Connect with us

Cricket

‘Double the points for away wins’ – Virat Kohli’s tip for World Test Championship

Published

on


Left to him, Virat Kohli would give teams extra points for away wins in the World Test Championship. On the eve of India’s second Test against South Africa in Pune, Kohli said that the arrival of the championship had encouraged teams to play positive cricket, and given them the incentive to go for wins when they might have earlier settled for draws. But he did hope there would be one change in the points system, perhaps when the next edition of the championship rolls around.

“The importance of every game has become that much more,” Kohli said in a press conference. “In situations that, in a three-match series, you probably would have played out a draw, teams are going to go for wins and get those extra points, so I think it’s great for Test cricket. The matches are going to be that much more exciting, is what we feel, and we can already experience that.

“We have to be absolutely professional in every session that we play, so yeah, I think it’s much more demanding on the players now, which is a good thing because it will keep the standard of Test cricket high. Yeah, these are the only things we have experienced so far and noticed in terms of changes.

ALSO READ: The mystery of the Pune pitch

“If you’d have asked me to make the points table, I would give double the points for an away Test win. That is something that I would have definitely liked to see. Maybe after the first edition.”

Visiting teams in India would certainly appreciate that extra incentive. India have been an incredibly difficult team to beat in their own backyard during Kohli’s time as captain, India winning 16 of their 22 Tests and losing just one. For all that, though, Kohli said conditions in India are often difficult to negotiate even for his team.

“Look, it’s not easy for us as a home side as well,” Kohli said. “When conditions are challenging, when the ball’s spinning, we’ve also found it difficult in the past. But we’re a team that looks for answers, not excuses, so maybe that’s the reason we keep improving, and we’ve been able to win so many Test matches.

“Come on, give the guy a break now. He’s done well, let him enjoy his batting at the top of the order, let him just have fun, like he does in white-ball cricket, and stop focusing on what’s Rohit going to do in Tests”

“We don’t take anything for granted for sure, we can very well be losing four-five wickets a session, so we know that well, as a team. We work pretty hard on our game also, even though we play in our own conditions and we’ve grown up playing in these conditions. So I think the mindset is key for us, and that’s to win every game that we play and not focus on what the conditions are on display, we look to find answers rather than excuses.”

Over the first three days of the first Test in Visakhapatnam, South Africa pushed India hard to find these answers, particularly with their aggressive batting approach against spin, which helped them claw back from 39 for 3 to finish just 71 short of India’s first-innings total of 502.

Kohli wasn’t surprised by the fight South Africa put up.

“How they played in the first innings was very good,” he said. “You have to be positive when the wicket’s nice and easy to bat on, you have to try and get as many runs as possible, and that’s exactly what they did.

“I would say the first three, maybe even four days of the game, the wicket was hardly doing anything. After three-and-a-half days, it started to turn a little bit, and then on day five we really got into our own. We expected that. We expected teams to come out and try and be positive against us, and we held our own. We held our own in the second innings, and put up 400 runs for them to gun down again.

“Look, we are going to be put under pressure, even though we’re playing at home. Its about how we come back into the game and then put double the pressure on the opposition again and then tell them, let’s see if that can be executed again. So that’s basically what Test cricket is. You have to come back in the second innings and do the job again, it doesn’t end in one innings, but the approach was quite expected.”

On the final day, India’s match-winner was Mohammed Shami, who came into his own on a wearing fifth-day pitch to run through South Africa in their second innings. What sets Shami apart, according to Kohli, is how much help he can coax out of even the flattest surfaces.

“I think on the pitches that we play, I haven’t seen anyone get so much seam movement apart from him,” Kohli said. “Yes, internationally, many bowlers do, but I think on flat pitches he has the ability to pick you wickets in situations that feel absolutely dead. And that’s why he’s such an important bowler for us, that’s why we’ve wanted to manage his workload very precisely – all the fast bowlers.

“But he’s someone who can change the complexion of the game totally when you don’t see it coming. That’s the kind of skill he possesses, and now he’s taking the responsibility. We don’t need to push Shami anymore. We don’t need to tell him, come on, you’ve got to get up and bowl this spell for us. He wants the ball. He understands the situation. When he’s given the ball, especially in the second innings when situations are difficult, he comes in and does the job every time.

“It’s great. People are taking responsibility in different situations in the game, which is amazing to see and his skill is obviously there for everyone to see, it’s not a surprise anymore to all of us that he gets the ball to do that much more than others in conditions that don’t really offer you much. He’s blessed with that skill naturally, but it’s the mindset that’s changed now. According to me he’s in the best space right now.”

India’s other hero in Visakhapatnam was Rohit Sharma, who scored centuries in both innings while opening the batting for the first time in Test cricket. That performance, Kohli felt, should end the debate over Rohit’s place in the team.

“It’s overflowing. It’s not been filled,” Kohli said, when asked if the opening slots were taken for the foreseeable future. “Come on, give the guy a break now. He’s done well, let him enjoy his batting at the top of the order, let him just have fun, like he does in white-ball cricket, and stop focusing on what’s Rohit going to do in Tests.

“He’s in a great space, he’s playing really well, and he looked relaxed in the first game, which is great to see, all the experience he’s accumulated over the years came to the fore, so he’s feeling absolutely at home at the top of the order, and for us as a team it’s a huge bonus, because if you saw the second innings, the way he’s able to take the tempo of the game forward, that allows the bowlers an extra hour and a half or two hours to bowl the opposition out.

“So look, if a guy like him at the top of the order plays the way he did in the last game, we’re going to be in situations to go for victories in most of the Test matches. We’re all very happy for him, and I think it’s time to just move ahead from [debating about] his spot at the top of the order and just let him enjoy his batting.”

The Pune pitch had a fair grass cover on the eve of the Test match, and a certain amount of early moisture is expected too, given the volume of rain the city has experienced over the past week or so. Despite this, Kohli seemed to suggest that India would probably stick with an attack containing two seamers and two spinners, and not play the extra fast bowler.

“Well, I think more or less our team is settled,” he said. “I don’t think it’s going to play that big a factor because when the pitch is damp it turns as well, so it’s not like only seamers are predominantly going to be effective on this pitch, all five days. Everyone will have to play their roles.

“Unless you have a pitch which has total grass coverage, only then you think of changes in combination for the match. Because you do know that it’s going to dry out at some stage, and you can’t go predominantly one-sided in your attack and then not have the balance. “We are pretty balanced in our team composition, and if any changes need to be made looking at how the pitch might behave on the first three days, then we’ll do so, but we don’t see any major things to think about, looking at the pitch.”



Source link

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Cricket

Recent Match Report – Sydney Sixers Women vs Sydney Thunder Women, Women’s Big Bash League, Innings

Published

on


Sydney Sixers 6 for 192 (Perry 81) beat Sydney Thunder 9 for 143 (Blackwell 56, Aley 3-28) by 49 runs

Ellyse Perry has been a little in the background in Australia colours at the start of the season because of the dominant form of her team-mates, but back with Sydney Sixers she picked up from last season with an agenda-setting all-round performance with 81 off 48 balls and two wickets as the Sixers began the first standalone WBBL with a handsome 49-run victory.

Last season Perry scored a WBBL record 777 runs including two centuries. She did not spend much time at the crease against West Indies and Sri Lanka over the last six weeks but made full use of being back at the top of the order with a classy innings with 58 off her 81 runs combing in boundaries.

Initially, she took a backseat to Alyssa Healy who carried on from her world record T20I score of 148 not out against Sri Lanka on this ground a couple of weeks ago with 42 off 32 balls, ended when she skied to mid-on as Pakistan allrounder Nida Dar claimed the first wicket of the tournament.

The Thunder’s fielding was poor with a number of balls not gathered cleanly while Ash Gardner was dropped on 20 by Alex Blackwell. Dar, the first Pakistan player in the WBBL, was heading for respectable figures until her final went for 21.

In the final over of the innings there was what appeared to be a nasty injury when debutant Maddy Darke stumbled attempting her first run and remained down in the middle of the pitch. The Thunder had a chance to run her out but declined yet the run was eventually credited to the Sixers which left captain Rachael Haynes a little perplexed.

In the end, however, one run was far from making the difference as the Thunder did not threaten the target with the top order dispatched inside the powerplay.

Perry made immediate inroads when she trapped Naomi Stalenberg lbw then had Rachel Priest caught at backward point in the space of three deliveries. Any chances of the Thunder making an impression on the chase disappeared when Haynes skied Marizanne Kapp.

However, there was the opportunity for a glimpse at the future as 16-year-old Phoebe Litchfield played a debut innings that showcased the immense promise that has been talked about. Her first boundary was lofted over midwicket, that was followed by a scoop over short fine leg and two more boundaries followed before she was lbw trying to paddle another 16-year-old, Hayley Silver-Holmes.

Alongside Blackwell, a player at the other end of her career, they added 68 in eight overs, with Blackwell progressing to a 30-ball fifty, to give the Thunder some encouragement ahead of their match against the defending champions Brisbane Heat on Sunday.

The opening match of the tournament was watched by a crowd of 1891 in the ground and there will be a hope that figure grows over the festival weekend.



Source link

Continue Reading

Cricket

Singapore captain Mahboob explains how they beat top-ranked Scotland

Published

on


With 19 runs to get off two overs and a well-set Calum MacLeod at the crease, all signs pointed to Scotland holding their nerve and avoiding slipping on a first-day banana skin at the T20 World Cup Qualifier. But Singapore captain Amjad Mahboob had other plans and got a little help from his friends to spark the tournament’s first upset on Friday at the ICC Academy.

“Before the second-last over, we had 19 to defend,” Mahboob said after the two-run win over Scotland. “I told [Janak Prakash] if you give me eight to ten runs, I am definitely going to win the match for Singapore. I had self-belief, confidence in me that I could do it and God helped me, and I did it.”

While Mahboob got most of the limelight for defending eight off the final over, Prakash’s role in the denouement was no less significant. The 19-year-old allrounder had scored a vital 20 off 11 balls at No. 6 to bolster Singapore late in the first innings. On the first ball of his second over, Kyle Coetzer‘s straight drive pinged Prakash just over the right eye, splitting open a sizable gash as blood poured onto the ground and physios from both teams ran out to assist.

But Prakash was able to get to his feet with a towel pressed against his head and walked off on his own power. It looked like he might not take any further part in the match, yet he was back on the field just 17 balls later with his head stitched up and wrapped in bandaging. Then he bravely came back into the attack and conceded 11 off the 19th. It set the stage for Mahboob to deny Scotland by claiming MacLeod and Safyaan Sharif to brilliant catches at deep midwicket by Tim David before a last-ball run out ended the match.

“I was very confident because this ground is not easy to hit boundaries,” Mahboob said. “So I just bowled in the right areas. The first three balls I bowled with variations and that helped me. The last ball, I knew only if they hit a six, they could win. I bowled the leg-stump yorker and the result was in our favour.”

“When the batsman hit the ball, some of the boys had started celebrating already. I was shouting at my keeper to throw the ball to me, the batsmen are still running. The fielder threw the ball again to the keeper end. Aritra [Dutta] was there and he took off the bails and the result was ours. It’s a great feeling. Beating Scotland is not an easy thing. We know they are one of the strongest teams and we are very happy. We want to carry on with the same momentum in the tournament.”

David’s placement at deep midwicket was not the original plan either. It took some prodding from Manpreet Singh behind the stumps to reposition David on the boundary into the area where Manpreet felt Scotland were most likely to target.

“I think he is an all-round package,” Mahboob said of David, who only made 1 but was instrumental in the field with four catches and a runout. “If he never clicks with the bat, he can do well in the bowling and the fielding. Thanks to my keeper, he asked me to put Tim David on the leg side. I listened to him and I think that helped me.”

On the flip side, Scotland’s fielding cost them badly as several missed stumpings and a drop on the boundary resulted in bonus runs for Singapore. Coetzer said his side needs to be more clinical when opportunities in the field present themselves.

“I guess it’s about being a little bit more ruthless in terms of taking our opportunities,” Coetzer said after his side’s loss. “In T20 cricket, it’s fine margins sometimes. I think both sides missed opportunities at key times in the game. We missed a couple in the first half, which possibly could have put them on the back foot, with three-four wickets down. But that’s how the game goes. We seemed to have it under control towards the end. As we all know, there is no team you can underestimate in this tournament and Singapore are a very good side. In the end, they deserved their win.”



Source link

Continue Reading

Cricket

Recent Match Report – United Arab Emirates vs Oman, ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Qualifier, 4th Match, Group B

Published

on


Oman 109 for 3 (llyas 45*) beat UAE 108 for 9 (Butt 3-16, Khan 3-23) by seven wickets

The absence of three banned players in the wake of an ICC ACU investigation into match-fixing left UAE badly exposed on the opening night of the T20 World Cup Qualifier on home soil as Oman ran roughshod over the depleted hosts, storming to victory by seven wickets.

Oman demonstrated early that they would show little mercy to their shorthanded gulf rivals with some superb fielding leading to three wickets in the Powerplay. The sequence included a direct hit from mid-on by Khurram Nawaz but was highlighted by a brilliant diving catch from Aqib Ilyas at backward point off the fifth ball of the match to dismiss Ashfaq Ahmed and give Bilal Khan the first of his three wickets.

The normally fluent Rameez Shahzad and Rohan Mustafa struggled to pace their innings in the middle overs without the suspended Shaiman Anwar as a buffer, each scoring below a run a ball before they fell after the halfway stage. Shahzad was bowled missing a slog sweep to Khawar Ali’s legspin before Mustafa lofted Khan to Aamir Kaleem at long-on.

UAE wheezed their way past 100 before stuttering badly in the final two overs as Khan and Fayyaz Butt excelled at the death. Butt took three wickets in four balls in the 19th with clever use of the slower bouncer. Khan then had Junaid Siddique caught behind in the final over on what may have been a far more contentious decision – replays indicated it was a bump ball but third umpire referrals are not in place for this tournament – had the scoreline been remotely tighter.

The chase became even more comfortable for Oman thanks to some very sloppy fielding by UAE, in contrast to the visitors. Medium pacer Siddique bounced out Khawar for a five-ball duck to start the reply and should have had Jatinder Singh at deep square leg for 2 in the third over, but Waheed Ahmed put down a diving effort coming in from the rope and Jatinder went on to make 16, not much but enough in a low-scoring match.

A much clumsier effort was put down by Ashfaq Ahmed at slip in the 9th over. Kaleem was fresh at the crease after Jatinder’s run out by Waheed from deep cover and captain Ahmed Raza supported Mustafa’s offspin with a slip in the form of Ashfaq. But he still had his hands on his knees when Kaleem, on 2, edged one that went in between his legs at knee height and carried on for a boundary.

Kaleem made 27 off 19 before he slogged to long-on in the 14th off Raza but by that stage Oman needed just 28 off 39 balls to reach the target. An uncharacteristically sedate Ilyas patiently knocked singles and twos in tandem with captain Zeeshan Maqsood in an unbroken fourth-wicket stand to get Oman across the line with 10 balls to spare as Maqsood ended the match pulling a six off Siddique over square leg.





Source link

Continue Reading

Trending