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Michael Holding

Michael Atherton
Michael Atherton
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Michael Atherton Weighs In On England’s Chances Of Chasing Down 368

Michael Atherton weighed in on England’s chances of going 2-1 up and whether the pitch will turn up to assist Indian bowlers on the final day.

England is up against a herculean task– chasing down 368 against India at the Oval to go 2-1 up in the series. A century from Rohit Sharma and fifties from Cheteshwar Pujara, Shardul Thakur, and Rishabh Pant in India’s second innings saw India post a strong total of 466, which means that England needs to pull off a record highest run chase at the venue.

Michael Atherton
Michael Atherton. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

Michael Atherton: India’s Attack Is Without Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, And Ravichandran Ashwin On A Flat Batting Track Which May Give England Advantage

Out of those 368, openers Rory Burns and Haseeb Hameed have knocked off 77 runs, and with another 291 left to achieve in three sessions, Day 5 shapes up to be a fascinating contest between the two teams on Monday. India posted their highest total of the series, but England delivered a strong opening partnership themselves in response.

Former England captain Michael Atherton weighed in on England’s chances of going 2-1 up and whether the pitch will turn up to assist Indian bowlers on the final day.

Indian players Ishant Sharma, left, Ravichandran Ashwin, center, and Mohammed Shami
Indian players Ishant Sharma, left, Ravichandran Ashwin, center, and Mohammed Shami

“It’s pretty flat, there’s not much happening, and then you look at the shape of India’s attack. No Shami, no Ishant, no Ashwin, they seemed very reliant in that first innings on Bumrah especially. How much will Jadeja have an influence? He may have an impact, (but) it’s a good pitch,” Michael Atherton said while commentating on Sky Sports.

The veteran also said that in the absence of Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, and Ravichandran Ashwin, Team India has been a bit too reliant on Jasprit Bumrah in the bowling department.

Former England captain Michael Atherton reckoned that the pitch at the Kennington Oval for the fourth Test against India hasn’t deteriorated much. Going on the fifth day, the Brits need 291 runs to win with all their 10 wickets in hand. Haseeb Hameed and Rory Burns have already taken the Three Lions off to a decent start with an unbeaten 77-run partnership for the opening wicket.

Michael Holding Would Have Preferred Ravichandran Ashwin As The Pitch Isn’t Playing Too Many Tricks

Former West Indies fast bowler Michael Holding agrees with Michael Atherton’s views, stating that pace doesn’t promise to cause England as much trouble as spinners, which is why India might miss the services of Ravichandran Ashwin on a Day 5 pitch.

“I don’t really see this pitch playing too many tricks. I didn’t see the England seamers create too many problems… and the India seamers I don’t expect to do much better. And Jadeja, I don’t know. I would have preferred Ashwin if you’re talking about just the bowling,” Holding said on Sky Sports.

Michael Holding
Michael Holding

India is missing the services of senior bowler Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Shami with their ace spinner Ravichandran Ashwin once again was ignored ahead of Ravindra Jadeja. Umesh Yadav, who came in place of Ishant Sharma, led India’s bowling charts with 3/67 and Ravindra Jadeja too chipped in with two wickets.

Michael Holding feels that he would have preferred Ravichandran Ashwin and noted how the England bowlers performed on the Oval pitch. The series is tied at 1-1 as India won by 151 runs at Lord’s only for England to hit back with an innings and 76 runs triumph at Headingley.

With niggles to Mohammed Shami and Ishant Sharma, as captain Virat Kohli had pointed out at the toss, India included  Shardul Thakur and Umesh Yadav in the XI which paid rich dividends as both of them had an impact.

Umesh Yadav. (AP Photo)
Umesh Yadav. (AP Photo)
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Michael Holding Impressed By Umesh Yadav’s Bowling In The 2nd Day Of The 4th Test

Michael Holding, the former West Indies fast bowler was impressed with Umesh Yadav’s show, but a tad disappointed with Shardul Thakur as he feels India missed having a third impact bowler in the innings. India was forced to make two changes to their fast-bowling unit for the fourth Test against England at the Oval.

With niggles to Mohammed Shami and Ishant Sharma, as captain Virat Kohli had pointed out, India included Shardul Thakur and Umesh Yadav in the XI, and while Umesh Yadav impressed with 3/76 in the first innings, including the wicket of the dangerous Joe Root, Shardul Thakur, after impressing with the bat, could not create the same impact with the ball, finishing with 1/54.

Umesh Yadav. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Umesh Yadav. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Michael Holding Impressed By Umesh Yadav’s Bowling But Ineffective Shardul Thakur’s Bowling Disappointed Him

However, the one wicket which he picked up was highly crucial for India – that of Ollie Pope, who was motoring towards a century before dragging one onto his stumps. Former West Indies fast bowler Michael Holding was impressed with Umesh Yadav’s show, but a tad disappointed with pacer Shardul Thakur as he feels India missed having a third impact bowler in the innings, which in turn, allowed England to attain a 99-run first-innings lead.

“Yadav surprised me a little bit because I didn’t expect him to be a little bit more effective than Bumrah and I think he did. Bumrah bowled some fantastic deliveries and both of them showed pretty good control,” Michael Holding said on Sky Sports.

“What disappointed me after the first hour was the fact that they didn’t have anyone to continue the pressure – Thakur came in and bowled but he’s not the type that is going to get wickets like Bumrah and Yadav. There just wasn’t anything there and he’s just not going to be very effective under these conditions,” said Michael Holding.

Michael Holding
Michael Holding

Umesh Yadav emerged as India’s best bowler of the day, picking up three wickets as India bowled England out for 290. However, the 99-run lead was cut short to 56, after India openers, Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul batted extremely well to take the team’s score to 43/0 at stumps on Day 2 at The Oval.

Shardul Thakur Was The Top Scorer With 57 Off 36 Balls In India’s 1st Innings

Shardul Thakur turned out to be the saving grace for the Indian cricket team on Day 1 of the 4th Test match between England and India at the Kennington Oval. The right-handed batsman scored a sensational 57 off just 36 deliveries and was the top scorer.

Shardul Thakur
Shardul Thakur. (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images)

Shardul Thakur achieved a special milestone as well during the course of his knock, and scored the fastest Test half-century on England soil, reaching his fifty off just 31 deliveries. And, he broke the record of the great Sir Ian Botham of England, who had reached his half-century off 32 deliveries.

On the 2nd day, England was dismissed for 290 as Ollie Pope and Chris Woakes helped their team take a crucial 99-run lead in the 4th Test at The Oval. Ollie Pope scored 81 while Chris Woakes played a blistering knock of 50 runs to propel England after a shaky start.

Indian pacer Umesh Yadav scalped 150 Test wickets with the wicket of Craig Overton on Friday morning. Before the 4th Test against England, the Indian pacer had 148 Tets wickets but Joe Root’s wicket on Day 1 and Craig Overton’s wicket on Day 2 helped him reach the 150-wicket figure. It took him 49 Tests to reach the milestone.

Umesh Yadav, who impressed Michael Holding, has picked up 151 Test scalps in 49 Tests averaging 30.44.

Michael Holding
Michael Holding
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Fieriness In Youth Would Have Cost My Life If I Grew Up In England Among Present Generation: Michael Holding

Michael Holding, the fast bowling great who has also become a leading voice against racism in sport and society feels the fieriness in his youth would have cost him his life if he grew up in England.

Even in the 21st century, racism is becoming a big issue in many aspects of life. Racism or discrimination is also hitting in sports, including cricket. Since the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis (Minnesota), the continuous protest against racism and discrimination is running globally.

Derek Chauvin has been convicted of the murder of George Floyd
Derek Chauvin has been convicted of the murder of George Floyd

Michael Holding Don’t Think He Would Be Alive If He Was Born In Present Generation In England For Being Fiery As A Young Man

Michael Holding played 60 Tests picking 459 scalps and 102 ODIs picking 99 scalps. Most of the sports fraternities have also shown their support in the protest against racism and discrimination.

“I don’t think I would be alive today. As a young man, I was a bit fiery. I kicked a stump out of the ground in New Zealand (1980) so can you imagine me going through what Ebony went through? No, I would not have made it,” Holding told ‘The Telegraph’ referring to what his co-commentator and former England woman international Ebony Rainford-Brent endured growing up in the UK.

Michael Holding Photograph: Gallo Images/Getty Images
Michael Holding Photograph: Gallo Images/Getty Images

Since George Floyd was killed by a white cop in the United States last year, Michael Holding’s voice has shone through as the leading light on the sensitive aspect of racism.

“Growing up in Jamaica, I didn’t experience racism. I experienced it every time I left Jamaica. Each time I experienced it I just told myself this is not your life, I will soon be going back home.”

Michael Holding’s new book on racism “Why We Kneel, How We Rise” is soon to be released. The 67-year-old Jamaican legend said how his sister found one of the chapters difficult to read as it takes a toll on anyone’s emotions.

“I sent a chapter to my sister and she said she could not read it. The ones about lynchings and dehumanization, the picture of three black bodies hanging from the tree that was turned into a postcard.”

Michael Holding is a Jamaican cricket commentator and former cricketer who played for the West Indies. He is known as one of the best fast bowlers ever to have played Test cricket, and was nicknamed “Whispering Death” due to his silent, light-footed run-up to the bowling crease. His bowling was smooth and extremely fast, and he used his height of above 6 ft to generate large amounts of bounce and zip off the pitch.

Michael Holding Who Tormented Batsmen For His Pace Supported Suspension Of Ollie Robinson, England Pacer For Old Racist Tweets

He was part of the fearsome West Indian pace battery, together with Joel Garner, Andy Roberts, Sylvester Clarke, Colin Croft, Wayne Daniel, and the late Malcolm Marshall that devastated batting line-ups throughout the world in the seventies and early eighties.

Michael Holding, West Indies’ former legendary player supports the suspension of England pacer, cricketer Ollie Robinson who debuted against Kiwis for racist tweets as a teenager but also believes that the pacer should get a second chance if the investigation proves that he did not repeat his actions beyond that time.

Ollie Robinson has apologized for offensive tweets posted as a teenager PA Images via Getty Images
Ollie Robinson has apologized for offensive tweets posted as a teenager PA Images via Getty Images

Michael Holding, who has been vocal against racism since the death of African American Geroge Floyd at the hands of a white police officer last year, said suspending Ollie Robinson was the right call.

England’s Ollie Robinson Photograph: Andrew Couldridge/Action Images/Reuters
England’s Ollie Robinson Photograph: Andrew Couldridge/Action Images/Reuters
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Michael Holding Supports Suspension Of Ollie Robinson But Believes He Should Get A 2nd Chance

Michael Holding, West Indies former legendary player supports the suspension of England pacer, cricketer Ollie Robinson who debuted against Kiwis for racist tweets as a teenager but also believes that the pacer should get a second chance if the investigation proves that he did not repeat his actions beyond that time.

Ollie Robinson was suspended by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), pending an investigation, after his racist and sexist tweets in 2012 and 2013 emerged on social media on the day he made his Test debut.

Ollie Robinson has apologized for offensive tweets posted as a teenager PA Images via Getty Images
Ollie Robinson has apologized for offensive tweets posted as a teenager PA Images via Getty Images

Michael Holding Urges ECB To Do The Investigation Of Ollie Robinson Quickly

The 27-year-old found support from his England teammates who said they have accepted his apology on the issue. Michael Holding also offered a sympathetic view on the matter but backed the ECB’s move to suspend him.

“(It was) eight, nine years ago. Can the ECB then find out please, if, beyond that time, Robinson has kept on behaving like that, saying things like that, tweeting things like that?” Holding told Sky Sports News.

“If he has done something like that nine years ago, and since then he has learned and he has done nothing like that and he has changed his ways in recent years, then I don’t think you should come down too hard on him,” the West Indies legend said.

Michael Holding. (Photo by Philip Brown/Popperfoto via Getty Images)
Michael Holding. (Photo by Philip Brown/Popperfoto via Getty Images)

Michael Holding, who has been vocal against racism since the death of African American Geroge Floyd at the hands of a white police officer last year, said suspending Ollie Robinson was the right call.

“Yes, suspend him because you want to investigate. You don’t allow him to continue playing, like on Thursday, while an investigation is going on at the same time, because if you find out things that are horrible coming out in that investigation. But do it quickly, let’s get it over with quickly.”

The British government though found Ollie Robinson’s suspension “over the top” with the country’s culture and sports secretary Oliver Dowden asking the ECB to reconsider the suspension. The ECB is now also investigating one more England cricketer for racist tweets during his teen years.

Michael Holding Wants To Give Someone Second Or Third Chances

Michael Holding said in his case too, it should be investigated if he repeated the same offence again.

“I don’t know who that player is, so I don’t know how many years ago he was 15. Has he done anything since then? Can they find records of him in the last two to three years doing offensive things, saying offensive things or tweeting offensive things? …we all make mistakes as young people, but if we can recognise those mistakes and correct them, and change our lives to recognise that was rubbish, and then do the right thing going forward,” he said.

“I am someone who likes to give someone second chances, or even third chances.”

England batsman Michael Carberry Photograph: Dave Hunt/AAP Image Photograph: Dave Hunt/AAP Image
England batsman Michael Carberry Photograph: Dave Hunt/AAP Image Photograph: Dave Hunt/AAP Image

Former England batsman Michael Carberry differed with Oliver Dowden while former batsman Mark Ramprakash also did not appreciate Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s support to his minister on the issue.

“I totally agree with Michael Carberry and what Ramps are saying. You keep on hearing that politics and sport shouldn’t mix, but then you keep on hearing the politicians getting involved. When I hear Boris Johnson getting involved…I would hope that Boris Johnson would make that one comment and move on, and allow the cricket people to deal with cricketing matters.”

“Yes they may say sportsmen get involved in politics. But sportsmen get involved in politics because of humanitarian things, not to do with principle or policy of the politicians or the government. I would hope they would allow the cricket people to carry on and do their own stuff,” Michael Holding added.

Veteran England pacer James Anderson says the team has unanimously accepted Ollie Robinson’s apology for posting racist and sexist tweets as a teenager nine years ago and the suspended pacer has the full support of the side.

The pacer Ollie Robinson led England’s attack with 4-75 in the first innings at Lord’s and followed up with 3-26 in the second while in between making a useful 42 with the bat as England fought hard to earn a draw in the 1st Lord’s Test against New Zealand.

West Indies
West Indies. Image Credits: Twitter
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Most Youngsters Are Unable To Understand What Cricket Is To Windies, Says Curtly Ambrose

Curtly Ambrose, the former tearaway fast bowler feels that it could be difficult for the West Indies to regain their glory days of the 1970-the 1980s because the current crop of players probably doesn’t quite understand what cricket means to the Caribbean people.

West Indies dominated world cricket from the 70s to the early 90s, as they captured the first two editions of the World Cup during this period. However, their fortunes dipped drastically from the mid-90s, and they have not been the same force to be reckoned with since then.

West Indies fast bowler Curtly Ambrose | Kieran Doherty/ Reuters
West Indies fast bowler Curtly Ambrose | Kieran Doherty/ Reuters

Curtly Ambrose: Most Youngsters Don’t Understand What Cricket Means To Windies

Speaking on Talk-Sports Live, pacer Curtly Ambrose lamented the lack of appreciation for the legacy of West Indies cricket among the current players.

“Most of the youngsters we have now probably don’t quite understand what cricket means to West Indians in the West Indies and abroad because cricket is the only sport that really unites Caribbean people.”

West Indies winning 1979 ODI World Cup
West Indies winning 1979 ODI World Cup Image Sources: SportsKeeda, Sky Sports

Curtly Ambrose elaborated why he doesn’t believe West Indies could be a great team all over again.

“This is no disrespect to the players we have now because we have a couple of guys who have some quality in them and can become great, but what we have to understand is that I don’t think we will ever see those great, exceptional glory days again.”

The West Indies appeared in three consecutive World Cup finals (1975, 1979, and 1983), and was the first team to win back-to-back World Cups (1975 and 1979).

Statistics highlight their dominance between 1976 and 1995, which coincided with their golden era. West Indies won 71 of the 137 Tests they played in that era, losing only 18 – a win-loss ratio of 3.89.

In the 80s and until the mid-90s, the Calypso Kings played 31 Test series, winning 21 and losing only one. In the shorter format of the game too, the Windies were unstoppable. Apart from winning the 1975 and 1979 World Cups, the Windies were consistent performers in One Day internationals, winning 173 of the 270 matches played between 1979 and 1995 – a win percentage of just over 64.

Curtly Ambrose: West Indies Could Find It Difficult To Produce Legends Like Viv Richards

The 57-year-old further added that West Indies could find it difficult to produce legends like Viv Richards or Michael Holding in the future.

“It’s going to be difficult to find another Viv Richards or a Haynes and Greenidge, a Brian Lara, Richie Richardson, you know, a Malcolm Marshall, Curtly Ambrose, Courtney Walsh, Michael Holding, Andy Roberts, and the list goes on and on, Clive Lloyd. It’s going to be extremely difficult to find those quality players again.”

Curtly Ambrose claimed 405 scalps in 98 Tests and feels that despite the possibility to top the rankings by climbing the charts, the glory days are more or less over.

“When we were the best team in the word, West Indians all over the globe could walk and boast about how good we were because we were the best, so it’s going to be difficult to see those glory days again. Yes, we can be competitive and climb up the ICC rankings and be a force to be reckoned with again, but those glory days, I don’t think we will see them again.”

West Indies T20I World Cup 2016 Winners
West Indies T20I World Cup 2016 Winners Image Sources: SportsKeeda, Sky Sports

West Indies are the defending champions in the T20 World Cup(2016); they also won the tournament in 2012. However, they have struggled to make an impact in ODIs and Tests in the last two decades.

The West Indies have won the ICC Cricket World Cup twice (1975 and 1979), the ICC T20 World Cup twice (2012 and 2016), the ICC Champions Trophy once (2004), and have also finished as runners-up in the Cricket World Cup (1983), the Under 19 Cricket World Cup (2004), and the ICC Champions Trophy (2006).

However, West Indies were eliminated from the group stage in the 2019 World Cup and didn’t reach finals again since 1983 and failed to reach semi-finals after 1996. West Indies are currently placed 8th in ODI, 8th in Test, and 10th in T20Is according to the latest ICC rankings.

With inefficiency and corruption plaguing the WICB, financially struggling players looked towards the cash-rich IPL. Players like Chris Gayle, Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard, and Darren Sammy became IPL stars. IPL’s success prompted other boards to launch their own T20 tournament.

One can now watch the likes of Chris Gayle and Dwayne Bravo in PSL, CPL, BPL, and the BBL too. West Indian cricketers have turned into “T20 mercenaries” – those who prioritize clubs over national duties.

India's Jasprit Bumrah in action during the 2019 ICC World Cup | AFP / Dibyangshu Sarkar
India's Jasprit Bumrah in action during the 2019 ICC World Cup | AFP / Dibyangshu Sarkar
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Curtly Ambrose Is A “Big Fan” Of Rare Breed Jasprit Bumrah

Curtly Ambrose showered Indian pacer Jasprit Bumrah with praises, admitting that he’s a fan of the pacer and that he comes across a rare breed.

Discussion on pacers isn’t complete without the mention of the great Sir Curtly Ambrose. As the West Indies fast bowling spearhead from the late 1980s until 2000, Curtly Ambrose achieved great success and his partnership with Courtney Walsh made the duo one of the most lethal opening bowling pairs of all time. With 405 Test wickets and 225 scalps in ODIs, Curtly Ambrose is a legend when it comes to fast bowlers.

Courtney Walsh and Curtly Ambrose
Courtney Walsh and Curtly Ambrose was one of the deadliest bowling partnerships in history (Reuters)

Curtly Ambrose Is A Big Fan Of Jasprit Bumrah And He Looks Forward To Him Doing Well In Future Endeavors

Curtly Ambrose, one of the best of his generation, has spoken about one of the greats of today’s era, Jasprit Bumrah. In a conversation with sports presenter Karishma Kotak and senior sports journalist Vikrant Gupta, the West Indian praised Jasprit Bumrah, admitting that he’s a fan of the India pacer and that he comes across a rare breed.

“India’s got a few good fast bowlers. I’m a big fan of Jasprit Bumrah. He’s so different than any bowler I have seen. He’s so effective and I’m looking forward to him doing really well,” Ambrose said on The Curtly & Karishma Show on YouTube.

Jasprit Bumrah (Photo by PETER PARKS / AFP)
Jasprit Bumrah (Photo by PETER PARKS / AFP)

Curtly Ambrose sounded optimistic when asked if Jasprit Bumrah can go on to pick 400 Test scalps but pointed out that remaining fit and keeping his body strong will be key to the India pacer getting there.

“He is as long as he can remain healthy, fit, and play long enough. He can seam the ball, swing the ball, and bowl great yorkers. He’s got a lot in his arsenal. So as long as he can remain in the park for a long period of time, I’m sure he can get up there,” Ambrose explained.

Not too long ago, Michael Holding, the former West Indies fast bowler, had remarked that Jasprit Bumrah’s action will make it difficult for him to last long in international cricket, an opinion that did not go down too well with Indian cricket fans.

Curtly Ambrose Feels Jasprit Bumrah  Can Go The Distance If He Stays Strong To Accompany Short Run-up

However, Curtly Ambrose, on the other hand, feels the India quick will need to really manage his body well because of his action, in order to scale the 400-wicket mark.

“You know in terms of fast bowling, it’s generally about rhythm. So, you need to build a good rhythm before you can deliver. Bumrah has got a very short run-up. He walks most of the way and maybe one to two or three jogs before delivery.

“So, it simply means he may be putting a little more strain on his body but if he can remain strong enough, I think he’ll be ok. It’s just about him staying strong to accompany that short run-up. If he can do that, he’ll go the distance,” Curtly Ambrose added.

India's Jasprit Bumrah
India’s Jasprit Bumrah (Photo by Saeed KHAN / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAEED KHAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Curtly Ambrose, who took 405 wickets in 98 Tests at an outstanding average of 20.99, said from the current Indian lot, Jasprit Bumrah has impressed him the most. Jasprit Bumrah has 83 wickets from 19 Tests averaging 22.11 besides having 108 ODI and 59 T20I wickets.

Jasprit Bumrah was rested from the five-match T20I series against England, which incidentally was played in his hometown Ahmedabad, and the India fast bowler missed the three-match ODI series that followed too. After the third Test against England last week, he was also released from the Test squad for “personal reasons”.

His last ODI appearance was in December 2020 against Australia and T20I against New Zealand in February 2020. He finished the 4 match Test series against England with 4 wickets from 48 overs bowled across the two Tests.

Australia vs India 2020-21: No Way You Should Be That Far Within The Boundary- Michael Holding Criticises India's Poor Fielding In 1st ODI
Team India. Image Credit: BCCI.
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Australia vs India 2020-21: No Way You Should Be That Far Within The Boundary – Michael Holding Criticises India’s Poor Fielding In 1st ODI

Neither India’s batting nor bowling is being criticized as much their fielding after the loss in the first ODI against Australia in Sydney on Friday. West Indies great Michael Holding has also hit out on Indian fielders for making lousy mistakes which allowed the host to put up the highest ODI total (374) against them.

While speaking on his own YouTube Channel, the veteran pointed out Shikhar Dhawan’s mistake, who dropped Steve Smith’s catch when he was batting at 42. The southpaw could not judge a skier and was standing way inside the boundary rope. Apart from him, Hardik Pandya and Shreyas Iyer also misjudged the ball.

Australia vs India 2020-21: No Way You Should Be That Far Within The Boundary - Michael Holding Criticises India's Poor Fielding In 1st ODI 1
Image Credit: BCCI.

Holding slammed Virat Kohli’s men for not staying on the ropes, with the boundary at the Sydney Cricket Ground not as long as it once was.

“India didn’t help themselves with their fielding. The SCG is a big ground but the boundary rope was still in from the extremes of the boundary. India slipped up on quite a few occasions, with balls going over the fielders’ heads and not going for sixes. There’s no way you should be that far within the boundary,” Michael Holding said. 

‘In any ground, it’s a basic principle that you should not be that far in’ – Michael Holding

Australia vs India 2020-21: No Way You Should Be That Far Within The Boundary - Michael Holding Criticises India's Poor Fielding In 1st ODI 2
Image Credit: Getty Images.

Michael Holding criticized Indian fielders for forgetting the basic principle of staying close to the boundary. He added that Indian fielders for coming in off the boundary and allowing balls to be hit over their heads for fours.

“In any ground, it’s a basic principle that you should not be that far in that the ball can go over your head and land within the boundary. If it goes over your head, it should be six and that is just basic. It’s not as if India is back in the day where fielders could take twos easily since they are a lot fitter.”

India lost the first ODI with 66 runs. They will take on Australia in the second ODI in Sydney.

Michael Holding
Michael Holding (Image Credit: Twitter)
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India Missing MS Dhoni In Run Chase: Michael Holding

Michael Holding, former West Indian pacer has claimed that even though India have a star-studded batting lineup presently, the team is missing former captain, MS Dhoni, in run-chases.

While speaking on the show ‘Holding Nothing Back’, the 66-year-old reviewed the Men in Blue’s 66-run loss to Australia in the 1st ODI at the Sydney Cricket Ground as India failed to chase 375.

Michael Holding
Michael Holding Image Credits: Twitter

Michael Holding: MS Dhoni Usually Took Control While Chasing As India Are Struggling With His Absence

Michael Holding stated that India missed the composure and control of finisher MS Dhoni, who retired from international cricket earlier this year after a long hiatus from the side since participating in the 2019 World Cup, where his last match was in semis against New Zealand which India lost to bow out of World Cup.

“It was always going to be difficult for India to chase that down. One thing India will struggle with is the loss of Mahendra Singh Dhoni. MS Dhoni comes in to this Indian batting order halfway down and he usually takes control while chasing. India have chased so well in the past with MS Dhoni in the team, ” said the retired pacer and present commentator.

MS Dhoni
MS Dhoni. Photo Credit: AP Photo.

Michael Holding said that the Indian team with MS Dhoni in it was far more assured in run-chases due to the 39-year-old’s ability and ‘strength of character’.

“They’ve never been afraid to win the toss and insert the opposition because they know what MS Dhoni is capable of. This batting lineup that they’ve got is still very talented – we saw some talented players and fantastic strokeplay. But they still need a player like Dhoni. Not just his skills but his strength of character.”

MS Dhoni was reputed for changing India’s fortunes while chasing stiff targets. He averages 51.04 while chasing and 50.2 in the first innings in 297 ODIs where he accumulated more than 10,000 runs. MS Dhoni announced international retirement through Instagram on Independence Day 2020.

Michael Holding: India Have A Fantastic Batting Line-up But MS Dhoni Was A Special Man In Run Chase

The former pacer added that MS Dhoni not only ensured that he kept his team in the game throughout run-chases but also helped his batting partner constantly.

“We never see MS Dhoni panicking at any stage while India are chasing. He usually paces that chase so well because he knows his ability and he knows how to go about the chase. Whoever is batting with him, he is always talking with them and helping them. Fantastic batting lineup, but MS Dhoni was a special man in the run-chase.”

MS Dhoni
MS Dhoni (Image Credit: Twitter)

The Chennai Super Kings captain is known to be a step ahead of the opposition, with multiple batting partners such as Ravindra Jadeja emphatically stating that batting with him makes the job significantly easier.

India certainly could’ve used batsman and skipper MS Dhoni’s services in the 1st ODI – not only with his helicopter shots but also his uncanny ability to utilize a couple of overs out of his part-timers as captain.

MS Dhoni will be seen in action next in the 2021 Indian Premier League after a dismal IPL 2020 where he failed with both bats and as captain as CSK finished 7th in the points table. He scored 200 runs in 14 games averaging only 25.

Sunl Gavaskar with Virat Kohli.
Sunl Gavaskar with Virat Kohli.
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Sunil Gavaskar: Virat Kohli’s Absence Will Boost Australia

Sunil Gavaskar said that Virat Kohli’s absence will boost Australia while discussing the impact of Virat Kohli’s absence with Michael Holding.

Every Indian cricket fan and experts know by now that India skipper Virat Kohli will miss the last three Tests against Australia. After featuring in the first Day/Night Test at Adelaide, he will fly back to India to be with his wife, Anushka Sharma, for the birth of their first child.

Virat Kohli, Anushka Sharma
Virat Kohli, Anushka Sharma. Image Credits: Twitter

Sunil Gavaskar: Virat Kohli’s Absence Will Help Australia As He Has An Unbelievable Record Against Them

In a YouTube interaction with legendary former West Indian fast-bowler and present commentator Michael Holding, ex-India opener skipper Sunil Gavaskar admitted that Virat Kohli’s absence will be a major boost for hosts, Australia.

“I think that (Kohli’s absence) is really going to help the Australians. Because, look at his record against Australia. It is an unbelievable one. In 12 Test matches in Australia, he has scored six hundreds against them. For the Australians it’s one relief that he is not going to be around for the last three matches.”

Sunil Gavaskar
Sunil Gavaskar. Image Credit: Twitter.

Sunil Gavaskar, however, also said that India have found out a way to win in the absence of Virat Kohli in the past.

“If you have a look at what India have done in his absence in the past, you will find that India has invariably won when he has not been around.”

The Little Master recalled specific matches that India won without Virat Kohli. These include the Dharamsala Test against Australia in 2017 when the batsman had injured his shoulder and Afghanistan’s debut Test, which India won in a couple of days by more than an innings, besides ODI tournaments like the Nidahas Trophy and the Asia Cup in 2018. Rohit Sharma captained in Nidahas Trophy and Asia Cup while Ajinkya Rahane captained in 2 Tests against Afghanistan and Australia.

Sunil Gavaskar: India Must Find Somebody Or Get Combination Right To Feel Virat Kohli’s Void In Last 3 Tests

According to the former Indian opener turned commentator, India always manages to find someone or some combination to make up for the huge loss of Virat Kohli, knowing how crucial he is to the team’s cause. He is hoping that the same happens in Australian tour too.

Gavaskar said: “I am hoping that in these three Tests (against Australia) also they will find somebody or the combination to make up for his absence.”

Sunil Gavaskar, Virat Kohli
Sunil Gavaskar, Virat Kohli

India are all set to take on Australia in a gruelling tour, which will get underway on November 27 with the first ODI (One Day International) at Sydney.

India will face the Aussies in three ODIs, followed by as many T20Is. The limited-overs series will be followed by four Tests, which will begin with the Day-Night encounter at Adelaide on December 17

Graeme Swann Explains The Reasons Behind Jofra Archer's Success In IPL
Jofra Archer. Image Credit: Getty Images.
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No One has Forgotten About ‘Black Lives Matter’ Movement: Jofra Archer Reacts To Michael Holding’s Comment

England’s premier pacer Jofra Archer lashed out on Michael Holding after the Windies veteran said that it was ‘lame’ of teams like Pakistan, Australia and England to not show solidarity towards the battle against racism.

The England and West Indies had taken a knee before each game in their three-match Test series in July for supporting the ‘Black Lives Matter’ campaign. But after that series, England had played series against Pakistan and currently, playing against Australia. They have not taken the knee for which ECB had also given justification.

Michael Holding
Michael Holding. (Photo by Visionhaus/Corbis via Getty Images)

Jofra Archer responded to Michale Holding’s statement, saying that no one has forgotten about the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement. Noting that ECB is doing continuous effort to end racism, Jofra said that Michael should do some research before criticising.

“We have not forgotten, no one here has forgotten about ‘Black Lives Matter’,” Archer said.

“I think it is a bit harsh for Michael Holding to not do some research before criticising. I’m pretty sure he doesn’t know what is going on behind the scenes.

Jofra Archer claims ECB is working for eliminating racism:

Jofra Archer
(Photo by Philip Brown/Popperfoto via Getty Images)

Jofra Archer said that he had talked with ECB chairman and claimed progress is being made ‘in the background’ for supporting the moment.

“I don’t think he has spoken to (ECB chief executive) Tom Harrison. I have spoken to Tom and we have stuff running in the background.”

Meanwhile, Jofra Archer had himself faced racial remark during the Test series against Pakistan when he violated bio-secure bubble. He had also opened up about his mental state after facing a racist remark on social media while he was under self-isolation.

Currently, he is playing in the ODI series against Australia where both the team has won the one-one match so far. The decider match of the series will be played on Wednesday.

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