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David Gower

David Gower © Getty Images
David Gower © Getty Images
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David Gower Hails Virat Kohli And Kane Williamson Ahead Of WTC final

David Gower reserved high praise for Virat Kohli and Kane Williamson, terming them as ‘two of the greatest batsmen in the world at the moment.’

Former England captain David Gower praised both Virat Kohli and Kane Williamson. David Gower’s comments are of special significance as it comes less than two weeks before India and New Zealand face off in the inaugural World Test Championship final at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton on June 18.

David Gower Credit: PA: Press Association
David Gower Credit: PA: Press Association

David Gower: WTC Final Will Be A Proper Test Match For Both Captains Are Great Batsmen And Teams Are Competitive Enough

It will be a big occasion for both Virat Kohli and Kane Williamson as the duo would walk out to lead India and New Zealand respectively in the WTC final.

“We know there are two of the greatest batsmen in the world at the moment that are going to be involved in Virat and in Kane Williamson. You’ve got two very competitive teams. So, it makes for what I call a proper Test match,” David Gower told Timesofindia.com.

Virat Kohli congratulates Kane Williamson
Virat Kohli congratulates Kane Williamson(Photo by Marty MELVILLE / AFP) (Photo by MARTY MELVILLE/AFP via Getty Images)

David Gower, who represented England in 117 Tests and 114 ODIs, said both India and New Zealand deserved to be in the finals. The former left-hander, who was known for his grace and class while batting in the middle of the crease, said he is expecting a ‘proper Test match’ between two sides of the highest quality.

“First of all, they both deserve to be there. We’ve got a final between two very good teams. Knowing the Southampton ground as I do, I would expect it to be a proper game, a proper Test match. By which I mean that whenever people talk about conditions for Test matches, you want something that gives something for the bowlers, something for a batsman, or something for the spinner. And that’s the template for all matches. And I think the pitch at Southampton will most likely offer that,” said David Gower.

Kane Williamson has scored 7,129 runs from 84 Tests with the best score of 251. In fact, Kane Williamson has a better Test average than Indian counterpart skipper Virat Kohli (53.6). He owns 24 tons and four double-centuries. Virat Kohli has amassed 7,490 runs from 91 Tests averaging 52.38 with the highest of unbeaten 254. He has 27 tons including 7 double tons.

David Gower: Pitch Will Give Both Teams An Opportunity To Use All Aspects Or Facets Aiding Spinners And Pacers

Talking about the Ageas Bowl pitch, David Gower said it will be a surface that will offer something for the batsmen, seamers, and also the spinners as the game progresses.

“I think they’ll try and prepare a pitch which will reflect the status of the game and will give both teams an opportunity to use all aspects or facets. So I think the fact that, for instance, India just won this last series largely (due to) spin. But we know that when conditions are different, there are some very good Indian pace bowlers (as well). So, you’ve got your three or four perfectly good seam bowlers, and if there’s a bit of help they will do a good job,” he said.

NZ pacer Trent Boult (File Photo | AFP)
NZ pacer Trent Boult (File Photo | AFP)

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.

Usman Khawaja of Australia celebrates scoring his century during game five of the One Day International series between India and Australia at Feroz Shah Kotla Ground on March 13, 2019 in Delhi, India. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)
Usman Khawaja of Australia celebrates scoring his century during game five of the One Day International series between India and Australia at Feroz Shah Kotla Ground on March 13, 2019 in Delhi, India. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)
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Usman Khawaja Revealed Facing Racism During Early Days As A Cricketer

Usman Khawaja revealed that many told him that he would never make it at the top because of his skin colour, as he revealed having faced racism during his early days as a cricketer.

Usman Khawaja became the first Muslim cricketer to play for Australia at the highest level when he made his Test debut in the 2011 Ashes. His achievements inspired several others like him to take up the sport as a profession but the batsman’s journey to the top wasn’t the easiest.

Usman Khawaja .© AFP
Usman Khawaja .© AFP

Usman Khawaja Revealed The Ordeal He Went During Early Days

Usman Khawaja, who came to Australia from Pakistan in the 1990s, did face racism during his early days and was even told that he would never make it to the national team. In an interview with ESPNcricinfo, he revealed the ordeal he went through during those days.

“When I was younger in Australia, the amount of time I got told I was never going to play for Australia, I’m not the right skin colour was immense. I’d get told I don’t fit the team, and they wouldn’t pick me. That was the mentality, but now it’s starting to shift.”, he said.

Usman Khawaja. CREDIT:AAP
Usman Khawaja. CREDIT:AAP

Australia has a decent population of people from the sub-continent. Seeing Usman Khawaja rise through the ranks, many came up to him and praised him for taking the path despite it being a route of extreme resistance.

“When I started being more involved in cricket, people with subcontinent heritage in Australia came up to me and said, “we’re so happy to see you at the top. Seeing someone like you, we feel we’ve got a part in the Australian team, and we support the Australian team. We didn’t do it before, and we do it now,” said Khawaja.

Born in Pakistan, Usman Khawaja moved with his family to Australia when he was a young boy, and in the 2011 Sydney Ashes Test became the first Muslim to play for Australia.

A classy left-hander in the languid style of David Gower, Usman Khawaja won further Test opportunities from 2011 to 2013 but never quite kicked on beyond his regularly appealing starts. Dropped during the 2013 Ashes, he earned another recall in 2015 for the home series against New Zealand following the retirements of Michael Clarke and Chris Rogers.

Usman Khawaja Initially Didn’t Support Australia But Has Played 44 Tests, 40 ODIs And 9 T20Is For Australia

The Islamabad-born even admitted that he didn’t support Australia (in cricket) in the beginning as he didn’t quite connect with the team then. It took him time to adapt before he could leave his background behind and be what he is at present.

“And that kept happening over and over and over again. The more that happened, I realised my background does matter, and it does make a difference. And then I realised from my childhood it probably took me a while to support Australia. I didn’t really support Australia when I first went [from Pakistan] because I didn’t really get it,” he added.

Usman Khawaja - R. V. MOORTHY
Usman Khawaja – R. V. MOORTHY

Usman Khwaja had since played 44 Test, 40 ODI and 9 T20I matches for Australia. The 34-year-old left-hander may be recalled to the Australian team. Usman Khawaja, who has scored 2877 runs in 44 Tests at an average of 40.66, has not played for Australia since August 2019. His last T20I came in 2016 and his last ODI was in July 2019 during World Cup.

But Usman Khawaja’s subcontinent demons were finally put to rest in the UAE in 2018 when he made an epic match-saving century against Pakistan in Dubai. He became Australia’s most senior batsman while Steve Smith and David Warner were banned following the ball-tampering scandal and settled himself in the ODI team with two outstanding tours of India and the UAE in 2019, making his first two ODI centuries to ensure selection in the 2019 World Cup squad.

Virat Kohli, Image Source : AP IMAGE
Virat Kohli, Image Source : AP IMAGE
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Virat Kohli Shouldn’t Be Over Aggressive: Kapil Dev

Virat Kohli embarks upon his third tour of England, so he would be no stranger to the conditions there, but former India World Cup-winning captain Kapil Dev has interesting advice for the current skipper, which will help him excel.

Virat Kohli has been on two tours of England since he made his Test debut for India. In the first tour in 2014, he was all over the place, scoring just 134 runs from 10 innings, statistically the India captain’s worst in a three-Test series or more. However, four years later, Virat Kohli turned it around in style, scoring a mammoth 593 runs from five Tests, including two centuries and three fifties.

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli(Photo by Dibyangshu SARKAR / AFP) / IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE – STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE

Virat Kohli Expected By Kapil Dev To Excel In England Tour

Three years later, as Virat Kohli will look to lead from the front in his third tour of England, former India World Cup-winning captain Kapil Dev has advised the current skipper not to be over-aggressive, which will help him excel.

“I expect him to excel. Can you really shackle him? He is a natural when it comes to adapting but I would caution him to not be over-aggressive. He will have to measure it session by session. He’ll be better off waiting for his moments of dominance,” Kapil told Mid-Day in an interview.

Virat Kohli and Kapil Dev.(AP)
Virat Kohli and Kapil Dev.(AP)

“He will get his runs with a bit of patience. Trying too hard and too early doesn’t work in England where you need to watch the movement of the ball. If you play seam and swing well, show patience, you will succeed in England.”

India is set to travel to the UK for a long tour. They first face New Zealand in the final of the World Test Championship in Southampton starting June 18 before proceeding to play hosts England in a five-Test series starting August 4. India has faced defeats in their last three Test tours of England.

Kapil Dev: India Played Exceptionally Well In 1986 Tour

They last won a Test series in the UK in 2007, whereas prior to it, they had triumphed in England way back in 1986, when Kapil Dev was the captain. Under Kapil Dev, India won the series 2-0, and recalling the historic series, the former India all-rounder explained what the current team should keep in mind while playing in England.

“We played exceptionally good cricket. I want this team to remember that England in England is tough. They are a very good team when playing at home but then, it will also depend on how the Indian bowlers adapt to the conditions and pitches. The swing will be very rewarding and here I feel England is one step ahead of India,” explained Kapil Dev.

India captain Kapil Dev (left) and wicket keeper Kiran More congratulate Chetan Sharma after he dismissed Allan Lamb during the first Test at Lord’s in 1986. Photo: Popperfoto
India captain Kapil Dev (left) and wicket-keeper Kiran More congratulate Chetan Sharma after he dismissed Allan Lamb during the first Test at Lord’s in 1986. Photo: Popperfoto

India beat England 2–0 in the Test series and won the ODI Texaco Trophy that by virtue of a faster run-rate despite England having squared the series after losing the first game. India’s Dilip Vengsarkar scored a total of 360 runs in the Test series and was named player of the series alongside England’s Mike Gatting(293 runs).

In the ODI series, England’s David Gower (81 runs) was named player of the series alongside India’s Ravi Shastri. India’s Mohammed Azharuddin also scored 90 runs. The significance of the tour was considerable for Indian cricket too. India had won only four out of 52 Tests since the start of the decade. Moreover, under Kapil Dev’s leadership, the side had not won any of its 20 Test matches.

India could have gone on to win 3-0 in Birmingham but they failed to push the initiative on the final day. However, the match will be remembered for the wicket-taking abilities of Chetan Sharma. To this day, he remains the only Indian to have taken 10 wickets in a Test in England. Chetan Sharma finished with 16 scalps.

david gower, Kieron Pollard
David Gower. Image Credit: Twitter.
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Kieron Pollard Knows He Can Not Play Test Cricket: David Gower

Former England cricketer David Gower has acknowledged West Indies cricketer Kieron Pollard as one of the world’s best T20 players after he played a blistering knock for Trinbago Knight Riders in the CPL 2020. However, Grower disregard Pollard as the Test player.

The West Indies white-ball captain Kieron Pollard is known for his power-hitting strokes. In the recent encounter against Barbados Tridents, he played a sparkling inning of 71 runs snatching the victory from the jaws of defeat.

Kieron Pollard,
Kieron Pollard. Image Credit: Twitter

David Gower, 117 Test matches and 114 One Day Internationals (ODI) scoring 8,231 and 3170 runs respectively, has said that Pollard is well aware that he cannot play Test cricket because he is not good enough for the format.

“Kieron Pollard is one of the world’s best T20 players but he knows as well as I do that he cannot play test cricket, he isn’t good enough to play test cricket.” Gower said in conversation on SportsTiger’s show “Off-the-Field”.

Although it has been 13 years to Pollard in the cricket business, he is yet to make the debut in the Test format. The towering batsman has so far played 113 ODIs and 73 T20Is. Overall, he has played 508 T20Is, scoring 10156 runs.

David Gower on IPL:

IPL, David Gower
AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli. Image Credit: BCCI/IPL.

Gower also explained that IPL is a good training tournament for players but said that it isn’t going to make cricketers a great test player.

“I think overall IPL has been very good for cricketers both for the homegrown and the international players. Ever since the games have got shorter from the time of the invention of ODI, fielding has become incredible.

“I think T20 has changed a lot since the first days of IPL when IPL was taking some of the great players from around the world at the end of their career. But now, one wants the young players. I feel it is a very good training ground for players,” David Gower added.

Meanwhile, after playing CPL, Kieron Pollard would move to the UAE to play the IPL 2020 for Mumbai Indians.

Sourav Ganguly
Sourav Ganguly. Credits: BCCI Twitter.
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David Gower Reveals Why Sourav Ganguly Is A Good Choice For ICC Head In Future

Former England captain David Gower recently praised the former Indian captain and present Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) President Sourav Ganguly for his positive political skills. Gower feels that Ganguly has the ability to become the head of the International Cricket Council (ICC) in future.

During his playing time, Sourav Ganguly was a great batsman and a great captain who inspired the Indian team to focus on achieving the top success in international cricket, and the team is following it till the present time. After retiring from the game, Ganguly has experienced the administrative roles in the cricket bodies along with commentary and coaching roles.

Ganguly was the President of the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) from 2015 to 2019, which he handled very well. However, he stepped down from that position after he became the BCCI President, his present role, last October. Since he became the BCCI President, Ganguly has impressed by handling this role proficiently.

Sourav Ganguly, BCCI, ICC head
Sourav Ganguly became the BCCI President in October 2019 (Image Credit: Twitter)

David Gower feels that it is a very challenging role to handle the chair of BCCI President as he needs to be a very deft politician.

David Gower, ICC head, BCCI
David Gower (Image Credit: Twitter)

 Gower said ahead of “Q20”, a unique chat show for the fans presented by ‘GloFans’, “One thing I have learnt over the years is that if you are going to run BCCI, you need to be many, many things. Having a reputation like he (Sourav Ganguly) has is a very good start, but you need to be a very deft politician. You need to have control of a million different things.

“And of course, you need to be responsible for a game that is followed by, I mean, should we say a billion people here in India.”

Gower is pleased to see how Ganguly is handling the BCCI President role in his early period.

The former England captain added, “We all know about the immense following for cricket in India. So it is indeed a wonderful thing to behold. Sourav has the toughest task imaginable in charge of BCCI, but so far I would say the signs are very good. He has listened, given his own opinion and has pulled strings gently.”

Sourav Ganguly is a very, very good man and has those political skills: David Gower

Gower believes that Ganguly has the right attitude to become the head of the ICC as he is successfully handling the bigger role, which is the BCCI President.

Sourav Ganguly, BCCI, ICC head
Sourav Ganguly (Image Credits: Twitter)

Gower continued, “He is a very, very good man and has those political skills. He has the right attitude and can keep things together and will do good job. And if you do a good job as BCCI chief in the future, who knows? But I would actually say the more important job, to be honest, is running BCCI. Being head of ICC is an honour, there is a lot that can be done by ICC, but actually look at the rankings, look at where the power is heading up. BCCI is definitely the bigger job.”

Nasser Hussain, ICC World Cup 2019
Nasser Hussain has played a pivotal role for England. Photo Credit: Getty Images.
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Nasser Hussain Reveals His Four Favourite Batsmen For Whom He Will Pay To Watch

Former England captain Nasser Hussain has recently revealed his four favourite batsmen whose batting he will watch with full pay. In this special list, Hussain picked one Pakistan, one West Indian, one Indian and one English batsman. Out of these batsmen, only one is still active in international cricket. Meanwhile, during this talk, the former England captain also revealed his childhood hero.

Nasser Hussain played the international cricket from 1989 to 2004 where he represented England in 96 Tests, and 88 ODIs. Out of his 184 international matches, he led the England team in 101 games (45 Tests and 56 ODIs), including leading the team in ICC Cricket World Cup 2003.

Nasser Hussain
Nasser Hussain (Image Credit: Getty Images)

Former Pakistan opening batsman Saeed Anwar was Hussain’s first choice in this special batting list. Hussain praised the left-handed batsman for his elegant batting through the off-side.

Saeed Anwar
Saeed Anwar (Image Credit: Twitter)

During a recent Q&A session with Daily Mail, Hussain said, “In terms of being easy on the eye, Saeed Anwar had an elegance and grace through the off-side.”

Nasser Hussain then took the name of Brian Lara and Virat Kohli

Hussain then named the Caribbean legend Brian Lara. The former English captain especially praised the left-handed batsman Lara’s backlift.

Brian Lara
Brian Lara (Image Credit: AFP PHOTO/Dibyangshu SARKAR)

Hussain added, “I’ve been watching some old footage of Brian Lara with that big back-lift and, wow, could he bat.”

Madras-born Hussain then took the name of the present Indian captain Virat Kohli. Hussain wants to watch the no.1-ranked ODI batsman Kohli’s batting during any ODI run-chase. The former England captain believes that Kohli’s presence brings the possibility to chase down any ODI target successfully.

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli (Image Credit: Twitter)

Hussain continued, “Virat Kohli in a 50-over run chase. He just seems to chase down any score every time.”

I have to go for my childhood hero David Gower: Nasser Hussain

In this special list, Hussain lastly named former England captain David Gower. Hussain revealed that Gower was his childhood hero. Talking about his batting, the former Essex cricketer (Nasser Hussain) recalled his memory during his early English county cricket career when Gower served for Leicestershire.

David Gower
David Gower (Image Credit: Twitter)

Hussain claimed, “But I have to go for my childhood hero David Gower. I remember an early game against Leicestershire and I was at cover point as he leant on one and before I could move it hit the boundary boards behind me. Everything I had admired was there in front of my eyes.”

Gower played international cricket for a long time, between 1978 and 1992. However, he and Hussain never played together for England.

Bob Willis
Bob Willis. Credits: Getty.
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Former England Skipper Bob Willis Passes Away Aged 70

Former England captain Bob Willis has passed away at the age of 70 years after battling a short illness of thyroid cancer. Willis was well known for the 1981 Ashes series in which he was instrumental in the success of England. He had scalped eight wickets for 83 runs in the third Test at Headingley.

Willis had a long career of 13 years spanning from 1971 to 1984 as he featured in 90 Test matches in which he scalped 325 wickets at an impressive average of 25.2. Willis is fourth on the list of highest wicket-getters for England behind James Anderson, Stuart Broad, and Ian Botham. The fast bowler also played 64 One Day Internationals for England.

Joe Root, Bob Willis, Ian Botham, Geoffrey Boycott, Michael Vaughan, Ashes 2017-18
Willis played 90 Tests in which he claimed 325 wickets. Photo Credit: Web.

Willis was one of England’s best.

“We are heartbroken to lose our beloved Bob, who was an incredible husband, father, brother and grandfather. He made a huge impact on everybody he knew and we will miss him terribly,” Willis’s family said in a statement.

Willis was sobriquet as ‘Goose’ for his loose approach to the crease. The right-arm pacer had the skills to bowl at an express pace and did a fine job for England. Willis’ teammate and friend David Gower gave his tribute.

Former England Skipper Bob Willis Passes Away Aged 70 1
Bob Willis with James Anderson. Getty

“I toured with him as a captain and I took over the captaincy from him and then had him as what was called in those days as an assistant manager. He was a very loyal friend and a loyal supporter. Without going into too much unseemly detail, it was an era where you were allowed to have more fun than you are possible today. Various tours Down Under were colorful, let’s put it that way.”

He captained England in 1982 in an ODI series against India and went on to lead the side for two years before he was replaced by David Gower in 1984.

The legendary pacer played 308 FC matches in which he snared 899 wickets at an average of 24.99. Furthermore, Willis also did commentary after his retirement. He is survived by his wife Lauren, daughter Katie, brother David and sister Ann.