Graeme Smith

Dinesh Karthik
Dinesh Karthik (Sportzpics)
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Graeme Smith Doesn’t Understand A Bits And Pieces All-Rounder Axar Patel Walking Out Ahead Of A Frontline Batter Dinesh Karthik In 2nd T20I

Graeme Smith didn’t quite comprehend the Indian team management’s decision to send Axar Patel ahead of Dinesh Karthik in the 2nd T20I.  After scoring 211 in the first T20I in a losing cause, Team India did not have a great day at the office in the second T20I as the hosts only posted 148/6 in 20 overs against South Africa in Cuttack. This total again did not prove to be enough as South Africa chased it down with four wickets in hand and 10 balls to spare.

Eyebrows were raised when Axar Patel was sent ahead of Dinesh Karthik and the move did not pay off as the left-hander departed after scoring 10 off 11 balls while Dinesh Karthik remained unbeaten on 30. It was due to Dinesh Karthik’s blitz in the final over that India managed to go past the 140-run mark.

Dinesh Karthik (L) and Axar Patel (R) (ANI)
Dinesh Karthik (L) and Axar Patel (R) (ANI)

Graeme Smith Doesn’t Understand A Bits And Pieces All-Rounder Axar Patel Walking Out Ahead Of A Frontline Batter Dinesh Karthik In 2nd T20I

Former South Africa captain Graeme Smith was left fuming at the call to send Axar Patel ahead of Dinesh Karthik and he even went on to term the all-rounder as a “bits and pieces batter”.

“In what world does an all-rounder, who is a bits and pieces batter walk in ahead of a frontline batter? I just do not understand this. Dinesh Karthik is one of the most experienced cricketers in India, how many games he has played for India, over 160. Never mind the IPL, anything else he has played. How can you send Axar Patel ahead of him? This is just mind-blowing for me,” Graeme Smith said after the second T20I between India and South Africa.

Graeme Smith Image Source : ICC
Graeme Smith Image Source: ICC

When Hardik Pandya was bowled by Wayne Parnell, India had been reduced to 90 for 4 in the 13th over against South Africa in the second T20I in Cuttack. Dinesh Karthik had been slotted in at No 6 but he was held back as India decided to send in Axar Patel instead.

While spinner all-rounder Axar Patel could manage only 10 off 11 deliveries, finisher keeper Dinesh Karthik, who arrived at No 7 with five overs left, overcame a slow start to knock an unbeaten 30 off 21. However, India could only post 148 for 6 in a four-wicket defeat.

Dinesh Karthik had taken IPL 2022 by storm with his incredible power-hitting skills for Royal Challengers Bangalore -RCB in the slog overs. He scored 330 runs in 16 innings at a strike rate of 183.33 with one half-century averaging 55.  Dinesh Karthik made his India debut in 2004 and went on to play India’s first-ever T20I match. If all goes well, he will play the ICC T20I World Cup 2022 at the ripe age of 36.

Sunil Gavaskar Said No Question Arises About Sending Dinesh Karthik Ahead Of Axar Patel

Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar also said that Dinesh Karthik should have come ahead of Axar Patel and sometimes the labels like “finisher” do not help aside.

“Definitely, definitely. There is no question about it (on whether Dinesh Karthik should have come ahead of Axar Patel). Sometimes there are these labels like a finisher. And when you talk about a finisher you think he will come only after the 15th over. He can’t come in the 12th or the 13th over. And we have seen these happen in the IPL as well. A lot of teams have only kept their big hitters for the last 4-5 overs,” said Gavaskar.

Sunil Gavaskar. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Sunil Gavaskar. (Photo Source: Twitter)

“When actually, if they had been sent earlier, because they have the ability to work the ball around, they don’t necessarily have to start hitting sixes from the time they come in. But the fact that they get to the batting area, they are moving the ball around and they get the feel of what the pitch is doing then those last five overs where they can throw their bat around becomes that much easier,” he added.

In the second T20I, South Africa won the toss and opted to bowl. India posted 148/6 in 20 overs with Shreyas Iyer top-scoring with 40. Dinesh Karthik remained unbeaten on 30 off 21 balls. For South Africa, Anrich Nortje returned with two wickets. India was unable to defend the total even after Bhuvneshwar Kumar took four wickets. India and South Africa will next square off in the third T20I on Tuesday.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar returned with figures of 4/13 vs South Africa. (Source: AP)
Bhuvneshwar Kumar returned with figures of 4/13 vs South Africa. (Source: AP)
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Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s Presence Will Be A Huge Positive For India In The 2022 T20I World Cup: Sunil Gavaskar

Sunil Gavaskar, former Indian legendary batter and ex-captain and former South African captain Graeme Smith was effusive in his praise for the India star pace spearhead Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

There was one and only one standout performer for India in their four-wicket defeat to South Africa on Sunday at the Barabati Stadium in Cuttack. The 32-year-old’s impressive show gave some hope to the Indian team before a 64-run stand between Heinrich Klaasen and David Miller helped the visitors bounce back in style and wrap up the chase in 18.2 overs. Despite the loss, former India skipper Sunil Gavaskar was effusive in his praise for the India star pacer.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar (Image Credit: Twitter)
Bhuvneshwar Kumar (Image Credit: Twitter)

Graeme Smith Enjoyed Outstanding Spell From Bhuvneshwar Kumar Who Had Brilliant Control And Execution

Bhuvneshwar Kumar delivered a sensational performance in Cuttack in the second T20I game of the five-match series. He got Proteas opener Reeza Hendricks out with a perfect inswinger in his very first over to give India a perfect start to defending their total. In his next over, he got the better of Dwaine Pretorius with a knuckleball and the pacer returned for his final over in the powerplay to dismiss Rassie van der Dussen for just one.

Graeme Smith © Getty Images (File Photo)
Graeme Smith © Getty Images (File Photo)

Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s 3 for 10 with the new ball left South Africa wounded at 29 for three at the end of the powerplay. This was the first time in 10 years that Bhuvneshwar Kumar picked three wickets in the powerplay. His last was against Pakistan in Bengaluru back in 2012.

“He was just outstanding. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was good thinking…and skill-level as well. When Reeza Hendricks was on strike, he knew he struggles against the inswinger. He got one right and knocked him over.

“Dwaine Pretorius walked in next and he decide to take him on but is knocked out with the knuckleball. Just brilliant control and execution,” said former South Africa captain Graeme Smith on Star Sports after the match. 

Bhuvneshwar Kumar claimed 4/13 – the best bowling figures in a losing cause in a T20 international. The India and Sunrisers Hyderabad pacer broke his own record – 3/9 against Pakistan on his T20I debut back in 2012.

Sunil Gavaskar: Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s Presence Will Be A Huge Positive For India In The 2022 T20I World Cup Where There Will Be Carry And Bounce

Bhuvneshwar Kumar returned for his final over at the fag end of the chase to dismiss Wayne Parnell for just one. And despite his efforts reading 4 for 13, India lost by 4 wickets. But Sunil Gavaskar hailed the veteran’s performance in the game and explained why he would be a huge plus for India in the impending T20 World Cup in Australia.

“He was just brilliant. The white ball doesn’t swing that much, in the air or off the surface, but he has got that capability. And that is why it was very good captaincy from Rishabh Pant to give him that third over in which he got a wicket as well.

“Because after that the ball wouldn’t have moved that much as well and Bhuvneshwar would have been ineffective. But to have someone like him in Australia, where there will that little bit of more carry and bounce, I think that will be a huge plus,” Sunil Gavaskar said.

Sunil Gavaskar
Sunil Gavaskar (Credits: AFP)

Bhuvneshwar Kumar also became the third-highest wicket-taker for India in T20I history with 63 wickets in 61 games after the 2nd T20I concluded.  Bhuvneshwar Kumar claimed 4/13 – the best bowling figures in a losing cause in a T20 international. The pacer’s career-best figure is 5/24 in T20Is and he averages 24.06 in the shortest format.

Graeme Smith © Getty Images (File Photo)
Graeme Smith © Getty Images (File Photo)
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Graeme Smith Recalls Chilling Tale Of Batting With A Broken Hand At No. 11 To Save The Test

Graeme Smith famously batted with a broken hand in an effort to save the Test during the third and final match of the series against Australia in Sydney. He couldn’t save the Test, but Proteas had already won the series.

Former South Africa cricketer Graeme Smith is widely regarded as one of the best captains in Test history.  The left-handed batter holds the record for appearing in most Tests as captain, leading the Proteas in 109 games, winning 53.

While South Africa had many memorable wins under his captaincy, the 2-1 victory against Australia in the 3 Test match series Down Under in 2008/09 remains special for the side as it was South Africa’s first-ever Test series win in the country.

Graeme Smith Image Source : ICC
Graeme Smith Image Source: ICC

Graeme Smith Recalled Tale Of Batting With A Broken Hand As A No. 11 Batter

Australia had won the final Test of the series in Sydney, but it is largely remembered for Graeme Smith’s heroic effort in the second innings of the game. During the first innings, a short-pitched delivery from Mitchell Johnson hit Graeme Smith’s gloves, resulting in a broken hand and an injured elbow.

Graeme Smith was forced to retire hurt and didn’t bat in the second innings until the fall of the ninth wicket. While many believed that Australia had won the game, Graeme Smith surprised the Aussie side as he made his way into the ground, and received thunderous applause from the fans at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

The former South African captain revisited the chilling tale of how he decided to battle the immense pain in his hand to play as a no.11 batter in the game.

“2009 was just an incredible moment and it wasn’t planned at all. I was packed and ready to go home. I had no playing clothing on the ground. We had won in Australia for the first time ever, it was an incredible time, and we were fighting to save the Test on a deteriorating wicket.

“I remember looking at the guys in the afternoon, they fought so hard. Makhaya was the last man standing and I was sitting there thinking, ‘he looks kinda lonely!’” Smith recalled during an interaction.

Graeme Smith reacts after being hit on his left arm, Australia v South Africa, 3rd Test, 2nd day, Sydney, January 4, 2009 @PA Photos
Graeme Smith reacts after being hit on his left arm, Australia v South Africa, 3rd Test, 2nd day, Sydney, January 4, 2009 @PA Photos

“I was thinking, ‘should I? or should I not?’ My hand was in a cast. I went inside and spoke to Mickey Arthur, he was 100 percent yes (should bat). The physio was 100 percent no (shouldn’t bat). The psychologist stood on the fence, giving me the best of both worlds. Eventually, I committed myself to doing it. I went back to the change room.”

“I said I’m going to do it. Neil McKenzie came over to help me, I had broken my right knuckle and they did a proper job of casting my hand. I stole Jacques Kallis’ whites, I had nothing on the ground. I was packed and ready to fly. It was pretty cold and I looked for a jumper, I grabbed Paul Harris’. Neil McKenzie put the right and left pads.”

Graeme Smith recalled that when he was ready to go, it struck him – how was he actually going to bat?

“The next minute, they were taking the cast off. I was ready to go. Now, it suddenly hit me, ‘how am I actually going to do this? I can’t hold the bat! I was thinking, ‘how do I play the short ball?’” said Smith.

“Then I just thought, ‘there’s no right way to do this. I just have to clear my head, hopefully, my body reacts the right way and deals with the pain’. I was walking out to bat, Makhaya was waiting for me and it was the first and only time in my career that he was my senior batting partner! Just incredible,” Smith signed off.

Former Proteas captain Graeme Smith copped a nasty blow on his hand and ended up breaking it off a nasty Mitchell Johnson delivery while opening the innings in the first essay of a Test match against a formidable Australian side.

Following several inspections and multiple treatments, the stalwart courageously walked out to bat at No. 11 amidst excruciating pain in the final innings to try and ensure a draw. Though the southpaw couldn’t take his team to safety with a fractured hand, he entered the unique group of cricketers to have opened the innings as well as batted at the eventual position of the batting order in the same match and was universally praised for his bravery.

South Africa Won The Australia Test Series In 2008/09 After JP Duminy, Graeme Smith, And AB de Villiers’ Heroics With The Bat And Dale Steyn With The Ball

Australia had not lost a Test series at home since 1992/93 when Graeme Smith’s South Africa arrived in 2008. That record didn’t look to be at risk when they set South Africa a target of 414 – just four runs fewer than the highest successful chase of all time – to win on a cracking WACA deck.

Dale Steyn
Dale Steyn Photograph:Christiaan Kotze/AFP/Getty Images

Carried by centuries from Graeme Smith and AB de Villiers, the Proteas pulled it off with six wickets to spare as JP Duminy impressed with an unbeaten 50 under pressure on debut. A Test later and Australia’s unbeaten series run at home came to an end as Dale Steyn took twin five-fors at the Melbourne Cricket Ground and JP Duminy scored a brilliant 166. This time around the Proteas only had to chase down a target of 183.

Australia went on to take out the final Test at Sydney – a match that will always be remembered for the sight of Graeme Smith walking out to bat at No.11 with a broken hand. Australia won that Test by 103 runs but South Africa won the series 2-1 as a result of winning the first 2 Tests at Perth and Melbourne.

Gujarat Titans skipper Hardik Pandya - Twitter
Gujarat Titans skipper Hardik Pandya - Twitter
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Sunil Gavaskar Believes Hardik Pandya Is Going To Be The Game Changer For India In T20Is

Sunil Gavaskar believes Hardik Pandya will be a game-changer for Team India in T20Is going forward. The former Indian captain Sunil Gavaskar even wants the all-rounder to bowl with the new ball on a few occasions.

Hardik Pandya was left out of the Indian team due to fitness-related issues after the T20I World Cup 2021. The Gujarat Titans (GT) skipper was recalled to the Indian side for the ongoing 5 matches T20I series against South Africa based on his all-around displays in IPL 2022, including leading the new franchise Gujarat Titans to the title.

Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya (Credits: Twitter)

Sunil Gavaskar Believes Hardik Pandya Is Going To Be The Game Changer For India

During a discussion, Sunil Gavaskar pointed out that Hardik Pandya is immensely valuable to Team India.

The cricketer-turned-commentator Sunil Gavaskar said: “I think he is going to be the game-changer for India, more often than not, in all the matches that are due to come, not just the World Cup but every single match that India plays, whether he bats at No. 5, whether he comes into bowl at first change or second change.”

“Sometimes I will actually want to see him with the new ball,” said Sunil Gavaskar.

Sunil Gavaskar. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Sunil Gavaskar. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Hardik Pandya bowled with the new ball on a few occasions for the Gujarat Titans (GT) in IPL 2022. However, he is unlikely to open the bowling for Team India, considering the plethora of options with the new ball at their disposal, unless they look to get one over from the sixth bowler out of the way.

Hardik Pandya stayed unbeaten on 31 runs in 12 balls in the 1st T20I. Hardik Pandya’s late charge and Ishan Kishan’s 76 off 48 balls helped India score 211/4, which is their highest ever score in a T20I against South Africa.

But the Proteas systematically went about chasing the target down. Dwaine Pretorius gave them the early impetus after which an unbeaten 131-run stand-off 64 balls between David Miller and Rassie Van der Dussen helped South Africa chase down the target with five balls to spare.

Graeme Smith Feels All-Round Package Of Hardik Pandya Gives India Options In Selection

Graeme Smith was asked if Team India needs Hardik Pandya the finisher more than Hardik Pandya the bowler.

The former South African skipper replied: “No, I disagree. You need the finisher as well but I think the all-round package of Hardik Pandya gives India options in selection.”

Graeme Smith then highlighted the balance Hardik Pandya brings to the Indian side, explaining: “It might give you the option of playing the extra spinner or a bowler less and strengthen your batting and going into the World Cup, I think having him as a full-blown all-rounder is key to the balance of India’s team.”

Graeme Smith Image Source : ICC
Graeme Smith Image Source: ICC

Team India’s balance was certainly compromised when Hardik Pandya was out due to injury. They tried the likes of Venkatesh Iyer as batting all-rounders but they fell short of the Baroda all-rounder’s lofty standards.

Chasing a mammoth total of 212, the Proteas were reeling at 81 for 3 when Rassie van der Dussen and David Miller joined hands. Rassie van der Dussen top-scored for his team, scoring 75 off 46 balls while David Miller slammed 64 off just 31 balls. The Temba Bavuma-led side took a 1-0 lead with a win in the first T20I. The teams will meet at the Barabati Stadium in Cuttack for the next match on June 12 (Sunday).

Brief Scores: India 211/4 in 20 overs (Ishan Kishan 76, Shreyas Iyer 36; Wayne Parnell 1/32, Dwaine Pretorius 1/35) lost to South Africa 212/3 in 19.1 overs (Rassie van der Dussen 75 not out, David Miller 64 not out; Axar Patel 1/40, Bhuvneshwar Kumar 1/43) by seven wickets

Rishabh Pant led India against South Africa (BCCI Image)
Rishabh Pant led India against South Africa (BCCI Image)
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IND vs SA 2022: Graeme Smith Gives His Verdict On Rishabh Pant’s Captaincy In The 1st T20I Against Proteas

Graeme Smith spoke in detail about Rishabh Pant’s captaincy during the first T20I of the series between India and South Africa in Delhi. India returned to action on Thursday in the 1st T20I against South Africa, facing a seven-wicket defeat to the visitors at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi.

India, led by first-time captain Rishabh Pant, posted a strong total of 211/4 on the board; however, South Africa, riding on brilliant knocks from Rassie van der Dussen and David Miller, chased down the target with five balls to spare. Former South Africa captain Graeme Smith gave his opinion about 1st-time Indian skipper Rishabh Pant’s captaincy following India’s loss.

Rishabh Pant
Rishabh Pant (Credits: Twitter)

Graeme Smith Praised 1st Time Indian Skipper Rishabh Pant Despite India Ending Up On The Losing Side

Graeme Smith, who served as the captain of South Africa for over ten years between 2003-2014, insisted that he was interested to watch Rishabh Pant leading the team, particularly after his last outing as captain in the IPL 2022.

In a must-win game for Delhi Capitals against Mumbai Indians, Rishabh Pant had dropped a catch and opted out of taking a review for a caught-behind against Tim David – a decision that would eventually hurt the Delhi Capitals – as they were knocked out of the season.

Rishabh Pant of Delhi Capitals
Rishabh Pant of Delhi Capitals (Credits: Twitter)

“You always criticize a captain when you lose. He has to take a lot on his chin. Post his (Pant’s) last game for Delhi Capitals, which was a must-win and he made some tough calls in that match, I was very interested to watch him.

“But I think tonight, he was very good. He went to the right people at the right time. He tried to stay in the game,” Graeme Smith said, as he analyzed Rishabh Pant’s captaincy during the first T20I.

David Miller and Rassie van der Dussen showed great composure as the duo helped South Africa beat India by seven wickets at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi on Thursday. Rassie van der Dussen, who was dropped on 29 by Shreyas Iyer, scored an unbeaten 75 off 46 balls. His partner David Miller scored 64* off 31 balls. With this win, the tourists have taken a 1-0 lead in the five-match series.

Graeme Smith : Rishabh Pant Made The Right Decisions At The Right Time

Earlier in the evening, Ishan Kishan enjoyed the proceedings after a scratchy IPL as he smashed 76 off 48 to power India to 211-4. Ruturaj Gaikwad was dismissed on 23 (15). Shreyas Iyer scored 36 off 27 balls. Captain Rishabh Pant chipped in with a 16-ball 29, while Hardik Pandya returned unbeaten on 31 in just 12 balls. But even the 212 run target wasn’t defendable.

“When South Africa were under pressure, he went to Harshal Patel and Bhuvi (Bhuvneshwar Kumar).

“All in all, he made a lot of right decisions. At times, they won’t work out because your bowlers have to deliver; you have to execute. But I think he can look back and say, ‘I made the right decisions at the right time’. I think he can gain some confidence after his outing this evening,”Graeme Smith further said.

Graeme Smith Image Source : ICC
Graeme Smith Image Source: ICC

Chasing a mammoth 212, David Miller (64 not out) and Rassie van der Dussen (75 not out)shared an unbeaten 131-run stand for the fourth wicket to take the visitors home with consummate ease. For India, Axar Patel (1/40), Bhuveneshwar Kumar (1/43), and Harshal Patel (1/43) scalped one wicket apiece.

Team India will return to action on Sunday night for the second T20I of the series in Cuttack. Earlier, skipper KL Rahul and spinner Kuldeep Yadav were ruled out due to injuries and no replacements were announced.

Ravi Shastri. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Ravi Shastri. (Photo Source: Twitter)
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I Will Not Discuss Any Of My Players On The Public Platforms: Ravi Shastri

Ravi Shastri, the former Team India head coach has said that many people have already spoken about Virat Kohli stepping down as Test captain and it is not his duty to get into gossip.

Former Indian captain Virat Kohli has always been criticized for not winning an ICC trophy in his tenure as a captain despite being one of the best batters of his generation. Recently, Virat Kohli resigned from the T20 captaincy, after which he was sacked from the ODI captaincy and then he resigned from his Test captaincy as well.

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

Ravi Shastri Won’t Discuss Any Matter Pertaining To Indian Team Or Cricketers As His Job As Coach Was Over

Virat Kohli’s era as Test captain of Team India came to an end earlier this month after he decided to step down following the team’s loss in the three-match series (1-2) against South Africa. Virat Kohli, who won 40 out of 68 matches as Test captain, ended as India’s most successful skipper in the longest format of the game.

“Many people have already spoken about Virat Kohli and him stepping down as the captain. I do not have the time to get into gossip and get into details. I took a break after seven years in the game, I have been part of the team and I am very clear, that I do not wash dirty linen in public.

“The day I finished, it will be blank. I will not discuss any of my players on the public platforms, I have been very clear on this,” Ravi Shastri said in an exclusive interview.

Virat Kohli, Image Source : AP IMAGE
Virat Kohli, Image Source: AP IMAGE

Ravi Shastri feels that Virat Kohli could’ve easily captained the Test team for the next two years, considering the fact that the Indian team will be playing against lower-ranked teams. Virat Kohli’s exit from the leadership role also means that his 100th Test against Sri Lanka next month will be only as a batter looking to end a two-year-long century drought.

Virat Kohli Holds Record For Most Test Appearances-68 And Most Wins-40 As India’s Test Skipper

Virat Kohli had stepped down as the Test skipper after India suffered a Test series loss (2-1) against South Africa despite winning the 1st Test. India then went on to lose the ODI series 0-3 against the Proteas.

When asked about the series loss, Ravi Shastri said: “To be honest, I did not watch the series. I did not even see a single ball. I saw the result as people talk it, but I did not see a single ball.”

Virat Kohli in action during the third day of the WTC final against New Zealand. (File)
Virat Kohli was in action during the third day of the WTC final against New Zealand. (File)

Talking about the current Team India squad, Shastri said: “How the standard can go down, you have been the number one Test team for five years. Nothing can be done, you cannot win every game. When you have a win ratio of 65 per cent, then what is there to worry about? You have lost one series, then all this talk?”

Virat Kohli holds the record for most Test appearances as India Test captain (68) and he also holds the record for most Test wins by an Indian captain (40). Only Graeme Smith, Ricky Ponting, and Steve Waugh have won more matches than Virat Kohli as captain in Test cricket. Under Ravi Shastri’s tenure as head coach, India managed to win the Test series in Australia and the side also managed to reach the finals of the World Test Championship (WTC).

Virat Kohli presided over India’s first-ever Test series win in Australia and led the team to a 2-1 lead in England last summer before the fifth Test was postponed due to a Covid-19 outbreak in the Indian camp.

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Sourav Ganguly and Virat Kohli.
Sourav Ganguly and Virat Kohli. (PTI)
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Sourav Ganguly Termed Media Reports Of Sending A Show Cause Notice To Virat Kohli As False

Sourav Ganguly has termed reports that claimed he wanted to send a show-cause notice to Virat Kohli as “not true”. A day after reports emerged that Sourav Ganguly wanted to send a show-cause notice to Virat Kohli ahead of the South Africa series, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president has termed such claims as false.

Sourav Ganguly replied that the allegations were false when he was asked for a comment on the reports that have emerged. Some media reports claimed that Sourav Ganguly wanted to send a show-cause notice to Virat Kohli after the former Test skipper spoke about the events leading to his removal as ODI skipper.

Sourav Ganguly and Virat Kohli.© AFP
Sourav Ganguly and Virat Kohli.© AFP

Sourav Ganguly Termed Media Reports Of Sending A Show Cause Notice To Virat Kohli As False

Last year, Virat Kohli had stepped down as the T20I captain and then he was removed as the ODI leader as the selectors wanted one captain for the white-ball format. A day after Virat Kohli was removed as the ODI captain, BCCI president Sourav Ganguly said that he had indeed spoken to Virat Kohli regarding the leadership change adding, that he had requested Virat Kohli to also not give up the T20I captaincy.

However, Virat Kohli, in a press conference before Team India’s departure for South Africa, contradicted Sourav Ganguly, saying he was never asked to leave the T20I captaincy adding that even regarding the ODI captaincy, the communication could have been better.

India's Virat Kohli. Credit: Reuters Photo
India’s Virat Kohli. Credit: Reuters Photo

Later, chief selector Chetan Sharma appeared before the press and corroborated Sourav Ganguly’s version. Following head coach Ravi Shastri’s departure as the Indian team head coach, Virat Kohli also had lost his biggest backer in the dressing-room.

It is learned that the BCCI now considers the whole issue to be over. Virat Kohli is no longer the captain in any format, after stepping down from T20I and Test leadership and being axed as ODI captain. As per media reports, while Virat Kohli did call BCCI general secretary Jay Shah before announcing his decision to resign as Test captain, he didn’t call Sourav Ganguly.

Sourav Ganguly: Virat Kohli’s Decision To Relinquish Test Captaincy A Personal One

Last week, Virat Kohli stepped down as India’s Test captain after being India’s most successful Test skipper with 40 Test wins out of 68 Tests as captain. Sourav Ganguly had then said that Virat Kohli’s decision to step down as Team India’s Test skipper was a “personal one”. The BCCI President also said the board respects Virat Kohli’s decision.

Sourav Ganguly- Twitter
Sourav Ganguly- Twitter

“Under Virat’s leadership, Indian cricket has made rapid strides in all formats of the game ..his decision is a personal one and BCCI respects it immensely ..he will be an important member to take this team to newer heights in the future. A great player. well done ..@BCCI @imVkohli,” Ganguly had tweeted.

The 33-year-old led India in 68 games and won 40, becoming the country’s most successful Test captain in the process. He presided over India’s first-ever Test series win in Australia and led the team to a 2-1 lead in England last summer before the fifth Test was postponed due to a Covid-19 outbreak in the Indian camp. He stands fourth on the list of captains with most Test wins after the likes of Graeme Smith, Ricky Ponting, and Steve Smith.

Earlier, Virat Kohli had relinquished the T20 captaincy after India’s campaign at the 2021 T20I World Cup in the UAE. He was then replaced by Rohit Sharma’s as India’s full-time white-ball skipper last month.

Mark Boucher.— Twitter/@SuperSportTV
Mark Boucher.— Twitter/@SuperSportTV
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Mark Boucher Charged With Gross Misconduct By CSA And May Be Sacked As Head Coach

Mark Boucher, South Africa head coach has been charged with “gross misconduct” by Cricket South Africa (CSA) in their follow-up to the preliminary findings of alleged racism in the sport in the country by Social Justice and Nation-Building (SJN) report.  Mark Boucher’s alleged role in discrimination experienced by former spinner Paul Adams will be looked into even as he is set to continue as the head coach of the senior national team.

South Africa’s head coach Mark Boucher is in danger of losing his job after Cricket South Africa on Thursday charged him with gross misconduct following allegations of racism against him by his former Proteas teammate spinner Paul Adams. CSA has announced a disciplinary hearing into the allegations.

Mark Boucher. (Image Credits: Getty)
Mark Boucher. (Image Credits: Getty).

Mark Boucher Charged With Allegations Of Racism By Paul Adams

CSA on Thursday appointed well respected Senior Counsel Advocate Terry Motau (SC) as chairperson of the disciplinary hearing into allegations of misconduct against Mark Boucher. It is proposed that the parties will meet with the Advocate on January 26, 2022, to determine a timetable for the proceedings.

In December, the SJN report made tentative findings regarding allegations of discrimination and racism against various persons, including Mark Boucher. Specifically, during the SJN process, allegations of racism were levelled against Mark Boucher by his former Proteas teammate Paul Adams.

South African spinner Paul Adams. (Photo by WILLIAM WEST/AFP/Getty Images)
South African spinner Paul Adams. (Photo by WILLIAM WEST/AFP/Getty Images)

In releasing his report, the Ombudsman, Advocate Dumisa Ntsebeza SC, indicated that he was not in a position to make “definite findings” and recommended that a further process be undertaken in this regard. In keeping with this approach, the Board was obligated to institute further formal inquiries into CSA employees, suppliers, or contractors who are implicated by the SJN report, and this is the first of these processes.

Former spinner Paul Adams said he had been called a “brown shit” in a South Africa team song during his time in the side, which spanned a nine-year period from 1995 to 2004, including by former wicketkeeper Mark Boucher who has since apologized.

Mark Boucher Can Be Sacked As Head Coach

CSA confirmed that it has charged Mark Boucher with gross misconduct and it could lead to his dismissal from the head coach role.

However, “CSA emphasizes it is important that the independent inquiry first needs to test all allegations before any question of sanction can arise.”

The upcoming inquiry will also consider concerns and allegations that arose following the resignation of former assistant coach, Enoch Nkwe.

“The Board remains mindful of its duty to treat allegations of racism or discrimination with the utmost seriousness and in a manner that ensures fairness and due process in terms of South Africa’s Constitution and labour legislation.

“It is now up to the inquiry to determine to which extent the allegations are true and justify the need for further disciplinary steps,” CSA Board Chairperson, Lawson Naidoo said.

Cricket South Africa Image Source: TWITTER/CSAOFFICIAL
Cricket South Africa Image Source: TWITTER/CSAOFFICIAL

Mark Boucher has been a key member of the current South African unit that has achieved incredible highs even while in transition over the last few weeks. Under Mark Boucher’s watch, South Africa defeated India in a 3-Test series after coming back from behind.

The ombudsman’s report also criticized current CSA director of cricket Graeme Smith and former national team captain AB de Villiers. South Africa also outclassed India in the ODI series opener on Wednesday and will look to take a 2-0 unbeatable lead when the two sides meet in the 2nd ODI on Friday in Paarl. India won the toss and will bat first. India is fielding an unchanged team while Sisanda Magala comes in for Marco Jansen for South Africa.

South Africa made a good start to the three-match series with a comfortable 31-run win in the series opener. Temba Bavuma and Rassie van der Dussen scored centuries for South Africa; India had three half-centurions in Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, and Shardul Thakur but it went in vain as middle-order batsmen failed.

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KL Rahul (Image Credit: Twitter)
KL Rahul (Image Credit: Twitter)
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KL Rahul Feels It Would Be A “Huge Responsibility” If He Is Named As Test Captain

KL Rahul, the India stand-in ODI skipper on Tuesday said that it would be a huge responsibility for him if he is made the Test captain.

India and South Africa will lock horns in a three-match ODI series, with the first match set to be played on Wednesday in Paarl. Earlier, the Proteas had defeated India 2-1 in the Test series.

KL Rahul
KL Rahul-Reuters.

KL Rahul Feels It Would Be A Huge Responsibility If Test Captaincy Is Given To Him

KL Rahul had replaced Rohit Sharma as skipper for the upcoming ODI series after the Hitman was ruled out due to a hamstring injury. Pacer Jasprit Bumrah will serve as KL Rahul’s deputy in the series. Rohit Sharma has already been appointed captain in both white-ball formats and since he has faced quite a few fitness issues of late, KL Rahul’s name emerged as a strong contender for the job.

“I had not given it a thought till the names came out, till the articles or news have been doing the rounds. Obviously, I had the opportunity to lead the Test side in Johannesburg and it was really special. The result did not go our way but it was a great learning experience for me and it would be something I will always be proud of,” Rahul said during a virtual press conference.

Virat Kohli, Image Source : AP IMAGE
Virat Kohli, Image Source: AP IMAGE

“Leading the country is always special for anyone and I am no different. Yes, it would be a huge responsibility if given to me (being the Test captain). It is something that is exciting, I am not really looking to anything forward, I am just focusing on the present,” he added.

KL Rahul’s comments come days after Virat Kohli announced his decision to stand down as India’s Test captain.
Virat Kohli holds the record for most Test appearances as India Test captain (68) and he also holds the record for most Test wins by an Indian captain (40). Only Graeme Smith, Ricky Ponting, and Steve Waugh have won more matches than Virat Kohli as captain in Test cricket.

Last year, Virat Kohli had stepped down as the T20I captain and then he was removed as the ODI skipper after the selectors wanted to have just one captain for the white-ball formats.

Marco Jansen And Venkatesh Iyer Debuted  In The 1st ODI

In the 1st ODI, South Africa is batting first and is currently 24/1 in the 6th over after Janneman Malan was dismissed on 6 by Jasprit Bumrah. Venkatesh Iyer debuted for India while Marco Jansen debuted for South Africa as pace spearhead Kagiso Rabada is unavailable.

Venkatesh Iyer (Getty)
Venkatesh Iyer (Getty)

Rohit Sharma is injured and isn’t playing in the ODI series while pacer Kagiso Rabada was released to manage his workload. KL Rahul captaining India for the first time in his 39th ODI. Kagiso Rabada has been released from the ODI squad ahead of the 3-match series against India to manage his heavy workload in the Test series. The 26-year old has been rested to stay fresh for 2-match test series in New Zealand starting on February 17.

Kagiso Rabada was the leading wicket-taker in the Test series against India as South Africa beat the visitors by 2-1 in a 3-match series. Kagiso Rabada bowled 119.1 overs to pick 20 wickets with an average of 19.05. Marco Jansen made a sensational debut in the Test series as a 21-year old picked 19 wickets and is debuting in the 1st ODI.

India Squad Playing XI:  KL Rahul (c), Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (wk), Venkatesh Iyer, Shardul Thakur, Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal
South Africa Squad Playing XI: Quinton de Kock (wk), Janneman Malan, Aiden Markram, Temba Bavuma (c), Rassie van der Dussen, David Miller, Andile Phehlukwayo, Marco Jansen, Keshav Maharaj, Lungi Ngidi, Tabraiz Shamsi
Jasprit Bumrah and Virat Kohli. (Photo by Daniel Kalisz – CA/Cricket Australia via Getty Images)
Jasprit Bumrah and Virat Kohli. (Photo by Daniel Kalisz – CA/Cricket Australia via Getty Images)
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Jasprit Bumrah Opens Up On Virat Kohli’s Decision To Step Down As Skipper After 40 Wins In 68 Tests

Jasprit Bumrah opened up about Virat Kohli’s decision to step down from Test captaincy after India’s 2-1 Test series defeat against South Africa, last week.

Revealing that Virat Kohli had talked to the team members regarding his decision to step down from the role, Bumrah remained tight-lipped on the proceedings, calling it a personal decision.

Jasprit Bumrah AP Photo/Rui Vieira
Jasprit Bumrah AP Photo/Rui Vieira

Jasprit Bumrah  Revealed It’s Been A Pleasure To Play Under Virat Kohli’s Captaincy

Virat Kohli had stepped down from the Test captaincy role after the Test series ended in Cape Town, marking an end of an era of an astute leader in Indian cricket. Kohli had earlier relinquished his T20I captaincy role in November and a month later was removed from the ODI captaincy position with the selectors naming Rohit Sharma – the new white-ball captain.

“Virat Kohli told us about leaving his Test captaincy in a team meeting. It’s his decision. He knows his body. He knows his frame of mind. We respect that. It’s been a pleasure to play under his captaincy. I made my debut under him”

“He brought in energy. He brought in the fitness culture. He was driven. Everybody moved in one direction under his leadership. He has been immense and he will still be immense with his inputs,” said Bumrah ahead of the start of the three-match ODI series in Paarl against South Africa.

Virat Kohli, Image Source : AP IMAGE
Virat Kohli, Image Source: AP IMAGE

“We understand the change. All of us have played enough cricket. As a team, we will make positive contributions to that,” he added.

Talking about the ODI series, Jasprit Bumrah will feature in the vice-captaincy role while KL Rahul will be leading the Indian team after Rohit Sharma failed to recover in time from his hamstring injury.  India will play two of the three ODIs in Paarl, starting January 19, and the final tie will be played in Cape Town.

Virat Kohli Stepped Down As India’s Most Successful Test Skipper

Jasprit Bumrah has lauded Virat Kohli’s contribution as the captain of the Indian Test team. The latter on Saturday decided to step down from his post after serving the team for seven long years. Virat Kohli, through a social media post, announced his decision that took the entire cricketing world and fans by surprise.

Virat Kohli’s decision comes a day after India was defeated by South Africa in the Cape Town Test by 7 wickets. The tourists slumped from taking a 1-0 lead to lose the series 2-1. The 33-year-old led India in 68 games and won 40, becoming the country’s most successful Test captain in the process.

Graeme Smith, Ricky Ponting and Steve Waugh
Graeme Smith, Ricky Ponting, and Steve Waugh

He led in 68 Test matches out of which the team registered victory in 40 games. He steps down from his role as India’s most successful Test captain. He is fourth in the list of captains with the most Test wins behind South Africa’s Graeme Smith (53) and Australian greats Ricky Ponting (43) and Steve Waugh (41).

Last year, the 33-year-old had stepped down as the T20I captain and then he was removed as the ODI leader later as the selectors wanted only one captain for the white-ball format.

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