Tim Southee Age, Biography, career, stats, networth, Ranking & News

Tim Southee

New Zealand's Kane Williamson celebrates with the trophy and teammates after winning the final of the ICC World Test Championship. Photograph: John Sibley/Reuters
New Zealand's Kane Williamson celebrates with the trophy and teammates after winning the final of the ICC World Test Championship. Photograph: John Sibley/Reuters
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Ravi Shastri Reckons Losing WTC Final To Kane Williamson’s New Zealand Was Biggest Disappointment In His Tenure

Ravi Shastri’s stint as India head coach was filled with many highs and a few lows. The achievement of winning back-to-back Test series wins in Australia, leading England 2-1 on their soil, finishing five years in a row as the No. 1 ranked Test team, and reaching the knockouts of several ICC tournaments are just some of the accomplishments.

Ravi Shastri arguably is probably the best coach India has had in a long time as he instilled quality and confidence in his players. In between, there was the disappointment of not being able to win an ICC trophy.

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

Ravi Shastri Reckons Losing WTC Final Was Biggest Disappointment In His Tenure

The 2019 World Cup, the 2021 World Test Championship, the 2021 T20 World Cup would go down as missed opportunities as India failed when it mattered most. For a coach who thrives on being and making his team the best in the world, it’s a tricky question asking him which loss hurt the most, but Ravi Shastri is not one to mince words and he answered this question with bravado. Ravi Shastri said the loss in the final of the inaugural World Test Championship is his ‘biggest disappointment’.

“Losing the World Test Championship final for me was the biggest disappointment in my tenure because we didn’t deserve to lose that game. We should have drawn it at least. Because of the kind of cricket we had played for five years, to be No. 1 for five years is no joke,” the former India coach said on the ‘Bold and Brave: Ravi Shastri Way’ show on Star Sports.

Kyle Jamieson (File Photo) | AP
Kyle Jamieson (File Photo) | AP

“As much as you want to take about the preparation, the quarantine, the conditions that existed there, New Zealand already being in England… we had no business to lose that game. So that was disappointing, to say the least.”

India suffered an eight-wicket defeat to New Zealand in the WTC final at Southampton in a rain-marred game. All-rounder Kyle Jamieson rocked the Indian batting order with a five-wicket-haul. Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, and Ajinkya Rahane all got starts but none could go past fifty. The second innings saw India getting bowled out for 170, setting New Zealand 140 to win, which the BlackCaps achieved with 15 overs left.

Kane Williamson, Kyle Jamieson, And Tim Southee Architects Of New Zealand’s Inaugural World Test Championship Win

The ICC World Test Championship (WTC) Final ebbed and flowed and New Zealand finally won the match beating India by eight wickets in Southampton on June 23(the reserve 6th day). Fittingly veterans Ross Taylor and skipper Kane Williamson were the two batters at the crease who buried the ghosts of the ICC Cricket ODI World Cup 2019 and 2015, where they lost the finals.

Kane Williamson (AP)
Kane Williamson (AP)

The heroes of New Zealand’s victory were Kane Williamson(49 and 52*), Kyle Jamieson (5/31 in the 1st innings), and Tim Southee(4/48 in the 2nd innings).

Meanwhile, India has been able to hold on to their fourth spot in the World Test Championship (WTC) points table even after losing to South Africa in the second Test at the Wanderers, Johannesburg. South Africa, on the other hand, has climbed up the rankings to the fifth spot and registered their first win in the WTC 2021-23 cycle with the help of the seven-wicket win against India in the 2nd Test to level series 1-1.

Sri Lanka and Australia have the same percentage points and are sharing the honours at the top of the table, followed by Pakistan in third place in the latest WTC standings released by the ICC.

New Zealand 249 (Conway 54, Williamson 49, Shami 4-76) and 140 for 2 (Williamson 52*, Taylor 47, Ashwin 2-17) beat India 217 (Rahane 49, Kohli 44, Jamieson 5-31) and 170 (Pant 41, Southee 4-48) by eight wickets

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bangladesh Registered First Test Victory Over New Zealand

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tim Southee
Tim Southee

“Virat Kohli Will Still Be Contributing In Some Leadership Form”- Tim Southee

New Zealand pacer Tim Southee believes that Virat Kohli will always contribute in some leadership form irrespective he holds the captaincy position or not. Southee, who played under both Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma in IPL, also feels that Rohit will be benefitted to have a leader like him (Virat) alongside.

The veteran Kiwi pacer was speaking to Amazon Prime in an interview. Notable that Amazon Prime bagged the rights to live stream the matches to be in New Zealand for the next 5 years

Tim Southee is the third-highest wicket-taker in T20I cricket, with 99 strikes in 83 games Associated Press
Tim Southee is the second-highest wicket-taker in T20I cricket, with 111 strikes in 92 games (Associated Press)

Tim Southee also said that Virat Kohli might conserve all his captaincy energy and channel it to his batting.

I don’t know what it was like to captain India and the pressures that come with it. Not only that, but IPL as well. He’s done it over a period of time. It will be interesting from a fan point of view to see him put all his energies on captaincy and channel them into his batting and fielding,” Southee spoke to Amazon Prime.

“I am sure it’s a weight off his shoulders, and the person that he is, he will be contributing in some leadership form or another throughout the rest of his playing days,” he added further.

Tim Southee played under both Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma in IPL

Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma © BCCI
Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma © BCCI

Earlier Virat Kohli also resigned from RCB’s captaincy as well but he emphasized committing to the franchise till his retirement. Southee, who played 6 games for RCB, said that any new captain would love the company of Virat.

“I am sure it will be great for the new captain of RCB, and Rohit Sharma and Team India, to have someone like Virat to turn to and have a shoulder to lean on out of the field as well. You see him as a very passionate guy who loves the game and brings energy for the side. Just how much time he puts in the game. I got to know him away from the game as well (at RCB), sitting over a coffee, drink or dinner and talk and find out about his interests.” The Kiwi pacer stated.

Southee isn’t much fussed about the lack of runs from the Indian Test skipper. He believes that it’s a matter of time before he will get back to scoring hundreds. Noteworthy that Virat Kohli hasn’t scored an international hundred since November 2019.

“I guess it happens when you bat the way Virat bats and score the volume of runs he gets, you have set such high standards. Then, for some games or however long he has not been as amazing as we are used to seeing,” Southee said.

New Zealand will start their home summer with the test series against Bangladesh, starting on January 1, 2022.

Also Read:  “Virat Kohli Could Have Picked Up The Phone And Spoken To BCCI,” Believes Aakash Chopra

 

Virat Kohli in action during the third day of the WTC final against New Zealand. (File)
Virat Kohli in action during the third day of the WTC final against New Zealand. (File)
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Virat Kohli Becomes First Skipper To Record 50 International Wins In Each Format Of The Game

Virat Kohli, the Indian skipper on Monday became the first player to record 50 international wins in each format of the game. Virat Kohli achieved the feat after India defeated New Zealand by 372 runs in the second Test of the two-match series here at the Wankhede Stadium on Monday.

With this win, Team India is back to the number 1 spot in ICC Test rankings. The victory over New Zealand also means India sealed the two-match series 1-0, and now Virat Kohli’s side will head to South Africa for three Tests and three ODIs, beginning December 26. The 4 T20Is scheduled alongside Tests and ODIs will be held on the next tour.

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

Virat Kohli Became First Cricketer To Win 50 Matches In Each Format

India captain Virat Kohli, who was rested from the series opener, made his comeback in the 2nd Test played at the Wankhede Stadium. He led his team to a dominating performance which was his 50th Test win as a player. He thus became the first-ever cricketer to be part of 50 wins in each format of the game.

With this win, Team India is back to the number 1 spot in ICC Test rankings. The victory over New Zealand also means India sealed the two-match Test series 1-0.

Virat Kohli with Team India (Image: BCCI)
Virat Kohli with Team India (Image: BCCI)

“Congratulations @imVkohli. The first player with 50 international wins in each format of the game,” BCCI tweeted.

  1. Virat Kohli in Tests: 50 wins from 97 matches (2011 to 2021)
  2. Virat Kohli in ODIs: 153 wins in 254 matches (2008 to 2021)
  3. Virat Kohli in T20Is: 59 wins in 95 matches (2010 to 2021)

India defeated New Zealand by 372 runs which became their biggest ever Test win in terms of runs. The victory margin surpasses the previous record of 337 runs set against South Africa in 2015. This series win was India’s 14th consecutive Test series win at home.

Ravichandran Ashwin Became 2nd Ever Indian To Take 300 Scalps At Home

Resuming Day 4 at 140/5, overnight batters Rachin Ravindra (18) and Henry Nicholls managed to add just 22 more runs to the total before the former was scalped by Jayant Yadav and the visitors were staring down the barrel, still needing 378 runs for a win with just four wickets in hand.

In his very next over, Jayant Yadav dismissed Kyle Jamieson and Tim Southee and it seemed that the hosts would wrap up the match before the lunch break on Day 4. The final two wickets also fell in quick succession and in the end, New Zealand was bowled out for 167, handing the hosts a 372-run win. Ravichandran Ashwin became the second-ever Indian to take 300 wickets at home after Anil Kumble.

Ravichandran Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)

The defeat also means that the Kiwis are still searching for their first Test win in India since 1988 which incidentally came at the Wankhede Stadium. Ajaz Patel will have mixed feelings despite his record haul of 14 wickets during the Test including a 10 wicket haul in the first innings. He finished the match with figures of 14/225 which is also the best performance by a bowler in a losing cause.

Jayant Yadav struck thrice in the first half-hour of the fourth morning and four times in nine legal deliveries to finish with career-best figures of 4 for 49, as India wrapped up their biggest win in terms of runs – 372 – and also handed New Zealand their biggest loss. Ravichandran Ashwin finished with 8 for 42 in the match and spinners lapped up 33 of the 36 wickets that fell to bowlers, apart from Tom Blundell’s run out on the third evening.

India 325 (Agarwal 150, Axar 52, Ajaz 10-119) and 276 for 7 declared (Agarwal 62, Ajaz 4-106) beat New Zealand 62 (Ashwin 4-8, Siraj 3-19) and 167 (Mitchell 60, Nicholls 44, Ashwin 4-34, Jayant 4-49) by 372 runs

Shreyas Iyer
Shreyas Iyer - Getty Images
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Shreyas Iyer Could Be India’s Perfect Solution: Harbhajan Singh 

Shreyas Iyer twice revived India in the Kanpur 1st Test after a top-order failure, scoring 105 and 65 to script history, despite India drawing the 1st Test by failing to pick up the last Kiwi wicket. Ajinkya Rahane, who led India in the 1st Test before getting injured and subsequently ruled out from the 2nd Test, on the other hand, scored only 35 and 4.

Veteran Indian cricketer spinner Harbhajan Singh on Saturday backed young Indian batsman Shreyas Iyer to replace struggling Ajinkya Rahane in the middle-order position in India’s Test batting line-up for the impending tour of South Africa, saying that he is “ready to fill the slot”.

Shreyas Iyer at the Green Park Stadium Photo: BCCI
Shreyas Iyer at the Green Park Stadium Photo: BCCI

Shreyas Iyer Scored 105 And 65 While Ajinkya Rahane Scored Only 35 And 4 In The 1st Kanpur Test

Shreyas Iyer was handed his debut Test cap in Kanpur, for the opener of the two-Test series against New Zealand last week, where he twice revived India after a top-order failure scoring 105 and 65 to become the first from his country to notch up a century and a half-century score in maiden appearance in the format.

Ajinkya Rahane. (Photo Source: Getty Images)
Ajinkya Rahane. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

Ajinkya Rahane, on the other hand, scored only 35 and 4 which saw his career batting average fall to 39.3, the lowest he has recorded since February 2014. He was then rested for the second Test against New Zealand owing to a minor left hamstring strain.

Despite leading the team in the Kanpur Test, there are huge questions marks on Ajinkya Rahane’s form after another poor outing in the first game. In India’s tour of England earlier this year, he scored just 109 runs in 7 innings. Ajinkya Rahane’s overall batting average in Test cricket has fallen below 40 in recent times.

Ajinkya Rahane has not scored a century since December 2020- a memorable 112 against Australia. Ajinkya Rahane is averaging just 19.57 this year from 12 Tests.

Meanwhile, Shreyas Iyer became the 16th Indian batter to score a century on Test debut, when he got to the three-figure mark against New Zealand in the first Test match at Kanpur. Shreyas Iyer scored 105 runs off 171 balls after smashing 2 sixes and 13 boundaries and was dismissed by Tim Southee.

Shreyas Iyer Made The Most Of The Opportunity In The Middle Order And Could Be India’s Perfect Solution: Harbhajan Singh

Mighty impressed with the manner in which Shreyas Iyer grabbed the opportunity in the middle order in the Kanpur Test, amid Ajinkya Rahane’s lack of runs, Harbhajan Singh feels that while Ajinkya Rahane’s selection for the South Africa series is still in doubt, India have a perfect replacement for the veteran cricketer.

“Shreyas Iyer batted brilliantly in the last game and showed his talent. And I am so happy that he made the most of the opportunity in the middle order. Meanwhile, Ajinkya Rahane is not scoring runs. Going forward, Iyer could be India’s perfect solution. Don’t know if Rahane will be a part of the India squad for the South Africa series but Iyer, I feel, has made his case as a middle-order option. It will be interesting when the selection happens,” he said speaking on his YouTube channel. 

Harbhajan Singh. (Twitter/KKRiders)
Harbhajan Singh. (Twitter/KKRiders)

BCCI on Saturday postponed the South Africa tour, initially slated to begin from December 17 onwards, by nine days implying the tour will now begin on December 26. India will play three Tests and as many ODIs, however, the four T20Is part of the original fixture will now be rescheduled at a later date in 2022.

Shreyas Iyer scored 18 and 14 in the 2nd Test and both times fell to Ajaz Patel, who picked all 10 Indian wickets to fall in the 1st innings and 4 in the 2nd innings.

Mayank Agarwal. (Photo: BCCI)
Mayank Agarwal. (Photo: BCCI)
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Mayank Agarwal Became 4th Indian Opener To Hit Two Fifties In Each Innings In Mumbai’s Wankhede

Mayank Agarwal became only the 4th India opener to hit two fifty-plus scores in a Test match at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. The Karnataka star followed up his 150 in the first innings with 62 runs in the second.

Opener Mayank Agarwal missed out on an opportunity to become only the 7th India batsman to hit a hundred in each innings of a Test match as he was dismissed for 62 in the second innings of the ongoing Mumbai Test vs New Zealand after hitting an outstanding 150 in the first innings.

Mayank Agarwal
Mayank Agarwal[photo: Twitter]

Mayank Agarwal Misses Twin Hundreds As He Scored 150 And 62

Mayank Agarwal, however, joined an elite list of India batters who have hit two fifty-plus scores as openers in a Test at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. He has emulated the likes of Chetan Chauhan (52, 84 in 1978), Sunil Gavaskar (205, 73 in 1978), and Kris Srikkanth (71, 65 in 1987) after two fifty-plus scores at the iconic venue.

Mayank Agarwal was looking set to get to his second hundred of the Test as he began Day 3 by dominating the New Zealand bowling attack. He got to his fifty inside the first hour on Sunday but holed out to long-off while trying to hit milestone man Ajaz Patel into the stands.

Mayank Agarwal was hit on the arm while he tried to pull a bouncer from Tim Southee in the first session and the India opener was showing some signs of pain. After taking a second break to treat the pain, Mayank Agarwal decided to attack the left-arm spinner and get some quick runs. However, he perished for 62, posting a total of 212 runs in the 2nd Test of the 2-match bilateral series.

Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane Image Source : GETTY IMAGE
Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane Image Source: GETTY IMAGE

Mayank Agarwal’s place in the side was in question after an ordinary outing in the first Test in Kanpur. Speculation was rife that Mayank Agarwal might make way for captain Virat Kohli, who returned to the Test side after a period of rest following the conclusion of the T20I World Cup.

However, the Karnataka batter got another opportunity to open the innings as Ajinkya Rahane made way for Virat Kohli after picking up a hamstring injury in the lead-up to the Test match.

Mayank Agarwal Was Dismissed By Ajaz Patel Both Times

Mayank Agarwal made the most of the opportunity as he scored nearly half of India’s first innings total on a Mumbai pitch that was offering plenty of assistance to spinners. It was his first Test hundred in 2 years as the opener punched the air in delight after getting past the 3-figure mark on Day 2 of the 2nd Test. Mayank Agarwal dominated New Zealand spinners, with his ability to skip down the track and hit the big ones with ease.

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

Mayank Agarwal got out for 150 in the first innings, becoming one of the 10 victims of Ajaz Patel who became only the third bowler in the history of Test cricket after Jim Laker and Anil Kumble to pick up all 10 wickets in an innings. It was Ajaz Patel who got Mayank Agarwal’s wicket in the second innings as well.

India, meanwhile, has taken a dominating position in the Mumbai Test. In reply to India’s 325, the Kiwis were bundled out for 62 as the hosts took a massive 263-run first-innings lead. Virat Kohli, however, didn’t enforce the follow on and India batted again.

Cheteshwar Pujara had a horrible outing against New Zealand in the first innings of the Mumbai Test. Batting at number 3, the right-hand batter was dismissed by left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel for a 5-ball duck. But in the second innings, he was promoted up the order. He came in as an opener alongside Mayank Agarwal and played with more confidence and self-belief.

In reply to India’s 325, the visitors were bundled out for 62, which is now the lowest team total in Test cricket in India. India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin scalped four wickets for eight runs while his young right-arm pacer Mohammed Siraj registered the figures of 3 for 19. New Zealand has scored 18/1 in the 2nd innings chasing an improbable target of 540 in the 3rd session of the 3rd day. Earlier, India declared at 276/7 in their 2nd innings.

KS Bharat keep wickets in place of Wriddhiman Saha on Day 3 of Kanpur Test (Image Source: Twitter)
KS Bharat keep wickets in place of Wriddhiman Saha on Day 3 of Kanpur Test (Image Source: Twitter)
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KS Bharat May Debut And Open In The 2nd Mumbai Test, Backed By MSK Prasad

KS Bharat did well behind the stumps while substituting for Wriddhiman Saha in the first Test against New Zealand in Kanpur, is in line to make his debut in the second Test, which begins at the Wankhede Stadium on Friday.

While Wriddhiman Saha overcame a stiff neck to score a fighting half-century (61 not out) in the second innings at Green Park, there’s still uncertainty over his fitness and availability for the second Test.

India Test wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha (Photo | PTI)
India Test wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha (Photo | PTI)

KS Bharat Substituted Wriddhiman Saha And Did Well, So He May Debut In The 2nd Mumbai Test

On Wednesday, India’s bowling coach Paras Mhambrey said that the Indian team management is yet to take a call on the availability of Wriddhiman Saha.

“We will take a call closer to the game. Physios are in constant touch with (India coach) Rahul (Dravid) and (India captain) Virat (Kohli).

Paras Mhambrey
Paras Mhambrey

The prospect of playing a Test in front of his home crowd at the Wankhede Stadium on Friday – after an eight-and-a-half-year Test career – should have got Ajinkya Rahane excited. Instead, the Mumbaikar is staring at a future as gloomy as the Mumbai weather was on Wednesday.

“Closer to the game, we can take a call on what condition he is in. What Saha did in the last game was a fabulous effort. It was painful to bat, but he raised his hands and delivered for the team,” Mhambrey told reporters.

The 37-year-old Wriddhiman Saha has amassed 1313 runs in 39 Tests averaging 29.84. He has 3 tons and 6 fifties. Meanwhile, Andhra Pradesh-born KS Bharat was immensely impressive in the first innings. He affected three key dismissals and played a massive role in helping India come back in the first innings.

Regular keeper Wriddhiman Saha experienced stiffness in his neck, and as a result, he didn’t keep much. Wriddhiman Saha suffered a sprain on his neck before the start of play.

KS Bharat Is Actually Natural Specialist Opener: MSK Prasad

Indian thinktank believes that India can overcome all their selection headaches for this game by giving a Test debut to KS Bharat by sending him as an opener with Shubman Gill. This move will allow India to fit in all their middle-order batsmen – the struggling Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane, skipper Virat Kohli and Kanpur centurion debutant Shreyas Iyer.

This development will leave behind the hard decision to drop Cheteshwar Pujara or Ajinkya Rahane to another day. However, to expect KS Bharat to open in his very first Test, against the likes of Tim Southee, Kyle Jamieson, and perhaps Neil Wagner, would be asking him to go through a baptism by fire.

KS Bharat will keep the wickets for India on Day five© AFP
KS Bharat will keep the wickets for India on Day five© AFP.

“It’s not a new thing to him. He’s actually a natural, specialist opener. He got his triple hundred for Andhra while opening the innings. He’s scored 90% of his runs as an opener. Given an opportunity, he can open for India,” former India chief selector and ex-stumper MSK Prasad said.

MSK Prasad, who played six Tests for India, pointed out that KS Bharat had “scored three hundred in days’ cricket” for India A too. Like everyone, MSK Prasad, who has observed KS Bharat’s growth closely both at Andhra and as a chairman of the national selection committee, was impressed by the 28-year-old’s neat glove-work, barring the odd mistake, in Kanpur.

“His ‘keeping was really good in the first Test. It’s not easy to keep wickets in Kanpur as the ball stays low and we have three kinds of spinners. If he gets the chance he’ll grab it,” Prasad said.

In the past, KS Bharat has opened for Andhra in the Ranji Trophy and has scored 4283 runs in 78 first-class games averaging 37.24, with nine hundred and 23 fifties, and even a triple hundred (308) under his belt. With doubts over veteran 37-year-old Wriddhiman Saha’s batting form and fitness, a Test debut for KS Bharat should not be far away. He is yet to play an international match for India in any format.

VVS Laxman (Image Credit: Twitter)
VVS Laxman (Image Credit: Twitter)
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India Could Have Declared 5 Overs Early On Day 4 Of The 1st Test: VVS Laxman

VVS Laxman said that he did not see any intent from Wriddhiman Saha or Axar Patel to score quickly towards the end of the fourth day, and India could have chosen to make New Zealand bat for a few more overs than they eventually did.

India could have declared their second innings earlier and opted to have a few more overs to bowl at New Zealand on Day 4, and the decision to carry on may have had an effect on the outcome of the 1st Test match, said a former batsman VVS Laxman. New Zealand managed to force the match into a draw with just one wicket in hand, with the umpires calling an end to play on Day 5 due to bad light.

Wriddhiman Saha and Axar Patel put up an unbeaten stand of 67 runs off 124 balls. (AP Photo)
Wriddhiman Saha and Axar Patel put up an unbeaten stand of 67 runs off 124 balls. (AP Photo)

VVS Laxman Feels India Could Have Declared 5 Overs Earlier As He Didn’t See Any Intent From Axar Patel Or Wriddhiman Saha

On Day 4, India managed to pull things back after collapsing to 51/5 to reach 234/7, with Wriddhiman Saha and Axar Patel batting out 124 balls for an unbeaten 67-run partnership. Wriddhiman Saha roared back to form with an unbeaten 61 as India declared their second innings at 234 for 7 to set New Zealand a target of 284 runs to win the series opener.

VVS Laxman. (File Photo: IANS)
VVS Laxman. (File Photo: IANS)

The contributions of Wriddhiman Saha(61*), Shreyas Iyer(65), and Ravichandran Ashwin (32) bailed India out of troubled waters after they were reduced to 51 for 5 in the first session after Kyle Jamieson (3-40) and Tim Southee (3-75) ran through the top-order. Shreyas Iyer followed his first-innings 105 with a crucial 65, forging 50-plus stands with Ravichandran Ashwin and Wriddhiman Saha for the sixth and seventh-wickets respectively.

“They could have probably declared five overs before they did. I didn’t see any intent from Axar Patel or Wriddhiman Saha. Yes, you wanted to get to a score which was about 234 but we all know that the last few overs is very tough for any batter, regardless of how established or new they are. So they should have bowled about five overs more yesterday and that could have been the difference,” said VVS Laxman on Star Sports after the match.

VVS Laxman also pointed out that India should have declared a few overs earlier, which he felt would have made the difference as New Zealand would have struggled with spin coming into play. New Zealand was four for one when bad light stopped play, chasing a daunting victory target of 284 on a worn-out track. Opener Will Young was given lbw to Ravichandran Ashwin, which could have been reversed, but the batsman was late to review the decision.

VVS Laxman: India Must Address The Performance Of Top Order Batsmen

VVS Laxman praised the bowlers for their work on Day 5 and said that India has to look at their top-order batting woes. India’s top five put up just 145 runs in the first innings and 51 runs in the second.

“Today, the bowlers stuck to their task. If at all there is one thing that needs to be addressed is the batting. The performance of the top order batsman,” VVS Laxman said.

Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara both failed to score in the first Test against New Zealand. (AFP Photo)
Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara both failed to score in the first Test against New Zealand. (AFP Photo)

India’s top order (1-4), comprising two senior batters in Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara, along with openers Mayank Agarwal and Shubman Gill, averaged only 21.25 in the Kanpur Test. This is the second time in 2021 that the Indian top order has averaged this low in a Test at home since 2010, the other being against England in Ahmedabad, where the batters combined to average 16.50 – both are among the top five in the period.

Cheteshwar Pujara, who scored 26 and 22 in Kanpur, was dismissed in a similar manner as he was criticized for having a technical flaw in his game. Mayank Agarwal managed scores of 13 and 17 in the Kanpur Test. On other hand, Ajinkya Rahane scored 35 and 4 in the 1st Test. One of the trios has to make way for Virat Kohli, who will return in the 2nd Test.

VVS Laxman (Image Credit: Twitter)
VVS Laxman (Image Credit: Twitter)
//

VVS Laxman Hailed Wriddhiman Saha For His 61* While Batting In Considerable Pain

VVS Laxman hailed wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha’s fighting fifty on Day 4, which put the hosts in a commanding position against New Zealand in Kanpur on Sunday.

Wriddhiman Saha roared back to form with 61 not out as India declared their second innings at 234 for 7 to set New Zealand a target of 284 runs to win the series opener.

VVS Laxman, Sunrisers Hyderabad mentor with Wriddhiman Saha- FILE PHOTO/ AKHILESH KUMAR
VVS Laxman, Sunrisers Hyderabad mentor with Wriddhiman Saha- FILE PHOTO/ AKHILESH KUMAR

VVS Laxman: Wriddhiman Saha Is The Ultimate Fighter And Team Man

The fifty was Wriddhiman Saha’s sixth in Test cricket and first since August 2017. The 37-year-old, who didn’t keep wickets on Day 3 due to a stiff neck, was in visible pain throughout his knock, but he batted through it to put India in the driver’s seat on a penultimate day. The 37-year-old Wriddhiman Saha has amassed 1313 runs in 39 Tests averaging 29.84. He has 3 tons and 6 fifties.

Hailing Wriddhiman Saha’s contribution in the second innings, VVS Laxman said: “Wriddhiman Saha is the ultimate fighter and the ultimate team man.”

VVS Laxman has been working closely with Bengal’s veteran keeper Wriddhiman Saha for a few years now at Sunrisers Hyderabad franchise and, therefore, knows the 37-year-old inside-out. VVS Laxman also praised the 37-year-old keeper who battled stiff neck but showed that fight and determination that reflected the true character of the champion player.

India Test wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha (Photo | PTI)
India Test wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha (Photo | PTI)

The contributions of Wriddhiman Saha, Shreyas Iyer, and Ravichandran Ashwin (32) bailed India out of troubled waters after they were reduced to 51 for 5 in the first session after Kyle Jamieson (3-40) and Tim Southee (3-75) ran through the top-order. Shreyas Iyer followed his first-innings 105 with a crucial 65, forging 50-plus stands with Ravichandran Ashwin and Wriddhiman Saha for the sixth and seventh-wickets respectively.

New Zealand Manages A Thrilling Draw In The 1st Test

Chasing a daunting victory target of 284 on a worn-out track, New Zealand was four for one when bad light stopped play. Opener Will Young was given lbw to Ravichandran Ashwin, which could have been reversed, but the batsman was late to review the decision. Tom Latham resumed on two on Monday with nightwatchman Will Somerville, who is yet to open his account, for company.

Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, and Axar Patel put in a tremendous effort in challenging conditions. The fifth-day pitch in Kanpur showed little sign of deterioration, and its slowness and lack of carry continued to negate the threat of its low bounce.

Ravindra Jadeja (Image Credit: Twitter)
Ravindra Jadeja (Image Credit: Twitter)

Two Indian-born cricketers, Ajaz Patel and Rachin Ravindra, showed remarkable resilience under fading light and on a deteriorating track to defy India’s famous spinners, eking out a thrilling draw for New Zealand in the opening Test on Monday.

Indian spinners, led by Ravindra Jadeja, put up one of their most persevering performances in recent times. Still, Mumbai-born Ajaz Patel (2 off 23 balls) and Karnataka-born Rachin Ravindra (18 not out off 91 balls) consumed 8.4 overs after the fall of the ninth wicket to keep New Zealand on an even keel in the two-match series.

A lot of credit should also go to night-watchman Will Somerville (36 off 110 balls), who played the entire fifth morning first to raise visions of the improbable draw.

India 345 (Iyer 105, Gill 52, Jadeja 50, Southee 5-69, Jamieson 3-91) and 234 for 7 declared. (Iyer 65, Saha 61, Jamieson 3-40, Southee 3-75) drew with New Zealand 296 (Latham 95, Young 89, Axar 5-62, Ashwin 3-82) and 165 for 9 (Latham 52, Jadeja 4-40, Ashwin 3-35)

Shreyas Iyer revealed how MS Dhoni and Bollywood stars helped him in recovery from injury |Courtesy BCCI/Instagram @Shreyas41
Shreyas Iyer revealed how MS Dhoni and Bollywood stars helped him in recovery from injury |Courtesy BCCI/Instagram @Shreyas41
///

Shreyas Iyer Had Fun Chat With MS Dhoni And Played Football With Hindi Filmstars Which Helped Him To Recover

Shreyas Iyer revealed MS Dhoni played a major role in helping him recover from injury and return to his best. He also disclosed playing football with friends from the film industry helped him in his comeback.

In March this year, Shreyas Iyer’s world was thrown upside down as he suffered a devastating shoulder injury during the first ODI between India and England in Pune. Shreyas Iyer was forced to undergo surgery which meant he had to be out of action for almost six months.

Shreyas Iyer
Shreyas Iyer – Getty Images

Shreyas Iyer Missed IPL 2021’s First Indian Leg But Returned In UAE Leg And Was Part Of The Reserves In 2021 T20I WC Squad

In the meantime, he was forced to miss the first leg of the 2021 Indian Premier League (IPL) and eventually lost his Delhi Capitals (DC) captaincy to Rishabh Pant. As a result, from being a leading contender to being part of India’s 2021 T20 World Cup squad, Shreyas Iyer could only make the reserves as the injury starved him of valuable game-time before the selection for the marquee event.

Shreyas Iyer dislocated his shoulder while fielding against England in the first ODI in Pune on March 24. He had to leave the field right away and later underwent surgery that kept him away from the first session of the 14th edition of IPL before the tournament was suspended midway due to the breakout of Covid-19 inside the bio-bubble.

Rishabh Pant
Rishabh Pant (Image Credit: Twitter)

However, Shreyas Iyer has shown his character by making his Test debut in the same year and beginning his international career in the longest format of the game by scoring a century. On Friday, Shreyas Iyer became just the 16th Indian ever to score a century on Test debut.

Shreyas Iyer Credited Mentor For T20I WC MS Dhoni For Helping Him By Having ‘Fun Chats’ With Him

Shreyas Iyer credited former Indian captain MS Dhoni for helping him through the recovery period. During rehab, the former DC skipper revealed he had some ‘fun chats’ with the 2011 World Cup-winning captain.

Talking in a press conference, Iyer said, “Mahi Bhai was there and we spoke a little bit about IPL at that point of time, never discussed winning the IPL (chuckles). You know he is really calm and composed, whenever you for a chat, he’s got so much so experience in the IPL and different forms of the game, so it’s always fun to chat with him.”

The 26-year-old also revealed that playing football with friends from the Indian film industry (Bollywood) helped him maintain his competitive spirit and maintain his fitness levels.

“It didn’t switch me off completely because my focus was more on cricket rather than playing football. But I really love going out there and trying different sports – whether it be table tennis or badminton, but football is something I’ve been playing since my school days. And when I went and played with my Bollywood friends over there, they were very competitive and they were friendly at the same time,” said Iyer. 

MS Dhoni (BCCI/IPL)
MS Dhoni (BCCI/IPL)

He added, “So it was a good mixture, and also I wanted to get into that competitive zone and see it to that my fitness level was pretty intact. Because you keep running 90 minutes and it’s about how your stamina pans out throughout the game.”

After a long hiatus, Shreyas Iyer made his comeback during the second leg of IPL 2021 in the UAE (scoring 175 runs in 8 games averaging 35). After missing out on India’s main 15-man squad for the T20 World Cup (he was named in the reserves), Shreyas Iyer returned to play for India in the three-match T20I series against New Zealand he played all three games.

With Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli resting and KL Rahul suffering from an injury, Shreyas Iyer got a chance to make his debut in the first Test against New Zealand in Kanpur. He took the opportunity with both hands by scoring a brilliant knock of 105 under pressure.

Shreyas Iyer, on his debut, scored a century for India against the defending World Test Champions New Zealand, batting at No.5. He scored 105 before being dismissed by Tim Southee. His runs came off 171 balls after smashing 2 sixes and 13 boundaries. Among those to score a century on Test debut for India are the likes of Mohammad Azharuddin, Sourav Ganguly, Virender Sehwag, Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, and Prithvi Shaw.

Shreyas Iyer has featured in 22 ODIs and 32 T20Is and averaged 42.78 and 27.61 in the two formats, respectively, before making his Test debut, 4 years after his limited-overs debut in 2017.

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