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Kane Wiliamson

England's Stuart Broad holds the ball to celebrate taking 500 wickets Martin Rickett/Pool via AP
England's Stuart Broad holds the ball to celebrate taking 500 wickets Martin Rickett/Pool via AP
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Stuart Broad Wants ICC To Look Into The Soft Signal Rule

Stuart Broad wants ICC to look into the matter of the soft signal after a controversial call during the ongoing England and New Zealand Test match. The debate on whether soft signals should be banned from the game keeps coming up.

The topic gained attention during the recent limited-overs T20I series between India and England when Suryakumar Yadav was given out contentiously when the fielder Dawid Malan at the boundary rope (fine-leg) seemed to touch the ball while taking a clean catch.

Dawid Malan claimed the catch, but replays showed that he might have grassed it. Suryakumar Yadav was eventually ruled out which raised a furore over how the on-field umpire can give a decision (read ‘soft signal’) when he does not have a clear sight of the incident in real-time.

England's Dawid Malan successfully takes the catch to dismiss India's Suryakumar Yadav. (Photo by Jewel SAMAD / AFP)
England’s Dawid Malan successfully takes the catch to dismiss India batsman Suryakumar Yadav. (Photo by Jewel SAMAD / AFP)

Stuart Broad: One Can See From England Players Reaction That Devon Conway Was Caught But It Was Not To Be

Now, Stuart Broad seems to be one of the many voices to suggest a complete stop on soft signal following a controversial moment on the second day of the ongoing Test against New Zealand at Edgbaston. The incident occurred when the home team was desperate to get the wicket of in-form batsman Devon Conway.

Stuart Broad induced an edge from the batsman and he was confident that fielder Zak Crawley had taken a clean catch. But the on-field umpires were unsure whether the catch was caught perfectly and hence they went upstairs with a soft signal of not out being given to the TV umpire Michael Gough.

As with the soft signals, if the on-field umpires give not out then there should be conclusive evidence for the TV umpire to overturn the decision.  In Devon Conway’s case, the umpires failed to find any evidence and Michael Gough eventually stuck with the soft signal thereby ruling Devon Conway not out.

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

The southpaw went on to score 80 runs and put the visitors in ascendancy. Stuart Broad was not impressed by this verdict and has asked the ICC to make do with this rule of the soft signal.

“You can see from our reaction on the field that we thought it was out,” Broad told Sky Sports before play on the third day.

“Zak thought he had his fingers under the ball and you only have to look at Joe Root’s reaction at first slip and James Bracey’s reaction behind the stumps – who are a yard away from it – to know that that ball has carried.”

Devon Conway, who cemented his place in the side with 200 on debut in the series opener at Lord’s, produced another valuable, though not chance-less, innings of 80. And, while he would have been disappointed not to press on to triple figures again, a gutsy 82 from Will Young – in the side as a replacement for injured captain Kane Williamson – mitigated the damage.

Stuart Broad Empathized With The Umpires On The Soft Signal Rule

The veteran right-arm pacer though supported the umpires by saying that it’s their job to send upstairs if they are not sure about the catch taken cleanly. Stuart Broad felt the umpires are always put in these tricky situations and he feels for them.

“It’s actually the ruling that’s putting the umpires in a really difficult situation. It’s having to get a soft signal. You’re going upstairs because you’re not sure whether it’s carried or not. So then to have to give an opinion whether you think it has, puts the umpire in a really tricky position. Then the third umpire’s hands are tied a little bit with whatever that on-field call is,” the fast bowler said.

England's Stuart Broad. (Photo by Jon Super / POOL / AFP)
England’s Stuart Broad. (Photo by Jon Super / POOL / AFP)

Having resumed on 229 for 3, still, 74 runs behind, New Zealand lost their remaining seven wickets for 96 runs, but that wasn’t quick enough for England, who collapsed to 76 for 7 still nine runs adrift, only clawing their way ahead via an eighth-wicket partnership between Mark Wood and Olly Stone.

The home side was left reeling at 3 for 30 as Matt Henry tore through their top order on either side of tea and by the close, they were nine down and just 37 runs ahead,

England 303 and 122 for 9 (Wood 29, Wagner 3-18, Henry 3-36) lead New Zealand 388 (Young 82, Conway 80, Taylor 80, Broad 4-48) by 37 runs

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli
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Virat Kohli Retains 5th Spot Among Test Batsmen In The Latest ICC Rankings

Virat Kohli, Indian captain retained his fifth spot while teammates Rohit Sharma and Rishabh Pant were joint sixth in the latest ICC Test rankings for batsmen.

New Zealand’s double centurion Test debutant Devon Conway entered the Test batting rankings at 77th position in the list headed by his captain Kane Williamson on 895 rating points. Devon Conway hit 200 off 347 in New Zealand’s first innings in the drawn first Test against England at Lord’s.

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

Virat Kohli Has 814 Points Behind Joe Root Who Has 836 Rating Points

Virat Kohli, who will lead India in the World Test Championship final against New Zealand from June 18 and the five-match Test series against England, has 814 points behind England skipper Joe Root (836). India skipper Virat Kohli, wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant, and opener Rohit Sharma are the only Indian batsmen in the top 10. Cheteshwar Pujara is 13th while Ajinkya Rahane is 15th on the list.

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

Rishabh Pant and Rohit Sharma, who gained one spot, have 747 rating points each. Opener Devon Conway has entered the ICC Men’s Test Player Rankings in 77th position with a record 447 rating points, the highest for a New Zealand batsman on debut and the third-highest ever on debut.

Pacer Tim Southee is another one to make it big in the latest update to the men’s weekly rankings, his second six-wicket haul at Lord’s pushing him to a career-best third position while achieving the third-best rating points by a New Zealand bowler.

Ravichandran Ashwin Continued To Occupy 2nd Place Among Bowlers

In the Test bowling rankings, senior India spinner Ravichandran Ashwin continued to occupy second place (850 rating points), behind Australian pacer Pat Cummins (908 points). Ravichandran Ashwin is the lone Indian in the top-10.

West Indies all-rounder Jason Holder retained his top position in the Test all-rounder rankings with 423 rating points. India’s Ravindra Jadeja (386 points) and Ravichandran Ashwin (353) are second and fourth respectively.

Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja Photo Credit: AP
Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja Photo Credit: AP

Ravichandran Ashwin is the first bowler in the 143-year history of Test cricket to dismiss 200 left-handed batsmen. India’s off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has witnessed a dramatic change in his fortunes in SENA since 2018 and is now a more lethal wicket-taker away from home.

Currently ranked 2nd in the ICC Test rankings for bowlers, Ravichandran Ashwin has played 78 Tests, picking up 409 wickets at an average of 24.69. He holds the record for being the fastest to breach the 250, 300, and 350 wickets and is just 26 victims short of becoming India’s 2nd most successful bowler.

He picked 12 wickets in 3 Tests in the Australia series and followed it up by taking 32 scalps in the following England 4 match Test series where he was the leading wicket-taker.

Devon Conway celebrates his century on debut PA Images via Getty Images
Devon Conway celebrates his century on debut PA Images via Getty Images
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Nasser Hussain Praised Debutant Devon Conway Who Smashed Unbeaten 136 On 1st Day

Nasser Hussain has hailed New Zealand opener, Devon Conway, for scoring a splendid hundred on his Test debut against England on Day 1 of the first Test at Lord’s.

Devon Conway remained unbeaten on 136 off 240 balls as New Zealand ended the opening day at 246 for 3. The Kiwi left-hander looked in complete control during his stay out in the middle, hitting 16 fours. He featured in an unbroken stand of 132 with Henry Nicholls (46*) to help New Zealand recover from 114-3.

Devon Conway. Pic: Getty Images
Devon Conway. Pic: Getty Images

Nasser Hussain Praised Devon Conway’s Debut Ton

In his column for Daily Mail, Nasser Hussain wrote about Devon Conway’s debut Test hundred, stating the 29-year-old played a ‘lovely’ innings.

“Devon Conway played a lovely innings, in which he let the bowlers come to him, and batted on his Test debut as if to the manner born. And England’s bowlers put in a challenging shift on a difficult surface… In Conway, they had just the player to make good use of a nice batting strip,” Nasser Hussain wrote.

Nasser Hussain. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)
Nasser Hussain. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

The former England skipper Nasser Hussain added that he was particularly impressed with the manner in which Devon Conway stuck it out during a probing spell by Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad after lunch.

“The tourists’ coach, Gary Stead, has spoken about picking on character, and somehow New Zealand just find a way of producing these tough cricketers. He had a nice rhythm to his batting, and he wasn’t afraid to suck up a tough spell when Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad were making it swing after lunch. “

“We’ve seen all around the world in recent years how openers have struggled against the new ball, but Conway looked a natural. I spoke to the New Zealand commentator Simon Doull about him before play, and he just said ‘we’ve got another one in the mould of Kane Williamson – he bats long and he bats time. Conway bats on middle stump, has a fluency to his game, and plays beside the ball, which opens up different scoring areas,” Nasser Hussain added.

Nasser Hussain also stressed the fact that batsmen need to adjust their technique when the ball is moving around and Devon Conway did that well.

“There is a lot to be said for leaving it (the ball) when necessary and letting the bowler come to you. That’s what Conway did so well here,” Nasser Hussain wrote.

An unbeaten hundred from New Zealand’s debutant opener, Devon Conway, set the platform for the visiting side as the return of Test cricket to Lord’s was marked by a day of hard work in the field for England.

Ollie Robinson, another man on Test debut, claimed two of the three wickets to fall before a century stand for the fourth wicket between Devon Conway and Henry Nicholls put New Zealand in control of proceedings as the 1st day saw New Zealand reaching 246/3 at stumps.

Devon Conway Breaks Sourav Ganguly’s Record Of Highest Score By A Debutant At Lords

Following his unbeaten 136, Devon Conway broke former India captain and current BCCI President Sourav Ganguly’s record for the highest score by a debutant at Lord’s. Sourav Ganguly had scored 131 on his Test debut at the iconic ground back in 1996.

Devon Conway and Sourav Ganguly. (Getty Images)
Devon Conway and Sourav Ganguly. (Getty Images)

Devon Conway’s 136 is also the highest score by a Kiwi debutant while playing outside New Zealand. The southpaw broke skipper Kane Williamson’s record, who had smashed 131 on his Test debut against India in Ahmedabad. Before making his Test debut on Wednesday, the 29-year-old had featured in three ODIs and 14 T20Is where he amassed 225 runs averaging 75 and 473 runs averaging 59.12 respectively.

The sight of a 23-year-old Sourav Ganguly driving Dominic Cork through covers to bring up his maiden Test century will go down as one of the most iconic moments of Indian cricket. During India’s 1996 tour of England, Sourav Ganguly became the 10th Indian batsman to notch up a century on Test debut, but what the effort even more special is that the hundred came at the Mecca of cricket, the Lord’s Cricket Ground.

For 25 years, Sourav Ganguly’s 131 stood out as the highest score by a Test debutant at Lord’s, before New Zealand opener Devon Conway overtook the former India captain on Wednesday. Incidentally, Devon Conway and Sourav Ganguly also share a birthday of July 8.

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Axing Of David Warner From Captaincy And Playing XI Shocks Brett Lee

David Warner has been one of the most prolific run-getters in the IPL. With 5447 runs, David Warner is fifth on the list of the leading run-getters in the IPL but first overall in terms of overseas players.

Like many fans and experts, Brett Lee was in utter disbelief when he found out that David Warner’s name was not included in Sunrisers Hyderabad’s Playing XI against Rajasthan Royals in Delhi on Sunday.

David Warner
David Warner (Courtesy by BCCI)

David Warner’s Axe From Playing XI Shocked Brett Lee

A day after being removed as captain of the team, David Warner was axed from the team as well, with the fourth overseas player’s spot going to Mohammad Nabi. Brett Lee was in shock to see his former Australia teammate not being part of the Playing XI as it remains to be seen how long he remains in exile.

“I’m actually shocked that Warner was not included in the XI. I know he hasn’t been playing his best form of cricket in terms of his strike rate this season but he’s always been there and there about with the Orange Cap party,” Brett Lee said during the Star Sports pre-match show.

Brett Lee KKR
Brett Lee KKR. (Photo Source: BCCI)

Like Brett Lee pointed out, David Warner has been one of the most prolific run-getters in the IPL. With 5447 runs, he is fifth on the list of the leading run-getters in the IPL and the highest run-getter among overseas players.

With 50 half-centuries, he has the maximum fifties in the IPL history and he is the only player to have won the Orange Cap a record three times – in 2015, 2017, and 2019. Brett Lee said that the decision would not have left David Warner pleased, but all the Australia batsman can do for the time being is be a good sportsman and wait for his turn to come again.

Kane Williamson Appointed New Skipper Of Sunrisers Hyderabad After David Warner’s Axe

SRH announced early on Saturday that Kane Williamson will take over the saddle from David Warner. Experts initially speculated that the decision was rooted in the team’s last-place standing in the points table after almost half of the IPL 2021 season.

However, there is another opinion doing the rounds that David Warner’s statement after the match against Delhi Capitals, where he labelled the ‘selectors’ call to drop Manish Pandey ‘harsh’, could also be the source of his captaincy axe.

Kane Williamson SPORTZPICS/Instagram
Kane Williamson SPORTZPICS/Instagram

David Warner is not only the top scorer in SRH’s history, the 34-year-old has also led the team to their maiden IPL title (2016) and multiple qualifier finishes. Kane Williamson, on the other hand, marshalled SRH to a runner-up finish in David Warner’s absence in 2018.

The franchise is languishing at the bottom of the points table after just one win in their first six matches. Hyderabad brought in Afghan all-rounder Mohammad Nabi instead as the fourth overseas player in the playing XI, which also includes Englishman Jonny Bairstow and Afghan spinner Rashid Khan.

However, in Kane Williamson’s first IPL 2021 match as skipper, Rajasthan Royals were back to winning ways after registering a victory against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in Match 28 of the VIVO Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi on Sunday.

Jos Buttler slammed his maiden IPL century, powering RR to a huge total of above 200 before the bowlers restricted SRH to 165 as RR won the game convincingly by 55 runs.

For Rajasthan Royals, Chris Morris and Mustafizur Rahman picked 3 scalps apiece as apart from the openers Manish Pandey and Jonny Bairstow, no other batsmen scored above 30 runs.

Brief Scores: Rajasthan Royals 220/3 (Jos Buttler 124, Sanju Samson 48; Rashid Khan 1/24) beat Sunrisers Hyderabad 165/8 (Manish Pandey 31, Jonny Bairstow 30; Mustafizur Rahman 3/20) by 55 runs.