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Rashpal Singh

Rashpal Singh has 892 articles published.

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Rashpal is a T20 commentator at home and passionate traveler. He loves writing about cricket during his free time. You can write to him at [email protected] or get in touch with him on facebook.

Alia Bhatt congratulates Team India skipper Virat Kohli for his on-field exploits

in Blog/India/Players/Teams/Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli, Alia Bhatt

The way Virat Kohli represents himself on-field while playing for India is absolutely fantastic. He is always hungry to perform well for his country and tries to give more than 100 percent in every game. No wonder, the 30-year-old Kohli is currently the best batsman in Tests and ODI cricket.

The popular Bollywood actress Alia Bhatt is no different as, like every other Indian, she also seems to be the die-hard fan of Virat Kohli.

While speaking to the First Post, in their special segment ‘Celebrity DMs’, expressed her liking towards Kohli. She also congratulated the Indian skipper for all his record-breaking feats.

“Nothing to say. Congratulations for all the great work that you’ve been doing for our Team India and the country,” she said.

Alia also commented on the adorable pictures of Virat with his wife Anushka Sharma, saying: “Your beautiful pictures with Anushka are totally going viral and we’re all hearting them.”

As far Kohli is concerned, the Indian skipper is set to return to the field in the upcoming limited overs series against Australia which will begin on February 24.

Here’s the video:

Photos of Pakistan cricketers removed from Mohali stadium after Pulwama attack

in Blog/Featured/Imran Khan/Javed Miandad/Pakistan/Players/Shahid Afridi/Teams/Wasim Akram
Pakistan World Cup 2011

In order to show solidarity with the families of martyrs of the Pulwama terror attack, Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) on Sunday removed the photographs of Pakistan cricketers from various points inside the Mohali stadium.

The decision was taken at a meeting of the cricket body’s office bearers, PCA treasurer Ajay Tyagi told PTI.

“As a humble step, the PCA has decided to show its solidarity with the families of martyrs of the Pulwama attack. There is so much anger in the nation against the heinous attack and PCA is no different in this,” Tyagi said.

There are at least 15 photos of Pakistan cricketers which were kept inside the Mohali stadium at various points including in the galleries, long room, reception and ‘hall of fame’ area.

The Shahid Afridi-led Pakistan team faced a 29-run defeat to MS Dhoni & Co. in the 2011 World Cup semi-finals which was played at the venue in March.

Tyagi said among the Pakistani cricketers whose photographs have been removed from the stadium include that of present Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Besides, other pictures are of cricketers including Afridi, Javed Miandad and Wasim Akram.

On Thursday, at least 40 CRPF paramilitary troopers were killed in a terror attack while several others are battling for their lives following what is being termed as the deadliest terrorist strike in three decades in Jammu and Kashmir.

India’s squad for five-match ODI series against Australia announced

in Blog/Featured/India/Jasprit Bumrah/KL Rahul/ODI/Players/Rishabh Pant/Teams/Virat Kohli
India ODI

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has announced the 15-man squad to face the Aussies in the upcoming five match ODI series starting from March 2.

Contrary to what was expected, Rohit Sharma has been named in the squad for the entire series with Virat Kohli returning following the rest. Kohli sat out of two ODIs and the three T20Is against New Zealand.

BCCI have named two separate squads for the five match series with separate one for the first two ODIs and another for the remaining three. The difference between the two squads sees Bhuvneshwar Kumar return for the last three ODIs with Sidharth Kaul getting a call up for the first two ODIs.

Speculation has been put to rest on Rohit being given a rest for the limited-overs series as he is included in the squad for all the five ODIs as vice-captain of the side. India’s premier fast-bowler Jasprit Bumrah has also been named in the squad after being rested for the limited overs series in Australia and New Zealand.

The biggest inclusion has come in the form of 26-year-old right-batsman KL Rahul, who has been encountering a poor show with the bat of late. He was dropped from the ODI team after the ODI series in Australia.

Nevertheless, Rahul churned out two decent knocks in the unofficial Test series against England Lions and got himself back into the setup. Dinesh Karthik, who was a part of the ODIs in New Zealand, has been left out and Rishabh Pant has been persisted with.

The competition between India and Australia starts on February 24 with the first T20 International in Visakhapatnam.

India’s squad for 1st and 2nd ODI:

Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma (vice captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Ambati Rayudu, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni (wk), Hardik Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohamed Shami, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Vijay Shankar, Rishabh Pant, Sidharth Kaul, KL Rahul.

India’s squad for remaining 3 ODIs:

Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma (vice captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Ambati Rayudu, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni (wk), Hardik Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohamed Shami, Vijay Shankar, KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant.

Jonty Rhodes names his five all-time best fielders

in AB de Villiers/Andrew Symonds/Australia/Blog/England/India/Paul Collingwood/Players/South Africa/Suresh Raina/Teams
Jonty Rhodes

Former South Africa international and one of the best fielders the game has ever seen, Jonty Rhodes, in a recent interview to International Cricket Council (ICC) revealed his top five fielders in modern era cricket.

“In the modern era, there really have been some great fielders,” Rhodes said, following which he voted for former Australia cricketer Andrew Symonds saying the latter fielded well both within and outside the circle and had a very strong arm. He also spoke with a pinch of modesty saying he fielded only inside the circle in his playing days.

At No.4, Rhodes picked his former teammate Herschelle Gibbs. Calling the former Proteas opener an “incredible fielder”, Rhodes said it was great to field alongside Gibbs at backward point. The legend then took the name of former England skipper Paul Collingwood who was also a good fielder. He also drew a parallel between him and Collingwood said the latter fielded in a position similar to him.

Rhodes’ next favourite is another former South Africa captain AB de Villiers who only retired last year. He said when he worked as the Proteas’ fielding coach, he would get upset to see de Villiers donning the wicket-keeping gloves because he believes ABD was a good fielder.

At the No.1 position, Rhodes picked Indian cricketer Suresh Raina, saying he is a big fan of the latter. He stated the fact that Raina is never hesitant to dive even in rough Indian conditions and has fielded well at all positions.

“Raina plays in India all the time, and I know what the conditions of the fields are (in India). Every time he practices, every time he dives, it is going to be sore. He doesn’t even give a second hesitation – should I dive, should I not – he goes for the ball, which pretty much was my philosophy of ‘if you don’t go, you will never know’ and he has done that, taking great catches in the slips, in the outfield, in the circle.

I have loved watching Suresh Raina, he is my number one fielder,” Rhodes said in the video.

Babar Azam breaks his silence on comparison with Virat Kohli

in Babar Azam/Blog/Featured/India/Pakistan/Players/Teams/Virat Kohli
Babar Azam, Virat Kohli

Pakistan batting sensation Babar Azam is compared to Indian skipper Virat Kohli over and again. However, Babar himself doesn’t think that he is worthy enough to be compared to Kohli yet.

While talking at an event ahead of upcoming season of Pakistan Super League (PSL), Babar said that he is no way near Kohli.

“Whenever you hear, people compare me with Virat Kohli. I think he is a very big player, I am not even close to him. I have just started while he has achieved a lot. I have to achieve and if I perform like that you can compare but not now,” he said.

Virat Kohli has set the benchmark for batting with his unprecedented consistency across formats. No matter what the conditions are or what the format is, the Indian talisman has scored heavily in the last 4-5 years. Last month, Kohli bagged the top three honours at the International Cricket Council (ICC) Awards and became the first cricketer to do so.

Kohli was named the Cricketer of the Year and won the Sir Garfield Sobers trophy for the second time in succession. He was named the best Test player of the year and also ODI player of the year after his extraordinary performances with the bat in 2018. Kohli finished last year as the highest scorer in Test cricket with 1322 runs in 13 matches at an average of 55.08 with five hundreds and as many half-centuries while also finishing on top of the ODI runs tally with 1202 runs in 14 matches at an average of 133.55 with six centuries.

Babar Azam, on the other hand, has been showing promise as well and looks set to create his own legacy. The 24-year-old, who made three consecutive ODI hundreds against Windies just months after making his debut, has become Pakistan’s batting mainstay.

Last year, Babar became the fastest in terms of innings to reach 1000 T20I runs and in the process surpassed Virat Kohli. Not long ago, he became the joint-fastest to complete 1000 ODI runs, sharing the record with two all-time greats, Sir Viv Richards and Kevin Pietersen. At just 24, he already has more ODI centuries at No. 3 than any Pakistan batsman ever.

Australian Cricket Awards 2019: Complete list of winners

in Alyssa Healy/Australia/Blog/Featured/ODI/Pat Cummins/Players/T20/Teams/Test Match
Pat Cummins, Alyssa Healy

The annual Australia Cricket Awards were presented at Melbourne’s Crown Casino on Monday night with two main honours being the Allan Border Medal and Belinda Clark Award.

Pat Cummins came from behind to snag the Allan Border Medal, while Alyssa Healy was never in doubt for the Belinda Clark Award as Australian cricket put a tumultuous year in the rear view mirror.

Cummins did not feature in the other awards but edged out Nathan Lyon to become the first bowler to win the award since Mitchell Johnson in 2014.

Alyssa Healy won everything in her wake, including the T20I and ODI award as well as being named the ICC T20 Player of the Year.

It’s the first time since 2014 a cricketer apart from David Warner and Steve Smith has won the Allan Border medal. The recognition completed a great year for Cummins, who took 36 wickets from eight Tests in the voting period (January 9, 2018 to January 7, 2019) apart from eight wickets in six ODIs. He also played handy knocks with the bat, scoring two half-centuries in Test cricket.

Meanwhile, in the voting period, Healy scored 329 runs in 6 ODIs at an average of 54.83 and plundered 578 runs in 17 T20Is at a strike-rate of 145.95. She was also instrumental in Australia winning the Women’s World T20.

Australian Cricket Awards 2019 Winners

Male ODI Player of the Year: Marcus Stoinis

Female ODI Player of the Year: Alyssa Healy

Betty Wilson Young Cricketer of the Year: Georgia Wareham

Bradman Young Cricketer of the Year: Will Pucovski

Male Test Player of the Year: Nathan Lyon

Community Champion: Moises Henriques

Female Domestic Player of the Year: Heather Graham

Male Domestic Player of the Year: Matthew Wade

Female T20I Player of the Year: Alyssa Healy

Mens T20I Player of the Year: Glenn Maxwell

Belinda Clark Medal: Alyssa Healy

Allan Border Medal: Pat Cummins

Australian Cricket Hall of Fame Inductees: Dean Jones, Billy Murdoch and Cathryn Fitzpatrick

BCCI announces India women’s squad for ODI series against England women

in Blog/Featured/Players
India women cricket

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has announced the Indian women’s squad for the three-match ODI series against England Women.

The upcoming series, which is a part of the ongoing ICC Women’s Championship, will begin on on February 22 at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.

Mithali Raj continues to lead the side which also features veteran Jhulan Goswami, Smriti Mandhana, Jemimah Rodrigues, Harmanpreet Kaur, Deepti Sharma among others.

The Women in Blue have recently won the three-match ODI series against the White Ferns 2-1 in New Zealand.

The selectors have also picked the Board President XI squad that will play a warm-up match against England women before the ODI series on February 18.

Board President’s XI:

Smriti Mandhana (captain), Veda Krishnamurthy, Devika Vaidya, S Meghana, Bharati Fulmali, Komal Zanzad, R Kalpana (wicket-keeper), Priya Punia, Harleen Deol, Reemalaxmi Ekka, Manali Dakshini, Minnu Mani, Tanuja Kanwar.

India women’s squad for ODI series:

Mithali Raj (captain), Jhulan Goswami, Smriti Mandhana, Jemimah Rodrigues, Harmanpreet Kaur, Deepti Sharma, Taniya Bhatia (wicket-keeper), R Kalpana (wicket-keeper), Mona Meshram, Ekta Bisht, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Poonam Yadav, Shikha Pandey, Mansi Joshi, Punam Raut.

New Zealand vs India 2nd T20I: MS Dhoni takes over the captaincy duties in Rohit Sharma’s absence

in Blog/Featured/India/M.S. Dhoni/Players/Rohit Sharma/Teams
MS Dhoni captaincy

Former Indian skipper MS Dhoni is followed and loved religiously by fans all over the world. He has a massive fan following and everyone wants to get a glimpse of him. He gets rousing receptions whenever he walks out to the field and similar was the case when he took over the reins of the team during the second T20I against New Zealand at the Eden Park in Auckland.

The fans were ecstatic to see the ‘Captain Cool’ managing the field and couldn’t stop cheering for him.

It all happened when Rohit Sharma had to go into the change room during the 16th over. The Indian skipper took the catch of Colin de Grandhomme off the fourth ball of the over and had to go off the field. He probably hurt his finger a bit while taking a smart catch and was being looked at by the team physio Patrick Farhart. At the same time, Dhoni took over the captaincy duties and started making a few changes in the field.

Dhoni was seen instructing the players and changing the field according to the situation as Rohit watched the play from the sidelines for some time.

Rohit returned to the field for the last couple of overs and performed his duties but it was a treat for fans to watch Dhoni performing the captaincy duties again.

Here’s the video:

Meanwhile, India registered a comfortable 7-wicket win in the second T20I against New Zealand on Friday, levelling the three-match series 1-1.

Rohit Sharma (50) and Rishabh Pant (40*) were among the runs as India chased down the required target of 159 with 7 balls to spare.

WATCH: Colin Munro starts to walk after bails get dislodged due to wind in Wellington

in Colin Munro/New Zealand/Players/Teams/Video
Colin Munro

New Zealand posted a challenging 219 for 6 in 20 overs after India’s stand-in captain Rohit Sharma won the toss and sent the visitors to bat in the first T20I of the three-match series.

The Men in Blue could not make a match of it and were bowled out for just 139 in 19.2 overs with Tim Seifert’s opposite number MS Dhoni scoring the highest score for the team – 39.

Meanwhile, the gesture shown by New Zealand’s opening batsman Colin Munro during the first innings in Wellington was a shocking anti-thesis to all the unethical business in cricket.

Munro was taking his stance in the fourth over after hitting Khaleel Ahmed for two consecutive sixes, but once the left-arm pacer started his run-up, the umpire extended his right hand to stop him from bowling the next delivery.

While everyone was wondering what was happening, Munro was also surprised and when he saw the stump light flashing behind him. The left-hander started walking back towards the pavilion under the illusion that he got hit wicket.

However, the light came due to the eastward wind flow at the Westpac which resulted in the bails being dislodged when Munro was in his stance. The leg-umpire signalled Munro the same and seeing that he was fully relieved.

Smriti Mandhana smashes fastest T20I half-century for India in women’s cricket

in Blog/Featured/India/Players/Smriti Mandhana/T20/Teams
Smriti-Mandhana

Smriti Mandhana created history on Wednesday after she scored a 24-ball half-century, fastest by an Indian in women’s cricket, during the first T20I against New Zealand at Westpac Stadium, Wellington.

She was eventually dismissed by Amelia Kerr for 58 runs when India were 102 for two, 58 runs away from the target. However, India lost the T20I series-opener by 23 runs.

Mandhana smashed three fours and seven sixes in her entertaining 34-ball knock.

The overall list of fastest fifties in Women’s T20Is is led by New Zealand’s Sophie Devine who had reached the landmark in just 18 balls. The achievement, incidentally, had come against India back in 2005 in Bengaluru. A total of 4 players sit between Devine and Mandhana, with the latter presently occupying sixth spot in the standings.

Mandhana was also the top scorer in the three-match ODI series against the White Ferns in which she scored 196 runs in three innings. She also won the Player of the Series award for her performance.

Smriti

Earlier, Sophie Devine hit 62 and captain Amy Satterthwaite scored 33 as New Zealand posted a total of 159/4 in their quota of 20 overs.

Four of the five Indian bowlers who bowled on the day picked up a wicket each.

WATCH: Shikhar Dhawan does a ‘bhangra’ on the beats of Bharat Army’s drum

in India/ODI/Players/Shikhar Dhawan/Teams/Video
Shikhar Dhawan bhangra

India comprehensively sealed the ODI series against New Zealand by winning the fifth and final ODI in Hamilton by 35 runs.

With the series result of 4-1 in their favour, India claimed the biggest win on the New Zealand soil. And Shikhar Dhawan’s dance made this even more special.

Dhawan, in his traditional ‘bhangra’ style, celebrated the win on the ground itself.

After the match, Dhawan was walking around the ground before he stopped mid-way and noticed that Team India’s fan group “Bharat Army” was playing the drum. The Indian opener then couldn’t resist himself and started to dance on beats of Bharat Army’s drum. He even finished the dance with his unique thigh-slap celebration.

Dhawan’s dance has gone viral since then and has won many hearts.

Here’s the video:

Yuzvendra Chahal asks Rohit Sharma if he can bat at number 3, Hitman gives a perfect reply

in Blog/Featured/India/Players/Rohit Sharma/T20/Teams/Yuzvendra Chahal
Rohit Sharma, Yuzvendra Chahal

Leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal, who has grown into a force to reckon within the limited-overs format with his googlies, turned up with the bat in India’s dismal loss in the fourth ODI against New Zealand in Hamilton.

On a day when the Men in Blue came up with a poor display with the bat, No.11 Chahal scored 18 off 37 balls to end up as the top scorer for the visitors. With that credential to his name, Chahal asked stand-in skipper Rohit Sharma if he can bat at No.3 in Virat Kohli’s absence and Hitman gave a perfect reply to the wrist spinner.

After India’s historic win in the fifth and final ODI against the Blackcaps, the leggie welcomed Rohit to his ‘Chahal TV’ and jokingly asked if he could bat at No.3 in the upcoming T20Is against New Zealand.

“I’ll speak to the management and see if we can send you at number three. But I want you to be the top scorer in a match we win, not in a match we lose,” said Rohit.

India were bowled out for a mere 92 runs after Trent Boult’s fiery spell and lost the fourth ODI by eight wickets.

Rohit also praised Ambati Rayudu and Vijay Shankar for stringing a 98-run partnership for the fifth wicket in the Wellington ODI.

“All of our players performed well in this series. Today was a perfect match for us. We lost four wickets for 18 runs, then I started getting reminded of the last match, where we were all out for 90-odd. But, Amabati Rayudu and Vijay Shankar strung a brilliant partnership and we want our batsman to flourish in these situations. Rayudu’s performance will give him and the team confidence. It was also important for Kedar Jadhav and Hardik Pandya to finish well, which they did,” said Rohit.

Martin Guptill ruled out of T20I series against India; replacement announced

in Blog/Featured/Martin Guptill/New Zealand/Players/T20/Teams
Martin Guptill

New Zealand opener Martin Guptill, who missed the fifth ODI against India in Wellington, has also been ruled out of the upcoming three-match T20I series, which begins at the same venue on Wednesday (February 6).

Seam-bowling allrounder James Neesham, who was initially left out of the Blackcaps T20I squad, has now been drafted in as Guptill’s replacement.

Jimmy-Neesham

Guptill sustained an injury while throwing a ball during the practice-session on the eve of the Wellington ODI. He will return home to Auckland and rest ahead of three-match ODI series against Bangladesh, scheduled to begin on February 13 in Napier.

“Unfortunately Martin hasn’t recovered in time for this Twenty20 series which is very condensed with three games over five days,” New Zealand coach Gary Stead was quoted as saying by stuff.co.nz.

“It’s a shame as he’s obviously a big part of our white-ball sides, but we’ve got to look at the big picture and ensure he gets the injury right,” he added.

Henry Nicholls isn’t part of the T20I squad, which means either Kane Williamson or wicketkeeper-batsman Tim Seifert will open with Colin Munro. In the absence of both Guptill and Nicholls, the Kiwis will have their fourth different opening combination in four limited-overs games.

New Zealand squad:

Kane Williamson (c), Doug Bracewell, Colin de Grandhomme, Lockie Ferguson (games 1 and 2), James Neesham, Scott Kuggeleijn, Daryl Mitchell, Colin Munro, Mitchell Santner, Tim Seifert (wk), Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Blair Tickner (game 3).

WATCH: Team India celebrates in ‘Uri’ style after registering their biggest series win in New Zealand

in India/Kedar Jadhav/ODI/Players/Teams/Video

India registered an emphatic series win against New Zealand after beating the hosts in the fifth ODI by 35 runs. In a sense, it was a dead rubber but the Men in Blue showed guts and character to come back from a humiliating defeat in the fourth ODI.

India had already clinched the five-match ODI series 3-0, outplaying New Zealand by eight wickets in the first match, 90 runs in the second and seven wickets in the third. However, they lost the fourth ODI in a dramatic fashion after being bowled out for a mere 92.

Also WATCH: MS Dhoni’s brilliance to run-out James Neesham

But in the fifth and final ODI, the Indian middle-order made amends and despite the failure of top-order helped their side to post a competitive score of 252. Defending under lights, the Indian bowlers bowled well in tandem to stop the Blackcaps at 217 and win the match comfortably.

After collecting the winners’ trophy, every Team India member was extremely happy. In the meantime, Kedar Jadhav shouted “How’s the Josh” and the other players replied ‘High Sir’. The same dialogue was in the movie Uri and Vicky Kaushal, the Indian actor, was seen saying it to his troops before the ‘Surgical Strike’.

Here’s the video:

Hardik Pandya smashes 3 consecutive sixes off Todd Astle in his 22-ball 45

in Blog/Featured/Hardik Pandya/India/ODI/Players/Teams
Hardik Pandya

India made a great recovery in the fifth ODI against New Zealand at Westpac Stadium in Wellington to reach 252 after being reduced to 18 for 4 in the early overs.

Ambati Rayudu and Vijay Shankar started the process with a 98-run partnership to take India to 116-5 but then Hardik Pandya’s late blitz got the visitors to a competitive total.

Also WATCH: Trent Boult bowls an absolute jaffa to clean up MS Dhoni

The all-rounder smashed five sixes – three of them came in a row off leg-spinner Todd Astle – in his 22-ball 45 and helped India score 84 runs in the last ten overs.

Cricket fans also applauded Hardik on Twitter for his quick-fire 45.

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