2021 T20I World Cup | Sportzwiki

2021 T20I World Cup

Nasser Hussain wants Ricky Ponting to be England's head coach | Courtesy: Ricky Ponting/Insta - Nasser Husain/Twitter
Nasser Hussain wants Ricky Ponting to be England's head coach | Courtesy: Ricky Ponting/Insta - Nasser Husain/Twitter

Nasser Hussain And David Lloyd Urged England To Appoint Ricky Ponting As England Head Coach After Ashes 2021/22 Drubbing

Nasser Hussain and David Lloyd have urged England to appoint Australia’s great Ricky Ponting as head coach, following a dismal Ashes performance against the Aussies down under.

England has been blown away by their old rivals, and a humiliating 146-run defeat in the fifth and final Test in Hobart was the final nail in the coffin, in a devastating 4-0 series defeat.

Nasser Hussain. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)
Nasser Hussain. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

Nasser Hussain: England Should Move Away From Chris Silverwood And Ricky Ponting Is The Alternative

Plenty of questions has understandably been asked about the England setup from top to bottom, with head coach Chris Silverwood the man taking most of the scrutiny. Following the crushing defeat, many have called for Silverwood to be replaced as head coach, and former England ex-captains Nasser Hussain and David Lloyd believe former Australia captain Ricky Ponting is the right man for the job.

Discussing where England’s Test team go from here ahead of the upcoming Test series in West Indies, Nasser Hussain believes it is the right time for Chris Silverwood to step aside.

He said: “I like Chris Silverwood and half his reign has come in Covid bubbles. I’ve got a lot of sympathy for that… But too many mistakes have been made and Silverwood is accountable because of the extra responsibility he has for selection. You can look at the system but county cricket doesn’t make you bat first at Brisbane and leave Broad and Anderson out on a green Gabba pitch.”

“You can’t take the same management team to the Caribbean and tell them to carry on as if nothing has happened. With a heavy heart I say move away from Silverwood.”

Chris Silverwood, England head coach Getty Image.
Chris Silverwood, England head coach Getty Image.

And, in replacement Nasser Hussain believes Ricky Ponting should be the man England looks to.

“An alternative? I like Ricky Ponting. Everything I see about him impresses me,” he added.

“He might not have a lot of international coaching experience but he’s got a great cricket brain. There are a few out there — unfortunately, not many of them English. Justin Langer might be available soon, too, so you never know! I would just about stay with Joe Root.”

Meanwhile, England’s current coach Chris Silverwood had said that he is a good coach and wants to continue in the role. However, his position is under scrutiny after the Ashes debacle.

Nasser Hussain certainly believes the former Australian skipper the perfect replacement for Chris Silverwood.

David Lloyd Agrees With Nasser Hussain That Ricky Ponting Is Perfect As England Coach If He’s Available

The former England captain’s colleague David Lloyd agreed, describing Ricky Ponting as the ‘perfect’ replacement to come in.

He commented: “If Ponting is available he’d be perfect. He cares about cricket and cricketers, he knows the game inside out and has gravitas.”

Ricky Ponting. Image- Twitter
Ricky Ponting. Image- Twitter

Like Nasser Hussain though, David Lloyd did have sympathies with Chris Silverwood and does believe he should remain in place for the rest of the winter.

The 74-year-old continued: “I’d go with the same two [for the tour of West Indies], Silverwood and Root. But Nass, if you want to go for Ponting, I’m with you. I will say the circumstances for Silverwood have been unprecedented so I’d give him the rest of the winter.”

Nasser Hussain sympathized with Chris Silverwood who has had to play the role of a coach as well as a selector. But, having seen Chris Silverwood make some blunders in team selection, Nasser Hussain wants the England head coach to move on.

Ricky Ponting hasn’t yet been the head coach of an international team but has had the experience of coaching the Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Delhi Capitals. The ex-Australia captain was also a part of the Australian men’s national team’s support staff at the 2021 T20 World Cup in UAE.

A number of changes are expected to be made in the England Test team, be it in terms of the selection of players or the roles of a few. The next assignment of the England team is a 5-match T20I series against West Indies.

Justin Langer
Justin Langer

Justin Langer Isn’t Nervous About Discussions With Cricket Australia Regarding His Future As Australia Coach

Justin Langer is not flustered over his impending talks with Cricket Australia surrounding his renewal of contract as the men’s team head coach. Australia have witnessed four months of success including the 2021 T20I World Cup triumph followed by Ashes 2021/22 victory after stories emerged that the players were unhappy with Justin Langer’s management style.

Justin Langer held meetings with each member of the Australia squad and was reportedly asked to change his coaching style, a suggestion which he adhered to. There have also been calls for Australia to move on from Justin Langer with the former opener being in charge of the squad for nearly four years now.

Justin Langer. (Photo by Mark Evans/Getty Images)
Justin Langer. (Photo by Mark Evans/Getty Images)

Justin Langer Feels Really Content With Winning The Last 2 Series And Isn’t Nervous About Discussions With CA Regarding His Future As Australia Coach

Australia coach Justin Langer on Wednesday said that he is not nervous about his upcoming contract discussions with Cricket Australia.

“No never edgy, whatever happens,” Langer said when asked if he’s nervous about the upcoming discussions with CA regarding his future. “Before the World Cup and before these Ashes, we’ve never ever been better prepared. It’s not a coincidence we’ve had the success we’ve had.”

Cricket Australia
Photo Credit: Cricket Australia
“Whatever happens from now we can all be incredibly proud of this little period. We had two missions to win the World Cup and to win the Ashes, to do that in such a short period is a monumental effort and we’re all really satisfied with that, we’re all really happy with that, we’re all really proud of that. I sit here at the moment feeling really content with the last two series,” he added.

The likes of Steve Waugh, Ricky Ponting, and Shane Warne have called CA to give Justin Langer a new contract.

Justin Langer Excited For Next Challenge Of Winning Overseas Beginning With Pakistan Tour

CA was expected to sit down with Justin Langer after the completion of Ashes 2021-22.

“The absolute truth and people don’t seem to believe this, but the absolute truth is before the World Cup and the Ashes we all committed to, at the end of the Ashes, sit down and have some conversations,” Langer said.

“It’s been four really big years. It’s an all-encompassing job, and it’s a tough gig. That’s just the truth. We all just said we’d sit down after the Ashes. In the next little bit, I’m sure those conversations will start to be had. There’s plenty to be spoken about,” he added.

Australia’s three-match ODI series with New Zealand has been officially postponed due to uncertainty over quarantine. Australia’s next assignment is five home T20Is against Sri Lanka.

New Zealand vs Australia
New Zealand vs Australia Image Credit: Twitter

Australia’s Test team will then head to Pakistan in late February for three Tests while a T20 squad is scheduled to head to New Zealand for a three-match T20I series at the same time, however that series is also in doubt due to New Zealand’s quarantine rules.

Australia’s limited-overs specialists will then head to Pakistan for three ODIs and one T20I in late March-early April. For coach Justin Langer, the next challenge is to start winning Tests overseas with the Pakistan tour being their first major challenge.

“It’s the next challenge,” Langer said. “We’ve done some extraordinary things the last few months. But we haven’t played much Test cricket over the last couple of years because of the Covid situation. Our next big challenge is to start winning overseas now. We’re all aware of that, we’ve got a really good team. So many guys have stepped up this summer and it’s so exciting to watch, it’s been an incredible brand of cricket. We’re excited about our next big challenge of winning Test matches overseas.”

Australia’s tour to New Zealand was postponed on Wednesday morning. Australia is now slated to tour Pakistan for a multi-format series. New Zealand’s quarantine requirements and border controls have seen the Chappell-Hadlee ODI series and a T20 match postponed indefinitely, it was confirmed. Australia and New Zealand were due to play three ODIs on January 30 and February 2 and 5, and a one-off T20 match on February 8.

Virat Kohli, Image Source : AP IMAGE
Virat Kohli, Image Source : AP IMAGE

Virat Kohli’s Childhood Coach Rajkumar Sharma Revealed Former’s Decision To Step Down As Test Skipper Was Not Taken In Haste

Virat Kohli recently stepped down as Test skipper. Virat Kohli’s childhood coach, Rajkumar Sharma, recently revealed that the star cricketer’s decision to relinquish the Test captaincy was not a hasty one. Rajkumar Sharma mentioned that the 33-year-old did a lot of thinking before arriving at the decision.

Speaking on YouTube show Khelneeti, Rajkumar Sharma pointed out that the former skipper prefers avoiding controversies. He also remarked that the champion batter wants to remain away from any kind of politics and would rather concentrate on contributing to the team’s success.

Virat Kohli[photo: Twitter]
Virat Kohli[photo: Twitter]

Virat Kohli Has Thought A Lot To Relinquish The Test Captaincy As He Doesn’t Want To Be Involved In Controversies: Rajkumar Sharma

Virat Kohli sent shockwaves across the cricketing world on Saturday, January 15, by resigning as India’s most successful Test captain with 40 wins in 68 matches following the team’s series loss to South Africa. He took to his social media accounts to make the shocking announcement.

Rajkumar Sharma said: “Kohli has taken the decision to relinquish the Test captaincy after a lot of thinking. He wants to enjoy his game and move on from here. He does not want to be in any controversy or indulge in any politics.”

Rajkumar Sharma also confirmed that nobody from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) asked Virat Kohli not to step down from the Test captaincy. He opined that everybody accepted his decision as it was his personal call to not continue as skipper.

Rajkumar Sharma with Virat Kohli(Getty Images)
Rajkumar Sharma with Virat Kohli(Getty Images)

“Nobody stopped Virat from resigning. Everybody accepted his decision, considering it was his personal choice to step down. I don’t think anybody felt the need to ask him to continue.”

He added that Virat Kohli seemed “very relaxed” after giving up the captaincy. Virat Kohli leaves captaincy with India at the top in the Test rankings and boasts of the best record among all Indian captains in the longest format.  He holds the record for most Test appearances as India Test captain (68) and he also holds the record for most Test wins by an Indian captain (40).

Rajkumar Sharma: Virat Kohli Wants To Be Relaxed And Concentrate On Road Ahead As A Batsman

Rajkumar Sharma noted that the right-hander wants to focus on his game. Rajkumar Sharma feels that the player can contribute significantly with this mindset and it would benefit the Indian team.

“He is quite relaxed and wants to concentrate on his game. It is good for the team if he is relaxed, as then he will be able to contribute more.” – Sharma stated.

Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma
Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma—Twitter

It is worth mentioning that Virat Kohli had given up T20I captaincy after the T20 World Cup 2021 in UAE. He was later removed as ODI skipper in December last year. While Rohit Sharma has replaced him as the team’s new white-ball skipper, the BCCI is yet to announce Virat Kohli’s successor in the longer format.

The batsman will be next seen in action in the 3 match ODI series against South Africa, which begins on January 19. The series will also mark his first ODI appearance since being succeeded as captain by Rohit Sharma. However, the Mumbai-born Sharma will remain absent from the series due to fitness issues and KL Rahul will lead the team.

When India takes the field in Paarl on Wednesday 19th January, it will be the first time in any format since October 2016 that Virat Kohli will be playing only as a player and not as captain. Since the start of 2020, Virat Kohli has scored 560 runs in 12 ODIs, at an average of 46.66 and a strike rate of 90.90.

Atul Wassan file photo | Screengrab.
Atul Wassan file photo | Screengrab.

Atul Wassan Reckons The 2021 T20I World Cup Debacle Put Virat Kohli Under Lot Of Pressure

Atul Wassan on Sunday said Team India’s debacle in the T20 World Cup, 2021, had put Virat Kohli under a lot of pressure. Virat Kohli on Saturday stepped down as India’s Test captain after leading the side for seven years.

Atul Wassan on Sunday said that he was shocked by Virat Kohli’s decision to step down as skipper of India’s Test team. Atul Wassan said that the star batsman was under pressure. India made an early exit from the group stage in the 2021 T20I World Cup in UAE which was eventually won by Australia.
Atul Wassan | Twitter
Atul Wassan | Twitter

Atul Wassan: There Was Pressure On Virat Kohli After India’s Debacle At 2021 T20I World Cup

The resignation comes on the back of exchanges between him and the BCCI. The exchange started with his T20I resignation before the 2021 World Cup. In December 2021, the BCCI then stripped Virat Kohli of the ODI captaincy, naming Rohit Sharma as the new leader.

“Nothing shocks me. What shocked me was Mahendra Singh Dhoni quitting Test captaincy in the middle of the series in Australia. I think the way things have been going by the last couple of months India’s debacle in the T20 WC there was pressure on him. He is not getting runs. At times he is pointing fingers at other players and as a captain, he must do that to egg them on and I totally support him for that but the problem was that earlier he was leading by example but lately, the thing is that his batsmanship has come down,” Atul Wassan said.

Virat Kohli with Rohit Sharma
Virat Kohli with Rohit Sharma IMAGE: AFP

“Every batsman, every player goes through that and it could accentuate that he was captaining all three formats. He also started the conundrum when he said he doesn’t want to do T20 captaincy which was the right decision but I think the board actually took it in a skewed manner and he never expected that he would lose his 50 over captaincy because his goal was to win the World Cup. This is what was missing from his cupboard,” he added.

Virat Kohli on Saturday shocked the cricket fraternity by deciding to step down from the Test captaincy following the conclusion of the three-match Test series against South Africa. The 33-year-old ended his reign by losing the three-match Test series 1-2.

Virat Kohli has been one of India’s most successful white-ball captains. In 95 ODIs, he won 65, giving him a winning percentage of 70-plus. In 45 T20Is, he led India to victory 27 times. The disappointment of not being able to win a Test series in South Africa in two attempts (2017-18 and 2021-22) as captain and the personal form of not being able to score a Test hundred in 2 years may have cluttered his mind for long and made him take this decision.

Atul Wassan: The Things Would Have Been Different If India Won The Test Series Against South Africa

Atul Wassan further said that the scenario would have been different if Team India would have won the Test series in South Africa.

“Things change quickly in world cricket and when you are on a razor’s edge you have to perform and that is why I have said Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara have to pull their weight and that is What Kohli must be thinking. He has won the World Cup already but as a captain, it would have been cherry on the top and that is what he wanted,” said Atul Wassan.

“But looking at things he must have thought that I have to start the WTC cycle again. He could not win a Test series in South Africa. Probably he could have won in South Africa then things could have been different,” he added.

Virat Kohli with MS Dhoni Aijaz Rahi / AP
Virat Kohli with MS Dhoni Aijaz Rahi / AP

Virat Kohli has been the most successful Test captain India has ever produced. After taking over the reins from MS Dhoni, he has led India in 68 Test matches and secured 40 wins at a win percentage of 58.82. As Test captain, he registered his first series win against Sri Lanka in 2015, a victory that India registered in the Emerald Island after 22 years of hiatus.

Under his leadership, Team India also scripted history as they registered their first Test series win in Australia in 2018, clinched series in the West Indies, attained the No.1 spot in Test rankings, and later in the subsequent years marched into the maiden ICC World Test Championship Final in 2021. Virat Kohli also holds the impeccable record of winning 24 out of the 31 Tests played at home as captain, having lost only two Tests.

Virat Kohli in action during the third day of the WTC final against New Zealand. (File)
Virat Kohli in action during the third day of the WTC final against New Zealand. (File)

Virat Kohli Can “Go With His Head Held High”, Tweeted Former Coach Ravi Shastri

Virat Kohli had giant shoes to fill with his predecessor MS Dhoni leading India to two World Cup titles but Virat Kohli carved his own niche during his stint as India’s captain. The 33-year-old, who led from the front with his attacking batting and was never shy of expressing himself on the field, stepped down as India’s Test captain on Saturday, pulling the curtains down on an eventful seven-year innings in the leadership role.

Under Virat Kohli, the Indian Test team rose to the top of the world rankings and also notched up its maiden series win in Australia in 2019. The series triumph against the Aussies perhaps underlined the leadership skills of Virat Kohli, who wore his heart on his sleeve. He signed off with 40 wins and 17 losses in 68 Tests as captain which is the best win percentage and most wins of any Indian skipper in Tests.

Virat Kohli with MS Dhoni Aijaz Rahi / AP
Virat Kohli with MS Dhoni Aijaz Rahi / AP

Virat Kohli Holds The Record Of Most Test Appearances -68 As Skipper

Virat Kohli’s exit from the leadership role also means that his 100th Test against Sri Lanka next month will be only as a batter looking to end a two-year-long century drought.

“It’s been seven years of hard work, toil, and relentless perseverance every day,” Kohli wrote in his statement mentioning that he was quitting the role.

Graeme Smith, Ricky Ponting and Steve Waugh
Graeme Smith, Ricky Ponting, and Steve Waugh

His inability to win a world title drew criticism but Virat Kohli’s impressive captaincy numbers conceal those flaws. He holds the record for most Test appearances as skipper (68), and only Graeme Smith, Ricky Ponting, and Steve Waugh have won more matches than Virat Kohli as captain in the longest format of the sport.

Virat Kohli Can Go With His Head Held High Tweeted Ravi Shastri

As tributes poured in for the former Test skipper after his announcement, former India head coach Ravi Shastri reserved special praise, stating he can hold his head high for what he managed to achieve as Test captain.

“Virat, you can go with your head held high. Few have achieved what you have as captain. Definitely India’s most aggressive and successful. Sad day for me personally as this is the team we built together – @imVkohli,” tweeted Shastri.

The ‘Virat Kohli-Ravi Shastri’ era came to an end following India’s lackluster performance in the 2021 T20I World Cup. Two early ‘Super 12’ defeats to Pakistan and New Zealand faltered India’s chances to advance to the last four, also pulling curtains down on Ravi Shastri’s coaching term.

Ravi Shastri and Virat Kohli (Twitter/RaviShastriOfc)
Ravi Shastri and Virat Kohli (Twitter/RaviShastriOfc)

Virat Kohli hasn’t had the best of relationship with BCCI of late but took the opportunity to thank the Indian board in his statement. He also thanked MS Dhoni and Ravi Shastri for being the “engine behind this vehicle”.

“I want to thank the BCCI for giving me the opportunity to lead my country for such a long period of time and more importantly to all the teammates who bought into the vision, I had for the team from day one and never gave up in any situation.”

“To Ravi bhai and the support group who were the engine behind this vehicle that moved us upwards in Test cricket consistently, you all have played a massive role in bringing this vision to life. Lastly, a big thank you to MS Dhoni who believed in me as a captain and found me to be an able individual who could take Indian cricket forward,” Kohli further wrote.

Virat Kohli’s decision to retire comes after India was defeated by South Africa in the Cape Town Test by 7 wickets. The tourists slumped from taking a 1-0 lead to lose the series 2-1.

Last year, the 33-year-old had stepped down as the T20I captain and then he was removed as the ODI leader later as the selectors wanted only one captain for the white-ball format. The 33-year-old led India in 68 games and won 40, becoming the country’s most successful Test captain in the process.

Virat Kohli with Rohit Sharma
Virat Kohli with Rohit Sharma IMAGE: AFP

Virat Kohli’s Decision To Quit Test Captaincy Means Rohit Sharma May Be Next Test Skipper For Test Series Against Sri Lanka

Virat Kohli’s relations with the BCCI have reached its lowest ebb, as it can be safely concluded that Virat Kohli has ‘retired hurt,’ the decision only accentuated by a shock defeat against the weakest South African Test side in recent times. It was a Twitter message on September 16 when he informed the world about his decision to quit the T20I captaincy, keen to focus all his energies on Test cricket and ODI format keeping the 2023 World Cup in mind.

Exactly, one day short of four months, the 33-year-old has now joined the list of former India captains in Tests, having announced his decision of stepping down for the second time, this time from the traditional format. In between, he was sacked from the 50-over format, much to his dismay where he spent at least six and a half years of his seven-year captaincy tenure.

Virat Kohli, Image Source : AP IMAGE
Virat Kohli, Image Source: AP IMAGE

Virat Kohli Congratulated By Jay Shah On His Tenure As Indian Test Skipper While Rohit Sharma Favourite To Lead India In Tests

Rohit Sharma was the designated Test vice-captain for the tour of South Africa and there won’t be any change to that hierarchy that BCCI has set in place. By natural progression, if all goes well and he is fit, Rohit Sharma will be leading India in Test match cricket with KL Rahul being his deputy. The home series against Sri Lanka will be the first assignment for Rohit Sharma.

However, with two World Cups in two years and so much of cricket, KL Rahul could be seen leading the team from time to time as and when Rohit Sharma takes a break as a part of workload management.  If BCCI sources are to be believed, there has been no prior discussions with any of the top brass as he had burnt his bridges in the pre-departure press conference that became his undoing.

Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma. Image Credits: Twitter

The establishment for once had no inclination to stop him from stepping down. However, before putting out a formal statement, he had informed the BCCI top brass that he is tired. Rahul Dravid is creating a succession plan and the roadmap ahead. This team has moved beyond Virat Kohli as the leader as it will now only be about Virat Kohli as the batsman. So it wasn’t surprising at all when BCCI secretary Jay Shah congratulated Virat Kohli on his decision, which was in one way, an immediate acceptance of his resignation.

“Congratulations to Virat kohli on a tremendous tenure as Team India captain. Virat turned the team into a ruthless fit unit that performed admirably both in India and away. The Test wins in Australia & England have been special,” Shah tweeted.

The series defeat and lack of runs have also pushed him to a corner and with all his support system in and outside the team gone, one of the world’s finest batters had lost the zeal. When Virat Kohli had decided to quit the T20I captaincy, just prior to that, he had a meeting with BCCI president Sourav Ganguly, secretary Jay Shah, five selectors. Even Rohit Sharma was present in that meeting.

Virat Kohli referred to this “very meeting” where he had expressed his desire to quit the T20I captaincy and which he said was accepted well by everyone. This is the same meeting that Sourav Ganguly had referred to when he said that he had requested Virat Kohli to stay back as captain.

In between what no one spoke about was how Virat Kohli had come with a proposal of having KL Rahul as his deputy in ODIs while Rohit Sharma remained captain in only T20 format. That proposal was immediately shot down as it would have meant Rohit Sharma would have missed the ODI captaincy despite being a deserving candidate for the job. In this backdrop, Virat Kohli had miscalculated one aspect. He never expected that the BCCI would sack him from ODI captaincy on the pretext of “too much leadership”.

Virat Kohli Contradicted BCCI President Sourav Ganguly Who Stated That He Had Asked Him To Not Resign As T20I Skipper

Someone who has played all his cricket under MS Dhoni, a man who has lived and left on his own terms, Virat Kohli found the sacking difficult to digest. He made a calculated insinuation at BCCI president Sourav Ganguly, accusing the former stalwart of lying (without naming) that the former skipper had asked to him stay back as T20 captain till the World Cup.

That was his first brush with the establishment. Having ended with a bloody nose, BCCI waited and then unleashed its chairman of selectors Chetan Sharma to defend the establishment. The former pacer on his part completely contradicted Virat Kohli.

Virat Kohli wasn’t a fool not to read the writing on the wall when he would have learned that BCCI has thrown a counter-punch on a 31st night when the team was celebrating. He knew that he needed to win the next Test series in order to hold his ground.

Sourav Ganguly and Virat Kohli.
Sourav Ganguly and Virat Kohli. (PTI)

Ask any of his teammates, Virat Kohli the batter has the highest respect for his heady achievements and the manic consistency but there was a point between 2017-19 when the Committee of Administrators was in power and the Indian skipper with coach Ravi Shastri by his side had the carte blanche as far as his team-building was concerned.

Somehow, the batsman Virat Kohli earned a lot of respect and unlike an Imran Khan, who had complete devotion from his team, Virat Kohli perhaps found himself in a tight corner. When Jasprit Bumrah on the second day’s end was asked how much has been captain Virat Kohli’s hand in his development, the pacer had replied: “A bowler’s development also depends on his own hard work”. It’s a simple line but said a lot.

Virat Kohli won’t be seen in a press meet for the Indian team in near future. That’s a probable certainty and he looked jaded, tired, and spent when he came for the media interaction.  The answer to a very valid and pointed question on losing focus due to unnecessary stump-mic chatter was more a gibberish one where he only knew what he was trying to explain.

In his farewell note, there wasn’t any thank you note for Rahul Dravid, which he had reserved for the previous coach Ravi Shastri. All captains have a shelf life and better placed are those who judge earlier that it’s time to leave. Virat Kohli judged it but only after the damage was done.

Sourav Ganguly and Virat Kohli.
Sourav Ganguly and Virat Kohli. (PTI)

Virat Kohli’s Decision To Quit As Test Skipper Is A Personal One And BCCI Respects It: Sourav Ganguly

Virat Kohli on Saturday stunned the cricking world with his sudden decision of relinquishing captaincy in Tests. His decision comes after Team India lost the 3-match Test series to South Africa 2-1. Back in 2014, he led India for the first time in the longest format of the game after which he took the team to newer heights in the past seven years.

It’s a deniable fact that Virat Kohli was the best skipper to lead India in Test cricket. He led in 68 Test matches out of which the team registered victory in 40 games. 17 of them ended in a draw and lost 11 face-offs. He stands fourth on the list of captains with most Test wins after the likes of Graeme Smith, Ricky Ponting, and Steve Smith.

Virat Kohli[photo: Twitter]
Virat Kohli[photo: Twitter]

Virat Kohli’s Decision To Quit As Test Skipper Is A Personal One And BCCI Respects It: Sourav Ganguly

As Virat Kohli left his post, the cricket fraternity came forward to shower praise on the man who left no stone unturned in the past years to change the face of Indian cricket. Former captain and BCCI President Sourav Ganguly took to Twitter and called Virat Kohli a ‘great player’.

“Under Virats leadership, Indian cricket has made rapid strides in all formats of the game ..his decision is a personal one and BCCI respects it immensely ..he will be an important member to take this team to newer heights in the future. A great player. Well done,” Ganguly tweeted.


Virat Kohli on Saturday took to his social media accounts and posted a heartfelt message to announce his decision. He thanked every individual who was involved in his journey as a leader of the pack. He made a special mention to former captain and wicketkeeper MS Dhoni for believing in him and showing his trust.

Earlier in September 2021, he had said that he will step down from the T20I captaincy just ahead of the ICC T20I World Cup. It was later revealed that BCCI had asked him to rethink as BCCI didn’t want multiple captains in limited-overs cricket.

Virat Kohli Was Replaced By Rohit Sharma As Full Time White Ball Skipper

Following India’s narrow Test series loss to South Africa earlier this week, Virat Kohli on Saturday announced that he has decided to quit the Test captaincy. Earlier, Virat Kohli had relinquished the T20 captaincy after India’s campaign at the T20 World Cup in the UAE. He was then replaced by Rohit Sharma’s as India’s full-time white-ball skipper last month.

Virat Kohli with Rohit Sharma
Virat Kohli with Rohit Sharma IMAGE: AFP

Virat Kohli steps down from his role as India’s most successful Test captain, having recorded 40 wins in 68 matches. He is fourth in the list of captains with the most Test wins behind South Africa’s Graeme Smith (53) and Australian greats Ricky Ponting (43) and Steve Waugh (41).

Under his leadership, Team India reached new heights, including a Test series win in Australia. India also came close to winning the World Test Championship (WTC), losing out to New Zealand in the final. Virat Kohli won 40 matches, which is 13 more than MS Dhoni.

Virat Kohli captained India in 25 series. He won 18, lost six, and drew one series. Under him, India won 16 away Tests – the most for India, ahead of Sourav Ganguly who had won 11.

Virat Kohli has stepped down as captain of India’s Test team, with immediate effect, a day after losing the Test series to South Africa 2-1 with a seven-wicket loss in Cape Town. He took over as full-time Test captain in early 2015, when MS Dhoni had announced retirement in Australia, and ended up as India’s most successful Test captain ever.
Mohammad Rizwan (Image Credit: Twitter)
Mohammad Rizwan (Image Credit: Twitter)

Mohammad Rizwan Praised ‘Really Nice Guy’ Virat Kohli

Mohammad Rizwan has heaped praise on India captain Virat Kohli and called him a really nice guy. The duo met during the ICC T20 World Cup in the match between Pakistan and India, where the Men-in-Green emerged victories by 10 wickets courtesy of a 152-run opening stand between Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam.

Shaheen Shah Afridi ran through Team India’s top-order after he got rid of Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul in his opening spell. Then he came back to dismiss Virat Kohli, who scored a half-century. He finished with 3-31 after dismissing India’s top scorer, skipper Virat Kohli for 57 in a total of 151-7 in 20 overs.

But in the end, the target of 152 was not enough as Pak openers Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam scored 79*, and 68*, respectively, to win the match for their team by 10 wickets with 13 balls to spare.

Mohammad Rizwan praises Virat Kohli Photo: AFP
Mohammad Rizwan praises Virat Kohli Photo: AFP

Mohammad Rizwan: Undoubtedly Virat Kohli No. 1 In The World

The win against India in the 2021 T20I World Cup was Pakistan’s first win in 13 World Cup matches (seven in the 50 over World Cup and six in the Twenty20 World Cup) dating back to 1992 in Australia. The two neighbouring countries have not played bilateral cricket since January 2013 wherein Pakistan visited their neighbours wherein they played 2 T20Is and 3 ODIs. The two teams have not met in a bilateral Test series since the 2007-08 season.

“No doubt Virat Kohli is number one in the world,” Rizwan said. “When we play cricket, we are all like a family. When we took a review against Pant after he played a reverse sweep, he (Kohli) said are you trying to get all of us out in 10 overs?”

India's Virat Kohli. Credit: Reuters Photo
India’s Virat Kohli. Credit: Reuters Photo

According to the 29-year-old, that was part of the tactic. Pakistan hammered India by 10 wickets in their opening 2021 T20I World Cup fixture as the opening pair of Babar Azam, and Mohammad Rizwan chased down 152 to break the team’s almost three-decade-long jinx in World Cups.

“When we were batting, he also said a few things. I can’t repeat the things that were said, but all I can say is that he is a really nice guy.”

Moreover, he said that the conversation the duo had after the game is personal and he hasn’t told anybody despite being asked several times.

Pakistan’s T20I World Cup Journey Ended In The Semifinal While India Eliminated From The group Stage Itself

Pakistan’s journey in the T20 World Cup came to an end in the semifinal, where Australia registered a five-wicket win and went on to win the tournament. India had an off-colour T20 World Cup, getting eliminated before making it to the semi-finals, making it the first time in eight years, and events that the team failed to make it to the knockouts of an ICC event.

Mohammad Rizwan (Image Credit: Twitter)
Mohammad Rizwan (Image Credit: Twitter)

Following defeats to Pakistan and New Zealand, India was always under the pump and even though they did manage to beat Afghanistan, Scotland and Namibia in their last three games, it was not enough to see them through to the final four.

The 29-year-old Mohammad Rizwan top-scored for his side despite spending two days in a hospital intensive care unit ahead of the Australia clash due to a chest infection. Mohammad Rizwan, 29, came out of the intensive care unit of a Dubai hospital to top-score with 67 in Pakistan’s 176-4, but his efforts were in vain as eventual T20I World Cup winners Australia overhauled that total to set up a title clash with New Zealand, where the Kiwis lost.

Mohammad Rizwan became the only player to score 1,000 T20I runs in a calendar year. He amassed 281 runs in the T20I World Cup 2021, averaging 70.25. Mohammad Rizwan has played 23 T20Is for Pakistan in 2021, and he has smashed 1326 runs at an average of 73.67 and a strike rate of 134.89. He has also smashed 12 half-centuries and one century during this period, with his highest career-best score being unbeaten 104.

New Zealand cricket team. (Credits: Twitter)
New Zealand cricket team. (Credits: Twitter)

New Zealand Set To Pick Second String Squad For Australia Tour

New Zealand is set to pick a second-string squad for their upcoming tour of Australia keeping in mind the hassles of staying in bio-secure bubbles. The Aussies are set to play three ODIs and a solitary T20I on Australian soil from Sunday, January 30 to Tuesday, February 8.

New Zealand National Cricket Team head coach Gary Stead has confirmed that the team management will be picking a second-string squad for the upcoming Australia tour. Thereafter, South Africa’s tour of New Zealand is scheduled to get underway on Thursday, February 17.

New Zealand v Australia (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)
New Zealand v Australia (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

New Zealand Set To Pick Second String Squad For Australia Tour And Gary Stead Said It Won’t Involve Test Cricketers

Gary Stead, the Black Caps’ head coach, said that the squad for the Australia squad won’t involve any Test cricketers. The Kiwis will play two home Tests against the Proteas.

The white ball squad will include Ross Taylor in his farewell international season but won’t feature any of New Zealand’s test players, who will remain behind to prepare for the two-test series against South Africa, starting February 17 in Christchurch. The second test is at Wellington’s Basin Reserve from February 25.

“I don’t think any Test players will be involved (in the Australia series),” Gary Stead was quoted as saying.

New Zealand (File Photo) - GETTY IMAGES
New Zealand (File Photo) – GETTY IMAGES

“Just with the crossover and isolation at the moment, it means we’d only have two or three days in between the South Africa (Test) series as well,” he stated.

Prior to the T20 World Cup 2021 in Oman and the United Arab Emirates, New Zealand played a bilateral T20I series against Bangladesh. The Black Caps’ white-ball tour to Australia is under a cloud with extended trans-Tasman border restrictions creating issues.

New Zealand was scheduled to depart on January 24 for three ODIs against Australia, starting on January 30 in Perth, and a Twenty20 international in Canberra on February 8. New Zealand Cricket remains confident the team will travel to Australia for the tour, but there may need to be changed to the schedule.

Gary Stead: New Zealand’s Squad Will Be Somewhat Similar Of T20I Squad For Previous Bangladesh Tour Before The 2021 T20I World Cup

For the series in Dhaka, the Kiwis picked a set of players, who weren’t a part of the multi-nation event. The Black Caps also picked the same squad for the series in Pakistan, but the games were cancelled due to certain reasons.

“It’s highly likely that you’ll see a side somewhat like how we selected for Bangladesh before the T20 World Cup as well when none of our T20 World Cup players toured there; it’ll be similar, but with a Test slant on it this time,” Stead added.

New Zealand head cricket coach Gary Stead. (Photo| EPS)
New Zealand head cricket coach Gary Stead. (Photo| EPS)

Despite not having the best players for the Australia series, Gary Stead said that the team will go in with “high expectations”. After finishing as the runners-up in the T20 World Cup, New Zealand played a T20I and Test series in India. Thereafter, they locked horns with Bangladesh in two Test matches at the Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui and the Hagley Oval in Christchurch and levelled the series 1-1.

As far as the Australia series is concerned, Perth, Hobart, and Sydney will host the three ODIs on Sunday, January 30, Wednesday, February 2, and Saturday, February 5. The Manuka Oval in Canberra will host the only T20I on Tuesday, February 8. South Africa is currently hosting India in a three-test series, which will be followed by three ODIs, in a biosecure bubble with no crowds.

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

Ravi Shastri Reckons Losing WTC Final To Kane Williamson’s New Zealand Was Biggest Disappointment In His Tenure

Ravi Shastri’s stint as India head coach was filled with many highs and a few lows. The achievement of winning back-to-back Test series wins in Australia, leading England 2-1 on their soil, finishing five years in a row as the No. 1 ranked Test team, and reaching the knockouts of several ICC tournaments are just some of the accomplishments.

Ravi Shastri arguably is probably the best coach India has had in a long time as he instilled quality and confidence in his players. In between, there was the disappointment of not being able to win an ICC trophy.

Ravi Shastri Image Source : AP
Ravi Shastri Image Source: AP

Ravi Shastri Reckons Losing WTC Final Was Biggest Disappointment In His Tenure

The 2019 World Cup, the 2021 World Test Championship, the 2021 T20 World Cup would go down as missed opportunities as India failed when it mattered most. For a coach who thrives on being and making his team the best in the world, it’s a tricky question asking him which loss hurt the most, but Ravi Shastri is not one to mince words and he answered this question with bravado. Ravi Shastri said the loss in the final of the inaugural World Test Championship is his ‘biggest disappointment’.

“Losing the World Test Championship final for me was the biggest disappointment in my tenure because we didn’t deserve to lose that game. We should have drawn it at least. Because of the kind of cricket we had played for five years, to be No. 1 for five years is no joke,” the former India coach said on the ‘Bold and Brave: Ravi Shastri Way’ show on Star Sports.

Kyle Jamieson (File Photo) | AP
Kyle Jamieson (File Photo) | AP

“As much as you want to take about the preparation, the quarantine, the conditions that existed there, New Zealand already being in England… we had no business to lose that game. So that was disappointing, to say the least.”

India suffered an eight-wicket defeat to New Zealand in the WTC final at Southampton in a rain-marred game. All-rounder Kyle Jamieson rocked the Indian batting order with a five-wicket-haul. Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, and Ajinkya Rahane all got starts but none could go past fifty. The second innings saw India getting bowled out for 170, setting New Zealand 140 to win, which the BlackCaps achieved with 15 overs left.

Kane Williamson, Kyle Jamieson, And Tim Southee Architects Of New Zealand’s Inaugural World Test Championship Win

The ICC World Test Championship (WTC) Final ebbed and flowed and New Zealand finally won the match beating India by eight wickets in Southampton on June 23(the reserve 6th day). Fittingly veterans Ross Taylor and skipper Kane Williamson were the two batters at the crease who buried the ghosts of the ICC Cricket ODI World Cup 2019 and 2015, where they lost the finals.

Kane Williamson (AP)
Kane Williamson (AP)

The heroes of New Zealand’s victory were Kane Williamson(49 and 52*), Kyle Jamieson (5/31 in the 1st innings), and Tim Southee(4/48 in the 2nd innings).

Meanwhile, India has been able to hold on to their fourth spot in the World Test Championship (WTC) points table even after losing to South Africa in the second Test at the Wanderers, Johannesburg. South Africa, on the other hand, has climbed up the rankings to the fifth spot and registered their first win in the WTC 2021-23 cycle with the help of the seven-wicket win against India in the 2nd Test to level series 1-1.

Sri Lanka and Australia have the same percentage points and are sharing the honours at the top of the table, followed by Pakistan in third place in the latest WTC standings released by the ICC.

New Zealand 249 (Conway 54, Williamson 49, Shami 4-76) and 140 for 2 (Williamson 52*, Taylor 47, Ashwin 2-17) beat India 217 (Rahane 49, Kohli 44, Jamieson 5-31) and 170 (Pant 41, Southee 4-48) by eight wickets

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