2011 Cricket World Cup | Sportzwiki

2011 Cricket World Cup

Yusuf Pathan scored 2 ODI centuries for India. (File Photo/BCCI)
Yusuf Pathan scored 2 ODI centuries for India. (File Photo/BCCI)
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Yusuf Pathan: No Dearth Of Talent In Jammu – Kashmir , Cricketers Need Guidance

Yusuf Pathan said that there is a lot of talent in Jammu and Kashmir and youth must use their skills to make their country proud. Cricket is the most popular sport in the country and almost all states and Union Territories produce quality cricketers who do well on the domestic stage before the cream of the crop goes on to represent the country.

Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) is one region where cricket is also extremely popular. However, high-quality infrastructure, coaching, and overall guidance are largely missing. In recent times, cricketers from Jammu and Kashmir like Abdul Samad, Rasikh Salam, and Parvez Rasool have done well. All three have been part of IPL teams. In fact, Parvez Rasool, an off-spinning all-rounder, also donned the Team India jersey.

Parvez Rasool
Parvez Rasool. (Image credit: BCCI)

Yusuf Pathan: No Dearth Of Talent In Kashmir

Former India all-rounder Yusuf Pathan, who is a brand ambassador of cricket for J&K, recently met about 50 budding cricketers from Kupwara, Handwara, Bandipora, and adjoining districts as part of a workshop that was held in Srinagar. Yusuf Pathan feels there is a lot of cricketing talent in Jammu and Kashmir and the youngsters need proper guidance and direction.

Yusuf Pathan announced his retirement.(Photo: IANS)
Yusuf Pathan announced his retirement. (Photo: IANS)

“(Abdul) Samad, Rasikh (Salam), (Parvez) Rasool are the cricketers who have gone ahead and played in the IPL. Rasool played for India as well. They have made a name for themselves. There is no dearth of talent in Kashmir and all they need is guidance and direction. There are some exceptional talents in Kashmir,” Yusuf said from Kashmir.

“They have limited infrastructure and yet they produce good cricketers, which is a very big thing. The Indian Army is getting involved in it. Be it shoes, caps, jerseys or any equipment, the Indian Army is doing a lot for these youngsters. I have seen kids who can bowl at full speed, can hit the ball out of the park and there are some who are livewires while fielding. They need the right direction and platform.”

The right-arm off-break bowler Parvez Rasool has played 1 ODI and 1 T20I for India picking up 2 and 1 wicket respectively. He has picked 266 scalps in 82 first-class games besides scoring 4807 runs with 12 tons. Yusuf Pathan, with the help of the Indian Army, has visited various areas in Kashmir, including Kupwara, Handwara, Bandipora, and the adjoining districts, and met kids and played cricket with them.

“There is huge excitement and craze among kids in Kashmir. They want to play cricket and love this game a lot. The Indian Army is doing a lot for these kids. They are organising tournaments and competitions for these kids to create a different environment. This step has helped these kids a lot. Now, they just want to play cricket.

“I have spoken to a number of kids – all I want to say is that they are showing a lot of interest in cricket and they want to learn every single bit of it. I am really happy to see this,” Yusuf, who played 57 ODIs and 22 T20Is for India between 2007 and 2012, further said.

It’s not easy for children in strife-torn Jammu and Kashmir to follow their passion. But over the years certain efforts have been made to try and improve the overall position of sports in the region and also to try and boost interest in sports amongst the youngsters.

Yusuf Pathan: When One Gets Engaged In Sports, They’re Not Distracted

The Real Kashmir football club was one such step. After the devastating floods of 2014 in the region, which caused massive loss of life and property, the editor of a local newspaper and a local businessman came together to keep the youngsters who had lost a lot during the floods engaged.

From an outreach program, the idea transformed into the creation of a football club affiliated with the Jammu and Kashmir football association. Real Kashmir eventually went on to be promoted to the I-League.

“Sports are a morale booster and give you a psychological boost. It will always keep you motivated and determined. When you are engaged in sports, you will not get distracted by anything. Your mind will not be engaged in negative thoughts. Sports is like medicine for all this.

Yusuf Pathan For KKR
Yusuf Pathan For KKR © AFP

“Not just Kashmir, there are other places in our country where children pick up drug addiction and get involved in other negative practices. Sports keep these youngsters engaged. They will be motivated and determined to do well in life and will stay away from negative and destructive activities,” Yusuf, who was part of India’s 2007 T20 World Cup and 2011 World Cup-winning campaign, signed off.

Yusuf Pathan debuted in the breathtaking tournament-decider of the 2007 ICC World T20 against Pakistan. The right-handed batsman’s stay was brief though, as he slammed a four and a six, scoring 15 runs in eight balls while opening the innings with Gautam Gambhir. He made his maiden ODI appearance the year after that against the same opposition and emerged as a powerful lower-order batsman.

The Baroda all-rounder featured in 57 ODIs, where he managed 810 runs at 27 alongside hitting two centuries and picking 33 scalps. He was also part of India’s team that won the 2011 World Cup squad at home. Yusuf Pathan was also an impactful player in the Indian Premier League, being part of multiple title victories. He played 174 IPL matches, mustering 3204 runs while maintaining a strike rate of 142.97 alongside a century as well.

He played 57 ODIs and 22 T20Is for India between 2007 and 2012. He was part of the 2007 T20 World Cup as well as the 2011 ODI World Cup, both of which were won by the Indian team.

Gautam Gambhir reacted after Harbhajan Singh called Neeraj Chopra's gold triumph bigger than India's 2011 World Cup win. | Photo Credit: IANS
Gautam Gambhir reacted after Harbhajan Singh called Neeraj Chopra's gold triumph bigger than India's 2011 World Cup win. | Photo Credit: IANS
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Neeraj Chopra’s Gold Medal At Olympics Is Bigger Than 2011 ODI World Cup Win, Says Harbhajan Singh

Harbhajan Singh has made a controversial statement after Neeraj Chopra bagged India’s first gold medal in Tokyo Olympics 2020. He covered a distance of 87.58 meters on his throw and registered the longest distance among all the athletes who contested in the event. He defeated Czech Republic’s Jakub Vadlejch and Vítězslav Veselý to resgister the best throw.

Meanwhile, speaking to Aaj Tak, Harbhajan Singh has said that Neeraj Chopra’s gold at the Tokyo Olympics is bigger than India’s 2011 World Cup win at home. India’s second World Cup win at home came after a 28 years hiatus as they won the first World Cup way back in 1983. Kapil Dev inspired an entire generation of youngsters.

Neeraj Chopra won independent India's first-ever athletics medal on Saturday. (AP Photo)
Neeraj Chopra won independent India’s first-ever athletics medal on Saturday. (AP Photo)

Harbhajan Singh: Neeraj Chopra’s Gold Medal At Olympics Is Bigger Than 2011 ODI World Cup Win

After former cricketer, Gautam Gambhir, veteran spinner Harbhajan Singh compared an Olympic medal with the Indian cricket team’s 2011 World Cup win. Harbhajan Singh said Neeraj Chopra’s historic gold medal triumph at the Tokyo Olympics 2020 on Saturday (August 07) was bigger than India’s 2011 World Cup victory.

Neeraj Chopra scripted history as he became the first Indian to win a gold medal in athletics in the history of the Olympics. With a throw of 87.58m in the men’s javelin throw final, Neeraj Chopra finished on top of the podium and brought an end to the country’s 100-year-long wait for a medal in track and field events in athletics at the Olympics.

Harbhajan Singh poses for a photograph ahead of a practice session
Harbhajan Singh poses for a photograph ahead of a practice session © AFP

Speaking to Aaj Tak, Harbhajan Singh compared Neeraj Chopra’s heroics to India’s World Cup victory and said the latter’s gold medal was bigger.

“This gold medal win is bigger than the Cricket World Cup win in 2011. This should be celebrated 50 times more than the 2011 World Cup,” said Harbhajan, who was part of the Indian team which won the World Cup in 2011 after beating Sri Lanka in the final.

Neeraj Chopra became the 2nd Indian in the history of the Olympics to win a medal in track and field events. Norman Pritchard, a British Indian, was the first athlete to win a medal for the country. Neeraj Chopra ended India’s 100-year wait for a medal in track and field events.

Gautam Gambhir Agrees Sarcastically To Harbhajan Singh’s Remark

Gautam Gambhir, who had earlier called India’s bronze medal win in men’s hockey at the Tokyo Olympics, a bigger win than the 2011 Cricket World Cup, reacted to Harbhajan Singh’s remark on Twitter.

“True that @harbhajan_singh …But You shouldn’t have said this! You should not say this ! You shall never say this,” he wrote.

Gautam Gambhir. Photo Credit: Getty Images.
Gautam Gambhir. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Meanwhile, Harbhajan Singh has echoed exactly the same sentiments former Indian batsman Gautam Gambhir share on Twitter after Neeraj Chopra’s world record. He also said that the 2011 World Cup was nothing compared to Neeraj Chopra’s gold medal feat in Tokyo Olympics. After Harbhajan Singh’s statement to Aajtak, Gautam Gambhir replied to him on his Twitter handle saying that he should not have said on Twitter adding a sarcastic tone to it.

Both Harbhajan Singh and Gautam Gambhir were part of India’s 2011 World Cup squad which India played under MS Dhoni. Gautam Gambhir, for a matter of fact, scored a brilliant 97 in the final with then skipper MS Dhoni scoring 91.

Both Harbhajan Singh and Gautam Gambhir after winning the 2011 World Cup together were dropped from India’s 2015 World Cup squad in Australia and New Zealand. India made an exit in the tournament, losing the semifinal against Australia.

Salman Butt. Image-Twitter
Salman Butt. Image-Twitter
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The Frequency Of Losses Isn’t Much To Term India As Chokers In ICC Events, Says Salman Butt

Salman Butt, former tainted Pakistan skipper was of the opinion that it is too early to tag the current Indian cricket team as chokers in ICC events. Salman Butt stated that India hasn’t lost as many big tournaments as South Africa to be termed as chokers.

Team India was severely criticized for failing to deliver in the ICC World Test Championship (WTC) final against New Zealand in Southampton. They were the strongest side in the competition going into the final but were thumped by the Kiwis in the summit clash despite two full days of play lost to rain.

Controversial Pakistan batsman Salman Butt
Controversial Pakistan batsman Salman Butt (File Photo | AFP)

Salman Butt: India Don’t Have A Long History Of Not Winning An ICC Event

Speaking on his YouTube channel, Salman Butt explained that India has won big tournaments under previous captain MS Dhoni and that Virat Kohli’s men have only played a handful of ICC knockout games.

Responding to a query in this regard, Butt elaborated: “India don’t have a long history of not winning an ICC event. Under previous captain MS Dhoni, India won the Champions Trophy (2013), the World T20 (2007) and the 50-over World Cup (2011).

“Recently, India played the World Test Championship (WTC) final and the 2019 World Cup semi-final. They have been almost there among the world’s Top 2 teams. So, the frequency of India’s losses is not that much to term them as chokers.”

Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni (Photo:AFP)
Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni (Photo: AFP)

Under Virat Kohli, India has come close thrice to lift an ICC Trophy – the Champions Trophy in 2017, the 2019 World Cup, and most recently, the WTC final – but have stumbled at the final hurdle.

While India failed to win the T20 World Cups in 2014 and 2016 and the 2015 ODI World Cup under MS Dhoni, the talismanic captain had led the team to three ICC titles before that(2007 T20 World Cup, 2011 World Cup, 2013 Champions Trophy).

Salman Butt: Nobody Calls New Zealand Chokers Even Though They Lost Several Semi-Finals And Two Finals In 2015 And 2019 World Cup

Salman Butt pointed out even New Zealand lost a lot of knockout games in ICC events before winning the WTC final.

“Look at the number of semi-finals New Zealand have played in the World Cup. They have played two finals as well (2015 and 2019). Nobody called them chokers. South Africa were termed chokers because they frequently lost big matches. They went down in a lot of finals and crunch games. That isn’t the case with India as yet.”

New Zealand's Kane Williamson celebrates with the trophy and teammates after winning the final of the ICC World Test Championship. Photograph: John Sibley/Reuters
New Zealand’s Kane Williamson celebrates with the trophy and teammates after winning the final of the ICC World Test Championship. Photograph: John Sibley/Reuters

India has frequently made it to the semi-finals and finals of ICC events since the 2013 Champions Trophy but has failed to go all the way. They went down to Sri Lanka by six wickets in the 2014 World T20 final in Mirpur.

In the 2015 World Cup, they made the semi-finals, where they lost to Australia by 95 runs in Sydney. West Indies’ brutal batting saw India getting beaten in the 2016 World T20 semis in Mumbai by seven wickets. In the last four years, Team India has gone down in the 2017 Champions Trophy final and the 2019 ICC World Cup semi-final before recently losing the WTC final.
Despite the losses, India is one of the only four teams to win all major ICC tournaments. It is the second cricket team to win the World Cup after West Indies. It has won the Cricket World Cup twice – in 1983 under the captaincy of Kapil Dev and in 2011 under the captaincy of MS Dhoni.
After winning the 2011 World Cup, India became only the third team after West Indies and Australia to have won the ODI World Cup more than once, and the first cricket team to win the World Cup at home.
It also won the 2007 ICC World Twenty20 and 2013 ICC Champions Trophy, under the captaincy of MS Dhoni. Team India was also the joint champions of the 2002 ICC Champions Trophy, along with Sri Lanka.
Dinesh Karthik Photo: © Reuters (Main Image)
Dinesh Karthik Photo: © Reuters (Main Image)
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Dimension Of Wicketkeeping Has Changed Drastically With The Arrival Of Adam Gilchrist And MS Dhoni: Dinesh Karthik

Dinesh Karthik is on his way to England for the World Test Championship final between India and New Zealand starting in Southampton from the 18th of June – not as a part of the squad but the commentary panel for Sky.

The wicket-keeper batsman, who has represented India in 26 Tests and 126 limited over matches, spoke exclusively to Cricketnext (News 18) on the dramatic evolution of wicketkeeping since the arrival of greats like MS Dhoni and Adam Gilchrist and also on his career which coincided with the rise of MS Dhoni.

Adam Gilchrist with MS Dhoni (Reuters Photo)
Adam Gilchrist with MS Dhoni (Reuters Photo)

Dinesh Karthik: Dimension Of Wicketkeeping Has Changed Drastically In The Last Couple Of Decades With The Arrival Of Adam Gilchrist And MS Dhoni

Dinesh Karthik stated that the concept of wicketkeeping had changed completely since the arrival of MS Dhoni and Adam Gilchrist. Till the late 1990s, wicket-keepers were first chosen on the basis of their skills behind the stumps and their contribution with the bat was secondary. Everything changed after the arrival of Australia’s Adam Gilchrist in 1999 and India’s MS Dhoni in the early 2000s.

“The dimension of wicketkeeping has changed a lot. In today’s world, there is hardly any wicketkeeper-batsman. Most of them are batsmen-wicketkeepers. Captains want the wicketkeepers to contribute a lot with the bat. In the earlier days, there were a lot of wicketkeeper-batsmen. That has changed drastically in the last couple of decades or so with the arrival of Adam Gilchrist and MS Dhoni, people who have contributed a lot with the bat,” quoted Dinesh Karthik.

Dinesh Karthik file image. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)
Dinesh Karthik file image. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)

Dinesh Karthik then spoke about his career and how it coincided with MS Dhoni. It was one of the major reasons that he found it difficult to break through into the Indian XI across formats on a consistent basis. Dinesh Karthik made his international debut in 2004 – the same year as MS Dhoni but the latter, courtesy of his exploits with the bat, took over the position of India’s first-choice wicket-keeper across formats.

Dinesh Karthik Enjoyed Thoughroughly Being Part Of Indian Team

Dinesh Karthik, however, wasn’t too disappointed and was grateful for the opportunities he got to play for the country. Dinesh Karthik played 26 Tests, 94 ODIs, and 32 T20Is. His last Test came in 2018, while his last limited-overs appearance came in the 2019 World Cup.

“Everybody plays the sport trying to do their best and do whatever they can. I was no different. Sometimes it happened, sometimes it didn’t. As I said, when I look back at my journey, I am very proud of whatever I have done over a period of time.”

File image of MS Dhoni and Dinesh Karthik.(AFP)
File image of MS Dhoni and Dinesh Karthik. (AFP)

With MS Dhoni as the specialist wicket-keeper in the XI, Dinesh Karthik had to improve his batting skills and there was extra pressure on him playing as a specialist batsman. However, Dinesh Karthik said that international cricket came with its challenges and was never easy.

“When you play international cricket, it is bound to be tough. If you are expecting anything else, you are in the wrong place. The key is, knowing that it is tough, to find ways to enjoy it and that is the beauty of playing at the international level. You are always thrown into questions and have to find answers. That’s what every player tries to do. The opening was a part of the journey and the short while that it lasted, I thoroughly enjoyed it.”

Under MS Dhoni’s captaincy, India won the 2007 T20I World Cup, the 2011 ODI World Cup, and the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy. Dinesh Karthik is determined to play for India again after being dropped from the squad following the ICC Cricket World Cup, 2019. He wants to play the role of a finisher, like MS Dhoni and is confident that his 17-year international experience and his fitness will help him win T20 matches for the country.

Shoaib Malik
Shoaib Malik
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Shoaib Malik Opens Up On Ashish Nehra And Zaheer Khan Creating Problems But Handled Irfan Pathan Pretty Well

Shoaib Malik talked about former India pacers Ashish Nehra and Zaheer Khan and how they created a problem for him and the rest of the Pakistan batsmen unlike former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan who had some memorable performances while playing against arch-rivals Pakistan. To date, Indian fans cherish his hat-trick in the opening over of the Karachi Test in 2006. Even with the bat, the former cricketer had contributed well.

Irfan Pathan had scalped 34 ODI wickets in 23 games against Pakistan but there is one player who always found it comfortable facing the left-arm quick. Former captain Shoaib Malik handled him pretty well, averaging 89.50 against the former Indian pacer.

Irfan Pathan claimed a hat-trick against Pakistan in Karachi in 2006(ICC/Twitter)
Irfan Pathan claimed a hat-trick against Pakistan in Karachi in 2006(ICC/Twitter)

Shoaib Malik Played Well Against Irfan Pathan Since He Didn’t Bowl Out Swingers Early In His Career

While speaking in an interview with Cricwick, Shoaib Malik spoke about having success against one of the finest Indian swing bowlers who often troubled the other Pakistan batsmen during his playing days.

“My average against Irfan Pathan is good because I play the inswing well. At that time, Irfan did not bowl out-swingers. He added it to his arsenal later, but early in his career, he majorly bowled in-swinging deliveries. So, I knew he would bowl an in-swinger, and I prepared myself accordingly,” said the Shoaib.

Shoaib Malik. (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)
Shoaib Malik. (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)

The left-arm pacer Irfan Pathan became the first bowler to take a hat-trick in the first over of a Test match. That it came against arch-rivals Pakistan in their own backyard made it all the more special. It was the third Test of the series.

The first two Test matches had ended in draws and naturally, the pitch for the final Test had a greenish tinge to it, perhaps to aid the Pakistan fast bowlers more. But it was India captain Rahul Dravid who won the toss and opted to bowl first. Irfan Pathan was thrown the new ball and he did not disappoint his captain.

Irfan Pathan had 100 Test wickets averaging 32.26 and 173 ODI wickets averaging 29.72 playing 29 Tests and 120 ODIs. In 24 T20Is he picked 28 scalps averaging 22.07.

Shoaib Malik: Zaheer Khan And Ashish Nehra Always Targeted Bat’s Edge And Hence Were Successful

The 39-year-old Pakistan batsman further talked about former India pacers Ashish Nehra and Zaheer Khan who had created a problem for him. Shoaib Malik said the duo always targeted the ‘edges of the bat’ and hence, were more successful. Shoaib Malik, who made his international debut in 1999, featured in plenty of games against India. He scored 1782 runs against the Men in Blue in ODIs at an average of 46.89.

“Zaheer Khan and Ashish Nehra targeted the edges of the bat. Hence, they took many wickets against Pakistan. If a bowler targets the edge, he will be more successful. I feel my ability to play the in-swinging deliveries helped me do well against Irfan,” Shoaib said.

Ashish Nehra and Zaheer Khan train during the 2011 World Cup. (Getty Images)
Ashish Nehra and Zaheer Khan train during the 2011 World Cup. (Getty Images)

Both the seamers played a great role in India’s success in the 2000s culminating in victory in the 2011 World Cup. Zaheer Khan was the joint-leading wicket-taker in the 2011 World Cup – 21 scalps along with Shahid Afridi. In fact, left-arm pacer Zaheer Khan had dismissed the right-hander Shoaib Malik 6 times in ODIs.

Ashish Nehra played 17 Tests, 120 ODIs, and 27 T20Is picking up more than 200 international scalps. He played his last Test in 2004 and last ODI in 2011 but at 36 he revived his international career because he had reprised the ability to move the ball at 140 kph, and became one of India’s most successful bowlers in the 2016 World T20. Zaheer Khan played 92 Tests, 200 ODIs, and 17 T20Is picking up 311, 282, and 17 scalps respectively.

Shoaib Malik’s last T20I was in September 2020 and his last ODI in June 2019. He played 35 Tests, 287 ODIs, and 116 T20Is amassing over 10,000 runs in all three formats combined averaging above 30 in each. Shoaib Malik became the first Pakistani batsman to score 10,000 runs in Twenty20 cricket in October 2020. He is married to Indian tennis star Sania Mirza.

Sachin Tendulkar. (Photo Source: Twitter
Sachin Tendulkar. (Photo Source: Twitter
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Sachin Tendulkar Regrets For Not Playing With Sunil Gavaskar And Against Sir Vivian Richards

Sachin Tendulkar, who retired from international cricket in 2013 after scoring 15,921 Test runs and 18,426 ODI runs and is still the leading run-scorer in international cricket in Tests and ODIs, added that his first regret was not playing alongside Sunil Gavaskar and the second regret was not being able to play against his childhood hero Sir Vivian Richards.

Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar said he had two regrets in life despite an illustrious career spanning more than two decades where he played 200 Tests and 463 ODI, scoring 51 and 49 centuries, respectively.

Sachin Tendulkar Photograph: Niklas Halle’n/AFP/Getty Images
Sachin Tendulkar. Photograph: Niklas Halle’n/AFP/Getty Images

Sachin Tendulkar Regrets Not Having Played Alongside Sunil Gavaskar

Sachin Tendulkar is the highest run-scorer of all time in international cricket, and the only player to have scored one hundred international centuries, the first batsman to score a double century in a One Day International (ODI), the holder of the record for the most runs in both Test and ODI cricket, and the only player to complete more than 30,000 runs in international cricket.

Sachin Tendulkar was a part of the Indian team that won the 2011 World Cup, his first win in six World Cup appearances for India. He had previously been named “Player of the Tournament” at the 2003 edition of the tournament held in South Africa.

File image of former India captain Sunil Gavaskar | AFP
File image of former India captain Sunil Gavaskar | AFP

“I have two regrets. The first is that I have never played with Sunil Gavaskar. Gavaskar was my batting hero when I grew up and not playing with him as part of a team remains a regret. Gavaskar retired a couple of years before I made my debut,” Sachin Tendulkar told.

Widely regarded as one of the greatest batsmen and one of the best opening batsmen in Test cricket history, Sunil Gavaskar set world records during his career for the most Test runs and most Test centuries scored by any batsman.

He held the record of 34 Test centuries for almost two decades before it was broken by Sachin Tendulkar in December 2005. He was the first person to score centuries in both innings of a Test match three times. He was the first Test batsman to score 10,000 Test runs in a career and now stands at number 12 on the group of 13 players with 10,000-plus Test runs.

Sachin Tendulkar’s 2nd Regret Is Not Being Able To Play Against Sir Vivian Richards

Sachin Tendulkar, who retired from international cricket in 2013 and is still the leading run-scorer in international cricket in Tests and ODIs, added that his second regret was not being able to play against his childhood hero Sir Vivian Richards.

“My other regret is not having played against my childhood hero Sir Vivian Richards. I was fortunate to have played against him in county cricket, but I still rue not being able to play against him in an international match.”

Sir Vivian Richards Getty Images
Sir Vivian Richards Getty Images

“Even though Sir Richards retired in 1991 and we have a couple of years overlapping in our careers, we did not get to play against each other,” he added.

Overall, Sir Vivian Richards scored 8,540 runs in 121 Test matches at an average of 50.23, including 24 centuries. As a captain, he won 27 of 50 Test matches and lost only 8. He also scored nearly 7,000 runs in One Day Internationals and more than 36,000 in first-class cricket. Knighted for his contributions to cricket, today Sir Vivian Richards is an occasional cricket commentator and team mentor.

Tim Southee
Tim Southee
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Tim Southee Loves Test Cricket Since It Gets His Blood Boiling

Tim Southee, veteran New Zealand seamer revealed he loves Test cricket more compared to other formats, adding that it gets the best out of him as it gets his ‘blood boiling’. The Kiwi bowler also spoke about the prospect of facing India in the first-ever World Test Championship final.

New Zealand has taken off for England, and they will start their quarantine soon in preparation for the upcoming two-match Test series against the Three Lions. However, all eyes will be on Southampton at the Rose Bowl when the Blackcaps face off against India in the World Test Championship final on June 18.

New Zealand’s Tim Southee (AP Photo/Ross Setford)
New Zealand’s Tim Southee (AP Photo/Ross Setford)

Tim Southee Loves His Treasured Format Test Cricket Which Gets The Blood Boiling

The New Zealand men’s cricket team departed for England on Saturday night to play a two-Test series, followed by the ICC World Test Championship (WTC) final against the Virat Kohli-captained India from June 18 onwards. While the Black Caps will play the first Test against the hosts from June 2 in London, the second Test will commence in Birmingham on June 10.

“I love test cricket. For me it’s my most treasured format. I love all three, but test cricket is something that really gets the blood boiling. Being the first [World Test Championship final] it will be pretty special as well. India in England is unusual on its own, but it’s great to test yourself against one of the best sides and they have been for a long period of time. It should be a great match,” Tim Southee said in an interview with stuff.co.nz.

BJ Watling, IND vs NZ, WTC final
This will be the last tour for New Zealand’s wicketkeeper-batsman, 35-year-old BJ Watling. Image Source: GETTY IMAGES

Tim Southee also jokingly remarked how the current crop of New Zealand players had got it easy compared to when he started his international cricket journey. The bowler debuted in 2008 as a 19-year-old and won just once in his first 14 Tests. However, things are changing, and the Kiwis have won 9 of their last 11 Test series.

“Ross [Taylor] and I quite often laugh about it because it took so long to have those wins. Guys are coming in and Kyle [Jamieson] has won six test matches already and hasn’t lost a test match,” Southee remarked.

This will be the last tour for Kiwi wicketkeeper-batsman, 35-year-old BJ Watling, who recently announced that he was retiring from competitive cricket. He represented New Zealand so far in 73 Tests, 28 ODIs, and five T20Is.

Tim Southee Thinks Age Is Only A Number And One Should Continue Playing Tests As Long As One Is Still Able To Perform And Reach High Standards

The 32-year-old believes as long as he can maintain the requisite fitness standards, age is just a number and he can continue playing international cricket at the top level. Tim Southee also talked about how players take better care of their bodies in the modern-day, which is undoubtedly helping them elongate their careers.

“As long as you’re still able to perform and reach those high standards it takes to represent your country then I think age is only a number. You look at the likes of [England test veteran] James Anderson who is 38. He’s still arguably bowling as good as he ever has. hink cricketers in general look after themselves a lot better. We’re a lot fitter as a group, we train a lot on the strength and conditioning side of things. I think you’ll see players play for longer,” Tim Southee added.

Tim Southee
Tim Southee becomes third New Zealand bowler to pick 300 Test wickets, Black Caps Twitter

The seamer is still going strong in Test cricket and he has the fourth-most wickets in the longest format since 2019 (65 wickets from 14 matches). Only Pat Cummins, Stuart Broad, and Ravichandran Ashwin have taken more scalps in that time period.

Tim Southee has 302 wickets in 77 Tests averaging 28.71 besides having 190 scalps in 143 ODIs and 99 scalps in 82 T20Is. He has also picked 28 wickets in 40 IPL games having played his last match in 2019.

In the 2011 World Cup, he scalped 18 wickets at an excellent average of 17.33  which showed ample proof of his ability to adapt to sub-continental conditions. He also shone during the 2015 World Cup where New Zealand made their first-ever appearance in a final. His career-best spell of 7/33 came in World Cup 2015 where Tim Southee destroyed England’s batting line-up with his lethal spell with the new ball.

Gautam Gambhir AFP
Gautam Gambhir AFP
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Gautam Gambhir Was The Glue That Kept India’s Batting Line-Up Together: Paddy Upton

Paddy Upton, India’s Mental Conditioning and Strategic Leadership Coach in 2011, remembered the contribution of Gautam Gambhir in the final as he called him ‘the glue that kept the great batting line-up of that era together.’

The Indian cricket team last lifted a Cricket World Cup in 2011. There were euphoric scenes at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai as MS Dhoni-led Team India lifted the World Cup after 28 years of wait.

Rajasthan Royals coach Paddy Upton
Rajasthan Royals coach Paddy Upton Arjun Singh /SPORTZPICS

Gary Kirsten Used To Call Gautam Gambhir The Rock: Paddy Upton

India chased down Sri Lanka’s target of 274 runs in the 49th over to be crowned world champions. India stuttered at the start but managed to get to the target due to the brilliance of Gautam Gambhir and MS Dhoni. India lost the wickets of Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar early in their run-chase and it transferred the pressure on the remaining batsmen.

Gautam Gambhir
Gautam Gambhir Lakruuwan Wanniarachchi/AFP

But Gautam Gambhir stuck around to deliver a career-defining knock of 97 to take India close to the target.

“There was that additional pressure and disappointment of having Sehwag and Tendulkar back in the change room. But the reality was, you had two of the best high-pressure players in the team – one of them at the crease – Gautam Gambhir. Gary Kirsten used to call him the rock. He spent most of his career as Sehwag’s sidekick,” Paddy Upton told cricket.com.

Skipper MS Dhoni promoting himself over Yuvraj Singh at a crucial stage of the 2011 World Cup final against Sri Lanka is one of the most intriguing and talked-about subjects in Indian cricket.

Yuvraj Singh had been in great form throughout the tournament, with both bat and ball, but according to Paddy Upton the reasons were both cricketing and the captain’s determination to rise to the big occasion to leave his own indelible mark on the tournament. MS Dhoni’s unbeaten 91 off 79 balls, and the soaring six over long-on off Nuwan Kulasekara that sealed glory, is one of the most memorable images in Indian cricket.

Paddy Upton: Gautam Gambhir Was The Glue That Kept The Great Batting Line-up Of That Era Together

Over the course of the World Cup, the left-handed Yuvraj Singh contributed 362 runs, 15 wickets, four Man of the Match awards, culminating in the Player of the Tournament honour. MS Dhoni’s highest score going into the final was 34 against Ireland.

“Sehwag would be the guy who used to be on the highlights package and play the flamboyant cricket and get the crowd cheering. Gambhir would just squirt the ball with that square drive behind backward point. He wouldn’t get the crowd going and he wouldn’t make it to the highlights package, but Gambhir was the glue that kept the great batting line-up of that era together,” Paddy Upton added.

Gautam Gambhir. Photo Credit: Getty Images.
Gautam Gambhir. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

“Although he had not delivered with the bat for seven games until then, MS Dhoni was at that time, probably still is, the best in the world when it comes to second innings chase in white-ball cricket. So, we really did have, in truth, our two biggest guns or two biggest bullets still in the chamber.”

The former India opener, who has scored more than 10,000 international runs in 242 games across formats, batted at No. 3 mostly in the 2011 World Cup. The 11 who featured in that final never played together again. That should definitely trigger some nostalgia. For Gautam Gambhir, however, it is more of an unanswered question.
File image of Yuvraj Singh | Oli Scarff/AFP
File image of Yuvraj Singh | Oli Scarff/AFP
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Yuvraj Singh Was An Unsung Hero In 2011 World Cup, Says Gautam Gambhir

Gautam Gambhir has praised the contribution of left-handed southpaw Yuvraj Singh, lamenting how the left-hander’s efforts were overshadowed by captain MS Dhoni’s match-winning six on the tenth anniversary of India’s 2011 World Cup triumph.

Indian cricket witnessed one of its greatest moments when the then skipper MS Dhoni launched Sri Lankan Nuwan Kulasekara over wide long-on for a six to seal the 2011 World Cup win exactly 10 years ago. However, Gautam Gambhir, the other hero who top-scored with 97 in that final, is irked that MS Dhoni’s six became the defining moment of India’s World Cup triumph and not Yuvraj Singh’s all-round contribution in the tournament.

Gautam Gambhir
Gautam Gambhir Lakruuwan Wanniarachchi/AFP

Gautam Gambhir: Yuvraj Singh Was An Unsung Hero And Isn’t Talked About Although The Match Winning Six By MS Dhoni Is More Discussed

With 362 runs at an average of 90.5 and 15 wickets at an average of 25.13, Yuvraj Singh was a key player in India’s second ODI World Cup win after a hiatus of 28 years and deservingly won the Player of the Tournament award. Gautam Gambhir lashed out for MS Dhoni’s tournament-sealing six dominating public consciousness and not Yuvraj Singh’s efforts.

In an interview with The Times of India, Gautam Gambhir said:”There were 13 or probably 14 unsung heroes in that win! Munaf, I, Harbhajan Singh, Virat Kohli, who got a hundred in the first game, Suresh Raina, who played a crucial knock against Pakistan – all these players’ contributions were unbelievable.

“For that matter, when I look back today after ten years, I feel Yuvraj was an unsung hero as well, despite being the ‘Man of the Tournament.’ You won’t talk about him, but people do talk about that one six (MS Dhoni’s winning runs) for sure,” said Gautam Gambhir, who top-scored in the 2011 World Cup final with 97.

Yuvraj Singh
Yuvraj Singh Adnan Abidi / Reuters

Chasing 275 for victory, India was in a precarious position at 114 for 3 in the 22nd over after the fall of Virat Kohli. MS Dhoni promoted himself ahead of the in-form Yuvraj Singh and stitched together a 109-run stand with Gautam Gambhir that set up the platform for the successful chase. Gautam Gambhir fell for 97, but MS Dhoni (91*) took the team home and was awarded the Man of the Match.

Gautam Gambhir: Yuvraj Singh Was The Biggest Player In Both 2007 T20I And 2011 World Cups

Gautam Gambhir has credited Yuvraj Singh for two World Cup wins for India (T20 World Cup in 2007 and ODI World Cup in 2011). In the 2007 T20 World Cup, Yuvraj Singh scored only 148 runs in the tournament, with two fifties. But he got those runs at a strike rate close to 195.

His 12-ball half-century against England in the tournament remains the fastest fifty in international cricket as he hit 6 sixes in one over off Stuart Broad. Despite Yuvraj Singh playing a key role in the 2007 T20 World Cup triumph, MS Dhoni’s leadership was portrayed as the key reason for India’s success.

“People say that I’m the unsung hero of that victory, but for me, he’s (Yuvraj Singh) the biggest unsung hero of both the World Cup wins for India. Without his contribution, India wouldn’t have won the 2011 World Cup.

“For me, he was the biggest player in both the World Cups. I don’t like talking about individuals because in a team sport, everyone contributes – who won both the World Cups, it must be Yuvraj and no one else.”

MS Dhoni finishes off in style as Yuvraj Singh celebrates
MS Dhoni finishes off in style as Yuvraj Singh celebrates| Indranil Mukherjee/AFP

Gautam Gambhir continued: “Yes, I got a 75 in the 2007 World T20 final and was the highest run-getter (for India) in the 2011 final. However, what he (Yuvraj Singh) did, I don’t think anyone else could have,” said Gautam Gambhir, who also top-scored for India in the 2007 T20 World Cup final.

Talking of World Cups, MS Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh, and Gautam Gambhir, here’s an interesting trivia. Back in 2000, both left-handed Gautam Gambhir and keeper MS Dhoni were overlooked for the Under-19 World Cup. Yuvraj Singh went on to win India their maiden Under-19 World Cup that year, bagging the Player of the Tournament award.

Yuvraj Singh celebrates after guiding India to victory against Australia in the quarter-finals of the 2011 ODI World Cup | AFP / Manan Vatsyayana
Yuvraj Singh celebrates after guiding India to victory against Australia in the quarter-finals of the 2011 ODI World Cup | AFP / Manan Vatsyayana
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Winning Matters But Winning In Style Matters More: Yuvraj Singh On 2011 World Cup Win

Yuvraj Singh, former Indian all-rounder opened up on the then skipper MS Dhoni’s match-winning six against Sri Lanka in the 2011 World Cup finale — a decade after India’s 2nd World Cup triumph in Mumbai.

Former India all-rounder Yuvraj Singh reflected on MS Dhoni’s winning six in the 2011 World Cup final against Sri Lanka, saying it was indeed a job well done. MS Dhoni’s iconic six-off Nuwan Kulasekara in the 49th over to seal the victory for India is forever etched in the memory of every Indian cricket fan.

MS Dhoni finishes off in style as Yuvraj Singh celebrates
MS Dhoni finishes off in style as Yuvraj Singh celebrates| Indranil Mukherjee/AFP

Gautam Gambhir Scored 97 And MS Dhoni Was Unbeaten On 91 As India Chased Down 275 In The Final

MS Dhoni came ahead of Yuvraj Singh to counter the spin of Muttiah Muralitharan and the move paid rich dividends as well. Gautam Gambhir had laid a solid foundation but missed century by a whisker before the skipper took the game away from the Lankans. Yuvraj Singh himself played a crucial role in the second innings as well, scoring 21 off 24 balls, stitching a crucial unbroken 54-run stand with skipper which eventually got India over the finish line.

Gautam Gambhir
Gautam Gambhir Lakruuwan Wanniarachchi/AFP

Batting first, Sri Lanka scored 274/6 with Mahela Jayawardene scoring an unbeaten 103 off 88 balls. Zaheer Khan and Yuvraj Singh took 2 wickets apiece. Gautam Gambhir then scored 97 off 122 balls and MS Dhoni scored an unbeaten 91 off only 79 balls to see India cross the hurdle in the 49th over winning by 6 wickets.

Yuvraj Singh, MOS Of 2011 World Cup: Winning In Style Matters More

Yuvraj Singh was at his best in the 2011 World Cup. He finished with 362 runs, 15 wickets, 4 man-of-the-match awards, and the Player of the Tournament as Yuvraj Singh would forever be remembered for his scintillating performance in India’s second World Cup triumph at home after a hiatus of 28 years.

“God has indeed been very kind to me. I’ve been part of two World Cup triumphs and each one gives me an added reason to feel good about contributing to the team,” Yuvraj told the Hindu.

“In 2007 (in the inaugural T20 World Cup), those six sixes in an over brought a different kind of joy to the people, especially the young cricket fans. I still get lots of people coming to me and recalling how it was for them to watch the ball sail over the boundary, ball after ball.”

Yuvraj Singh
Yuvraj Singh Adnan Abidi / Reuters

“Again in 2011, I think I could play a hand in most of the games. When I did not contribute with the bat, like against Pakistan (in the semifinals), I took two top-order wickets (Asad Shafiq and Younis Khan) and again two against Lanka, including Sangakkara’s.”

“Winning matters but winning in style matters a little more. That’s the difference between taking a winning single and sending the ball into the stands. It was indeed a job done well!”

In the 2011 World Cup, Sachin Tendulkar was India’s highest run-getter with 482 runs averaging 53.56 finishing 2nd behind Sri Lanka’s Tillakaratne Dilshan(500 runs) in the leading run-scorers. Gautam Gambhir (393), Virender Sehwag(380) and Yuvraj Singh(362) also contributed. Among bowlers, Indian pacer Zaheer Khan topped the bowling charts along with Shahid Afridi by taking 21 scalps while spinner Yuvraj Singh took 15 scalps.

Gautam Gambhir, Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni also featured in the inaugural T20I World Cup in 2007 which India won with several youngsters in the squad.

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