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2019 World Cup - Page 3

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 23: Michael Vaughan of the BBC commentary team laughs as he waits to speak on air before play on day one of the First Test Match of the 2017/18 Ashes Series between Australia and England at The Gabba on November 23, 2017 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)
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England’s Batting Was Fragile And They Have No Chance In Ashes: Michael Vaughan

Michael Vaughan, former England skipper came down heavily on the Joe Root-captained home team after they lost to New Zealand by eight wickets in the second Test on Sunday, saying the batting was “fragile”.

New Zealand won the two-Test series 1-0 — their first series triumph in England in 22 years. The win also pushed New Zealand back to the number one spot in Test rankings and gave them a boost ahead of the World Test Championship final against India from June 18.

Michael Vaughan
Michael Vaughan

Michael Vaughan: England Can’t Play Ashes With This Fragile Batting Line-up

The first Test between England and New Zealand had ended in a draw while the second was won by the Kiwis as the team reclaimed the top rank in Test rankings. Michael Vaughan, who has played 86 Tests for England, said if the England team continues to underperform, it will have no chance in the Ashes later this year in Australia.

“They now have just five chances to sort the batting out before the Ashes. They can’t arrive in Australia with a batting line-up this fragile. They’d have no chance. This batting line-up is fragile and we have to now start looking at players and wondering if they are good enough because they keep getting out cheaply,” Michael Vaughan said on the BBC Test Match Special.

England and Australia -The Ashes
England and Australia -The Ashes © AFP

Despite winning the Cricket World Cup in July 2019 for the first time, England had also been criticized for its fragile top-order in Tests. The retirement of opener Alastair Cook in August 2018 ensured potential top-order batsmen Rory Burns, Joe Denly, and Jason Roy were able to secure a place in the side. The 2019 series was eventually drawn 2–2, with Australia retaining the Ashes. The 2021 Ashes series is scheduled for December 2021 through January 2022.

Michael Vaughan: Everything Has Gone Downhill For England After They Won The 1st Test Against India In India

England will get a chance to redeem themselves when they take on the Virat Kohli-led India in a five-match Test series in August-September this year.

“England have tinkered too much. Everything has gone downhill for England since they went up 1-0 in India. Don’t muck about with Test cricket. England isn’t a good enough team to muck about,” Michael Vaughan added.

Zak Crawley-Twitter
Zak Crawley-Twitter
Zak Crawley is having a poor run as he averaged a mere 8.75 against Sri Lanka, 16.75 against India, and 5.25 against New Zealand in the ongoing Test series, but is still being persisted with. Rory Burns, despite his 132 and 81 in the two Tests, averaged a mere 5 against Pakistan and 14.5 against India in the two preceding series. Dom Sibley’s average hasn’t been above 35 in any of the series against Pakistan, Sri Lanka, India, and New Zealand.
England won the first Test by 227 runs, and India won the second Test by 317 runs, to level the series at 1–1. The third Test, a day/night fixture, was completed inside two days, with India winning by ten wickets. The loss meant that England could no longer qualify for the final of the World Test ChampionshipIndia won the fourth and final Test by an innings and 25 runs, taking the series 3–1.
Dinesh Karthik in action against Bangladesh at the Nidahas Trophy final in Colombo – AFP
Dinesh Karthik in action against Bangladesh at the Nidahas Trophy final in Colombo – AFP
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Dinesh Karthik Is Still Hopeful Of A Recall To The Indian Team

Dinesh Karthik is still hopeful of a recall to the Indian team, revealing that his ultimate goal is to help India win at least one of the next two World Cups. He wasn’t selected in the 20 member squad recently announced for the Sri Lanka tour of 3 ODIs and 3 T20Is.

The 2019 World Cup semi-final between India and finalists New Zealand presented a scenario that Dinesh Karthik would have played over numerous times in his head. In chase of 240, India was rocked early at 5/3 and instead of veteran keeper MS Dhoni, the management decided to send Dinesh Karthik up the order. But despite the opportunity, the wicketkeeper could not do much and was dismissed cheaply.

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

Dinesh Karthik’s Ambition Is To Be Part Of The Next Two World Cups And Try To Help India Win At Least One

Since then, Dinesh Karthik has not been selected for India in any format. However, a veteran of 94 ODIs and 32 T20Is, Dinesh Karthik, who made his India debut way back in 2004, is hopeful of a recall, revealing that his ultimate goal is to help India win at least one of the two upcoming World Cups.

“You keep evolving. You are not the same person you were at 21 or 22. You look at things differently – the way you play the sport changes, the way the sport is played changes. It is just beautiful to have been part of the journey,” Dinesh Karthik told ESPNCricinfo.

Dinesh Karthik Photo: © Reuters (Main Image)
Dinesh Karthik Photo: © Reuters (Main Image)

“Right now, my ambition is to be part of the next two World Cups and try and help India win at least one, if not both. That’s the ultimate goal for me and I am doing everything I possibly can to be part of that team.”

Whether Dinesh Karthik’s stars align remains to be seen. With the T20 World Cup scheduled later this year, to be followed by the 50-over World Cup on 2023, time is running out for the 36-year-old keeper.

Dinesh Karthik: Not Every Time One Can Score Runs Especially When One Bats At The Back End And Is Expected To Play The High-Risk Shots Right At The Outset

The Tamil Nadu wicketkeeper-batsman has been struggling to score runs recently, which does not work in the best of his interests. In the 2020 and 2021 editions of the IPL combined, Dinesh Karthik has scored 292 runs from 21 matches as the batsman explained the reason behind his slightly rough patch in the tournament.

“See, at Nos. 6 and 7, to be consistent would mean being consistent with strike rates. What’s most important is the impact your innings create. You can’t look at the scores per se because the amount of balls you face is very few.

“If you take the scores you will see they will be around 18, 22 not out, one game will be 4, one game will be 8, and then you make a 14 not out from four balls,” Dinesh Karthik said.

Former KKR skipper Dinesh Karthik (Photo | PTI)
Former KKR skipper Dinesh Karthik (Photo | PTI)

“So, if your team is doing well, that means you are playing fewer balls a lot of the time because the bulk of the batting is done by the top order. Then you create an impact as much as possible at the back end with as many balls as you get.

“Not every time that you walk in you are going to score runs, especially when you bat at the back end where you are expected to play the high-risk shots right at the outset.”

Dinesh Karthik is one of India’s most talented wicket-keeper batsmen and has also represented the country in 26 Tests between 2004 and 2018. Dinesh Karthik, who gave up Kolkata Knight Rider’s captaincy during the last season of the IPL mid-season, has been serving as Eoin Morgan’s deputy since.

However, 2019 World Cup winner England’s Eoin Morgan’s captaincy hasn’t been fruitful for the Kolkata franchise as they have won just 5 out of 14 games they have played under his leadership.

Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni
Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni
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Suresh Raina Admits It Isn’t Pleasant That People Link His Place In Team To MS Dhoni’s Friendship

Suresh Raina admitted it wasn’t a pleasant experience knowing that people linked his place in the team to his friendship with MS Dhoni. Suresh Raina and MS Dhoni were great teammates but even better friends. From playing together for India to representing Chennai Super Kings to announcing their international retirements on the same day, the duo shares a great bond.

The camaraderie shared between the two is one that is rarely seen between two top-level cricketers and theirs is a pair that is immortal when it comes to India cricket’s fabled duos.

Suresh Raina with MS Dhoni. (Photo| PTI)
Suresh Raina with MS Dhoni. (Photo| PTI)

Suresh Raina Said MS Dhoni Knew How To Get The Best Performance Out Of Him And He Trusted The Keeper

In his recently released autobiography, Believe, authored by veteran sports journalist Bharat Sundaresan, Suresh Raina revealed how MS Dhoni played a part in bringing the best out of the left-handed batsman but admitted that it wasn’t a pleasant experience knowing that there were people who always linked his place in the team to his friendship with the former India captain.

“Dhoni knew how to get the best performance out of me, and I trusted him. When people equate our connection with a spot for me in the Indian team, it hurts a lot. I’ve always worked hard to win my spot in Team India, just as I’ve earned Dhoni’s faith and respect,” Suresh Raina wrote.

MS Dhoni (BCCI/IPL)
MS Dhoni (BCCI/IPL)

Between the two, MS Dhoni made his India debut first. The former India captain played his first match for India on December 23, 2004 – during an ODI against Bangladesh, where he was run out without scoring. Seven months later, Raina made his Indian team debut. July 30, 2005, is when the left-handed southpaw would make his debut for India in an ODI against Sri Lanka in Dambulla.

Suresh Raina And MS Dhoni Announced Retirement On The Same Day 15th August 2020 And Both Played For CSK Mostly

Over the next few years, MS Dhoni and Raina would go on to become the linchpin of India’s middle order, especially in ODIs, along with the prolific Yuvraj Singh. Unfortunately, Raina injured his knee and required surgery in 2006, which kept him out of action for six months. He was still recovering by the time the 2007 T20 World Cup came rolling and had to miss the event that would prove to be a defining moment for Indian cricket.

However, Suresh Raina would light up the next edition of the T20 World Cup in 2009, becoming India’s first-ever T20I centurion. He was also the first Indian batsman to score a century in all three formats for India.

The MS Dhoni-Suresh Raina camaraderie continued for years as India won the 2011 World Cup and the 2013 Champions Trophy, with MS Dhoni being at the helm and Suresh Raina being his go-to man. Fittingly, the duo announced their retirement on the same day, August 15, 2020.

Suresh Raina
Suresh Raina (Image Credit: Twitter)

Raina had so far scored 5,491 runs in 195 innings(200 games) for CSK and Gujarat Lions averaging 33.07 and is 3rd highest run-scorer in IPL history. He managed 123 runs in 7 games in IPL 2021 after pulling out of the tournament in 2020 citing personal reasons.

The 39-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman MS Dhoni is India’s most successful captain winning the 2011 World Cup final win on home soil and also guided them to victory in the inaugural T20 World Cup final in 2007 and the Champions Trophy 2013. He last played in the 2019 World Cup, where he was run out, much like in his debut match in 2004.

Apart from being a good batsman, Suresh Raina was exceptional on the field too often patrolling the point and cover regions with his brilliant acrobatic fielding saving run at crucial junctures and affecting run-outs. The Uttar Pradesh-born Raina was India’s designated finisher along with former India skipper MS Dhoni. Raina was a part-time right-arm off-break spinner too and picked crucial wickets at much-needed intervals.

Suresh Raina (Image Credit: IPL)
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Suresh Raina Opens Up On Rapport Between Him And MS Dhoni

Suresh Raina cleared the air over people misjudging him for being in the team because of his closeness with MS Dhoni. Suresh Raina, at one point in his career, was an indispensable member of the Indian team due to his ability to accelerate and score crucial runs in the hour of need.

The former middle-order batsman would come to bat at number four and five and score important runs for the team either in the tense run-chases or provide finishing touches to an innings.

Suresh Raina and MS Dhoni.
Suresh Raina and MS Dhoni. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

Suresh Raina Said MS Dhoni Knew How To Get The Best Performance Out Of Him

Apart from being a good batsman, Suresh Raina was exceptional on the field too often patrolling the point and cover regions with his brilliant acrobatic fielding saving run at crucial junctures and affecting run-outs. The Uttar Pradesh-born Suresh Raina was India’s designated finisher along with former India skipper MS Dhoni. Suresh Raina was a part-time right-arm off-break spinner too and picked crucial wickets at much-needed intervals.

While there was no question regarding his ability to perform under any given circumstances, there was though a constant criticism on the former southpaw that he was there in the team just because of MS Dhoni’s backing. Now the former middle-order batter opened up about the same in his autobiography ‘Believe’ and spoke in length about his rapport with his Chennai Super Kings (CSK) skipper.

MS Dhoni (BCCI/IPL)
MS Dhoni (BCCI/IPL)

“Dhoni knew how to get the best performance out of me, and I trusted him,” Raina wrote in his autobiography, praising Dhoni. “When people equate our connection with a spot for me in the Indian team, it hurts a lot. I’ve always worked hard to win my spot in Team India, just as I’ve earned Dhoni’s faith and respect,” Suresh Raina added, as reported by Cricketnext.

The 39-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman MS Dhoni is India’s most successful captain winning the 2011 World Cup final win on home soil and also guided them to victory in the inaugural T20 World Cup final in 2007 and the Champions Trophy 2013. He last played in the 2019 World Cup, where he was run out, much like in his debut match in 2004.

Suresh Raina Still A Vital Cog In CSK’s Team

While Suresh Raina made his international debut on 30th July 2005 against Sri Lanka, MS Dhoni made his debut against Bangladesh in the year 2004. The duo, over the years, has developed a great bonding due to trust and respect for each other. When MS Dhoni was announced Team India’s all-format captain, he made one thing clear that he wanted good fielders in the team. The former southpaw was one of the integral members of the Indian team under MS Dhoni’s leadership.

Suresh Raina
Suresh Raina (Image Credit: Twitter)

Suresh Raina was also pivotal in CSK’s dominance for close to 10 years with his street-smart and risk-free batting. Often coming in at number three, the southpaw would take the games away from the opposition. He has so far scored 5,491 runs in 195 innings(200 games) for CSK and Gujarat Lions averaging 33.07 and is 3rd highest run-scorer in IPL history. He managed 123 runs in 7 games in IPL 2021.

A couple of senior CSK players – Suresh Raina and Harbhajan Singh (now with KKR) – had pulled out of the tournament in IPL 2020 citing personal reasons. Their absence, especially, Suresh Raina not being with the team affected CSK’s batting a big-time which resulted in CSK not reaching the playoffs for the first time in the IPL history.

Suresh Raina had retired from international cricket on August 15, 2020. The former India batsman followed MS Dhoni, who had quit the international cricket just a few minutes before him.

MSK Prasad. (Photo Source: Twitter)
MSK Prasad. (Photo Source: Twitter)
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MSK Prasad Opens Up On Arguments With Ravi Shastri And Virat Kohli During His Tenure As Chief Selector Till 2019 World Cup

MSK Prasad, whose stint as the BCCI chief selector came to an end after the 2019 World Cup, often faced questions regarding him being overshadowed by India captain Virat Kohli and coach Ravi Shastri.

For a large part of his tenure as chief selector of the Indian cricket team, MSK Prasad brought several new prominent youngsters to Indian cricket – including the likes of all-rounder Hardik Pandya and dashing keeper Rishabh Pant, both of whom have proven to be match-winners for the team.

MSK Prasad
MSK Prasad (Getty Images)

MSK Prasad Asked If There Was A Perception That He Was Too Humble In Front Of Ravi Shastri And Virat Kohli

In a recent interaction, MSK Prasad was once again asked about the perception that he was “too humble” in front of Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri.

“There was a perception that you were too humble in front of someone like Ravi Shastri and Virat Kohli. People can’t imagine how you could win arguments against such aggressive professionals?” MSK Prasad was asked in an interaction on cricket.com.

Ravi Shastri and Virat Kohli
Ravi Shastri and Virat Kohli. PTI Photo by Shashank Parade (PTI11_21_2014_000176B)

In response, the former India wicketkeeper-batsman revealed that he often engaged in arguments with both Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri, but added that all of them are professionals and understand the role they needed to play for the benefit of the team.

“You ask them what kind of arguments we had. Sometimes, we didn’t want to see each other (after meetings) but the beauty of them is that the next morning when we would meet, they would recognize and acknowledge that there is (merit in the) point we made,” MSK Prasad revealed.

“I am a management student and know how to manage. People want me to blame someone publicly? Why should I do that because it is my family? I may like or dislike decisions even at home in my family but can I come out and say something publicly?” MSK Prasad added.

The 46-year-old was often criticized for his decisions as he was not an experienced campaigner on the international circuit. The wicketkeeper-batsman’s 23 international appearances included six Tests and 17 ODIs with a solitary half-century.

MSK Prasad: Just Because Indian Team Management Didn’t Have Differences Publicly Doesn’t Mean Succumbing To The Duo Of Virat Kohli And Ravi Shastri

India’s former chief selector MSK Prasad in a recent interaction revealed that he used to have arguments with skipper Virat Kohli and head coach Ravi Shastri. MSK Prasad has often been criticized for the decisions he took during his tenure which includes picking Vijay Shankar over Ambati Rayudu in World Cup 2019 squad to Yuvraj Singh’s ouster after Champions Trophy 2017.

File image of Yuvraj Singh | Oli Scarff/AFP
File image of Yuvraj Singh | Oli Scarff/AFP

During MSK Prasad’s tenure, many young talents including Hardik Pandya and Rishabh Pant joined the competition in the senior team. Even, Jasprit Bumrah got the chance in the Test team following which he enjoyed success with the red-ball too.

“Virat and Ravi will tell you about that (how we used to have heated debates). Just because we didn’t have differences publicly doesn’t mean that we were succumbing to them. Who knows how we have convinced them on so many issues,” he signed off.

MSK Prasad did not reveal the details of the arguments but said that in the end, the two sides acknowledged the points each other made.

One very disturbing trend in his tenure was the lack of predictability in his selection pattern. There were haphazard chopping and changing of the squad, across formats, amid a few allegations that players were not informed of the reason behind their exclusions.

The first in his tenure was Karun Nair, the man who notched up 303 runs against England at home before he lost his spot in the Indian Test team and did not get a recall despite decent knocks in domestic cricket. Limited-overs cricket too witnessed the same in the buildup to India’s World Cup 2019 preparations.

Ambati Rayudu was constantly backed as India’s No.4 batsman for the tournament. And after a stretch of only 14 innings, Ambati Rayudu incurred a failure, against Australia at home, and he was eventually dropped from the ODI team. Vijay Shankar, who had only made his debut a few months back in January 2019, found his name on the World Cup list.

Joe Root
Joe Root Photograph: Sri Lanka Cricket
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Joe Root Defends England’s Defensive Approach, It Was To Keep Series Alive

Joe Root, England captain defended his side’s approach by saying the “series is very much alive” after they laboured to a draw in the first Test against New Zealand at Lord’s on Sunday.

England, who has not lost a home red-ball series since 2014, was 170-3 in 70 overs when a draw was agreed to leave this two-match contest all square ahead of next week’s second Test at Edgbaston.

Joe Root
Joe Root (Image Credit: Twitter)

Joe Root Felt Winning The Series Was Far More Important Than To Take A Risk In The 1st Test While Kane Williamson Praises Devon Conway And Tim Southee

New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson’s enterprising declaration at 169-6 during lunch on the last day left England to chase a stiff target of 273 in 75 overs. But England, in the face of some disciplined bowling and with an inexperienced middle-order, made a cautious start to their chase on a tricky pitch in a match where the whole of Friday’s third day was washed out. England was 170-3 in 70 overs when a draw was agreed.

It also meant England ended a run of three straight defeats following a 3-1 series loss in India this year.

“We didn’t attempt to win it towards the back end of it,” Joe Root told the BBC.

“We felt that, in the grand scheme of things, winning the series was (more important than) potentially giving them a 1-0 lead going into the second Test. The series is very much alive,” Joe Root said.

New Zealand opener Devon Conway was named unanimous man-of-the-match after marking his Test debut with a remarkable 200 in the tourists’ first-innings 378.

“He has come into the side and shown his class — a debut Test at ‘the home of cricket’ and he just looked so comfortable,” said Williamson of Conway. 

Devon Conway celebrates his century on debut PA Images via Getty Images
Devon Conway celebrates his century on debut PA Images via Getty Images

“To score a double century is an incredible feat.”

Kane Williamson also praised Tim Southee for the veteran seamer’s 6-43 in England’s modest first-innings 275.

“Tim led the attack beautifully and the other guys complemented him,” he said.

Joe Root, in at 56-2 on Sunday, tried to up the tempo in a match that marked the return of spectators to international cricket in England following last year’s Covid-19 restrictions. But the star batsman Joe Root was adjudged lbw for 40 to left-arm paceman Neil Wagner (2-27).

England Missed Ben Stokes While New Zealand Missed Trent Boult

Earlier, opener Rory Burns, who made 132 in England’s first innings, fell for 25 when he edged Neil Wagner low to second slip. And 49-1 soon became 56-2 when Tim Southee had Zak Crawley out for his second two of the match via a sliced drive to gully.

New Zealand, in their first match at Lord’s since an agonizing Super Over defeat by England in the 2019 World Cup final, was missing left-arm quick Trent Boult, who only arrived in the UK on Friday after a period of family leave.

England, however, were without four batsmen well-suited to a run chase in injured all-rounder Ben Stokes, with Jos Buttler, Jonny Bairstow, and Chris Woakes all rested due to the following quarantine after their stints in the Indian Premier League.

NZ pacer Trent Boult (File Photo | AFP)
NZ pacer Trent Boult (File Photo | AFP)

England debutant paceman Ollie Robinson took 3-26. That followed his 4-75 in the first innings and the 42 he made with the bat the first time around. But an impressive on-field display was overshadowed by the republication of racist tweets he posted as a teenager, with the Sussex quick set to face disciplinary action as he was suspended for the 2nd Test pending a disciplinary hearing.

“Ollie has made a huge mistake,” said Joe Root. 

“He’s very remorseful. He’s fronted up to the dressing room and the rest of the world. We want to make the game as diverse and inclusive as we possibly can and we’ll keep looking at ways to make that possible.”

New Zealand, who face India in the inaugural World Test Championship final at Southampton later this month, resumed on Sunday on 62-2 before Ross Taylor made a brisk 33 featuring two sixes.

Dinesh Karthik file image. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)
Dinesh Karthik file image. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)
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Dinesh Karthik Is Grateful To Represent India In Tests Among 302 Players In A Country Of 1.3 Billion

Dinesh Karthik is one of India’s most talented wicket-keeper batsmen and has represented the country in 26 Tests between 2004 and 2018.

In an exclusive with Cricketnext (News 18), Dinesh Karthik stated he was grateful for the chance to represent India in the premier format of the game and he was delighted to be one of the very few to have got that honour. He also spoke about the opportunities he got and his journey in international cricket.

Dinesh Karthik Photo: © Reuters (Main Image)
Dinesh Karthik Photo: © Reuters (Main Image)

Dinesh Karthik Happy With How His Career Has Taken Shape As Only 302 Players Have Played Tests For India

Dinesh Karthik made his Test debut against Australia in Mumbai in 2004 and played his last in whites for India at Lord’s in 2018. He scored 1025 runs in 26 Tests for the country at an average of 25 with one hundred and seven fifties. Dinesh Karthik stated that he was lucky and happy to be one of only 302 Test cricketers in a country of 1.3 billion people.

Dinesh Karthik made his Test comeback against Afghanistan after almost eight years (@EssexCricket Photo)
Dinesh Karthik made his Test comeback against Afghanistan after almost eight years (@EssexCricket Photo)

Overall, he has represented India in 152 international matches which include 126 limited-overs matches.

“I am very happy with how my career has taken shape. I have always been someone who has been very satisfied and have been very grateful to have played this sport, because in India, for the billion-plus population that has been over a period of time, only 302 have played (Tests) for the country, and to be a part of that is something really special. “

“I am really, really happy. There are so many things to be happy about playing this sport. At the start of my career, all I wanted to do was play one game for my country. To have played 150-plus overall, I am very happy. It has been a terrific journey for me, wearing the India blues,” quoted Karthik.

Dinesh Karthik was dropped from the Test squad with the emergence of MS Dhoni and Wriddhiman Saha after playing a Test against Bangladesh in January 2010 but returned after a gap of 8 years with Wriddhiman Saha injured and played a Test against Afghanistan and 2 Tests against England where he failed.

Dinesh Karthik’s Aim Is To Play For India In Back To Back T20 World Cups 2021-22

Dinesh Karthik’s career coincided with MS Dhoni’s and the latter’s rise and his own inconsistent form meant that he did not get a consistent run in the Indian team across formats. But he was not too fussed about the issue and was grateful for whatever chances he got to play for the country.

“As I said, in a journey that has spanned over 15-16 years, just to be a part of the Indian team over a period of time and playing all the three formats, there are so many reasons for me to be happy about myself and the efforts I have put in. “

“I have always told myself that only I know the amount of effort I put in and whatever I did over a period of time to get those opportunities. I did everything I could, sometimes these things work, some other times they don’t. What is important is when you lie down on your bed, you should get good sleep knowing that you have given it everything and I can proudly say I have definitely done that.”

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

Dinesh Karthik added that his aim now was to focus on the T20 format and play in the two successive World T20s – in India in 2021 and Australia in 2022. He stated that he was fit and raring to go.

“I will continue playing as long as I am fit. I can see myself playing for another three-four years. Touchwood, if my fitness is as it is and if I continue to contribute with the bat, I see no reason as to why I shouldn’t be playing. These days, there are so many fitness tests and the rate at which they have the fitness tests, they remove the age out of the equation.”

“What they want to see is not the age but how fit you are. My aim is to play for the country in the T20 World Cups. There are back-to-back T20 World Cups, this year and the next year, and I am doing everything I can to be a part of that,” said Karthik.​

There have been periods in his international career when he has done exceedingly well but in some time, his form dropped and he was left out. Something similar happened to him after the 2019 World Cup. He played for India in the semi-final, where he batted at no. 5, with minimal returns. This resulted in him getting dropped, which seemed like a decision taken by the selectors considering Dinesh Karthik’s age.

Mike Hesson will look to take RCB to the IPL Trophy | RCB
Mike Hesson will look to take RCB to the IPL Trophy | RCB
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The WTC Final Will Be A Test Of Captaincy For Both Kane Williamson And Virat Kohli : New Zealand Coach Mike Hesson

New Zealand has produced several top-quality memorable performances on the international stage, but an ICC title has eluded New Zealand cricket for over two decades now. New Zealand’s only ICC crown came in the form of the Champions Trophy which they won beating India in 2000.

They have made the summit clashes of the last two ODI World Cups – 2015 and 2019 – but failed to cross the final hurdle. The upcoming World Test Championship final against India in Southampton offers another chance for the Black Caps to win a major title.

New Zealand celebrate with the ICC Mini World Cup in the dressing-room Getty Images
New Zealand celebrate with the ICC Mini World Cup in the dressing-room Getty Images

New Zealand Coach Mike Hesson: Battle Between India’s Top Order And New Zealand’s Pacers Could Decide Outcome Of The WTC Final

In a chat with TOI, former New Zealand coach Mike Hesson spoke on the WTC final, how the two teams are placed, and captaincy credentials.

“They are even. The fact that it’s being played in a neutral venue makes the WTC final an even contest. I think both sides are going to be at their strongest which is great. Assuming there are no injuries in the next couple of weeks —both sides will be in full strength and we are in for an exciting Test match,” on assessing the two teams for the WTC Final.

Mike Hesson. Photo Credit: BCCI/IPL.
Mike Hesson. Photo Credit: BCCI/IPL.

“I am keen to see how India’s top-order fares against the swinging ball. The ball does a bit in Southampton and as the cross breeze comes into play — it can be a challenge for the batsmen. How the Indian top-order plays the NZ pacers could decide the outcome of the WTC final,” on big battles of the WTC Final.

Former New Zealand coach Mike Hesson feels that the battle between India’s much-vaunted top-order and New Zealand’s swing bowlers could decide the fate of the World Test Championship (WTC) final.

Mike Hesson: Whoever Wins The WTC Final Would Be Worthy Champions

Virat Kohli-led India’s batsmen haven’t quite proved themselves yet against the swinging ball and their techniques were exposed on the New Zealand tour in 2020. Meanwhile, the Kiwi pace attack of Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Kyle Jamieson, and Neil Wagner has time and again displayed its ability to extract any purchase from the pitch and would be raring to do the same at Southampton.

“We are in our third final after the 2015 ODI World Cup followed by the 2019 WC in England. The Black Caps are a top-quality side who have played quality cricket for a long period of time. It’s a huge moment for both sides. Whoever wins the WTC final will be worthy champions,” on chance for New Zealand to add 2nd ICC crown after 2000 Champions Trophy.

“Both are very good leaders and yes, both are different in styles of captaincy. The players want to follow which is a great sign for any leader. Kane is more of a slow-burn in the sense that he likes to put pressure over a period of time. Virat, on the other hand, is constantly looking for ways to put his side in the driver’s seat.”

Devon Conway celebrates his century on debut PA Images via Getty Images
Devon Conway celebrates his century on debut PA Images via Getty Images

“The WTC final will be a test of captaincy for both Kane and Virat. As the wicket changes from day to day, it will be interesting to see how both Kane and Virat make those little tweaks in their strategies to stay ahead of the game,” on assessing the captains, having worked with both Virat Kohli (as director of cricket operations in RCB) and with Kane Williamson closely.

“I do. I think the fact that they have a reserve day is good. If after five tough days of cricket there isn’t a winner, then I am happy to say that a draw will be a good result,” on sharing title in case of a draw.

“In this edition, we only have one final. It will be interesting to see if ICC does opt for the best-of-three final in the future. It will depend on a lot of factors such as venue, playing conditions, and even time,” on best of 3 final.

New Zealand is currently bossing the first Test against England at Lord’s. Indian team players, on the other hand, are in quarantine and have started their staggered training sessions. The summit clash will kick off at 3:30 pm IST on June 18.

New Zealand leads in the 1st Test against England by 165 runs being placed at 62/2 at the end of the 4th day’s play. New Zealand scored 378 with debutant opener Devon Conway scoring 200 while England managed 275 in reply with Rory Burns scoring 132. Tim Southee picked 6 scalps.

Dinesh Karthik file image. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)
Dinesh Karthik file image. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)
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Dinesh Karthik Hopeful Of Staging A Comeback In Back-to-Back T20I World Cups

Dinesh Karthik revived his international career in early 2018 with his 8-ball unbeaten 29 knock which helped India beat Bangladesh in the Nidahas Trophy final. Dinesh Karthik made his debut for India in 2004, earlier than MS Dhoni. However, unlike the latter, he failed to cement his spot in the Indian team.

There have been periods in his international career when he has done exceedingly well but in some time, his form dropped and he was left out. Something similar happened to him after the 2019 World Cup.

Dinesh Karthik After 8 Ball 29* Associated Press
Dinesh Karthik After 8 Ball 29* Associated Press

Dinesh Karthik Hopeful Of A Comeback In The Indian Squad For T20I World Cups In 2021 And 2022

He played for India in the semi-final, where he batted at no. 5, with minimal returns. This resulted in him getting dropped, which seemed like a decision taken by the selectors considering Dinesh Karthik’s age. However, the Tamil Nadu wicketkeeper-batsman has revealed that he is hopeful that he can make a comeback in the Indian squad for the T20 World Cups which are scheduled in 2021 and 2022.

Dinesh Karthik in action against Bangladesh at the Nidahas Trophy final in Colombo - AFP
Dinesh Karthik in action against Bangladesh at the Nidahas Trophy final in Colombo – AFP

Dinesh Karthik hit an unbeaten 29 off just eight balls to get India past their 167-run target in a tense chase of a dramatic final at the R. Premadasa Stadium against Bangladesh in the 2018 Nidhas Trophy. This gave him a reputation as a finisher and T20 specialist. Since then, he has done well in the format. He has emerged as one of the more skilled T20 batsmen in the IPL and Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, where he led Tamil Nadu to a title win earlier this year.

Dinesh Karthik’s Aim Is To Play For India In The T20I World Cups As He Feels Selectors Want To See Fitness Rather Than Age

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.

“What they want to see is not the age but how fit you are. If you can get through the fitness tests, it means you are ready to play for the country. My aim is to play for the country in the T20 World Cups. There are back-to-back T20 World Cups, this year and the next year, and I am doing everything I can to be a part of that,” Dinesh Karthik told Cricket Next in an interview.

Former KKR skipper Dinesh Karthik (Photo | PTI)
Former KKR skipper Dinesh Karthik (Photo | PTI)

Dinesh Karthik’s run in the IPL 2020 and 2021 hasn’t been that great but as an experienced player, he could be a valuable asset for India in the middle order during the T20 World Cup.  He expressed that he did well in T20Is until the 2019 World Cup.

“I know I have done really well in the past and even when I got dropped from the team after the World Cup, I thought I had done phenomenally well for India in T20s up till then, but because the World Cup did not go well, I got chucked out of the T20 as well.”

The cricketer further noted that there are finishers in Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja, but he is eyeing the role of the middle-order specialist batsman who can also finish the game, a role which he has been perfecting in T20s since he revived his career.

Dinesh Karthik, who gave up KKR’s captaincy during the last season of the IPL mid-season, has been serving as Eoin Morgan’s deputy since. However, 2019 World Cup winner England’s Eoin Morgan’s captaincy hasn’t been fruitful for the Kolkata franchise as they have won just 5 out of 14 games they have played under his leadership.

Dinesh Karthik has said that he is ready to captain the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) once again when the IPL 2021 edition in case regular captain Eoin Morgan doesn’t get permission from the England and Wales Board (ECB) to travel to UAE for the tournament.

The IPL 2021 was suspended in May by the BCCI after COVID-19 cases got out of hand in the teams’ bio-bubbles as multiple players, coaches, support staff, and ground staff caught the virus. Recently, the BCCI announced that the remainder of the IPL 2021 consisting of 31 matches will be played in the Sept-Oct window in UAE.

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.

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