Connect with us


ICC World Cup 2019: Virat Kohli reveals tactics discussed with Hardik Pandya against Australia



Virat Kohli can switch gears seamlessly while batting but the Indian captain feels that the presence of a compulsive stroke-player like Hardik Pandya allows him to play second fiddle at times.

It’s not everyday that Kohli scored at more than run a ball, yet his 82 off 77 balls in India’s 36-run win against Australia had only four boundaries and two sixes.

He was happy running the ones and twos, save the two sixes off Mitchell Starc as Pandya was the aggressor, scoring 48 off 25 balls.

Asked if he didn’t think about shifting gears, Kohli replied in the affirmative but then spoke about change in plan.

“Okay, yeah, that thought (to start attacking) did come to my mind. After I crossed 50, I sort of spoke to Hardik and he said, I don’t necessarily need to take any chances,” the skipper said.

In fact, it was Pandya who told his captain to drop anchor as his presence gave him freedom to attack.

“Hardik said, the fact that you are at one end gives me more assurance to play my game. So, I had to take responsibility of holding it but still maintaining tempo, knocking the ball around,” the skipper said, providing some nuggets of his conversation with Pandya.

One of the reasons was not getting enough deliveries that upset his rhythm.

“And then in the last five, six overs, I think I played about six balls. So, I would play one ball in three overs and that was also single immediately. As a batsman, you can’t really get rhythm after a while. These things happen in the one-day game.”

For the skipper, it’s not a problem to swallow his champion’s ego and be the support cast if he finds that someone else is being the enforcer.

“As long as guys like Hardik and MS (Dhoni) play like that, I have no problem in just doing my job and taking singles and being at one end. Sometimes, you will get an opportunity to strike as well, and this is what we discussed as a team.

“If some guys are hitting at a certain strike rate, you make sure that you play a second fiddle and control the game because if you lose wickets — if we lost five wickets in that phase, you’re looking at 20 runs less maybe,” the skipper said, explaining his rationale behind the game plan.

The team management’s communication to the middle-order is pretty clear and the players understand the kind of situational awareness that is expected of him.

“The communication is very important, also. They understood that this is a phase where we could get those extra runs, and they just send Hardik, and I think that it was a very, very good plan,” he said.

He then provided an insight to the team’s game plan against Australia.

“If I get out then MS will come in to control that one end, and if the other guy gets out, if Shikhar got out, then Hardik would have stepped in.

“Exactly that’s what happened, and the communication came from the management that said let’s send Hardik and try and capitalise on this because last time we played here against Sri Lanka we got 330 and we lost the game,” said Kohli.

But what gave skipper confidence was Pandya’s immense self belief that he would score at strike-rate of 200.

“Hardik said to me in the middle of the fact that I’m there at one end gave him the freedom to strike from ball one, and he wanted to strike at 200. That was his plan, and then MS came in and he did the same job beautifully,” the skipper said.


Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


ICC World Cup 2019: India’s all-time World Cup XI – Virat Kohli misses out



“As a young boy I dreamt of winning this trophy; that’s where it all started,” said the cricketer who has perhaps had the biggest impact on the sport globally. These words of Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar, who finally became a world champion in his sixth attempt in 2011, are an apt reflection of what the showpiece event means to cricketers and cricket fans across the globe.

For many kids in India the sport turned into an obsession after Kapil Dev and his team’s landmark win in the 1983 tournament. That victory changed the narrative of the sport forever, shifting its nerve centre from England to the subcontinent, as limited overs cricket zoomed ahead of Tests in terms of popularity.

The 1987 World Cup was the true marker of this paradigm shift as the showpiece event moved out of England for the first time and was jointly hosted by India and Pakistan. Every four years Indian fans waited with bated breath for the team to repeat the success of 1983 and the moment arrived 28 years later. Mahendra Singh Dhoni was immortalised in the annals of Indian cricket history as he hit the winning six at the Wankhede Stadium in the final against Sri Lanka.

As the country gets ready to cheer for the ‘Men in Blue’ in the upcoming World Cup, we bring to you India’s all-time World Cup XI, comprising players who we think have had the maximum impact on India’s World Cup campaigns. Another important factor that has been kept in mind while compiling this list is whether it will stand the test of time.

1) Sachin Tendulkar – (2278 runs @ 56.95 with 6 centuries and 15 half-centuries)

It is difficult to look past this man while compiling any kind of XI in cricket. Tendulkar’s impact on Indian cricket and on the World Cup can be gauged from the fact that he tops the all-time run charts and finished as the highest run-getter in the 1996 and 2003 tournaments. He was also India’s highest run-getter in the victorious 2011 campaign and is the best ODI batsman of all-time.

Sachin was no slouch with the ball either and on his day, could either bowl spin or seam depending on the conditions on offer, which was a great cushion to have for the captain.

2) Sourav Ganguly – (1006 runs @ 55.88 with 4 centuries and 3 half-centuries)

The man who led India to their second ever World Cup final is perhaps one of the finest ODI openers of all time. Ganguly stamped his class on the global tournament with a 97 against South Africa on his World Cup debut in 1999 and finished the tournament as India’s second highest run-getter. The campaign also includes the memorable 183 against Sri Lanka in Taunton. He also played a crucial role with the ball in the must-win match against England. In 2003, Ganguly’s timely century against Kenya in the semi-final paved the way for a summit clash with Australia. He was also India’s second-highest scorer in an otherwise disastrous 2007 campaign.

3) Rahul Dravid – (860 runs @ 61.42 with 2 centuries and 6 half-centuries)

Picked ahead of the finest ODI batsman of this generation, Virat Kohli, Rahul Dravid’s case is bolstered by his numbers and the ability to be the back-up wicket-keeper in the playing XI. Dravid was the highest run-getter in the 1999 tournament and played crucial knocks in the middle order in the 2003 event. Also, with two flamboyant openers at the top, Dravid’s ability to drop anchor makes him a perfect fit for the number three slot.

4) Mohinder Amarnath – (254 runs @ 21.16 and 16 wickets @ 26.93)

The man behind India’s 1983 success, Mohinder Amarnath cannot and should not be judged by his numbers alone. His ability as a batsman goes way beyond his numbers as he had a limited role to play with the willow in the three tournaments. The proverbial ‘man with the golden arm’ Amarnath’s bowling efforts saw India win the semi-final and the final of the 83 event. He is also part of an elite group of players who won the ‘Man of the Match’ award in the semi-final and final of the same event.

5) Mohammed Azharuddin – (826 runs @ 39.33 with 8 half-centuries)

He captained India in three World Cups, which includes a semi-final finish in 1996 at home. A pillar of strength in the middle order, Azhar walks into the team due to his ability to be both a gatherer as well as a finisher. He made handy contributions in the 1987 campaign, which ended with a semi-final defeat to England.

6) Yuvraj Singh – (738 runs @ 52.71 & 20 wickets @ 23.10)

The southpaw is the spinning all-rounder in the team and walks into the XI on the back of a ‘Man of the Series’ showing in the victorious 2011 campaign. Yuvraj Singh’s ability to pick up wickets and also control runs makes him a handy part-timer to have in the side. Played several crucial knocks with the bat in the 2003 and 2011 tournaments.

7) MS Dhoni – (507 runs @ 42.25 with 3 half-centuries) – Vice-captain

Arguably the finest ODI wicket-keeper batsman of all-time and one of the best captains ever, MS Dhoni took India back to the zenith of ODI cricket with a title at home in 2011. His ability to read match situations from behind the stumps and turn the tide for his team with the bat makes him indispensable for any side. His brilliance was on view even in the 2015 tournament when he led India to a semi-final finish.

8) Kapil Dev – (669 runs @ 37.16 & 28 wickets @ 31.85) – Captain

The agent of change in Indian cricket, Kapil Dev was at his all-round best in the victorious 1983 campaign. Leading from the front, Kapil saved India from exiting the tournament with a brilliant 175 with his backs to the wall against Zimbabwe. While he remains India’s finest paceman ever, the catch that he took in the final to dismiss a rampant Vivian Richards remains a defining moment in the history of ODI cricket.

9) Javagal Srinath – (44 wickets @ 27.81)

A tireless soldier who represented India in four World Cups, Srinath was the leader of the attack in 1996, 1999 and 2003. With a semi-final and a final finish to his name, the right-arm paceman was the go to man for his captains in his heydays. His performance in the 2003 tournament, apart from the final, at the fag end of his career remains one of the high points of his journey as an international cricketer.

10) Anil Kumble – (31 wickets @ 22.83)

Anil Kumble continues to be the top tweaker for India at the showpiece event and is the lone full-time spinner in the squad. He finished the 1996 tournament as the highest wicket-taker but performances in the rest of the campaigns weren’t anything to write home about.

11) Zaheer Khan – (44 wickets @ 20.22)

The left-arm paceman is tied with Srinath for the most number of wickets for an Indian bowler, but he took far less number of matches to reach the feat. The spearhead of the attack in 2011, Zaheer was at his potent best on the flat subcontinental surfaces, finishing the tournament as the joint-highest wicket-taker. He was lethal even in the 2003 campaign as a young speedster.

12) Virat Kohli – (587 runs @ 41.92 with 2 centuries and 1 half-century)

The current Indian captain is the 12th man and misses out on a place just on the basis of the impact he has had in the two tournaments he played so far. Kohli’s World Cup debut was a grand one as he scored a century against Bangladesh, but his moment came in 2015 when he reached Australia as India’s batting spearhead. But apart from a century against Pakistan, Kohli didn’t have any other significant contribution in the campaign. Indian fans though would believe that this is the tournament that Kohli will stamp his class on.


Continue Reading


Sachin Tendulkar comes up with witty reply after ICC trolls him on Twitter



Sachin Tendulkar’s batting excellence is common knowledge for any cricket fan but his bowling was also a major weapon for the Master Blaster and over the years, he has taken many important wickets with his brand of spin.

In a video posted on Twitter, Tendulkar and his friend Vinod Kambli were shown hitting the nets at the Tendulkar-Middlesex Global Academy camp in Navi Mumbai with Tendulkar bowling couple of trademark leg spinners.

“Felt great to be back in the nets with @vinodkambli349 during the @tendulkarmga lunch break! It sure took us back to our childhood days at Shivaji Park… Very few people know that Vinod & I have always been in the same team and never played against each other. #TMGA,” wrote Tendulkar on Twitter.

The video showed that Tendulkar overstepped while bowling a delivery and the official Twitter handle of the International Cricket Council (ICC) took the opportunity to troll the legendary cricketer. “Watch your front foot, @sachin_rt 😜,” the handle wrote on Twitter with a picture of umpire Steve Bucknor.

Steve Bucknor and Tendulkar share an interesting relationship as during his playing days, he was the victim of a number of controversial umpiring calls. However, Tendulkar came up with a witty reply to the tweet as he wrote, “At least this time I am bowling and not batting 😋 .. umpire’s decision is always the final decision. ☝🏻

Tendulkar’s son – Arjun Tendulkar – put up a decent all round show as Aakash Tigers Mumbai Western Suburb defeated Triumph Knight Mumbai North East by five wickets in the opening game of the T20 Mumbai League. The youngster snapped up a wicket and then chipped in with 23 runs for Aakash Tigers on his debut.


Continue Reading


Juventus-bound Ramsey bids emotional farewell to Arsenal



Aaron Ramsey made a tearful farewell to Arsenal after 11 years at the club on Sunday and said he was looking forward to the next phase of his career at Juventus.

The Welshman, whose season ended prematurely after he sustained a hamstring injury last month, is set to join the Italian champions in the close season after signing a four-year deal in February.

Ramsey, who is the club’s highest scoring central midfielder with 64 goals, was given a guard of honour by his team mates and presented with a memento after Arsenal’s 1-1 draw with Brighton and Hove Albion at the Emirates Stadium.

“Obviously it’s very emotional, it’s been a hell of a journey,” the 28-year-old told Sky Sports. “Eleven years of my life, so much has happened in that, when I look back. You can tell by my voice how much it means to me.

“I’m really excited for the new challenge and new chapter in my life (at Juventus) but today it’s all about this.

“This is where I grew up. I just want to take this in today and let it settle in for a few more days before I can really look forward and concentrate on that.

“I’m going to club that’s playing in the Champions League, and playing with (Cristiano) Ronaldo. And that’s going to really sink in now, so I can get my head around that in the next few weeks and really look forward to that challenge.”

Goalkeeper Petr Cech, who is retiring at the end of the season and was also honoured by Arsenal, said Ramsey’s departure was a big loss for the London club.

“I think when he came from Cardiff nobody really knew how great a player the club brought in and I think he gave everything he could all those 11 years,” Cech said.

Arsenal also confirmed the departure of striker Danny Welbeck. The Englishman, signed from Manchester United in 2014, has not played since he had an ankle surgery in November and his contract expires at the end of the season.

“I spoke with the club about this situation,” manager Unai Emery said. “The decision is he is going to leave.


Continue Reading


Enter your email address to get latest updates



Copyright © 2018 - 2019 Delhi Wire.