BJ Watling | Sportzwiki

BJ Watling

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

The Heart That Our Team Showed Was Commendable, Says Kane Williamson

Kane Williamson was ecstatic as New Zealand beat India in the WTC Final as they successfully chased 139 eventually winning by 8 wickets. Coming perilously close to winning World Cup titles in 2015 and 2019, New Zealand realised their dream of being World Champions when they beat India in the final of the inaugural World Test Championship to take the title.

Kane Williamson (AP)
Kane Williamson (AP)

Kane Williamson Praised All The 22 Players Who Played A Role In New Zealand’s First ICC Trophy In 21 Years And 2nd After 2000 Champions Trophy Win

A little less than two years ago, Kane Williamson’s New Zealand endured heartbreak when they tied England in the World Cup final but lost the match on a boundary count rule, but redemption was theirs in Southampton as the Black Caps clinched their first ICC trophy in over two decades.

“It’s a special feeling. It’s nice to get one under the belt. I’d like to thank Virat and the Indian team. The heart that our team showed was commendable. It’s the first time we have come away with a world title, and the 22 players who played a big part in getting across the line deserve all the appreciation,” winning captain Kane Williamson said after the match.

New Zealand celebrate with the ICC Mini World Cup/ Champions Trophy 2020 in the dressing-room Getty Images
New Zealand celebrate with the ICC Mini World Cup/Champions Trophy 2020 in the dressing-room Getty Images

“This will be remembered for a long time. We don’t always have all the stars, and we saw that in this match. We saw so much heart and commitment. We know how strong the Indian side is, in all conditions.”

New Zealand’s first ICC crown came in the form of the Champions Trophy which they won beating India in 2000. The Kiwis had made the summit clashes of the last two ODI World Cups – 2015 and 2019 – but failed to cross the final hurdle.

Kane Williamson: Fitting End To A Fantastic Career For BJ Watling

The WTC wins a lot for plenty of New Zealanders especially for Kane Williamson, who has been absolutely phenomenal ever since taking over as the captain of the side, for Ross Taylor, who has been a linchpin of their batting order for as long as one can remember, for pacer Kyle Jamieson, as the all-rounder couldn’t have asked for a better first ICC final of his career, and veteran BJ Watling, who ended his career on a glorious high.

 “It’s a fickle game, in a one-off final. It ebbed and flowed, no one really had the upper hand for six days, and I’m happy we’re on the right side of it. It was certainly tough going in the first innings. The lower order played with more freedom and got us a lead that gave us an edge,” Williamson added.
BJ Watling retired after WTC Final | Photo: Blackcaps
BJ Watling retired after WTC Final | Photo: Blackcaps

“Ross is obviously very experienced and calm in these situations and it was great to be with him right there at the end. BJ Watling – I don’t know if he’s retiring anymore actually (jokes). He’s a scrappy player, so this is a fitting end to a fantastic career for BJ Watling.”

Between 2009 and 2012, BJ Watling played only eight Tests – the first six as a specialist batsman – before settling into the role of New Zealand’s full-time wicketkeeper for the longer format in 2013. He played 75 Tests and has 8 tons massing 3790 runs averaging 37.52.

In a career spanning over a decade-and-a-half, Ross Taylor is New Zealand’s most-capped cricketer with over 400 international matches across all formats. The 37-year-old is also his country’s leading run-scorer in international cricket and has recorded over 18,000 international runs.

Kyle Jamieson has played only 8 Tests but already has 46 wickets to his name at an extraordinary average of 14.17 with as many as 5 five-wicket hauls. He has also played 5 ODIs and 8 T20Is where he doesn’t have as much success with the ball as that in red-ball cricket.

Ravichandran Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)

Ravichandran Ashwin Explains Why He Is Successful Against The Left Handers

Ravichandran Ashwin has bagged more than 200 wickets of left-handers in Test cricket and he has explained why he is so successful against the southpaws.

The senior India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin loves bowling to the left-handers. He is known to trouble the southpaws with challenging lines and lengths and uses his variations to great effect.

Ravichandran Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Ravichandran Ashwin Thinks His Success Against Left-Handers Is Due To Challenging Both Sides Of Batsman’s Edge

In an interview with Sportstar, he revealed that he has enjoyed great success against them as he challenges both sides of the bat. In the history of Test cricket, he is the only bowler to dismiss left-handers more than 200 times. In the upcoming ICC World Test Championship (WTC) final against Kane Williamson’s New Zealand, he will be up against the likes of in-form batsmen Tom Latham, Devon Conway, and Henry Nicholls.

“I would like to think that it is because I challenge both sides of the edge. I get a batsman out through the inside edge and the outside and get the slip, short leg, and silly point in the play. I think that is one of the reasons the left-handers find it difficult. Also, I change the angle; I go over the wicket and to the extremes for around the stumps also. So challenging both sides of the bat gives me the edge,” explained Ravichandran Ashwin.

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

The duo of Henry Nicholls and Devon Conway are in terrific form of late. Henry Nicholls who has a Test career average of 43.4 has averaged 47.3 in 2020 and 65.5 in 2021 amassing more than 500 runs combined in the last two years. Devon Conway, who cemented his place in the side with 200 on debut in the series opener at Lord’s, produced another valuable inning of 80 in the 2nd Test against England.

Ravichandran Ashwin: New Zealand Is A Fantastic Team Having Quality Cricketers

Responding to whether the Kiwis will enjoy an advantage of Virat Kohli-led India because of their two-match Test series against England prior to the finale, Ravichandran Ashwin added that the Black Caps are a fantastic team.

“We have played well to get to the World Test Championship final, and we are deservedly there. They are a fantastic team and have a lot of exciting cricketers. The fact that they would have played a couple of Test matches before the final will be good preparation for them. So we have to adapt; use our experience, and be ready,” said Ravichandran Ashwin.

Tim Southee
Tim Southee

Virat Kohli-led India’s batsmen haven’t quite proved themselves yet against the swinging ball and their techniques were exposed on the New Zealand tour in 2020.

Meanwhile, the Kiwi pace attack of Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Kyle Jamieson, and Neil Wagner has time and again displayed its ability to extract any purchase from the pitch and would be raring to do the same at Southampton. The inaugural WTC final will take place at the Rose Bowl in Southampton, beginning on June 18.

Kane Williamson (elbow), BJ Watling (back), and Mitchel Santner (finger) were ruled out before the toss in the 2nd Test through injury and were replaced by Will Young, Tom Blundell, and Ajaz Patel. Trent Boult and Matt Henry shared the new ball in place of Tim Southee and Kyle Jamieson, while Daryl Mitchell replaced Colin de Grandhomme at number seven as New Zealand made as many as 6 changes from the 1st Test.

A devastating opening spell from Matt Henry backed up by Neil Wagner and later Ajaz Patel snuffed out England’s hopes on the third day of the ongoing second Test at Edgbaston. England was left reeling at 3 for 30 as Matt Henry tore through their top order on either side of tea and by the close, they were nine down and just 37 runs ahead.
India vs New Zealand
India vs New Zealand

India Can’t Take New Zealand Lightly In WTC Final, Says Gundappa Viswanath

Gundappa Viswanath, a former Indian batting legend lauded India’s current form but warned them against complacency. Virat Kohli and his men are eyeing a third straight big Test trophy.

After pulling off a huge Test series win vs Australia Down Under and registering a 3-1 win vs England at home the Indian team is one win away from winning the inaugural World Test Championship. India will take on New Zealand in the WTC final at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton on June 18.

Gundappa Viswanath
Gundappa Viswanath File picture

Gundappa Viswanath: India Can’t Take New Zealand Lightly

It’s difficult to pick a favourite between these two teams. India is ranked number one in the ICC Test rankings, while the Kiwis are ranked number two. The two teams are already in England.

New Zealand is currently playing a two-match Test series against England. The first match ended in a draw. India meanwhile reached Southampton on June 3, after serving a quarantine period of almost 10 days in India.

“Both the teams will be playing at a neutral venue. It will be a good contest. New Zealand are a good side. India can’t take them lightly. The atmosphere will be different,” Viswanath told in an exclusive interview.

Gundappa Viswanath, Indian cricketer
Gundappa Viswanath, Indian cricketer (Photo Credits: Facebook)

“India has an edge over New Zealand. It will be an exciting clash. Winning in Australia and vs England will be a confidence booster for India in the WTC final,” Gundappa Viswanath, who played 91 Tests and 25 ODIs for India between 1969 and 1983, further told

There is a huge buzz around for the WTC final with many experts of the cricket fraternity comparing the match to a World Cup final. The mouth-watering clash between India and New Zealand has been given a reserve 6th day, to protect the match against bad weather.

Gundappa Viswanath Feels The WTC Final Will Be A Battle Between Indian Bowlers And Kiwi Batsmen

Interestingly, Gundappa Viswanath feels the key contest will be between the India bowlers and New Zealand batsmen. India last played a Test match against England in March this year winning the 4 Test series 3-1. Their last away tour was to Australia in 2020/21, where they staged a remarkable comeback to retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy after an embarrassing defeat in the 1st Adelaide Test.

“It will be India bowlers vs the New Zealand batsmen in the WTC final. India’s bowling is super strong right now. Look at Shami, Bumrah, Siraj and Ishant. They all are in good touch. Siraj did a wonderful job in Australia. I am sure he will do the job for Virat in the WTC final too,” Gundappa Viswanath signed off.

Indian players Ishant Sharma, left, Ravichandran Ashwin, center, and Mohammed Shami
Indian players. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

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

If there are no injury concerns, the Indian pace troika that is expected to be in the playing XI for the clash starting June 18 would be Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, and Mohammed Shami. India has not preferred playing Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja together in an overseas Test.

In England, they have done it only once in 2014 at Manchester without much success. But this time, things might be different. Ravichandran Ashwin has 409 scalps in 78 Tests and Ravindra Jadeja has 220 scalps in 51 Tests.

Henry Nicholls’ sequence of scores in the last three Tests is 174 (vs West Indies), 56, 11, and 157 (vs Pakistan) while Ross Taylor have to find his form back as in 2021, the right-hand batsman has just managed to score 59 runs at an average of 19.7, which is way lower than his career average of 45.6. The 35-year-old BJ Watling will aim to finish his 12-year cricket career on a high.

However, he is going through a rough patch as in three innings in 2021 he has scored 23 runs while in 2020 he could only score 150 runs in seven innings.

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 23: Michael Vaughan of the BBC commentary team laughs as he waits to speak on air before play on day one of the First Test Match of the 2017/18 Ashes Series between Australia and England at The Gabba on November 23, 2017 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Michael Vaughan Picks Kyle Jamieson, Rishabh Pant, And BJ Watling To Watch Out For In WTC Final

Michael Vaughan has named the three players he thinks will make the maximum impact in the WTC final. Surprisingly enough, Michael Vaughan did not go for the big names such as Virat Kohli or Kane Williamson, or Ravichandran Ashwin.

As the world eagerly awaits the inaugural World Test Championship final between India and New Zealand, things have already started to heat up. Former England captain Michael Vaughan recently backed New Zealand to beat India on the basis of the advantage Kane Williamson’s team would have, given they would already have played a couple of Tests against England and be more acclimatized to the conditions than the Indians.

Michael Vaughan
Michael Vaughan

Michael Vaughan Picks Kyle Jamieson, Rishabh Pant, And BJ Watling To Have A Great WTC Final Match

This time around, Michael Vaughan has named the three players he thinks will make the most impact in the WTC final starting June 18 at Southampton’s Ageas Bowl. Michael Vaughan did not go for the big names but instead picked two youngsters and a veteran to have a great match.

“First is Kyle Jamieson as he’s had a magnificent start to his Test career. Next is Rishabh Pant as he’s the star of the world game. He has been incredible over the last few months, especially against Australia and England. Next, I’ll go with BJ Watling in his swansong as he’s been a fantastic servant for New Zealand cricket,” Vaughan told CricTracker.

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

And there’s no reason to not believe him. Rishabh Pant has had a sensational last seven months in international cricket, while Kyle Jamieson has been billed as the next big thing in international cricket. In fact, Kyle Jamieson picked up a five-wicket haul in only his second Test for New Zealand, including getting the wicket of Virat Kohli. The WTC final will be BJ Watling’s final Test match and rest assured; he would be looking to go out with a bang.

Kyle Jamieson has been New Zealand’s key fast bowler in Test ever since making his debut. The lanky seamer has taken 36 wickets in 6 Tests. Rishabh Pant scored 274 runs at an average of 68.50 in five innings for India against Australia. The keeper continued his form against England where he hit 270 runs at an average of 54.00.

Bradley-John Watling, after being born in South Africa, moved to New Zealand with his family when he was 10 years old. A top-order batsman with good technique, BJ Watling has also been used as a wicketkeeper on numerous occasions. Against India in February 2014, BJ Watling and Brendon McCullum put together a record sixth-wicket partnership of 352 in Wellington. BJ Watling’s 124 in that Test was his first century against a top-eight nation.

Between 2009 and 2012, he played only eight Tests – the first six as a specialist batsman – before settling into the role of New Zealand’s full-time wicketkeeper for the longer format in 2013. He played 73 Tests and has 8 tons massing 3773 runs averaging 38.11.

Michael Vaughan: The Hundred Is The Next Big Thing In World Cricket

Michael Vaughan touched upon The Hundred, believing it to be a massive success. The inaugural edition of The Hundred will be played in England this summer and the former captain feels its freshness will attract plenty of viewers and fans.

“The Hundred had a lot of criticism. I love T20 cricket; great razzmatazz, but it goes on for too long; there’s time-outs; there’s too much talking in between balls and it goes on forever. The Hundred is going to be the next big thing in world cricket,” Vaughan added.

The Hundred Image Credit : Facebook/the hundred
The Hundred Image Credit: Facebook/the hundred

After being delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic, ECB’s The Hundred cricket tournament will finally be launched on July 21 this year. The 100-ball tournament will feature a total of eight teams based in seven different cities with two teams from London. The teams will comprise both men’s and women’s squads with each having 15 players. As per rules, only three overseas cricketers are allowed to be a part of one team each.

Tim Southee
Tim Southee

Tim Southee Loves Test Cricket Since It Gets His Blood Boiling

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cheteshwar Pujara (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Cheteshwar Pujara Picks World Test XI With Four Indian Cricketers

Cheteshwar Pujara is the lynchpin for the Indian team in the extended format of the game. In the contemporary era where attacking batsmen are given preference, Pujara has remarkably created his own space — with his conventional methods. He demolishes the opposition bowlers with his patience and dogged mindset.

In the recent interaction with renowned cricket boffin Harsha Bhogle, Cheteshwar Pujara, who has 18 Test centuries and three double Test centuries in his name, picks his World Test XI but Bhogle had given him a condition to pick only four Indian cricketers.

So, let’s take a look at whether he has picked Virat Kohli or Steve Smith or both?

Cheteshwar Pujara’s world Test XI: 

VIrat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara
Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara. (Photo credit should read PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images)

For the opening pair, Pujara picked Aussie cricketer David Warner and New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson, who usually bats at No.3 for his national team. Coming to bat No.3, the phlegmatic batsman has included himself. Pujara also plays for India in the same position. 

At No.4, Cheteshwar Pujara picks his teammate and Indian captain Virat Kohli following which Australian batsman Steve Smith is placed at No.5.

The two top-notch cricketers Smith and Virat have always tough fight for the No.1 Test ranking. However, currently, the Aussie players hold the top position. 

steve smith and pat cummins
Steve Smith and Pat Cummins. Image Credit: Getty Images.

England’s allrounder Ben Stokes, who has impressed everyone with his outstanding performance in the last month concluded Test series against West Indies, is placed at No. 6 in World Test XI. For the wicketkeeper-batsman, Pujara has selected Kiwi player BJ Watling. 

In the bowling department, Jasprit Bumrah, Pat Cummins and Kagiso Rabada are the three fast bowlers while Ravichandran Ashwin is the only spinner in the Cheteshwar Pujara’s World Test XI. 

However, for Indian conditions, he has named 12th and 13th men, Ravindra Jadeja and Mohammad Shami respectively, 

World Test XI: David Warner, Kane Williamson, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Steve Smith, Ben Stokes, BJ Watling (Wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Pat Cummins, Kagiso Rabada, Ravindra Jadeja (12th men), Mohammad Shami(13th men).

BJ Watling
BJ Watling (Credits: Twitter)

New Zealand Star BJ Watling Reveals The Toughest Bowling Duo He Has Faced, Names Indian Pair

New Zealand wicketkeeper-batsman BJ Watling has named the toughest bowling pair he has faced in his career so far. The 35-year old is the most experienced Test wicketkeeper in the world right now and is arguably the best in the business. He has been playing Test cricket for New Zealand since 2009 and has done a stellar job so far.

BJ Watling has been a prolific run-scorer in Test cricket in recent years. He has scored more runs as designated wicketkeeper than anyone else this decade. Having played 70 Tests so far, he has kept the wickets in 62 of them, scoring 3,266 runs at an average of more than 40 with the help of 7 tons and 17 fifties.

Earlier this year, he was named in ICC Test Team of the Year after an impressive 2019 with the bat. He finished the year with 559 runs from 8 Tests at an average of more than 55. He also scored a stunning double century against England at home, helping his side win the series.

BJ Watling
                                                                             BJ Watling (Credits: Twitter)

Toughest bowling duo:

In his decade-long career so far, BJ Watling has faced almost all the big names in the game in the last one decade. But the bowling duo he rates as the toughest are India’s Ravichandran Ashwin – Ravindra Jadeja and former South African Test bowlers Dale Steyn – Morne Morkel. Speaking to ESPNCricinfo, BJ Watling said that facing Ashwin and Jadeja is extremely hard in Indian conditions. He then went on to say that facing Steyn and Morkel in South African conditions is even more tougher.

“When it’s turning in India it’s obviously very tough to play any spinner, really,” BJ Watling said. “The likes of [Ravichandran] Ashwin and [Ravindra] Jadeja, if conditions are in their favour, it is extremely hard work to score runs in itself, and to not get out.

“But facing guys like Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel in South Africa, that’s a pretty tough challenge. I think they have some of the quicker wickets in the world and obviously it cracks up late in the games. And those types of test matches can be very daunting, with those types of bowlers coming at you,” he added.

Also Read: UAE Extremely Proud Of Its Relationship With India, Says ECB Ahead Of Hosting IPL 2020

Also Read: Irfan Pathan Opens Up On Why Sourav Ganguly Was The Best Indian Captain

Aakash Chopra, India-Pakistan
Aakash Chopra (Image Credit: Getty Images)

Aakash Chopra Reveals His Current Best 15-Member Test Squad

Since the cricket is off due to the coronavirus pandemic, while many people from the cricket family are revealing the best teams in various aspects, former Indian cricketer Aakash Chopra has followed this trend almost regularly. He has already brought many of his best teams, and now he revealed his best 15-member Test squad from the current generation.

Apart from naming three Indian cricketers, Aakash Chopra also named four Australians, three New Zealanders, three English cricketers, one South African and one Pakistan cricketer in his latest squad.

Aakash Chopra, Test squad
Aakash Chopra (Image Credit: Twitter)

Talking about the opening spot, Chopra had the big names like the Sri Lankan captain Dimuth Karunaratne, Indian Rohit Sharma and Australian David Warner. Still, he named New Zealand opener Tom Latham and Indian opener Mayank Agarwal.

Mayank Agarwal, Test squad
Mayank Agarwal (Image Credit: Twitter)

Chopra then named the present no.1-ranked Test batsman Steve Smith for the no.3 position. To take up this position, Smith beat the Indian cricketer Cheteshwar Pujara, Australian cricketer Marnus Labuschagne and New Zealand captain Kane Williamson.

Steve Smith, Test squad
Steve Smith (Image Credit: Getty Images)

Aakash Chopra chose Virat Kohli as the captain of his latest favourite Test squad

Indian captain Virat Kohli, the present no.2-ranked Test batsman, was selected in the no.4 batting position in this list. In this Chopra’s current Test team, Kohli will play the leading role. However, Chopra also added that Williamson could be the favourite candidate to lead this side if he was in this team.

Virat Kohli, Test squad
Virat Kohli (Image Credits: BCCI)

English Test captain Joe Root was chosen for the No. 5 batting position. Chopra couldn’t fit him for the No. 3 or No. 4 batting position due to the bigger names in this list.

Then Chopra named the English pace-bowling all-rounder Ben Stokes. South African cricketer Quinton de Kock will play the wicket-keeper role in this team.

Chopra then named three pacers – Australian Pat Cummins, Indian Jasprit Bumrah and New Zealand left-arm pacer Neil Wagner. While Cummins is currently the top-ranked ICC Test bowler, Wagner is the second-ranked ICC Test bowler. In his current Test XI, Chopra finally named the Australian off-spinner Nathan Lyon.

Jasprit Bumrah, Test squad
Jasprit Bumrah (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Aakash Chopra’s current Test XI: Tom Latham, Mayank Agarwal, Steve Smith, Virat Kohli (C), Joe Root, Ben Stokes, Quinton de Kock (WK), Pat Cummins, Neil Wagner, Jasprit Bumrah and Nathan Lyon

In his reserve-squad, who can be substituted during a Test match, Chopra named Australian Marnus Labuschagne, Pakistan cricketer Babar Azam, New Zealand wicketkeeper BJ Watling and English pacer Stuart Broad.

Reserves: Marnus Labuschagne, Babar Azam, BJ Watling (WK) and Stuart Broad

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli (Image Credit: Twitter)

Virat Kohli Is The Only Asian Batsman In The List Of Top Five Dominant Defensive Strategists Against Spinners In Asia

It is very easy to say that the Asian batsmen have higher chances to dominate against the spinners on the Asian soil in any kind of positive roles. However, in reality, only the Indian captain Virat Kohli is standing among the top five batsmen who have the dominance defence strategy against the spinners in Asia in recent times.

Recently, the ESPNcricinfo has shared the stats where they showed the top six batsmen with highest balls per dismissal in Test cricket since April 2014 when defending against spin in Asia. The website has also set special criteria for this as every eligible batsman for this list needs to play at least 490 defensive shots since April 2014.

Balls/dismissal record in this special stats: Virat Kohli 318.6; others are below 200

While very expectedly the Indian captain Virat Kohli is leading this table by a huge margin, very shockingly there is no other Asian cricketer in the next top four positions.

Virat Kohli, defensive
Virat Kohli (Image Credit: Twitter)

According to this special statistical analysis, the present no.2-ranked Test batsman Kohli loses his Test wicket in Asia in every 318.6 defensive shots against the spinners. It clearly shows how solid his defense during facing the spinners on the Asian soil, which is mostly famous for the spin-friendly pitches.

The next two batsmen both are from New Zealand. Tom Latham is in the second place in this list, but in the number, he is far away from Kohli. Since April 2014, Latham’s balls/dismissal in Test cricket when defending against the spinners in Asia is 182.

Meanwhile, the Kiwi wicketkeeper-batsman BJ Watling is in the third position with 165.3.

defensive, Tom Latham, BJ Watling
Tom Latham and BJ Watling (Image Credit: Twitter)

The next two are the English batsmen. The English wicketkeeper-batsman Jonny Bairstow is in the fourth number of this list with 164.7. At next, Moeen Ali is standing with 143.5.

defensive, Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow
Moeen Ali and Jonny Bairstow (Image Credit: Twitter)

Former Pakistan cricketer Younis Khan is in the sixth position in this list with 142.6. However, the former Pakistan captain retired from the Test cricket in May 2017.

defensive, Younis Khan
Younis Khan (Image Credit: Twitter)

Top six batsmen with the highest balls per dismissal in Tests when defending against the spinners in Asia (at least 490 defensive shots and also stats have been collected since April 2014)

Batsman Balls/dismissal
Virat Kohli (India) 318.6
Tom Latham (New Zealand) 182.0
BJ Watling (New Zealand) 165.3
Jonny Bairstow (England) 164.7
Moeen Ali (England) 143.5
Younis Khan (Pakistan) 142.6

(Stats source: ESPNcricinfo)

Photo: Cricket Australia

Australia vs New Zealand 1st Test: AUS vs NZ Dream11 Team, Playing XI, Fantasy Cricket Tips

Australia will play their second pink-ball Test on the trot as they host their Trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand in the series-opener in Perth from Thursday. Both the teams won their respective previous Test series. Australia, who hosted Pakistan, won both the Tests by an innings margin. New Zealand defeated England in the first Test by an innings margin while the second Test was a drawn affair.

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Australia made one change in the squad as they dropped Cameron Bancroft. New Zealand had retained the same squad for Australia series which played against England. There will changes in NZ’s playing XI while Australia will be going with the same playing XI.

Conditions –

The pitch has green grass over it but the heat will make it tough for the bowlers. The team bowling first should take advantage as the conditions might favour batsmen. The bounce on the pitch though will continue to test batsmen and pacers should do well.

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Here is the likely playing XI of both the teams –


Australia vs New Zealand 1st Test: AUS vs NZ Dream11 Team, Playing XI, Fantasy Cricket Tips 1

Australia have confirmed that they will field the same playing XI for the third consecutive Test match, means James Pattinson will sit out. Also, Michael Neser will continue his wait to wear the Baggy Green for the first time.

Playing XI: David Warner, Joe Burns, Marnus Labuschagne, Steven Smith, Matthew Wade, Travis Head, Tim Paine, Nathan Lyon, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood

New Zealand –

The visitors are dealing with fitness issues as Trent Boult isn’t confirmed to play. He missed the second Test against England due to pain in his ribs bUt was cleared to join the team in Australia. If fit, Boult will play but if he misses out, then Lockie Ferguson is expected to make his debut. Colin de Grandhomme is fit and will play the series-opener.

New Zealand likely playing XI – Jeet Raval, Tom Latham, Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, BJ Watling, Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Trent Boult/Lockie Ferguson, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner

My Dream11 team for AUS vs NZ 1st Test –

David Warner (Captain), Tom Latham, Marnus Labuschagne, Ross Taylor, Steven Smith, BJ Watling, Colin de Grandhomme, Neil Wagner, Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Trent Boult/Lockie Ferguson

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