. Three years later, a similar six was hit at the same venue, and although one would argue that it didn’t have the same significance as winning a world title, it sure caught the imagination of every Indian Premier League (IPL) fan, especially Mumbai Indians.

Wicket-keeper-batsman Aditya Tare’s claim to fame in Indian cricket was his last ball six off the bowling of James Faulkner that helped Mumbai qualify for the play-offs in the 2014 edition of the cash-rich league. And now after four years, with stints with two different teams in the IPL, Tare is back to the holy ground of Wankhede where it all began for the swashbuckling right-hander.

“It is pretty exciting to be back with Mumbai Indians… back with the MI family… back home. A new team has been assembled by the think-tank and there are lot of youngsters and exciting talent in the team this time around,” said Tare in an exclusive conversation with Cricketnext.

Over the years, the IPL has been responsible for unearthing world class talents, who first showcased their talent on this glittering stage and then went on to become world beaters for their respective national sides. The likes of Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik Pandya took baby steps in the IPL before becoming a regular in the Indian side in all formats of the game. Not to forget the likes of Steve Smith, who showed his immense potential with Rajasthan Royals before leading the Australia in all three formats.

Similarly, Tare also believes that it is because of his stint with Mumbai Indians that has helped him become a better cricketer. Tare wasn’t part of the Mumbai set-up in first-class cricket earlier, but now, he is the skipper of the side and also played a massive role in Mumbai reaching the Ranji Trophy 2016-17 final.

“I absolutely loved my time here at the Mumbai the last time I was here. They have played a big part in my grooming as a player. Mumbai have helped me become a better player as when I started playing for them, I hadn’t played first class cricket. Once I came into the MI setup, I learnt a lot of things and thanks to Kiran More, who is still the wicket-keeping coach, he helped to improve my wicket-keeping skills and that has helped me do well in my career. I have become a good wicket-keeping batsman for my state team. MI have played a big role in me becoming what I am today,” said Tare.

Although, Mumbai haven’t started well in the IPL this time, winning only one out of six, Tare believes that the squad is a good amalgamation of experience and youth and that could help the defending champions repeat the success of previous seasons. Also, Tare quipped that the bonhomie amongst the players in unique and it bodes well for a team which challenges for the trophy almost every season.

“The important part of the auction was our franchise managed to retain all top players, that have performed and done well in the past. I am pretty confident that the team will repeat the success of previous seasons,” said Tare.

“I personally, have been good friends with Pollard, while JP Duminy has also returned to the franchise. The South African was part of the MI family when I joined the team in 2010. Since then, I have shared good bonds with these players and I am glad that we’re are reunited once again,” added Tare.

Tare hasn’t featured for Mumbai so far in the campaign as he has been forced to sit on the bench because of in-form Ishan Kishan, who has been scoring runs for fun at the moment. But a freak injury during the match against Royal Challengers Bangalore meant Tare had to fill in as the stand-in-keeper for few overs. Tare did well behind the wickets and also affected an brilliant stumping of Sarfaraz Khan to play a small role in Mumbai’s only win of the season. However, this particular match, will always be remembered for the carnage that was brought forward by Rohit Sharma (who hit a stunning 94), a player whom Tare brands as phenomenal, because of excellent batting and leadership skills.

“Rohit Sharma is an exceptional cricketer and the way he leads by example is something to learn from. The way he takes challenges head on and he is always up for it. He is also a great motivator for the young players. He has done phenomenally well as the captain of Mumbai Indians and to win three championship is a rare task. He is a class act,” signed off Tare.

Long-serving Cook Still Hungry to Impress for …

England opener Alastair Cook has the desire to keep playing for England but is aware that he must continue scoring runs to hold on to his spot, the former captain has said.

The 33-year-old, who made his England debut in 2006, has scored more than 12,000 test runs at an average of 45.73 but his inconsistent spell during the recent tour of Australia and New Zealand have raised questions about his longevity.

Cook scored a total of 23 runs in the two-test series against New Zealand last month as England continued their winless run following their 4-0 defeat in the Ashes.

“My job never changes,” Cook told reporters. “It’s to score runs at the top of the order. If someone taps me on the shoulder and tells me they don’t want me to open for England, it is going to hurt at this precise moment because I want to carry on.

"The hunger and desire is still there but no one has a God-given right to play for England. You have to score the runs to justify your place. Since I’ve come home I’ve started to look at my preparation.

"Have I got it right? Do I need to change things? Because that’s the right way to do it. I will never sit here and say I’ve cracked the game or will ever be perfect.”

Cook was set to play for first-class county side Essex against Hampshire on Friday in the domestic championship as he fights to make his mark and earn a call-up for England’s two-match home test series against Pakistan in May.