Aaron Finch Age, Biography, career, stats, networth, Ranking & News

Aaron Finch

Wanindu Hasaranga
Wanindu Hasaranga
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Mohammad Rizwan And Wanindu Hasaranga Among ICC’s 4 Nominees For T20I Player Of The Year Award

Mohammad Rizwan, the Pakistan wicketkeeper-batter topped the batting charts in 2021 when it came to the shortest format of the game. Aggregating a staggering 1326 runs in only 29 matches, Mohammad Rizwan struck at an average of 73.66 and a strike rate of 134.89. Another keeper England’s Jos Buttler amassed 589 runs in 14 matches at 65.44 with one century alongside getting 13 dismissals. Mohammad Rizwan registered his name in history as he became the first-ever batter to reach 2000 runs in a calendar year in the T20s.

Wanindu Hasaranga, the Sri Lankan all-rounder established himself as one of the best spinners in the shortest format picking up 36 wickets in 20 matches at 11.63 while also being a player who could contribute with the bat scoring 196 runs with one half-century. Another Australian all-rounder Mitchell Marsh amassed 627 runs in 27 matches at 36.88 besides picking 8 wickets at 18.37.

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

Mohammad Rizwan Of Pakistan And Jos Butler Of England Are Keepers Among ICC Player Of The Year 2021 Award

Apart from Mohammad Rizwan’s exploits with the bat, he was as solid as ever behind the stumps, getting 24 dismissals and playing a key role in Pakistan’s run to the semi-finals during the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021, where he ended up as the third-highest run-scorer.

He also scored the maiden T20I century of his career against South Africa in Lahore early in 2021 and ended it continuing his form with a brilliant knock of 87 against West Indies in Karachi. Pakistan will hope that Mohammad Rizwan continues in the same vein, with another 2022 T20I World Cup nearby. Though a chase of 152 looked relatively easy on paper, Pakistan had never beaten India in a World Cup encounter.

Jos Buttler smashed his maiden T20I ton | Photo: Rajasthan Royals
Jos Buttler smashed his maiden T20I ton | Photo: Rajasthan Royals

With the likes of pacers Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammad Shami in opposition attack, the task was made all the more complicated. Mohammad Rizwan along with his skipper Babar Azam ensured that a famous victory would be sealed to break the jinx. He smacked an unbeaten 79 in only 55 deliveries, hitting six fours and three sixes. He ensured that there were no hiccups in the run-chase as Pakistan galloped towards the target without losing any wicket to seal a 10-wicket victory.

Jos Buttler started the year off brilliantly with two blistering knocks against India away from home. He would continue this run in the subsequent series against Sri Lanka and Pakistan, despite not playing all the matches. This boded well for England as their key batter was in sublime touch heading into the T20 World Cup.

He did not disappoint in the tournament, always getting his side off to brilliant starts. His two best knocks came in consecutive matches – first against Australia and then against Sri Lanka who faced his full wrath. He ended the tournament as England’s leading run-scorer with 269 runs before their run ended by New Zealand in the semi-finals in a nail-biting thriller.

Blasting the first century of the 2021 T20I WC, Jos Buttler was at his belligerent best in the encounter against Sri Lanka in Sharjah. It was ball-striking of the highest order as the wicketkeeper-batter penetrated all areas of the ground.  His unbeaten 101 came in only 67 deliveries and consisted of six fours and six sixes. His knock allowed England to post a competitive score of 163/4, which they ended up defending and winning the contest by 26 runs.

The value of his knock was vital as it came on a slow and low pitch in Sharjah, which wasn’t conducive to a stroke-maker like Jos Buttler, with the batters finding it generally tough to time the ball.

Wanindu Hasaranga And Mitchell Marsh Are The Two All-Rounders Among Nominees For Player Of The 2021 Year In T20Is

A consistent performer throughout the year, Wanindu Hasaranga’s star shone the brightest during the T20 World Cup in UAE and Oman.  He ended the tournament as the leading wicket-taker with 16 scalps and also played some handy knocks with the bat, like his 71 against Ireland.

He was a constant menace for the opposition as Sri Lanka impressed all during the tournament with their young and energetic side. Still only 24, Wanindu Hasaranga is expected to become a cornerstone of Sri Lankan cricket, especially in the shortest formats of the game.

In a pressure encounter in Sharjah against South Africa, Wanindu Hasaranga almost single-handedly helped his side claw back into the contest with his brilliance with the ball. Claiming a memorable hat-trick, he took the big scalps of Aiden Markram (19) and Temba Bavuma (46) before dismissing Dwaine Pretorius to complete his hat-trick.  He ended up with figures of 3/20 in his four-over spell, and it was only the power-hitting of David Miller at the death that got the Proteas over the line.

Australia’s success at the T20 World Cup can be traced back to the decision to move Mitchell Marsh up the batting order to No.3, instead of designating him the role of being a finisher lower down. Throughout the calendar year, he was their best batter in the shortest format, improving his game by leaps and bounds, especially against spin and when it came to rotating the strike.

Mitchell Marsh soaks the T20 World Cup triumph ICC via Getty Images
Mitchell Marsh soaks the T20 World Cup triumph ICC via Getty Images

He was the silver lining in Australia’s otherwise poor showings in West Indies and Bangladesh, where they lost both T20I series by 4-1, batting higher up the order. Heading into the tournament in UAE, he was in supreme confidence after his good displays and improved fitness. This led to a fruitful tournament as he aggregated 185 runs in 6 matches at an average of 61.66 and a healthy strike rate of 146.82.

He reserved the best for the last, playing a match-winning knock in the final against New Zealand. Chasing down a stiff target of 173 and after the early departure of skipper Aaron Finch, the pressure was on Mitchell Marsh to build a substantial partnership with David Warner. He played his best knock of the tournament. His unbeaten 77 off 50 deliveries consisted of six fours and four sixes.

Starting off on an aggressive note, he rotated the strike brilliantly in the middle overs as he teed off again towards the end. His knock ensured that Australia chased down the challenging target in only 18.5 overs, and was crowned the winners of the T20 World Cup for the first time. For his performance, he has been adjudged the Player of the Match.

Justin Langer
Justin Langer
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Nick Hockley Not Ruled Out The Possibility Of Australia’s Current Coach Justin Langer’s Role Being Split

Nick Hockley, Cricket Australia chief has not ruled out the possibility of current Aussie coach Justin Langer’s role being split, or for players to have input over his future, as the governing body holds firm on its coaching timeline despite the recent success of the national men’s team.

Justin Langer’s position should hardly be stronger, but he is being made to wait until the end of the home season before learning if his contract will be extended. It is a curious position for the head coach to be in after Australia’s maiden men’s T20 world title and with victory imminent in this season’s one-sided Ashes series and reflects what has been an uneasy relationship between Justin Langer and his charges – as revealed by this masthead in January.

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

Nick Hockley Not Ruled Out The Possibility Of Justin Langer’s Role Being Split

The concept of appointing a coach for particular formats is not new but, though Justin Langer and his predecessor Darren Lehmann have had deputies step in for a few of the white-ball tours, Cricket Australia has not deviated from the traditional structure for the all-important role.

There have been calls from the Australian cricket fraternity to split the job for red and white-ball formats, including from former captain Steve Waugh. Such a move would ease the burden on the head coach, a point former coach Darren Lehmann alluded to in 2017 when he spoke of the difficulty in going on every tour due to the demands of the heavy international schedule.

Darren Lehmann Getty Images
Darren Lehmann Getty Images

There is speculation in Australian cricket circles assistant coaches Michael Di Venuto and Andrew McDonald were hired to take more white-ball tours, but Justin Langer was adamant last week he wanted to remain as head coach in all three forms of the game.

Asked on Sunday if the role would be split, Nick Hockley said: “That’s something we’ll look at towards the end of the season.”

Trailing by 124 runs, Australia ended Day 1 of the ongoing third Ashes Test match posting 61 for one at Stump’s against England at the MCG in Melbourne, on Sunday. The hosts lost the crucial wicket of David Warner, who was dismissed by James Anderson after registering 38 runs off 42 balls.

Earlier, England was bowled out for 185. Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyon were the picks of the Australian bowlers, taking three wickets each. Mitchell Starc took two while Cameron Green and debutant Scott Boland also picked a wicket each to put Australia in the driver’s seat. For England, captain Joe Root was the standout, scoring yet another fifty. Marcus Harris and Nathan Lyon will resume batting for Australia on Day 2.

Nick Hockley Said Justin Langer Would Remain Coach Till His Contract Ends

But Nick Hockley said Justin Langer would remain until the end of his four-year contract, which expires in June, and expressed his take in the mooted Test tour of Pakistan.

“There’s no question Justin will see out his contract. That goes out to the middle of next year,” Hockley said. “Obviously, once we get through the Ashes we want to sit down and work out where we want to go from there.”

Nick Hockley, Cricket Australia's CEO --- Image Source: Getty Images AsiaPac
Nick Hockley, Cricket Australia’s CEO — Image Source: Getty Images AsiaPac

Australian players may also have a say as to whether the coach remains. White ball skipper Aaron Finch, new Test skipper Pat Cummins, and former tainted Test skipper Tim Paine were involved in frank discussions with Justin Langer in August over his coaching methods. Earlier this year, Australia won its maiden T20 World Cup title and the side is on the verge of retaining the Ashes.

“We’re going to sit down and work through what that process entails at that time, then we’ll be able to say more,” Hockley said.

Nick Hockley said it was CA’s intention to honour its obligation to tour Pakistan for the first time in 23 years “as long as it’s safe to do so”. A delegation of CA and Australian Cricketers Association officials recently returned from a reconnaissance trip of Asian country Pakistan, a routine procedure before tours.

Nick Hockley said home and away white-ball series against New Zealand later this season were not under threat, despite requirements for anyone entering that country to serve time in quarantine.

Justin Langer
Justin Langer
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Nick Hockley Hints Australian Coaches For Different Formats Can Be Split, Justin Langer Keen To Coach All Formats

Nick Hockley, Cricket Australia chief on Sunday hinted that the coaches for different formats could be split and he did not give a clear answer on whether Justin Langer would remain the coach for all three formats going forward.

Justin Langer’s tenure as the head coach is slated to come to an end next year, however, he has shown his willingness to remain the coach of the side. Speculation is rife in Australian cricketing circles regarding Michael Di Venuto and Andrew McDonald taking over as the white-ball coach.

Nick Hockley, Cricket Australia's CEO --- Image Source: Getty Images AsiaPac
Nick Hockley, Cricket Australia’s CEO — Image Source: Getty Images AsiaPac

Nick Hockley, Cricket Australia Chief Hinted Australia May Opt For Splitting Coaches For Different Formats

Australia head coach Justin Langer has achieved monumental success with the Australian team of late. Langer helped the Aussies to their first-ever T20 World Cup title and are now on their way to probably retaining the Ashes at home. Cricket Australia CEO Nick Hockley isn’t in any hurry to extend the contract of Justin Langer just as yet.

There have been some questions in the past on Justin Langer’s coaching methods. Players like Aaron Finch, Pat Cummins, and Tim Paine have had some hard and honest conversations with Justin Langer about the same.

“That’s (different coaches for different formats) something we’ll look at towards the end of the season,” Nick Hockley was quoted as saying.

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

Nick Hockley also confirmed that Justin Langer would remain as the head coach until the end of his four-year contract, which expires in June. Nick Hockley wants to take things slow and wait till the end of the Ashes 2021/22 series in order to discuss and come to a conclusion.

“There’s no question Justin will see out his contract. That goes out to the middle of next year. Obviously, once we get through the Ashes we want to sit down and work out where we want to go from there,” said Hockley.

“We’re going to sit down and work through what that process entails at that time, then we’ll be able to say more,” he added.

Earlier this year, Australia won its maiden T20 World Cup title and the side is on the verge of retaining the Ashes.

Pat Cummins And Nathan Lyon Pick 3 Scalps Each As Australia Dismiss England For A Paltry 185

There also have been reports of split coaching for the white ball as well as red ball teams and the theory has been supported by many Australian greats like Steve Waugh. However, Justin Langer is reportedly very keen on still remaining the head coach across formats.

Nathan Lyon Photograph: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images
Nathan Lyon Photograph: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

Trailing by 124 runs, Australia ended Day 1 of the ongoing third Ashes Test match posting 61 for one at Stump’s against England at the MCG in Melbourne, on Sunday. The hosts lost the crucial wicket of David Warner, who was dismissed by James Anderson after registering 38 runs off 42 balls.

Marcus Harris and Nathan Lyon will resume batting for Australia on Day 2. Earlier, England was bowled out for 185. Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyon were the picks of the Australian bowlers, taking three wickets each. Mitchell Starc took two while Cameron Green and debutant Scott Boland also picked a wicket each to put Australia in the driver’s seat. For England, captain Joe Root was the standout, scoring yet another fifty.

Australia's Aaron Finch (L) and teammate David Warner (R) are expected to open throughout the World Cup. Photo: AFP
Australia's Aaron Finch (L) and teammate David Warner (R) are expected to open throughout the World Cup. Photo: AFP
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David Warner Thrives On Criticism, Says Aaron Finch

David Warner might be a polarizing figure, but the aggressive opening batsman is rarely boring with his batting, and his heroics for Australia at the recently concluded Twenty20 World Cup signalled he is back to his explosive best.

Now aged 35 years, the larger-than-life opener David Warner boasts an average just shy of 50 from his 86 Tests, with his swashbuckling presence able to turn a game into its head.

David Warner (Associated Press)
David Warner (Associated Press)

David Warner’s Record In Australia Is Feared: James Anderson

Even England pace bowler and fellow veteran James Anderson, who will go eyeball to eyeball with his old foe when the Ashes 2021/22 begins on December 8 in Brisbane, has grudging respect.

“We’ve played so much cricket against David Warner, we know you can never say you’re actually on top of him — he’s that good of a batter, he’s got that much quality,” Anderson said.

“His record in Australia is ridiculous, so we know it’s going to be a different animal to the one we faced in 2019 in our summer.”

James Anderson
James Anderson (AP Photo/Andy Brownbill)

An attacking left-hander, David Warner, will feel he has unfinished business after a miserable Ashes, the last of which came on English soil in 2019 where he tallied just 95 runs at an average of only 9.5 in 5 Tests. Stuart Broad was his nemesis, dismissing him seven times. But as James Anderson alluded to, his form in Australia is enviable.

David Warner has scored 4,551 of his 7,311 Test runs at home, smacking 18 centuries at an average of 63.20 from his 45 Tests, plundering the highest score of unbeaten 335.

David Warner Is Important Batsman At The Top Of The Batting Order: Greg Chappell

Former Australian captain Greg Chappell warned that he should never be underestimated.

“Many had written him off before the T20 World Cup, only to have him prove how important he is at the top of the order,” he said, referring to Warner finding form again in leading Australia to the title last month.

“I think he is even more important in the Test line-up,” added Chappell.

“A skilful, fast-scoring opening batsman can be invaluable in setting up the game. Teams with aggressive openers cause opposition captains and bowlers to toss and turn at night.”

David Warner made a modest debut in Brisbane 10 years ago but then carried his bat with a career-defining century in his second game at Hobart to signal his arrival. He went on to establish himself as one of the best all-format openers in the world before it all came crashing down and his reputation was trashed.

Greg Chappell
Greg Chappell.

David Warner was cast as the villain in the infamous “Sandpaper-gate” ball-tampering scandal against South Africa in 2018, having conspired with Cameron Bancroft and Steve Smith to alter the ball during the third Test in Cape Town. He was then widely seen as a central figure in the cultural crisis that engulfed Australian cricket.

He was stripped of the vice-captaincy and banned from ever holding a leadership role again in the team besides being banned for a year. David Warner served a 12-month ban before being called up again and promptly picked up where he left off, enjoying a prolific one-day World Cup before his poor Ashes series in 2019 that again had the critics writing him off.

But in typical fashion, he bounced back emphatically by scoring an epic unbeaten 335 against Pakistan in Adelaide later that year.

Another lean spell this year cost him his place on his Indian Premier League team Sunrisers Hyderabad, but once more, he proved the doubters wrong with his 2021 T20I World Cup exploits. Aaron Finch, the skipper of Australia’s triumphant T20 team, said David Warner thrived on criticism.

“Can’t believe people wrote him off. That’s when he plays his best cricket. It was almost like poking the bear.”

Former Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) captain David Warner has confirmed the franchise has released him despite his stellar campaign in the T20 World Cup 2021, where he bagged the Player of the Tournament award for 289 runs in seven matches for Australia. IPL 2021 has been the Australian’s worst season ever with just 195 runs in 8 games, with two fifties, averaging 24.38, and striking at 107.73.

Gautam Gambhir. Photo Credit: Getty Images.
Gautam Gambhir. Photo Credit: Getty Images.
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Gautam Gambhir Reflects Upon Australia And New Zealand Rivalry

Gautam Gambhir reflects upon the rivalry in the Oceania continent as the T20I World cup 2021 tournament culminates with the Trans-Tasman neighbours Australia and New Zealand vying for the trophy in the final on Sunday night. He reflects on where does this rivalry stand compared to sub-continent Asian giants India and Pakistan.

Australia doesn’t have a reason to change their XI with Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Marsh, and Marcus Stoinis providing them with a fifth bowler and Matthew Wade at No. 7, making it a reasonably deep batting line-up.

New Zealand will have to make at least one change after Devon Conway broke his hand when striking his bat in frustration at his dismissal. They are unlikely to change the balance of the side, though, with five full-time bowlers and James Neesham at No. 6. Tim Seifert is the likely replacement for Conway.

Gautam Gambhir AFP
Gautam Gambhir AFP

Gautam Gambhir: New Zealand – Australia Rivalry Isn’t As Fierce As The One Between India-Pakistan

New Zealand and Australia will face each other in the much-awaited finale of the 2021 T20 World Cup in a bid to grab their first world title in this format in international cricket. Out of the 14 matches contested between the two sides, nine have been won by the Aaron Finch-led side, while New Zealand has been on the winning side only four times. One match ended in a tie.

“It is difficult to notice the cricketing rivalry between Australia and New Zealand. Like India and Pakistan, they are neighbours too. Like Indians and Pakistanis, Aussies and Kiwis hate losing to each other. While Wikipedia has a page on ‘India Pakistan Cricket Rivalry’, it is more widespread for Aussies and Kiwis,” Gautam Gambhir wrote in his column.

Encouraged by their cricket, rugby union, rugby league, and netball contests, their Wikipedia address is ‘Australia-New Zealand Sports Rivalries’.

“By no means is the rivalry as fierce as the one between India and Pakistan. Have you wondered why? Are they not cynical enough to create lop-sided advertising campaigns to sell their products riding on what is essentially a cricket match? Or is it economics of the major stakeholders? I have a few thoughts which may not be in the order of relevance but largely my chain of theories.”

India and Pakistan rarely play against each other but have a heated rivalry. (Photo by Tharaka Basnayaka/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
India and Pakistan rarely play against each other but have a heated rivalry. (Photo by Tharaka Basnayaka/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

India met Pakistan in their opening match of the T20 World Cup in the UAE. The Babar Azam-led Pakistan put up an inspiring show to hammer Virat Kohli’s India by 10 wickets.

“History of India and Pakistan seems to be at the base of the sporting rivalry. Since 1947 we have fought four times and have had numerous skirmishes on the border. This has seeped into sports too, cricket being the frontrunner,” said Gautam Gambhir.

“I sometimes feel that India-Pakistan rivalry has become an industry in itself, which keeps many other verticals warm. No one seems to be in a hurry to reduce the jingoism volume on this one as it generates revenue,” he added.

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 Pakistan 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.

Gautam Gambhir Backs New Zealand To Win 2021 T20I World Cup

Gautam Gambhir went on to point out the sheer numbers in terms of population that fuel the Indo-Pak cricket rivalry even further and incomparable to any other.

“The combined population of Australia and New Zealand is around three crores while here we are catering to 22 crore in Pakistan and approximately 140 crore at home. The database is chalk and cheese. Even if 10 percent of population of India and Pakistan are engaged, we are talking to five times more the combined number of Australia and New Zealand,” Gautam Gambhir wrote.

“Then there is a small matter of emotions from Indians and Pakistanis. I am not suggesting that Aussie and Kiwis are heartless but we can’t say, “bad luck” or “well played” and share a post-match drink,” the T20 and ODI World Cup winner said.

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

“It is not only Virat Kohli but most of India wears their heart on their sleeve. Let’s accept it that we are poor losers and that is what that marketing guy exploits when he sucks us into high-pitched, biased promotional campaigns.

“My friends living in Australia tell me that life has been normal for them. Their major worry is how to stay awake as the final begins around midnight their time,” said Gautam Gambhir.

Coming to the T20 World Cup final on Sunday night, Gautam Gambhir went on to back New Zealand.

“I want New Zealand to win as I like their brand of cricket,” said Gautam Gambhir.

Skipper Kane Williamson will aim to reduce that gap and win his second title of the season, having won the World Test Championship (WTC) after beating India in the final earlier this year. Australia has been the more dominant side in recent history, having won all the last four clashes.

The last time New Zealand won a T20I against Australia was in Dharamsala in the 2016 edition of the T20 World Cup staged in India.

Pakistan pacer Hasan Ali | AFP
Pakistan pacer Hasan Ali | AFP
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Hasan Ali Issues Apology To Pakistan Fans After Dropping Catch And Returning With Figures Of 0/44 In 4 Overs Against Australia

Hasan Ali has apologized to fans after Pakistan’s heartbreaking loss in the semi-final of the ongoing ICC T20I World Cup against Australia. Pacer Hasan Ali was trolled by fans for dropping a crucial catch of Matthew Wade in the T20 World Cup semifinal between Pakistan and Australia.

Pakistan skipper Babar Azam had backed pacer Hasan Ali to deliver the goods for the Green Army at the T20 World Cup. However, the struggling pacer failed to repay the team’s faith in the second semi-final of the showpiece event against Aaron Finch’s Australia on Thursday. Hasan Ali’s costly mistake had paved the way for Matthew Wade to punish Pakistan as the Finch-led Australian side secure their berth in the T20 World Cup final.

Pakistan pacer Hasan Ali. Pic: Getty Images
Pakistan pacer Hasan Ali. Pic: Getty Images

Hasan Ali Apologized To Fans After Pakistan’s Heartbreaking Loss In Semi-Final

In the aftermath of Pakistan’s heart-breaking defeat to Australia, Hasan Ali was subjected to online abuse as the out-of-form speedster faced the wrath of Pakistani fans on social media. In what turned out to be the final over of the match, Hasan Ali dropped an easy catch of Australia batter Matthew Wade, who then smoked three sixes in three balls to win the match for his team.

On Saturday, the speed merchant of the Babar Azam-led side issued an apology to Pakistani fans after the national team’s exit from the 2021 edition of the ICC T20 World Cup.  Taking to Twitter, the pacer shared a lengthy note and vowed to serve the Pakistan cricket team at the highest level.

“I know you all are upset because my performance didn’t meet your expectations … but [you] are not more disappointed than me. Don’t change your expectations from me. I want to serve [the] Pakistan cricket at the highest level possible, so back to hard work. This patch will make stronger,” Ali wrote in his post on the microblogging site. 

Hasan Ali’s latest tweet has come after several members of the cricket fraternity extended their support to the Pakistani cricketer following Pakistan’s T20 World Cup exit in the hands of Australia. Keeper Matthew Wade after the dropped catch subsequently smacked Pakistan pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi for three sixes as Australia won with an over to spare. Marcus Stoinis (40*) and Matthew Wade (41*) took Australia over the line in a pulsating finish in Dubai against Pakistan.

Hasan Ali Went Wicket Less And Leaked 44 Runs Besides Dropping The Crucial Catch Of Matthew Wade

From legendary Indian opener, Virender Sehwag to former Pakistani skipper Wasim Akram, a host of cricketing stalwarts had comforted Hasan Ali and called out trolls for solely blaming the pacer for Pakistan’s five-wicket defeat at Dubai.

Hasan Ali Dropped Catch (Photo Source: Getty Images)
Hasan Ali Dropped Catch (Photo Source: Getty Images)

Hasan Ali, who scripted Pakistan’s memorable win over Team India in the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 final, had a forgetful show with the ball against Australia on Thursday. The Pakistani pacer went wicket-less and leaked 44 runs from the four overs he bowled in the high-scoring thriller against Australia. He also dropped the crucial catch of an on-song Matthew Wade in the 19th and penultimate over which propelled Australia to a thrilling win over Pakistan.

Hasan Ali, who had a poor World Cup, was expensive in the knockout clash as well. He went for 44 in his four overs and did not claim a wicket. More significantly, he dropped Matthew Wade during a crucial stage in the match. Hasan Ali, 27, has played 15 Tests, 57 ODIs, and 47 T20Is, where he picked 63, 89, and 57 wickets, respectively. In addition, he has picked 5 scalps in T20I WC, averaging a high 41.4 at an economy rate of 9, playing 6 games.

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Babar Azam Boosts Morale Of Pakistan Teammates Following 5-Wicket Loss To Australia In Dubai

Babar Azam, the Pakistan skipper, boosted its team’s morale following a stunning five-wicket loss to Australia in the 2021 T20 World Cup semifinals. After the game, Babar Azam spoke in the dressing room, requesting his teammates learn from this defeat and stick by one another.

Australia registered a come-from-behind victory in Dubai on Thursday as Australian lower middle-order batsmen Matthew Wade and Marcus Stoinis threaded an unbroken 81-run stand. Pakistan had the game well within their grasp; however, their lacklustre fielding cost them.

Babar Azam
Babar Azam (Photo by Aamir QURESHI / AFP via Getty Images)

Babar Azam Requests Not To Blame Individuals For Losing Semi-Final To Australia

In a video uploaded by Pakistan cricket’s official Twitter handle, Babar Azam addressed his side and said he understands their pain. However, Babar Azam requested everyone to maintain unity, not to play the blame game, and take lessons from this.

“We are all in pain and grieved by where we went wrong and where we could’ve done better. No one will tell us as we already know it. But we have to learn from it and we can’t let this loss break us as a unit. I’m requesting not to blame individuals and we as a team, didn’t perform well.”

Matthew Wade
Matthew Wade (PA AAP)

He added: “We did lose, but we will learn from this and bounce back. We have to ensure we don’t repeat these mistakes moving forward and let’s maintain this bond amongst ourselves because this is a result of our hard work.”

The 27-year old praised his teammates for playing magnificently throughout the group stage, where they were undefeated and won all 5 games.

“It is difficult to create such a connection; hence, let’s get through this defeat together. As captain, I back every player and I’m thankful to all of you for responding well to me and fostering a good dressing room atmosphere. Everyone has given their everything and taken responsibility and it’s what is required from a team. Efforts are within our control and we will put it; however, results are not in our hands. Results will follow if a side gives its maximum effort.”

Besides, dropping a catch off Matthew Wade, right-arm seamer Hasan Ali came into the firing line for his wicketless four overs. Wade subsequently smacked Shaheen Shah Afridi for three sixes as Australia won with an over to spare.

Babar Azam Urges Not To Talk About Anyone Negatively And Forge A Positive Environment By Backing Each Other

Babar Azam stressed about reflecting on their mistakes; however, wanted the side to maintain that positivity by supporting each other and overcoming this loss. Australia beat Pakistan by five wickets in the 2nd semi-final in Dubai after New Zealand had defeated England in the 1st semi-final.

“Hence, please don’t drop your shoulders and I know everyone is grieving. It’s only a matter of time and think about where we could’ve gone better. Please support each other and these are times where everyone must pick each other up. I urge you not to talk about anyone negatively and forge a positive environment by backing one another and enjoying. Let’s learn from this and the more quickly we move on from this loss, the better.”

Marcus Stoinis (40*) & Matthew Wade (41*) took the team over the line in a pulsating finish. Pakistan set Australia a target of 177 in 20 overs in the 2nd semi-final in Dubai. In response, Australia lost their skipper Aaron Finch on a golden duck as Shaheen Shah Afridi trapped him LBW in the first over.

 Then, David Warner and Mitchell Marsh rebuilt, stitching half-century stand. However, the joy was short-lived as Shadab Khan sent Mitchell Marsh packing on 28 to leave Australia on 57/2 after 7 overs. Then, Steve Smith fell cheaply on five as Shadab Khan’s twin strike rocked Australia.

Dubai: Pakistan's Shadab Khan celebrates the dismissal of Australia's David Warner (PHOTO: SUMAN CHATTOPADHYAY/IANS)
Dubai: Pakistan’s Shadab Khan celebrates the dismissal of Australia’s David Warner (PHOTO: SUMAN CHATTOPADHYAY/IANS)

But David Warner continued on his merry way, smashing 49 before being sent packing by Shadab Khan. Australia reached 95/4 after 12 overs. Glenn Maxwell didn’t last long either as Shadab Khan bagged the fourth scalp, and Australia reached 127/5 in 16 overs. 22 runs were needed in the last 12 balls, and Matthew Wade took Australia home with 6 balls to spare. Shaheen Shah Afridi got hammered for three sixes in a row in the penultimate over.

Sunday’s 2021 T20I World Cup final in Dubai will see Australia and New Zealand lock horns as both sides aim to lift their first T20 World Cup.

Australia's Aaron Finch ©Reuters
Australia's Aaron Finch ©Reuters
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Aaron Finch Says Powerplay Holds The Key As Australia Wary Of Shaheen Shah Afridi’s Brilliance Ahead Of 2021 T20I World Cup Semi Final

On Wednesday, Aaron Finch, Australia skipper, said that the battle against Pakistan pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi will hold the key in his side’s match in the upcoming semi-final of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup.

Australia and Pakistan will be locking horns against each other in the second semi-final of the ongoing ICC Men’s T20 World Cup on Thursday at the Dubai International Stadium.

Aaron Finch, AFP
Aaron Finch, AFP

Aaron Finch: Powerplay Definitely Holds The Key As Shaheen Shah Afridi’s Excellent Form Is A Concern To Deal With

While Aaron Finch’s men are now just two wins away from tasting T20 World Cup glory for the very first time, Pakistan will look to continue the momentum from the Super 12 stage. The Men in Green will clearly enter the semi-final as hot favourites as they remain the only unbeaten side so far in the showpiece event, having won all five games in Group 2.

“I think what we have seen through the course of the tournament is how important the powerplay is both batting and bowling. I think the stats around the middle and death overs are pretty similar throughout.

“The powerplay definitely holds the key, Shaheen Shah Afridi has been in good form for Pakistan, that will be a crucial battle in the game,” said Aaron Finch while replying to a query during the virtual pre-match press conference on Wednesday.

Shaheen Shah Afridi (Image Credit: Twitter)
Shaheen Shah Afridi (Image Credit: Twitter)

While replying to a query about how important the toss will be in the semi-final, Finch said: “I think when it comes to the finals, it does not make a huge difference. I believe getting runs on the board especially in knockouts can be really beneficial. We have talked about it, we are confident that we can win if we happen to bat first.”

Australia, who advance in top-4 clash from ‘group of death’, have lost just one match till now. This will be Pakistan fifth appearance in the T20 WC semi-finals. The 2009 champions have reached this stage in the first four editions (2007, 2009, 2010, and 2012). On the other hand, Australia, who is yet to win the tournament, will be playing their fourth semi-final (2007, 2010, and 2012).

The tall left-arm quick Shaheen Shah Afridi has troubled Australia in four meetings with eight wickets and a best of 3-37. He dismissed both Aaron Finch and Glenn Maxwell in his first outing against the Aussies in July 2018 in a tri-series in Harare.

Aaron Finch: The Semi-Final Will Be A Close Battle

Aaron Finch also said that Pakistan had done very well in the ongoing tournament, and the match would be a battle for the ages, and the fans can expect thrilling action.

“I think Pakistan has been in good form, they have won five matches and they have played good cricket throughout. I do not think you can read too much into history. They have a completely different team to what we have played in the past. In terms of Pakistan’s spin, they have had good success with Imad Wasim bowling in the powerplay. Shadab has also been excellent,” said Finch.

For Australia, all eyes will be on David Warner, who has amassed 187 runs at an average of 46.75 in this edition. Another Aussie who will have his say in the heavyweight clash is Adam Zampa (11 scalps). Only Sri Lanka’s Wanindu Hasaranga (16 scalps) has taken more wickets than Australia’s x-factor spinner. Accompanying him will be the pace trio of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins, and Glenn Maxwell’s tricks.

Adam Zampa ----- Getty Images
Adam Zampa —– Getty Images

“It will be a close battle no doubt. Our quicks have done a really good job, I think having wickets that have been used quite a bit in the IPL and this tournament, I have been surprised with how well they have played.

“The curators have done a good job in keeping the conditions fair across all venues. That has been brilliant. Cummins, Starc and Hazlewood have been fantastic. Sometimes it comes down to execution, we have been really happy with how they have gone, they are a world-class trio. Yeah, we are really happy with how that has gone,” he added.

Aaron Finch, however, refrained from saying that Pakistan will enter the contest as clear favourites. Instead, Aaron Finch, who has had knocks of 37, 44 and 40, praised Pakistan’s powerplay blitz with bat and ball.

“Pakistan has played brilliant cricket, the way they have gone in the powerplay with bat and ball, that has been crucial to their success. I think in this format of the game over the past few series, everyone had written us off. So you can read into that as you like,” Finch further added. 

The two sides have met 23 times in T20I cricket, with Pakistan leading the head-to-head series 13-9 (1 NR). Pakistan and Australia last faced each other in T20Is in November 2019. Aussies won the three-match series 2-0. As far as the T20 World Cup is concerned, both sides have won three matches each. Australia won by 21 runs when both teams last faced each other in the 2016 edition.

West Indies
West Indies. Image Credits: Twitter
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It’s The End Of A Generation As A Disappointing Campaign In 2021 T20I World Cup Ends For West Indies: Kieron Pollard

On Saturday, Kieron Pollard, West Indies skipper, admitted that it’s the “end of a generation” for the Caribbeans, and they need to start from scratch to build a world-beating side. However, Kieron Pollard was left disappointed at crashing out of the T20 World Cup with just one win from five matches.

Veteran Australian opener David Warner produced a feisty unbeaten 89 as Australia recorded a facile eight-wicket win over the West Indies to stay alive in the semi-final race at the showpiece. With the defeat in the swansong game for Dwayne Bravo and probably also for Chris Gayle, 2016 T20I WC winners defending champions West Indies missed out on direct qualification for next year’s World Cup. They dropped out of top-8 after Saturday’s defeat.

Kieron Pollard
Kieron Pollard(Getty Images)

Kieron Pollard Terms 2021 T20I World Cup A Disappointing Campaign

West Indies and Sri Lanka are demoted into the first round of the 2022 edition after failing to make the top-eight in the T20I rankings before the November 15 cut-off date.

Meanwhile, Kieron Pollard thanked the all-rounder Dwayne Bravo for his service to the team for almost 18 years and wished him luck for the next chapter in his life. Kieron Pollard acknowledged Dwayne Bravo’s service as an all-rounder and highlighted his immense influence on shaping the cricketing culture of the nation.

“Overall it’s been a disappointing campaign. In terms of the batting we have not done well at all. Our bowling has been decent but not good enough. It’s the end of a generation, we have some guys who have done good things for T20 cricket in our team and around the world,” Kieron Pollard said at the post-match presentation.

West Indies players celebrate with the 2016 T20 WC Trophy [Image-Getty]
West Indies players celebrate with the 2016 T20 WC Trophy [Image-Getty]

“We as people are very proud. We have to look at the way we play T20 cricket. What we’ve seen is that one guy in the top four has to bat as long as possible. Going forward I need to do that better. We have to start from a foundation now,” Kieron Pollard said at the post-match press conference.

Dwayne Bravo, who made his international debut back in 2004, played his final T20I game for the West Indies against Australia. Dwayne Bravo made his T20I debut in 2006 and went on to represent the West Indies in 91 games in the shortest format. Both Dwayne Bravo and Chris Gayle got a guard of honour from the Australian players.

Defending champion of the last T20I World Cup in 2016, West Indies was surprisingly eliminated from semifinal contention after losing to Sri Lanka in the 2021 WC. Dwayne Bravo has played all the T20 World Cups since 2007 and has helped his side win the title in 2012 and 2016. He came out of retirement in international cricket in December 2019 to help his side retain the World T20I title.

Aaron Finch Cannot Understand Why Critics Doubted David Warner’s Abilities

Australia captain Aaron Finch lauded David Warner for his 56-ball 89-run unbeaten knock.

“It was a really pleasing day. I thought it was going to be a long day the way Evin Lewis played. We held our nerves nicely. The way (Warner) managed his innings, got off to a flyer and allowed Mitch Marsh to get into his innings. He’s been a super player for a long time. Can’t understand why people doubted him,” he said.

Australia's Aaron Finch (L) and teammate David Warner (R) are expected to open throughout the World Cup. Photo: AFP
Australia’s Aaron Finch (L) and teammate David Warner (R) are expected to open throughout the World Cup. Photo: AFP

Man-of-the-match David Warner said he just played his natural game.

“Felt satisfying to be there at the end. The key was to play my natural game. It’s about targeting the first two balls and I was able to do that,” said Warner.

“(Our bowlers) have been outstanding. We knew they would come out hard against us. We know the firepower West Indies have and got to a very competitive total.”

Opener David Warner also paid his tribute to the West Indies’ retiring duo of Dwayne Bravo and Chris Gayle, saying they have set a benchmark for future generations.

“DJ (Bravo) has been a benchmark for all players coming through, and Chris, he’s someone I look up to.”

The left-hander was at his vintage best as he smashed four sixes and nine fours to anchor the 158-run chase. David Warner got good support from Mitchell Marsh, who slammed a 32-ball 53 (5×4, 2×6) before getting out while trying to score the winning run.

Unmukt Chand had shot to prominence when he captained India Under-19 to victory in the 2012 World Cup. (File Photo/BCCI)
Unmukt Chand had shot to prominence when he captained India Under-19 to victory in the 2012 World Cup. (File Photo/BCCI)
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Unmukt Chand Becomes First Male Indian Cricketer To Be Signed By Australia’s Big Bash League Franchise Melbourne Renegades

Unmukt Chand, a former India U-19 captain, became the first Indian male cricketer to be signed by Australia’s Big Bash League.

He is set to represent the Aaron Finch-led Melbourne Renegades, the franchise confirmed on Thursday. The 28-year-old Delhi cricketer never played at the senior international level but had played for India A and captained India Under-19 in the 2012 World Cup. He scored a century in the final against Australia that featured the likes of Travis Head and Ashton Turner.

Australia limited-overs skipper Aaron Finch (File photo| PTI)
Australia limited-overs skipper Aaron Finch (File photo| PTI)

Unmukt Chand Excited To Be Part Of Melbourne Renegades

Earlier in the month of August, Unmukt Chand drew curtains on his Indian cricketing career, stating that he would like to explore more opportunities ‘across the world’. He had also represented the Delhi Daredevils (now Delhi Capitals), Mumbai Indians, and Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and played 67 first-class matches in the domestic circuit. Therefore, Unmukt Chand was delighted to be a part of the BBL.

He said, “I’m very excited, it’s great to be part of the Melbourne Renegades family. I’ve always followed the Big Bash and it’s a great opportunity for me to come and play some good cricket.”

Unmukt Chand retired from Indian cricket in 2021 to search for opportunities elsewhere Hindustan Times via Getty Images
Unmukt Chand retired from Indian cricket in 2021 to search for opportunities elsewhere Hindustan Times via Getty Images.

“I’m really looking forward to coming to Melbourne and to get going. I’ve always enjoyed playing in Australia. I haven’t been to Melbourne before… I know for a fact there are lots of Indians in Melbourne, so it’s going to be nice, and I hope the crowds turn up for games as well,” he added.

Unmukt Chand has signed on to play the upcoming Big Bash League season for the Melbourne Renegades. The 28-year-old becomes the first Indian to play in the tournament, though a number of Indian women have been part of the Women’s Big Bash League over the years. A top-order batter, Unmukt Chand hit a match-winning century in the final of the Under-19 World Cup in 2012 against Australia and was fast-tracked within a year to India A captaincy.

However, a massive dip in form that led to dwindling returns didn’t help nail down a permanent position, both at the IPL and with his state team, Delhi.

Unmukt Chand Is Currently Based In The USA And Was The Player Of The Minor Cricket League Tournament

Unmukt Chand is currently based in the United States. He represented the Silicon Valley Strikers and was named the player of the tournament as his team won the Minor League Cricket title in September. He will travel to Australia later this month and be available for the duration of the tournament.

“It’s great to have Unmukt on board and we’re looking forward to seeing what he can do as a Renegade. He makes history as the first Indian player in the BBL, which is exciting for our club, our fans and the competition,” General Manager, James Rosengarten, said.

Shaun Marsh playing for Australia - GETTY IMAGES
Shaun Marsh playing for Australia – GETTY IMAGES

“We believe we’re assembling a well-rounded group, with a nice mix of experience and exciting, young talent. Our list is close to finalised, but we look forward to sharing some more exciting news with our fans in the run to the season.”

He began his Minor League career in America by leading his team Silicon Valley to the title. In all, he has played 77 T20s since making his debut in 2010 and has an average of 22.35 and a strike rate of 116.09. In Melbourne Renegades BBL squad, apart from skipper Aaron Finch, who is also Australia’s limited-overs skipper, and Unmukt Chand, Marcus Harris, Shaun Marsh, James Pattinson, Kane Richardson are in the list.

Melbourne Renegades BBL Squad: Aaron Finch (C), Cameron Boyce, Unmukt Chand, Zak Evans, Jake Fraser-McGurk, Sam Harper, Marcus Harris, Mackenzie Harvey, Josh Lalor, Nic Maddinson, Shaun Marsh, James Pattinson, Mitchell Perry, Jack Prestwidge, Kane Richardson, Will Sutherland, Reece Topley

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