Australia vs India 2018-19 | Sportzwiki

Australia vs India 2018-19

Rishabh Pant. (Photo Source: BCCI)
Rishabh Pant. (Photo Source: BCCI)

Sourav Ganguly Wants Rishabh Pant To Be Allowed To Play His Natural Game

Sourav Ganguly, Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president, has branded dashing keeper Rishabh Pant an “unbelievable talent” and asserted that the 23-year-old should be allowed to play his natural game. Team India announced their playing XI for the World Test Championship final against New Zealand, and as expected, Rishabh Pant is set to feature for the Asian giants as he was preferred over Wriddhiman Saha in the final XI.

Rishabh Pant has established himself as a vital cog in the Indian team across all three formats since his heroics in the 2020-21 Border-Gavaskar Trophy against Australia.

Wriddhiman Saha and Rishabh Pant | Source: Twitter
Wriddhiman Saha and Rishabh Pant | Source: Twitter

Sourav Ganguly: Rishabh Pant Should Be Allowed To Play His Natural Game

In an interview with Bengali daily Anandabazar Patrika, Sourav Ganguly was asked whether Rishabh Pant should continue playing his free-flowing game.

“Pant is an unbelievable talent. He’s one of those players who can single-handedly change the course of a game. Pant is that kind of a game changer. He should be allowed to play his natural game. It is better to let such players play like themselves,” replied Sourav Ganguly, the former Indian skipper, a veteran of 113 Tests and 311 ODIs.

Rishabh Pant
Rishabh Pant | Twitter

The southpaw’s form with the bat has been one of the major reasons behind India reaching the WTC final. The wicketkeeper-batsman has amassed 662 runs in 11 Tests at an average of 41.37 in the WTC cycle.

Rishabh Pant’s favourite tour is obviously the Australian tour for he has amassed a staggering 624 runs in only 7 games averaging 62.4 with 1 hundred in 2018-19-his career-best of unbeaten 159 and 2 fifties which both came in the recent 2020-21 tour- scores of 97 which helped India draw the 3rd Sydney Test and 89* which helped India to win the 4th Brisbane Test and claim their second successive series win Down Under.

Sourav Ganguly Firmly Believes India Will Be Successful In England

Following the one-off Test against New Zealand namely the WTC Final, India will play a grueling five-Test series against England. India lost the five-Test series by a 4-1 margin the last time they toured England. However, former Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly is confident Virat Kohli will lead the team successfully in England this time around.

“In England the ball swings more and that’s why there have been some issues. You have to play a bit late. But let’s just forget what has happened in the past. This Indian team have performed brilliantly everywhere. Everyone is a top cricketer. I firmly believe this team will be successful in England,” said Sourav Ganguly.

Sourav Ganguly. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Sourav Ganguly. (Photo Source: Twitter)

India has lost their last two Tests against New Zealand in 2020, which was their only series defeat in the WTC cycle. Since then, Team India has been in terrific form, beating Australia away from home against all odds with several key players injured before scripting a comfortable home series win over England, despite both times losing the opening Test by a heavy margin.

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli (Image Credit: Twitter)

Justin Langer Reveals His Feeling During Virat Kohli’s Aggressive Behaviour In Last Australia Tour

Australian Head Coach Justin Langer has recently claimed that the Indian captain Virat Kohli’s aggressive celebration during the last Australia tour hit him very much.

India last time toured in Australia in 2018/19 summer, where the T20I series had the draw result (1-1), but India won their first-ever Test (2-1) and ODI bilateral series (2-1) in Australia.

It was the time when Australia were moving on from the ball-tampering controversy that happened more than six months ago, in March 2018. Before that India tour of Australia, the Australian camp decided to not involve with the aggressive Indian skipper Virat Kohli verbally in that time.

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli during India tour of Australia 2018/19 (Image Credit: Twitter)

However, during the Test series, Kohli was pumped up, and he was aggressive on the field for sometimes.

After seeing these reactions from the Indian captain, Justin Langer felt himself like a punching bag. He called those actions as the double standards

Justin Langer, Virat Kohli
Justin Langer (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

In Amazon’s recently released docu-series titled ‘The Test’, Langer claimed, “I remember that afternoon (feeling) like a punching bag. We can’t fight back because it felt like we had our hands behind our backs and we just had to take it.

“You must be feeling the double standards the way their captain is carrying on and we sort of have to be careful. Imagine if we behaved two out of ten (of) that.”

There is a difference between abuse and banter: Justin Langer

Langer then permitted his boys to take on Kolhi with banter but not with abuse.

He said, “There is a difference between abuse and banter. There is no room for abuse. We don’t need to abuse him but there is banter where you stick up for your mate.”

The Indian captain Kohli and Australian Test captain Tim Paine involved in a verbal spat on the day four of the second Test of that Test series. After that incident, Paine decided to end his silence on the Indian captain.

Tim Paine, Virat Kohli
Tim Paine and Virat Kohli (Image Credit: Reuters)

During the late period of that Test series, Paine was active in vocal banters, where he also trolled the Indian captain.

Prithvi Shaw, India, Australia, Ankle Injury
Prithvi Shaw has all his store. (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

Prithvi Shaw Rues Missed Opportunity of Australia Tour Due to Ankle Injury

Teenage sensation Prithvi Shaw had a breakthrough against the Windies when he featured in his first-ever international match for India in October 2018 at Rajkot. Also, his remarkable outing has impressed the national selectors to pick him in the four-match Test series squad for Australia tour. But he missed on a big-time opportunity to prove his mettle on the Australian soil by suffering an ankle injury during the warm-up fixture against Cricket Australia XI in Sydney.

Thus, Shaw expressed dejection for missing out much-awaited opportunity to kick off the innings for visitors.

“I was waiting for that tour but this injury happened. Still very happy that I was not there. But still we came up with a win against Australia. I was really happy for India. But I was a bit disappointed from a personal point of view because I couldn’t play over there. But I can’t say anything about it, it just happened,” Shaw told CricketNext.

The 19-year-old opening batsman twisted his ankle at the boundary line when he attempted to complete a catch. However, after being ruled out of the Australia tour, Shaw expressed delight by praising the efforts of Team India. Under the leadership of Virat Kohli, visitors seal the historic Test series 2-1.

Shaw had a difficult time:

Prithvi Shaw, India, Australia
Prithvi Shaw amassed 237 runs in three Test innings. He slammed a hundred and a half-century. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Ahead of the Tour Down Under, Shaw expressed delight by saying he is hopeful of facing top-notch bowlers of Australia. But the untimely ankle injury has dashed his hopes to play against Tim Paine led Australia.

“It was a tough time, to be honest. But you can’t do anything about the injury, it can happen any time. But yeah, I was a bit disappointed because it was a good challenge for me, going to Australia for the first time & facing the best fast bowlers & to play against them it would be my pleasure,” Shaw inferred.

The young batting dynamite is concurrently representing Mumbai in the ongoing Syed Mushtaq Ali Twenty20 Trophy 2019. So far, he had a mixed season with the bat. He smashed a 50-plus score against Goa on February 25 at Indore.

Also, the cricketing pundits have lavished praise on Shaw for his exuberance and remarkable efforts. Shaw has already shown that he has enough in his tank to represent India for quality time.

Prithvi Shaw, India, Australia
Prithvi Shaw eyes national colours. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

In his debut Test, promising star Shaw smashed a debut hundred against the Caribbean side by scoring 134. Also, he returned with 71 in the second Test to clinch the Man of the Series award.

While representing Delhi Capitals (CA) in the Indian Premier League (IPL), the time is not that far when Shaw will be tested in the white-ball cricket. Shaw, who has impressed with his solid technique, has all in ingredients in him to play across formats for his country in the foreseeable future.

MS Dhoni, Australia, New Zealand, India
MS Dhoni returns with a bang. Express Photo by Prashant Nadkar. 09.05.2014. Mumbai.

Bat Modification Helps MS Dhoni to Succeed in Australia and New Zealand

Astute thinker in MS Dhoni has had won hearts for his long strands before many praised him being humble. He then entertained his fan base with his bat swing and then as a remarkable finisher one game after another for Team India. Of late, Dhoni has been under fire for his slow approach, but owing to the bat modification he has regained the form. He has sweated it out to grab the eyeballs following his excellent show against Australia and then against New Zealand. His mantra of success lies in the revamped Spartan bat.

“Basically, it is more wood at the bottom and back of the bat. Earlier, it was mainly about the sweet spot. The basic idea is to have more wood behind the ball in your preferred shots. More wood at the bottom will help in elevation and generate more power,” Hindustan Times quoted a source close to Dhoni’s management team.

Dhoni’s counterattack:

MS Dhoni, Australia, New Zealand
MS Dhoni has a unique idea to counter bowlers. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

However, the other batters carried regular flat on series Down Under, but Dhoni’s bat wore a different look at the bottom of the blade. It had a more rounded shape than a regular blade bottom.

In the three-match One-day International (ODI) series against Australia, Dhoni received flak for his slow show in Sydney where he scored 51 off 96 balls. However, he returned unbeaten 55* and unbeaten 87. India went on to clinch both the games to claim the series 2-1.

Also, he smashed unbeaten 48 at Mount Maunganui before finishing the series with 39 and 20 in the remainder of the T20 series which was clinched by New Zealand 2-1.

Earlier, many have share insights regarding the bats, and cricketing pundits have dissected the using of bats from distinct stalwarts of the game.

“He has made the modification to suit his areas of strength and to counter the areas in which bowlers have been targeting him,” he added.

In the recent past, Dhoni’s Midas touch has earned him accolades far and wide. Dhoni’s blockbuster show in the top-flight cricket has been a compelling story for the youngsters who admired him for his persistence and calmer approach. Dhoni might be past his prime, but he has delivered to affirm his credentials from-to-time.

Modified bats saw Dhoni back in form:

MS Dhoni, India
Ranchi star to write a script with a remodelled bat. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Since 2018 Asia Cup, MSD has used the custom-made bats which eventually saw Dhoni clicking in the middle.

Recently, fondly known as Mahi has used the specified with the rounded toe end of the bat.

“When your game is set, bowlers come up with a plan to counter and the batsman has to get a new plan. Or, it could be to play a particular shot better,” he added.

The 37-year-old Dhoni was helped by Beat All Sports, the leading bat making firm regarding the adjustment according to the favourable conditions. He usually played with a 1.25kg bat in home conditions.

“It differs from wicket to wicket, country to country, Dhoni’s bat weighs around 1150gms,” BAS partner Ashwini Kohli told HT.

Given to the specifications, Dhoni has carried plenty of bats with circular toes, with him who has further opted for trying out new thing ahead of the 2019 World Cup.

It would be interesting to see would Mahendra Singh Dhoni use such bats or rely on flat bottom blades.

Keshav Ranjan Banerjee, MS Dhoni, Childhood, India
MS Dhoni delivers with his prominence. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

India vs New Zealand 2019: The biggest Positive for India was MS Dhoni – Sourav Ganguly

The Indian national cricket team had great experiences on their recent international tours to Australia and New Zealand. Sourav Ganguly, the former Indian captain, feels MS Dhoni returning to the form is the biggest positive for India on those tours.

MS Dhoni had a rare struggling year in 2018 where he had the lowest yearly average in international cricket. Especially he struggled in ODI cricket where he had an average of just 25.00 without playing any 50+ innings. It was a little bit worrying sign for the Indian cricket at that time.

However, MS Dhoni has returned to the form in 2019. He won the Player of the Series award during the ODI series in the Australia tour. In that three-match ODI series, the right-handed wicketkeeper-batsman scored 193 runs averaging the same. He scored three fifties in as many games, including two match-winning unbeaten innings.

He carried the same performances and confidence in recently concluded New Zealand tour. However, he missed out two ODIs in that New Zealand tour due to injuries.

Sourav Ganguly is satisfied to see MS Dhoni back in form.

MS Dhoni, Sourav Ganguly
Sourav Ganguly (Image Credit: Getty Images)

The former Indian captain told in IndiaTV’s show Cricket Ki Baat, “The biggest positive for India was MS Dhoni because his performance from the past one year didn’t show he will go to the World Cup. He may be a bit bad today but overall he has improved a lot in the Australia and New Zealand series. So, this is the biggest positive for India.”

Shami’s bowling in the ODI was the biggest positive

MS Dhoni, Sourav Ganguly
Mohammed Shami (Image Credit: Getty Images)

Talking about the positivity in the bowling side, Sourav Ganguly points out Mohammed Shami’s brilliant bowling performances. The right-pacer was very consistent in both the ODI series in Australia and New Zealand. In New Zealand tour, which India won by 4-1, Mohammed Shami won the Player of the Series award after picking up nine wickets.

Sourav Ganguly said about his performance, “Shami’s bowling in the ODI was the biggest positive.”

Sourav Ganguly also praised the new Indian cricketers like Vijay Shankar and Rishabh Pant. While Rishabh Pant has hugely impressed everyone since the Test series in Australia, the 27-year-old Vijay Shankar influenced during the New Zealand tour.

However, Sourav Ganguly still feels it is too late for Vijay Shankar to grab his spot for the upcoming World Cup.

The former Indian captain said, “Vijay Shankar improved his batting and Rishabh Pant played well too but I don’t think Shankar will go to the World Cup.”

Kuldeep Yadav is a surprise package for India

MS Dhoni, Sourav Ganguly
Kuldeep Yadav (Image Credit: Getty Images)

Sourav Ganguly also feels India should use Kuldeep Yadav as a surprise package until the upcoming World Cup. Though the left-arm chinaman is a consistent performer, he missed out the playing XIs for one ODI and two T20Is of the recent New Zealand tour.

Sourav Ganguly said about him, “You can’t change the team in every match and You need to use Kuldeep as a surprise package. If you play him in every match, batsmen will figure him out. So, you need to protect him to keep that surprise package intact till the World Cup.”

The 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup will be played from 30 May to 14 July in England and Wales. Many experts believe the two-time World Cup-winning side India will start the upcoming tournament as a favourite.

Cheteshwar Pujara, ICC World Cup 2019, Final
Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Cheteshwar Pujara Reveals His Father Told Him Double Ton is Merely a ‘Number’

The Team India Test specialist Cheteshwar Pujara is known for having an unwavering devotion to take on opposition bowlers while wearing a beatific smile. His acquiescent approach speaks volumes about his character in tandem. And while donning the whites, he backs himself to bail out his team from any precarious situation. Such has been the emergence of punctual Pujara. However, he reminisced about a moment of his father Arvind Pujara following his 193-run knock at Sydney.

The Rajkot-born Pujara missed out on the double hundred by seven runs during the fourth and final Test at Sydney. He slammed 22 fours while facing 373 deliveries. Premium Aussie off-spinner Nathan Lyon has undone Pujara on his own bowling.

Cheteshwar reveals a conversation with his father about Sydney innings:

Cheteshwar Pujara, Australia vs India 2018/19
Cheteshwar Pujara holds iconic Border-Gavaskar trophy. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Pujara asserted his father told him the job was done and you don’t need to be sad as it’s merely a number. Well, Arvind added by saying there is nothing above the team.

“Later that evening my dad told me that the double-hundred was just a number ‘You’ve done the job for the team. Don’t be sad. Seven runs does not mean much, but the job you have done for the team means a lot,'” Pujara told The Cricket Monthly.

During the recently-held Test series against Tim Paine-led Kangaroos, Pujara’s father Arvind had undergone heart surgery on January 3. Arvind was attended by Pujara’s wife Pujara in India when Pujara was on the line of national duty.

Interestingly, Pujara revealed his father talked to doctors about his Sydney innings. Pujara, who has been in awe of his father for his certain principles, has witnessed a treasure trove of memories.

“I was communicating with my wife, Puja, who was travelling with my father, regularly. I knew he was in the right hands and I could focus on the Test match. He is a special person in my life. Puja was telling me that, having undergone the procedure, seeing my score, he talked to all the doctors and they were congratulating him. ,” Pujara maintained.

Pujara says he’s a tough bloke:

Chesteshwar Pujara, Australia vs India 2019
Cheteshwar Pujara is in his own league. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Pujara revealed his father’s surgery was on his mind and it became a bit difficult to focus on his trait.

“The surgery was on January 3, the first day of the Sydney Test. Although it was playing on the back of my mind, I am someone who is really mentally tough, so I could focus on my batting,” Pujara said.

Dr Patil who operated Pujara’s father has assured the prominent batsman regarding the procedure. Pujara reiterated doctors told him not to worry as his father is doing well.

“Firstly, I was assured by our family doctors before the Test that he would be okay. He needed the procedure because his heart rate was fluctuating. Dr Patil, who carried out the procedure, was in touch with me and told me to not worry,” Pujara revealed.

The 31-year-old Pujara piled a mountain of runs against hosts Australia in the four-match Test series. He amassed 521 runs in four Tests at the 74-plus batting average.

“It was not easy to sleep. My body was tired. Mentally I was relaxed because my father’s procedure was done,” Pujara said on his Sydney masterclass.

High on confidence seals the deal for India:

Cheteshwar Pujara, Australia vs India 2018-19
Cheteshwar Pujara shoulders responsibility with ease. (Photo by Mark Evans/Getty Images)

Owing to his exuberant performance, Pujara bagged the Player of the Series award. He walked out as the leading run-getter in the Border-Gavaskar Test series.

Pujara further had a word on his merry-run against Australia. He asserted he has been optimistic regarding the things which eventually went in his way.

“The good thing about that particular Test was that I had scored runs in the series. So my confidence was high. I had already played the practice match at the SCG [in November] so I just wanted to capitalise,” Pujara added.

Overall, Pujara, who has been gracious in his approach consumed 1258 deliveries in series Down Under. He helped India to clinch historic Test series victory against Australia by scoring runs on a consistent basis.

Earlier, Pujara had to give his best in Melbourne and Adelaide as well before finding Sydney surface easy to score runs. Pujara maintained building on the momentum was so crucial, and he is happy for reaping the rewards in series Down Under.

Umesh Yadav, India
Umesh Yadav was off-colour against Australia. Photo Credit: AFP.

Umesh Yadav Believes India has a ‘Best’ Pace Attack

Team India speedster Umesh Yadav who in between struggled to maintain his line and lengths often than not revealed Indian team is blessed with the prominent pace battery to reap the rewards on any given conditions. He added it has further forced the opponents to ponder over owing to the preparations.

“I am sure it’s the best pace attack in India. You have pace, swing and even someone who just zips the ball past a batsman irrespective of the conditions. Now, you have a pace unit that the oppositions mull over for months before a series, and the opposition bowlers also know if you bowl too many short ones, they will also get it back,” Umesh told Sportstar in an exclusive interview.

However, Umesh couldn’t achieve much on the Australian tour after featuring in a solitary Test at Perth. But, in the first-class competition, he starred with the ball in the quarterfinal for Vidarbha—to take his team home following spectacular match figures of nine of 113 against Uttrakhand.

Thus, it pushed his team to make it to the semi-finals of the coveted Ranji Trophy competition.

Maturity among bowlers proved fruitful for India:

Umesh Yadav, India
Umesh Yadav had given his best before the Australia tour. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

Also, Umesh stated the fast bowling department had improved a lot in the recent past. He opined that Virat Kohli’s side had covered all the bases to deliver goods irrespective of the condition.

“All of us have matured after having played in various conditions over the years. That’s a great benefit and all the bowlers know that the bowling attack is not just strong but a matured lot as well,” Umesh further said.

The 31-year-old Umesh stated the going gets tough in the top-flight cricket when the players fail to maintain the consistency which according to him is a certain drawback.

Pertinently, India lost the Perth Test by 146 runs. In the same Test fold, Umesh bagged just two scalps under his belt.

Optimistic Umesh maintained that he is aiming to gives his best whenever he gets a chance or so. He reiterated the ‘mistakes’ allow him to make a strong comeback

“Definitely, I had gone to Australia with the same thought that I will get [many] more opportunities than I did but when I didn’t get a chance after not doing so well in the second match, I had to come back and wait for my chance. Let’s see, one bad match doesn’t mean life is over. It’s given me time to think what I should do to and work on my mistakes to come back stronger,” Umesh asserted.

Umesh on the bowling trio:

Umesh has further heaped praise on the bowling trio in the form of Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Ishant Sharma. He remarked they wouldn’t allow the opposition to settle down with the spirit they are bowling at.

“You look at [Jasprit] Bumrah, Ishant [Sharma], [Mohammed] Shami — they are amazing. It’s not easy to play them individually, and moreover, with the pace unit we have, the opposition just cannot relax,” Umesh added.

Bharat Arun backs Umesh:

Umesh Yadav, India
Umesh Yadav aiming for a strong comeback. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Apart from his work ethics, Umesh stated he has been in constant touch with Bharat Arun, the bowling coach. He added Arun had instilled confidence in him to return better than before.

“Definitely, we keep talking to each other. He believes in me, just like he does in all the five or six bowlers in the core group,” Umesh said.

Umesh respects team decision:

Umesh further clears the air on his exclusion in the playing XI from the remainder of the Test series Down Under. He believes the captain and the coach in the best position to decide while considering it in a team’s favour.

Umesh signed off by saying one has to respect the ‘team decision’ which players a crucial role in chalking out the plans in a nutshell.

So far, Umesh has featured in 75 One-day Internationals, 41 Tests and six Twenty20 Internationals for Team India. Across formats, the Vidarbha Express claimed 224 scalps under his belt.

Michael Clarke, Virat Kohli
Michael Clarke. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Michael Clarke Hails Virat Kohli as the ‘Greatest ODI Batsman’

Former Australian skipper Michael Clarke has effusively praised the majestic Virat Kohli for his burgeoning run in the international fold. Principally, Clarke believes the Team India skipper Kohli is the ‘greatest batsman’ to have graced the One-day International (ODI), in particular. So far, Kohli’s achievements have grabbed eyeballs far and wide, for his stellar show.

To add more to it, Kohli recently became the first-ever Indian and Asian captain—to clinch the historic Test series 2-1. He followed it by One-day International series triumph on the Australian soil.

“To me, Virat Kohli is the greatest batsman to have ever played one-day cricket. I have no doubts after seeing what he has achieved for India,” Clarke told Press Trust of India (PTI).

Moreover, the 30-year-old Kohli, who dominates the chart of Test and ODI format, has further set multiple feats on his back while being at the helm of the affairs in the Indian cricket.

So far, Kohli has aggregated 10,385 runs in 291 ODIs which is further comprised of 39 centuries. His consistency and urge to score runs his left opponents clueless at times.

Also, the 37-year-old New South Wales-born veteran Clarke, who himself featured in 245 ODIs for Australia, stated one should respect the way Kohli’s enthusiasm push his team to win the games.

“You have to respect Virat’s passion for winning games for his country,” Clarke pointed out.

While speaking highly of the top-order batsman Kohli, Clarke reiterated the former’s dedication level sets him apart. He added Kohli wears his heart on his sleeve and has already achieved desired results.

“Yes, he has aggression, but no one can question his commitment, how much he has achieved. He is the greatest in ODIs,” Clarke remarked.

Besides, Clarke who was the part of the broadcasting giant Sony Six’s expert panel also backed suspended Indian all-rounder Hardik Pandya. Clarke added Pandya would be essential for India’s 2019 World Cup campaign.

Social media recently tore apart Pandya alongside teammate KL Rahul following the ‘sexism’ and ‘racist’ remarks on a TV show ‘Koffee with Karan’.

Clarke confident of Pandya to be picked for the World Cup:

In conclusion, Clarke who seconds the opinion of Ajit Agarkar feels Pandya lends the balance to the side. Clarke added he is sure on seeing Baroda-based all-rounder in Team India’s World Cup campaign in England.

“A talented player like Hardik is very necessary for the balance of the side. He can win games alone with his batting. And I am confident he will be in that World Cup squad,” Clarke concluded.

It would be interesting to see what would be the quantum of punishment from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for Pandya and Rahul.

With India in New Zealand to play the limited-overs competition, Kohli is eyeing to continue the dominance in the overseas conditions.

The series will kick off with the first One-dayer of the five-match series at Napier on January 23.

Ian Chappell
Ian Chappell. Image Courtesy: Getty

‘MS Dhoni is Still World’s Best ODI Finisher’ – Ian Chappell

Why would anyone doubt it? Even at 37 years of age, MS Dhoni is finishing games while remaining unbeaten at the crease. The latest example is of the recently-concluded ODI series against Australia. Off the three games played, India won two; and MS Dhoni was standing at the crease in both of them. Meanwhile, looking at his recent exploits, Aussie legend, Ian Chappell is convinced that Dhoni is still the best finisher in ODI cricket.

Dhoni earns player of the series award

In the three-match ODI series, MS Dhoni collected 193 runs, averaging the same. Not only this, in games at the Adelaide Oval and the MCG; he ensured the India National Cricket Team is crossing the winning line. Even in the first ODI in Sydney, MS scored a half-century, but India lost the game. The former India captain also faced a lot of flak for his second slowest fifty in ODI cricket. Meanwhile, MS didn’t take long before hogging all the limelight.

MS Dhoni, Ian Chappell
Dhoni hit three fifties in three ODIs against Australia. Image Courtesy: Getty

However, Ian Chappell, who has seen the making of perhaps the greatest finisher the game has seen; said even he, in the past, had doubted, would Dhoni help his team cross the line? Opening up on the same, the ex-Australia captain added MS remains head and shoulders ahead of the others when it comes to finishing matches.

“Nobody has Dhoni’s nerve for finishing off victories. Many times I’ve thought, “He’s left it too late this time”, only to be amazed as he produced a couple of powerful shots to bring India a nail-biting victory,” Chappell wrote in his column in ESPNcricinfo. “His outward calm is no illusion since his tactical adeptness in these situations is proof his brain continues to work perfectly.”

Who’s better, MS or Michael Bevan? Ian answers

MS Dhoni, Ian Chappell
Ian Chappell calls MS Dhoni a better finisher than Michael Bevan. Image Courtesy: Getty

Ian Chappell further spoke on the comparisons between Dhoni and the great, Michael Bevan. Ian added Bevan used to win the games for Australia with fours, while Dhoni does it with sixes. What amazes Chappell is how MS, even at 37, can run so fast between the wickets?

“Nobody has Dhoni’s nerve for finishing off victories. Many times I’ve thought, “He’s left it too late this time”, only to be amazed as he produced a couple of powerful shots to bring India a nail-biting victory,” Chappell wrote in his column in ESPNcricinfo.

“His outward calm is no illusion since his tactical adeptness in these situations is proof his brain continues to work perfectly.”

He concluded the call by saying there are no comparisons, as MSD is the best ODI finisher.

“Even allowing for improved bats and the advantage of playing T20 cricket, statistically Dhoni is superior to Bevan. There can be no argument – Dhoni is the best ODI finisher.

MS Dhoni, Team India
MS Dhoni has backed the youngsters in Team India. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Australia vs India 2018-19: Rishabh Pant Heaps Praise on MS Dhoni and Yuzvendra Chahal

The 21-year-old talented Team India wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant has lauded the efforts of senior campaigner MS Dhoni and prominent leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal for their remarkable role against Australia during the third and final One-day International at Melbourne.

Moreover, the 37-year-old Dhoni who smashed three consecutive half-centuries to amass 193 runs in the ODI leg against Australia played a quintessential role for India to clinch the series 2-1.

However, the southpaw Pant has missed out on to make it to the ODI squad for the Australia series.

Team India
Chahal put his best effort for the MCG ODI. Photo Credit: AFP.

The 27-year-old Haryana-born bowler Chahal starred with the ball to bag his career-best figures of six for 42 in his quota of ten overs, Interestingly, Chahal who replaced Kuldeep Yadav eclipsed Team India’s Ravi Shastri while becoming the first spinner to clinch six wickets against Australia on the Australian soil, in the 50-over format.

Against Australia, Shastri bagged the best figures of five for 15 at WACA in 1991.

Pant, who is fresh to the international set-up for the national fold, has further termed Dhoni as an ‘absolute legend’.

“Top stuff from Chahal to scalp a splendid 6-for and MS Bhai – an absolute legend!” Pant’s tweet read.

Pant hails the Men in Blue:

Besides, Pant who sees idol in Dhoni congratulates Team India following for yet another historic win in series Down Under.

“Steps up at the most adverse of times to sail India through! Congrats on the series win, boys!” it added.

It’s for the first time; India has clinched the victory in the bilateral series on the Australian soil.

Pant, who has been recently named in India A squad for the final two One-dayers against England Lions, is focusing on his fitness.

Recently, Pant was the part of Team India’s Test squad, smashed a magnificent ton during the fourth and final Test at Sydney. He went on to score unbeaten 159 before the Test culminated on a draw due to inclement weather. India seals historic Test series 2-1.

Rishabh Pant, Virat Kohli, Indian National Cricket Team
India retained the coveted Border-Gavaskar Trophy in Australia. Photo Credit: Mark Evans/Getty Images)

After making his international debut in February 2017, Pant has featured in 10 Twenty20 Internationals, nine Tests and three ODIs, so far.

In 15 Test innings comprised, Pant has amassed 696 runs at the average of 49.71. Besides it, he has also recorded two centuries and as many fifties.

Here’s  Rishabh Pant’s tweet:

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