ICC World Test Championship 2019-21 | Sportzwiki

ICC World Test Championship 2019-21

Shakib Al Hasan (Image Credit: Twitter)
Shakib Al Hasan (Image Credit: Twitter)
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Bangladesh’s Win In NZ Will Change Notion Of Over-Depending On 4-5 Seniors: Shakib Al Hasan

Bangladesh created history earlier this week by beating the Black Caps, the reigning World Test Champions, by eight wickets to capture their first-ever win in New Zealand.

Bangladesh’s historic victory in New Zealand proves that the youngsters in the team are capable of handling responsibility and the side doesn’t always rely on the same 4-5 senior players to win matches, says premier all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan, who didn’t feature in the ongoing 2 matches Test series.

Shakib Al Hasan Photograph: Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images
Shakib Al Hasan Photograph: Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images

Bangladesh’s Spinner Shakib Al Hasan Credits Youngsters For Maiden Test Win Vs NZ And Feels The Notion That Always 4-5 Seniors Can Win Games Will Be Changed

Bangladesh created history by beating New Zealand, the reigning inaugural World Test Champions (2019-21), by eight wickets to capture their first-ever win on New Zealand soil. The 34-year-old was delighted by the fact that Bangladesh began 2022 with a maiden Test win over New Zealand after a difficult 2021, where they lost five out of seven Tests.

“I don’t think my presence was necessarily important (in New Zealand). I am actually happy that they did it without me. Not just me (but the others too),” Shakib, who withdrew from the series, was quoted as saying.

“I think what really delighted me was that the notion, particularly in the media, that not many players apart from the four or five senior ones can win games for the team — that will be changed. If they are handed the responsibility, these youngsters will play better.”

The 34-year-old former skipper feels while the maiden win at the Bay Oval will not change things drastically, it will open an opportunity for change. Shakib Al Hasan, who withdrew from the tour to spend time with his family, said that the victory proves the visitors don’t have to rely just on the senior players alone.

“We made an unbelievable start to 2022. I am very happy. Credit goes to all the players and coaching staff for playing well under so much pressure and in these conditions. Everyone tried hard.”

Bangladesh National Cricket Team Image Source: Twitter
Bangladesh National Cricket Team Image Source: Twitter

“This was always going to be a challenging year after a difficult time in 2021 for us. I hope we can continue in this manner. Bangladesh does not play this well all the time. “Not everything will change after a Test win. But it creates the opportunity for change. I think if we can hold onto this belief, particularly the BCB, we can do well in the World Test Championship,” Shakib said.

Speedster Ebadot Hossain put up a sensational display, taking a career-best 6-46, while his fellow pacers also played their part as the Bangladesh pace unit snared 13 wickets, the most it has ever bagged in a Test match.

Mashrafe Mortaza Delighted By Pacers Performances In The 1st Test

Another former skipper Mashrafe Mortaza was also delighted by the performance of the pacers.

“Taskin (Ahmed) and Ebadot proved that if they put in the hard work, they can improve. It is good to see the pacers winning a game for us, but this win doesn’t necessarily answer all the questions,” Mortaza said.

“This is not a reply to all the criticism in recent times. Rather, we should learn from this, that we can win matches if we give players the opportunity. Cricket boards should invest and see what’s happening so that it could bring better results in the future.”

Mashrafe Bin Mortaza addresses the media in Dhaka © Getty Images
Mashrafe Bin Mortaza addresses the media in Dhaka © Getty Images

Citing Ebadot Hossain’s case, Mashrafe Mortaza highlighted the need to give a player time to perform.

“Ebadot’s improvement isn’t recent. He has been playing for a while and has been kept in consideration in Tests. He must have been given assurance that he will play. He knows this is his career, his future. He has to serve the team.”

“Ebadot’s wickets won us the game. It could have been a drawn game. You have to give the player a bit of time. He got set slowly. Rahi has been giving service for a long time (unclear). Giving them a bit of time always brings a good result.”

He also pitched the idea of using Mirpur to develop fast bowlers.

“I think they could look at Mirpur to help the fast bowlers since the ball here goes up and down. It, however, depends on how much you depend on the fast bowlers. So it is good that the pacers won us the game.”

This was Bangladesh’s first-ever win on New Zealand soil in 32 matches across all formats and in the end, it was pretty comfortably done by the tourists. Devon Conway had scored 122 in the 1st innings but the duo of Bangladesh skipper Mominul Haque(88) and Liton Das(86) ensured Bangladesh get a handsome lead in the 1st innings before Ebadot Hossain ensured New Zealand be restricted to only 169 in their 2nd innings.

Bangladesh 458 (Mominul 88, Litton 86, Boult 4-85) and 42 for 2 (Shanto 17, Mominul 13*, Mushfiqur 5*) beat New Zealand 328 (Conway 122, Nicholls 75, Shoriful 3-69, Mehidy 3-86) and 169 (Young 69, Taylor 40, Ebadot 6-46, Taskin 3-36) by eight wickets

In the ongoing 2nd Test, Tom Latham (186) was the highlight but Devon Conway (99) too played a delightful knock. The platform though was set by the opening stand as they added 148. Will Young also looked all set for a big score but he fell. Devon Conway and Tom Latham then have built an unbeaten 200-run stand. Tom Latham is eyeing a double ton whereas Devon Conway is one short of his hundred. New Zealand is 349/1 at Stump’s on Day 1.

Ebadot Hossain celebrates the wicket of Will Young Getty Images
Ebadot Hossain celebrates the wicket of Will Young Getty Images
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Ebadot Hossain: Bangladesh’s Maiden Win Against New Zealand Will Inspire Next Generations

Ebadot Hossain, Bangladesh pacer said that their win over inaugural World Test Championship 2019-21 winners New Zealand will inspire the next generations to do the same.

Ebadot Hossain picked up a six-wicket haul in the second innings as Bangladesh defeated New Zealand by eight wickets in the first Test at the Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui on Wednesday.

Ebadot Hossain gave 'one of the best post-match interviews ever' after his MoM performance in Bangladesh's win
Ebadot Hossain gave ‘one of the best post-match interviews ever’ after his MoM performance in Bangladesh’s win | Photo Credit: AP

Ebadot Hossain: Victory Over New Zealand Will Inspire The Next Generations

Ebadot Hossain has become a household name overnight in Bangladesh after his stupendous performance with the ball in his side’s historic win against New Zealand in the first Test at Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui. He picked up six wickets in the second innings as the visitors bowled out the Kiwis for just 169 runs and later they wrapped up the Test match losing just two wickets in the first session on the final day.

“We have come here for the last 11 years and not won a game. When we came this time, we set a goal and we said to ourselves we can do it. New Zealand are Test Champions and if we beat them then it will inspire the next generation to do the same,” said Ebadot Hossain after the game at the post-match presentation.

Ottis Gibson is now fast bowling coach at Bangladesh, having had two stints doing the same job with England (Adam Davy/PA)
Ottis Gibson is now fast bowling coach at Bangladesh, having had two stints doing the same job with England (Adam Davy/PA)
Talking about his rise and improvement, Ebadot Hossain gave credit for his success to the bowling coach Ottis Gibson saying that he has been learning how to bowl in overseas conditions.

“I have been working hard with Ottis Gibson. The conditions are too flat in Bangladesh and we are still learning how to bowl away from home. I am a soldier of Bangladesh and know how to celebrate (after a wicket). My journey from volleyball to cricket is a long story. I am enjoying my cricket,” he added.

Ebadot Hossain was adjudged the Player of the Match for taking 7 wickets in the game as the resounding win for the Bangla Tigers was followed by ‘one of the best post-match interviews ever’ from the tall pacer as he was his candid and honest best. The 27-year old pacer said that the team set a goal this time to beat the World Test Champions on their own soil and they had the belief that they can do it.

Bangladesh Registered First Test Victory Over New Zealand

With this win, Bangladesh has become the first team to defeat New Zealand in New Zealand a Test match since March 2017. This is also Bangladesh’s first Test victory over the BlackCaps. Bangladesh, a team at the lowest of ebbs only last month when they were swept at home by Pakistan, has taken down the world champions, mighty New Zealand, by eight wickets in the first Test in Mount Maunganui.

It’s the first time Bangladesh has beaten New Zealand in Tests, ending the hosts’ 17-match unbeaten home record. This is also the first time Bangladesh has beaten New Zealand in any format in New Zealand. It’s Bangladesh’s sixth overseas Test win – anywhere.

Bangladesh National Cricket Team Image Source: Twitter
Bangladesh National Cricket Team Image Source: Twitter

Needing 40 runs for the win, Bangladesh wrapped up the chase in overs with Mominul Haque (13*) and Mushfiqur Rahim (5*) remaining unbeaten at the crease. For New Zealand, Tim Southee and Kyle Jamieson picked up one wicket each in the second innings.  This was Bangladesh’s first-ever win on New Zealand soil in 32 matches across all formats and in the end, it was pretty comfortably done by the tourists.

Devon Conway had scored 122 in the 1st innings but the duo of Bangladesh skipper Mominul Haque(88) and Liton Das(86) ensured Bangladesh get a handsome lead in the 1st innings before Ebadot Hossain ensured New Zealand be restricted to only 169 in their 2nd innings.

Bangladesh 458 (Mominul 88, Litton 86, Boult 4-85) and 42 for 2 (Shanto 17, Mominul 13*, Mushfiqur 5*) beat New Zealand 328 (Conway 122, Nicholls 75, Shoriful 3-69, Mehidy 3-86) and 169 (Young 69, Taylor 40, Ebadot 6-46, Taskin 3-36) by eight wickets

Shakib Al Hasan (Image Credit: Twitter)
Shakib Al Hasan (Image Credit: Twitter)
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Shakib Al Hasan Has Been Ruled Out From Participating In At Least 1st Test Against Pakistan

Shakib Al Hasan will not be available for the opening match of the Bangladesh vs Pakistan Test series, BCB chief selector Minhajul Abedin confirmed today.

In a chat, Minhajul Abedin stated that Shakib Al Hasan had not fully recovered from his hamstring injury. As a result, he will miss at least the first Test of the upcoming series against Pakistan.

Shakib Al Hasan (Image Credit: Twitter)
Shakib Al Hasan (Image Credit: Twitter)

Shakib Al Hasan Ruled Out From Playing At Least 1st Test Against Pakistan

Shakib Al Hasan has played 58 Tests amassing 3933 runs averaging 39.33 runs with the bat and 215 scalps averaging 31.06 with the ball. His last Test was against Zimbabwe in July 2021. He has played only 2 Tests in 2021, none in 2020, and 1 in 2019 when he was banned for not reporting corrupt approaches.

Shakib Al Hasan played 8 matches for KKR in IPL 2021 and picked 4 scalps bowling 26 overs and managed 47 runs.

Minhajul Abedin said: “Shakib will miss the first Test, that’s for sure. He is yet to recover from injury. After assessing the physiotherapist’s report, we can say whether he will be available for the second Test.”

Shakib Al Hasan Photograph: Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images
Shakib Al Hasan Photograph: Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images

Shakib Al Hasan sustained a hamstring injury while playing against West Indies in the ICC T20 World Cup 2021. The all-rounder missed Bangladesh’s last two matches of the Super 12 round against South Africa and Australia and was also ruled out of the home T20I series against Pakistan.

Shakib Al Hasan Played Only 1 Match During The 2019-21 WTC Cycle

Bangladesh will aim to register its first win in the ICC World Test Championship in the upcoming series against Pakistan. The Bangladeshi team failed to win a single match in the previous cycle. The team’s veteran all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan played only one match during the 2019-21 WTC cycle, scoring 68 runs. He bowled six overs but could not pick up any wickets.

Tamim Iqbal (Image Credit: Twitter)
Tamim Iqbal (Image Credit: Twitter)

Shakib Al Hasan will look forward to recovering soon and donning the whites for Bangladesh again. The Bangladesh vs Pakistan Test series will start this Friday-26th November. Dhaka will play host to both matches of the series. With Shakib Al Hasan not playing, Pakistan has a golden chance of winning an away series in the new WTC cycle 2021-23. It will be interesting to see which Asian team comes out on top.

Meanwhile, Pakistan won the T20I series against Bangladesh in a dominating manner by 3-0 and the Test series between the teams is all set to begin from Friday in Chattogram. Opener Tamim Iqbal has also opted out of the Test series against Pakistan and New Zealand due to an injury.

Bangladesh has added uncapped duo Mahmudul Hasan Joy and Rejaur Rahman Raja to the squad. Mahmudul Hasan Joy performed really well in the National Cricket League, smashing two centuries, and Rejaur Rahman Raja picked 33 wickets in 10 first-class games.

New Zealand head cricket coach Gary Stead. (Photo| EPS)
New Zealand head cricket coach Gary Stead. (Photo| EPS)
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New Zealand Have To Adapt To The Conditions To Face World-Class Indian Spinners: Gary Stead

Gary Stead, the New Zealand coach, feels the Kiwi batters have to quickly adapt to the conditions in India if they want to overcome the challenge of the Indian spin attack in the upcoming Test series.

India and New Zealand will lock horns in the two-match Test series, which gets underway from Thursday.

Gary Stead | Photo Credit: AP
Gary Stead | Photo Credit: AP

Gary Stead: New Zealand Have To Adapt And Play World Class Indian Spinners Well

The last time New Zealand toured India was in the 2016-17 tour when it suffered a 3-0 thrashing in Tests beginning with the Kanpur Test. It later went on to lose the five-match ODI series 3-2. Similarly, in 2021, New Zealand, winners of the inaugural World Test Championship 2019-21 and runners-up in 2021 T20I World cup, was whitewashed 3-0 in T20Is preceding the 2 Tests.

“I think whenever you come here and face the likes of Ashwin, Jadeja, Axar Patel, who are world-class spinners in this environment as well. For us it’s about being able to adapt quickly to what the surface is telling us and what is right in front of us,” said Stead while replying to a query during a virtual press conference.

Axar Patel And Ravichandran Ashwin Agency Photos
Axar Patel And Ravichandran Ashwin Agency Photos

“Sometimes when you start the match, it may not be spinning too much but it does come later on. So having multiple ideas or ways to challenge the bowlers back will be something that will be important to our group,” he added.

Axar Patel made his Test debut in February 2021, six years after playing his maiden limited-overs match for India, and starred so much so with the ball that he ended up picking 27 wickets from the 3 matches in the Test series against England at home in 2021. He took 4 five-wicket hauls as England lost the series 3-1.

England managed to win only the first Test match, which Axar Patel missed due to a knee injury. In his debut Test series, he picked 27 scalps to finish behind Ravichandran Ashwin (32) in the leading wicket-takers list.

Gary Stead: New Zealand Will Miss Trent Boult But India Will Also Miss, Some Of Their Players

Trent Boult and Colin de Grandhomme will miss the Test series due to bio-secure bubbles fatigue. The New Zealand coach Gary Stead said Trent Boult wanted to get “mentally refreshed” after spending quite an amount of time in bio-bubble. New Zealand left-arm pacer Trent Boult had made himself unavailable for the upcoming two-match Test series against India.

The reason behind Trent Boult’s and pace allrounder Colin de Grandhomme’s unavailability for the Tests against India has been due to the prospect of further time in bio-secure bubbles and managed isolation.

“Trent Boult has been a fine bowler for New Zealand for a long long period of time but we made the decision that the best thing for him was to get home in order to be mentally refreshed. I also know India is doing a similar thing with some of their players as well,” said Gary Stead.

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

“And I think that’s the sign of the COVID world that we live in. It’s not New Zealand who will miss Boult but I think India will also miss some of their players,” he added.

Gary Stead also informed that all New Zealand players are available for selection for the first Test, which gets underway from Thursday.  New Zealand will play two Tests in India, the first in Kanpur from November 25-29 and the second in Mumbai from December 3-7.

This will be the first meeting between the two teams in the game’s longest format since the WTC final in June, where New Zealand emerged victoriously. The last time New Zealand toured India, they were beaten 3-0 in Tests in 2016.

New Zealand Test Squad: Kane Williamson (c), Tom Blundell, Henry Nicholls, Kyle Jamieson, Tom Latham, Daryl Mitchell, Ajaz Patel, Glenn Phillips, Rachin Ravindra, Mitchell Santner, Will Somerville, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, Will Young

New Zealand (File Photo) - GETTY IMAGES
New Zealand (File Photo) - GETTY IMAGES
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New Zealand Include 5 Spinners In 15-man Test Squad For India Tour

New Zealand will begin their ‘World Test Championship” title defense with a Test series against India later this month, a few days after T20I World Cup concludes. New Zealand included five spinners in a 15-man Test squad to tour India later this month in the Black Caps’ opening series of their World Test Championship defense.

New Zealand won the inaugural World Test Championship 2019-21 after defeating India in the final at Southampton in June 2021, with the next cycle of matches continuing until 2023.

New Zealand's Kane Williamson celebrates with the trophy and teammates after winning the final of the ICC World Test Championship. Photograph: John Sibley/Reuters
New Zealand’s Kane Williamson celebrates with the trophy and teammates after winning the ICC World Test Championship final. Photograph: John Sibley/Reuters

New Zealand Coach Gary Stead Said Success Of Kiwi Spinners On Recent Tours To Sub Continent Has Been Encouraging

Coach Gary Stead said selectors had tailored the squad to spin-friendly conditions. The spin-heavy attack makes sense since conditions in the series-opener (Kanpur, November 25-29) and the second Test (Mumbai, December 3-7) are expected to suit the slower bowlers.

“The success of our spinners on recent tours to the sub-continent has been encouraging and we hope they can once again feature prominently,” he said.

Ajaz Patel (Photo Credit: ICC/Twitter)
Ajaz Patel (Photo Credit: ICC/Twitter)

Veteran Mitchell Santner will lead the slow-ball attack, supported by Ajaz Patel, Will Somerville, rookie Rachin Ravindra, and part-timer Glenn Phillips.

Glenn Phillips has been selected in the Test squad for the first time since debuting against Australia as a late replacement in 2020 when the Blackcaps camp was struck by illness on the eve of the New Year’s Test in Sydney. The 21-year-old Rachin Ravindra made his New Zealand debut in a T20I against Bangladesh in September, and although he toured England with the Test side earlier this year, he is yet to play in the longest form of the game.

Gary Stead: Touring India One Of The Greatest Experiences In Cricket

Pacers Tim Southee, Neil Wagner, and Kyle Jamieson have also been included, although Trent Boult and Colin de Grandhomme both chose to skip the tour. Gary Stead said the Black Caps were fired up about defending their title.

“Touring India is one of the greatest experiences in cricket and I know our guys are really looking forward to the challenge,” he said.

“It’s fair to say we’re expecting spin-friendly conditions and it’s great to have a range of options in this department.”

New Zealand head cricket coach Gary Stead. (Photo| EPS)
New Zealand head cricket coach Gary Stead. (Photo| EPS)

New Zealand will play two Tests in India, the first in Kanpur from November 25-29 and the second in Mumbai from December 3-7. There will also be three Twenty20 matches on November 17, 19, and 21 featuring the same Black Caps squad currently contesting the T20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates.

This will be the first meeting between the two teams in Test cricket since the inaugural World Test Championship final in June, in which India lost by eight wickets. New Zealand suffered a 0-3 humiliation against India on their last tour in 2016.

New Zealand: Kane Williamson (capt), Tom Blundell, Devon Conway, Kyle Jamieson, Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls, Ajaz Patel, Glenn Phillips, Rachin Ravindra, Mitchell Santner, Will Somerville, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Will Young, Neil Wagner.

Get all details about India vs New Zealand Schedule.

Azhar Ali AFP
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Azhar Ali Expressed His Desire To See Pakistan Win 2nd WTC Title During His Career

Azhar Ali, a former Pakistan Test skipper expressed his desire to see his country win the World Test Championship during his career. Pakistan had a torrid time in the inaugural WTC as they finished fifth in the table with four wins, five losses, and three draws from 12 matches. Pakistan will start their 2021-23 WTC cycle with their two-match Test series against the West Indies.

Azhar Ali has been a prolific run-scorer for the nation in the purest format, having notched 6579 runs at an average of 43.28 with 18 tons and 33 fifties. Even as he hasn’t played T20 cricket for the Men in Green, his last ODI for Pakistan came way back in January 2018 against New Zealand.

Azhar Ali
Azhar Ali. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

Azhar Ali Admits The WTC Is A Valuable Addition And He Wants To See Pakistan Win WTC During His Career

Azhar Ali put forth his wishes prior to Pakistan’s upcoming Test series against the West Indies that starts on Thursday, August 12. Both matches of the red-ball series will take place at Sabina Park, Kingston in Jamaica.

“The ICC World Test Championship is a valuable addition and has helped make this format more competitive. I want to see Pakistan win the Test championship in my career. Test cricket is the pinnacle format and this format is still entertaining fans around the globe. Fans in Australia, England, and New Zealand still wait for a Test match,” Azhar was quoted as saying in a press conference.

Pakistan Cricket Team
Pakistan Cricket Team (Credit: Getty Images)

After a poor outing in the inaugural edition of the ICC World Test Championship, Pakistan Cricket Team will be desperate to bounce back in the second cycle of the Test supremacy. The Men in Green failed to secure a place in the top 5 and recorded only four wins in 12 matches. Pakistan ended the competition in sixth place with 43.3% points.

The first West Indies-Pakistan Test will be played at the Sabina Park, Kingston, Jamaica from August 12. The 2nd Test will be at the same venue and will get underway from August 20.

Azhar Ali Admits A Caribbean Tour Isn’t An Easy One

Prior to the series, Azhar Ali felt the upcoming games will pose their fair share of challenges to the visiting team. Pakistan has won seven out of 26 Tests in the West Indies while losing 12 and drawing seven games. Azhar Ali also said that with the likes of Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, Abid Ali, and Fawad Alam in their ranks, Pakistan has a power-packed batting lineup.

“A Caribbean tour is never an easy one and we are preparing for the challenges ahead here in Guyana. The West Indies have a good bowling line-up but our batters are in a good shape,” he stated.

Azhar Ali And Fawad Alam Photo: AFP
Azhar Ali And Fawad Alam Photo: AFP

“Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan are in good knick and they have shown their pedigree in the white-ball matches leading up to the Tests. Among the Test batters, Abid Ali and Fawad Alam are also performing consistently from the last couple of series,” Azhar added.

The visitors will play against West Indies in a two-match Test series that gets underway from August 12. The 11 players who left for Barbados on July 26th were Abid Ali, Ali, Fawad Alam, Imran Butt, Mohammad Abbas, Naseem Shah, Nauman Ali, Sajid Khan, Shahnawaz Dahani, Yasir Shah, and Zahid Mahmood.

Azhar Ali has amassed 6579 runs from 87 Tests averaging 43.28 with 18 tons with a highest of unbeaten 302. Fawad Alam played 3 Tests in 2009 before being recalled in 2020 to play against England. He has scored 3 tons in each of the last three series against New Zealand, South Africa, and Zimbabwe.

Pakistan will open its World Test Championship campaign in August 2021 against the West Indies cricket team. Initially, the series was supposed to have three Tests, but both boards agreed to have only a two-Test series. After the ICC T20 World Cup 2021, Pakistan will visit Bangladesh to play a two-Test series against the home team. The series is likely to take place in November 2021.

The Australian cricket team will play an away Test series against Pakistan in the first quarter of 2022. The series will comprise three Tests, with either Pakistan or the United Arab Emirates playing host to the fixtures. Babar Azam’s men will play their final away series under the new WTC cycle against Sri Lanka in July and August 2022.

Like the series against Bangladesh and West Indies, the Pakistan vs Sri Lanka Test series will also consist of two matches. World Test Champions New Zealand will play two Tests against Pakistan in November 2022.  The England cricket team led by Joe Root will travel to Asia to compete in a three-Test series against Pakistan.

Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma
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Rohit Sharma Hasn’t Been Expressive In Tests Unlike Limited-Overs Cricket, Says VVS Laxman

VVS Laxman has opined that opener Rohit Sharma has not been as expressive in Tests as he has in white-ball cricket. Speaking at the end of Day 1 of the first Test against England on a chat, VVS Laxman dissected Rohit Sharma’s approach while opening the innings in foreign conditions.

Rohit Sharma has recorded scores of 26, 52, 44, 7, 34, and 30 as an opener while playing in Sydney, Brisbane, and Southampton over the last year. He has gotten off to starts on almost all occasions by countering good bowling attacks wielded by Australia and New Zealand in testing conditions.

Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma. Image Credits: Twitter

VVS Laxman: Rohit Sharma Hasn’t Been As Expressive As He Is In White Ball Cricket

Rohit Sharma scored 34 runs in the only Test he played on the 2014 tour. In the World Test Championship final, he got starts and scored 34 and 30. Rohit Sharma, who scored 648 runs in the 2019 World Cup in England, will hope to emulate that success in red-ball cricket.

VVS Laxman said: “This has been the game plan of Rohit Sharma, especially in the overseas conditions. He has not been as expressive as he is in white-ball cricket.

“He takes his time, respects the good deliveries, and whenever the ball is short, he looks to play the back-foot punch or a cut short, and for anything on the stumps, he uses his wrist or plays with the straight bat towards mid-on. He has got his game-plan set. It will be interesting to see how KL Rahul approaches his innings tomorrow.”

VVS Laxman
VVS Laxman

But he could not convert these knocks into big scores like he effortlessly does in white-ball cricket. Indian fans will be hoping that the flamboyant opener will overcome this hurdle and score big in the current match at Trent Bridge.

Rohit Sharma has amassed 1094 runs in 12 Tests averaging 60.77 in the WTC cycle of 2019-21. He has scored four centuries. His highest score came against South Africa when he smashed 212 runs in an innings. His first outing as a Test match opener was against South Africa at home and he smashed a century in both innings of the match and followed it with a double century as well.

VVS Laxman: Both The Openers Would Want To Prove Themselves That They Can Perform In England

VVS Laxman also stated that both openers would be trying to prove a point in this Test by notching up a big score. KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma have always been rated highly due to their elegance and class batsmanship. But consistency has evaded them in Test cricket, especially in matches away from home.

On the matter, Laxman said: “Both the openers would want to prove themselves that they can perform in English conditions. Rohit Sharma is playing his second match in these conditions.

“I thought he batted well in the World Test Championship (WTC) final, even though he did not convert his good start into a big score. His partner KL Rahul has a good basic technique, and at the same time, he has got a lot of shots at his disposal.”

KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma. Pic:Getty Images
KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma. Pic: Getty Images

“But they also realized that seeing off the new ball or the tricky period of play that the openers and number 3 batsmen have to encounter at the end of the day’s play, especially when the opposition team is bowled out cheaply. I think they knew that they had to see through the day and then come back fresh tomorrow and start afresh,” Laxman concluded.

Rohit Sharma’s last Test appearance against England in their ground came back in 2014 as he wasn’t part of the Test squad which toured the country in 2018. On the 2nd day, India hasn’t lost a wicket and is going strong at 46/0 in the 27th over with Rohit Sharma batting on 25 off 76 balls and KL Rahul on 17 off 88 balls.

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VVS Laxman : India’s Forthcoming 5 Matches Test Series Vs England Greatest Examination

VVS Laxman, former India cricketer calls India’s forthcoming Test series against England as their greatest examination. India has won a Test series in England thrice – in 1971 (under Ajit Wadekar’s captaincy), in 1986 (under Kapil Dev’s captaincy), and in 2007 (under Rahul Dravid’s captaincy).

India skipper Virat Kohli will aim to join the elite list of captains when India starts their five-match Test series campaign against England on August 4.

VVS Laxman
VVS Laxman. (Photo Source: Twitter)

VVS Laxman: India’s Focus Have To Maintain Standards In 2nd WTC After Being The Most Consistent Side And Finalists Of 1st WTC

After 2007, India toured England three times (2011, 2014, and 2018), but failed to add another series win on English soil. India will take on England in the first Test on August 4 at Trent Bridge in Nottingham. The second Test (Aug 12 – Aug 16) will be played at Lord’s, the third (Aug 25 – Aug 29) at Headingley, the fourth (Sep 02 – Sep 06) at Kennington Oval, and the fifth and final Test (Sep 10 – Sep 14) at Old Trafford.

 

 

“Even though they had nothing to show for their efforts in the end, India were the most consistent side of the inaugural World Test Championship. As the second WTC gets under way on Wednesday in Nottingham with the first of five Tests against England, India’s focus will be to maintain the standards they have set over the last few years, in the knowledge that if they stick to their disciplines, rewards will follow,” VVS Laxman wrote in bis column for Times of India.

“Top sides pride themselves on exponentially becoming better versions of themselves. One of the big challenges in Test cricket is conquering foreign lands. Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri will be mindful that India haven’t won a series in England since 2007, and that their last three outings have ended in heavy defeats. The endeavour this time will be to arrest that trend, which is not an unrealistic expectation given the quality of resources at their disposal,” VVS Laxman said.

Indian test team
Indian test team[photo: Twitter]

“This series will be India’s greatest examination during the new WTC cycle. With all due respect, South Africa aren’t quite the same side as they were and India have done well in that country over the years, so they will fancy their chances of a maiden series win there later in the year. A good display in England will do wonders for India’s confidence as well as their standing in Test cricket,” VVS Laxman said.

India’s Schedule For The Next World Test Championship Cycle Announced as the ICC World Test Championship’s 2nd edition from 2021-2023 will begin with the 5-match Test series against England and end with the tour of Bangladesh. India’s second assignment in the Test Championship (2021-23) will be against defending champions New Zealand at home.

Their third assignment will be when they lock horns with South Africa in December-January in the Rainbow nation before hosting Sri Lanka in a 3-match Test series. After a lengthy break from the longest format of the game, the team will then battle it out against Australia in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, which will take place in the second half of 2022. The team’s second WTC campaign will conclude with a 2-match Test series against Bangladesh.

VVS Laxman is one of the few players to have played 100 Test matches, without ever appearing in a One-Day Cricket World Cup.

VVS Laxman: Indian Players Have Endured Stresses By Being In Bio Bubble

Ben Stokes has withdrawn from the upcoming 5-match Test series against India which begins from August 4 in Nottingham as he has decided to ‘prioritize his mental wellbeing’. The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Friday confirmed that all-rounder Ben Stokes will take an indefinite break from all forms of cricket.

“England will be without Ben Stokes, whose withdrawal owing to mental health issues is another grim reminder of the extraordinary times we live in. Ben is acknowledged as one of the fiercest competitors, driven by tremendous mental strength to go with his brilliance on the field. What this latest instance goes to show is that this is an issue that can afflict anyone at any stage, and to seek assistance is definitely not a sign of weakness,” he said.

Ben Stokes will not be available for England's Test series against India.© AFP
Ben Stokes will not be available for England’s Test series against India.© AFP’

“India’s cricketers have been in various bubbles for nearly a year now, and I can only imagine the stresses and apprehensions they must have endured, particularly in light of Rishabh Pant in England and Krunal Pandya in Sri Lanka testing Covid-positive. I hope the authorities have facilitated the availability of mental health counselors to whom the players can turn with trust should they so feel the need,” VVS Laxman added.

India’s upcoming five-match Test series against England which will start on August 4 will reportedly begin the second cycle of the ICC World Test Championship 2021-23. The inaugural cycle of the WTC 2019-21 came to an end earlier this month with New Zealand beating India in the final at Southampton to win the title.

International Cricket Council – AFP File Photo
International Cricket Council – AFP File Photo
/

International Cricket Council Allots The Same Number Of Points For Every Test In 2nd Edition Of WTC (2021-23)

International Cricket Council [ICC] has confirmed the points system for the second edition of the ICC World Test Championship [WTC] (2021-23) as well as the fixtures that will take place during the two-year cycle, commencing August 04 with India playing against hosts England in a 5 Test affair.

Just like the previous cycle, the upcoming two-year phase will see nine International Cricket Council Full-member teams play a total of six Test series- three at home and three away- of varying lengths with the cut-off date being March 31. 2023.

International Cricket Council [ICC] World Test Championship [WTC]
International Cricket Council [ICC] World Test Championship [WTC]

International Cricket Council Allots The Same Number Of Points For Every Test

However, unlike the previous WTC cycle where the maximum points for every series regardless of its length were fixed- 120, this time, the International Cricket Council has decided to allow the same number of points for every Test. As per the updated system, each Test match will now carry a weightage of 12 points while a drawn and tied Test will fetch 4 and 6 points respectively.

However, the standing in the points table, just like the inaugural cycle, will be determined on percentage points accumulated.

Virat Kohli, Joe Root
Virat Kohli, Joe Root

The second WTC cycle will commence from August 04 when the runners-up of the inaugural cycle, India, locks horns with Joe Root’s England in the first Test of a five-match series. New Zealand is, of course, the defending champions, having beaten India in the inaugural final last month.

Meanwhile, International Cricket Council Acting CEO George Allardice has said that the changes have been made in order to simplify the points system besides taking learnings from the Covid-forced disruptions last year.

“We received feedback that the previous points system needed to be simplified. The Cricket Committee took this into consideration when proposing a new, standardized points system for each match.

“During the pandemic, we had to change to ranking teams on the points table using the percentage of available points won by each team, since all series could not be completed. ” International Cricket Council Acting CEO George Allardice said.

The cycle that runs from August 2021 to June 2023 will see just two series of five matches – the upcoming England and India Tests and the Ashes in December this year. Australia’s tour of India in 2022 will be the only series of the cycle to have four Tests. Overall, there will be seven three-match Test series and 13 two-match Test series.

Skippers Kane Williamson, Virat Kohli, And Joe Root Opens Up On Previous WTC And Next One

The winning captain of the inaugural WTC, Kane Williamson, said that it was pretty special to win the coveted price last month and he is already looking forward to defending the title over the course of the next two years.

“It was obviously pretty special to win the inaugural WTC and it’s exciting to now look ahead to the second edition. The WTC has certainly added more context and brought new meaning to Test cricket and it was awesome to see the interest that was generated around the Final against India.

“We know trying to defend the title will be a huge challenge, but our focus will be on making sure we prepare as well as we can for the tours ahead and trying to maintain our level of performance.”Kane said.

New Zealand's Kane Williamson celebrates with the trophy and teammates after winning the final of the ICC World Test Championship. Photograph: John Sibley/Reuters
New Zealand’s Kane Williamson celebrates with the trophy and teammates after winning the final of the International Cricket Council’s World Test Championship. Photograph: John Sibley/Reuters

Meanwhile, Indian captain Virat Kohli said that the inaugural WTC captured the imagination of fans around the world and it was a great feeling for him and his team to play the first-ever final of the championship. He said that the team is looking forward to regrouping after a disappointing end when they lock horns with England.

“It was great to have played the final of the WTC against New Zealand in what was a memorable contest. Not just the final, we saw the determination of players throughout the first edition of the championship. The following of cricket lovers too was great to see, and I am sure they will all be waiting eagerly for the second edition. We will regroup with new energy for the next cycle starting with our series against England, hoping to give our fans a lot to cheer about,” he said.

Joe Root, on the other hand, expressed his disappointment at the fact that England barely missed out on qualification last year. He, however, added that playing against the finalists of the last edition in India in their first WTC-2 assignment will be a great chance for them to test themselves against a quality side.

 “We start our campaign against the finalists of last time, which is an interesting challenge straight away. India is a fine all-round side and it would be good to test them in our home conditions. We narrowly missed out on qualifying for the final last time and are looking to do better this time. Test cricket is a format we all want to excel in and with points at stake for each match, everyone has to be at their best all the time,”he said.

India plays England(away), New Zealand(home), South Africa (away), Sri Lanka(home), Australia(home), and Bangladesh(away) in the International Cricket Council’s World Test Championship’s 2nd edition.

Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma
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Reetinder Singh Sodhi Names Rohit Sharma As The Best Batsman In The World

Reetinder Singh Sodhi, the former Indian cricketer described the Indian opener as the best batsman in the world and said he can take the match away from oppositions while speaking ahead of India’s five-match Test series against hosts England.

Former India all-rounder Reetinder Singh Sodhi lauded India opener Rohit Sharma and said that the right-handed batsman has stamped his authority in Test cricket. While Rohit Sharma has been a mainstay for India in the limited-overs format for several years now, it took a while for him to become a consistent Test team member.

Reetinder Singh Sodhi. Photo Credit: Getty Images.
Reetinder Singh Sodhi. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Reetinder Singh Sodhi: Opener Rohit Sharma In His Elegance Is The Best Batsman In The World

Rohit Sharma’s superb performances as an opener in the Test series against South Africa in 2019 made his way into the team, and he solidified the position with consistent starts over the past two years.

He managed to get starts in both innings of the World Test Championship final but, could not carry them forward to put on a big total in the match. Speaking ahead of India’s five-match Test series, Reetinder Singh Sodhi described Rohit Sharma as the best batsman in the world and said he can take the match away from oppositions.

“A lot here depends on Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, and Cheteshwar Pujara – how these three batsmen catch form in the upcoming series. We all know that, in his elegance, Rohit Sharma is the best batsman in the world,” Reetinder Singh Sodhi said on India News.

Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma. Image Credits: Twitter

“He was definitely struggling in Test cricket if we talk about sometime back but now he has stamped his authority in Test cricket. He is a special player as an opener, when he plays he can take the match away for the opposition in a matter of moments,” he added.

The India and England Test series will begin on August 4th.

Rohit Sharma Had Scored 1094 Runs In First WTC Cycle

Rohit Sharma has amassed 1094 runs in 12 Tests averaging 60.77 in the WTC cycle of 2019-21. He has scored four centuries. His highest score came against South Africa when he smashed 212 runs in an innings.  His first outing as a Test match opener was against South Africa at home and he smashed a century in both innings of the match and followed it with a double century as well.

Virat Kohli with Rohit Sharma
Virat Kohli with Rohit Sharma IMAGE: AFP

In Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant, and Rohit Sharma, India possess one of the strongest batting line-ups but they failed when it mattered most-the WTC Final. However, they will look to make amends in the 5 Tests that follow against hosts England.

India though will be tempted to bring in changes with opener Shubman Gill injured and Cheteshwar Pujara out of form. That could pave the way for the likes of KL Rahul, Hanuma Vihari, and Mayank Agarwal.

Rohit Sharma has scored 1094 runs as an opener in 19 innings averaging 60.78 and has 4 tons including his career-best score of 212. Rohit Sharma struggled for consistency initially in his Test career but that he has transformed into a fine batsman after starting to open the innings in the longest format for India as late as 2019.

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