Category: Sports

Ashwin returns to ODI Squad for Australia series

Ashwin returns to ODI Squad for Australia series

The cynosure of the India’s squad announcement for the final assignment before the ODI World Cup tournament at home has been the inclusion of Ravichandran Ashwin. Fresh from the Asia Cup title haul, and less than three weeks before the start of the quadrennial tournament, India are slated to face Australia in a three-match ODI series at home between September 22 and 27 in Mohali, Indore and Rajkot respectively. And with India fretting over the injury of Axar Patel, who has been ruled out of the first two games, Ashwin has been included. While it was more likely an expected choice given a handful of spin-bowling all-rounder options, questions were raised on Ashwin’s inactivity in the ODI format. The last time he was part of the ODI playing XI was in January 2022 in the tour of South Africa. He played two ODIs in that series, both at Paarl, and while it at hinted at him being part of the scheme of things for the ODI World Cup, he was never recalled again. In fact, the two ODI appearances were his only in the format since the tour of West Indies in 2017.However, Rohit, who had earlier on Sunday, post India’s Asia Cup win revealed that he has been constantly in touch with Ashwin, explained that a bowler, with close to 100 Test appearances and 115 in ODIs, doesn’t need to be consistently playing a format to remain relevant. Unfazed over the lack of game-time, Rohit admitted that he is banking in Ashwin’s experience to come of use and is eager to try him out in the Australia series to know of India’s options in case Axar becomes unavailable for the World Cup. “With the kind of experience Ashwin has, has played close to 100 Tests, 115 ODIs…yes it is all in the past but he has been consistently playing Test cricket. With guys like Ashwin, game-time and time on the ground is not so much of a concern. Which is why we thought if he is an option for us, we need to get him in. With the kind of experience he has, for guys like him, it’s all in the head more than the body. I thought getting him in could give us a chance to understand where he is at, how his body is and stuff like that,” he said.”It’s not like he has not been playing cricket for the last year or so. Yes, he hasn’t played in this [ODI] format, but he played Test cricket recently in the West Indies, and if I’m not wrong, in the TNPL as well. Of course, there’s no comparison but he has had some cricket there. The games against Australia will give us a chance to look at where he’s at.” When Axar was down with an injury he incurred in the Super Four game of Asia Cup against Bangladesh on Friday, Washington Sundar was called up. The latter did not bowl or bat in the final despite being part of the XI, but India retained him for the Australia series.BCCI chief selector Ajit Agarkar, in response to a query on Axar’s injury, explained that while the management remain hopeful of the all-rounder recovering for the third ODI, for which his selection is subject to fitness, they will have options in Sundar and Ashwin to choose from after having tested them in the series against Australia. Ashwin brings experience, so it gives us options in case there is a need at some stage for us to look at those guys,” he said.

Siraj's 6-Wicket Crushes Sri Lanka, India Bring Home 8th Asia Cup

Siraj’s 6-Wicket Crushes Sri Lanka, India Bring Home 8th Asia Cup

Mohammed Siraj helped India win the Asia Cup 2023 title by bowling a sensational spell in the final against Sri Lanka on Sunday, September 17. He won the hearts of many by making a kind gesture after the match. Siraj was given the Player of the Match award for taking six wickets. He decided to donate the prize money of USD $5,000 (INR 4,15,452) to the ground staff at Colombo’s R Premadasa Stadium. India’s opening game against Pakistan was washed out while their Super 4 clash was pushed to the reserve day due to heavy rain. But the ground staff at R Premadasa Stadium displayed remarkable efforts to ensure a successful tournament and won the praises of both captains after the final. Siraj also acknowledged the efforts of the ground staff during the post-match presentation and donated all of his prize money. “This cash prize goes to the groundsmen,” Siraj said. “This tournament wouldn’t have been possible without them.” Siraj became the first Indian bowler to take four wickets in a single over in an ODI innings. He also achieved a major record after taking his fifth wicket in his first 16 deliveries to become the fastest to claim a five-fer in ODI history. He also became the first-ever pacer to take six wickets in Asia Cup history and delivered the fourth-best figures in ODIs for India .

Shoaib Akhtar and Pakistan gets relief on India lost to Bangladesh

Shoaib Akhtar and Pakistan gets relief on India lost to Bangladesh

Shoaib Akhtar’s words can, at times, be as lethal as his bouncers on the cricket field. The former Pakistan speedster, who is often in the news for his over-the-top statements, said he was “relieved” that on Friday. Bangladesh bowed out of Asia Cup 2023 on a high by beating India by six runs at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo. This was their first victory over India in an Asia Cup match since 2012. In reply to Bangladesh’s 265/8, India was bowled out for 259 on the penultimate ball of its innings — with Mohammad Shami run out — after opener Shubman Gill scored 121. After Bangladesh’s win in the inconsequential match, Akhtar said it was an “embarrassing loss” for India, who have already made it to the final.”India have lost the game. Embarrassing loss. We can’t criticise too much. Bangladesh are here to play. People were criticising Pakistan, saying that they got beaten up. Sri Lanka are a good team, not an average team. The same is the case with Bangladesh. They are all playing international cricket. Finally, some relief for the Pakistan fans, including me, that India have lost the game,” Akhtar said.

Can Defending champions defend their title at their home ground?

Can Defending champions defend their title at their home ground?

Mohammed Rizwan and Iftikhar Ahmad almost turned the game on its head after a short rain break during their innings reduced the match to a 42-overs-a-side contest after it had already been reduced to 45 overs due to the toss being delayed. The pair ensured that Pakistan score over 100 runs in the last 10 overs, with Rizwan finishing unbeaten on 86 off just 73 balls. The counter-punch helped Pakistan to a score of 252/7 but they have failed to keep the Sri Lankan batters down. Senior bowlers Shaheen Afridi and Shadab Khan leaked runs while misfields and dropped catches have not helped their cause. Kusal Mendis and Sadeera Samarawickrama put up 100 runs off 98 balls for the third wicket as they rotated strike perfectly. However, Pakistan came roaring back with Iftikhar now striking with the ball. He took three wickets and the equation has come down to Sri Lanka needing 20 off the last three overs. With the minimum number of overs being reduced during their innings, what would have been a target of 253 has only been revised to 252 for Sri Lanka to chase in 42 overs. Despite the rain predictions and a bit of confusion over the nature of the surface, Pakistan announced their playing XI on the eve of the match. They made three changes – two of them forced – to their XI in the must-win match. Mohammad Haris had replaced an out-of-form Fakhar Zaman but Pakistan were then forced to bring him back after Imam-ul-Haq suffered an injury during the match-day. Additionally, Saud Shakeel was also ruled out with fever, with Abdullah Shafique replacing the batter.As far as Sri Lanka are concerned, they found a new hero in Dunith Wellalage, who almost single-handedly won them the match against India. Sri Lanka captain Dasun Shanaka’s main concern, however, will be the pace attack and the underperforming top-order. Pathum Nissanka and Dimuth Karunaratne have not been at their best in this Asia Cup. In the absence of Lahiru Kumara and Dushmantha Chameera, their pace-attack appears to be pale. It will be interesting to see the nature of the pitch in Colombo

WHO WILL JOIN INDIA IN FINAL? SRILANKA OR PAKISTAN

WHO WILL JOIN INDIA IN FINAL? SRILANKA OR PAKISTAN

With India entering the final and Bangladesh bowing out of the Asia Cup, either Pakistan or Sri Lanka can seal the remaining second spot for the summit clash. Sri Lanka will meet Babar Azam’s Pakistan in its final Super 4 match of the Asia Cup on Thursday. The reigning champions are expected to make the most of their home advantage against Pakistan at the Premadasa Stadium. The winner of the virtual semi-final will play India in the Asia Cup final on Sunday.

Who will qualify for final if Sri Lanka vs Pakistan is a washout?

In case the virtual semi-final is a washout, the team which has the better net run rate will join India in the Asia Cup final. As things stand, Sri Lanka have an edge over Pakistan when it comes to the net run-rate. India are runaway leaders in the Super 4 stage with four points from two games. The Men In Blue are followed by Sri Lanka, who are level on points with Pakistan

Clouds clear up and sun shines on Colombo ahead of reserve day

Clouds clear up and sun shines on Colombo ahead of reserve day

For the second time in the 2023 edition of the Asia Cup, the blockbuster encounter between India and Pakistan was interrupted by a spell of heavy rain in Colombo on Sunday. Rohit Sharma’s India were 147 for two in 24.1 overs when rain gods made their presence felt at the famous R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo. Winning the toss and inviting India to bat at Colombo, Pakistan’s world-class bowling attack was put to the sword by openers Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill. The Indian openers smashed half-centuries to add 121 runs for the opening wicket in the Super 4 match between the traditional rivals at the Asia Cup. Batting icon Virat Kohli and wicketkeeper-batter KL Rahul were unbeaten on 8 and 17 respectively after rain lashed the Premadasa Stadium to halt the India innings in Colombo. According to the official broadcasters, the cutoff time for a 20-over game between India and Pakistan was 10:36 PM on Sunday. Pakistan would have received a revised DLS target of around 180 runs in 20 overs if India did not resume its innings. A pitch inspection took place at 7:30 PM and 8:30 PM before intermittent rain pushed the Super 4 clash between India and Pakistan to a reserve day.India’s Super Four match against Pakistan is the only Asia Cup game with a reserve day. Since the adverse weather has suspended play on Sunday, the match will continue on the reserve day (Monday) at the same score. Match officials were earlier tasked to complete the Indo-Pak match on the original matchday.It should be noted that a minimum of 20 overs is required to be bowled in the two innings to get a result. If the Super 4 match between the two teams is a washout on the reserve day, then India and Pakistan will share the match points. With India’s match against Babar and Co. set to be decided on a reserve day, Rohit’s men will meet Sri Lanka in their next Super Four match in less than 24 hours after the completion of the Pakistan game on Tuesday. Earlier in the continental tournament, India’s highly anticipated Group A match was abandoned due to rain at the Pallekele Stadium.

Shoaib Akhtar Warns India Ahead of Asia Cup 2023 Clash

Shoaib Akhtar Warns India Ahead of Asia Cup 2023 Clash

Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar had a warning for the Indian cricket team ahead of the India vs Pakistan Super 4 match at the Asia Cup 2023 on Sunday. Cricket fans around the world are eagerly waiting for the contest after the group stage match between the two sides was abandoned due to rain. The weather report predicted chances of rain in Colombo as well but Akhtar took to social media to provide a weather update after landing from his flight. In a video posted on X (formerly Twitter), he had a few words for his followers.” Just landed in Colombo. Excited about Pakistan vs India. Weather looks quite amazing,” the caption accompanying the video read . The Asian Cricket Council (ACC) on Friday announced a reserve day for the match between India and Pakistan which is scheduled to take place on September 10 at R Premadasa International Cricket Stadium in Colombo, Sri Lanka. If adverse weather suspends play during the India and Pakistan game, the match will continue on September 11 from the point it was suspended.The decision was met with a lot of criticism as no one matches in the Super 4 stage were given a reserve day and fans on social media were quick to ask for equal importance for all the Asia Cup matches.

Mohammad Kaif Addresses India's Middle-Order

Mohammad Kaif Addresses India’s Middle-Order

Mohammad Kaif gave his take on the ongoing competition between KL Rahul and Ishan Kishan as the Men in Blue continue with their preparations for next month’s ODI World Cup. Kishan has enjoyed fine form in the blue jersey, will now have to compete with KL Rahul who recently returned from injury. Other than Hardik Pandya, India’s middle order is still a bit of a mystery. The likes of Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan offer a wide variety of options and skill sets to the team.But the scenario of these four players featuring together in the playing XI is highly unlikely. Kaif addressed the competition that is going on for a spot and said, “Rahul Dravid will know that both (Rahul and Iyer) are the backbone of the Indian middle order and that they will need game time. Ishan played really well, and that’s good because there’s healthy competition in the team,” Kaif said on Star Sports. “However, if an in-form player sits out, then it’s not a problem because Dravid will want to see Rahul bat at No.5. He has good numbers at No. 5, and you will want him and Iyer to get game time and have that form when they play the first World Cup game against Australia,” Kaif added. India have seen what happened with Jasprit Bumrah where he was cleared to play by the NCA but then got injured again. So they will need to be careful with Iyer and Rahul and check on how much they need to play and when they need to take breaks. You don’t want to give them too much load before the match begins. That’s why Rahul Dravid and the trainers are present there he added. eyes will be on India head coach Rahul Dravid’s decision to choose the Playing XI for the electrifying clash against Pakistan in Asia Cup Super Four on Sunday.

'If he was playing for any other country': Harbhajan provides honest admission on Chahal's World Cup snub

‘If he was playing for any other country’: Harbhajan provides honest admission on Chahal’s World Cup snub

Harbhajan Singh has named two star players who should have been a part of the Indian squad for the World Cup. Even though Rohit Sharma said that doors are not shut for discarded spinners in India’s World Cup squad, senior bowler Yuzvendra Chahal failed to seal his place in the 15-member roster for the showpiece event. Addressing a press conference before the Super 4 stage of the Asia Cup, chief selector Ajit Agarkar announced India’s squad for the upcoming edition of the ICC World Cup on Tuesday. A fit-again KL Rahul was retained in Team India’s squad while Rohit and Co. left out senior all-rounder Ravichandran Ashwin from their World Cup roster. Team India has named Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel and Ravindra Jadeja as their three left-arm spinners for the showpiece event. Interestingly, former world champions India have not picked any specialist offspinner for the ICC event. Speaking during a virtual press conference ahead of the Greatest Rivalry on Star Sports, legendary spinner Harbhajan Singh named two star players who should have been a part of the Indian squad. Harbhajan opined that Chahal and Arshdeep Singh are the two names missing from India’s World Cup squad list. “Because a left-arm seamer, if he can bring the new ball inside, it makes it useful in the game. If he can get two wickets early in the game, I’m not saying that right-handers can’t do that, but a left-hand seamer can get an actual angle to get the wicket. You can see how Shaheen Shah Afridi or Mitchell Starc, they have a huge impact on the game. When Australia won the World Cup, Mitchell Starc had a huge impact on the games; he sent Brendan McCullum out on the first ball. Incoming ball, with that speed, coming into a right-hander is always challenging,” Harbhajan said.’Chahal should have been in the team’India’s pace attack features the likes of Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Mohammed Siraj. India also has vice-captain Hardik Pandya and all-rounder Shardul Thakur as seam-bowling options in its squad. Youngsters Tilak Varma and Prasidh Krishna were the two players dropped from India’s squad. Wicketkeeper-batter Sanju Samson was also left out of the 15-member roster. The two-time champions had earlier named Tilak and Prasidh Krishna in their squad for the Asia Cup. Spinner Kuldeep was preferred over Chahal in India’s Asia Cup squad. “The second, being Yuzvendra Chahal, a proven match-winner, someone who has taken more wickets than any other spinner. If he was playing for any other country, I would think he would always be in the playing XI. But even after proving so much, I feel he should have been in the team. If I were part of the management, I would definitely play him in the team, because we are all stakeholders of Indian cricket and we want the Indian Cricket Team to do well. So, I feel these two boys, they could have been very handy in the World Cup, and especially in conditions where they know what to do and how to take wickets,” Harbhajan added.