Muttiah Muralitharan | Sportzwiki

Muttiah Muralitharan

Sachin Tendulkar
Sachin Tendulkar Photograph: Niklas Halle’n/AFP/Getty Images
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Sachin Tendulkar Won’t Be A Part Of Upcoming Legends League Cricket (LLC) Starting On January 20

Sachin Tendulkar, former legendary Indian batsman is not a part of the upcoming Legends League Cricket (LLC) as confirmed by SRT Sports Management Private Limited on Saturday. The LLC is a professional cricket league meant for retired players, and it has recently announced its Indian squad for the league.

A promotional video featuring actor Amitabh Bachchan shows that Sachin Tendulkar is also going to be a part of the league, which the official spokesperson of SRT Sports rejected.

Sachin Tendulkar. (Photo Source: Twitter
Sachin Tendulkar. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Sachin Tendulkar Won’t Play In Legends League Cricket 2022; He Led India Legends To Victory In The Inaugural Road Safety World Series

Starting January 20, the LLC will feature three star-packed teams which will lock horns with each other. Sachin Tendulkar has confirmed that he won’t be part of the upcoming legend’s league cricket which will kickstart on Jan 20 in Oman. Shortly after Sachin Tendulkar’s clarification, Amitabh Bachchan posted an apology for the previous tweet and posted a corrected promotional clip for the event.

Irfan Pathan. (Photo Source: AFP)
Irfan Pathan. (Photo Source: AFP)

“The news about @sachin_rt’s participation in ‘Legends League Cricket’ is not true. The organizers should refrain from misleading cricket fans and Mr. Amitabh Bachchan,” said the official spokesperson of SRT Sports Management Pvt. Ltd.

Sachin Tendulkar had led India Legends to victory at the inaugural Road Safety World Series 2020-21. India Legends beat Sri Lanka Legends in the final of the tournament to lift the inaugural title.

Yusuf Pathan, Subramaniam Badrinath, and Irfan Pathan also tested positive for COVID after playing in the tournament for India Legends besides Sachin Tendulkar who was the first person to test Covid positive. The Master Blaster led the eventual winner-India Legends and ended as the side’s leading run-getter with 233 runs.

India Maharajas Team To Consist Of Yuvraj Singh, Virender Sehwag, And Harbhajan Singh Among Others

The Indian team will be represented by the likes of Yuvraj Singh, Virender Sehwag, Harbhajan Singh, and the Pathan brothers — Irfan and Yusuf. The team will be called The India Maharajas which will see them compete against some other star players from other nations.

LLC had earlier announced the Asia team as ‘Asia Lions’ which comprises mostly former Pakistani and Sri Lankan players including Shoaib Akhtar, Shahid Afridi, Sanath Jayasuriya, Muttiah Muralitharan, Chaminda Vaas, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Azhar Mahmood, Upul Tharanga, Misbah-ul-Haq, Mohammed Hafeez,  Mohammed Yousuf, Umar Gul and Asghar Afghan.

Shoaib Akhtar, Sanath Jayasuriya (Image Source: Twitter)
Shoaib Akhtar, Sanath Jayasuriya (Image Source: Twitter)

Regarding the World Giants team, from South Africa, the trio of Jonty Rhodes, Herschelle Gibbs, and Morne Morkel is set to feature in the tournament, much to the excitement of all fans. Interestingly, the World Giants team will have two of the most explosive batsmen who have ever graced the game of cricket in form of Chris Gayle and Kevin Pietersen. While Brett Lee is set to lead the pace attack, the side will also have two world-class left-arm spinners – Monty Panesar and Daniel Vettori.

All the matches of the tournament will take place at Muscat’s Al Amerat Cricket Stadium. The venue had also hosted six games in the 2021 Men’s T20 World Cup. The tournament will take place from January 20 to January 29.

India Maharajas

Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh, Harbhajan Singh, Irfan Pathan, Yusuf Pathan, Subramaniam Badrinath, RP Singh, Pragyan Ojha, Naman Ojha, Manpreet Gony, Hemang Badani, Venugopal Rao, Munaf Patel, Sanjay Bangar, Nayan Mongia, and Amit Bhandari.

Asia Lions

Shoaib Akhtar, Shahid Afridi, Sanath Jayasuriya, Muttiah Muralitharan, Kamran Akmal, Chaminda Vaas, Romesh Kaluwitharana, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Azhar Mahmood, Upul Tharanga, Misbah-ul-Haq, Mohammed Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Mohammed Yousuf, and Umar Gul, Asghar Afghan.

World Giants

Jonty Rhodes, Chris Gayle, Herschelle Gibbs, Brett Lee, Morne Morkel, Monty Panesar, Kevin Pietersen, Daniel Vettori (few names yet to be revealed).

Nathan Lyon
Nathan Lyon
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Ashes 2021-22: Yet To Sink In After Reaching 400-Wicket Milestone, Says Nathan Lyon

Nathan Lyon, Australia’s off-spinner said reaching the milestone of 400 Test wickets in Saturday’s big 1st Ashes Test 2021/22 win and joining cricket’s greats had not yet sunk in.

A classical off-spinner, the 34-year-old removed Dawid Malan for 82 on the fourth day of the first Test against England to write his name in Australian sporting history.

Nathan Lyon Photograph: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images
Nathan Lyon Photograph: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

Nathan Lyon: It’s Been Very Rewarding To Reach 400 Wicket Milestone

Australia has drawn first blood in the Ashes after taking an emphatic 1-0 lead after just three and a half days of the first Test at the Gabba. The hosts were set a target of just 20 to win the match after lunch following yet another batting collapse from England which saw the final eight wickets fall for just 74 runs.

Speaking immediately after playing a central role in Australia’s nine-wicket victory at the Gabba, Lyon said: “It hasn’t really hit me yet to be honest. No doubt I’ll get my phone and call my family and friends, and that will probably hit a little bit closer to home, I guess. But it’s something that I’m very proud of, there’s no doubt about that. It’s been some hard toil to get it, but it’s very rewarding, that’s for sure.”

Dawid Malan Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images
Dawid Malan Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images

Ahead of the Test, Nathan Lyon had nominated England captain Joe Root as the scalp he would like as his 400th, given they have played so much against each other. He had to make do with Dawid Malan, with Marnus Labuschagne taking the catch at silly mid-off.

Nathan Lyon Is Australia’s Most Important Bowler: Pat Cummins

Nathan Lyon, in his 101st Test and after a decade on the team, became just the 16th player worldwide to achieve the feat and only the third Australian after Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath. Sri Lankan legend Muttiah Muralitharan tops the all-time Test wicket-takers with 800 wickets, followed by Shane Warne on 708.

England star Jimmy Anderson is third on 632 scalps but was overlooked for the Brisbane Test, as was fellow paceman Stuart Broad, who is sixth on the list with 524. Nathan Lyon took 4-91 in the second innings to move to 403 wickets overall. Next in his sights is West Indies’ great Curtly Ambrose, who has 405 wickets.

Pat Cummins Credit: AAP
Pat Cummins Credit: AAP

Australian captain Pat Cummins stressed how important Nathan Lyon was to the team.

“He’s our most important bowler, not just for wicket-taking, but you saw how many overs he bowled yesterday,” Cummins said.

“He went for two and a half an over for 20 overs on a hot day.”

Nathan Lyon had been stuck on 399 Test wickets for 326 days and had to bowl 208 deliveries before finally reaching the milestone. England’s Dawid Malan fell bat-pad early on the fourth morning to help Nathan Lyon become the 17th Test bowler to reach 400 scalps.

Nathan Lyon took four wickets on the fourth morning, including that of Dawid Malan’s for his 400th to start the rot prior to the new ball being taken, while Cameron Green claimed the prized scalp of Joe Root for 89 as England lost 8 for 74 to be bowled out for 297 and set Australia just 20 runs to win.

His 401st wicket took just 11 more deliveries to get, bamboozling Ollie Pope with sharp bounce and turn as he tried to cut a ball that pitched wide off. It only took 37 more to reach 403 as Ollie Robinson gifted Nathan Lyon his wicket with an attempted reverse sweep while Mark Wood was bowled by a full ball that drifted and dropped under the bat.

Australia 425 and 1 for 20 (Harris 9*, Robinson 1-13) beat England 147 and 297 (Root 89, Malan 82, Lyon 4-91) by nine wickets

Ravichandran Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin. (Photo Source: Twitter)
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Simon Doull Lashes Out At The Critics Of India’s Premier Spinner Ravichandran Ashwin

Simon Doull, former New Zealand pacer lauded India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin and slammed his critics. It is not easy to be senior India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin. Despite climbing to third in the list of most wickets for Tests in India and winning his country innumerable matches, Ravichandran Ashwin continues to be criticized and comparisons continue to be made.

Reacting to constant discussions surrounding him, former New Zealand pacer Simon Doull has lashed out at his critics. The cricketer-turned-broadcaster Simon Doull, while chatting with Indian cricketer Dinesh Karthik, asked why the cricket fraternity can’t just celebrate a guy who is a great bowler. Simon Doull also spoke about why the discussion on his record at home is an unfair metric to judge him.

Simon Doull
Simon Doull. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Simon Doull Lashes Out At Critics For Talking About Ravichandran Ashwin’s Domination At Home Conditions Only

Ravichandran Ashwin once again showcased his class as the star off-spinner broke an array of records during India’s record 372-run win over New Zealand in the second Test at the Wankhede Stadium.

“Lot of people talk about Ashwin and how dominant he is at home. But there are so many bowlers around the world who have been in that exact place. Yes, his record away isn’t as good but so is the case with so many other bowlers as well. People try and find defects in numbers that suit their narrative. Why can’t we just celebrate a guy who is a great bowler?” said Simon Doull. 

Ravichandran Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)

“We have all had bowlers who have dominated at home. If you look at seam bowlers in New Zealand, they have dominated at home but haven’t been as good away. It is just part and parcel of the game we play,” elaborated Simon Doull. 

Meanwhile, Ravichandran Ashwin continues to make merry in the ongoing series. On Day 3, he had picked up three wickets to help India restrict the Kiwis to 140/5 at stumps after setting them a mammoth target of 540.

Ravichandran Ashwin removed Henry Nicholls to bowl out New Zealand for 167 in their 2nd innings and finished with 4/34 as India wrapped up a series win on the 4th day. With Henry Nicholls’s dismissal, Ravichandran Ashwin became only the second Indian bowler to take 300 Test wickets in home conditions, after Anil Kumble. He also became the second-fastest bowler after Sri Lanka legend Muttiah Muralitharan to take 300 Test wickets at home.

Ravichandran Ashwin Took 50 Wickets Or More Most Times 4 Going Past Harbhajan Singh And Anil Kumble’s Records

With his second wicket of the innings where he dismissed Will Young on 20, Ravichandran Ashwin reached a historic Indian milestone.  The off-spinner went past stalwarts Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh in taking 50 wickets in a calendar year for the most number of times (4).

Ravichandran Ashwin and Harbhajan Singh
Ravichandran Ashwin and Harbhajan Singh PTI Photo by Shailendra Bhojak (PTI9_25_2015_000078A)

Ravichandran Ashwin took 62 wickets in 2015, 72 wickets in 2016, and 56 wickets in 2016. Both, Harbhajan Singh and Anil Kumble took 50+ wickets in three different years each. Ravichandran Ashwin has taken 52 wickets so far.

It is the fourth calendar year where Ravichandran Ashwin has bagged 50-plus Test wickets after 2015, 2016, and 2017. Only Shane Warne (eight), Muttiah Muralitharan (six), and Glenn McGrath (five) had 50-plus Test wickets in more calendar years than Ravichandran Ashwin, who now has the most wickets-66 by a bowler in Test matches played between India and New Zealand.

Most instances by Indian bowlers picking 50+ wickets in a calendar year:

Ravichandran Ashwin (4) – 2015, 2016, 2017, 2021

Harbhajan Singh (3) – 2001, 2002, 2008

Anil Kumble (3) – 1999, 2004, 2006

Kapil Dev (2) – 1979, 1983

(File) Muttiah Muralitharan
(File) Muttiah Muralitharan
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Muttiah Muralitharan Says Mahela Jayawardene Is One Of The Most Important Players In Sri Lankan Cricket History After His Induction In ICC Hall Of Fame

Muttiah Muralitharan, Sri Lankan spin legend has called his former teammate and the ICC’s latest Hall of Fame inductee Mahela Jayawardene one of the game’s “great thinkers”.

Lauding him for his contribution to not just his country but world cricket, Muttiah Muralitharan wrote in an open letter that Mahela Jayawardene is one of the most important players in Sri Lankan cricket history.

Mahela Jayawardene
Former Sri Lanka skipper Mahela Jayawardene (File | AP)

Muttiah Muralitharan: Mahela Jayawardane One Of The Most Important Players In Sri Lankan Cricket History

Mahela Jayawardene appeared in 652 international matches representing Sri Lanka in a career spanning about 18 years. During his international career, he also formed a healthy relationship and friendship with fellow veteran player Kumar Sangakkara. He is the first player in the history of Sri Lankan cricket to score over 10,000 Test runs and is also the second Sri Lankan player to score more than 10,000 runs in ODIs after Sanath Jayasuriya.

“You played so many wonderful innings and were always happy to be in the team, getting a lot of runs. There was less pressure on me to take wickets because once you put on all those runs, my job became easy. That is why you are one of the most important players in Sri Lankan cricket history,” Muttiah Muralitharan said.

“More than that though, you are a great human being and a very soft, kind guy away from cricket. In sport, everyone sees that champions are always very competitive. On the field, you had this ability to switch on, you were a great person to be around and play with,” Muttiah Muralitharan said.

Muttiah Muralitharan is considered one of the greatest bowlers in the history of cricket and he has the most wickets in Tests and ODIs with 800 and 534 respectively , Twitter
Muttiah Muralitharan is considered one of the greatest bowlers in the history of cricket and he has the most wickets in Tests and ODIs with 800 and 534 respectively, Twitter

“You were much quieter than me! You know I talk a lot and there were a few others in the dressing room to do the talking but you were quieter, you concentrated so much on the game at the time, you were glued to the match even while in the dressing room.”

The 44-year-old Mahela Jayawardene retired as one of Sri Lanka’s greatest ever players, a key member of the Sri Lankan team that won the T20 World Cup in 2014 and reached four other major ICC finals. The former Sri Lankan captain was inducted into the Hall of Fame on Saturday ahead of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup final alongside former South Africa all-rounder Shaun Pollock and ex England batter Janette Brittin.

Muttiah Muralitharan: Mahela Jayawardene’s Induction In Hall Of Fame Is A Reward For The Toil Over The Years And Contribution To Sri Lanka

He is the third Sri Lankan player to be inducted into the Hall of Fame after another batting great and former skipper Kumar Sangakkara and Muttiah Muralitharan himself.

“It isn’t just for one individual moment that you are being inducted into the Hall of Fame, it’s a reward for the toil over the years and everything you contributed for Sri Lanka,” Muttiah Muralitharan wrote.

File image of former Sri Lanka cricketer Kumar Sangakkara | Reuters / Dinuka Liyanawatte
File image of former Sri Lanka cricketer Kumar Sangakkara | Reuters / Dinuka Liyanawatte

“Those are all taken into consideration when choosing who is inducted and the ICC thinks it is right that you are the next Sri Lankan to be chosen, to join Kumar Sangakkara and me in the Hall of Fame. You have been selected because as a captain you were very successful, you consistently delivered as a batter, and then as a fielder, you took a lot of catches ­– more than anyone else. You have done everyone in Sri Lanka proud.”

Mahela Jayawardene was a key member of the team that won the 2014 ICC World Twenty20 and was part of the team that made it to the final of 2007 Cricket World Cup, 2011 Cricket World Cup, 2009 ICC World Twenty20, and 2012 ICC World Twenty20.

Mahela Jayawardena played 652 international matches, comprising 149 Tests, 448 ODIs, and 55 T20Is. Only India’s Sachin Tendulkar played more international matches, pipping the Sri Lankan by 12 games.  A classy right-hander who scored runs relentlessly and captained his nation superbly, Mahela Jayawardena’s 149 Tests are the most by a Sri Lankan, as are his 448 ODIs (12,650 runs at 33.37, 19 centuries) where globally only Sachin Tendulkar (463) played more matches.

He is Test cricket’s ninth greatest run-scorer with 11,814 to his name at an average of 49.84, making the sixth most Test centuries in the longest format’s history. Among his 34 centuries is the famous 374 – Test cricket’s fourth-highest score – he made in the midst of a record-setting 624-run stand with close friend Kumar Sangakkara against South Africa in 2006.

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England Pacer James Anderson Hopes Manchester Test Will Be Played Again

England pacer James Anderson on Sunday said he hopes the Manchester Test against India will be played at some point and the fast bowler will get to feature in the game at his home ground.

The fifth Test match between England and India was cancelled in Manchester on Friday. The BCCI and ECB held several rounds of discussion to find a way to play the Test match, however, the outbreak of COVID-19 in the Indian team contingent forced the decision of calling off the game.

James Anderson
James Anderson (AP Photo/Andy Brownbill)

England Pacer James Anderson Hopes Manchester Test Will Be Played Again And He Will Play Another Int’l Match At His Home Ground

James Anderson felt gutted for the Lancashire fans but is hopeful of playing another international game at his home ground. Ahead of the fifth and final Test against England, physio Yogesh Parmar tested positive for COVID-19 in Manchester. This had led to Team India’s training session for Thursday afternoon being cancelled.

“It’s such a shame the summer of international cricket ended this way. I’m gutted for everyone at @lancashirecricket, for the fans who paid for tickets/trains/hotels, for both sets of supporters that wanted to see the finish this series deserved,” Anderson said in his Instagram post.

James Anderson
James Anderson. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)

“I hope it will be played again at some point and I hope I will get to play another international game at my home ground that I love so much,” he added.

The 39-year-old bowler rued the anticlimactic end to the summer cricket season and offered words of support to hosts Lancashire country cricket club as well as fans who had travelled to the stadium. Even at the age of 39, he doesn’t seem to lose his magic and showed his calibre outright in the last Test series against India. James Anderson picked 15 wickets against India across four Tests with an average of 24.66.

James Anderson, who is the leading wicket-taker of England in Test cricket, said his family won’t be travelling with him to Australia as his children will have to be present in England for their education.

There will be a lot of hectic moments for England players who will be travelling to both UAE for the T20 World Cup (and IPL 2021) and later Australia as they will have to be under various COVID-19 bubbles and compel to strict quarantine rules of the respective country. James Anderson, who only plays red-ball cricket for England, said he will manage somehow but expressed concern over his teammates who would be participating in both the tours.

England Was Trailing By 2-1 When The Manchester Test Was Abandoned Without A Ball Being Bowled

In the four matches prior to the Manchester fixture, India had led the series 2-1. The opening Test at Trent Bridge was drawn before India won the next clash at Lord’s. England inflicted India an innings defeat in the third Test at Headingley but the visitors rallied to win the fourth Test at the Oval.

India vs England (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
India vs England (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has offered to ECB a rescheduling of the cancelled 5th Test match which was scheduled to be played at Manchester from Friday.

England’s James Anderson became the first seam bowler to reach 600 Test wickets, reaching the milestone in a gloomy last session of a rain-hit final day of the third Test against Pakistan. He is now the first bowler to possess 400 wickets in England, and the second bowler – after Muttiah Muralitharan – to have claimed as many wickets in his home country.

James Anderson is one of only two England bowlers – the other being Stuart Broad – to have taken more than 300 wickets at home in Test matches. Fred Trueman is third in the list of highest wicket-takers in England, with 229 wickets. Among the leading wicket-takers at home, Anil Kumble is third, with 350, followed by Stuart Broad (341 wickets), and Shane Warne (319 wickets).

A snarling James Anderson is congratulated on his five-fer by Chris Woakes (Getty)
A snarling James Anderson is congratulated on his five-fer by Chris Woakes (Getty)
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James Anderson May Miss 4th Test While Chris Woakes Set To Replace Sam Curran

James Anderson is the highest wicket-taker in Test cricket when it comes to pacers. James Anderson has been phenomenal against India in the series, taking 13 wickets at 16.25 and a strike rate of 47.7. The England Test veteran has taken a whopping 30 wickets at 19.79 this year alone, including two five-wicket hauls.

The battle between India skipper Virat Kohli and James Anderson may not take place in the fourth Test at The Oval as the veteran England pace bowler could be rested and return only for the fifth Test in Manchester.

James Anderson
James Anderson (AP Photo/Andy Brownbill)

James Anderson May Be Rested And Could Return For The 5th Test In Manchester

The quick turnaround in the last three Test matches – to be played within three weeks – is forcing both the teams to rotate bowlers. While India has already made it clear, the English team could also go that way.

“What I don’t want to do is break them. We’ve got a lot of cricket in front of us. The Tests are coming thick and fast now. Back-to-back, it is difficult,” said England head coach Chris Silverwood to the media while pointing out the workload of his two new-ball bowlers, James Anderson and Ollie Robinson.

Chris Silverwood
Chris Silverwood Getty Images

At the age of 39, James Anderson has already bowled more overs in the first three Tests than any of the Indian seamers has bowled. He has bowled 116.3 which is just two balls less than Ollie Robinson (116.5), who has bowled the most in the series.

“These guys are giving everything, every day when we are out on the field and we have got to make sure we are looking after them. But I won’t be making any decisions or judgments right now,” he added.

James Anderson though had made it clear prior to the series that he wants to play every Test match in the series. Even though he had niggle in the lead-up to the second Test at Lord’s, he turned up to perform. He was unplayable in the first innings of the third Test at Headingley.

England’s frontline pacer James Anderson might be advised to rest for the fourth Test between England and India to be held at The Oval from September 2. The 39-year-old’s workload management has always been one of England’s top priorities so he may miss out on the Oval Test.

Chris Woakes May Replace Out Of Form Sam Curran In The 4th Test

But considering England have a long summer during the Ashes series Down Under and with Jofra Archer under an injury cloud, England may rest James Anderson for one of the next two Tests as part of workload management. With the last Test to be played at James Anderson’s home ground at Old Trafford in Manchester from September 10, it is likely that the England team management will play him there rather than at The Oval.

England’s Chris Woakes Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian
England’s Chris Woakes Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian

Chris Silverwood, though, admitted it will be hard to convince James Anderson to miss the fourth Test. England also faces a problem as their left-arm pace bowler Sam Curran is not performing well and is leaking runs whenever he has been brought on to bowl with the old ball. He may be replaced by Chris Woakes, who is fit again and has been added to the England squad.

James Anderson claimed his 400th wicket at home by dismissing Ajinkya Rahane during the morning session(4th day) of the 3rd Test. He is now the first bowler to possess 400 wickets in England, and the second bowler – after Muttiah Muralitharan – to have claimed as many wickets in his home country. James Anderson is one of only two England bowlers – the other being Stuart Broad – to have taken more than 300 wickets at home in Test matches.

Fred Trueman is third in the list of highest wicket-takers in England, with 229 wickets. Among the leading wicket-takers at home, Indian spinner Anil Kumble is third, with 350, followed by England pacer Stuart Broad (341 wickets), and Australian leg spinner Shane Warne (319 wickets).

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Steve Harmison Feels James Anderson Will Retire After 5-Match Test Series Against India

Steve Harmison, the former England cricketer, feels the 5-match Test series against India will be the last in the international career of James Anderson.

James Anderson is the highest wicket-taker in Test cricket when it comes to pacers. Even at the age of 39, James Anderson has been one of England’s biggest performers in the whites. Steve Harmison feels James Anderson will call it a day after the 5-match Test series against India.

James Anderson
James Anderson (AP Photo/Andy Brownbill)

Steve Harmison Feels James Anderson Will Retire At The End Of Old Trafford Test, The 5th Test Against India

One of the greatest cricketers of all time and a true ambassador of the Gentleman’s Game, England pacer James Anderson has defied all odds to continue performing at the highest level even a the age of 39. Former England pacer Steve Harmison, however, feels the 5th Test between India and England at Old Trafford will be the last chapter in James Anderson’s stunning career as an international cricketer.

Though James Anderson himself has not spoken about the possibilities of retirement, especially considering how instrumental he has been to England in the three matches of the series against India so far,  Steve Harmison said that he has a ‘funny feeling’ that the Test series against India will be the end of his international career.

“I’ve got a funny feeling, I don’t know what it is, but I really have got a funny feeling that Jimmy Anderson will retire at the end of Old Trafford,” Steve Harmison told the talkSPORT cricket podcast.

Steve Harmison. (Credits: Twitter)
Steve Harmison. (Credits: Twitter)

“I don’t think the Ashes will either go ahead or go ahead in such a way and I think Jimmy might just look at this and go ‘you know what, if I go to The Oval and bowl well and then I’ve got Old Trafford at the end, my illustrious career couldn’t get any better than to finish by knocking Virat Kohli over from the end I bowl at, which is named after me, and there’s potentially no Ashes in six months time,” Steve Harmison added.

James Anderson has been phenomenal against India in the series, taking 13 wickets at 16.25 and a strike rate of 47.7. The England Test veteran has taken a whopping 30 wickets at 19.79 this year alone, including two five-wicket hauls.

James Anderson Is The 3rd Highest Wicket Taker Behind Spin Duo Of Muttiah Muralitharan And Shane Warne

When it comes to the list of all-time greats, James Anderson is the third-highest on the list of wicket-takers in the longest format of the game, with only spinners Muttiah Muralitharan and Shane Warne ahead of him.

(L - R) Muttiah Muralitharan, Shane Warne, Anil Kumble and James Anderson | AFP and Reuters
(L – R) Muttiah Muralitharan, Shane Warne, Anil Kumble, and James Anderson | AFP and Reuters

Though Steve Harmison has spoken about the possibility of James Anderson calling it a day after the conclusion of the series, the international cricketing spectrum would want him to continue for many more years and deliver the same level of performances he has been.

There are only 4 bowlers who have taken 600 or more scalps. They are Muttiah Muralitharan (800), Shane Warne(708), James Anderson (630), and Anil Kumble(619).

Among fast bowlers, James Anderson is the leading wicket-taker of all-time at Test cricket level, as the only fast bowler to have taken 600 or more Test wickets, and is the third-highest wicket-taker overall. He also holds the record for the most wickets taken by an England player in One-Day International (ODI) cricket. In June 2021 he made his 162nd appearance for England in Test cricket, becoming England’s most capped player.

The battle between India skipper Virat Kohli and James Anderson may not take place in the fourth Test at The Oval as the veteran England pace bowler could be rested and return only for the fifth Test in Manchester. The quick turnaround in the last three Test matches — to be played within three weeks — is forcing both the teams to rotate bowlers. While India has already made it clear, the English team could also go that way.

At the age of 39, James Anderson has already bowled more overs in the first three Tests than any of the Indian seamers has bowled. He has bowled 116.3 overs which is just two balls less than Ollie Robinson (116.5), who has bowled the most in the series.

Wanindu Hasaranga
Wanindu Hasaranga
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Wanindu Hasaranga Praised By Virender Sehwag And Ashish Nehra As He May Feature In IPL 2021 As A Replacement Player

Wanindu Hasaranga, the No.2 ranked T20I bowler in the world, bamboozled the Indian batsmen in the recently-concluded limited-overs series, picking up 10 wickets from five matches, including a match-winning 4/9 in the deciding T20I, which Sri Lanka won to clinch the series.

Former India batsman Virender Sehwag feels one of the players whom franchises will be keenly following is Sri Lankan spinner Wanindu Hasaranga.

Wanindu Hasaranga Celebrates A Wicket in 1st T20I @SLC
Wanindu Hasaranga Celebrates A Wicket in 1st T20I @SLC

Virender Sehwag: Wanindu Hasarana Bowled Brilliantly And Is Targeting A Few IPL Teams As A Replacement Player

With several players unavailable for the remainder of the IPL 2021 due to national commitments, bio bubble fatigue due to Covid-19 protocols, or T20 World Cup preparations, their replacements would be sought by their respective franchises with time.

“He bowled brilliantly. And the two wickets he took in the middle – of Sanju Samson and Ruturaj Gaikwad – broke India’s back. I think there was some news that Hasaranga is targeting a few IPL teams as a replacement player,” Sehwag said on Cricbuzz.

“I mean he was hoping for something like that and he proved himself… it doesn’t get bigger than this. Those who would be thinking of picking him would be saying ‘we need to talk to him’ and get him as a replacement player. He delivered the right performance at the right time.”

Virender Sehwag
Virender Sehwag (Image Credit: Twitter)

Reports had emerged that with Adam Zampa set to miss RCB’s campaign – he had withdrawn from the IPL 2021 in the first half of the tournament itself – the two-time IPL finalists are pondering over acquiring Wanindu Hasaranga, although there is nothing concrete.

Over the years, the Indian Premier League has either produced stars or given players the opportunity to become one. And with the remaining half of the IPL set to take place in the UAE starting September 19, youngsters will be keen to hit the ground running once again.

Ashish Nehra: Not Too Many Sri Lankans Are Playing The IPL And Wanindu Hasaranga Has Shown A Lot Of Positives

Having said that, former India fast bowler Ashish Nehra believes Wanindu Hasaranga surely has presented a case for himself and must certainly have attracted the attention of franchisees who are seeking replacements for players.

“Only time will tell which franchise needs a replacement. But if there are discussions, and someone needs a spinner – he (Wanindu Hasaranga) could be the guy. If a player plays for a year and a half, he is considered a senior player in T20Is. He is the No. 2 ranked T20I bowler, although I do not believe much in rankings,” Nehra said on Cricbuzz.

Ashish Nehra © BCCI
Ashish Nehra © BCCI

“Not too many Sri Lankan are playing the IPL and if you talk about the India vs Sri Lanka series, Hasaranga has shown a lot of positives. Even Shanaka sent Hasaranga ahead of himself in batting.”

IPL 2021 is set to return from 19th September in the UAE after the bio-bubble breach saw the league to be suspended indefinitely. For the first time in the history of the Indian Premier League since its inception in 2008, no players from Sri Lanka are in the eight squads that took part in IPL 2021. About 31 Sri Lankan cricketers enrolled for the IPL 2021 auction event as 9 of them made it to the final cut.

The Sri Lankan leg spinner was awarded the Player of the Series award for his 7 wickets in the recently concluded T20I series against India. Wanindu Hasaranga also performed well with the bat in the preceding England ODI series where he amassed 100 runs in 3 games and was the highest scorer. Former Sri Lankan off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan was confident of his chances of playing IPL.

Wanindu Hasaranga
Wanindu Hasaranga
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Wanindu Hasaranga’s Recent Exploits See RCB Approaching BCCI To Replace Adam Zampa With Him In IPL 2021

Wanindu Hasaranga, Sri Lankan all-rounder leg spinner has impressed everyone with his bowling variations in the recently concluded limited-overs series against India. He played a major role in Sri Lanka’s comeback to clinch the T20I series 2-1.

Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 is set to return from 19 September 2021. Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) has approached BCCI with a request to replace their spinner Adam Zampa with the Sri Lankan leg spinner Wanindu Hasaranga. The Sri Lankan spinner was awarded the Player of the Series award, for his seven wickets in the series.

IPL 2021: Adam Zampa trains for RCB during the ongoing season.© BCCI/IPL
IPL 2021: Adam Zampa trains for RCB during the ongoing season.© BCCI/IPL

Wanindu Hasaranga Had A Successful Series Against England And India, As RCB Approached BCCI With A Request To Consider Him As A Replacement For Adam Zampa

Wanindu Hasaranga was also the best player for Sri Lanka on their tour of England. He was their highest run-scorer in the ODI series, with 100 runs in three matches. After his splendid performances lately, Wanindu Hasaranga’s stocks in world cricket have certainly risen. The Sri Lankan bowler performed exceedingly well in the recently concluded India vs Sri Lanka series – that must have acted as a catalyst for RCB to consider him ahead of the Australian leggie.

Wanindu Hasaranga Celebrates A Wicket in 1st T20I @SLC
Wanindu Hasaranga Celebrates A Wicket in 1st T20I @SLC

Royal Challengers Bangalore’s star players Adam Zampa and Kane Richardson flew back to Australia citing “personal reasons”. Later, Adam Zampa spoke with the Australian press about how the IPL bio-bubble was not as secure. On the other hand, SL’s Wanindu Hasaranga was on top of his bowling performance. He picked up 7 wickets in the three T20Is becoming hosts Sri Lanka’s top bowler.

Indian batsmen struggled against him in Colombo where the conditions were a bit like India. Pitches did not have pace and spinner Wanindu Hasaranga took full advantage of it. Only time can tell if he becomes a top IPL player for the future.

Adam Zampa And Kane Richardson Flew Back Midway Citing Personal Reasons And Insecure Bio Bubbles

The IPL 2021 was canceled after few players were found to be Covid-19 positive inside the bio-bubble. The remaining Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 will be held in Sharjah, Abu Dhabi, and Dubai from September 19, right after the end of the England vs India 5-match Test series. There are 31 remaining matches in the IPL 2021. It will be the first time that the IPL will be held in UAE for two consecutive years.

In April 2021, Australian leg-spinner Adam Zampa said he decided to quit the IPL midway as it was the “most vulnerable” bio-secure bubble he has been a part of and the tournament should have been held in UAE, like last year. Adam Zampa and Kane Richardson, who were part of the Royal Challengers Bangalore squad, flew back home later, having pulled out citing personal reasons.

(File) Muttiah Muralitharan
(File) Muttiah Muralitharan

Later IPL 2021 was postponed in early May 2021 after a bio bubble breach which saw KKR’s Varun Chakravarthy, Sandeep Warrier, DC’s Amit Mishra, and SRH’s Wriddhiman Saha testing positive. Former Sri Lankan cricketer and legendary off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan was confident of Wanindu Hasaranga’s chances of playing in the Indian Premier League.

Muttiah Muralitharan is considered one of the greatest bowlers in the history of cricket and he has the most wickets in Tests and ODIs with 800 and 534 respectively , Twitter
Muttiah Muralitharan is considered one of the greatest bowlers in the history of cricket and he has the most wickets in Tests and ODIs with 800 and 534 respectively , Twitter
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Chamika Karunaratne’s Six Off The Full Toss Was The Turning Point, Says Muttiah Muralitharan

Muttiah Muralitharan, a former Sri Lanka legendary spinner termed the six in the penultimate over as the moment where the course of the 2nd T20I changed in favour of the hosts. Chamika Karunaratne dispatched a full toss beyond the boundary ropes to change the equation drastically.

 Sri Lanka's Chamika Karunaratne in action (Courtesy: AP)
Sri Lanka’s Chamika Karunaratne in action (Courtesy: AP)

Muttiah Muralitharan noted that India had not posted enough runs on the board, but lauded the fight put up by the visitors. Muttiah Muralitharan added that had Sri Lanka required 14 or 15 runs in the final over, it would have been very difficult to obtain.

“Yeah, definitely because the total was not enough. 132 was not a par score, but India gave a very good fight because it looked at one time we’ll win the match, but Dhananjaya played well and Karunaratne came and that six he hit off the full toss changed the course of the match and changed the equation.

“So, if we had 14-15 to chase in the last over, it would have been difficult for Sri Lanka,” Muralidaran said while speaking to ESPN Cricinfo after the match.

Krunal Pandya. (Photo: Twitter)
Krunal Pandya. (Photo: Twitter)

India could only play with five batsmen, with the majority of the contingent being in isolation with Krunal Pandya having contracted the virus. With eight close contacts being off the series, India only had five batsmen in the playing eleven that included three debutants.

India named 4 T20I debutants in Nitish Rana, Devdutt Padikkal, Ruturaj Gaikwad, and Chetan Sakariya for the 2nd T20I match. Hardik Pandya, Ishan Kishan, Krishnappa Gowtham, Prithvi Shaw, Suryakumar Yadav, Manish Pandey, Yuzvendra Chahal, and Shikhar Dhawan were the close contacts of Krunal Pandya all of whom barring skipper Shikhar Dhawan weren’t allowed to take the field.

Muttiah Muralitharan: India Was Depleted Due To Covid-19

According to Muttiah Muralitharan, this made a huge impact in the match, as despite the slow nature of the track, they could only post 132. Shikhar Dhawan donned the role of the anchor while Ruturaj Gaikwad and Devdutt Padikkal chipped in with valuable cameos. However, it was the frail middle order that cost India, as they fell flat in the death overs flourish.

(File) Muttiah Muralitharan
(File) Muttiah Muralitharan

“I think India was depleted due to COVID and they only played with 5 batsmen and no all-rounders at all. That made them very difficult to set a decent total for Sri Lanka. Bowling wise, they had decent bowlers and only used five bowlers and did not use the fast bowler because the wicket was on the slower side,’ Muralidaran added

The third T20I which also marks the final game of the tour will be contested tomorrow (July 29) at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo. Team India might have to turn towards their net bowlers to replace the injured Navdeep Saini.

Dasun Shanaka’s Sri Lanka defeated Shikhar Dhawan-led India by 4 wickets to level the three-match series. Dhananjaya de Silva scored 40 not out off 34 balls while wicketkeeper-batsman Minod Bhanuka smashed 36 off 31 deliveries to help the hosts chase the 133-run target with 2 balls to spare.

Kuldeep Yadav returned with the figures of 2 for 30. Earlier, Sri Lanka won the toss and opted to bowl. Indian captain Shikhar Dhawan top-scored with a 42-ball 40 as India posted 132 for 5. Ruturaj Gaikwad scored 21 off 18 balls while Devdutt Padikkal contributed with a 23-ball 29.

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