Krishna Chopra, Author at Sportzwiki

Krishna Chopra

A cricket enthusiast who has the passion to write for the sport. An ardent fan of the Indian Cricket Team. Strongly believe in following your passion and living in the present.

Indian Cricketers And Their Lavish Cars
/

Indian Cricketers And Their Lavish Cars

Indian Cricketers And Their Lavish Cars. Cars have fancied millions across the globe and our cricketers are no exceptions. Over the years, automobiles, and cars specifically, have been in news with their relation to the game of cricket. Who can forget the craze for Audi, when India’s Ravi Shastri was awarded the car after his spectacular Man of the Series outing in the 1985 Benson and Hedges World Championship of cricket?

The current crop of Indian cricketers has their fixations for cars as well. Sachin Tendulkar’s love for every minute detail about four-wheelers is well known, and the Master Blaster is even rumoured to have time and again visited the BMW car factory. Indian skipper MS Dhoni’s love for four-wheelers is another famous instance, as the skipper is very hands-on with his gigantic yellow Hummer.

Several Indian cricketers have their own collection of fancy and lavish cars, which they openly flaunt. Below, is the list of cricketers, with their collection of cars and specifications about their desired possessions.

Indian Cricketers And Their Lavish Cars

Sachin Tendulkar

The Little Master’s car collection is known to all his die-hard fans and the former batting great loves to take his cars on a ride in his plush Bandra locality. Tendulkar’s love for cars was first realized when Formula One ace Michael Schumacher gifted him a Ferrari 360 Modena, on the behalf of a company.

Sachin Tendulkar BMW Car, Indian Cricketers And Their Lavish Cars
Image Credits: Twitter

After Ferrari though, Sachin’s latest favourite car has been the Nissan GT-R, finished in red with a Wald body kit. Spotting this model is extremely rare in India, and Sachin happens to be of those rare individuals to possess this beauty. The GT-R can race from 0-100 km/hr in just 2.9 seconds.  Tendulkar also happens to own a BMW M5 and BMW M6 Gran Coupe.

Nissan GT-R:

  • Price: INR 1.2 crores (with import duties)
  • Engine: Twin-turbo V6
  • Power & Torque: 550bhp & 612Nm
Shane Warne, Australian squad
Shane Warne (Image Credit: Google)
/

10 Weird Cricket Facts

Cricket, as they say, is a game of glorious uncertainties. Nothing can ever be taken for granted in the game. On a day, the best team will maintain its dominance by just demolishing other teams and making a mess of them. While on a certain day even the best team will be humbled by a lesser-known opponent. Thereby, it’s this unpredictable nature of the game, which adds that extra spice in it. Viewers simply are thrilled to witness the unexpected twists and turns. These twists and turns ensure an edge of the seat thriller.

As a result of cricket is an unpredictable sport, there have been bizarre instances which have come up in the years gone by. In this article, we have a look at the ten weird facts which source from cricket.

10 Weird Cricket Facts

1. A Six as long as 556 miles! Really?

10 Weird Cricket Facts
Jimmy Sinclair (Image Credit: Google)

Well, this is undoubtedly the most bizarre fact related to cricket. Just imagine the facial expressions of a bowler, who realizes that he has been hit for a six and the ball has travelled for 556 miles. Jimmy Sinclair was the batsman who hit the epic six. The ball went out of the ground and landed on a train which was on its way to Port Elizabeth. It was recovered from there!

India
Photo Credit: BCCI.
/

Ireland Vs India, 1st T20I – Twitter Lauds India For Dominant Display in Dublin

Team India commenced their tour of Europe in fine style as the men in blue were just too hot to handle for hosts Ireland, today here in Dublin. After being put into bat on a bright, sunny afternoon, openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan responded in fine style with some delicious strokeplay.

The duo put on a colossal stand of 160 in exact 16 overs to propel India, as the best opening pair in limited overs put on a display of sheer class in Dublin. Showing no respite to the hosts, Dhawan initially began his onslaught, while Sharma was a bit subdued in his approach.

However, it didn’t take long for Rohit to find his rhythm as aggression soon became a clear trait of his knock. Too ironic though, as the Mumbai star was dismissed for 97, and just three shy of what would have been his third T20I century.

India
Photo Credit: BCCI.

Needing 209 to win, Ireland never looked in the hunt. And despite some atrocious fielding by the visitors, the hosts couldn’t make the most out of it. Barring opener James Shannon, none of the batsmen found their feet and the right hander alone scored a valiant half century.

Carrying on their good work from the shores of South Africa, the wrist spin twins in the form of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal ran riot. The duo decimated Ireland’s middle order to set up a comfortable win for India.

Fans on Twitter reacted to a dominant victory of India over Irish team, and below are some of the tweets.

https://twitter.com/JennaAneesh/status/1012029574790516736

 

 

Kevin Pietersen
(Photo by Will Russell/Getty Images)
/

Kevin Pietersen Brutally Trolls Australian Fan on Instagram

Former England batsman and all-time batting great Kevin Pietersen isn’t someone known to mince his words. The outspoken, maverick has been at the helm of several controversies in the contemporary times, thanks to his old habit of speaking his heart out on important matters.

Be it openly criticizing his national team England’s laid-back approach of late in Test matches or name calling his rivals, South Africa born right-hander is one individual worth chatting to.

Kevin Pietersen,
Photo Credit: Getty Images.

As he turns a year older on June 27 (Wednesday), on his 38th birthday, the batting legend was at his best again. Sharing a picture on Instagram, of his family members preserving his milestone Test caps, the former batting sensation admitted he was indeed moved by such a touching gesture.

Some birthday present from Jess and the kids…all my Test caps framed.

Debut cap #25 Tests cap #50 Tests cap #75 Tests cap #100 Tests cap LOVE IT! Thanks for all the kind msgs! ❤️,” wrote an emotional Pietersen.

While his fans and well-wishers were busy in wishing Pietersen on his special day, the odd trollers took a chance to have a go at the right-hander.

Interestingly, an Australian, with the account name “samturner321” wrote a comment, “caps never helped you, buddy. Aussie cricket demolished you.”

Kevin Pietersen
Photo Credit: Getty Images,

But this was possible to remind Pietersen that his career ultimately saw its final day on the shores of Australia. It came when speedster Mitchell Johnson’s heroics saw the visitors being demolished owing to a 5-0 whitewash.

Post that 2013/14 Ashes in Australia, Pietersen never played international cricket again, and despite being the leading run-getter for England in that series, he was shown the exit door.

Also, Pietersen responded to the Australian in his own style. He reminded the Aussie fan of England’s overall record in Ashes, when he played. “@samturner321 ummmm. I won 4/6 Ashes, buddy. Tell your story walking!” responded Pietersen.

Kevin Pietersen Brutally Trolls Australian Fan on Instagram 1
Kevin Pietersen Trolls An Aussie

While the reply was as slick as ever. Moreover, Kevin Pietersen indeed played a pivotal role in England’s Ashes triumphs of 2005, 2009, 2010/11 and 2013 respectively.

IPL
Chennai Super Kings to take on Kings XI Punjab in Mohali later on Sunday.
///

IPL 2018: Teams With Most Number of Successful Chases Over 200-run Mark

Season after season of the Indian Premier League (IPL), it further proved to be a sensational domestic professional Twenty20 league. The fans have had witnessed some absolute nail-biters where totals in excess of 200 have been scaled down with ease.

The cash-rich tournament recently-concluded its eleventh edition while dishing out some absolute thrillers.

Chasing a high-scoring total does constitute a major reason why the format of T20 has been such a rage among the masses.

Read More – Best Average in IPL 2008

More than anything else, a successful chase over the ten-run an over mark has guaranteed us entertainment worth its price.To successfully chase down a total in excess of 200, it is essential for the batsmen to fire at the top and lay a solid foundation.

While a lot of teams have indeed scaled down the 200-run mark, there stand out a few teams in particular. So much so, they achieved the feat far more frequently than the other teams.

In the article below, we have a look at the teams that have chased a target in an excess of 200 after Chennai Super Kings (CSK) registered the glory to become the champions for the third-time in IPL.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led Super Kings thrashed Kane Williamson’s Sunrisers Hyderabad by eight wickets at the historic Wankhede Stadium on May 27.

Also Read – Best Economy Rate in IPL 2008

Pertinently, on the most number of occasions during their stay in the billion dollar IPL, teams went on to make a mess of it.

1. KINGS XI PUNJAB- three times:

IPL 2018: Teams With Most Number of Successful Chases Over 200-run Mark 2
Photo Credit: BCCI/IPL.

The otherwise mercurial outfit emerging from Punjab, tops the charts for the most number of successful chases over 200.

The Mohali-based outfit chased down targets not once or twice, but on three distinct occasions, which easily makes them head this elite list of teams.

Must Read – Best Bowling Economy Innings in IPL 2008

Firstly, it was in 2010 in Kolkata when the Punjabis breached the 200-run target barrier for the first time.

Riding on the back of a sensational century from Sri Lankan import Mahela Jayawardene, the visitors hoisted their flag at the Eden Gardens with utmost ease and grace.

In such an edition that was otherwise below par for the Kings XI, this particular win stood out for the team.

2014 was an edition which was marked by some high octane batting displays by the IPL franchise KXIP.

A couple of such displays came in run chases, as the George Bailey-led outfit scaled targets successfully in excess of 200 on two occasions.

In their season opener against the Chennai Super Kings at Abu Dhabi, the men in red chased down 205 with relative ease. Glenn Maxwell unleashed his fury against the CSK spinners to make a huge difference.

Read More – Best Bowling Strike Rate in IPL 2008

Maxwell’s knock of 95 off just 43 deliveries stood out as he decimated the Super Kings. He was well supported by David Miller, as the Proteas batsman notched up a half-century.

In that very edition, needing 206 to win at Hyderabad, the Kings were at it again. This time around, it was a complete team performance as a couple of rapid 40’s. Plus, paired with a half-century from gloveman Wriddhiman Saha, who eventually saw the side reaching to the mark with eight balls to spare.

  1. CHENNAI SUPER KINGS – two-time:
Chennai Super Kings
CSK suffered their first loss of the season against KXIP. Credit: BCCI

The most worshipped side in IPL history, Chennai Super Kings, stands second on the list of teams with most number of successful chases over 200.

you may also like – Most Runs Conceded Innings in IPL 2008

It was in the 2012 edition at Chennai when the yellow brigade first achieved the feat. Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s team was up against Daniel Vettori-led Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). Needing a colossal target of 206, after Chris Gayle and Virat Kohli entertained with half centuries, the hosts had their task cut out.

Opener Faf du Plessis got the side off to a flying start as his knock of 71 off 46 deliveries included an array of eye-pleasing strokes.

The most dramatic aspect was the penultimate over of the chase, as all-rounder Albie Morkel smashed Virat Kohli all-around the park for 28 runs.

The hosts eventually got home on the very last ball of the chase in IPL.

In 2018, the second instance of Chennai achieving the feat came barely a week ago, once again at their fortress of Chepauk, but this time against the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR).

Must Read – Most Hat Tricks in IPL 2008

Requiring 203, it was England import Sam Billings who stole the show with a resplendent knock of 56 off just 23 deliveries. The hosts got home with just a ball to spare as a six over mid-wicket from Ravindra Jadeja off Vinaykumar sealed the chase for the Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led side.

  1. RAJASTHAN ROYALS – one time:

    Rajasthan Royals
    Photo Credit: IPL.

Third on the list, is the Rajasthan Royals with the most number of successful chases over 200. This run chase still stands out as the highest ever chase in IPL history, as the then Shane Warne led outfit scaled down 215 in some style.

The first half-of-the-game in the first edition (2008) of the IPL, was rocked by Australian icon Andrew Symonds. The hard-hitting sensation stole the show with his unbeaten 117-run knock.

However, a bigger storm was supposed to sweep off the Deccan Chargers. Yusuf Pathan’s 61 off 28 deliveries laid the foundation for a record chase.

Read more – Most Four Wickets in IPL 2008

With skipper Warne finishing the game in style with his cameo. The game is still among the most memorable ones for Royals’ fans.

  1. DELHI DAREDEVILS – one-time:
Rishabh Pant, IPL 2018, Ricky Ponting, Delhi Daredevils, Ravi Shastri, Team India
Left-handed batsman Rishabh Pant will be a player to watch out for in IPL 2018. Photo Credit: IPL.

Fourth on the list of teams with most number of successful chases over 200, is the Delhi Daredevils. Against the Gujarat Lions at a jam-packed Feroze Shah Kotla, Daredevils were chasing a target of 209 in the 2017 edition.

The chase was highlighted by two gifted, fearless and massively talented youngsters. Sanju Samson and Rishab Pant wrecked absolute carnage on the Gujarat outfit. Both shared as many as 16 sixes between them.

Must Read – Player Points in IPL 2008

Pant, in particular, was in a mood of his own as he ravaged into the likes of Pradeep Sangwan and James Faulkner.

Thanks to his knock of 97, Daredevils got home with 15 balls to spare as entertainment was unleashed.

  1. ROYAL CHALLENGERS BANGALORE – one time:
Royal Challengers Bangalore, IPL 2018
Photo Credit: BCCI

Wayback in 2010 at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, it was Bangalore’s time to successfully chase down 200, in their fortress.

After the Punjabis posted a healthy 203 on board while riding on a fifty each from Manvinder Bisla and Ravi Bopara. But it was the host team that rose to the occasion.

Read More – Most Runs Over in IPL 2008

Moreover, evergreen Jacques Kallis and Robin Uthappa motored the run chase. In the end, the hosts efficiently got home with seven balls to spare.

Kallis was classy as his unbeaten knock of 89 off 55 steered the run chase.

The blitzkrieg from Robin Uthappa was the performance to watch out for. His knock of 51 off just 21 deliveries shook the opponents.

In an IPL season where they finished third, fans consider it as one of the memorable wins for the then Anil Kumble-led Royal Challengers.

  1. KOLKATA KNIGHT RIDERS – one time:
David Warner, IPL 2018, Skipper, Sunrisers Hyderabad, Shikhar Dhawan
Manish Pandey has hit the nets. Photo Credit: BCCI/IPL.

Sixth on the list of teams with most number of successful chases over 200, is the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR).

Probably no bigger occasion to bring up such a feat. The Knight Riders achieved it in the final of the 2014 edition in Bengaluru.

Needing exactly 200 to win after Kings XI Punjab wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha scored a scintillating ton. But the local lad Manish Pandey brought the Knight Riders back in style.

Read More – Most Fours Innings in IPL 2008

However, Pandey was utterly flawless as his 94 runs set the base for the Knight Riders. The then Gambhir-led side clinched their second IPL title in three seasons.

Yusuf Pathan too contributed with a timely knock of 36, which included as many as four maximums.

Eventually, the side got home with three deliveries to spare at the M.Chinnaswamy Stadium.

Also, Read: 27th Match, CSK vs MI – Mumbai Indians Predicted XI

India
Photo Credit: Getty Images
/

England vs India 2018: ODI Series – India’s Squad Analysis

When England and India square off for the three-match venture later this year, one thing is guaranteed – entertainment. The two sides have been among the most ferocious limited-overs outfits for quite a while now. Interestingly, their rankings too suggest the same.

With the ICC’s Annual May 1 update taking effect, England were ranked as the No.1 one One-day International side. The Virat Kohli-led Men in Blue listed second on the charts.

Both these teams have had a similar track record in recent times, with their success rates standing out as compared to the other teams.

Recent form too has a similar story to depict for these units, as both the energetic sides come on the back of near perfect displays.

While England recently annihilated Australia 4-1 and New Zealand 3-2, both away from home, India too were dominant in South Africa, winning the series 5-1 and thereby creating history.

The two sides last clashed in early 2017 in a three-match affair in India, and wasn’t it a mind-boggling affair? The closely fought series witnessed totals in excess of 300 being breached with ease and ultimately it was the hosts who held their nerves to clinch the series 2-1.

Quick Read: Five Players you Didn’t Know Were Once a Part of Chennai Super Kings

England vs India 2018: ODI Series - India's Squad Analysis 3
The inclusion of Ambati Rayudu is a great sign.

Keeping an eye on the 2019 World Cup, India have named a really promising squad, with the core being more or less the same.

Consistent Indian Premier League performers like KL Rahul and Ambati Rayudu have forged comebacks into the national colours. Highly-impressive Rayudu set to make his first appearance in nearly two years.

From the bowling front as well, deserving Punjab-based Sunrisers Hyderabad pacer Siddharth Kaul earned a well-deserved call-up.

One can feel for promising individuals like Ajinkya Rahane and Manish Pandey, but just the sheer form and charisma of Rahul and Rayudu was something too significant to overlook.

Keeping in mind the three-match series provides an ideal blueprint for the team in the run-up to the World Cup next year, below, we analyze the Indian ODI squad in depth.

TOP ORDER:

India’s top three is probably the most glitzy order in world cricket right now. Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan have already etched themselves among the finest opening pairs the format has ever seen, with their numbers standing out clearly.

The pair has put on 3,368 runs together since the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy and has 12 century stands between them, along with 9 half-century stands. This means–the openers get India off to a solid start in excess of 50 every 3.67 innings.

England vs India 2018: ODI Series - India's Squad Analysis 4

Just when the bowlers are done breaking this stand, the next batsman walking in would be someone who has racked up centuries for utmost fun.

Kohli, on his very own, has completely changed the dynamics of batting in ODI’s. The Indian captain scored three effortless tons in the ODI series against South Africa, and a batting average slightly above 58, is just a proof of how remarkable his consistency is.

Sharma, Dhawan, and Kohli have been India’s spine with the bat for quite a few years now, and their run scoring spree remains absolutely unparalleled.

In a way, that has led to the team being utterly over dependent on them, but more often than not, the trio has seen India through in most games, be it while batting first or while chasing.

England vs India 2018: ODI Series - India's Squad Analysis 5
Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma. Image Courtesy: Getty Images

The table below shows the numbers for the three batsmen since the end of the 2015 ICC World Cup, and they alone tell the entire picture.

Batsman Matches Innings Runs Average Strike Rate 100’s 50’s
Rohit Sharma 45 45 2374 57.90 96.81 10 9
Shikhar Dhawan 41 41 1854 48.78 98.66 5 13
Virat Kohli 50 50 3051 80.28 97.78 13 13

Against England too, it will be the responsibility of this elite top three, to get India off to colorful starts. If recent form is anything to go by, the England bowlers better watch out for this terrific trio.

MIDDLE ORDER:

Number four has been a rare blip for the side in the last few years now. A number of individuals have auditioned for the slot. But all in vain as no one has been able to cement the vital spot.

As of now, as many as three individuals are in the fray for that role with the nominations being KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer and Ambati Rayudu in particular.

While it was Ajinkya Rahane, who took the slot in South Africa, inconsistent displays saw him losing the spot. With three gifted batsmen in contention for that spot, it’s rather difficult to predict the perfect candidate.

KL Rahul, IPL 2018
KL Rahul Image Courtesy: BCCI

Given his experience, Rayudu can certainly be an option but for how long with India overlook the elegant KL Rahul.

Rahul has been in red-hot form in this IPL and given his ability to accelerate from the very offset; he should ideally start from the first ODI.

It will be touch and go between the three and whoever individual gets the nod first, needs to make every single chance count.

England vs India 2018: ODI Series - India's Squad Analysis 6
(Photo by Philip Brown/Getty Images)

The fifth position is certain to be that of the larger than life Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

The wicketkeeper-batsman Dhoni too has struck form at the right time and has looked splendid in this edition of the IPL. His one weakness of struggling to the outside off-stump yorkers is nowhere to be seen as he has definitely ironed out that flaw.

In at number five, the role is tailor-made for Dhoni to finish the innings as it is bound to aid him in taking off after a solid base has been set.

For number six, one doesn’t need to look beyond Dinesh Karthik. Karthik has emerged as a reliable finisher in the last few months and his ability to hit from the very first ball.

The wicketkeeper-batter has given his game the much-needed spark. From the IPL front as well, Karthik has finished games for the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) with a lot of ease and grace.

ALL-ROUNDERS:

While Hardik Pandya selects himself on the basis of his reasonably impressive displays for India, the inclusion of the teenager Washington Sundar was a pleasant surprise.

Sundar has been a revelation for India in the few games, he has featured in, and the management’s backing of him for the ODI’s is a positive sign.

The promising prospect Sundar can surely be a backup spinner in the squad, in case Chahal or Kuldeep endure tough times.

For Hardik Pandya though, his batting still remains a work in progress against pace mainly.

From the bowling front, there has been a substantial improvement. The Baroda lad needs to maintain that, given the fact that he is expected to bowl ten overs in every game from now on.

Watch: Virat Kohli Takes A Dig At Hardik Pandya's Music Taste

SPINNERS:

Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal were beyond fabulous on the otherwise unresponsive pitches of South Africa. The duo bagged 33 wickets across six games.

Middle overs often dictate the outcome of the game, and this is where these two crafty individuals top the charts as they outfox the opposing batsmen with style

Against a batting heavy team like England, where they are likely to face the likes of Joe Root, Eoin Morgan and Jos Buttler in the middle overs.

Moreover, their performance becomes even more significant. If the two carry on their good work from South Africa, India in all probability will ace the series in England as well.

Can spinning duo of Kuldeep, Chahal be 'X-factor' for India at 2019 World Cup?
Credit: BCCI

PACERS:

Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar select themselves on the basis of stellar performances since the last year.

Bumrah’s improvement with the new ball since the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy final has been a heartening sight for all cricket fans. The Gujarat pacer has finally found ways to strike early right at the top.

The premium pacers remain India’s best bet at the death. Significantly, the years of practice in the IPL has finally shown the much-awaited results.

England vs India 2018: ODI Series - India's Squad Analysis 7
Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar

The inclusion of Umesh Yadav has been a fine move as well. So far, the speedster bagged 14 wickets in the IPL thus far.

Umar has been a rare positive sign for his franchise, Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). The brawny pacer has done well for India in his brief ODI career. The leading wicket-taker for the side in the 2015 ICC World Cup will be eager to leave a lasting impression.

England vs India 2018: ODI Series - India's Squad Analysis 8
Ecstatic Kaul after taking a wicket. Photo: BCCI

The most exciting prospect though has been that of Siddharth Kaul. The Punjab pacer replaces Mohammad Shami in the ODI team and has earned a well-deserved call-up.

Kaul, apart from being near perfect at the top with his yorkers and knuckleballs. He can also use the reverse swing to a great effect. With his bowling style and he attributes a lot similar to that of Pakistan’s Hasan Ali. Kaul is a tremendous prospect for India in the time to follow.

VERDICT:

As a whole, the squad seems the best possible one the selectors could have selected. At least nine of the individuals select themselves and against a top quality opposition, this is a positive factor.

In addition, the only worry remains as to the sixth bowling option. Much to our surprise, none of the middle or top order batsmen roll their arms over. This means that the five bowlers including Hardik Pandya, need to deliver their full quota of overs during each game.

An off day even for a single bowler could be disastrous. This is where the likes of Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli will have to work on their bowling. To be precise, even a couple of overs from them could help the side in nutshell.

As a whole, this team is capable of beating any opposition. It wouldn’t be surprising to see Virat Kohli add another silverware to his tally, come the ODI series in England.

Likely XI for India:

1.R. Sharma, 2. S. Dhawan 3. V. Kohli ( c ) 4. KL Rahul 5. MS Dhoni (wk) 6. D. Karthik 7. H. Pandya 8. B. Kumar 9. K. Yadav 10. Y. Chahal 11. J. Bumrah

Also, Read: Former Indian Cricketer Rajinder Pal Dies Aged 80

Virat Kohli India tour of England 2018
India captain Virat Kohli would be hoping to turn the tables around when he leads India to England for Five-Match Test series in 2018. Image Courtesy: Getty Images
/

Why Virat Kohli Playing in the County Circuit is a Masterstroke?

Indian cricket at this moment is probably at its shining best, with the team excelling colossally in all forms of the game. Be it achieving glory in the whites with the red ball, or decimating the opposition in the shorter formats; the last few years have witnessed a stellar rise of the men in blue. One big, or rather, the most prominent reason behind India’s transformation into a world dominating team, has been the sheer aura and charisma of someone special by the name of Virat Kohli. Kohli alone has brought about an absolute revolution in the perception of the sport, not just in India, but across the globe.

Based on just his complete determination to succeed at all costs, the Indian skipper has won millions of hearts across the entire cricketing fraternity. Be it his work ethics on the cricket field, where winning is his sole intention, or off it, where he sweats it out hard in the gym to iron out all flaws, Kohli currently stands out as an unconditional role model for all youngsters.

Why Virat Kohli Playing in the County Circuit is a Masterstroke? 9
Virat Kohli sweats it out in the gym

The First Man of Indian cricket has once again aced the cards by opting for a rigorous county circuit, barely days after the ongoing edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) comes to an end on May 27th. The speculation of Kohli participating in the County scene was vibrant for a while; before the same got confirmed on the dotted lines on Thursday.

The world’s number two Test batsman is all set to turn out for Surrey in the County Championship for the month of June. As a direct consequence of this decision, Kohli will miss the historic one-off Test against Afghanistan at home starting June 14th, but if one was to judge through a rational mindset, the pros of playing in the county circuit hold higher leverage than the Test against Afghanistan.

There is a specific motivation behind Kohli opting for a stint with Surrey, overstaying back at home post the IPL and unwinding in his free time. Later this year, India is all set to lock horns with England for a five-match Test series and that alone promises to be a thorough examination of this energetic, young and vibrant Indian team.

The last couple of tours to England have been forgettable episodes for the Indians, at least keeping in mind the Tests. Back in 2011, the MS Dhoni-led side was whitewashed 4-0 by an ever ruthless outfit led by Andrew Strauss. Things improved marginally on the side’s very next tour to the nation, but the result was once again disappointing.

In 2014, India were blanked 3-1 across five games, as the sole victory came at Lord’s, thanks to a memorable bowling display from Ishant Sharma. On the darker side, that Test series ended with India getting bundled for a paltry 94. To add to that, the last couple of Tests during India’s 2014 tour to England saw an abject surrender from the visitors, as both games ended within three days.

Why Virat Kohli Playing in the County Circuit is a Masterstroke? 10
Virat Kohli said he put too much pressure on himself on the 2014 English Tests tour, where he miserably failed as a batsman.

The stakes were reasonably high for Virat Kohli during that 2014 tour of England, as it was bound to be his first assignment in whites in that part of the globe.

Kohli back then was being termed as the next big thing in Test cricket, and the stage was slightly set for him to showcase his zeal in whites. Instead, a distressing eight weeks followed not just for Kohli alone, but all his fans across the globe. The Delhi dasher endured probably the most terrible phase of his cricketing career, as the English pacers, mainly James Anderson preyed on him.

Throughout the series, images of a visibly disturbed Kohli graced the front pages of newspapers and magazines, as the off stump woes riddled Kohli’s tour of England.

Innings after innings, the flamboyant stroke-maker was peppered with deliveries on the fifth stump, to which all he did was poke tentatively. The result was crushing for Kohli, as he ended up nicking deliveries in the slip cordon and returned with malignant figures.

Why Virat Kohli Playing in the County Circuit is a Masterstroke? 11
Virat Kohli averaged a mere above 13 in the five Tests against England in 2014.

With just 134 runs across ten innings on his maiden voyage to the shores of England, the series painted an awfully sorry portrait of Virat Kohli. Numerous questions were raised about Kohli’s ability to bat in testing conditions, with some greats blatantly branding Kohli, a “flat track bully”.

The tiger was cornered seriously in the summer of 2014 in England, but then, it’s a cornered tiger that attacks in the most vicious way. That was precisely what Kohli did right in the side’s next Test assignment, on the shores of Down Under. Barely four months after his nightmare tour of UK, Kohli stole the show in Australia with an eye-popping tally of 692 runs in four Test matches.

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli scored a staggering 692 runs against Australia in 2014/15 tour. Image Courtesy: Getty Images

India might have lost that series, but just to witness the resurrection of Virat Kohli, was a victory keeping in mind the long-term prospects to be had. A clear change was witnessed in Kohli’s batting style, as his stance was far more upright and erect. There was a clear understanding of where his off stump was, and there was no nervous nibbling around that corridor of uncertainty.

A more confident Kohli was seen, who wasn’t afraid to hold back, and across those four games, Kohli churned out some memorable knocks. The change Kohli made to his batting technique, working in tandem with the then team director Ravi Shastri was visible, as the Indian batting sensation displayed a sense of domination in every aspect.

Virat Kohli County Cricket
Virat Kohli is keen on his County stint ahead of the England tour. Credits: BCCI

As India now return to England for a five-match episode, the stakes are once again high. In the last four years, Kohli has built a superman like stature for himself, with some unparalleled displays across formats.

The move from the Indian skipper to play in the county circuit is an absolute masterstroke. First and foremost, it will aid Kohli in acclimatizing to the conditions. For any batsman to succeed in daunting conditions like England, getting used to the external factors holds the key. In places like England, you just cannot go on any random day and expect to win games for your team. That is far from reality.

The three First Class games which Kohli will feature in for the month of June will be against some respected county teams of England, featuring some top players. One of Kohli’s counterparts could be Dale Steyn when Surrey takes on Hampshire in their fixture.

Even if Kohli returns with sorry numbers for the month of June, it will be least significant. What will be more important; will be the amount of time Kohli spends in the middle, under the gloomy overcast skies of UK, and against some serious swing bowlers. Just the move to turn out for Surrey for a number of games will surely help the Indian skipper in ironing out his flaws, be it his tentativeness around the off stump or develop more patience into his batting.

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli would be hoping to turn the tables around this time when he leads India in England for a five-match Test series.

Knowing the hunger Kohli has for runs and for success, it would be least surprising to find out the batting icon topping the run charts during India’s upcoming tour of England.

The stage is well set for Kohli to stamp his authority on England, in the months to follow.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni, IPL 2018,
Photo Credit: IPL.
/

IPL 2018, Match 1, MI vs CSK – Twitter Reacts as Mumbai Indians Get To a Respectable Total

The 2018 edition of the Indian Premier League got off to an enthralling fashion, as defending champions Mumbai Indians took on the returning unit of the Chennai Super Kings.

Amidst an ocean of emotions with crowd favourites, Chennai Super Kings marking their return to the tournament, it was an entertaining batting display from the hosts at the Wankhede Stadium which stood out.

Electing to bowl first upon winning the toss, skipper MS Dhoni opted for a three-spin attack, as Harbhajan Singh, Imran Tahir and Ravindra Jadeja did well in the middle overs. The men in yellow had the upper hand in the first half of the innings, as danger men Rohit Sharma and Ewin Lewis were sent back with low scores to their name.

The surprise package came in the form of the young Ishan Kishan, as India’s skipper of 2016 Under 19 World Cup played an enterprising knock of 40 off just 29 deliveries. He was well supported by Suryakumar Yadav, as his knock of 43 was critical too.

However, the flurry came in the end, as the Pandya brothers finished off in style to get Mumbai to 165 for four in 20 overs. Krunal Pandya played a priceless knock of 41 off just 21 deliveries, as his stand with younger brother Hardik was instrumental in getting Mumbai to a decent total.

Fans on Twitter reacted throughout the innings and below are some of the tweets.

https://twitter.com/stevenelson45/status/982648380479254528

Image Courtesy: Twitter
/

2017 Review: Most Dismissals By A Wicket Keeper In A T20I

From afar, T20I’s might seem like a contest tailor-made for the big hits and sheer extravagance. Or in an extreme case of a good bowling performance, it is the bowlers who leave an impression, but mind you, instances like this are extremely rare.

 

One crucial group which deserves a lot of credit in the shortest form of the game remains that of the wicketkeepers. This might seem a little exaggerated at first, but on closely analyzing, it makes a lot of sense to include the men behind the stumps as an extremely significant stakeholder group in the format.

 

T20’s remain extremely volatile and often a moment of brilliance is more than enough to cause a shift in the overall outcome of a game. It is often one sharp stumping or a scintillating catch by the keeper, which is enough to fluctuate the fortunes.

 

Keeping the significance of the wicketkeepers in mind for the shortest form of the game, below, we have a look at the top five keepers with the most number of dismissals in a T20I in 2017.

 

  1. Tim Paine – 3 :

Tim Paine might have ended on the wrong side of the town, as Sri Lankan all-rounder Asela Gunaratne’s heroics won the show and series for Sri Lanka, but his keeping skills were surely positive for the Australians. Making his comeback to international cricket during the three-match T20I series, the Tasmanian was at the helm of three dismissals, all catches behind the stumps. Ultimately though, it was Sri Lanka who won the game in an absolute thriller of a contest.

 

  1. Quinton De Kock – 3 :

De Kock featured thrice in the same list for Test matches, and he is a part of the list for T20I’s too. De Kock was involved in three dismissals in the one-off T20I against New Zealand at Auckland in February. Putting up a colossal 185 on board, South Africa didn’t have too many issues defending the total, as the hosts were no match to the Proteas. De Kock was involved in the dismissals of Glenn Philips, Corey Anderson and Luke Ronchi as New Zealand’s chase derailed against the might of the Proteas bowling.

 

  1. Mohammad Shehzad – 3 :

Afghanistan’s blistering keeper batsman Mohammad Shehzad, who has already aced quite a few T20 records, finds himself on the list of yet another elite feat. In a T20I against Oman at the Dubai Sports Club Stadium, Shehzad was involved in 3 dismissals. Two of those were catches behind the stumps, while he also had a stumping to his name.

 

  1. MS Dhoni – 4 :

When we talk about wicket keeping records, how can MS Dhoni remain ignored? Undoubtedly the best keeper the format has ever seen, Dhoni was involved in four dismissals against Sri Lanka in the recent T20I at Cuttack. After finishing the innings off in style, Dhoni was crisp behind the wickets, as he impacted two catches and an equal number of stumpings. Fair to say, Dhoni remains a dream wicketkeeper for any spinner!

 

  1. Dinesh Chandimal – 4 :

In January, Sri Lanka stunned one and all as the side full of rookies went on to defeat South Africa in the second T20I. A major reason behind restricting the hosts to a below-par total of 113, was the solid keeping of Dinesh Chandimal. The highly-rated keeper batsman was behind four dismissals, three of which were catches and a solitary stumping.

 

 

Below, is the table showing the list of the ten wicketkeepers with the most number of dismissals in a T20I in 2017.

Wicket Keeper Team Dismissals Against Venue
Dinesh Chandimal Sri Lanka 4 South Africa Johannesburg
MS Dhoni India 4 Sri Lanka Cuttack
Mohammad Shehzad Afghanistan 3 Oman Dubai
Quinton De Kock South Africa 3 New Zealand Auckland
Tim Paine Australia 3 Sri Lanka Geelong
J. Vare P.N.G 3 U.A.E Abu Dhabi
C. Walton West Indies 3 Afghanistan Basseterre
Tim Paine Australia 3 India Guwahati
Sarfaraz Ahmed Pakistan 3 Sri Lanka Abu Dhabi
M. Mosehle South Africa 3 Bangladesh Potchefstroom

 

Quinton De Kock
Quinton De Kock
/

2017 Review Top 5 – Most Dismissals By A Wicket Keeper In An Innings In A Test

Test matches remain the pinnacle of the game and accomplishing the desired result in this form of the game requires tremendous grit, skill and determination. While pundits often talk about the batting and bowling departments while analysing and forecasting results, very rarely have we seen wicket keeping numbers being scrutinised.

 

In the most unadulterated form of the game, where the conditions at a given time can truly test an individual, wicket keeping remains an extremely integral aspect of the game. For instance, in the challenging terrains of the subcontinent, where the wicket remains slow, low, sluggish and extremely volatile towards the latter half of the game, wicketkeepers find it profusely challenging to adapt to the conditions.

 

Call it ironic, but when an extremely difficult chance goes begging from a keeper, people do not consider the odds he has to counter, but just jump to the testimony that the keeper wasn’t up to the mark. In such conditions, the men behind the stumps matter a lot, and they need to make every single chance count.

 

2017 as a year was a host to some special wicket keeping feats, and below, we go through the top five instances of the most number of dismissals inflicted by a keeper in a Test innings.

 

  1. Quinton De Kock – 4:

Recently elevated as South Africa’s premier gloveman in whites, De Kock was top notch against Sri Lanka in the home series in January. In the third and final Test of the series, South Africa put up a colossal 426 on board, to which Sri Lanka had no answer. The visitors were bowled out for a mere 131, as De Kock ended up taking four catches behind the stumps, mainly those of the Sri Lankan top and middle order.

 

  1. Quinton De Kock – 4:

Earlier in the very series against Sri Lanka, De Kock once again found himself in a decent position as the wicketkeeper. At Cape Town in the second Test, the batting wonder was involved in four dismissals in Sri Lanka’s second innings. De Kock inflicted three catches during Sri Lanka’s highly improbable run chase and a stumping off-spinner Keshav Maharaj’s bowling.

 

  1. Dinesh Chandimal – 4:

Amidst the same Cape Town Test against South Africa, Sri Lankan wicketkeeper and star batsman Dinesh Chandimal was in the reckoning of some impressive numbers as well. During the first innings of the Test, Chandimal was solid behind the stumps as he accounted for four dismissals from the South African camp. Fair to say that turned out to be the only positive for Sri Lanka in the Test at Cape Town.

 

  1. Quinton De Kock – 5:

Featuring for a remarkable third occasion in the elite list is Quinton De Kock. After a memorable series against Sri Lanka at home, De Kock repeated his wicketkeeping heroics against New Zealand, away from home. In the third Test at Hamilton, De Kock was involved in five New Zealand dismissals, with all being catches. However, it was his match-saving knock though, which was the highlight of the game for South Africa.

 

  1. Imrul Kayes – 5:

It might seem incredibly jolting, but the fact remains that a non-regular wicketkeeper heads this list! Bangladesh’s Imrul Kayes leads the list for the most number of dismissals by a wicketkeeper in a Test innings for 2017. During his side’s tour of New Zealand in the first quarter of the year, Imrul was at the helm of five catches, when New Zealand were in pursuit of Bangladesh’s first innings score of 595.

 

Below, is the table for the top ten number of dismissals by a wicketkeeper in a Test innings in 2017.

 

Wicket Keeper Team Dismissals Against Venue
Imrul Kayes Bangladesh 5 New Zealand Wellington
Quinton De Kock South Africa 5 New Zealand Hamilton
Dinesh Chandimal Sri Lanka 4 South Africa Cape Town
Quinton De Kock South Africa 4 Sri Lanka Cape Town
Quinton De Kock South Africa 4 Sri Lanka Johannesburg
BJ Watling New Zealand 4 Bangladesh Christchurch
Mushfiqur Rahim Bangladesh 4 Sri Lanka Colombo
Quinton De Kock South Africa 4 New Zealand Wellington
Matthew Wade Australia 4 India Ranchi
Quinton De Kock South Africa 4 England Lord’s

 

1 2 3 300