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

Ravi Shastri Successful In Ensuring Players Remain In The Right Frame Of Mind, Says Sachin Tendulkar

Sachin Tendulkar said that at the international level, a coach’s job is to ensure that players remain positive in crunch situations which Ravi Shastri has been able to do successfully. India head coach Ravi Shastri has been successful in ensuring that the players remain in the right frame of mind, batting great Sachin Tendulkar has said.

Ravi Shastri has been head coach since July 2017 and under him, India has managed back-to-back wins in the Test series in Australia and advanced to the final of the World Test Championship.

Ravu Shastri has been India's head coach since July 2017.
Ravi Shastri has been India’s head coach since July 2017. (Reuters Photo)

Sachin Tendulkar: Coach’s Job Is To Keep Players In The Right Frame Of Mind

Sachin Tendulkar said that at the international level, a coach’s job is to ensure that players remain positive in crunch situations. Former cricketer and the head coach of India’s men’s team, Ravi Shastri was a member of the 1983 squad which lifted the ODI World Cup for India for the first time ever. The former all-rounder played 80 Tests and 150 ODIs between 1981 and 1992.

“At this level, everyone knows how to defend or drive, bowlers know how to bowl outswingers or inswingers. But to actually keep them in the right frame of my mind is the coach’s job. There is nothing better than having a good atmosphere in the dressing room during critical moments,” Sachin Tendulkar told India Today on eSalaamCricket.

Sachin Tendulkar Photograph: Niklas Halle’n/AFP/Getty Images
Sachin Tendulkar
Photograph: Niklas Halle’n/AFP/Getty Images

Ravi Shastri stands tall among all the head coaches in the longer format. Out of the 46 Tests India played under him, the team won 28. The winning percentage is 60.87. In ODIs, the former right-handed batsman led India in 91 matches out of which it won 57 with a winning percentage of 62.64.

The high point in Ravi Shastri’s coaching career came when India won the first-ever Test series against Australia in Australia. India’s fightback in the 2018-19 Border Gavaskar Trophy is largely credited to Ravi Shastri for filling the young talent with a never-say-die attitude. India had won the four-match Test by 2-1.

In the next Test series in Australia-the 2020/21 series, India won by the same margin despite missing several key players due to injuries.

Sachin Tendulkar: Gary Kirsten Played An Instrumental Role In Helping India Draw With New Zealand In A Test

Sachin Tendulkar gave an example of how former head coach Gary Kirsten played an instrumental role in helping India draw a Test match in New Zealand.

“We were playing against New Zealand in Napier and they had made a big score in the first innings. We also made a big score but theirs was huge and we were made to follow on with almost two days remaining in the Test,” said Tendulkar.

The coach of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 winning Indian team Gary Kirsten being carried on the shoulders of the champion team after India defeated Sri Lanka in the finals to lift the World Cup. (Photo: Twitter/@ICC)
The coach of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 winning Indian team Gary Kirsten being carried on the shoulders of the champion team after India defeated Sri Lanka in the finals to lift the World Cup. (Photo: Twitter/@ICC)

“Gary Kirsten did not get angry at all, he came into the dressing room and told us that this was the time to show what we were made of. Let’s go out and bat for two days. And we batted for two days and drew the Test.

“In those crunch moments, if the coach remains calm, a lot of problems go away and that is what Ravi has been able to do. I would also say you have to be stern with players when needed but how you talk to them at those moments is also very important. And he has been able to do that successfully,” said Tendulkar.

Gary Kirsten, the former South Africa cricketer, was Team India’s coach when the Men In Blue won the 2011 World Cup on April 2. Under MS Dhoni‘s captaincy, India lost just one match in the showpiece event against South Africa. India defeated arch-rivals Pakistan in the semi-final to set up a blockbuster finale with Sri Lanka.

A heroic inning by Gautam Gambhir (97) along with an exceptional knock from MS Dhoni (91*) saved India the blushes and saw the Men in Blue lifted the World Cup trophy after 28 years chasing a stiff target of 275.

Cheteshwar Pujara (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Cheteshwar Pujara Reveals His Daughter Has A Magical Remedy To Heal Body Blows

Cheteshwar Pujara took all the blows on his body to make sure India creates history in The Gabba against Australians. Although he scored the slowest fifty of his Test career, his dogged mindset broke the hosts as he stitched up a crucial partnership with Rishabh Pant. Pujara made 56 off 211 balls while chasing 324 runs on day five of the fourth Test match.

Pujara was hit on the body at least 10 times off Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood, especially the former’s bowling. However, he didn’t show any pain while on the crease except one time when the bowl got him on the gloves. He got over Aussie bowlers to frustrate them and also amaze them with his grit. Before giving up his wicket, the right-hand batsman set up a strong base on which Rishabh Pant build up the match-winning knock.

Cheteshwar Pujara, India, New Zealand, Christchurch
Cheteshwar Pujara. Credits: AP

Reflecting on his own stoic batting against the Aussies, Cheteshwar Pujara said that he had a big threshold for pain, and explained that he was happy to receive blows on his body rather than risk being dismissed.

“From my early days, I am not in the habit of taking pain- killers. That’s why my threshold to bear pain is pretty high. You play for so long, you get used to getting hit,” Pujara told Indian Express.

“I mostly got hit from one end and that too against (Pat) Cummins. There was this crack on the pitch around the short-of-length spot from where the ball would just take off. Cummins has the skill to make the ball rear up from there and make it follow you. In case I took my hand up to defend it, there was a risk that I would glove the ball. Considering the match situation and how we couldn’t afford to lose wickets, I decided to let the ball hit my body,” he said. 

This win is really special: Cheteshwar Pujara

Cheteshwar Pujara,
Cheteshwar Pujara. Credits: BCCI Twitter

Cheteshwar Pujara was also seen jumping in pain on the field after being hit on his hand but after Physio attended him, he continued batting without showing in pain. The batsman revealed that he was unable to hit shots after getting that blow. He also summed up the win as ‘really special’

“It is tough to hold the bat, the grip was slightly loose. So you can’t hit the ball where you want to,” he explained.

That time (2018-19) it was the first win in Australia but this one is really special.”

Pujara reveals a sweet story:

Cheteshwar Pujara,
Image Credits: BCCI

On being asked what was his family’s reaction after surviving several hits, Cheteshwar Pujara revealed a sweet story of his daughter. He said that his daughter said that he would kiss him on his wound and his father will be fine.

When he comes home, I will kiss where he is hurt, he will be fine,” was how his two-year-old daughter Aditi reacted.

“That’s what I do to her when she falls, so she believes that a kiss can heal every wound,” Pujara said.

Team India broke 32 years unbeaten Test record of Australia by chasing down the mammoth 328 runs target in the second innings. And with this, they also retained Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

Australia vs India 2020-21: Shoaib Akhtar Rubs Salt On Wounds Of Indian Fans After India Registers Lowest Test Total
Shoaib Akhtar. Image Credit: Getty Images.

Shoaib Akhtar Cheers For India To Win The Test Series Against Australia

Former Pakistan speedster Shoaib Akhtar wants Team India to win the series against Australia after seeing Team India making a remarkable comeback in the second Test at MCG.

Shoaib Akhtar had earlier joked about India’s embarrassing performance in the first Test when they registered their lowest Test total (36). The visitors went on to lose that match by eight wickets. They bounced back stronger in MCG in the absence of Virat Kohli. Ajinkya Rahane guided them to victory and handed over a moral-destroying defeat to Australia.

After the victory of India in the second Test, Akhtar didn’t shy to reverse his opinion. He heaped praise on the batting performance of Ajinkya Rahane and Co.

“I was telling a few friends in Delhi that India is going to beat the hell out of Australia. I told them that if the batting performs, if the middle order performs, then India has a fair amount of chance to win this series. They said I was hyping up a bit too much,” Shoaib Akhtar said. 

The exhibition of character from the Indian team is tremendous: Shoaib Akhtar

Tim Paine
Tim Paine. Image Credit: Twitter.

Shoaib Akhtar was impressed with the character that Team India showed after the debilitating defeat. He lauded the way Ajinkya Rahane calmly carried the team in the field without showing any animated behaviour.

“I watched the game, one fine morning, I woke up and I saw India were getting hammered by Australia. I thought it was 369 and not 36 for 9. But it was 36 for 9. But you know, characters are exhibited in crisis. The exhibition of character from the Indian team is tremendous. I think this guy is so quiet and so calm. Ajinkya Rahane doesn’t shout or do nasty things on the field, he just stays quiet and does his thing which is cool captaincy. Under his leadership, the guys suddenly performed.” Shoaib Akhtar added. 

Australia vs India
Image Credit: Getty Images.

Shoaib Akhtar bets India to win the series after they turned the table in the second Test.

“Characters like Bumrah, Rahane, Gill Jadeja is playing a crucial role. You somehow put him in any situation and he is going to go out there and perform for you. Look at this, this character has to be shown to the world.

Who would have thought 10-15 years ago that Australia would get hammered by India or Pakistan or some other subcontinent team? Now it’s happening. Now, I want to see this series full of clashes. I want India to win the series because they have made a great comeback. And they have shown a lot of character and great courage. Ajinkya Rahane hundred is just the turnaround,” Akhtar signed off.

For the third Test, Rohit Sharma, T Natarajan, Shardul Thakur have been added to India’s squad. It will be interesting to see whether all three will play in Sydney.

Ajinkya Rahane and Virat Kohli.
Ajinkya Rahane and Virat Kohli. BCCI Twitter

Ajinkya Rahane Has To Deal With A Lot Of Challenges Ahead Of The Boxing Day Test Match

With Virat Kohli returning home, the stand-in captain Ajinkya Rahane has not only the challenge to lead the team but also motivate them to move on from crippling defeat against Australia in the pink-ball Test in Adelaide. Murali Kartik, the renowned commentator, has reckoned that Rahane needs to take a good combination in the coming Test match to bounce back stronger to forget the loss of the opening match.

Cricketer-turned-commentator Murali Kartik recalled that Ajinkya Rahane approaches the game more calmly than Kohli. He had faced Rahane during Ranji Trophy, the first-class domestic tournament of India, where he noticed that Test vice-captain maintained a quiet nature in the field unlike Kohli, who always remain animated.

“He has a very quiet nature, so that will be reflected in his captaincy as well. There will not be any overt celebrations and I feel he reads the game well. When we have played Ranji Trophy against him, he is an organised person, that is what you can expect from him,” Kartik said on Sony Sports Network.

Ajinkya Rahane not only have to save the match but win the match: Murali Kartik

Australia vs India 2020-21: The Stand-in Captain Ajinkya Rahane Not Only Have To Save The Match But Win It- Murali Kartik
Ajinkya Rahane. Image Credit: Getty Images.

Apart from Kohli’s return, India’s top-order is also the cause of concern. The young opener Prithvi Shaw struggled with the bat across both the innings, being out for duck and four runs respectively.

Murali Kartik observes that Shaw is low in confidence and mentions that Ajinkya Rhane needs to infuse that in the youngsters. He awaits for what match-winning combination will Indian team management will enter to take the game forward.

“The interesting thing will be that we have lost the match, Prithvi Shaw has not looked confident in both innings and on top of that Virat Kohli is not there, so what changes they will make to the team,” he added.

“These are the kind of things Ajinkya Rahane will have to think about because confidence has to be infused now. You need to play the players who do not have the baggage, who can help you in making a comeback,” Kartik said.

Ajinkya Rahane
Ajinkya Rahane. (Image Credit: Getty Images).

Kartik pointed out the challenges Rahane would face while captaining the Indian team in Australia. . He said that Rahane and the team management should come up with a solid plan so as to make a comeback in the series where the tourists are lagging 0-1.

“Australia is a tough place and when you are down, you need to know what sort of players you want and go with them. Their bowlers are on top, they know they can dismiss us, so you need to think about what you can do because you not only have to save the match but win the match if you have to do anything this time.

“So, that will be more important for Ajinkya Rahane and the entire team management,” opined Kartik.

After losing the first match, India will take on Australia in the second Test match scheduled to begin on December 26 in Brisbane.

Nathan Lyon
Nathan Lyon. Image Credit: Getty Images.

Australia vs India 2020-21: I Don’t Approach My Bowling Differently Just Because We’re Playing Against India – Nathan Lyon

Australia’s prominent Test spinner Nathan Lyon, who is close to getting to 400 Test wickets, is confident that he is in good shape ahead of the beginning of Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2019-20.

Nathan Lyon finished as the joint highest wicket-taker with Jasprit Bumrah in the Test series 2018-19, picking 21 wickets in four matches. He has good Test records, especially against India. Talking about his overall credentials against India at home, he has notched 51 wickets, including four five-wicket hauls and one 10-wicket haul.

Nathan Lyon
Nathan Lyon. Image Credit: Getty Images.

Addressing media during the virtual press, Nathan Lyon stated that he didn’t tinker with his bowling approach just because he was playing against India. He believes that his bowling has improved has constantly and thus, he has got the fruits of it.

“I don’t approach my bowling differently just because we’re playing against India. Especially over the last five years, my bowling has probably gone to a new level. I’m very confident with where my bowling’s at at the moment.

India has a fantastic attack: Nathan Lyon

Nathan Lyon, Ajinkya Rahane
Image Courtesy: Getty

Talking about India, Nathan Lyon didn’t mince words and reckoned that the visiting nation had a fantastic attack. He is raring to take the challenge against them and do his part to the best instead of focusing on what India is planing.

“They’re a very attacking side, they’re always looking to attack us which is fantastic. I love that challenge, but to be honest, it’s more about me playing more of a role within the Australian cricket team and doing what Tim Paine has asked me to do.

“It’s about doing one percent of things and not worrying too far about what India is doing. We know the quality of cricketers they have in their squad, and we know how they come out and play their cricket,” Nathan Lyon stated.

Adelaide will mark the start of the much-awaited four-match Test series by hosting the first-ever pink ball between India and Australia. The Boxing Day Test match, which will be the second match of the series, will be played in Melbourne while Sydney and Brisbane will host the last Tests respectively.

A Big Sigh Of Relief For Fans As Sourav Ganguly Discharged From Hospital
Former cricketer Sourav Ganguly (Photo by Punit PARANJPE / AFP) (Photo by PUNIT PARANJPE/AFP via Getty Images)

Border-Gavaskar Trophy To Begin With Day Night Test Match: Sourav Ganguly

Board of Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) president Sourav Ganguly has informed that the much-anticipated Test series between India and Australia later this year will begin with the day-night Test match. Notably, it will be the first time that India will be playing the pink-ball Test against Australia.

While speaking to Indian Express, Sourav Ganguly said that Cricket Australia had shared a detailed plan for the bilateral series across the format with BCCI.

Still, the dates are yet to be finalised. He also added that India and Australia will play three-match T20I and as many as ODIs while they will also play the traditional four-match Test series. Ganguly also stated that the day-night Test match will be played in Adelaide.

Virat Kohli (India) vs Tim Paine (Australia)
Virat Kohli and Tim Paine. Image Credit: Getty Images.

“Cricket Australia has sent us an itinerary. We will play three T20Is, three ODIs and four Tests there. The first Test will be a day-night game in Adelaide. The dates haven’t been finalized yet,” Sourav Ganguly told The Indian Express.

Currently, Team India players are playing in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 in the UAE while some Australian players, who are contractually bound with the IPL franchises, are also there.

Soon after the completion of the league, they are expected to travel to Australia. Sourav Ganguly also informed that they would be allowed to practice during the quarantine period.

Sourav Ganguly on India’s domestic season 2020-21:

Ranji Trophy,
Saurashtra lifts maiden Ranji Trophy in last season. Image Credit: Getty Images.

Sourav Ganguly had also hinted that the Ranji Trophy might be scheduled from January next year while all the domestic tournaments might not be possible to host this season.

“We have had extensive discussions on domestic cricket and we have tentatively decided to start the competitions from January 1, 2021. We will certainly have the full-fledged Ranji Trophy red ball tournament. It will probably not be possible to hold all tournaments,” Ganguly told PTI from Dubai.

Earlier, the Ranji Trophy and Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, reportedly, was scheduled to be hosted in October and November but the rapid increase in coronavirus cases had forced BCCI to relook on their plans.

MCG, CA, India tour of Australia 2020

Cricket Australia Considering To Change The Traditional MCG Venue For The Boxing Day Test Against India

Australia’s state victoria where Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) is located has witnessed the surge of coronavirus cases. MCG is also the venue for hosting the Boxing day test match against India when they tour to play the four-match Test series against Australia in December. Therefore, as per reports, Cricket Australia is considering moving its usual venue MCG to the Adelaide Oval, which has an on-site hotel.

According to the reports in the Sydney Morning Herald, CA chairman Earl Eddings has called a meeting to discuss the venue about the important Test match. The report also stated that Adelaide has emerged as the option. A senior official informed that the current schedule might not go as planned because of the travel restrictions among states.

Last month, CA had also said it is working towards preparing Adelaide Oval in such a way that the Australian and Indian cricketers get the best training facilities during the quarantine period before the Border-Gavaskar Trophy scheduled to be played later this year. 

Team India’s first Test series since March: 

Virat Kohli (India) vs Tim Paine (Australia), MCG
Virat Kohli and Tim Paine. Image Credit: Getty Images.

After playing the IPL 2020 in UAE, Team India’s test player would straightaway travel to Australia to play the Border-Gavaskar Trophy starting from 3rd December. 

Currently, as per the scheduled earlier proclaimed by CA, the first Test will be played in Brisbane. The second and third Tests will be played in Adelaide and Melbourne (MCG) respectively. The last and final Test will be organised in Sydney.

India tour of Australia
Virat Kohli leads his team. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Notably, this would be India’s first Test series since March. Virat Kohli led side last played against New Zealand where they played five-match T20I series, three-match ODI and two-match Test series which ended in early March. Since then, Team India had not played a series.

Indian cricketers who are contracted with IPL franchise will feature in the league starting from 19 September. The grand finale of the much-awaited league will be played on 10th November. 

Rohit Sharma. Image Credit: Getty Images.

Rohit Sharma Will Adapt In Australian Conditions: Mike Hussey

Former Australian cricketer Mike Hussey believes that Rohit Sharma’s skill in white-ball cricket would help him to face the challenges in the Test series against Australia later this year. Team India’s opener Rohit was last year promoted to the opening position in red-ball cricket. He played his first Test series as an opener against South Africa and went on to register his maiden double century in Test cricket.

Earlier, Rohit Sharma played as a middle-order batsman in Test cricket. He was given the opening position after KL Rahul failed to score runs. Many had questioned his position in the Test cricket. However, the ‘Hitman’ showed his masterpiece with the bat and scored consecutive centuries in the series against the Proteas and silent all the talks. But several cricket pundits believe that Rohit’s real test in the most extended format as an opener will be in foreign conditions.

Mike Hussey does not doubt Rohit Sharma’s skill:

Michael Hussey
Hussey represented Australia in 79 Tests. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Commenting on the same, the veteran Mike Hussey has claimed that Rohit Sharma will adapt in Australian conditions when India will tour Australia to play four-match Test series. He believes that Rohit has the ability and skills to handle the situation in foreign conditions.

“It’s going to test any batsman in the world, but I think because he’s (Rohit) played a lot of One-day cricket batting at the top of the order, and now he’s been having some success with the red ball game as well, that’ll give him confidence coming in,” Hussey said.

“I have no doubt in my mind that he’s got the ability and the skill and the temperament, to be able to handle it.”

However, he acknowledges that Australian conditions are challenging for every batsman and Rohit Sharma’s adaptability to such conditions will play a key role.

“I think he would adapt. No, worries at all of his batting at the top of the order. It will be challenging in Australian conditions against the top quality bowling attack with pace and bounce,” Hussey said.

India will tour in December:

Cheteshwar Pujara, Rohit Sharma
Cheteshwar Pujara and Rohit Sharma. Image Credit: Getty Images.

Amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, India will visit Australia to play the famous Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2020-21 in December this year. The series will start on December 3 at Gabba, Brisbane. It would be a challenging series for Virat Kohli-led side as they last played a series in March. Since then, they have been out of action and training sessions have also been scrapped.




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Waqar Younis, Steve Smith, David Warner, Border-gavaskar trophy, Australia

Australia Were Without Steve Smith, David Warner: Waqar Younis on India’s Historic Test Series Win

Former Pakistan cricketer Waqar Younis has said that India won the Test series in Australia last year because the two crucial members Steve Smith and David Warner were missing in Australia’s team. However, he reiterated that he is not taking away credit from dominating India.

The Indian team first time managed to win the Border-Gavaskar Trophy against Australia in Australia in 2018. It was a remarkable achievement under Virat Kohli’s captaincy. At that time, ex-captain Smith and Warner were serving their ban period respectively because of the ball-tampering scandal which unfolded during their South Africa tour back in 2018. They were banned for one year each by Cricket Australia  (CA).

Australia was under turmoil: Waqar Younis on India’s historic Test series triumph

india national cricket team, Waqar Younis, Border-gavaskar trophy
Photo Credit: Getty Images.

I am not trying to take away any credit from India: Waqar Younis

Waqar believes that when India won the four-match Test series, Australia was going under a turmoil and there were problems in their dressing room. However, he credited India Virat Kohli-led side played well but insisted the absence of star players did make a difference in the series.

“I am not trying to take away any credit from India, they played well and they are a very good side. But yes at the same time when they won in Australia, there is no doubt that Australian cricket was going through a turmoil and there were problems in their dressing room. And they were without Steve Smith and David Warner,” Waqar said during a video conference.

Australia vs India 2018-19, MCG
Image Courtesy: Getty

Well, this year also India will tour Australia to play the Test series in November after the T20 World Cup 2020 which is scheduled in October. And this time, Warner and Smith are back in the team. So, it will be interesting to see whether India will retain the trophy in Australian soil.

But there might be a threat of the cancellation of the series because of the spread of the coronavirus.

Australia vs India 2020-21: Hanuma Vihari Getting Hundred Was Necessary, Says Aakash Chopra
Hanuma Vihari. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Hanuma Vihari Preparing For Australia Tour In The Break

The cricketers have got more time to spend the time with their loved over family because of the pandemic. The virus has forced everyone to lock themselves behind the door. Indian cricketer Hanuma Vihari is also enjoying the break and preparing for the upcoming challenges.

Because of the expansion of the coronavirus worldwide, all the cricket series including the 13th Indian Premier League (IPL 2020) has been postponed. So, the cricketers have no match for at least a month. The IPL is postponed till 15th April, but the BCCI will have to face many hurdles to start the tournament. Additionally, the rapid growth in the number of coronavirus cases will further delay the tournament.

Hanuma Vihari is focused:

Hanuma Vihari
Hanuma Vihari. BCCI Twitter

Cricketers have plenty of time to spend time with their families. Hanuma Vihari has claimed that he is surely enjoying the time, but he is also focussing on his fitness. He also said that he is working hard to improve his skill for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2020.

“I am going to use this time to focus on my fitness, sharpen my skills for county cricket as well as for Australia tour in late 2020,” Vihari was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.

“Mentally, I am trying hard to keep myself positive and busy. My challenge is: there is no cricket for the next three to four months. I do have a summer to look forward to having signed with a team in the English County Championship, here my contract starts from late August. Fingers crossed about that.”

Hanuma Vihari Preparing For Australia Tour In The Break 1
Hanuma Vihari. Twitter

After playing the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2020 which is scheduled in October-November in Australia, India will play the four Test-match series against the hosts Australia. This test series is the part of ICC World Test Championship 2019-21. However, delay in the mega event might force the delay of the Test series.

Further, Vihari said that the break has given him an opportunity to celebrate his wedding anniversary with his wife. But he hopes that everything quickly gets back to normal.

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