Gautam Sodhi, Author at Sportzwiki

Gautam Sodhi

I am more than just a cricket lover. I have been breathing this game since I was three, and now I am making a living out of it. Also, FC Barcelona happens to be my second love, and evidently, I prefer Lionel Messi over Ronaldo.

Virat Kohli, India vs Australia 2019, 2nd ODI, Nagpur
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IND vs AUS 2019, 2nd ODI, Nagpur – Twitter Hails Virat’s 40th Hundred; Shows Displeasure Over Batting Failure

The best ODI batsman at the moment, Virat Kohli scored his 40th hundred during the Nagpur match against Australia. However, apart from him, only Vijay Shankar had hit a few runs – 46 off 41 balls; while the others failed to hit the purple patch, including the openers and last match heroes – Kedar Jadhav and MS Dhoni. For Australia, Pat Cummins stood out – picking up four wickets, while Adam Zampa picked two wickets. In the end, the hosts scored 250.

Kohli hits ton; Shankar’s shine as well

India didn’t get off to a good start in the second ODI, as Pat Cummins got Rohit Sharma’s number inside the first over on zero. As Australia had won the toss and asked India to bat, they didn’t mind such a beginning. Though Shikhar Dhawan and Kohli added 38 runs for the second wicket, Maxwell was quick in removing Dhawan – trapping him in front of the wickets. It was about time before Ambati Rayudu returned to the pavilion as well.

At that stage, Vijay Shankar joined Kohli in the middle and took the onus on himself. The all-rounder who had played up the order during NZ T20Is got a brilliant chance to showcase his skill – which he did brilliantly. As he was going strong, a straight shot off Kohli got him run-out on 46 off 41 balls. Meanwhile, Australia bagged two quick wickets in Kedar Jadhav and MS Dhoni off successive balls – leaving India reeling at 171 for six.

India vs Australia 2019, 2nd ODI, Nagpur, Virat Kohli
Adam Zampa took two wickets in the second ODI against India in Nagpur. Image Courtesy; Getty

After that, it was all about Virat Kohli, who completed his 40th ODI hundred and broke a dozen records in the meantime. Courtesy his century, India hit 250.

Here is how the Twitter reacted to India’s first innings tally against Australia in the Nagpur ODI –

ICC, Jersey Numbers, Test
Image Courtesy: Getty

NZ vs BAN 2019, 1st Test, Hamilton – Match Report

New Zealand has taken a 1-0 lead in the three-match Test series against Bangladesh. At the Seddon Park in Hamilton, the Kiwis won the Test by an innings and 52 runs. Though Soumya Sarkar and skipper Mahmudullah scored tons in the second outing, Bangladesh fell short of NZ’s first innings lead of 481. For the hosts, two left-armers, Neil Wagner and Trent Boult collected a five-wicket haul in the first and second innings, respectively. Besides, New Zealand’s top three hit three-digit scores with Kane Williamson scoring his second double hundred in Tests. Here, Sportzwiki will bring you the match report of the New Zealand-Bangladesh first Test.

Mahmudullah, Sarkar score tons; NZ wins Hamilton Test

Bangladesh’s second innings saw their stand-in captain, Mahmudullah and star batsman, Soumya Sarkar complete respective hundreds. Though a lead of 481 was always going to benefit the hosts, Bangladesh didn’t lose hope and fought hard to stay in the game. On day four, the BAN openers – Tamim Iqbal and Shadman Islam added 88 for the first wicket. Neil Wagner, the first innings hero, gave New Zealand the breakthrough in the name of Islam. It was about time before the scorecard read 126 for four.

New Zealand vs Bangladesh 2019, 1st Test, Hamilton - Match Report
Mahmudullah and Soumya Sarkar scored tons in the second innings of the Hamilton Test. Image Courtesy: Getty

At that stage, Bangladesh looked like losing the plot and starring down the barrel. However, the experienced pair of Soumya Sarkar and Mahmudullah then began the rescue work. Their partnership of 235 gave some hope to the Bangladeshi fans, who have been waiting to see their side register a win in New Zealand for the first time. In the meantime, both Sarkar and Mahmudullah completed their centuries.

As both were going strong and looked like bailing Bangladesh out of trouble, Boult struck gold – cleaning up Sarkar on 149 off 171. From there on, wickets fell in a cluster, as New Zealand knocked down their opponents by an innings and 52 runs. Meanwhile, Mahmudullah also hit 146 off 229 balls.

Here is the scorecard of Bangladesh’s second innings against New Zealand –

New Zealand vs Bangladesh 2019, 1st Test, Hamilton - Match Report
Here is the scorecard of Bangladesh’s second innings against New Zealand in the first Test. Image Courtesy: Sportzwiki

The second Test of the three-match series will begin in Wellington on March 7th.

Nike, India, Jersey, 2019 World Cup
Here is team India's new jersey by the Nike for the 2019 World Cup. Image Courtesy: Getty

Nike Launches Team India’s Jersey for 2019 World Cup

Nike, an American MNC, on Friday, launched team India’s jersey for the 2019 World Cup. The Men in Blue will be seen donning the new blue jersey for cricket’s showpiece event in the UK, which will begin on May 30th. Meanwhile, Nike had launched the jersey in Hyderabad – the venue for the first ODI between India and Australia.

Results speak for India in their lead up to Showpiece event

Team India’s preparation for the mega event in the UK began a year back. It was when India toured South Africa in 2017/18; the results started to fall in place in the 50-over format. At their home, India won the ODIs 5-1. Later, in England, the Men in Blue suffered a 2-1 defeat at the hands of ranked no. 1 team in the One-Dayers. However, they turned the tables around quickly – first, winning the Asia Cup 2018 in the UAE before thumping the Windies in the limited-overs series.

It didn’t end there, as the Men in Blue then clinched a bilateral ODI series in Australia for the first time. After attaining a 2-1 result at their backyard, Virat Kohli-led side ended the tour Down Under by beating New Zealand 4-1 in the ODIs too. Though they have suffered T20I series losses at the hands of NZ and Australia at home; the Indian team is upbeat about doing wonders in their last international assignment in their lead up to the 2019 World Cup – ODI series at home against the Oz.

India to begin the WC campaign against South Africa

The thirteenth edition of the ICC Cricket World Cup will start on May 30th in England and Wales. The India National Cricket Team, who are the two-time champions (1983, 2011) will play South Africa on June 5th, Southampton in their first game. As all the teams will play each other once before the semifinalists are confirmed; the India-Pakistan match on June 16th in Manchester will be the one to look out for.

New Zealand vs Bangladesh 2019, 1st Test, Day 2 - Review
Jeet Raval scored his maiden Test hundred against Bangladesh in Hamilton. Image Courtesy: Getty

New Zealand vs Bangladesh 2019, 1st Test, Day 2, Hamilton – Review

In reply to Bangladesh’s 234 in the first innings, New Zealand dominated four sessions since then. On day two of the first Test at the Seddon Park, Hamilton, the Kiwis entirely walked over their opponents. Courtesy twin tons from the openers, Jeet Raval (132) and Tom Latham (161), New Zealand, have taken a lead of 217 at stumps. Not only this but their skipper, Kane Williamson is also nearing his hundred against the Tigers. Among the bowlers, the part-time medium pacer, Soumya Sarkar picked two wickets while others went for runs.

Raval, Latham put NZ on track

Both the left-handed batsmen began the day on a resounding note – hitting boundaries more often than not. As Bangladesh lacked quality bowlers on the list, the duo made the best of the situation. It was about time before Raval completed his maiden Test hundred. A few overs later, wicketkeeper-batsman, Tom Latham also completed the three-digit mark. The pair added 254 runs for the first wicket before the captain, Mahmudullah got the better off Raval on 132. In his knock, Jeet hit 19 boundaries and a solitary six.

New Zealand vs Bangladesh 2019, 1st Test, Day 2 - Review
Tom Latham and Jeet Raval added 254 for the first wicket on day 2 of the Hamilton Test. Image Courtesy: Getty

On the other hand, the experienced Latham was looking upbeat to score more. Joined by Kane Williamson, the pair added 79 runs for the second wicket. As Tom had completed 150 runs, he set his eyes on his maiden double ton in Tests. However, Soumya Sarkar gave the Tigers a critical breakthrough in the name of Latham on 161.

Kane, Nicholls gave finishing touches

After picking up the openers, Bangladesh must be taking a sigh of relief. Their confidence suffered a beating when Kane and Henry Nicholls paired only to pile more runs. Of late the New Zealand captain had been out of touch – looking back at his limited-overs series against Sri Lanka and India, where he didn’t hit a single century. However, taking time and sticking around seemed to have done the wonder for him. Though he didn’t reach the century yet, Kane is unbeaten on 93 off 132 at stumps on day two.

Besides, Henry Nicholls also collected a fifty to his name. Though he got out on 53 off Mehidy Hasan, New Zealand ended day two on 451 for four.

Here is the scorecard of New Zealand’s first innings at stumps on day two –

New Zealand vs Bangladesh 2019, 1st Test, Day 2, Hamilton - Review
Here is the scorecard of New Zealand’s first innings on day two of the Hamilton Test. Image Courtesy: Sportzwiki
Sachin Tendulkar, India-Pakistan, World Cup
Sachin Tendulkar. Image Courtesy: Getty

‘Time to Beat Pakistan Once Again’ – Sachin Tendulkar on Whether India Should Boycott the Clash Against Arch-Rivals

The veteran cricketer, Sachin Tendulkar said he would hate to see India giving away points to Pakistan by not playing them at the 2019 World Cup. The maestro of the game, who featured in five of the six matches India had played against their arch-rivals at the mega event had backed the idea of Sunil Gavaskar; who said instead of boycotting Pakistan in the UK, India should face them, beat them and ensure they don’t reach the semis. Tendulkar further added India had come victorious in the clashes against their neighbours before, and its time we beat them again.

I will back whatever the country decides – Sachin

On February 14th, a jeep carrying 300kgs of explosives ran into an Army convoy killing more than 42 CRPF jawans. Jaish-eh-Mohammad, the terrorist group claimed the responsibility of the same. As a result, the politicians and a few of the former cricketers including Sourav Ganguly had vouched to boycott Pakistan at the mega event.

On the other hand, team India head coach, Ravi Shastri and Harbhajan Singh shared a thought stating team will follow the instructions of the BCCI and the govt. in that matter. Meanwhile, Sachin Tendulkar added the country comes first to him. He said,

World Cup, Sachin Tendulkar, India-Pakistan
Sachin Tendulkar said his country comes first. Image Courtesy: Getty

“India has always come up trumps against Pakistan in the World Cup. Time to beat them once again. Would personally hate to give them two points and help them in the tournament,” Tendulkar told PTI. “Having said that, for me India always comes first, so whatever my country decides, I will back that decision with all my heart,”

India and Pakistan are scheduled to face off on June 16th in Manchester. As of now, an ICC meeting will take place on February 27th in Dubai, where the future of India-Pakistan match at the showpiece event will get decided.

Rajasthan Royals, IPL 2008
Here is the list of RR's XI in the finale of IPL 2008 and where are they now. Image Courtesy: Getty

Rajasthan Royals – IPL 2008 Winners – Where are They Now?

Rajasthan Royals were the winners of the inaugural season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in 2008. Led by veteran Australia cricketer, Shane Warne; Rajasthan defeated Chennai Super Kings in the finale by three wickets. DY Patil Stadium, which hosted the summit clash saw a few of the established and emerging talents going head-on. As MS Dhoni, Makhaya Ntini, Muttiah Muralitharan were the well-known faces; players like Ravindra Jadeja, Swapnil Asnodkar and Yusuf Pathan were entering into the mainstream cricket with their performances.

Meanwhile, Cricket Addictor reveals where are the players of the RR side who were there in the finale of IPL 2008.

Rajasthan Royals – IPL 2008 winners – Where are they now?

  • Niraj Patel (Gujarat, Assam, India)

Niraj Patel, IPL 2008, Rajasthan Royals
Niraj Patel. Image Courtesy:(Annanya/MEDILL)

An aspiring left-handed batsman from Gujarat, Niraj Patel was the opener during IPL 2008 finals. Against CSK, the Rajasthan Royals’ player, Niraj scored two off 11 balls. Though in the penultimate game against Mumbai Indians, he scored a 29-ball 40 and helped RR enter the summit clash against then favourites, CSK. In the nine matches he played for Rajasthan Royals, Niraj Patel scored 121 runs with a highest of 57.

In the past, Niraj had played for Gujarat for 15 years until 2013 when he switched his state to Assam. He had been an impressive performer, representing in 100 first-class matches and 69 List A games. Niraj last played a game in the domestic structure in 2015. Now, Niraj Patel coaches cricket to the players for Chicago United Cricket Club and stays in Chicago itself.

Dinesh Karthik, MS Dhoni
Dinesh Karthik is happy to learn things from equivalent number MS Dhoni. Image Courtesy: Getty

India vs New Zealand 2019, 3rd T20I, Hamilton – Twitter Reacts as Dinesh Karthik Refuses to take a Single in the Final Over; Reminds Everyone of MS Dhoni

In the final over of the Hamilton T20I, India needed 16 to win the game with Dinesh Karthik and Krunal Pandya at the crease. Karthik, who was on strike, scored two runs off the first two balls; leaving the equation to 14 off four deliveries. On the third ball, he hit it straight but didn’t run a single, asking Krunal to return who had come running towards the striker’s end by that time. Everyone was stunned with such a call, as India was in dire need of runs. Eventually, the visitors fell short of the target by four runs. However, the fans on Twitter bashed DK for his selfish act; with a few of them even comparing him to a similar kind of action done by MS Dhoni in the past.

When DK did an MSD in Hamilton

Karthik’s plan to not run brought old memories of MS Dhoni denying Ambati Rayudu a single in a familiar situation. It was a T20I match against England in Edgbaston in 2014 when Dhoni, then India’s captain; not once but twice asked Ambati Rayudu to return, as India needed 17 off the last over. Meanwhile, on both the occasions India finished second in the match.

MS Dhoni, Ambati Rayudu
MS Dhoni didn’t give the strike to Ambati Rayudu during a T20I in England in 2014. Image Courtesy: Getty

Though Dinesh Karthik was on camera apologising to Krunal after he had hit the last ball for a six, the Twitter didn’t spare him.

Now contrary to what happened, had DK ran that run, who knows the elder Pandya could spoil NZ’s party. Even before that particular over, the pair had hit boundaries at will and got India close to a thrilling win. Karthik was on 24 off 11 balls while Krunal Pandya was on 25 off 12 balls before Southee bowled the final over.

Here is how Twitter reacted to Dinesh Karthik’s selfish act in Hamilton T20I –

Royal Challengers Bangalore, IPL 2019
The RCB players gathered at the NCA for the conditioning camp. Image Courtesy: RCB

PRESS RELEASE: IPL 2019 – Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) Kick Starts Five-Day Conditioning Camp at NCA

A five-day conditioning camp has begun on February 3 for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) at National Cricket Academy, M. Chinnaswamy Stadium under the guidance of coaches, Gary Kirsten and Ashish Nehra as they prepare for Season 12 of VIVO IPL 2019.

Royal Challengers Bangalore, IPL 2019
Bangalore players training at the NCA. Image Courtesy: RCB

The camp has the following players participate:

  • Washington Sundar
  • Akshdeep Nath
  • Devdutt Padikkal
  • Gurkeerat Singh Mann
  • Himmat Singh
  • Kulwant Khejroliy
  • Milind Kumar
  • Prayas Ray Barman
  • Shivam Dube
IPL 2019, Royal Challengers Bangalore
The RCB began the five-day conditioning camp at the NCA on February 3rd. Image Courtesy: RCB

The camp is focused on strenuous fitness drills for conditioning and strengthening regimes including yoyo test under the guidance of their trainers, A.I. Harsha, Evan Speechly and Shravan Kumbagowdana.

The twelfth edition of the VIVO Indian Premier League will begin on March 23rd in India.

The venue for the first T20I between India and Australia has been shifted from Bengaluru to Vizag. Image Courtesy: Getty

India-Australia Bengaluru T20I Shifted to Vizag for Security Reasons

The first of the two T20Is between India and Australia, scheduled for February 24th, is shifted from Bengaluru to Vizag due to security reasons. As the Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) raised concerns, the venues have been swapped for the T20I series. Now, Bengaluru will host the second T20I on February 27th. Meanwhile, the Aussies will be also be playing five ODIs against India.

KSCA denied providing security

The Police Commissioner informed the KSCA that they would not be able to give the protection; as the Aero India Show, a significant international event will be going on. Moreover, with the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi also visiting the state on the same day, no guarantee over the security for the players was given.

Bengaluru, Vizag, India, Australia
The first T20I has been shifted from Bengaluru to Vizag due to security concerns. Image Courtesy: Getty

As a result, the board wrote to Andhra Cricket Association (ACA) asking to swap the venues for the two matches. Furthermore, the move has been approved by the BCCI, as reported by Hindustan Times.

KSCA president, Sanjay M Desai in a letter to ACA general secretary, Arun Kumar said,

“In view of the above, we would request you to kindly consider swapping our T-20 match with yours i.e. you would host the First T-20 match on Sunday, 24th February, 2019 in Vizag and we would host the Second T-20 match on Wednesday, 27th February, 2019 in Bangalore,” the letter read.

Meanwhile, the BCCI acting secretary, Amitabh Choudhary wrote to the Committee of Administrators (CoA), asking for the request to get approved so the preparations could be done. In reply, Diana Edulji, the member of the CoA sent an approval. Therefore, Australia’s limited-overs tour will begin with a T20I in Vizag on February 24th.

However, the five ODIs begins on March 2nd in Hyderabad. Later, Nagpur (March 5th), Ranchi (March 8th), Mohali (10th) and Delhi (13th) will host the four matches.

James Neesham
James Neesham's experience will boost KXIP squad. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

India vs New Zealand 2019: ‘Dhoni’s Records Speak for Himself’, Reckons James Neesham

India and New Zealand are gearing of for the fifth and final ODI in Wellington, which begins on February 3rd (Sunday). Meanwhile, the Kiwi all-rounder, James Neesham has shared high praise for the ex-India captain, MS Dhoni; saying an opposition hasn’t won a game if Dhoni is at the crease. Neesham, however, quashed the reports of age catching up upon MSD. He added the India veteran is a fantastic player and that his records speak for himself.

MS Dhoni fit to play 5th ODI – Bangar

Team India’s batting coach, Sanjay Bangar has revealed MS Dhoni has attained full fitness and will remain available for selection for the fifth ODI. However, MS had not played the past two games due to a sore hamstring. Though Dinesh Karthik played his part well behind the wickets, India missed MSD’s current form in the previous game. Since the first ODI against Australia early this year, MS has remained unbeaten in his last three innings; averaging 241.

Meanwhile, in the previous ODI, Trent Boult had India on the mat. He picked his best figures against India (5/21) and ran through the middle-order. Given the recent purple patch of Dhoni, he could have saved India’s boat in Hamilton. Nevertheless, if MS gets picked for the Wellington ODI, who knows, the 37-year old could spread his magic again.

James Neesham, MS Dhoni
Neesham reckons the records speak for MS Dhoni. Image Courtesy: Getty

However, James Neesham is of the opinion that NZ needs to get Dhoni’s wicket as early as possible. He reckons even to think the game is over when MS is around, could cost the opposition.

“His [Dhoni’s] records speak for itself. I mean, he is a fantastic player. Some noise was made especially from Indian media about whether he should be there in their World Cup squad or not. But as I said, his record speaks for itself,” Neesham said on Saturday in the pre-match press conference.

“He’s got that calm demeanor in the middle order. And when you’re bowling to him, you know you haven’t won the game till you’ve got him out. Hopefully, we can do that tomorrow and run through them tomorrow”.

We are hopeful of the same show in Wellington – Neesham

India had already wrapped the five-match ODIs 3-0 before both teams met in Hamilton. Playing for pride, the BlackCaps produced one of their better performances; bowling India all-out on 92 and thus winning the game by eight wickets in hand.

Trent Boult, James Neesham
Neesham hopes Boult produces similar show against India in the fifth ODI. Image Courtesy: Getty

Meanwhile, the all-rounder is of the opinion that if Trent or even someone bowl like they did in the last ODI; New Zealand could make 3-2.

“Stats speak for themselves. In the last two years, their top three averages 20 odd more than any other country in the world. They have obviously got a whole lot of quality at the top there,” Neesham said.

“And Virat is resting but there is a lot of wraps on the rest of their top order as well. So there is certainly not a case of getting complacent. We just have to put the ball in the right areas again… as Boult did in Hamilton… and hopefully run through them again.”

However, Virat Kohli is currently on rest and in his absence, Rohit Sharma is a stand-in skipper

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