ICC World Cup’19: BCCI Names Rayudu, Pant As Standbys

Veteran batsman Ambati Rayudu and wicket- keeper Rishabh Pant were kept ad standboys as announced on Wednesday for India’s World Cup squad, bringing back their hopes of making it to UK in case an injury setback hits the side.

Speedster Navdeep Saini also found a place in the list of three back-ups for the mega-event starting on May 30.

Pant and Rayudu’s exclusion from the squad of 15 had created quite a stir on Monday. While Sunil Gavaskar called Pant’s omission surprising, the snub to Rayudu was questioned by Gautam Gambhir.

With the ICC doing away with the practice of letting countries announce a probables’ list before the final squad, the BCCI also has the option of including anyone apart from these three but it is unlikely to happen.

“Just like ICC Champions Trophy, we have three standbys. Rishabh Pant and Ambati Rayudu are the first and second standbys while Saini is the bowler in the list. So if anyone gets injured, as per requirement, one of the three will be going,” a senior BCCI official told PTI on Wednesday.

Rayudu took to Twitter to take a dig at his omission from the squad of 15 on Tuesday.

“Just Ordered a new set of 3d glasses to watch the world cup,” Rayudu wrote on his twitter handle Tuesday.

This was after chairman of selectors MSK Prasad justified preferring Vijay Shankar over Rayudu, citing the former’s “three-dimensional qualities”.

While Khaleel Ahmed, Avesh Khan and Deepak Chahar will be travelling with the team purely as net bowlers, they can also be drafted in if the management feels so.

“Khaleel, Avesh and Deepak are not designated standbys. In case of bowlers, that possibility is there but when it comes purely to batsmen, it will be either Rishabh or Rayudu,” the official said.

In other developments, there will be no Yo-Yo Test for the World Cup-bound players as the IPL is going to end only on May 12, just a few days before India head to the UK. India are scheduled to play their opening World Cup match on June 5 against South Africa in Southampton.

“The players are already in the middle of a gruelling T20 season. Once the IPL ends, they will need recovery time.

“It’s not like that there is a gap between two series and you are having a test. If you are tired, the results may vary,” the official explained.

Rumoured European T20 Franchise League To Begin This Season Between Ireland, Scotland, Netherlands

The Ireland, Scotland and the Netherlands boards confirmed on Wednesday that the much rumoured European T20 franchise league will begin this season. 

The competition will be between six- teams starting from August 30 to September 22 which will be hosted across all the three countries. 

The new competition will see two franchises from each of the countries, based in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dublin, Belfast, Amsterdam and Rotterdam, competing in a double round-robin leading into semi finals. Squads will comprise a minimum of nine domestic players and up to seven overseas, with a minimum of six domestic players in the playing XI.

The competition is sanctioned under the auspices of Cricket Ireland, but is nonetheless the first multi-board collaborative franchise T20 league of its kind. Though in some respects it resembles the Scottish-Dutch North Sea Pro-Series which ran from 2014-2016 and was initially envisaged as a fully professional competition also including the Irish Interpro sides, but the project drew little attention external attention and eventually withered away for lack of funding.

Conversely, the new league has the backing and participation of an ICC Full member in Ireland, and looks to be on firmer footing financially – the initial agreement with sponsors and partners GS Holding and Woods Entertainment running for ten years.

The project is the culmination of a period of intensified cooperation between the European sides, who staged their first tri-lateral T20I series in the Netherlands last summer and met again last month in Muscat for a four-way T20 series with hosts Oman.

Ireland CEO Warren Deurtom said, “We are very excited that what has essentially been an 18-month project in planning is across the line. The quality and competitive performances in white-ball cricket played by the three nations involved has been on full display over recent years, and we saw a joint competition as the best means of ensuring that there would be high quality cricket for the players and fans to enjoy.”

With the T20 WC Qualifier confirmed to be held in the UAE a month later, the new competition will also provide the three sides with valuable match practice in the lead up to the tournament. “The chance to play alongside some of the best in the business will provide a great opportunity for our players to learn and develop their own skillset as we strive to achieve Full Membership and climb the ICC team rankings. The league also comes at an important time of year for Scotland, with the proposed time frame presenting an opportunity to play quality competitive cricket ahead of the T20 WC Global Qualifier in UAE in October” said Cricket Scotland CEO Malcom Cannon.

KNCB Chair Betty Timmer added, “In recent months, the three cricket boards have shown that European cooperation is possible and we thank Cricket Ireland for this great initiative to put T20 cricket in Europe on the map. For some time, Ireland and Scotland have been competitive opponents and we need each other to continue to perform at a high level. This new T20 league is a great opportunity for the Dutch players to gain more T20 experience at a high level and to play in a team with highly experienced international cricketers.”

An official launch revealing the names of the teams and the tournament and confirming venues is expected in April.

India vs Australia 2nd T20I: India Ought To Win To Save Series

Team India fought blatantly after a mediocre performance with the bat in the opening Twenty20 International (T20I) of the two-match series. However it was not enough as Umesh Yadav failed to defend 14 runs in the last over to give away Australia a 1-0 series lead. 

The two teams will play in the second and final T20I at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Wednesday. 

While the focus will still be on giving the fringe players a chance to prove themselves ahead of the all-important World Cup 2019 but India will surely go all out in a bid to avoid a series loss at home to Australia.

Following the defeat in Visakhapatnam, India captain Virat Kohli had spoken about giving “game time” to KL Rahul and Rishabh Pant looking ahead to the World Cup 2019 in England and Wales.

While Rahul hit a fine half-century in the first T20I, Pant was involved in a mix-up and was run-out for 3. Barring three players (Rahul, Kohli and MS Dhoni), no other Indian batsman could even reach double figures as the hosts were restricted to 126 for seven.

The below-par 126 with the bat denied bowlers a decent shot at securing a win even though the Jasprit Bumrah- led attack did all it could to keep the home team in the game till the final over of the match.

India rested opener Shikhar Dhawan to give game time to Rahul, who grabbed the opportunity with both hands by smashing 50 off 36 balls in his comeback game.

He had a disastrous Test tour of Australia before he and Hardik Pandya were provisionally suspended for their loose talk on women during a TV show.

The ban was later revoked though they still face an inquiry.

With the series on the line, it remains to be seen if Dhawan is brought back into the side to open alongside Rohit Sharma or the team retains the opening combination which featured in Vizag.

While Bumrah showed his class after coming back from a break, the other pacer in Umesh Yadav leaked runs and was not able to defend 14 in the final over.

India could replace Umesh with Siddharth Kaul or bring in all-rounder Vijay Shankar to beef-up the batting department.

The hosts played with a long tail in Vizag and that impacted their final total following an inexplicable batting collapse from 69 for one in the ninth over.

Pant, a strong contender for a World Cup 2019 berth, will be itching to perform after getting out cheaply on Sunday, and so will be Dinesh Karthik, who is left with just one game to make a compelling contribution before the World Cup.

Focus will also be on MS Dhoni the batsman who stuttered to an unbeaten 29 off 37 balls in Vizag.

Teams:

India: Virat Kohli (capt), Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Rishabh Pant, Dinesh Karthik, MS Dhoni (wk), Krunal Pandya, Vijay Shankar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav, Sidharth Kaul, Mayank Markande.

Australia: Aaron Finch (capt), D’Arcy Short, Pat Cummins, Alex Carey, Jason Behrendorff, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Peter Handscomb (wk), Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Glenn Maxwell, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, Marcus Stoinis, Ashton Turner, Adam Zampa.

India vs New Zealand: The Women In Blue Playing Tough Game

India women against New Zealand women may have won their ODI series by 2-1 but the tremendous loss they suffered in the previous match would be something that they would be looking to cover up with a strong play in the T20I series. Indian team was wrapped- up all for 149 and New Zealand chased the target with eight wickets and more than 20 overs to spare.

However, Mithali Raj and co. were impressive in the preceding matches, winning by nine wickets in the first and eight wickets in the second. Smriti Mandhana has been in stellar form as she scored 105 in the first match and followed that up with an unbeaten 90 in the second.

When is India vs New Zealand 1st T20I?

The 1st T20I between India and New Zealand will take place on Wednesday, February 6, 2019.

Where is India vs New Zealand 1st T20I?

The 1st T20I between India and New Zealand will be played at the Westpac Stadium in Wellington, New Zealand.

Which channels will broadcast India vs New Zealand 1st T20I? 

The 1st T20I between India and New Zealand will be broadcast on Star Sports 1 and all its regional and HD platforms.

What time does India vs New Zealand 1st T20I begin?

India vs New Zealand 1st T20I will begin at 8:30 AM IST. The toss will take place at 8:30 AM IST.

Sunil Gavaskar Predicts Dhoni- Less Batting Order For Three-Match T20I Series

India is soon to face a three- match series against New Zealand starting on February 6 at the Westpac Stadium in Wellington. Ahead of the series, former Indian skipper Sunil Gavaskar when asked to predict his batting lineup up till No.7 missed MS Dhoni’s name prior to the suggestion of former New Zealand coach Mike Hesson that the veteran can be given rest in the series.

After a dismal 2018 where Dhoni recorded his worst numbers in ODIs in his 12-year-long career, he burst into the frame with three back-to-back fifties against Australia in 2019. He scored 51, 55 and 87 in the three-match series against Australia to not just earn the Man of the Series award, but also shrug off all questions regarding his World Cup spot. He followed it up with an unbeaten and a gritty 48 in the second ODI against New Zealand. He amassed a total of 242 runs in the five innings in this year recording an astronomical average of 121 which includes three fifties. However, Gavaskar, in conversation with Star Sports, missed out Dhoni’s name in a bid to give him rest before the Australia series kicks off.

Sunil Gavaskar’s batting lineup for T20I series: Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Rishabh Pant, Shubman Gill, Dinesh Karthik, Hardik Pandya and Krunal Pandya.

Mike Hesson then explained that the T20I series gives a “huge opportunity for Rishabh Pant and Dinesh Karthik to solve those World Cup decisions. We know MS Dhoni is going to be part of World Cup.”

At the end of the discussion, Gavaskar also revealed his prediction for the three-match T20I series – 2-1.

The Men in Blue have played a total of nine T20I games against the Blackcaps winning only two matches. And India managed to win their only T20I series in New Zealand under the captaincy of Dhoni in their 2008/2009 tour recording a whitewash in the two-match contest.

India vs Australia Day 1 Updates

Thick outside edge as Virat Kohli chases a ball aimed at the 10th stump. Tim Paine with a dive as he fails to hold on to the ball. Indian skipper gets a reprieve before reaching his half-century. How costly could that prove to be to the Australians?

That was our Live coverage of the first day’s play of the third Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Mayank Agarwal got off to a flying start on his Test debut while Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli put 92 runs on board for the third wicket. The MCG wicket failed to provide the bowlers with the sort of help that they enjoyed in Perth, although the second new ball did give some movement late on. Virat Kohli almost fell victim of a delivery from Mitchell Starc but Tim Paine fumbled behind the stumps to give the Indian skipper a lifeline.

Some movement form Mitchell Starc as the ball goes through the gap between the bat and the pad but somehow fails to hit the stumps. The Indian skipper looked bamboozled as to how he missed the ball but is relieved to have survived. Just 5 overs remain in the game today.

Just a matter of few runs before Virat Kohli races on to another half-century. The Indian skipper truly is a ‘run machine’ who refuses to stop scoring runs, no matter where and which team he is playing against.

Short deliveries being used more often by the Australian pacers. The partnership between Kohli and Pujara is no 69 runs from 145 balls. Both batsmen have bagged 4 boundaries each so far as the challenging phase for the hosts continues.

The second new ball will be due in the next 5 overs. Pat Cummins, who has removed both the Indian batsmen so far, would look to get something out from the new ball and break this all-important partnership between Kohli and Pujara.

No help from the surface and it is affecting the players’ line and length too. While the pacers are trying various lengths to unsettle the batsmen, spinner Lyon seems to be struggling a bit when trying to hit the right mark too.

That’s a half-century for Cheteshwar Pujara, his second this series. Virat Kohli, meanwhile, survives a close LBW call off a Nathan Lyon delivery.

Rohit Sharma’s Mesmerizing Game at ODI

Rohit Sharma slammed his 21st one-day international century on Monday with a clamour to move within one century of former India captain Sourav Ganguly;s record of 22 ODI tons.

Mumbai born Rohit, playing his first international match at the iconic Brabourne Stadium, played with his trademark elegance and launched his full array of shots to reach the three-figure mark in the 33rd over of the innings.

This is the Indian limited overs vice-captain’s second century of the series and second against the West Indies. He continues to be fourth on the overall list of Indians with ODI centuries to their name. Sachin Tendulkar (49), Virat Kohli (38) and Sourav Ganguly (22) are those who are still ahead of Rohit.

This is the 9th time Rohit has gone past the century mark in one-dayers in India and his extended purple patch in the format has seen him now register his fifth century of the year.

7 State BCCI’s Association Demanded Action Against Rahul Johri

A total of seven state associations of the BCCI have written to the Committee of Administrators (CoA) seeking a stern action against #MeToo- sexual harassment accused board’s CEO Rahul Johri.

Haryana, Tamil Nadu, Goa, Gujarat, Saurashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka have written to CoA members Vinod Rai and Diana Edulji, asking for the steps taken by the Supreme Court-appointed administrators in probing allegations against Johri and his response to the CoA after being served a show-cause notice last week.

“We are writing this because we are distressed at the developments in the BCCI and because of the fact that very serious allegations of rape or those of an act as heinous if not more, have emerged against the Chief Executive Officer of the BCCI,” the state associations wrote.

“The CoA had been prompt to seek an explanation from him and had granted him a period of one week to respond. It has subsequently been reported in the media that the CEO has replied to the show cause notice issued to him. However, there has been no confirmation of the same by the CoA or the office bearers. We would like to know about the role of the office bearers in this process since we are not aware of the same.”

“The members say it is crucial that the procedure for handling an extremely sensitive matter such as this must necessarily inspire trust and confidence in the stakeholders, especially the public at large.

“However, in the instant matter, this does not appear to be so. This is largely because at the outset, it has not been made clear as to which provisions of the BCCI’s Rules and Regulations have been invoked to initiate the procedure in the given facts and circumstances. The process that is being followed in this case has also not been communicated to anyone. It is also important for us to know who all are assisting the CoA and the office bearers in this matter,” the letters add.

The state associations also contend that CoA’s handling of the allegations, which surfaced on October 13, have not been consistent with their stance on other previous issues. In March, when Mohammed Shami’s wife accused the fast bowler of domestic violence, the India cricketer’s name was instantly withheld from the list of central contract awardees in anticipation of a potential backlash. The letter also alluded to the immediate suspension of an Uttar Pradesh Cricket Association official after a sting operation divulged him taking bribes in exchange for selection to teams. He was subsequently cleared by the panel.

The state associations of Gujarat and Tamil Nadu also informed the CoA that Johri stands banned from their premises until his name is cleared by an independent panel (constituted hours after these mails).

All Rounder Keshav Jadhav Ostracized from ODI

The all-rounder wizard of Indian cricket team received the shock of life when he was confided in the fact that he has been held aloof from the ongoing ODI following his hamstring injury in the final of the Asia Cup last month.

His awestruck drill in readiness for Deodhar Trophy game at the Feroz Shah Kotla on Thursday (October 25) morning was soothing enough to see.

However, the day turned sour for the all-rounder when he was apprised that he wasn’t part of the squad announced for the last three ODIs against West Indies. The team was announced in the afternoon when he was fielding.

Expressing surprise over his omission, he said, “I need to see why they didn’t pick me. I have cleared all tests and that’s why I played the match today. I am match fit. Unless you clear all the tests, you shouldn’t be picked for any matches and since I was fit the selectors asked me to play the Deodhar game. If I am not in the Indian team, I’ll focus on playing Ranji Trophy.”

While Jadhav was asked to join the India ‘A’ team as late as Wednesday evening, the Indian team was picked at around midnight the same day. The selectors couldn’t have picked Jadhav without testing him out in a match. Ostensibly he has played a game, he could even be drafted in for the fourth ODI.

Interestingly, the confusion should have been avoided when the selectors called up Jadhav on Wednesday. None of the three selectors present at the Ferozeshah Kotla on Thursday even spoke to him before the start of the game.

Over the last few weeks, national selectors have been battling insinuations of a lack of communication from players who have been ignored for national duty. However, chairman of selectors MSK Prasad clarified that his team had to keep in mind Jadhav’s frequent breakdowns.

This was the second time in six months that Jadhav has picked up a hamstring injury. He missed the almost the entire IPL 2018 after suffering an injury in the tournament opener. He suffered a similar injury while batting in the Asia Cup. He had cleared all his fitness tests at the NCA in Bengaluru before he was flown to Delhi for the Deodhar Trophy game.

While Prasad remained noncommittal about when Jadhav could make a comeback, he added that Jadhav remained an integral part of the plans for the World Cup. “He will come back to the team. There is no doubt about his ability. I will have a word with him and convey how we plan to manage him,” he said.

Jadhav, on his part, expressed his disappointment at getting injured frequently. “It’s very important to be honest with physios and trainers. Whatever your body tells you, you should convey it to the physios. You can’t hide things. I expect the same honesty from their side,” he claimed.

“You can’t afford to be cautious when you come back. As long as people at the NCA clear you, you shouldn’t have any doubt. Once I get a clearance from NCA, I don’t hold back.”